Discoveries New & Old

With summer in full swing, I was preparing for a visit from my daughter, who lives in Texas. Our plan was to spend a few days in Chicago, walking the Magnificent Mile, shopping, sightseeing and catching up on the latest gossip.

Having grown up in central Illinois, she keeps up on all the latest…new restaurants, shops, special events and other happenings. After talking over everything we wanted to do, we soon realized there just wasn’t enough time for it all.

We had to check out the new Pooch Couture pet boutique and enjoy the fresh air, dining al fresco in the Heights. We couldn’t miss the rounds at our favorite local shops, and relaxed strolls through Junction City, Metro Centre and The Shoppes at Grand Prairie were eagerly anticipated.

There were new places to discover and old friends to check in on. Soon, we realized we didn’t need to leave town at all to make the most of our weekend.

From historical trolley tours to new exhibits at the Art Guild and Lakeview Museum, from Saturday morning’s Riverfront Market to summertime fiestas on Water Street, there’s a little bit of something here for everyone.

On the first Friday of each month, a variety of local artists are opening their studios to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to see them in their element and learn more about their creative process!

Are you interested in starting up an herb garden? Ever wonder what distinguishes an extra virgin olive oil from the rest of the pack, or why anyone would buy a vinyl record in 2011? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more within these pages…

Elsewhere, we talk to a few area photographers about their experiences with pets—and showcase some of their favorites. We also recap the 2011 Congressional Art Show—a long-running tradition that brings the creative work of local high school students to Washington, DC. I can appreciate the pride generated in students and parents alike, as my own daughter was among the winners some years ago!

You’ll notice a few changes in this issue, as our fabulous design team has reworked parts of the magazine. We hope you like it! Check out our new look, and have a wonderful summer! a&s