Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Huzzah! It's a Bazzah! (ok it's a bazaar but that doesn't rhyme)

It is officially 2 days away from being acceptable to play holiday music, but we are ahead of the curve here at Ray's and want to get a jump start on our spirit, since it's takes Ray a while to agree to put up decorations.  If you are on the bandwagon and in the neighborhood we suggest that you check out the Bucktown Bazaar, this weekend at Holstein park (right around the corner from us).

It will highlight everything from crafts to fine art, with a focus on local vendors, and it's a great place to jumpstart your holiday shopping. Saturday and Sunday (Nov 30 & Dec 1) from 11am-5pm.  You can read more about the event here, and below are some pics of past items from the event's Facebook page.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Lights - Bad Eyesight's Greatest Joy

If you have horrendous eyesight, chances are you know the secret joy of the holidays - take off your glasses, stare at some holiday lights, and cue the inspirational magic! (But if your eyes are as bad as mine, just be sure not to move).  If you're a holiday light junkie, you should definitely check out tonight's festivities on Michigan Avenue.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is today, just off of the Chicago Red line stop on the El.  It's one of the few outdoor events during the colder season, but well worth bundling up.  If you can look past the garishly corporate sponsors, they do offer some great family-friendly activities.

Lights Festival Lane offers activities such as painting part of a large mural project, a photo booth, an appearance by some Disney Star that we've never heard of (Megan Nicole? maybe your kids know who she is…), not to mention a chance to meet Chicago's most watched morning news team! Yay!

If you thought a 0 degree windchill meant no outdoor music, you were wrong!  Granted, the last performance we can find begins at 3pm, so they kept it to the warmest part of the day, but you can check out the music line up here.

And Oh My, if you're aching for a celebrity appearance that will resonate with you, while you watch Disney stars with your children, I am pleased to announce that the one, the only, the age defying Mario Lopez will be hosting the "Largest Holiday Carol" event put on by 93.9fm.

All kidding aside, the real pull for the festival is the Tree Lighting Parade which really ushers in Chicago's Holiday Spirit.

Lots of stores stay open a bit longer during the Holiday events, so if you are not keen on any of the activities, you can still grab a cider/hot chocolate/coffee/nipper, and wander around shopping and looking at the lights (being guided by your responsible companion if you've taken off your glasses) until your fingers get numb and you return to the warm oasis of Ray's.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chicago Book Expo - Get Your Independent Read On!

Here in Chicago we would like to make it known that we have literary champions just like those hoity-toity Brooklynites on the other side of the country.  New York is not the only place that churns out talent like a hipster churns out irony.  Take this weekend to delve into the scene with the Chicago Book Expo in Uptown.  Held at St Augustine College, the yearly event has a program schedule including book signings, readings, workshops, and bilingual programming, not to mention an after
party at Fat Cat on Broadway Avenue.

You can find directions to the event here, or you can ask us the best way to get there from Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast.  Some highlights of the schedule include a presentation by Bookslut, a spot on smart self publishing, and an author
showcase via Curbside Splendor.  You can find the full schedule here.

Details: Sunday November 24th, at 1345 W Argyle Street, (Chicago IL duh), 11am-5pm.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sue's got a Beer!

So this here manager of Ray's has 2 main loves: Beer, and History.  So naturally when I heard that Sue (our Dinosaur at the Field Museum) was the inspiration for a new beer brewed by locals at Off Color, I had to check up on the news.

The original name for the collaborative beer was going to be "Sue Brew", which had a certain ring to it, but "Tooth & Claw" was settled on instead.  Seeing as how Sue is such a big attraction for kids, and beer should not be, it seemed a more subtle homage might be appropriate.  The tap handle is actually a reproduction of one of Sue's claws!

You can only find it at the Field Museum, which happens to be a great place to spend a day now that the weather is turning, and below are some helpful links and ideas about how to spend your time in between trips to the tap.

-Menu for the Field Bistro - Newly opened, and possibly the only place to grab a Tooth and Claw

-FAQ about Museum etiquette

-Dozin' with the Dinos - You and your family can actually have a SLEEPOVER with Sue!

-Opening the Vaults - a temporary exhibition on the wonders of the World's Fair, one of Chicago's most interesting and influential chapters

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chill Fest for the Chilly Weather - This Weekend!

What to do with the impending Chilly Weather? (first possible snowfall predicted this afternoon).  Perhaps grab a scarf and hat and plan out your Saturday (November 16th) around ChillFest, a brand new event in the neighborhood.  ChillFest is a cross-neighborhood showcase for local artists playing acoustic sets throughout Wicker Park and Bucktown in unusual venues such as restaurants and retail spaces.

It's an setup that encourages a bar-crawl approach to a music festival, getting you out there into the real neighborhood instead of your usual summer festival that has you crowded on a main street, offering little to no ambience, and just plain pissing off most driving residents.
And it's the first venture of its kind in the neighborhood, so we are anxious to see how it goes and will hopefully be checking it out ourselves.  Take a look below for more info!

Schedule - Who's  Where
Map - Where are those 'Wheres' where they're playing? (can't resist a good tongue twister)
Artists - Who's Who
Venues - What's Where
Videos - Watch Who's gonna be there

Check it out!  It'll be a good Saturday to spend hopping from place to place, allowing you to warm up in between.