Midwest Living Review
Step into the inn's Blue Line Studio, and you are inside a Hollywood soundscape: From "Risky Business" to "Public Enemy," the El trains' rumble announces Chicago. Open a window in the studio's cozy bedroom, and it seems like you can almost touch the trains as they clatter past. Many guests ask for the room -- the ambient clatter has a charm that's authentically Chicago (and can sound, in all seriousness, like waves breaking). The inn's Blue Line Studio room is not recommended for light sleepers, says innkeeper Laura Wright. Not to worry. You'll find six other homey rooms in the two-story brick building nestled on a leafy residential street that feels surprisingly secluded from the community's bustle. The feeling is deceptive. The inn is within easy walking distance of a vibrant neighborhood where Milwaukee Avenue, Ashland Avenue and Division Street unite. That tricorner hub is home to the Chopin Theatre, an arts epicenter with a year-round roster of live theater, dance and film. Artists often gather at the nearby Alliance Bakery, where award-winning chef Peter Rios elevates the humble butter cookie to luscious heights. Two blocks west, crafters flock to Renegade Handmade, a DIY mecca where shoppers find handmade Allen Ginsberg finger puppets and vegan organic soap. Rockers are as integral to Wicker Park as crafters. Tuck into the savory salmon croute at Francesca's Forno, where Mick Jagger stops when he's in town. He also has shown up unannounced at the adjacent club, the Double Door. Even minus Mick, the street scene from Francesca's is parade-worthy as an endless array of scenesters, musicians, artists and families stroll past the floor-to-ceiling windows. From the four-poster comfort of the inn's Wicker Park room, the bright lights and big-city ambience fade. Breeze-rustled branches mute the El's rumble. It's a quiet respite, within arm's length of the best of the city's buzz. From $129.