Essential Wicker Park and Bucktown | Wicker Park/Bucktown Guide 2013

Grab one of these essential items of the past, present and future

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Past Remember zines? If not, just imagine a pre-Internet version of a blog (hint: it involves paper). Better yet, stop by indie retailer Quimby�s bookstore (1854 W North Ave, 773-342-0910) where the art form is alive and well, and dozens are available for sale in all their hand-stapled, self-published glory.

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Present When Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave, 773-235-4039), the L.A.-style cantina and oasis of urban cool, hit town in 2007, it was as if the Pontiac, the property�s former tenant, never existed. The crowd and staff are predictably beautiful and margaritas just right on a hot summer night, but the item that�s most worth the wait is the taco de panza, a perfect portion of crispy, braised pork belly, tomato guajillo sauce, queso fresco, onion and cilantro folded inside a tortilla.

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Future The vintage selection of sound systems, like the mod, �60s-era turntable that greets you upon entry, and music-oriented ephemera at Decibel Audio Inc. (1429 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-862-6700) is striking. But true audiophiles will head to the right side of this Milwaukee Avenue sound store where speaker systems from Epos, Cambridge and Scandyna not only look like the future, they sound like it.

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