1. Unofficial 2015 goal: Check out all of the coffee shops in Pilsen. I’ve already been to La Catrina, Efebinas, and Cafe Jumping Bean (for a sandwich though, not coffee). And bonus, Belli’s, a juice bar. So that leaves the new Bow Truss and Nitecap. And for funsies, various bakeries and cafes, and I think a second juice bar. So far, no Starbucks (otherwise, you know, there goes the neighborhood), although there is a Dunkin’ Donuts. Anyway, I really like this ‘hood. Eventually I want to do a Favorite Things in Pilsen post, but I have so much more exploring to do. If you have any recommendations, I’m all ears.

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One of my favorite murals in Pilsen. I’d also like to do a Murals of Pilsen post, and/or a Murals of Pilsen Fun Run if anyone is interested. 

2. Last month, I went on a little department Christmas outing to Rhine Hall Distillery. If you like brandy and/or grappa, go check them out.

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Above, on the left is the, uh, distiller? And on the right is a bike-powered, uh, fruit press? They used that for the first batch, they normally use a more modern device. Below: tasting. 

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3. The Monday before Christmas, I attend my 12th Do-It-Yourself Messiah. I go with my parents, and a few years ago, my husband started joining us as well. Neither of us are singers (although my parents are), but it’s a really cool event regardless. I took this video of the encore, the Hallelujah Chorus of course.

4. Why do the book clubs I’m stalking keep picking books about serial killers? October was Devil in the White Citynow I’m reading Death in the City of Lightand up next is In Cold BloodAnyone want to form a no-serial-killers book club?

5. I went to the Art Institute with my bestie and her two kids last week. The Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor exhibit was interesting, although given the kids we didn’t spend a ton of time walking through it. However, Pénétrable de Chicago by Jesús Rafael Soto was a big hit (as you may have noticed on my Instagram).

A video posted by Maggie (@magwolff) on Dec 26, 2014 at 12:08pm PST