I have written before about how I like to take long walks when I visit Chicago. One of my favorite corridors to walk is from Wrigley Field to the Gold Coast via North Clark and North Wells. Basically this is a straight shot from the North Side to the downtown area that passes through the neighborhoods of Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Old Town, and offers many interesting establishments along the way.

In all the years I have been doing this walk, I have noticed businesses that come and go and many that have been there for generations. On this most recent trip I checked out a few places that were new to me and I present them today as my Friday Finds…

FF: Chicago’s White Birch Trading Company

CFQQOne of the first things I do when I know I am going to Chicago is check out what’s playing at the wonderful Music Box Theatre – and there is usually something worth checking out. A visit to the Music Box also gives me the opportunity to visit the shops that surround the theater, like the eclectic White Birch Trading Company.

About White Birch Trading Company: “White Birch Trading Company is an eclectic boutique located on the Southport Corridor right next to the Music Box Theatre. We specialize in home furnishings, gifts for all occasions, holiday decor, jewelry and unique found objects. Come on in and explore all that we have to offer!”

Check out White Birch Trading Company here.

FF: Gramaphone Records

CF1I like record stores, and they are few and far between these days. But Chicago’s Gramaphone Records is going strong after more than 40 years by focusing on new music and the DJ community as well as the old favorites.

About Gramaphone Records: “We’ve been around since 1969 serving the best in dance music to DJs & music lovers in Chicago and around the world. Our online store is heavily geared towards house, techno and classics because that’s what sells best for us online, but it doesn’t reflect what we carry at our physical store – we have MUCH more available there! LOTS of used house / techno, a respectable hip hop, drum & bass, electro, dubstep & downtempo sections too. Please check out our physical store if you’re in Chicago, we want to serve all of your music & vinyl needs!”

Gramaphone Records is located at 2843 N. Clark Street Chicago, IL.

Visit Gramaphone Records’ Webstore here.

FF: Aaron’s Apothecary

CF3A stop into Aaron’s Apothecary is like stepping back in time to a cooler era – an old school pharmacy with a hip new school aesthetic.

About Aaron’s Apothecary: “Aaron’s Apothecary stemmed from a life-long dream that the owner and founder, Aaron Pietrykowski nurtured throughout the years. Having worked for one of the last great independent pharmacies in Chicago for the past six years and after extensively traveling the world to see Apothecaries, Aaron developed a keen sense of how to separate his store from the major players in the industry. ‘I have opened Aaron’s Apothecary because of my strong conviction that a pharmacy experience should be more than just a 45-minute wait in a cold, stale environment,’ says founder Aaron Pietrykowski. ‘Customers receive personalized attention and are able to engage with a pharmacist who cares about their well-being as patients and as people. Old-world Apothecaries represented a time when service and quality were met with pride. I have set out to recapture this moment in time and revive how glamorous and extraordinary pharmacies once were.’”

Find a list of some of the product lines Aaron’s Apothecary carries here.

Aaron’s Apothecary is located at 2338 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL.

FF: Art on Clark

CF4Meanwhile, while walking down Clark Street, one notices empty store fronts with art installations taking up residency in the open spaces – all part of Art on Clark,, a movement designed to keep the area vibrant while putting the spotlight on local artists.

About Art on Clark: “Clark Street just keeps on getting prettier, don’t you think? Frost anointing trees, pedestrians stepping out in natty winter fashions, and holiday displays beginning to fill up shops’ sparkling windows. And then there’s the gorgeous art on display at several stellar sites to delight passers-by! We’re so pleased to announce the continuation — expansion, even! — of the pop-up art gallery program, simply but evocatively named Art on Clark.”

Learn more about Art on Clark here.