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2011 Gifts | Around Town

Editor Madeline Nusser’s picks for the hip local.


Golden plated You are what you eat, and you live where you�eat on? At least that�s the case with this notNeutral City Plate ($50), covered by a cool, hyperstylized map of Chicago. Available at

Photograph: Angela Mejia

The El with it The CTA Announcements Series ($20 per print) features text of polite transit sayings, such as, �Soliciting and gambling are prohibited on CTA vehicles.� (�Cause you were, ya know, planning on a quick game of craps.) Looking at a few of these cute, retro-styled prints on your wall beats the hell out of sitting on an El platform. Available at


Rough and tumblers As much as we like these glasses for their Frank Lloyd Wright panache, we mostly enjoy them because, when filled with a few fingers of whiskey, they look handsome in your hand. Plus, they�re a cocktail-party conversation starter: Coonley Tumblers (set of two for $22) feature the designs on Riverside�s Avery Coonley house, constructed by Wright in 1907-08. Available at ShopWright at the Rookery, 209 S LaSalle St.


Yo, dog It�s easy to make Chicago hot dogs taste as good as the ones sold at food stands. All you need: Vienna Beef wieners, Rosen�s poppy seed buns and the ingredients on this sweet, silly Chicago Hot Dog Diagram Floursack Towel ($14). So dry the dishes and start on your shopping list. Available at Renegade Handmade, 1924 W Division St.


Light reliefGerhard Richter�s simple masterpiece, owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, tops the cover of this lovely, appropriate-for-many-religions Two Candles Holiday Card (20 for $15.99). It�s especially great for music fans, who at first glance might wonder why I�m recommending Daydream Nation, Sonic Youth�s classic album sporting the same Richter painting. Available at Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop, 111 S Michigan Ave.