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technology

Technology is changing the auto industry

March 2nd, 2017 Posted by Car, Parking, Smart Parking No Comment yet

We are now well into 2017, and it would seem the future of auto technology has arrived—at least, as far as vehicles are concerned. The many new car advancements and trends expected on the road this year are pretty incredible, and some of them really do make one feel like they’re living in a sci-fi film.

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Sharing Some of Chicago’s Best Winter Events

December 22nd, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, restaurants, sharing economy, West Loop No Comment yet

Chicago, the city of the big shoulders. There’s always plenty to see and do in Chicago. Let us share some information with you on winter events in the Windy City.

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5 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

October 20th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

We’re moving into the cooler seasons. Especially Chicago residents know that winter can come in a heart beat. Is your car ready for it?

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Top 5 Chicago Weekly Events: Week of Oct. 3

October 3rd, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

There are tons of fun events going on this week in Chicago and we’re going to make it easier for you to attend them. Not just because we’re listing them on this blog post, but once you get to the event, we’re going to help you park. Now you might be thinking something like, “How is this blog going to help me park?” or “Driving to a crowded event is something I will never ever do.” You’ll be surprised how easy we’re making parking.

Once you decide which of the events listed below you want to attend this weekend, download the ParqEx App on the App Store or Google Play for Android and simply plug in the address of or near the event you’ll be going to. From there, you’ll see all of our parking listings close to the event that you’ll be able to rent for the entire day. It’s easy, convenient, and affordable.

Now that you’re confident with your parking situation (“confident” and “parking” used to be an oxymoron, but not anymore) here’s a list of five events you should check out in Chicago this week:

1.) Rocktober Beer Fest 

 

Where? West Loop, Randolph and Ogden, 1101 W. Adams St.

When? October 7-9, Friday, 5-11 pm; Saturday, 12 Noon-11 pm; Sunday, 12 Noon-10 pm

I mean, the name alone should make you want to go. There will be beer. There will be rock. There will be brats. What else do you need to know? The Rocktober Beer Fest will play on the traditional theme of an authentic German Oktoberfest. Local bands will be heard, beers will be consumed, brats will be eaten, and I will most certainly be there.

West Loop parking used to be tough; not so much anymore. Reserve a parking spot for the Rocktober Beer Fest now using ParqEx. You shouldn’t spend your weekends worrying about parking, and you won’t anymore.

2.) Chicago Cubs Playoffs 

 

It’s that time of year again: playoff time. Watch your Chicago Cubs Friday and Saturday at historic Wrigley Field as they face off in games 1 and 2 of the NLDS against the winner of the Giants/Mets wild card game. Yes, ticket prices are steep, so if going to a game this weekend is not in your budget, head to Wrigleyville and experience the hype from the bars. The city is excited for good reason and being in Wrigleyville during Cubs playoff games is a blast. Make sure you wear your comfortable shoes; seating inside the bars will be almost certainly hard to come by!

As you probably already know, parking in Wrigleyville is difficult, but we’re here to make it easier for you. Our private parking platform gives you access to parking spots you never had access to before. Check out our parking inventory by searching “Wrigley Field” on the ParqEx platform and reserve your spot. Don’t let parking get in the way of your Cubs game day experience.

3.) Bank of America Chicago Marathon 

 

When? Sunday, Oct. 9, 8:00 am

Where? Grant Park

45,000 runners will take center stage this weekend at the annual Chicago Marathon. If you’re one of them, congrats and good luck! If you’re not running, you can still be a part of the fun (because running 26.2 miles is obviously fun…). Don’t hit the snooze button this Sunday morning; head to Grant Park early and watch some of the best runners in the world compete. Have a friend running? Grab a poster, some markers, and your best cheering voice and will them to the finish line.

 

 4.) Alessia Cara Concert 

 

When? Friday, October 7, 8:00 pm

Where? Chicago Theatre

There’s a new breed of pop star seizing hold of the world’s airwaves and online—more accurately, a conscious-pop star who’s set to subversively top charts and sway hearts and minds. This enigma embodied is 18-year-old  Alessia Cara, who’s riding the refrains of her ironic anthem, “Here.” Premiered by The Fader, “Here” garnered over 500,000 total streams in it’s first week, resounding praise for its freshness and insight. Check her out this Friday night at the Chicago Theatre. Information courtesy of alessiacara.com

Purchase your tickets by clicking here! 

Find parking in advance by using the ParqEx App or by checking out the ParqEx website.

5.) Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K Run & Walk

 

Where? 5800 N. Ravenswood Ave.

When? Saturday, Oct. 8, 7:00 pm

Check out fall’s most ‘spirited’ event! It’s the 5th annual 5K on the grounds of the north side’s historic Rosehill Cemetery. Run or walk on the sprawling 350-acre Victorian-era cemetery that opened in 1864. It’s by far the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago (and second largest in Illinois).

Monuments! Mausoleums! Scenic paths! And then there’s the eternal spirits who reside in Rosehill. Among them: more than 10 Chicago mayors, Oscar Mayer, John G. Shedd, Cubs’ announcer Jack Brickhouse, legendary adman Leo Burnett, Sears founder Julius Rosenwald and scores of Civil War vets are just a few of the souls who call Rosehill home.

In addition, there will also be a post run/walk party. Information courtesy of Chicago Events.

 

About ParqEx:

ParqEx is a technology company that connects owners of private parking spots to people looking for parking. In urban areas where parking demand is high but available options are scarce or expensive, ParqEx makes additional supply available to the driving public by listing exclusive inventory owned by local residents and businesses.

Using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income from an underutilized asset while renters get access to exclusive inventory in more convenient and hard-to-park locations. The ParqEx support team ensures that the entire process of listing, reserving, parking, and paying is as smooth as possible for all involved.

ParqEx has also developed the revolutionary Access+ Technology. With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open the garage door from their smartphones. Property managers and condo boards can simplify management and improve control of the garage.

Don’t have our parking app yet? Get it now @ParqEx on the App Store and Google Play!

Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!

 

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How the Evolution of Connected Cars is Changing the Real Estate Tech Landscape

September 29th, 2016 Posted by Car, mobile app, Parking No Comment yet

Wouldn’t city life be better with smooth flowing traffic and non-crowded mass transit options? Are these ideal scenarios even possible in modern America, especially, considering urbanization is adding residents to most of our metropolises every year?

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Parking Isn’t Always Frustrating

September 27th, 2016 Posted by Car, Funny, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

When thinking about parking, especially parking in Chicago, most people either get bored or frustrated. Let’s be honest, it’s not necessarily a subject you talk about at the bar with your best friends (at least I hope not).

Parking spots are usually used for one thing and one thing only: to store a vehicle. But sometimes, people get creative and do other things with them. Like what??? The following may surprise you…

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Chicago Weekend Fun: Week of Sept. 12th

September 13th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, music, News & Events, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

Yes, it’s only Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking about the weekend. If you’re reading this post, you made it through Monday, which is a victory in itself; congrats!

There are tons of fun events going on this weekend in Chicago and we’re going to make it easier for you to attend them. Not just because we’re listing them on this blog post, but once you get to the event, we’re going to help you park. Now you might be thinking something like, “How is this blog going to help me park?” or “Driving to a crowded event is something I will never ever do.” You’ll be surprised how easy we’re making parking.

Once you decide which of the events listed below you want to attend this weekend, download the ParqEx App on the App Store or Google Play for Android and simply plug in the address of or near the event you’ll be going to. From there, you’ll see all of our parking listings close to the event that you’ll be able to rent for the entire day. It’s easy, convenient, and affordable.

Now that you’re confident with your parking situation (“confident” and “parking” used to be an oxymoron, but not anymore) here’s a list of five events you should check out in Chicago this weekend:

1.) West Loop Art Fest (Sept 17-18)

Where? Washington Boulevard between Aberdeen and Halsted Streets

When? Saturday, September 17 from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Check out the work of over 150 selected artists from across the United States at this year’s West Loop Art Fest held in one of Chicago’s most exciting neighborhoods. There will also be lots of food available. And live music. It’s going to be a good time.

Parking in the West Loop used to be tough; not so much anymore. Reserve your spot for this weekend using ParqEx. You shouldn’t spend your weekends worrying about parking, and you won’t anymore.

2.) Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field

Watch your first place Chicago Cubs Thursday-Sunday at historic Wrigley Field as they face off against division rival, Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs will be returning home after a 9-game road trip, and will have the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot on home turf (dependent upon games Tuesday and Wednesday vs. St. Louis).

As you probably already know, parking in Wrigleyville is difficult, but we’re here to make it easier for you. Our private parking platform gives you access to parking spots you never had access to before. Check out our parking inventory by searching “Wrigley Field” on the ParqEx platform and reserve your spot. Don’t let parking get in the way of your Cubs game day experience.

3.) Lakeview Taco Fest

When? Sept 17-18 from 11am to 10pm

Where? On Southport Ave. between Addison and Roscoe

Let’s taco bout it. You can probably smell this festival already, and it probably smells damn good. Chicago’s hottest new festival is back for its fourth year. The glorious taco will again get the spotlight it has long deserved when the tortilla-wrapped fave is celebrated at this food and music festival that also kicks off the first official weekend of autumn.

Whether one prefers theirs with a hard or soft shell and filled with a meat, chicken, guacamole, fish or other imaginative ingredients, this September happening in the bustling Southport Corridor is a mega-hot addition to the Windy City’s food fest scene.

There will also be special beer and taco pairings, crowd-pleasing Mexican wrestlers, and visitors will be able to text vote for Chicago’s “Best Taco.” (Courtesy of ChicagoEvents)

ParqEx has lots of available parking spots near this festival. Visit our website or app to find yours.

4.) Midnight Circus in the Park – Wicker Park

When? Sept. 16, 17, 18

Friday @ 7pm
Saturday & Sunday @ 2pm & 5pm

Where? 1425 N Damen Ave. in Wicker Park

What: Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of circus shows that are extremely entertaining and fun for the entire family. The organization is dedicated to building communities across Chicago and  have raised over $850,000 already for local park improvements through its Chicago tour events. You won’t want to miss out of these amazing circus shows that have a direct benefit to communities across Chicagoland.

Purchase your tickets by clicking here! 

Find parking in advance by using the ParqEx App or by checking out the ParqEx website.

 5.) Yoga and Wine Tasting at City Winery

Like yoga? Or wine? Well, you can have them both. Enjoy an evening that will strengthen the mind, body, soul, and taste buds!

Taking place in our Wine Garden, join Maria Rosner, a seasoned yoga intructor and wine aficionado for a 75 – minute yoga intruction followed by a wine tasting of City Winery wines.

About September 18th: Only two days after the full moon and a few days before the Autumnal Equinox; a very auspicious and transitional time to do yoga outside! (Courtesy of City Winery)

Purchase tickets here! 

 

Thanks for reading! Remember, all of your parking needs can be easily addressed with ParqEx. We’re here for you and for your community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Weekend Picks (Sept. 9-11 Edition)

September 8th, 2016 Posted by blue man group, Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Feature, mobile app, music, News & Events, Parking, ParqEx, promotions, sharing economy, she'd aquarium, startup, theater No Comment yet

 

Living in Chicago can be overwhelming. Actually, let’s rephrase that: living in Chicago IS overwhelming – a good kind of overwhelming. Why? Because there are so many things going on ALL THE TIME. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re anything like me, your weekend is impacted by the phenomena known as FOMO (fear of missing out). If you’re new to the FOMO term, here’s a definition: a form of social anxiety – a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites. You’ve probably felt this before, some more than others, but we can all agree that it’s a BAD feeling.

FOMO is never going to fully subside, but it can be treated and prevented. The folks here at ParqEx want to help you experience Chicago the way it should be experienced, without unnecessary amounts of FOMO. Plain and simple, we want to make your life better, easier, and more fun. That’s why we will be writing a post every week with fun things to do every weekend.

We’ll suggest events for you to attend and will make your life easier by helping you park nearby at affordable rates. Don’t miss another event just because you didn’t know it was happening.

Here are our suggestions for events you should seek out this weekend (9.9-9.11):

1.) Blue Man Group

 

Blue Man Group is pretty awesome. If you’ve never been, you must go. It combines technology, comedy, art, music, vaudeville and much more into one performance and it’s fun for the entire family.

Click here to see a little preview of the performance you’ll see, hear, feel, and if you’re close to the stage, possibly even touch!

Head to the Briar Street Theater this Friday, Saturday or Sunday to be a part of the action. For tickets, click here.

For parking, search “Briar Street Theater” on the ParqEx app or website!

Blue Man Group drums on buckets lined with paint, creating cool visuals.

2.) Amphibians at the Shedd Aquarium

 

Get the chance to see over 40 species of frogs, salamanders and caecilians at the Shedd Aquarium this weekend. Whether you’re trying to impress a date with your knowledge of the amphibious populations OR wanting to take the whole family to a fun exhibit, make sure you check out the giant 4 foot salamander; one of the largest in the world!

Find out more about the event and purchase tickets here!

And remember, you’re going to need to park. Find a spot on the ParqEx app or website!

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3.) The Annoyance Theatre and Bar – Comedy Club

 

Share some laughs and drink some drinks (don’t share your drinks) this weekend at The Annoyance Theatre. For 25 years, this theatre has been producing some of Chicago’s best comedy shows. The Annoyance uses improvisation to create new and original plays, musicals, sketch-comedy and more in a vibrant, uncensored atmosphere.

Learn more about events at The Annoyance Theatre Here!

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4.) Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry

 

This 7,000-square-foot exhibit, developed and created by MSI, will feature a spectacular collection of more than a dozen giant LEGO®-built structures of engineering marvels, including a 60-foot long Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, St. Louis Gateway Arch, Hoover Dam, Roman Coliseum, and more, constructed by LEGO® Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. These formations will be paired with hands-on building challenges that reinforce key principles of engineering, construction and architecture-and encourage creativity.

Throughout the exhibit, guests will learn how architects and engineers push the limits of design, materials and location to make the seemingly impossible, possible; witness how form follows function; learn how building beautifully uplifts us all; and explore Chicago’s impact as the birthplace of the skyscraper.

(Information courtesy of Choose Chicago)

Purchase your tickets for the exhibit here! 

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5.) World Music Festival Chicago

 

Love music? Hear the tunes of artists from all over the world at the World Music Festival this weekend! Enjoy global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world at the free, city-wide, multi-venue World Music Festival Chicago. This year’s festival will feature over 60 artists from 25 countries at 20 venues over eleven days!  (Choose Chicago)

Learn more about the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago here! 

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Thanks for reading! Your friends at ParqEx want you to have fun this weekend. Make sure you check out our available parking spots on the ParqEx App or on the website here. Rent a spot hourly, daily, weekly or monthly! AVOID FOMO.

 

 

 

ParqEx: 10 Real Estate Marketplace Apps that are Changing the World

10 Real Estate Marketplace Apps That Are Changing the World

September 8th, 2016 Posted by Car, Community, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

The real estate marketplace is a multi-billion dollar business that drives a massive segment of our GDP. Developing, building, managing, renting, renovating, buying and selling real estate incorporates many different elements. Traditionally much of the business has been seen as complicated, difficult, inefficient, inaccurate, time-consuming, bureaucratic and costly.

During the past few years real estate has seen a revolution in marketplace tech. Information is the lifeblood of this business, and some new and innovative companies have developed marketplace apps to pull together that information so it can be used easily, confidently and profitably. These companies have created new market segments, discovered new opportunities, and brought efficiency to the real estate marketplace. Each one is using existing data, applying marketplace tech to put useful information into anyone’s hands via marketplace apps.

ParqEx: 10 Real Estate Marketplace Apps that are Changing the World

Companies That Create New Marketplaces

Rent Like a Champion found national fame when it won a Shark Tank investor to back it. The simple concept is that, throughout the year, groups of friends, associates, families and co-workers want to stay for a short time somewhere else. They want a place with bedrooms, living space, a kitchen and bathrooms that is close to the event. That event could be a sports game, a wedding, a commencement speech, a local festival or a company retreat. It doesn’t matter what the event is, what matters is that they get to stay together for the duration. The company, basically puts people who want to rent out their home with people who want to stay there. Simple, safe, secure – and profitable.

Foggy Trail does for hunters, fishers, campers and country-break enthusiasts what Rent Like a Champion does for city folk. It links them up with landowners and other back country property owners. It saves the DIY hunting groups from having to do all the hard work, themselves. This marketplace app helps the renter find  land leases, arrange annual hunting leases, search for outfitters and guides according to price range, and then to book their trips.

Neighborhoods.com solves one of the biggest problems for a potential home buyer. It lets them explore whole neighborhoods before they start driving around them, or taking up Realtors’ time by being driven around, only to decide the houses were fine “But we didn’t like the neighborhood.” This marketplace app enables buyers to search areas and to get a great feel for the ‘neighborhood vibe’. What do current residents think? What would they change, if anything? What is the sales and property valuation history over the past three years? The list goes on. Discover the neighborhood you want to live in, then find the home. Great for the buyer and great for the Realtor.

Another powerful real estate marketplace app is the one developed by ParqEx. Large cities like Chicago have limited parking. An out-of-area business person needs to arrange meetings over a day or longer, families want to visit the theater, a group arranges a short or long vacation. The reason and time scale do not matter, what does matter is that the driver can locate the perfect spot, reserve it and use it just like it was theirs. They choose from different locations, see pictures of it, and the locale, and read user reviews, so they know exactly what they will get. The parking spot owner, who doesn’t need the spot for part of a day or for a whole month earns income on what would have been an empty space.

Companies That Discover New Opportunities

Enodo Score makes decision-making safe. Should a developer build their new speculative project in this area or in that one? Should a landlord renovate the kitchen before renting out that unit again? This piece of marketplace tech pulls in data from public and private sources so developers, builders, owners and landlords can make sound commercial decisions about ROI. The users of this marketplace app can analyse potential new markets or just test value-added strategies against each other to see if the current data says go or no-go on minor or major projects.

HerbFront has looked at the real estate marketplace from a new and growing perspective. more and more states are moving towards licensing recreational and medicinal marijuana. Deciding where to locate a traditional store is fairly straightforward, but knowing where to locate a cannabis outlet is much less so. The local laws, regulations and zoning codes are complex. HerbFront maps both suitably available properties within commercially viable range of the growers.

Companies That Streamline the Paperwork

BrightPolicy takes the effort out of finding and buying the right insurance policy. When someone buys a home, they get used to paperwork and so much of it is duplicated words and numbers. This company gathers current data based on the applicant’s address and contact information. Then it searches for all relevant data associated with insurance, emails the sheet to the client, who verifies it as correct, and then BrightPolicy searches for the best insurance carrier and policy to suit the given criteria.

SMS Assist maximizes profitability for the multi-site commercial real estate manager and the contractors who maintain, renovate and repair those properties. with over 130,000 client properties there is a huge need for managers to have work pre-planned completed on time with all appropriate paperwork, and executed to the right standards. SMS Assist uses marketplace tech to manage all project planning and execution to maximize efficiencies and drive down costs.

Guaranteed Rate will find the right mortgage for each client. Clients choose mortgage options based on criteria such as lowest monthly payment, lowest interest rate and preferred term. It get the loan pre-approved through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then arranges appraisals and sends in the paperwork to be signed. Simple and hassle-free mortgages from search to sign. It works for the buyer, the Realtor and the title agent.

Property Carnivores makes Realtors more efficient, more successful and more profitable. This company has applied marketplace tech to the Realtor’s marketing program. Social media is where the buyers and sellers are. Managing the right social media platforms takes techno-savvy. Most Realtors do not have the time to learn how to use social media well enough to attract, engage, cultivate and bond with prospective clients. This company plans and manages that so the Realtors can spend their time actually working with clients.

Ten great companies, ten powerful approaches to the real estate marketplace that satisfy needs and deliver results, all because marketplace tech can be developed and condensed into marketplace apps. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find the right parking spot, or make money from yours when you don’t need it, please contact us so we can answer your questions.

Park Smarter, Live Better

September 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, startup No Comment yet

Park the way YOU want! Here are 4 reasons why using ParqEx will make your life a lot better:

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  • You’ll save money. It’s simple: parking in the city using ParqEx will save you money. We all hate that feeling of spending $20 on something, later to find out that same thing was available for $10. Once you pay that $50 to park outside Wrigley Field, you’re not getting that money back after you realize ParqEx had an available spot even closer to the stadium for half the price. With parking, unfortunately there are no price adjustments or price matching. Why pay more than you should for parking when you can be spending your hard earned money on things you love; like Cubs and Blackhawks tickets. Start spending money the way you want to spend it. It’s more fun that way!

 

  • You’ll make money. There aren’t too many things better than making money while doing nothing. If you’re already making money by sitting on the couch watching the Bears on Monday Night Football, well, here’s a way you can be making more money – and if you’re not yet as lucky as the Bears fan mentioned above, here’s where ParqEx comes to the rescue. It’s as easy as downloading the ParqEx app on your smart phone or tablet or visiting the ParqEx website and listing your parking spot on our platform. It’s like listing your apartment on Airbnb, but doing so with your parking spot. So if you’re working a 9-5 job or going on vacation for a week, list your parking spot on ParqEx daily, weekly, or monthly and start earning the money you deserve.

 

  • You’re caring about your community. Parking can be frustrating. Very frustrating. Why? Because there always seems to be WAAAY more cars looking for parking than parking spots available. ParqEx is solving the parking crisis by making more parking spots readily available, but we can’t do it without your help. By listing your spot on the ParqEx website or app, you can help out your community by making it easier for everyone to park – and in turn, these people can spend more time doing what they want to do in your city.

 

  • Believe it or not, you’ll have fun! We all know the satisfying feeling of finding the perfect parking spot. It’s usually worthy of a fist pump or a high five with the person in the passenger seat. ParqEx makes you feel that way every single time you park. Using ParqEx, you can see all of the spots available near your destination. Try to find the spot that you think is most valuable!

 

Whether you need a parking space for just a day, a whole week, or an entire month, or are looking to rent your space on our app, check out the rest of our site and familiarize yourself with us! We know you may have further questions, so please give us a call or send us an email if you want to chat!

ParqEx: Labor Day Weekend Getaways from Chicago

Labor Day Weekend Getaways from Chicago

August 25th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Summer’s almost over, so it’s time to start thinking about planning one last getaway over Labor Day weekend. Whether you are looking for scenic destination close to Chicago, or one last dip in the ocean, we’ve got your Labor Day weekend getaway planning covered — from the food to the hotels to the airport parking.

ParqEx: Labor Day Weekend Getaways from Chicago

Close to Chicago

Starved Rock State Park

About 100 southwest of Chicago

At Starved Rock State Park flat Illinois is cleaved into canyons, cliffs and waterfalls.

To Do: Take a guided or independent hike into the 18 scenic canyons and relax at one of the 14 waterfalls. Keep a look out for the local wildlife including eagles, badgers, coyotes and many other species. If you are looking for other hiking options, check out the 5 miles of canyon trails at nearby Matthiessen State Park.

Stay: The Starved Rock Lodge was completed in the 1930s as a Civilian Conservation Core project. The CCC employed young men during the height of the Great Depression and put them to work on projects in parks across the country. The lodge maintains a rustic charm and lets you go from your room to the trail in a matter of seconds.

Eat: The Lodge has a legendary restaurant, so plan to have at least one meal there. For a breakfast or lunch, check out Nonie’s Bakery and Cafe. They bake their own bread, so you must try their famous french toast! If you are looking for a dinner with a little more kick, head to Cajun Connection for the best Louisiana cooking north of the Mason-Dixon.

Getaways Outside Illinois

Boston, MA and the New England Coast

Fly: Southwest has direct, round-trip flights (Depart Friday, September 2nd and Return Monday, September 5th) from Midway starting at $280.

Park: Skip the long-term parking at the airport and check out the Chicago parking start up ParqEx. ParqEx lets you easily find and plan parking where and when you need it at affordable rates. Download the app here to get started.

If you Stay in Boston

To Do: Maximize your time in Boston by walking the Freedom Trail. The Trail hits all the major points of interest including the Boston Common, the Old State House, the Old North Church, Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution. Boston is famous for being the birthplace of the craft beer movement and still has a vibrant beer scene. Check out where it all started by taking a free tour of the Sam Adams Brewery. The tour includes free samples of a number of their seasonal and specialty variety beers.

Stay: The Inn at St. Botolph is located in Boston’s historic South End and is just steps away from the Prudential Center T station. The Inn is an old brownstone mansion that’s been converted into a hip boutique hotel. Rooms start at $269 per night.

Eat: Island Creek Oyster Bar serves the freshest seafood in Boston. They have their own oyster bed in nearby Duxbury and offer a full selection of raw bar and dinner items. For breakfast, lunch, desert, or an anytime sweet, check out one of the three locations of Flour Bakery and Cafe.

If you Want to Hit the Coast

To Do: Head north of Boston to the beautiful, historic towns of the North Shore. Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts is a gorgeous, sandy stretch of shoreline on the historic Crane Estate. After you’ve gotten your fill of the waves, hike up to the breathtaking estate grounds. Weather not cooperating for a beach day? The picturesque nearby town of Essex is famous for its carefully curated antique shops.

Stay: The Ipswich Inn Bed and Breakfast offers elegant rooms and a tasty breakfast in a gorgeously restored 150-year old house in historic Ipswich, MA. Rooms start at $135 per night.

Eat: A visit to the Essex area isn’t complete without stopping by Woodman’s of Essex for their fried local oysters and fresh boiled lobster. Had your fill of seafood? Bunz Burgers are famous for not only their juicy burgers but stringer fries with a plethora of toppings.

Heading out somewhere else this Labor Day weekend? Need long-term parking while you are gone? Contact us about finding parking that fits your needs.

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

July 28th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking No Comment yet

Dr. Samuel Johnson said on September 20, 1777, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” The same can be said of modern Chicago, since it has some of the finest museums, zoos, shops, parks, public artwork, theaters, and restaurants in the world. However, even with all the Windy City has to offer, it’s nice to get out of town occasionally. Here are five roadtrips from Chicago you should take this summer.

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

Head north to the state line. Bristol Renaissance Faire has been voted the Country’s Best Renaissance Faire for five years in a row, and it’s only an hour’s drive away. What is a Renaissance Faire? “A Renaissance Faire is a recreation of life during the Renaissance historical period that is a combination of a county fair, a living history display, and live improvisational theater with audience participation.” Saturdays and Sundays from July 9 to September 5, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is a chance to escape the 21st century and go back to the days of Queen Elizabeth I. Listen to the minstrels sing as you eat a turkey leg. Watch the jugglers, gymnasts, and dancers. Marvel at the knights jousting. Shout huzzah when Good Queen Bess and her court pass by. The faire is open from 10 am until 7 pm, and with 30 acres of shopping and entertainment, you’ll want all day to see everything. Come in modern clothing or dress in Renaissance garb; you’re welcome either way. There are children’s activities, as well as shopping and shows for the whole family. Visitors to Bristol Renaissance Faire may park in a preferred parking lot close to the main gate for $5 or park for free on the north side of the faire.

Kenosha, Wisconsin, is an hour north of Chicago. Enjoy one of its many musical events: the Twilight Jazz free concerts July 19, July 26, August 4, and August 30; Peanut Butter & Jam free concerts July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11, August 18, and August 25; Lincoln Park Live free concerts July 13, July 27, August 10, and September 14; or the Country Thunder Music Festival July 21 – 24. Visit the Kenosha Public Museum; admission is free. Learn about natural science and fine arts, walking distance from Lake Michigan. Ride the Electric Streetcar. Eat at Choo Choo Charlie’s, Boat House Pub & Eatery, Ashling on the Lough, or Kaiser’s Pizza and Pub. Stop at Mars Cheese Castle and Bobby Nelson’s to buy cheese and sausage. If you have kids, go to nearby Pleasant Prairie and take the tour of the Jelly Belly Factory.

From Chicago to Zion, Illinois, is only a short ride on the Metra or an easy drive. Visit Shiloh House, the mansion once home to Zion’s founder, Dr. Dowie. Illinois Beach State Park offers natural beauty with dunes, marshes, and forests. It’s a great place for swimming, hiking, bicycling, or a picnic. Zion has two golf courses, Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course and Shiloh Park Golf Course. August 27 and 28 is the 23rd Annual Potawotami Trails Pow Wow, featuring Native American music, dance, fry bread, and merchandise. The Concert in the Park series has rock, soul, and classical music: July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11, and September 4. The 68th Annual Zion Jubilee Days will be September 3 – 5.

Highland Park, Illinois, is home to the Port Clinton Art Festival August 27 and 28 and the Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the nation, which runs from June to September every summer. This summer it will include Duran Duran, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Bonnie Raitt, and Judy Collins. Heller Nature Center has a hiking trail that wanders through the woods to a pond. The Highland Park Historical Society Museum includes the Francis Stupey Log Cabin, built in 1847.

Rockford, Illinois is roughly two hours from Chicago. It has several museums and parks. Anderson Japanese Gardens are beautiful, a wonderful place to commune with nature. It is home to the Japanese Summer Festival July 30 and 31. Museums in Rockford include Discovery Center Museum for children and parents, Burpee Museum of Natural History for the scientifically inclined, Midway Village and Museum CenterTinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, and Camp Grant Museum for history buffs, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House. Catch a show at Coronado Performing Arts Center. For nature buffs, the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens are well worth a visit. If you want to cool off and have some aquatic fun, visit Magic Waters Waterpark in nearby Cherry Valley.

For more information about what to do in or near Chicago this summer, contact us.

Driverless Cars Are the Next Transportation Shift

July 21st, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking No Comment yet

Most people would still be somewhat surprised that there are driverless cars on the roads in some American cities even now. Yet, according to the Google self-driving car project, they’ve driven 1.5 million miles already, “…and are currently out on the streets of Mountain View, CA; Austin, TX; Kirkland, WA; and Metro Phoenix, AZ. Maybe you’ve seen them out there? Either way, it seems driverless cars are the next transportation shift.

transporation shift

It was less than a hundred years ago when automobiles started becoming the normal transportation mode in America, replacing the horse and buggy. Then came the suburbs and massive road projects throughout the country, which gave most Americans a need for an individual vehicle. In modern (2016) times, crowded traffic and environmental concerns have created a need for another transportation shift.

Electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as those that run off alternative fuels like vegetable oil, have gained traction among many metro residents, but the majority of Americans still enjoy the convenience and ease of their larger gas vehicles.

Driverless cars are another addition to the alternative options to gas/diesel vehicles; this transportation option is sort of like taking public transportation, yet in an individual vehicle. As of now, these driverless vehicles are being rolled out to the market as semi-automated, so don’t worry, Google ensures us there are test drivers aboard now.

According to an article in online publication Business Insider, called: “10 Million Self-Driving Cars Will Be on the Road by 2020”, written on June 15, 2016 by John Greenbough, we learn: “Companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla have already released, or are soon to release, self-driving features that give the car some ability to drive itself.”

This goes beyond the cruise control most of us have used before, rather a self-driving car defined by BI’s report is “…any car with features that allow it to accelerate, brake, and steer a car’s course with limited or no driver interaction.”

According to Wikipedia, there were 255.8 million passenger vehicles on the roads in 2013. So, 10 million would be about 4 percent of this figure. Mostly, driverless cars are being rolled out in cities such as Chicago, which according to an article found in online publication Chicago Tribune called: “Driverless Cars are Coming. Are Cities Ready?” written by Amina Elahi on June 15, 2016, we learn: “Cities will need to adapt infrastructure and regulations in the near future…”

The article goes on to explain just how near: “Fully autonomous cars are likely to be available commercially between 2018 and 2020…referencing automaker reports.”

The robotic compliance with traffic signals and (hoped for) error-free sensing of objects around them, should lead to fewer accidents and tickets. The small size of the driverless cars would also lead to less congestion and more parking availability.

So, don’t be surprised if you’re driving around in a metro city in the next couple years and see a driverless car zooming around. As of now, these cars should have someone in them, but in time we can expect to see cars without anyone in them at all – driving to pick someone up we can gather.

Driverless cars definitely represent a transportation shift in many ways. How popular and accepted they’ll become among Americans is yet to be known, but projected plans and testing now are confidently pressing on to a massive roll out of the idea. Like most new transportation technology, people will have to get used to the idea and begin to trust it’s safe.

Would you purchase a driverless car? Whether the answer is yes or no, you’ll still need to find parking in Chicago and other major cities. The ParqEx App is a technological solution that solves people’s parking problems, and helps people make money too. Basically, find and reserve a parking spot when and where you need it, from our exclusive database list of parking spots available. These are private parking spaces placed on our app by users with parking spaces for rent.

Advancing technology is helping to solve complex transportation issues; driverless cars and ParqEx are two examples of how this is unfolding. While driverless cars may take years to become a workable solution, ParqEx is available now for those looking for parking or wanting to make money by renting their parking spaces. Please contact us to learn more.

10 Summer Festivals and Events in Chicago's Chinatown 2016

10 Summer Festivals and Events in Chicago’s Chinatown 2016

July 14th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Community, Parking No Comment yet

Summer has just begun, and things are heating up in Chicago’s Chinatown. Chinatown is already home to beautiful art, delectable food, affordable shopping and a rich Chinese-American history. But when summer comes, Chinatown unleashes an even more diverse array of fun and culture. With convenient Chicago Parking around Chinatown, courtesy of the Parqex app, there’s no reason to miss out on these summer festivals and events in Chicago.10 Summer Festivals and Events in Chicago's Chinatown 2016

Chinatown Food Tourongoing, begins at 3pm, from $50.00

Departs from under the Chinatown gate

This tour is available year-round, but a breezy summer day is the perfect condition for this walking adventure. You will visit a total of five tasting locations, with 3 of them allowing time to take in the authentic atmosphere. During the walking tour, you’ll enjoy the sites and sounds of downtown Chinatown!

Chinatown Walking TourMemorial Day- Labor Day, Fri-Sun, call for times, $10.00

Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute

This tour can be taken as a public event or as a private event, with a minimum of 8 people. The tour covers the entire 15 blocks of Chinatown and lasts for 1.5 hours, stopping at the most popular tourist sites, including the entrancing Nine Dragon Wall, Chinese Buddhist Temple and the exquisite Chinatown Mural.

Cumbiasazo Kids!July 2, 3pm – 8pm, free of cost 

Ping Tom Memorial Park.

Cumbiasazo dance parties supports the love of dance and music in our children. With live music, art, and performances, this is a family event you’ll want to participate in year after year.

Chinatown 5k & Youth RunJuly 9th, begins at 8am, registration fee

Chinatown Square on Archer Avenue

This event is open for adults and youths. The 5k course runs through the heart of Chinatown for adult participants. The youth races will begin at 9am with a 200-meter race for children ages 6-8 and a quarter-mile race for 9-11. The race will open with a Lion Dance and there will be a post-race raffle. Don’t miss out on the chance to support Chinatown and be a part of the community!

Movies in the Park, Jurassic World– July 15th, 8:15 pm- 10:19 pm, free of cost

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Enjoy the atmosphere of nature while also watching an edge-of-your-seat movie. There’s nothing like an outdoor movie watching that invokes the nostalgia of childhoods past at the drive-in.

The Chinatown Summer Fair– July 17th, 10am- 8pm, free of cost

Chinatown- Archer and Wentworth Ave.

This is not your typical hometown fair. It infuses old Chinese traditions with modern, Chinese culture. Immerse yourself in fun and history with the iconic Lion Dance Procession. Enjoy martial arts performances, classical and modern Chinese music, and ancient art displays.

Tsukasa TaikoAugust 5, 6pm – 8pm, free of cost

Ping Tom Memorial Park

This live performance of Taiko drumming integrates Asian and American culture through contemporary infused music, in hopes to strengthen these combined communities. The sound is unmistakable and the experience unforgettable.

Chicago Shakespeare in the ParkAugust 14, 4pm – 5:30pm, free of cost

 Ping Tom’s Memorial Park

Come out to enjoy William Shakespeare’s timeless comedy, Twelfth Night. Full of farce, romance and confusion, this play will delight even the most fickle of play-goers.

Community Planting Day– September 18, 10am-12pm, free of cost

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Ping Tom Park Kids put lots of efforts into growing native plants for the park during camp over the summer. Join their parents and community giving those plants a permanent home in the ground. You will also have the opportunity to take a guided hike through the park and learn about its place in the urban ecosystem.

Slow Roll Nature Ride– September 18, 12pm- 3:30pm, free of cost

Departs from Ping Tom Memorial Park

Tour the historic Chinatown neighborhood on this community bike ride. The tour will highlight the Burnham Wildlife Corridor along the Chicago Lake Front, lead by a local nature expert. This event is perfect for all biking skills and bike types, as the tour is kept slow to take in all of the natural history the area has to offer.

Contact us for parking availability for these great events and others throughout the Chicago area!

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

July 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Part of the benefits of living in or visiting a large city is the many things to do anytime. The summer time, in particular, is a great time to visit or get out and have some fun. What kind of fun depends on you, but when it comes to Chicago in the summer, the choices are wide and varied. To narrow it down a little, let’s check out 5 great things to do in Chicago this summer.

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

Lollapalooza Music Festival

How could we leave out Lollapalooza, which will be the 25th birthday of the event. This years festival is being held at Grant Park, and is headlining some bands you might have heard of like: Radiohead, Lana Del Ray, and LCD Soundsystem. The four days of music festivities is being held July 28th -31st, which is one day longer than usual.

Grant Park is in downtown Chicago, and will have two entrances attendees can use. The event coordinators warn of the limited availability of parking, so advise people to take public transit. This is where ParqEx can help you have the perfect parking spot nearby while everyone else is taking the bus! The cost of four-day passes are $335 and single day passes are $120.

Movies in the Park

For a more low-key type of activity, how about a movie in one of Chicago’s many parks? Over 250 movie screenings are being held from June until mid-September in parks all across Chicago. Bring a blanket and some snacks to enjoy a movie on a very large blown up screen, in the middle of a Chicago park at night.

To give you an idea of some of the parks holding these events, here’s a list of 10: Gross, Grant, Piotrowski, West Chatham, Sherwood, Lindblom, Lowe, Eugene Field, Eckhart, and Maplewood. And to give you an idea of the movies being played, here’s a list of 10: Jurassic World, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Sandlot, War Room, Ant-Man, The Lego Movie, October Sky, Inside Out, Rio 2, and Zootopia.

Watch an outdoor movie for little to no cost, and enjoy the beautiful nights of Chicago with friends and family watching a good movie. There are many parks holding these events, so parking availability will vary, but either way ParqEx can help make outdoor movie night less of a hassle for the times when parking is needed.

Windy City Smokeout

There are so many great food and music festivals during the summer including the Taste of Chicago held at Grant Park, but let’s highlight the Windy City Smokeout. This is an annual three-day food and music festival being held from July 15th – 17th, 2016. Grilled meats and country music are the themes of this event being held at River North on W Grand Ave.

Bands like Billy Currington and Old Dominion will be playing country music while plenty of tasty pork, beer, and meaty treats will be available from local barbecue restaurants. Attendees can gain entry one day for only $40, or get a weekend pass for $100. Parking will be tough for this downtown event, so reserving a space through ParqEx will help facilitate a smooth culinary country music holiday at the annual Windy City Smokeout.

See a Cubs Ball Game

One of the biggest attractions in Chicago and especially in the summer is the major league baseball teams: the Cubs and the White Sox. There’s not many cities with two pro baseball teams, which gives residents and visitors a great choice for a summer time event to attend.

The Cubs play at the historic Wrigley Field, which has been undergoing some big renovations. The Cubs had their best season since 1945 last year, only four wins away from being in the World Series! That means this summer should be an exciting time to watch a Cubs game.

Tickets cost anywhere from $27 to $200. Wrigley Field is located in North Chicago near Uptown on W Addision St., so finding parking and dealing with traffic could be tough. ParqEx could help you find and reserve the perfect parking spot nearby, so you can enjoy a Cubs ball game this summer.

Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour

Many people will find a river cruise appealing in Chicago this summer. There are many different options to choose from if this is the case. For instance, the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour runs daily from Gateway Park and Navy Pier beginning at 10am. This is a 75-minute cruise highlighting more than 40 Chicago landmarks and only costs $32-$39 for adults and $16-$20 for children under 12.

Summary

The list goes on and on with fun and interesting things you can do this summer in Chicago. These 5 activities should give you an idea of the diversity of options Chicago gives residents and visitors when it comes to enjoying the Windy City. Great food, music, and culture are all kicking off even now as summer officially begins.

Don’t let parking woes slow your fun down this summer when enjoying Chicago. The ParqEx app gives you the tool needed to find the parking solution for every circumstance. Simply find a parking spot being rented nearby your event, reserve it on the day and hour needed, and the rest is taken care of through the app.

For those who have a parking spot to rent the process is just as simple. Use ParqEx to rent out your space and make some extra money during the year, all through the app. We’re a Chicago based company proud to help bring people together to make parking easier and safer. To learn more please contact us today.