1. You have your pick of beaches—and beach activities. You can spike a volleyball at Foster Beach, attend an impromptu dance party at Kathy Osterman Beach (aka Hollywood Beach), build a sandcastle with youngsters at Thorndale Avenue Beach, or crack open a book while perched on a rock at Berger Park Beach.Photo courtesy of Edward Stojakovic, Flickr2. You might learn a new language. Thanks to a continual influx of immigrants from countries including Sweden, Ethiopia, Bosnia, and Mexico, Edgewater’s streets reverberate with a multitude of languages and dialects.3. You can brush up on your history.There are nine neighborhood buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Edgewater Beach Apartments. It’s the sole remnant of the famous Edgewater Beach Hotel complex, which in its day famously hosted American presidents and Hollywood movie stars.Edgewater Beach Apartments. Photo courtesy of JohnPickenPhoto, Flickr4. You can explore the Lakefront Trail. Depending on your point of origin, the vehicle-free path begins or ends in Edgewater at Sheridan Road and Ardmore Avenue. Hop on your bike, lace up your running shoes, or grab your skateboard and zip along the paved path past Lake Michigan and sprawling greenery.5. There are neighborhoods within the neighborhood. Did you know that the bustlingly independent Andersonville is actually a sub-neighborhood of Edgewater? The same goes for the historic Lakewood-Balmoral corridor, the tree-lined Edgewater Glen, and the Lake Michigan–adjacent Edgewater Beach.6. You can make a new four-legged friend.With a dog beach carved out just north of Foster Beach and plenty of pet-friendly housing, the neighborhood boasts a large population of canine residents.Photo courtesy of Steve Stearns, Flickr7. It’s easy to get there. Bryn Mawr Station. Photo courtesy of Thomas Anderson, FlickrThe Red Line hosts four stops (Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Thorndale, and Granville), the Broadway bus snakes along the diagonal corridor, the Clark Street bus weaves through Andersonville, and several buses along Sheridan deliver residents north to Rogers Park, south past downtown, and lots of places in between.8. It’s packed with great local businesses.Along its corridors, you can find a charming mix of shops: everything from boutiques and fitness centers to cafés and eateries. To see some of our favorites, check out Groupon’s exclusive collection of deals from Edgewater businesses.Read More
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As the owner of Bang Bang Pie Shop, Michael Ciapciak spends plenty of time in the heat of the kitchen. But when he comes home, he gets a different kind of warm feeling. Ask him what he loves most about his Logan Square home, which he shares with his wife, Susan, and their sons, Ned and Will, and he’ll tell you: “My favorite thing would have to be the sense of warmth of it [from] being filled with all of our things we have collected.” One glance around the space confirms the Ciapciaks are quite the collectors. Their decor includes vintage pieces (a brown and tattered US map) and alley scores (an old fire escape that serves as a pot rack), not to mention a whole wall of curiosities in the sitting area off the dining room. Some pieces on the wall were gifts, such as the photo of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Others are family heirlooms, including the silhouette of Susan’s mother when she was a girl. Still, not everything here is old or used. “We have a few items that we've saved for and purchased,” Michael said. For example, the tufted headboard in the master bedroom was bought new and looks elegant against colorful bedding and embroidered pillows. In contrast, the guest-bedroom headboard, while no less beautiful, is nothing but stacked apple crates that were repurposed from Bang Bang. Despite drawing from such a wide variety of sources, the Ciapciaks achieve an unmistakable unity in their decor. This harmony is due in part to a few smart design choices: selecting simple furnishings with classic shapes, sticking with neutral wall colors, and connecting spaces throughout the home with beautiful oriental rugs. Ultimately, though, the reason the home blends together so well may have less to do with any aesthetic theory than with the sense that each item has meaning to the owners. “[I] can't say we really have a specific style other than decorating with what we like,” Michael said. He added that the most important element in creating a harmonious home has nothing to do with furnishings. “If I didn't have family to share my home with, there would be no real sense of warmth in it.” Photos: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon Find even more home-design inspiration at ideel. There are even more tours of gorgeous Chicago homes to be found on the Groupon Guide: Inside the Photogenic Home of Two Pro Photographers Trying to deal with living where you work? Take a cue from Stevi and Matt Savage, who designed their Lakeview home with flexibility in mind. This Kids’ Musician’s Home Is as Cheery as Her Songs Little Miss Ann is one of Chicago’s top “kindie” rock musicians. Learn how a simple act of decorating kindness inspired her after a hospital stay. How a High-School English Teacher Assembled One of Chicago's Coolest Modern Furniture Collections Nick Roux has a knack for finding Eames lounge chairs for cheap. Tour his striking Lincoln Square apartment and find out how he does it.Read More
We scoured four continents to find unexpected styles worn by everyone from Danish anarchists to Botswana’s metalheads. America has definitely had its fair share of wacky style moments in recent years, with Lady Gaga hatching from an egg at the Grammys and a Miley Cyrus VMA performance that resembled some kind of nightmarish anime movie. But styles are equally strange overseas. Below, we dug up six surprising international trends, one of which—perhaps not surprisingly—can be traced back to the designer responsible for Miley’s Bangerz Tour costumes. 1. Thai teens are wearing braces. Voluntarily. Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry have both sported fake braces for fun, but in Southeast Asia the look has become seriously popular. Because of the high cost of orthodontia there, wearing braces is something of a status symbol, and some kids have resorted to having fake braces applied at beauty salons and street markets. This is also popular in Indonesia and Malaysia, but the trend hit especially hard in Thailand—after two teens allegedly died from them, the country made the sale of faux braces illegal. 2. Mexican club kids are dancing in pointy boots. If you’re thinking these curly-toed kicks would be hard to walk in, then you should definitely give props to the Matehualan youths dancing in them. They’re a fixture at club competitions, where troupes face off to tribal-house music mixed by popular local DJs including Latin Grammy–winner Erick Rincon. To make their boots truly unique, kids often customize them, extending the toes of regular cowboy boots up to 7 feet, and decorating them with everything from sequins and disco balls to leather and plaid. The look is so popular there’s even a mini documentary featuring Rincon and the dance crews, aptly titled Mexican Pointy Boots. 3. Scandinavian leftists are suiting up in Adidas. As satirized on this Danish style blog, the Danes have a reputation for embracing a pretty uniform, colorless style. Black also reigns as the color of choice among the country’s far leftist groups, who supposedly sport monochromatic Adidas track suits at protests and demonstrations to make it harder for police to track down individual activists. 4. The Japanese are wearing air-conditioned clothes. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunamis, Japan experienced a heat wave and locals were seen sporting clothes equipped with built-in cooling fans. The trend has lived on as a sustainability effort (click the down arrow on the right side of the page to see pictures), with leading brands such as Kuchofuku manufacturing everything from “A/C” jackets to undergarments. 5. Cowboys are going heavy-metal in Botswana. Piling on leather in sub-Saharan Africa might seem masochistic, but these badass metalhead cowboys revel in the trend—and look cool while doing so. Gaining notoriety through photographer Frank Marshall’s Renegades, these guys (and gals!) are about as far from the Mad Max–style anarchy they evoke as you can get. Local metaller Mosaka told Vice that when he and his peers head to a show, they “make a straight line, move at the same pace, same step, quietly and gently marching to the gig.” 6. The world is inspired by American fast food. Ever since American designer (and Miley Cyrus tour costumist) Jeremy Scott channeled McDonald’s for his debut Moschino collection at Milan Fashion Week, international fashionistas seem to be craving fast-food fashion. In London, men’s boutique End. partnered with Saucony for the Shadow 5000 “Burger” sneaker, and popular Tokyo blogger Ayumi Seto has posted a few pics of her and her pals hanging in burger joints while rocking stars and stripes. Find more of the latest fashion trends on ideeli. Illustrations: Jen Jackson, GrouponRead More