Live like a native in this artist-owned, artist-occupied vintage building located between the leading edge of the trendy Logan Square restaurant nexus and the old Polish neighborhood. Furnished in rustic Modern finds it's on the Blue Line with easy access to the Loop and O'Hare.
In a fit of insanity, I bought this old building in 2008 and turned the storefront into my studio (I'm a full-time artist) and rented out the rest of the units to art students and musicians which means that the building has a youthful community vibe (read between the lines here). As an experiment I've turned one of the 2 bedrooms into a temporary lodging, completely redone by an up-and-coming interior designer, Tara Rhode, who has tricked out the place in thrift and consignment finds for a rustic Modern look.
The unit has two bedrooms, one with a double bed the other with bunk beds. There's a furnished deck with a view over the rooftops of the surrounding neighborhoods. The top floor deck, which anyone can use, has a pretty amazing view of downtown and the basilica. There's a shared laundry room on the top floor.
The neighborhood is in high demand as a place to live for artists as they're getting priced out of Logan Square. It's wonderfully diverse right now with the remnants of one of the country's largest Polish populations and long-time, working-class Spanish-speaking families. The building itself is located on Milwaukee Avenue used to house a Polish sausage shop and a Polish language school. Right behind the building is one of Chicago's most historic churches, the St. Hyacinth Basilica. Two blocks north on Milwaukee are Polish bars, sausage shops and restaurants where no one speaks English. Four blocks to the south is Chicago's newest hot restaurant, coffee shop, and bar district. On Sundays from 10 - 3 in the summer is one of the best farmers' markets in the city, which has been so popular that there is now a night market on Wednesday evenings.
Best of all, right across the street from the building, is an outstanding new bakery cafe, La Farine. In close proximity is an old family-run Mexican cafe that makes everything homemade, a Thai/Sushi restaurant, and Friendship Chinese, which draws people from all over town. Soon, a craft brew pub will be opening a few doors away. Moe's Tavern, a woman-owned bar that is 'real Chicago' has an active indie music program.
The #56 Milwaukee bus stops a half a block away from the building. It's a straight shot downtown through Logan Square and Wicker Park/Bucktown or you can hop on if you don't feel like walking the 10 minutes to the Logan Square Blue Line stop. The Blue Line goes to and from O'Hare and the Loop. A Divvy bike-share station is at the Blue Line stop. There's an iGo car-sharing lot 2 blocks away and a Zip car lot 5 blocks away. If you have your own car, you can park it in the secure, covered parking at the building for a small extra fee.
I'm sure there will be small items I've forgotten to have in the unit so I'm counting on my pioneering guests to let me know what I can do to make the place more comfortable.
There is a shared coin laundry on the fourth floor of the building, strong free wifi, and a secure garage space (extra fee). The deck is semi-private in the sense that is part of the back staircase so occasionally other tenants will use those stairs.
I will arrange to meet you to give you your key, and will be on hand if there are any problems with the unit or things that you need but, other than that, you will be on your own.
I know that some of the other hosts are praised for acting as tour guides and de facto concierges. I'm not one of them! Partly because when I travel I prefer to be left alone to my own devices, but mostly because I need a lot of uninterrupted time in my studio.
Milwaukee Ave used to be a thriving Main street but now definitely looks down-at-the heels even though it is unmistakably on the upswing. Surprisingly, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the city. Even so, like in all big cities, you need to be aware of your surroundings outside of the building.
If I've left out anything you need to know, feel free to ask me any questions!
Please have your profile information and photo up-to-date because, no matter how nice you are, all I see at my end is a faceless stranger.