Saturday, December 15, 2012

What will YOU do on your last night on earth?

Around Bucktown:
Big Bite Catering

Last night at the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce Christmas event held at The Southern, we got to mingle with neighbors and other neighborhood beings while being serenaded by the Wicker Park Choral Singers.

The food at the Southern takes a high-brow approach to various favorites you can find south of the Mason-Dixon line.  If you thought hush-puppies had no place at happy hour, you are OH so wrong.  As per usual, we got there early, redeemed our drink tickets and sought out a table to park it at so we didn't have to "mingle".  However a few people did find us (if for no other reason than the fact that they were probably eyeing the empty seats next to us)  Ipsento stopped by to school us on the importance of maintaining an internet presence (he's the "Baron" of like, 3 neighborhoods on yelp), as well as our neighbors from Big Bite Catering.  We spent most of the night chatting with them about such popular topics as wheat-farming techniques and Mexican beer. (I think it's safe to say Ray was the person most interested in the riveting wheat conversation).

If you're looking to take in some culture before the world ends on December 21, 2012 consider Collaboraction's "Our Last Night on Earth", if you have enough faith, buy a ticket for the last scheduled show, on December 22nd.  What will you do on the last night on earth?

Transit Tees Western Blue Line
If you wake up on the 22nd and you still exist...and you figured you didn't have to buy Christmas presents for your entire brood, not to worry!  You are not the sharpest tool in the shed but hey, there are still some great options.  If you are that uncle/aunt/grandmother/other random relative that prefers to gift ill-fitting clothing, buy an inappropriately sized shirt from Transit Tees.  They have CTA themed designs for any neighborhood or favorite bus line.

Around Chicago: 

Zoo Lights!  One of the most popular, and therefore stroller-heavy attractions of the Chicago holiday season.  It can be an incredible amount of fun if you just remember a few key points:

1. Do NOT try to drive there.  It's easily accessible by public transit, and if you're a novice parallel parker you will not thrive in the cut-throat Lincoln Park parking scene.
2.  Watch out for strollers, they pose a serious tripping-risk
3.  When in line to take pictures with "Edison" the Reindeer (his cousin Rudolph seems to have other engagements to attend), you must yield to the children cutting in line in front of you.  I KNOW  it's not fair but Lincoln Park mothers will do just about anything to keep their cubs happy.
4.  If you wear glasses, I would suggest taking them off for a few minutes, Christmas lights look exponentially cooler when fuzzy!  But put them back on before moving - again - the stroller issue.
5.  Make sure you check the hours of operation - it would be a huge disappointment to expect the Zoo Lights spectacle and only get...animals.
6. Enthusiasm is key  - see the visual aid from our most enthusiastic employee

Around Ray's:

Not much is going on around here, since it's the start of the winter season everyone is enjoying a chance to relax.  Well, except for the business owner of course, who would prefer we be manically busy year-round with no consideration for the mental well-being of his staff (who does most of the work)

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

(The World Revolves...) Around Ray:

We think Ray's obsession with storage unit auctions is waning, answering all of our Christmas wishes, and he is even, just a little bit, getting into the Christmas Spirit - throwing a party on Christmas Day for a large group of friends.  Of course, this means we have to work extra long days on Christmas Eve and Christmas to help him get ready. So he's still pretty much Scrooge.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Arts Show and Santa Scaring Children...

Around Bucktown:

The Bucktown Holiday Arts Show is just around the corner, (in reference to both date and location!) December 8th & 9th at the Fieldhouse at Holstein Park.  There is a $2 charge but if you take the opinion that you just cannot shell out the dough to help out a local organization trying to foster the starving artist community then fine, you can download a free admission pass here.  While you're at it, here is a link to some outfits that might suit you, Sir Scrooge.

Once you dance past the admission cost, there will be over 100 artists waiting for you, after some internet stalking we like Steel Petal Press - check out the video on how she works over there ---->
Nothing shouts cool like a creative, tattooed young lady working with heavy machinery that have pet names.  And knows how to use Youtube.  Oh, and can make really cool stuff, which I'm sure is more important to her than the pet names...

Around Chicago:

Ice skating season is upon us, and Angie here at Ray's could not be more excited at the chance to break out her bedazzler and fashion herself a kick-ass sequined outfit in which to show off her smooth moves.  Here are a few places to keep an eye out for her:

Millenium Park - open seven days a week, but check for Holiday hours.
Daley Plaza - Even has a teen skating time-block, so if you skate after that make sure to dodge the gum
McFetridge - just another place to ice skate
Warren Park Rink - aaaand another one.

Need more rink suggestions? then stay home and flood your backyard.

If ice skating does not tickle your fancy, then try having your fancy tickled by Santa's beard at Breakfast with Santa.  Now better than ever - 90 minutes of pure Santa time and according to the John Hancock Observatory - you better "make like Prancer" and get your tickets soon.  Good for kids, and maybe even if they don't like it you can snap a picture of them on Santa's lap and submit it to the Tribune's "Scared of Santa" photo gallery.  (This entire paragraph may have been constructed to legitimize posting the photos below)

Around Ray's:

Even though the traditional farmer's market season is over we still get some of our favorite stuff at the Logan Square Indoor Farmer's Market at the Congress Theatre:

- We get out meat (Delicious Ham and Bacon to die for) from Jake's Country Meats. They are not only fantastically friendly, but produce a really great product, and really pave the way for our daily dose of morning meat over-consumption. (Anyone else familiar with the term "meat-sweats"? because we experience that phenomenon at least a few times a week) 

-Our eggs are from Tempel Farms Organics, organic and free range, these eggs are laid by mama hens that are probably more relaxed and healthy than any of OUR parents. They're good.  Check out the details on the eggs here.

Both sell at the summer market, and through other vendors at the indoor winter farmers market in Logan square (Dave the knife sharpening guy is our winter-time egg smuggler). 

Some other people to check out while you're at the winter market here.

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

Calvin Update: Our outdoor cat Calvin has recently been given a nice warm home by a friend of the staff. 

(The World Revolves...) Around Ray:

Ray is doing nothing interesting other than taking cheap shots at our holiday decorating skills.  Apparently he does not understand that if we cannot get a Christmas tree we should at least be able to decorate our indoor rosemary bush with an excess of  tinsel.