1. How, from Juneway Terrace to Loyola Avenue, by merely walking no more than a block or two east of noisy, congested Sheridan Road, there's another world of lakefront beaches and parks, big and small.
2. Warm cornbread from the Heartland Cafe (7000 N. Glenwood). Ours never turns out this good. Paired with the cafe's delectable vegetarian chili ($8), it's a perfect meal year-round, but especially on cold or rainy days. The Heartland is also a great place to plug into what's going on politically and otherwise in Rogers Park and feels more like a community gathering space than a restaurant.
3. Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood). The ensemble's motto is "big stories, up close," and whether it's inspiring children's theater like "Flight of the Dodo" that never talks down to its audience or engaging literary adaptations of mature work such as "Mariette in Ecstasy," Lifeline rarely disappoints.