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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!

Chicago HOT Restaurants 2018

SOOOOOO  many restaurants to choose from in Chicago!  There is no way to keep up!

In December, Chicago Mag speculated,Is Chicago’s dining boom over?
Staff shortages, massive competition, rising rents: The day of reckoning is coming.”

The article reveals,      When Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm opened their flagship Lincoln Park restaurant Boka 14 years ago, more than 600 people lined up around the block looking for jobs. How times have changed. These days, when the duo launches a new place, “you put out an ad, you might get 10 people,” Katz says. “What was once a very fertile ground for talent is not any longer. People are fighting just to put a staff together.”

Such is life in the restaurant bubble.

Every month the HOT LIST  changes!  Yesterday  a  new  list  of  hot  spots  came out.

I am so happy  to see the Pump Room  come back!  (Above)

 I do agree,  how can all of the restaurants survive?  This is not  New York.

GREAT PHOTOS  get lots of LIKES! 

Digital photography has given millions of people the opportunity  to take pictures  like a pro! Never, has there been so many awesome amateur photos posted  from the globe!

 

 Chicago.Curbed ran this great article about HOT  PHOTO/ Instagram  LOCATIONS  from around the city. ….From the magical night lights of Wrigley Field to the patina-coated bronze lions guarding the Art Institute and the honeycomb archway in Lincoln Park—there are plenty of good ‘gramming spots in Chicago.

But which ones rank at the top? Locals and visitors favored big venues, well-known tourist spots, international icons and even one major music festival, according to a list of sites provided to Curbed by Instagram.

(Photo above from Sezyilmaz)

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!

 

What Does An Apartment Leasing Agent Do?

AND HOW CAN AN APARTMENT LEASING AGENT HELP YOU

Do  I need  an Apartment Leasing Agent to help me find my perfect space? Absolutely.

Apartment Leasing agents work with property owners to find good tenants for their buildings.   Apartment Leasing Agents match apartments and people  after determining  their specific, individual wants and needs for the property and their desired location. It’s like a matchmaker!

It’s my job as an  Apartment Leasing Agent to help  you find the perfect apartment to call home. Using my  knowledge of available apartment inventories, markets and neighborhood locations, I help match prospective tenants with available units. It’s FREE expert advice and service to the renter. 

Believe it or not,  there are plenty of people  who love to go out and compare apartments and have no desire to rent  an apartment. They just want to go look and see what’s out there.  These people should call  the building  or call the landlord  directly to see a property. No one likes to work for FREE.   We do not get paid anything to  show apartments.

I love to travel. Someone called me  recently asking for advice about traveling from the US to  Budapest.  While I have been there once, I am certainly no expert. Right away, I told them to call my travel agent. The caller was shocked. He asked, “You don’t book your own trips online?” – “Absolutely not!  I said!  My agent knows how to find me deals and saves me money!” I replied.

Many people think booking their own trips can save them money. Possibly. But probably not. Also if  you are visiting a place for the first time, wouldn’t you want some advice and guidance? The same can be true for apartment hunting.

When the internet exploded (1998-2001), many travelers went out on their own, searching, looking for deals and bargains, booking things themselves – I never understood that. Why would I want to spend HOURS doing all the work – when a travel professional probably knows most of the answers! TO THIS DAY, Googlers think they can do best, searching on their own.

The same holds true  for apartment  or house hunting. Why wouldn’t you use an expert for FREE?

 

                I AM NOT A PUSHY SALESPERSON!

On the contrary; I am not selling anything!   My job is to work with you to find  you an apartment. If I do my job right, I get a commission from the landlord.

When someone calls me about  an apartment  for  rent,  they no doubt  have  called  SEVERAL  agents  about  several  apartments. I get it. It’s the age we live in.   I meet clients all the time, that are working  with 3-4  or more!  different agents  and  independent landlords! WHY?  Work with ONE AGENT, who can show you everything! (or at least almost everything). Then after you have exhausted all the possible  apartments with an agent and  you want to switch agents  or look on your own, do so.

SPACES Real Estate has a huge inventory of properties we represent. One of the BIGGEST in the city. I have access to any unit that you see advertised with the SPACES logo on it.  We have 2000-3000+  units at any given moment, all over the city. If you find anything online with our SPACES logo, let me know and we can schedule an appointment to see that as well. And if it does NOT have our logo, there is a good chance  I can still get us into see it!

 

 I DO NOT GET PAID  TO SHOW  APARTMENTS!

Some people think we get fee’s for every unit we show them. Not true. We  get paid a finders fee,  a commission, when we correctly match a renter with a landlord, and they sign a lease and move in.

I am here to represent and work with YOU! I am a consultant. I am a researcher. I am a renters agent. I work for you. I am not trying to sell you anything. I am here to help. My goal is to find you an apartment that meets your needs. My process is transparent and I am honest.

Why wouldn’t I be honest? I want to make you happy – and ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS! I want you to tell EVERYONE how great  I am and  how great SPACES Real Estate is!  It is to my benefit to make you happy,  to find you the perfect SPACE, and you TELL ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS how great I am and we are!  I want to exceed your expectations and find you a great space to live!

There was an awesome show called  NIP/TUCK, 2003-2010 on FX. The show was about plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, and they would ask clients, “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.”

I tell all of my clients right off the back, “tell me what you like or dislike about this place, you will not hurt my feelings!”  I need to understand what you LIKE and don’t LIKE  about  a place we  are seeing.

 

Ask  10 people, what is the best pizza in Chicago?

You will probably get 10 different  answers!

“Best”, “Favorite” ……  are very subjective and vary person  to person. What one person likes, another person may not like.

It helps me to better understand a clients needs  when they are open and honest  about what I am showing them.  So I always ask them, “tell me what you think, on a scale from 1-10…..how would you rate this apartment?” That gives me a gauge on what works for them. You are not going to hurt my feelings if you hate it. Remember, I am here to help you wade through the market and find you a great space!

SPACES REAL ESTATE is a whole package. We work FOR YOU. 

We have  a support staff to help  get you through the process.

I am a “renter’s  agent”. I do not work for the landlord or management companies.

 

                          I work for YOU! To find YOU a perfect space to call “home”.

                                  Michael “Love” Snell   – LOVE YOUR SPACE!   773-206-8359

 

 

 

How SPACES is  Changing The Game Of Real Estate

At Spaces, we measure our performance by a single metric: service.

Fueled by our shared quest for excellence, Spaces’ team of experienced, engaged brokers work alongside top-notch real estate professionals to provide you with a full package of services and products to ensure that all of your property needs are met. Our customer-first approach is backed by the very latest in industry-leading tech, innovative marketing solutions, and data-driven, real-time metrics that provide with all of the tools and resources you’ll need to be successful in a frequently shifting real estate market.

 

Since 2010, our commitment to remaining locally-owned and fiercely independent to better meet our clients’ needs has been the cornerstone of our success—and with our brand new 2,300 square foot office space now open in the heart of Lakeview… we’re just getting started.

 

 

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

 

IMPORTANT  INFORMATION –

The landlords  we were work with are looking for tenants that have 650+ credit scores and bring in a combined gross monthly income that’s  at least 3 times the rent amount for the apartment you might be considering. Do you meet those requirements? If not, will you be able to provide a co-signer? They will also run a background check on the potential renter(s).  Everyone living in the unit over 18 years old needs to be on the lease.  Please discuss all of this with your agent, BEFORE you begin looking at apartments. 

 

City Living and Puppy Pads

Whether you live in a 3rd floor  walk  up or a high rise – taking  your dog out to do it’s business, can be pain. Especially in the winter!

Do you currently  use  Pee pads?
or  about to get a new puppy,  and  want  to train  your pup  to use  pads?
 These  are the BEST PRICED  PADS  that I have found!!

Now you can buy professional quality PooPeePads direct – and save!
Prices start at $32.99 for 300 pads and as low as $27.99 for 3 cases – including FREE delivery!

All are first quality pads with sealed edges, tear-resistant top sheet and leak-proof backing. The  scented pad will attract your pet for easier training. Please note scenting is not a fragrance
it’s an attractant only the dogs can smell.

The special construction absorbs up to twice as
much as the leading competitors. And these pads are up to 35% less expensive!

PooPeePads™ will save you money, protect your floors and make house training a breeze!

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.”

Famous Fido No Kill Shelter

Home.

       At Holiday time, we get misty-eyed about the concept ofHome.  Although everything may not work out so great in reality, we still are very aware of how it should be.  Every family member should have a sense of belonging.  Should feel warm, well-fed, relaxed and protected.  Should feel true joy and true love.  These satisfying feelings should waft through the Home along with the wonderful smells from the  emanating from the kitchen.


Goblin, shown drifting off to sleep above, is now experiencing all the comforts of 
Home.  His adopter was totally charmed by his long lean body and his bad-boy attitude.  His holiday season will be spectacular.  Adorable poodle Hooty, shown below  leaving  Famous Fido for his new Forever Home,
 lucked out in time for Thanksgiving.


But sometimes 
Home is not possible in the traditional sense.  Your chosen family might be a group of friends instead.  But that is Home because there is love and the group has created its own traditions.  In the same way, cats and dogs who have special needs or who are terminally ill, may not have high adoption potential.  But it is possible that they still have a true Home.  At Famous Fido, we make every effort to provide that Home environment in our sanctuary for those in hospice care.  Hogan and Sheena, shown below, did not make it to this Thanksgiving.  But while they lived they were loved and had good medical care and warm cozy quarters with lots of room to move about and enjoy toys and cat towers or doggie beds  and their favorite foods.  They knew they were Home and protected.


To provide for this 9,000 SF sanctuary and for high-cost veterinary care, Famous Fido depends on the generous support of our donors.  Please help us continue our efforts.  Support us by clicking on the DONATE NOW button and remember us on Giving Tuesday, November 28th

Give the Gift of Love and Compassion.  Adopt!