#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show notes from Episode 31 with Ed Kaczmarek of Urban Pooch

This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Ed Kaczmarek co-owner of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center located at 4501 N. Ravenswood. The Canine Life Center offers a large store, daycare, cageless boarding, grooming, bathing, and massage.  Ed is also the co-owner of Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center located at 5400 N. Damen which offers retail and training, including agility. Whether you have two legs or four, one thing is for certain, when you enter Urban Pooch, you must love dogs.


Ed recording with us in Studio C at Transistor.

“Andersonville, to me, felt like the perfect Chicago neighborhood: clean, safe and so much character”
– Ed Kaczmarek

Listen to Episode 31 with Ed!

Here are some references from Episode 31 that you may want to check out:

  • Ed was the former Director of Innovation and Customer Experience at Kraft. He moved to Chicago from New York City to work for Kraft in a variety of positions and worked with brands that included Oreo, Caprisun, and Maxwell House, among others.
  • Ed was traveling 97% of the time for work and became tired of flying and the stress levels of traveling all the time. Along with his husband Dan, they started down the path of opening their own dog training facility, inspired by their dog, Berwyn. While it took several years, they finally received funding from Chase and opened the Canine Life Center in in 2010.
Crop of NYC Pet Book

NYC Pet Project book on display in Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center.

  • Interestingly enough, while working in New York, Ed worked on NYC Pet Project: A Collection of Portraits and Letters from the Heart, a book that involved photographing people in their favorite setting accompanied by a letter they had written to their pet. This also helped to inspire and grow his love for the human and dog connection.
  • Now that Ed and Dan live on the northern edge of Andersonville, they never want to leave after transitioning from living in New York City.  “I just feel like I struck gold,” comments Ed on the ease of living in Chicago in general.
  • When it comes to training, the one thing Ed believes in is positive reinforcement, he doesn’t believe training dogs should be done with any negative means.
  • Using his experience as Director of Innovation, Ed and Dan have flipped the training system on it’s side and designed a program called Urban Pooch Levels, a gym membership-style program that allows clients to be more flexible with classes for their dogs. Ed says that the greatest challenge with training dogs is following up and reinforcing with your dog the behavior that they are learning, and the levels system allows for reinforcement at any time.
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Berwyn and Ed on the agility course at Urban Pooch Training & Fitness.

  • The top four reasons why people come specifically to Urban Pooch is for puppyhood training, barking, on and off-leash aggression, and anxiety.
  • Urban Pooch offers Puppy Playtime every Saturday. “There is nothing more joyous than being with 15 puppies where the only thing on their mind is having fun.”  Urban Pooch also has a course for puppies called Junior Dog, meant to be a transitional class for dogs in between the puppyhood class and the adult obedience class. Information on available classes for puppies can be found on the Urban Pooch website.
  • If your dog is having problems, like excessive chewing, the biggest advice Ed has is to give them another task or “job of the body and mind.” Ed mentions sessions with their  dog behaviorist, Karen Okura, who is especially skilled in this department. Get to know the rest of the training staff at Urban Pooch.   
  • This winter, Urban Pooch plans on training dogs on how to pull sleds!
  • On dog etiquette, Ed believes dogs should always be on a leash, but that owners should pay attention to their dog too! Put down the phone, don’t ignore them. In particular, be careful at dog parks and the dog beach.

“ Your dog loves your attention. They want to connect with you. They want your attention.”
– Ed Kaczmarek

  • Ed and Dan’s dog, Berwyn, is the official “CEO” of Urban Pooch. He is an 11-year-old Welsh Terrier from an Amish Farm in central Illinois.
Berwyn Jump Crop

Berwyn shows off his skills during our 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide photo shoot. Photos by Mike Rivera.

  • Ed and Berwyn are featured prominently in the 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide. The photos were shot during an agility course demo with Berwyn. View the full publication here.
  • If given the chance, Ed would switch places with Roost (5634 N. Clark) because Urban Pooch has used reclaimed artifacts from their store. The other establishment Ed would switch places with is Octavio (5310 N. Clark) because of how social it seems and the history of the building.

Urban Pooch is hosting their annual HOWL-O-WEEN party on Thursday, October 25! Dogs and owners are invited to attend in costume and a professional photographer will be on hand to snap a photo before the contest begins. Registration kicks off at 6:30PM! Learn more here.

Visit Urban Pooch Canine Life Center on the following platforms:
Online: urbanpooch.com
Facebook: facebook.com/UrbanPoochChicago

Visit Urban Pooch Training & Fitness on the following platforms:
Online: urbanpoochtraining.com
Facebook: facebook.com/urbanpoochtraining
Instagram: @urbanpoochtraining

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes From Episode 30 with Sharon Howerton of Chicago Uptown Lions

This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Sharon Howerton, president of Chicago Uptown Lion’s Club, a volunteer service agency committed to service in the Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods since 1921. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with over 1 million members. Their mission is to improve our communities and have been doing so for nearly 100 years. Don’t miss the Lions of Illinois Foundation’s annual fundraiser, Candy Days, this Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13!


President of Chicago Uptown Lions, Sharon Howerton, and her service guide dog, Camea, in studio at Transistor’s Studio C.

“Everything is so convenient here [in Andersonville], it would be hard to go elsewhere”
-Sharon Howerton

Listen to Episode 30 with Sharon!

Here are some references from Episode 30 that you may want to check out:

  • Sharon was born in Chicago, she grew up on the Southeast side and she’s resided at her current address in Andersonville for over 15 years. No stranger to the community, Sharon bought a home in 1981 in the Bowmanville area and has been serving the area ever since!
  • Currently, she is a retired state employee, and at this time works from home as a teacher for the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, located in Winnetka.
  • Sharon was invited to join the Lion’s Club because she was interested in better serving the community. She transferred to the Uptown office about eight years ago and serves as president of the Board. There are currently 28 members with seven or eight people on the Board.
Uptown Lions Candy Days

The Chicago Uptown Lions on a past Candy Day.

  • On Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, the Lions host an event called Lion’s Candy Day, a fundraising initiative in which members go out to public spaces and trade candy for donations. Part of the collection goes to Lions of Illinois of Foundation and the rest to the Uptown chapter for service projects. If you’d like to donate directly to the Chicago Uptown Lions chapter, please click here.
  • On October 26, the Uptown Lion’s are curating the Vision Bus, an opportunity for visitors to get their vision tested. Visitors receive the chance to get their retinas screened. Learn more about the Lions Club vision programs here. The Lions Club also accepts used glasses and hearing aids from the public for the purpose of refurbishing the item and offering them to a country that needs it. Learn more about the Lions Club hearing programs here.
  • Folks can also drop off used eyeglasses and hearing aids at the Andersonville drop off locations: Alamo Shoes (5321 N Clark), St. Gregory’s Catholic Church (5545 N. Paulina) and the 48th Ward Office (5533 N. Broadway).
  • Laura asks Sharon to share some of the day-to-day challenges of individuals who are blind or vision impaired. Sharon mentions trying to navigate through traffic and certain crossings at intersections can be difficult. Her organization is aiming to establish audible controlled intersections located within the community.
  • Sharon mentions that it is different traveling with a cane verse traveling with a service dog. She’s worked with a service dog for the last 15 years. Her current dog is named Camea. She gives our listeners some tips on how to approach a Guide Dog:
      • First, do not touch the guide dog; she’s working! Dogs working are in harness and often concentrating to make sure their handler gets around safely.
      • If you are able-bodied and have your own dog, allow Sharon to pass with Camea, and keep your dog close to you
      • Sharon welcomes questions about her dog and her disability, especially from children. She’s done presentations before to elementary schools. One of her favorite questions: “Is that a blind dog? No… she can see just fine!”

Sharon shared tips with us on how to approach her and her guide dog.

  • If she could trade places with any business in Andersonville, she would trade places with Octavio Cantina and Kitchen (5310 N. Clark). Sharon also says that she has not been to Dollop Diner (5060 N. Clark) and is curious to check it out.
  • If you have questions about Chicago Uptown Lions, please email Sharon directly at sharonhow@gmail.com. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30PM at Francesca’s Restaurant (1039 W. Bryn Mawr).

Visit Chicago Uptown Lions on the following platforms:
Information on Lions of Illinois Foundation at: lionsofillinoisfoundation.org
Information on Lions International at: lionsclub.org
Facebook: facebook.com/Chicago-Uptown-Lions-Club
Email: sharonhow@gmail.com

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes from Episode 29 with Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck of Women & Children First

This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck, co-owners of Women & Children First, one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country. Women & Children First started as a modest storefront in 1979 and moved to its current location at 5233 N. Clark St. in 1990.


Sarah Hollenbeck (left) and Lynn Mooney (right) in Transistor’s Studio C.

“We really pride ourselves on being an intersectional feminist bookstore… meaning we acknowledge and celebrate all of the ways the different ‘isms’ are connected.”
– Sarah Hollenbeck

Listen to Episode 29 with Lynn and Sarah!

Here are some references from Episode 29 that you may want to check out:

  • Women & Children First (WCF) was founded in 1979 by co-founders Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon. Learn more about the history here.
  • Lynn started at WCF as a book seller and was later promoted to manager. She had worked at the store for six years before purchasing the business. Before working at the store, Lynn worked in the book publishing industry for about 25 years. She was on the editorial side and worked for some major publishers.
  • Sarah, before becoming co-owner at WCF, worked as a bookseller at a number of bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, Borders and other independent stores. Before that, she also worked for a local publisher called Independent Publishers Group.

Sarah at the Featured Feminist Non Fiction section in the store.

  • Lynn and Sarah bought the store from Ann and Linda in 2014, and since then they have not only renovated the space, but they have also built on the foundation that was already there. They have kept programming and events consistent, now aiming to also attract a younger crowd. They have updated the store’s vision of feminism by focusing on more current events and having a more intersectional perspective. Check out their upcoming events here.
  • The feminist bookstore movement in the late 70s and early 1980s was a response to the lack of books by women in most libraries and general bookstores.
  • Laura references Episode 26 of the podcast when Jean Cate, owner of Martha Mae: Art Supplies and Beautiful Things (5407 N. Clark), mentions walking into Women and Children First and knowing afterward, that this “neighborhood was made.” Sarah mentions that WCF was recruited to Andersonville back in 1991 to serve as a community hub for people to learn, read, hang out and have a good time.
  • WCF runs the  Women’s Voices Fund, a grantee of the Crossroads Fund, which was established in November of 2005 to help support feminist programming at the bookstore. The fund allows for WCF to bring both celebrity authors and more marginalized authors who haven’t found their home or audience quite yet.

A few of the portraits Lynn and Sarah mention in the episode.

  • Upon walking into WCF, hanging above the front door, you’ll notice 15 portraits of authors like Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Alice Munro, and Hillary Clinton and other notable writers, poets, performers, activists and authors who have read at the store. Lynn and Sarah added these portraits as a gift to departing owners Ann and Linda to acknowledge all of the amazing work they had done. Sarah and Lynn would love to add a portrait of Roxane Gay, author of Bad FeministWCF hosted Gay for both a reading in the store and later for a larger event in conversation with Gloria Steinem.
  • Lynn and Sarah split the store responsibilities. Sarah takes care of events, programming, marketing/publicity, social media and some of the adult book buying, and Lynn handles a majority of the rest of the book buying for the store.

“Besides being a feminist bookstore, we also try to be a feminist workplace. It’s challenging and hard, but well worth doing.”
– Lynn Mooney

  • On Sunday, October 21 from 1-3PM, the bookstore is hosting Chelsea Clinton to sign her new book, Start Now! The book is written for children ages 7-12 and it is an activism guide geared towards that age group. Tickets cost $23 and are available for purchase online here. One ticket admits up to 4 family members and includes a copy of the book!
  • WCF will celebrate 40 years in 2019! They are planning to celebrate all year long with certain special events to be determined. The 40th Anniversary logo will launch around the holidays this year.
  • If Lynn could switch places with any business in Andersonville she would switch with George’s Ice Cream & Sweets (5306 N. Clark) because she loves chocolate or Taste of Heaven (5401 N. Clark) for their scones. Sarah would switch places with Taste of Lebanon (1509 W. Foster) because she loves the falafel and the lentil soup or Winifred Grace (5642 N Clark).
  • Lynn in currently reading a new novel called Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver, and Sarah is reading Rebecca Solnit’s new essay collection, Call Them By Their True Names. She is also reading a novel called The Great Believers by Chicago author Rebecca Makkai and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
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Lynn and Sarah pose for our 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide. Photo by Mike Rivera.

Visit Women & Children First on the following platforms:
Online: womenandchildrenfirst.com
Facebook: facebook.com/womenandchildrenfirstbooks
Instagram: @wcfbook
Twitter: @wcfbook

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show notes from Episode 28 with Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan of The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern

This week, Laura and Sara are joined by Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan, founders of Root Collective and owners of The SoFo Tap at 4923 N. Clark St, as well as the newly opened Meeting House Tavern, located at 5025 N. Clark St. Both establishments offer a relaxed atmosphere,  comfortable decor, and an array of events and nightlife designed to appeal to various demographics of the LGBTQ+ community.


Mark Robertson (left) and Mike Sullivan (right), owners of The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern are featured on this week’s episode of the podcast.

“We are part of Andersonville and one of the beautiful things about Andersonville is diversity. SoFo Tap really exemplifies that diversity”
– Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan

Listen to Episode 28 with Mark and Mike!

Here are some references from Episode 28 that you may want to check out:

  • Mike grew up on the East coast but has lived in Chicago for 25 years. Mark grew up in western Illinois but moved to Chicago 23 years ago to attend DePaul. Mike was initially an attorney and Mark was used to be an accountant for the bar and restaurant industry.
  • The two acquired The SoFo Tap in 2011. SoFo gets its name for ‘South of Foster’. Mark says that when they moved in that year, it would have been weird to see people walking down the street, and the neighborhood South of Foster has changed so much since then. It was when they launched their Bear Night that they really saw an influx in people coming to the south end of Andersonville. Bear Night is hosted at SoFo every Sunday. View this week’s event here.

The SoFo Tap is on the corner of Clark and Argyle.

  • In reference to South Andersonville changes, Mike mentions the popularity of their neighbors including Chicago Magic Lounge (5050 N. Clark), Bar Roma (5101 N. Clark), the new Graham Cracker Comics (5028 N. Clark), and Full Kit Gear (5021 N. Clark) nearby. Sara also references past interviews on our podcast including Episode 20 with Joey Cranford of Chicago Magic Lounge and Episode 24 with Todd Mack of Foursided, both South of Foster businesses.
Outdoor Bear Garden

The outdoor beer garden hosts Doggy Days every Saturday at SoFo Tap!

  • The SoFo Tap is the quintessential Chicago neighborhood bar, according to Mark. It’s a relatively small space, but the property boasts a large backyard beer garden that is very popular in the warm months. Mark says you can expect an open-minded, laid-back environment if you come to SoFo.
  • SoFo is dog friendly and hosts Doggy Days every Saturday from 12-3PM. Generally, dogs are always welcome at SoFo if it’s not too busy. Check out this week’s upcoming Share the Love Doggy Days event!
  • SoFo Tap runs a featured artist program which allows artists to showcase their work on the walls of the establishment. The featured artists rotate every few months. Mike and Mark wanted to give local artists a space to present their work to local families. The bar is currently featuring the neighborhood artwork of Brad Fellows.

The upstairs bar area at Meeting House Tavern.

  • Meeting House Tavern’s name came from years of talking to customers at SoFo and the former Crew Bar and Grill. People in the neighborhood wanted a “town center” type of place. Meeting House acts as a place to come and hang out with your friends, grab a drink and play board and card games, shuffleboard, skeeball, darts, and pool.

“I did not realize so many people had this untapped passion to play skeeball.”
– Mike Sullivan

  • Customers are big fans of the signature margarita and the slushies!
  • Mike and Mark have teamed up with the staff at Cards Against Humanity. Every Thursday, the staff brings over new, never seen before cards that are still under development. So in some regards, Meeting House Tavern is like an experiential playground!
  • The pair are looking for a new location for their LGBTQ+ sports bar, Crew Bar and Grill. Mark has a passion for sports, and they are looking for the perfect location to continue the legacy that it began 13 years ago.
  • Every other Tuesday,  Meeting House Tavern hosts a drag-in movie night. A drag queen hosts and  brings her own style and trivia and games to the bar. They also feature karaoke every Thursday with Bradley K8 Olsen, who also happens to manage our neighborhood AKIRA (5228 N Clark)!  Check out this week’s upcoming karaoke night here.
  • Mike would switch places with George’s Ice Cream & Sweets (5306 N. Clark) for the day. Mark would choose to switch places with Chicago Magic Lounge.

Meeting House Tavern is one of the businesses sponsoring the upcoming South Andersonville Post-Construction block party on Thursday, October 4! Check out the details here.

Visit The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern on the following platforms:
Online: thesofotap.com | meetinghousetavern.com
Facebook: facebook.com/TheSoFoTap | facebook.com/MeetingHouseChi
Instagram: @thesofotap | @meetinghousetavernchi
Twitter: @sofotap | @meetinghousechi

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show notes from BONUS Episode 2 with Iggy Ladden of Chicago Therapy Collective

In a special bonus episode release to help bring awareness to September’s National Suicide Prevention Month, Laura and Sara are in conversation with Iggy Ladden, therapist and co founder of the Chicago Therapy Collective. CTC mobilizes to create safe, just, and inclusive Chicago neighborhoods for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (T/GNC) individuals and communities. Their exhibit, “Trans Art Is” can be viewed through September 30 at the Andersonville Galleria located at 5247 N. Clark.

Iggy, Laura and Sara in studio

(from left) Laura, Iggy, and Sara in Studio C at Transistor.

“We need to create a culture of learning, that is compassionate and patient and open-minded and open-hearted.”
-Iggy Ladden

Listen to BONUS Episode 2 with Iggy Ladden!

Here are some references from BONUS Episode 2 that you may want to check out:

  • Iggy uses They/Them pronouns and grew up in Philadelphia with parents that were both in the mental health profession.
  • Their father was a great influence as a systems centered therapist.
  • Iggy discovered they wanted to go into therapy when living in Boulder, CO and studied at Naropa University. They moved to Chicago to then study social work at University of Chicago.
  • Iggy speaks to the terminology: Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) and Cis Gender. Iggy defines these terms for us on the episode and also speaks to becoming a Trans Ally.

“Pronouns are unexpectedly very important and so much of our social actions are mediated by gender.”
– Iggy Ladden

  • Chicago Therapy Collective mobilizes to create safer neighbors for the Trans community. Learn about the mission here.
  • CTC initiatives include education and outreach as well as creating social spaces. Trainings include Trans and GNC individuals leading the sessions.
  • Laura reports a startling statistic that 40% of Trans individuals have attempted suicide. Iggy’s biggest advice the Andersonville community-at-large and beyond is to Listen. If you or someone who you know is struggling, and you feel that you or someone else may be at risk for suicide, please see resources listed below.
  • Andersonville is home to some of the most trans-affirming businesses, according to Iggy.

“Andersonville is home to some of the most Trans-affirming therapists right here in Chicago.”
-Iggy Ladden

Trans Art Is Gallery Photo

A glimpse at the Trans Art Is gallery exhibit on the 3rd floor of the Andersonville Galleria.


Hereaclitus Here Vernon and Iggy at Trans Art Is opening.

  • Trans Art Is is currently on display at the Andersonville Galleria through the end of September. The closing event will happen on September 30 on the 3rd floor in the Artist Loft. The show features the artwork of 12 individuals who identify as Trans or GNC. This show has been part of a Trans-Inclusive Andersonville campaign to allow the neighborhood residents and business owners to familiarize themselves with the community and create an disarming space. Learn about the campaign here.

Health, Wellness, and Beauty Bussinesses Event

  • CTC is hosting a training on November 2 for Health, Wellness & Beauty businesses in Andersonville. Register here.
  • Trans Experience Survey can be found on the CTC website
  • The main goal for CTC in 2019 is launching a pilot program on Trans-Inclusiveness, starting with Andersonville, and aming to make this neighborhood the most Trans-inclusive neighborhood in the city of Chicago.
  • Iggy would choose to switch places with Women and Children First (5233 N. Clark) but Early to Bed (5044 N. Clark) comes in at a close second!

Suicide prevention resources:
Trevor Project Lifeline: (24/7, 365 days a year) 1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860

LGBT National Hotline:1-888-843-4564
Support hotline and huge resource referral network

TGNC + LGBTQ Affirming Therapist
If you need help finding an affirming therapist, feel free to reach out to Chicago Therapy Collective at Info@ChicagoTherapyCollective.org to request a referral.


Visit Chicago Therapy Collective on the following platforms:
Online: chicagotherapycollective.org
Facebook: facebook.com/chicagotherapycollective

Halloween in Andersonville

Halloween 2018 Email Header

Halloween is a great time to explore our neighborhood, with lots of activities for kids and families, and adults! See below for a list of event happenings.

Please continue to check back for schedule updates.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

That’s Weird, Grandma: Ghosts, Ghouls and Talking Potatoes
Sundays, October 7-November 4 | 3PM: Just in time for Halloween, Barrel of Monkeys is kicking off their 2018-19 season with a line-up of scary (and silly) stories featuring Malcolm X fighting zombies, creepy old photos that haunt houses, talking potatoes getting lost in the woods, and other spooky scenarios imagined by Chicago elementary school students. Runtime is 65 minutes with no intermission. Tickets: $5-25.  Special half-priced tickets for their preview performance on 10/7 and there will be a talk-back with the artistic director, Brandon Cloyd, and members of the cast following their 10/14 opening night performance.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Pumpkinpalooza at Rogers Park Montessori | 11AM-2PM: Come join Rogers Park Montessori School at 1800 W. Balmoral in the school parking lot for their annual Fall Fest! There will be games, food, fun and pumpkins for purchase! Come in costume!

Harry Potter Night | 8-10PM: On Saturday, October 20, join StudioUs and Ridman’s Coffee at The Guesthouse Hotel for Grown-up Harry Potter Craft Night. Adults ages 21+ can create Weasley Family Clocks and Potter-themed artwork while enjoying treats and drinks provided by Amy’s Candy Bar, Ridman’s and Defloured Bakery. There will be a costume contest, photo booth and Umbridge Pinata. Thank you to the event sponsor Melissa Sanchez of State Farm, Cost is $40.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium’s Annual Horror Show | 7PM:  A LIVE recording of Small Fish Radio Theatre’s Annual Horror Show will take place on Sunday, October 21 at 7PM at the Swedish American Museum. $10 cash admission. Reservations: rsvp@smallfishradio.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2018

Pumpkin Carving Party at Vincent | 5:30-10PM
$20 for Pumpkin Carving & a Special Cocktail. Purchase includes carving tools and templates. Grown-ups and kids welcome.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Behind the Mirrors of POLTERGEIST III at Chicago Filmmakers | 7-10PM: Enter Chicago Filmmakers on Hollywood Avenue and go behind the scenes of Poltergeist III in this screening with live directory commentary. Director Gary Sherman will walk the audience through how he made the mind-bending special effects seen in this classic 1980s horror flick. All effects were done in camera, no CGI was used! This special presentation is a fundraiser for Chicago Filmmakers. Purchase tickets here!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Andersonville Halloween Parade | 10AM: The 48th Ward  and ETNA Block Club (Edgewater Triangle Neighbor Association) will team up this year for the annual Halloween Parade!  This year’s event will take a costumed stroll from Peirce Elementary School to Gethsemane Garden Center on Saturday, October 27. Meet at the playground at Peirce (1423 W Bryn Mawr) beginning at 10AM. The parade steps off at 11AM!

Annual Children’s Fall Festival | 11-4PM:  Join the folks at Gethsemane Garden Center from 11AM to 4PM on October 27 for the annual Children’s Fall Festival! For the spookiest time, attend the event in your favorite Halloween Costume.

Trick or Treating along Clark Street & Costume Contest12-3PM: AlleyCat Comics is heading up Treat-or-Treating once again for the children of Andersonville. Look for the ORANGE PUMPKIN door signs in storefronts of the neighborhood to find participating businesses. There will also be a costume contest that will be judged by the  staff at AlleyCat – please check in from 11:30-3PM and the costume winner will be announced at 3:30PM. Thank you to George’s Ice Cream & Sweets, Ranalli’s and Toys et Cetera for their support of this event.

Halloween Comic Fest at AlleyCat Comics and Graham Crackers Comics | Hours vary: Stop on by AlleyCat Comics and Graham Crackers Comics for new Halloween reads! Halloween ComicFest is the perfect opportunity to introduce family and friends to the coolness of comics.

Chicago Police Department Halloween Party |1-3PM: The 20th District (5400 N. Lincoln) will be hosting a Halloween Party on Saturday, October 27th, at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. There will be arts and crafts for the kids, costume contest, games, candy and a spooky garden. Come bring the kids and see our inflatable decorations. Lots of fun for the whole family.

WANT Ghostly Garden | 5-6PM: It’s that time of year again and West Andersonville Neighbors Together is planning its annual Ghostly Garden event in their lovely West Andersonville Garden at Ravenswood & Berwyn. This is a non- scary event designed for families with small children. Come in costume. Games, treats, and prizes will be provided. We hope you can make it!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Andersonville Sweetish Stroll | 2-5PM
It’s trick-or-treating for adults with a gourmet flair! Choose between two routes, each featuring host destinations with delectable goodies. Children and teens are welcome. IDs will be checked at any alcohol tastings. Click here for details.

Harry Potter Night for Kids | 4-6PM
Celebrate Halloween with your favorite magical wizards and witches! StudioUs, Ridman’s Coffee , The Guesthouse Hotel, and Melissa Sanchez of State Farm have teamed up to offer an enchanting evening of crafts, treats, and fun inspired by Harry Potter. Create your own character masks and magical creature pillows while enjoying spellbinding snacks from Amy’s Candy Bar and Defloured Bakery. Hosted at Ridman’s Coffee. Cost is $25.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Storytime at Hartwell Place | 3-4PM
Children ages 0-5 are invited to join the residents at Hartwell Place for a Halloween theme story time and play date with CMSS’ favorite troupe, Vaudeville Chicago. Be sure to wear your costume! Hartwell Place is located at 5520 N. Paulina. RSVP to ana.lebron@cmsschicago.org.

Happy Hour and Costume Contest at Bar Roma | 5PM
Start the spooky night with happy hour at Bar Roma! From 5-6:30PM in the bar, all appetizers will be half-price and glasses of rose will be $6. At 8PM, a costume contest will be held for three top prizes. The duo with the best duds will win dinner for two ($100 gift card), the second top costume will win a $50 gift card, and the third place winner will receive a bottle of Italian wine. All dining guests that arrive in costume will receive a complimentary dessert.

Spooky-etti and Meanballs with Bones at Vincent |4PM
Come enjoy spaghetti with meatballs and breadsticks with the kids before heading out to Trick-or-Treat! Don’t worry parents, there are cocktails for you.

Highlighted Fall Events and Specials

George’s Ice Cream and Sweets
Get into the Halloween spirit with special treats at George’s Ice Cream! Featured Caramel Apples and ice cream flavors like: Snap-O-Lantern (pumpkin flavored ice cream and ginger snap cookies).  George’s will also have Quart Top Pumpkin Face coloring!

Summerdale by David Jay Collins 
Earlier this week David Jay Collins was interviewed for the Frigay the 13th horror podcast. Make sure you read Summerdale, a new LGBT horror novel set in Andersonville! It’s available on Kindle and iBooks just in time for Halloween! (Paperback by Small Business Saturday-November 24th). Four gay men. Four addictions. One landlord from Hell. Summerdale is the launch of a horror novel series that focuses on charismatic landlord Mr. McGreevy, a sociopath who enables and isolates his tenants until the only place they feel safe is inside his house. Check out David’s author page at davidjaycollins.com!

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes from Episode 27 with Dr. Kapil Kella of Lakeshore Dental Studio

This week, Laura and Sara are joined by Dr. Kapil Kella, owner of Lakeshore Dental Studio, a modern dental office which offers a welcoming family friendly environment, leading-edge technology, and easy scheduling located at 5505 N Clark.


Dr. Kapil Kella records his episode in Studio C at Transistor.

“I want to give patients the care they deserve. Servicing our patients is our biggest goal.”
– Dr. Kapil Kella

Listen to Episode 27 with Dr. Kapil Kella!

Here are some references from Episode 27 that you may want to check out:

  • Kapil is from Michigan originally and went to the University of Michigan. He also completed dental school in Michigan, and then completed his residency in Chicago.
  • Kapil was only familiar with Hopleaf (5148 N Clark) before coming to Andersonville to explore the area as a destination for his practice. He wanted to find a place with a lot of community support.

“It was great to discover that there is more to Andersonville than Hopleaf and their great beer.”
– Dr. Kapil Kella

  • A patient can come into the office, spend some time relaxing with a cup of coffee pre-appointment, put on their favorite Netflix show, get their teeth checked, and spend some time getting to know the staff. Some of the most popular shows his patients put on as of late are Nailed It and Planet Earth.
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Kapil poses near a patient room for our 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide photo shoot with one of the TV’s used to show Netlix during appointments.

  • Yes! You do still have to floss, says Kapil. Floss gets to places that brushing cannot.
  • Besides annual cleanings, Lakeshore Dental Studio also offers services to babies and toddlers in the form of parent education on early dental hygiene, root canals, implants, and cosmetic work.
  • Lakeshore Dental will work with patients on payment plans in order to make dental care more approachable.
  • Kapil recommends Colgate, but says most toothpastes are pretty good these days.
  • Kapil comes from a family of physicians, but wanted to “rebel” and go into business as his career. He later ended up switching paths to dentistry, but likes that it includes a business aspect. 
  • Lakeshore Dental Studio has been running Project Smile this summer, a campaign to give back to candidates in need of dental care who couldn’t normally afford the care. Edgeville Buzz recently wrote about this campaign, and you can watch the official campaign video here. The campaign has been extended until October 10, 2018.
  • Kapil’s family was present during the Lakeshore Dental Studio ribbon cutting back in March 2018. Family is extremely important to Kapil and his fiance Esha, especially since Kapil’s family immigrated from India.  

The official ribbon cutting celebration for Lakeshore Dental Studio in March 2018.

  • If given the chance to change places with a business for a day, Kapil would choose to trade places with trainers at Orange Shoe Personal Fitness (5609 N Clark). At the beginning of the episode, he mentions coming to the recording from a training session with Paul. Sara and Laura also mention stopping in at TrueNorth (5507 N Clark) and Big City Optical (5653 N Clark) while up in Andersonville’s North end.
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The welcoming front lobby at Lakeshore Dental Studio.

Visit Lakeshore Dental Studio on the following platforms:
Online: lakeshoredentalstudio.com
Facebook: facebook.com/Lakeshoredentalstudio
Instagram: @lakeshoredentalstudio

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show notes from episode 26 with Jean Cate of Martha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful Things

In our first ever on-location episode, Laura and Sara visit with artist and shopkeeper, Jean Cate. Jean is the owner of Martha Mae: Arts Supplies and Beautiful Thingsan Andersonville brick & mortar, gallery, and online shop offering a curated selection of art, art supplies and beautiful useful things, where creativity is a way of life, located at 5407 N. Clark. Jean is also a featured artist and location for this week’s 2018 Andersonville Arts Week, and you can view her work as part of the Arts Week branding for this year.

Photo 5 - Recording Always Anderesonville The Podcast at Martha Mae Art Supplies and Beautiful Things. Photo courtesy of Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

Recording #AlwaysAnderesonville:The Podcast at Martha Mae Art Supplies and Beautiful Things. Photo courtesy of Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

“In art, you can do whatever you want, and it’s okay.”
– Jean Cate

Listen to Episode 26 with Jean Cate!

Here are some references from Episode 26 that you may want to check out:

  • Jean is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. She knew she wanted to be an artist starting at age 16. When she moved here at age 18 from Southern California, she was amazed by the “oldness” and architecture here in Chicago.
  • Originally, the location of Martha Mae was supposed to be a community art space, but due to space constraints, Jean re-conceptualized to grow Martha Mae into what it is today.
  • Peter Fegundo, one of Jean’s favorite teacher’s at SAIC said,  “Whatever your art is as long as it’s you, it’s good.” Click here to view Peter’s professional work.
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If you enter the shop, you’ll often find Martha Mae in her basket on the counter taking in the sights.

  • Let’s learn about shop dog, Martha Mae! Martha is a King Charles Cavalier and she’s almost 7 years old. Jean originally named the shop after Martha so they could spend their days together. She’s more of a people’s dog than a dog’s dog. We even learned that Martha set the shop hours: the six hour time frame that the shop is open, Noon – 6PM, is the perfect time frame for Martha to stay content!
  • Jean curates based on the title of the shop. She looks for quality beautiful, useful things.
  • Jean’s interior design aesthetic is centered on light, order and comfort. She’s also fascinated by Japanese design and product design. “I try to make it a pleasant, luminous, lovely place.”
Salt Flats by Jean Cate

Pictured: Salt flats on wood by Jean Cate.

  • Jean’s work can be viewed here: jeanmariecate.com. She makes larger ink and salt painting on wood panels and is debuting some of her ceramic coil pieces during Arts Week. She gravitated toward wood as a larger medium comparable to paper. What is ink & salt artwork? Jean’s work is made with pink Himalayan Sea Salt mixed with a combo of ink colors. Here is another example of an artist using ink and salt to create unique paintings.
  • For this week’s Andersonville Arts Week, Jean is hosting a reception celebrating the work of artists, Andrew Jessup, Aron Fischer of Facture Goods, and her own work. The party on Friday, September 14 from 6-10PM will also feature a special collaboration with Bobby Schaffer of Lost Larson on painted chocolates and sweet delights.
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Jean Cate works with Bobby Schaffer of Lost Larson on painting chocolate molds for Arts Week!

  • Jean is inspired by her mom’s love for Monet, and also by Japanese and Chinese ink paintings. She’d love to meet a Master Embroiderer, or to meet the group that did the “The Lady and the Unicorn.”
  • Jean’s advice to other artists? “Trust your instincts. There are so many ways to make a living and to adapt to your own particular set of circumstances.”
  • Through the shop, Jean has developed stronger relationships and learned to be more hopeful. Creating relationships is like making new artwork.
  • If she could trade places with another Andersonville business for a day, Jean would swap with Bobby Schaffer of Lost Larson (5318 N Clark), which is why the collaboration was such a magical day for Jean!
Martha Mae Storefront

Martha Mae: Art Supplies and Beautiful Things storefront.

“Trust your instincts and your particular way of living and being. Who you are is right, period.”
– Jean Cate

Jean and Martha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful Things has been written up several times in the press! Check it out:
Chicago Reader
Flats Studio
Saturate Chicago
The Art Institute Shop Blog

Visit Martha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful Things on the following platforms:
Online: marthamae.info
Facebook: facebook.com/marthamae.andersonville
Instagram: @marthamae_andersonville

#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show notes from Episode 25 with artist Rick McEachern

In preview for Andersonville Arts Week, September 12-16, this week, Laura and Sara are joined by artist Rick McEachern. Rick is an Andersonville resident and studied at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy.  You can view his work currently hanging on the walls of Appellation located at 5212 N. Clark.


Rick recording in Transistor’s Studio C at 5224 N Clark.

“Painting is a project, and when you’re working on different phases of a project, you use different parts of your brain.”
– Rick McEachern

Listen to Episode 25 with Rick McEachern!

Here are some references from Episode 25 that you may want to check out:

  • Rick grew up in Burlington, Massachusetts and was always an artsy kid, but fell in love with science in 5th or 6th grade and ended up getting a degree in plastics engineering. Rick has recently shifted back to art.
  • As a child, Rick grew up in a very creative neighborhood where the kids were always putting on plays and working on art instead of doing a lot of sports.
  • Rick was a Project Manager in his past career and feels it’s very applicable to his work as a painter.
  • Rick’s best friend from Boston convinced him to move to Andersonville this past February. He mentions loving walking to the gym, running to the lake, and walking to Edgewater Produce (5515 N Clark). Everything needed is within 7 blocks.
  • Rick features Coney Island frequently in his work. He has always loved carnivals and amusement parks. Rick has been on the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel at Coney Island too many times to count, and both rides are featured prominently in his paintings.
Ricky Work Cyclone

The Cyclone at Coney Island. Painting by Rick McEachern.

  • Rick’s work is currently on exhibit at Appellation (5215 N. Clark) in two rooms: the front room features Ferris wheels and roller coasters, and he wanted visitors to feel the aesthetic of sitting in an amusement park and having lunch. The main dining room features paintings that “journey through a summer day.”
Ricky Work Wonder Wheel

the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. Painting by Rick McEachern.

“I really like to do paintings… where ‘the glory’ can’t help but show through.”
– Rick McEachern

  • Rick primarily works with oil paints. Most of his paintings are based on photographs he’s taken. His first step in composition is to sketch the scene, then explore with a watercolor or acrylic paint before diving into using the oil paints. Learn the difference between paint types here.
  • One of Rick’s favorite artists right now is Matteo Caloiaro. Rick stumbled on his work in Provincetown, MA and inspired him to paint.  
  • Rick just discovered the Edgewater Historical Society (5358 N. Ashland) recently as somewhere to explore. For example, Sara learned that  Hillary Clinton was born at Edgewater Hospital from EHS.
  • Rick does plan to paint buildings in Andersonville eventually, and it already working on an upcoming piece featuring sunset and a garage here. He’s working on five new pieces total, and some also feature the Lincoln Square neighborhood.
  • Rick would encourage young artists to look at all facets of creating, including self-promotion, networking and marketing. “Get up really early everyday and work hard.”
  • Rick would trade places with Toys Et Cetera (5311 N Clark) because it would be a fun place to work in everyday, or he’d love to trade places with Puppet Bike. He keeps dollars available on hand just for puppet bike.
Rick Arts Week Image

Rick’s work featured in the Arts Week logo.

Rick is the featured artist at Appellation for Andersonville Arts Week, September 12-16. Don’t miss his artist reception on Saturday, September 15 from 4-6PM!

Visit Rick McEachern on the following platforms:
Online: rickymceachernartist.com
Facebook: facebook.com/rickymceachernartist
Instagram: @rickymceachernartist
Twitter: @RickMcEachern2


This week, Laura and Sara are joined by Todd Mack, co-owner of FOURSIDED. FOURSIDED began its journey in 2001 and strives to cultivate communities that enjoy art. Their mission is to bring each of their guest’s imagination to life with one of a kind art, custom framing, curated gifts, ephemera, and vintage objects. Visit Foursided in Andersonville at 5061 N. Clark, for all of your custom and vintage framing, unique gifts and handmade greeting cards needs.


(from left) Sara Dinges, Todd Mack, and Laura Austin pose after recording Todd’s episode in Transistor.

“When I visited small towns that had a Main Street shopping district, that’s what turned me on.”
– Todd Mack

Listen to Episode 24 with Todd Mack!

 Here are some references from Episode 24 that you may want to check out:

  • Todd started in the world of framing in late 80s because he was an arts kid. He didn’t know anything about it but was looking for something to do other than serving (which he was doing at the time at Big Boy). 
  • Todd owned a gallery in Lansing, MI for about 7 years before coming to Chicago
  • Todd started Foursided in the back of an antique shop called Fobels
  • The Andersonville store opened in 2005 and is the largest of the three FOURSIDED stores. This location carries the most vintage and antique items, and Todd is physically at the Andersonville store more and gets to be more hands on – he’s also a resident! View Foursided’s other locations here

“I clock my progress with people by how good a day everybody had.”
– Todd Mack

  • Todd has a robust, young team. They are super nice, confident and he strives to create a fun environment.
  • Sara references artist Rick McEachern’s recent podcast interview, airing next week for Arts Week, and how he mentions to young artists that they have to get up early and work hard everyday. Todd ends up advising a lot of handmade artists as well on how to progress their craft – his employees are artists too!
  • Todd does antiquing personally and goes to every antique shop in the 5 state Midwest region. Gift ware is purchased by a team of buyers with FOURSIDED – everyone shares the responsibility. A lot is found at gift shows, some walk in the doors, some come in via catalogs. Shop gifts here!

Todd poses in the basement framing studio at FOURSIDED for the 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide photo shoot. Photo by Mike Rivera.

  • Framing is done at two of the locations. Customers are encouraged to come in with artwork in hand. It’s a free quote and the staff spends as much time as they need assessing your project. FOURSIDED offers wide pallet of framing for all budgets. They offer a special “least expensive” section but vintage frames are the biggest money saver! Learn more about framing services here. 
  • FOURSIDED is a sponsor for Andersonville Arts Week coming up September 12-16 and is the artist at his own store! This year he’s doing some word art with ephemeral faces featuring vintage paper cutters. “It’s like a naked thing on the wall.” Everything built two weeks prior to the show.
  • Todd’s artwork was featured on HGTV with Vern Yip from Trading Spaces who was hosting a Chicago-based show
  • Todd finds inspiration in collections of objects (i.e. massive amounts of the same thing like piles of silverware)
  • Todd and his partner Gino were featured on the back of this year’s 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide. He tells us a fun story about eating a “gentleman’s diner” at It’s Greek 2 U Grill (5449 N Clark) here in Andersonville and the owner Vicki asked them to sign the back of the Guide for her mother. It really is FREE! Todd had to put a “Free” sign out for folks so they would know they could take it.
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(from left) Gino Pinto and Todd Mack pose in FOURSIDED for the back of the 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide

  • Todd still has memories of the mercury balls on the Christmas tree and credits a lot of his holiday decor love to his mom. “Less is not more – more is more” when it comes to Holiday’s at FOURSIDED! But fun fact, Todd does not decorate for the Holidays at home  – he saves all of his energy for the stores.

FOURSIDED’s storefront window during the holidays

  • Todd would love to try out the careers of cake decorating or do something with dogs. He used to want to go into the veterinary medicine. 
  • Todd would love to trade places with Transistor (5224 N Clark) and Roost (5634 N Clark) if given the chance
  • As a long standing Andersonville business, Todd has seen many changes to his South of Foster area of South Andersonville. Sara ask him to reflect on some of his new neighbors. While he’s sad that Marguerite Gardens (his former next door neighborhood) moved on, he welcomes Clark Haus (5059), the greatness of Milk (5137 N Clark) and Honey (5135 N Clark), Bar Roma (5101 N Clark) brings a big draw, and across the street too with the recent additions of Dollop Diner (5060 N Clark), and Jet’s Pizza (5058 N Clark) – people are walking South of Foster more than ever. He encourages shoppers to not forget about places like The Wooden Spoon (5047 N Clark), another long standing Andersonville business, as the construction has been brutal and the dust has been hard.  

Visit FOURSIDED on the following platforms:
Online: foursided.com 
Facebook: facebook.com/Foursided
Instagram: @foursidedchicago