Tuesday, June 11, 2013
As a long time fan of both the Renegade Craft Fair and The Vintage Bazaar, I was excited upon hearing that the two were teaming up to produce Bellwether, a roaming event billed as a "market + happening + feast". Last weekend The Hideout, a music venue in the Bucktown neighborhood, hosted the inaugural version of Bellwether-- they will pop up next at The Garfield Conservatory. While there's not a shortage of neighborhood street fests in Chicago during the summer, Bellwether stands apart in their commitment to artisanal food, original artwork and vintage wares. Chicago-based Revolution Brewing Company offered craft brews and fare included offerings from food trucks like Meatloaf-a-Go-Go and Beavers Coffee & Donuts.
My lovely friend Dani, of Everyday Darling, met up with me at the market and we particularly delighted in browsing the vintage vendors and snapping photos in the Smilebooth. Since we arrived early, we did miss the evening festivities that included a screening of the new documentary, "Sign Painters" and DJ sets.
At the next Bellwether Market I look forward to seeing more vendors (there were 40 this time), visual art installations and expanding the food offerings. The market is off to a strong start and I look forward to see how it evolves in the future. Did any of my Chicago based readers stop by The Hideout event? What did you think?
I met Kathy and Eric of Independence Vintage last summer when they were selling at The Vintage Bazaar/Renegade Craft Fair market in Wicker Park. They are both friendly, knowledgable and bring a well curated collection of items to the markets. The photo of the visible man above and the next 8 are from their booth.
They always have a spectacular collection of vintage hats, I particularly enjoyed the aqua sun hat!
An adorable striped bathing suit found in Rainbow Vintage's booth.
I spied the elegant bird house in Cushion Chicago's booth. It's evident in the arrangement of Sarah's booth that she's also an interior designer-- I was particularly fond of the antique milk glass bottles used as flower vases.
It's always a pleasure to meet vintage vendors that have traveled to Chicago with treasures from their corner of the country-- The Hunter Gatherer Shop came all the way from Nebraska with dozens of 1950s dresses, silk ties, jewelry and accessories.
A studded denim jacket for a child, wish it'd been my size!
1970s platforms meant for disco dancing the night away.
Both Dani and I purchased dresses from Hunter Gatherer, here is Dani modeling the sweet 1950s cotton dress that went home with her.
Vintage paper cut silhouettes and brass pieces in Amelia Jane Vintage's booth.
I regret not buying a few of these statement belts in Amelia Jane's booth, look at the one with the pair of mushrooms!
The Black Bear Combo included an accordion player!
There was an abundance of plants and clever planters for sale at Bellwether-- my favorite being this set of industrial metal drawers housing wee succulents and African violets.
Sweet salt and pepper shakers and dainty purses at Veruca Vintage's booth.
In the warehouse stage/space a piano was set up and dozens of geometric art pieces hung from the ceiling.
The geometric pieces were made by Essimar and they also provided materials to make your own piece to bring home.
Of course we had to jump in to the Smilebooth, a digital photo booth that you control via a camera remote. I especially enjoyed the backdrop with its giant balloons.
Dani and I showing off the 1950s pink dresses we bought at Bellwether.
Posted by The Thriftaholic (Leilani) at 4:50 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
When traveling I always seek out local coffee shops, not only do I crave a tasty brew, but cafes also serve as a reflection of their local community. Barista Parlor, in East Nashville, has been open for less than a year but has already received accolades from both local bloggers and received national press, including an article in The New York Times.
The praise is well earned, Barista Parlor wowed Sarah, Kyla and I from the moment we stepped through its doors. It's housed in a former garage space so the interior is open, airy and bathed with natural light even on a gloomy day. Everything from the counters crafted from hundred-year-old reclaimed wood to the aprons worn by the baristas was sourced by owner Andy Mumma from local artisans and craftsmen. I particularly enjoyed the rows and rows of single-source chocolate bars housed in vintage soda crates and a large wall mural of a sinking ship by artist Bryce McCloud.
The quality of the coffee matched Barista Parlor's atmosphere, they utilize beans from well known American roasters including Portland's Stumptown and Chicago's Intelligentsia. Brewing methods include siphon pot and Chemex for regular coffee and a rare Slayer machine for espresso-based drinks. A row of towers, that looks a little like a science experiment, cold brews the iced coffee. On our first visit I ordered the salted caramel whiskey latte that featured a housemade syrup. It's by far the most complex espresso-based drink I've ever tasted; it had a smoky, almost savory rounded flavor, with a touch of sweetness on the back end. On our second trip I tried the bourbon vanilla latte, it had a silky mouth feel but didn't have the same depth as the salted caramel.
Surprisingly the best bite I had in Nashville was also at Barista Parlor, in the form of its addictive sandwich, featuring a Porter Road Butcher sausage patty and Delvin Farms strawberry jam on the most buttery, flakey biscuit I've ever had (and I grew up in the South!). Besides the sinful biscuit sandwich, Barista Parlor also offers waffles, seasonal casseroles and pastries like eclairs and cookies.
If you find yourself in Nashville be sure to stop by Barista Parlor, 519B Gallatin Avenue, you won't regret it!
Behold the heavenly biscuits, Sarah ate the center version that featured egg and cheese. Photo courtesy of her instagram, @sazzou.
Photo courtesy of Kyla's instagram @lostandfind
Posted by The Thriftaholic (Leilani) at 10:50 PM