Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bucktown Arts Fest - Our Favorite Neighborhood Event

Bucktown may not be the most well - known Chicago neighborhood (even though we think it's the best) but we do get to boast one of  the best festivals of the summer: the Bucktown Arts Fest. Here are a few things we love about it:

-Close to Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast (aka us, duh)
-Vendors from all over the country with quality products and a variety you won't see at the standard street festivals (looking at you Do Division & West Fest)
-Smaller, more intimate setting and a true neighborhood feel
-FREE - no pressure for a "donation" that other fests will make you feel is mandatory
-It helps fund great neighborhood initiatives, like art classes, the neighborhood pool, and summer day camp.

If you are looking to see what kind of vendors they have, here are a couple of our favorites:

Alter Images
Bella Joy Pottery - Ceramics artist with some great whimsical designs, we especially love the coffee mugs
Alter Images - This artist does some crazy cool stuff with digital art
Vault Furniture - August and September are 2 of the biggest moving months here in Chicago - this furniture artist may have the perfect piece for your new place
Mosaic Art Professionals - I tried taking a mosaics class once, I dropped out after 3 weeks because I was not immediately good at it, this place makes me wish I stuck with it.
Rebel Nell - Great mission behind this Detroit - based business.
And of course countless more Jewelry/Fine art vendors and artists. Check out the full list here.

While we are stoked for this weekend, and you'll see us walking around in our Ray's B&B T-shirts handing out some discount cards, we are of course keeping our door open for those who may want a tour of the B&B.

As always: #stayatrays

Monday, August 15, 2016

Air and Water Show 2016

It's that time of year again, the Air & Water Show returns to Chicago this upcoming weekend. While the beach is the most traditional place to enjoy the show, any rooftop or deck will bring you just as much enjoyment. You can even just look up if you've got a view of the sky and see them practicing throughout the week.

It's Chicago's 2nd most popular festival  - and the best part is it's 100% FREE (though I'm sure if the city could find a way to charge for it they would). Here's what you need to know:

Date: August 20th & 21st
Time: 10am - 3pm (both days)
Who's There:

Where to watch: If you're an early-bird and can get to the beach at the crack of dawn that's really the best place to view. The show's website tries to steer you to attractions such as the John Hancock Observatory or Sears Tower (Willis Tower), both of which require $$$ admission, but if you can find a nice lakefront bar you'll have the benefit of A/C, a cocktail, and, well, less speedos in your face. A couple good places to try: 
  • J Parker (on the roof of Hotel Lincoln): really close to the lake and Lincoln Park, probably one of the best choices, while still being far enough from the lake to beat the worst of the crowds
  • Cerise: Quirky, fun, right downtown, so the skyscrapers might obstruct your view a bit, but really they're pretty cool to look at too. 
  • Kensington Roof Garden and Lounge: This place just looks super cool, check it out and let us know what you think. 
Keep in mind that anywhere but the beach will keep you from seeing some of the more water-centric events and performers, but you'll still get a good view of the heavy hitters in the sky. 

And as always, after your fun, come home to Ray's Bucktown Bed & Breakfast. #stayatrays