May News

CAPS meeting addresses street performer volume

The April meeting of  the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) at 130 N. Garland Ct. included a lengthy discussion between residents, police officers and a representative of Alerman Reilly’s office about the volume of street performers near Michigan Ave. and Lake St.

A local resident explained that music played outdoors sounds like noise to people indoors. Others implied that at least one of the performers is unable to play more than two songs.

An officer present stated that he had responded to several complaints in the past. He informed the group that most of the alleged sonic violators were licensed to perform by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). In such cases, he continued, the CPD can ask musicians to move to another location, but not order them to stop playing.

Although some acknowledged that passersby and tourists seem to enjoy street musicians, they felt that restrictions on licenses, volume, locations and/or hours are necessary to reduce the aural strain on the local residency.      

A representative from the Alerman’s office remarked that “Alderman Reilly in a million years would never issue these permits.” She encouraged residents to join Alderman Reilly in a letter writing campaign directed towards Michelle T. Boone, Commssioner of DCASE, as a “pre-cursor to an ordinance campaign.”

“At the end of the day,” she explained, “we want the person who issues these permits to understand how the performers effect the quality of your life.”

The Commissioner’s office responded to a request for comment by noting via email that it had “not heard about” the Alderman’s intentions but looks forwad to seeing his proposal and is “always happy to hear from the public.”

Alderman Reilly’s office did not respond to a request for additonal information.

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Buckingham Fountain “Switch on Summer” event May 7

The Chicago Park District and ComEd have partnered to celebrate Buckingham Fountain’s “wake from hibernation” during the 2nd annual “Switch on Summer” event May 7.

WGN’s Ana Belaval hosts the 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. festivities. Highlights will include free giveaways, family activities, entertainment, and tips to save money and energy.

The Buckingham Fountain will mark the start of summer with a ceremonial bubbling eruption at 6 p.m., when it gets switched on by the lucky winner of a ComEd contest that ran through April.

Additional partners in the celebration include Adler Planetarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago History Museum, Navy Pier, Old Town School of Folk Music, and Lincoln Park Zoo.

For more information, visit

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Randolph St. resident criticizes shopping cart courtesy 

A local resident underscored her dissatisfaction with people who take shopping carts out of Mariano’s and leave them on the sidewalk during the April CAPS meeting at 130 N. Garland.

Displaying numerous photographs of unreturned carts in the area, she claims to have launched an “artistic protest” by turning stranded carts upside-down and setting them in the Randolph St. median.

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Lake FX Summit & Expo May 13 – 15

Lake FX, “the Midwest’s largest free convening of artists and creative entrepreneurs,” will include presentations, discussions and workshops at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and the Hard Rock Hotel from May 13 to 15.

According the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which hosts the event, “If you create, perform or produce… you’re in.”

Topics will include a flying physical workshop hosted by the Walkabout Theater Company, a candid interview with African American advertising legend Tom Burrell, and performances by Lupe Fiasco and Che “Rhymefest” Smith.

Times and locations of select highlights are listed in our Events section. Admission to all events is free, but advanced registration is recommended. To register and see a complete schedule, visit

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

New Navy Pier Ferris wheel debuts May 27

Navy Pier’s luxurious new Ferris wheel  is scheduled to take its inaugural rotation on May 27.

The nearly 200 foot-tall structure will feature 42 enclosed gondolas with leather seats and video screens playing information about the pier, which celebrates its centennial this year.

The Pier’s former Ferris wheel has been relocated to Branson, MO, where it will become an attraction at Track Family Fun Parks.

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Movable bridges raise for boats in May 

Twice a week from May 4 to June 29, the bridges spanning the Chicago River will raise to make way for vessells rolling down the river. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, the bridges will raise one at a time from Ashaland Ave. on the south branch to Lake Shore Drive.

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Gospel Festival spans Grant Park, Cultural Center in early June

The 2016 Chicago Gospel Festival will feature concerts, discussions and a centennial mass in honor of the Great Migration in Millennium Park and the Cultural Center from June 3-4.

Performers and speakers will range from local high school choirs and new artists to veteran Grammy-nominees.

The Great Migration Mass will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday June 4 with a special set by The Great Migration Choir at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

For a list of headlining performances, see our Events section. For the complete agenda, visit the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Hotel coming to Navy Pier in 2018   

On May 1, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Navy Pier officials announced plans for construction of a $90 million, five-story hotel to be located on Navy Pier.

Scheduled to open in 2018, the facility will be open year-round and help the city achieve its goal to attract 55 million visitors annually by 2020.

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

Hyatt Hotel converting Pedway shops into meeting spaces

In response to a growing demand for meeting spaces, the Hyatt Hotel has purchased several former retail locations in Columbus Plaza at 233 E. Wacker Dr. with the intention of converting them into meeting spaces for guests and non-guests alike.

According to Hyatt Hotel Marketing / PR representative Patricka Kanke, locations formerly belonging to the Khyber Pass restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a music store are among the retailers that will be converted.

Spa di la Fronza’s former location will also be converted into meeting space, but the salon remains in the Pedway at a new location.

The location now boasts the new Lakeshore Meeting Space, which is open to visitors. Contact Hyatt for further details.

— Daniel Patton and Shanti Nagarkatti 

Springtime races

On the morning of May 22, Lakeshore East Park will once again be inundated with runners hoping to eat 13.1 miles for breakfast at the Chicago Spring Half Marathon.

According to Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher, Lifetime Athletic Events Regional Brand Manager, the event was “originally created to find a way to bring a special event into Lakeshore East Park.” Now in its eighth year, the spirit of this race really captures the uniqueness of Lakeshore East Park and its proximity to the Lakefront Trail.

In addition to the half marathon, the race program also includes a 10K and a Junior Dash, and all participants can relax and celebrate at the post-race picnic right in the park.

For New Eastside residents, it’s a short walk to the starting line and according to Hootie, the perfect way to “join thousands of race participants pushing themselves to meet new goals” in a healthy and invigorating kickoff of the spring season.

— Angela Gagnon

New Eastside real estate trends

In April, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released its Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, with some fascinating data on the trends of just who is buying. While the largest group of homebuyers, according to the study, 67 percent, are married couples, the second largest group is single females.

According to trade association, single women comprise 15 percent of all home buyers, and this number increases when looking at buyers between the ages of 51 and 60, to 20 percent. By contrast, single male buyers come in at 9 percent of the buying population.

So, what does this mean to residents in the New Eastside? Matt Farrell, Managing Partner of Urban Real Estate says in our market, singles looking to buy care most about our optimum location, and often the amenities of the building.  “Our neighborhood is attractive to those who want to be downtown, but still feel like they live in a community which is private enough to feel like you are away from it all,” Farrell adds. “We have a very special place in the city, and the right mix of businesses paired with buildings that offer stellar services to their residents to make our community attractive to buyers and renters, alike,” Farrell notes.

In the first quarter of 2016, Urban Real Estate sold more units in the New East Side community than any other office. Farrell concludes, “Singles looking to live here invest knowing that this can be their home now, and as their life evolves and perhaps family expands, they still see themselves as vested and wanting to keep their home for years to come.”

— Urban Real Estate

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