Monthly Archives: June 2020

Chicago is opening up but we are not out of the clear just yet. If you’re eager to get out of your home but weary about public spaces, a park might be the best option for you. It is important to note that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is lower outdoors. Just keep in mind that playgrounds are not yet available for use. We’ve included a list of our favorite park destinations to keep in mind if you want to explore the city while also being safe. But please, do wear a mask! 

  • The 606 Trail – 1805 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The 606 is a local favorite and our namesake! It’s a fun elevated trail that gives you a great glimpse of neighborhoods like Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. 

  • Garfield Park – 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

While the conservatory is closed, the outer park is open and available for exploring. 

  • Humboldt Park – 1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622

This historic park is a must for Chicago residents. It features a boathouse and beautifully designed lagoon and river. 

  • Jackson Park – 6401 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Jackson Park is another magnificent historic green space. It was the site of World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and it was designed by famous landscape architects like Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s sprawling and features a Japanese Garden and lagoons. 

  • The Lakefront Trail

The lakefront trail also opened up earlier this week but keep in mind, it will be a popular destination. If you want fewer people, we recommend visiting the other parks listed first. 

Stay safe and enjoy the sun! 

While Chicago is gradually opening up, Covid-19 is still out there. If you are fortunate enough to work from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, it’s important to create a space that is inviting but helps you be productive. We have compiled some tips to help you curate a functional space now that our new normal is likely here to stay for a while. 

Choosing the Space

If you haven’t worked from home before, then this is probably new territory for you. It might be easy to choose a space if you live alone. Consider setting up near a window or clearing out a closet to easily transform into a work area.

If you live with significant others, family, or roommates, it might be tricky but not impossible. Identify a space that isn’t regularly used, like a guest room or dinning area. If you want some privacy, consider using screens to section off the desired area. Whatever you choose, clear communication with whoever you live with is key to ensuring that you have the time and privacy to work.

Create a Work Surface

If you have a desk on hand, great! That’s half the battle. If you don’t, there are plenty of ways to create a work surface in your home. While there are plenty of options online, maybe you’re not in the financial position to spend on a new desk. You can use what you already have, from a console table to a kitchen table.

If these options are already spoken for, consider using two filing cabinets with a board on top. These are great temporary alternatives but if you’re going to be working from home for a while, it might be time to invest in a desk. 

Get the Chair

Do invest in a chair with the right height and proper back support. You may have gotten used to office chairs so it’s important to recreate a comfortable space at home too. Do your research and find a chair that is functional and comfortable. 

Make it Bright

While not often talked about, lighting has an enormous effect on us. Natural light can be a great mood booster. Brighten up your new office by letting the light in. Keep your curtains open or use soft incandescent bulbs when the sun isn’t shining. Instead of intense fluorescent lights, consider floor lamps to create a warmer atmosphere. As opposed to working in an office space where the lighting is dictated by others, take this opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to your wellbeing and productivity.

Keep Work Separate 

This probably goes without saying but it’s a crucial step to working efficiently from home. Unlike working in an office, you might be tempted to work in various places depending on comfort levels. But we recommend you work in one area and one area alone. It’ll help maintain the separation between rest and work so you don’t get distracted or overwhelmed. If you’re planning on working from home for a while, it’s crucial for your mental health to create boundaries even when you’re in the same physical space. 

We hope this helps you create the space you need and want. But always be sure to rest, relax, and rejuvenate when you need to.

We know a lot of our city is staying home and doing their best to limit the spread of Covid-19. It is not the year or summer we imagined but it’s the one we have. While it’s important to keep ourselves entertained at home, it’s equally important to keep kids happy at home too. Chicago is an incredible city for families but there are ways to experience it from home. We’ve created a list of virtual field trips to keep the smiles coming while staying safe.

Virtual Field Trips

Beyond Chicago

Moving is stressful under normal circumstances. Factor in a pandemic in addition to our everyday anxiety and it can almost be too much to bear. Moving now will be tough but not impossible. We wanted to gather some tips for navigating this difficult time and make moving a bit more manageable. We’ve also included practical tips to ensure your health and the health of your movers during Covid-19. 

Don’t Minimize Just Yet

While many suggest getting rid of items you don’t need or want prior to a move, don’t feel pressured to do that this time around. During difficult times, our objects tend to comfort and make us feel a bit more secure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about what to take and what not to take, move it and decide later when you feel ready. Do what you need to get through this.

Ask for Help

If you need help, ask for it. While a lot of us feel like we should be able to handle hardship on our own, this is not a time to go at it alone. It’s important to keep a distance and practice precaution as you move during a pandemic, but there are ways to do it safely. Have people you trust help you pack while wearing masks and gloves, or secure a moving company to do the heavy lifting. Even emotional support can be extremely necessary and welcome during this time. 

Be Kind to Yourself

While moving efficiently benefits from organization and set goals, it’s okay if you don’t meet every single one of them this time around. So what if you didn’t pack up your closets or disassemble your bed when you thought you would. Start the moving process early, take your time, and don’t fixate on the small stuff. Get the rest you need and chip away at the project bit by bit. It’s okay to not to be completely prepared for the moment. Be kind to yourself.

Some Tips for Moving During Covid-19

  • Make sure you are using new moving materials when you prep and pack for your move. Before Covid-19, we would encourage this option. It’s both cost efficient and environmentally friendly to reuse materials. For your safety, we’d definitely advise against it.
  • In addition, ask your movers what precautions they are taking to ensure limited contact during a move. Do they have gloves and masks? Double check the payment method as some aren’t accepting cash at the moment.
  •  Be sure to have hand sanitizer or wipes on hand for the move day and keep a good distance apart from your crew after your walk through. Some people leave their move out location and wait at the delivery.
  •  Opt out of any packing or unpacking services to limit exposure. 
  • Above all, delay your move if you are feeling sick!

These are unusual and distressing times. Move safely, be kind to yourself, and ask for help when you need it.

Covid-19 has upended our routines, there is no denying it. If you’re staying home more often, take advantage of that free time. We wanted to highlight one activity we’re doing while we’re at home. It is not too late in the season to grow an herb garden. You’ll not only have fresh herbs for cooking but it’s an effective stress reliever. Planting will get you away from your phone and focused on something you can care for and watch grow. We’ve created a guide to help get started.

Consider the Container

If you’re renting, consider starting your herb garden in containers and indoors. They’re ideal if you have limited or no garden space. It will not only make it easier to take them with you on your next move but it’ll be easy to transition them indoors when the seasons change.

Clay pots are great and attractive options but they can break easily. Plastic and wood containers are preferred but feel free to work with whatever is best for you. Keep in mind that it’s easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones. Larger containers hold more soil which retains moisture longer. This is particularly ideal during the hot summer months. Whichever pots you go with, just make sure they have drainage holes.

Planning Your Herb Garden

If you’re not sure which herbs to start with, consider the staples. Basil, mint, thyme, and parsley are some of the most resilient and easy to work with. Think about what you cook with on a daily basis and expand from there. You can grow different types of herbs in one container but make sure they have the same sun, water, and soil needs (Most do but definitely double check). 

Plant Needs: Sun, Soil, & Water

Whether you’re working with limited space or creating an herb garden indoors, pick the sunniest spot. Most herbs will need around 6 hours of sunlight per day.

While it may be tempting to just use the soil from your yard, it’s best to use a potting mix. Potting mix is ideal because it’ll retain moisture but will effectively drain excess water.

Just make sure the soil is consistently moist. You won’t need much and you certainly don’t want to drown your plants. If leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow, scale back the amount of water you use.

Harvesting

Harvest a few sprigs at a time and do it regularly. This will encourage new growth. Avoid harvesting too much at once. If you have more than enough herbs, consider drying them for future use or give them away to friends and family. 

Transplanting

Herbs are extremely flexible and can be transplanted when needed. If you notice your plants outgrowing their containers, it’s time to transplant. Herbs can also be started indoors then planted outdoors once they’re ready or you have the space to do so.  

Moving is a necessary element of life that few of us like to do. It’s stressful, beginning to end. From finding a new place, to booking movers, to the actual day of the move, it can be overwhelming. Many renters stress about avoiding property damage on move day. We have included tips to help you prepare for the big day. As movers, we’re here to give guidance and assist on move day so you can focus on the next chapter of your life and settling into your new home. 

Protect Your High Traffic Areas 

As you prep, make note of the areas in your home that experience the most traffic. If a hallway or entryway has carpet, it’s best to lay out old rugs to protect them from dirt, water, and spills. If you have hardwood floors, tape down cardboard to protect them from getting scratched. If it rains or snows, consider investing in carpet shield. 

Always Measure Doorways

Measure your doorways and compare with any large or oversized items before move day. It might seem obvious but it doesn’t hurt to make sure your furniture fits, especially if you’ve assembled items within your house. If you do this before the day of the move, it will help you determine what will need to be disassembled and reassembled. You can disassemble before the move day or some movers include it in the services. 

Protect Your Valuables 

Most movers will supply moving blankets but there are ways to be more prepared when protecting your valuables. Wrap fragile items like glass and mirrors in towels or bedding to ensure they don’t shatter or damage anything else. Packing materials or cardboard will help sharp corners and edges from tables and dressers from scratching other items or the property. 

Watch Out for Corners 

If you’re worried about damaging wall corners, corner guards can be attached to high traffic areas as well. They will ensure walls are protected from the occasional bump or two. They can easily be attached in both the move out and move in location. 

While the city and most of the country is opening back up, it’s important we don’t forget that this is still an unusual and difficult time. Covid-19 is still here, in our communities and jobs are just now opening up. Chicago is not only struggling to find a new routine but many are struggling how to make ends meet and feed themselves and their families. The protests around the city have also caused many stores to board up and have left communities, particularly on the South and West sides, without consistent food access. All of these factors should remind us just how important community is and how we should help others if and when we can. We’ve created a list of organizations that are available for food donations and distribution. This is not exhaustive. There are many resources available throughout the city but this can be a starting point. We hope that if you are financially able, you’ll donate. Or if you’re in need, you’ll find a location near you. 

Greater Chicago Food Depository 

Chicago Public Schools Meal Sites

A Just Harvest – Rogers Park 

Lakeview Pantry – Lakeview 

Pilsen Food Pantry – Pilsen 

Shepards Hope – Englewood

Chicago Family Pairing Program – “This is a program looking to pair families on the Northside who have access to these stores to pair up with families on the South and West sides and can deliver groceries to these areas. OnTheGround Chicago will be covering the full cost of these groceries using donated funds.”

Brave Space Alliance – This is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, and they offer food pantry options. 

Stay Safe!

Your Chicago Movers – 606 Movers Inc

We have featured this bookstore/gallery in previous blog posts but Semicolon deserves a post all their own. Located in Fulton Market, it’s easy to simply characterize this area for it’s trendy restaurants and high-end retailers. It is also the home of Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery. Opened in 2016 and led by DL Mullen, it is the only Black Woman-owned bookstore in Chicago. In May, they raised funds to provide free books for CPS students stuck at home and have now become a hub for food donations and distribution for those affected by grocery store closures and CPS suspending food services. When you support Black-owned businesses, you not only support the individuals but the community, our communities as well. They are an inspiration and deserve boundless support. 

So if you are interested in anti-racist and decolonization texts, make sure you check out Semicolon first. Now is the time to listen, learn, and take action where and when you can. We’ve included important texts to consider as we move forward, both fiction and non-fiction. Be sure to support Black-owned businesses and black writers now, but we must support them in the long run. We’ve also provided a list of other Black-owned bookstores you can also shop from as well. 

Non-Fiction

How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Y. Davis

So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele, Angela Davis (Foreword by)

Fiction 

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

The Stree – Ann Petry

How Long ’til Black Future Month? – N. K. Jemisin

Here are more black-owned bookstores to support around the country!