36 Hours in Saugatuck Part 1: The Anti-B&B

Saugatuck, Michigan, is an ideal weekend destination. It’s convenient—about a two-hour drive from Chicago—but far enough to feel like you’ve completely escaped the city’s reach.

The Saugatuck area, a rural beach town that survives on tourism, has its fair share of lodging options. While it’s awesome to escape the stresses of the city, it’s a shame to leave behind the city’s high standards of quality.

A stay at the Kirby means you don’t have to. It’s a breath of fresh air for anyone who wants the best of both worlds—the peace and quiet of a rural getaway, and the luxury comforts of an urban boutique hotel.

In 2014, a new Chicago-based owner purchased the historic building and gave it a top-notch renovation.

The Kirby is a B&B, but calling it that feels a little wrong. Inside the 125-year-old Victorian is a totally modern hotel that retains all of the character but none of the corniness of your average B&B.

The Kirby is kind of like an anti-B&B. Yes, you get a bed for the night and you a breakfast in the morning. But you’ll find no lace curtains. No floral bedspreads, no teddy bears, no rocking chairs, no potpourri. No innkeeper in a needlepoint apron asking too many questions with a too-big smile.

Instead, it’s all chic décor, neutral colors, flat screen TVs, and high-end bedding.

It’s comfort-oriented details like Malin & Goetz bath products, squishy bath mats, super soft robes, and memory foam mattresses.

It’s the bar stocked with good wine and craft beer, and the gourmet breakfast in the morning.

After our drive from the city Friday night, Mindy, the manager and host, treated us to an impressive wine and cheese tasting.

Cheese and wine tasting: Aged Manchego (Spain), Sweet Gorgonzola (Italy), Delice de Bourgogne triple cream, Cana de Cabra (Spain), Fig Jam (Portugal), Jamming with Marguerite’s Cider Jelly (Michigan), dried cherries (Michigan), Earl’s honey (Michigan), Marcona Almonds (Spain)

Mindy is a great host and an instant friend. A Chicagoan and longtime restaurateur, she is down-to-earth, attentive without being nosy, extremely knowledgeable about food and wine, and one of the nicest people we’ve met in our travels. She made us feel right at home.

If you’re looking for a typical country breakfast in the morning, go elsewhere. The Kirby’s chef, Chris, started us out with killer beignets baked fresh that morning, followed by poached eggs served atop crab cakes and pulled pork and potato latkes.

It was on par with any of Chicago’s great brunch spots. The dining room (soon to be a full-fledged restaurant serving dinner as well) has small private tables, meaning you can keep to yourself, if that’s what you prefer.

A lot of care has been put into making the Kirby stand apart and offer something new to visitors who want to get away from the city but still want sophistication and luxury. It’s at the top of the list in the Saugatuck area and we’re so glad we found it.

If you go:

  • Be sure to check out the acclaimed Oval Beach, which is right down the street from the Kirby.
  • The chef will accommodate any dietary restrictions.
  • Saugatuck and The Kirby are gay friendly.
  • We went in the off season and enjoyed an impressive amount of peace and quiet.
  • Check the Kirby’s Facebook page for special events and packages.
  • Guests can dine at the hotel, and the restaurant is scheduled to open to the general public in early March. In the meantime, check out the tasty menu.
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Solo Travel: 36 Hours on Amelia Island

[In today’s post, Go Go Go’s New York correspondent Leslie Griffin goes solo and likes it.]

I’ve always enjoyed a little solo getaway, and sometimes circumstances require it as when your significant other is out of vacation days, and you have some left. This was the situation I found myself in recently, so after doing some research, I decided to go to Amelia Island in Florida for a long weekend.

As the trip neared, the forecast looked rather dismal. It had been raining pretty much nonstop for weeks, so I was prepared to find things to do inside if need be (tough on an island that’s known for outdoor pursuits). As luck would have it, however, the weather took a dramatic turn for the better on the very day I arrived, and remained gorgeous for the three days I was there: sunny, upper 70s, and not humid or buggy—a rarity in Florida.

I landed in Jacksonville on the first Saturday in October, picked up my rental car, and drove the 30 minutes to the island. Though it is an island, the bridge to get there is very short, so it almost feels connected to the mainland. And at first, the scenery is not what you might consider islandy. In fact, it looks like Anytown, USA with strip malls, fast food places, and gas stations. But then you arrive in Fernandina Beach, the main (only?) town on the island, and everything changes. Suddenly, you have entered a beautiful historic area with lovely Victorian houses and a quaint downtown.

 Lesesne House, c. 1860, downtown Fernandina Beach

This is definitely the area you want to stay in if you visit the island, because it’s within walking distance of dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s also extremely easy to navigate because all the streets are numbered. Coming from me, this is saying something because as anyone who knows me knows, nothing is easy for me to navigate since I have the world’s worst sense of direction.

 Downtown Fernandina Beach

It was too early to check into the Hampton Inn on S. 2nd Street, so I walked to Timoti’s Seafood Shak for lunch. I had read great things about this place before the trip, and was not disappointed. In fact, it was so good that I ate lunch there two days in a row. All of the seafood is fresh, local, and delicious, and I can heartily recommend the shrimp wrap and the fish sandwich (made with flounder that day).

After checking in at the hotel, I immediately set off for the southern end of the island about 12 miles away to go to Amelia Island State Park, which is one of many beaches on the island. Although this beach is primarily known for horseback riding, I didn’t see any horses. Mostly there were people fishing from the beach. The downside to this is that you’re allowed to drive onto the sand, so there were a lot of trucks everywhere. Not such a pristine atmosphere. It wasn’t until I walked quite a ways down the beach and reached a “no vehicles beyond this point” sign that it started to feel more secluded and peaceful. This section was filled with brown pelicans, black skimmers, gulls, and various other shorebirds.

Black skimmers at Amelia Island State Park

Done with the beach, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Le Clos, a charming French restaurant across the street from the Hampton Inn. I had made a reservation about a week in advance, which I certainly advise. It’s quite popular and for good reason: This is about as close to a 5-star meal as you will get on the island. I had panko-crusted grouper for an entree and creme brulee for dessert, both of which were phenomenal.

On Sunday, I had a kayaking trip booked with Up the Creek Xpeditions, which was a few miles off the island on Lofton Creek. When I showed up at the boat dock, I met Pete, my guide, and learned that it would just be the two of us on the tour since the others who had reserved for that day had canceled. I’ve kayaked before, but not extensively, so he gave me a short tutorial, and off we went. Lofton Creek is what’s known as a blackwater creek, meaning the water appears to be black and is highly reflective. It’s also extremely calm, which makes paddling about as easy as it can be.

Kayaking on Lofton Creek (Pete takes photos of the people he guides and e-mails the photos to you!)

Unfortunately, the water level was higher than normal that day, which seemed to deter animals from being out and about. We saw some turtles, a couple of kingfishers swooping across the water, and a giant hornet nest, but that was about it. It was still a lovely trip, though.

 Hornet nest

Pete provided a wealth of information on the flora and fauna as well as the history of the area. Did you know that the Native Americans used pine needle tea to help rid European sailors of scurvy? Or that on a visit to the area, Henry Ford noticed that the inside of Spanish moss looks like horsehair, so he began using it to stuff the seats of his cars? Neither did I, until Pete told me.

We finished the paddling trip in a little more than two hours, at which point I was ready to continue exploring. I drove to the northern end of Amelia Island to another state park: Fort Clinch. As the name suggests, the main point of interest in this park is the Civil War-era fort. Tourist season on the island is largely over by October, so there were only a handful of people roaming around the fort. Almost all of it is open, and you can freely wander in and out of various bastions, barracks, and other rooms.

Fort Clinch

From the top of any of the bastions, there are unobstructed views of the beach and the ocean.

View from the top of a bastion

In addition to the fort, this park also has a beach, and this one doesn’t allow vehicles on it. I walked along there for a while hunting specifically for shark teeth, which are supposed to be easier to find on the northern end of the island. I only found a couple, but the search is always fun. There weren’t as many shorebirds on this beach, but there were quite a few ospreys.

Osprey with a snack in its talons

Monday was my last day on the island, and I was determined to see more wildlife, so I headed to the Egans Creek Greenway, which is a series of interconnected trails that runs along a creek. There are numerous access points, but I opted to start at Atlantic Avenue on the northern end and work my way down. From this direction, the first section of trails up to Jasmine Street goes through a large wetland area with open marsh that is ideal for spotting wading birds.

Egans Creek Greenway

I saw egrets, great blue herons, white ibis, roseate spoonbills, hawks, and ospreys.

Great white egret with white ibises

After Jasmine Street, the wetland disappears and the trail hugs the creek. Trees line the bank, making it harder to see beyond that. Though the wading birds weren’t as prevalent here, I did see a couple of alligators, rabbits, dozens of turtles, a kingfisher, and a gorgeous pileated woodpecker.

I saw very few people on either section of the greenway, and the ones I did see were clearly locals walking their dogs and the like. I was the only person with a camera and binoculars in tow.

For lunch that day, I ate at the Salty Pelican in downtown Fernandina Beach, which had surprisingly great shrimp tacos. Despite being full, my final stop before heading to the airport was a roadside stand selling boiled peanuts. If you’re not familiar with this particular regional snack, it’s common in Florida and Georgia. A lot of people hate them (too mushy, too salty, or both), but I have very fond memories of eating them during car trips when I lived in Florida as a kid. So, I was pretty excited to relive that experience. For four bucks, I got a giant bag of hot, salty peanuts dripping with salt water, which I then devoured in a parking lot. I forgot how messy they are, but they still tasted great. A lovely parting memory before returning to New York.

Photo Log: 36 Hours in Pittsburgh

Yeah, I know. “36 hours in…” is the NY Times format. But we really did have just 36 hours in Pittsburgh, so let’s just call it an homage, shall we?

This trip came about when we decided to spend my 35th birthday at a Steelers preseason game. We took off from Chicago on Friday after work and headed east, across Indiana and Ohio and into the hills of Pennsylvania, arriving late.

Saturday, we started early to beat the hungry masses to Pamela’s Diner, famous for their crepe-style hotcakes: crispy, buttery edges, soft in the middle, and filled with your choice of fruit and whipped cream.

The Strip isn’t really what it sounds like. Rather, it’s a congested strip along Penn Ave packed with old Pittsburgh character in the form of eclectic shopping, cafes, grocers, farm stands, and bootleg Steelers fan gear.

I bought a Terrible Towel for $8, after checking to make sure “Terrible” was spelled correctly. (Once I got to the stadium I found they sold way nicer ones for $10, but mine has… character.)

Highlights of the Strip were the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, a true Italian grocer, a stop at Enrico’s for some biscotti, and Mon Aimee Chocolat, which had the largest variety of chocolate brands I’ve ever seen in once place.

We moved on to Lawrenceville, an “up-and-coming” area that’s undergone a “revival.” Now it’s a “hot” destination and a good place to invest in real estate. It’s always interesting to see a neighborhood in transition, with old dive bars and pizza joints next to craft beer shops and trendy restaurants. Having seen our share of hipster boutiques and restaurants, we found ourselves more interested in the hilly residential streets, as the home styles are different than anything we have in Chicago.

Next we headed into downtown and grabbed lunch at Winghart’s in Market Square. Winghart’s… looks like a dive bar, sounds like a dive bar (think: old Metallica blasting), tastes pretty great. We had their popular Shipwrecked Burger and the Pau’a (Hawaii’an) Pizza, and I would order them both again if we went back. If you want to avoid the loud music, try for a seat on the upstairs balcony overlooking the square.

We walked off our lunch by heading on foot to Pointe State Park, where you can observe the confluence of the three rivers (the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela), the sports stadiums, Mt. Washington, and the cityscape.

We continued on foot to the Duquesne Incline, an old cable car that takes riders to the top of Mt. Washington, high above the city, where you get to look down on the sky scrapers. It’s a short, 0.75-mile walk to the Monongahela Incline, which we took back down. While waiting in line, we noticed that you can request a free transfer for the T, the city’s rapid transit train. So we gave our feet a rest and hopped on the T at Station Square and rode it back downtown.

After getting what we needed for the game, we headed on foot across another bridge, this time to Heinz Field, home of the Steelers. Fans lucky enough to have a boat (or a friend with a boat) can dock right along the river walk and tailgate. The great thing about preseason is you can get pretty good seats!

Sunday morning we headed to Squirrel Hill, a nice little neighborhood with a to-die-for little place called Waffallonia. Gooey inside, crispy outside, topped with a giant scoop of speculoos ice cream. Nom. If we had one here in Chicago, I’d eat there all the time until I needed a motorized chair to get around. That place has ruined me for waffles.

We drove though Oakland, where the universities and museums live, but it was move-in day for the students, so it was a little hectic.

We moved on instead to the Mexican War Streets, which was a highlight. The man who developed this real estate in the mid 1800s was a big proponent of the Mexican-American War, hence the name of the neighborhood. The streets are named after battles. It’s a little visited area, despite its proximity to the National Aviary, the zoo, and the Andy Warhol museum.

It was noon, now, and time to head home. On our way back to Chicago we stopped at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, an hour and a half from Pittsburgh, which has a very nice waterfall (Brandywine Falls) and some nice trails we didn’t have time for, like the Ledges Trail. But I’m glad we got to stop at the closest national park to Chicago.

You can research the heck out of a place, but once you get there, it still holds a bit of surprise and delight when you see it in real life. The delights for me in Pittsburgh were the dramatic hills and cliffs and the buildings tucked into every nook and cranny. The expansiveness of the rivers was another surprise; they were easily 5 times as wide as our little Chicago River and were a dominating feature of the city’s geography.

It was a short weekend, but we really crammed in a lot, and I’m so glad I got to visit!

5 Things: Louisville, KY


Art for sale in the NuLu neighborhood.

Before venturing into Kentucky’s belly at Mammoth Cave National Park, we spent a day hoofing it (pun totally intended) around Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby. If you want to judge a city by the quality of its cat art, then I’m sure you can already tell that there’s more to Louisville than southern charm and bourbon. So here are five things you may not know about Louisville, a very worthy weekend destination.

  1. American Pickers’ Antique Archaeology (in Nashville), step aside. You’ve got nothing on Joe Ley Antiques, which lived in the East Market neighborhood long before it became the fun, foodie-oriented and arty NuLu. This place is freaking enormous. It should be featured on a TV show, if it hasn’t been already. It’s three stories—and a basement—packed with antiques and reclaimed pieces from some of the area’s old Victorian mansions (See #3.) If I lived in Louisville, I would set aside a couple hours each weekend to inspect one corner of Joe Ley. And in a few years time, I may have been able to cover the entire store.
  2. Colonel Sanders was a real guy, and he’s buried in Louisville.
  3. Old Louisville has the largest collection of Victorian homes in the country, with some blocks that are pedestrian-only courts still lit by gas lamps. It’s an area in transition, with some homes that look like this:And others that have been parsed out into low-cost rental units, with sports paraphernalia that double as drapes hanging in windows. These are a renovator’s dream. If you’ve got some spare cash and a good hammer, there are some serious investment deals to be had here.
  4. Keep Louisville Weird” is a thing. Particularly along Bardstown Rd in the Highlands neighborhood, a multi-mile stretch of one-of-a-kind shops that seem more suited to Austin than to a city steeped in southern tradition.
  5. Being from Chicago, we’ve had our fair share of tasty burgers (I’m looking at you, Au Cheval.) But we found some serious competition in an unlikely place. In a very suburban, tree-lined strip mall on the outskirts of Louisville, you’ll find the reputed Mussel & Burger Bar. If you go, try the Breakfast Burger, with a thick piece of pork belly, a fried egg, maple syrup aioli, caramelized onions, and cheese. Can a burger alone make a weekend getaway worthwhile? It just might.

The Ruined Vacation

My husband and I had been planning this weekend away since March.  We had rented a little cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan, outside the range of where our cell phones worked.  We could barely get texts, let alone calls or emails.  It would force us to spend the entire weekend not checking our email, not checking Facebook, and giving us no excuse to think about work.  The cottage was on a wooded property with a magnificent deck, twenty minutes’ drive from civilization, and one block from Lake Michigan.  Deer grazed there in the morning.  There was a hawk’s nest high in an old elm tree.  A hummingbird feeder outside the kitchen window had regular visitors.  We had all our beach gear ready to spend days smelling like sunscreen, sand and sweat.  It was the perfect mid-summer getaway.

20130727_101052

When Lake Michigan looks like this, it wants to kill you.

That weekend away also happened to be the coldest July weekend to hit the midwest in 30 years.  It was 54 degrees and raining.  What few texts did come through my phone were all of the “beach advisory” type that warned that we should not even look at Lake Michigan, lest we risk being pulled out in a rip tide or being smashed by four foot waves.  It rained on and off the whole weekend.  When it wasn’t raining, the temperature was busy dropping.  Yes, folks: we had a ruined vacation on our hands.

So, how do you handle the ruined vacation?  First, you need to find something else to do.  If you’re the compulsive type, you’ve probably already checked out alternatives in the area and have some base idea of what there is to do in the area.  If not, you crazy Type-B personality, you (seriously, so envious), there are a couple things you can find in nearly every corner of the country:

20130727_101806

  • Movie theaters & Malls (often found together).
  • Local eateries &/o Brewpubs
  • Ice cream shoppes (the ‘e’ is how you know it’s real ice cream)
  • Antique stores
  • Mini golf

And even if it’s great weather, you can always:

  • Take a long walk/go for a run
  • Cook something complicated
  • Read on the beach anyway (I know there are people who can spend time on the beach without getting in the water.  I am not one of them.)
Pizza we made from scratch: chicken sausage, garlic, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella on an oregano/sage crust.  Because we had time!

Pizza we made from scratch: chicken sausage, garlic, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella on an oregano/sage crust. Because we had time!

No, this isn’t revolutionary advice, but if your goal is simply to get through the next 24-72 hours without dying of boredom, this is a short list that will get you through.  For the truly adventurous among us, here’s what I recommend:

Step 1: Find a local drinking establishment that isn’t the touristy drinking establishment.  Somewhere on the outskirts of the local town is a drinking/eating establishment that looks a little run-down.  It will have a relatively full parking lot with older, mid-range cars.  They, too, will be a bit run down.  You will not see one out of town license plate in the parking lot.  This is the place you want.

Step 2: Belly up to the bar, order a not-fussy drink, and make a friend.  I know Mom always said not to talk to strangers, but the fact is that most people in this world are good, God-fearing folk and many of them are quite interesting, despite what you’ve learned from riding the CTA at all hours.  So take a deep breath, smile, and tell your new friend about your ruined vacation.  Ask him/her for recommendations.  This will be especially effective for two reasons: (a) There is not a person in the world who won’t brag about their hometown given half a chance, and (b) There’s most likely some local something going on this weekend that you wouldn’t otherwise know about, and I bet it sounds fun.

Step 3: Buy your new friend a drink to thank him/her.  S/he just did you a solid.

Step 4: Repeat as necessary until you have A Plan.

Step 5: Execute Your Plan.

No matter what you do, remember that the key to your ruined vacation is a positive attitude.  If you think you’re going to have fun, you will.  And if you can’t manage that, at least remember this: the worst vacations make for the best stories.

A Tired Yankee’s Take on Nashville

This writer started a new job on Tuesday and has no room in her tiny brain to dwell on the past weekend’s lovely little road trip to Nashville. My long-desired career break has come to a sudden end, because sometimes you just have to be a little crazy and take a job with a start-up so new the figurative doctor is still slapping its figurative back. As a result, waves of “Oh crap, what have I got myself into?” replaced the usual relaxed sighs of “Yeahhh, vacation!” and made this trip feel a bit like a checkmark on the ol’ to-do list. I guess that’s what major life changes do; they absorb your devil-may-care attitude like a black hole swallows matter. Schwoomphf. (That’s probably what it sounds likes.)

So all I have to share with you are random observations from a “northerner’s” perspective of Nashville.

  1. Half of Nashville thinks Chicago is one big Wild West shoot out. “Chicago, huh? …Be careful you don’t get shot.” Insert your own social/political comment here. I’m too tired to write one.
  2. Nashville is super awesome at naming stuff. Fluffo Mattress Factory closed, but their sign will hopefully stand forever. Brother Z’s “Wang” Shack (don’t be gross—it’s a wings place) seems to be going strong.
  3. Nashvillians are friendly; lots of smiles and southern hospitality. If you mention you’re from Chicago, though, you open the door for certain locals to question Obama’s birthplace and “tell you some things you need to know.” Consider telling people you’re from Wisconsin.

    Do you take conspiracy in your coffee?

  4. I hope you’re sitting down for this one. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams just might be better than Tropical Dreams, making it the best ice cream I’ve ever had. And word on the street is they’re on their way to Chicago. In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up here and here.

    Yummo.

    Two photos of Jeni’s, because it deserves it. Call me, Jeni!

  5. It’s possible to enjoy Nashville even if you’re not a country music fan. Downtown is a Vegas-like spectacle that can kill a whole afternoon, especially when live music pours out of every door that isn’t a boot shop, even on a Friday afternoon.
  6. If you’re visiting from a city like, say, Chicago, know before you go that in Nashville, a “neighborhood” is more of an intersection with a couple restaurants. Maybe a boutique. Shopping the “trendy” area of East Nashville, the “East Village of Nashville,” took about twenty minutes, half of which was spent driving around wondering where all the shops were. Most neighborhoods could be described as “up and coming,” and I bet in a few more years, they really will be great destinations.
  7. Eat hot chicken. I dare you.

Nashville’s a great little weekend getaway, even if you can’t quite get away.

The Happy Hipsters of Lawrence, Kansas

http://www.pbh2.com/entertainment/movies-television/what-if-the-wizard-of-oz-characters-were-hipsters/

The Kansas hipster. (Credit: PBH2.com)

Attention, hipsters! I have fantastic news. I went away for the weekend, and there’s something you ought to know.

It turns out, friendliness and hipsterism are NOT mutually exclusive. And I have proof. There is a place in the world where the hipsters are friendly. Where they greet anyone with a smile and make small talk. It’s in Lawrence, Kansas, where an unlikely subculture of happy hipsters thrives.

So when I buy a record, a t-shirt, or a cup of coffee from you in Chicago, you don’t have to be standoffish! You don’t have to respond with annoyed disbelief when I ask your opinion about the menu. You don’t have to return my smile with a stare of practiced indifference. You can totally be nice.

Here are some examples from the happy hipsters of Lawrence, KS. Think of these as a sort of “how-to” guide.

Example 1: Saturday breakfast at Wheatfield’s Bakery

Me: [awkwardly wielding iPhone camera as hipster bread boy looks on nervously] I’m sorry, you don’t need to be in this. I just want a picture of this wall of bread behind you.

[Hipster bread boy scooches uncertainly out of frame.]

Me: Thanks, sorry about that. [scooching away to my table, ashamed] Erin, I think the hipster bread boy hates me. [Erin shrugs.]

[Five minutes later, back at the counter to buy cookies]

Me: Hi again. Can I get two almond macaroons, please?

Hipster Bread Boy: [smiling] Did your picture blow up on Twitter yet? [smiles bigger]

Me: What? Oh! Um, yeah, totally did. Blew up all over the place! Haha.

Hipster Bread Boy: It is a very aesthetically pleasing wall of bread.

Me: Yeah! So pretty.

The aesthetically pleasing wall of bread.

Example 2: Saturday night, counter service at The Burger Stand

Me: I was going to get the Cod Po Boy, but would that be a mistake? What would you get?

Hipster Cashier: No! It wouldn’t be a mistake!

Me: OK… Hm. I’ve never been here before, so I want to get what’s good.

Hipster Cashier: The Po Boy is good, and the spicy shitake mushroom burger is really good too.

Me: That does sound good… I don’t know! You pick for me!

Hipster Cashier: [laughs] OK, here, this piece of paper is the mushroom burger. [puts it behind her back] Which hand is it in? This is how I make all my decisions.

Me: [pointing] That one!

Hipster Cashier: [revealing the paper] OK! Mushroom burger it is.

[laugher and smiles by all]

This is how it was all over town. In a boutique the hipster store clerk chatted with us about Zelda and junior high fashion. In the cupcake shop we gushed about the chocolate cayenne cupcake with the hipster baker. It was like the Twilight Zone. Or Pleasantville. I asked Erin, “What is up with Lawrence? Why are all the hipsters so nice?” She chalked it up to friendly Midwestern sensibilities.

Maybe. Maybe it’s because Lawrence is a small town and hipsters don’t have to work so hard to prove their hipsterness. Whatever it is, it was a breath of fresh air. A cool glass of water on a hot day. A smile from a hipster is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. It’s the Grinch returning gifts to the Who’s in Whoville.

I don’t know why Chicago hipsters aren’t friendly. But I do know, whether you’re a hipster or not, it’s nice to be nice to people. Even if they don’t have a mustache. And it’s extra nice when someone is nice back to you. Especially when they do have a mustache. Like the happy hipsters of Lawrence, Kansas.