There is just no way Chitown citizens allow the cold to put a damper on life in the city! In fact, though we New Eastsiders who live here along the banks of Lake Michigan may experience single-digit temps with snowfalls that paint the landscape a glistening white, we also know how to embrace winter, even have some fun, especially now during the holiday season.
I guess you could say residents of the New Eastside are just too busy with so much to do to even think about staying in from the cold. We just bundle up and head for the door; there is always something going on in our downtown neighborhood, located right in the heart of The Loop.
Young Voices Decking “The Hall”
Yesterday, December 1, 2010 began a number of festive events in our downtown community, all within a short walk if you bundle up real warm. You don’t want to miss the City Hall Concert Series featuring all the season’s classics sung by a children’s choir (probably some of the kids in our neighborhood). Attend concerts everyday in the lobby of City Hall, noon until 1:00pm, free! You can enjoy the marvelous voices of the children brightening the Yuletide season all the way up to December 17th. Stroll by 121 N. La Salle for your holiday treat, compliments of “the little ones!”
Pictures With Santa
OK, we know this next event is geared for the “young at heart,” so we are included moms, dads, even grandparents in on this fun. At the John Hancock Observatory 1000 feet towering over the city drop by before December 31 on the weekend between 12pm and 4pm for fun activities and get your photo snapped with who else but the man of the hour, Santa Claus for free! Yes, I did say free. For every full fare adult ticket, you get one youth admission ticket free to Winter Wonderland (and that snapshot of you and Santa). Sounds like a nice day for family bonding close to home. Get more on Winter Wonderland here.
Just before Santa dashes off to deliver toys to all the good boys and girls, New Eastside children are invited to swing by and say “cheese” sitting on top of Santa’s lap. Marvel at the magnificent views and the brightly colored lights of the city. Moms, bring your Christmas list, too; get a snapshot with Old Saint Nick! Be there! The John Hancock Observatory, a great local hang out for Chitown kids and families! 875 N. Michigan Avenue. Call 1-888-875-VIEW. Buy tickets for Winter Wonderland here.
Can you color? Think you are good? Then, click here, whip out those crayons, and start your masterpiece! Bring in your finished picture to the John Hancock Observatory by New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2010. What do you get? A chance to have your picture displayed on the Winter Wonderland Wall for the rest of the holiday season (oh yeahhhh!), plus an opportunity to win a kiddie birthday party at the John Hancock Observatory for 20 guests.
More on Marianos
Loop residents, behold, a full-service market is within steps of your front door. I might add, it’s about time! Everyone’s elated about the new “Mariano’s Fresh Market” going up right in front of the Lakeshore East Park, just north of Grant and Millennium Parks. Located in the Lakeshore East condominium complex of 340 E. Randolph, the new 50,000 square foot store will provide 150 parking spaces. To view plans, go here.
The grocery store is named after Roudy Supermarket’s chief executive, Bob Mariano, a former exec with our neighboring grocer, (and soon-to-be competition) Dominick’s, right on Grand and Columbus. (That’s where many of us shop now).
The good news–this new grocery store will create between 150-200 new jobs. Hurray in Chitown, on the New Eastside!
This is what Mariano’s had to say: “We want our customers to know that Mariano’s Fresh Market intends to be fully immersed in the fabric of our communities. We take this responsibility very seriously and are already developing plans to activate our long-term dedication to the neighborhoods we serve.”
Our own Richard Ward, president of the New Eastside Association states that the new Mariano’s will be “a welcome addition to the community.”
However, there is a serious concern about pedestrian traffic that will have to brave inclement weather in order to get to the store. Many Eastside residents are upset that an additional entrance from lower Field Drive will not be constructed.
Presently, the Milwaukee-based grocery store chain has no plans to include that entrance from lower Field. Many, like myself, hope they will re-consider, as we watch the store being constructed daily from our windows. We walk everywhere, as parking is at a premium. Many ride bikes here in the city. This entrance would be beneficial to all “green” transportation. Here’s hoping!
johnhancockobservatory.com, cityofchicago.org, neweastside.org,