I’m back!

After a brief hiatus, I am back to writing about Chicago, and with the summer off to a great start, there is not a better time of year to write about all the things there are to do in the city.

The past few weeks have been busy for me: I got a commercial space leased in Highland Park, I rented an apartment in Edgewater, and I’ve started showing some homes in Naperville. Additionally I have been attending classes downtown at the Baird & Warner corporate offices and will be performing in Chicago Folk Operetta’s upcoming production of “The Cousin from Nowhere” at Stage 773 in Lakeview. Throw in an unseasonal flu-like cold virus and I have not had much time for blogging and enjoying the amazing summer weather. But none-the-less, all the activity is very exciting!

This past Saturday I did venture out to one of my favorite summer activities in Chicago: the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. This full-size orchestra (and chorus) performs every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during the summer at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. The best part is that lawn seats are free! For those of you familiar with the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park — this feels very similar, but you are surrounded by downtown Chicago. There are covered seats that you can purchase. But I, personally, prefer sitting on the lawn with a group of friends and a picnic spread. This past Saturday they performed Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, and I was happy to see a number of friends in the flute section of the orchestra. Nothing quite describes the experience, but hopefully this picture will give you some idea.IMG_1795

Earlier that day I was in the western suburb of Naperville showing homes for a friend who is looking to relocate from Chicago with her family to safer area with great schools. This was my first time really driving through Naperville, but it is a beautiful suburb with some very interesting homes at a great price point. As much as I love the city, there is something to be said to be able to go to an amazing, well-kept park and finding it nearly empty and completely free of litter or dog waste. Maybe now is a good time to mention that Millenium Park does not allow dogs, so there is no need to worry about dog waste when laying out your picnic spread!

Its hard to believe that June is almost over! Everyone please get out and enjoy the weather and the city. Here is a link to the Grant Park Symphony’s 2016 schedule in case you are looking for ideas.

 

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From the Gold Coast to Ravinia…

Its been another amazing weekend here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs and I am happy that I got to spend it doing things I love to do.

Friday evening I performed in a wedding service at the Casino Club, tucked away behind the Hancock tower in the Gold Coast. Somehow I don’t think I have ever seen this unassuming, one story building, but the inside was beautiful (picture below). There are building like these hidden throughout Chicago, old social clubs, renovated mansions that now act as museums. When you walk inside it is like walking into the past.

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Saturday morning started early and consisted of a trip to Ravinia Park in Highland Park where my orchestra students had their final performance before summer break. In addition to working in real estate, I perform flute and teach kids how to play. One program I work with is a Sistema-style program run through the Ravinia Festival at a school in Chicago’s far-westside Austin neighborhood at Catalyst Charter School. The kids can be challenge, but they work very hard and always pull through on performance days. Ravinia is best known for its summer concerts consisting of music from all genres. You can find their 2016 concert schedule here: RAVINIA 

On Sunday I headed into the Loop along Michigan Avenue. I ate across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago – often rated as one of the best museums in the world. Then enjoyed the weather, walking through Grant Park, past the old Patrillo Band Shell, to the lake front. Then returned walking through the new Maggie Daley Park (which features rock climbing and playgrounds in the summer and an ice skating ribbon during the winter).

Another successful weekend draws to a close, then back to work. Already on the agenda for this week are some showings in the Northshore and a meeting about the new B&W Southloop office scheduled to open in the Fall!

My Memorial Day Weekend – Chicago 2016

The city and suburbs offer a wealth of activities, both indoor and outdoor, for families or single individuals, catering to all types of interests. With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer (and with the great weather), I chose to take advantage of the outdoors.

One of Chicago’s best outdoor features is the lakefront: picturesque and FREE! My husband and I decided to bring our dog, Mabel, to the lakefront for her first time. Dogs are not typically allowed on Chicago’s beaches (except for the couple of “dog beaches”), but before beach season the lakefront is free for anyone (human or canine) to enjoy. Mabel is terrified of water, but she really enjoyed the sand. We avoided Museum Circle crowds by parking near Northerly Island and walked along the boat docks to the lakefront and then continued our walk into the museum campus. That was my first time walking along the lake behind the Adler Planetarium. The views were breathtaking, so I took a family portrait:

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We then grabbed a quick lunch in outdoor patio seating in the South Loop. One of my favorite things about the South Loop is that they have a number of good, easy-going, neighborhood restaurants that you can usually walk into without any reservation or wait. This makes it a great neighborhood for spontaneous, make-it-up-as-you-go days.

Then we went to the South Loop Home Depot to pick up plants for our balcony. We met the nicest employee there who helped us select our plants and planters, then actually did the planting for free. (Its a great deal for those of you who have still not got around to doing your season planting. No charge for soil).

Sunday was all about the Northshore. We spent time at a family barbecue in Northbrook, located in Chicago’s northern suburbs. Mabel really enjoyed playing soccer with all of the nieces and nephews.

Monday was back to work for me, but at least the weather was nice. I met with members of Chicago Symphonic Winds as we solidified repertoire for our summer concert series – a free concert series presented by the Chicago Parks District and their Night Out At the Parks initiative – and began our educational programming for our 2016-17 concert series. Our office for the day was a West Loop Starbucks, conveniently located near the highways.

Its fun to see how a brief three day weekend can provide a snapshot of a variety of neighborhoods and the activities that they offer. The Chicago area is really for everyone! And I am so happy to call it home.

Introductions

Hello Everyone!

Its hard to believe that I first visited Chicago over 10 years ago. DePaul University, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, was the first of many college tours I took throughout high school. I immediately fell in love with the city. What major metropolitan city in the US has a beachfront right in the middle of downtown!? I remember telling my parents that everyone in the city reminded myself of me and they all seemed like people I could be friends with.

It makes sense not only did I attend DePaul for undergraduate studies, but I stayed for graduate studies, found the love of my life, bought a home in the city, and now I work helping others buy and sell homes in Chicago. As any Chicagoan knows, its not just about the  structure of a home or its updated kitchens and baths, the home is about the neighborhood, the city, and the people that live there.

This blog is not just about market trends and new construction projects (although I will likely throw up some posts about all of that). This blog is about a city and all the people that call it home. Its about me and my journey interacting with Chicago and everything it has to offer.

I’m excited to begin sharing my story with all of you!