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Things are heating up this weekend in Chicago and I’m not talking about the weather!

Returning for its 10th year, Lollapalooza brings its cultural experience back to Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop this weekend from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with more than 100 bands and musicians for a rockin’ 3-day music festival! But besides music, Lolla also offers some of the most delicious festival food, drinks and sweets from Chicago’s favorite eateries at its Chow Town, while the Lolla Farmers Market offers the best locally-sourced festival fare located across from Chow Town on the lush green grass of Grant Park, along with Green Street where a variety of vendors sell environmentally responsible goods such as art, craft items and apparel. And, of course, the ever popular Kidzapalooza offering families an opportunity to catch some family-friendly music on its own stage along with arts & crafts, various activities such as creating their own music and more!! Don’t forget to check out the “after shows” where more than 40 artists will perform at various neighborhood venues throughout the City! Lolla is by far the grandest stage for music legends from across the globe!!

The Southern Hemisphere will be heating things up as well with the following neighborhood festivals focusing on the Latino culture –

Fiesta Del Sol returns for its 43rd year to the Pilsen neighborhood at 1400 W. Cermak Rd. (Loomis St. and Cermak Rd.) on Saturday (11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.). This year’s theme, “A Dream for All” (“Un Sueño Para Todos”) will feature authentic cuisine from a variety of countries, provide a huge lineup of entertainment and music, offer an Art & Culture Pavilion where you can browse the work of local artists in all mediums and even engage with the artists themselves, and the Children’s Area providing read out-loud sessions, book giveaways, games and other fun activities! Definitely the largest Latino festival in the Midwest!!

Taste of Latin America returns for its 3rd year to the Logan Square neighborhood at 3600 W. Armitage Ave. (Armitage and Central Park Aves.) on Saturday (11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.). This gala celebration of all things Central and South American features eclectic & exotic cuisine from nearly a dozen Latin American countries where you’ll have the culinary experience of a lifetime, provide an eclectic world music lineup, offer arts & crafts, cooking demonstrations and much more! Definitely showcases Latin culture and a rich multi-country heritage!!

Returning for its 4th year, Edge Fest returns to the Edgewater neighborhood at 5930 N. Broadway St. (Broadway St. and Thorndale Ave.) on Saturday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.). Taking over the lakefront in celebration of all things Edgewater, Edge Fest features delicious cuisines in this exclusive neighborhood provided by local restaurants, provides two stages of music by popular acts from a variety of musical styles as well as a special karaoke stage where you can woo the crowd, and offers much more such as a dog costume contest and “DockDogs,” a traveling aquatics dog competition new this year! The Chicago Reader labels this one of the top festival picks for August and a can’t miss event!!

This weekend’s Movies in the Parks are –


“Annie (2014)” – Shabbona Park (6935 W. Addison St.) – Dunning
“The Boxtrolls” – Humboldt Park Cultural Center (1400 N. Sacramento Ave.) – Humboldt Park
“Maleficent” – Kennicott Park (4434 S. Lake Park Ave.) – Oakland


“X-Men:  Days of Future Past” – Jonquil Park (1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.) – Lincoln Park

Hope You’ll Be Joining Us As We Heat Things Up Again Here In Chicago!!!




Tonight, Thursday 7/30, at Couch Place Alley (entrance on State St. between Lake and Randolph) is the next setting for Activate, the super hip and free pop-up urban experience that brings art, music, and people together in select Loop alleyways, made possible by the Chicago Loop Alliance. Tonight's event will be presented by the pro-artist company, Thēarē Group. Rob McKay, Thēarē Group's President, says to expect "a mix of music, visual and community art; true to the nature of our mission of art bringing people together." They will also showcase a peek at the feature-length documentary Midway: The Story of Chicago Hip-Hop which is about the history and struggles of the hip-hop culture in Chicago. Follow the link to RSVP and learn about future dates!


From destruction to beautification, elements of the landscaping around the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant near the Cortland St. Bridge in Lincoln Park has been transplanted into Washington Square Park in the Gold Coast. Demolition of the plant began last month and has learned that the site's new owners, AFS Properties LLC, is allowing salvagers to rescue plants, but not trees, for re-plantation before demolition is complete. Apparently the guards tasked with protecting the demolition site are very encouraging of the offer which is being done in respect to Finkl's continued commitment to the environment and reforestation. The Finkl plant is being relocated to 1355 E. 93rd St. on the South Side.


What once was a Buffalo Wild Wings at 2464 N. Lincoln Ave. is now the Midwest's first New York Wing Factory location. The menu offers a wide variety of wing flavors and heat intensities plus burgers, ribs and side dishes such as mac & cheese and chili. Wings can be ordered bone-in or boneless and they all come battered and double fried for delectable crispiness. The New York Wing Factory is open on weekdays from 4:00pm - 2:00am, and weekends until 3:00am so there's a full bar to keep you entertained through the late hours.


Joey Beato, the Executive Chef and Partner of Community Tavern and The Portage, has earned himself a spot in this year's 30 Under 30 list by Zagat. In addition to Zagat's annually curated list of restaurant standouts, they also take note of trendsetting individuals who they believe to be "Rock Stars Redefining the Industry," all below the age of 30. Beato's innovation is being noted as having an in-house butchery program that starts with whole animals and includes the dry-aging process on the premises of Community Tavern, allowing for a lower price point to customers in a city that knows how to appreciate a phenomenal steak.


The Naperville Heritage Society has been awarded a grant of $50,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities 2015 Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections. The Heritage Society is lucky to receive one of the 17 grants that's been awarded from a total of 85 applications. The grant will be used to maintain and protect several of the museum's historical buildings and collections from environmental issues on its 12 acres of land. The Naper Settlement exhibit consists of a collection of historical buildings representing time periods as far back as 1831. There's no doubt that the grant will be put to good use in wake of all the Chicagoland rainstorms we've been experiencing.



• 1,444 sq. ft., 1.5 baths, 2 bedrooms - Needs Your TLC or Build New! - MLS $229,400

  Historic Pratt Blvd! Expanded 126 Year Old Ranch-Style Farmhouse - Incredible 48' x 166' Lot, Corner of Ridge and Pratt Boulevards. RT4 Zoning. Home Needs Extensive Upgrading and Repair, or Build Your New, Large Dream Home! Top Location - Across from Warren Park, Golf Course. Shopping, Schools, CTA Nearby! Drive By First - Call for Interior Showing!

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Whether you get your herbs at a Farmer’s Market or grow them yourself they are plentiful this time of year. Often we buy or grow more than we can use and end up throwing much out. There are ways to extend their shelf life and enjoy fresh herb taste in the dead of winter. You also know your herbs are organically grown and environmentally responsible.

I used to recommend drying as it is the easiest. But most herbs lose so much flavor that I really only use it for tough herbs like parsley and rosemary. Dry washed, dried herbs on a rack over a cookie sheet in a 120 degree oven. Leave the door open, you are drying them not cooking. Store in airtight glass jars away from heat and light. Use within a few months for optimal flavor.

Freezing is simple and easy. You can freeze whole leaves and sprigs. Lay washed and dried herbs on a baking sheet. Lay flat in the freezer overnight. In the morning pack them into freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as you can. Again use quickly as they will lose flavor. For longer storage time freeze in ice cubes. Chop herbs and place a tablespoon in each compartment. Fill ¾ the way with broth or water. Freeze, afterwards top with more water or broth and freeze again. Herbs tend to float, the two stage freeze will prevent freezer burn on tender herbs. Use these in soups and stews for great flavor. Pesto also freezes well in ice cube trays. Store in freezer bags.

Herb butters are delicious and versatile. Mince fresh herbs, a mixture or just one, into softened organic butter. Do one part herbs to two parts butter. Mix, form into a log and freeze. Use slices to melt over meat and vegetables or sauté in recipes. Garlic and parsley herb butter make great garlic bread.

Vinegar is one of the oldest preserving methods still used today. With all the different types of vinegar available today the possibilities are endless. Wash and dry whole leaves and sprigs. Slide the herbs into clean glass jars. Fill the bottles with room temperature vinegar and store in a cool dark place. Use jars with cork or plastic stoppers. Vinegar eats metal. Use about ½ cup herbs to 2 cups vinegar. More if you want more concentrated flavor. The flavor will intensify in 4-6 weeks.

We don’t recommend herb oils. If there is even a trace of moisture on the herbs it makes a good environment for growing botulism bacteria. If you must, store in the refrigerator and use in a few weeks.



It's that time of year when Chicagoans are outside more than the normal enjoying the beautiful summertime weather. There are days though when it's too hot or simply inconvenient to get that workout done.

Welcome to the latest in membership sites that will help with your workout and allow you to try pretty much any type of class available. The company is called ClassPass and they want you to have the diverse membership that makes you excited about working out.

You are not a member to one specific gym with this membership. You can try multiple studios and classes through the use of this one membership. You can as many classes as you want per month with a three class visit limit per month at the same studio.

Once you've joined, you log into your account and search for the classes you'd like to take. Your search options include by time, by date, by location, or by activity type. Once you've reserved your space in a class, you'll receive a confirmation email. Prior to the class start, you'll also receive a reminder email with particulars about what to bring, the studio location and when to arrive. Although you must make a reservation for any class, you can use the app to make a reservation up to 5 minutes before class starts.

And if' you're traveling, ClassPass is available in these major cities - Washington, DC, Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Baltimore, Tampa, St. Louis, Orlando, Nashville, Sacramento, Kansas City, London, Toronto and Vancouver - so you won't miss a workout even when on the road.



Who is up for another weekend packed with Chicago’s neighborhood street festivals? If you are, let’s get this weekend started!

Returning to the streets of the Lincoln Park neighborhood for its 32nd year, the Taste of Lincoln Avenue invites you to North Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton & Wrightwood Avenues this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) for their popular summer happening. This year’s Fest highlights include three stages of nearly 30 music acts from classic rock to legendary Chicago blues acts to top local tribute bands and more; an abundance of food and libations from nearly 100 neighborhood vendors such as Fiesta Mexicana, Gaby’s Pizza & Grill, Greek Delights and more; and the ever popular “Kids’ Carnival” with a range of activities that include face painting, games & prizes, stage performers, a petting zoo and much more. Held in conjunction with this Fest, the 4th annual Lill Street Craft Fair will be held on Lill Street from Lincoln Avenue to Halsted Street with unique DIY and handmade art in virtually any medium!

Returning to the streets of the Wicker Park neighborhood for its 12th year, the Wicker Park Fest sets-up on Milwaukee Avenue between North & Paulina Avenues this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) for its colossal street party. This year’s Fest highlights include three stages of continuous live music, dozens of the most popular local restaurants & boutiques, an “Arts” section complete with unique and inspired works from some of the most talented local artists & art organizations and a Kids Fest Stage (Milwaukee & Wolcott Avenues) featuring a wide variety of kids activities such as face & nail painting, hair streaking, cookie decorating, bungie run, crafts and more from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days! And, for those who wish to continue their fun beyond the Fest, visit either Umami Burger, Subterranean or Beat Kitchen where the after-parties pick-up!!

Looking for somewhere to just kick-back and quench your thirst?  Well, the Chicago Margarita Festival takes place at Northerly Island (1521 S. Linn White Dr.) in the heart of Museum Campus which is south of the Adler Planetarium & east of Soldier Field on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This outdoor festival combines live music, dancing, food trucks, a margarita tasting and a fireworks show over Lake Michigan for a fun day at the park! Word has it too there’s a salsa dancing contest with cash prizes for the winning team!!

Finally, another premier neighborhood event takes place on Chicago’s Northwest Side in the Jefferson Park neighborhood this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) with the Jeff Fest Arts & Musical Festival held at Jefferson Memorial Park (4822 N. Long Ave.). Besides featuring delicious food from local restaurants set-up in a family-picnic area, two stages of live music, domestic & craft beers, bags in the Park and a Kids’ Zone round out this jam-packed Fest!

This weekend’s Movies in the Parks are –


“Dolphin Tale 2” – Emmerson Park (1820 W. Granville Ave.) – West Ridge

“Jaws” – Lincoln Park Lagoon (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) – Lincoln Park
“The Lego Movie” – Pulaski Park (1419 W. Blackhawk St.) – West Town


“Over the Hedge” – Davis Square Park (4430 S. Marshfield Ave.) – Back of the Yards

Are You Ready To Start Another Packed Weekend?



It's time for Lincoln Park Zoo's annual Wine and Wildflowers Garden Party. Tickets are $65 for Zoo members or $75 for non-members for the Wednesday, 7/29, 6:00pm - 8:30pm event that will allow you to enjoy wine and food pairings while taking in the Zoo's gardens with live music and horticultural experts on hand for lively conversation. This year's theme revolves around the four natural elements: air, fire, water, and earth. The deadline for ticket purchasing is tomorrow, 7/24!


Here's something different and intriguing to do this weekend! The Actors Gymnasium is holding its Summer Circus Intensive Performance Showcase on Saturday, 7/25, 4:30pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday 7/26, 1:00pm and 4:00pm. What makes it so intense you ask? Because it's showcasing the students of their Intensive I and Intensive II programs which are six-week-long workshops for higher-level adult performers. For only $15, this is an exciting date idea.

NORWOOD PARK is highlighting a great problem solver to the Chicago Public School budget cuts in the Northwest Side. They report Taft High School (6530 W. Bryn Mawr) Principal, Mark Grishaber's, decision to distribute $18,000 of Taft High School's budget to 15  neighboring elementary schools' sport programs. The contribution will be an investment to foster stronger athletes, many of which will eventually feed into Taft High School's sports programs. Grishaber says that sharing the money "... is what's best for the kids." 


Chicago will always be building  - bigger, better, faster, and stronger. Sometimes the construction phase is a bit inconvenient, but it's nice to think about the big picture and be in-the-know about new establishments in the works. The construction taking place around the Paulina Brown Line station is part of Chicago's TOD Ordinance, to bring Transit-Oriented Development to promote usage of CTA or Metra stations by constructing more retailers and residences nearby. The plans by developer Centrum Partners and architecture firm Hirsch Associates is to create a two-story retail building and a separate 36-unit residence that will include 6,000 squarefeet of retail space on the ground level. Interestingly, only 8 parking spaces will be available for the residence building since the project is aligned with the TOD Ordinance after all.


The West Loop Community Organization has posted helpful information from Business Affairs Consumer Protection (121 N. LaSalle Dr. #805) on their site regarding How to Address a Problem Business in Your Neighborhood. Now no one WANTS to have to worry about neighborhood nuisances however it's helpful to be aware of appropriate procedures to take if ever necessary. The post includes tips such as making sure to document nuisance issues by taking pictures and note of dates and times, attending local Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meetings, and requirements for setting up community meetings by use of BACP.



Perennials are often forgotten in the garden. They reliably bloom and grow year after year with little or no care. But with a little care they can bloom bigger and look better than you ever thought.

Perennials can be divided and replanted. This actually benefits the plant and prevents overgrowth. Two days before dividing, water thoroughly. Begin by taking a spade and making digs 6-8 inches the width of the shovel from the center of the plant. Slide the spade under to lift the entire plant and root ball. If the plant is on the smaller side (6-10 stems) simply divide in half. Gently pull apart with your hands and cut straight through the root ball. For larger plants divide into thirds. Dig new holes slightly shallower and two inches around larger than the root ball. Gently tease the root ball to loosen the roots.  Place the divided ball in the ground and backfill with topsoil augmented with root developer. Water daily for a week or so till plants are established. Sit back and watch them take off. We divided 4 large Hostas in our gangway using this method and it worked perfectly! This also works with Daylilies and other bushy blooming perennials. Divide fall bloomers in spring and summer bloomers in fall.

If your soil is particularly rich, no fertilizer is needed but unfortunately most of us are not blessed with perfect soil. A general all-purpose garden fertilizer is best. Check labels though. Acid loving perennials, like azaleas, benefit from an acid fertilizer like Miracid®. Follow label directions and resist the urge to over fertilize. More than the recommended amount can burn the plant especially during summer heat. Use two inches of mulch around the plant to conserve water and protect roots.

Cutting off spent blooms is the best way to encourage new blooms as well as making the plant look better. This is called “dead heading”. Every plant in the lawn and garden benefits from dead heading. As vegetable plants put out more veggies, the more we harvest.

With a little care we can have perennials that look great and will be blooming for many years to come.



Each day I see many people running, walking or hiking by the lake for health, for training or simply for the love of it. Imagine now that they (or you) could sign up for a 25,000-mile relay. Earthathon is a way for you to join a team virtually and participate.

Since running tends to be a solitary sport, this allows you to join a team and compete as part of a community. The overall goal of the group is to help others reach their fitness goals. For 2015 there are a total of 10 teams participating. It is free to sign up or you can pay the annual fee of $30 to help support the running of the site.

As an individual you'll sign up to track your mileage. Once you sign up you also join a team. All members tweet their miles (or km) using the designated hashtag #earthathon. One lap around the earth is approximately 25,000 miles. Though there are place rankings, your participation does not stop there. Once your team completes their lap, your mileage will be added to the next team so that a total of 250,000 miles will be completed. The purpose of tracking statistics is so that you can see what you contributed to the relay in mileage and percentage of actual earth covered.

This is an international movement and there are virtual rewards for all who get involved. Participation is awarded with the earthathon medal for 26.2 miles, bronze medal for 131 miles, silver medal for 262 medals and a gold medal for 524 miles. "Earthathoners" encourage, congratulate and encourage each other from across the globe. Since the goal is to help people reach their goals, there is no minimum distance. The organizers request that you record your distances to the nearest 0.1 mile as that is how data is collated.

If you're already moving, why not join the fun?



This third weekend in July brings us a variety of Chicago Neighborhood Street Fests as these communities showcase all they have to offer!

The River North neighborhood brings the 14th annual Taste of River North to A. Montgomery Ward Park (630 N. Kingsbury St.) this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) in celebration of their neighborhood’s restaurants and chefs. This family-friendly event features amazing food prepared by local chefs serving up unique & generous portions compared to other street festivals, offers live music from local party & tribute bands and a special designated Kids’ Zone offering family entertainment, face painters, balloon artists, a playground and more!

The Wrigleyville neighborhood brings back SausageFest Chicago to Cubby Bear Wrigleyville (1059 W. Addison St.) this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) in celebration of the greatest encased meats Chicago has to offer by offering a variety of gourmet sausages produced by some of this City’s most beloved & longstanding butchers. This event also features live music, refreshing drinks, family-friendly games & activities and the heated race for “Sausage King of Chicago” where contestants compete to raise the most donations for the Wounded Warrior Project!

The Lakeview neighborhood brings Summer on Southport to Southport and Waveland Avenues (3700 N. Southport Ave.) this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.) showcasing some of the City’s best and most diverse artists in numerous art forms. A special Kid’s Area filled with interactive games and activities will make for an unforgettable time by kids of all ages, while evening brings a stage of some this City’s favorite bands performing songs from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today!

The North Center neighborhood brings the oldest summer fest, BenFest, to the northside of Chicago at St. Benedict Church (2215 W. Irving Park Rd.) this Saturday (1:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) with a celebration featuring a variety of menu & beverage options, live entertainment from great bands, some good ‘ole fabulous family fun for every age group and great prizes with a Grand Prize Drawing for $10,000 cash!

The Lincoln Park neighborhood brings the 4th annual Chicago Craft Beer Festival and the Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk to Sheffield and Webster Avenues (2200 N. Sheffield Ave.) this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.). Visitors of the Craft Beer Fest who purchase a pass can sample over 100 specialty/small batch microbrews from Chicago and other breweries while the Garden Walk offers self-guided garden tours of over 80 neighborhood gardens and small, intimate afternoon guided tours of rowhouses and Victorian-era architecture.  Both events include live music, food and plenty of afternoon kids’ activities!

Finally, the Chinatown neighborhood brings its 37th annual Chinatown Summer Fair to Wentworth Avenue and Cermak Road this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in celebration of its Asian culture. Not only does this event feature food from award-winning neighborhood restaurants, music & dance performances, arts & crafts, kids’ activities and more, but it also features the popular and colorful Dragon and Lion Dance Procession!

This weekend’s Movies in the Parks are –


“Frozen”Buttercup Park (4901 N. Sheridan Rd.) – Uptown
“Once Upon A Time … When We Were Colored”DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Pl.) – Washington Park
“The Single Moms Club”Armstrong Park (4433 S. St. Lawrence Ave.) – Oakland


“The Goonies”Hiawatha Park (8029 W. Forest Preserve Dr.) -- Dunning

Which Chicago Neighborhood Fest Will You Be Celebrating With!



The Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) at 121 N. LaSalle St. has posted its July calendar of Business Education Workshops. These free workshops are open to the public every Wednesdays and Fridays and are a great resource for small business owners to educate themselves on City Hall's requirements to open or keep their businesses running.


NewCity, the shopping mall that's been under construction for the last 8 years just south of the North/Clybourn retail corridor, is expecting to finally open this fall. So a job fair will be held this Saturday, 7/18, from 8:00am to 5:00pm at CICS ChicagoQuest charter school (1443 N. Ogden Ave) across the street from the construction site. Several retailers, including Mariano's, ArcLight Cinemas, Dick's Sporting Goods, LYFE Kitchen and many more are looking to staff full- and part-time positions from clerks to managers. The NewCity project will also include medical office spaces, a public parking garage, and apartments for lease.


This Sunday, 7/19, from 12:00pm - 5:00pm is the 57th annual North Dearborn Association's Dearborn Garden Walk. More than 20 private gardens will be on display with a narrated walking tour and live jazz and classical music performances throughout. Admission will take place at Latin Middle School (45 W. North Blvd). $30 advance tickets can be purchased up until 12:00pm on Saturday, 7/18, otherwise admission is $35 on the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit the preservation and beautification of the immediate community.


Alderman John Arena's office took to to announce the temporary closings of two intersections along Central Ave. starting Monday, 7/20. The Chicago Department of Water Management will be updating sewer lines that have been in place since 1909. Drivers are being advised to avoid the intersections of Central and Montrose Avenues for 1 month, and Central and Berteau Avenues for 2 months until the work is completed. Montrose Ave. will be detoured onto Cicero, to Irving Park, to Austin, then back to Montrose. Central Ave. will be detoured onto Irving Park, to Austin, to Lawrence, and then back to Central Ave.


Northwestern University students will have an easier time getting around in the coming school year due to the partnership with CTA that's been reported this week. Any student or faculty member with a Northwestern University ID will be allowed to ride the No. 201 Central/Ridge bus route for free from Sept. 2015 through June 2016. This will be the beginning of a 5 year agreement that's been made to lessen traffic by replacing the Ryan Field Shuttle, and offer more frequent and longer service hours for Northwestern. Students can still use the Ventra U-Pass for discounted fares during the summer.


• 750 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bedroom loft condo in all-amenity building - MLS $229,000

 -  Clinton Complex! Immaculate 1 Bedroom Loft Condo - Deeded Parking Included! Upgraded Kitchen - 42" Maple Cabinets, Dark Granite Counters, Premium Stainless Steel Appliances. Open-Floor-Plan Living Room with Gleaming Diagonally Cut Oak Flooring, Gas Fireplace, Adjacent Private Balcony - OK for BBQ's! Bedroom is Large - Great Double Closets, Plus Large Foyer Closets and Overhead Storage! Bath Features Custom Sink, Fixtures, Granite Counter Top, Large Vanity! In-Unit Washer/Dryer. All-Amenity Building with 24-Hour Door Staff, On-Site Maintenance, Fitness Center, Receiving Room and Dry Cleaners. Bike Room and Storage. Dogs and Cats OK! Shopping, Restaurants, and Clubs, Blue Line L, METRA, and Expressways Close By! You’ll See, then Fall in Love!!

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Verizon is jumping into the mobile video game with their new partner Vice Media. It's part of the new trend of consumers who are getting rid of their cable and streaming their viewing experience online.

While there are not a lot of details as yet, here is what we know. Verizon Wireless subscribers will be able to access the service. There are deals with Viacom, AwesomenessTV, ESPN, CBS Sports, Scripps Networks Interactive among others.

To get a feel for what channels you can access, you can simply look at the parent company. For example, if you're a foodie, Scripps carries Cooking Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel. While Viacom has several channels that we all know - MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central - it's unclear which channels will actually be available. A major coup is the ESPN contract. This contract will now be in competition with Dish which could prove to be exciting for sports fans.

Verizon hopes to be more competitive with Comcast's streaming service. Verzon did note that they will be streaming "Autobiographies," an original new series from Vice. According to Terry Denson, VP of Content Strategy and Acquisition, "VICE is connecting with an entire generation in a way that no one else is and Verizon will connect consumers to VICE in a way that no one else does by combining VICE's storytelling with the most compelling mobile video platform."


PS - Don't forget it's Amazon Prime Day today!


Now that we are past the fourth we are getting into the midsummer. Usually we will be dealing with hotter temperatures and often drier conditions. This summer has been a little unusual in the Chicagoland area. We have mostly had very cool temperatures and a large amount of rain. This has been great for the grass which prefers a lot of water and cool weather. As in hot conditions we want to leave the grass a little longer. Cut more often never removing more than 1/3 the length. Always remember trees, lawn and garden require at least 1 inch of water per week. Augment if necessary, paying special attention to spots under cover of trees and bushes, put out an empty can and water until there is at least an inch in the can. These areas often stay dry even in pouring rain.

When watering trees it’s a good idea to use a root waterer. This gets the water right down to the roots where it is needed. Always water at the “drip line”. This is the perimeter around the tree where the branches reach the farthest. The roots reach as far as the branches. Water in three different spots around the perimeter at least one hour each. If you don’t have a root waterer simply trickle an open hose the same way.

The garden vegetables are going along nicely. No ripe tomatoes yet but many green ones on the vine. Keep harvesting veggies that are ready now like beans, peas and lettuce. Frequent picking will encourage more vegetables. Keep an eye out for pests. They often hide under leaves. Use a vegetable dust if you see any or notice chewing on leaves. Read labels thoroughly and follow directions to the letter. Many can be used up to two days before harvest. Always wash veggies before eating. We even use a little mild soap. Even if you don’t use pesticides, birds and animals are leaving their deposits everywhere!

With a little care and tending you can keep the lawn and garden going through the hottest summer.



Another summer-like weekend is in store for Chicago and this one is all about the food and then some!

The Taste of Chicago 2015 wraps-up this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.) at Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop. Since 1980 this food fest features a delicious array of food from over 200 different menu items from a variety of cuisines showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. Besides plenty of food, this event also features live music, family activities, “In the Kitchen with Mariano’s” (chef demonstrations), “Fashion Focus Chicago Maker Market” (28 Chicago designers & boutiques selling art & current season apparel & accessories), the “Pure Leaf Celebrity Chef du Jour” (enjoy a sit-down, three-course meal in an air-conditioned pavilion) and more!

The Windy City Smokeout takes place this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) at Grand Avenue and the Chicago River (560 W. Grand Ave.) in the River North neighborhood. This food fest not only serves up southern-inspired fare from Chicago’s and several out-of-state BBQ restaurants with an opportunity to interact with the chefs and their culinary teams but also features the best of live country music and an amateur BBQ Rib Competition for the at-home chefs!

The Roscoe Village Burger Fest returns this Saturday and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) to Belmont and Damen Avenues (2000 W. Belmont Ave.) in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. In addition to mouth-watering burgers from Chicago’s top emporiums & restaurants being served up at this food fest, there’s also great live music on two stages, the popular Kids’ Zone activity area and arts & crafts vendors! Don’t forget to vote for your favorite burger!!

The Taste of Lakeview returns this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) at Belmont and Lincoln Avenues (3200 N. Lincoln Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood. This food fest offers a sampling of food from neighborhood vendors along with live music from some of Chicago’s hottest musical acts, arts & crafts vendors, family fun and more!

The 4th annual Square Roots Craft Beer and Music Experience returns Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) at 4700 N. Lincoln Ave. (between Montrose & Wilson Avenues) in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with two outdoor & two indoor stages featuring over 60 acts, eclectic cuisine from Lincoln Square & Ravenswood restaurants, over 30 craft beers from the best local and regional craft breweries, family activities, kid’s entertainment, games, crafts and more!

The West Fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) at Chicago and Damen Avenues (2000 W. Chicago Ave.) in the Ukrainian Village. Explore the cultural offerings of this neighborhood which will feature food, live music & DJs on three stages, vendor booths, a Kids Fest (Wolcott at Chicago), a Pet Fest (12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) and more!

Finally, the Irish American Heritage Festival returns this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.) to the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave.) in the Mayfair neighborhood. Not only does this fest feature Irish and American food and drink from a variety of Chicago vendors, but it also features over 100 performers on 5 stages, shopping, cultural exhibits, kid’s activities, various contests such as the Freckle Contest, the Mashed Potato Eating Contest and others, a Fest Mass & Carvey Brunch and much more!

This weekend’s Movies in the Parks are –


“Annie (2014)” – Kenwood Community Park (1330 E. 50th St.) – Kenwood
“Casablanca” – Oz Park (2021 N. Burling St.) – Lincoln Park
“The Lego Movie” – Loyola Park (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.) – East Rogers Park


“The Princess Bride” – Holstein Park (2200 N. Oakley Ave.) – Logan Square

Are You Hungry Yet?

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