Monday, June 23, 2014

Frames From The Weekend of 6/20/14

It's been a long time since I've participated in one of the Frames From The Weekend linkups hosted by Irina. I am going to get back into the fold today!

I have to work next weekend for quarter-end close, so I really tried to take advantage of my time this past weekend.

First, the health and fitness pursuits of thy weekend:

Upper Left: My third time attending the PAWS Run For Their Lives. This is a picture of Erin and me just after crossing the start line (action shot courtesy of Jason). I will post a full separate recap of the PAWS race and festivities soon.
Upper Right: Since I devote so much time towards running and lower-body PT, I tend to neglect focusing on upper body fitness. I've suddenly gotten very motivated to change this. My new goal is to do upper body strength work at least three times a week. Bring on the fitness bands and dumbbells, baby.
Bottom: Trying out a new style of bikram yoga! Traditional bikram classes are 90 minutes in length. I tried a new "Smart 60" bikram class, which is the same series of bikram poses but condensed into a 60-minute class instead. The verdict? Thumbs up. The 90-minute classes always feel like a big commitment, so the 60-minute version is a lot easier to fit into the calendar.

Left: One of the mascots from the PAWS run. Adam posted this picture on Facebook and jokingly tagged himself in it with the description, "Emily and Adam? I forgot to shave this morning." Hee hee hee.
Upper Right: I met up with Rose to explore the Maxwell Street Market. It was the first time visiting for both of us! Rose tried some of the eats from a Filipino food vendor, which is where we are pictured here. 
Lower Right: I met up with Xaarlin for some potstickers (not pictured here since my photos unfortunately didn't come out well), and also to attend an outdoor showing of the the USA vs Portugal soccer game at Grant Park.

More about the Maxwell Street Market
Upper Left: Vendors sold every range of merchandise you could possibly imagine. We're talking anything from origami kits to cosmetics to power tools to antiques to shoelaces (literally I saw a vendor whose entire booth consisted of shoelaces).
Lower Left: The storefront at Rubi's, where the line of people waiting for tacos went down the street.
Right: A Rubi's worker cranking out handmade tortillas right on site. Tortillas don't get any fresher than that!

More about the USA vs Portugal soccer viewing at Grant Park
Upper Left: Lots of fans showing their patriotic support in every way possible
Upper Right: The entrance to the viewing area, where we had to clear a security area.
(Photo by Xaarlin)
Lower Left: Our view of the screen, along with the reaction from the crowd after the U.S. scored their first [best Mexican soccer announcer imitation] GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Photo by Xaarlin)
Lower Right: Jam-packed fans in the viewing area. It was so mobbed that security was turning folks away at the gate 30 minutes before the game even started.

On that note, go read Xaarlin's FANTASTIC recap of our game viewing. She did an absolutely amazing job capturing the spirit of the evening. Her video footage is really incredible!

Some of the weekend's eats!
Upper Left: Earlier in the week, I picked up a raisin challah bread from the bakery. What better way to use it than to make raisin challah French toast with orange zest, mango, and blueberries for brunch?
Upper Right: What I ate at the Maxwell Street Market - a huitlacoche taco! I've wanted to try huitlacoche for the longest time so I was excited to finally do so. It was soft and tasted earthy and kind of nutty. Next time I'd want to try adding some cheese on top.
Bottom Left: Adam and I made a visit to Flat Top Grill (a make-your-own stir-fry joint). On top of having a great selection of ingredients, I love the enormous array of sauces they have on hand for you to mix and match.
Bottom Right: The Potsticker House that Xaarlin and I visited, which was featured on "Chicago's Best." I am all about local places that are off the beaten path. This place did not disappoint.

Upper Left: Visitation to one of my local branches of the Chicago Public Library, where I saw this on display. What a cute play on Carl Sandburg's "city of big shoulders" description for Chicago!
Upper Right: One of the books that I checked out from the library. I'm a big fan of Anthony Bourdain and I've been wanting to read Kitchen Confidential for quite some time. I'm only about 20 pages in so far, but right off the bat I can hear Bourdain's voice in the words that I am reading.
Bottom: Adam and I were thisclose to buying last-minute tickets to see the Cubs vs his hometown Pirates at Wrigley Field on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas. It's been quite an interesting stretch of weather as of late!

I am gearing up for a busy stretch of work over the next few weeks. Outside of the office, my race calendar is pretty quiet for the next two months. The break in racing couldn't come at a better time. I want to get back in the saddle with doing speedwork, taking advantage of all the yummy summer produce offerings, and enjoying all the gloriousness that is summertime in Chicago.

Viva la summer!


  1. I still need to check out Maxwell Street Market! It's not too far from us (maybe a mile away?) Also, I looooove Flat Top Grill. I think Robert and I need to start going there more often for pre-long-run meals.

    1. Maggie! I've been really happy to hear that you've been settling in well to your new place in the hood!!! YES on Flat Top being a great place for pre-long-run meals (I still remember that prior to running the Chicago Marathon in 2012, we all had our last dinner there!!!) If you ever want a partner in crime for Maxwell Street and/or for FTG, let me know. =)

  2. Glad your running break is happening at a good time for you! Looks like you had an awesome weekend! :)

    1. Thanks, Pete! It sounds like you are having an awesome time in Boston, too! So glad to hear that you are recovering well from the "toeper"!!!

  3. Looks like a fun weekend! I haven't been to Maxwell St. since the market was all redone. Eons ago! It was so grungy when I was there. Glad that area has been revitalized.
    Thing 1 has become a rabid WCS fan. I am learning so much about the game because she has it on constantly!

    1. Marcia! I had done some research on the history of Maxwell Street and was surprised at how much things have changed. Apparently back in the old days, many of the vendors were selling stolen goods. So yes, revitalization is a good thing!!! =D

      Likewise, I'm learning a lot about WCS since Adam has it on all the time, too! Basically for me it is "open door, jump onto bandwagon." ;-)

  4. All that food looks fantastic. And bummer about work getting busy. :-(

    1. I am glad to hear that the food pictures look appetizing! I am not a food blogger by any stretch of the imagination, but I've heard others talk about how food pictures don't always look appealing. So it's nice that my amateur photos are passable. =)

      Ah yes, the joys of quarter-end close. I appreciate the sympathy on my busy times in the office!

  5. I had so much fun seeing you TWO TIMES this weekend :) I'm so happy you liked the Potsticker House... I'm obsessed currently and can't wait to return with my cousin this weekend! And it was sooooo much fun watching (getting trapped) at the USA viewing party!

    We must hit up the Maxwell street market soon! And also the green city farmers market!! So many places to go so little left of summer :)

    1. Oh my goodness! To what did I owe the privilege of getting to hang out with you TWICE in one weekend!?!?!? I had a BLAST with you checking out Potsticker House and getting swept away by the crowds at Grant Park! And I finally got Chicago's Best set up on my DVR, per your recommendation. I haven't watched this past Sunday's episode yet but am excited to do so!

      Yes, let's hit up Maxwell Street, Green City Farmers Market, and everything else Chicago-summer-related soon! It already feels like the summer is passing by right before our eyes, right?