Roadie Q (Local): Lillie’s Q

I recently had a chance to get lunch at Lillie’s Q in Wicker Park as part of my ongoing BBQ vision quest.  I have a tough time characterizing this place.  Honestly, I would have to describe it as “BBQ for the fastidious yuppie.”  On the surface, this description could be taken a lot of ways, but I’ll try to explain myself in the following paragraphs.

When I make these, I call 'em "Dollard Greens."

When I make these, I call ’em “Dollard Greens.”

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Roadie Q (Local): Smoke Daddy

Another stop on my BBQ vision quest, but this one is much closer to home: Smoke Daddy.  They’ve been around in Chicago for a while, and everyone in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area knows about ’em.  It’s my local BBQ joint.

Let’s start with the ambiance, which they get pretty much right.  It’s not too nice and clean (a good thing for a BBQ joint), and they have live blues most nights (a tried-and-true BBQ convention).  It has the feel of a place where people have come through the doors with all kinds of stories to tell, good and bad.

Neon, blues music, and a wide beer selection.  That's a good start.

Neon, blues music, and a wide beer selection. That’s a good start.

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An Un-burritoble Loss: La Pasadita (East Side)

I’ve written a lot about my neighborhood and the institutions that serve it.  I work with all sorts of neighborhood denizens in my activities in real estate and as a local musician.  I have never, ever received a response about the closing/changing of a local business as strong as the ones I’ve gotten about the closing of the finest burrito joint anywhere (even Nate Silver agrees).  Right at the beginning of the new year, the sign came down and we started to wonder if they were just remodeling or changing up the exterior.  Then the news started to come in.

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Bug-Eyed in Chicago: Star Lounge

The inauspicious store front.

The inauspicious store front.

This post is long overdue.  I’ve been drinking coffee at Star Lounge for a long time now, and I’m just getting around to writing about it.  Some background on Star Lounge is in order.  First off, they sell Dark Matter coffee, which is some of the best coffee I’ve ever had (Alinea agrees, they serve it) and it’s brewed right in my neighborhood.  These characteristics fall right in line with my sensibilities.  The Lounge itself also brings a lot to the table.

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Roadie ‘Que #1: Woodyard BBQ

Currently, I live/work/play in Chicago, but I am originally from Kansas City.  Most people have a good idea about what Chicago is: large city, burgeoning culinary/drinking scene, history as a political machine, sports-crazed, etc.  Kansas City, on the other hand, is kind of known as a fly-over city with really bad sports teams.  However, in our own minds we do claim a high perch in one area: Barbecue.  This is my newest line of blog posts where I visit BBQ places all over the world and report back.  Of course, the majority will be from KC and Chicago. Continue reading

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Boring But Important: Why Home Buyers Must Consider Property Taxes in Chicago

First off, I’m going to apologize for this sounding kind of like economics homework, but it’s super important.  My goal as a Realtor is to help my clients be savvy buyers, and savvy buyers need to understand these types of scenarios to ultimately get the most wealth creation from their homes.

This is an example that matches very closely to a situation I have seen in real life in Chicago.  Single family homes in Chicago often cost about $1 million dollars, but their tax bills can vary greatly.  Let’s say as a buyer you are deciding between the following two possibilities, and that you like them equally well:

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BCS Conferences and Economic Systems: The Surprisingly Close Parallels

This is kind of a strange idea, but somehow the more I thought about it, the more the pieces fit together.  There is a story about NCAA Football and economic/government systems and history that parallels incredibly well.  I’m going to lay out the details of this below in the order of ESPNs current BCS conference rankings:

1. Big 12 – Welfare State

2. SEC – Northern European Socialism

3. PAC 12 – Government by Referendum

4. Big 10 – Communism

5. ACC – Caribbean Communism

6. Big East – PIGS Socialism

7. Independents – Militias

The story for each conference follows:

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