Thanks Chicago!

To wrap up our Giving Thanks series, we thought, what better to be thankful for than the great city we call home – Chicago!  And with the holidays just around the corner, Chicago offers some of the greatest traditions out there!

To get you in the mood and kick off the season, check out the annual Tree Lighting ceremony tonight at 5pm in Daley Plaza.  Even though budget battles have once again slashed the size of the tree (it’s still a whopping 55 feet!), this fun-filled tradition remains one of our favorites.  Get there early to enjoy musical performances before they officially flip the switch!

Can’t make it tonight?  Not a problem.  Celebrate tomorrow with The Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The parade takes over State Street from Congress to Randolph at 8am Thanksgiving morning.  The festivities this year include Emmy award winning Grand Marshal Holland Taylor (you may know her as the Mom from Two and a Half Men), marching bands from the Chicagoland area and all your favorite balloons and floats!

Looking for a more cultural holiday experience this year?  Make your way to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket!  This traditional German American holiday market brings food, drink, entertainment and seasonal cheer to Daley Plaza.  Stop by one of the many booths and pick up handmade ornaments, decorations and much more. 

It wouldn’t be a blog post about holiday traditions in Chicago (well, any city for that matter) if we didn’t mention shopping.  A long-time staple of the holidays in Chicago is walking down Michigan Avenue, enjoying the sights and searching for that perfect gift.  It just doesn’t get more Chicago than that.  And if all that ooohing and aaahhhing sets your appetite in motion, stop by Macy’s for a bite to eat at the infamous Walnut Room.  Don’t know what to order?  Go with the Chicken Pot Pie.  You won’t be disappointed.

So happy sightseeing/parade watching/market shopping/chicken pot pie eating to you!  And most of all, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Astoria Tower!

Food for Thought

All the talk about brunch got us thinking about how lucky we are to be able to enjoy a great meal with friends and family, especially when so many others in our community don’t have the same luxury.  So we decided to give thanks and give back!  We teamed up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to organize a food drive and have invited our residents, guests, vendors and visitors alike to embrace the giving spirit and join us.Food Drive Details

The Greater Chicago Food Depository was founded in 1978 and according to their website, they distribute 69 million pounds of food, including more than 18 million pounds of produce, to 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County. Nearly 142,000 men, women and children turn to the Food Depository’s network each week, and nearly 678,000 people turn to the network annually.  Their stated mission is “To provide food to hungry people while striving to end hunger in the community.”  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

So whether you’re a resident of Astoria Tower, a vendor, one of our trusted brokers, or just someone who happened to stumble across this blog, we invite you to join us in the fight against hunger.  Bring your canned goods or other non-perishable food items to the donation bin located in our lobby now through December 14th.  And not that you need extra motivation, but we’re sweetening the pot (or the bin, in this case).  For every five items you donate, you’ll receive an entry to win a $100 Target® gift card. 

So here’s to giving thanks and giving back and watching the donations pile up!  And be sure to stay tuned for updates on our progress…

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving (which is only two weeks away – what?!) has us feeling grateful and we thought it would be fun to devote our November blogs to all the things we’re thankful for.  We’re calling it our Giving Thanks series. 

First up?  Well….thinking about Thanksgiving also has us feeling hungry and brunch is our favorite meal, so giving thanks for all the amazing brunch spots just outside our door in the South Loop seemed like a natural starting place. 

Newly-opened Waffles, located at 1400 S. Michigan, is top on our list.  Try a delicious red velvet waffle topped with cream cheese, a meaty chicken and bacon waffle or our favorite, waffles benedict.  Either way, be prepared for a big decision to start off your meal - fresh cucumbers or fresh lemons in your water?  You can’t go wrong.

In the mood for something a little more traditional?  Visit Bongo Room at 1152 S. Wabash.  They serve fluffy omelets with over 25 ingredients to choose from.  Compliment your one of a kind omelet with their house potatoes for a combo that’s guaranteed not to disappoint. 

Looking for an award-winning brunch entree?  Swing by Yolk at 1120 S. Michigan and order the eggs benedict, voted the best in town.  This month they have a great seasonal menu loaded with fall flavors like taffy apple crepes and pumpkin lattes.  Yum.  Need we say more? 

What’s your favorite South Loop brunch spot?

Our First Halloween

With our first Halloween fast approaching, we knew we wanted to celebrate in a fun way. And at Astoria Tower, we believe Halloween should be full of treats, not tricks.  So we stewed and brewed and crafted a tasty breakfast for our residents, complete with candy, coffee and everything in between. Residents munched on bagels, pastries, fruit and muffins or grabbed a cup of joe to go, while several of the pint-sized residents donned their best Halloween costumes (think tiny pumpkins, pretty princesses and dashing Draculas) and reached directly for the candy bowl. Some of our furry residents even joined in the fun. Now, how to top it next year? Suggestions welcome!

Pumpkin