A Better View of the WPB People Spot

Jack Wangelin - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you were having some trouble visualizing what the WPB People Spot at the 6 Corners interection will look like, Curbed Chicago has a lovely isometric drawing that will shed some light on how the final construction may appear. 

Principle architect, Matt Nardella, describes part of the inspiration for the Spot's shape as a slice of pizza pie, hence the drawing's title, "Pie Slice."

The full article can be read at Curbed Chicago.

This is part of the ongoing Kickstarter Campaign to bring the illustrated People Spot to the 6 Corners intersection. Learn more about the WPB People Spot and show your support by Donating to the Project.

If you're still abhorred that we continue to call the Milwaukee/Damen/North intersection "6 Corners," let us know what you think it should be called @WPBCC. 

WPB People Spot Sketch
Matt Nardella's Pie Slice Sketch on Curbed Chicago

Retro Italian Fun: Club Lucky

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, September 14, 2012

This blog post was contributed by: Malcolm Logan, editor and publisher of My American Odyssey, a travel site offering reviews, travelogues and trip itineraries for destinations throughout the United States. 

Nestled in a quiet tree-canopied area at the corner of Wabansia and Honore in Bucktown is an homage to a swinging 50’s era supper club that’s more authentic than anything you’ll find in New York or Las Vegas.  The porthole windows, chrome railings, upholstered booths, and checkerboard tiles ring absolutely true.  It’s a classic 50’s style that comes across as new.

Yet for all its fresh seeming appeal, Club Lucky hearkens back to an earlier era when good Italian food meant a bowl of spaghetti and a bottle of Chablis in a webbed bottle.  Whether or not Club Lucky would do any better or worse with a more adventurous approach is past consideration.  Like its décor, its food is meticulously true to its heritage. 

Order from a menu that includes Italian-American classics like Fettucini Alfredo, Penne Arrabiata, or Linguini and Clams.  Dig into house specialties like Veal Parmigana, Chicken Vesuvio, or Grilled Pork Chops. 

Although the food is decidedly retro, there’s nothing run down or tired looking about the decor.  The place is immaculately clean.  It’s frequently primped up and repainted and often feels as if you are arriving on the first day of business.  They have a lovely sidewalk café under a black and red awning and while I was there on a recent visit the owner was outside planting geraniums, chatting with neighbors.

At bottom Club Lucky is one of those places that’s so charming and appealing you’ll want to tell your friends.  The minute you walk through the door into that swinging 50’s cocktail lounge, you’re smitten.  Have the bartender mix you up a classic martini and fuh-get about it.  Club Lucky swings, baby!

Club Lucky

1824 W. Wabansia
Chicago, IL 60622

The Marvels of (and Marvelous) Farmer's Markets

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Saturday, June 23, 2012
Julie Horowitz Jackson happily calls Bucktown her home now for fifteen years. Virtu, 2034 North Damen Ave, celebrated 11 years in business earlier this year. Her husband owns Color Wheel Studio, another Bucktown business, and their son attends Pulaski International School of Chicago, one of Bucktown’s four neighborhood CPS schools. Go goat or go home!

A couple of sunny Sundays ago, I took the kid down to Wicker Park for opening morning of our neighborhood farmer's market. In teaching him how to shop locally in order to sustain our community, I can think of no better way than through the sensory wonderland of a summer market.

Upon our arrival at the Northwest corner of the park, we were greeted by dogs, kids, tomatoes, and neighbors. Tomatoes, lettuces, and a whiff of Brunkow Cheese on the breeze. Horseradish cheddar? Check. In the bag and on to River Valley Ranch to visit with some Hen of the Woods mushrooms.

The kid and I make a practice of hunting mushrooms after a rainy day on the way to school. Hen of the Woods and Chicken of the woods, while rare round these parts of Bucktown, grow abundantly in our fair state. If you happen by River Valley Ranch's booth this Sunday, be sure to grab some marinated mushrooms or pickled asparagus. Your Bloody Marys will never be the same.

Passing up the buckets of peonies (I prefer to purchase mine from Larkspur or Pistil & Vine), I head to the cornerstone of the marketplace, Nichols Farm. You might recognize Nichols Farm from the menus of Hot Chocolate or The Bristol. Occupying the center stalls of Wicker Park's market, Nichols Farm offers plants and produce ranging from basil and tomatoes to bright spring onions and some of the best apples in the Fall. This Sunday in June, we picked out some gorgeous baby squash and basil to toss with our pasta for dinner later that night. Yum. Yum. Extra yum.

Finally, we head to Gramp's Pickles for a jar of horseradish dill pickle rounds. Are you sensing a theme? The kid likes his pungent flavors....

Around the arc of the market you will find the freshest of produce, eggs, cheese, even meat by way of Jake. If you happen to get hungry along the way, grab a muffin or a donut from one of the bakeries present. Perhaps you are looking for something savory? Try a goat cheese kalamata olive crepe from Flip. Or just go for the nutella and banana crepe because, really, why wouldn't you?

After enjoying breakfast at the fountain, we head into the park proper for a little running around. Much to our surprise, there was a puppet show going on discussing the finer points of Vivaldi, of course. A little classical culture for the kids? I think yes, what a delightful end to a perfect morning.

Now, off to open Virtu....

See you next time.

The Wicker Park & Bucktown Farmers Market takes place every Sunday from 8am-2pm from June 3 until October 28.

Wicker Park & Bucktown Farmers Market Vendors:
  • Arnold J Klehm Grower, Inc., Hampshire, IL
  • Blue Sky Inn, Chicago, IL
  • Brunkow Cheese, Darlington, WI
  • Delightful Pastries, Chicago, IL
  • Enrique Jimenez Foods, Norridge, IL
  • Flip Brands Crepes, Chicago, IL
  • Garden Offerings, Huntley, IL
  • Gramp's Pickles, Des Plaines, IL
  • Highrise Baking Company, Chicago, IL
  • Iron Creek Farm, LaPorte, IN
  • Jake's Country Meats, Inc., Cassopolis, MI
  • Mint Creek Farm, Stelle, IL
  • Nichols Farm and Orchard Inc., Marengo, IL
  • River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI
  • Seedling Enterprises LLC, South Haven, MI
  • Spencer Foods, Inc, Chicago, IL
  • Tomato Mountain Farm, Brooklyn, WI

Art Has An Impact

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Monday, June 11, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Economic times are tough. In many neighborhoods, empty storefronts sit next to bustling businesses. Blank walls face the street, covered with spray paint graffiti. And here, art can be a scene changer, making an impact.

In recent days, blessed with fine weather, as I walk around the neighborhood, I am reminded about the impact and change that art can make. One small anecdote serves as an example.

Early mornings, I take my dog, Jack the Boxer, for a long walk. First, we make the usual stops at Wicker Park, taking care of business. Then, we head down Damen Avenue to Division. A year ago, on the southwest corner of Damen and Division, 2001 W. Division, there was a boarded up, scarred storefront. You couldn’t miss it. It was an eyesore on an attractive street, bustling with restaurants and shops. Today, the image of that storefront underwent a metamorphic change, ugly to attractive. 



This change was made possible by a public mural program sponsored by WPB SSA and administered by the WPB Chamber of Commerce. In cooperation with landlords, artists and WPB SSA, six murals were completed during the fall of 2011. (For the complete list of mural locations, click here.) 

Art, a scene changer, makes an impact. 

[Artist: Bernard Williams]

Now You See It, Now You Don’t at the Flat Iron

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, May 11, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A vibrant and interesting art scene exists in Wicker Park Bucktown.

An example of this vibrancy was the Now You See It, Now You Don’t mural show recently held at the Flat Iron Arts Building. 60 Chicago artists spent over a month painting murals on the interior, white walls of the Flat Iron. The result was 500 feet of a flowing canvas, lively and colorful. Thanks to these 60 artists, The Now You See It, Now You Don’t mural show was a success with more than 1,000 people in attendance.

The paint over of the murals, the Now You Don’t See It part, has started. Tarps, rollers, brushes and white paint have made their debut. The murals are disappearing, covered by coats of white paint. The white hallways of the Flat Iron will have to wait for next year’s Now You See It, Now You Don’t show. 

One swipe, two swipes, many swipes of paint, then the mural is gone.

A Conversation with Whitney Tassie, Director of Monique Meloche Gallery

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, March 16, 2012

Can you tell us a little bit about your background as an artist, curator and/or resident of Chicago?

Sure. I did my undergraduate work at Cornell University where I studied Art History and Archaeology and minored in Visual Studies. After graduating, I worked as the Exhibitions Assistant at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell before moving to Chicago to pursue my Master’s degree in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Currently, I am the Director of Monique Meloche Gallery, where I have worked for over six years. I also curate an exhibition program at the Belgian-inspired restaurant Leopold in West Town and am the Managing Director of Gallery Weekend Chicago.

What excites you the most about running a gallery?

Working with the artists and being able to introduce their work to the community. Each artist that we work with has a different voice, a different conceptual project that I am specifically interested in and proud to promote. We change shows every 6-8 weeks and I enjoy that constant change/stimulation. 

How did you get your start in the Chicago art world? 

I met Monique Meloche, the owner of the gallery, while I was at SAIC. After a semester of school work, I was missing the working world and wanted to insert myself into Chicago's contemporary art world to augment my education and build my Chicago-based network. So, I set up "informational" meetings with a few art world people that I admired and it turned out that Monique was looking for help at the same time. 

Why did you choose Wicker Park for Monique Meloche? 

The gallery opened on Fulton Market in the West Loop in 2001 and moved to Peoria Street in the West Loop in 2004. By 2009, when we moved to Wicker Park, our program had grown quite a bit. About 70% of our clients are not from Chicago, but when they do visit, they'll make the trip to see us anywhere, so being outside the West Loop contemporary art gallery district doesn't really matter. Plus, Monique and I both live south of the gallery in the Ukrainian Village, within walking distance to the gallery. We love the community around Division Street. We've found great support from the small local businesses as well as the Chamber of Commerce. We've very happy with our new location, which we were able to build out to our specs with the help of Dirk Denision Associates. 

How does your space engage with the culture of this area?

Being on the corner of Division and Leavitt (2154 W. Division) with floor to ceiling windows makes us very noticeable. Plus, our "on the wall" window project is lit and visible from the street 24/7. Being near a bus stop, a high school, and a hospital also brings a number of new people into that gallery on a daily basis. While the majority of our clients aren't from the neighborhood, we welcome visitors and are free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 11am-6pm. Check our website for news about upcoming opening receptions, tours, and artist talks.

What interests you about today’s art scene in Chicago? 

I'm always inspired by the DIY culture in Chicago. Whether it's apartment galleries, pop-up shows, or performance art, there is a lot of 'can do' attitude. Lots of this energy has to do with the city's great art schools. We've got a ton of smart artists and arts administrators teaching a strong crop of students. These kids get great educations and are hungry to make it so they start writing, curating, and showing where ever they can. I try to make it to these events and spaces as much as possible, and I know other curators do to. It's a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.

On The Wall at Monique Meloche

Feb 4 - May 12, 2012
Kerry James Marshall
Black Night Falling:  Black holes and constellations, 2012 
Vinyl and screen prints on iridescent cellophane mounted to Plexiglas
Installation view at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago
Photography by James Prinz

Copyright 2012. Interview by Clover Morell, Administrative Assistant at Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce. 

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