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A Birder In The City

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Birder In The City

Every spring and fall Sigrid Schmidt watches for migratory birds along the North Branch of the Chicago River and counts the breeds. She says things have changed in recent years.

A Peek Inside A Neighborhood Private Social Club

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Peek Inside A Neighborhood Private Social Club

One of a handful of private members-only clubs in the area, the Turkish Cultural Center serves as a place for people to come to after work and unwind. Jason Kreke ventures in and learns good food can make anyone comfortable in any environment.

A Naturalist’s Heaven Squirreled Away on Ravenswood

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Naturalist’s Heaven Squirreled Away on Ravenswood

Over 250,000 animal specimens are stored on Ravenswood and Montrose at the Chicago Academy of Science, a warehouse of preserved nature, often of now extinct creatures. We visit the facility that’s normally closed to the general public.

Get Something Unexpected With Area Open Mic Nights

By Jason Kreke | Friday, October 26, 2012

Get Something Unexpected With Area Open Mic Nights

Just over the river, Lisa Curtis runs the monthly open mic night at the Montrose Saloon. It has a dive bar meets musician hangout that features live music and $2 shots of peppermint schnapps. Everyone’s on a first name basis, and when a young mandolin player from Kentucky walks in, Curtis tries to cajole him to Read the Rest…

Arcade Game Vendor Works To Keep Up With The Times

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arcade Game Vendor Works To Keep Up With The Times

When he’s not putting in 14-hour days servicing customers from Elgin to Romeoville or trying to stay ahead of the latest gaming technology, Jim Thom at Western Automatic Music is battling a stereotype that has haunted the coin-operated entertainment business since it was started. “Everyone thinks we’re controlled by the mob,” Thom said. “But, that’s Read the Rest…

Ravenswood’s StoryStudio: A Community For Writers

By Jason Kreke | Friday, November 18, 2011

Ravenswood’s StoryStudio: A Community For Writers

When Jill Pollack started StoryStudio in 2003, she was planning for a part-time job. Eight years and 1,200 students later, StoryStudio has moved into a bigger space at 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., opened a satellite location in Winnetka and become a place for writers to find their voice. On a recent Monday night, several writers were Read the Rest…

Caravan Guitars: Putting A Modern Spin On An Old Art

By Jason Kreke | Monday, November 7, 2011

Caravan Guitars: Putting A Modern Spin On An Old Art

A newly opened music store dedicated to gypsy jazz is aiming to bring a bit of 1930s Paris to Lincoln Square. Long-time Lincoln Square resident Joshua Zirko wants his newly opened Caravan Guitars, 4754 N. Rockwell Ave., to be more than just a place to pick out an instrument. “The goal is to give off Read the Rest…

Your Ukulele Halloween with Chicago Ukulele Cabaret

By Jason Kreke | Friday, October 21, 2011

Your Ukulele Halloween with Chicago Ukulele Cabaret

Halloween is normally a time for candy, costumes and…ukuleles? It might not be what most people think of what it comes to Halloween, but this Saturday, at 8:00 p.m. the Chicago Ukulele Cabaret is presenting Uke Horrifica at Silvie’s Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Rd., an open-mic night of ukulele jamming with a Halloween twist. Read the Rest…

Center Square Piloting Two Green Technologies For City

By Jason Kreke | Friday, October 21, 2011

Center Square Piloting Two Green Technologies For City

Long associated with garbage, rats and potholes, alleys in Lincoln Square and Northcenter are going green. Under pilot programs by the city, some alleys are receiving new lighting and surfaces to make them more environmentally friendly. Ald. Ameya Pawar’s office recently announced that it will be installing new lights that are typically found at car Read the Rest…

Northcenter American Legion Post Is Getting Older, But Still Vibrant

By Jason Kreke | Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Northcenter American Legion Post Is Getting Older, But Still Vibrant

Pete Kukurba stands behind the bar at the American Legion Tattler Post 973, surveying the scene. It’s a Friday night, and Burger Night is winding down. A trickle of burgers are coming out of the kitchen and some people are already starting to leave. It’s the last Friday of the month, so the Tattler post, Read the Rest…

Mount Eerie, Nicholas Krgovich and Canes & Abels to Play Berry Methodist Sept. 6

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mount Eerie, Nicholas Krgovich and Canes & Abels to Play Berry Methodist Sept. 6

Lo-fi analog pioneer Mount Eerie is teaming up with Nicholas Krgovich and Chicago’s own Cains & Abels to put on a music-focused performance 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 6 at Berry Methodist United Church, 4754 N. Leavitt St., in Lincoln Square. This eclectic group of musicians will run the range from lo-fi analog to soul to rock Read the Rest…

Lincoln Square’s Greek Community Hangs On, Despite Changes

By Jason Kreke | Monday, August 22, 2011

Lincoln Square’s Greek Community Hangs On, Despite Changes

If you look hard enough, there are still signs of the once-thriving Greek-American culture that lined Lincoln Square’s Lawrence Avenue: a Greek bakery on Lawrence and Talman. A Greek coffee shop a few doors down. Athenian Shoes. Parthenon Travel. Echoes of a community that was thriving in the 1970s and ‘80s, but has slowly migrated Read the Rest…

Get Yourself To The Greekfest

By Jason Kreke | Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Get Yourself To The Greekfest

If all you know of Greek culture is confined to gyros and Saturday Night Live sketches, then head up to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2727 W. Winona St., this weekend for the 2011 Greekfest, a three-day event that celebrates everything Greek. Now in its 62nd year, the annual fest centers around Greek culture and Read the Rest…

Battling Car Repair Stereotypes In Northcenter

By Jason Kreke | Thursday, August 11, 2011

Battling Car Repair Stereotypes In Northcenter

As co-owner of A to Z Auto Service, 4129 N. Western Ave., in Northcenter, Jayne Ciasto spends her days fielding questions about car repairs and fighting stereotypes. In a profession dominated by men, Ciasto is one of the few women involved in the auto repair industry, and she knows from experience how some places are all Read the Rest…

Photos: Folk and Roots Festival 2011

By Jason Kreke | Monday, July 11, 2011

Photos: Folk and Roots Festival 2011

The weather wasn’t the only thing bringing the heat at the 2011 Folk and Roots Festival in Welles Park. Put on by the Old Town School of Folk Music, the two-day event featured music, dance, workshops and food. Even with temperatures in the 90s both days, fest goers still found the energy to dance to Read the Rest…

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