Blagica Stefanovski, NBC5 Street Team (Video)
If you were in town last weekend, I’m sure you caught the warm Sunday breeze that swept the city. Sunday was also the day I took my 150 CC 2-stroke Stella scooter out for a spin. It was also a day to live a little like a European in the heart of Chicago, scooter and cafe au lait and all.
I started the morning with the tarp unveiling of my bike. That poor thing was dirty from last season’s weather, but she started up with a swift kick of the pedal. I placed an old towel on the dusty seat, let the roar of the engine fill my building’s garage and went down its two inclines to 11th Street. My condo’s garage has some interesting hills and for a rider, it can be a mix of thrill plus fright, if not done the right way.
I visited the team at State Street Car Wash (1701 S. State St, across from the police station) and had them power spray my Stella back to its crimson, cherry apple red self. Needless to say, I was stoked. After the cleaning, I hopped back on my scooter and did some loopty loops around the Loop when it happened – BEEEEEEEP. My bike’s horn beeped for a few blocks at a time. I realized some wires must be loose in the steering column and after causing a stir on Michigan Avenue, I decided to zip back home to inspect the horn.
Though my inaugural annual ride was brief, the feeling of freedom zipping down Michigan Avenue (with a helmet, always) and having the ability to get around town without the use of the car put me in such a good mood, I needed to enjoy the rest of my day in our high 70s weather. Off to Bucktown I went…
Michael and I did the usual stroll down Damen’s boutiques, peeked in Olivia’s Market and almost bought a stellar vino at The Goddess and the Grocer. Michael’s never been to Sweet Thang and I was itching for a some fresh pastries and a cafe au lait. Walk south on Damen, head east on North Avenue and on the south side of the street, you’ll find Sweet Thang. The owner’s an established pastry chef, lived in France for some time and wanted to shed some ooh-la-la to Bucktown. The cafe is very much like those I visited in France, complete with a French speaking staff. I loved it. Sweet Thang was a great walking break and let me practice some Francaise at the same time,which by the way, needs work. Sigh…
My Sunday ended with a visit to Dominick’s for some Manchego cheese, a baguette and sparkling wine (this is what we lived on during our two-week Italian trip last May). Michael and I sat on the balcony, flipped thru magazines and watched Chicago relax into the twilight. It’s those simpler moments that remind me how terrific life is in our possible Olympic city.
Before making dinner, we picked up dessert in the South Loop’s new dessert cafe, Carolina Caramel. Rashid’s a nice guy and I hope his business does well – the caramel cake did well for our tummies! $5.25 per slice…the massive cupcakes are about $3.50 each.
Can you say cardio time?
Want a scooter? Visit the team at Scooterworks. Vroooom!