Friday, July 27, 2012

Red Door Delicious & Storage Auction Acquisitions...

Around Bucktown: 

Recently we attended a Bucktown/Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce event at Red Door - right down the street from us, and we had some DELICIOUS food and drinks, including some seriously impressive crab cakes, lobster deviled eggs and delicious cocktails.

Coffee Roasting at Ipsento Coffee Shop in Bucktown

While we were mingling, we ran into Ipsento, a local coffee shop and independent roaster.  Right around the corner from the B&B, it's super convenient to stop at on the way to the Blue Line El station, and they offer tastings every Friday at 11am, as well as occasional seminars and instructional classes. Octopus Gourmet gives a pretty good synopsis of the feel, as well as some photos of the space.  The menu includes several signature drinks, a good selection of teas, and they probably have a sandwich named after your favorite author.

With so much going on in the Neighborhood it feels like we are always out and about trying to stay involved.  Recently we donated a night's stay to benefit the upcoming Bucktown Arts Fest, and will be attending the Goat Party at Jackson Junge Gallery to see how the rest of the auction goes, as well as check out some other donations and neighborhood members.

If you're in town with kids, in addition to Holstein Park just around the corner, you may want to check out the Magic Boat Puppet Show being put on this summer in Wicker Park.

Around Chicago:

Festivals are still going strong! The upcoming Wicker Park Fest was dubbed the "best street festival of the summer" by the Chicago Tribune, and is this coming Saturday and Sunday (the 28th and 29th) on Milwaukee Ave from North to Paulina.  Admission is $5 and you'll definitely get your money's worth - free entry into a raffle, and 3 stages of music, as well as a plethora of vendors and food! Check out the musical lineup here.

Have kids?  Check out the Taste of Lincoln Ave Festival - also this weekend, with plenty of entertainment geared towards both adults (5 stages of live music) and kids (a complete children's carnival)

If you're a farmer's market fan, but are looking to branch out a bit, try the Polish Triangle Marketplace, near the Division Blue Line El - with goods from Spark of the Heart, SenTEAmental Moods, Stamper Cheese Company, and many more.  Thursdays from 3-7pm.

Around Ray's:

We survived the second pretty intense heat wave of the summer with grace - the Eagle's Nest's new auxiliary air conditioner is humming away ever-so-silently and we have finally mastered how to make the kitchen staff feel at least moderately comfortable while standing in front of a flaming hot grill for 4 hours a day - thanks to our new standing fan "Oscar the Oscillator".

Rocky's Ringside Ramble: I haven't seen my rival, Calvin, in a few days, he's probably pretty hot while i'm enjoying my spot in front the the kitchen A/C. Sucker

Maggie's Rant: As usual, everyone bugs me, so just leave me the hell alone.

(The World Revolves...) Around Ray:

As if if birding was not a big enough waste of time, Ray has developed a penchant for lurking around storage auctions, trying to strike it big.  He bought his first unit yesterday, and now we are knee deep in questionably hygienic stuffed animals, and proud owners of at least 3 obsolete cell phones.  Apart from those gems, everything else is pretty much crap...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Free Wine and Albino Howler Monkeys...

Around Bucktown:

     If you're looking for some local theater flavor, consider checking out Collaboraction; a Chicago-based arts organization currently running the Sketchbook festival - housed at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee, just steps from the Damen Blue Line station.

   Red and White, a neighborhood wine shop, has free weekly wine tastings, so if you're on the way to the train and need an air conditioning break, consider stopping in!  Saturdays from 2-5pm (anyone who reads Food & Wine Magazine may recognize them from this article)

  Check out local bar The Mutiny for local music in a local dive bar here in the neighborhood...who knows, you may run into one of our guests watching their son perform!  What it lacks in charm it makes up for in cheap beer and live music most nights.

Around Chicago: 

    West Fest takes place this weekend, put on by the West Town chamber of commerce, and main stage music organized by renowned local music venue the Empty Bottle.  No cover bands at this festival!  It's all about the upcoming and original talent.  Headliners include the Black Lips and Mates of State.  West Fest also has a rare all-DJ stage.  For a full lineup of vendor and performers head on over to the official website.

    For more festivals taking place this weekend, head over the the Chicagoist for a more complete list.

Around Ray's B&B:

     It's HOT here in Chicago.  We tried frying an egg on the street outside, it was unsuccessful, making us think that the whole concept might be a ruse - if you can't fry an egg outside today it simply just cannot be done...
ever.  We have decided this picture must be fake.  However, Bill Nye the science guy, (personal hero to millions, and at least one Ray's employee), claims that it can be done, though it takes about 20 minutes.  Unfortunately our experiment was run over by a car approximately 12 minutes to soon to tell.

If you're considering staying with us in the hot summer months we DO have A/C throughout the house, but if you're extra sensitive to heat, try out one of our garden level rooms, the East or West room; they stay extra cool in the summer and extra cozy warm in the winter!

Rocky's Ringside Ramble (the good cat): It's hot. I'm really wishing I had a Polar Bear's coloring, instead of an ink blot's.
Maggie's Rant (the psycho cat):  As usual, everyone bugs me, so just leave me the hell alone.

(The World Revolves...) Around Ray:

   Safely returned from Costa Rica, Ray has come back tanned and accomplished, as one of the few lucky ducks to capture this rare albino howler monkey in the wild. He claims he's never seen a birding guide so excited.

    We celebrated his return / a Ray's employee birthday with a night out at Coast, our favorite sushi bar, only about 2 blocks from the B&B, so you can easily roll home after stuffing yourself to the max....which we most certainly did.  It's BYOB so it keeps the cost down, and the sushi is excellent! You could say that we are in a Coast rut, we should probably branch out for company outings but it's hard to tear ourselves away from such a solid choice.

 We're thinking outside the box for the next birthday. Maybe Whirlyball? Who can say no to a cross between lacrosse, hockey, and basketball, on bumper cars?