Chicago Life and Style.

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Month: November, 2009

Things to do this weekend–including free carriage rides!!

December on Damen
Join the North Bucktown Merchants on Thursday December 3 from 4-8pm for a holiday celebration. Stroll the shops of North Bucktown from North Avenue to Webster Street and enjoy free trolley rides, hot chocolate, holiday gift specials and refreshments in participating stores. See the event website: for more details

Choral Singers Christmas Concert
The Wicker Park Choral Singers present, A Christmas Rose, Saturday December 5 at 3pm, Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1502 N. Hoyne, Free. For more information visit:

Bombastic Carolers on Parade
Celebrate the season on December 5 with Redmoon’s Bombastic Carolers brought to you by WPB.  The Carolers will kick off their holiday procession at Noon at the Polish Triangle, located at the intersection of Milwaukee, Division and Ashland.  They will process through the neighborhood, making stops at several businesses along Division Street in Wicker Park.  For more information about WPB and this event, visit To learn more about Redmoon Theatre, including the troupe’s recent Halloween celebration and performance at the White House visit

Do Division Holiday Walk
On Saturday December 5, join in the holiday fun sponsored in part by WPB. The Do Division Holiday walk will take place between Pulaski Park and Western Avenue, featuring free carriage rides, complimentary holiday drinks, big sales, and special traveling performance by Redmoon Theatre (see above). Visit:

Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale
Over 150 of today’s finest indie-craft and contemporary design talents will be setting up shop at the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale on December 5 and 6 from 11am-7pm at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk, see

Holiday Art Sale
Join local hosts, the Chicago Art Market and House of Two Urns for hot apple cider, home baked treats, and the annual Holiday Artisan Art Sale. Stop by and check out local artisan wares including etchings, linocuts, ceramics, photographs, sculptures, vintage aprons and homemade local jam by local artists:  Kapra Fleming, Daniel Galemb, Miguel Lopez-Lemus, Merle Welkomer and Marjorie Woodruff. The free event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6 from 11am-6pm at House of Two Urns, 1239 N. Greenview. For more information contact: Kapra Fleming (773) 235-1408 or email:

Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Travel to four events listed above in style! Enjoy a festive horse drawn carriage ride from 2-6pm along Division on Saturday, December 5. Your coach awaits at the following locations:
d/vision optical (1756 W. Division)
Elevenzees (1901 W. Division)
Event Studio (2027 W. Division)
House of Two Urns (1239 N. Greenview)

Really good to the Wicker Park/Bucktown/East Village Areas

Weatherization Vouchers
With the colder weather comes higher energy bills, but there are effective ways to reduce your costs by weatherizing your home.  The Alderman from both the 1st and 32nd Wards will be offering weatherization vouchers for 1st and 32nd Ward residents to assist in their own winter home weatherization efforts.  These $40 vouchers are good at most Home Depot locations in Chicago and can be used towards the purchase of programmable thermostats, insulation, caulk and furnace filters, as well as windows and doors.  Visit the 1st Ward Office, 2058 N. Western, or the 32nd Ward Office, 2657 N. Clybourn, with proof of residency and the staff will be happy to assist you.

Special Street Sweeping and Snow Routes
To prepare the streets for the snowy winter, there will be a few special City of Chicago sponsored street cleanings in the WPB area; please keep this in mind and be attentive to temporary no parking signs. Remember that City snow routes become effective on December 1, and overnight parking will not be allowed on some arterial streets. Please be mindful of all posted snow route signs, enforcement begins Monday, December 1 at 3 am.

Road Closure Announcements
Western Avenue is the designated parade route for the Annual Chicagoland Motorcycle Toys for Tots Parade on the morning of Sunday December 6. This event is the largest motorcycle parade in the world, with each participant carrying a new toy contribution. The parade follows Western Avenue between 95th Street and Lane Tech High School, and it would be wise to use an alternative route to Western Avenue between 9am-2pm.

Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza

If you work downtown you have probably seen the huge village that goes up in Daley Plaza every year. What you might not know is what it is and why its worth taking a walk over to visit.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the organizers of the event for the last several years and hearing her talk about it reminded me how much effort goes into putting together such an enormous event. The Christindl Market is modeled after the original market in Germany and offers everything from authentic German cuisine, shopping and entertainment. Most of the vendors actually come hear from Germany, no small feat to get that organized!  Not to mention that it is beautiful and is a sure fire way to get you into the spirit of the holidays–whichever holiday you celebrate!

It’s also a good place to visit as a family. If you work downtown and you have a spouse or significant other who doesn’t this is the perfect excuse to plan a lunch outing and hit the market together. If you have kids, don’t forget to bring them too!

For more info and details see the market website here.

What really makes a home? What’s inside of course.

As we head into the holidays we are all more pre-disposed to feeling sentimental and I’m no exception.  It just so happens that I just got a new dog – my last pup died in August and I was without a dog for the first time in 15 years.  The timing was, I think, fortuitous.  The idea of Christmas morning, sitting in front of the fire, opening presents–without a dog–was inconceivable to me.  I LOVE cuddling on the floor with my dogs (on the floor because they are not allowed n the furniture) and the simple act of having a new living being in my house has made me notice it more–and appreciate it more too.

My daughter has become fast friends with our new pooch, Capone, too and we all cuddle on the floor together. Thank goodness I invested in the ultra plush carpet padding way back when!  My last dog was a slobberer and when he died I had a truly clean house for the first time in years! Capone doesn’t slobber much so my walls and furniture are spared the daily drenching and subsequent scrubbing they had become used to. My living room once again boasts a big dog bed and from an aesthetic point of view, it covers up my lovely hardwood floors and overlaps the rug, but from a “homey” point of view, it’s the perfect addition to the room.

Not everyone is a dog person and it certainly doesn’t take a dog to make a home. I suspect its different for everyone, whatever that thing is that makes a house feel like home. All I know is that I loved my home before but the energy now, the wonderful feeling of love and welcomeness (yeah, I know that’s not a word) has been greatly enhanced and on this Monday before Thanksgiving, I am profoundly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may your house be filled with all the people and things and energy that make it your home!

Chicago-area home sales jump 33% —

Chicago-area home sales jump 33% —

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