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What an awesome Memorial Day Weekend we had here in Chicago last weekend, and combined with a short work week, this weekend Chicagoans are picking-up where they left off!

Returning for its 9th year, and kicking-off June’s fest season with a bang, the Do Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale will span 10 city blocks on Division Street between Ashland Avenue and Leavitt Street in the Wicker Park neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) with a wide variety of food, plenty of libations, live music on two stages and arts & crafts vendors. Within this fest is the ever popular Family Fun Fest (12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. both days) featuring pony & train rides, face painting, a bounce house, jousting, mini golf and much more! Plus, everyone can boogie down at the Family Fun Fest’s very own entertainment stage. This year’s Sidewalk Sale will offer some of the best deals of the season as well from Division Street’s independently-owned boutiques, salons and shops. And, Do Fashion, another fest within a fest, will again be featuring runway shows happening periodically throughout the weekend showcasing the hottest styles of this season! So, put on your best pair of walking shoes and checkout what makes West Division one of the hottest destination spots in Chicago!!

Returning for its 39th year, the Lincoln Park Greek Fest returns to the grounds of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church (2701 N. Sheffield Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) with its aromas, tastes, sounds and traditions of Greece! This year’s fest will celebrate the Hellenic culture by featuring authentic Greek dishes prepared by the parishioners themselves, great music, dance performances, kids’ activities and just some good ‘ole pure fun! There’s plenty of Food, Fun & Opa at this Fest!!

Enjoy an outdoor wing block party at Wingout Chicago being held this Saturday and Sunday (2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) at St. Michael in Old Town (1633 N. Cleveland Ave.) featuring over 20 varieties of all-you-can-eat wings from Classic Buffalo to Honey Chili to Jerk to Spicy Garlic to Asian Ginger and many other flavors from some of Chicago’s top vendors! Patrons will also get to enjoy some adult beverages and live reggae music as well!!

Returning for its 2nd year to the Little Village neighborhood at 3100 W. 31st Street this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.), the Taste of Little Village: Flavors of Mexico features authentic Mexican treats such as tacos, flautas, enchiladas, tortas and more from Chicago restaurants, a non-stop music lineup, chef cooking demonstrations on the Culinary Stage, carnival rides and arts & crafts! You’ll be in culinary heaven especially if you’re a lover of South-of-the-Border cuisine!!

Celebrating the first anniversary of The 606, The 606 Block Party will take place this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with a free family festival at 1800 N. Ridgeway Avenue, which includes food, musical performances, community-led processions and special activities for folks of all ages! Closing out The 606 Block Party will be the “Illumination Hour,” where attendees will make illuminated objects and join in the Illumination Hour procession on the Bloomingdale Trail from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.!!

Finally, the 31st Chicago Gospel Music Festival will wrap-up this Saturday (4:00 p.m.) at Millennium Park/Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop with local and national artists celebrating the genre’s foundational roots here in Chicago!

Are You Ready to Pick-Up Where You Left Off? See You Out There!!



The Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce held their annual Dollars for Scholars Program in March and, as promised, the winners were announced over Memorial Day weekend. The Elementary School prize went to eighth grader Cooper VanDorpe of Norwood Park Elementary School. He plans to attend Notre Dame College Prep. The High School winner is senior Tanja Rakovic from Taft High School who will be attending the University of Illinois in Chicago. Good luck to both of these winners!


Any family that has experienced the loss of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or neonatal death is invited to attend the blessing at Edward Hospital's Wings of Hope Angel Garden on Tuesday, 6/7, at 6:00pm. The Garden is located near the South Entrance of the Hospital at 801 S. Washington St., near the Emergency/Outpatient Entrance.  The annual blessing culminates with a ceremonial butterfly release and is presented in coordination with the national support network, SHARE. If you cannot attend but would like to make a donation, follow either link above to show your support.


The Boka Restaurant Group, who have a long list of successful eateries across Chicago including Boka, Girl & The Goat, and Momotaro, have partnered with Steppenwolf Theatre Company to bring a new cafe/bar to the theater's front lobby of the 1700 Theater at 1700 N. Halsted St. The cafe is called Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks and serves much more than just coffee and alcoholic beverages. If you're there to see a show, now you can enjoy a meal and drinks before and after without leaving the building. Front Bar will be open daily from 7:00am - 12:00am so it's a new destination for anyone, not just theatergoers.


Follow this link to RSVP and receive one free drink for Activate's June party next Thursday, 6/9, from 5:00pm - 10:00pm in Sullivan Center Alley. The entrance to the alley is on Monroe Street between State St. and Wabash Ave. This time the party will be a "Silent Disco" with the sense of Hearing as this month's theme. You're invited to dance to the music in your head or hear the featured musical entertainers by way of headset. I'm not sure how this works so you'll have to attend to find out for yourself. Musical guests are DJ IMGRNT and live performances by rock 'n' roll duo White Mystery, R&B artist KHALLEE, and multi-art spectacle NON:op.


We're giving you fair warning to purchase tickets ahead of time and benefit from the discount rather than pay full price on the day of the event! You have 2 weeks to purchase your tickets and plan a night of culinary adventure for this year's Cravings on Clark Restaurant Crawl on Thursday 6/16 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. The crawl features the wonderful patisseries, cafes, pubs and restaurants along Clark Street from Armitage Ave. to Diversey Pkwy., and the south side of Diversey Pkwy. between Orchard St. and Lakeview Ave. Admission is $30 in advance or $40 on the day of the event for your passport to participate in tastings and retail shop discounts along the way. Also pedicab rides will be free!



There are two meats that work great on the grill that some are often hesitant to try thinking they are too hard to get right. Here are a couple of shortcuts to ensure juicy delicious meat every time.

Butterball® makes a boneless breast of turkey that was just made for the grill. It comes wrapped in a net and needs to be thawed before cooking. Unwrap in the sink as there is a lot of juice. Remember, it’s poultry so be careful and wash your hands and sanitize surfaces after preparing. Adjust the netting and pat dry with paper towels. Coat with vegetable oil to aid in net removal later. Season with salt and pepper. Grilling is done in the indirect method. Line coals into rows on two sides with space in the middle. Form a drip pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the space in the middle before lighting the fire. Place the turkey roast over the drip pan and roast for 30 minutes. Turn and rotate for even cooking. The total cooking time will be between 75 and 90 minutes. Time varies with heat of the fire and even weather conditions. Use an instant read thermometer  to ensure an internal temperature of 170 degrees. The turkey will be very brown but, don’t worry, it will be delicious and juicy inside. Wrap the roast in foil and let rest for ten minutes, this lets juices redistribute and helps aid in net removal. Slice and enjoy.

Baby back ribs are delicious on the grill. I’ve found that when I try to cook them the entire time on the grill they are not fall off the bone like I want. Years ago I found a recipe for fall off the bone ribs that are perfect every time. Prepare the ribs. On the underside there is often a tough skin that needs to be removed prior to cooking. Pull up a corner of the skin and grasp with a paper towel and pull off. Season on both sides, I prefer salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in a foil lined baking pan, at least 1 inch deep. Pour one bottle of beer in the bottom of the pan and bake in a 250-degree oven for 2 hours. Remove from the pan and pat dry. Place on a hot grill meat side down. Brown both sides well then sauce. Give them a few more minutes for the sauce to brown then dig in!


You got a new computer and the excitement is rising. You can't wait to turn it on and get to seeing how suped up it really is. The thing though is to tread carefully before you get your software all booted up. Thankfully with the new Intel 10-core processor, you're going to see some amazing speeds.

Before you get going on your computer and playing with the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) software, be wary. This software should have disks that were sold with the hardware you purchased. If not, this software is most likely illegal and it violates the license. This can invalidate any technical support you receive from the manufacturer, software upgrades, patches or service packs. The software could also contain spam or spyware that would render your new equipment useless.

Here are some suggested steps to assist you in maintaining your equipment, prolong its lifespan and not fill your RAM with junk.

  1. Make sure you install back-up software. Most people have heard of Carbonite. I would also like to suggest CrashPlan. Both offer a full back-up of your system to the cloud and are highly trusted.
  2. Add CCleaner to your computer and use it weekly. I cannot tell you how much this has helped my machines stay fast because it cleans out all the unnecessary junk that floats in my RAM at any given time. Note that this software will also delete any saved login/password pages so be sure to add them to the safe list before running it. You can also add this software to your smart phone.
  3. Add Malware Bytes to your computer and use it weekly. The paid version will run in the background and quarantine anything that may be harmful to your computer. This software has proven to be extremely robust whether you use the free or paid version.
  4. Add Spyware Blaster to your computer and use it bi-weekly. This is geared toward ActiveX spyware and other harmful programs.
  5. Set up your PC computer to defragment once a month. Once again, having a lot of RAM is how you will maintain the speed of your machine and boost the functionality of your processor.

I love getting new equipment because it's so shiny and usually makes my software run at extremely fast rates. Be sure to keep it that way on a regular basis. In case you are having trouble with these steps as we say in Chicago, "I got a guy!"



Not only will Chicagoans be celebrating the start of the City’s summer street festivals season but they’ll also be celebrating Memorial Day! There are a ton of things happening this Memorial Day Weekend that I can’t possibly write about all of them, so here’s about a handful’s worth of events for celebrating Memorial Day!!

There’s no better way to begin your weekend celebration than at Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade stepping off at Noon at State and Lake Streets (201 N. State St.) in The Loop this Saturday honoring the men and women who sacrificed their lives, and still do to this day, for our country. The Parade’s Grand Marshal this year is Lt. General Kenneth R. Dahl who served in senior leadership positions in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a highly-decorated Commanding General. And, this year’s recipient of the Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award is Eli Williamson, co-founder and president of Leave No Veteran Behind. Mr. Williamson served in the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well. Once again, the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at the Eternal Flame in Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets) at 11:00 a.m. Come join us as we honor the service members, veterans and Gold Star families in remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom!

Celebrating its 32nd year, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival kicks off Chicago’s summer street festivals season this Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sheffield Avenue from Belmont to Roscoe Avenues in the Lakeview neighborhood.  This wildly popular street party showcases the region’s favorite tribute bands (headliners are the “Wedding Banned” (Saturday) and “Catfight” (Sunday)) along with plenty of food and libations as well as artisans rolling out their newest creative handwork! Don’t miss out on welcoming in summer and the warmer temps!!

If you haven’t been invited to, or are hosting, a pig roast, don’t worry, the City has you covered with these events –

G&O (459 N. Ogden Ave.) in the West Town neighborhood is hosting the 4 Hands Brewing Co. Memorial Day Pig Roast this Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Your $18 ticket includes all-you-can-eat smoked pig and sides which include mac n’ cheese, coleslaw and braised collard greens all made using beers from the brewery. Pigasus, City Wide, Contact High, Send Help and Hatch on draft will be available a la carte as well!

Lottie’s Pub (of Chicago Fire fame) (1925 W. Cortland Ave.) in the Bucktown neighborhood is hosting their 6th annual Lottie’s Pub Memorial Day Pig Roast this Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Your $12 ticket includes all-you-can-eat smoked pig and sides which include baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, fried chicken and more. Drink specials are available as well!

MB Financial Park (5501 Park Pl.) in Rosemont will be kicking off its free summer concert series this Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a Memorial Day Cookout. This Cookout features $2 tastings from MB Financial Park’s restaurants, live music provided by “Maggie Speaks” and “The Blooze Brothers” as well as a musical fireworks display to cap off the evening!

Finally, the MB Bike the Drive is being held this Sunday (5:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) at Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop. Lake Shore Drive will be shut down to auto traffic until 10:15 a.m. as cyclists complete either a 15- or 30-miles non-competitive ride with rest stops and snacks along the way. Afterwards, head on down to Butler Field in Grant Park for a bash complete with a pancake breakfast, live music from “No Alternative,” sponsor contests and exhibitors! It’s the most unique bike ride you’ll take all year!!

Have a Happy & Safe Memorial Day Weekend!  Hello Summer!!



The 60-year-long tradition of "Flowers for Our Soldiers" continues tomorrow, Friday 5/27, at 9:30am to commemorate Memorial Day and all military members killed in action by laying flowers at the foot of the designated Memorial Tree at the northeast corner of Portage Park (4100 N. Long Ave.). Portage Park Elementary Kindergarteners through 2nd graders will share a performance of patriotic songs and lead the flower laying procession. The ceremony will take place outside unless inclement weather forces the festivities to take place within the school's auditorium at 5330 W. Berteau Ave.


Benefit Cosmetics Boutique & Brow Bar located at 1632 Sherman Ave. is participating in the Bold Is Beautiful Project by hosting a block party tomorrow, Friday 5/27, from 9:00am - 11:00am. The Bold Is Beautiful Project began with the original Benefit Cosmetics store in San Francisco. All proceeds from eyebrow waxes during the month of May gets donated to charities that empower women and girls around the world. Evanston's store has included this special block party offer to further promote these efforts. Ticketholders will be treated to a brow arch or tint, a session with one of Benefit Cosmetic's beauty artists, champagne, nibbles, and a goodie bag! Purchase $30 tickets by contacting Nicole at or call 224-623-9867.


This news will take at least two years to come to fruition but it's great news for the South Loop. Rahm Emanuel is working with the Chicago Board of Education to resolve the current overcrowding issue in the growing community of South Loop's Elementary School at 1212 S. Plymouth Court. Emanuel promises to build a new school and yesterday confirmed that the vacant post office facility at 16th and Dearborn Streets will be the location for the new building. The plan, still in its preliminary stages, has been set into motion after years of parents' complaints regarding the population of South Loop Elementary which is currently operating at 126% capacity according to Chicago Public Schools.


A new farmers market began this week and will continue every Wednesday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm through the summer months. Located at 4900 N. Damen Ave., the Ravenswood Farmers Market brings another beloved open-air market to Chicagoland, featuring a variety of farmers, food producers, children's crafts and science experiment tents, guest artists, and retailers for a dog and kid-friendly pastime in the middle of every week until September 14th. Opportunities are still available for vendors interested in sharing their products or services with the community so follow the link above to apply.


If you've been wondering what is planned for the retail space at 3358 N. Southport which used to be Justin's Bar for 31 years and closed in January, Southport Corridor News now has an answer. Due to be completed in fall, 4-Star Restaurant Group is adding a Tex-Mex cuisine restaurant to its line of successes that include Crosby's Kitchen, Smoke Daddy, Frasca's Pizzeria, and D.O.C. Wine Bar. The new spot has yet to be named but get excited for its outdoor patio seating, weekend brunches, margaritas and full tequila bar.



After an internal investigation, Facebook is changing the way Trending Topics will display. Recently the social media group was accused of "tampering with its Trending Topics feature, promoting 'progressive' views and websites over content presenting views from the American right."

Facebook's Trending Topics currently uses an algorithm utilizing Artificial Intelligence and human input. The subjects also include feeds from 1,000 media outlets. While speaking with Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, outlined that the investigation showed that almost half of the topics suggested using the algorithm are rejected "because they do not make sense at the time or are duplicative." Once topics become "stale" or "junk" they are left out of the Trending Topics.

There are so many topics to choose that some are disregarded because of the inability of team to translate from a foreign language or the length of the topic. For example, the Black Lives Matter hashtag which could have been manually added did not appear in the Trending Topics. The topic of Ferguson, however, was added to accommodate for this oversight.

The full findings of the investigation are available for review in 12-page letter addressed to US Senator John Thune who brought the issue of Trending Topics to the attention of Facebook. Expect to see some changes in how Trending Topics will be handled in the future.



The easiest way to keep a bathroom clean is to make sure you don’t let things get carried away during the week. After you shower the bath is wonderfully steamy. Keep dry rags or paper towels under the sink. Wipe down the sink, counters, faucets and showers. Wipe the mirrors with dry paper towel.

Your weekly cleaning will go much easier now. Dust the light fixtures with a microfiber cloth. Keep cloths or sponges color coded to keep toilet ones and sink/shower ones separate. Micro fiber cloths are fantastic for many cleaning jobs around the house. They are great for polishing and dusting and work especially well on stainless steel appliances.

Spray the cleaner of your choice all over the tub, tile walls, sink and toilet. Spread the cleaner all around with a sponge or cloth. I use Kaboom, but any cleaner that works on soap scum is sufficient. Leave on the surface at least 5 minutes. Cleaner needs time to work! Give everything a good scrub with a non-abrasive pad. Rinse thoroughly and dry with clean, dry cloths. Remember your color coded cloths here.

Clean the mirrors and shine faucets with glass cleaner and dry with paper towels. Exit by cleaning the floor with one of your used cleaning cloths or sponges then dry with the towels you used on the mirror. A clean bathroom in less than 20 minutes.


We’re just one weekend away from Memorial Day Weekend where we officially celebrate the beginning of our summer festival season here in Chicago. However, some events couldn’t wait and will be kicking-off the festival season this weekend. After all, summer is almost here!

Chicago’s biggest annual kick-off event for the summer festival season takes place in the Lakeview neighborhood at 3100 N. Ashland Ave. this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) with Mayfest. Celebrating their 21st year, Mayfest’s main stage is set up under a Big-Top Heated Tent (weather not an issue) and features an amazing beer garden offering some of the best ice cold beverages prepping those taste buds for the summer. This event also showcases some of the best music with Too White Crew (Saturday) and 7th Heaven (Sunday) wrapping-up the entertainment for the day as well as offering some of the best cuisine in all of Chicago. There’s even a Chicago Kids Day putting special focus on health and wellness of the city’s youth and a Chicago Pet Pageant & Expo for the city’s pet enthusiasts. This event will definitely give you a weekend of endless fun!

Another event celebrating the beginning of summer transforms a tranquil northside pocket park into an open-air market with the Lincoln Park Wine Fest this Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Jonquil Park (1023 W. Wrightwood Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This 2nd annual event will offer twelve wine tastings of more than 80 varietals with sommeliers and brand ambassadors on hand to give you the ins and outs of what you’re tasting. Also on hand will be food-wine pairings, a live music lineup, fine artists and wine-related vendors with their products/services!

Moving right along, how about raising funds and awareness for colon cancer at this year’s Chicago Undy Run/Walk this Saturday at Lincoln Park South (1627 N. Stockton Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This is a family and pet-friendly underwear themed 5K event with opening remarks at 8:40 a.m., the 5K beginning at 9:00 a.m., the 1 Mile Fun Run at 9:10 a.m. and the Survivor & Patient recognition and awards ceremony at 10:05 a.m. Dare to be Bold and Run Brave for this great cause!

Prefer wearing more clothing? Then perhaps The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Bark in the Park 5K Walk is just the event for you! This 22nd annual event takes place in a new location this year at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Post-walk offers a wide variety of activities, competitions and relay races to keep the fun going for participants and their four-legged friends all morning long! Professional demonstrations and performances as well as make and take craft and DIY projects at Memory Lane will be featured for those wanting a more relaxed morning or don’t have a dog on their hands. And, new this year, kids will be able to test their own agility skills at the kid-friendly obstacle course! It’s more than just a walk!!

Finally, in case you didn’t know, this year marks the 30th anniversary of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” which was released on June 11, 1986 and filmed right here in Chicago. So, several events have been planned for this Chicago classic which includes film screenings, tours of all the filming locations, a Shermer High School 1986 dance, guest appearances from some of the film stars and more for Ferris Fest this Saturday and Sunday!

Are You Ready for the Summer Festival Season to Begin!




Thousands are already taking advantage of this new method of finding lodging away from home.  Hundreds nationwide, and here in Chicago, are renting all or a portion of their house as Airbnb Hosts.  Across Chicago, in Diverse Neighborhoods, Affluent, or Not-So-Affluent, Airbnb’s gives out of town visitors to experience Chicago like a Local, and often for a Fraction of the Cost of Traditional Hotel Rooms.

But is it for YOU?

Beth Franken, in her article in the Chicago Tribune Real Estate Section this week, sees Chicago Airbnb Locations in virtually every Chicago Neighborhood – from the Far South Side, to Edison Park, on the Far Northwest Side – and in virtually every Chicago Suburb, from Glenwood to Antioch.

Despite the fact that the City of Chicago and many Chicago Suburbs are considering more tightly regulating – and taxing – Airbnb Hosts who rent out more than 90 days a year, and the Airbnb website imposes a “royalty fee” on both Hosts and Guests, books are growing very quickly here.  Many local homeowners see profit in participating in Airbnb, especially during warm weather months.

Many Airbnb Hosts, fearing privacy and security concerns, refuse to discuss their participation outside of the Web Portal.  Many don’t want the “publicity” should the City impose tighter regulation or impose taxes.

Here in Chicago, some neighbors in the Gold Coast Neighborhood on the Near North Side fear that too many Shared Housing Condos will create Party Houses, where young people rent Downtown Chicago Condos, then behave badly during warm weekends this Summer.

Some of the Outlying Neighborhoods in Chicago have few traditional hotels.  For example, in Logan Square, on the Northwest Side, one long-time resident has made nearly her entire home available to Airbnb Guests, with no resulting problems.

The Airbnb Dashboard has built-in security, and allows Hosts to customize their offerings, as well as set their own prices.   For some Hosts, the entire home is made available to guests.  For others, only a room or two is made available, sometimes only when the Hosts are at home.

Airbnb Hosts typically provide toiletries, towels, kitchenware and coffee.  Food is usually not provided.

Hosts, as well as Guests, are subject to screening and reviews.  For Safety’s Sake, the Airbnb Portal allows communication only when there is an offer of lodging made.  However, for most Airbnb hosts and their Guests, Security has not been a problem thus far.

In less than ten years, Airbnb has grown from a one-room operation, to a massive Online Community, operating in 191 countries, with over two million listings.    Here in Chicago, Airbnb Choices range from small Lincoln Park studio and one-bedroom condos at less than $50/night, to townhomes in Bronzeville, Lakeview, and Bucktown renting for over $400 nightly.  In the Chicago Loop alone, Airbnb lists nearly 250 rentals, with an average price of $162 each night. 

Airbnb locations abound in most Chicago Suburbs as well – Wheaton, Berwyn, Evanston, Oak Park, Schaumburg, and Naperville, among others.

The Airbnb website claims at least 247,000 visitors found their website within the past 12 months.

The City of Chicago has requested that all Airbnb Hosts register with the city, but compliance, at this time, is low.  Only 131 Hosts have registered thus far.  This will change, of course, if registration, and a Guest Tax, becomes mandatory.   Many around City Hall are predicting this soon.

To become an Airbnb Host, click on their website – – and register.  Of course, the more detailed your background info, and the more pictures you post, the greater the likelihood you will achieve more success – and more revenue – as an Airbnb Host.

Let us know if YOU plan to list YOUR home or condo on Airbnb!




Don't miss out on Geja's Cafe (340 W. Armitage Ave.) Back to the Roots Wine Festival that's been going on since April and ends on June 30th. They are offering promotional prices for nearly 20 different wines whose winemakers use sustainable, organic and holistically ecological practices to ensure a more healthy environment for generations to come.  Geja's Cafe is known for its romantic fondue dining and now they want to spread the word about these winemakers and their love for their craft and the environment. For reservations and more information, call 773-281-9101 or visit


Ferris Fest is this weekend, May 20th - 22nd. What does that mean? It means that there are events celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, from Lake Forest to Chicago. One of the featured stops during the weekend schedule is the painstakingly accurate recreation of Ferris' bedroom, by Toronto artist/designer Sarah Keenlyside, on display at the Virgin Hotel (203 N. Wabash Ave.) from 9:00am - 5:00pm this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There will also be a live recreation of the famous "Twist and Shout" parade scene from the movie but you must purchase a ticket to be notified of when and where this parade will take place. Follow the link above for more details. Save Ferris!


Every third Friday of the month from 6:00pm - 10:00pm, Oak Park welcomes everyone to their Third Friday Gallery Walks that showcase special discounts and events at the galleries along the Oak Park Arts District on Harrison Street from Elmwood Avenue to Austin Boulevard. Tomorrow's third Friday of the month, 5/20, is extra special because it kicks off the Spring festival, What's Blooming on Harrison on Saturday, 5/21, from 11:00am - 7:00pm. This family-oriented event will include a children's carnival, live music, dancing, craft demonstrations, and Family Fun Activities. There will also be arts and crafts for purchase from local and select guest artists. Come join the festivities on Harrison Street between Cuyler and Humphrey Avenues.


Stomp and Shout located at 4668 N. Manor Avenue, close to Lincoln Square, offers a three year music and creative play program for kids aged 8 months to 4 years old to help bolster language, listening, and socialization skills in fun, creative ways. They provide 45 minute classes that engage children through music and imaginative play with participation from their caretakers, guided by professional teachers and musicians. All are welcome to check out their free event to see what Stomp and Shout has to offer your children and the community. Their Neighborhood Kick-Off Party is from 10:00am to 2:00pm this Saturday, 5/21. There will be two Imagination Parades, one launching at 10:30am and the other at 12:30pm for a little 2.5-block parade where stomping and shouting will be encouraged. The three-piece Stomp and Shout Jam Band will provide a live concert after each parade plus art projects and more. It's a free event but RSVPing is helpful for an approximate attendance head count. Email and specify which parade time works best for you and your young one(s).


Memorial Day is a week from Monday and Norwood Park is gearing up for their Memorial Day Parade that starts gathering on Monday 5/30 at 9:30am and then kicks off at 11:00am at Onahan School (6634 W. Raven St.). The parade will travel west on Raven St. then cross Avondale Ave. where it becomes Nina Ave., then south onto East Circle Ave., then east onto Ardmore Ave., south again onto Natoma Ave., then east on Hurlbut to finish the route at Taft High School (6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) where a Tribute Ceremony will take place at 12:15pm. There's the route specifics so you can stake your claim to the best vantage point for viewing the parade.



Now is the time of year when newlyweds, first time home buyers and even college graduates will be starting in a new home. Following is a list of basic tools that will definitely help them save money by doing small jobs around the house.

     14-volt lithium battery powered drill. This will work as a power screwdriver as well as a drill.

     4-in-1 screwdriver. Has Philips heads as well as straight heads in various sizes.

     Crescent wrenches in 6 inch and 14 inches. The smaller for tight spaces and the larger for more leverage.

     More basic tools include: 16oz rip hammer. I prefer wood handled but as long as it feels balanced any material is ok. Linesman pliers for cutting and twisting wire and a needle nose for finer work. 25-foot tape measure with a one-inch blade will extend without buckling which is essential when working alone.

     Adjustable channel lock pliers, for shower heads and nuts.

     Basic utility knife- retractable blade, hold extra blades in handle. Scores drywall and other everyday tasks.

     Basic painting tools. 1-inch putty knife for nail holes. 6-inch drywall knife and a 5-in-1 painter’s tool. A paint tray and 9-inch roller frame for disposable rollers. A good 2½ inch angled brush will do your paint cutting in.

     A 4-foot spirit level works great for leveling shelves. A line or torpedo level will work for hanging pictures.

     Basic garden tools include: round and flat edged shovels, hand held spade, hedge clippers and a good quality rake.

With these tools any first timer will be able to tackle many handyman jobs. The total cost of these tools (around $250) could be saved on a few jobs like panting a room or hanging shelves.




So I love all things technology and this latest app I've uncovered has me really excited. It's called Litsy and it's got some cool features for those of us who love technology and reading.

According to their website, "Litsy is a place to share and discover your favorite books with your favorite people." Litsy is all about the book and not about the sales of books.

You literally (pun intended) have three options for personal posts - quote, blurb, or review. To post anything you must include the book title as a tag. You can use both images and text for your posts. You also have three options when viewing your feed - add, comment, or like.

Litsy has similarities to Instagram with tagging, pictures, likes and comments. It also has some similarities to Goodreads. Some of the unique benefits to Litsy include no privileged author space, no private messaging, and four options for rating. Finally, for the competitive at heart, there is also Litfluence which measures your personal influence on Litsy.

Who would have guessed that the second weekend in May would bring us such cool temps! Not Chicago as the City gears-up for another weekend packed with lots of fun outdoor things to do, and even some indoor things for those who require warmer temps. As long as the sun is out, who cares!!

Our first outdoor adventure will entangle race participants in a web of puzzles and challenges to use their wit, mapping skills and life lines in a citywide race to the finish line with thousands of dollars of cash prizes up for grabs for the fastest teams, best family teams, best costume and great finish line greats! The CityScape Fun Run takes place this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Bottled Blonde (504 N. Wells St.) in the River North neighborhood. Afterwards, enjoy a post-race celebration packed with fun games and prizes!

One of Chicago’s favorite Spring events has returned as Chicago’s First Lady along with the Chicago Architecture Foundation have donated once again an Architecture River Cruise benefitting the Real Tree House Cats! This year's Puss & Boat Cruise takes place this Saturday with an 8:15 a.m. check-in at the Southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Driver on the river front. This 90-minute cruise not only gives you the real story on Chicago architecture and its history but also will have an informal talk and Q&A with Steve Dale, author of Good Cat along with drinks available for purchase!

Enjoy one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods while perusing one of a kind artwork, crafts and décor from Chicagoland’s best artists at the outdoor Hand Made Chicago Arts & Crafts Festival this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) at Journeymen Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Blvd.) in the West Loop! Come and enjoy these handmade works from DIY craft to jewelry, soaps, candles, furniture, wearables and much more as well as enjoying some music and food!

As we take it indoors, create your ultimate outdoor living space (for the warmer temps) at the Outdoor Furniture Sample Sale this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza) in the River North neighborhood! Here you’ll be able to view the latest in outdoor seating, outdoor dining sets, outdoor accessories and more. Samples are available at up to 75% off and any custom orders can be made with the Designer-On-Call program.  Unbeatable & Unbelievable Prices for your outdoor oasis!

While you’re at the Outdoor Sample Sale drop the kids off at the 2nd annual Chicago Science Fest located on the 12th Floor of the Merchandise Mart this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This fest features talks and demos from local researchers on science and technology as well as free hands-on demo stations that include 3-D printing, virtual reality, fuel cell electric cars, prosthetic limbs, edible insects and more!

Finally, the 27th annual Headsucker’s Ball takes place this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) at McGee’s Tavern & Grille (950 W. Webster Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This is Chicago’s Biggest Crawfish Boil and in honor of their 27th year, McGee’s will be flying in over 2,500 pounds of fresh crawfish straight from the Bayou and serving it up with their famous jambalaya, red beans & rice and spicy gumbo all day long, or until the last crawfish is eaten while amazing zydeco sounds will be provided by Hurricane Gumbo starting at 2:00 p.m.! This is definitely one Chicago Cajun Party you don’t want to miss!!

Cool? Who Cares! Do You?




Thursday evening, 5/21, Local School Councils from across the City will be meeting for a Press Conference & Rally at Carl Schurz High School Auditorium (3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The LSC Citywide Rally and doors open at 4:30pm. Speakers will being at 5:00pm and will include 45th Ward Alderman John Arena, Blaine Elementary Principal Troy Laraviere, and CPU representative Martin Ritter as a call to action to address issues regarding Chicago's current education system. For any questions prior to the event, contact Catherine Marchese by calling 773-633-8391 or via email.


Temperatures are improving and it's time for that super cool pop-up urban experience, ACTIVATE, that transports art, music, and entertainment to Loop alleys through the summer. Starting on Friday, 5/13, Chicago Loop Alliance presents six nights of excitement to various alleys through October, one night per month. Friday's event takes place at 8th Street Alley, which is at 205 E. 8th St. between State St. and Wabash Ave., from 5:00pm - 10:00pm. This year, each monthly Activate party will celebrate our senses. May's theme is "Touch" and revelers will be encouraged to interact with the art displays and activities they have in store. Follow the link above to RSVP ahead of time for a free drink. This is a happy hour type of event so leave the kids at home. Dean's Team will be sure to keep you posted about future Activate dates.


Sunday, 5/15, from 6:00pm - 10:00pm brings Old Town's First Sight Art Fair to farm-to-table restaurant, Perennial Virant, at 1800 N. Clark. St. Tickets are $115 per person for Chef Virant's selection of canapes, Seasonal Delights and Sweets. Wine, beer, soft drinks and the Old Town Art Fair Signature Cocktail will also be available. Artwork by selected artists and offerings from local businesses will be up for bid in live and silent auctions for an exciting evening to benefit the Old Town Triangle Association. There will also be raffle prizes for ticketholders to try their luck. Follow the link above to purchase entry and raffle tickets online.


Attention, Naperville motorists, pedestrians, and cyclers, traffic signal installation at the intersection of Aurora Ave. and Webster St. begins next week, the week of 5/16. Motorists' access to the Water Street District and its parking deck currently under construction will be improved, along with pedestrian access to Naper Settlement. Expect daily closures from 9:00am - 3:00pm along Aurora Ave. although two-way traffic will continue during construction which is expected to last through mid-August. Be prepared to adjust your commute accordingly.


Donut lovers, prepare yourselves. Stan's Donuts will be opening TWO more locations in the Chicago area next Saturday, 5/21, at 6:30am. The stand alone location will be in Lakeview at 3300 N. Broadway St. and another location on the Magnificent Mile, inside Labriola Ristorante at 535 N. Michigan. If you recall previous Stan's Donuts openings, prizes will be given away to the first 100 customers in line on opening day.


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