The group informally known as the Tweedy band is in Miami now, waiting to embark on the Cayamo cruise festival tomorrow.
While we wait to set sail I thought I’d share a tip about celebrating Valentine’s Day, or really any holiday. Sorry, it’s local to Chicago, but if you don’t live there, you might still enjoy hearing about a sweet solo business owner.
New York’s hottest night club is…
Chicago’s hottest gift shop is…
Viry’s Creations on Irving Park Road. Balloons, balloon designs, flower arrangements, little gift supplies.
This is where you want to go if you want to make Valentine’s Day, or a birthday, or a graduation special-er.
It’s not that Viry’s product selection is the hugest or the most stylish. You can’t find eye-watering Swedish design there or much other than what’s at the corner store, product-wise. But you CAN find a sweet, amazing entrepreneur of a human, Viry, and her infant son. And she will blow up a balloon for you like no one’s business (it’s her business). And, if her Instagram photos are any indication, she’ll make an incredible custom balloon arrangement for your event that looks just as good as any social-media-famous balloon-fluencer’s (for way cheaper). Take that, Swedish design (and balloon-fluencers).
I stopped in there last month to buy a balloon or three for Casey’s birthday and had a nice fifteen-minute conversation with Viry about her shop, how she had worked in a hotel for years before deciding, while the hotel was closed in 2020, to become a Certified Balloon Artist (!), and her dreams. It seems like the shop is doing well enough but it can’t be an easy world out there competing with Big Balloon. So this gift-y holiday week seemed like a good time to tell you about her nook of the city. I haven’t seen the store lately but I think she stocks Valentine’s-specific teddy bears and things of that romantic nature.
There still might be time to hire Viry to turn your entire living room into a gigantic balloon heart.
Just a local business/artist I like—one of the people who make Chicago feel hospitable, warm, functioning, communally self-sufficient…
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead. See you when (if—hey, I don’t want to take anything for granted) I’m back on land.
p.s. Thank you for the very generous response to drumprints vol. 1 last week. I really appreciate it and I’m looking forward to figuring out what the next installment of that series could sound like.
p.p.s. My dad announced a new book this week! WORLD WITHIN A SONG.
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Always so enjoyable! This week a good friend persuaded me (and two others!!) to go to Reykjavík to see Wilco for their 3 night residency there. Normally doing something as wild (and expensive) as this would make me nervous but my 15 year old son (Ted) told me life’s always better when you say YES. ❤️❤️💋💋☀️☀️
Enjoy the warmth and sun! Will you be playing with your Dad when he plays Miami later in the month? Thinking I may have to go visit my brother in FLA and come to the show.
Just curious, do you call him Abba or Dad or Jeff…or as you mom’s friends seem to call him “Jeffy”…if to private a question, my apologies. Cheers!