Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

CompUSA closing down

CompUSA is leaving the Chicago area and the downtown store (101 E Chicago), at least, has started (modest) clearance prices. Oddly, they’re not using any of their street facing windows to advertise the sale, but once you’re inside there are banners advertising that everything is “up to” 20% off. As of this writing most items are 10% off, and they’re also not honoring national sales prices, which means that commonly discounted items like CD-Rs (what I happened to stop in for) are actually slightly more expensive than usual. You should also note that all sales are final — they stamped the phrase on my receipt in three separate places. All that being said, there are some bargains to be found.

I (Star) Chi

I (Star) Chi

Naz Hamid and Andrew Huff (also of Gapers Block) bring us this t-shirt design that’s so simple and perfect that it a) makes me slap my head that I didn’t think of it first and b) makes me pull out my credit card instantly.

(I do wonder a little why they’re using a slightly different star than the one from the flag.) (My bad eyesight is corrected in the comments.)

Recovery time

The food has been eaten (although if you’re like me, you have a ton of holiday foodstuffs still kicking around), the booze has been guzzled, we’re back at work and yesterday might not have been enough to get us over our holiday hangover. But instead of (or in addition to) ordering a nice, greasy brunch to get us over the hangover hump, maybe we should go in for some pampering and relaxation instead. Plenty of local spas offer hangover specials that might be just the jump start you need to kick off the new year. Time Out tries and rates a few, including the Hangover Facial at Luxe ($110 for 60 minutes), the Hangover Herbie at Bliss Spa ($215 for 60 minutes), and the After Hours at Urban Spa Chic ($110 for 60 minutes). Or find a spa near you with

Enjoy, and happy 2007.

The season of giving…and shopping

Well, this is it for me: the weekend of mad dash holiday shopping. If you’ve got shopping yet to do, and have a few people on your list who are difficult to buy for, check out some of these local gift guides:

Time Out’s sports fan guide, featuring things like fly-fishing lessons and racing school.

-Also from Time Out, “of the month” gifts, including yarn, magic tricks, sex toys, and many more.

-The Chicago Reader Holiday Gift Guide features unique gifts such as recordable turntable for converting vinyl to mp3 and gourmet take out meals.

-The Chicago Tribune comes through with comic gifts.

Happy shopping.

We’re shopping (or trying to)

This is our first Chicago holiday sans Marshall Field’s and with Macy’s. Time Out has some suggestions as to how Macy’s can woo us this holiday season:

-Give us a parade like the one in NYC on Thanksgiving. Here are some balloon suggestions.

-“Give the lady what she wants.” Or, give us what we want: 1) not to be treated like New York’s boring little sister, and 2) not to have our historic State Street store turned into a downmarket, “price check, please” warehouse.

And here’s another interesting article on big name stores that aren’t coming to Chicago. Apparently they’re afraid of the Midwest or something. But I think we can shop with the best of ’em, so all of these hotshot stores should give us a shot.

As far as holiday shopping goes, try some of these unique gifts:

2007 Chicago Birthday Calendar, “artwork and poetry by renowed Chicagoans like Herman Rosse, Shel Silverstein, Muddy Waters, Carl Sandburg; an eclectic range of holidays and city events; as well as the birthdays of hundreds of famous (and some not-so-famous} Chicagoans and other American legends.”

-Old school sports gear from Throwbackmax. Now you can sport a vintage 1983 Chicago Blitz shirt, 1974 Chicago Fire shirt, or 1968 Chicago Owls shirt.

-Cool local paper goods from La Familia Green, including journals made from VHS sleeves, album sleeves, and postcards.

Metroblogging T-Shirts

Metroblogging T-shirtIt’s been nearly non-stop, this clamoring you people have been doing for Metroblogging T-Shirts. Just in time for the holidays, y’all can finally stop yer yapping and get a shirt already. (That was you, right, and not just voices in my head?)

Get your music geek on

I keep meaning to take up some sort of musical instrument “one of these days.” One of these days I’ll learn how to play guitar, or harp, or upright bass, or keyboard. You ever think you might get around to doing that, too? You’re in luck. This weekend, you can pick up all kinds of musical instruments at the Old Town School of Music 9th Annual Different Strummer Garage Sale. Feel free to go grab an amp, an acoustic, a classical or rockin’ instrument, a book or CD, or a new case for something you’ve got already, hopefully at a low price.

When: August 11, 12, & 13 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 4544 N. Lincoln

Naperville is Metal

Naperville is Metal

My friend Kyle designed this T-shirt and he says he’s being, “90% ironic, because Naperville is mostly middle-aged people with kids. Like me. But I was surprised when I moved out here how much metal wear there was in the youth culture. Maybe that’s all they sell at Hot Topic. Hopefully they won’t get the joke and they’ll buy my shirt. Or get the joke and buy the shirt anyway. Woo-oo! Metal!”

Help Val Move!

By going to her moving sale and purchasing much music! That’s right, Val’s Halla is moving from her Oak Park location of more than 30 years. If you’ve never visited Val’s, shame on you. It’s a good ol’ record store. You know, the kind where you feel like a music lover, not just a rampant consumer–but still with plenty of music for your ears. Fortunately, Val is staying in business, just relocating to another section of Oak Park. And to help lighten her load, on Sunday, July 30th, she’s having a blowout sale. It’s worth the time and her store is literally steps from the Oak Park stop on the Green line. Go, get your groove on!

Starbucks in Targets? So wrong it’s right

Starbucks%20in%20Target.jpgNormally, I try to steer clear of corporate chains, less from moral motivation and more because I find them a tad boring. Andersonville is packed with personality-laden cafes; how many times a week do I really need to frequent the cookie-cutter Starbucks? But this week I spent the better part of the heat wave in the cool air conditioning at Target and, well, when you’re already inside one big-box corporation, why not indulge in a $4 iced beverage from another (which also happens to offer health care to part time employees, by the way, which is nothing to sneeze at)? It was a cheap trade off for the free a/c.

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