Friday, April 25, 2014

It's springtime! Adopt a pet!

It’s springtime!  Maybe you’re moving to a new apartment.  Maybe you’re rooting for the Cubs (good luck with that).  Maybe you’re planting an herb garden.  Or maybe you’re thinking, “Gosh I’m lonely.  I wish I had a furry little animal living in my home to keep me company.”  Spring is the time when animal shelters see an influx of homeless animals, just waiting for a caring soul to adopt them.  Here are some awesome shelters in the area.  And be sure to bring your pup by Ray’s Bucktown B&B for a sip of water from our water dish, and tons of petting from the staff (we love puppies!!!!).  This is sure to be our most adorable blog post ever!

This cat-specific cageless no-kill shelter is designed with cats in mind.  Not only does this building contain three playrooms, four special needs suites and a medical ward, the building is entirely green!  Good for cats and the environment!  They also hold a yearly fundraiser called Abra-Cat-Dabra that includes drinks, raffles and a magic act! $35 at the door, Friday May 9th!

Since 1997, PAWS Chicago has worked to bring No-Kill shelters to Chicago.  They constantly hold adoption events across the city.  They also provide free spay/neuter services to most Chicago families on public assistance through the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic, as well as low-cost surgeries for families in need.  Just check out their website – they have photos and personality profiles of all pets available for adoption.  WARNING: your heart may melt due to cuteness.

Currently located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, Alive Rescue spent the first four years of its existence running solely out of foster homes.  For the past year, they have been rescuing and finding new homes for dogs and cats out of their new adoption center, The Little Barn.  They seek out animals in shelters with high euthanasia rates, taking in those that other shelters may overlook including seniors, unpopular breeds, and special needs pets. 

The folks at Chicago Canine Rescue go out of their way to find dogs (and an occasional cat too!) who are slated for euthanasia.  Dogs that other shelters consider “imperfect” due to age, health, breed or special needs have a chance at adoption at Chicago Canine Rescue.  Since 2001, they have saved the lives of 3,000 animals.  And if you’re a fan of pit bulls, like me, this place has an abundance of these sweet, misunderstood creatures.  
Like this gal ---->

Monday, April 14, 2014

I want to ride my BIIIICYCLE!

If you’re anything like us here at Ray’s Bucktown B&B, you’ve already pulled your ol’ bicycle out of the basement, aired up the tires, and are in full biking mode!  And if you’re like this manager in particular, you may have noticed your breaks feel a little stiff.  I don’t remember that squeak being there.  A tear in my saddle?  What?  Whelp, partner, it’s a good thing we live in Chicago – one of the most bicycle friendly cities there is.  And our neighborhood is packed with quality bike shops helpful for minor repairs, major overhauls, and new/used bikes to purchase!  All are only a quick ride away from us here at Ray’s Bucktown B&B!  So snap on that helmet, roll up that right pant leg, and brush up on your arm signals because here are a few of our favorite local bike shops:

The Bike Lane
This place offers bike repairs and sells awesome bike gear, sure, but they offer so so so much more!  Their website is constantly posting bike events around the city including the Bicycle Film Festival, the Chicago Bike Swap, and the Gin Run which entails riding from Scofflaw (a gin bar) to North Shore Distillery (a gin distillery).  Sounds like my kinda biking.

Rapid Transit has been getting Chicagoans out of their cars an onto bicycles for 20 years!  If anyone knows about bikes, it’s these guys.  If you’re looking for a unique bike, these folks have a wide array of different kinds of bikes including folding bikes, recumbent bikes and trikes.  AND they will fix any flats for FREE for one year after purchase!

Boulevard Bikes
Find this charming little shop just off of Logan Boulevard.  They sell new and used bicycles and all manner of accessories and gear.  If you’re looking for a unique, possibly vintage bike, this is the place to go!  And the folks are great too!

Emil Wastyn, designer and builder of the original Schwinn Paramount, opened his Chicago bicycle shop in 1910, and his bike-building talent has stayed in the family.  Emil’s great-grandson is the current owner of Oscar Wastyn Cycles.  These are true bicycle mechanics!  Self-described as an “old school, no b.s. style of bike shop,” you are sure to be taken good care of at Wastyn’s. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

*Dong* Bring out your geeks! *Dong* Bring out your geeks!

Are you currently wearing a Star Trek T-shirt?  Or glasses held together with tape? Do you keep a steady supply of Mountain Dew in your home?  If so, there’s a good change you’re a geek.  Or maybe you hide your geek-ness like I do – with the Buffy box-set hidden under your bed and your Joe Hill comics shoved behind your Tolstoy.  Whichever geek-ness level you fall into, this blog is dedicated to you!  Here are some of the best places in Chicago to go and get your geek on!  And don’t forget about us here at Ray’s Bucktown B&B – we can get pretty geeky here, hence our full Star Trek Pez dispenser collection.

The holy grail of geekdom.  The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is a 3-day event choc-a-bloc with comedians, actors and authors from all facets of pop-culture.  April 25-27 at McCormick Place.  Admission is $25-$35 per day, or $60 for all 3 days.

Comic Shops

I was going to list one awesome comic shop, but which to choose?!  They’re all amazing!  Here’s a link to a “Top 5” list of some of the really good shops in town.

Maybe your geekness’ name is Rolling Zeppelin Revival.  Here’s another list of some of the best places to stock up on some new (or old) vinyl.

That’s right.  You read that correctly.  It’s an arcade AND it’s a bar.  You can throw some Mortal Combat punches with a PBR in hand.  Not since bread and butter have any two things gone together so beautifully.  I think I might cry.