Best of the Midwest – Remember Mel (Melissa Muoio), who I ended up StyleSpotting in Venice last year? She was just chosen as one of Chicago Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful – on newsstands today. Why am I not surprised? Congrats, Mel! She’s in LA a lot for work, so I asked her to give us a GO-TO GUIDE with her favorite Chicago + LA hangs. Read the full story after the jump. >>>
CHICAGO + LA: Mel Muoio’s Go-To Guide
First, it is a tremendous honor and an unearned title. I see beautiful people all over Chicago every day and night.
CHICAGO + LA – I also see a lot of gorgeous men and women in my neighborhood, Wicker Park. My neighborhood is very similar to the vibe in Silver Lake. However, when I visit LA for work with FIDM, I prefer to hang in the Venice area. Venice is a one of a kind city. It is a hippie art community with bums ranging to famous Hollywood bombshells, beach beefcakes, surfer dudes, skater dudes, ambitious fashionistas and everyone else who likes to enjoy this world famous area. Just another berry in the bunch, I guess.
Whenever I need a Mel Moment to get inspiration, get on task or just need a city stacation in Chicago, I visit the beach. Just like Californians need the beach, so do Chicagoans. Lake Michigan set against the big skyscrapers is breathtaking and a reminder of why you brave the icy Winters. The Spring and Summers here are legendary, it is like every person lives like they are on Spring Break. I believe Kanye West mentions something about Summertime Chi in ” The Good Life.”
Coffee is essential in both Chi and LA. When bopping around Abbott Kinney [in Venice], Intelligentsia is worth the wait for the coffee and the eyegasams, the oh so beautiful people. In my hood, I switch on and off of Filter Lounge and Letzia’s Bakery… you can find me in a corner trying not to sing to Pandora.
SHOPPING – You will find me in my glory moments while shopping. I swear I go to the darkside of Planet Zoltar, people and time do not exist. I love smaller boutiques, large department stores overwhelm me and I feel lack personality. I live for the moment I am in LA and can donate 3 to 4 hours to Fred Segal. The range and labels they carry are always fresh and hard to find. When I need that cosmic experience in my neighborhood I hit up Penelope’s, Tangerine or Mulberry and Me.
GRUB – As far as my foodie flair goes, my Venice must have is Gjelina. My favorite “push my fork around with big sunglasses on” type places are rooftop Barney’s, Urth Cafe and Fred Segal. Chicago, however, isn’t as calorie conscious and I love to dabble up to a size 2 at Paris Club, Maude’s, Big Star and Hubbard Inn.
I am happy to be part of the Chicago Magazine’s beautiful bunch, but I have those bad hair, hate every outfit, feeling fat kind of days. All I know is no matter what, my dog will always think I’m beautiful…
If you’d like to congratulate Mel – or perhaps need a date to the Oscars – give her a tweet @melmuoio
Chicago photos via Chicago Magazine and PoncePhotography.com