An Oasis

Recently, my younger brother and his girlfriend came to Chicago for a short trip. I was tasked with planning an entire day of sightseeing. I had a lot of thoughts about where we would dine and drink, but when it came to activities between said eating and drinking, I was stumped. Then I remembered the Garfield Park Conservatory. I had never been there, so this was a chance for myself to explore as well.

And what a wonderfully green place the conservatory is!

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Located in East Garfield Park, the conservatory is essentially a gigantic greenhouse. A gigantic greenhouse with impeccably landscaped rooms and so many different plants! Though it isn’t as large and grand as New York’s various botanical gardens, its price can’t be beat because a visit to the conservatory is free! My brother, his girlfriend, M., and I had fun exploring the various landscapes and marveling at the gigantic palm tree in the first room.

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A tip: Dress lightly, or wear layers that can be easily removed. Many of the rooms are temperature-controlled to keep the plants happy, and those temperatures tend toward the warmer end of the thermostat.

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For example, the cactus room was very, very dry and very hot.

I was baring a little midriff that day, a style choice that turned out to be surprisingly practical.

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Time to get serious. Plants are serious business.

While I was impressively sweaty by the end of our exploration through the maze of rooms, my abdomen had a little window for the breeze to sweep by and wick away some of my perspiration. 😉

The shirt I’m wearing is the result of a DIY project—I took an old black button-up that was both too long and too outdated looking (there was strange pleating and ruching going on), and chopped off the bottom half. I then bound the new hem with black bias tape to keep it from unraveling. Easy-peasy!

I also painted eyes on the tips of the shirt collar, using silver fabric paint. Because I like people to know I’m watching them. With my collar eyes.

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This is the best image I have of the collar eyes. (It was selfie time for M. and I, don’t judge. :P)

Outfit details: Gold vintage clip-on earrings, black cropped shirt (DIY), acid wash high-waisted shorts (made in the U.S.A.), gold leather satchel (thrifted from Beacon’s Closet), speckled knee-patch tights, knee-high black boots (gifted).

After dealing with the persistent stressors of my work life and of current events, I was glad to briefly escape to this beautiful attraction. Being surrounded by so much flora is extremely soothing, and reminds me that I need to do some more outdoor exploration!

❤ S. (a.k.a. AMisplacedPen)

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