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Category Archives: neighborhoods

What Can an Agent Discuss With You Legally?

Your real estate agent and/or leasing agent can’t talk demographics, schools or crime, but there are ways to voice your needs and wants in ways that don’t violate fair housing laws.

Many people like to ask, “Is this a good neighborhood?” But don’t expect a straight answer. 

Certain details about a neighborhood or community can violate the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted in 1968 to eliminate housing discrimination. The law protects against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or family status. In particular, it prohibits any real estate professional from steering prospective homebuyers or renters toward or away from a community based on any of the classes under federal protection.

 

Essentially, Fair Housing aims to provide equal access to housing for all groups of people and safeguard from discrimination. But even with the good it does, it can be frustrating for prospective homebuyers who get tight-lipped answers from agents.

Voicing an opinion about a neighborhood, even done unconsciously, can violate the law. For example, an agent might say, “This neighborhood is great for young families.” The comment implies the neighborhood demographic consists of parents and kids. Unmarried individuals or older couples may be inclined to pass on a house because they feel the neighborhood doesn’t cater to their lifestyle. If that was the case, the agent would be violating fair housing laws.

I encourage clients  to use sites  like  Walk Score  or  Crime Reports  to find certain types of information. The internet holds a wealth  of  knowledge  and date – but you have to sift through it and determine how it best serves you and your needs.

Parts of this article came from Real Estate.US News

 

 

 

 

Uptown Chicago is getting a Facelift!

Uptown is one of Chicago, Illinois’ 77 community areas.  This is  a comprehensive look  about  all that is happening in Uptown!

Uptown’s boundaries are Foster Avenue on the north; Lake Michigan on the east; Montrose (Ravenswood to Clark), and Irving Park (Clark Street to Lake Michigan) on the south; Ravenswood (Foster to Montrose), and Clark (Montrose to Irving Park) on the west. To the north is Edgewater, to the west is Lincoln Square, and to the south is Lake View.

Inside  Uptown you will find mini neighborhoods;  Buena  park, Sheridan park, Margate park, Argyle Park and   Little Vietnam.

The historical, cultural, and commercial center of Uptown is Broadway, with Uptown Square at the center. In 1900, the Northwestern Elevated Railroad constructed its terminal at Wilson and Broadway (now part of the CTA Red Line). Uptown became a summer resort town for downtown dwellers, and derived its name from the Uptown Store, which was the commercial center for the community.

For a time, all northbound elevated trains from downtown ended in Uptown. Uptown became known as an entertainment destination. Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and other early film stars produced films at the Essanay Studios on Argyle Street. The Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theater, Uptown Theatre, and Green Mill Jazz Club are all located within a half block of Lawrence and Broadway. It has been said that there are underground tunnels  so that Al Capone could slip in and out of Green Mill! Uptown is also home to one of Chicago’s most celebrated final resting spots, Graceland Cemetery, An Oasis of Art, Architecture, and Landscape Design since 1860.

I have lived here  since 2003 and have seen a lot of small changes. It has always been a diverse melting pot of cultures and economic backgrounds. And I have always said, Uptown is the like the neglected red-headed step child, between  Lakeview and Andersonville!  But fasten your seat belts, because it is all about the change!

When Target  opened in Uptown around 2010  as part of the Wilson Yards redevelopment. people began to see hope and change for Uptown! In the last 3 years, I have witnessed a large number of LGBTQ people moving…which means,  change  is  coming!

The massive  renovation  of  the Wilson L  Stop in 2017-2018 put a huge exclamation point  on the area! All of a sudden,  numerous announcements  were  made  about  new  developments  around  Uptown! Several thousands of new apartments  plus many  gut-rehabs  are going on.

 

Perhaps the BIGGEST  NEWS  of the renovation  of the Wilson stop is the Chicago Market!  Chicago Market will be coming to the Wilson CTA Station in Uptown. The 13,000 square foot, immaculately restored historic Gerber Building will become the home of Chicago’s newest local, sustainable grocery store, and the home of one of the nation’s largest start-up food co-ops!

Starting with just a handful of people meeting in a living room, Chicago Market has grown to a community of more than 1000 Owners, all dedicated to the idea that grocery shopping can be awesome, delicious and fun.

Chicago Market will be a big, bright, beautiful community-owned grocery store featuring local, sustainably farmed, organic produce, meat and dairy products, as well as all of the other staples you’d expect from your market — dry goods, bulk foods, frozen foods, wine, beer and liquor. We’ll have a butcher shop, delicious prepared foods and fresh-baked goods. Chicago Market will be a community hub where shoppers can enjoy the juice and coffee bar while attending workshops, classes, meetings and performances.

Chicago Market will provide farm-to-table transparency about food, its origins and its processes. It will educate its community about nutrition, ingredient sourcing and methods of food production. The Market will support sustainability and integrity in all areas, including environmental stewardship, fair labor practices and cooperative principles. It will be devoted to the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profit.

MORE APARTMENTS!

811 Uptown   will be the biggest  high-rise  in Uptown.  27 stories  with  373 Luxury Apartments plus  a  Treasure  Island  grocery store.

 

Stewart School Lofts  are inside  an old school  originally  built  in 1905.  These luxury apartments are extremely unique and no two are alike! While most apartments were formerly classrooms, some were home to the school principal’s office, gymnasium and 2-story auditorium, making every floor plan unique. Each unit has a different blend of restored original historic details such as wood trim, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, chalkboards, and original doors.

975 West Wilson The 12-story development at the southeast corner of Wilson and Sheridan will feature 150 dwelling units, new ground floor retail space, and a 29-car parking lot.

4601 N. Broadway A couple of blocks to the west at the corner of Broadway and Wilson, a second mixed-use transit-oriented development is expected to begin construction in the first quarter of this year. Known by its address of 4601 N. Broadway, the nine-story project from Praedium Development Corporation and MX3 Architects will replace a single-story retail complex with 197 rental units, 11,500 square feet of retail space, and 41 parking stalls.

 

1050 W. Wilson  The alderman also revealed that a long-discussed but slow-moving development at 1050 W. Wilson is too targeting a 2018 start. Approved by the Chicago Plan Commission way back in May of 2015, the project from Cedar Street’s FLATS brand calls for a new seven-story, 110-unit building from architect Booth Hansen. According to Cappleman’s email, the developer is in the process securing financing for the project and “hopes” to be in the ground by the end of the year.

 

The delipidated 5050 Broadway  will  soon be new and improved! 700  apartments!  A long-discussed, block-long redevelopment in Uptown is ready to move forward, starting with the gut rehab and conversion of the former Combined Insurance Company office building into hundreds of rental apartments.

With density rivaling that of the under construction Eight Eleven Uptown high-rise, 5050 N. Broadway will be one Uptown’s largest new developments. Designed by Chicago architecture firm Booth Hansen and developed by Cedar Street Companies, the project has taken a little time to get going since it was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission and City Council in 2016.

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Uptown has always had a handful of  hidden gems, retail/food/bars,  and  with  more  than 2000 new apartments  being built, Uptown is sure to draw even more.

Some of my favorite  spots include;

Everybody’s Coffee 935 W. Wilson “We sell all Fair and Direct Trade coffee because we want to support the farmer and work with them on sponsoring local projects.” and now serving Baker Miller’s awesome baked goods, lunch, and brunch concepts. “filter coffee…not people!”

Spoil Me Salon 4668 N. Broadway  10 years in business,  7  years  at this Uptown location. Full Service Salon and Spa specializing in the latest trends and techniques for hair, skin, nails and massage therapy.

Sadly, we lost the most  innovative (and expensive) restaurant in Uptown last year. (One of the most expensive in the city!)  Located next door to Spoil Me Salon. 42 grams 4662 N Broadway. This High-end BYO eatery with New American tasting menus served at a communal table & a chef’s counter had won 2 Michelin Stars!  $390  per person  for the experience.

“A truly unique experience” awaits at this “impressive” Uptown New American where chef Jake Bickelhaupt’s “spectacularly creative” tasting menus feature “exciting”, “delectable” dishes that come “beautifully presented” and served “in the style of a friend’s dinner party (right down to the BYOB)”; co-owner/manager Alexa Welsh “makes you feel at home” in the “tiny” space, and while it’s not cheap, most maintain it’s “worth the splurge” for a “memorable” meal. 

HOWEVER,  a new tenant with Michelin-star history is taking over the kitchen at 4662 N. Broadway Street. Ex-Longman & Eagle chef Matt Kerney is assembling a team that will open a new restaurant in the space. Hoping to open July  or  August. 2018. Look  for news  from  BRASS  HEART!

 

Tweet Restaurant / Big Chicks  Bar 5020 N. Sheridan  Nestled within a vintage art deco building, Tweet serves you a wide range of both classic and non-traditional dishes made from fresh, organic-when-possible ingredients. The bar opened in 1986!

This welcoming gay bar regularly plays host to dance parties and other special events, but it remains a cozy neighborhood place first and foremost—there’s even a free buffet on Sunday evenings. Many people from the neighborhood  stop by  as well as  MANY people who come down after a  day at the gay beach.

Loving Heart Vegan Café  838 W. Montrose  Housed in a rather unassuming space, this efficient and friendly vegan cafe impresses with its fresh wraps, bowls, burgers and desserts. Roughly 80 percent of the cafe’s offerings are made with organic ingredients.

Green Mill Lounge 4802 N Broadway  It sits  on what was once the  site of a much bigger Green Mill Gardens complex, which was an outdoor music gardens fashioned after The Moulin Rouge Gardens in Paris. It was a sunken gardens area, surrounded by a wall and featured nightly entertainment during the summer months. It also featured a dining room which was later converted to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge during construction of the Uptown Theatre on the former site of the outdoor music gardens.

The club was once owned by “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn, a right-hand man of Al Capone, who was a regular patron at The Green Mill. The 1957 movie The Joker Is Wild is based on the life of a regular performer at the Green Mill, Joe E. Lewis. Starring Frank Sinatra, the movie is the story about how Lewis tried to leave his gig at the Green Mill and was attacked and left for dead in his apartment. Lewis survived and continued his successful career in California. The Green Mill still hosts top jazz performers. Patricia Barber, internationally acclaimed jazz performer, plays there most Monday nights, as she has for the past 15 + years. In 2008, Kurt Elling was a regularly featured performer with his current band.

Uptown Underground  Descend the stairs below 4707 N Broadway to the speakeasy cabaret that specializes in Top Shelf Retrotainment!Featuring performances from Chicago’s best in cabaret, burlesque, magic and variety entertainers.

Sun Wah BBQ 5039 N. Broadway  Hong Kong style Chinese Barbecue!  One of Chicago’s favorite restaurants to feast on Beijing Duck (order in advance!), Sun Wah BBQ, has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. Sun Wah, the popular Chinese restaurant in Uptown, is one of five recipients of the 2018 America’s Classic award. The honor recognizes restaurants “that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community.” More than 100 restaurants have won the award since its inception in 1998.

The original Sun Wah opened in 1986 as owners Eric and Lynda Cheng brought Hong Kong-style barbecue to Argyle. Their children — Michael, Kelly, and Laura — took over the business and moved the restaurant into a larger space in 2008. – Plentiful portions! Sun Wah has lots great dishes  to share. If you have a big group  of 6 or more, get a table with a lazy susan!

Argyle Street Asian restaurants and shops
Argyle Street, from Sheridan to Broadway and spilling onto Broadway, features Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, French Vietnamese and Cambodian ethnic restaurants and bakeries. There are also many Asian groceries, shops and trading companies that sell unique Asian merchandise. This area is locally called by many different names, including New Chinatown, North Chinatown, Little Chinatown, Little Saigon, New Saigon, Little Cambodia, Vietnamese Town, Little Vietnam, or by many in the Asian community simply as “Argyle”. The surrounding neighborhood, which has attracted Asian immigrants and refugees for the past several decades, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the West Argyle Street Historic District. It is easily reached by the Argyle stop on the Red Line ‘L.’

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Entertainment  District-

BREAKING NEWS –  The Uptown Theatre has  secured  funding!!!

Uptown Theatre will be restored: $75 million plan unveiled for grand palace on North Side

After 35 years of stuttering starts, empty promises, a court-ordered sale and oft-reckless neglect, the 4,381-seat, 46,000-square-foot Uptown Theatre is finally to be restored to its 1925 glory!!!!  FINALLY!

Located at 4816 N. Broadway
The Uptown Theatre is a large, ornate movie palace with almost 4,500 seats. The largest in Chicago, this architectural gem is on several Landmark Registers. the largest theatre , by volume, in the country! The Theatre was designed by famous movie palace architects, Rapp and Rapp, who also designed the Chicago Theatre in the Chicago Loop. It was managed by the Balaban and Katz Company.

Historically a very popular tourist destination, the Uptown Entertainment District is home to various music venues, nightclubs, restaurants and shops. The Uptown Entertainment District is now experiencing a revival, with new restaurants and shops opening every year. Uptown Square, at the center of the Uptown Entertainment District, was designated as a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Uptown is also a stop for Chicago Gangster tours, with many locations tied to infamous gangsters such as John Dillinger, Al Capone, Machine Gun Jack McGurn, Roger Touhy (“Terrible Touhy”) and others.

 

The Aragon Ballroom  1106 W. Lawrence, is still a very popular music venue. During the 1920s and 1930s, most of the nation’s well-known jazz groups played the Aragon. Live radio broadcasts from the Aragon helped promote the Aragon’s entertainers throughout the Midwest and beyond. Hotels quickly sprang up in the Uptown area, and it became a mecca for young adults who visited Chicago to dance to the Big Bands of the 1940s and 1950s. Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Lawrence Welk, Guy Lombardo, Wayne King and other famous bandleaders often played there. In decades to follow, a very diverse selection of “big name” groups have performed, including The Rolling Stones, U2, The Smiths, The Doors, Snoop Dogg, Green Day, The Kinks, The Smashing Pumpkins, Dr. John, B.B. King, Uriah Heep, Metallica, Tommy Bolin, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, The Clash, Tangerine Dream, Slayer, Motörhead, Nirvana, The Ramones and many others.

 

The Riviera Theater, 4746 Racine,  also a popular music venue, was once a Jazz Age movie palace which featured live jazz performances with the movies. In the 1980s, the seats were removed on the main floor and it was converted to a concert venue.

 

Green Mill Lounge 4802 N Broadway  It sits  on what was once the  site of a much bigger Green Mill Gardens complex, which was an outdoor music gardens fashioned after The Moulin Rouge Gardens in Paris. It was a sunken gardens area, surrounded by a wall and featured nightly entertainment during the summer months. It also featured a dining room which was later converted to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge during construction of the Uptown Theatre on the former site of the outdoor music gardens.

The club was once owned by “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn, a right-hand man of Al Capone, who was a regular patron at The Green Mill. The 1957 movie The Joker Is Wild is based on the life of a regular performer at the Green Mill, Joe E. Lewis. Starring Frank Sinatra, the movie is the story about how Lewis tried to leave his gig at the Green Mill and was attacked and left for dead in his apartment. Lewis survived and continued his successful career in California. The Green Mill still hosts top jazz performers. Patricia Barber, internationally acclaimed jazz performer, plays there most Monday nights, as she has for the past 15 + years. In 2008, Kurt Elling was a regularly featured performer with his current band.

Uptown Underground  Descend the stairs below 4707 N Broadway to the speakeasy cabaret that specializes in Top Shelf Retrotainment!Featuring performances from Chicago’s best in cabaret, burlesque, magic and variety entertainers.

Uptown is blossoming  into something  special!

It is sure to be the next hot neighborhood!

Luxury Apartments Come to Uptown

1500  new  apartments,  some of them luxury,  are coming to Uptown!   Bringing hundreds  of new residents   to the area!

Located at 4337 N. Hazel St. and originally built in 1901, the three-story brick building is being renovated by Chicago-based Arbor Investment Management LLC, which has retained Spaces as the exclusive leasing brokerage. A decorated model is now available for tour, with first move-ins scheduled for May.

“When this property was built in 1901, it was one of the first luxury apartment buildings in Buena Park, so it’s a landmark within the neighborhood that has been reimagined for a new generation of renters,” said Bentley Phillips, founder Spaces Real Estate. “The building’s vintage charm, modern floor plans and amenities, and walkable location near the lakefront make Hazel Place a true standout in the North Side rental market.”

Hazel Place offers two- and three-bedroom floor plans – each with two or 2½ baths – ranging in size from 924 to 1,358 square feet and priced from $2,625 per month. Finishes include red oak hardwood flooring; modern kitchens with two-tone cabinetry, quartz countertops, tile backsplashes and stainless steel appliances; baths with sleek subway tile tub/shower surrounds; and bedrooms with spacious walk-in closets. Every residence also includes keyless smartphone-ready entry, smart lighting
controls, Nest thermostats and full Amazon Echo integration, as well as in-unit laundry.

Other big projects  in the neighborhood  include  811 Montrose  with  373  apartments.

Stewart School Lofts  with  64  apartments.

5050 Broadway  will  bring over 700 apartments!

975 Wilson  and  Sheridan  will build about  140 more apartments!

A total of 4 new buildings  are breaking this year!

 

 

Let’s find YOU a Space you LOVE!

Call Michael “LOVE” Snell
773-206-8359
Apartment Leasing Specialist / Renter’s Agent

Spaces Real Estate
3223 N Sheffield, Suite C, Chicago 60657

The Alley on Clark = Clarkview Apartments

The Alley: Over 40 Years of Counter Culture-Leather, Footwear, Jewelry, Belt Buckles Tshirts, & More! Goth, Punk, Alt, Metal, Motorcycle & Chicago Superstore! The legendary Alley Chicago store has become an infamous “landmark” destination for generations of counter-culture.  Ahhhh,  the good  old  days  on Clark Street!

The Alley Chicago through years of dedication and determination has become the Midwest’s premier one stop shop for bikers, punks, goths, rockers, and all other alternative lifestyles. The Owner, Mark Thomas, often states, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” This holds true for our core customer base and our store philosophy. Faces change, trends change, but who we are and who our core customer is will always remain the same.

The owner to this day, still travels all over the world to bring unique items to you, our customer! He literally travels over 100,000 miles a year between visiting vendors, trade-shows, and just staying on top of the competition worldwide. His concept has always been, “If I can’t find it, I’ll make it!” The Alley Chicago is open 365 days a year to serve your rock n’ roll needs!!!

These days the Alley  is at  3221 N Clark St.

Now,  in its old space will be  Clarkview Apartments.

The developers are a group of local Chicagoans whose projects span diverse asset types, including apartments, condos, retail, commercial, parking garages & mixed-use.

Our goal is to add value to urban infill locations by delivering creative design solutions, environmentally friendly materials and exceptional execution.

The developers have solicited and incorporated input from the neighborhood association and the Alderman to balance the needs of the local residents while respecting the site and its surroundings. We hope to create a building that will honor its past and position it for the future growth of the neighborhood and housing needs of current and future residents. The plans for 3228 N Clark include the following:

 

  •      Preservation and restoration of the original 1911 terra cotta façade
  •      2600 square foot ground floor commercial space with partial basement
  •      6 parking spots accessed from the alley in the rear of the building
  •      24 apartments
  • Pricing will be available    late March, 2018.
  • More  info  call  Michael  at  773-206-8359

OZ PARK Lincoln Park Chicago

Located in the Lincoln Park community, parents gather with their preschoolers at Oz Park to enjoy the park which celebrates “The Wizard of Oz” theme. “Dorothy’s Playlot” is filled with play equipment for the little ones to climb, swing, and run.

In the “Emerald Garden”, families can enjoy a leisurely afternoon among the beautiful flowers. Take a stroll through the park and you’ll be greeted by statues of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and everyone’s favorite, Dorothy & Toto. Organized activities for children include soccer, day camp, and t-ball.

The park features Dorothy’s Playground, a community garden, tennis courts, ball fields, basketball courts, and soccer/football fields.

 Programs are offered year-round!

 

Although the area surrounding Oz Park is considered prime real estate today, in the late 1950s it was in sub-standard condition. In the 1960s, the Lincoln Park Conservation Association approached the City of Chicago in efforts to improve the community, and the neighborhood was soon designated as the Lincoln Park Urban Renewal Area. The urban renewal plan identified a 13 acre-site for a new park, and in 1974, the Chicago Park District acquired the land.

In 1976, the park was officially named Oz Park in honor of Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919), the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum settled in Chicago in 1891 several miles west of what is now the park. Having begun writing children’s books at age 41, Baum wrote more than 60 books, including 14 Oz books, by the end of his life. In 1939, the production of an MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz, immortalized Baum’s classic work of fiction. In the early 1990s, the Oz Park Advisory Council and the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce commissioned artist John Kearney to create a Tin Man sculpture, installed in October 1995, the Cowardly Lion, installed in May 2001 and the7 ft./800 lb. cast bronze Scarecrow, installed June 2005.

In Spring 2007 Dorothy & Toto joined their friends in the park. Other elements which celebrate Oz Park’s theme, include the “Emerald Garden” and “Dorothy’s Playlot.” The playlot not only relates to the park’s name, but also to that of its donor, Dorothy Melamerson, a retired local school teacher whose savings have paid for a number of park improvements in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Oz Park Advisory Council raised more than $250,000 to support enhancements to Oz Park.

Andersonville 2 Bedroom Rehabbed Units $1800

 

6  AWESOME 2 Bedroom  apartments, to be available  APRIL 1!  Parking included!

$1800  – Call me  for  a  showing!  Michael  @  773-206-8359

Anchored by the Swedish American Museum and home to one of the city’s largest gay and lesbian communities, Andersonville is recognized for its diversity. With a quirky atmosphere and distinctive flavor, the area has quickly become one of the North Side’s most popular neighborhoods.

Distinctive to Andersonville is a lack of national chains. In fact, the neighborhood’s commercial district is made up almost entirely of independent, locally-owned businesses. Between its specialty bakeries, dynamic bar scene and incredible array of stylish boutiques, Andersonville is a thriving example of colorful urban living.

Along Clark Street’s fabled “restaurant strip,” you will find craft brew emporium Hopleaf Bar, epic brunch spot m. henry and some of the city’s best comfort food at Big Jones. Hamburger Mary’s is famous for its lively dining atmosphere and outstanding ground chuck. In addition, Hamburger Mary’s hosts award-winning stage shows at an in-house theater, which is precisely the kind of eccentric charm that you can expect in Andersonville.

 

Re:   Choose Chicago / Neighborhoods

(There is a typo  in the print below – HEAT  is  NOT  included.  But  parking is!)

Chicago’s Wonderful Architecture and Hidden Surprises

Did you ever notice, most people walk looking  straight ahead, or worse yet, down at the ground!  YOU ARE MISSING  EVERYTHING!  LOOK  UP!  You will discover breathtaking architectural details you never saw before!

I was driving one day near Division and California,  I can’t remember the side street, I should have made a note of it,  and discovered  2  cool  horse sculptures up on the garage roof!

Chicago is full  of  gorgeous architecture and neat art, if you just look.  Chicago Detours  offers great guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups.

Founder Amanda Scotese launched Chicago Detours, a tour company for the curious, in July 2010 after spending close to a decade in Italy as a Tour Guide and Guidebook Researcher with Rick Steves’ Europe. She decided to bring her travel expertise back home to Chicago with tour experiences that are fun, educational, and truly make us feel connected with our grand city.

Bobbys Bike Hike  offer’s another way to see the city. Walking tours, Bike tours and Food tours!

Did you know that the Second City is actually first when it comes to bike riding? Chicago consistently ranks at the top for both walking and biking because it’s flat and easy to access (take that NYC!). Plus, all the neighborhoods, parks, and attractions are connected through a network of sidewalks and trails. So it makes sense that the best way to experience life in the Windy City is on two wheels (or two feet) alongside fun folks just like yourself.

And while it’s true that anyone can whizz from place to place in a car, bus, or boat, you miss out on soooo much. With a bicycle and walking tour, or even renting a bike, you can actually hear the roar of Buckingham Fountain, touch the iconic lion statues at the Art Institute, and smell the Chicago-style pizza wafting through the air.

The other great way to see Chicago’s top attractions, try a Chicago Segway® PT tour! Sightseeing on a Segway is fun, unique, and exhilarating. Segways are safe and very easy to learn. If you can stand, you can ride! These self-balancing machines do the work for you. Explore Chicago by day or night with our friendly tour guides and your very own Chicago chariot on two wheels.

You’ll glide effortlessly as you enjoy views of Chicago’s beautiful lakefront, parks, and skyline. Capture your memories with great photographs on our Chicago Segway sightseeing tours. Options include our Museum and Lakefront Tour, Art & Architecture Tour, Fireworks Tour, Gangster Tour, Haunted Tour, and private tours. Join us on one of our unique, picturesque tours of Chicago. You’ll Absolutely love it!

111 Places in Chicago Not to Miss!

Very cool book – for locals and tourists!  Amy Bizzarri is an extreme Chicago history buff, and a freelance writer. She lives with her two children in a vintage 1910 home in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. When she’s not writing, you’ll most likely find her swimming laps at Holstein Park pool, riding her bicycle around Humboldt Park or sharing an atomic sundae at Margie’s Candies.

  • The ultimate insider’s guide to Chicago, fully illustrated with 111 full-page color photographs
  • Features interesting and unusual places not found in traditional travel guides
  • Part of the international 111 Places/111 Shops series with over 170 titles and 1 million copies in print worldwide
  • Appeals to both the local market (9,5 million people call Chicago home) and the tourist market (over 60 million people visit Chicago every year!)

West Loop is EXPLODING with 50 New Projects

The West Loop just keeps getting HOTTER  &  HOTTER!  A  1 bedroom apartment can easily cost $2,000.  Now,  with more than  50 NEW PROJECTS underway and/or waiting for the green light, the West Loop  will be EXPLODING!

This week,  CURBER  CHICAGO  said, A longtime domain of family-owned meatpackers and loft condo conversions, the once quiet West Loop and Fulton Market District have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. While a handful of food wholesalers still hang on, there’s clearly no looking back as the pace of development surges forward.

See all the renderings  and  info   HERE!

Best Holiday Light Displays in Chicago Area

 

The Logan Square home above might be the only seasonal wonder of the world. Every winter, dating back to 1983, owner Frank Lopez has put up a Christmas light display—complete with a miniature, moving Ferris wheel with stuffed animal riders—that casts a glow over the whole 2500 block of West Logan Boulevard.

“The reason I do it is because I see so many people, so many kids, they pass by over here… and I have music on, and I see all their smiles,” Lopez told Chicagoist. “I enjoy that.”

His home electric bill for a holiday season, he added, can reach a little over $1,000.    Read  More here. 

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Butch McGuire’s

Each year, this Division Street bar gets COMPLETELY  decked out in holiday decor. Complete with model trains and thousands of shiny LED lights, Butch McGuire’s is a great spot to pop in for a festive drink. Even when it gets packed with the typical Division Street crowd, this Irish pub has an old soul. Antique beer paraphernalia and model ships hang from the ceiling, framed paintings of Chicagoans past dot the walls and beers are served in frosted glass mugs. Well worth a stop by and have a drink!

Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier’s annual indoor winter carnival returns with activities that include a toboggan tunnel, winter mini golf and a 15-foot “snow tubing” hill. Returning attractions include the Blackhawks ice-skating rink and various carnival rides. Bring your family for a nice and toasty winter wonderland. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo: Free light display nightly plus festive activities like photos with Santa, 3D displays, holiday gift shopping, live ice-sculpture carving and free crafts for kids on certain nights at the Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Presented by ComEd and PowerShares QQQ By Invesco. Hours: 4:30 to 9 p.m. every night through Saturday, Dec. 23, and again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 7. Check the website for a full list of ZooLights events.

Elsewhere  from Aurora to Naperville to Wheaton – all have light displays worth checking out!