Get outside and roam

by Agent X

Everyone has a favorite neighborhood. For me, it depends on whether or not you would consider a private island a neighborhood. Still, it’s fun to go out and explore places you don’t usually frequent, and that’s what this issue is all about. The cover story takes a look at Bronzeville, downtown McHenry and West Ridge. I have been to two out of three of those places, but I’m not going to insult anyone by clarifying which ones.

Big congrats to Erin Mandel and Geoff Ruttenberg for tying the knot. It’s nice to see two smart real estate industry peeps together — and happy about it. Let me know if you need tips on where to spend your honeymoon. You could consider those three aforementioned neighborhoods in the cover story, or I have a few more ideas up my sleeve.

There have been lots of forums and conferences this month as folks finish up their business before the holidays. First, NAR held their annual conference from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11 in San Francisco. To hear them tell it, everyone who is anyone made the trek to the Rice-A-Roni capital of the world. Except for me.

On Nov. 13, I did make my way to the CAR CommercialForum. The breakfast event offered a deep dive into key policy issues facing the industry. There was a special emphasis on local lobbying efforts, and also the impact of legalized marijuana, though I found out too late that there wouldn’t be any special samples as part of the breakfast spread. Cook County assessor Fritz Kaegi spoke to the crowd, and Sarah Ware made good on her promise to go (relatively) easy on him.

Urban Land Institute Chicago held their 2020 real estate forecast on November 20, which started at 7:45 a.m. at the Union League of Chicago’s Lincoln Ballroom. Kudos to everyone who was able to wake up early enough to attend and bonus points to those who could distinguish between Urban Land and Union League at that hour.

Just in case you weren’t forum-ed out, Lincoln Park Builders held their 31st annual real estate forum on Nov. 21 at Theater by the Lake. The panel discussion was followed by dinner and a cocktail party to ensure lots of alcohol-soaked networking. The next day, the suburban wing of the local Women’s Council of Realtors held the installation of their 2020 board of directors in Woodridge. I know I wasn’t the only one dancing the night away to tunes from DJ Jon Wise.

Happy birthday to all the November turkeys! Noel Christopher and Jenny Ames celebrate on November 26. Turkey day came late this year, so it may be one of the rare times that Allison Ondrey-Malzone celebrates her big day with cranberry sauce and slices of pumpkin pie on Nov. 29. Maria Davies gets to celebrate on Dec. 1 while Terrie Whittaker and Danny Pogofsky share a Dec. 2 birthday. Dan Kieres may get overshadowed by newly married Erin Mandel on their Dec. 3 birthday. Kevin Dembinsky celebrates on Dec. 4, while Mike Jones gets a birthday toast on Dec. 6. Kelly Maguire, Barbara O’Connor and Andy M. Shiparski should all hit the town together and have a contest to see who can live it up the most on their shared Dec. 8 birthday.

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