I just received the latest Lake Claremont Press newsletter and, frankly, it was too good not to steal. I honestly don't think they will mind though.
Oldest Chicago by David Witter is slated for release in January. Think combination history/guide book of/to Chicago's past. Trust me. You'll want this book. But, back to the newsletter... And, I quote:
Holiday Shopping Guide
Enhance Your Holidays with Chicago's Oldest
Thanks to Oldest Chicago author David Anthony Witter for compiling this wonderful guide to celebrating the season with gifts and treats from some of Chicago's oldest and most beloved businesses.
While most Americans are spending this Christmas season scurrying from mall to mall trying to buy the latest flat screen TV, palmtop computer, video game, or other newly processed silicon-based innovation, we thought some shoppers might want to go back to a simpler time. You can travel to the era of George Bailey or even Ebenezer Scrooge, without a time machine, right here in Chicago by simply following this Oldest Chicago Christmas Shopping Guide:
C.D. Peacock Jewelers (1837): 524 N. Michigan, Chicago; Northbrook Court, Northbrook; Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg; andOakbrook Court, Oakbrook. This business was started at a time when Native Americans still hunted and traded not far from Chicago's city limits. Today, the bronze doors, Tiffany chandeliers, and other symbols of past grandeur have given way to smaller shops throughout the area, but the C.D. Peacock name still lives on throughout Chicagoland.
Iwan Reis and Co. (1857): 19 S. Wabash. What could be more Dickensian than smoking a fine pipe around a raging fire at Christmas time? Buying the pipe and tobacco from a store that has been open since the days of A Christmas Carol! Now on its sixth generation, the oldest family business in Chicago has over 200 pipes ranging in price from $25 to $25,000. It also sells cigars, lighters, and other smoking paraphernalia that are as beautiful as any jewelry, all in the heart of downtown.
Merz Apothecary (1875): 4716 N. Lincoln. If you truly want to bring back the beautiful fragrances, sights, and delights of an old European Christmas, then Merz Apothecary is the place to go. Nestled in the quaint, Old World area of Lincoln Square, the store exudes Swiss/German charm. Bring back a small bag of fragrant tea, ointment, or perfume made from speedwell, stinging nettle, or Swedish bitters.
Central Camera (1899): 30 S. Wabash. You can have your cake--the newest digital cameras, video recorders, and other photo devices--and eat it too at a business that doubles as a both a modern camera store and a living museum to the art of film. Founded at the time not long after the days of photographers disappearing behind a giant box, the knowledgeable staff here not only knows digital, but also caries parts, film, and actually repairs cameras from what is fast becoming the lost art of film photography.
The Jazz Record Mart (1959): 27 E. Illinois Street. What could be more outdated in this era of modern technology than the CD? The record and the cassette tape. The Jazz Record Mart has them all, with over 10,000 cassettes, records, and CDs. Browse through the collection and see glorious album covers featuring renditions of Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Muddy Waters. Read actual liner notes. Talk to a knowledgeable staff of mostly musicians and artists. Rub elbows with other jazz fans and musicians from not only Chicago but all over the world. Or, download in a dim room alone.
And, for special holiday treats:
The House of Glunz (1888): 1206 N. Wells Street. Started with the help of friends Oscar Mayer and Charles Wacker (yes, they were real people), the House of Glunz has a wide-ranging selection of beer, wine, and champagne for your Christmas table or New Year's Eve party. It is also located in Old Town, one of Chicago's oldest and most fascinating neighborhoods.
Roeser's Bakery (1911): 3216 W. North Avenue. The oldest place to buy your Christmas cakes, pies, and cookies. Serving Chicago since 1911, Roeser's is a true old Chicago Bakery. Based in the German-Scandinavian tradition of Humboldt Park, this bakery now caters to all ethnic groups and tastes with fresh baked goods and specializing in custom-made party cakes.
Margies Candies (1921): 1960 N. Western. Need hand-dipped, home-made truffles, terrapins, toffees, and other candies for filling Christmas stockings? No? Then come in on a cozy winter night and have a sundae, banana split, soda, or malt in a shop that looks like a set from a Shirley Temple movie. Maybe you can even sit at the same tables where famous customers ranging from Al Capone to The Beatles have enjoyed Margie's classic Chicago treats.
Too bad we don't have Marshall Field's anymore - but, I digress. Missed the LCP newsletter? Be sure to sign up on the Lake Claremont Press Blog.