I Know Chicago


Purveyor of all things interesting, amazing, unique, unusual + badass in Chicago.

I’m surprised by how few people that I talk to know about the amazing Woman Made Gallery.  It is hands-down my favorite gallery in Chicago.  The space itself is gorgeous (and available to rent seriously cheap), the art curation is brilliant, the artisan shop is where I do all of my birthday and holiday shopping and most importantly the people are the most friendly, welcoming and informative bunch around.  
I try to attend every opening there because it is always a good time and I meet the most interesting people.  
The gallery has been around for nearly 20 years and show the work of over 6,000 women!  It’s a beautiful place where everyone is welcome and appreciated…everyone.
This Friday is their annual art auction + gala at Salvage One.  There will be incredible art deals, live music, great food and libations.  I’ll be there to support this amazing gallery and all of the work that they do.  Here’s the details:  http://womanmade.org/auctions.html 
They are on Facebook + Twitter too (so you can quietly stalk until you are ready to commit)
The print above is the one I lost in the last few seconds of last years silent auction.  It made me sad and so I immortalize my loss here now.

I’m surprised by how few people that I talk to know about the amazing Woman Made Gallery.  It is hands-down my favorite gallery in Chicago.  The space itself is gorgeous (and available to rent seriously cheap), the art curation is brilliant, the artisan shop is where I do all of my birthday and holiday shopping and most importantly the people are the most friendly, welcoming and informative bunch around.  

I try to attend every opening there because it is always a good time and I meet the most interesting people.  

The gallery has been around for nearly 20 years and show the work of over 6,000 women!  It’s a beautiful place where everyone is welcome and appreciated…everyone.

This Friday is their annual art auction + gala at Salvage One.  There will be incredible art deals, live music, great food and libations.  I’ll be there to support this amazing gallery and all of the work that they do.  Here’s the details:  http://womanmade.org/auctions.html

They are on Facebook + Twitter too (so you can quietly stalk until you are ready to commit)

The print above is the one I lost in the last few seconds of last years silent auction.  It made me sad and so I immortalize my loss here now.

I drive a lot around Chicago because I have to.  Whenever I take the EL I am amazed at how much of a stranger I feel in my own city.  Sometimes it feels like a magical journey that exposes a totally new side of Chicago.  Sometimes it just makes me sad that I don’t already know these sides of Chicago living.
Then I met Mike on Twitter.  He got into photography about a year ago and was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s workand decided to focus his photography on candid/street photography. Conveniently he rides the CTA a lot and in February started documenting his travels. 
I love to see what’s happening on the CTA everyday via Mike’s perspective.  It is simultaneously a simple and complex observation of Chicago life.  His Blog: http://ctaphotos.tumblr.com/  and Twitter Feed

I drive a lot around Chicago because I have to.  Whenever I take the EL I am amazed at how much of a stranger I feel in my own city.  Sometimes it feels like a magical journey that exposes a totally new side of Chicago.  Sometimes it just makes me sad that I don’t already know these sides of Chicago living.

Then I met Mike on Twitter.  He got into photography about a year ago and was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s workand decided to focus his photography on candid/street photography. Conveniently he rides the CTA a lot and in February started documenting his travels. 

I love to see what’s happening on the CTA everyday via Mike’s perspective.  It is simultaneously a simple and complex observation of Chicago life.  His Blog: http://ctaphotos.tumblr.com/  and Twitter Feed

This is Now Studio.  It is a gem tucked away in the heart of Bucktown and is run by the very talented Nourhy Chiriboga.  Now Studio offers some of the most competent and wonderful body work in Chicago. It is a warm and welcoming little space with seriously good vibes.  Services range from massage to craniosacral therapy and reflexology.  The reflexology is my favorite…that woman is magic!  Now Studio is an independent small business and you leave there with a new friend.  I also really enjoy the daily facebook tips + reminders that come with being a fan of Now Studio on Facebook.  You can book online which makes life easy and you never wait. It’s all about you. 
In Nourhy’s Words:
I wanted to create an environment that would be a soothing and charming place to come to, like being a guest in a quaint apartment. My mission is to bring Holistic Healing to people using a variety of specialized techniques, that I have honed over years of training with people in the top bodywork/methods.

This is Now Studio.  It is a gem tucked away in the heart of Bucktown and is run by the very talented Nourhy Chiriboga.  Now Studio offers some of the most competent and wonderful body work in Chicago. It is a warm and welcoming little space with seriously good vibes.  Services range from massage to craniosacral therapy and reflexology.  The reflexology is my favorite…that woman is magic!  Now Studio is an independent small business and you leave there with a new friend.  I also really enjoy the daily facebook tips + reminders that come with being a fan of Now Studio on Facebook.  You can book online which makes life easy and you never wait. It’s all about you. 

In Nourhy’s Words:

I wanted to create an environment that would be a soothing and charming place to come to, like being a guest in a quaint apartment. My mission is to bring Holistic Healing to people using a variety of specialized techniques, that I have honed over years of training with people in the top bodywork/methods.

Need Baby Stuff?

Chapter One Organics is having a Moving Sale on Monday, March 28th with Catbird Baby Carriers. If you need baby stuff or need presents for a baby this is GOLD. 

  • Baby Carriers
  • Organic Baby Clothes
  • Carrier Covers
  • Fabric
  • And Assorted Office Furniture (they are moving after all)

Up to 80% off and a few FREE items ;)

Monday, March 28th   |    10am - 1pm   |   4001 N Ravenswood #503C

Any of you who have ever started your own business know just how freakin’ hard it is.  Therefore, it is vital that we all celebrate the successes of our friends in the community who have done it and made it another year!  This weekend, my absolute favorite stores in Chicago for purchasing baby things turns 3 years old.  That means they started a retail business at the beginning of this shit economic turn and are still there!!!!!!  So, whether you have a kid or are just shopping for someone elses (like me) get your butts to Andersonville this weekend and show the love for two incredible women who are making it happen despite it all. 
Green Genes, is the place for eco-friendly and thoughtful baby good.  Their website it as precious as their store so if you aren’t a Chicagoan don’t worry…you can shop online. Because they are savvy and love to celebrate there will be fun festivities for shoppers this weekend including:
Saturday
10:00 - 1:00   Trunk show and demos on baby wearing by CatBirdBaby
11:00 - 12:30  STORYTIME with the super enthusiastic gal, Pam Plotkin
2:00 - 4:00  Eco arts and crafts. 
Sunday
1:00 - 2:00  Chat with a rep from Citizen’s Utility Board to learn how to lower your electric usage and save money on your bills.
2:00 - 3:00  The folks at The Compost Office want your food scraps! Learn about worm bins at home.
3:00 - 4:00 Another wonderful friend of mine, Alexandra Gnoske will engage the munchkins through story time, reading HER book Loui Saves the Earth, and an eco-friendly game starring her pal Louie and his animal friends.

Any of you who have ever started your own business know just how freakin’ hard it is.  Therefore, it is vital that we all celebrate the successes of our friends in the community who have done it and made it another year!  This weekend, my absolute favorite stores in Chicago for purchasing baby things turns 3 years old.  That means they started a retail business at the beginning of this shit economic turn and are still there!!!!!!  So, whether you have a kid or are just shopping for someone elses (like me) get your butts to Andersonville this weekend and show the love for two incredible women who are making it happen despite it all. 

Green Genes, is the place for eco-friendly and thoughtful baby good.  Their website it as precious as their store so if you aren’t a Chicagoan don’t worry…you can shop online. Because they are savvy and love to celebrate there will be fun festivities for shoppers this weekend including:

Saturday

10:00 - 1:00   Trunk show and demos on baby wearing by CatBirdBaby

11:00 - 12:30  STORYTIME with the super enthusiastic gal, Pam Plotkin

2:00 - 4:00  Eco arts and crafts. 

Sunday

1:00 - 2:00  Chat with a rep from Citizen’s Utility Board to learn how to lower your electric usage and save money on your bills.

2:00 - 3:00  The folks at The Compost Office want your food scraps! Learn about worm bins at home.

3:00 - 4:00 Another wonderful friend of mine, Alexandra Gnoske will engage the munchkins through story time, reading HER book Loui Saves the Earth, and an eco-friendly game starring her pal Louie and his animal friends.



Chicago’s Urban Farming Gem

Let’s talk for a second about an amazing non-profit social enterprise that rocks…Growing Home.  If you don’t know them you really must.  They provide job training through a non-profit, organic, agriculture business.  They have farms and they grow organic produce like this amazing arugula that you can get now at Green City Market

They have CSA’s AND you can enter to win a free summer CSA share from them now, here.  My favorite thing that they do, however, is their annual gala.  It’s always such a unique event.  They partner with amazing chefs and using produce from the farm the chefs create spectacular eats. 

This year the lineup is stellar including entrees by the James Beard Nominated “Best Chef”, Paul Virant of Vie Restaurant.  Appetizers by Chef David Rosenthall of the social enterprise, Inspiration Corporation.  Desserts by the social enterprise, Sweet Miss Giving’s.  The keynote will be by everyone’s favorite news anchor, Bill Kurtis (love that voice)! 

Insider Knowledge: IShootRockStars has donated a private photo session for the silent auction!  Hot.

Clearly you need to be there and support these amazing people doing amazing work.  Conveniently you can buy your tickets right now. 

Chicago’s Amazing Artist Spaces

I read this article in Crain’s NY about the profound lack of affordable spaces for artists in the Big Apple resulting in a bit of a mass exodus.  Now, I don’t live in NYC so I have no idea how accurate that claim is BUT it did get me thinking about our incredible art scene in Chicago.  We have some amazing artist loft/communities here for super reasonable prices.  I thought maybe I would offer some of those up here in an attempt to both inform Chicago’s artists of their options, as well as maybe temp some New York artists with our amazing and affordable city. ;)

(in alphabetical order so as not to appear biased)

Artist Central Exchange

Anchor Graphics

Bridgeport Art Center

Chicago Printmaker’s Collaborative

Co-Prosperity Sphere

Cornelia Arts Building

Experimental Sound Studio

Flat Iron Building

Fine Arts Building

Fulton Street Collective

Lacuna Artist Lofts

Lill Street

Music Garage

Pumping Station One

Riverfront Work Lofts

(The) Maekeen Room

Spudnik Press

(The) Strand Artist Lofts

(The) Writers Workspace

Zhou Brothers Art Center

This is just the tip of the iceberg!  So, artists…GET HERE.  Chicago welcomes and appreciates you.

The Chicago FootworKingz have been making Chicago look good for years now.  They have appeared on tour with Madonna, on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, on America’s Got Talent and now they will rep the Chi on America’s Best Dance Crew! 

These footworking masters are an amazing group of some of the most talented dancers who move at the speed of light.  I’ve had the honor of working with them a few times and they are as delightful as they are talented. 

Check them out and be sure to tune in!

Best Mini Golf in Chicago

As spring approaches, I become increasingly excited for the seasonal opening of the Bunny Hutch.  Going there is like jumping into a time machine and heading back to the 40’s.  

They have 2 different 18-hole mini-golf courses that have many of the original novelty features.  They boast batting cages, a vintage photo booth, a throw back arcade (yes, pacman), and a little restaurant with the greasiest, most unhealthy food on the planet (yum) and ice cream. 

It’s a hidden gem at Lincoln and Devon that has been amusing Chicagoans for over 60 years! 

I know little to nothing about tea, well, I used to know little to nothing about tea.  That was before I enjoyed an educational and totally yummy “tea tasting + schooling” from Tony Gebely, owner of Chicago Tea Garden.  This guy knows literally everything there is to know about tea and he’s not afraid to share it.  I would call him a purveyor of exceptional tea.  He has an online shop where he sells his tea (I highly recommend the Golden Bi Luo) as well as tea vessels made by Chicago artisans.  Double yeah for supporting local artists my friend!  Chicago Tea Garden is on Facebook and Twitter and they share their tea knowledge liberally everyday. 
Needless to say, I am a huge fan and encourage you to reach out to him to schedule a “schooling”. 

I know little to nothing about tea, well, I used to know little to nothing about tea.  That was before I enjoyed an educational and totally yummy “tea tasting + schooling” from Tony Gebely, owner of Chicago Tea Garden.  This guy knows literally everything there is to know about tea and he’s not afraid to share it.  I would call him a purveyor of exceptional tea.  He has an online shop where he sells his tea (I highly recommend the Golden Bi Luo) as well as tea vessels made by Chicago artisans.  Double yeah for supporting local artists my friend!  Chicago Tea Garden is on Facebook and Twitter and they share their tea knowledge liberally everyday. 

Needless to say, I am a huge fan and encourage you to reach out to him to schedule a “schooling”.