The holiday season is here, and that means plenty of shopping is in your future. Finding the perfect gift for each and every person on your list is a fun part of the holiday season that most everyone looks forward to.
The holiday season is here, and that means plenty of shopping is in your future. Finding the perfect gift for each and every person on your list is a fun part of the holiday season that most everyone looks forward to.
We’ve been told ever since we were little that we need to share with other people. Whether it’s our toys, our feelings, or our space, we were told that we get more out of sharing than we give up. Thanks to technology, though, we’ve taken those ideas of sharing, and expanded them. We now have a sharing economy, and it has completely revolutionized the way we do things.
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?
If you don’t love food, don’t read this. If you’re hungry, you probably shouldn’t read this, either. Salivation will occur. We are about to explore some of the best restaurant spots in the West Loop of Chicago.
There are so many restaurant connoisseurs out there. They all eat at the best restaurants in every city and usually end up writing reviews. These reviews usually include words like “Confit” to describe chicken, “Tartar” to describe finely chopped meat or fish, or “Amuse Bouche,” meaning “amuse the mouth.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but I have a different style. I’m not going to use big culinary words in this post; I’m simply going to tell you what I’ve tried and what I like. I like to eat things that taste good and I want to tell you about them so you can try them out, too. That’s the purpose of this post. This particular post will focus on restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop.
Believe the hype; Girl & The Goat is for real. Located on the 800 block of West Randolph Street, Stephanie Izard’s food is nothing short of awesome. Specializing in small plates, Girl & The Goat just feels like a happening place right when you walk in the door. The atmosphere is great, and the food is even better. The service is top-notch the staff is knowledgeable and the atmosphere is not too pretentious. Plus, the brains behind the operation and Executive Chef, Izard, was born in Chicago. Oh yeah, you can drink wine there, too.
What I Ordered:
Originating in Memphis, Gus’s is the best spot for fried chicken. Not the best place for a first date (lots of finger licking involved). Hit up Gus’s in the Fulton Market District for some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever had. Gus knows how crispy to make his chicken and he knows how spicy to make his chicken. The crunch to spice ratio is on point and the chicken is just about as juicy as it gets. Oh wait, don’t forget to order the fried pickles. If you like pickles, it’s a no doubter.
Let me tell ya, Nonna knows how to make a heavenly meatball sub. The Italian beef is really good, too. If you’re ever in the West Loop for lunch and want something fairly quick, Nonna’s is your spot. It’s a little on the pricey side for a sandwich shop ($10-$11 for a sandwich), but you get what you pay for. You won’t leave hungry. My co-worker, Dan, eats about 1-2 Nonna’s meatball subs per week. I’m thinking about adopting a similar routine.
Little tip: get the hot giardiniera on your meatball sub!
If you’re lucky enough to get into Au Cheval without having to wait hours for a table, don’t pass up on the opportunity; it’s as good a restaurant as advertised. I ordered the double burger with a fried egg and bacon. The bacon was extremely thick and tasty, and the fried egg was an excellent addition to the juicy, perfectly cooked burger. Au Cheval also has a great selection of specialty cocktails. It’s a perfect place for a date or a good time with your pals. Expect to spend some money, especially if you’re planning on drinking. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself 😉
Technically not a restaurant, but still food. Good food. Desert. Sorry, my sentences are getting shorter and shorter because I am now drooling. There isn’t much to say about Glazed and Infused except that they make awesome doughnuts. After eating at one of the four spots above, infuse yourself with some glaze-y goodness. Try anything because they’re all good.
West Loop Parking sucks. So if you are in fact heading down to Chicago’s hottest neighborhood, make sure you rent parking in advance using ParqEx. Simply download the ParqEx app on the App Store or Google Play or sign up on the ParqEx website. ParqEx is a peer to peer parking technology platform. Simply rent parking Chicago or list parking Chicago to make your parking experience a lot easier, and better.
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.
Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!
Chicago is a town that knows how to party, so the only difficult thing about recommending five of our favorite Chicago summer festivals is narrowing it down to five. There are music festivals, food festivals, ethnic festivals, art festivals, and more. From the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival to the 57th Street Art Fair, from Ribfest Chicago to the Great American Lobster Fest, Reggae Fest Chicago to Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, from Chicago Gospel Music Festival to Printers Row Lit Fest, there are celebrations to suit every taste.
Gold Coast Art Festival, located in Grant Park, is considered the “Granddaddy of American art festivals.” June 18 and 19, 2016, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm will be the 59th annual Gold Coast Art Festival. It’s considered one of the top thirty juried art festivals in the United States, with displays from over 300 artists. There will be food, drink, live music, and children’s activities. Go to admire or go to buy. ParqEx can help you find a parking spot nearby, so you don’t have to carry your purchases a mile or more to your car.
Fiestas Puertorriqueñas and Puerto Rican People’s Parade is a four day festival of Puerto Rican heritage, from June 16 to June 19, 2016. One of the largest Latino cultural events in the United States, this celebration takes place in Humboldt Park. The 37th anniversary of the Puerto Rican People’s Parade will be along Division Street. In addition to the parade, there will be live music, entertainment, carnival rides, authentic Caribbean cuisine, arts & crafts, dancing, and much more.
Square Roots Music Festival is a chance to have a great time and help the community. Money raised by the festival supports Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship programs and Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce farmers markets and concerts. The festival is in Lincoln Square, July 8 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, July 9 from 12 noon to 11:00 pm, and July 10 from 12 noon to 9:00 pm. More than 30 craft beers from local breweries will be available for tasting. There are plenty of activities for those under 21: games and arts & crafts. Musical performances range from indie rock to folk music to jazz.
Lollapalooza is a four day music festival in Grant Park, running from July 28 to 31. This year’s entertainers include world-famous rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, electronic-eclectic band Major Lazer, pop singer Lana del Rey, rock band Jane’s Addiction, hip-hop band Flatbush Zombies, singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez, indie rock band Frightened Rabbit from Glasgow, Scotland, pop singer Alina Baraz, English folk group Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat, English rock band Radiohead, Chicago rapper Towkio, and too many others to list here. In addition to some of the world’s best musicians, there will be an art market, shopping, and photo opportunities. There’s a mini-fest for children where they can have fun. Food comes from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants, rather than the usual carnival fare. This year is Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary. Come experience the music and the energy. Let ParqEx help you find parking for all four days.
The Chicago Air and Water Festival is the largest free festival of its kind. August 20 and 21, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, the place to be will be North Avenue Beach. This year will be the 58th anniversary of the Chicago Air and Water Festival, featuring aerial acrobatics, watercraft daredevilry, food, and music. Performers at the festival include US Navy Blue Angels, US Army Golden Knights parachute teams, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute team, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, and the Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue team. From biplanes to jet planes, the Chicago Air and Water Festival has aircraft and stunts to thrill you.
For more information on the best festivals in Chicago, how to get there, and where to park, contact us.
Every traveler has experienced the hassles and frustration of trying to find their way around an unfamiliar city, find a place to eat, or find a parking place. With these three easy apps you can make your travel life easier, and even enjoyable.
GasBuddy is one of the best apps on the market today for travelers who are driving across the country, or across the state. Just input your location or zip code, and the GasBuddy app will tell you who has the lowest gas prices near you. It will even tell you how far you are from each location as well as their phone number and address.
City Maps 2 Go
This app will help you find your way around Los Angeles, New York City, and any other city you can think of. Say bye-bye to roaming charges and spotty service, because this app will even let you download thousands of maps for offline use.
If you’re headed to a popular tourist attraction, whether it’s the LA Museum of Art, Shedd’s Aquarium, or Heinz Field, then you know parking is going to be a hassle and a half. Not with ParqEx, though. You can reserve a parking spot in advance. That means you are guaranteed to have a parking place when you reach your destination.
By having these three handy apps on your smart phone or other device you can increase the fun of traveling and decrease the headaches.
Contact us and reserve your next parking spot today!
Who doesn’t wish their morning commute was easier? Even those who have a blissful 15 minute or less commute can likely find a thing or two they’d like to change about it.
We see your morning commute as being a window of opportunity — even if you love your commute, you may find something here to help make your mornings even smoother. Here are 5 commuting tips to make your mornings easier.
We’d love to hear from you! Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how you can earn money through your parking spot, and how the sharing economy is making waves for people like you.
With months to go until spring pokes its head up, with the days being shorter and colder, cabin fever can quickly set in. And we all know what the best cure for cabin fever is, right? Travel! Figuring out where to go, when to leave, how long to stay – the excitement can only grow from now til time to head out to your destination. Before taking off, check out these three top travel apps that everyone should have tucked into their suitcase…or at least in their phone.
These may not be the only apps you’ll use while you’re gone, but they can definitely help to make your trip easier and safer.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Happy travels!
Chicago may be the only city in the snow belt where residents use lawn chairs to hold parking spaces. As the city’s administrators crack down on this time-honored practice, its residents will need new techniques to find and hold parking spots. Driving and parking when the snow and sleet begins to accumulate is never easy in Chicago or anywhere else, and everyone can benefit from the top five tips for safe winter driving and parking in Chicago.
1. Your SUV is not impervious to snow and ice. You will feel more comfortable and safe in a large SUV or other large vehicle when you are driving in the snow, but many rear-drive vehicles have poor traction because most of their weight is distributed over the front axles, where the engine is located. If your vehicle is equipped with a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive system, use it to optimize your safety.
2. If you start to skid, turn your wheels counter to the direction of the skid. You probably heard this in driver’s ed, but you also probably never had a chance to practice it. The advice may be counter-intuitive, but if you do start to skid, do not hit the breaks. Instead, take your foot off the gas slowly and turn the wheel so your front wheels re-align themselves with the road. The car will slow gradually and straighten itself, allowing you to recover from the skid.
3. If you get stuck, rock the car back and forth and keep your front wheels straight. Most people know to rock the car, but they try to turn out of a snow pile at the same time as they rock the car. The car will free itself more readily if it goes straight ahead without trying to turn.
4. Don’t be a parking hog. When you do find a parking spot in the snow, use only one spot. Respect the other drivers’ desire to find their own parking spots. If you take two spots in order to leave yourself room to drive away, you will be lucky if the worst consequence is a nasty note on your windshield.
5. Use new technology to locate parking spots before you head out. New apps from companies like ParqEx will provide the convenience and security of available parking in your desired location before you arrive. You can use the ParqEx app to reserve your spot before you leave your home, reducing at least one element of the stress you will experience when you head out into the Chicago winter.
Please contact us for additional tips on driving and parking in Chicago during the winter, and for more information on how our ParqEx app can help you find winter parking in Chicago.
We don’t want to be just the only peer-to-peer parking app in Chicago, we want to be your go-to parking app—for every occasion, in every neighborhood. That’s why we’re working hard to make ParqEx easier to use and easier to make money with. Today’s app update includes the helpful additions of phone number verification and notifications. These features will help spot owners stay on top of requests and help spot renters stay informed.
Once your phone number is verified, you can choose to receive push and/or text-based notifications from the app’s Notifications panel. SMS notification options include messages from owners/renters, reservation updates, account changes, and tips from ParqEx. We recommend keeping the Messages and Reservations options on, at the very least, so you won’t miss any requests or rental updates!
You love Chicago, but the rent is killing you.
According to YardiMatrix, the average monthly rent in Chicago is $1,628. Rents grew nationwide, on a year-over-year basis, by 6.5% in the last year, so there’s no relief in sight.
If you are feeling the financial pinch of high rent, you’re going to have to get creative.
Take on a roommate or three? Well, maybe. You have thought about it, but then you take a look around your place and start imagining: pizza stains on the wall, strange wall-banging in the night, and a doesn’t-know-when-to-quit-talking stranger who hogs your favorite chair.
Here’s a concept:
Rent out your garage or parking space.
People are out there right now who need a place to park in your neighborhood. If you live in a popular area such as Bucktown, Near Northside, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park/West Town or The Loop, they are especially desperate for a spot.
If your space is vacant—for an hour, a week, a month or long term—it’s a hot commodity. Maybe it’s time you turned that commodity into cash, creatively.
ParqEx is the peer to peer parking app that allows people who need parking to find people who have parking. We provide a user-friendly online marketplace that matches registered members who own parking spots (Owners) with members who want to use them.
Download the app to your android or smartphone device and you are instantly connected to hundreds of people who are searching for a parking spot.
TELL ME ABOUT THE MONEY
You set the price for your parking space. Prices vary by time, demand, location and other factors. You can use the app to see what other people are charging for similar spots to get an idea of the going rate.
You earn 80% of the rent money your parking spot earns. At the end of every month, the income is deposited into your account, or if you want to receive a check in the mail, allow an extra 15 days.
Not sure you want to rent your space to just anybody? The good news is that you don’t have to. At ParqEx we check and approve accounts, but in the end, you decide. Rent your space or not, it’s up to you.
We recently added an in-app chat feature (proof that we listen—this came as a result of app user feedback), that allows you to communicate with a prospect before committing, and after, to pin down all the details. This kind of personal connection sets ParqEx apart from the competition.
What if you listed your space as available, but decide to stay home and sink into your couch and Netflix?
Or what if your friends show up at your door with that road-trip look in their eyes and you get the feeling that your parking space might be vacant for, well, quite a while?
Not a problem—with ParqEx you can add or subtract your space from the list instantly.
In addition, we’re all about parking and only about parking at ParqEx. Unlike Craig’s List or the classifieds, you won’t have to share space with Go Pros and baby strollers.
ParqEx lives in Chicago too—at 111 West Illinois Street.
If you want more info, contact us and we’ll talk about how you’re going to turn your blank space into cash.
And while you’re making creative cash by renting out your parking space, try Elizabeth Atkinson’s 10 Things to Do for a Dollar in Chicago.
We’ll see you at Lillie’s Q.
Your time is precious despite being bombarded with deadlines, scheduling conflicts and time crunches. Driving time and traffic jams take up so much valuable time and then you still have to find a parking spot. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a magic wand that instantly made finding a parking spot easy to access? Now finding a parking spot is as easy as installing the ParqEx Mobile App, magically saving you time, money and minimizing frustration. If you prefer to use a computer, there is also an easy to use website.
Capitalizing on technology
Our mobile app is a beneficial way for our business to capitalize on technology while providing an important service to customers. We cater to the needs of the community building a platform via the user’s phone that establishes relationships. Our mobile app is useful and provides up to date information about community affairs. We combine technology and human correspondence to create the magical experience our service provides.
One touch access
Technology definitely makes life a bit easier and more convenient. One of the best things about our mobile app is that it is very simple and easy to use. Selecting the download option on your phone is all the work required at a reasonable cost. You don’t need a rocket science degree to follow the simple instructions which are appealing for those who are technologically challenged.
A platform for giving
There is magic in giving and we understand consumers have lots of choices when it comes to other mobile services. Our mobile app is much more effective than a billboard since almost everyone has a mobile device. And because we are community oriented, the app provides the opportunity to give back by focusing on renting spaces from family, friends, and colleagues. Addressing your parking needs is as simple as connecting to someone in the community using word of mouth and technology.
Great service at affordable prices
Everyone loves to save money, and it doesn’t make sense to provide a service that no one can afford. One of the most appealing features of our mobile app is that we focus on providing you with the space you need at an affordable price. Whether you’re in town or on vacation we always look for ways to provide you the quality service you deserve.
Creating the connection
With our mobile app it’s not just about making money but we strive to create a direct personal connection giving our customers a VIP feeling when they receive instant notifications telling them about community events, offers and promotions.
It’s not about what we want our customers to have but rather what they need. We take the time to listen to the feedback of our clients and take their suggestions to heart. As a result our mobile app is high quality with a rich user interface have an intuitive dashboard that allows consumers to locate the feature they need within a finger tips reach.
Part of us being the best is the fact that we strive to provide a superb product and excellent service. In Chicago and neighboring areas parking is challenging and we wanted to provide a solution. No more fighting road rage and circling the parking lot. Using our mobile app provides you the right tools to make life more convenient, saving time and providing the perfect parking spot, just like magic.
We’re unique and we know it! Although mobile apps have many benefits, our company specializes in enabling you to find the ideal parking spot based on your current location and address. With our app you can contact individual parking spot owners with your specific questions, reserve your spot, and park your car by the hour, day, week or month. Contact us today and let us help you find the perfect parking spot.