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LOVE Your Space

 

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!

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???

 

Art Van Furniture Harwood Heights

Growing up in Michigan, Art Van Furniture WAS THE STORE everyone went to for their furniture needs. So it was very exciting when they brought the brand to Chicagoland!

The opened the first city store over on Elston Ave  about  4 years ago.  Then a dozen or so all over the suburbs.  They discovered that many customers  from the Northwest of the city were  coming to the Elston store. So now they have  a huge beautiful store in Harwood Heights!

From the ground up. Mr. Van Elslander, founder of Art Van Furniture, began working in a Detroit furniture store as a young man. In just a few short years, he was ready for a bigger challenge and opened his own store on Gratiot Avenue and 10 Mile Road in 1959. His founding philosophy was to provide the community with quality furniture at great prices, with always high standards of customer service.

Known then as Art Van’s, Mr. Van Elslander was the sole employee of the store, which featured Danish and contemporary home furnishings. Though Detroit’s economy was struggling, the company grew and later the name was changed to the current Art Van Furniture.

After 59 years, Art Van Furniture operates more than 100 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, including freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores, Art Van Flooring stores, and Art Van Furniture franchise locations.

We Love Furniture. Art Van Furniture has revolutionized home fashion: it’s classic furniture reinvented for modern living. Our buyers travel the globe to find and design the most stylish furniture at the best prices. And, we tap into the expertise of our Art Van Style Makers to find out what’s new in fashion — and, make it all affordable for the Midwest family!

We make it special. Check out our exclusive Custom Order programs for every room in the house. From your living and dining room to your bedroom retreat, you direct the show by mixing and matching your favorite fabrics, colors, patterns, accents, hardware and finishes.

Style maker Nigel  Barker started working with Art Van about 5 years ago, and now he produces a signature line of furniture, exclusively for Art Van.

Local designer and style  maker  Derrick  Sorles (Bow tie Derrick) started working with the store 4 years ago, and is super excited about the new location. “I grew up in Michigan and have always bought this furniture.  The new location in Harwood Heights is HUGE and so much more inventory to work with than the Elston store. Lots of really  awesome  urban city furniture and accessories.

I love helping people pick the perfect sofa or help them design a whole room.  Your home should be your sanctuary, filled with good energy and a reflection of YOU. My design skills are offered free of charge. Come by and see me!”

 

 

 

Art Van Furniture

Highlights info row image
(773) 628-1323

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.