view of Lincoln Park from Meg’s condo in the Mies van der Rohe building on 340 W Diversey
I could not be more excited today- sharing one of my favorite cities with one of my favorite people: Chicago via Meg Murphy. Meg is one of my very best friends. She and I attended DePauw University and studied abroad in Florence, Italy during the spring of 2006. Together, with our friend Annie, we survived a crazy Italian neighbor trying to break down our door with a baseball bat and shared a love for daily gelato runs, music, Emilio Pucci, and buying one-too-many pashmina scarves. Growing up in Connecticut, Meg is a lovely blend of East Coast style mixed with warm Chicago charm and a Midwestern sensibility. How else to describe her? If I had to choose a single individual who I believes manifests the brand essence of Ralph Lauren (which indeed happens to be her favorite designer), it would certainly be Meg Murphy.
She is absolutely darling in every way and has a very discerning eye for great design and interiors. She’s excellent when it comes to home decor (she works in the design industry), and has a very chic, timeless, personal style. I’m absolutely dying to see her new condo in Chicago overlooking Lincoln Park! When I was thinking about a Chicago city/style guide, I immediately thought of Meg because not only is she one of my very best friends (and I trust her opinion wholeheartedly), she walks absolutely everywhere and always checks out the new design savvy places – including the new Ian Schrager hotel she mentions below (which I cannot wait to see). So, thank you Meg for sharing your Chicago favorites and I can’t wait to check some of these out with you in May!
Enjoy Chicago a la Meg Murphy!
Name: Meg E. Murphy
Occupation: Design & Sales
City & how long you’ve lived there: Chicago, IL – 5 years
Favorite Brunch Spot & Why: Lula Café – Logan Square. Farm fresh & amazing gin-bloodies with oysters.
Favorite Cocktail & Where: A Beer at BLUES on Halsted after 11 pm or a glass of wine outside anywhere when the weather is warm!
Favorite After-Work Spot: Gilt Bar is my go-to for excellent cheap house wine and a good variety of small shared plates. Also, Perennial Virant right along Lincoln Park. When the Patio is open its magical & they have excellent bar snacks (all around amazing restaurant)!
Must-visit museum: Art Institute – Modern Wing. Everything. About. It.
Woman Descending the Staircase (Frau die Treppe herabgehend), 1965, Gerhard Richter. Art Institute – Modern Wing
Favorite boutiques/shopping & why: Brimfield in Andersonville -Eclectic and masculine home picking. Classic Remix in Lincoln Park – exactly what it sounds like! Aosta on Diversey – salvaged mid century modern & one-of-a-kind pieces. It’s a new gem just right across the street!
Aosta Furniture – Aosta means vintage in Gaelic.
The custom club chair is one of only 14 ever made. It was originally commissioned for a law firm in downtown Chicago. It was then sent to the set of the Playboy Club and then returned to the owner of Aosta. It is now on Meg’s wish list.
Best Hidden Secret: For me it has been the North Shore. Driving up Sheridan Road is no secret for most but when you first make the drive – it is breathtaking. It seems like you’re in another world. While up there you can check out the Botanic Gardens and the Baha’i Temple – a photographer’s dream!
the Baha’i Temple, Wilmette, IL
Best books/music/art on your city: I am all about the music. There are so many emerging bands from Chicago & so many small venues to support them: Lincoln Hall is my favorite. The sound there is amazing & the space is fairly intimate without feeling overcrowded.
Best place for a Sunday stroll: My normal route: Lincoln Park down through the Lincoln Park Zoo and nature boardwalk, to the Gold Coast down State Street (maybe a stopover to window shop on Oak Street) and then loop back up along Lake Shore Drive.
Must-Visit Dinner Spot: There is a long list but right now, Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat is still it. There is a reason there is a 3-month reservation advance. It’s all about the food! They also offer an excellent Gluten-Free menu – the bread is arguably better GF!
Most romantic restaurant: It has to be a tie between my two favorite Italian restaurants. Piccolo Sogno with one of the most beautiful, transport-you-to-Italy patios & Riccardo Trattoria for its authentic & intimate dining.
Most Scenic Spot: Overlooking Lincoln Park & the Elks Memorial out my apartment window. It’s a view I will never tire of and it’s all mine!
the Elks Memorial
Meg Murphy – snapped at work.
Best place to dance or celebrate a special occasion: If I purposefully went out & danced it would be somewhere on Hubbard Street (if I haven’t already worn out BLUES & Kingston Mines). The last couple of times my night ended on Hubbard it was at Paris Studio (above Paris Club – also a great restaurant!).
Your favorite thing to do: Walking – I walk almost everywhere (no exaggeration)! While doing that, I usually end up finding new restaurants to try or discover new window-shopping opportunities.
Where to stay on a visit and what makes these places special: Right now, it would definitely be Public Chicago – the newly redone Ambassador Hotel by Ian Schrager. Beautifully simple interiors & beautiful people watching in the historic Pump Room. Also, the affectionately known Elysian – newly crowned Waldorf Astoria Chicago is still tops on a lot of lists with Ria, Balsan, & Bernard’s Bar.
What do you love most about where you live: Favorite places to see & things to do change constantly because the city has so much to offer & keeps growing!
Traveling tips/anything to steer clear of: Go off the beaten path (tip) but not too far (steer clear) ;)
Meg’s coffee table- featuring the Ralph Lauren magazine of course!