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

KickStart the WPB People Spot

Jack Wangelin - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Wicker Park Bucktown SSA#33 is helping to sponsor, in conjunction with Dimo's Pizza, a People Spot at the WPB Hub: Milwaukee/Damen/North avenues' intersection. They need your help in creating this green oasis in the asphalt desert.


The project has so far won the approval of the Mayor, & World Business Chicago, through Seed Chicago, and has just launched their KickStarter Project.

If you have not heard of a People Spot, they are: 

"temporary platforms adjacent to sidewalks, typically within existing parking lanes. As a placemaking tool, they also contribute to an increase of pedestrian volumes and help promote economic development in retail corridors."

For those of us that don't speak in City-code , People Spots bring a bit of greenery to an otherwise concrete jungle. They want for people to relax and gather; fostering a sense of community, relaxation, and relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. People Spots may take up some parking, but in turn bring a greater amout of foot traffic to the area, which is often a great boon for business.,

People Spot Blue Prints

The design of the proposed People Spot

If you would like to support the People Spot in WPB, head over to the KickStarter Page, and Donate to make it happen. This is your chance to have a direct impact on the space in which you live, work, and share with others, so share this project to get the ball rolling.

Watch the video to learn more about the creation of this fantastic project!

The 2013 Bucktown Tree and Garden Walk

Jack Wangelin - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Bucktown Tree and Garden Walk will be this year on the weekend of July 13 & 14. Whether you're able to grow an orchid in the arctic, or are just dreaming of green spaces, join us for a wonderful tour of Bucktown's best. Bring the kids too! There will be a petting zoo at Lottie's. Hop on a trolley, starting from sponsor Club Lucky, at 11am both days.

If you would like to show off your garden, shrubbery, arbor, or other greens, Register for the Bucktown Garden Walk.

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]

Mother's Day in Bucktown, a Suite in Three Parts.

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Wednesday, May 16, 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!

Putting my money where my mouth is, this working mom spent a joyous Mother's Day out and about in the neighborhood on a glorious sunny Sunday. 

The day began with the inaugural brunch at newly opened Red Door located at the corner of Charleston and Damen. Perhaps you've heard? Chef Troy Graves and his scrumptious ways are back in Bucktown once again. You may remember Troy from his days at Meritage or even Tallulah up North. Tastebuds rejoice in savoring gastro pub fare offered in an enlightened elegance. 

The space is cool and cozy with wood grained tables and banquettes. An elongated bar reaches across the dining room where you can sip hand crafted cocktails of añejo and ginger rhubarb or choose one of many brews from an extensive list. Jeremiah Krickhahn, Red Door's mixologist, simmers his own syrups in house.

Today we sat outside on the impressive patio and dined on traditional fare executed with Troy's twists. Known for his tasteful juxtapositions of both savory and sweet, I had the soy salmon with cucumber and asian pear on a bagel. Mr. Me had the Applewood smoked bacon and eggs and the kid snarfed the asparagus and gruyere quiche with mixed greens. A flight of mimosas was had in mango, ruby grapefruit, and that yummy rhubarb ginger I told you about before. 

As if the meal wasn't enough, the best part was the company. Seated, community style, in this outdoor room, were so many of our neighbors, friends and customers each enjoying the day with family. 

Dinner is served all week long, with the place turning more bar friendly after 10pm. On the menu you'll find small plates to share. Our favorites (so far) have been the fava bean toast with burrata and strawberries in a balsamic glaze, gnocchi or mussels, and the fantastic burger with onion marmalade.  

I can't tell you how happy I am to have this corner bistro spot open once again. Just in time for some summer sun, that patio will be packed all season long.

From Red Door, we crossed the street to visit our friend Beth at the lovely Larkspur

Painting with flowers doesn't quite come close to what we found on Sunday morning. Brilliant bouquets full of anemone and ranunculus were on hand amidst a field full of flowers fresh for you to choose. I can now say that I've seen the biggest hydrangea blossom I have ever laid eyes on, a heart shaped one that was bigger than a not so small child. 

One of my favorite things about this neighbor of mine is the fact that she grows much of her stock on her own farm in Michigan. It doesn't get much more local than that.

After our visit, we headed a few blocks North to Logan skate park, one of the neighborhood's best kept secrets.

Hidden under 90/94 at Logan and Western you will find an enclosed stretch of concrete, metal and wood alive with the sound of rolling skate trucks and the distinct clink of a grind.

On that sunny Sunday the ramps were filled with kids of all ages, a skater chick here and there (woo hoo!), all waiting their turn to go with the flow. I got to sit and watch the kid master three new feats, fearless as ever, and completely mortified by my mere existence. 

It's not so often that I get to enjoy a day free from Virtu, but when I have a spare moment, I try to spend some time (and some money) in our local independents.

Throughout the Six Corners and the streets beyond, we have many an option as to where to dine, play or shop. Think about your actions and consider this: each time you spend money locally, you are keeping more of those funds closer to home. 

For a really neat way to spell this out clearly, check out the handy economic distribution calculator over on the Independent We Stand website.

I just entered the stats for Chicago and it told me that if every family spent just $10 a month in locally owned independent businesses, more than $277 million dollars would stay in our city. That's quite a lot of food for thought.

Check me next time when I blahg about the Wicker Park Farmer's Market. I can't wait for opening day on Sunday, June 3rd. See you there.

Wicker Park Bucktown News - May 2 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, May 03, 2012

Only a Few More Days Left to Enter to Win a Beautiful Bucktown Poster

Answer questions on what kinds of businesses you'd like to see in Wicker Park Bucktown and where you'd like to spend your dollars and you're entered to win this beautiful screen-printed Bucktown poster by StudioChris. Make sure to include your email address for a chance to win! Take our survey now

May Chamber Mixer at The Anthem

When: Wed, May 16th, 6-8pm
Where: The Anthem, 1725 W. Division
Cost: Free for Chamber Members, $5 for Non-Members
Grow your network or just casually meet your neighbors at the Chamber's May Networking Event at The Anthem! Click here for more information and to RSVP. 

Summer Sidewalk Sales

When: Jul 21st-22nd & Aug 25th-26th, 2012
Where: Wicker Park Bucktown
Our two signature summer sidewalk sales exclusively for Wicker Park Bucktown merchants are back again this summer! Participation in both weekends' sales are free to WPB Chamber Members and $100 for non-members. For more information and to sign your business up to participate, click here.

Wicker Park Fest 2012

When: Sat & Sun, July 28th-29th, 2012
Where: Milwaukee Avenue between North & Paulina
Cost: $5 donation
Described as Chicago's "best street festival of the summer" by the Chicago Tribune, Wicker Park Fest 2012 is sure to top what was an amazing slate of performances, food and vendors at Wicker Park Fest '11. Check our website to find out more about the upcoming line-up and apply as a vendor! Also, "LIKE" the official fan page on Facebook!

Wicker Park Bucktown News - April 25 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, April 26, 2012

Every Day is Earth Day

Keep up your efforts to go green and save money with some earth-friendly ideas that you can act on any day of the year: 

Small Business Energy Savings Program 

Small businesses receive expert advice on energy-saving improvements for their business, and assistance with the application for rebates on energy improvement investment. There are program freebies too, such as compact fluorescent lamps, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse sprayers! For more information, please click here

10 Simple Things: WPB Green Designation 

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber's Green Committee has assembled a list of actions, ranging from simple, low-cost tasks to big ticket investments with long term pay-offs for member businesses that wish to go green and save money. Review the list, complete ten action items, and earn "WPB Green" designation. For more information, please click here

Featured Green & Eco-Friendly Chamber Members:

Greenheart Shop, 1911 W. Division, is Chicago's premier eco-fair trade non-profit shop, carrying eco fair trade products made by artisans from around the world.

The ReBuilding Exchange, 2160 N. Ashland, a project of the Delta Institute, offers reclaimed building materials at a fraction of the cost, keeping them out of our landfills, and available to residents at all income levels, particularly those who can't afford the rising costs of such materials. Classes and volunteer opportunities also available!

Reynolds Power/Zap My Bill, 1286 N. Milwaukee, is a commercial, medical, municipal and industrial full-service energy solutions company that offers a fresh and innovative process for helping you save money on electricity and natural gas. 

For a complete list of Green & Eco-Friendly Chamber Member Businesses, please click here.

Artist’s Notes by Flat Iron Artist, Charlie Rees

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, April 20, 2012

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

It was that type of day, late this morning, Friday, April 13th, when I had to escape the studio, go for a walk, breathe in the spring air and enjoy the sun. No need to be superstitious.

I headed out of the studio, across Milwaukee Avenue, down Damen, straight to Wicker Park and there, by chance, discovered some delightful works of art. They were not pretentious or insulting. They contained no political messages. They were not the work of vandals. The art was perfect for a spring morning, colorful, expressive and playful, the work of children.

Many people walking through the park, earplugs firmly in place, playing with their smart phones, missed these beautiful extemporaneous pieces of art. This is sad; because, with spring showers, winds, foot traffic, this art will vanish. Hopefully, these artists will come back to continue their delightful work. 

Art is all around us. All we have to do is stop, take a moment, look and enjoy.


Wicker Park Bucktown News-April 18 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, April 19, 2012

Win a Bucktown Poster! 

Take our survey, do something great for our neighborhood and get a chance to win a beautiful screen printed poster by StudioChris! In this 10-minute survey, you can tell us what kind of businesses you want (or don't want) to see in Wicker Park Bucktown. Include your email address and you've got a chance to win. Fast & Easy! Take the survey now. Good Luck! 

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