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Month: September, 2010

Circus in the park and other artsy fun

I remember LOVING the circus.  As an adult, I can’t help but think of how terrible it is for the animals and so I haven’t been to one in literally, decades.  Well, I think my dilemma has been solved!  Circus in the park is all the fun of the clowns and acrobats without the animals (except for a dog who loves it!).  There are several participating parks and proceeds benefit those parks–its even for a good cause! Starting this weekend through October.

Gompers Park – 4222 W. Foster
Saturday, September 11th, 2pm & 5pm
Sunday, September 12th, 1pm & 4pm

Welles Park – 2333 W. Sunnyside
Saturday, September 18th, 2pm & 5pm
Sunday, September 19th, 1pm & 4pm

Holstein Park – 2200 N. Oakley
Saturday, September 25th, 2pm & 5pm
Sunday, September 26th, 1pm & 4pm

Portage Park – 4100 N. Long
Saturday, October 9th, 2pm & 5pm
Sunday, October 10th, 1pm & 4pm

Chase Park – 4701 N. Ashland
Saturday, October 16th, 2pm & 5pm
Sunday, October 17th, 1pm & 4pm

Have you noticed that some of the vacant storefronts in West Town and Wicker Park are all of a sudden, well, cool? Here’s why! It’s a project called Make Believe and it’s a very creative use of vacant space to beautify and enrich the neighborhood and support our local artists.

For four months (and four months only), Chicago’s Wicker Park & Bucktown neighborhoods are offering a rare glimpse into a future driven by artists.

Come sneak a peek as artists innovate the next stages of industry evolution & take on the role of improving various business sectors through creativity & innovation through the ‘Make Believe’ initiative.

Using the very spaces rendered vacant by the economic downturn, a carefully hand-selected crop of artistic innovators (deemed “the finalists”) will temporarily display their work for the public to view. For more info and to vote for your favorites, check out and

Renegade Craft Fair this weekend!

I am still treasuring the handmade jewelry I bought at this fair last year.  As I always say, you never know when you are going to find a gem at a street fair. But, Renegade is so chock full of talented artists and tradespeople, the likelihood of finding treasure is dramatically increased.  Really, its free and totally worth coming to see.  The weather is gorgeous and we have had a few very cool days recently to remind us that fall is right around the corner so get out one more time and enjoy!

September 11 + 12, 2010, from 11am – 7pm, all of Division Street, between Damen and Paulina

Mussel Fest in Chicago! Sept. 17th-30th

The ChicagoOriginals is getting ready to celebrate the peak of the Mussel season with their 6th Annual Mussel Festival, Friday, September 17 to Thursday September 30.

This year, non-member, independent restaurants such as Yoshi’s and Jack’s on Halsted, will participate and all the participating restaurants will be listed on the website. Restaurants across the city and suburbs will present creative and delicious Mussel recipes along with their regular menus.

ChicagoOriginals is comprised of independent restaurateurs in Chicagoland and many cities throughout the United States to promote independently owned restaurants.

Restaurants that will be participating include:
Bella Bacino’s, 36 S. LaGrange Rd., LaGrange, (708-352-1115)
Cafe Bernard, 2100 Halsted St., Chicago, (773-871-2100)
Cafe Central, 455 Central Ave., Highland Park, (847-266-7878)
Cafe Matou, 1846 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, (773-384-8911)
Cyrano’s Bistro & Wine Bar, Chicago,. (312-467-0546)
Cyrano’s Cafe & Wine Bar on the Riverwalk, Chicago (312-616-1400) Hemmingway’s Bistro, 211 N. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, (708-524-0806)
Dinotto Ristorante, 215 W.North Ave., Chicago, (312-202-0302)

El Neuvo, 2914 N. Clark St. (773-528-2131)
Le Titi De Paris, 1015 W. Dundee Rd., Arlington Hts., (847-506-0222)

Mizu Sakitori & Sushi Lounge, 315 West North Ave.,(312-951-8880)

Oceanique, 505 Main Street, Evanston, (847-864-3435)

Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, (847-441-4100)
Sweets and Savories, 1534 West Fullerton, Chicago, (312-281-6778)
Trattoria Roma, 1535 N. Wells St., Chicago (312-664-7907)

You can visit and find gift certificates for participating restaurants for 50 percent off regular prices. You can find more information about this event by clicking under Events on the Chicago Originals website. We hope that you will help support your Chicago Originals Independent restaurants and join us for some of the best mussel dishes in town!
Bon Appetit!

Putt Putt at Commercial Park, September 18th

Free Desserts! September 15th

I’ve written about the online reservation site Open Table before.  It’s a great one stop shop to find a cool restaurant, make reservations AND earn points towards gift certificates.  That’s pretty cool on it’s own but now you can get a free dessert too!  There are few things I like more than dessert so this is a big deal to me. 🙂

You must log on to Open Table and make a reservation at one of the participating restaurants for September 15th and that’s it–the restaurant will know you are supposed to get a free dessert.  Come on, what possible reason could you have for not taking advantage of that?!?!