Local hotels freshen menus, decor for spring

By Gianna Annunzio | Staff Writer

Spring is a time of renewal and two local hotels are taking advantage of the season’s spirit by unveiling new food and interior decor initiatives. Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr., has introduced a mouthwatering program, “Flavor by Loews Hotels,” a food and beverage experience providing guests with rich local fare. The initiative is built on partnerships with artisan food and beverage vendors.

One vendor is the agricultural cooperative, The Chicago Honey Co-op, whose honey is made in chemical-free beehives right here in the city.

“Chicago Co-op has three apiaries in different locations in Chicago, including in the Back of the Yards area,” said Kelly Kroyer, the marketing and social media manager for Loews Chicago Hotel, adding that the honey in your drinks may not have been made too far from home. Loews incorporates the honey in cocktails at their terrace bar and restaurant, Streeterville Social. An exclusive beer has also been crafted through a partnership with Revolution Brewing to produce, “Zephyr”—a low ABV golden ale with a mild and crisp taste.

The partnerships in Loews’ Flavor program are further reflected in the culinary style of Loews Executive Sous Chef, Matt Lange, of ETA Restaurant + Bar. With his focus on seasonal and refined cooking, the menu includes additions such as cold-pressed juices from locally-grown fruits and veggies provided by local food program, Here. Flavors include a beet, apple and ginger blend as well as pineapple, celery and apple juice that combines notes of turmeric and basil.

ETA Restaurant + Bar at Loews Chicago Hotel is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and Streeterville Social will open for the season on May 25.

A mural of Chicago’s skyline at The Palm restaurant. Photo by Gianna Annunzio

While Loews has expanded their flavor palate, Swissotel’s The Palm Chicago restaurant, 323 E. Wacker Dr., has revamped their entire look from the inside out. The restaurant re-opened on April 16, after a $2.5 million renovation. When the restaurant’s remodeling began, manager Phil Jahnke said the priority was to clean up the space and provide more modern amenities. “This particular location has always had the feeling of a hotel restaurant,” he said. “We’re trying to revitalize it.”

The restaurant has also re-incorporated unique wall paintings into the space, including work by Marlene Goodman and Zach Byrd, who has created city murals at Palm locations across the country. “I paint with acrylic paints on the wall and work more from looking at photos and just doing my thing,” Goodman said. “Since we’ve been around for so long, people might forget about us,” said Nicole Boston, the Palm’s sales and events manager. “But with this renovation we’re making a statement that we’re really here to stay.” The Palm Chicago now serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Published on May 3

Local hero performs CPR, helps save life in Maggie Daley Park

By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer

It was just a normal Saturday in Maggie Daley Park—until it wasn’t.

Park employees sprang into action when a man visiting from Texas collapsed and began seizing near the park’s playgarden at about 5:30 p.m., March 10.

Upon hearing the man’s wife call out for help, Security Officer Jarrell Brown quickly
radioed Officer Michael Malone, a former Chicago Fire Department firefighter and
first responder who was on duty near the playgarden. Malone rushed to the scene
and called 911.

When Malone reached the man, he realized his condition was serious. “I knew it was an emergency since he was seizing up,” Malone said. “The seizure was going on for
two minutes and he wasn’t responding to his name or anything verbal. He soon became unresponsive and stopped breathing.”

That’s when Malone started CPR. His quick response worked, and after a few
minutes, the man finally coughed.

“We celebrated like it was a sporting event,” Malone said. “And then he went to
sleep, which is a good sign.”

While Malone was handling the hands-on response, Paul Fuller, Maggie Daley Park operations manager, helped first responders find the best route into the park. Security Officer Laron Jackson then guided them to the area where Malone was
administering CPR. The team was able to revive the man and get him to a hospital
safely for further care.

Malone said their team effort in a time of crisis was crucial during this emergency. He credited his training and the team’s adherence to emergency protocols as
the reason the they were able to save the man’s life.

“I was in the right position at the right time to help,” he said.

Published on May 2

Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K returns to Maggie Daley Park

By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer

On May 20, Maggie Daley Park will once again host the Chicago Spring Half Marathon 10K and Junior Dash. The race has a new title sponsor, Byline Bank, but participants can look forward to the same exceptional race experience provided in the past.

Lifetime Regional Brand Manager Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher said New Eastside residents might remember the half marathon starting and ending in Lakeshore East Park—and for seven years, that was the case.

“It was originally created by Magellan Development Group to find a way to bring
a special event to Lakeshore East Park,” Hutmacher said. “The first packet pickup
was held in the Aqua [building].”

Today, due in part to the Wanda Vista construction, the race starts and finishes
on Columbus Dr. at Maggie Daley Park. The course incorporates both streets and
the Lakefront Path, winding through Museum Campus and offering sweeping
skyline views.

New Eastside resident Joan Garcia is looking forward to participating in the
race. “The upcoming 10K has allowed me to have a taste of training for longer distances,” Garcia said. “It also brings a sense of pride knowing that I will be running in such a beautiful city that I call home.”

At the conclusion of the race, participants can look forward to the Spring Market Finish Festival which will provide a hot gourmet breakfast buffet, refreshing drinks
and a complimentary Lagunitas beer to those 21 and older. Visit the flower station
to plant a flower in a pot to take home as a reminder of the spring season, and enjoy
live music in Maggie Daley Park.

Youngsters can compete in the Junior Dash, which uses the Skating Ribbon as a
course. Distances vary by age, but every little runner receives a t-shirt and finisher prize.

For more information and to register, visit www.chicagospringhalf.com

Published on May 3

Joffrey Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a must-see

By Taylor Hartz| Staff Writer

As we welcome warmer days in Chicago, you’ll feel right at home in the audience of the Joffrey Ballet’s new production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

This imaginative, modern recreation of Shakespeare’s classic brings the summer season to life on stage as a dreamy, whimsical and sensual experience.

Most performances of Shakespeare take you hundreds of years into the past, but the team at Joffrey brought Midsummer to the future, setting the story in June of 2018. The opening scene will captivate audiences as the cast performs a mesmerizing dance with hay. This may not sound glamorous, but when done in perfect unison it becomes a magical scene that makes a lasting impression.

This curious, creative story, has the playful, magical vibe of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland laced between some flirtatious, provocative imagery— including nearly-nude dancers—to nightmarish, upside-down dances set to electronic music with rolling fog.

Most ballets rely on choreography to tell the whole tale, but this production features the vocalist Anna Von Hausswolff, a Swedish indie rock and art pop performer who narrates the show with an angelic, folksy voice. Hausswolff’s lyrics “Had it all been a dream? Had it all been a blunder?” further the dreaminess of each scene.

Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, Choreographer Alexander Ekman, Music Director Scott Speck, and Composer Mikael Karlsson truly re-imagined this beloved tale. In short, it’s a must-see.

Midsummer is playing at the Auditorium Theater through May 6. Tickets range from $34–174.

Published May 3. 

Non-profits care for feral cats

The cats return the favor by hunting rats

By Taylor Hartz and Angela Gagnon | Staff Writers

Local building staff are reminding residents not to feed or approach feral cats that may be spotted in Lakeshore East Park. Although these cats may look like strays that are in need of some TLC, they are well cared for. Many of the cats, and all of those with their ears marked, are regularly fed and given housing and shelter by non-profits as part of the feral cats ordinance.

If you aren’t familiar with this law, here’s the scoop—in September 2007, Cook County passed the Managed Care of Feral Cats ordinance, allowing non-profit organizations to care for feral cats in the county using Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs, with the goal of managing their population numbers.

Several of thse feral cats were introduced into the Lake Shore East Park this winter by the Lakeshore East Masters Association with one particular job in mind. According to Magellan Development Group Community Relations Director Vanessa Casciano, the program was brought to Lakeshore East as way to thwart rat populations in the neighborhood.

“We found this method of pest control is being used in other parts of the city as well as nationwide so we thought [the program] would be a good fit for our Lakeshore East neighborhood,” she said.

Locals have noticed the feral cats in the Park. “I was surprised to see a gray cat limping in the park as we don’t [usually] have strays in this area,” said Lakeshore East resident Zareen Gauhar. “My first thought was the cat was abandoned, but I found out they are brought in to deal with the rats. I was concerned for their safety and also given the freezing cold windy weather we have in the Chicago area.”

Buckingham resident Erica Meyer also shared concerns. “As an animal advocate, this is beyond horrible. I’ve never heard of this type of resolution before. It feels to me like the safety issues aren’t being taken seriously,” she said.

Open cages with camouflaged covers have been placed under trees on the east side of the park allowing the cats to come and go as they please. The cages are within an area that is currently fenced off. Feral cats live outdoors and are not socialized with humans, so are unlikely to react like a normal house cat when they are approached.

Through TNR programs, non-profits like PAWS Chicago, Tree House and Triple R Pets provide care services for the cats. Deemed “cat colony caretakers,” these organizations take the cats to be spayed or neutered and get them vaccinated. Other care may also include parasite treatment, re-homing services, microchipping and feeding.

Feral cats that receive this care are distinguished by being “ear-tipped” so future trappers know they have been neutered and are being cared for, according to a press release from PAWS Chicago. Since 2008, there has been a 41 percent drop in the number of cats in the county. According to PAWS, 18,000 cats have been sterilized.

The TNR program is designed to counter a traditional “Trap and Kill” method. According to PAWS, TNR is “the most humane and progressive way to manage these colonies and control overpopulation.”

Anyone with questions about feral cats in Lake Shore East Park can contact Vanessa
Casciano (312) 642-8869. All community calls and complaints to 311 regarding feral cats are directed to sponsoring organizations that care for the colonies.

Published on May 3

At 17, mastering the classics on violin

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

Whenever teenage violinist Rabia Mohammadi draws her bow, the melodies that emerge ardent and airy—pour out of her instrument with a sound older than the Buckingham building where she practices, than New Eastside or America itself. As she plays her Landolfi, a Milanese instrument crafted in the 1750s, Mohammadi becomes a bridge—as all classical musicians must—between past and present.

Mohammadi’s passion for music developed early in life as a result of frequent exposure to classical music.

“I always went to classical concerts,” Mohammadi said in her family’s apartment at the Buckingham, 360 E. Randolph St., where views of Lake Michigan unfurled before her. “I was always surrounded by music, especially in this city. There’s a lot of places for classical music, like [the Chicago Symphony Orchestra]. I thought that was something I really wanted to do.”

Rabia Mohammadi. Photo courtesy of Michelle
Mohammadi

She picked up the violin at age 3. Now at 17, Mohammadi practices up to seven
hours a day.

Mohammadi gravitated to the instrument for its lyrical qualities. “I think it’s closest to a human voice,” Mohammadi said. She has coaxed that voice to “sing” in an array of competitions and venues, from Chicago to Central Europe. In early May, she will play an invite-only evening with Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine at the Buckingham building and compete at the prestigious Fischoff chamber competition at The University of Notre Dame.

Mohammadi’s busy schedule dovetails with her other major interest—travel. She is learning German, and her previous trips to the country have brought her closer to her favorite composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

“I think that it is essential for every musician to play Bach, because it really helps everything, especially intonation and it helps you become a more musical person,” Mohammadi said.

Playing the works of famous composers in their home nations strengthens Mohammadi’s connection to them. “Being in the country where Beethoven or Bach was born, it does change the way that I play their works.” Mohammadi said.

The young musician has even played pianos owned by some of the world’s finest pianists, including Chopin. “That one was out of tune,” her mother, Michelle Mohammadi joked.

Her instructor, Desirée Ruhstrat of Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, said the young musician improves quickly. “Those life experiences play into her playing, she’s constantly on the quest for knowledge, and that’s what I love.”

Currently in her junior year of high school, Mohammadi hopes to continue her studies in Europe after graduation—she’s aiming for Kronberg Academy in Germany—and to spend her senior year beginning to master a new instrument, the viola.

“There’s a certain quality about viola, I just think it is very human,” Mohammadi said. “There’s something about, in particular the C string, that really draws me to the instrument, and to be able to express myself in more ways.”

Her desire to add another instrument to her repertoire comes as no surprise to those who know her. “She is just an amazingly well-rounded musician, which you usually don’t see at that age,” Ruhstrat said.

Mohammadi will perform this summer at the Make Music Chicago festival, at Carnegie Hall, in Milwaukee, at Ravinia, and in London and France. In the fall, she will perform with with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, playing the works of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.

Published on May 2.

Markets and food halls– a veggie friendly guide

Chicago French Market, Revival & Latinicity

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

Vegans, vegetarians, plant-based eaters and veggie enthusiasts across the city celebrated when Chicago started 2018 as the third friendliest city in the world for vegans and vegetarians. In an international ranking by Meetup, the ChicagoVeg Meet- up group earned the city the third highest spot worldwide, coming in only behind
New York and London.

ChicagoVeg, also called Chicagoland Vegetarian, Vegan, & Raw Foodist Community, has close to 6,000 members and hosts more than 30 events every year. Each event helps members explore new dining options, learn new recipes and connect with like-minded eaters.

On April 21, the group converged on the Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton. Located in the West Loop, the indoor market is a quaint, charming food hall with an eclectic mix of dishes, desserts and drinks. On the Saturday afternoon, the group hosted a “food tour” of the market, offering discounts and suggestions for the variety of vegan and vegetarian options the market features.

Attendee and co-host Denice Shuty shared her discovery. “I came upon the French Market one day in the Loop doing my typical Google search for ‘vegetarian restaurants near me,’” she said.

“When I got there, I couldn’t believe how many artisan food stalls there were—and
so many vegan/vegetarian choices.”

For those looking to start off with some fresh fruits and veggies, The Loop Juice
was a great first stop. This juicery’s menu features more than a dozen juice combinations, blended right before your eyes, and a mouthwatering menu of “smoothie bowls”—a blend of chilled fruit served in a bowl, topped with everything from agave nectar and shaved coconut to seasonal fruit and granola.

As the group ventured further into the market, David Costello, who started a vegan diet just one month ago, said he was enjoying the opportunity to explore some new dining options downtown.

Costello came from Evanston with his friend, Matthew Johnson, who recently switched to veganism as well. Both converted to veganism after watching the documentary “What The Health” on Netflix and becoming concerned about their health and the environment.

Raw at the Chicago French Market. Photo by Taylor Hartz

David said he was happy to find restaurants in the French Market that fit his new lifestyle and especially enjoyed eating at Raw, where he got a sampler of dishes including vegan ravioli and burgers.

At Raw, every item is plant-based and vegan. The “grab and go” style eatery has more
than 100 menu items “on a spectrum from really dense green juice to tiramisu,” said
co-owner Carol Jones.

Jones and her partner opened Raw eight years ago with the idea to sell easy-to-find vegan options. “Basically everything we make has a convenience factor,” Jones said, encouraging customers to buy in bulk as their entree selections stay fresh for up to five days.

At the Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark St., New Eastsiders can find a similar dining destination closer to home, with a modern market-style spot that features more than a dozen vendors.

The food hall garnered praise from Donna Lee, owner of Brown Bag Seafood Co.,340 E. Randolph St. “It’s a super lively, fun place that’s very fast paced, and there are options at every single shop for vegans and vegetarians,” she said.

Brown Bag Seafood Co., which originated in New Eastside, has a new location in the Revival Food Hall that specializes in Veggiebox and Powerbox—vegetable grain blends of brown rice, quinoa or wheat berry as well as salads that can all be served vegetarian or have a choice of fish added.

Black Dog Gelato at Revival. Photo by Taylor Hartz

Lee’s recommendations include the salads at Union Pizza and of course the Veggiebox at Brown Bag, but her favorite is Farmer’s Fridge. “When I’m eating vegetarian I really like their avocado toast,” Lee said.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out Black Dog Gelato for flavors like goat cheese cashew caramel, fresh strawberry or vegan blood orange or raspberry sorbets.

Latinicity, 108 N. State St., has a similar feel to the French Market, with a latin spin. The Latinicity food hall and lounge features eight innovative kitchens, a Mexican restaurant, a cafe and a full bar.

For a sweet vegan dish, try the plantains from Saladero Latin Grill, while vegetarians can opt for the corn empanada served with fresh, delicious guacamole. Ensalata offers a full make-your-own salad bar with a variety of ingredients, while Machefe Taqueria gives customers the option to design-your-own taco, although the veggie blend has a bit of a kick and is not for those who don’t like spice. To incorporate more flavor, try adding fresh avocado or sliced pineapple to your taco.

Fried plantains, sweet potato tacos and a corn empanada at Latinicity. Photo by Taylor Hartz

For a final stop, Pueblo Mexican restaurant offers the best dessert at this hall with their red kuri pumpkin flan.

If you’re considering a lifestyle change to vegetarian or veganism, or are already abiding by a veggie-based diet, there are plenty of choices for dining out in Chicago’s food halls. To explore more options, check out one of the ChicagoVeg group’s monthly “dine-out” MeetUps, where members meet to try out a new restaurant. The group’s next event will take place on May 6 at Soul Vegetarian East on East 75th Street.

‘You’re our frontline out here’ Chicago Fire Department and Streeterville Neighborhood Advocates hold life ring demonstration

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

Residents gathered in Streeterville at the Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain on a clear morning on April 28 for a demonstration on how to use life buoys.

Organized by the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and the Streeterville Neighborhood Advocates (SNA), Lt. Brian Otto of scuba team 688 taught attendees the best way to throw a life ring, before letting them take a few throws of their own.

Lt. Brian Otto of the Chicago Fire Department throws a life ring into the Chicago River  April 28, 2018. Photo by B. David Zarley

With a dive boat from scuba team 688 maneuvering offshore, Otto explained the importance of knowing what to do during a water emergency. “Residents and passersby are far from powerless,” he said. “They are in fact, often on the frontline for marine rescues.”

According to Otto, the most important thing to do is to call 911 and let the dispatchers know what is happening and where. For river incidents, providing information on the emergency’s location—like “near the fountain” or “under a bridge’—and what side of the river the incident is on, can save precious time.

Once you call 911, the next best step is to encourage the person in distress to swim toward the shore. According to Otto, many victims can swim, but begin to panic and lose their faculties after the initial shock of falling in. Encouragement can be enough to snap them into focus. Any passing boats should be flagged down as well, as they can potentially pluck a victim from the water before CFD arrives.

Next, life buoy rings should be thrown toward the person in distress. The rings are intended to keep someone afloat until rescuers can reach them and each ring can
support three or four people, Otto said. While the ring should be thrown however
feels most comfortable, tossing the buoy upwind or up-current can help push it
toward a drowning victim.

After learning the ropes from Otto, residents took turns tossing the ring to a CFD diver floating in the river.

“I expected it to be so heavy I couldn’t lift it,” said Kathy Schubert, a Lincoln Park
resident who got a throw in. “I was able to lift it, and I got it over the edge.”

Otto discouraged potential rescuers from jumping into the water themselves, as a drowning person can be remarkably dangerous in their fear and could pull them down. Also, the Chicago River doesn’t provide many places to get out once you
have taken the plunge. If you must jump in, a ring or life jacket should be taken
with you. If you fear getting pulled under or hurt by the victim, the ring or jacket can be handed over from a safe distance.

“Having grown up on the water, I’ve had this education most of my life,” said Craig
Kaiser, head of Streeterville Neighborhood Advocates and the organizer of the demo.
“I thought it was important to share it.”

Published on May 2, 2017

A brief history of New Eastside

By Nicole VandeBoom | Staff Writer

Lakeshore East Park gives residents the escape of a serene oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Residents walk these sidewalks and stroll through the park daily—but do they know the history of the cement their sneakers tread?

Before rosy-cheeked children squealed through the grass, New Eastside was home to railroad steel and stone. In the mid-1800s, Chicago was faced with a shoreline flooding problem. Upscale homes built on Michigan Avenue, harboring a lakefront view, were prone to water damage. 

Chicago needed an improved harbor and seawall, but could not afford to tackle the task by itself. Illinois Central Railroad (ICRR) was in a position to provide aid, but its price was a portion of the coveted shoreline property. In exchange for constructing a break wall from Randolph St. to 22nd St., the Federal Government allotted ICRR just under two acres of land from the old Fort Dearborn. This is where Lake Shore East Park now flourishes.

In 1955, One Prudential Plaza, 130 E. Randolph St., had its grand opening. Not
only was it the first of many buildings to create the hub that is currently New Eastside, it was also the first Chicago office built after a 21-year drought. Eight years later, a residential building, 400 E. Randolph St., was built. These buildings set the stage for transforming an industrial-centered area to the beginnings of the community we know today.

In the 1980s, the term “New Eastside” came about, giving the neighborhood a name. Metropolitan Structures also constructed 14 buildings in New Eastside during the 1980s and ‘90s. From 1994 to 2001, the area now known as Lake Shore East Park was a nine-hole golf course.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Magellan Development Group stepped in with its vision and started further developing the area. Eight highrise buildings to date, along with the Village Market and Lake Shore East Park.

In 2014, GEMS World Academy Chicago opened its doors, giving the neighborhood its first K–12 school. The remaining vacant site in the northeast corner of the park is reserved for a future Chicago public school.

Looking forward, even more growth is projected for our neighborhood. Vista Tower is expected to open its doors in 2019, GEMS Upper-Middle school is in the works and plans for three to four additional residential buildings were presented to the community. These projects will continue to foster the spirit of development New Eastside has embodied throughout its history.

Information for this story was collected from the the Archives of New Eastside News, the New Eastside Association of Residents and the Magellan Development websites.

Published April 4, 2018

Chicago on screen

By Taylor Hartz and Stephanie Racine | Staff Writers

04/04/2018

Over the past few years, Chicago has become a film and TV star in its own right, with the city serving as the set for shows like Chicago Fire, Empire and Shameless. Last year was the biggest yet for the Chicago film industry, and glimpses of our city can be spotted in episodes airing throughout 2018, including some shots of New Eastside.

A total of 580 film projects were shot in Chicago in 2017, including eight full-season television series and three upcoming feature films starring the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Goodman and Viola Davis.

Film production rates in 2017 spiked about 27 percent from 2016, with crews clocking 2404 full “production days” on city streets in the calendar year, according to the Chicago Film Office.

The office, located at 78 E. Washington St. regulates filming rights in the city, and last year issued 2200 filming permits, aver aging about 25 to 40 film permits a week.

And New Eastside hasn’t been left out of the spotlight.

Chicago Fire, the NBC drama that follows the work and life of firefighters, rescue squad members and paramedics, filmed at the III Forks restaurant near Lakeshore East more than a few times. The patio can be spotted in a rescue scene that aired last November, and other parts of the local restaurant were featured in the show’s most recent episode on March 29.

Resident Elizabeth Johnston caught sight of some celebrities at III Forks last October, capturing shots of Chicago Fire stars Jesse Spencer, David Eigenberg, Miranda Rae Mayo and Yuri Sardarov in action right in our own neighborhood. Last month, Johnston spotted the cast of Chicago Med during a shoot at local gym, Lakeshore Sport and Fitness. Chicago Med, a spinoff of Chicago Fire, also filmed on Lake Street at the beginning of March.

Richard Moskal, the Director of the Chicago Film Office, said New Eastside has a certain appeal.“Skyline vistas and its abundance of cinematic architecture is what makes the
New Eastside so compelling to producers and directors,” Moskal said.

The director said New Eastside looks especially compelling on screen, with our great vantage point of the city.

While New Eastside has certainly gotten its share of the fame, the building used as the main firehouse in Chicago Fire is a bit further south, in the University Village
neighborhood. And if it looks like a real, working fire station on TV, that’s because it is—
station scenes for the show are shot in a fully functioning Chicago Fire Department firehouse. When it isn’t packed with actors and camera crews, the firehouse, located at 1360 S. Blue Island Ave. at Maxwell St. between 13th and Racine Ave., serves as the headquarters of Engine 18.

The fire department has estimated the show films there about 22 times per year, drawing crowds of tourists year-round to check out the fictional firefighters’ home base.

While we probably all enjoy pointing at our screens excitedly when we spot a familiar setting in shows like Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, some use
these series as a way to show their city, and New Eastside, to far away family members.

Shelley Stunard, who runs a New Eastside real estate office at 400 E. Randolph St, said the show has fostered a special bond between her and her father, connecting the two between Chicago and Dallas.

Stunard’s father, 88-year-old Charles Schneider, may live in Texas, but he wears
his Chicago Fire t-shirt with pride. “He wears it as proud as his Navy hat,” Stunard said.

Stunard’s parents, and many of her friends, live in her home city of Dallas, and her parents are not well enough to make the trip to Chicago for a visit. But thanks to Chicago-based shows, they’re able to connect with their daughter by spotting her neighborhood on TV.

“My dad always comments on scenes on Chicago Fire filmed in the New Eastside
neighborhood or where our buildings are in the background,” said Stunard, “It keeps
us a little more connected.”

As for the rest of Chicago, viewers can spot other city sights in three films that will come out this year. Rampage, which features The Rock and a King Kong-esque gorilla character, hits theaters on April 13.

On August 14th, movie-goers will get a glimpse of the city that they may not be too fond of—Goodman’s new film, Captive State, is set in a Chicago neighborhood a decade after it has been occupied by an extraterrestrial force.

Oscar-winner Viola Davis will star inWidows this November, following the lives
of four Chicago widows coping with their late husbands’ criminal debts. Chicago streets can also be spotted in FOX’s ongoing hit, Empire, and Showtime’s dysfunctional—yet lovable—South Side family, the Gallaghers, will return for a seventh season of Shameless.

Tune in online for Seasons 1 and 2 of a Netflix original series called Easy that focuses on modern romance in our city, or for Amazon’s release of a 10-episode standalone sci-fi series called Electric Dreams.

A few new shows will also be debuting this year set on the South Side. Showtime
is following their Shameless success with the launch of a new series called The Chi, set in the area, and Comedy Central is set to launch the pilot for a show called
South Side.

Chicago Fire, Chicago MED and Chicago PD are all currently filming new episodes.
Beyond visible film and television productions, the Chicago Film Office also works with student filmmakers, television commercial producers, and independent filmmakers.

According to a Jan. 25 statement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the film and television industry in Chicago is definitely on an upward climb.

Chicago has seen steady year over year increases in media production since 2011, the mayor said in a statement, resulting in an estimated $423 million in job creation
and expenditures.

The Illinois Film Office—which awards a 30 percent tax credit to film makers–said television and advertising productions in 2017 employed 13,797 job hires, earning $251 million in wages.

“Chicago’s film and media community is diverse and growing, producing a wide variety of entertainment and commercial content,” Moskal said.