Old Town Now

The Brick of Choice: Heartland Flashed ST Edge PVR 2-1/4 STD

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Old Town is looking for a face lift. And where are they starting to re-mend the area? Bricks. Bricks. And more bricks. 

In order to maintain the "beauty" and "charm" of the Old Town area, the Old Town Triangle Association is calling for Brick Repair, Replacement, and Beautification Program

Thumbnail image for homes.jpgCurrently, many of the brick walkways are in bad shape, making it dangerous for anyone to walk around. This is one of the reasons the community will be trying to make an effort to fix the problem. Additionally, the community believes the combine effort to use the same brick will help add value to the community. 

These bricks will help to show and define the community from other surrounding areas. The brick of choice for the community is the Heartland Flashed St Edge PVR 2-1/4 STD.Thumbnail image for single-brick.jpg According to the Old Town Triangle Association, these bricks can already been found on the North Side of Eugenie between Sedgwick and Hudson.

In order to provide an incentive for people living in the area, the Old Town Triangle Association is offering 20% cash back for all the money a resident spends on bricks. However, Old Town residents must turn in a form for approval prior to buying bricks. 

Menomonee Club, an Old Town Institution

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

The Menomonee Club is really a special and unique institution in Old Town from its committed staff to the building in which it first started back in 1946. This week I was lucky enough to meet with the Director of the Club, Neal Bader, who has been on board since 1987. Also last Sunday I stopped by the club and took pictures of the historic Willow Clubhouse and of the Chess group practicing their skills, so check out the photo gallery!

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What is the Menomonee Club? What is your mission?

We are recreational programs for kids and families. Just about anything that's in the area of fun. That is what we cover, from sports and games to arts and theater, anything of interest to children.

I've been with the club since 1987. The club was 120 kids when I got here. We now work with over 2,000 children. And so the membership have grown significantly over the years. 

We have eight professional staff full-time and about 40 part-time staff including contract instructors. So if you're coming here for a judo class we have a judo sensei that runs the judo club. He is on contract part-time.

We would have some parent volunteers like cub scouts and brownies, but most of the classes as of now are taught by professional staff on a contract basis somebody who comes and teaches art class or who comes and teaches judo programs, taekwondo, theater programs.


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Bright Lights, Big City: When the sun begins to set in Old Town

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Chelsea Stevens

A young woman bent on world (and news) domination, I am currently an undergrad student at DePaul University majoring in journalism.

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A Photograph of a Foggy Night in Old Town... or a Precursor to the Zombie Apocalypse?!?!

During my time at Old Town Now, I have had a blast meeting community members and exploring the neighborhood. But I think the biggest perk of this experience was it gave me the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most photogenic areas of the city. Aside from significantly adding to my personal collection of Old Town photography in the past ten weeks, I have been able to share quite a few of my galleries that boast of the beauty of your neighborhood. 

In honor of the sun setting on my time at Old Town Now, I have decided to feature some of my favorite pictures of when the sun begins to set and the lights turn on in Old Town.

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Many comedians started their career in Chicago--is Palin next?

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Lauren Wulf

Earlier this week, Sarah Palin made an appearance on "The Tonight Show" in which she performed a stand-up routine--a routine that caught the eye of Zanies VP Bert Haas. Haas has since extended an open invitation to Palin to perform at the Old Town comedy club. 

Many famous comedians launched their comedy career in Chicago--many even in Old Town. Could Palin be next on the list? 

Hmm... it's doubtful, but let's take a look at some of those that did. 


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A Walk Through History: Old Town and the Art Fair

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Monica Fazekas

As a current senior studying journalism at DePaul, I am also a prospective law student. I am excited to graduate but I will miss the city.

 

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Old Town: A historical landmark of Chicago

In working with Old Town throughout this quarter, I have learned that one of the most important and prominent events the community celebrates is the annual Old Town Art Fair. So, in looking through the history of the neighborhood, I thought it was only fitting to end on a note that contains so many memories for so many of the residents.

As an organization that was founded after the civil war, the Old Town Triangle Association was kept intact to secure, maintain and preserve the neighborhood. The organization really wanted to promote the community's unique identity since it was located in a city as large as Chicago.

To do so, the organization decided to throw a neighborhood party in celebration of the community. Old Town residents, friends and family members were invited to create works of art to display at the event. As Shirley Baugher states in her book, Our Old Town: The History of a Neighborhood, "There were no entry restrictions, and the definition of art was stretched to its outer limits."

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Chicago History Museum - Old Town

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

The Chicago History Museum has some pretty interesting films lined up this spring. The conveniently located museum can be found at the intersection of Clark and North, and is packed with enough Chicago history to satisfy the historic neighborhood of Old Town.

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All Old Town has to Offer

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Melanie Gonzalez

Blogging for Old Town this quarter has been fun.  I am kind of sad that this will be my last post.  I have learned to really enjoy walking around the neighborhood.  Old Town is a unique community in Chicago for many reasons.

For one, it is home to Second City, one of the most famous improvisation theaters in the world.  Zanies, a famous comedy club, is also down the street from Second City. However, it is more than that.  It is a family friendly neighborhood that also happens to have a nightlife that attracts people from all over the city and tourists alike.

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Menomonee Boys & Girls Club, Parents and Kids all ages

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

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Our journalism class at DePaul University launched Old Town Now eight weeks ago. The quarter is wrapping up quickly and it feels like we've accomplished a lot in terms of rolling out new content every week and reaching out to the Old Town Community. But there is still so much more to do, people we haven't talked to and all-star community organizations that we have yet  to make connections with. 

The Menomonee Boys & Girls Club is one such community establishment that is truly active in the area and more people should know about it. This week I'm posting an informational piece about their club, mostly from articles and web sites about them. 

For next week I will post a Q&A with the club director, Neal Bader. I have a interview with him this Friday so the post should be up by this weekend. 

A good restaurant and "launching point" in Old Town

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Pat Flynn

As an Old Town resident, and a lover of take out food, I am going to give up a secret. There is a place right on North Avenue that flies under the radar. The food is solid, the prices are very reasonable, you feel exotic telling people you ate Thai food and it is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) establishment.

This go-to-takeout joint for many Old Towners is Thai Aroma.  I have never had a bad meal there and have shared tons of laughs there, due to the decor, booze (that I bought at Dominick's) and sadly, watching my friends try and communicate with some of the waitresses who have THICK Thai accents.

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St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner...come out and celebrate!

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Old Town get together to celebrate St. Patty's Day! 
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The River is turned green the weekend before St. Patty's Day!

Start your Saturday March 13th by attending the Parade in downtown Chicago at 12 pm. The parade runs on Columbus Dr. beginning at Balbo and ending at Monroe. 

Before or After...

Head to...O'Brien's Restaurant and Bar  in Old Town where they will be celebrating the event all weekend long from Saturday March 13th to Wednesday March 17th!
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There will be live music played all day long Saturday March 13th and March 17th!

Also there will be special meals including:

An Irish Lunch Buffets from 11am - 4pm with....

Corned Beef and Cabbage with carrots and potatoes, Lamb Stew, Shepard's Pie, Irish Soda and Wheat Breads

After 5 you can try out:Corned Beef Sandwich, Corned Beef Egg Rolls Station, and Battered Onion Rings 


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Enjoy the Green Beer!


Lan's Old Town

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Melanie Gonzalez

One of the great things about Old Town is the wide selection of places to eat.  You can go out for almost any type of food.  One of my favorite types of food happens to be Chinese food.  There is something about it, it's comforting and delicious and I simply crave it after a hard week of work.

 

It is because of this craving that I decided to go to Lan's in Old Town.  It is located at 1507 North Sedgwick street and even though I live in Lincoln Park, the trek was worth it.  Some people might say that the prices are a little high, but the quality makes it tolerable.

 

Pictures make it easy to know what you are ordering when you look at the menu.  This is helpful for anyone who is new to Chinese food.  They also indicate hot and spicy foods on the menu to ensure that there are no unwanted surprises when you get your food.

 

I have never tried the take out or delivery options that they offer, but they seem to be pretty popular at Lan's.  You can even order online or by phone.

 

 

 

 

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Upcoming events in Old Town

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Suada Kolovic

Looking for upcoming events in Old Town, the local Chicago Public Library Near North is hosting a Bouncing Babies March Lapsit on March 4th. Lapsit is an early literacy program designed for children from birth to 18 months of age. Each program features early literacy tips as well as books, fingerplays, and songs for babies and adults to share! An adult caregiver must accompany and partner each child.Registration is required as space is limited.  Please contact Near North Branch at 312-744-0991 to register your child for this series.  Registered participants must attend the first session in order to save their space in the program.

If you're the artsy type be sure to attend the 61st Annual Old Town Art Fair which will showcase artwork by 260 nationally acclaimed artists on June 12-13, 2010. The deadline for the 2010 art fair has passed. Artist applications for 2011 will be accepted at www.zapplication.org from September 15 - December 15, 2010.


And lastly, the Neighborhood Improvements Committee has just kicked off the Old Town Triangle Association (OTTA) Brick Repair, Replacement, and Beautification Program to assist Old Town residents interested in maintaining the safety, beauty, and charm of our brick sidewalks and parkways. Find out more here.

Feeling safe in Old Town?

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

According to EveryBlock.com, crimes in Old Town were at a high towards the end of February. 
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Of these crimes included:

* Simple battery: Domestic Battery at the 800 block N. Cleveland Ave

* Vandalism: Criminal damage to a vehicle at the 400 block W. Locust St. 

Criminal trespass: To state sup land at the 800 block N. Cleveland AveThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 3279949186_e95a9230f1.jpg

* Narcotics: Manufacturing/delivery of cannabis, over 10 grams at 800 block N. State St.

Scary to think this might be happening in your area. Have you heard of any crimes in the Old Town area? If so, post below. 

The Homes of Old Town

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Chelsea Stevens

A young woman bent on world (and news) domination, I am currently an undergrad student at DePaul University majoring in journalism.

When I was thinking about what to do for my weekly Old Town photo shoot this week, I realized that I hadn't taken many pictures of the residencies in Old Town yet. The homes in Old Town are just as unique and diverse as the local businesses I have mentioned previously. As I was shooting, I quickly began to notice all of the different colors, types of architecture, and sizes of homes in the neighborhood. Check out some of my favorites in the photo gallery below. 

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Teahouse of the August Moon, a free play showing at OTTA

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

association_logo.jpg    This Saturday, March 6th, the Old Town Triangle Association is hosting a free performance of The Teahouse of the August Moon, a comedic play about a botched attempt by an US Colonel Purdy to "Americanize" a small village in Okinawa, Japan. Playwright John Patrick adapted the play from the novel authored by Vern Snieder. 

Shirley Baugher, an very active member of Old Town and the OTTA is director of the play and part of the Reader's Theater Production. 

The show begins at 3:30 p.m. at OTTA building on North Park Avenue. 

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A Walk Through History: Architecture in Pictures!

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Monica Fazekas

As a current senior studying journalism at DePaul, I am also a prospective law student. I am excited to graduate but I will miss the city.

After posting this week's history post, I realized it might be interesting to look at the different structures next to one another and compare their differences. So, I went into Old Town and found some examples of each architectural designs discussed in A Walk Through History: Old Town and Architecture.

Check out the photos below and try to see the unique details of the distinct structures.

 

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Topo Gigio

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Melanie Gonzalez

I recently had the pleasure of dining at one of Old Town's best Italian restaurants.  It was located at 1516 North Wells Street. It is called Topo Gigio and it is a beautiful place to dine for lunch or dinner.

It proved to be a reasonably priced place that served delicious pasta and salad.  The menu is in both English and Italian.  To me, this made it seem more authentic. 

I recommend the Insalata Mista della Casa as a starter salad. It consisted of romaine lettuce, curly endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, walnuts, black raisins and vinaigrette dressing.  In short, it was delicious.

 

For your main meal I suggest their Scampi e Capesante al Vino Bianco.  It was a reasonably priced seafood dish.  It had scampi and sea scallops.  It was definitely one of the better meals I have had at an Italian restaurant in the city. 

 

The restaurant itself was clean, the waiters were friendly and it wasn't crowded when I went for lunch.

 

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Joe's Bar Presents Australia's Hottest Export in Your Neighborhood

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

So I was checking the Old Town event listings on Metromix last night. Joe's Bar on North Ave a few blocks west of Old Town Social is hosting the sexy lads of Australia'a Thunder from Down Under show this summer so claim those tickets soon. 

I read Chelsea's post about Pamela Anderson's anticipated appearance at Crobar, and quite frankly, I'd rather spend my money on this show, no offense Pamela.  

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How do I know about the Aussie's "Hottest Export?" I frequented Las Vegas in high school about two to three times a year....no gambling....just to play in soccer tournaments in hundred plus degree heat. One year, as soon as my team got off the plane we were surrounded by gargantuan billboards of steamy rock-hard abs and long flowing hair in some cases, Thunder From Down Under. And that was eight years ago! 

And I found a promo-video for Joe's Bar so keep reading. Old Town and greater Chicagoland, This is for the Ladies...

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Old Town Chicago? Try Old Town, Maine!

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

You thought Old Town only existed in Chicago? 

You were wrong....there is another Old Town in Maine! Old Town Maine draws back to the 1770's and Native Americans. The town now consists of 8,500 community residents. I don't think its what you Old Towners experience here in Chicago to say the least. My guess is they don't have taxi cabs honking them down every block they walk. 

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Picture Courtesy of Flickr

Instead of the hustle and bustle of the city, the area is known for the beautiful outdoors where people hunt, hike, canoe, and bird watch.

The area has over 50 MILES of rivers and streams! (So that is what Old Town Chicago is missing?)

Another interesting fact: Old Town Maine had the second railroad in the country! 440242681_15cb52caa7.jpg
Picture of Sewall Park, Old Town Maine. Picture Courtesy of Flickr 

In fact, in the 1860's Old Town was the largest supplier of lumber in all of the U.S. 

So if you are looking for a random trip, take a vaca up in Old Town, Maine. 


Winter time in Old Town

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Melanie Gonzalez

Like most neighborhoods in Chicago, the look of Old Town changes with the seasons. Here's a look.....

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A Walk Through History: Old town and Architecture

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Monica Fazekas

As a current senior studying journalism at DePaul, I am also a prospective law student. I am excited to graduate but I will miss the city.

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While taking a walk down any of the side streets in Old Town, it is inevitable that you will see a wide variety of houses. Some are small; some are large. Some are made of wood while others were constructed of brick.

Either way, each house is unique and, when viewed in the larger sense of the Old Town community, each house contributes to the diversity the neighborhood's landscape.

I came upon this realization as I walked up and down the streets looking for something new to write about. But, it wasn't until I stopped to appreciate the beauty of these houses that I realized how interesting each one really was.

I couldn't help but wonder: what makes each house so distinct from the next?

My question was soon answered as I opened Shirley Baugher's "At Home in Our Old Town: Every House Has a Story." In her second chapter, Baugher explores the various architectural designs that the houses in Old Town were derived from.

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Old Town Ale House - Sarah Palin Nude Painting

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

Oh you read right...Sarah Palin...nude painting...political GOLD! The Old Town Ale House has put up a certain painting, portraying a certain ex-governor of Alaska, with a certain lack of proper winter apparel. Brad Flora at the WindyCitizen has a full story on the infamous portrait.

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Former Playboy Bunnies and Old Town: Is this the best neighborhood ever or what?

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Chelsea Stevens

A young woman bent on world (and news) domination, I am currently an undergrad student at DePaul University majoring in journalism.

While perusing Metromix for events in Old Town, I was surprised to find out that Pamela Anderson will be appearing at Crobar on Saturday, March 6th. Granted Crobar is not technically in Old Town (seriously, where do you draw our neighborhood's borders Metromix???), I'm sure there are a lot of "Pam fans" in the neighborhood who would be willing to take the small trek over to N. Kingsbury Street to meet the former Playboy bunny and Baywatch babe.

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Pamela Anderson will be making an appearance just outside of Old Town on Saturday!


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This Week in Old Town!

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Monica Fazekas

As a current senior studying journalism at DePaul, I am also a prospective law student. I am excited to graduate but I will miss the city.

This week, the weather forecast is calling for a few snow flurries and many days of cold weather. With this in store, you'll need to get out of the house but into somewhere warm! Check out a few of the activities below going on in Old Town this week.

Are you a country fan? Do you enjoy the farmer's tan, cowboy hats and southern drawl? If yes, pull out those cowboy boots and get ready for some fun because Joe Nichols is coming to town! Joe's Bar on Weed Street is hosting Joe Nichols this Friday, March 5 at 8:00PM. Tickets are only $20.00! Yee-haw!

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Time Tells - Chicago Old Town

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

Vince Michael's blog "Time Tells" did a piece on Old Town. Check out the photo gallery below courtesy of Vince Michael's blog.

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Chicago Maritime Festival, Old Town

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

Come out today to celebrate Chicago's Maritime Community! The Chicago Maritime Festival  will kick off at 10am and finish up around 10:30pm. The festival will take place at the Chicago History Museum located at Clark Street and North Avenue

Check out this gallery of photos from last year's festivities that were posted on the festival's flickr page.

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Times are tough... but having a good time is cheap!

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Suada Kolovic

Looking for something free or ridiculously cheap to do in Chicago, check out BrokeHipster.com for the lowdown.  With daily info on places offering free admission, like the Botanical Gardens, to places with deals on some tasty chicken wings, to even free yoga-Brokenhipster.com is the one-stop-shop for easy on the pocket places to go in Chicago.

Starbucks, after all, isn't on every corner--just almost

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Lauren Wulf

I love Starbucks. And I mean I love Starbucks. I'd take my grande mocha soy chai latte any day. (Seriously, you should try it). 

But I'm a support of all things coffee, not just Starbucks... so let's take a look at the coffee shops that can be found in Old Town.

(And do please let me know if I'm missing any!)



View Old Town coffee shops in a larger map

Crime Wave Hits Old Town

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Chelsea Stevens

A young woman bent on world (and news) domination, I am currently an undergrad student at DePaul University majoring in journalism.

While a fairly mild winter has allowed for more Chicagoans to be out and about in the sunny, albeit chilly, weather, it has unfortunately brought with it a crime wave in Old Town. As the map below demonstrates, 17 crimes have been recorded in the neighborhood between Valentine's Day and today. According to EveryBlock, this raises the grand total of crimes reported in Old Town during February to 48. The crimes reported range from an aggravated assault with a handgun to a burglary with forcible entry


View Crime in Old Town: 2/14-2/28 in a larger map

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Free and Educational Things To Do Around Old Town

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

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Photo credit CreativeCommons.org

 

Sometimes you just have to get creative to find fun things for you and your kids to do in Chicago in February! 


I grew up in San Francisco, CA, the mildest climate in the US. I remember getting ridiculously excited to see the snow and bundle up to go outside every Thanksgiving when my family would rent a cabin in Tahoe. Now I know that snow is really just a slushy dirty pain in the arse most of the time. 


Anyways, I complied a list of links to kid-friendly and free events going on around Old Town, no more than a quick drive or walk away. Some of these you may already know about, but let it be a reminder because sometimes we get so caught up in our daily bustle to appreciate what's going on right around the corner.  


 Just think of it as an excuse to get out your house and a way to engage your kids in educational endeavors. By no means does this list cover all the educational and/or free activities going on in and around Old Town, but its a start for those looking for things to do.


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