Growing up, my mom and grandma would pile my sister, brother and me into our plum-colored Ford Windstar and drive down into the city of Chicago. From time to time we would go into the city to visit one of the many famous museums like the Art Institute of Chicago or the Museum of Science & Industry. If we were lucky, they would even take us out to dinner and then to see a musical (although this didn't really happen until I was in high school). I grew up with the idea that Chicago was a place that we only ever visited to go to museums and to see Bulls games. You have to remember, I grew up in the time of Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippin and Tony Kokoc. When I was young, the Chicago Bulls were the team in the NBA. Since then, things have changed quite a bit - I couldn't care less about Chicago basketball. Or sports in general. Unless we're talking about the Blackhawks, that is a completely different story.
Asides from basketball and cultural outings to museums, most of our trips to the city were to go to Andersonville, a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. This neighborhood is steeped with Swedish culture and history, now offering some incredible vintage stores, local coffee shops, and some of the best restaurants in the city. There were two main things that a doe-eyed 10-year old Tommy experienced while in Andersonville - The Swedish American Museum and the Swedish Bakery. A now cultured 28-year old Tommy has now been able to experience a different side to this area.
Below is a list of some of my favorite things to do while in Andersonville. Whether you're looking for a morning cup of coffee, a little dose of history and culture, some retail therapy, or one of the best cups of glögg, there is something for everyone.
| COFFEE |
| DO |
| FOOD + DRINK |