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Lisa Ghisolf

Lisa Ghisolf

Lisa is a designer, beer snob and cafe dweller. Check out some of her other work at Thriftista and WorkTravelTech.

News (5)

Museum of Holography set to make a comeback at SoHo House

Museum of Holography set to make a comeback at SoHo House

Chicago has its share of world-class and quirky museums, but few have the storied past of the Museum of Holography. The West Loop spot was open from 1974 to 2009, and now it's getting a new life, thanks to dedicated Chicagoans who want to see the unique museum returned to its former glory. Moshe Tamssot, a Toronto native who toured the museum more than 20 years ago when he first moved to Chicago, is spearheading the effort to bring the holography collection back to the city. He sees the collection, which has collected little more than dust in the last several years, as something worth saving. "Every piece we've recovered is a hidden gem in my eyes," Tamssot said. "We saved art from destruction. Holograms are a body of human expression. Just like painting, sculpture and photography." The science and art of holography is what attracted Loren Billings, a former Ice Capades skater, to create and grow the world's largest hologram collection, which even attracted celebrities like Michael Jackson back in 1988. Run by Loren and her husband, journalist Robert Billings, the museum thrived for years. After years of neglect as the building was sold and the collection crammed into a dank basement, Tamssot diligently followed the trail. "I couldn't believe someone would actually treat art like that when there would be museums happy to accept the donation," he said. "So I set myself to the mission of finding an individual, corporation or public institution committed to keeping the collectio

Tour Devon Avenue and Little India in an afternoon

Tour Devon Avenue and Little India in an afternoon

Chicago is fortunate¬†to play host to so many rich cultures and neighborhoods with regional¬†fare. With a quick trip up to Western and Devon, you can spend a day in the city's¬†slice of India. It's not easy to tour the entire area in a single visit, but if you follow this path you should¬†be able to get a full Little India experience in a single afternoon. Viceroy of India¬†There are so many mouth-watering options on Devon, but¬†this lunch buffet is top-notch. It's a great introduction for newbies to test a broad selection of dishes, and inexpensive at $12 per person. Get a mango lassi‚ÄĒyou won't regret it, though your waistline might. 2520 W Devon Ave. Resham‚Äôs Head a few doors down for¬†a variety of Indian home decor, clothes and more. The sheer volume may overwhelm you, but consider bringing home a new bedspread or fabric for some chic throw pillows. 2540 W Devon Ave. Sukhadia's¬†After Resham's, cross the street for some tasty Indian candy, with unique flavors like mango, pistachio and cardamom. The¬†chickpea candy is amazing‚ÄĒand still counts as a vegetable, right? 2559 W Devon Ave. Patel Brothers Market¬†Grab some¬†fresh produce and Indian products, including a delicious frozen vegetable pizza, hennas and bindis.¬†2610 W Devon Ave. Sahiba Boutique¬†I'm not sure how you can leave Little India without admiring the amazingly crafted kurtas (collarless shirts) and kameez salwar (loosely cut top and bottom) as well as gorgeous jewelry. This is one of several shops whose windows will simply

El stop walking tour: 18th Street Pink Line

El stop walking tour: 18th Street Pink Line

Chicago's melting pot gives way to a spectrum of diverse neighborhoods. Even better, CTA riders can benefit from two 25-cent transfers for up to two hours after their initial swipe. To help you spend your quarter and your time wisely, we suggest¬†taking a walking tour from a station.¬†We start in Pilsen, exploring 18th Street in an hour (or so). Take the Pink Line to the 18th Street station, which is about a 15-minute ride from the Loop, and head east.¬† Take Me Out¬†(8 minutes for carryout)¬†This place stands out for actually having Korean "hotties"¬†instead of Mexican fare. These lollipop style wings‚ÄĒor boneless if you prefer‚ÄĒare covered in amazing sauces. Delicious, especially with the purple taro¬†root rice. Get it to go.¬†1502 W 18th St. Pilsen Vintage & Thrift (8¬†minutes for browsing)¬†Just across the street from Knee Deep Vintage, another excellent vintage and thrift store, this shop¬†offers¬†newer¬†designer¬†finds. Each shop offers reasonable prices and a wide selection of¬†housewares, jewelry and more. Take a quick look at the merchandise and continue east.¬†1430 W 18th St. Birrieria Reyes de Octolan¬†(20¬†minutes for a sit-down meal)¬†Try it, you'll like it. Get the¬†goat stew (or birria), which comes with homemade salsas, chilis, onions, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, lime and hot sauce. A pound of meat is easily shared among 3 people. Don't forget the horchata.¬†1322 W 18th St.Modern Cooperative¬†(8 minutes browsing)¬†Head east for another four blocks for one of Pilsen's best gems. The co

The state of graffiti street art in Chicago

The state of graffiti street art in Chicago

Graffiti. Street art. Tagging. Whatever you call it, the genre's grown from what some see as a property nuisance to the province of the art world (see Banksy). Who is behind the spray-painted murals across Chicago, the sometimes gravity-defyingly tagged buildings? You'd be surprised. "You can be a criminal or very straight-laced. One who's willing not to conform," says Amuse, who has been a graffiti artist for more than 15 years. "I pay taxes; I do a whole bunch of by-the-book things."  "Most people in my life don't know I do this," says Greve, who has over 20 years under his belt creating street art. "Maybe that's part of the allure for me. My mom still has no clue and I'm 36 years old." Though street art has grown up and is widely recognized through the art world, it's still a daily struggle. "It's almost a purist genre within a genre. Street art has become more acceptable," says Greve. "It's still misunderstood. You still can't buy spray paint in Chicago." "I've had more cops than not say 'What the F are you doing? You're white and you're around 47th and whatever,' which is surprising," said Amuse. "I use that to my advantage. It is probably the only social scene that has a demographic ranging from the lowest of the low to extremely wealthy, blue chip artists, and can still be under one label and get away with it. Art dealers are still paying for it. It doesn't matter your social standing. It matters what you do." "Most of my work now is commission," said Greve. "I think I

8 downtown places to get Wi-Fi for free

8 downtown places to get Wi-Fi for free

Maybe you're tired of smelling like you've been steeped in coffee. Maybe you're broke. Or maybe you want an alternative to the caf√© and coworking scenes. Chicago is full of free options to get your Wi-Fi¬†on without paying for it. Here are eight¬†great options: 1.¬†The Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St¬†Aside from a beautiful space with frequent gallery shows, Wi-Fi¬†is free to all. 2.¬†The Art Institute, 111 S Michigan Ave¬†What's more inspirational than a day working among Matisses and Monets? Admission is¬†free all day on winter weekdays until¬†February 10, and Thursday evenings from 5‚Äď8pm for Illinois residents. 3. Virgin Hotel Chicago, 203 N Wabash¬†The new flagship property from Richard Branson calls free Wi-Fi¬†a right, and who am I to disagree? 4. Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, 230 N Michigan Ave¬†Complimentary lobby Wi-Fi¬†is just a plus when you're working amongst music memorabilia. 5. Hilton Downtown Chicago¬†lobby, 720 S Michigan Ave¬†Perhaps I'm swayed by the fireplace this time of year, but the free Wi-Fi¬†and cozy niches make this easy. 6. Palomar Hotel, 505 N State St¬†Getting here is a little less congested than the Michigan Avenue options, and hey, you might even score street parking. 7. HI-Chicago, 24 E Congress Parkway¬†Chicago's hostel boasts¬†a great meet-up space, with comfortable seating but no desks. 8. Chicago Public Libraries¬†All libraries have free Wi-Fi, and surprisingly, it's pretty fast. Expect to take your phone calls outside, though. If you're downtown, the¬†9th floo

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