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Old April 3rd, 2007, 09:27 PM   #101
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I saw two long trailers in the parking lot at Peshtigo and Lake Shore Drive. What's happening there? Anyone know?
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 11:28 PM   #102
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^There's a proposal there for a tower by LR (or Related now). However, I have trouble seeing them launch a huge project like that soon when they are supposed to launch the Canyon Ranch tower sometime this month or next.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 01:14 AM   #103
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So Im just walking around downtown taking in the day today. I cross State heading east on Adams when this lady stops me and says that there was a coyote in the Quizos. I thought she was crazy so I brushed her off and made some smart-ass comment. Anyway, I continue to walk with a friend when we both notice a large crowd forming (and growing) outside of a building a half block away. We get there and what do we see? A damned full grown coyote chillin' in the beverage fridge behind the counter. Tourists, workers, and regular-joes were laughing and snapping pictures. The police had no idea what to do. Of course everyone vacated the store promptly. What the hell?!? That was the weirdest thing Ive seen since Ive been in Chicago.

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Old April 6th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #104
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Nice article on the Mag Mile.


From Burberry to popcorn, browsing Chicago's historic Mile


Special to The Globe and Mail

Chicago's Magnificent Mile offers some of the world's best shopping. It isn't the most exclusive, and it isn't the most comprehensive -- there's Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai for that. But if you look at places where people can plan a vacation around shopping, Chicago is one of the best.

The Mile, the world-renowned tourist stretch, offers 460 shopping venues encompassing big department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus, flagships from Burberry to the Gap, and boutiques such as Louis Vuitton.

Chicago was one of the birthplaces of modern shopping, a meeting point for the influx of goods brought by the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the American middle class, and the first major department stores. And while some blasé locals think the thrill is gone, thanks to the globalization of big-name retail in recent years, it's worth a trip here to admire the art deco architecture or take in the city's homegrown retail ideas.

Hostesses around the world rely on the basics from Crate and Barrel (646 North Michigan Ave., 312-787-5900; http://www.crateandbarrel.com), the place to go for bargain-priced Italian dinnerware to a stylish couch (they ship). Or visit its new, hipper offshoot, CB2 (3757 North Lincoln Ave., 773-755-3900; http://www.cb2.com); like an H&M for housewares, this store sells knockoffs, such as designer stemless wineglasses for $1.50 each.
Print Edition - Section Front

You'll also find some of the distinctive chain stores that exist in other places, but feel best done here; stores like American Girl (111 East Chicago Ave., 312-943-9400; http://www.americangirlplace.com), the patriotic emporium where mothers, daughters -- and dolls -- can buy the same fashions. Or Hammacher Schlemmer (445 North Michigan Ave., 312-527-9100; http://www.hammacher.com), which has everything you didn't know you needed -- from a remote-controlled, wind-defying umbrella to a child-size Vespa, complete with training wheels.

If you get peckish on the Mile, just follow the long line to one of Chicago's favourite snack purveyors: Garrett Popcorn Shop (670 North Michigan Ave.; 312-944-2630; http://www.garrettpopcorn.com), which dates back to 1949 and more recently has been validated by Oprah, the city's reigning expert on Good Things. The shop makes four flavours -- plain, butter, caramel and cheese -- and a classic souvenir is the 24-litre, double-barrelled container of CheeseCorn and Cashew Caramel Crisp.

For more exacting tastes, a few blocks from the Mile you'll find Fox and Obel (401 East Illinois St.; 312-410-7301; http://www.foxandobel.com), which caters to gourmand tourists. Besides the usual suspects in upscale foodie retail (olive oils, balsamic vinegars, fleur de sel), the emporium has many items you can't find elsewhere. "I'll go in to buy sausage and get, like, five mustards. It's incredible," one resident of the famous meat capital informed me. Another draw to this gourmet market is the chance to meet celebrity chefs. (Iron Chef Mario Batali will be here for a book signing today.) And for a functional souvenir, you can't go wrong with one of the market's orange canvas bags -- a cachet addition to your Harrods, Dean & Deluca, et al collection of trophy totes.

Once you're off the Mile, it's easy to get sidetracked, thanks to Chicago's other shopping scene: a flourishing collection of independent stores. For men, Apartment Number 9 (1804 North Damen Ave., 773-395-2999) has been named one of the best stores in the country by GQ magazine. It carries classic but interesting labels such as Nicole Fahri and Paul Smith.

Opened in the past year, Greer (1657 North Wells St., 312-337-8000; http://www.greerchicago.com) is a stationery store so well designed, it's hard to believe it's not a chain. It stocks a wide range of correspondence that's hip -- from the covertly chic Vergé de France to a roster of independent designers that don't fall prey to the clichés of most greeting cards.

Over the past few years, one women's clothing boutique in particular, P.45 (1643 North Damen Ave., 773-862-4523; http://www.p45.com), has anchored a gentrifying stretch of business in the Bucktown area that includes independent designers, beauty shops and jewellers. The store itself represents each year's on-trend designers; this season, the list includes 3.1 Phillip Lim, Garcon and Bing Bang jewellery. Meanwhile, Grow (1943 West Division St., 773-489-0009; http://www.grow-kids.com) is a new store that is pioneering a contemporary retail trend: organic, high-quality baby gear with names that will appeal to gourmet moms and dads: Oeuf, Pumpkin, Kumquat.

Looping back toward the Mile, no trip to Chicago would be complete without visiting the city's landmark department store, Marshall Field's (111 North State St., 312-781-1000). As of 2005, this historic icon (dating back to 1852) officially became part of the Macy's chain, a move that sparked local protests. Now, the changing face of shopping can be seen through the ceding of Prada racks in favour of marked-down Calvin Klein underwear. But the store still sports its original, majestic sight lines with high ceilings, brass accents and many ticking clocks. In its heyday, it would have felt like a giant cruise ship leaving port -- a good example of how shopping and travel go way back.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #105
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Where have you been? Hammacher Schlemmer at 445 North Michigan Ave., 312-527-9100 has been closed for a couple of years now!!!!!!!
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #106
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Purchase of 16 condos gives big lift to Mandarin project
Published April 25, 2007

The $450 million Mandarin Oriental Tower hotel and condominium project overlooking the Chicago River is getting a boost.

Denver-based Exclusive Resorts LLC has agreed to spend about $35 million to buy 16 condominium units that come with complete hotel services.

Exclusive Resort members get treated to the finest accommodations. But not on the cheap.

They pay a one-time deposit of $225,000 to $425,000, plus annual dues of $12,000 to $30,000. For those fees they get to spend 15 to 45 days a year at one of the company's many luxury retreats, said Chief Executive Donn Davis.

Davis, who has also agreed to buy six units across the river in Trump Tower for the company, said that his members have chosen Chicago as one of the top five places they would like to visit.

"Chicago has the easiest, best shopping in the world, a vibrant night life, and in the summer, there's no better spot," he said. "It has the beach, Millennium Park and Wrigley Field."

The Exclusive Resort deal pushes total sales for the Mandarin project, expected to be completed by 2009, to more than half of its units. Since last summer, it has sold 52 of the 103 condominiums with hotel services, priced from $850,000 to $5 million. It has also sold 80 of the 159 regular condominiums, priced from $550,000 to $18 million, said Chris Kenny, chief financial officer of the project's developer, Chicago-based Palladian Development LLC.

NAPERVILLE GRAND: In Naperville, construction recently got under way on a $43 million, 144-room luxury hotel being developed by Calamos Real Estate LLC, a private subsidiary of Calamos Family Partners Inc. of Naperville.

The hotel, which will include fine dining and room rates in the $200-a-night range, is expected to open in summer 2008, said Daniel Slack, president of Calamos Real Estate.

The CityGate Centre Grand, as the hotel will be called, will carry the flag of Chicago-based Preferred Hotels and Resorts LLC. The hotel is part of an approximately $300 million mixed-use project. Once completed in 2010, the development will include 1 million square feet of offices, 150,000 square feet of retail, the hotel and a 700-seat performing arts center.

"What's really interesting is that we're registered with the U.S. Green Building Council to be certified as a green project with a green hotel," Slack said.

INLAND EMPIRE: Members of The Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. were very busy last year, acquiring $3.6 billion in real estate totaling 20 million square feet, said Darryl Cater, a company spokesman.

Purchases included retail, offices, a hotel real estate investment trust and other real estate operating companies.

At least one Inland family member is positioning itself to buy more. This year Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc. has raised $3.18 billion, including $700 million in the past two weeks, Cater said.

MONTEREY BUY: The Harp Group of Oak Brook said Tuesday that it acquired the 105-suite Hotel Pacific in Monterey, Calif., for $29 million. Harp, a subsidiary of the Crescendo Cos. in Oak Brook, invests in and develops luxury hotels.

"We bought the Hotel Pacific because the guest rooms are very large and it has a wonderful location across the street from the Monterey Convention Center, so you get convention, leisure and corporate business," said Peter Dumon, president of Harp.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #107
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^umm....in case you did not know, there is a dedicated thread to Mandarin Oriental. It should've been posted over there.
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Old April 29th, 2007, 05:56 AM   #108
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Chicago rated #4 on bes places to live (relocate.com)

Another nice the rather meaningless ranking and accolade...


Asheville, N.C., tops America's best places to live
Relocate-America.com releases annual survey results, top 10 list

By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch
Last Update: 12:56 PM ET Apr 20, 2007

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The population of Asheville, N.C., is only about 70,000, but this midsize city ranked No. 1 on a list of the most popular places to live in 2007.
Asheville made its second appearance on Relocate-America.com's annual top 10 list, compiled each year since 1998. The site attracts visitors in the process of relocating and is aimed at helping people research cities before making a move. The Web site is a service of HomeRoute, a Howell, Mich.-based company that also connects consumers to Realtors.
Below are the top 10 cities on Relocate-America.com's "America's Top 100 Places to Live for 2007":

Asheville, N.C.
Traverse City, Mich.
Ithaca, N.Y.
Cary, N.C.
Portland, Maine
San Francisco
Stevens Point, Wis.
O'Fallon, Mo.

Spencer, IowaTo assemble the list, the site starts by asking visitors for nominations, which describe some of the characteristics of the cities, including people and neighborhoods, the beauty of the area, schools, activities, economic health and environmental health. The editorial staff then considers education, crime, employment and housing statistics for the past year in order to rank the cities, the company said in a news release.

The layers of analysis from statistical and anecdotal perspectives prevent what Steve Nickerson, CEO of HomeRoute, called a "popularity contest" among site visitors.........
.......There is frequent turnover in the rankings, Nickerson said. Last year, for example, Naperville, Ill., held the No. 1 spot. This year, the Chicago suburb was ranked farther down in the top 100.
To view the complete list -- and read more about the top 10 -- visit the Relocate-America.com Web site. View the top 100 cities.
Amy Hoak is a MarketWatch reporter based in Chicago.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:12 AM   #109
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just checking out the chicago forums again!!!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #110
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Cave Near Chicago Full of Ancient Wonders

Corey Binns
Special to LiveScience
Sat May 5, 7:05 PM ET

North America's oldest conifer tree and some ancient scorpion parts are among the fossil treasures found in a newly discovered cave in Illinois.

The new discovery also unearthed fossils of plants that may be new to science and revealed evidence of prehistoric forest fires.

Scientists date the specimens to nearly 315 million years ago, according to initial findings presented last month at the regional meeting of the Geological Society of America in Lawrence, Kan.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Roy Plotnick, a paleontologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago who discovered the cave with students on a field trip to a site two hours outside of Chicago. "The limestone that forms the cave is 450 million years old, but that's not the interesting part of the cave. The preservation inside the cave is what's fascinating."

What is of interest to Plotnick and his colleagues are the well-preserved bits of plants and insects that have been cushioned in the cave and protected from the elements.

Much of the biological treasure is preserved as charcoal, which researchers assume is a sign that the ancient trees were burned in fires.

"This is a glimpse into a new window to the past," said Royal Holloway University of London paleobotonist Andrew Scott, who is researching samples from the cave.

Additional details of the most fascinating discoveries in the cave include:

Needles of a conifer tree, 2 million years older than any conifer previously described
Nearly pristine plant spores of lycopods, the main coal-forming plants of the period
Evidence of a general drying trend in the area.

The cave, which geologists estimate runs underground for miles, could provide scientists with years of research material.

Plotnick's cave is one of two recent sightings of ancient plants in Illinois. A coal mine near Danville, detailed in the May issue of the journal Geology, houses a 300-million-year-old fossilized forest. While the mine is filled with evidence of ancient wetlands, the cave also holds biological deposits from dryer environments that appear to be about 3 million years older than the plant fossils found in the mine.

"Their discovery, and ours, show how much there still is to find in supposedly well-known places like Illinois," Plotnick told LiveScience.

World’s First Tree Reconstructed
Surprise: Rainforest Grows When It's Dry
Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth
Original Story: Cave Near Chicago Full of Ancient Wonders
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #111
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So, anyone going to Looptopia this weekend?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by UrbanSophist View Post
So, anyone going to Looptopia this weekend?
Did'nt someone suggest a meeting location sometime back. I plan to go and check it out.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #113
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I'm bummed can't make it. I'll be out of town at a wedding.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #114
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Whoever's going, please post PICS!!!
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Old May 11th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #115
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Steely Plays Music????

Steely Dan to open Big Gig on June 28


Posted: May 10, 2007

A Marcus Amphitheater show by '70s jazz rockers Steely Dan will kick off Summerfest 2007 on June 28, festival officials announced today.


Photo/Tom Lynn

Steely Dan with Walter Becker (left guiter) and Donald Fagen perform at Summerfest last year.

Previously Announced Headliners
June 29: Def Leppard, Foreigner and Styx
June 30: The Fray
July 2: Roger Waters
July 3: John Mayer
July 4: Tool
July 5: Bon Jovi
July 8: Toby Keith

Side Stages
Miller Lite Oasis
U.S. Cellular Connection Stage
M&I Bank Classic Rock Stage
Harley-Davidson Roadhouse
Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard


Buy a link hereTickets for Steely Dan are $57.50, $50 and $40, excluding service charges, with limited free lawn seats the day of the concert. Tickets go on sale May 19 at the amphitheater box office and at Ticketmaster outlets, (414) 276-4545 and www.ticketmaster.com.

Steely Dan is the collaboration of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. They established a reputation for sophisticated, jazz-influenced rock in the '70s with a string of critically admired albums and a handful of hit singles such as "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and "Hey Nineteen."

After disbanding for most of the '80s, they reunited in 1993 and have worked together periodically since, even winning a Grammy for album of the year for "Two Against Nature" in 2001.

- Dave Tianen

P.S. in case anyone was wondering, I'm not a moron. I do know there is an iconic rock band called, of course, Steely Dan.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #116
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Kennedys draw Wolf Point plan
Long-vacant parcel at bend in river might finally be developed

May 16, 2007
BY DAVID ROEDER Sun-Times Columnist

Over the years, the Kennedy family of political fame has done well by Chicago through a 62-year association with the Merchandise Mart, which it sold in 1998 but continues to run. However, it's never gotten the timing right with its neighboring property, Wolf Point, four of the most visible but underused acres downtown.

The family kept Wolf Point, where the Chicago River splits into north and south branches, when it sold the mart. Over the years, it's tried developing it or selling it. It has done little but convert it to landscaped parking and hunker down with its investment.

But sources now say the Kennedys are talking with developers to create a joint venture and build on the property. One entity the Kennedys are negotiating with is Hines Interests LP, active investors in downtown office construction. It is believed the Kennedys are open to other partners skilled in the condo market.

Christopher Kennedy, president of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., declined to get into specifics. "We've talked with everybody in the city. This might be the right time to push Wolf Point," he said, adding that investor confidence in Chicago "has never been higher."

Kennedy said whatever is built on Wolf Point must complement the mart and the former Apparel Center, now with many tenants including the Chicago Sun-Times. But he said that if the market doesn't oblige, the family will do nothing rash.

"The Kennedys have been patient for 50 years. They're prepared to be patient forever," he said.

Greg Van Schaack, vice president for Hines, declined to comment.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #117
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Awesome news! But how does one complement the Apparel Market. It's a disaster. Hopefully, if something is built it will obscure the AM in the process.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #118
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You know how many buildings (including smurffit stone , CNA Plaza, AON, etc) spell out messages by leaving lights on by specific windows in order to spell out something like “Go Bears” or “Happy New Years” etc.
Does anyone know of any building that would allow for a private message to be displayed – it would only be needed for a short 10-15 minutes long. A friend of mine wants to propose to his girl friend and he thought it would be a cool way to do it by spelling out “Will You Marry Me?” in the building. I told him there’s no way he’s gonna be able to pull it off but I thought id ask and see if any of you guys know if any buildings would do it?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #119
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I think the head engineer at the CNA Building has some fun with spelling things out.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:46 AM   #120
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Yeah, the building manager has to prepare diagrams and then send guys to turn off/on the appropriate office lights. It's not really something that can be done for a short time, like putting a message on a jumbotron.
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