Archive for the ‘Living in Chicago’ Category

MasterCraft desk fan manufactured in 1947. It’s a truly well-built piece of vintage American manufacturing. Built just after World War II, it’s 8″ fan blade runs like an airplane propeller.

It runs very smoothly and fast. The motor and bearings have been cleaned, then lubricated. The fan also has been rewired, with a new power cord. There is one speed controlled by an on/off switch. This retro desk fan creates a massive amount of airflow for a unit measuring 10.5″ in height. The Chrome fittings and fan blade have been cleaned/ polished. The steel and cast iron parts received a fresh coat of paint.

This fan was built to last forever and it just received it’s 64 year service. It’s ready to give that retro look and quality to your office or home. It does have an oscillating mechanism at the rear, which does not work. I believe the gearing has worn away from years of use. It doesn’t affect the overall purpose or look of this brilliant desk fan. This is a solid metal original and after running for awhile the motor housing will become hot to the touch. This is normal, as there is no plastic on this fan.

Offered at $95.-SOLD

Email: inquire@hartonginternational.com for details, payment and shipping arrangements


Read Full Post »

The Chicago area was hit by the biggest snowstorm in twelve years. As many of you know, it’s been a lot of work to dig out of your home today. The magic of a large snow makes one realize the power of snow and wind. Walking around today, I noticed snow drifts nearly six feet tall.

These weather events are always memorable. I vividly remember the last big Chicago storm, in 1999. The hours of throwing snow around with a toy shovel, only later to see your car emerge from beneath a white flawless blanket. Freezing temps and numb toes, bring on daydreams of July.  Not much longer and the snow will be a distant memory. Here’s a video to remember the blizzard of 2011. Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

There are many fantastic beaches along the Chicago North Shore and well into the city. The city beaches can all be visited free of charge, with North Avenue beach being the most popular.  I’m not sure of the total count, but there are beaches from Rogers Park to the South Side.

Evanston has six beaches with one being a dog beach. A beach token must be purchased to avoid the $8 charge per visit to enter onto an Evanston beach. I favor Lee Street beach in Evanston for no significant reason, but it’s definitely an attractive place to relax in the sun.

Wilmette has a fantastic beach at Gilson Park, but I’m not sure of the current cost. Winnetka, Highland Park and Lake Forest have a few notable beaches.  I’d recommend clicking on the town and city links I have on the side bar for more information about the lakeshore offerings in the various municipalities. There’s a lot to choose from along Lake Michigan’s shores, so have fun and explore a bit.

Read Full Post »

Now that the ground has thawed, it’s a great time to start planting shrubs & trees. The roots tend to take well in the cool wet conditions. Spring is a short season in Chicago, so the sooner the better. Less water is required than in summer planting, in turn costing a homeowner less to start a new landscape.

Regardless of when anything is planted, mulch is essential. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil and discourages weeds from growing. Make sure to use a natural dark mulch like, shredded hardwood.  It looks great and improves the soil as it breaks down.  For more about landscaping ideas, visit Watercolour Gardens.

Read Full Post »

Connections for the Homeless is having a Spring Benefit on Saturday, April 17th 2010. This year’s fundraiser will be held at the Four Seasons, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611. Cocktails and a silent auction will begin at 6pm, followed by dinner and dancing. Attire: Black Tie optional. RSVP by April 9th 2010.

For details: 847.475.7070 or www.cfthinc.org

Connections provides housing, employment, supportive services for individuals and families faced with homelessness.  Your support as a volunteer or donation, is always welcome.

Read Full Post »

Chicago in the 1920’s had many covert watering holes. Secret knocks. Rotating bookcases. There’s a lot of lore about these sinful places of hard liquor, philandering fedoras and loose women. The end of prohibition dried these places into the pages of history – at least one would think.

Hidden away in plain view, unobservant eyes might easily miss the entrance to a modern-day speakeasy. The Violet Hour, on Damen Avenue, is Chicago’s 21st century speakeasy. Great mixologists work delicately, creating drinks of historical accuracy and contemporary flavor. The entire environment has an impressive decor’, which brings a classic London club vibe to contemporary patrons. It’s a place of taste and old-fashioned rules. No phones and proper attire required. Philandering still encouraged.

The Violet Hour, 1520 North Damen Avenue, Chicago 60622.

For more about the 1920’s speakeasy, click here.

Read Full Post »

Back when I was doing my Postgrad in landscape design and architecture, I had several lectures on natural swimming pools.  I found the idea incredibly interesting in that, they self-clean.  No need for chemicals.  The pH balance is controlled by the pool having half it’s surface/subsurface covered in vegetation. In turn, that plant material helps to clean the water.  There are several other technical aspects which include layers of gravel and stones to help with filtration.

What I find so wonderful about the natural swimming pool, it blends right into a finely designed landscape, just as a pond would. Many traditional swimming pools can detract from a landscape and become the only focal point. The natural pools also require very little maintenance once they have been built, when balanced by the right percentage of vegetation. They really do begin to self regulate, without nasty chemicals.  One consideration, you have to be comfortable with cold water or at least without temperature regulation. Space is also a consideration.  You really need a fairly large piece of property or be willing to have it as a dominating feature in a larger urban lot.

It’s a trend that started in Europe, with a large number initially being built in Germany, Holland and Belgium. The first one I saw built was as a landscape design student in Oxford. It was an incredibly attractive pool and blended into the surrounding landscape brilliantly. It was impressive from an eco and aesthetic perspective. It blended completely with the woodland behind it and  the contemporary outdoor room that surrounded it.

The more I read, it appears the trend has just begun to catch on in North America. Green by Design wrote a nice blog post, showing how they look and a basic diagram of the mechanics.

If there is interest in the Chicago area for having one built, I have detailed plans and could provide a European trained contractor to build it.  For more info, visit Watercolour Gardens.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »