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Category Archives: neighborhoods

Barn Angels and Dog Poop

The first time I was driving thru Ukrainian Village,  I was headed  East on Augusta, and this caged Angel caught my eye on Wolcott!  WHAT THE HECK???

 

I did some research  and  TIME OUT  said, ” The building belongs to well-known Polish-born wood sculpturist Jerzy Kenar, who runs the Wooden Gallery (1007 N Wolcott Ave, 773-342-2550), located a few doors down.

In the mid-’90s, Kenar rehabbed the premises with the intention of making Angels Barn a sort of cabaret—part bar, part performance and exhibition space. “The idea was that the bar would finance the art,” Kenar says.

During the construction, the Sun-Times called Kenar’s idea “a mixed vision of the sacred and profane: An ornate pulpit will serve as a roost for a DJ; the bathroom stalls have peep-show holes with nude photos.”

Using his wife, Dorota, as a model, Kenar took three weeks to carve the angel (pictured) out of a hunk of linden wood and installed it in a fenced grotto at the front of the building. But all his work was for naught; Kenar was denied a liquor license, due, in part, to protests from the East Village Association, which didn’t want to attract potentially raucous nightlife to the densely residential area. Deeply disappointed, Kenar hosted several private parties in the space before converting it into apartments in 2001.”

 

Also on Wolcott  nearby the Angel is a unique fountain.

It’s a water fountain with a blue-tiled base surrounded by bright, leafy trees and is meant for all the community … to remember to pick up after their dogs.

Atop that tiled base is a bronze coil of dog doo-doo, spouting a gentle stream of water, and displays the straightforward, “S— Fountain” name on all four sides.

The fountain was created and installed in 2005 by famous Polish Chicago artist Jerzy S. Kenar, who also created the neighboring angel statue at the corner of Wolcott and Augusta Avenues.

It’s since become famous among locals, and appears on travel blogs for visitors.

Kenar’s other works can be found throughout O’Hare Airport and the Harold Washington Library, as well as churches and galleries around the city and world.

Cartoon Bear Art Around Chicago

People  are always  asking  WHAT IS  THIS?   WHAT’S  UP  WITH THAT?

If you live in Chicago, I’m sure you have passed by a mural at some point that involves a bear eating pizza or  wearing boxing gloves. If you haven’t, then you most likely never leave your neighborhood (and in that case you might as well live in LA). Regardless of where you reside or what you see in your ‘hood, we can all learn a little something from the Bear Champ today.

Chicago-based artist JC Riverais behind them. What I found the most fascinating about JC is that he’s not trying to hide his identity (unlike many street artists) as all of his work is commissioned. No illegal wall tagging for this guy!

Few images in Chicago’s street art scene are as instantly recognizable as JC Rivera’s “Bear Champ.” This enormous bright yellow bear appears in a variety of street murals throughout the city.

 

The bear seems cute and cuddly at first, but also projects a bit of a rugged, streetwise vibe — the perfect representation for life in Chicago.  Rivera has been painting in and around Chicago for a decade. His work is most known for its bright, colorful and uncluttered look.

JC says, “The character is about the everyday struggle. Keep rolling with the punches. Fight for what you believe in.”

Chicago’s Most Iconic Buildings

Chicago Skyline

Chicago has some amazing examples of  truly wonderful architecture! And the building never seems to stop!  There are currently 33 cranes in Chicago working on new projects!

 

The buildings and architecture of Chicago have influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The built [constructed] environment of Chicago is reflective of the city’s history and multicultural heritage, featuring prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most structures within the downtown area were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 (the most famous exception being the Water Tower) Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity.

Chicago is world-famous for its plethora of unique architectural styles, from Chicago Bungalows and Two-Flats to the grand Graystones along Logan Boulevard and Lawndale, from the skyscrapers of the Loop as well as a wealth of sacred architecture such as the city’s ornate “Polish Cathedrals”.

CURBED recently compiled a list of 27  that everyone in Chicago should know about.

Credited for inventing the skyscraper, Chicago and its lasting mark in the world of architecture is internationally renown. The city has an abundance of remarkable structures and no shortage of residents and tourists eager to learn their histories.

Think about…what top 5 come to mind???

 

Building a New Uptown Chicago – A Renaissance!

Uptown Theater
816 North Broadway

From Cinema Treasures: One of the last great movie palaces in Chicago, this fabulous theater built in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago was built in 1925 and was the destination for moviegoers until the theater closed in 1981.

Changing times and the shift in population have not helped the Uptown. Or the Uptown neighborhoods,  but that seems to all be changing!  Millions of dollars  are coming to Uptown for big improvements and expansion!

 

FINALLY   a new and improved Wilson stop!

The $203 million Wilson Station Reconstruction Project reached another major milestone on October 23, 2017 with the completion of construction work on the main stationhouse.

Located in the Uptown neighborhood, the wheelchair accessible Wilson station now offers:

  • Seamless transfers between Red Line and Purple Line Express service for the first time
  • A second new platform, providing riders dedicated platforms for boarding and alighting northbound and southbound trains
  • A new second station entrance located on the north side of Wilson Avenue
  • Stunning, Art Deco inspired artwork created especially for the main stationhouse by world-renowned artist Cecil Balmond.

 

  •  One-of-a-kind artwork
    Suspended from the ceiling of the new main entrance is the stunning new multi-faceted sculpture “Arpeggio”, which was created especially for the Wilson station by world-renowned artist, designer and engineer Cecil Balmond.

Over the next several weeks, crews will continue to be on-site completing work the auxiliary entrance at Sunnyside Ave., as well as restoration of the former 1923 stationhouse façade and clock tower (at the northwest corner of Wilson/Broadway) to make it a viable commercial/retail space, thus creating an anchor for revitalization and economic development in the Uptown neighborhood.

HOPEFULLY,  the  Wilson  UnderLine will become a reality…

Imagine an entirely new Uptown public space. A space that reclaims the once forgotten landscape below the Wilson ‘L’ tracks and transforms an ordinary parking lot and station entrance into a vibrant, safe, lively and welcoming public amenity. Imagine a space that can bring people together, provide public programming, seating, food truck dining and creative public art.

The WILSON UNDERLINE seeks to provide the newly renovated CTA Wilson Station with a dynamic public space dedicated to the Uptown neighborhood by providing opportunities for collaborative community programming and creative public engagement; a space that draws the community together and enriches the Wilson Station project from the ground up.

The WILSON UNDERLINE draws inspiration from efforts such as NYC’s High LineChicago’s 606 and the Low-Line Vision in neighboring Lakeview – to reimagine how transit infrastructure might be creatively utilized on a day to day basis by the local community.

Property values are on the rise in Uptown!

HOMES – As of Summer 2017, The median sales price for homes in Uptown for May 24 to Aug 23 was $248,500 based on 148 home sales.

RENT – The median rent per month for apartments in Uptown for Jul 24 to Aug 24, 2017 was $1,425. You can find a Studio  for  about  $850-$1000.  One bedrooms  run on average  $1100-1400. And  two bedrooms  $1400+

CRIME – Uptown has average crime relative to the rest of Cook County.

Knowing more about crime activity in and around Uptown can help keep you aware of crime in the area. Crime activity is most helpful when comparing two locations to understand the relative safety of each location. * Use  WALK SCORE  to see the crime  numbers  for  a  specific  address or street.

A new and exciting lakefront high-rise was cleared this summer and has started climbing towards its 27-story final height. Known as Eight Eleven Uptown, the development landed a full, $45 million construction permit yesterday. In the works for many years to replace the 3.4-acre vacant site of the old Cuneo Hospital—later home to Maryville Academy—at the corner of Montrose and Clarendon, the project received its first foundation permit back in February of this year.

Eight Eleven Uptown is being developed by JDL and was drawn up by the designers at Chicago-based Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA). When complete, the mixed-use high-rise complex will contain 373 luxury rental apartments, nearly 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space (rumored to be anchored by a new grocery store), and parking for 278 vehicles. More new residents moving to Uptown is a great thing!

STEWART School Lofts

in another cool project in the neighborhood that will be completed Spring 2018. Located across from Target on Broadway and Sunnyside. One of Chicago’s most beautiful historic buildings, the Graeme Stewart Elementary School was named after prominent Chicagoan businessman Graeme Stewart, an important figurehead in Chicago at the turn-of-the-century. The school was home to students for more than 100 years, before closing in 2013 due to enrollment declines.

Morningside Group, a builder, developer, and property manager, purchased the school in early 2016 through the Chicago Public School’s Building Repurposing and Sale Program, with plans to revitalize the school to its former splendor and convert the interior space into modern apartments with historic details. Apartment move-ins are expected to commence in early 2018.

111 Places in Chicago not to Miss

When ever I travel anywhere,  I see a  few of the big tourist  things  but then  I ask  around, talk to locals,  about  what they like  to do.  So I love books like this!

111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss (111 Places in …. That You Must Not Miss)

    • 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!

This book is great  for locals and tourists!

Chicago. City of the Big Shoulders. What started off as a small fur-trading settlement is today a bustling metropolis. Once considered the “hog butcher of the world, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler”, Chicago’s colorful past remains hidden in the nooks and crannies of this wonderful windy city.

Adventures await, from the glamorous to the gritty. Sip dirty martinis in an elegant, underground, 1920’s bank vault. Paddle a kayak down the infamous Bubbly Creek of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. While away an afternoon in a salt cave, or smoke a classic cigar in the oldest family-run tobacco shop in the U.S. Snorkel a 32-acre, limestone sheet shoal, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the Midwest. Dine outdoors in a 23rd floor Beaux-Arts cupola overlooking the Chicago River.

Whether you’re an out-of-towner or a diehard Chicago dweller who thinks you’ve seen it all, these 111 hidden places are waiting for you to discover them.

Author: Amy Bizzarri

Amy Bizzarri is a freelance writer specializing in family fun and travel, a Chicago public schools world language teacher, and an avid reader. She lives with her two kids – a tween boy and a toddler girl – in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Follow Amy and her adventures in Chicago and beyond on her personal blog, AmyWrites312.com.

Hyde Park – Europe Meets Modern

When I first moved to Chicago I visited the Museum of Science and Industry  one day and took a walk around the University of Chicago campus. It looked and felt like I was somewhere in Europe! (Probably because it was founded  in  1890!)

From the first campus plan to the most recent contemporary tower, the architecture at the University of Chicago has been conceived by some of the most forward-thinking and well-respected designers in the world. Campus features the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd WrightHenry Ives CobbEero SaarinenLudwig Mies van der RoheWalter NetschRicardo LegorretaRafael ViñolyCésar PelliHelmut JahnTod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Holabird, Root and Burgee

Hyde Park is a neighborhood and community area on the South Side of Chicago. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop.

Hyde Park’s official boundaries are 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard on the north, the Midway Plaisance (between 59th and 60th streets) on the south, Washington Park on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. According to another definition, a section to the north between 47th Street and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard is also included as part of Hyde Park, although this area is officially the southern part of the Kenwood community area. The area encompassing Hyde Park and the southern part of Kenwood is sometimes referred to as Hyde Park-Kenwood.

Hyde Park hosts the University of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and two of Chicago’s four historic sites listed in the original 1966 National Register of Historic Places (Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first artificial nuclear reactor, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s  Robie House). In the early 21st century, Hyde Park received national attention for its association with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Within Hyde Park’s mile-square boundary thrives an astonishingly rich and diverse cultural landscape. From museums to music, art to architecture, Hyde Park has it all. In addition to sponsoring a vast array of cultural events, myriad community and university organizations offer opportunities to participate in the arts as well.

From fast food to haute cuisine, Hyde Park packs an eclectic variety of restaurants into its small area.

Ethnic choices abound—Italian, Thai, Mediterranean, Chinese, Cajun, and Caribbean are just a few of the options. The Global Cuisine sensation Chant, for example, recently landed on Chicago Magazine’s list of hot restaurants. Other great choices include Piccolo MondoCedars Mediterranean Kitchen, Mellow YellowNoodles Etc.The Sit Down, Rajun Cajun and Shinju Sushi. For pizza and more, there are Giordano’s, Pizza Capri, and the perennial student favorite, Medici on 57th.

Hyde Park escaped the devastation of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, so the neighborhood boasts some of the oldest houses in the city. Of course, there’s plenty of brand-new building going on, too, and a special focus on luxe condo conversions.

Housing options in Hyde Park range from large single-family homes to townhouses, high-rise condominiums, three- and four-story walk-up co-ops, and rental apartments. Montgomery Place  offers seniors a continuing-care retirement community.

As of Nov. 2017,  Studio’s  were running  $800-$900,  1  bedrooms  $1000-$1400,  2  bedrooms  $1300-$1900,  on  average.  

Wicker Park and Logan Square – TOP NEIGHBORHOODS in Nation

(A mural at 1653 W. North Avenue in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Read more about the mural HERE.)

The two Chicago neighborhoods earned high marks in walkability, transportation, and affordability!

Source Chicago Curbed:

Two Chicago ‘hoods—Wicker Park and Logan Square—were recently singled-out in a list of the nation’s 25 coolest neighborhoods. Published by HotSpot Rentals, the rundown considered factors such as transit, affordability, restaurants, and weather while drawing its information from popular websites Yelp, Trip Advisor, TimeOut, Walk Score, and Apartment List.

Wicker Park and Logan Square respectively ranked 22nd and 19th and scored well with regards to walkability, transportation, and budget. Both Chicago neighborhoods suffered when it came to weather and came up on the lower end of the spectrum of entertainment offerings.

The Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce says, “We work to build a healthy marketplace and to improve the quality of life in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods through entrepreneurial development and commercial success. The Chamber manages the WPB Special Service Area, produces annual summer festivalsand helps coordinate neighborhood fundraisers throughout the year.

Wicker Park is a neighborhood of about 26,000 residents within the West Town community area in Chicago, Illinois. Situated just west of the Kennedy Expressway, Wicker Park is known for its local hipster culture, art community, nightlife, and food scene.

Logan Square is an official community area, historical neighborhood, and public square located on the northwest side of the City of Chicago. The Logan Square community area is one of the 77 city-designated community areas established for planning purposes. The Logan Square neighborhood, located within the Logan Square community area, is centered on the public square that serves as its namesake, located at the three-way intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Boulevard and Kedzie Boulevard.

The community area of Logan Square is, in general, bounded by the Metra/Milwaukee District North Line railroad on the west, the North Branch of the Chicago River on the east, Diversey Parkway, on the north, and Bloomingdale Avenue on the south. The area is characterized by the prominent historical boulevards, stately greystones and large bungalow-style homes.

 

Learn more about the various neighborhoods  at  CHOOSE CHICAGO!

What $1350 Rent Gets You in Chicago

Curbed Comparisons, is a great regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person’s studio another person’s townhouse? Let’s find out. Today we are looking at apartments at or under $1,350 per month on Chicago’s northwest side.

 

Right now – you can get a  three-bedroom in a vintage Humboldt Park building  for  about $1,300.

$1,300 per month can also rent a two-bedroom apartment in Avondale. Located near the Kennedy Expressway and popular spots like Kuma’s Corner, this one is both transit and amenity rich.

If you’re a fan of the Lincoln Square area, you can rent a  two-bedroom  for $1,325. While it’s a garden unit, it appears to be quite spacious and has plenty of windows.

A two-bedroom apartment in Pilsen is renting for $1,350. It’s a fairly open floor plan with some newer finishes. There’s even views of the skyline from this one.

Up in Avondale, you’ll find that a two-bedroom apartment in a brick three-flat is also seeking the same $1,350 rent.

It’s all about location.  If  you want  to be near the lake, like  Lincoln Park or Lakeview, expect to get a LOT LESS  space.

Let me help you with your search! I have access to thousands of listings every month. You tell me your needs and your wants and the computer  gives me list of possibilities.  Using my knowledge of the city and its neighborhoods,  I can provide you with honest unbiased feedback.  YOU are my client.  Not  the apartment owners.

Spaces has been in business since 2010. We pride ourselves on GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE and strive for excellence! And we have an amazing support team there to help with the application process  and submitting it to the landlord. We have awesome follow up as well and will keep you updated through the process.

When you are ready to move, call me!  I will help you find a perfect space to love!

MICHAEL “LOVE”  SNELL,   LEASING AGENT

LOVE YOUR SPACE!

EXPLORE LISTINGS HERE http://102040.speedhatch.com

 

3223 N SHEFFIELD AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60657
CELL: 773.206.8359 | OFFICE: 773.525.6570
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Halloween in Chicago

Redfin rates Chicago #3 Best City for Halloween!

Spooky Score: 9 out of 13
City Walk Score: 78

Chicagoans love when autumn rolls in over Lake Michigan and relieves the city of the summer heat, and it celebrates by throwing a weeks-long Halloween celebration with all kinds of events. Chicagoween at Franken Plaza — known as Daley Plaza the rest of the year — hosts movie nights, live performances and costume contests, and parks across the city are home to pumpkin patches and haunted houses. Land lovers should check out the Northalsted Halloween Parade, and those who aren’t afraid of a haunted sea voyage will love one of Navy Pier’s haunted cruise options.

Things to Do / Places to See: Oriental Theatre, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery and Pond, 2122 North Clark Street (location of the Valentine’s Day Massacre), Drake Hotel, Haunted Halloween Ball at Congress Plaza Hotel, Old Town Tatu, Halloween Parade on North Halsted, House of Torment, Six Flags Fright Fest, Chicago Hauntings Tour Company, Wateriders Ghosts and Gangsters Kayak Tour, Race of the Dead, Franken Plaza/Chicagoween, Pumpkin Patches and More

Extra Spooky: Few cities on our list have as many haunted locations as Chicago, so if you’re looking for the thrill of a lifetime with a good, old-fashioned ghost hunt, head over to Chi-Town. Explore the Oriental Theatre, where more than 600 victims were engulfed in flames in 1903; stay a night in the Drake Hotel, where the heartbroken spirit of a young woman wanders the halls; or work with the paranormal investigators of Chicago Ghost Investigations to communicate with the other side in a warehouse once occupied by Al Capone.

The Saturday night before Halloween is when all the big parties happen all over  Chicagoland.  Expect it to take longer to get an Uber, Lyft or Taxi!  PLAN  AHEAD!

The Northalsted Halloween Parade is ranked one of the 10 Best Halloweens in the US by Fodor’s Travel Guide. The  Annual event is free for spectators and participants. Enter the costume contest to win great prizes!

A one-of-a-kind event in Chicago, this parade features one of the most iconic costumed populations of all – drag queens! (All in Halloween attire, of course).

Once mainly  an  LGBT celebration, now joining them along the parade route are thousands of adults, as well as  kids and pets, also in costume, and tons of spectators. If you want to join the parade itself, be sure to register. Otherwise, spectating is free!

Getting In: Admission to the Northalsted Halloween Parade is free.

Check a Neighborhoods Walking and Crime Score

WALK SCORE is an extremely useful tool when checking out neighborhoods.

You want to know how far is closet train?

The closet bus?

The closet Sushi restaurant!

Location, Location, Location!

Drive less. Live more. Walk Score helps you enjoy a walkable lifestyle, one of the simplest and best solutions for our environment, health and economy.

Walk Score’s mission is to promote walkable neighborhoods. Walkable neighborhoods are one of the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health, and our economy.

Their vision is for every property listing to read: Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Walk Score: 84.  They make it easy for people to evaluate walkability and transportation when choosing where to live.  AND  CRIME SCORES!

They show over 20 million scores every day and over 30,000 sites use Walk Score services. Walk Score has been featured in hundreds of newspaper articles and TV segments.

The Walk Score advisory board includes urban planning, environmental and technical experts from institutions such as The Sightline Institute and The Brookings Institution.

Walk Score is now a part of Redfin and was originally incubated atFront Seat.

Get the app  on your phone!

MICHAEL LOVE,   LEASING AGENT

LOVE YOUR SPACE!

EXPLORE LISTINGS HERE http://102040.speedhatch.com

 

3223 N SHEFFIELD AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60657
CELL: 773.206.8359 | OFFICE: 773.525.6570
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