Ok, just a few thoughts that I want to share about lodging and hotel alternatives in Chicago. Recently, there has been an explosion of available options. You may have heard of AirBnB.com or you may have come across one of the many advertisements placed on the vacation rentals section of Craigslist. It seems as though everyone has a couch or a condo to rent by the night or week. In large part, this has been driven by both the need for alternatives and present market conditions in real estate.
I found it interesting to learn about the impetus behind AirBnB while at a Inman conference in San Francisco. The idea was launched by several guys who literally wanted to see if there was a market for renting an air mattress to area visitors. Well, there was and the site took off from there. Now AirBnB has vacation rentals around the world. Similarly, even a cursory review of Craigslist vacation rentals will reveal hundreds of lodging options from a lowly couch to luxurious condominiums with all the benefits of home away from home.
I must offer a few words of caution to those considering one of these two alternatives. First, know what you are getting. Ask if the party you are renting from is reputable. Are you turning your money over to a stranger? What protections do you have? What would you do if you arrive and the property is not available, is not as described, or worse , the whole thing is a scam. Craigslist is replete with those offering multiple ways to help you part with your money. Is the property safe, secure, etc...
In Chicago, as of 2011, vacation rentals must be licensed. Ask for that information before you do business with any rental property owner. And, that goes for AirBnB rentals as well. Just because they are listed on that site doesn't mean they are licensed. MANY MANY MANY rental operators are not licensed and by doing business with them you are at risk.
A better alternative is to consider one of Chicago's many Bed & Breakfast options. Chicago licenses all B&Bs and to get this license, the establishment has to undergo a thorough inspection by the buildings depatment and the Chicago Fire Department. Each year the properties are re-inspected. Additionally, reputable B&Bs are members of the Chicago Bed & Breakfast Assciation http://www.chicago-bed-breakfast.com. Check with that group to find links to all Chicago B&Bs.
Chicago has many alternatives to the traditional hotel, but exercise caution in making your choices. Always ask if the benefit of saving a few dollars is woth the risk of a ruined vacation or visit.
Edgewater Community Council is sponsoring the second annual "Chicago SandCastle Open" this Saturday from 10-3 at Osterman Beach at Lake Shore Drive and Hollywood.
Are you a talented sandcastle builder? If so you could take home the $500 grand prize.Details Here.
Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl 2012
Come take a bite out of the neighborhood at the annual Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl!
Enjoy your favorites, find new spots to dine, and meet lots of neighbors and friends.
Choose from the SALT Route or the PEPPER Route, both filled with great eats. Or doTHE WHOLE ENCHILADA and do BOTH routes! Tickets for one route are $25 in advance and $30 at the door; for The Whole Enchilada, tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Get your event passport stamped by every restaurant on your route, and you can enter to win free tickets the Andersonville Dessert Crawl on September 23!
Purchase tickets here, then pick up your Taste passport the night of the event at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark. Beat the rush - passports can be picked up beginning at 4:00 pm!
SALT ROUTE - Vegetarian friendly
$25 in advance, $30 at the door
Ann Sather - Brownies
The Coffee Studio - Apple & Brie Flatbread
Fireside - Gumbo & jambalaya, veggie jambalaya, meatloaf
Hamburger Marys - Mini burgers and veggie burgers
Homemade Pizza - Slices of Pizza
Johnny Brown Bag - Arancini
Kopi - Gazpacho
Lady Gregory's - Mac & Cheese
M. Henry - Pork Sliders or Veggie Loaf Sandwiches
Noodle Zone - Tofu Pad Thai
$25 in advance, $30 at the door
Andies Restaurant - Pomegranate Chicken (Veggie Options Too)
Huey's Hot Dogs - Specialty Sausages, including a Veggie/Vegan Beer Brat
JB's Deli - Sandwiches, Wraps and Salads
Konak - Chicken Chops
Marigold - Murg Makhni (Butter Chicken)
Premise - Squash Blossoms
Ranalli's - Chicken Wings
Terry's Toffee - Assorted Toffees
Vincent - Duck Confit with Pickled Cherries
The Wooden Spoon - Flank Steak Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese
EVERYONE gets to come back to the Swedish American Museum for a cookie from theSwedish Bakery and an optional seasonal cocktail tasting from Koval Distillery.
Visit every location on your route and get entered to win two free tickets to the Andersonville Dessert Crawl on Sunday, September 23rd!
Routes, participating restaurants and menu items are subject to change!
Our fall calendar is starting to fill up. If you are planning a trip to Chicago this fall, book now. Good weekend dates and holidays are going fast. Don't get shut out.
TimeOut Magazine features Andersonville storefronts in this week's article. Check it out. This is what makes Andersonville such a great neighborhood to live in. Interested in moving to Andersonville? Reach out to us here at iMove Chicago and we can hook you up.
If you are visiting Chicago soon and staying with House 5863 bed & Breakfast, the Chamber of Commerce has an excellent web site where you can get a lot of useful information about our neighborhood and upcoming events.
Visiting Chicago? Groupon often has a great deal on a 3-day CTA pass. For only $9 bucks you get unlimited rides on on CTA buses and trains. The regular price is $14. Its a great way to save and get around Chicago. Here is the link or search Groupon for CTA.
Check out this article in Martha Stewart Living magazine about our very own neighborhood: Andersonville.
Just a quick reminder: the Glenwood Sunday Market in Rogers Park starts tomorrow, June 3 at 9am sharp. It will be a great day to get out and shop of farm fresh veggies, fruit and homemade items. Support the market. Here is a Chicago Farmers Market Guide for 2012.
Alderman Harry Osterman confirmed the rumors on friday, confirming that Ann Sather restaurant will be coming to Edgewater. According to the Alderman's weekly update, Anne Sather will open in the space that was once Banana's Foster, which closed recently after the owner/operator encountered health issues which forced him to close. While we are sorry to see Banans Foster go, we do certainly welcome its replacement. Ann Sather's is an institution in Andersonville and Lakeview, where it operates traditional swedish restaurants.
House 5863 is not your typical B&B. We are different. Here you will find no Victorian decor or rockers on a scenic porch. Rather, we are an urban, hip place to stay in the heart of Chicago's north side. Our style is contemporary comfort. Our rooms are clean, cool and most of all restive Our approach is more hands off than hands on. We focus on providing for all of your needs behind the scenes without disrupting your stay. Common areas are designed for casual living. The fully-equipped kitchen offers continental style breakfast with all the basics to allow you to serve yourself on your own schedule and at your own pace. Our garden and deck areas offer a quiet respite for relaxed joy.