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Sept. 20, 2018

Open House Chicago

Open House Chicago now has a list of its sites available on their website.

For those that do not know, Open House Chicago is a free public festival run by the Chicago Architecture Center. It takes place from October 13th-14th. OHC features over 250 amazing architecture places available across Chicago's diverse neighborhoods, from West Loop to Downtown to Pilsen.

If you've ever wanted to check out a cool skyscraper or unique architecture, now is your chance! Open House Chicago features skyscrapers, mansions, factories, sacred places, hotels, and private bars, all where you can get behind the scenes access.

For the first time in its eight years, Open House Chicago now has sites in Beverly, Morgan Park, and Austin. This year, nine locations require an RSVP as they can only accommodate limited numbers of visitors or have special security needs. In addition, four sites are only open to architecture center members, including Chicago's old main post office. 

For a full list of the weekend's sites, be sure to check out Open House Chicago's official website. 

For any inquiries about Chicago real estate or living, contact us at any time. 

 

Posted in Chicago Living
Sept. 13, 2018

Maximize Your Closet Space

 

Are there clothes piling up on the floor of your closet? Are there heaps of clothes on your bed? Does it feel like your closet doesn't have enough space, or does your closet always become disorganized? For Chicago apartments, condos, or high-rises, closet space can always feel limited. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you with closet design, from new ways to arrange your closet to different closet organizers. 

1. Use all the space you can. 

Be sure to use all the space from the ceiling to the floor. Use bins on high-shelves, roll-out boxes, and perhaps even another closet pole. If you have too many shirts but enough space, hang another closet rod to create more space to hang those shirts. Use your floor space too- consider placing a dresser into your closet too. 

Make sure to organize your space in the best way you can, too! Place your most-used items around eye-level, less-used below, and your least-used clothing high above. 

2. Visibility is key. 

Design your closet space to maximize its functionality. This means making sure all your clothing is visible. Use see-through wire bins, clear drawers, belt and tie racks, and other items. You should also think about lighting in your closet. You need good artificial light between you and the closet to maximize the functionality of your closet. However, be cautious of heat such as incandescent bulbs, which can be a fire hazard. 

3. Don't forget your closet doors!

Consider taking your closet doors off. When you take your closet doors off, you can now store bulkier items or even more storage options that you couldn't have if the doors were still on. Also, certain closet doors open in a way that also takes up space outside the closet. If this is the case for you, taking your closet doors off might be a great option!

However, if taking off your doors is not a possibility, use your closet doors to store more items. Invest in hooks to keep jewelry on the back of your closet door, or buy an over-the-door organizer to store other items that don't fit in your closet. 

With these tips, you now have an effective closet system. No more clothes on your floor, on your bed, on chairs! 

For any questions about Chicago life or real estate, be sure to contact us!

 

 

Posted in Decor/Design
Sept. 5, 2018

Free Museum Days of September

September is here! For Chicago residents, this means the end of hot summer weather, the return of school, and best of all, many free museum days!

Adler Planetarium

The Planetarium is free to Illinois residents from September 9th to 16th, open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, check out their website!

Field Museum

The Field Museum is free from September 15 to 17th, and also on September 30th, provided you are an Illinois resident. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on these free days. You can check their website for more details

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is free from September 4-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, and 30. Be sure to bring your valid Illinois ID to get into the museum. 

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is free for all the month of September to Illinois residents. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, as well as open for special night events on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Admission to the night events will be free, but the food and drinks will cost additional money. The aquarium will have a new exhibit, Underwater Beauty, but visitors can visit the main exhibits and the aquatic presentation for free. 

Caribbean Flavors and Flairs: September 10, 17, 24. Attendees will have Caribbean-inspired food that is available for them. 

Live Latin Rhythms: September 5, 12, 19, 26 and October 3, 10. Attendance for the two October nights will be free. This event will serve Latin-inspired food and drinks alongside Latin jazz performances

House Party: September 6, 20, 27. In this event, several DJs will feature house music for the audience to enjoy. \

Be sure to check out all these free museum days, and take advantage of the new events as well! For questions about real estate or Chicago life, contact us at anytime. 

 

Posted in Chicago Living
Aug. 27, 2018

July 2018 - Chicago & IL Market Update

 

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Aug. 20, 2018

Chicago Pizza Museum Now Open!

Deep dish pizza, tavern style, thin crust! Chicago is getting its very own pizza museum. The museum will be located in the Chicago South Loop's Roosevelt Collection, a residential and retail complex that houses a movie theater and multiple shopping stores. The museum will be open from August 10th to the end of October, though it could be extended for longer depending on public demand. 

Kendall Bruns, the founder of the museum, created it in 2015. He began collecting menus, and then grew to toys, limited-edition pizza boxes, and other various items. Bruns noticed how pizzeria owners did not focus on preserving their history, so he created a website alongside a travelling display. The pop-up museum has visited multiple pizzeria locations in Chicago, but is now housed in the Roosevelt's Collection space of 3,000 square feet, where it can be expanded. 

The museum holds various pizza-themed items, such as art, clothing, menus, pizza ads, toys, magnets, books and music records. The museum holds pizza-themed toys such as a toy Noid, which was Domino's mascot from the '80s, and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys! The museum will have pizza for special events, but not regularly. Bruns may also assemble a map of nearby Chicago pizza places for visitors. 

A museum store may be added to the pop-up, selling pizza-related items. Special events may also be added, such as art activities, book signings, dough-making demonstrations, pizza parties, and mobile pizzerias. 

Admission is free, but reservations are required. You can make reservations here. The U.S Pizza Museum will be open 5 p.m to 8 p.m on Fridays and 11 a.m to 6 p.m on weekends. 

For questions on Chicago living or real estate, be sure to contact us here at any time. 

Posted in Chicago Living
Aug. 13, 2018

7 Best Rooftop Restaurants in Chicago

Rooftop restaurants are a dazzling treat for those in Chicago. Whether located in Wicker Park or West Loop, rooftop restaurants boast a gorgeous view with amazing food and drinks. You can enjoy the warm summer breeze as you chat with friends over a delicious meal. Be sure to check out these restaurants before the warm weather ends! 

1. Cindy's 

Courtesy of their website

Perched atop The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy's offers amazing views of Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Lake Michigan. Cindy's also has fire pits for the nights where the weather cools down - a perfect place for friends to meet and hangout. 

Located: 12 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

2. Shanghai Terrace

Courtesy of their website. 

Shanghai Terrace boasts Cantonese and Shanghainese food in the River North neighborhood. Located on the fourth floor of the Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai Terrace serves amazing cuisine alongside beautiful furniture and decor. They're open for lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, cocktails and bites from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and dinner from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm, all seven days a week. 

Location: 108 E. Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611

3. Athena Restaurant

Courtesy of their website

Athena Restaurant offers a beautiful outdoor patio in Greektown with a gorgeous skyline view. Athena serves delicious Greek cuisine. For days when you want to stay indoors, they have warm fireplaces as well as decorations from all over Greece. For days when you want to enjoy the outside weather, savor your meals on their beautiful outdoor patio decorated with fountains and columns derived from ancient architecture. 

Location: 212 S. Halsted St. #1, Chicago, IL 60661

4. Gene's Sausage Shop

Courtesy of their website

What would you get at Gene's Sausage Shop? If you guessed sausages, you're right! But Gene's Sausage Shop doesn't only offer sausages but also fresh produce, dairy, bakery, liquor, beer, and wine, as well. Their sausages are made from freshly butchered pork and beef, natural casings, and no preservatives and smoked in a mix of natural woods. They offer over 40 different types of smoked sausages made daily and 30 homemade sliced deli meats. 

Location: 4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

5. Terzo Piano

Courtesy of their website

Terzo Piano is located on top of the modern wing of the Art Institute, and it lives up to its location. With modern decor and gorgeous views, it is open on Monday to Saturdays for lunch at 11am- 3pm, open on Sundays for Brunch from 11am - 3pm, and open for dinner on Thursdays at 5pm - 8 pm. 

Location: 159 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603

6. Little Goat

Courtesy of Little Goat Diner Facebook

The second floor space of the West Loop diner is decorated with a glowing goat, making it impossible to miss. Head upstairs to the deck for burgers, sundaes, and snacks. 

Location: 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

7. Bernie's Lunch and Supper

Courtesy of their website

Bernie's Lunch and Supper serves mediterranean food that mixes flavors from Spain to Italy and beyond. They also feature a cocktail, beer, and wine menu.  Bernie's Lunch and Supper menu offers food for whatever mood you may be in, from burgers to hummus. 

Location: 660 N. Orleans Street, Chicago, IL 

For any inquiries or questions about Chicago real estate or living, be sure to contact us at anytime. 

 

Posted in Chicago Living
Aug. 6, 2018

7 Cheap Eats in Chicago For Under $10

Chicago food is a staple of the city, known for its wide variety and specialty Whether you're grabbing a meal to go, buying food before work, or eating something with friends, there's always a Chicago restaurant that serves tasty food. Best of all, this food can be easily found for under 10 dollars. Here's a compiled list of the best restaurants in Chicago where you can get food for the best price. 

1. Gene's & Jude's 

If you're looking for the best hot dog in Chicago, you've found it!

Gene's & Jude's has been open since 1946. They serve Chicago hot dogs, fries, and a few other menu items. Their specialty hot dogs are served with mustard, onion, sport peppers, relish, and hot French fries on top. Each hot dog is only $2.99, making it affordable and also delicious. Be warned- Gene's & Jude's has no ketchup or chairs in the small stand, but this only adds to the unique experience. 

Official Site

Located: 2720 River Rd River Grove, IL, 60171

2. Harold's Chicken Shack

Harold's Chicken Shack is a chain of fried chicken restaurants that serve to order in seven to eight minutes. This means your chicken will always be crisp and moist.  You can buy chicken pieces separately or buy a Harold's Chicken Shack dinner, which is half or quarter chicken with fries, white bread, and coleslaw. They don't only serve chicken though - they also serve liver, fish,  gizzards, and fried okra. 

Official Site

Located: Multiple locations. To find a location near you, check out their website. 

3. Crisp

Crisp is a Korean-styled restaurant that serves fried chicken, burritos, sandwiches, and bibimbap bowls. Their chicken comes in five flavors, and their specialty flavor Seoul Sassy is a must-try! Best of all, you can get 5 gigantic, whole wings for a mere $9.95.

Located: 2940 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

4. Pequod's Pizza

Pequod's Pizza is unique that it has signature caramelized-cheese crusts, making it one of the most delicious pizza places in Chicago. Their prices are also amazing- on a weekday from 11 a.m - 3 p.m, you can enjoy a 7" personalized pizza with free soda, just for $4.95. 

Located: 2207 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

5. BIG & little's

BIG & little's serves amazing tacos, ranging from tacos that cost $4 to seafood tacos that top at $7.75. They also serve burgers, fried seafood, and sandwiches, which can all be found for under 10 dollars. Be sure to check out their poke tacos, that feature sashimi-grade raw fish. There are a total of four locations in the Chicagoland area, in Lakeview, Wicker Park, Midway Airport, and River North. 

Located: Multiple Locations. Check out their website for information about their locations. 

6. Johnnie's Beef

Johnnie's Beef serves Italian beef in Elmwood Park. The thin cut beef is stuffed in an Italian roll with hot or sweet peppers and dipped in beef juices. Johnnie's Beef also serves Italian sausage, an egg and pepper sandwich on Fridays, fries, and delicious Italian ice. The place is always packed with people, so be sure to know what you want by the time you get to the front of the line! Another note- they only accept cash!

Located: 7500 W. North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

7. Sultan's Market

Sultan's Market is a Middle Eastern cuisine in Wicker Park. There's a stellar salad and hot bar. Best of all, they offer amazing food for ridiculous prices and portions. Their dinners come with hummus, pita bread, rice, and a salad with your choice of entree or meat. These dinners average around $8, and you'll definitely leave feeling like you ate your money's worth. This is another restaurant that only accepts cash though!

Official Site

Located: 2057 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

 

There is a variety of places to eat in Chicago where you can eat ethnic and classic foods for an amazing price! With the list above, you now can decide where to eat in Chicago, whether you're grabbing a bite with friends or with family. 

Be sure to contact us with any inquiries or questions about your home search or the Chicagoland area! 

Posted in Chicago Living
July 16, 2018

South Loop Is Changing!

Google Maps

 

The Chicago South Loop is changing! South Loop has established itself as one of Chicago's most bustling, quickly growing neighborhoods. South Loop not only boasts many residential developments, but is also changing shopping in Chicago. 

GW Properties, a Chicago developer, is planning to create another big retail project near the Roosevelt Road shopping strip, where numerous stores and restaurants already exist. GW Properties plans to build a three-building retail project at 1113 S. Jefferson St, where a current Marathon gas station and garage sits. The project is just north of Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen and just west of the Maxwell, yet another big shopping center that opened several years ago. 

That isn't the only retail development blooming in the South Loop. Another retail project is underway at Roosevelt Road and Des Plaines Street. With current zoning, this project could be developed into about 230,000 square feet. 

Further down Roosevelt Road, more development is taking place. Related Midwest is planning to develop "The 78", which is a 62-acre development bounded by Roosevelt Road, 16th Street, Clark Street, and the Chicago River. "The 78" will include a five-acre riverfront with bikeways, a seven-acre public park that follows the Chicago River until engineers straighten it out, and the Discovery Partners Institute, a research hub in the University of Illinois system. 

"The 78" development project is also in conjunction with the Wells-Wentworth Connector, a new road between the Loop and Chinatown. The development will also include a new Red Line CTA station at 15th Street and Clark Street. The development is also planning to move the Metra line west. 

This new development opens up more housing in the Chicago Loop, with more apartments and homes to be developed. 

For any inquiries or interest in homes in Chicago, be sure to contact us at anytime!

 

Posted in Chicago Living
July 12, 2018

Tips and Tricks for Small Space

Are you struggling with your square footage? Maybe your apartment feels cramped and cluttered. Whether it's your bedroom, living room, or kitchen, your home should be a place that you can kick up your feet and relax, all without worrying about how small your home feels. 

So how do you make your small home into a comfortable, relaxing escape to recharge after a long day of work? Follow our tips below to design your small house the best way it can be. 

1. Colors

  • Go monochromatic. Using only one shade of color makes a room feel more open and connected. 
  • Choose light colors for your walls and floors. Dark rooms tend to absorb colors and close up a room, but lighter colors can make a room appear brighter and larger. 
  • Use stripes. Stripes give the illusion of lengthening. You can effectively use this by installing striped wallpaper or buying a striped rug. 

2. Light

  • Natural light makes a small space appear larger. However, not every home can have that luxury. If you can, consider installing canned recessed lights, which are installed in a way that blends it into the ceiling beautifully. Not only that, this upgrade can actually attract homebuyers, so if you decide to sell, you also benefit. Win, win!
  • Reflecting lights can make a room feel larger. For example, use mirrors as decor, use the stainless steel surfaces in your kitchen or the glossy surfaces in the bathroom. 

3. Vertical Height

  • Tall ceilings or vertical height can make a narrow home appear much larger. Draw the eye upward by mounting curtains higher. Ceilings also look tallest when painted with a white colors. This color can be either flat or high gloss, but when deciding, consider the maintenance of either finish. 
  • Furniture can also help the appearance of vertical height. Bookshelves, furniture with legs, and lofted beds all  make your home look taller and bigger. 

4. Space

  • Utilize the space you do have in the best way you can. Use multipurpose furniture or hidden storage items. Use floating furniture, such as floating shelves. 
  • Declutter. Keeping your space clutter free is the best way to make it appear larger. The less amount of small objects your home has, the more optically large it seems. 

Making your small home appear bigger isn't just a matter of what you see, but also of how comfortable your home will be. For any inquiries about buying or selling your home, contact us at anytime! 

Posted in Decor/Design
July 10, 2018

Taste of Chicago

For Chicagoans, the summer consists of crowded beaches by Lake Michigan, hot weather approaching 100 degrees, and of course, the traditional Taste of Chicago. 

This year, the Taste of Chicago is held from July 11-15th. The Taste of Chicago is a ticket based food festival with local participating restaurant and food trucks and is the world's largest food festival. The Taste of Chicago does not only offer food, but beverages, music, entertainment, art, and fun for everyone. 

Admission to the Taste of Chicago is always free. To purchase food, tickets are sold for $10 for 14 tickets. Smaller samples of food can be purchased for 1-6 tickets. For more information about the 2018 Taste of Chicago, check online here or here

The first Taste of Chicago was held on July 4th, 1980 as a one day event. The Taste of Chicago was started by Arnie Morton, acting as a successor to another festival- ChicagoFest. The first Taste of Chicago took up three blocks north of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, with 250,000 people that showed up. The turnout surpassed expectations of 100,000 people, and Taste was moved to Grant Park the next year where it has remained ever since. Food options back then included hot dogs, ribs, and Italian ice with tickets for merely 50 cents each. The tickets were sold in strips of five, where three tickets could buy a slice of Eli's cheesecake. 

Thirty-eight years later, the Taste of Chicago has many impressive achievements- it's the largest festival in Illinois and has inspired a multitude of "Taste of" events. It usually receives 3 million visitors and serves over 200 menu items. In 2014, for the first time since the inception of the Taste, the Taste of Chicago was closed because of severe weather. 

For a full guide of the foods available at Taste, check out this comprehensive guide. For more tips and tricks, check this out. 

If you have any questions about Chicago, from real estate to fun summer events, be sure to contact us at anytime!