ALA Annual Visit: Mag Mile

There was a time when shopping wasn’t important to me. Arguably, these were simpler times. Certainly, these were more financially sound times. Then I found the most glorious pair of runners and the most wonderful, knitted necktie and something of a monster was created.

Yes, it all occurred in Chicago, walking down the magnificent mile. This blogger is quite certain that you can find your favorite stores with ease (see: your smartphone) so I’m going to take a moment to focus on some locations that might be a bit lesser known to you. If you haven’t heard of the following, you should give them a shot to be sure!

First, obviously I should tell you where I found that necktie and those shoes. After all, the last time Annual was in Chicago it was Khaled Hosseini who was heard (admittedly, only to me) exclaiming, “hey, nice tie!” upon my approach in his autograph line. Topshop is just the place to get quirky clothing at reasonable prices.

Located immediately across from Water Tower Place in the 800 block of Michigan Avenue, Topshop provides a floor for women and a floor for men (appropriately called Topman as if it were a different store altogether. It isn’t.). There’s almost always a sale and students get an extra 10-20% off depending on the day! With the flagship store in London, you’re sure to find trendy items that you must have because, let’s face it, the British are VERY posh. Speaking of Water Tower Place, if you haven’t been, you should cross the street and take in the stores there too, most notably The Art of Dr. Seuss. It’s amazing!

Incidentally, if you start at these locations (take a bus, even), then you can hit everything else on your way back to McCormick Place. The Disney Store is tons of fun, of course, and, I feel you must stop in the Burberry store if only to say you’ve been. It’s incredible! OK so apparently I have a soft spot for British attire.

I would also like to mention the Nordstrom’s mall in the 500 block of Michigan. Not for Nordstrom’s, per se. Though it is a fine store, to be sure. But how often do you get to visit a Swatch store?! It’s a small location but Swatches are amazing and my collection seems to grow every time I make a visit, “just to look and see what’s new” (pictured is my fancy new Mika Swatch, for example). This mall also has a Kiehl’s store eager to provide all sorts of dermatological samples. They hooked me; their face wash is fantastic.

Mika watch

Yes, I blame the Windy City for many of my addictions. It’s where I met Chuck Palahniuk and fell in love with reading. And it’s obviously the place to shop. Just, one of these addictions may be more career-oriented than the other. I don’t know, #librarianwardrobe, anyone?

 

Joel Shoemaker was on the 2017 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Youth and serves on the 2018 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Adults. He is the Library Director for Oakwood Public Library District (Ill.) and has been a magician for more than twenty-five years.

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