Big cities offer opulence and luxury, but that doesn’t mean spending quality time with your honey has to cost a fortune. Summertime Chicago has everything you need for a full day of romance on a double-dip recession budget. Here’s one recipe to follow, and to get it right all you have to remember is this: keep it simple.
This is an all-day date, so start early in your neighborhood park or along the lakefront for something you both enjoy. This could be swimming and sunbathing at the beach, playing frisbee or just taking a walk and soaking up the sun. Then head over to Chicago’s largest sustainable farmers’ market, the Green City Market in Lincoln Park, where you can have fresh crepes, tamales, burgers or smoothies for lunch.
Now start thinking about dinner – that’s right, you’re going grocery shopping. Before you declare this to be the most unromantic date ever, consider the advice of Sociologist and Intimacy Counselor Dr. Jennifer Gunsaullus, who says preparing meals is a great way to cultivate a relationship. It involves teamwork, communication and creativity, all of which bring you closer.
Dr. Gunsaullus recommends splitting up and each buying five items separately; once you get home, combine them with what you already have in stock and see what you come up with. “If it’s not perfect, be forgiving and be flexible,” she advises. “It’s a good exercise in being organic and going with the flow.”
Spontaneous cooking is a great way to bond, and there’s nothing sexier than feeling in sync with your partner. “I like the sensuality of food,” says Dr. Gunsaullus, who released a series of podcasts and DVD on the subject. To fully indulge, she urges “slowing down, eating very mindfully, and paying attention to the five senses.”
The best part about this date is that you’re already home – once your senses are awoken you can dive straight into dessert.
The Chicago Green City Market outdoor season runs May 4 through October 29 every Wednesday and Saturday from 7am to 1pm and is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1790 N. Clark). Green City Market’s mission is to improve the availability of a diverse range of high quality foods by providing a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote, and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community.