Chicago Relocation

Old Town – 2nd City and NOW WE GET TO THE SO MUCH MORE (A Belated Part 2)

February 13, 2015

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John D’Ambrogio

Speaking of beer (I think we were some time ago), there is no shortage in Old Town – The Pour House, Old Town Ale House, Declan’s, Burton Place.  All filled with cool hipsters and multiple taps.  Can’t go wrong at any of them.  Restaurants include classics like O’Brien’s for steak, Topo Gigio and Orso’s for Italian; Bistro Margot for le Francais; you’ve got to try the ribs at Fireplace Inn; Kamehachi is an old town favorite, including their restaurant and of course the “old” restaurant, now a very cool lounge; ah you won’t go hungry in Old Town. One more place! The Hotel Lincoln’s rooftop bar, J. Parker! The view, oh my….

And once you’re full you can laugh it off. There’s Zanie’s Comedy club – just off North/Wells with great stand up. And of course Old Town is really known for SECOND CITY – – and their improv training school and performance centers. A little cabaret opened in 1959 and now is a mecca to comedy and improv. I can’t even start on about them or I’ll rave and start talking about Belushi, Farley, Radner, Murray, Arkin, Rivers, Long…..

Oh, heck, here’s a very abbreviated list – Thanks for supplying it:

  • (1960) Alan Arkin (The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, Little Miss Sunshine)
  • (1961) Joan Rivers
  • (1961) Avery Schreiber (My Mother the Car)
  • (1961) Del Close (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  • (1965) Fred Willard (Fernwood 2Nite, Roseanne, Everybody Loves Raymond, A Mighty Wind’)
  • (1967) Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, Taxi Driver, Everybody Loves Raymond)
  • (1969) Joe Flaherty (SCTV, Freaks and Geeks)
  • (1969) Harold Ramis (SCTV, Ghostbusters, Stripes)
  • (1971) John Belushi (SNL, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Neighbors)
  • (1973) Gilda Radner (SNL, Gilda Radner Live from the Winter Garden Theatre)
  • (1973) Bill Murray (SNL, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes, Where the Buffalo Roam)
  • (1973) Betty Thomas (Hill Street Blues)
  • (1973) Dan Aykroyd (SNL, Ghostbusters, Driving Miss Daisy, The Blues Brothers)
  • (1974) Eugene Levy (SCTV, A Mighty Wind, American Pie)
  • (1975) Dave Thomas (SCTV, Strange Brew, Grace Under Fire)
  • (1975) George Wendt (Cheers)
  • (1976) Shelley Long (Cheers)
  • (1978) James Belushi (SNL, According to Jim)
  • (1978) Tim Kazurinsky (SNL, Police Academy)
  • (1979) Mary Gross (SNL, Hot to Trot, Feds)
  • (1983) Richard Kind (Mad About You, Spin City)
  • (1986) Dan Castellaneta (The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons)
  • (1986) Bonnie Hunt (Life With Bonnie, Cheaper by the Dozen, Cars, The Bonnie Hunt Show)
  • (1988) Mike Myers (SNL, Wayne’s World, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Shrek)
  • (1989) Chris Farley (SNL, Tommy Boy, Black Sheep)
  • (1989) Tim Meadows (SNL, The Ladies Man, Mean Girls, The Bill Engvall Show)
  • (1991) Steve Carell (The Daily Show, The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine)
  • (1991) Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With)
  • (1993) Stephen Colbert (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Strangers with Candy, Exit 57)
  • (1994) Scott Adsit (Mr. Show, 30 Rock, Moral Orel)
  • (1994) David Koechner (SNL, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Office, The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show)
  • (1994) Nancy Walls (SNL, The Daily Show, The Office)
  • (Tour) Amy Poehler (SNL, Baby Mama, Parks and Recreation,Upright Citizen’s Brigade)
  • (Tour) Matt Walsh (Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Veep)
  • (1995) Rachel Dratch (SNL, 30 Rock)
  • (1995) Adam McKay (SNL, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby)
  • (1995) Jon Glaser (Delocated, Late Night with Conan O’Brien)
  • (1996) Tina Fey (SNL, Mean Girls, Baby Mama, 30 Rock)
  • (1996) Horatio Sanz (SNL, The New Guy, Fillmore!)
  • (1997) Jim Zulevic (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm)
  • (1999) Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)
  • (Tour) John Lutz (30 Rock, SNL)
  • (2003) Dan Bakkedahl (The Daily Show)
  • (2004) Frank Caeti (MADtv)

Unbelievable that all these folks walked through that little door at North and Wells and honed the art of the improv! And the best is they let regular schmoos like me take classes there. Excellent! That’s reason enough to visit Old Town!




Tags: John D’Ambrogio, Chicago neighborhoods, Chicago Real Estate, Chicago relocation, Old Town, Second City Theater


2015 Real Estate Outlook for Chicagoland, 2014 Review

February 4, 2015

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John D’Ambrogio

Hello friends – Here’s a quick overview of what happened in ’14 and what we think WILL happen in ’15.  I am fortunate to have featured speaker Pam O’Connor, CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World share her views as well.