1950s props and furniture from 'The Playboy Club'

Playboy Props

The Publican and Moto won’t be the only ones serving up rabbit this weekend over on Fulton Street, my friends, because Katie Ernst has gotten her hands on a selection of glamourous 1950s props and furniture that were used to dress the sets for the short-lived NBC drama The Playboy Club and she is selling them (and other gussied-up vintage finds) at one of Revision Home’s popular open warehouse sales. The preview party is tonight from 5:30 until 7:30 at 2132 W. Fulton, and items will also be available for viewing on Friday and Saturday from 11–4. In addition to the new pieces, RH will also be showing gritty industrial photographs from Chicago artist Joe Lekas.

Glass containers from Williams-Sonoma


Some people like to kill time by browsing the latest i-pliances at Best Buy, or flipping through vinyl (yeah, it’s back again) at Reckless Records; me, I enjoy kicking it at cooking supply stores. Gotta keep up on the latest Le Creuset colors, and even though I’ll probably never buy or use one, it’s nice to know that portable chocolate fountains and margarita machines are available should the need arise. Williams-Sonoma is one of my favorites (it also has some well-edited furniture and home accessory offerings, such as these cloches), and right now you can win $250 worth of products if you join Tasting Table, the free daily email that focuses on local adventurous eating and resto 411, and general food culture. (I’ve been a member of their culinary club for a while now, and it’s a foodie goodie.) Join by Sunday, Feb. 12, and you’ll also be up for a $250 meal at any of the dineries that Savored, a discount reservation service, employs. Tuesdays and Thursday nights are usually good for me, thanks.

A celebrity couple kissing

Bazaar Twist

The Vintage Bazaar is going back to its repurposed roots this weekend, by returning to the DANK Haus, an historic old German American cultural center and the site of VB’s very first sale, located at 4740 N. Western Avenue. The pop-up flea market will take place on the fifth and sixth floors, and feature 35 vendors—more than a dozen dealers who are new to the vagabond-ish market lifestyle, which means lots of new (old) furniture, home goods, memorabilia, clothing, and jewelry. As usual, there will be extra diversions like food vendors, cocktails and beer, and DJs (this pic is from the mobile photobooth that Glitter Guts often sets up at these events); admission’s a fin, and the sale is Saturday, Feb. 11 from 12–6, Sunday from 11–5.

Inside Fly Bird

Independent Study

Nothing makes me happier than seeing small mom-and-pop (or pop-and-pop, or mom-and-mom) businesses open and thrive in Chicago neighborhoods. Watching a choir of dogs bark the Star Wars theme is a close second, but I’m still going to have to go with successful indies. In an age of increasing retail homogeny, locally owned shops add seasoning and character to our streets and bring energy and money into communities. If you feel the same way, here’s a fun and easy way to help out: Donate some time, skills, or money to Little Independent, a grassroots site that Leslie Tweedie launched last June to promote these sort of places by increasing awareness and offering sales items online. There are lots of simple ways to get involved, including writing and blogging, working social media, helping stores build websites and take photos and videos, and strategizing. Chances are, you’ll meet some fun and interesting people while you’re at it. The roster of stores has doubled to more than 60 since LI began, and some local participants include Virtu, Perennials, Toys et Cetera, Ruff Haus Pets, and Oak Park’s Fly Bird, pictured here. Find out what you can do to make independents’ day by filling out a simple form here.

A photo by Tom Marks

Wall Pass

The pantry was running low on almonds and dried cranberries, and I was in need of another bundle of Kirkland-brand sweat socks, so it was high time to make a Costco run. (It may seem incongruous to follow up an item about small businesses with one about a really big-box discount store, but I think we can strike a balance with how we spread our cheddar around, no?) On the way in I noticed a large kiosk promoting a new “art & image gallery,” so I made a detour to check it out before continuing back to hit up the sample ladies. Here’s the deal: They will take any of your favorite digital photos and blow them up for wall décor (a 40-by-60-inch stretched canvas is $330; other mediums including large-format prints and posters are substantially cheaper). I’m thinking skyline shots from a favorite city, wrinkly toes of a newborn in black and white, or even awkward celebrity encounters from run-ins with Real Housewives at book signings. Find out more online, where they also have a gallery of more than 20,000 images to choose from (including this sexy Tom Marks image) or stop by your local Costco photo department.