Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shannon Boland: South Loop Ambassador

Blackstone head concierge, Shannon Boland
Even though she lives in Uptown, the South Loop has a great ambassador in the person of Shannon
Boland, head concierge at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel. She was recently profiled in the Chicago Tribune where she shares her experiences helping guests and visitors navigate the ins and outs of Chicago.

I met Shannon via Twitter about three years ago. As a newcomer to the South Loop, she was building a network of followers who could help answer questions about happenings in our neighborhood. We still share news and information to this day. In fact, every time I get my hair cut, I stop by the Blackstone afterward to catch up.

Shannon is from a small town in Missouri. A fine arts major (drama), she came to Chicago to join the city’s theater scene. Shannon became a concierge to pay the bills and realized that she loved helping people and solving problems.

For a link to the entire article, click here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mike Horton to lead new British School South Loop Campus

The British School of Chicago Welcomes 
New Principal to the Lincoln Park Campus
Founding headmaster Mike Horton will lead the new South Loop campus

CHICAGO — Jan. 20, 2015 — The British School of Chicago, a vibrant international school for children ages 3-18, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mel Curtis as principal of the Lincoln Park campus. Founding British School of Chicago headmaster Mike Horton will lead the school’s new campus in the South Loop, which is opening in September.

A passionate educator, Curtis brings to the British School of Chicago more than 15 years of expertise in strategic educational leadership, with international experience at schools in her native England, as well as France and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining the British School of Chicago, she led academic integration at Ecole des Roches, one of France’s most prestigious private schools, and has been the head teacher at elite primary and K-12 schools in the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Curtis’ highly successful track record includes expertise in quality assurance, increased student attainment, student-centered learning and curriculum development. She is also experienced in leading efforts to ensure teachers are proficient in enhancing the learning environment through the use of technology and the virtual world. Under Curtis’ leadership schools have been deemed “outstanding” by external education and inspection authorities.

“Mel’s excellent strategic leadership skills and talent for creating innovative education programs will be a significant asset to the British School of Chicago,” Horton said. “Her philosophy that learning should be a unique experience to engender curiosity is on par with the British School’s personalized learning approach, which focuses on the individual learning style of each child.”

South Loop campus under construction

“I am truly inspired by the British School of Chicago’s emphasis on individualized and interactive learning to provide students the tools they need to achieve their academic goals,” said Curtis. “I am excited to work with such a talented team, which has created a successful educational environment and cultivated a true love of learning in students.”

Under Horton’s leadership, the British School of Chicago has grown from 12 students to more than 800 since opening in 2001. All students will benefit from the opportunities available at both campuses under the collaborative direction of Horton and Curtis.

About the British School of Chicago
The British School of Chicago is a vibrant independent, private school that follows an acclaimed international curriculum with a personalized approach to learning for over 800 children ages 3-18. Located on two campuses, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and South Loop, British School of Chicago belongs to the family of 31 Nord Anglia Education schools around the world. For more information, please visit the school website here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

South Loop becoming craft beer mecca

In a recent article posted to the WTTW Web site, the South Loop is carving out a new identity as the home of craft beer breweries. We know about Vice District at 1454 S. Michigan, which opened last fall, but two other breweries are opening soon.

Motor Row Brewing, 2337 S. Michigan Ave., is set to open this month and Baderbräu Brewing Company, 2515 S. Wabash Ave., should open this summer. With Motor Row and Baderbräun opening south of Cermak, it might help spur development that has been stalled in that area for years.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Free Coffee Refills today, all day at Overflow Coffee Bar

Overflow Coffee Bar, 1550 S. State St., is the “unofficial” warming center today, this according to their Twitter feed. “The heat is up, the wifi is running and refills on our drip coffee are free all day.”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top-ten Posts for 2014

What were the top posts from 2014? Well here they are. It’s an interesting mix of things that is pretty South Loop-centric for the most part. We witnessed the biggest house move in North America (even if it was just moving across the street); the opening of a new dog park; and a fire at a favorite landmark restaurant.

Fireplace in the William Reid house
10. Glessner House Museum presents “A Walk Through Time” June 8, 2014—This annual tour of the remaining Prairie Avenue mansions is a big draw and always a lot of fun. To get a glimpse of some of the grand mansions that inhabited Chicago’s original gold coast. The tour allows visitors to tour the roughly six mansions that still exist. This fund-raiser for the Glessner House Museum also features a reception and silent auction.

9. Your Teddy Bear Needs a Vacation: Three New Chicago Startups—Featuring three new startups, this post reported about a new company that will take pictures of your teddy bear in front of iconic Chicago landmarks. Just what we all need, right?!

8. Attention Shoppers: Jewel-Osco victim of hack—First is was Target, then Home Depot, then Jewel! Just a reminder that our financial and personal information is pretty vulnerable.

Overflow Coffee Bar
7. Overflow Coffee Bar Makes Best Coffee Shops To Work from Home List—Local coffee bar was noted as one of the best places to work from, according to a post at CBS Chicago.

6. New Shops and Restaurants Coming to Roosevelt Collection—The Roosevelt Collection is starting to look like North Avenue and we’re happy about that, right?

5. Checking in with The Burger Point—Hard to believe, but The Burger Point has been in the South Loop for three years. So how many Gobblers and Buffalo Burgers have I eaten? Don’t ask, but they were delicious!

4. New Restaurant opens south of Cermak—January 2014 brought a new restaurant to the South Loop. FleetWood opened at 2333 S. Michigan Ave.

3. Vice District Brewing Co. Opens in the South Loop—Who would have thought a craft brewery would open on Michigan Ave.? Well Vice District opened in August and has been packed practically every day they’ve been open.

2. GSLA movie in the park rescheduled for September 2, 2014—The original date in July was rained out, but the “curtain” went up on The Croods September 2.

1. South Loop Food Pantry looks for volunteers—Who says the volunteer spirit is dead? Many folks read this post and ended up volunteering at the South Loop Food Pantry at 1347 S. State St. In operation for almost 3 years, the food pantry operates every Saturday 9 - 11 a.m.

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