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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!

Maybe you’re staying home to keep yourself safe, maybe you’re staying home to keep your family and your community healthy. Whatever your reasons might be, the next home you move into is likely where you’ll be spending most of your time for the foreseeable future. It’s daunting, we know. Chicago is always a great city in the summer, with festivals and events happening every weekend. But with COVID-19 in the picture and for the safety of our city, we can’t count on external entertainment this year. That is why it’s important to create a peaceful and welcoming space, especially if you’re relocating this season. We wanted to include some tips to help make your new home really feel like home, a refuge for this confusing and heartbreaking time. Use what you already have or splurge on a few key pieces. In order to continue fighting, we must know how to rest and decompress, and home is where we do that.  

Start with the Bathroom

While there is no wrong way to settle into your new home, we suggest starting with the bathroom. It’s the first room you’ll likely be using right away. Aim for a relaxing space. Think spa vibes with vanilla candles, plants, and neutral colors. Moving is intense, so do yourself a favor and set up your dream bathroom before unpacking anything else.

Keep 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 space 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. 

Get Creative

After your move is over and you’ve settled in, get creative in your new space. Add art to your walls, paint a statement wall or two, install shelves to show off your memories and decor. These are not only great hands-on projects that will keep your mind occupied, it will help your new space feel entirely yours. You’ll likely be home more often than not, so curate a space that makes you happy and optimistic. Having a space that brings you joy will make a huge difference, especially during this tough time. 

 Do you have a porch or backyard? Use it!

We hope you’re moving into your own home or at least renting an apartment with a patio this time around. No matter what it looks like, outdoor spaces are meant to be enjoyed and utilized. Now more than ever, it is important to find moments to unwind, relax, and have fun. Find comfortable seating, decorate with colorful pillows, get plants, invest in outdoor lighting or candles. No matter how you decorate it, make it a functional space you’ll actually use. Summer is here and you’ll likely get tired of working from inside. Shift your work space outside or keep it a purely recreational area. It is important for our mental health to keep work and rest separate but it’s absolutely up to you. Either way, your patio area will be a refuge and provide a much needed change in scenery. 

These are just some ideas to get you into a calm frame of mind in your new home. Or utilize these suggestions even if you’re not moving. We know it might not be easy for everyone but it’s important to rest and peace at home as we continue to move forward. 

Stay Safe!

Your professional Chicago Movers– 606 Movers Inc

Chicago is a thriving city for small businesses and now is the time to support them. We know money is tight and it’s become increasingly difficult to keep up. But, if you have the income, consider ordering take out or getting a book from your local bookstore. We also want to continue to highlight and support minority and women-owned businesses. Here at 606 Movers, we are absolutely inspired by the creativity and resilience of some of these businesses. We hope we can all make it through to the other side of this stronger than before.  

Below are some of our favorites!

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

515 N Halsted St

Chicago, IL 60642

Semicolon is Chicago’s only black woman-owned independent bookstore and gallery.They are committed to literacy and frequently collaborate with CPS through book donations. Support them and take advantage of the 10% discount they’ve applied to all titles.

Mestiza 

1523 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

This is an eclectic and charming shop of Mexican-American art and gift items made by local artists and vendors. Mestiza is a Pilsen staple, so please consider supporting them as they transition into an online store. They also have curbside pickup! 

Chiya Chai

2770 N Milwaukee Ave

Chicago, IL 60647

Chiya Chai is a Logan Square favorite. If you love warm chai, crispy samosas, flavorful dumplings, then this is the spot to check out. Lend your support and enjoy their amazing food. 

As our new reality sets in, it’s getting harder to see the end or find hope. While many states are beginning to open up, it’s clear that we are not safe yet. It’s admirable to see Illinois put people first in an effort to save more lives. Something I never thought would ever be up for debate, but here we are. We have compiled more resources here below to help those in need in Chicago and beyond. We’ve also included resources for immigrant and undocumented communities, who always bear the brunt of difficult situations with little recognition. Here at 606 Movers, we hope to get through this together and begin to actively build a more equitable world for everyone. 

1. Logan Square Neighborhood Association

COVID-19 Resources (Also available in Spanish / Lista de recursos en Español)

2. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa – 35th Ward Alderman 

COVID-19 UPDATES  (Also available in Spanish / Lista de recursos en Español)

3. Chicago and Illinois Covid-19 Resources Page (Google Doc / Actively updated)

4. COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Immigrants (Google Doc / Also available in Spanish / Lista de recursos en Español)

*This google doc features nationwide resources and it’s organized by state. It includes legal aid and health resources as well. 

Winter is nearly over. We made it through another season and I know Chicagoans are collectively taking a deep breath. And while Spring weather can also be unpredictable at times, there are advantages to moving this time of year. 

Warmer Weather

Moving in the winter is a stressful and daunting task. Spring brings warmer temperatures but beats moving in the sweltering heat of summer. While there is always a chance of rain, moving in spring is a much more comfortable experience. 

Lower Rates

If you’ve moved before, then you know summer is the busiest season. It tends to be the most convenient, especially since kids are out of school and its ideal for buying new homes. Summer rates surge because of this demand. Since spring is still technically the off-season, you might be able to take advantage of lower rates. 

More Flexibility 

In addition to higher rates, movers have limited flexibility during the summer due to such a high demand. There are simply not enough movers to meet everyone’s specific needs. Since spring is a less competitive season for moving, it’s much easier to secure the date you want, even if it’s short notice. 

A Perfect Time to Clean

With spring comes spring cleaning. If you’re moving, take advantage of this opportunity to clean, donate, sell, and recycle items you no longer want or need. If you’re moving less stuff, it likely means you’ll be paying less in the end. 

So embrace the transformative season and consider moving in the spring!

Spring is almost here! We can already feel it. Hopefully these warmer days have inspired you to get out and have fun. This weekend is going to be an exciting one so head out and enjoy the sun. Since it is Women’s History Month, we’ll also be including events that support women all month long!

Chicago European Union Film Festival

 March 6th – April 2nd

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

This one is for the film lovers. The Gene Siskel Film Center is once again hosting another amazing film festival, the annual European Union Film Festival. Its showcasing 4 weeks of films, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check them out. Also, be sure to support the women filmmakers featured!

International Women’s Day Edgewater Crawl

March 8th 11am – 2pm 

*Various locations in Edgewater 

This event hits close to home. As a women-owned small business, we understand the importance of community support. So if you can, be sure to check it out and explore women-owned businesses in Edgewater. They’ll have food and drink tastings and inspiring conversations. Follow the link to get details and locations. 

Babes, Booze, and Bake Sale

March 8th 11am – 4pm

Superkhana International – 3059 W Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60647

Head out this weekend to support some of Chicago’s best pastry chefs!  The lineup includes: Emily Spurlin (Lula Cafe), Erin Koroll (Cellar Door Provisions), and Mai Giffard (Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits) and so many more. Proceeds will go to Restaurant Culture Association, a nonprofit working to combat sexual harassment and build safe working environments in the food and drink industry.

If you’re looking for a warm and inviting place to escape the winter, Shokran is the place. While located in the Irving Park neighborhood, most would call this off-the-beaten-path. It’s not downtown and it’s not in a fancy restaurant area like Wicker Park. But that doesn’t mean it’s not special. Shokran (meaning ‘thank you’) is extremely special. And insanely good.

Interior ceiling and decor at Shokran

Despite it’s simple and nondescript location, the interior is anything but. The ceilings are adorned with fabric and booths are covered in jewel tone cushions. It’s orange, red, yellow, and blue decor transports you far away from the busy and bustling Irving Park Road. In addition, walls are covered in photographs of Morrocan markets, ornate lanterns light up the space, and candles add to a cozy atmosphere. 

Table at Shokran

And the food! You will not be disappointed. It’s affordable and the portions are generous. One of my favorite dishes is the lamb Fez, a tagine made with prunes, almonds, and hard-boiled eggs. Be sure to try the lamb kabob and don’t leave before you have had the Chicken Bastilla. It’s a traditional dish served at weddings made with crispy phyllo dough, layered with chicken, eggs, and almonds. It was so good, we forgot to take pictures. Staples like the hummus and the Morrocan mint tea were also incredibly good. 

Table at Shokran

The service was also friendly and prompt, really rounding out a wonderful experience. It is cash only but it really shouldn’t deter you. The atmosphere and food make Shokran a must. If you’re new to the neighborhood or a long time resident, make sure to go, support, and enjoy Shokran.

Shokran

 4027 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

Spring is so close, can you feel it! While it’s still cold, you can still make the most of the sunshine. Go out and explore the city and hopefully spring will get here in the meantime. 

30th Annual Festival of Films from Iran

Through to March 1st

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

If you’re interested in expanding your horizons or if you just love films, make sure to support this annual Iranian film festival. Featuring documentaries, comedies, and dramas, you’ll be sure to find something that speaks to you. It’s a great opportunity to embrace and support this community. Check out the Gene Siskel website for showtimes. 

The Orchid Show

Through March 22nd

Chicago Botanic Garden – 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

The Chicago Botanic Garden is not only a summer destination. Beat the cold by surrounding yourself with orchids and art installations at The Orchid Show. Explore beyond the city limits and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms. 

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show

Friday February 21st – Saturday February 22nd 

Reggies – 2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

Enjoy booze and pancakes at Reggies for this unique traveling art show this weekend. Relax and indulge while you browse. Be inspired by the more than 100 local artists with live music performances. 

The green movement is here and it’s not going anywhere. Businesses and people are becoming more conscious than ever before. And it can be easy too. If you’re moving and want to help reduce waste, here are some tips. You might actually be doing some of these things already. 

Find Green Movers

If you’re thinking of using movers, find eco-friendly companies. Take a look at what they offer, do they offer reusable containers or recycled materials. Make sure to ask how they dispose of their packing supplies. The moving industry can be wasteful but supporting those who make a difference is a huge help.

Carefully Plan What You’re Moving 

Don’t pack at the very last minute. This might be a no-brainer but here’s something else to consider. If you pack at the last minute, you’ll likely take everything with you. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to sort what you have. You’ll have time to donate and sell what you don’t really need or want. This means you’ll use less materials come the day of the move and hopefully your movers won’t need to make multiple trips. 

Start With The Containers You Have

Before you buy boxes, consider the containers you already have. This is also a good time to clear out unwanted or underutilized items. If you have large plastic storage bins, start packing with those. You can also use suitcases to transport your clothes. Instead of using paper or bubble wrap, use pillows and clothing to secure fragile items. You’ll be able to consolidate your things with zero waste. 

Need More Materials

If you still need materials for your move, there are ways to be green. Go to local business and see if they’re willing to give you their unused boxes. They’ll likely just throw them away so it never hurts to ask. Also consider buying recycled boxes. UsedCardboardBoxes.com collects boxes that are going to be disposed of due to misprints and overruns. They pack them into moving kits which can be cheaper than buying new and also eco-friendly.

But no matter where you get them, make sure to recycle them after you use them. Give them to a friend, set them aside for your next move, or pass them on online. 

Make The Fewest Trips Possible 

Whether you’re renting a truck or hiring movers, make sure you make one trip from your old location to your new home. Consider everything you’re moving and plan your trip wisely. This might go without saying but it’s absolutely crucial to provide your moving company with an accurate inventory list so that they assign the most appropriate truck size. This avoids multiple trips which use more fuel. 

https://606movers.com/eco-friendly-materials/