House Hunting in Palm Springs

 

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I like many people in my generation just assume that we can do most everything online by ourselves. We have Uber, Postmates, Amazon Prime, and the list goes on… so why should the house hunt be any different?  Before we actually landed in Palm Springs we’d been looking at Zillow, HotPads, and any other rental site I could get my hands on for possible options on the market. I felt pretty confident that we’d be able to find something between a few rental houses, a townhouse or two listed by the owner, or our backup an apartment building…. BUT thankfully I went ahead and made contact with a local realtor that I’d met during a previous visit to the desert.

In addition to showing us everything we’d found on Zillow(and such) he was able to show us a ton more properties that weren’t listed on any of those sites!  I basically lived an episode of House Hunters (aka a DREAM) for a few hours from the backseat of his car. We didn’t find anything that first day that we wanted to sign for immediately but he promised he’d have some more options for us now that he had an idea of our tastes.

We then heard back from him about 2 days later & he wanted to show us a few more options that he’d found for us. He drove us by a few houses, pointed out a development or two, and finally pulled up to a building he felt would be perfect for us, and was it ever!  He totally hit the ball out of the park with a property that wasn’t listed anywhere online. If it weren’t for him I’d never have found this place (and it’s a great place!).

I can’t wait to share some pictures and such with you shortly, but before I do I wanted to pass along this story if only to say… maybe, just maybe, the old way of doing things can be better.  We are officially down to less than 6 weeks till I’m a resident of Palm Springs!!! The next few weeks are going to be spent enjoying Chicago, then it’s time to start packing, ugh, any tips for me on how to make that less painful?

 

 

Why Palm Springs?

Sign with #PalmSpringsIsBetter
This sign says it best… #PalmSpringsIsBetter

Since I announced our big move last week I’ve heard from a few friends and family, “congrats… but Palm Springs?  Why”. When you think of Palm Springs you probably have one of two images… either an older community who loves to golf, or a place for the LGBT community to retire.  While those are both true… there are are some other images you might not be familiar with!

If you’ve either never been you probably don’t know about the bustling restaurant scene, the booming tourism industry, and the incredibly friendly and accepting people that I found. We loved being in Palm Springs pretty much from the moment we arrived because the people the city were so pleasant. The staff of our hotel, the people having dinner near us, & anyone we encountered on the streets were quick to say hello & welcome us!

The other big draw for me is that we can get a combination of things I love (that can be quite hard to find!); a strong LGBT community but also a small close knit community that you get from a smaller town.

I love parts of being in Chicago, but the fact that the city is so fragmented is one the things I hate. I’d love to be more involved in the gay community in Chicago but the area I live in is a 40 minute train ride away from Boystown… sure I could move to Boystown, but then I’d be leaving the things I like about the West Loop and getting some of the not so exciting elements of Boystown… but in Palm Springs it’s a small enough city that I can enjoy both aspects in a much more compact area & get to know my neighbors much easier!

I look forward to actually knowing my neighbors and looking forward to running into them around the city, cocktail parties rotating around the neighborhood, and being able to get involved (and feel like it actually makes a difference!).

The other big benefit of Palm Springs is that while it is a smaller place, it’s not exactly Iowa… it’s only a few hours to LA or San Diego & if you visit in the winter you’ll see that it’s still a playground for lots of LA and Hollywood types, so we get the benefit of that in our shopping, bars, and dining scenes.  Also you best believe that a community of LGBT folks are going to have some great theaters and local talent ( which I can’t wait to experience)!

In a few weeks my partner and I will be heading out to west to pick out first Palm Springs neighborhood! I can’t wait to share that experience with you! BUT before that is Pride Month, so I’m looking forward to lots of upcoming fun and travel, make sure you’re following me on Instagram to come along!

Pride Month Shopping Tips

Looking for some new gear to celebrate pride this month?  I’ve got a few favorite companies that I though I’d share to give you some  inspiration!

A rainbow ice-cream cone logo for Big Gay Ice Cream
In NYC or Philly? Stop by Big Gay Ice Cream for some delicious desserts!

Gay Pin Guys are a great option if you are looking to add a little flair for Pride season.  You can find all different types of pins, pride specific pieces, sayings popularized by Drag Race, fun little nods to LGBT culture, or my personal favorite… a Friend of Dorothy badge of honor!  These would make great additions to either travel bags or outfits!  They are also pretty affordable starting at $12

I’ve got two clothing retailers that I love for Pride season: Swish Embassy & Lockwood51

If you prefer to be a bit more pop culture driven in your outfits to might prefer Swish Embassy. You’ll find fabulously designed shirts featuring divas, icons, and of course the Golden Girls!  This is a Canadian company that designs and prints all kinds of products, T shirts, Tanks, Phone Cases, or Tights can all be found on their website!

T-Shirts from Swish Embassy
Here is my friend Katie and I wearing shirts by the Swish Embassy last year at Pittsburgh Pride.

The other recommendation for apparel is Lockwood51.  A quick glance at the site and you’ll see these a bit less daytime pride event and maybe a better fit for your evening events (unless you’re comfortable with a little controversy) . I personally love the messaging of a few of their designs, encouraging us to stay Queer or proudly displaying our Homosexual Tendencies. They also designed a special shirt for Pride this year with the LGBT History Instagram & you’ll likely see that one show up on me for Pride this year!

Finally if you’re in the market for some footwear guess what… you have a few options in this area as well!  There are the major market lines like Nike & Adidas who typically release a special Pride themed shoe each year, but did you know that Bear Pride shoes exist?  Yep!  You can order a pair here if you’re in the market for either Bear, Leather, Lesbian, Bi, or plenty of other options!

Those arms…😍☺️❤️ Esos brazos…😍☺️❤️

A post shared by Pride Shoes (@theprideshoes) on

Where do you typically turn for Pride Gear?
Any favorites I missed?

Share your favorites with me in the comments or tag me on Instagram (where your can. bet I’ll be positing a few of these over the month!)

And We’re Back!

Hello again!
I’ve got some exciting news and developments in my life so now seems like a great time to get back to something that I enjoyed doing, but sort of lost touch with… blogging!  I’m excited to get back into this & start sharing again; it just so happens that that I’ll have lots to share over the next few months!

We’re moving!  My partner and I are finally saying farewell to the city we met in, the city that we’ve loved for the past 5 years together (a bit longer for him)

Where are we moving you ask?  I’ve written about it on the blog and shared endless photos on my Instagram….

We’re embracing our love of heat, mid-mod, and small towns & heading to Palm Springs!

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I fell in love with Palm Springs about a day into our first trip & knew at that time that it would be a part of my life in some way.  Initially we were planning to move to San Diego, but after spending some more time in Palm Springs, looking at houses, & weighing our options Palm Springs has a longer list of positives!

Over the next few months I’m excited to share our journey from the mid-west to the Mid-Century!

3 Must Visit Rooftop Bars in Chicago – What Will K Said

 I’ve always subscribed to the belief that summer starts Memorial Day weekend, despite how “unofficially” that might be.  The workweek tends to get lighter, the weekends seem shorter, & you try to cram as much into the summer as much!  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to be outside as much possible, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite outdoor spaces in Chicago over the next few weeks!  

This week I’m going to focus on everyone’s favorite day of the week… Sunday Funday! There are tons of places to grab a drink in Chicago but drinks outside on a patio tend to taste better for some reason & thankfully there are plenty of great spots throughout the city.  My personal favorite rooftop spots are : Zed451, I/O at the Godfrey, &ck Cindys at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

Zed451 is a Brazilian steak house, so not somewhere that typical frequent but during the summer the outdoor patio because my favorite spot to spend a Sunday afternoon. The drinks are amazing, they offer both individual sized as well as group portions, the staff is approachable/quick, & the space is quite beautiful.  The patio has ample seating, so you aren’t fighting for a spot (sure if you go at 3pm you’ll be waiting but if you get there early it’s usually easy to find a spot).  They also have a limited food menu available outside, which is a nice touch if you are going to be out there for hours drinking! 

I/O at the Godfrey is a cool spot because you can actually use it year round!  They have a retractable roof so in the summer you get to enjoy the sun & the winter you get a little bit of a “greenhouse” effect.  This is a combination restaurant/bar, you’ll find a full menu for both brunch & dinner plus pitchers of their house cocktails.  The Godfrey is a beautiful hotel & this space blends nicely into the modern design.  This one can be a bit hit or miss in terms of the crowd, it tends to attract a “be seen” group in the later afternoon. 

Cindys at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is a hard one for me to recommend, the views are amazing & drinks are good, but it gets crowded quick & service suffers.  There are not a ton of seats available so it’s mostly standing room only, which is fine but when crowded isn’t the way I like to spend a few hours. They do have a food menu, however I find the food to be incredibly over priced for the offerings – just stop by here for drinks & head downstairs for a much better dinner – you’ll find either Shake Shack or the uber fancy Cherry Circle Room.

Top 3 Outdoor Tourist Attractions in Chicago – What Will K Said

I’ve always subscribed to the belief that summer starts Memorial Day weekend, despite how “unofficially” that might be.  The workweek tends to get lighter, the weekends seem shorter, & you try to cram as much into the summer as much!  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to be outside as much possible, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite outdoor spaces in Chicago over the next few weeks!

This week I want to focus on some of my favorite “tourist” attractions, these are places that you’ll typically find on every “must see Chicago” list, but ones that I’d actually recommend for people.  If you can visit them during the week you’ll find much smaller crowds but they are still worth a visit if you’re only in town for the weekends.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of my favorite places to go any time of year, but summer is of course the best time to visit!  The biggest benefit of going to the zoo in the summer is that you’re going to see more of the animals, but the crowds do tend be overwhelming, so if you can squeeze in a weekday visit that’d be my recommendation.  There is some construction going on this summer so if you were dead set on seeing the Polar Bear you might want to reschedule your visit.

If your idea of a Summer afternoon involves more sand than animals you’ll love the Montrose Beach area!  It’s a bit farther north than the beaches near downtown, but that usually means less people & more beach for you!  There is also a ton of grassy area if you want play Frisbee, have a picnic, or bring you dog along for the fun.

The last spot I’d recommend for tourists to visit is lakefront between the Navy Pier & Museum Campus – you’ll note that I didn’t say Navy Pier.. please don’t waste a day out there.  The walk between the Pier & Museum Campus will have tons of photo opps for you to make your friends back home jealous, you’ll see the Buckingham Fountain, & can grab a sno-cone if it’s too warm.  Once you may it to either side you can either catch transit to head to your next destination.

3 Recommendations for Patio Dining in Chicago – What Will K Said

I’ve always subscribed to the belief that summer starts Memorial Day weekend, despite how “unofficially” that might be.  The workweek tends to get lighter, the weekends seem shorter, & you try to cram as much into the summer as much!  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to be outside as much possible, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite outdoor spaces in Chicago over the next few weeks!

In my opinion the best thing about summer is eating/drinking outside,  we’ll walk up and down Madison Avenue looking for an outdoor table instead of going to one of our favorite places just to sit outside!  It’s actually kind of amazing how many places have outdoor spaces considering that we can use them for such a short amount of time, but I’m not complaining.  A few of my favorites are; Nellcote, Mon Ami Gabi, & Crossroads.

Nellcote tops my list because the food is amazing! I’ll eat here inside, outside, heck in the corner if necessary.  The outdoor space can hold close to 20 tables & is direct sun light for brunch – but has a lot of shade for dinner service.  The thing that makes this space stand out is the fact that they have a flour mill in the building, so their pastas, breads, & pizzas are extra tasty!

I love the patio at Mon Ami Gabi because it feels like you’re dining in a secret garden miles away from Chicago!  The location makes it a great choice for either pre-zoo Brunch or a romantic dinner to close out a day of exploration.  If youv’e ever been to Vegas you’ll know that Mon Ami Gabi is located directly across from the Bellagio fountains & while this location doesn’t quite have that good of a view it’s still one of my favorite spots.

My last recommendation might seem out of line with the others, it’s just a neighborhood sports bar, Crossroads… but that’s why its on the list!  This patio is where I actually spend the most time in the summer because it’s close to my house, has quick service, & Cheese Curds.  Yep, I’m including this place because of the fact that they have fried cheese, I can’t help it.. it’s so good!  If you are going to a show at the United Center is would be a great place to grab dinner & the free shuttle to the show/game/ice-capedes.