Love in New Eastside

By Stephanie Racine | Staff Writer

Even in the frostiest times of winter, love can bloom. For one couple, Anthony Trania and Katie Li, New Eastside is an important part of their love story and where the pair got engaged in 2017.

Anthony Trania and Katie Li got engaged in Lake Shore East Park in 2017. Photo by David Li

The couple met while Trania was scouting out Washington University in St. Louis for Law School, while Li was attending the same university as an undergraduate. By happenstance, they met in the undergraduate admissions office, where Li worked and offered to show Trania to the Law School admissions office.

The two moved to New Eastside years later and have grown their love story in Chicago.
“My favorite thing about Tony is his sense of humor and how he makes me
feel,” Li said.

“For me, it’s the way Katie is always smiling, and she has an ability to light up any room she walks into,” said Trania.

The pair also shares a mutual love of living in the Tides, 360 E. South Water St.
“We love it here. It really just fit everything we wanted” Trania said.

Photo by David Li

While logistics like the neighborhood’s proximity to Li’s job and Trania’s school
were important to the couple, they said the area grew from a convenient place to live
to a part of their love story.

“I wanted to propose in a place that was meaningful to us” Trania said. He enlisted
the help of Li’s parents and friends to host a picnic and take pictures in Lake Shore
East Park. The surprise was almost ruined, as Li spotted her parents’ car parked in the
area. Trania attempted to distract her and led her to a rose petal pathway. There, he
popped the question, and Li said yes.

They celebrated with friends and family in a rooftop cabana at III Forks. “I thought it would be a cute way to be able to show the environment where we grew together and started living together” Trania said.

The couple look forward to being able to show their children their engagement photos and share with them the special place that marked the start of their life together.

Chicago Tribune to call New Eastside home in 2018

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

“It’s official: we’re moving” read a tweet from the newspaper’s Twitter account last

Prudential One, 130 E. Randolph St. will be
the new home of the Chicago Tribune. Photo
by Stephanie Racine.

November. The media giant will relocate from its home at its namesake Tribune Tower to the Prudential Plaza office complex in New Eastside. The Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue opened its doors on July 6, 1925 and housed the newspaper for 93 years.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the paper’s parent company Tronc, Inc. will lease over 137,000 square feet on the second, third, fourth, 40th and 41st floors of the 41-story building at 130 E. Randolph St., which overlooks Millennium Park. According to the report, the lease includes a Chicago Tribune sign that will be added to the exterior of the building.

The fleet beneath our feet

The Loop’s Streets and Sanitation office lies under New Eastside, with a fleet
that manages everything from street cleaning to snow sweeping

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

Part of the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation fleet hides below the New Eastside. The Loop Operations Office located at 351 E. Lower Randolp St., handles the central business district stretching roughly from 22nd Street to North Ave. and from Lake Michigan to the western boundary of Damen. During Cubs season, Loop Operations extends into Wrigleyville.

The office parking lot is stocked with cornflower blue garbage trucks, in both traditional style and split body, and white pickups outfitted with a six-yard garbage bin in the back, that can more easily navigate Loop traffic. There’s a street sweeper decked out in Cubs pinstripes hailing the 2016 Championship, a stake body truck, and a cab with a long flat bed—the workhorse that hauls Street and Sanitation department equipment.

Deputy Commissioner Cole Stallard inside an office at the Department
of Streets and Sanitation’s Operations Office. Photo by B. David Zarley

The impressive display of civic muscle provides a window into the multi-faceted operations of the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Loop Operations Office which according to its website, handles over one million service requests per year. Everything from garbage, graffiti and snow removal to hand sweeping and special event security is managed from beneath the feet of New Eastsiders.

“This is a very multi-purpose office, and it’s unique to the city,” said Cole Stallard, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Street Operations. According to Stallard, cleaning graffiti, hand sweeping and garbage collection are about the only constants of the job. “Every day is a new day down here, due to the fact that there’s just so much going on in Chicago,” he said.

The office takes on the task of snow removal and preparations for the major haul begin in July, requiring a team of about 100. Other preparations include snow fencing of Lake Shore Dr., coordinating supervised manual labor through the Sheriff ’s Alternative Work Program, street sweeping and cleanup of refuse left by the homeless.

Loop Operations is almost always open and staffed; Monday through Friday the office is open 24 hours, while Saturday and Sunday it is open for 16 hours each day. “The only day that this office closes is Christmas Day,” Stallard said. “And we come back Christmas night.”

Part of what makes Loop Operations unique is its role in special events like the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Chicago Marathon and the Cubs’ and Blackhawks’ title celebrations. In addition to cleaning up after these events, Loop Operations also helps toprovide security and crowd control. Their snow plows are sometimes used as crowd barriers.

According to Stallard, the long hours and ever-changing challenges are well worth it, as Loop Operations employees take pride in keeping the most forward face of the city clean and safe. “I’m fortunate to have down here people who really care,” Stallard said.

Stan’s Donuts opens new flagship in New Eastside

By Taylor Hartz, Staff Writer

January 2, 2018

Stan’s Donuts and Coffee unveiled their new Loop store Willy Wonka style – but with golden donuts instead of golden tickets.

The new sweet shop, located at 181 N. Michigan Ave., opened on Dec. 23 and hosted its grand opening celebration on Dec. 30 at 6 a.m. Donut-lovers wound their way down Michigan Ave. in freezing temperatures the morning of the celebration, hoping for a chance to win a sweet prize. Each of the first 100 customers who lined up for the grand opening received a box with a donut or other prizes inside, but two lucky winners found a gold-plated donut that meant they would have unlimited Stan’s Donuts for life.

For employees of the new store, the highlight of the grand opening was getting to celebrate with Stan’s Donuts’ biggest fans.

Employee Jon Becker said “it was amazing to see so many people willing to line up in the freezing temperatures for a shot at winning donuts for life.”

In addition to those lucky grand prize winners –Michael Fiorini and Cordelia Bella – Becker said all 200 people there when the store opened got prizes of their own.

“All of the customers in line received a  free donut, and everyone received Stan’s Donuts hats and t-shirts, coffee mugs and gift cards at random,” said Becker. Two customers also took home Stan’s signature pink Kitchen Aid mixers.

In a Dec. 30 Facebook post, the doughnut shop thanked “all the brave souls who weathered the weather” for the grand opening and congratulated the two winners. Temperatures were below zero the morning of the celebration.

Stan’s Donuts and Coffee, 181 N. Michigan Ave., held a grand opening for its first Loop store on Dec. 30. Photo courtesy of Stan’s Donuts.

The grand opening also featured free High Brew Coffee, one of many types of cold brew the shop offers. With 10 tap lines of cold brew, the new shop will appeal to coffee lovers just as much as donut fanatics.

Just after the grand opening, Stan’s also announced a surprise special for the new year – croissant donuts. Stan’s described the special as a European-style croissant dough with a granulated sugar coating, a pastry cream filling and a thick vanilla glaze. The square frosted donuts were available limited edition from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.

One of the first 100 customers at the grand opening of Stan’s Donuts, looks inside their box to see if they won a golden donut and free donuts for life. Photo courtesy of Stan’s Donuts.

Donut-lovers who visit the new shop will find Stan’s usual light pink and white decor, with a fun new feature on the ceiling. Above the seating area, which fits 50 customers, rows and rows of pastel colored doughnuts line the ceiling.

The new flagship store is the first Stan’s to be located in the Loop, giving New Eastsiders easy access to all the doughnuts and coffee they could want.



Five quirky gift ideas

By Gianna Annunzio | Staff Writer

November 16, 2017

Adopt a Catfish

Any Chicagoan can help make the Chicago River healthier by adopting one of its 277,000 channel catfish. These fish were released into the river as part of the “Friends of the Chicago River” restoration project. By adopting a catfish or giving one as a gift, you will make it possible for Friends to advocate for clean water and a healthy habitat. You can help the environment, and celebrate any occasion with this gift.

For more information, visit


Give the gift of lacrosse, basketball and bumper cars all in one with a Whirlyball gift certificate. ThisChicago-native game is a classic in the local scene, where a minimum of four players can drive a “souped- up” bumper car and shoot a whirly ball into the net. Some locations even include additional games like laser tag, bowling, pool and arcade games.

For more information, visit

Chicago Snuggie

There are numerous ways to support your favorite Chicago sports team, like gifting a team snuggie this holiday season. The MLB store offers a range of team options from the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears. Instead of offering your sports-obsessed friend or family member commonly gifted sportswear—like a t-shirt or jersey—mix it up this season with a comfortable way to support their team.

For more information, visit

Ritualistic Mist

The holidays are the best time to ask for something you want, even if it means using a ritualistic mist. Augustine’s Apothecary on Halsted offers the “Come to Me” kit, used to attract a person you love, a job, wealth, abundance— anything you want to bring into your life. The kit includes ritual instructions, sea salt, a piece of rose quartz,  a white votive candle, a Come to Me Mist-Spray and a love-drawing herbal sachet.

For more information, visit

Nose Warmer

Cold noses are now a thing of the past during Chicago’s cold winter months. The nose warmer is a unique way to keep your nose from freezing up when the temperature drops below zero. These crocheted beauties are available in different colors and designs, making your face the center of attention at any outdoor event.

For more information, visit

Local grocers make holiday feast prep a breeze

By Nicole VandeBoom | Staff Writer

November 16, 2017

If you find the concept of preparing, cooking and cleaning up after holiday meals daunting—or if you are busy this holiday season and unsure how to fit in meal prep—cater your meal from a local grocery store and you can still be the host with the most.

We scoped out four options in the New Eastside, their menu offerings, ease of ordering and bonus features.

Whole Foods

Ordering from Whole Foods, 225 E. Grand Ave., is easy with their full online menu. The store has special holiday menu items including cooked turkeys, side dishes and desserts. The menu changes based on each upcoming holiday. You can schedule your pick-up by date and specific time. For catering and holiday menus, visit whole

Treasure Island

A separate online holiday menu is available from Treasure Island, 680 N. Lakeshore Dr., but you must either call or email their catering department to order. Treasure Island offers traditional choices like turkey and ham dinners, as well as other meals like roast duck and prime rib. The store also offers a catering service, where uniformed staff set up and serve your meal, for $35 to $45 per hour. Orders require 24 to 48-hour notice, but Treasure Island works to accommodate customers based on their needs. “Our great customer service, our great food quality, freshly made, and our best prices, is what sets us apart from other grocers,” said Ariel Morales, Treasure Island’s deli buyer and merchandiser. For more information, visit


Mariano’s Lakeshore East location, 333 E. Benton Pl., keeps around 70–80 holiday meals in stock and usually sells out each year. Meals include turkeys, spiral hams, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry relish. All meals are fully cooked, but are packaged cold and need to be reheated when served. Orders can be placed as early as a month in advance and according to catering department employee Adam Heusinkveld, “The sooner orders are placed, the better.” For more information on catering and holiday menus or to place an order, call (312) 228-1349


Bockwinkel’s, 155 N Harbor Dr. and 222 N. Columbus Dr., offers a smaller grab- and-go selection consisting of deli and bakery trays. For the customer who needs to bring an appetizer or dessert to a holiday party, this store is a quick and easy option. Choose from meat and cheese trays, sandwich trays, all meat trays, fruit trays, veggie trays, and many more. Their bakery options include dessert trays, croissant trays, breakfast trays and decorated cakes. For more information, visit

Lakeshore East Mariano’s deli department offers a wide variety of meals, sides and trays for your events. Photo by Nicole VandeBoom.

Live holiday entertainment warms New Eastside

By Gianna Annunzio | Staff Writer and Ben Kowalski | Copy Editor

November 16, 2017

New Eastsiders searching for live entertainment this holiday season may find just what they’re looking for, without going too far from home. Options range from jazz music to improv comedy and include high-quality offerings at hotels.

November marks the first anniversary of Winter’s Jazz Club, 465 McClurg Ct., where cartoon classics come to life.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be performed a day before Thanksgiving on November 22. Additionally, A Charlie Brown Christmas will be performed on December 5 and 14. Winter’s owner Scott Stegman said the Charlie Brown Christmas show, for audiences aged 12 and above, was so popular last year that the club decided to add a second performance this year. “We recreate the exact [soundtrack] album with a three-person choir, so it’s really a charming little evening,” Stegman said.

Local hotels are also a convenient and high-quality option. This season, enjoy Latin

(Top) Winter’s Jazz Club. Photo courtesy Winter’s Jazz Club

Rhythms and pop grooves with acoustic artist Joey Edwin. This November, Edwin, whose musical career includes performances on MTV and at the House of Blues, showcases his talent at THE BAR in Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park hotel, 200 N. Columbus Dr.

Colleen Sweitzer, the Fairmont Chicago’s marketing manager, said Edwin’s music has a great rhythm, but isn’t overpowering. “He’s the perfect mix of great background music that you can also sit and enjoy it like it’s the center of your attention,” she said. “For those who are looking for something a little different, he’s great.”

While Winter’s Jazz Club and the Fairmont Chicago hotel combine live music in a comfortable atmosphere, Second City’s Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., pairs improv comedy with theater and audience participation.

Joe Ruffner, producer of Second City’s touring company, said the holiday show, titled Holidazed & Confused: Mandatory Merriment, is an annual production.

“It’s a fresh take on the holidays,” he said. “Parental advisory is recommended—it’s not your kid’s holiday show.”

Laughs can also be had closer to home at Seven Bar & Restaurant, 400 E. Randolph St., where Chicago’s best local comedians have been rounded up with Backyard Besties performing varying acts on the third Friday of every month.

Maya Epstein, a New Eastside local, helps produce another comedy show at Seven titled “Bad People, Good Comedy.” Erica Nicole Clark of Comedy Central will headline their next show on November 3, alongside comedians St. James Jackson, Chris Higgins, Tessa Orzech and Sabeen Sadiq.

“We get a mix of people from the building, comedy lovers and Lakeshore East neighbors,” Epstein said. “Entertainment options are few and far between. Seven is great because it’s this unexpected bar in the middle of a condo building. You’d never know it was there, which makes for a fun surprise for the people who come to our shows. It’s pretty amazing to see such a great line-up in an intimate space.”

Seven’s owner Mohammed Rafiq said attendees enjoy the performances Seven puts on, because there is no other club like it in the area. “We get a very good turn out with the show. If you’ve ever come to a show of ours, it’s very well produced and very overdone,” he said. “We have lights, music, a very good sound system, and very good microphones.”

If New Eastsiders are searching for a solid meal with nightly jazz performances, Bandera restaurant and bar on 535 N. Michigan Avenue is the location they’ve been waiting for. Offering American cuisine with a southwestern flair, Bandera provides great views of Michigan Ave. and live music every night from 6–11 p.m. Rebecca Schwartz, Bandera’s general manager, said nightly jazz performances have always been part of the restaurant’s feng shui. “We have three different trios that rotate each day of the week,” she said.“The Dave Williams Trio, the Paul Martin trio and the Jo Ann Daugherty Trio.”

Musical-enthusiasts young and old can also enjoy the Chicago Cultural Center’s (78 E. Washington) performance of The Nutcracker while participating in their free holiday event, “Dance-Along Nutcracker” on December 3.

Ballet Chicago performers at the 2015 Dance-Along Nutcraker performance.Photo by Elizabeth Johnston.

Members of Ballet Chicago will teach basic movements at an optional lesson at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Then, at noon and 3 p.m., participants are invited to join the dancers of Ballet Chicago for a Nutcracker performance. The Lakeside Pride Music Ensemble will also perform live music.

Mary May, the Cultural Center’s special events coordinator, calls Dance-Along Nutcracker a “darling event.” “Kids from all ages dress up and get to be a Sugarplum Fairy or a Mouse King for the day,” she said. “It’s all levels of dancing as well. What’s more ‘holiday’ than Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic?

Dental office to open in Village Market

By Nicole VandeBoom | Staff Writer

Lakeshore East residents can smile confidently this year. In late November, Chicago Dental Boutique, run by dentist and Lakeshore East resident Dr. Rohi Atassi and his wife Samia Akhras, will open in The Village Market, 333 E. Benton Pl.

The practice will provide a full selection of comprehensive dental care, including routine dental care, oral surgery, Invisalign, full mouth reconstruction, implants, laser dentistry and pediatric dentistry.

Dr. Rohi Atassi in front of The Chicago Dental Boutique located on the 3rd floor of The Village Market, 333 E. Benton Pl. Photo courtesy of Samia Akhras.

North Harbor Tower resident Nadine Ferranti is looking forward to the addition. “The fact that they are going to have a pediatric dentist is a plus. Lakeshore East is lacking things for kids here,” Ferranti said.

Akhras, Chicago Dental Boutique’s patient coordinator, notes the convenience for residents. “It is walking distance,” she said. “You can get a dental exam then pick up groceries at Mariano’s, and then be home in five to ten minutes.”

Atassi received his D.D.S. in 2011 and his certificate in Advanced Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry in 2015. He then became a member of the UCLA Center for Esthetic Dentistry faculty, teaching a course on clinical skills and working closely on expanding a new clear aligners orthodontic system. Upon moving to Chicago in 2016, Atassi began working in private practices in the Chicagoland area.

The office will have state-of-the-art dental technology and equipment, and six modern patient care rooms that promote a spa-like experience, decked out with noise-canceling headphones, massage chairs, and two flat-screen TV’s in each patient care room.

“I believe that opening Chicago Dental Boutique in Lakeshore East will make dental healthcare more accessible to our community,” Atassi said.

Chicago Dental Boutique

333. E Benton Pl.

(312) 868-0301

New neighborhood musician moves into The Shoreham

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

Detroit native Phillip-Michael Scales has earned the title of Lakeshore East’s Musician in Residence and is moving into the neighborhood. Scales intends to bring his own personal flavor to his performances, which he describes as “bluesy and soulful” to special Lakeshore East events hosted by Megallan.

Phillip-Michael Scales performs at Sonic Lunch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, summer 2017. Photo courtesy of Phillip-Michael Scalestured

Scales’ catchy interpretations of popular songs, paired with his bright smile, won the crowd this fall in the Lakeshore East Legend Contest at the 11th annual Magellan Rewards Festival, landing him the prize of living rent-free for one year in the Shoreham.

Scales said he looks forward to playing music for a living. “It’ll be great to have a place to call home full-time,” Scales explained. “[To] just be able to dedicate what I would put towards rent to more music and more creativity.”

In addition to performing in New Eastside, he hopes to offer instruction and encouragement to budding musicians in the neighborhood. According to an email from Magellan Community Relations Director Vanessa Casciano, “Phillip-Michael will be performing mostly at our Lakeshore East Magellan Property Managed buildings, but he will be a part of the Drunken Bean and all Lakeshore East Park events.”

Fellow musician Molly Coleman, who met Scales at the exhibit at the Superior Artist in residence contest last spring, believes Scales deserves his role because of his professionalism.

“He is humble and grounded,” Coleman wrote in an email. “He takes what he does seriously and he does it with style and poise. He’s got that charm going for him, for sure.”

Bright Horizon’s Fall Fest gives to charity

By Miriam Finder Annenberg | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

New Eastside’s Bright Horizons preschool kicked off a partnership with the Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home in West Town on October 21 during Bright Horizon’s Fall Fest.

The festival invited families from the neighborhood to the field in Lake Shore East Park for face painting, pumpkin decorating, and games, with all proceeds aiding in the creation of a Bright Space at the Recovery Home, scheduled to open in December.

Bright Spaces are part of Bright Horizon’s mission of supporting childhood education and development. The warm, inviting spaces, situated at a local non-profit,, feature reading spaces and arts-and-crafts areas for children.

Jennifer Smith, Assistant Director of Bright Horizons at Lakeshore East, called the project an exciting partnership that she and school director Amber Rue looked forward to initiating. 

Children line up for face painting in the Lake Shore East Park. Photo by Miriam Finder.

The Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home opened last year with the goal of keeping families intact while mothers deal with mental health and substance abuse issues. Mothers live in the center with their children as they undergo onsite sobriety and mental health treatment, while also developing parenting skills and occupational training.

Bright Horizons gathered proceeds through ticket sales, used for games and activities at Fall Fest.

“Jennifer and I got together and thought it would be wonderful to have a space that fostered loving relationships,” says Katrina Ivory, Parent Educator at the Recovery Home. “We’re all hoping it all pulls together in mid-December.”

Once completed, the Bright Space will give residents a place to come together and relax, play, and bond.

“It’s just really one of those collaborations where it…encourages children’s growth,” Rue says. “The right people are in place.”

Moving forward, Rue said Bright Horizons plans to continue the partnership with Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home, possibly by offering a cooking class or bringing families from the two organizations together for an art night.


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