Monthly Archives: December 2019

For the artistically inclined, Ravenswood is a hub of creativity and talent. Filled with artist workshops and retail shops featuring handmade products, it is a beautiful place to be inspired by. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods, and just walking around can be a pleasure. Here you can find refurbished industrial buildings and factories mixed with impressive victorian houses, all along tree-lined streets. When Ravenswood was first founded, it was advertised as a suburb outside the city, where people could relax and escape. Much of that sentiment never really went away and you can feel it. It’s a peaceful neighborhood filled with families, coffee shops, and artists. People truly and work and play within Ravenswood in way that just doesn’t happen anywhere else, creating a really unique community-driven atmosphere. Ravenswood has a “handmade” quality to it and it makes sense as so many local printmakers, iron workers, and beer brewers have settled here. Take a class at Lillstreet Art Center or just walk around to enjoy everything Ravenswood has to offer.


Lillstreet Art Center – 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

If you love art and want flex your creativity, go to Lillstreet Art Center. They have so many classes from jewelry making to pottery to photography. Lillstreet is a staple in the community, where people work and make amazing things. They have artist residencies and features a gallery space as well. So take a class or two and maybe fall in love with a new craft.

Ravenswood Used Books – 2005 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

One of the many joys of going to a used bookstore is that you’ll never know what you’ll find. Filled with an enormous selection, Ravenswood Used Books is a small space but it never disappoints. So head over to get your book fix and support a local business.

River Valley Farmer’s Table – 1820 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

If you’ve ever been to one of the many Chicago farmer’s markets, you’ve probably seen River Valley’s table. They are a staple, always providing fresh and flavorful products. Their brick-and-mortar location is in Ravenswood and features a cafe so be sure to check them out.

Marmalade – 1969 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

I can’t say enough great things about this place. It’s a small, unassuming breakfast and lunch spot that you could easily miss driving or walking down the street. But don’t! They have some of the best biscuits and gravy that I’ve ever had and their service is really great. I’ve been coming for years and will continue to do so as long as they’ll support my biscuit habit.

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria – 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

This is another casual restaurant that is truly underrated and will thoroughly surprise you. They have some of the best Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas in the city. Beloved by Ravenswood, it has slowly been winning over the rest of the city. While you’ll likely have to wait for a seat, it’s absolutely worth it. Be sure to swing by during the summer months to really enjoy the space and atmosphere out on the patio.

While Chicago is certainly cold in October, it shouldn’t stop you from exploring and experiencing all the events this city has to offer. We’ve listed just a few below but there are so many more. If you have some free time, check these events out this weekend.

Fall Fest at Lincoln Park

October 18th – October 27th

Lincoln Park Zoo – 2001 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60614

If you love fall as much as I do, you have to check out the Fall Fest at Lincoln Park. While Lincoln Park is a beautiful destination on it’s own, you’ll have a chance to experience it in a whole new way. There will be live music, a corn maze, a ferris wheel, and a pumpkin patch. It’ll be up and running for the next few weeks, so be sure to check it out.

Chicago International Film Festival

October 16th – October 27th

AMC River East – 21322 E Illinois StChicago, IL 60611

Chicago is an amazing city, it’s the home of countless unique and interesting festivals including the International Film Festival. If you love films and want to get a first look at the ones most people will be talking about, check out their website for films and showtimes. It’s a great festival to learn and experience stories from around the world.

Open House Chicago

October 19th – October 20th

*Various Locations

If architecture is your thing, then you’re in luck. This weekend, the Chicago Architecture Center is having their annual Open House Chicago, where they offer access to over 350 buildings all over Chicago. Look at their website to explore architectural gems from countless Chicago neighborhoods and all for free.

You did it. You packed up, moved out, and you’re ready for the next chapter. Except, there are a few things you need to do when you move into your new space. While the hard part is certainly over, now you must face all the logistical details that go into moving before you can truly relax.


Set up your utilities

Don’t forget to set up your utilities before you move in. While it might not seem as important as packing and moving out, there’s nothing worse than arriving at your new place and realizing your lights don’t work.


Clean your new space


Take advantage of the empty state of your new space. The whole moving process has probably left your new home dusty with so many people walking in and out. It’s also a great time to make cosmetic changes like painting or adding new fixtures before you arrange all of your belongings.


Check on your appliances


If you moved any appliances such as a stove or washer and dryer, double check to make sure they arrived safely and that nothing was damaged.


Check your boxes and furniture


Also take a look at your boxes and furniture, making sure everything arrived and nothing looks damaged. You can conduct a quick home inventory before unpacking completely. If something is damaged, contact your movers immediately to resolve the issue as efficiently and stress-free as possible.


Make sure you’re getting your mail


Check your post office or your old residence to make sure your mail is being forwarded and that you’ve registered your new address. This is also a great time to update your accounts and personal records to reflect your new address.


Now you’re ready to unpack. Be sure to rest, take breaks, and take your time settling in.

While summer is over, it doesn’t mean Chicago has closed down for the winter. There are still events happening throughout the city that may catch your interest. You may have to bundle up a bit more, but there is no need to stop having fun just yet.

4th Annual Campfire Festival

October 12th – 30thChase Park

4701 North Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

If you’re eager to get into the fall spirit, then this event is perfect for you. The 4th Annual Campfire Festival will transform Chase Park into a huge pumpkin patch where there will be live music, a corn maze, and so many more fun activities. Be sure to stop by this weekend but don’t worry, it’ll up for the whole month.

Lit & Luz Festival

October 12th – 19th

Multiple Locations*

Most events are free and open to the public Chicago is an amazing literary city, with bookstores and writers bring life into the city. This week, you’ll have another amazing chance to meet and listen to a wide variety of local and international writers and creatives. Lit & Luz started in 2012, largely focused on Latin American topics and writers. It has expanded and now includes multiple venues all throughout the city so be sure to check out their website for details.

Chicago Architecture Biennial

September 2019 – January 2020

Chicago Cultural Center – 78 East Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602

If you’re a lover of architecture or just curious, be sure to go to this years Architecture Biennial. You’ll be immersed in not only architecture but ideas about planning, design, visual, policymaking, and activism. While the main exhibition is at the Chicago Cultural Center, there other iterations taking place throughout the city.

For most, packing and moving is a necessity. You have to do it and you will, several times over the course of your life. Whether you have thought about it or not, the moving industry is an industry of waste. Considering the amount of bubble wrap, tap, and boxes purchased, a move only adds to the crisis happening on our planet. Most of the materials are used once and discarded. While some items can be recycled, the nerve-wrecking process of a move often overrides our best intentions and we don’t always follow through. But there are ways to reduce waste in the moving industry, here are some tips on how you can too.


Start Planning Early


Once you know you have to move, figure out what you do and don’t want to take with you. Instead of waiting a few days before and having to throw most of your unwanted items in the trash, start planning early. Drop them off at donation centers, start listing the items you want to sell online, or give them away. Your items will find new homes instead of adding to our landfills.


Consider Reusable


Once you begin the packing process, consider using plastic reusable bins. Take inventory of the ones you have first. This option will also eliminate the need for tape. If you go through or don’t have reusable options, reach out to local supermarkets or stores for boxes. While each place is different, most will be happy to let you take the boxes of their hands.


Go Unconventional


To keep your fragile objects protected, consider skipping the bubble wrap and packing paper all together. Use your soft items instead, like linens, clothes, and towels. These items have to be moved anyway so let them have another purpose as well. If you have to use other packing materials, there are environmentally conscious products available such as biodegradable packing peanuts and recycled packing paper.


Think Green


If you’re looking to get movers, be sure to research eco-minded companies in your area. Some have reusable bin options or are conscious of the packing material they use. As long as you’re willing to do a bit more research, you’ll be surprised how many do take the environment into consideration.

While packing books seems like an easy task, here are some tips to help with the process. This will ensure books make their journey safely and you can check this portion off of your to-do list.


Sort and Donate

This may be a good time to sort through your books and create categories for what you want to do with them. While there are some you may want to keep, there are others you are less likely to read again or ever. Second-hand stores, school libraries, and used book retailers are all great places to leave the books you no longer want.


Get the Boxes


Try and find boxes that are sturdy and if you can, it’s better if they’re new. Or if you’re going to utilize used boxes, just make sure they aren’t damp as the moisture can damage your books. Be sure to use strong packing tape and secure all sides to avoid the boxes from falling apart.


Packing Securely and Safely


While it’s tempting to pack all of your books into a single box, try spreading them out to redistribute the weight. While you might think that having the least amount of boxes will speed up the process, often times it doesn’t. If they’re too heavy, they might require two people to carry them or they might need to be repacked into several lighter boxes, which will definitely take more time. If they’re too heavy for you to maneuver, they’ll likely be too heavy for the crew. You can also use packing paper to secure loose items and fill in any gaps as the contents might shift as they’re moved around.


Arranging them in the Truck


If you have movers, they will likely access the contents of your home and pack the truck accordingly. If you’re doing this yourself, be sure to pack any book boxes on the floor of the truck. The books can be heavy and in order to avoid them from toppling over, it’s best to pack them at the bottom so they don’t cause damage to the furniture.


Long Term Storage


If you are taking your books and leaving them in a storage facility for an extended period of time, make sure you find a facility that is dry and cool. If possible, find a place that is inside a building and is climate-controlled as well.

Festival season is going strong despite the tumultuous weather and cooler temperatures as we head into October. The city is still filled with exciting events and fun reasons to go out. Make sure to make the most of these next few months before we have to hibernate once more. So go and explore while you can!

World Music Festival Chicago 

September 13th – 29th

Various Locations, including: 

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E Washington StChicago, IL 60602

The 21st Annual World Music Festival, which started a few weeks ago, is still going strong, ending September 29th. You’ll be able to listen to and experience a wide variety of international music taking place at multiple venues around Chicago. It’s a great way to explore the city and support extraordinary musicians. 

World Dumpling Fest

September 29th 

Navy Pier 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Head out to the World Dumpling Fest this weekend to enjoy and discover different dumplings from around the world. Come for the dumplings and stick around for the live music and activities. 

Edgewater Arts Festival 

September 28th – September 29th 

Edgewater W Granville Ave & N Broadway

Edgewater is celebrating the arts this weekend and will feature more than 100 artists. You’ll be able to get to know the neighborhood and local businesses while enjoying food, art, and live performances. Make sure to stop by and participate in the fun!

While most people move during the summer, it’s not the only season you can do it in. If you don’t have any constraints, consider waiting a few months until after the peak moving season slows down. Moving in the fall is probably the most flexible time to move, and the least utilized.


More Openings
Most moves take place between April and September, when winter gives way to more manageable weather. This makes fall the off-season for most companies. College kids and families with little ones make use of the summer months to move, further limiting the spaces moving companies have available. Moving in the fall ensures there will be more flexibility in the dates you choose.


Lower Prices
Because fall is the off-season, pricing is often less competitive. This may mean you pay less as demand is no longer high. You’ll likely have more options as more companies will be within your price range, allowing you to choose the best mover for you instead of going with the cheapest. Be sure to get multiple estimates so you can find a mover that fits within your desired requirements.


Fewer People Moving, More Options
It also makes it easier to move out, especially if you live in an apartment building. Fewer moving tenants means there will be more flexibility securing elevator times. Some residential apartments also give rental incentives in order to fill any remaining units. With fewer people moving, you may be able to take advantage of these offers that just aren’t available when demand is high.


Moving can be a difficult process but it can be less stressful and more affordable if you reevaluate the timing. Consider moving in the fall when there is more availability and lower prices.

It wouldn’t be Labor Day Weekend without the countless festivals popping up this weekend, some starting as early as Friday and going on all the way through to Monday. If you don’t have any plans yet, there are so many taking place around the city. Make the most of the last few days of summer. It’ll be a long winter before we get the chance to be out and about, enjoying the warmth, sun, and fun.

41st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

Thursday August 29th – Sunday September 1st*

*Millennium Park – 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

*Chicago Cultural Center – 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Taking place across several locations near Millennium Park, this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival will officially wind down the summer. It will showcase both local and international artists. If your looking to relax and spend an evening or two in the beautiful downtown area, then consider the Jazz festival.

The Great American Lobster Fest

Friday August 30th – Sunday September 1st

Navy Pier – 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

If you love lobster as much as I do, make sure to stop by Navy Pier this weekend. It will be a family-friendly event with artist vendors and live performances as well. Take in the Chicago skyline and enjoy some lobster.

Taste of Polonia

Friday August 30th – Monday September 2nd

The Copernicus Center – 216 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

If your curious about Polish cuisine and culture, but sure to stop by the Taste of Polonia this weekend. It will feature family-friendly activities and live music. It will go from Friday the 30th to Monday September 2nd so you have countless opportunities to enjoy the festival.

30th Annual African Festival of the Arts

Friday August 30th – Monday September 2nd 2019

Washington Park – 5100 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, Il 60615

Consider supporting Hyde Park and the long-standing African Festival of the Arts this Labor Day weekend. There will be an abundance of food, art vendors, and entertainment.

Pachanga Block Party 2019

Sunday September 1

1216 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60654

Dance the night away at this years Pachanga Block party in downtown Chicago. There will be incredible DJs playing all kinds of Latin music with drinks and Mexican street food available as well.

Roger’s Park just feels different. Located on the northernmost point of Chicago, it’s a unique place as elements of both a college and beach town converge. With Loyola University as a huge part of the neighborhood, Rogers Park remains a young and vibrant community with students spilling out of train stations and coffee shops. The many street end beaches are incredible to see and experience, especially as someone who grew up on the industrial west side where nature was more a destination rather than an integrated and accessible element of everyday life. It’s also a really diverse place, as represented by the wide variety of multicultural restaurants from Ethiopia to Peru and everywhere in between. Rogers Park is the home of artists, writers, hippies, and activists and it shows as streets are lined with cool bookstores, public murals, and theaters. This utopian community is as idyllic as it is devoted to uplifting Chicago and its residents and it’s an amazing place to spend the day.


Helen Doria Beach
1040 W Columbia Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
A very quiet and peaceful stretch of beach where you can appreciate both the lake and Chicago’s skyline from afar.


The Rogers Park Historical Society
7363 N. Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the neighborhood, consider the annual House tour they host taking place in late September.


Leather Archives & Museum
6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago IL, 60626
This unique space is both an archive and museum dedicated to preserving the leather, BDSM, and kink community and history. A place that would no doubt make Robert Mapplethorpe proud.


Rogers Park Social
6920 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
Beloved by the community for it’s cocktails and atmosphere, it’s also a welcoming place that regularly hosts Drag and Burlesque shows.


Caribbean American Bakery
1539 Howard St, Chicago, IL 60626
This Jamaican bakery is also a neighborhood favorite for its breads and pastries that will definitely hit the spot and perfect for our cold Chicago winters.


The Armadillo’s Pillow
6753 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL, 60626
Okay, this place is amazing. It’s quirky, unique, stacks-upon-stacks-kind of bookstore. You never know what you’ll find and that’s the absolute charm of a bookstore like this.