Exploring Lincoln Park is a fine way to spend an afternoon and even just strolling around for a few minutes can be a way to relax and spend time with friends new and old. My recommendation is to take the Brown or Purple Line to the Armitage stop.
Under the Tracks, a Conversation About Chicago
When this particular El station was renovated a few years ago, a bit of glorious public art was installed to spark conversation about public transit, the city of Chicago, and more. Artist Jon Gitelson interviewed individual passengers about their memories of Chicago and then went and took photographs of each site (such as the Art Institute or Drexel Square) and then crafted a small vignette of each memory. You should stop and consider this wonderful piece on the north side of the station closely as it’s a wonderful way to learn about the city’s identity as seen through its residents.
Italian Ice, Anyone?
As you walk east on the north side of Armitage, you should turn north on North Bissell Street to head over to Annette’s Italian Ice. Frozen sweet treats abound and the ice cream list usually features over 40 different flavors. The italian ice offerings are also quite expansive, and my personal favorites are pink lemonade and black raspberry. They also have frozen dog treats and a variety of beverages. I’d recommend going here in the evening as it is also a great place to people-watch.
An Interurban Experience (with Sandwiches)
After finishing your ice cream or italian ice, continue your walk east on Armitage. It’s easy to get waylaid by the boutiques and other shopping opportunities, so feel free to take your time as you wander. Before you get to the intersection of Halsted and Armitage, slip on down the alley after you pass North Dayton Street (yes, an alley) to check out the offerings at the Interurban Cafe & Pastry Shop. They have a tiny outdoor seating area where you can grab a fruit tart, one of their seasonal fruit drinks (such as freshly squeezed watermelon juice), or one of their excellent sandwiches prepared on focaccia. I recommend the turkey meatball sandwich and you might also get a cup of soup as an accompaniment.
There’s much more and see to do in the area, and you might also check out the Old Town School of Folk Music Store (above) or just walk up and down some of the lovely streets that run parallel to the El tracks. You’ll want to look closely at the architectural details on some of these magisterial homes and apartment buildings. I guarantee you’ll find something new on each visit.