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Book Review: Quiet Spaces in the Bustling City

By Anthony Todd in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 12, 2008 7:00PM


Do you like taking quiet walks? Finding new coffeehouses to sit and read? Exploring lesser known parks and trails around Chicago? Finding tasty restaurants to visit with your sweetie? If you’re into anything on that list, Chicago’s 50 Best Places to Find Peace and Quiet is a great book to pick up.

Karin Sullivan’s slim Chicago guidebook is packed with treasures. The book is split into “Indoor Places” and “Outdoor Spaces,” with 25 entries in each category. The book includes articles on teahouses, bookstores, spas, parks, arboretums, nature trails, restaurants and churches – she even tells you how to canoe around Chicago!

Some of our favorite entries include:

  • 57th Street Books, which she calls a “Real book-lovers bookstore and a great place to lose track of time.”
  • The Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum. “Visiting this little gallery feels like discovering a secret cavern, one that glitters with every color of the rainbow.”
  • The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool - one of our favorite spots, right in the middle of Lincoln Park!
  • North Pond Restaurant, which she describes as “like dining in a nature preserve.”

Just paging through this guidebook is a pleasure, and it will make you want to run out and take advantage of the rapidly warming weather. Or, for the lazy reader, dog-ear an awful lot of pages. Just be sure to call and check before you start your trek – even though this book is only 2 years old, a couple of the profiled locations have closed or changed their operating hours.