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May 15, 2004

Get a Life

I got an e-mail from one of my best friends yesterday, filling me in on the latest happenings in Bridget-world. Finals are over (jealous), the new apartment has bugs (not so jealous), and the six-month boyfriend has started saving up for an engagement ring (excuse me?). Now, Tiffany's engagement rings come up in our conversations much more than we'd like to admit, but never in the context of obtaining one (and all that goes along with it) in the pseudo-near future. More like: "Ha, ha, big diamond."

How does Miss Bridget respond to the prospect of potentially being Mrs. Bridget within the next three or so years? She said, and I quote, "But I told him last night that I am definitely not worth having a Tiffany's ring at 23! I told him to call up Miss Erica, Miss Katie, and Miss Stacy, and they would definitely have a clue as to what ring I would want." Once again, EXCUSE ME?

I am 21 years old, and—apparently unlike some people—the prospect of this whole "little" marriage thing scares the hell out of me. Granted, I don't have a semi-serious boyfriend or even a potential one, but in any case I am just too damn young to even think about it. Instead, I have chosen a different outlet to fill that "something old, something new…" void: Sigara Hookah Café & Lounge.

This serene spot masters both "old" and "new" categories by meshing the 17th-century hookah tradition with modern-day appeals like Internet access. The menu has more typical Middle Eastern snacks like red-pepper hummus, falafel, and cucumber salad, as well as indulgent desserts like caramel pecan cheesecake, turtle pie, and baklava. The lounge is eye-catching, with its vibrant pillows and billowy drapery hung from high ceilings. Overall, the place has an air of tranquility perfect for bonding with a few close friends over a shared hookah.

The most stressful task you'll encounter at Sigara is picking your shisha flavor. The menu offers almost 20 options, ranging from strawberry to "serenity now" (jasmine and mint), and the option to mix and match. It is hard to resist the challenge of creating a signature combination (with the promise of a free hookah if it makes the menu!). The owners of Sigara try to make your decision a little easier on you, though, by rating each selection in terms of "flavor" and "sensory awareness," which is the sum of taste, aftertaste, and aroma.

Spend a refreshing evening at Sigara when the weekly (daily?) grind of Jimmy's has you at your wit's end, or check out the belly dancers Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. I'll certainly be heading back sometime soon, and so should you. Maybe next time I'll attempt to concoct a wedding cake-flavored shisha combination—because that is really the only part of a wedding I'm ready for.

Address: 2013 West Division Street

Phone: (773) 292-9190

Hours: Seasonal

Directions:

Via CTA: CTA bus #55 Garfield Westbound to Red Line. Transfer to Red Line toward Howard. Exit at Clark/Division. Take CTA bus #70 Division Westbound to Division and Damen.

Via Car: 90/94 West. Exit #49B Augusta Blvd/Milwaukee Ave. Turn right onto Milwaukee Avenue. Bear left onto West Division Street. Sigara will be on the left.

Read more info and raves at www.sigaralounge.com