Archive for July, 2013

Arts Expo Events tomorrow, 7/21

July 21st – 8:00am-1:00pm
Rebecca Parker Baking Bread

The final bread baking session!  Bring an ingredient, a recipe, or share a story. Join your neighbors and Rebecca Parker and bake bread.

July 21st – 11:00am-3:00pm

Meet local author James Conroyd Martin who will be at the Expo to sign his most recent book The Warsaw Conspiracy.

July 21st – 8:00pm-10:00pm
The Anything But-Bored Game

Roll a die! Pick a card! Take a chance! In this wild experiment by Cynthia Bangert and Julie Pearson, improv show meets board game in a life-sized collision of show and sport. The audience will split into teams, each of which is represented by a “pawn” (a performer). As the pawns move through the game board, they’ll be prompted to perform scenes, monologues, and games; and the teams of audience members will be prompted to perform challenges of wit and physical prowess* to determine which performer wins the game.

*physical prowess not required


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Buena Park Open Day recap

IMG_0049Buena Park Neighbors held its first Buena Park Open Day on Sunday, and it was a smashing success. Over 300 people purchased passes to the five hour event. From Chicago Architecture Foundation tours of Hutchinson St, to tours and music in The Peace Garden, Father Jim at St. Mary of the Lake church, grilled brats and home grown kale at Gingko gardens, Buena Park Arts Expo and Profiles Theater, there was something for just about everyone. The Smart Love School was also open for tours that included bread baking by Rebecca Parker. Oh, and our four footed friends also had their special Pawcasso event, shepherded by Ken Gasper, where they created memorable works of art.

A Big Thanks to the team who put it all together. First the committee: Chair Lisa von Drehle, Alice Leahy, Scott Baskin, Lois Scheurer, Sandi Pizano, and Bill Petty. The tireless day-of volunteers were: all of the above, plus Brian Bianchi, Christina Bies, Susan Brown, Al Felker, Suzanne Franklin, Suzie Galler, Christine Kandaras, Rex Moore, Angela Spinazze, and our official photographer, Gene Tenner. See Gene Tenner’s photos of Buena Park Open Day here.

Most of all, we want to thank our sponsors. Their commitment to our neighborhood makes it all possible: Reside living • Thorek Hospital • 7/Eleven • The Reservoir • Chase Bank • The Dollop • Princess Cleaners • SSA #34 • Clarendon Market • Coldwell Banker • PHH Home Loans • Matt’s Cookies • Impark • Razon Restaurant • European and US Car Service • The Bar on Buena

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Buena Park Open Day this Sunday

Sunday, July 14 • Noon to 5 pm

Entrance at 4200 N Clarendon at Buena

Chicago’s Newest Neighborhood Festival

This inaugural  summer festival gives you an inside look at a classic Chicago neighborhood that is architecturally significant, culturally diverse, artistically innovative—and a whole lot of fun. Enjoy!


  • Prairie School Architecture on Hutchinson Street. An introduction to architect George Maher, a Frank Lloyd Wright Contemporary, whose homes are the cornerstone of the Hutchinson Street historic district. The Chicago Architecture Foundation leads 30-minute sidewalk tours: 12:30 pm, 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pmMeet at the northeast corner of Hazel and Hutchinson.
  • St. Mary of the Lake. Tours of both interior and exterior of this historic 100-year-old Italian Renaissance church led by Father Jim. 2:15 pm and 3 pm.  4200 N. Sheridan Rd.
  • Smart Love House. Tours of the house known affectionately as the Mansion on Buena. All day. Buena and Clarendon.


  • Ginkgo Organic Gardens. This volunteer-operated pantry garden and community member since 1994 will make the case that you aren’t eating enough kale—and then feed you grilled sausages! Feast, tour the garden, meet the volunteers and relax with the neighbors under the shade of a moonglow pear tree. All Day. 4055 N. Kenmore.
  • Peace Garden.
    12:30-2: Meet a Chicago Park District horticulturalist.  Tour the garden and learn about native plantings.
    3:00-5:00: The Rhythms of West Africa.  Dance and drumming performance.
    Buena just east of Marine Dr. 


  • The Rhythms of West Africa.  Get down in the park with LowEndTheory Drums. This vibrant, accessible dance and drumming ensemble will present the music of West Africa, with a focus on the unique sounds of Guinea and Mali—sure to get your toes tapping and your hips swaying. 3 pm to 5 pm. Peace Garden at Buena just east of Marine Dr.
  • Eclectic Music Performances. While you are at the Smart Love House, be sure to catch one of the ongoing music performances. All Day. Buena and Clarendon.

Arts and Performance

  • Arts Expo: Meet Local Authors. Join local authors Jane Hertenstein and Lowell Thompson at the neighborhood’s newest gallery space for an afternoon of reading, conversation and stories. 1 pm to 5 pm.  4101 N. Broadway.
  • Profiles Theatre Showcase. Watch new scenes every 15 minutes from acclaimed recent plays in this rumored former Speakeasy.  Actors will present selections from “The Whale” by Samuel D. Hunter, “Blackbird” by Adam Rapp and “In God’s Hat” by Rhett Rossi. Attendees will receive a voucher for half price tickets to Profiles’ current hit “In the Company of Men” by Neil LaBute. 2 pm to 4 pm.  Profiles Theatre Main Stage, 4147 N. Broadway.

Family Fun and Other Activities

  • Pawcasso: A Benefit for PAWS Chicago. Create a one-of-a-kind piece of art with your significant pooch — A Pawcasso! It’s a barking good collaboration: You choose the colors, and your dog blends them (using our special process in which the dogs do not get paint on themselves). $20 donation—all monies collected go to PAWS Chicago. Your BPOD admission will upgrade you to a 10”x20” canvas. Noon to 1:30 pm at Challenger Bark, Buena just east of Kenmore.
  • Bike Rodeo.  Along with providing bike education and tips on how to ride safely in Chicago, Chicago Bicycle Ambassadors will be holding a bike rodeo!  So bike on over – helmet required, spurs optional. Open to children and adults; includes free safety literature. Noon to 3 pm. Smart Love parking lot.
  • Family-Friendly Activities and Games. Sing-alongs for parents and children, breadmaking with Artist Rebecca Parker, games and art for young children, garden tours and light refreshments. Plus, an opportunity to meet the awesome Smart Love Team. All Day. Smart Love House.


  • Chitown Tamales Food Truck—Smart Love House parking lot
  • Ice Cream from the Melody Ice Cream Co.—Clarendon by Smart Love
  • Bar-B-Q and Lemonade—Ginkgo Organic Gardens
  • Special offers on refreshments from our sponsors:
    • The Reservoir, 844 W. Montrose
    • Bar on Buena, 910 W. Buena
    • Michael’s Pizzeria & Tavern, 4091 N. Broadway
    • The Dollop, 4181 N Clarendon

Many thanks to our sponsors. Their commitment to our neighborhood has made this event possible. Show them some love!

Reside living • Thorek Hospital • 7/Eleven • The Reservoir • Chase Bank • Princess Cleaners • SSA 34 • Clarendon Market • Coldwell Banker • PHH Home Loans • Matt’s Cookies  • Impark • Razon Restaurant • European and US Car Service • The Bar on Buena

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The below article appeared in our July newsletter.

Buena Park Arts Expo Show Opens

Buena Park Arts Expo Show Opens

June 13 was the opening of the first art show of the season for Buena Park Arts Expo.  The participating artists, Jeff Littelton and Lowell Thompson, are both Uptown artists who are deeply rooted in the area’s culture of fine art.  They each invited other substantial artists in the area to join them in a display of work that is extraordinary by any standard.

Both Jeff and Lowell chose the opening event to unveil original and significant works that have never been shown in public. We encourage everyone to stop by to see their work as well as the entire collection.

The goal of the Buena Park Arts Expo is to share local art with the community.  The creative spirit is alive and well in Uptown in general and Buena Park in particular.  Every day folks stop by inquiring about what it takes to get into the gallery and the answer is always the same: “Contact Angela Spinazze’, our program director and we’ll get you scheduled.”  The gallery is of, by and for the people and we encourage anyone who has a desire to share work to be part of the summer-long event.

Current artists include:

The show runs through Sunday, July 14 (Buena Park Open Day).  Shows will rotate approximately every two weeks through August.  If you are interested in showing your creative output, including the written and spoken word, photography, ceramics, music or other media, contact artsexpo@buenaparkneighbors.org.

Gallery hours:

Hours of operation are expected to be:

  • Thursdays 7-10pm
  • Fridays 7-10pm
  • Saturdays 1-6pm
  • Sundays 1-6pm

Other times by appointment

Special events will be announced on our website and through social media.

Because so many people have asked to show their work, we are still working on the rest of the schedule for July and will be publishing it on or about July 8. Stay tuned.

Painting of the Aragon and Uptown Lounge



As far as we know, Buena Park Arts Expo is a special and unique event not being done anywhere else in the city.  It provides a creative outlet for anyone who wants to share their work with a greater audience.  Where it will go we don’t know, but we do know that good things will come from it not only for Buena Park but also Uptown and beyond.  It is designed to be a positive center of influence that is a “safe place” to freely share ideas and to dicover commonality through various art forms.  Without the generosity of the the sponsors listed below this could never have happened.  There is no way to thank you enough.


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