7 Notable January Holidays

by Michael Keating

7 Notable January Holidays

 

From at least Thanksgiving on, the whirlwind of holiday festivities and company parties can produce a sense of ceaseless celebration as well as the welcomed stress associated with celebrations. With the exception of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, it seems the days can be as monotonous as they are unseasonably warm or terrifyingly cold this time of year. We’ve put together a list of a few notable holidays to mark these next few weeks.

 

1. National Glazed Doughnut Day/Donut Fest Chicago 2017

While National Glazed Doughnut Day is celebrated on the 12th, consider that a warm-up for the event on January 29. Donut Fest features some of the best doughnut offerings “from some of the city’s best bakers and finest coffee purveyors,” including Glazed and Infused, Doughnut Vault, and Big Shoulders Coffee. Hosted at 1st Ward at Chop Shop in Wicker Park, the event still has tickets available at 8am ($50 VIP) and 12pm ($35), proceeds support local charities and also consolidate all our favorite sweets at one venue.

7 Notable January Holidays- National Glazed Doughnut Dayimage via Pexels

2. Organize Your Home Day 1/14

Sure, you can wait until Spring to deep clean, but soften the inevitable blow by starting to get things in order now. This link is useful for the well-being of your closet, which translates into an overall well-being. Use today to put away the decorations you’ve had out since last month and integrate any new acquisitions into your home. According to early forecasts, it’ll be cloudy and either just above, but mostly below, freezing that day–consider . Have the Netflix documentary Minimalism playing in the background, and you might have an easier time letting go of clutter. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) 15 to 20% of the average American household’s budget is spent on buying duplicates of misplaced or lost items and getting rid of clutter reduces housework by 40%. Imagine all the possibilities with time and money saved!

7 Notable January Holidays - Organize Your Home Dayimage via Pexels

3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 1/16

Honor the voice and spirit of non-violence and civil rights. “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase” and “The time is always right to do what is right” are only a very minor fraction of the incredible lessons from this beloved activist.

7 Notable January Holidays - Martin Luther King, Jr. Dayimage via LeviMaaia

4. Soup Swap Day 1/21

Gather a circle of friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors and organize a soup swap. Everyone brings at least 1 quart of homemade soup for every attendee and everyone leaves with as many quarts as there is company. Prepare a large batch in a crockpot or on the stove and clear some space in your freezer to make room for all the varied and special soups you’ll bring home. Share your favorite recipe for chowder, borscht, gumbo, or stew. Looking for inspiration? Soup & Bread at the Hideout takes place on Wednesday evenings from 5:30pm to 8pm through March 29. While it isn’t a true “soup swap,” the selection of soup is tasty and the company is grand.

7 Notable January Holidays - Soup Swap Dayimage via Giphy 

5. Compliment Day 1/24

Everyone wins when you share kind thoughts. Make this day about spreading joy to others by offering sincere compliments to those around you. Remind your partner that he or she has a great laugh. If you have coworkers that inspires you, tell them so. Thank your parents; sometimes a simple Thank you is a profound compliment. Be charitable on this day, and you might be inclined to practice this every day.

7 Notable January Holidays - Compliment Dayimage via Giphy

6. Chocolate Cake Day 1/27

Because, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate it? Cafe Selmarie in Lincoln Square has a plethora of sweets worth enjoying. Other notable bakeries around town can be found here.

7 Notable January Holidays - Chocolate Cake Dayimage via Pexels

7. Chinese New Year Kickoff 1/30

It will be the year of the Rooster. Jackie Chan’s Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe has traveled from Beijing for the 33rd celebration in Chicago. The Chicago Cultural Center hosts festivities highlighting Chinese music, dance, and martial arts. One astrologer postulates: “I don’t know about you, but this Chinese astrologer is exhausted from the shenanigans of this past Monkey year! Following 12 months of the wit and hyperactive Monkey, the New Year of the Fire Rooster is going to bring fresh challenges requiring quick wit and practical solutions!”

7 Notable January Holidays - Chinese New Year Kickoffimage via Giphy

I am alert,  ready to take action

The first on the scene, the last to leave

I take chances…. But I am precise

I know where things belong

I am orderly and fastidious

Nothing escapes me, I am always prepared

I never give up or in…….

I AM THE ROOSTER

http://aligrawineandspirits.com/Latest-News/get-ready-for-the-year-of-the-rooster

We hope that your January is full and bright with celebration and relaxation!

Apartment of the Week: Albany Park – $1,800 Budget

What You Can Get With an $1,800 Budget….

 

$1,800 for this 3 bedroom, 1 bedroom flat in Albany Park is available now! This beautiful rehab is a MUST SEE! There are hardwood floors throughout. The kitchen is stunning with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, which include a dishwasher and microwave. This unit also has central air, in unit laundry, extra storage, back yard and garage parking for an additional fee. What a deal! This building is located near the Kimball Brown Line Station, as well as a variety of restaurants and shops along W Lawrence Ave.

Albany Park ApartmentID# 51768 – Click here for more photos and information

Albany Park is a Northwest neighborhood towards the end of the brown line. The neighborhood is said to be one of the most ethnically diverse in the country. People enjoy sampling from various cultures will love Albany Park. There are amazing deals on 3 bedroom units in this neighborhood! Here are a few others worth taking a look at:

ID# 31733

ID# 42252

ID# 10970

If you’re familiar with Chicago you know that price can really depend on location. Here’s what you can get closer to the downtown area with this $1,800 budget: $1,750 for this 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom highrise in Streeterville is available now! This unit has an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances, disposal and upgraded bath. A downtown condo like this includes luxury amenities such as a doorman, pool and fitness center. This building is in the heart of downtown! You’ll find restaurants and shops at every corner, as well as the Grand Red Line Station nearby!

Albany Park ApartmentID# 22079 – Click here for more photos and information

At $1,800 you can also get this fantastic 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom flat just north of Wrigleyville! This unit has a new kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counters. There’s also laundry in the building, new bathroom, as well as a porch and patio area! It’s also less than a mile from Wrigley Field!

Albany Park ApartmentID# 51711 – Click here for more photos and information

If you’re interested in any of these units, just give us a call and mention the ID number. Let us help you find the neighborhood that best suits your needs!

Contact Apartment People at 773.248.8800 for more information. Our office is located at 3121 North Broadway and we are available 7 days a week. You can view more listings at apartmentpeople.com. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Gift Wrapping Tips

by Michael Keating

Gift Wrapping Tips

 

As with books and their covers, judgement on the packaging of presents, while not indicative of its contents, might weigh heavily on the receiver’s perspective. Ribbons and bows go a long way, but even the thoughtfulness of covering every surface efficiently can prove difficult for some and agonizing for others. This holiday season, we’d like to share some ideas for the upcoming and future exchanges that will ease your gift wrapping woes.

1. Traditional bows are great and probably on sale for a discount right now, but consider incorporating nature as an accent. Flowers and poinsettia leaves provide a burst of color, while the rustic feel of pine cones and acorns also subtly suggest the promise of tremendous growth. If you’re particularly crafty: this DIY-er created napkin rings from acorns, which could pair just as nicely with a small box. They’re probably handsome enough to not even need the suggested coat of paint, though be cautious not to pierce the cap too suddenly, as they are quite fragile. Even adding a branch of greenery from an evergreen can spruce up a box, check out these design ideas we’re pining for.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Bowsimage via Pexels

2. Brown Kraft Paper is a staple. Consider picking up a role just to have a solid  background against which all of the colors inspired by the season shine brightly. Additionally, this paper tends to be biodegradable and easily recyclable. Transforms what can be visual chaos into a blank canvas. It’s thick and sturdy enough to be drawn on, decorated, and “flaired” without being too stiff to fold and crease.

3. Looking for a new way to present snacks on the platter? These are just perfect. Use the colors of nature to reflect the colors of the season. This specific one uses broccoli crowns as leaves and cauliflower as snow. Dazzle guests with the perfectly wrapped presents under the tree and perfectly placed hor d’oeuvres on the table.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Snacksimage via Pinterest

4. Sometimes gifts are so imperfectly shaped that they defy boxes: create the perfect custom shaped packaging by making a container out of gift wrap. Gone are the days of obvious exchanges and loose bag tops for people to sneak peeks. This video is especially helpful for step-by-step instructions.

5. Whether you’re short a box top or just have a smaller item than you thought you would, use that rectangular box bottom to create a whole new vessel. This wrapper shows us how to easily overcome this challenge.

6. Know your recipient’s cocktail of choice? Mason jars make for handsome presentations of a small bottle of Jack Daniels and a can of Coke. The liquor can be tied to the outside of the jar near the lid and the mixer sits comfortably inside.

Gift Wrapping Tipsimage via Pexels

7. As much as crafting a special sleeve for gift cards can be fun, nothing really beats a handwritten card, with a warm message to accompany it.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Cardsimage via Unsplash

We hope you enjoy your holiday and happy wrapping!

 

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High

by Michael Keating

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High

 

This time of year, when spending seems unavoidable as well as enjoyable, with the holidays and the trips, gifts for others and gifts picked up for yourself, we’d like to highlight a few ways you might be able to save on expenses at home. As the temperature drops, spikes in electric and gas bills appear, here’s our list of ideas on cutting apartment costs.

1. Distribute the expense People’s Gas, a major supplier of natural gas in the Chicagoland area, has residents’ best interests in mind. Instead of dramatic shifts in both outdoor temperatures and the cost of gas bills, users may opt for Budget Billing, which protects consumers by averaging out usage, calculated by last year’s figures and this year’s weather and price forecasts. Essentially, the total cost of the year is divided evenly and instead of gas bills going from negligible to monstrous just as the weather turns, they stay steady and reasonable throughout.

2. Seal those windows Perhaps one of the oldest tried and true methods at keeping the heat in and the cold out is to insulate windows, most especially if they are single pane. Rubber adhesive may be applied to the windows’ frame to stop any drafts. Insulation film can be purchased at any hardware store or online. Helpful instructions on installation can be found here, complete with photos and useful considerations. Renters also attest to the effectiveness of bubble wrap on windows–some say that the wrap up year round will keep warmth in for winter and heat out in summer. Unsure of how much of a draft is coming in? Instead of holding your hand by the windows, try setting a candle down–you’ll be able to see any breeze, if you can’t feel it. At the very least, lock your windows; it’ll close them more tightly and significantly reduce any draft.

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Pexels

3. Invest in another smart device If you’ve got central air and heat in your nest, consider the Nest Learning Thermostat. Currently on its third-generation, reviews place this as the best overall smart thermostat on the market, though older versions are received just as well and are less expensive. From their website: “With the Nest app, your thermostat lives on your wall and in your pocket. Once you connect your thermostat to Wi-Fi, you can control it from anywhere. Adjust the temperature from the app, and the Nest Thermostat adjusts quickly back at home.” With increased control, you’ll be able to heat your apartment when you’re on your way home and you’ll never have to worry about having left it accidentally on again! Additionally, Open all your vents, circulating the air and also keep the filters new and clean. While it may seem tempting to close the vents to the unused rooms, this actually can kick the heating system into working harder.

4. Focus the heat where you need it If your apartment does not have central air, consider centralizing the heat around you. Personal space heaters as well as an electric blanket or a heated mattress pad will keep you feeling tropical even if you’re surrounded by the tundra. Wool socks go a long way, no wonder they’re such a popular wintertime gift!

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Unsplash

5. In consideration of radiator heat Place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall. You may also “bleed” your heater, doing so will eliminate the pockets of air that prevent the heat from distributing evenly. This guy shows us how easily this can be done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzgwlLpmXNQ

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Pexels

6. Get the direction of your fan right Lifehacker’s stellar advice: “When it’s hot, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to push the hot air up and out. When the weather turns cold, instead spin the fans clockwise to trap heat inside. You’ll often find a switch on your ceiling fan to choose a direction, so consult your fan’s manual to find out where it is.” Also, if you’ve got electric heat, try setting a fan in front of it. This will easily spread the warmth around.

7. Beware of “Energy Vampires” Other matters to be aware of: The device used to stream movies might be costing you more than going out to the theater. According to the New York Times, “[I]f you use your gaming console to stream movies, well, don’t. They can use 45 times more power than streaming consoles, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, mostly because they aren’t good at using only as much power as the task at hand requires.” Power strips are now made to be smart as well. Devices such as your television use power even when they are shut off–they’re “on” unless they are unplugged. A smart power strip will completely shut off any idol devices.

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Pexels

8. Check ComEd for rebates A rebate for up to $100 for a Nest Thermostat is available through ComEd. The omnipotent energy supplier has several rebates available for energy efficient appliances as well as energy saving home products, such as an air purifier and a smart power surge with instant savings at select retailers. Thinking about long-term savings? Consider swapping your lightbulbs to LED if you haven’t already. ComEd’s data on the matter is eye-opening. And Energy Star agrees that by changing your five most frequently used light sources to CFLs even, could save you up to $65 a year! It’s their top tip of ten for renters.

9. It’ll all come out in the wash Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. Who doesn’t love the smell of clean clothes? Brighten your flat by air drying your freshly washed garments. Check out this $5 clothesline constructed with apartments in mind. If you must use a dryer, shake out each item first, doing so opens up the surface area and allows your apparel to dry more quickly.
12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Unsplash

10. Fill your fridge You may not use all of the space within your refrigerator or freezer, which means every time you open it, the air outside enters and warms the empty spaces quickly. You can keep the icebox from unnecessary work by occupying that empty space. Some attest to using containers filled with water or even newspaper! The added advantage is that items are moved up front and you’ll be on top of your cooler’s inventory.

11. Small electronics make a difference From Apartmentguide.com’s blog: “New appliances are much more energy efficient and responsible than older appliances. You may not be able to upgrade major appliances in an apartment, but that doesn’t you don’t have any control. Some minor appliances whose newer models tend to be much more eco-conscious include computers, televisions, hair dryers, hair straighteners, toasters and blenders.” Sound advice.

12 Ways to Keep the Bills Low and the Spirits High
image via Pexels

12. Gather People are good sources of warmth, invite your cousin over for tea or have a neighbor over for conversation. Each person generates around as much heat as a 100 watt light bulb…

Hope these pointers are able to save you dollars and contribute to your cheer!

Chicago on the Small Screen – Shows of Today

by Michael Keating

Chicago on the Small Screen – Shows of Today

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via Unsplash

Oprah left and so did Jerry Springer, but Chicago has replaced talk shows with exciting dramas; several television programs have been and continue to be shot in our amazing city. Besides the tremendous win by the Cubs, there’s quite a bit to celebrate in the nation’s third largest city. Dick Wolf has created an enormous spotlight on Chicago, with the recent milestone of 100 episodes of Chicago Fire.

Four NBC franchise shows are now based in and filmed here: Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, with scenes shot at Cinespace Studio and Rush University Medical Center and now Chicago Justice. Set to air in early 2017, the latest installment of series featuring Chicago’s servicemen and women will focus on those that interpret and apply the law. Advertisements on their website announce, “Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigates heated city politics and controversy head-on, while fearlessly pursuing justice.”

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via AuditionsFree

Empire is mid-season right now. Well over one hundred actors from Chicago play significant roles in the show. Some hail from institutions such as Second City and others have been performers on the Steppenwolf Theatre’s stage. The show features not only talent from the city, but also popular locations within the city, filming scenes on location here, in Cinespace Studios, which is in the North Lawndale neighborhood, as well as Los Angeles.

According to an article last year by dnainfo, Empire “is predominantly shot at Cinespace, 2621 W. 15th Place in North Lawndale. The show runners have dressed up Chicago locations as New York hot spots, including such local favorites as Sunda, Empty Bottle, RPM Steak, Tortoise Club and Blue Line Lounge and Grill. They’ve also made stops at Cook County Jail, St. Ignatius Chapel, the Hilton Downtown and the Bronzeville neighborhood.”

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via Giphy

Another series scheduled to premier on FOX in early February is APB, which promises to be a “new police drama with a high-tech twist”. Filmed and set in Chicago, the protagonists aim to create a technology informed crime-fighting team in the 13th district. Early reviews are predicting an exciting first season and comparisons to Robocop are circulating. Check out the trailer here

Reviews on The Exorcist starring Geena Davis are fairly strong. Part of the horror franchise of the same name from the early 1970s, the show delivers thrills on a level that American Horror Story aspires to and generates suspense unlike any other network program on at the moment. Quality special effects contribute to the tension of the narrative as well. In an interview with E!News Online, the star of the beloved League of Their Own remarks, “It’s in a world where the events of the movie took place, but now it’s forty-something years later and something’s happening again. I just love scary stuff.” Don’t we all?! Probably as much as we adore her.

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via Giphy

Chicagoans may also delight in seeing their city on Amazon’s Patriot. Observer.com calls it “a gleefully deranged, dark comedy thriller.” The show is a solid 4 out of 5 stars based on the nearly four thousand reviews on Amazon’s website, and viewers are eager for the next season’s release. A political thriller with Terry O’Quinn (Locke from Lost) is sure to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Other shows shot in Chicago include Shameless on Showtime with William H. Macy, Sense8, and Ozark, which stars Jason Bateman . The latter two can be caught streaming on Netflix.

The best source on when and where to catch the crews and casts of the above television shows is a twitter feed: Filming in Chicago @filming_chicago, which is a side hobby of one of our fine residents. Part of the reason television producers are filming here, as if the architecture and talent aren’t enough, are the financial incentives.

In December of 2008 the Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Film Production Tax Credit Act, which offers producers a credit of 30% of all qualified expenditures, including post-production.  The Illinois Film Tax Credit will not sunset until May 2021, and is renewable in 5-year increments, thereafter.  The goal of the Tax Credit Act is to attract local vendors, union leaders and filmmakers to the Illinois film industry in order to promote growth and job opportunities.

In addition, the tax credit aims to stimulate diversity in production hiring. For questions about the Illinois Film Services Tax Credit please contact Cesar.Lopez@Illinois.Gov. Additionally, information on shooting in Chicago such as scouting out locations, permits, and procedures can be found here and the Chicago Film Office.

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via Giphy

Interested in the industry? Whether you’d like to be in front of the camera or as part of the crew, check this or this out.

A few years ago, Derek Haas, creator and co-producer of the Chicago franchise did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit. When asked about using consultants to emulate realism and actual standard operating procedures, Haas replied that both the CFD Deputy District Chief Steve Chikerotis and Michele Martinez, a CFD paramedic, contributed to the beginnings of stories as well as technical language and practices. Haas says that Chikerotis, now retired, “has decades of smoke-eating under his belt and is truly one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet.”

Another redditor appreciates the use of real sirens, which contributes to the authenticity of the program. To which Haas replies, “We drive our sound department crazy. We shoot everything on location in Chicago and there is always ambient noise messing with audio. Our guys are great though… and kudos to them for capturing the feel of Chicago and the CFD.” Amidst that ambient noise are our cheers for having a city that we can share through the small screen in a big way.

Chicago on the Small Screen - Shows of Todayimage via FreeImages

 

 

Chicago, The City of Hermits…

by Michael Keating

Chicago, The City of Hermits…

Goods and Services We Enjoy at Home

 

If you are looking to be around others, without actually having to engage with said others, Chicago just might be the city of your dreams. Earlier this month, Estately published data that ranked the City of Big Shoulders as Home of the Urban Hermit as well. The study examined not only the work and entertainment habits of city dwellers nationwide, but also their ability to procure necessities without having to venture out, and who can gripe about a gather that requires no hunt?

 Other factors considered include Internet speeds, housing affordability, and the ability to have alcohol delivered to your abode. A number of services can have your selected spirits at your door in an hour. Grubhub delivers your favorite dishes from an ever-expanding list of local restaurants, and companies like instacart will have groceries from your preferred supermarket to you in an hour. For a DYI dinner with ease, consider Madison & Rayne, “high-quality food prepared with fresh local ingredients” delivered to your door with straightforward instructions and tips on cooking.

 Chicago, The City of Hermits

Even finding the right men’s look for the fall can be done at home. Outfitters with Trumaker meet with you, offer customized style advice, and measure you for the best possible fit. Contact Aylah Weinstein at 312-618-6006, one of the most outstanding outfitters in the Chicagoland area, to schedule your next fitting. There’s no reason you can’t dress like a king even if you don’t leave your castle.

 

Need to garner assistance moving appliances, setting up a home theater, or assembling your newest IKEA addition? TaskRabbit connects you to safe and reliable help with projects. If you are in the process of purchasing a new TV, consider this guide to help you determine the optimal size your room needs. This resource from TheWirecutter.com offers excellent, up-to-date information on the best equipment for building your home theater. Once the surround sound system and streaming media player are in place, take some time to enjoy entertainment at home. Netflix is hitting hard with recently released Luke Cage and soon to be released third season of Black Mirror. FX is capturing our attention again with American Horror Story and HBO’s Westworld is said to be the new Game of Thrones.

 Chicago, The City of Hermits

The poet James Russell Lowell elucidates, “The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.” We’re glad the environment is conducive and friendly to pseudo-isolation. Whether you relish the company of others or prefer solitary quarters, Chicago can and wants to accommodate you.

 Chicago, The City of Hermits

Experience Lincoln Square Chicago

by Christine Hadley

Experience Lincoln Square Chicago

 

Lincoln Square is like a mini Bavaria with its numerous German inspired businesses. The heart of the neighborhood is a picturesque strip down Lincoln Avenue. The area is full of local shops, restaurants, music venue, bars and an old school move theater (currently under renovations).  It’s also conveniently located off the Western Brown Line Station. You get a small town feel from Lincoln Square that’s kind of comforting. Though this may be a quieter neighborhood, it frequently hosts festivals/events such as Mayfest, Square Roots Festival, Apple Fest, German-American Festival, etc. You’ll find a variety of events held at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Spend a day in Lincoln Square and see for yourself what it has to offer.

Experience Lincoln Square

Here’s are a short list of places to check out in Lincoln Square:

Old Town School of Folk Music – A wide variety of classes can be found at the Old Town School of Folk Music. They offer everything from guitar to belly dancing. If you’re worried about costs, Old Town offers financial aid and numerous volunteer opportunities. Don’t want to buy an instrument? No worries, Old Town offers different rental options. The school is also a venue for a variety of concerts & events. Be sure to stop at the Old Town shop for all your music needs.

Experience Lincoln Square - Old Town School of Folk Musicimage via Christine Hadley

The Book Cellar – The Book Cellar is part café and part independent bookstore. The café offers a variety of food, coffee, as well alcoholic beverages. Grab a good book, a glass of wine and curl up on a comfy chair, does it get much better? The Book Cellar also hosts numerous book clubs. For those who are anti pumpkin spice and want to get in the fall spirit, The Book Cellar’s caramel apple cider is one of my favorites!

Experience Lincoln Square - The Book Cellarimage via Christine Hadley

Chicago Brauhaus – To get the full German experience, the Chicago Brauhaus serves a variety of traditional German dishes, wine & beer, as well as music & dancing 6 days a week. The restaurant was also included on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on The Food Network. A beer & brats sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? I guess my German background could make me a little biased.

Experience Lincoln Square - Chicago BrauhausTake a look at this fine, young gentleman…. he seems to be enjoying his boot of beer at the Chicago Brauhaus – image via Christine Hadley

The Davis Theater – This is one of Chicago’s oldest and longest operating movie theaters. You’ll find the Davis on the National Register of Historic Places. The theater is currently being renovated and according to their website, should open sometime this fall. The theater welcomes the addition of The Carbon Arc Bar & Board, a full-service bar/restaurant. This is a great place to catch a flick on the big screen and soon enough it’ll be a great place to enjoy food & drinks with friends and/or family.

Experience Lincoln Square - The Davis Theaterimage via Christine Hadley

Gene’s Sausage Shop – Gene’s Sausage Shops is a European market that offers gourmet foods, homemade smoked meats, butcher shop, cheeses, baked goods, fresh produce, imported beer, wine and so on. When there’s good weather, be sure to visit Gene’s Rooftop Bar & Wine Garden! The bar has a simple menu, but the perfect outdoor experience to enjoy a Brat with a cold beer.

Experience Lincoln Square - Gene's Sausage Shopimage via Christine Hadley

Some additional shops to check out: Urban General Store, Sacred Art, A Secret Closet……..

For those of you who didn’t grow up in a big city, Lincoln Square is like a home away from home. There are numerous other great bars, restaurants & shops in the neighborhood, so get out and explore!

Explore Bucktown Chicago

by Michael Keating

Explore Bucktown Chicago

 

Just slightly north and west of the city’s center, Bucktown frequently gets grouped with Wicker Park and sometimes Logan Square, leaving us wondering exactly what characteristics one might expect from this thriving, trendy neighborhood. On a map, the neighborhood resembles the top of a grand piano, anchored by Western Avenue on the west, the recently modernized 606 trail along the south, and follows the curve of the Chicago River.

Bucktown

Primarily residential west of the Kennedy Expressway (90/94), which cuts through the neighborhood diagonally and provides a direct route to downtown or the suburbs and O’Hare Airport, Bucktown is also home to several boutiques and independent restaurants as well as big box chains, like Target and Costco. The history of the communities within Bucktown is rich. Along Oakley and Damen Avenues are some of the city’s most ornate and majestic churches.

Explore Bucktownimage via CatholicReport

Be sure to check out:

Attractions

  • The Hideout, which hosts literary shows and concerts several nights a week

  • On Tuesdays, The Map Room serves their astounding selection of beers and offers free food. Arrive early, as it tends to be quite an attraction.

  • Coast Sushi Bar, a BYOB restaurant with glowing reviews

  • Explore your ability to create at Arts n Spirits!

Explore Bucktownimage via ChicagoStories

Popular Bucktown Events

 Explore Bucktownimage via ChicagoNow

Transportation

  • 90/94 or the Kennedy Expressway provides easy access to Downtown Chicago or to O’Hare and the northern suburbs.

  • A number of CTA buses carry passengers along the main thoroughfares; the Western Avenue Blue Line Station transports riders to O’Hare and the Loop; the Clybourn Metra Station connects citydwellers to several suburbs.

  • The 606 is a major development that runs along Bloomingdale Avenue from North Ridgeway to North Ashland Avenues. The dog-friendly, elevated trail was recently modernized and features a path for bicyclists, runners, and walkers. Open daily from 6am to 11pm.

  • According to walkscore, “Daily errands do not require a car” for Bucktown residents.

Explore Bucktownimage via Curbed Chicago

Apartment People Bucktown Properties

Bucktown/Wicker Park Rent Ranges: 1 Bedroom $950-2000, 2 Bedroom $1400-3000, 3 Bedroom $1800-3500

  • ID #21987 – $2,200 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom gut rehab with parking included and in unit laundry.
  • ID #27912 – $2,100 for a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom walk-up with a dishwasher and laundry in the building.
  • ID #32510 – $1,475 for a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom flat with hardwood floors and laundry in the building.
  • ID #37723 – $2,800 for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom flat with in unit laundry and beautiful finishes throughout.

For more listings in this area, click here

While less densely populated than the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods, there is no shortage of community and culture in Bucktown. Its richness and diversity is influenced by the variety of immigrants from Poland to Cuba and everywhere in between. According to The Chicago Neighborhoods, “The neighborhood’s origins are rooted in the Polish working class, which first began to settle in the area in the 1830s.” In fact, the neighborhood was named after the goats raised there in the 19th century. Today, you’ll find a neighborhood invested in the arts and innovative cuisine, as well as a community appreciative of nature.

Explore Bucktownvia Unsplash

 

Off-Season Apartment Hunt

by Maurice Ortiz

Off-Season Apartment Hunt

 

As the summer comes to an end so does the Chicago rental season. While there are still people moving all year around, the majority of Chicago renters move between May and October. But what about those renters who will be looking for an apartment in the off season? What is the market like? Will there be apartments available to choose from? The answer is absolutely! In fact, there are several perks for the renters looking in the off-season.

1.      Less competition– Since most people move between May and October there is much less competition in the rental market during the fall and winter. Less competition means you will probably have a good selection and more time to make a decision.

off season apartment hunting

2.      Deals– Depending on the market some landlords will start offering moving incentives right after Labor Day. This year we are seeing incentives such as a free month’s rent, move-in credits, flexible lease terms and other freebies for signing within 24 hours.

off season apartment hunting

3.      Moving day-Moving day may be a little easier too. Many movers offer a discount for off-season moves. Also, because there are fewer people moving, securing a moving van and elevator time will be much easier too. Here’s a few companies to check into: Joey’s Movers and Trucking, Inc., Elite Moving & Storage Inc.

Off Season Apartment Huntimage via MovingTrucks

4.      Lower rents– The biggest perk of renting in the off season is lower rents. Landlords are scrambling to fill their vacancies before winter so they will typically start with rent reductions. In addition to reducing the rent some landlords may also be more negotiable with things like lease terms, pet policies and less than perfect credit.

Off Season Apartment Huntingimage via LifeHacker

To find out about the current incentives in the rental market contact a local broker. Their services are typically free and they’ll have the low down on all the latest deals and incentives. So having to move in the fall/winter may not be ideal but it may be a little less stressful and may even have its perks.

Fall Activities to do in the Chicago Area

by Christine Hadley

Fall Activities to do in the Chicago Area

 

The first official day of fall is September 22, 2016! Goodbye summer, hello sweaters, boots, scarves and pumpkin flavored everything.  Soak up what we have left of summer because winter is creeping up quickly. There are plenty of things to do to get you excited for fall….. it’s not winter just yet.

Here are a few suggestions for fall activities in or near Chicago:

 

Pumpkin Patches: Take family/friends out on a day trip and escape the city for a bit. If you own a vehicle, perfect! If you don’t, maybe try Zip Car or some other rental service.

Here’s just a few places to look into:

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest: http://pumpkinfarm.com/

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch: http://goebbertspumpkinpatch.com/

For a closer option, the Chicago Park District does pop-up pumpkin patches across the city. Check the website for a location near you: http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/halloween/

Fall Activities in Chicagoimage via ChicagoParent

Apple Orchards: Hold onto that rental car, apple picking is another fall activity that can’t be done in the city. There’s plenty of other activities to keep the whole family busy, so make a day of it!

Apple Holler: https://www.appleholler.com/

County Line Orchard: http://www.countylineorchard.com/

Fall Activities in Chicagoimage via CondorLiving

Football: Football & tailgating are some of the best ways to get in the fall spirit! Even if you’re not a Bears fan, you’re sure to find a pub around the city that’s playing your favorite team. For those who don’t like sports………. there’s beer.

image via Tenor

Check here for the Chicago Bears schedule: http://www.chicagobears.com/gameday/schedule.html

Da Bears

 

Festivals: There definitely aren’t as many festivals, but there’s still quite the variety to get you in the fall spirit.

Oktoberfest Chicago: (September 23 – 25, 2016) Southport & Lincoln Ave

Rocktober Beer Fest: (October 7-9, 2016) West Loop, Randolph & Ogden

Here’s a link to other events around the city: http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/chicago-festivals/1446/

Fall Activities in Chicagoimage via CityOfChicago

Races:

Chicago Half Marathon & 5k: (September 25, 2016)

Chicago Marathon: (October 9, 2016)

Pumpkins in the Park 5K: (October 22, 2016)

For more information on these races and others, refer to this link: http://www.fleetfeetchicago.com/races

Fall Activities in Chicagoimage via RunnersWorld

 Hope this short list helps get you excited for the fall season!