How to engage children in conversation

When children have conversations with us on their own terms, it can help make them feel more comfortable talking.

From the perspective of clinical social workers, when we see children or teenagers in therapy we try very hard to help them experience being with us on their terms. We let them regulate the intimacy and trust rather than our being intrusive. This approach can be very helpful in getting to know the children in your life.

art-center-activitiesa-copyLet’s take, for example, a grandfather who does not see his grandson frequently. Understandably, the child, let’s call him Johnny, may be a bit shy.  Ideally, Grandpa will be unobtrusive and respectful of the child’s experience; he would not ask questions that require a direct answer from Johnny. Grandpa might begin by saying, “It’s really good to see you, Johnny.  Maybe we could hang out here a little while.  Would you like to look around the house?  I have a bunch of toys in the living room that your dad had when he was little, and some new ones, too.   And if you are hungry we could take a look in the kitchen and see what we could find together.”

Then Grandpa would take his time, go slowly, and not rush Johnny.

The point is to stay a step behind Johnny and follow his motives.  Grandpa would not introduce his own motives, and he would try to give Johnny whatever he might ask for even if he is a little surprised by the request — unless it might be harmful to Johnny.

For instance, if there was fruit on the table but Johnny asked for ice cream, Grandpa would happily give ice cream.  If there was no ice cream, it might give them a chance to go to the market and get some together.

The point is, if you want to have a comfortable and easy relationship with a child, it is essential for the child to develop trust in you. The more trust there is, the easier it is for children to talk about what is important and, perhaps, troubling to them.

It is best to say yes as often as possible.  And if you have to say no, it helps first to recognize the child’s motives before declining the request. For example, say, “I can understand why you might want that,” and, if possible, offer the child a positive alternative such as granting the request at another time when it works better for both and is safe.  As the relationship of respect develops, trust awakens and the child’s natural human motive to communicate his or her feelings will emerge.

The ideas above are informed by the theory in “The Smart Love Parent” by Drs. William J. and Martha Heineman Pieper. These ideas have been tested over and over and definitely help increase the trust and communication between children and their caregivers.

Walter D. Miller, LCSW, is a clinical social worker on the New Eastside who specializes in work with children, adolescents and their parents. He may be contacted at 312-856-0230.

Service dogs vs. emotional support animals

Getting to know the specific breeds of dogs that our neighbors own can help us to understand the neighborhood we live in. Urban Real Estate managing partner Matt Farrell — a New Eastside resident and loyal dog owner — places a high priority on befriending both the two- and four-legged members of the community.

seeing-eye-dog-clipart-1“While each building has its own criteria for general pets, many of the community’s dogs offer a service far greater than you may know,” he says.

Under the American Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

According to the National Service Animal Registry (NSAR), an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), is NOT regarded as a “working service dog,” but rather as an emotional support animal. “Guide” dogs are classified as working service dogs, and are helpful for those who experience vision problems. “Hearing Alert” dogs are certified if trained to alert you to sounds such as alarms, doorbells, automobile sounds, etc.  They are considered working service dogs, as well.

Medical Assist dogs are certified as working service dogs if the dog is trained to assist when experiencing a physical crisis in which you can’t perform a major life task yourself. Mobility dogs are granted status if the dogs are trained or able to provide stability and support for substantial physical balance problems to you.  Other certifications also exist and are worth researching further to understand the service they provide.

Learn more by visiting the NSAR web site at and referring to the American Disabilities Act.

Lurie Garden honey harvest

Every year, beekeepers from the Chicago Honey Co-op collect
about 1,500 pounds of sweet stuff from the hives of
nearly four-dozen honeybee colonies throughout the city,
including two in the Lurie Garden.

They get stung along the way, but the pain is nothing
compared to the reward of working with
nature’s astonishing little sugarmakers.


“We started harvesting the last week of July,” says Sydney Barton, one of roughly 19 members of the democratically controlled Chicago Honey Co-op that was formed in 2004. “We’ll continue to go until the end of October.”


Beekeeper Jefferson Shuck

Ms. Barton’s dedication to the trade began in 2003, when a friend invited her to help install a package of “about 6,000 or 8,000 bees” into a hive.

“A package is kind of a rectangular box that’s got screens on either side,” she explains. “The bees are shipped with a queen and sugar syrup to feed them.”

Although she describes the annual honey haul as “not a lot,” it’s enough to keep the Co-op as busy as a bee.

In the nonprofit’s workshop on the Near West Side, Ms. Barton spends 40+ hours each week helping to transform the sticky yield into lip balms, body bars, and glass jars of raw goodness that will be sold through its online store and in select farmers markets.

“Our body products are made with wax that came from the hives,” she says. “We add more ingredients, like cocoa butter and vegetable shortening. The beeswax helps to stabilize the bars.”

She also helps with a line of candles made with beeswax from a Michigan beekeeper that is heated to 160 degrees, liquefied, and poured into molds.

On Saturdays, she and other volunteers load the products — along with signage and a vendor booth — into a bicycle trailer and transport everything to Lincoln Park’s Green City Market. On Sundays, it’s off to the Logan Square Farmers Market.

Then the process of gathering the honey begins again.


The hives at the Lurie Garden resemble an old bedroom dresser that someone left in a nondescript maintenance area behind a hedgerow. Tucked underneath the elevated walkway that leads to the Art Institute’s Modern Wing, they are easy to miss. But the activity within them is nothing short of miraculous.


Beehive at the Lurie Garden

The “drawers” of the structure are individual square wooden boxes. Each box holds ten vertical frames that are about the size and shape of a shoebox lid. Each frame is prepared with a wax foundation upon which the honeybees build their entire society. There are areas for the queen and her attendants, the workers, the drones, the pupa, and the honey, which is stored in the uppermost box.

When it’s time to harvest, the beekeeper loosens the honey frames with a pry bar and removes them. A brush helps keep the bees away and, when necessary, a smoker prompts them to move deeper into the hive, an instinct developed over centuries of protecting the colony from forest fires.

The gear worn by the Co-Op’s beekeepers is relatively simple.

“At minimum we recommend a veil, so if you upset the bees, they don’t sting your face,” says Ms. Barton. “Most beginners will wear a whole bee suit, which we don’t bother with.”

Although she estimates that bees have stung her about a 100 times, she insists that the insects are harmless. “Their goal in life is to forage and get nectar and pollen,” she says. “When a beekeeper is working a hive, the bees are not paying attention to what he’s doing. When I’ve gotten stung it’s only been when I make contact with frames and I’ve accidently smashed a bee with my finger.”

After collecting the honey frames and removing the wax that covers the honey located on either side, the beekeeper arranges them like spokes on a wheel inside a cylindrical machine called an extractor. When the extractor is powered up, it spins the wheel and creates enough centrifugal force to pull the honey out of the wax, where it flows down to the bottom and through a honey gate.

“It’s like a faucet attached to the side of the extractor that you open to get the honey out,” explains Ms. Barton.


Honey for sale at the Logan Square Farmers Market

The technique is more labor intensive than the process followed by many large commercial suppliers, which often heat the honey to make it flow more easily.

“Their main interest is getting it into jars as soon as possible,” says Ms. Barton. “They call their honey pasteurized — okay, great — but you’ve also killed all the good stuff inside of it. You also lose the flavor.”

The good stuff includes a lot of residual pollen, one of the ingredients that has made beekeeper Jefferson Shuck a honey believer for years.

“I always had really bad allergies,” he explains. “It’s said that when you ingest the pollen in the honey, it helps your immune system fight pollen in the air. That works for me.”

Mr. Shuck came to Chicago from Missouri to pursue a career in massage therapy — “I wanted to make Chicago a healthy place,” he says. But after becoming involved with the Chicago Honey Co-Op, determined that he was not only helping people feel better, but also improving his own wellness. “You have to move intentional and slow,” he says. “It’s like tai-chi.”

When the harvest ends, he’ll help prepare the colonies for winter.


Lip balm by Chicago Honey Co-Op

Before the cold arrives, the beekeepers will reduce the height of the hives to about three-feet — roughly 25% smaller than their summer size. This leaves the bees less area to heat, which they accomplish by beating their wings. The queen, who stops laying eggs in November, remains at the center. The rest will constantly rotate towards the middle so that everyone gets a chance to warm up. They’ll also leave the hive with about 70 pounds of honey for the bees to nourish themselves.

Despite all the preparations, the colony is not guaranteed to survive. Mr. Shuck is currently attempting to locally raise a number of queens, which usually come from California and the South, to Chicago’s climate. “It’s a really big and complicated process called grafting,” he explains.

To help complete the first phase, he is seeking a modest $300 via If that proves successful, he’ll ask for more next year.

“Beekeeping is like a rabbit hole of information,” he says. “You just go down.”

To contact the Chicago Honey Co-op, call (312) 508-8142 or visit

—Daniel Patton, Staff Writer

Summer swimming lessons for everyone

With temps heating up, swimming may be just the thing to help stay cool all summer. There are lots of opportunities in New Eastside to get comfortable in the water, learn water safety techniques and perfect your stroke.

The British Swim School
, a franchise organization that has been in operation for the past 35 years, comes to North Harbor Tower several times a week with a “swim school in a box” concept that is customized to each specific location where the program takes place.

SWIM0002webJohn Hale, Operations and Marketing Director, says BSS focuses on survival first in a small, intimate setting, which is unique to the industry. “Using muscle memory, we train children as young as three months to turn (over in the water) and cry for help,” he says.

Older children might work on turning, coordination, breathing, and stamina. For adults, BSS adapts to specific goals like treading water, triathlon training, overcoming fear or lap swimming.

Coach Kathy Kelly and her team of four instructors have been offering her swim program at the Aqua pool for the past five years. Kelly says they teach all ages starting at six months, but perhaps their biggest growing group is adults who are afraid of the water and want to learn to swim. “Swimming is not just a sport, it’s a life saving skill,” she says. “It’s also one of the best all body exercises you’ll find.”

There are also private instructors like Rachel Horol, who has been sharing her aquatic expertise in individual New Eastside pools for the past three years. “I offer private and semi-private swim classes, focusing mainly on early childhood independence, safety and stroke development,” she says. “Swimming independently, reaching goals, and conquering the fear of water are such personal achievements that, when a child succeeds, it gives them confidence in other areas of life.”

If indoor swimming pools don’t provide enough fun, summer beach season is upon us and Ohio Street Beach is likely the perfect training site for open water swimming. It’s possible to swim a half mile north towards Oak Street Beach without being more than a short distance from the seawall and shallow water. There are lockers, restrooms and Café Oliva right on the beach to help with refueling after a challenging open water swim.

Whatever your water goals might be for the summer, there are an abundance of local options to help you achieve them. Contact the instructors for more information on scheduling, pricing and other information.

— Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer

Resident opens city’s largest floatation / deprivation studio

When Gloria Irwin rented a place at the Chandler three years ago, she thought it would make for great weekend getaways from her suburban Indiana home. The neighborhood — as well as her three children and her boyfriend — quickly agreed.

“We love Lakeshore East because it gives such a neighborhood feel in the city,” she says.

Little did she know what dramatic and excellent changes life had in store for her.

At the time, she was an IT professional who had found an abundance of success analyzing large quantities of information for the likes of Harrah’s Entertainment and Trump Hotels and as the owner of her own business. She found that the New Eastside helped her reduce the stress by offering peaceful places to stroll, bike, and, most importantly, walk her five year-old Bichon Shih Tzu, Lola.

“If you’re stressed out and you go over to the dog park, you cannot help but feel happy,” she says. “It is my happy place.”


Float Sixty owner and founder Gloria Irwin

Then her boyfriend asked her to try “something new,” a from of therapeutic rejuvenation that involved floating in a giant tank full of saltwater and darkness. Alone.

She hesitated.

“We had been dating for four years at this time,” she explains. “He had been exposed to this. He kind of talked me into trying.”

The experience changed her life.

“I got the best sleep of my life that night,” she says. “So I did it again to make sure it was really that effective.”

That was April 2015. Within a year, Gloria would leave the IT industry and open Float Sixty, Chicago’s largest flotation and sensory deprivation studio.

Each of the facility’s five individual suites offer state of the art tanks filled with ten inches of warm water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, which contains magnesium, a natural muscle relaxer.

“The environment is most akin to what you would experience floating in the Dead Sea,” she says.

Although her studio has proven its worthiness to people who push their bodies to the limit for a living — Jeremy Roenick, Matt Forte, and Jonathan Toews are all clients — the rejuvenating effects of an hour spent floating in one of the tanks is something that Ms. Irwin believes everyone can use.

“Afterwards, you feel energy and everything’s more hi-def and more clear,” she says. “You’re a lot more calm.”

The studio is so busy that Ms. Irwin and her staff must do their personal floating after hours, but Float Sixty still offers a neighborhood discount for all New Eastside first-timers.

Turns out that her boyfriend’s advice was worth taking. Perhaps that’s part of the reason she said yes when he asked her to marry him last November.

Float Sixty · 303 W. Erie St. · (844) 356-2860 ·

— Daniel Patton, Staff Writer

Bloch Cancer Survivors Garden, a neighborhood oasis

Nestled between the Maggie Daley and Peanut Parks is a small oasis known as the Bloch Cancer Survivors Garden. It is a secluded refuge where people can sit quietly to reflect upon loved ones who have suffered from cancer, ponder their own mortality or simply enjoy the majestic beauty of nature.

The garden was built in 1996 on approximately 2.25 acres of land. Two 40-foot Corinthian columns, which were salvaged from Chicago’s 1905 Federal Building, grace the entrance. Prior to being put in the garden, these columns were used to reinforce a breakwater under the Lake Michigan shoreline during the 1980s.

IMG_3371dThe gardens are funded by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, which was founded by Richard and Annette Bloch. The couple dedicated their lives to helping others suffering with the disease after Richard waged and won a war with lung cancer.

Features that promote healing are incorporated into the landscaping, including 14 bronze plaques carrying messages of inspiration, and a “positive mental attitude” walkway lined with greenery and flowers.

A sculpture of eight life-size bronze figures arranged in a maze, represents the trials of cancer treatment. There is a pavilion, which signifies the road to recovery, with plaques that define cancer and ways to help overcome it.

The Bloch Cancer Survivor’s Garden has overcome its own challenges over the years, including crab apple trees that were attacked by rabbits, the theft of the inspirational plaques, and even a consideration of moving the garden to gain access to Lake Michigan.

The garden’s annual replanting budget is an estimated $60,000, which has traditionally been managed through the Parkways Foundation, the park district’s nonprofit arm. Although revenue generated by renting the garden for weddings and private events may offset costs of maintaining it, its fiscal situation remains controversial and relies considerably on private donations.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the Chicago Park District (773) 685-7235.

— Ophelia Dodds, Community Contributor

Visionary “green fitness space” may replace old skate park

The idea behind the recently proposed “Green Fitness Space” in Grant Park is to start a revolution. From personal wellness to community participation to corporate health care, the lifestyle concept designed by Chicagoans Omari Jinaki and Ross Arena aims to change how the world thinks about staying in shape.

Jinaki and Arena presented their idea to a meeting of the Grant Park Conservancy and the Grant Park Advisory Council on Northerly Island in February. If the proposal gains approval, it could mean that the old skate park near the intersection of Balbo Ave. and Columbus Dr. will become a thing of the past, replaced by a multipurpose facility covering 36,000 square feet.

Besides offering calisthenic-based exercise equipment, the space will boast an organic garden, a staff of professional fitness instructors and, most importantly, an all-inclusive free admission policy.

“Health is like a basic human right,” says Jinaki. “Nobody should have to pay to be physically active.”

Jinaki combines a passion for fitness with an Ivy League MBA and a knack for organizational excellence. His ability to lead projects has helped him succeed as an associate director at Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office, an ad agency where he worked until returning to his hometown of Chicago last year.


The former skateboard park where advocates want to build a Green Fitness Space (photo: Daniel Patton)

Upon arriving back in the Windy City, he noticed a lack in the type of public fitness areas that had become part of his everyday life in the Big Apple. He was so impressed with New York’s community-building effects that he actually helped secure and design one for his

Inwood Hill Park neighborhood with funds from the city’s discretionary budget last year. He was inspired to do the same thing in Chicago.

He presented the idea to Bob O’Neill, President of the Grant Park Conservancy, who not only recommended the unused location of the former skateboard park, but also recognized the concept as “a new idea that’s never been done anywhere else in the world.”

“It’s part of a bigger picture,” he says. “We want to do something that really attracts people to get healthier. We want this to be a beautiful space.”

The location is exactly what Jinaki had envisioned, largely because it is accessible to people “who would normally feel intimidated by sports where you have to buy equipment,” he says.

Arena, who earned a PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and heads the Department of Physical Therapy at UIC, has long advocated for national wellness. When he heard about Jinaki’s concept in a local newspaper, he recognized it as a potential shot in the arm for America’s quality of life.

He incorporates public health and wellness into a community outreach class that has been part of UIC’s curriculum for years. In addition to enlightening students, the class helps him perfect the method for bringing fitness to the masses. He is also growing an organic garden on campus, one that he hopes will become the model for what ultimately grows in Grant Park.

The presentation was so well received that O’Neill has since asked the firm that designed the skateboard park, Altamanu, to sketch out a few ideas for the green fitness space. He hopes to present those to the public within the next few months.

New Eastside soccer enthusiasts head to West Loop

soccer-ball5As a soccer enthusiast, I appreciate Chicago’s ability to accommodate my obsession. Home to the U.S. Soccer Federation, Chicago has a vibrant soccer scene, even during the cold months. The 12,000-sq. ft. indoor Mercy Soccer Center in the West Loop, where I play in a soccer league, has been my salvation for the past few winters.

Inside the Mercy Soccer Center is artificial turf that contains impact-absorbing rubber pellets. Although these pellets occasionally find their way into my shoes, it is preferable to braving the snow and ending up with cold, wet feet.

I generally travel to the center by cab and return home to the New Eastside on foot, often without wearing my coat. Since the amount of warmth generated from an hour of sprinting raises my body temperature so much, I can wear short sleeves in a snowstorm and revel in the odd looks of passersby.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of playing in leagues, such as those offered by Mercy Soccer Center, is that games often resemble a United Nations conference. In terms of player numbers, soccer is the most widely practiced sport in the world. According to FIFA’s most recent Big Count survey, there are 265 million players, or roughly 4 percent of the world’s population, actively involved in soccer. Oftentimes, a single game will feature players from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. For an hour, we can join together in play and can forget the troubles of the outside world. How can one not love a sport that brings so many people together?

Mercy Soccer Center · 160 S. Aberdeen St. · Chicago, IL 60607

— Matthew Reiss, Community Contributor

Staying true: New Year’s Resolutions

By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer

The will to exercise more and spend less may be strong on the first of January, but most studies show that half of such resolutions won’t make it past March. Sometimes the best way to follow through on goals set during midnight champagne toasts is to hire a specialist.


Drew Scacciaferro
Personal Training Director, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

IMG_1666b“The major challenge of the New Year’s resolution is waiting until the New Year to make it,” explains Drew Scacciaferro. “You’ve got to make a decision now. Not tomorrow. Not the next day.”

Scacciaferro has been a personal trainer for 12 years. Besides holding a degree in the field, he wields nearly a dozen professional qualifications including Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), “the gold standard” of the largely unregulated fitness industry. The most frequent desire he hears from new clients in early January is “absolutely weight loss.”

But Scacciaferro never advises his clients to strive for the typical New Year’s “outcome-based goal” like “I want to lose fifty pounds.”

“There’s no specificity or timeline or behavior-based changes,” he says. Instead, he walks new members through a “discovery process” to identify effective individual fitness solutions.

“It’s critical to making that connection,” he says, “asking a series of strategic questions about lifestyle, nutrition, behavior and mindset.”

While weight loss may be discussed, Scacciaferro works with each client to develop an ongoing routine that focuses on “preventive health care” and rarely identifies a particular individual poundage reduction target.

“When you set behavior-based goals, it’s very specific,” he says. “‘I’m going to walk for fifteen minutes three times each week and decrease portion sizes by one spoonful at every meal.’ The numbers, in the end, will take care of themselves.”

Programs include one-on-one, duet, and small group training. Membership includes access to the extensive facility, which includes a pool, a basketball court, a boxing room, squash courts, the country’s tallest rock-climbing wall and 100 complimentary fitness classes per week. On at least one occasion, it doubled as a filmset for Chicago PD.

Illinois Center, 211 N. Stetson · (312) 856-1111


Dr. Dawn Webster
Chiropractor, Universal Wellness Source

No matter how frequently someone works out, according to Dr. Dawn Webster, vigorous exercise can actually complicate individual health under certain circumstances.

“Sometimes hitting the gym is not the definition of wellness,” she says.

“Weekend warriors out running, training, hitting the gym… if their posture is off, they leave themselves really receptive to injury.”

Dr. Dawn holds a PhD in Chiropractic from Cleveland University in Kansas City and a decade of experience in the field. She joined Universal Wellness Source in Lakeshore East — one of the company’s four Chicago locations — when it opened three years ago. She guides new patients on the path of self-improvement year round.

“It could be January or June, but at some point people say ‘this is the year to get my health together,’” she says. “Especially in this neighborhood, because people work long hours and get so stressed.”

Initial consultations involve a thorough neurological exam, a structural exam and a series of X-rays. Recommended treatments include corrective as well as chiropractic care. Although the goal is often “to restore the full natural posture back to the person,” the results generally exceed the back-realignment cliché.

“When you start working on chiropractic, you start working with every aspect of your health in general,” she explains. “The most common thing people notice first off is that they are able to move more freely.”

When it comes to her own wellness, Dr. Dawn definitely practices what she preaches.

“We’re bent over all day long,” she says. “Of course I see a chiropractor.”

333 E. Benton Pl. · (312) 565-0655


Claretha Yeager
Jade Path Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

IMG_1942aClaretha Yeager admittedly takes longer than most specialists in helping clients achieve their post-holiday goals, but the acupuncturist has a record of success to validate the “three-thousand year-old medicine” that she practices.

Since 2012, her office at Michigan and Lake has helped hundreds of people seeking control over insomnia and PMS. But come January, the doors spin with dreams of losing weight, quitting smoking, and taking less uncomfortable trips to the bathroom.

“Some people overdo it through the holidays,” she says.

One of the greatest factors contributing to her clients’ symptoms is career pressure, which is abundant in the neighborhood. “We see a lot of people between their early 30s and 50s who work in the Loop and have a lot of stress in their life,” she says.

Since stress tends to increase levels of cortisol, one of the body’s natural steroid hormones, Yeager treats the condition by “working with the natural energies of the body to reduce the natural stresses and help down-regulate the fight-or-flight response.”

In addition to lifestyle and nutritional changes supplemented by natural remedies, Yeager recommends acupunctural treatments when necessary.

“For stress, the number one place to put pins in the body is the ears,” she says. “They are very strong points to help the body relax.”

70 E. Lake St., Suite 630
(773) 669-5724 ·


Diego Socorro
Personal Banker · Fifth Third Bank


According to Diego Socorro, the greatest individual challenge to building a healthy financial portfolio is “procrastination.” But he insists that saving for the future is not as painful as it seems.

“People work very hard all year, and many of them choose to take a vacation instead of saving money when the holidays arrive,” he says. “And that’s okay.”

A robust personal portfolio, he explains, does not require any sort of massive lifestyle sacrifice. Rather, it can be achieved by modest but regular saving habits. Since every customer’s financial situation is different — and since every customer ultimately designs his or her own customized program — he hesitates to describe any particular formula during an interview.

But when dealing with people who have never thought about saving before, Socorro asks them to consider an “emergency fund.”
“Imagine if you experienced some sort of emergency that cost $1,000,” he explains. “Do you have the funds set aside to cover that expense?”

Many customers build their emergency funds with minimal lifestyle disruption by depositing small amounts every month — “as little as $50,” Socorro says — until the ideal amount is achieved. After completing that process, people are often enthusiastic to work toward longer-term objectives.

The best way to shape those objectives, Socorro explains, is built on a relationship that he takes pride in developing.

“When I meet new customers for the first time,” he says, “I like to get to know them before making any recommendations.”

The Fifth Third branch on East Lakeshore Park appears designed to do just that. Besides serving the financial needs of local businesses and residents, Socorro and his associate, Licensed Banker Jason Philipp, have turned a portion of the bank into a miniature gallery filled with the work of local artists. On select occasions, they’ll host openings and other related events that help bring residents of the New Eastside community together.

The current collection features a number of dragon-inspired themes by Maria Raducanu and a variety of work by 3D environmental modeler Amanda Snoozy.

400 E. South Water St.
(312) 279-7939 ·

Something’s cooking at Lake Shore Sports & Fitness Club

By Jon Cohn | Community Contributor

We all know it as a fitness club with sports and recreational activities and of course all the latest in workout and exercise equipment but…

Did you know?

cooking-clip-art-pc5eR56BiThe Eastside’s very own Lake Shore Sports and Fitness Club also has some great cooking classes going on — all year round.

They teach the classes  right out of their highly acclaimed restaurant,  which is called The Press Kitchen.

Hey, part of fitness is eating healthy, so why not combine the workout with good cooking ?

Head chef Michael Tsonton and his staff have put together some unique and fun cooking classes that are completely open to the public.

Among some of the recent offerings and ones coming up are:

–Heart healthy cooking class

–Ramen cooking (101 things you can do with the Ramen noodle?)

— Holiday cookie cooking class

–Girls night out class

— Couples night out cooking class

–Taco’s, Tequila and Tom class (not sure who and or what Tom is, but as for the other two—I’m in!)

Again all of these and more are open to the general public and information and full schedule of classes can be found at their website  The Club is located in the Illinois Center at 211 N Stetson Ave.

If cooking class is just not enough, you can always “adventure “out to some of their other offerings including: group outings; special event days; all kinds of fitness and exercise classes; a little basketball in the gym; or the popular Rock Climbing Wall, especially rock climbing.  It’s not just for young kids but adults and beginners as well.

Classes and lessons are in full swing for all levels of indoor rock climbing.  This is a fun and unique way to stay in shape during the cold winter months.

Finally, some friendly advice from your local community newspaper writer?

While both classes are great — do not take the tacos and tequila class and then do the rock climbing wall immediately after.

Big mistake.

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