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VOL. 1 NO. 4

Got a story tip or question? Call (312) 690-3092

December 2018


An up close look at the Chicago Chamber Choir


Ring in the New Year Streeterville style Page 4

You’re welcome: How to write a great thank you note Page 15 Meet Tom Alaraj, December’s doorperson Page 5

Page 8 The Chicago Chamber Choir performs holiday songs at many locations in Chicago including at Cloud Gate and Edgebrook Luther Church (pictured). Photo courtesy Carl Alexander

Art exhibition highlights Midwestern talent

Page 4

Chicago’s hottest hot chocolate

Page 11

Creative gifts for the hard to please Page 7

Streeterville Young Professional group debuts

Page 3

2 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018

How to Contact Us

(312) 690-3092

Editor: Elaine Hyde Staff Writers: Elizabeth Czapski Angela Gagnon Taylor Hartz Stephanie Racine



N E W S / S T R E E T E R V I L L E


PEDWAY TOUR Sponsored by New Eastside News & Streeterville News

Learn the fastest way into the Loop

Jesse Wright Copy Editors: Ben Kowalski Vivien Lee Bob Oswald Layout/Design: Bob Oswald Community Contributors: Jon Cohn

Eastside Enterprises LLC is the publisher of New Eastside News and Streeterville News. Eastside Enterprises has provided local community news to the Chicago area since 2012. New Eastside News and Streeterville News are monthly papers that use community writers and contributors. The views expressed by community contributors are their own. Eastside Enterprises does not take responsibility for third-party announcements or events. Eastside Enterprises is independently owned and operated. Copyright Š2018. All rights reserved.

January 11, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Meet in the lobby of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

Tickets $20 at Duration 30 minutes. Tour departs promptly. Email for more information

(312) 690-3092

Index News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-4 Community Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-6 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-11 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-14 News Break . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15





| NEWS |

Young Professionals Streeterville mixes services with mingling By Jesse Wright Staff Writer This November saw the start of something in Streeterville when the first meeting of Young Professionals Streeterville kicked off. The group is in part the brainchild of Mario Hollemans, an attorney, who was installed as president of the group, though he is far from the only young professional eager to kick off a networking group in Streeterville for the under-40 set. Vice President Casey Doherty said he’s lived in the area since graduating from college in 2017. These days he is in law school and hopes the organization will give young people an opportunity to socialize and volunteer in the neighborhood. “There is a strong young demographic in the neighborhood that wants to give back. We wanted to showcase the talents of young

The Young Professionals Streeterville meet monthly, as they did at this gathering in Nomber, to socialize and plan events for neighborhood improvement and development. Photo by Jesse Wright

people and we wanted to create a vibrant community of young professionals in the neighborhood.” Doherty said that while the group is a

younger demographic, it is professionally diverse. Another member, Dr. Valerie Mayuga, is a physician who is also in charge of the group’s philanthropic efforts, and


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Doherty said it’s just nice to know people who share common interests and hobbies. “It’s nice to have strong community connections,” he said. Hollemans said he did little to plan the group; the whole organization sprung more or less fully formed by the membership who wanted to formalize something. That said, the group will hold monthly mixers to attract more members and to network—but also to do more for the neighborhood. “There are a lot of young professionals in the neighborhood looking to give back,” said Doherty. “I think young people have always wanted to get involved and give back to their communities, and recent times have shown how important that really is.” Anyone looking to get involved with the group can email Hollemans at or check out their Facebook page, YPStreeterville.

4 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018




| NEWS |

MCA exhibit offers up Midwestern sensibility in Western setting By Jesse Wright Staff Writer In November, the Museum of Contemporary Art opened a new exhibition, “West by Midwest,” showing works by a collection of artists from our region who migrated West to develop their artistic vision. The art in the collection spans much of the middle part of the 20th century and the early parts of this century, and the media varies from sculpture and photography to painting and knitting. In total, the exhibition includes 80 pieces from artists like Billy Al Bengston, Andrea Bowers, Judy Chicago, Anna Halprin, David Hammons, Mike Kelley, Senga Nengudi, Laura Owens, Sterling Ruby and Ed Ruscha. This exhibit represents a diverse crowd creating over a long period of time, and Charlotte Ickes, a

post-doctoral student and MAC Curatorial Fellow for the exhibit, explained that viewers should avoid being reductivist in looking for common themes when visiting the collection. “[The exhibition] can mean many different things because it’s many different artists,” she said. Not only did the artists work in different media across different times, but some were expressly political, and even that political emphasis shifted throughout the decades. Ickes said the only real connective through-line in the exhibition is the constant attempts by each artists to do innovative work in whatever medium they’re working in. “Those are the shared concerns you’ll see throughout the show,” she said. Rather than emphasizing any sense of shared aesthetics or point of view of the Midwestern artists,

Streeterville’s hottest New Year’s events By Elizabeth Czapski Staff Writer For some, an ideal New Year’s means sitting at home in pajamas, watching the ball drop on TV. For others, New Year’s is the perfect time to attend a party and if it is a party one seeks then Streeterville has the answer—or answers. Whether you want to go out on a boat, eat your way into the New Year or just want to spend some time with the kids, there is something for every taste in Streeterville.

Spirit of Chicago Eve of the Eve Dinner Cruise Who doesn’t like a party on a boat? Say goodbye to 2018 on a Lake Michigan cruise aboard the Spirit of Chicago with a holiday buffet and champagne. Welcome the new year a day early while gazing at Chicago’s twinkling skyline from a spot out on the lake. Dec. 30, 6-9:30 p.m., $79.90, Spirit of Chicago, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., (312) 222-2508, Turn to New Year's Events, Page 14

the collective exhibition illustrates how regional artists impacted the national art scene—or at least the California scene in response to their individual concerns and aesthetics. For a deeper dive, don’t miss a talk on Dec. 9 led by artist Barbara Kasten. Kasten will lead a walkthrough of the exhibition with Ickes and will talk about her work, as well as the work of her favorite fellow artists. This begins at 2 p.m. and is free with museum admission. The exhibition is on display now through Jan. 27, 2019 at the MCA. The MCA is located at 22 E. Chicago Avenue and is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.,Wednesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The exhibition "West by Midwest" at the MCA features a selection of Midwestern artists who made their mark out West. Photo by Jesse Wright

NEWS BRIEFS Two new Asian food options open in Streeterville

Lovers of Asian-influenced food got two new options in Streeterville in November with Ramen-san and Poke Bowl. Ramen-san opened doors at 676 N. Saint Clair St. near Northwestern Memorial Hospital. This is the third ramen restaurant by Lettuce Entertain You and, according to a press release, the food is what fans of the River North and Fulton Market locations have come to expect, featuring items like 12-hour pork tonkotsu, Imperial vegetable broth and spicy Szechuan wings, while adding new features like a pork katsu sandwich. The ramen shop offers Asahi beer, rare Japanese whiskies and housemade shrub sodas that can be spiked with Nikka Gin. The restaurant is open for lunch, din-

ner, carryout and delivery seven days a week. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. In addition, Poke Bowl opened a branch at at 255 E. Grand, inside the Whole Foods. The restaurant offers poke bowls to go or to eat there, and the hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. While poke bowls originated in Hawaii and not Asian per se, the mix-and-match meals are notable for offering raw, marinated fish (often tuna) and last year People magazine declared poke bowls the “next generation” of sushi.

Chicago Bridge repairs continue The Chicago Bridge, between Larrabee and Halsted streets will re-

main closed for several years as the 100-year-old bridge is replaced. However, the Chicago Department of Transportation will install an interim bridge in its place. The process to instal the temporary bridge will take five months. In the meantime, the city has marked detours for vehicles, pedestrians and bikes.

Governor, Governor-elect to celebrate state’s birthday on Navy Pier In honor of Illinois’ 200th birthday, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker will make a joint appearance at the Aon Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier as part of a bicentennial celebration, Dec. 3. The party will run from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will be hosted by Bill Kurtis.






Doorperson of the month:

Tom Alaraj of the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel By Elizabeth Czapski Staff Writer

Navy Pier offers fireworks, music lineup for New Year’s bash By Elizabeth Czapski Staff Writer At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Navy Pier will put on a free fireworks show set to music. Payal Patel, with Navy Pier’s media relations, offered a sneak peek of this year’s music selection. According to Patel, the soundtrack is put together by Navy Pier’s music program coordinator and other members of Navy Pier’s art, culture and engagement team.

The music lineup Auld Lang Syne – Mariah Carey I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston Good Feeling – Flo-Rida Move Your Feet – Junior Senior Give Me Your Love – Sigala Give Me Everything – Ne-Yo & Pitbull That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars Lights Down Low – MAX Freedom – George Michael Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder Shake A Tail Feather – Ray Charles In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett Chicago – Tony Bennett Sweet Home Chicago – Blues Brothers The fireworks show will take place Jan. 1, midnight -12:15 a.m., free, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, 312-595-7437,

Tom Alaraj, doorman at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, has been working there since May of 1972, when he walked into the hotel and asked if they were hiring. Alaraj is Palestinian and was born in Lebanon. He arrived in the United States on a student visa on Nov. 6, 1967, when he was 19. He started out at YMCA College, then transferred to Loyola, then to UIC, where he studied economics. In 1972, when he asked at the Knickerbocker about job openings, they sent him to the personnel office, where he filled out an application. Then he was sent to housekeeping, where he was fitted for a uniform. Alaraj was hired. Alaraj, 70, comes to work at 3:30 p.m. and spends his shift greeting guests, assisting with their luggage, parking cars and offering suggestions about things to do in the neighborhood, he said. “I like my job because it gives me an opportunity to really do good to people and to help people,” Alaraj said. “I know

the city; I know the neighborhood, and I think I'm good at it.” Alaraj said he’s met many famous faces over the years, including Ronald Reagan, Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Hefner. He said Princess Diana shook his hand, and Andy Williams took him to his show, A Christmas Carol, at The Chicago Theatre. Alaraj described himself as “very home-oriented.” He likes to stay at home and take “lots of long walks.” As for people who want to get into his line of work, Alaraj said it’s necessary to like people and be tolerant of the weather, which can sometimes be “cruel.” Overall, he said he likes his job and he called it “very rewarding.” “I take pride in my job. I love my job. I like to do good to people, I like to assist people, I like people,” he said. To nominate your favorite doorperson, email with the door person’s name and why you think they should be the doorperson of the month. Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Mariano’s.

After almost 50 years at his job, Tom Alaraj is a fixture at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. Photo by Elizabeth Czapski

Auld Lang Syne a tradition for old time’s sake By Taylor Hartz Staff Writer As we gather to watch the ball drop in Times Square or watch the fireworks explode over Lake Michigan at the start of the New Year, a familiar tune is part of the soundtrack. The song Auld Lang Syne has been a tradition of the New Year’s holiday for decades, though the song has roots centuries old. Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the memorable words “Auld Lang Syne” in the 1788. In English, the phrase translates to “Old Long Since,” or the more familiar “old time’s sake,” according to the Encyclopedia of Brittanica. Burns’ words evoke a sense of nostalgia that has become a perfect fit for ringing

out the old and in the new: “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne.” The song “is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year,” according to Scotland’s national website. The song is played at New Year’s celebrations worldwide, and has been for nearly a century. The song was first associated with New Year's celebration in 1929, when Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo and his band, the Royal Canadians, played the song at midnight on a radio show, according to the encyclopedia. In Chicago, the song is more recent a tradition.

According to Payal Patel spokesperson for Navy Pier, Auld Lang Syne is the first on this year’s playlist of songs that accompany the pier’s famous New Year’s fireworks. This is the fifth year in a row Auld Lang Syne will play over Chicago as spectators gather to stare up at the spectacular show. “Auld Lang Syne seems to be the universal go-to New Year’s song, but it’s certainly become a tradition for Navy Pier’s fireworks show now,” said Navy Pier Music Program Coordinator Dylan Hankey. Hankey has continued adding the song to the playlist each year because it “encourages reflection on the past year’s experiences and inspires listeners to take the memories and lessons from those experiences into the coming year,” he said.

6 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018



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Showcasing Technology at LFCDS

Set on a beautiful 30-acre campus, Lake Forest Country Day School has a national reputation for excellence in educating students aged 2 through Grade 8. For the second consecutive year, Microsoft has named LFCDS a Microsoft Showcase School, thus recognizing the School's dedication to engaging students with innovative technology in order to expand learning across all grade levels. LFCDS is one of only four schools in Illinois to achieve this designation and the only Illinois elementary school. Microsoft Showcase Schools are a global community of schools engaged in digital transformation to improve teaching and learning. "At LFCDS, we believe that

the appropriate implementation of computer and communication technology into instruction is a vital component of a twenty-first century education," said Joy Hurd, LFCDS Head of School. "We recognize that many of the careers our students will pursue have

yet to be created, so our mission is to graduate students with the ability to think critically, to work well independently as well as part of a team, and to use technology in pioneering ways to solve problems and communicate effectively. Microsoft technology enables us to achieve these goals." The School has hosted and participated in a number of events designed to both inspire student learning in innovative ways and to encourage students to use technology to be responsible citizens of the world. From lessons in art and meteorology with Google's augmented-reality (AR) technology to entire classes experiencing virtual reality (VR) together with a classroom set ofVR goggles to traveling

10,556 virtual miles during Microsoft's Skype-A-Thon, LFCDS students are engaged with extraordinary learning opportunities each day. This fall, the School launched a Pop Up Innovation series for educators interested in earning professional development hours centered on technology in the classroom. LFCDS students are in the unique position of co leading the Pop Up Innovation workshops, giving them the opportunity to help give back to the educational community while honing their communication and presentation skills. "As a Microsoft Showcase School, we have pledged to share ideas and best practices in using Microsoft technology for teaching and learning

“ I encourage my students to solve artistic problems creatively and to strive for a unique perspective. LFCDS students are eager to see what they can create and recognize that they can reach beyond their expectations of themselves as artists. I teach at LFCDS because authenticity and academic rigor are honored and encouraged in the teachers, in the curriculum we develop, and in our students. This combination of individualism and high expectations provides the foundation for an incredible education.”   – Rhonda Venard-Darin, Lower School & Upper School Visual Art Teacher

Come See Inspired Teaching in Action! Open Houses

Thursday, January 10 • Thursday, February 7 • Tuesday, March 12 • 9 am RSVP at or 847.615.6151 • LFCDS • 145 South Green Bay Road, Lake Forest •

with educators and schools in our surrounding communities, "said Mr. Hurd. "Our students regularly present at tech conferences throughout the Chicagoland area, so the opportunity to present our own technology and innovation workshops aligns seamlessly with the focus of both our mission and our curriculum." Lake Forest Country Day School serves students from more than 36 communities throughout Chicago, the North Shore, and beyond. LFCDS is committed to inspired teaching, academic rigor, attention to individual needs, and responsible citizenship as well as the dedication to producing students of strong character with a passion for learning. Bus service to some areas is available.



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Unique experiences and gifts for the pickiest people on your list By Taylor Hartz Staff Writer

Soft-Baked Dog Treats

Made from upcycled nutritious ingredients

5 Delicious Flavors


It’s December and the deadline looms for Christmas shopping. That one person remains without a gift. That person who has everything. What to do?

Get crafty with it On Dec. 6, stop by the Sauced Night Market from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 12 S. Michigan Ave. for a variety of arts and crafts. The Chopping Block provides plenty of gift opportunities, Pick up a hand-carved including the chance to learn to cook gourmet food. Photo courtesy of the Chopping Block cooking utensil, tray, cutting board or serving cookies and bourbon toffee truffles. platter from Wild Cherry Spoon Co. All of their products are created “from urban Native Chicagoan Lauren Bautista domestic lumber,” said Tim McGuire, owner and artisan. started Pi Design Prints to combine her passions for the city and beer. Bautista’s At Prism Homegrown, owner Katie handmade drink coasters decorated Widmar designs “modern bohemian with typography and patjewelry using raw gemterns are a great addition to stones and gemstone beads” any table. to create one-of-a-kind pieces, while the folks at Or set a course for The Bitter Ex Bitters Comcrafting pany create one-of-a-kind The Chopping Block at drinks. Ryan Rezvani, owner Merchandise Mart offers a and co-founder, produces variety of cooking, baking original bitters, which can and wine-pairing classes be used to liven up desserts, Slapass creations offer art sure to improve anyone’s coffees and cocktails. to brighten up any space skills in the kitchen. or closet. Choose from classes such Finally, stop by Slapass as “War and Wine,” which gives a lesson creations for art to brighten up any space on the history of WWII and battles over or closet. Matt Sczech, artist, creates all European wine cellars, learn how to the vibrant art sold on pins, prints and master a pasta roller and serve up the clothing. perfect plate of pasta with “Pasta Boot Louisa Mahoney at Bettyplum HomeCamp,” or discover the art of bread with made Confections aims to carry on her “Artisanal Breads.” family’s legacy of homemade holiday candies with toffee, caramels, toffee

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8 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018



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Getting a look inside Macy's Windows Cloud Gate choirs set soundtrack to the season By Jesse Wright Staff Writer The Christmas season means cold weather, good family, friends, warm wishes and…music. No matter the person, a love of Christmas carols is almost universal and perhaps no choir knows that more than the Chicago Chamber Choir, a group that includes some of the city’s top talent. The choir should be familiar to downtown residents. Executive Director Kayleigh Duduvoir was, until recently, a Streeterville resident and her choir performs regularly in the area—they have a Dec. 20 performance at the Clare on their calendar—and they also sing at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. That performance is slated for Dec. 7, but before the big show, Duduvoir offered a look behind the scenes of one of the city’s top choirs. “Usually our official season begins in October, but we get Christmas requests as soon as mid-November,” she said. This month at Cloud Gate, Dudevoir said guests can expect to hear a mix of Christmas music.

“Some traditional Christmas carols like ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Deck the Halls’ and so on, as well as Christmas-themed but not traditional carols” will be sung in the park, she said. Dudevoir said the choir has been performing at Cloud Gate for several years—it’s her sixth season with the group—and she said it’s always enjoyable for the choir and for the attendees. “We’ve done a number of performances there and there are always lots of children,” she said. Guests will bring hot chocolate to sip while they listen and, Dudevoir said, if it’s not too terribly cold, the choir tries to wear festive sweaters, so it’s not so formal. The city invites folks to hear some of the best choirs in the city perform Christmas carols for free at Cloud Gate. All performances begin at 6 p.m. and wrap up by 7 p.m. Admission is free. Performances by other choirs at Cloud Gate will be Dec. 12 and 14 at the same times. To check out the Chicago Chamber Choir, its website,, includes all upcoming dates.


The best places to see and be seen with Santa By Jesse Wright Staff Writer Adults may dream of a white Christmas, but for many kids, the holiday evokes another color altogether as a trip to see the old man in red is almost compulsory. Luckily, children in and around the downtown area have plenty of options: New Eastside resident Teddy Barnett, 11 months, meets Santa at Macy’s on State Street. Photo courtesy Maria Barnett.

What it takes to create the Christmas displays

Water Tower Place

By Jesse Wright Staff Writer The weather’s cold. Snow flurries dance through the crisp air. Even so, a crowd of people gathers, pausing to peer into windows on State Street. The windows at Macy’s attract tourists and Chicagoans because whether it is a “I’d recommend first-time visit or a longtime that viewers get tradition, there’s something in those windows everyone up close to the wants to see. glass and look “We come every year,” said Karen Rivera, who visited the at every inch. windows with her husband Then step back, Aqui and their granddaughter Amelia. so they’ll see “We used to bring her the small details father when he was a boy,” start to pop out, Karen explained. But no matter how many showing how ex- times they come, what most citing the entire people don’t see—what they can’t see—is the planning. window is.” Brian Pelusa, the store’s Brian Pelusa visual manager, is the man Visual Manager, Macy's on behind the windows. This is State Street Pelusa’s first year as the visual manager for the State Street store, though he has 20 years’ worth of experience as assistant visual manager at the Macy’s in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, Pelusa’s come to understand what these displays mean to people, both locals and tourists alike. Even though Christmas window displays take up a small amount




The Chicago Chamber Choir is a fixture in the neighborhood, especially around the holidays. Photos courtesy of Carl Alexander

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The shopping’s never been better at Water Tower Place, a Mag Mile institution, and this year just as in years past, Santa will be around to meet with kids and pets. Reservations are encouraged to avoid a wait and there are various theme nights—like pajama night—so be sure to scroll through the options to get the perfect fit. To find the best night for your schedule and to make a reservation, check www.

The Driehaus Museum

The windows at Macy's, 111 N. State Street, attract tourists and Chicagoans whether it is a first-time visit or a longtime tradition. Photos by Jesse Wright

of time and space in the Macy’s year, they’re a big deal. It’s a lot of work getting folks coming back, year after year, for generations. “The planning and execution process can take anywhere from nine months to a year,” Pelusa said in an email. “Usually once the holiday windows are unveiled for the season, the brainstorming begins for the next year’s windows.” Macy’s is a chain, so the store on State Street is part of a larger, national conversation that includes themes. After the stores agree on a look, the decorations are shipped out. “This year’s window displays were packed and shipped in 20 pallets/crates made up of 15 double-length and five standard-sized skids,” Pelusa said. “Also, we typically use about 50-60 pounds of fake snow in each year’s displays.” The installation team consists of four or five people, and Pelusa’s visual design team includes four people who add the finishing touches. Turn to Windows, page 11

Aqui Rivera stands with his granddaughter, Karen, at the State Street Macy's window display. For the Rivera family, visiting the windows is a holiday tradition. Photo by Jesse Wright

This popular destination has added Sunday dates for Santa. Kids under 2 are free, tickets for kids up to 12 are $15 and adult tickets are $20. The tickets include activities like sing-a-longs, story times and Kids get a chance learn family fun. Anyone some history while visiting Santa at the Driehaus interested should Museum. Photo courtesy the get tickets as soon Driehaus Museum as possible, as several dates have already sold out. For more information, check the museum website at

ing area for children. This event includes a toy drive, so be sure to bring a new, unopened gift for a child in need. For more information, call (312) 235-7063 or email

Shedd Aquarium Breakfast with Santa The Shedd Aquarium is offering a full morning of fun with Santa every weekend leading up to Christmas. Ticket prices vary for members and non-members, but the event includes breakfast, crafts, a Polar Express train ride and parade, an aquatic presentation and more. For more information, visit

Macy’s State Street Santa Events Breakfast no good? Well, Macy’s has the solution for parents who want more options. The State Street department store is offering breakfast, lunch and dinner to folks who need some variety in scheduling time to visit Father Christmas. The events run through the month. For more information, visit

Skate with Santa at Maggie Daley Park Anyone who wants to get the kids out and about could do worse than this free opportunity to join Santa on the ice at Maggie Daley Park in the heart of the New Eastside. On Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon, kids can lace up and hold hands with the jolly red elf. For more information, visit

Swissotel’s Santa Suite The hotel admits their newly-renovated Santa Suite is over the top, so expect to be wowed on the 41st floor by sights, sounds and decorations. The suite is open through Dec. 23 and tickets begin at $15 for individuals, and family packs can be had for $40. For more information, visit

Soldier Field Breakfast with Santa

Other places to find Santa

For a full morning with the big man, why not sign up for breakfast with Santa at Soldier Field on Dec. 8? Adult tickets are $50, $25 for kids ages 4-12 and free for younger kids. The tickets include a train display, an ornament contest and a cookie decorat-

If you still can’t get enough Santa, follow the merry fellow through Chicagoland and beyond. Santa will be visiting a number of nearby suburbs, and families can visit him in a variety of places. For more information, check out

10 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018



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The Walnut Room adds a dash of magic to any meal By Angela Gagnon Staff Writer

Chrissy Immel, Becky Immel, Barb Schneider and Jenny Immel at the Christkindlmarket.

What’s new at the Christkindlmarket By Elizabeth Czapski Staff Writer Since 1996, the Christkindlmarket in Chicago has been delighting visitors with holiday food and wares with European flair. Modeled after the famous Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany, Chicago’s version hosts vendors from Illinois, Germany and even as far away as Bethlehem and Nepal. This year’s market offers a mixture of the familiar with some new additions. Here’s what’s new this year, according to Kate Bleeker, director of expansion and market development for Christkindlmarket Chicago.

The Mugs Christkindlmarket’s signature mugs have become a collector’s item over the years, and this year the market will offer three-packs of heart-shaped mugs representing each of the market’s locations— Chicago, Naperville and Milwaukee. Individual mugs are also for sale; fill one with Glühwein to warm yourself up. For kids, there’s a special “Oma” (Grandma in German) snowman mug.

The Vendors More than 50 vendors from all over the world will be at the market selling handcrafted pieces, Christmas decorations, food and beverages. New this year is a pop-up booth that will rotate

A selection of wares from around the world. Photos by Elizabeth Czapski

vendors every few days to give guests a unique experience every time they visit.

Who’s hungry? Cheese lovers rejoice! Food vendor Brunkow Cheese will be offering an indulgent new food item—Raclette sandwiches. Raclette cheese is melted, then spread onto fresh bread and finished with the toppings of your choice. Look for it at the Baked Cheese Haus booth. This year, Christkindlmarket Chicago is partnering with Hannah’s Bretzel. The sandwich chain will have its own “Official Sandwich of the Christkindlmarket,” and the market’s souvenir mugs will be available for purchase at all Hannah’s Bretzel Chicago locations. For a full list of vendors and events, see

What’s it like to dine in the Walnut Room during the holidays? Whether it’s your first time setting foot in the elegant 17,000 squarefoot dining room located on the seventh floor of Macy’s Department Store on State Street, or you’re a seasoned veteran, a visit there will put you right in the holiday spirit. The Walnut Room opened in 1905 and has become a cherished landmark in Chicago. Come holiday time, the Walnut Room is transformed into a festive wonderland with the famed 45-foot Great Tree as the centerpiece. Suspended from the ceiling, the iconic Great Tree is adorned with more than 2,000 ornaments and features thousands of sparkling lights. “Dining in the Walnut Room during the holidays is a beloved Chicago tradition,” said Carolyn Ng Cohen, Director of Media Relations at Macy’s. “With already plenty of magic in the air inside Macy’s Walnut Room, fairy princesses can make it even more special for believers of all ages.” The Walnut Room princess fairies come each year upon the arrival of the Great Tree to spread magic and Christmas cheer, flying in from the North Pole, Candyland, Sugarplum Island and other magical places. Dressed in gowns, the fairies will charm guests of all ages. By customer request, they’ll appear tableside, asking patrons to make a wish and sprinkle some glittery fairy dust to help the wish come true. You may even get a visit from Fairy Snow Queen Jade Nicole, who has been sharing her fairy magic with Walnut Room diners for over a decade. Nicole first came to the Walnut Room 11 years ago as the Keeper of Christmas Wishes from the North Pole. “Each day I would give children and adults the chance to make a wish with a little fairy dust and a magical song. Then, I would bring their magical wishes to Santa Claus,” said Nicole. “Some wishes are simple—a toy or a present, but some wishes are much bigger—peace on earth, comfort for the sick, hope and

Dillon Johnston, 6, of New Eastside visits with Fairy Snow Queen Jade Nicole at the Walnut Room. Photo submitted by Elizabeth Johnston

happiness. I like to give everyone the chance to make three wishes,” the Fairy Snow Queen said. “A wish for yourself, a wish for someone else and a wish for the world.” “This will be our sixth year making our annual trip to the Walnut Room,” said New Eastside resident Elizabeth Johnston, who goes with her 6-year-old daughter Dillon and a group of friends. Their evening starts with a visit to Santa in Macy’s Santaland on the fifth floor, and then they head to the Walnut Room for dinner and fairy princesses. “Our favorite thing about the whole experience is the fairy princess,” says Johnston. “It’s so cute to watch the little girls and boys admire her. It’s a heartwarming experience to say the least, which is what brings us back year after year.” The Walnut Room menu includes both a Holiday Great Tree buffet offered daily, as well as a la carte options. Guests can also sample Mrs. Hering’s famous original chicken pot pie which features the same recipe that has been served since 1890. For more information about dining in the Walnut Room, including holiday hours and pricing, visit walnut-room.



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Cold weather, hot chocolate: Getting the most from your mug By Taylor Hartz Staff Writer When the weather gets cold and the Christmas tunes start playing, nothing warms you up like a mug full of hot chocolate. For the best tastes, check out: Hot Chocolate Bakery, 125 S. Clark St. (inside Revival Hall) Start with the Medium for a basic milk chocolate flavor with a touch of caramel, then move on to the Dark, made of 72 percent dark chocolate. Mexican hot chocolate is also available at $6 per cup. Drinks include a house-made marshmallow that takes up almost the whole mug and adds a milky sweetness as it melts. Adults can try the drink with cognac, whiskey, rum or brandy.

Bombo Bar, 832 W. Randolph St. The West Loop’s hot spot’s “hotter chocolates” are overflowing with toppings and flavor. Snap some photos of these Instagram-worthy treats before you start sipping. The Hotter Chocolates, $9 each, come in two flavors—S’mores and Party Monster. The drinks may be spiked with Baileys, Stoli Vanilla Vodka, RumChata, Jameson or Grand Mariner for $8. Ghiradelli 400 or 830 N. Michigan Ave. At Ghirardelli, try the Lombard Street Hot Cocoa for $4.25—a cup of hot steamed milk served with four of the

chocolate shop’s sweet milk chocolate and truffle squares to mix into your drink, or try the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa topped with whipped cream, served with milk chocolate caramel squares. Dylan’s Candy Bar, 663 N. Michigan Ave. Chocolate—hot or frozen—runs for $6, topped with whipped cream, hot fudge and mini marshmallows. L.A. Burdick, 609 N. State St. This 30-year-old New England chocolate shop and cafe has just one Midwestern location—and this is it. The Chicago shop opened in 2017, and though they are known for their European chocolates, L.A. Burdick Downtown Chicago offers a variety of hot coalso offers a variety of hot cocoas—dark, coas for all tastes—and temperatures. Photo by Taylor Hartz milk, white or spicy—that start around $5.

Macy's windows theme, 'Reasons to Believe' Continued from page 9

Each window has its own theme and color palette, though there is at least one constant feature used to tie the all the displays together visually. Photo by Jesse Wright

When Pelusa is designing the windows, he has to bear in mind the history of the tradition. He explained the store has shown displays since the 1870s—and over those years, they have developed quite a reputation. “Macy’s was the first store to feature holiday windows created for the pure fun and joy of the season and, with that, began a tradition that still lives on today in numerous cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Salt Lake City,” Pelusa said. “In Chicago specifically, we’re celebrating the 51st anniversary of our annual holiday window display at Macy’s on State Street.” But that doesn’t mean the display itself is old. While some of the iconography

like Santa may remain consistent, Pelusa said the general themes do change. “Each year a few new elements are added,” he said. “This year, we are excited to continue to celebrate all the Reasons to Believe.” Each window also has its own theme and color palette, though there is at least one constant feature used to tie the all the displays together visually. “Borders are placed around the windows to add to the overlying theme and to reflect Macy’s particular branding style,” Pelusa said, adding that so much work and care goes into the windows, he understands why they attract people. There’s a lot to take in, and he has some advice on how to do it right. “There are so many meticulous details in each window—from the sculpting of

the caricatures, to the props, to the backdrops and more,” he said. “I’d recommend that viewers get up close to the glass and look at every inch. Then step back, so they’ll see the small details start to pop out, showing how exciting the entire window is.” Finally, for anyone looking to spruce up their own windows—or a room—with Christmas spirit, Pelusa has some advice. “A good tip that I would recommend to anyone decorating their home for the holidays is that lighting and color go a long way, but when you add music plus a fragrance, such as a candle or potpourri, the decorations become even more captivating since they will touch on all your senses,” he said. Check out the window displays through Christmas at 111 N. State St.

2018 12 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018




| STREETERVILLE EVENTS | Schedules are subject to change. Call venues to confirm event information. To submit events or advertise on this page, email


Holiday Lights Trolley Tour Hop off at the Christkindlmarket and the ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo to really get into the holiday spirit. Advanced reservations recommended. Mondays– Thursdays beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Fridays–Sundays on specific dates. $20 (ages 15 and under), $32 (adults), tours begin at the John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave., Holiday Tea at Palm Court Enjoy tea and pastries in The Drake Hotel’s elegant Palm Court with holiday music from carolers and a harpist. Continues through Jan. 13, 2019, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. every half hour, $25 (children), $52 (adults), The Drake, 140 E. Walton Place, (312) 787-2200, Christkindlmarket Chicago Modeled after traditional German Christmas markets, Christkindlmarket Chicago has been a tradition in the city since 1996. International and local vendors come together to sell traditional crafts, Christmas decorations and yummy treats. Sip some glühwein and enjoy the festive atmosphere in Daley Plaza. Continues through Dec. 24, Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., free, 50 W. Washington St., Daley Plaza, (312) 494-2175, Ice skating in Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park The ice rinks at Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park will open for the skating season. Take your ice skates for a spin this winter for free in either park. Skate rental is available for an extra cost. Continues until March 10, 2019, hours vary, free, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., (312) 742-1168, A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a classic that’s sure to be fun for the whole family and perfect for getting into the holiday spirit. Continues until Dec. 30, times and ticket prices vary, Goodman

Forum, Dance Dialogues at the MCA 6 to 8 p.m. Join past Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists in the MCA Commons for live, artist-to-artist exchanges of movement, ideas, and process. The MCA is located at 220 E Chicago Ave and the event is free.

Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., (312) 4433800, ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo The Lincoln Park Zoo’s magnificent ZooLights will be on almost every evening until Jan. 6, 2019. Various festive events will accompany the lights throughout the holiday season. Continues until Jan. 6, 2019, 4:30–9 p.m., free, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., (312) 742-2000, for a full schedule see The Bellhop Bar The Loews Chicago Hotel is home to The Bellhop Bar until mid-January next year. Inspired by travelers of the past and “the golden age of the cocktail era,” guests can choose from pre-batched drinks and domestic wines. 5–7 p.m., cocktails from $8, Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Drive, (312) 840-6600, Cheer at the Pier: Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest The Winter WonderFest is Chicago’s “biggest and best indoor winter playground,” featuring an open bar for adults, appetizers, rides and activities. Continues until Jan. 7, 2019, 5–9 p.m., $15 (youth ticket), $50 (adults), Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, (312) 595-7437, Cinderella at Lyric Opera With music by French composer Jules Massenet, Cendrillon is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Children and adults will delight in this lively production with its whimsical costumes and choreography. Continues until Jan. 20, tickets start at $69, Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive, (312) 827-5600, for showtimes see The Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet The Joffrey Ballet presents The Nutcracker, perfect for the holiday season. Christopher Wheeldon’s reimagined version is set at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, adding some local flair to a classic production. Continues through Dec. 30, tickets start at $35, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, (312) 386-8906,

Dec. 5 Emerald City Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Playing at the Broadway Playhouse through Dec. 30, the production runs 45 minutes without intermission. This is a merry, modern mystery. Go on a playful polar odyssey with Emily and her best friend Amos the mouse as they search for Santa’s missing Naughty or Nice List. Teamwork, determination and heart save the day in this fantastic, slapstick holiday affair. A returning favorite filled with yuletide swashbuckling, this cheery production is a holiday hit for all ages. Tickets start at about $25.

Dec. 1

Petit Margeaux Holiday Market The Waldorf Astoria’s Petit Margeaux café will open up its patio as an outdoor holiday market, featuring tasty snacks like raclette cheese sandwiches and roasted nuts. On Saturdays from 12–1 p.m., executive pastry chef Ashley Torto will lead a free cookie decorating class. A gingerbread house decorating class will take place on Dec. 15 for $35 per child. Continues until Dec. 23, 12–4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, free, Petit Margeaux, 11 E. Walton St., (312) 625-1324, michaelmina. net/restaurants/chicago/petitmargeaux Chicago Santa Speedo Run If you’ve ever wanted to run a mile in downtown Chicago while wearing a speedo and a Santa hat, this is the event for you. All proceeds support the Chicago Diabetes Project. 11 a.m., $50, She-nannigans, 16 W. Division St.,

Dec. 4

In Progress: Chicago Dancemakers

STOMP at Broadway Playhouse This renowned percussion group uses unconventional instruments such as matchboxes, brooms and garbage cans to put on an exciting performance. Continues through Dec. 30, showtimes vary, tickets start at $39, Broadway In Chicago, 17 N. State St., (312) 977-1700,

Dec. 6

The Last Speakeasy On The Eve of Repeal The Chicago History Museum celebrates the 85th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with an event worthy of the Roaring Twenties. Get dressed to the nines and join the party! Tickets include light bites, drinks, a bartending competition and more. 7–11 p.m., tickets from $75, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., (312) 642-4600,

Dec. 7

Caroling at Cloud Gate Sing along with local Chicago choral groups as they perform holiday classics. Also Dec. 12 and 14, 6–7 p.m., free, Cloud Gate (The Bean) in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., (312) 7421168,

Dec. 9

Taiko Legacy 15 at MCA Japanese drums called taiko take center stage in this performance by the Tsukasa Taiko ensemble. Professional classical and contemporary performers come together to play in one of the largest taiko drumming concerts in the Midwest. 2 p.m., $15 (children), $20 (adults), Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., (312) 280-2660,





| STREETERVILLE EVENTS | Schedules are subject to change. Call venues to confirm event information. To submit events or advertise on this page, email

Dec. 11

The Office/Home Alone Trivia Test your knowledge of The Office’s holiday episodes and Home Alone with trivia at Pinstripes. The Office Trivia is on Dec. 11, Home Alone on Dec. 18, both from 7:30-9:30 p.m., free, RSVP required, Pinstripes, 435 E. Illinois St., 312.527.3010,

Dec. 14

Northwestern Medical Orchestra Northwestern Medical Orchestra’s fall concert features members of the medical community. The program includes pieces by Mendelssohn, Williams, Bernstein and Tchaikovsky. 7—8:30 p.m., free, registration required, Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave., (312) 503-3100, Rollin’ with Frosty Enjoy a day at roller skating at Lake Shore Park for all ages. Availability of skates is limited. 6–8 p.m., free, Lake Shore Park, 808 N. Lake Shore Dr., (312) 742-2001,

Dec. 15

YLD’s Big Fundraiser with James Corden Jewish United Fund’s Young Leadership Division is fundraising to build a stronger Jewish community. The event will feature stand-up comedy from James Corden, an after-party and an after-after party. Cocktail attire, 21 and over, 8:15 p.m.—midnight, $110, Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 E. North Water St., (312) 464-1000,

Dec. 19

Amy Schumer at The Chicago Theatre The comedian and actress is on tour and will be spending two days in Chicago. Distract yourself from the stress of holiday shopping with some laughs at The Chicago Theatre. Also Dec. 20, 8 p.m., tickets from $128, The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., (312) 462-6300,

Dec. 20

Sequence Ch!cago: A Blues Christmas Sequence Ch!cago features inspiring performers from various Chicago neighborhoods. Enjoy bluesy Christmas tunes at this event. 7–8:30 p.m., free, Aon Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., (312) 595-7437,

Dec. 22

Brunch with Santa at The Drake Meet Santa and enjoy a holiday buffet in The Drake’s Camellia Room. Also Dec. 23, 12—4 p.m., $35 (children), $82 (adults), The Drake, 140 E. Walton Place, (312) 787-2200,

Dec. 25

Christmas Day Dinner at the Drake Celebrate the holiday with a four-course prix fixe menu in The Drake’s Camellia Room. 12—6 p.m., $35 (children), $89 (adults), The Drake, 140 E. Walton Place, (312) 787-2200,

Dec. 30

Spirit of Chicago Eve of the Eve Dinner Cruise Say goodbye to 2018 on a Lake Michigan cruise aboard the Spirit of Chicago with a holiday buffet and champagne. 6–9:30 p.m., $79.90, Spirit of Chicago, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., (312) 222-2508, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert The Strauss Symphony of America and the Chicago Philharmonic present a New Year’s program featuring waltzes, melodies from operettas, ballet and more. Experience the music and artistry of Vienna right here in Chicago. 2:30 p.m., tickets from $33, Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 2943000,

Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve at Eataly Eataly is throwing the perfect New Year’s party for food-lovers with fresh pasta, pizza, alpine fare like melted cheese and red wine, desserts, cocktails and a live band. Tickets include

unlimited food, drinks and entertainment. 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., $125, Eataly Chicago, 43 E. Ohio St., (312) 5218700, Zoo Year’s Eve at Lincoln Park Zoo Ring in the new year under the ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo and spend the early hours of 2019 browsing the zoo’s animal houses. There will be cash bars, ice sculpting and more. 9 p.m.—1 a.m., tickets from $10, 21-and-up, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., (312) 742-2000,

Kids List Dec. 1

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light The Museum of Science & Industry’s annual exhibit features a four-story grand tree surrounded by more than 50 trees representing holiday traditions from around the globe. Continues until Jan. 6, 2019, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m., included with museum admission, $12.95 (children 11 and under), $21.95 (adults), Museum of Science & Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, (773) 684-1414, The Polar Express at Union Station Put on your coziest pajamas and head to Union Station for a recreation of The Polar Express on board a real Amtrak train. Passengers are served hot chocolate by dancing chefs and get to take home a silver sleigh bell—the first gift of Christmas. This experience is sure to be a magical winter event for the whole family. Continues through Jan. 1, 2019, $55 (children 11 and under), $62 (adults), Union Station, 255 S. Canal St., (312) 471-2501, for the ride schedule see

Dec. 8

Family Day at MCA The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts free monthly programs for families through May 2019. Workshops, tours, live performances and

December 2018 Races By Angela Gagnon Staff Writer Santa Speedo Run 1 mile, Saturday Dec. 1, She-nannigans, 16 W. Division St. Santa Hustle 5K/1 mile, 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive. Jingle Bell Run 5K - Saturday, Dec. 8, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Lakefront Chill 5K - 8 a.m., Saturday Dec. 15, N. Burnham Harbor Parking Lot, 1559 S. Lake Shore Drive New Year’s Eve 5K - 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 31, Lincoln Park open-studio sessions are available for children and their adults. This month, learn about sculpture with artist Alberto Aguilar. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., free, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., (312) 280-2660,

Dec. 9

Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party at Art Institute This treasure hunt at the Art Institute proves educational and fun for all ages. Learn about the museum’s artworks as you explore its galleries, then sit down for a tea party. Each child receives a gift bag. 10:45 a.m., noon, or 1:30 p.m., $50 (adults), $25 (children), Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 443-3600,

Dec. 22

Jamie Allan, Magician Called the “Steve Jobs of Magic,” Jamie Allen comes to Chicago from London’s West End, bringing his mind-boggling magic show with him. Appropriate for all ages. Continues through Jan. 6, 2019, times vary, tickets from $49.99, Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St., (312) 3347777,

14 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018




| NEWS |

New Year’s Events

Ave, (312) 595-7437,

Fireworks at the Lake Bring in 2019 with a bang. Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show presented by Miller Lite starts at the stroke of midnight. Jan. 1, 12-12:15 a.m., free, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, (312) 595-7437,

Continued from Page 4

New Year’s Eve Party at The Drake Get fancy and dance-y at one of Streeterville’s historic hotels. The 19th Annual Chicago Scene New Year’s Eve Party will have 2,000 guests, 40 fully-staffed bars, local DJs, hors d’oeuvres, a balloon drop at midnight, and more for an unforgettable start to 2019. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., tickets start at $149, The Drake, 140 E. Walton Place, (312) 787-2200,

New Year’s Eve at Eataly If you tend to go to parties for the food, you’re in luck. Eataly is throwing the perfect New Year’s party for food-lovers with fresh pasta, pizza and alpine fare like

Chicago Children’s Museum Noon Year’s Eve

Eataly is throwing the perfect New Year’s party for food-lovers with fresh pasta, pizza and alpine fare. Photo courtesy Eataly

melted cheese and red wine, desserts, cocktails and a live band. Tickets include unlimited food, drinks and entertainment. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., $125, Eataly Chicago, 43 E. Ohio St., (312) 521-8700,

Resolution Gala

Get glammed up and head to Navy Pier for the New Year’s experience of a lifetime or at least of the year. Appetizers, drinks, dancing and fireworks await you in Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ball-

room, which can fit more than 2,000 people. At midnight, there will be a confetti shower and a toast to the new year. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, the event is 21 and over, 8:15 p.m. – 2 a.m., $119, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand

Wild New Year’s parties probably aren’t the best places to bring kids, but luckily, the Chicago Children’s Museum has got the little ones covered. Crafts and a confetti drop at noon make for a fun, kid-friendly event that doesn’t have them staying up all night. Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m., admission $14.95, Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave., 312-527-1000,

Out and About in November Send photos and captions to for a chance for your photo to be featured.

Chicago’s annual Christkindlmarket offers gifts, drinks and food for tourists and locals alike. Here Will Cables and Abby Watson enjoy a bite and a warm beverage. Photo by Elizabeth Czapski

The ice ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is open for skaters of all ages and, in December, kids can skate with Santa. Here Riley Furr, Dosha Furr and Mckenzie Furr take a break from skating. Photo by Stephanie Racine

The Millenium Park Christmas Tree is one of many bright sights to see this Christmas season. Christina Joe Shivey and Mealing Stephanie were on hand for the lighting ceremony. Photo by Stephanie Racine



N E W S / S T R E E T E R V I L L E






A snowman mixed with a shark gets you what?

The November answer is: Q: WHAT IS A KEY THAT OPENS NO DOORS? A: A TURKEY A riddle for the season: Why do mummies like Christmas? They love all the wrapping.

Submit jokes and quotes to info@ Where am I?

If you’re the first to figure out where this structure is in Streeterville, you’ll get a Streeterville News/ New East Side News shout out! Submit your guess at info@ Good luck! The winner of the November “Where am I” is … No one! No one identified the arches over the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law on East Chicago Avenue. Better luck this month.

The art of the thank you By Leontina Richardson President of Stepping Into Etiquette Let’s face it, there’s going to be at least one gift under your Leontina Richardson Christmas tree this year that you’d rather sell on eBay. We’ve all been there. But the reality is, you still need to write that person a thank-you card. Although you wouldn’t be caught dead in that itchy scarf your coworker made everyone in the office, she still put a lot of time and thought into it. The relationship is what really matters. Here are some tips for writing good letters this holiday season. Don’t go digital Handwrite your cards. Not only will your recipient appreciate getting a letter that isn’t a bill, but they’ll also recognize you put time and thought into it. Texting “Thanks, Grandma,” is far less endearing. Don’t begin your card with “Thank You” If you say thank you first, then your recipient won’t pay much attention to the rest of the letter because they know what to expect. Instead, write your letter with the following guidelines: The Beginning: “Dear [insert name here].” The Middle: Write something that elicits an emotional response equal to the thoughtfulness of the gift. Try, “I am blown away by how perfect

your Christmas gift was.” Then include what you enjoyed about the gift. Try, “These dishes look so good with my new dining room set.” Now you can express your gratitude: “Thank you so much.” Then add any closing thoughts you have, as in, “Now all I’m missing is your company for lunch. Let’s get together soon.” The End: You’ll likely want to sign off with either “Best Wishes,” “Best Regards,” or “Warmest Regards.” Only use “Love” for your closest relationships. Don’t wait too long For the holidays, get your thank-you cards out within two weeks of receiving gifts. For dinner parties and other small events, you can wait up to a week. For weddings, three months is best. Remember, you want your recipients to feel appreciated, so don’t put it off until the last minute. When it comes to expressing thanks, a well-written card goes a long way. Be an example to those around you this holiday season by always keeping a stack of thank-you cards on your desk. Not only will you be prepared for the unexpected gift, but your friends will feel safe knowing that you’ll love their gifts no matter how itchy they are. It’s the thought that counts. Leontina Richardson is the president of Stepping Into Etiquette, a consulting firm specializing on manners and style. For more information, visit the company website at

An encounter with the public preachers By Jon Cohn Community Contributor I have passed by street preachers and brochure givers of the religious nature many times. Jon Cohn I will usually give a smile or a friendly wave out of courtesy. But often, like many others, I walk on by, concentrating instead on whatever business I might have at hand. They are but a fleeting

encounter to most Chicagoans, and to some, maybe even a bit of an annoyance. Recently, I set aside the controversy that religious denominations might carry and stopped to talk with the folks who man the booth at the Jehovah’s Witness locations on Michigan Avenue — one near WGN and the other just north of the old Water Tower. The decision was sudden. I hadn’t done this before, mostly because I lacked the time, but also because I feared being indoctrinated with information I didn't need. I felt compelled to offer them the courtesy of acknowledging that they

were there. Here is what I found: They man the booth year round, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., three four-hour shifts per day, 365 days a year. None of them are paid; they said they do it as a labor of love for the cause and religious spirit they care for so deeply. It can be a lonely job. The number of people who talk to them varies. Sometimes it might be just one per hour. Other times, especially during summer tourist season, it could be more. Mostly, the crowds pass them by without any acknowledgment at all. When

someone does stop, they can engage in religious or philosophical discussions that span from enriching to spirited, even confrontational. Some request brochures and follow-up information. It doesn’t happen often, but the Witness reps do get some folks who are looking to stir things up a bit. The people I talked to were as pleasant as could be, and not pushy at all. Personable, dedicated folks like you and me, so in that sense, we were able to make a connection. That made me feel glad I stopped— even if I didn’t take the brochure.

16 / DECEMBER OCTOBER 2018 2018




The Back is the New Front On 10,000 coffee tables near you. Buy an ad at (312) 690-3092

Streeterville News December 2018  

The Chicago Chamber Choir, Streeterville Young Professionals, Tom Alaraj

Streeterville News December 2018  

The Chicago Chamber Choir, Streeterville Young Professionals, Tom Alaraj