South Loop real estate is on a roll. According to Midwest Real Estate Data’s BrokerMetrics, median home prices in the neighborhood gained 1.1 percent last year, and its 2011 average of 24.2 months on the market for each listing fell to 7.6 months in 2012 — a 69 percent drop. The new year has started with a bang as well: Listing time on the market dropped to 3.5 months in January. In fact, developer Related Midwest is reporting 40 new contracts on three Museum Park condo towers that the company rebooted just two weeks ago.
Bored while touring with jazz-legend husband Ramsey Lewis in the 1990s, Jan Lewis killed time by hand-painting wooden bangles. She had no idea that she’d someday be determining which of her bangles might look best on Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain. But that’s exactly what happened last fall, when she was invited to include her lightweight, stackable pieces in the “Everybody Wins at the Oscars” gift bag — a cornucopia of goodies delivered to the most prestigious nominees the morning after the ceremony.
Did you know that half of your plate each meal should be fruits and vegetables? And that goes for children, too! Meeting the daily recommended allowance of vegetables can be a bit of a challenge for some people. Imagine the creative thinking and bribery it takes for parents to get their children to eat their carrots, green beans and brussel sprouts. For every genius idea mom and dad have, the child has one, too.
Chicago got the Hollywood treatment Feb. 24. when the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State) rolled out the red carpet for 300 guests at the 20th annual Oscar Experience. The fundraising party — one of 46 across the country officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — has raised more than $36 million for local communities since its inception. Hosts Amanda Puck and Jason Felsenthal escorted attendees dressed in their Oscar best down the red carpet, where they got camera-ready with the help of makeup by Claudio Riaz and hair by Blow by Blow, then enjoyed bites from Pure Kitchen Catering. Once inside, the crowd settled into the Film Center’s movie theaters to cheer on their favorite stars alongside co-chairs Kristin Anderson and Splash editor Susanna Negovan.
Making the most of a small space — or “microliving” — is on the rise among Chicagoans who want to live simply and stylishly in popular neighborhoods. In the past two years, 31-year-old real estate minimogul Jay Michael of FLATSChicago and his two business partners have embraced the trend, buying up old buildings in Andersonville, Edgewater, Lincoln Square and Uptown, then remaking the run-down properties into thousands of chic apartments for the young and upwardly mobile. This unit in the Edgewater building, dubbed No. 5718 ($1,000/month; rents vary based on unit and building), makes its debut at the beginning of March, and — thanks to some help from the design team at Chicago-based CB2 (which will offer all FLATS residents 10 percent off of their purchases) — demonstrates just how fabulous 400 square feet can be.
Just in time for spring wardrobe shopping, luxury online consignment retailer eDrop-Off has raided their Style Vault — and they’re putting it all up for auction. Through March 4, visit Shopedropoff.com to peruse the over 250 rare, high-end pieces, including vintage Chanel, Hermés and Oscar de la Renta. We’ve got our eyes on this black and white monogrammed quilted Chanel bag, which is given a rock ‘n’ roll edge, thanks to a black leather lined interior and a chain link handle.
Ryan Poli, the culinary force behind the new Little Market Brasserie, stopped by Splash to drop off a basket full of the restaurant’s baked goods and housemade jam. The Splash team made quick work of the sweet treats, and we haven’t stopped thinking about the blueberry scones and almond croissants. Poli also demonstrated his athletic prowess by playing a few rounds of Pop-a-Shot in the game room. Check out that form!
The other day I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline and I came across this thought-provoking gem of a tweet: @RitaHovakimian: When we tolerate something, we signal Higher Power to bring us more of the same thing. We tell the Universe that we don’t deserve more; that we are not worthy to receive something better. These words have sat with me ever since I read them last week and let me tell you, do they ever resonate with certain areas of my life.