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DIVERSIONS Chicago's Andersonville: A shopper's paradise
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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I recently took part in a media event that involved visiting various Andersonville businesses.

Considering that I profile restaurants for Windy City Times in addition to being managing editor, I thought I'd be selected for the "foodie" route. However, I was surprised to discover I'd be going on the self-conducted "shopping" tour. ( Just an FYI: The third option was "medley." )

This development turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I thought I knew about this area, but it's interesting what Andersonville has to offer:

—GreenSky ( 5357 N. Ashland Ave.; ): Half a block west of the main Andersonville artery of Clark Street, this charming eight-year-old "eco-spot" specializes in recycled, reclaimed, fair-trade and socially conscious products. Every item—from the lawn flamingos to the pop-top bags—has a story, believe me.

—Room Service ( 5438 N. Clark St.; ): This home-furnishings place has some of the coolest items I saw on this tour, including felt coasters, innovative cake plates, paintings that redefine 3-D and even skulls. Plus, the owner ( Jim ) is beyond friendly.

—Norcross & Scott ( 1476 W. Berwyn Ave.; ): This is also a home-furnishings store. However, the products are items from both coasts that will make a home look sleeker and more airy. Moreover, the price points are lower than I thought they would ( or should ) be.

—Andersonville Galleria ( 5247 N. Clark St.; ): Probably the best-known of the spots on my mini-journey, Andersonville Galleria is a shopper's dream, offering everything from jewelry to paintings to food ( such as Terry's Toffee, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year ).

—Andersonville Antiques ( 5245 N. Clark St.; "Andersonville Antiques" on Facebook ): Previously located in just the lower level of this site, Andersonville Antiques has taken over the upper space ( for six months now ) that Landmark previously occupied. If you love vintage items, this huge space is for you.

—Milk Handmade ( 5137 N. Clark St.; ): Milk Handmade has clothes and accessories for the women in your life, including some particularly stylish dresses. Also, don't forget to smell the candles; I fell in love with all of them, particularly the horchata one.

—Foursided Custom Framing Gallery ( 5061 N. Clark St.; ): Foursided has two sites in Lake View ( 2939 N. Broadway and 2958 N. Clark St. )—but the Andersonville location has everything those have, and then some. Gino Pinto and Todd Mack have put together an uber-cool space that sells cards, books, candles—and, yes, frames.

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