Family! Finances! The Flu!
Fun? That depends on how you look at it. Some would argue that the end of Halloween night marks the rapid beginning of the holiday season. Stores begin to don their Christmas trees and menorahs, Mariah Carey trends on iTunes, and some mix of excitement and stress ensues. However, whether you fancy yourself a Clark Griswold or a regular old grinch, most people can agree on one thing: Thanksgiving comes first, and it cannot be skipped.
Outside Your Front Door
A holiday that means well with its themes of gratitude, family, and togetherness, Thanksgiving can lose its luster in a frenetic sea of too much food, one too many relatives, and not enough time. (In an effort to squeeze all the fun in, we can tend to miss it altogether.) In other words, if we’re finding it hard to get grateful in 2021, we might not know exactly where to look.
As with so many things in life, sometimes the answer is right…at home.
If you live in Bucktown/Wicker Park (or are considering relocating to one of these prime Chicago neighborhoods!), the spirit of Thanksgiving might be much closer than you think. Two of Chicago’s most desired areas, both Bucktown and Wicker Park boast a balance hard to strike: trendy and artistic, cultured and cozy, up-and-coming and traditional. The real estate market in these beautiful parts of Chicago’s west town has seen a steady flow of buyers since 2014. With the latest uptick in market trends, that won’t stop anytime soon. If you are considering calling one of these neighborhoods home, here are a few things to be thankful for in Bucktown and Wicker Park this month:
It Walks the Walk
Aptly named after the first three digits in every Chicago zip code, the 2.7-mile path hugs parts of beautiful Bucktown and Wicker Park, making it perfect for brisk talks with friends, a solo morning jog, or a stroller walk with a baby and pup in tow. In a skyscraper-laced city, this walking path brings a special sereneness to Chicago.
It Talks the Talk
You won’t be at a loss for culture if you venture over to the quirky and renowned Chopin Theater, a neighborhood staple since 1918. It is home to hundreds of literary, music, film, and theater performances every year, and focuses on avant-garde and international shows. Need something to do with family this Thanksgiving? You can find several events happening there this month.
Breakfast and Bed
(The Robey Hotel & Robey Café)
Weary Thanksgiving travelers (or hosts!) looking for a local boutique hotel boasting high design should search no further than the stylish and chic Robey Hotel – a haven for hipsters, families, and business travelers alike. Positioned perfectly between Bucktown and Wicker Park, an overnight stay at this hotel promises surroundings of bustling coffee shops, independent boutiques, and trendy restaurants. Looking for a hearty meal with (or without) hotel accommodations? American fare is served downstairs at the conveniently located Robey Café… brunch and Bellinis start at 7am!
(Too many stores to count)
Michigan Avenue finds some steep competition in Bucktown and Wicker Park’s shopping scene. (And more variety, at that!) Whether wanderers are looking for resale or retail, the shops are plentiful and varied enough to suit any hobby or style. Traditionalists and luxury shoppers will find staples like Free People and Diptyque; bargain hunters will feel at home at Myopic Bookstore, and art enthusiasts will fall hard for the Wicker Park neighborhood’s brightest gem: the Flatiron Arts Building at the crossroads of Damen and Milwaukee.
Looking for local recommendations? KlopasStratton’s very own Sophia shops regularly at the aesthetically stunning Robin Richman Boutique and the designer-driven - and timeless - P.45. When you see her sporting stylish spectacles, you can rightly assume they’re from Wicker Park’s D/Vision Optical!
Sips and Snacks
It would be impossible to go hungry with a backdrop of bars, restaurants, and dessert shops like those in Wicker Park and Bucktown. The myriad eateries might be filled with foodies following the neighborhoods’ coveted Michelin-starred ratings, but all tastes are satiated – and all price points are satisfied – here. So where to start? Try dessert for dinner at Margie’s Candies, an old-time ice creamery and soda shop, founded in 1921 by Greek immigrant Peter Poulos. (Although it’s a famed Chicago favorite, diners might find it hard to try every variety of ice cream – Margie’s serves more than 50 flavors!)
As for KlopasStratton Team’s favorites…
Between sales and for quick lunch, you can find them grabbing a Caesar the Day wrap and Nitro Cold Brew at Bucktown’s Goddess and Grocer. (Their full food + wine menu and curated home section makes it much more than a grocery store!)
Dinnertime is better with pasta on the table, and Antico Chicago proves that to be true. Chef Brad Schlieder’s authentic Northern Italian dishes - made in-house! - invite families to indulge in fresh ingredients, a specially curated wine list, and a menu that changes with the seasons. If you’re looking to feel transported out of Chicago’s long winter for a bit, don’t miss Antico’s enticing storefront garden patio. It’s open all year round...and heated to perfection.
Grateful at Home
When it comes to finding fun – and gratitude – in Bucktown and Wicker Park, this list just barely scratches the surface.
We can count on the fact that for most of us, the holidays are chock-full of last-minute credit card swipes and lack of Vitamin D. Glorified busyness wants to be the stress on our shoulders. Instead of armoring ourselves with Aspirin in preparation for the holiday headaches, we may do better to go outside, take a breath of fresh air, and explore what’s right in front of us. This Thanksgiving, let’s seek gratitude right next door…and make ourselves at home where we already are.
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A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
Catch us back here bi-weekly as we bring you curated and Chicago-based real estate content (with a life coach’s twist).