Chicago Riverwalk Tour 2017

750 North Rush isn’t just a fantastic building to live in, with all of its amazing amenities and awesome rooftop pool deck.  No, it’s also the buildings location, situated in the heart of River North you are just steps from some of the best spots in Chicago.  Nightlife, shopping and restaurants, you have it all just outside your front door at 750 North Rush.  Another great location comes to mind when thinking of 750 North Rush, that is of course the Chicago River and more importantly the ongoing updated Chicago Riverwalk.  Here at PPM, we decided to try the brand new Chicago Riverwalk tour put on by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  Wow, where we impressed, so we thought we share it with you.

2017 Chicago Riverwalk Tour

You start at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and work your way west, all the way down to the newly finished Floating Garden.  On a beautiful summer day, this has to be one of the newest and best tours around.  They even split the groups up so you are in smaller pairs and not cramped together.  The tour guides are filled with Chicago history spanning the walk and then some.  You will learn, hear and see some brand new areas of the city you may have never known about.  It’s well worth it!

Activities

The Chicago Riverwalk is also littered with restaurants, bars and activities you can do after the tour.  Those kayaks you see all they time on the Chicago River, this is the spot to grab one at Urban Kayaks.  Looking for a restaurant after the tour, why not try Tiny Tapp and Café.  Or maybe you’re looking to grab a drink and well drink in the sights and sounds of the City on the River.  Cyrano’s Café and Wine Bar is your spot, among others spanning the walk.  This is just a taste of what the Riverwalk has to offer and we suggest you take a stroll and explore a it.

Tour

The tour is about 90 minutes long and takes you down the newly opened west end of the Chicago Riverwalk.  You will learn history of the Riverwalk along with some tips on what to do and see after the tour.  You can find out more here, from their website.  There are multiple tours and prices vary so we suggest you check them out here!

The Chicago Riverwalk is an amazing, relaxing and fun place that we only here in Chicago can experience.  Even if a tour does not tickle your fancy, we can’t stress enough of the fun and exciting things the Riverwalk has become.  We encourage you to give it a shot this summer!  Make sure to checkout our latest blog on Chicago July Outdoor Festivals!

Chicago's Spring Flowers

One of the best things to happen in Chicago is the inevitable end of winter.  When winter ends spring begins and that means summer is just around the corner.  We won’t go over all the amazing things to do in Chicago during the summer months, will save that blog for later, but we will talk about one key part of spring.  That is of course spring flowers, spring flowers fill Chicago every April and beginning of May with a colorful display you don’t want to miss.  What better way to enjoy the colorful season then a quick guide to the best viewing spots of Chicago spring flowers.  Remember, many of these areas are within walking distance of countless PPM buildings ranging from the Gold Coast to Lincoln Park.  So make sure to check them out while you still can!

Jackson Park/Osaka Gardens

We did a video last year on Osaka Gardens and how you can see spring both in Chicago and Japan all at once.  From the beautiful Cherry blossoms to the hand crafted Japanese garden.  This is a spot you don’t want to miss this spring.

Lurie Garden

In the downtown area?  Why not walk through Laurie Garden next to Millennium Park.  It’s right next to the Chicago Art Institute and is lined with countless paths of blooming spring flowers.  Protected by two 15-foot hedges, the garden is home to many colorful plants.  A must see off Michigan Ave!

Chicago Botanic Garden

A staple in Chicago gardens, the Chicago Botanic Garden has it all.  25 garden displays and four natural habitats, there is more wilderness here they you can hope for.  Countless colorful flowers bloom here in an almost endless sea of color.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Azaleas, spring bulbs and perennials enhance the art collective Luftwerk’s LED light installation, Solarize: A Sea of All Colors.  Bringing in light and color to enhance the beautiful flowers lined inside this Chicago conservatory.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Home of the spring flower show, find a rotating selection of spring blooms.  Including a leafy descendants of the azaleas that bloomed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition as well as many others!

Chicago Beaches Are Open!

Finally!  The Chicago air is warming and summer is upon us.  Chicago summers are what make our winters bearable.  No matter which Planned Property Management building you live in, the beach is not far away.  Chicago’s 2015 beach season runs from Friday, May 22, to Monday, September 7.  Official hours are 11 AM to 7 PM when lifeguards are on duty, though few seem to live by those hours.  The water is cold early in the season.

Montrose Beach and Wilson Dog Beach - This is Chicago's largest beach, with one of only two dog beaches in Chicago which is situated at the north end of the beach (the other is at the north end of Foster Avenue Beach).   Lots and lots of free parking is available, as long as there is not an event scheduled.  Montrose is one of the few beaches you can launch a kayak, canoe, stand–up paddleboard, or other non-motorized boats from.  The beach has recently been remodeled with a 3,000-square-foot deck and a full service restaurant, The Dock at Montrose Beach.  The dog beach is spacious and mostly civilized. 

North Avenue Beach - This beach is considered Chicago's premier beach and definitely its most popular. North Avenue Beach runs from Fullerton Avenue from the north to North Avenue on the north.  The beach house resembles an ocean liner and contains bike and sports equipment rentals, a bar and restaurant (Castaways), a concession stand, a lifeguard station, and restrooms. North Ave. Beach is popular for beach volleyball, is right on the lakefront path, and is the center stage for the Chicago Air & Water Show.  Driving to North Avenue beach is tough, as there is little parking. 

Oak Street Beach - This beach is about a mile and a half long, and is home to the largest area of deep-water swimming in the city.  Due to its proximity to downtown, Oak Street Beach once was Chicago’s showcase beach. It is also home to Chicago's only chess pavilion and an outdoor restaurant called the Oak Street Beachstro. It has limited volleyball, and can be less crowded than North Avenue Beach.  There is a large, sandy beach and a cement path area where you can jump into the lake.  Great area for rollerblading, skateboarding, or just going to the beach without bringing home the sand.

Olive Park Beach - This spot is also known as Ohio Street Beach and is located in Streeterville. It is oriented in a fashion so that it faces north instead of east like all the other beaches. This beach has a slower pace and is ideal for families or as a stopping point on the way to the nearby Navy Pier.  Olive Park Beach is the launching point for open water swimming. You can swim about a half mile to the Oak Street curve without being more that a few feet from the seawall and shallow water.

There are rules to follow when going to the beach, though it seems few follow them strictly.  Follow lifeguards’ instructions - they are there to keep you safe!

· Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permitted. 

· No smoking.

· No alcohol.

· No glass containers - broken glass in the sand can cause serious injuries.  This is a pet peeve of mine.

· Dogs are not allowed on the beach except in designated dog friendly areas at Foster Beach and Montrose Beach.

· Do not feed birds or wildlife.  Seagulls and geese are one of the largest sources of the bacteria that cause swim advisories.  Feeding gulls attracts them to the beach.

· Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers. Trash attracts gulls to the beach, which can cause swim advisories.

· Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.  Please do not dump coals next to trees, where they can damage tree roots.

· Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.

· Surfing, windsurfing and kite-boarding are only allowed in designated areas.

 Summer in Chicago is fun and PPM’s buildings put you right in the middle of fun in every direction. 

PPM Has 4 Buildings With Pools and They Open May 11

Spring is finally here in Chicago.  Planned Property Management has four buildings with swimming pools and they will be opening on Monday, May 11.

If you are looking to rent an apartment with a swimming pool, check these out:

 ·  750 N. Rush
·   1120 N. LaSalle
·   1111 N. Dearborn
·   1133 N. Dearborn

If you already are living in one of these buildings, find out about hours and pool rules from building management.

A few simple tips if you are headed out to the pool. 

·  It is Chicago; check the weather!

·  Keep an eye on your children.

·  If it is made of glass, keep it away from the pool area.

·  No diving in the shallow end.

·  Always have fun.

·  Remember the sunscreen.

From the REI website here are some tips for choosing a sunscreen.

o   SPF rating: SPF = Sunburn Protection Factor. It’s a gauge of the product’s effectiveness against sunburn-causing ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. If you are outside for long stretches (2+ hours), choose SPF 30 or higher.

o   Broad spectrum: This indicates that a product is deemed effective against both UVB (skin-burning) and UVA (skin-aging) rays. UVA and UVB rays can also contribute to skin cancer, the most common cancer of all. If you see “broad spectrum” on a label, it’s a good thing.

o   Sweat- or water-resistant: No sunscreen is waterproof, even though that term used to appear on product labels. Based on performance in lab tests, new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines now allow products to claim water (or sweat) resistance of either 40 or 80 minutes.

No perfect sunscreen exists. “The best sunscreen is the sunscreen you like well enough that you’ll use it regularly,” says John E. Wolf, Jr., MD, MA and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Chicago Blues Fest Returns for the 32nd Time, June 12 – 14

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest FREE blues festival in the world and is the largest of Chicago's Music Festivals.  Three days of music on five stages in a beautiful location with more than 500,000 blues fans continues to show the world that Chicago is the "Blues Capital of the World."

The Chicago Blues Festival is held in Grant Park and is centered around Petrillo Band Shell, just across the street to the east of The Art Institute.  One of the great things about all PPM apartments is that downtown Chicago is easily accessible and a very quick journey via public transportation or on a bicycle.  Cyclists are encouraged to bicycle to the Chicago Blues Festival and there is a complimentary bike parking valet.  It's easy and safe!  There is a lot of car parking available around Grant Park and if you use a smartphone app like SpotHero it can be affordable.  Otherwise, budget around $30 to park your car.

The Chicago Blues Festival is open from 11:00am – 9:30pm daily.  This year’s lineup is amazing as usual.  Headliners include Syl Johnson, Clarence Carter, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, and the festival concludes with tributes to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.  If you do not know Willie Dixon or Muddy Waters be sure to be in the audience and it will surprise you how many of their songs you will know, as a lot were covered by rock bands over the years.  Food, drinks, and an array of souvenirs ranging from t-shirts to LPs and CDs make it as easy to spend a day as it would an hour. 

This festival is for everybody.  You will find people from all over the US and the world at these shows, and from 1 year old to 100.  Bring as much gear or as little as you want and set up in the grassy area beyond the seats at the Petrillo Band Shell.  Amazing setups with tables, chairs, tablecloths, candles, wine, and whatever you can imagine, are hauled in by Blues fans.  For the mobile and for minimalists, a simple blanket and backpack to carry your food and drinks will do the trick. 

Planned Property Management wants you to have fun and there is no better way than to pack up a picnic, gather up your friends and family and head down to Grant Park for the Chicago Blues Festival.  Other upcoming festivals include the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, May 29-31, Taste of Chicago, July 8-12, and the Chicago Jazz Festival, September 3-6.