Archive for March, 2009

Old school details

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 31, 2009

Ok, back to some more of the ole’ double decker bus tour pictures. These pictures show off some of the amazing details, of the Hilton Chicago located at 720 S. Michigan Avenue, that I WISH were used in new construction.  I do realize that new construction buildings can have a lot of details, but to me, most don’t even compare to the good old buildings.




Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Photos | Leave a Comment »

100 HITS!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 30, 2009

Thanks to everyone who has helped ChicagoismynewBlog make it to its first 100 hits!  As you may notice, I am pretty excited about this so keep spreading the word about ChicagoismynewBlog!  Check out this sweet graphic de 2009! 


– Got facebook?  Put the link up on your profile!

– Do you visit message boards?  Include the link at the bottom of your post!

– Use AIM?  Edit your profile to include ChicagoismynewBlog’s link!

– Tell friends, colleagues, your garbageman, neighbors, anyone!

Posted in Milestones! | 2 Comments »

Make a stop at Union Row Townhomes.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 30, 2009


Union Row Townhomes is a new development built by Belgravia Group.  The townhomes, which are located at 644 W. 16th Street in Chicago, comprise of 35 townhomes in five different floorplans.  Union Row’s townhomes are over 60% sold, which is a feat in itself in this market!  Union Row’s townhomes have 3 – 4 bedrooms/dens and also range from 2.5 – 4.5 baths.  Those half baths can be a lifesaver too if that’s your thing.  Two car garages are in all of the homes and the icing on the cake is…drum roll please…garage heaters.  These heaters make a -30 degree winter day bearable for you and your car.


Belgravia Group has been building townhomes and condos in the City of Chicago for over 60 years making them one of the most well respected real estate developers in Chicago.  The numbers speak for themselves too.  Each year, around 30% of Belgravia Group’s income comes from past owners and their referrals!  Now, back to the townhomes.  Union Row is still in that unnamed area South of UIC, West of the South Loop, and East of Pilsen; confusing I know.  Union Row is in the self professed University District and Chicago Arts District which has a nice ring doesn’t it?  What’s great about the neighborhood is that you can take advantage of everything from those other neighborhoods like the dozens of art galleries to Whole Foods!  All within walking distance from your townhome’s front door. 


The sales center is open 7 days a week from 10AM – 6PM so either walk in or give a call to make an appointment.  The phone number for Union Row’s sales center is 312-829-4600.



Posted in Belgravia Group, Real Estate, Union Row Townhomes | 2 Comments »

Chen’s Chinese, Sushi, & Sake Lounge (4/5 Stars).

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 29, 2009

After work today, I got together with four other friends, Tom, Melody, James, and Anna.  The girls ordered from Chen’s, the guys ordered Philly’s Best.  I’ve ordered delivery from Chen’s multiple times because their food reminds me of a place from back in the DeKalb/NIU days.  Their restaurant is in Wrigleyville at 3506 N. Clark Street.

Melody’s order:  Crab Rangoon ($4.95), General Tao’s Chicken ($11.95 – kinda pricey for asian take-out), and a California maki roll ($4.50).  “The crab rangoon was excellent” – thanks for the riveting statement Melody.

Anna’s order:  Spider maki roll ($6.95), shrimp tempura maki roll ($6.50).

Chen’s is a sister restaurant with Koi whose location is chilling in Evanston.  Thanks to their website for the pics of Chen’s and their information!  One last thing, I still get a kick out of them telling me my address right when I call…it makes me feel like a fat pig but in a…good way?



Posted in Food | 2 Comments »

PHILLY’S BEST! (4/5 Stars)

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 29, 2009

So I realize I should try to “up” my palate a bit and focus a little more on healthier/upscale foods, but today is definitely not the day to start.  Philly’s Best has a few locations around Chicago, from Greektown to Evanston and the location my friends and I always choose to order from is their Lakeview location

My, Tom, and James’ Order:  3 large philly cheese steak sandwiches with cheese and onions ($8.49 each), 3 orders of cheese fries ($2.69 each).  James and Tom said:  “Philly’s Best makes me want to come to the city to visit.” – They’re still stuck in DeKalb for a bit longer.

My friends and I ordered delivery, which took 30 minutes, and the sandwiches were awesome like usual!  Like always, I regretted ordering the cheese fries only because the dinner made my arteries hurt.  They were a bit soggy, but I guess I should expect that when something is smothered in cheese sauce.

Check out Philly’s Best when you get the chance.  You can dine in the restaurant or order online if you want to avoid the whole talking to a person thing.  My bad on not having pictures either, I didn’t have my camera with me.

Posted in Food | 1 Comment »

Earth Hour 2009!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 27, 2009

Just a reminder, Earth Hour 2009 is Saturday, March 28th from 8:30-9:30pm!  Use the hour to turn off your lights, go to a restaurant/bar that is having a special candlelight dinner, have a party to celebrate, etc.  I know I’ll try to make it downtown to take a picture of the difference in light!

Last year, there was a significant reduction in power usage, around 5% decrease over that evening in the Chicagoland area.  That is HUGE!

Posted in Events | Leave a Comment »

Sultan’s Market – 4/5 stars

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 27, 2009

In case anyone hasn’t heard of this website, it is called Groupon.  They give you a daily email on different coupons for things ranging from dry cleaning, personal training, and food.  I finally took advantage of one of their latest groupons.  All I had to do was pay $5 and I would get $15 to spend on food at Sultan’s Market.  Let me tell you what I got for $15:

1 falafel, 2 meat pies, 1 lamb shawerma sandwich, and even a piece of gum to make it exactly $15.  Two meals worth of food for only $2.50 per meal.  Nice.  Plus, Sultan’s Market has a TON of fresh foods with a small eat in area which was completely full when I walked in.  Their salad bar looked amazing also.


Posted in Food | Leave a Comment »

887 million gallons of fuel saved?!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 27, 2009

Tougher fuel economy rules announced

National fuel economy target increased by 2 mpg overall for the 2011 model year.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — The Department of Transportation announced the first increase in 25 years of the nation’s fuel economy standards Friday.

Under the new rules, 2011 model year, cars will be required to get, on average, 30.2 miles per gallon and light trucks, such as pick-ups, SUVs and vans, will have to average 24.1 mpg.

The combined fleetwide goal for cars and trucks will be 27.3 mpg, a 2 mpg increase over the current standard of 25.3 mpg.

This represents the first step, under new fuel economy laws passed by Congress in late 2007, toward a 35 mpg average – including cars and trucks – by 2020.

The Department of Transportation estimates that the 2011 model fuel economy year requirements will save about 887 million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8.3 million metric tons.

“These standards are important steps in the nation’s quest to achieve energy independence and bring more fuel efficient vehicles to American families,” said transportation secretary Ray LaHood said in a prepared announcement.

Under the rules, carmakers will be given individual fuel economy requirements based on their particular mix of models and vehicle sizes. Manufacturers that exceed the requirements will earn credits that would allow them to fall short of requirements in future years.

Since the requirements are based on averages, manufactures that sell more hybrid or electric vehicles could use those to offset sales of less-efficient vehicles.

“The finalization of the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for model year 2011 is an important first step,” Dave McCurdy, president the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing major carmakers, said in a statement. “It is now important that the Department of Transportation provide automakers with the certainty and consistency needed by setting standards for model year 2012 and beyond.”

– Thanks to CNN Money for the article!  When I first saw that they were only increasing it by 2 mpg, I laughed because I thought, how difficult is it to really match European standards for gas mileage?  Then I read a bit further and noticed the statistics which are amazing.  Right now, I’ll take almost anything that is a step in the right direction which this is. –

Posted in News Articles | Leave a Comment »

Chicago Spire finally resuscitated?

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 25, 2009

New Life May Be Breathed Into Chicago Spire

Construction Of Soaring Apartment Tower Has Been Delayed

CHICAGO (CBS) ― The ill-fated Chicago Spire could rise from the dust, after being only an enormous hole in the ground for the past several months.

A major union says its pension fund could help pay for construction of the building.

There were big plans for the giant residential tower at 400 N. Lake Shore Dr. It would have surpassed the Sears Tower – soon to be renamed the Willis Tower – as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and was supposed to be one of the tallest buildings in the world.

But the site has been empty for months, except for a broad, round hole that was dug for the foundation. The plan began to unwind after celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava filed a lien on the project, claiming the developer hadn’t paid him $11.34 million he was owed for his work.

Also, the Chicago architectural firm Perkins & Will, hired as a local overseer of the design, filed its own lien, claiming it is owed $4.85 million.

Meanwhile, the spire’s developer, Shelbourne Development Ltd., acknowledged slowing the pace of the work last fall because turmoil in financial markets limited access to credit.

But now, the Chicago Tribune reports on its Web site that the AFL-CIO’s Housing Investment Trusts are meeting with Shelbourne on Tuesday for preliminary discussions. It could be a win-win for both sides, with the developer getting the building, and the union securing jobs. 

Plans for the Spire were first announced in 2005.  The soaring spiral design of the building by the celebrity architect has won fans. Calatrava in published reports has compared the structure to a smoke spiral rising from a campfire along the Chicago River.

But unlike the John Hancock Center and Sears Tower, which would both be dwarfed by the building, the Chicago Spire does not have plans for any public restaurants or observatories. The building would be open only to residents, and that group is a select few.  The condos in the building are priced from $750,000 to $15 million each.

– A big thank you to CBS2 Chicago for the most recent article on reviving the Chicago Spire.  Click here if you want to read the actual article.  Hopefully this raises more confidence to get some sales going.  When last reported, Shelbourne Development stated that over 30% of the Spire’s homes were sold after only four months.  This is no small feat because 30% means over 350 homes.  Now this was reported in April, 2008 so I’m curious to hear how many have sold since then. –

Posted in Buildings, Chicago Spire, Polls, Real Estate | Leave a Comment »

Another Spire news article.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 23, 2009

Well, with each new news article about The Chicago Spire, I’m always hoping at least one gives us the slightest bit of hope that the Spire will actually come to fruition.  Honestly, at first, I absolutely hated the building but each day that past, I liked the skyscraper more and more.  I still wish the location was different, like in The Loop surrounded by taller buildings, but it is a really cool skyscraper nonetheless.  Check out the article brought to us by Crain’s Chicago Business

Halted Spire among world’s ‘Babel’ projects.


Posted in Buildings, Chicago Spire, Real Estate | 1 Comment »