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Winter neighborhood markets: Where to escape the cold and do a little local shopping around Chicago

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By Brooke Nagler 

Hyde Park Handmade
5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West

Filled with beautiful original crafts, Hyde Park Handmade is a great place to visit over a weekend. Located in the event space on top of The Promontory restaurant, the bazaar brings together local artisans in a room illuminated by the large, sunny windows. The ambiance is relaxed, with soulful music playing in the background curated by DJ Sean Alvarez. read more

The Big City Blog: Hope you’re hungry because Chicago Restaurant Week 2018 is on

Time to get your grub on. The 11th annual culinary celebration that is Chicago Restaurant Week returns from Jan. 26-Feb. 8 with two weeks of dining deals sure to get your taste buds revved up.

This event is perfect for sampling a variety of what 370 participating Chicago restaurants have to offer, featuring special prix-fixe menus starting at $22 for brunch and lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). read more

The Local Corner: Exploring the Damen and Lawrence intersection in Ravenswood

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Exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods one intersection at a time

Featured corner: Damen and Lawrence in Ravenswood

By Jina Bute

Siam Country
4637 N. Damen Avenue

Rated four stars for dining, take-out and delivery services, Siam Country opened in 1999 as a family business. Many products and ingredients are imported from Thailand, and the restaurant specializes in curry and noodle dishes like pad Thai and tom yum. read more

The Big City Blog: Bar Roma’s Chef’s Table dinner, new bird exhibit at Notebaert Nature Museum, “skinny sips” at Cantina Laredo and more

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“Chef’s Table dinner” at Bar Roma Jan. 16

On January 16 at 6:30 p.m., Bar Roma will be hosting their first ever “chef’s table” consisting of executive chef Fred Ramos’ traditional Roman dishes. For $60, and an extra $30 if wine pairings are requested, diners will be treated to a seven-course meal containing dishes such as fried zucchini flower, handmade pasta and tiramisu. read more

Chicago’s Signature Dishes: The taco trio at Big Star and el filet at Tango Sur

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Big Star
1531 N. Damen in Wicker Park

From esteemed chef Paul Kahan, this bourbon- and beer-focused, taco-slinging, honky-tonk joint is a local favorite in the heart of hipster haven Wicker Park. Housed in an old 1940s gas station and boasting a sought-after patio that’s packed in the warmer months, the rotating menu is inspired by authentic Mexican street fare. read more

Chicago Insider Sheena Lawrick on ice skating at the Maggie Daley ribbon, cocktails at The Sixth and celebrating at Homestead on the Roof

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Sheena Lawrick

How long you’ve lived here: Seven years this October.

What you like best about Chicago: Easy. The Blackhawks! I absolutely love going to games at the United Center. Even as a Canadian, I get goose bumps when the Star Spangled Banner is sung to the applause of the crowd. It’s an experience so unique to any sporting event I’ve been to. read more

The Big City Blog: “Free Days” return to the Field Museum in 2018 for Illinois residents

What: The Field Museum’s “Free Days” are back in 2018. This includes an entire month of free basic admission for Illinois residents during Free February, plus additional specific free days in January and June. Free Days are about an $80 savings for a family of four, making them the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the many adventures at the museum — from exploring the pyramids of ancient Egypt to witnessing the history of life on earth, and, of course, plenty of dinosaurs. Free Days this year fall during a time of big change coming to the museum, including the introduction of the largest dinosaur ever found, the Titanosaur. read more

Chicago’s Signature Dishes: Safehouse’s “Mother of all Burgers” and Mata Hari’s meatloaf

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60 E. Ontario in River North

The original Safehouse opened in Milwaukee in 1966, and the spy-themed restaurant and bar recently extended its operations to downtown Chicago. Visiting agents must be sly to locate SafeHouse — and stealthy to gain entrance. Once inside, this unique, family-friendly spot will satisfy your cravings for locally-sourced comfort food and crafty cocktails. read more

Q&A with Domain Realty’s Adam Wavrunek on mortgage rates, the rise of Pilsen and what millennials are targeting in real estate

Q: How do you see people reacting to the fact mortgage rates are still low?

A: The majority of the buyers that are “school sensitive” are out of the market right now because their kids are in school. They’re more tied to the school season and may not be active again until the spring or summer for planning reasons.

We are suffering from relatively low inventory overall. A lot of people were looking last summer in Chicago and couldn’t find what they were looking for. It’s not an ideal time to sell something right now that’s wedged in near a great school district. read more

The Local Corner: Exploring the Franklin and Chicago intersection in River North

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Exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods one intersection at a time

Featured corner: Franklin St. and Chicago Ave. in River North

Headquarters Beercade
213 W. Institute Place

You can either pop in the earbuds and feel like a pinball wizard or challenge your best bud to a Burger Time duel, all whilst drinking a fine craft beer. With more than 10 pinball machines and dozens of throwback arcade consoles, Headquarters is a great spot to get your nerd on and socialize simultaneously. I personally can get down on The Lord of the Rings pinball, smash some jacked-up fries and guzzle down a wild saison. read more

Spotlight on Klairmont Kollections: One of the best car museums the world has to offer — right here in Chicago

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By Trent Modglin

When you first pull into the parking lot at Klairmont Kollections, the natural assumption is that you’re in the wrong spot. There’s no way that all these cars you’ve heard about can possibly be displayed here.

From the outside, it looks more like a warehouse or an old factory. Until you walk through the doors. It’s at that point, you realize you’re someplace magical, a car museum like you’ve never seen before. The kind of venue where you could spend an entire winter Saturday, lost in a wealth of history and amazed by the vast displays of glistening automobiles in front of you. read more

Inside Scoop: Chicago’s Inside Scoop: Christmas and holiday events galore around the city

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Christmas Around the World exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry

This popular exhibit began back in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the annual celebration features a four-story Grand Tree that is surrounded by a forest of more than 50 other smaller trees and vibrant displays to represent holiday traditions from around the globe. Live holiday dance and choral performances, more than 30,000 lights and fake snowfalls add to the spirit of the season for visitors. read more

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