I reiterate:  this blog won’t be ALL about LEGO urbanism.  But this post pretty much has to be.

One of my goals for getting back into “LEGOing” (correct verb? dunno) is to recreate some of the Chicago and city sights in LEGO form… not so much the Sears Tower and famous landmarks, but more ordinary things like a street corner, a rehabbed 3-flat, possibly a courtyard building or a vacant lot with a construction trailer.  No direction-following here, my friends!

My first project was a new Bucktown-style condo, complete with roof deck, two-story interior floor plan, European-looking car, and dude with a newspaper:

Project 1:  Bucktown Condo (exterior shot)

Project 1: Bucktown Condo (exterior)

Before deconstructing I got a cutaway shot of the first floor.  The high-res image reminded me that these LEGOs probably need a clean…

Project 1:  Bucktown Condo (interior, first floor)

Project 1: Bucktown Condo (interior, first floor)

More awesome than this, however, are the advanced-level yuppie LEGO sets available in their store.  If you’re not wowed by Star Wars, the Taj Mahal, or that lame farm set, check these out.  I recently purchased the “Green Grocer” set (comes with a cat and mouse and croissants!!!) but you can also get the “Corner Cafe” and “Market Street” (urban factory) sets – and THEY LINK TOGETHER.  The website claims you can even link 4 of the cafe sets together in a block, but this begs the question of who would spend $600 for multiples of the same set.

In any case, these sets are delightfully European and/or yuppie, and listed as Ages 16+, so it’s totally fine.

LEGO Store: Green Grocer set | Corner Cafe set | Market Street set

I also purchased a decidedly suburban set, the standard white-and-red House set.  Two notable features:  set includes a full complement of red 45 degree roof pieces, totally worth it; and it has directions for a few different layouts, all of which would fit comfortably at the end of a cul-de-sac.

And in a major throwback to the 1950s, LEGO also re-released their Town Plan set.  I was tempted to buy it if only to recreate some of Lake Street in Oak Park, but decided I wasn’t into it, beyond the old cinema building.

More legitimate thoughts on urban planning (and more LEGOs) to come.