ML - Michigan Avenue

2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 99 of 139

MH: When I was there we had so much fun, and I couldn't believe how many great restaurants were there. You were so sweet going, "Go here. Go there." Tell me some of your favorite places and favorite dishes. SB: There's a really amazing place downtown called The Purple Pig, and I just had this the other day for the first time: They do a pork that tastes like it's bourbon-glazed. It's insanely delicious. There's a great Asian-fusion restaurant that just opened called Momotaro that's phenomenal. Au Cheval has the best burger I've ever had. There's a great shop in Wicker Park called Antique Taco that is off-the-chain delicious. MH: What's the place that I went that I loved? Big Star? SB: Yeah, Big Star is also fantastic. MH: Well, I'm coming back in a couple weeks, so I'm hoping that we can have short days and grab some dinner. SB: Me, too—I'm hoping that we can actually go gallivanting. It's so different. In the summertime, you just want to be outside. One of my favorite things to do is [visit] the Randolph Street Market, and it reminds me of the Rose Bowl or the Long Beach Flea Market—amazing antique jewelry, vintage furniture, incredible food... MH: I'd call you a half-Chicagoan, because I found that there is this bizarre and lovely and surprising feeling of intimacy and family with everyone [in the city]. But let's talk about support: The environment is something that means a lot to you—I know you've done beach cleanups, marathons to benefit The Nature Conservancy, and all that. Tell me about conservation and why it's so dear to you. SB: I honestly think it's a no-brainer, and some of that comes from growing up in Southern California—spending all my time as a kid exploring beaches and the sea and the mountains, and just realizing that we're such a small part of this giant planet in this enormous ecosystem, yet we wreak the most havoc on it. No matter what we might argue about amongst ourselves or what we might fight wars about around the world, if there's no world left to host us, none of it's going to matter. If we kill the planet, that's it. When the president of the United States is saying that climate change poses a greater threat to American citizens than terrorism, people are finally open- ing their eyes and realizing that the world doesn't exist for us to trample and use. It's all supposed to be more symbiotic, and I really hope that citizens will start to demand that change both from the companies where they spend their money and the govern- ments they elect to represent them. MH: What are a couple of things you'd suggest to readers who want to protect the environment? SB: It's important to realize that every dollar you spend casts a vote. When you have to spend money, look at where it's going. There's actually a company that a friend of mine helped start called Conscious Commerce, where you can look up all kinds of conscious beauty products, gift items, fashion items. Of course it's great to say, "Hey, try the fuel-efficient car." I switched over to a clean diesel [car] a couple of years ago, and it's made a great impact on my life and saved me a ton of money in the process. I don't use plastic bags anymore; I take my own bags to the grocery store. I try to drink bottled water that I bring from home in a glass bottle instead of buying plastic bot- tles, but if I have to use plastic, I make sure I'm recycling. Buying my groceries at the farmers market on the weekend instead of buying produce that's shipped [and] using pesticides. There's big options and small, and in the minutiae of our everyday we have the chance to create change. MH: It's been beautiful to see how you've used your social media to get the mes- sage out there, and it says on your social media that you call yourself a "storyteller" and an "activist," and "I believe a pencil can change the world." How do you want to change the world? SB: The notion of a pencil changing the world to me comes from all of my work with Pencils of Promise and really seeing that we have the capability to change the world by educating its children. I'd like to see us investing in education, in the environment; I'd like to see us treating one another like we're all in this together. I just try to remind myself that I have the power to change my world and to change a little bit of the world around me, but if every one of us really embraces that and says, "I should start with myself, then I can have a ripple effect in my universe," that's it. If every person in the world commits to making one substantial change, the whole world's a different place. MA 98

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