Stranded in Chicago after a rendezvous went wrong? Stuck with no way to smuggle your secret message into your co-conspirator’s bag of groceries? Simply seeking to kill time while waiting for your fellow traveler? Fear not, spies – the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. has it handled.
Located on an unassuming block of Milwaukee Avenue, within shouting distance of two wig shops (perfect for enhancing your disguise), the Secret Agent Supply Co. sells every essential tool for the modern spy: shaving cream cans with false bottoms (to hide contraband), realistic-looking fake security cameras (to discourage your meddling twin), and tuxedo cell phone cases (to help your mobile device blend in at a classy party).
The back wall displays literary fiction and social-justice-oriented nonfiction, much of it with ties to Chicago. By far my favorite are the anthologies of student writing, such as Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids’ Letters to President Obama.
During my visit, I peeked at the office/tutoring area in the back of store (hardly a difficult assignment: the door was, and seems to always be, open). That quick glimpse showed me a clean, kid-friendly space with casual seating and samples of student writing prominently displayed on the walls.
Readers, if you’ve been to an 826 bookshop, I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!