Flora and Fashion on the Magnificent Mile

Garden-inspired student fashions are decorating the Magnificent Mile this summer. Click on the link to see more. Dale took a few shots of ones he liked. I love the one above!

Each “dress” has been designed by a local fashion student to complement the garden. A local business sponsors the green space.

This one is my favorite; it’s over the top! It’s a popular picture spot now–I’ve seen gals put their heads on top of the dress form so it looks like they are wearing the dress.


Chicago has one of only 12 “Kwik E Marts” in the country, we had to pay a visit to this Simpsons-themed 7/11! And it was a hoot. The 7/11 sign is covered up with the Kwik E Mart logo!

Bart & Milhouse sit atop the Kwik E Mart. Note the line to get inside–we were on our way out and got lucky with a short line.

Marge is out front, taking her groceries home and walking under the First Bank of Springfield sign.

A close-up of Marge Simpson.

Hey! It’s the comic book guy!

Patrons waiting in line to buy some BUZZ cola!

Sadly, they were all out of Krusty-O’s!

Mmm…Donuts! Homer’s favorite pink with sprinkles.

Help! Let him out!

Poor Ralph Wiggum!

Maggie is guarding the donuts.

We had awesome Squishee’s!

Mmm…Squishee! With novelty straws, of course.

Cops love donuts!


“Thank you, come again!”

Mmmm… DONUT!

Harry Potter Release Party in Oak Park

Our little village was the site of a huge Harry Potter Release Party on Friday. The entire town was packed with Harry Potter fans and there were activities for families scheduled the entire day. Above, a woman offers divination lessons in the park.

A view from the crowds gathered around our Divination Professor (at least, that’s my best guess).
Scofield Park was turned into Hogsmeade Village for the day. There was live music and vendors throughout the park.

Many families came dressed in costumes!

A view of the park/Hogsmeade Village.
Lots of gals dressed as Hogwarts schoolgirls and the fansite Mugglenet.com celebrated the book’s big day in Oak Park.

This being Oak Park, there were war protesters. The churches here are notoriously liberal!

One of the churches transformed into Azkaban–the frightening prison where dementors can steal the hope from your soul and drive you mad!

One of many Harry Potters we spotted about town! He was adorable.

Grace Church was set up to be like Hogwarts Great Hall.

Mysterious Floating Candles illuminated the grand space.

And at the altar?

Children were being sorted into one of the four Hogwart’s houses–most of the children picked Slytherin while I was there (generally considered the “dark side” by most kids).

A view of the line of kids waiting to be “sorted”!

Click on the picture above to spot me in the line at 11:30 p.m. to get my book.

This is the line that wrapped around the other side of Barbara’s Book store. These folks didn’t reserve their copy!

Another view of the line for those who reserved.

There are four bookstores in Oak Park within a few blocks of each other; each had a line longer than the last. This is the discount bookseller The Book Table. It went on for half a block.

Another view of my line.

The line at Borders was the longest of all!

It was a madhouse!

Some witches waiting on the book at Borders.

Crowd outside Borders. I’m guessing they were waiting on their kids/family inside? The streets were lit up with people; it was really crazy!

And I got my copy at Barbara’s (a block from home). I was reading in bed by 12:28! I finished the book today and I really enjoyed it! What a great series for all ages!

Dale meets Floyd Landis

Dale had an exciting celebrity encounter last weekend! He went to Floyd Landis’s book signing on Michigan Ave. last week. Floyd won the Tour de France last year and is in a battle to keep the title; he’s been accused of doping, an accusation he stridently denies.

Dale arrived early and got a great seat to meet one of his bike-riding heroes.

Floyd and Dale–so cute and nerdy!

Dale had a hard time getting this picture. Everyone–including the pro photographers in his midst–was calling Floyd’s name. Dale hollered out, “Floyd! You have dreamy eyes!” and Floyd looked over and stared at Dale like he was deranged.

Later Dale had Floyd sign his book: To Dale. You have dreamy eyes! Floyd.

Edited to add: Dale read the book and thoroughly supports Floyd’s fight to be the rightful winner of last year’s Tour de France!

Thursday Nights in Oak Park

Thursday nights in Oak Park in the summer features live entertainment, evening shopping, and dining tickets that allow you to sample many items from local restaurants. This summer there is a travel theme. A couple of weeks ago, the theme was Hawaii!

We had live hula gals dancing, a man pretending to be Don Ho, and live musical accompaniment.

We are so crazy in love with Oak Park.