Monday, November 30, 2009

Wicker Park Garden Club Fundraiser Now Through Saturday the 5th

Sat. November 28 - Saturday, December 5

Fundraiser for the Gardens & Educational Programming in Wicker Park 
at Grand Street Gardens - 2200 W. Grand Ave.

HOURS - M-F 9 AM-7PM  - Sat & Sun 9 AM-6PM 

WHEN You Purchase Merchandise for Your Home -The WPGardens Benefits From Your Purchase!
PRINT attached Pdf         
VISIT Grand Street Gardens - 2200 W. Grand Ave.
SHOP for Your Holiday Trees, Greens, Ornaments, Wreathes, Garlands, Gifts, ETC  
SHOW the Cashier The Flyer - Or - Let Them Know You are a Friend of Wicker Park
Grand Street Gardens will Donate 15% of Your Purchase Price - Before Tax
To The Wicker Park Garden Club 
To Help Maintain the Park's Gardens and To Enhance Educational Programming for Adults and Children.
WICKER PARK'S GARDENS are a Registered Chicago Park District Community Gardens in the Parks

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Discounted Acupuncture this Saturday

This Saturday, I'm guessing in conjunction with the momentum of the annual Do Division Fest, there will be discounted acupuncture sessions at 1630 W. Division. Thanks to Stephanie of vive la femme for sending this release in. 

MEDIA ALERT -- Ferry Acupuncture Announces $50 Acupuncture Sessions
For Immediate Release

WHO:  Michelle Ferry of Ferry Acupuncture
WHEN:  Saturday, December 5th from 10a to 5p
WHERE:  1630 W. Division at Division Family Chiropractic
INFORMATION:  Michelle Ferry of Ferry Acupuncture is pleased to announce $50 acupuncture sessions as an introductory offer for new patients.  A Magna Cum Laude graudate from the the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine with a Masters in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelors in Nutrition, Ms. Ferry incorporates a range of holistic servcies and Chinese medicine modalities geared toward a creating natural state of vibrant health, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, cupping, guasha (muscle manipulation with a smooth tool), electro-stimulation, Tui Na (Chinese massage), moxibustion (heating of acupuncture points), topical liniments and ear seeds/magnets.
Ms. Ferry successful treats chronic and acute pain, allergies, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive disorders.  She has also had the honor of helping women conceive naturally or in combination with Western medical intervention (IVF/IUI).  Ms. Ferry explains, "My goal is to empower the patient to play an active role in his or her wellness.  I can give you the tools to become well, but only you can heal yourself."

A conerstone of Tradtional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture regulates the flow of qi (vital energy) to return the body to a state of balance by inserting hair-thin needles into specific "channels" or "meridians" on the body. It not only treats symptoms, but the root cause of illness as well.  Many people barely feel the needles as they are inserted. On some of the most powerfully active points, there may be a slight pinch, which subsides almost immediately. Once the needles are in, patients might notice a tingling or gentle sensation around the area that feels like water trickling. This is called “arrival of qi” and affirms the therapeutic effects of the acupuncture. Most people feel very relaxed during the treatment and energized afterwards. Acupuncture offers a gentle yet powerful option for people looking to address common problems such as asthma, fatigue, and smoking cessation.  
As single-sessions are usually between $75-$85, appointments for the introductory $50 acupuncture offer on December 5th are on a first-come, first-served basis; new patients should contact Ms. Ferry to make an appointment and address initial intake questions.  Payment in forms of cash, check, or charge are accepted, and patients are encouraged to contact their insurance companies to ask if acupuncture is covered under their plan.  People are also welcome to speak to Ms. Ferry about her menu of cost-effective acupuncture and wellness packages.  
Michelle Ferry, Licensed Acupucturist
1630 W Division
Chicago * 60622

opening day at bake

bake opened today at 2246 w. north.  

Here are a few images, though bake like most everything else is best experienced in 'RealSpace.'   

Friday, November 27, 2009

Not your average Black Friday

After consuming a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and then some, I decided I couldn't do the Black Friday Drill as most of America knows it. 

There were no 7 a.m lines. I awoke late, cancelled a Scrabble game with a friend due to "work" like the kind I create for myself each week, and set out to find unique objects and products a bit off the beaten path.  I also talked with the founder of an apparel company based in LA that chose to expand to Wicker Park five years ago.  I learned the 'why' behind his decision, which I'll share in Tuesday's 'Dispatches from Black Friday' story. 

Regarding this photo, which was snapped inside the shop of a relatively new local player to the Wicker Park antiques scene, if Santa had been packing a rifle, with a tuba on his back, and a beer in his hand, I doubt he would've been run over by a reindeer. That's all I'm saying. More on where I went and who else I spoke with and what I wished I could have purchased and what I did actually purchase in Tuesday's Pipeline.  

Monday, November 23, 2009

Art under $100?

That sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
Thanks to Jeff of the Coalition Gallery (a cooperative gallery of the Chicago Artists' Coalition) for sending news of this sale on. Please click on the poster to see a larger version of it, along with the names of the participating artists.

A neighborhood newcomer, though no stranger to the gallery world- the CAC was formerly housed out of the now closed Flat File gallery in the West Loop, led by kind folks who on at least two or three occasions, and not knowing me from a complete stranger other than maybe having sympathy for the plight of an ad space sales rep,  had allowed me to park in their parking lot whenever I visited a Middle Eastern restaurant across the street from them who I used to sell newspaper ads to, and who 
had no place for me to park. If anyone has ever tried to find parking in the West Loop, you know how difficult that can be, and how thankful I was! 


Threading the Needle Conference

Fashion Research Institute & Chicago Creative Lounge invites you to attend Threading the Needle: The Future 
of Fashion Design, the first virtual world-based fashion design conference in history. 

Threading the Needle gathers eight fashion industry thought leaders to present their views on a range of topics 
designed to help a global audience of fashion businesses and fashion designers 'thread their needle' and launch 
their careers.  And as anyone who has ever had hand sewn a hem knows, there is a trick to threading a needle.

Click on flier to see a larger version.   

Please join us on Thursday, December 3rd from 7 am - 4 pm at this free conference for designers, fashion design 
students, and fashion related businesses.

The Creative Lounge Chicago, located at the corner of Damen, Milwaukee & North Ave, will project the 
conference live at their 3rd floor loft.  Skype will be set up for participants to interact and ask questions to the 
guest speakers live.  Take part in this free opportunity, gain insight into the fashion industry and interact
with successful leaders in the field and your peers.
To read more about the conference:

1564 N. Damen Ave, 3rd Floor
Please RSVP or direct questions to:
Include the subject line: Threading the Needle 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spotted near Fullerton and Western

Baby's first...  slip on Crocs?

Butterflies Are Free...


The butterflies were spotted inside REarrange, at 2064 N. Damen, and trapped in glass, in the spot where Saffron used to be. It was around this time last year that I purchased a favorite long sleeved shirt at Saffron... the little nook where its dressing room used to be is now populated by cute, handmade cards. 

Inside The Red Balloon Company

The Red Balloon Company is located at 2060 N. Damen. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Two Graces

In this week's issue I focused on people, and what they're thankful for, though when I went into it I hadn't expected to hear such cool, and heartfelt responses. Frankly I couldn't think of a feature story topic, and figured with Thanksgiving approaching maybe I'll ask a few questions, kind of how when school children are asked to write about what they're thankful for, but instead pose the question to adults. 

I happened into a local restaurant almost entirely on accident today. More on why in Tuesday's issue, but for now here is another portrait of a thankful person, who coincidentally also owns and operates a business on Milwaukee Ave like Grace who I featured in this week's masthead. The person I met by chance today, pictured, is named Grace, is Korean like the other Grace, and also has a very unique story of thankfulness to share like Grace of Spin Cycle, though involving music instead of photography.  The two Graces don't know each other, and they are about six blocks away from each other. I gave the new Grace a printed copy of this week's issue featuring the other Grace, and she thought it was pretty funny, too. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inside NEW'D

A new Pipeline eNewsletter sponsor, NEW'd is an upscale resale boutique at 1917 W. Division, and would like to get the word out about its array of NEW and gently-USED men's, women's, and children's clothing and accessories. Are you looking for a new winter coat for a child who will probably grow out of it by season's end? There's a rack or two of children's winter clothing bearing brand-name labels, and in warm fabrics like fleece. NEW'd will buy your clothing on the weekends and pay you cash on-the-spot for designer, in-season clothing in good condition. Hours are: Tues-Fri 1-7 PM, Sat-Sun Noon-5 pm. 

Shopping Events Kickoff Nov. 28th

More on area shopping events - Bucktown Bazaar, December on Damen, Do Division, etc. - in this Tuesday's Pipeline eNewsetter, however, here is a flier for a gathering taking place at the Creative Lounge on Sat. Dec. 5th, which will include clothing by Evil Kitty, Anastasia Chatzka, and others! Click on the flier to see a larger version of it. 

(Unrelated to the event is an image of a squirrel spotted in Anastasia Chatzka's boutique's window on Division a few months back.)


Monday, November 9, 2009

December Shows at Gorilla Tango

December 2009 Calendar Listings:



Melody Swink, a triumphant poet/singer/songwriter/producer has now turned her prodigious talents to the theatrical stage. Creating a quirky one-woman show based on the lives of seven dynamic and courageous women, the D-Cups... each with her own unique impressions of pop media representation, body consciousness, and even bra size. Melody's collection of 11 monologues is a hilarious look at life in a youth-weight-cleavage-conscious culture! "The D-Cup Diatribes Theme Song" and "Unfasten Me" are written and performed by Melody.

Produced by Melody Swink.

Friday & Saturday at 8pm, November 27 & 28, 2009, and Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, December 3 and December 10 – 19, 2009. Tickets are $20; Rated R.


Time Traveling Mom-Dad

Time Traveling Mom-Dad is a cautionary tale of one man willing to cross the boundaries of space, time, gender and common decency to save the life of his recently deceased best friend. When his future self recruits him on a last ditch mission, he'll have to seduce his friend's parents, escape the prehistoric and cure the common heart attack. But how much can one man change before he changes everything? Not much. Surprise!

Produced by Shawn Bowers.

Tuesdays at 8pm, December 1 – 15, 2009. Tickets are $10; Rated R.


Stars In The Attic

Dan and Gizele just met at a college party; neither one of them particularly enjoying the noise and boisterousness of their classmates, neither one of them knowing exactly what they were looking for. Whether their first meeting was serendipity or the catalyst for disaster remains to be seen - and it could take years to find out. One thing is certain: their lives will never be the same.


Stars in the Attic follows Dan and Gizele through the rocky terrain of their relationship, crossing pitfalls of heartbreak, desertion, and fate. Is their eccentric behavior enough to keep them afloat, together?

Produced by Daniel Pringle.

Tuesdays at 9:30pm, December 1 – 15, 2009. Tickets are $10; Rated R.


Mark and Laura’s Christmas

Mark & Laura’s Couples Advice Christmas Special is a satire based on T.V.’s self proclaimed counseling gurus and the dysfunctional American family. Will Mark & Laura’s volatile relationship get in the way of their primetime debut or will Christmas be officially over?

Produced by Ryan McChesney. 

Wednesdays at 8pm, December 2, 2009 – January 20, 2010 (no performances Dec. 23 & 30, 2009). Tickets are $10; Rated R.


Slippery Handles

In life, we all have those days when we just don’t feel strong enough. Days when we want to throw responsibility out the window. Days when life gets so full that things we swore we’d never resort to become the exact things we have to do just keep the wheels turning. Days when life seems like it might swallow us whole while we sit and wait—laughing or crying, depending on our hormones. We juggle careers, family, households, friendships, relationships and constantly wonder if we can add just one more thing. Then “The Powers That Be” throw us a curve ball or two and life becomes an even bigger circus act! Yes, we all have days when the handles of responsibility get almost too slippery to grasp. When that happens, we have to be able to laugh at ourselves, each other, the rough times and the ridiculous things we do to keep it all together. And Slippery Handles is here to help us find the funny in our everyday struggles.


An all-female cast of improvisers—Courtney Boxwell, Jess Jones, Colleen O’Neill, Lindsey Pearlman and Heather J. Svoboda—will take you through a series of real-life monologues (chosen at random by the audience) that deal with everything from spit-cleaning a toilet in a rush to falling in love with a glass blower in Italy to switching out McDonald’s wrappers for plastic baggies so the other parents at the playground won’t judge. Using real stories, emails, journal entries or random notes submitted by friends, family and even the audience, these five women will improvise a series of scenes to make you laugh, cry and maybe even exhale.

Produced by Colleen O'Neill.

Wednesdays at 9:30pm, December 2 – 16, 2009. Tickets are $10; Rated R.


Low Toner: Decision Quality

1/2 Slideshow, 1/2 Office Meeting, 1/2 Sketch Show: 138% Staggeringly Funny. Take that Lominger...

Produced by Low Toner Productions.

Fridays at 11:30pm, December 4 – 18, 2009. Tickets are $10; Rated R.


Faith Off

God's back from a six-thousand-year-long vacation, and boy is he pissed. A sketch show that explores the worst parts of religion.

Produced by David Elliot.

Saturdays at 6pm, December 5 – 19, 2009. Tickets are $12; Rated R.


The Exonerated

THE EXONERATED, by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensin, tells the true story of five American men and one American woman who were convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. Between them, these six people spent over one hundred years on death row before the criminal justice system finally corrected its errors and freed them.

Produced by Sonia Alexandria.

Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm, December 4 – 6, 2009. Tickets are $15; Rated R.


Towards The Sun!

Directed by Brandon Kosters. A puppet rock opera tribute to Alfred Jarry.

Produced by Brandon Kosters.

Mondays at 9:30pm, December 7 & 14, 2009. Tickets are $10; Rated R.



SALSA-SKETCH is an exciting studio project from Salsation Theatre Company, the people who brought you “The Devil Wears Chanklas.” Three directors will lead three teams of six performers on a day-long project that culminates in an evening of three half hour long sketch comedy shows. Directed by Ramon Charriez, Eddie Martinez, and Michael Villarreal.

Produced by Salsation Theatre Company, NFP

Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 7pm. Tickets are $12; Rated R.


A Silent Night: Grandma Got Run Over Without Healthcare

The Fourth Annual Shantz Holiday Show

In it's fourth year, Shantz Theatre has quickly become a tradition in Off-Loop holiday comedy experiences! A SILENT NIGHT: GRANDMA GOT RUNOVER WITHOUT HEALTHCARE - Obama can't save grandma and the nation, George Bailey gets the Bernie Madoff treatment, Frosty's all out of love, and Bob Dylan revisits his Hanukkah heritage! This show will have you laughing all the way into the holidays!

Produced by Shantz Theatre.

Show Rating - R

Fridays and Saturdays at 10pm, December 4 – 19, 2009 and Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7pm. Tickets are $12; Rated R.


All performances take place at:

Gorilla Tango Theatre

1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Chicago, IL 60647

Visit or call 773-598-4549 for tickets and more information.

Audience contact: 773-598-4549,


Gorilla Tango Theatre Chicago is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GTT is steps away from the Western stop on the O’Hare Blue Line and the #49 Western, #73 Armitage and #56 Milwaukee buses. Street parking is readily available. GTT offers a variety of affordable ($3-$5) beer and wine for purchase.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sale at vive la femme, through Thursday the 12th

vive la femme is officially announcing a MAJOR pre-Thanksgiving sale!
1st item - -10% off
2nd item -- 20% off
3rd item -- 30% off
This promotion starts TODAY and runs through Thursday the 12th!
Friends and family can of course share in the markdowns.  Bring everyone!
Sale applies to all full-priced items, including winter coatscocktail dresses, and soft suiting!
Fine print:  10% starts at highest priced item, etc.
Shop early and often.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fashion Boutiques and Independent Shops Thrive in North Bucktown

(note: cut and pasted, sorry for all the ">" marks.) 

For immediate release
October 30, 2009

Fashion Boutiques and Independent Shops Thrive in North Bucktown

In the face of the withering economy and a lack of consumer
confidence, the small shopping village of North Bucktown boasts a
handful of successful independent shops who are enjoying increased
sales, record quarters, and a growing customer base. The smart,
strong, and savvy female entrepreneurs in this area represent a group
> of young and dynamic business leaders who have relied on their
> experience, intuition, and innovation to not only sidestep the
> recession, but to nurture their individual visions into thriving
> concepts that can withstand or even evade the volatility of general
> market fluctuations. Below is a sampling of four small retail
> businesses in North Bucktown who can boast that 2009 has been THEIR year.
> Longtime Bucktown shop owner, Julie Horowitz, says her almost nine-year-old
> gift shop, Virtu, has opened up a new channel to attract
> shoppers from a recession-proof market -- Bridal. By focusing on
> women who have a busy social calendar and are planning one of the most
> important days of their life, Ms. Horowitz has seen a significant
> sales increase in jewelry, hostess gifts, and thank you notes. She
> also has invested in high profile trunk shows, attracting enthusiastic
> collectors of specific accessory and artisan lines. "At our last trunk
> show people made very generous purchases, in some cases buying
> multiple objects," she reveals. Ms. Horowitz has also boosted her web
> presence to gain market share with out-of-town shoppers looking to
> purchase her artfully curated wares, and plans to imminently relaunch
> her website in time for holiday sales. Along with a consistent and
> personalized marketing program through emails to her top echelon of
> customers in tandem with biweekly e-newsletters, Ms. Horowitz has seen
> her sales raise by roughly 10% from 2008 to 2009.
> Rebecca Dohe, owner of the three-year-old Radiance Fine Jewelry,
> reveals that her well-placed internet ads, commitment to customer
> service, and unique collection of designers keeps her high-end jewelry
> shoppers coming back and generates positive word of mouth. "Most of
> my best customers are looking for different designs that their wife or
> girlfriend will not see on everyone else out there, and I strive to
> achieve that," she explains. In order to fully provide the highest
> level of customer service, she works personally with her customers,
> addressing goals, concerns, and problems with honest feedback and
> a trained eye on her products and craft. As a result of these
> strategies, Ms. Dohe has seen her sales rise over 8% from 2008,
> experiencing her best sales month during April of 2009, as well as
> enjoying her best quarter ever during second second quarter 2009, with
> March/April/May revenue doubling from last year's same time period.
> vive la femme's owner, Stephanie Sack, has seen her sales rise by 10%
> in 2009, emerging as the boutique's most successful year in its
> seven-year history. As the only independent boutique in Chicago
> offering the latest looks and trends exclusively in plus sizes, Ms.
> Sack has developed a devoted clientele of fashionable full-figured
> shoppers who look to her shop's options for work, weekends, and
> weddings. "In order to keep customers happy and outfitted, I realigned
> price points to reflect the current economy's limitations without
> sacrificing the fun and feminine style for which vive la femme is
> known," Ms. Sack explains. Clothing at vive la femme retails between
> $35 and $175, down from $65 to $575, and customers have responded
> positively to the new price points. Ms. Sack also sends a weekly
> email delineating the latest shipments and sales, and throws lavish
> events every few months to create a festive and fabulous atmosphere so
> integral to the vive la femme experience.
> Finally, Beth Brace at The Painted Lady recently moved into a larger
> space on the 2100 block of Damen, exponetially increasing the square
> footage to display her rambling collection of hand-painted antique
> furniture, as well as showcasing a matching range of bedding, wall
> art, accessories, linens, and lamps. "I keep a customer wish list in
> my pocket while hunting for fabulous wares at flea markets," Ms. Brace
> says. This delightfully intimate buying tactic results in a shop full
> of wonderful and whimical items with perfectly personal appeal to her
> loyal customer base who consistently rely on her for this
> specific aesthetic. Using a combination of reasonable prices,
> professional expertise, and an erring eye for design and decor, Ms.
> Brace enjoyed her most successful month ever in August of 2009 and has
> seen a 9% increase in sales from 2008 to 2009.
Julie Horowitz
2034 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

Rebecca C. Dohe
Radiance Fine Jewelry
2139 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Stephanie Sack
vive la femme
2048 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Beth Brace
The Painted Lady
2128 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647-4540

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Iron Pastorals," opens Fri. Nov. 6th at 360SEE

Iron Pastorals new paintings by Curtis Frillmann
with functional art pieces by Jesse Hooker
11.6.09 - 12.15.09
Opening reception with the artists Friday 11.6.09 6-9pm 

Known for his recycled paintings, in this new series of work, Curtis Frillmann employs salvaged sheet metal to create canvases that evoke the memory of Chicago's farmland roots on formed remnants of today's industrialized world.  Frillmann builds up surfaces on formally constructed found metal canvases to reflect the struggle of savage and urbane forces and to illustrate the influence man has over the land.

In Frillmann's words, Iron Pastorals  simply means, "paintings of rural and natural scenes on discards objects of industry and culture." 

The title of the series of work was inspired by a book of poetry by almost the same name, “The Iron Pastoral” published in 1947 by Chicago poet John Frederick Nims.
Like other writers of the time, Nims observed how Chicago had grown out of the meeting of prairie and lakeshore into a discordant field of buildings and commerce.

Frillmann explains, "By recycling objects, themes and even the title of the show, I express how contemporary images and objects can mingle with traditional forms, just as the modern world today mingles so closely with the natural world.  I confront the idea of what is valuable in our society.  While my work shows an underlying concern for our environment, it also seeks to reveal something beautiful.  Thus, the multidimensionality of materials, overall image, and message reflect my aim to unveil layers of our reality, and to acknowledge the wonder of how things are so much more than they appear."

Furrniture maker and artist Jesse Hooker has created three functional art pieces for exhibition at 360SEE. Eleanor and Eleanor B are a settee and bench beautifully constructed from salvaged antique yellow pine slabs and upholstered with the original back seat and interior from a 1969 Ford Mustang fastback. (Pictured) 

Lola is a coffee table inspired by the book "Lolita" by Vladamir Nabakov.  The piece is also made from salvaged antique yellow pine and incorporates letterpress inlay from the first line of the novel and has a hidden drawer lined with an original photograph.

Note: This is a cut n' pasted press release. 360SEE is located at 1924 N. Damen.  

Senior Bingo at Boo-Palooza

Collaboraction Halloween Prowl