Chicago is my hometown, but I’ve been away long enough that it often feels like a new city to me. Shopping is the one area where this is most evident. I’ve turned down many streets that I used to know well, only to be confronted with unfamiliar storefronts (The Meatloaf Bakery, anyone??) Chicago retail, much like that of the rest of the country, has been hit hard. But some stalwarts have survived, and I suspect they’ll weather the bad economy. Chicago has the usual collection of posh department stores. Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Barneys are all there. But one of the joys of shopping a city is its independent stores. You can really get a sense of the residents and style of a city.