ARTS

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April 16, 2004

Get a Life

Men are the new women, at least according to the latest Elle. Recently, there has been increased chatter about the high-maintenance "metrosexual" who is tempted by the idea of the male pedicure. After watching my dad carry his purse, (which he refers to as his "travel bag"), after tweezing an old boyfriend's brows on a regular basis, and after overhearing my current crush blow-drying his hair, I can only nod emphatically in agreement. How many people are aware of this development, though? How can one effectively disseminate this morsel of truth to the citizens of the world (or at the very least to the University of Chicago community)? Why, by plastering it on a T-shirt, of course!

Enter my new friends at T-Shirt Deli, this amazing little shop in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area. Choose your item of clothing from the deli case, tell them your slogan, and they'll whip up your customized T-shirt (or thong) in no time flat. What's more, your order is prepared fresh while you wait and comes wrapped in butcher's paper—label and all—and packed with a bag of chips. The store sticks to its theme incredibly well, with a specials menu and all kinds of deli-style décor, and the friendliness of the staff enhances the corner-deli feel.

The clothing is all reasonably priced. It's the lettering that'll get you. There are about ten different text options (including fuzzy retro-looking lettering), and there's also a limited selection of graphics. At a dollar a letter, though, your message better be short and sweet. Alas, my Breakfast at Tiffany's quote went out the window; for the price of the shirt, I could practically have bought something emblazoned with the Tiffany's brand in sterling silver.

While my friend—after much contemplation and countless pro/con lists—decided on "MEN ARE THE NEW WOMEN," I went for a pink T-shirt proclaiming, "KEEP YOUR PANTS ON." A good message, I think, which works on many levels. The great thing is that you don't have to settle for just one motto. Feel free to make a T or boy briefs for every day of the week. Take a little trip uptown, peruse the shops and restaurants on Damen, stop in at the T-Shirt Deli, and come back to campus to impress U of C-ers with just how damn witty you are.

Address: 1739 N. Damen Avenue Phone: (773) 276-6266

Directions:

Via CTA:  55 bus to Red Line. Red Line (to Howard) to North/Clybourn. Transfer to CTA bus #72 North Avenue Westbound to North and Damen/Milwaukee. Walk a few blocks north on Damen. The store is on the right.

Via Car: LSD north to 90/94 west. After about 4 miles, take the IL-64/North Avenue (exit #48B). Turn left onto North Avenue and then make a right onto North Damen Avenue at the intersection of North, Damen, and Milwaukee. The T-Shirt Deli is a few blocks down on the right.

Hours:

Tuesday-Friday: 11a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday: 11a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5p.m.

Check out www.tshirtdeli.com for more info and pics.