Five Coffee Shops to Try This Winter

You’ve got five papers to do and you need to get in the zone — but how? If you’re anything like me, you know that a good coffee shop is the cherry on top to the perfect study session. Here’s a list of five super neat coffee shops that’ll appease that perfect study atmosphere we all crave:

  1. The Wormhole Coffee (1462 N Milwaukee Ave)
    1. This little coffee shop is completely ’80s-themed. Into Back to the Future? This is the place for you. They literally have a DeLorean mounted at the back of store surrounded by walls of 1980’s nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, you can get your coffee in a Star Wars themed mug. The wifi password? It’s stored on a 5″ floppy disk.
  2. Bourgeois Pig Cafe (738 W Fullerton Ave)
    1. If you’re a DePaul student, you’ve probably already heard of Bourgeois Pig. Located just a few blocks from the quad, it has an incredibly cozy vibe, sandwiches with literary names (“The Sun Also Rises”, for example), and it’s super peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect place to completely immerse yourself in schoolwork.
  3. Heritage Bicycles (2959 N Lincoln Ave)
    1. If you combined a Pottery Barn catalog, a bike shop, and a coffee joint, you’d have Heritage Bicycles. This bright cafe doubles as a bike store, offering all your cycling service needs. Plus, their lattes are to die for. If you’re in need of a sunny atmosphere with a chill vibe, head over to this place, stat.
  4. Goddess and the Baker (33 S Wabash Ave)
    1. This all-day cafe is definitely a hidden gem in the loop. Their hot chocolates and banana bread slices are both superb. Also, here’s a tip: their happy hour is from 5 – 7PM every day, which means all their food items are half off!
  5. Wired Coffee House (3508 North Broadway)
    1. Wired is absolutely my favorite place to tune out the rest of the world. A hidden treasure, the place doesn’t look like much outfront, but inside they offer a really easy going atmosphere with plenty of seating and board games to boot. Also, they have a really solid selection of international coffees!

Now that you have this short and sweet list, go out and study, DePaulians! These coffee shops definitely won’t disappoint!

10 Fun Things to Do in a Cold Chicago

I don’t know about you guys, but winter isn’t necessarily my favorite season. I can deal with autumn — in fact, I really like autumn because of the mid-60’s temps — but winter in Chicago is pretty brutal. To help ease the chilly pain Chicago brings along with it during the cold months, here’s a list of 10 fun (and totally cheap) things to do in a frost-bitten Chicago:

 

1. Ice Skate at Millennium Park

  • Who doesn’t love ice skating? I mean, if it’s cold, you might as well be doing something fun with the cold, right? From November to March, Millennium Park offers free ice skating daily. Bring your family or a couple of friends to good ‘ol Millennium and enjoy a day of gliding (or, in my case, falling) next to a bunch of super cool Chicago monuments.

 

2. Journey Through the Lincoln Park ZooLights

 

  • Listen, I know Lincoln Park Zoo is next to Lake Michigan and I know that means the wind chill makes the cold that much worse, but ZooLights is worth it. First of all, it’s free, and secondly, you can walk around the Lincoln Park Zoo looking at a bunch of really impressive light sculptures while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” plays in the background.

 

3. Visit the Art Institute

 

  • First of all, the Art Institute is indoors and that means warmth, but secondly, it features a bunch of timeless pieces of art from all over the globe. If you haven’t been, it’s a definite must. Dedicate a day to it at least, because you’ll get absorbed in all the artwork pretty quickly. Plus, you can use your Demon Discount here! It’s totally free for DePaul students.

 

4. Explore the Chicago History Museum

 

  • Like the Art Institute, the Chicago History Museum is indoors and toasty (because that’s the most important part, right? Just kidding… kind of). If artwork isn’t really your thing though, the Chicago History Museum is the place for you. Demon Discounts apply here too — free admission!

 

5. See the Garfield Park Conservatory

 

  • The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of my favorite places in Chicago, honestly. If you’re constantly seeking some sort of image of thriving vegetation and life, take a day trip here. It’s free and the whole thing’s under huge, beautiful glass greenhouses.

 

6. Shop Around Water Tower Place

 

  • Water Tower Place is one of those shopping malls you expect to go into for 30 minutes and, in reality, you end up staying for about 3 hours. No shame, though — the place has about 95 attractions (including Food Life which is a definite must).

 

7. View the Macy’s Window Displays

 

  • The Macy’s Window Displays have, for me, been the quintessential epitome of the holiday season. Even though the holiday’s are over, stop by and check them out. It’s outside, but with the months of hard work that goes into them, totally worth it.

 

8. Catch a Movie at AMC Theaters

 

  • Going to the movies is, without a doubt, my favorite thing. Food, comfy chairs, and a giant movie screen all in one place? Yes, please. Best part? Demon Discounts apply at AMC Theaters too. Also, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out right now and if you haven’t seen it you really, really need to. It’s amazing.

 

9. See a Show at The Second City

 

  • I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like laughing and really funny people. Fortunately, Second City provides both of those things, and it’s accessible via Demon Discounts. Enjoy a night full of giggling and stop by to see some of Chicago’s funniest.

 

10. Grab a Cup of Hot Cocoa at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

 

  • Ok, I’m a bit of a hot chocolate aficionado, and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is some of the best I’ve ever had, ever. Guys, there’s 9 different types of hot chocolate (I didn’t even know that was possible?!); from the classic Old-Fashioned to Eggnog to Affogato (which has this coffee cocoa ice cream that I literally dream about on a daily basis). Plus, getting a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa is great way to end a day full of activities.

 
Sure, Chicago’s cold weather isn’t something to get super excited about, but the activities provided by the city during its colder months are, without a doubt, some of the best. Get out there and enjoy it!

Chicago: The Best City to Spend Your Summer

By: Christina Han

In recent news, Chicago was ranked as the number one best college town to spend your summer in, which only makes sense. What makes Chicago so great is that the summer is a beautiful reward for the long and grueling winters it’s infamous for. If you were to ask any Chicago native what their favorite part about Chicago is, they would most likely answer with “the summer.” The second it gets a tad bit warmer, you instantly see a lot more people walking in the streets, going for a jog, or walking their dogs. It is always nice to come out of hibernation after a long and cruel winter. Granted, Chicago is the third biggest city in the United States, so there’s a ton of things to do during the summer.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Chicago has a wide variety of options. Lake Michigan, for one, is open during the summer. When on the beach, you will find lots of people laying out under the sun, playing beach volleyball, and having picnics. What’s so cool about Chicago’s “beach” is that you get the entire skyline while lying out in the sand, which you don’t see every day (or really anywhere else). If not on the beach, people are most likely walking, jogging, running, rollerblading, or biking by the lakefront (this is when you’ll probably realize just how many people were deprived of their daily exercise with the amount of people that’ll be out and about).

Aside from the beach, there are plenty of places near the lakefront that are prime destinations and, not to mention, free! The Lincoln Park Zoo, for example, is very close to the beachfront and also includes free admission! Just like the beach, it’s an interesting sight to be looking at giraffes and lions while simultaneously being able to see the city skyline in the background. Right next to the zoo is the Lincoln Park observatory, which is also free. It’s home to hundreds of different plants and flowers from all over the world! It’s a wonderful sight to see in the summer, especially since all the flowers are in full bloom.

Aside from activities held in Lincoln Park, there are plenty of events that will be held all across Chicago. When it comes to food festivals, there are more than you can imagine. The biggest and most popular is “Taste of Chicago” that takes place downtown in Grant Park and showcases the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. It’s a 3-day long festival, which includes live music performances and hundreds of different restaurants from all over Chicago showcasing their awesome food! Also, this happens to be the world’s largest food festival and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Along the lines of food, there are various food festivals that happen in different neighborhoods of the Chicago region. At the beginning of June, there’s the “Flavors of Mexico” festival held in Little Village. The focus of this festival is the authenticity of Mexican food, which is highly adored by most Chicagoans. During mid-June there’s the “Taste of Randolph”, which focuses on the neighborhood of the West Loop and all of the famous restaurants near the location. This is an event to promote the best restaurants of the West Loop region. This is just a taste of the food festivals Chicago has to offer – there’s even more festivals to be found online!

Aside from the numerous food festivals, there are plenty of music festivals all across the city. It’s great because there’s a huge musical variety (EDM, Indie, punk, etc). Chicago’s biggest music festival is Lollapalooza, which takes place this year from July 31st-August 3rd. Each year, Lollapalooza brings in the biggest names of music, from Eminem and Kings of Leon, to Drake! The festival attracts more than 160,000 people every year. Another big music festival is Spring Awakening, which specifically caters to EDM and House fans. It’s held in Soldier Field and brings in world famous DJ’s, including Tiesto, Alesso, and Calvin Harris. These two festivals are primarily the two big deals of the summer, but there are plenty others scattered around the city with smaller names that can be just as fun!

In a wonderful city like Chicago, there are plenty of things to do. With the summertime being something that everyone cherishes before the brutal winter, there are more than enough things to do and see. No wonder Chicago was ranked one of the best college towns to spend your summer!

Why Should You Get Involved at DePaul?

By Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath

I can’t believe how fast time flew and that it is already my second quarter here at DePaul! I can already remember how vulnerable I felt at the beginning of the year. I remember beginning my year here at DePaul thinking about how I would be on my own and where I would reside here at DePaul. At first it was a hard transition being in such a big city and some may say that it’s harder here at a city school than at a state school to make friends, in my opinion I think this statement is true. However, when I found out that DePaul has two Involvement fairs that showcase the many opportunities to get involved with over 350 clubs and student organizations that has all changed for me.

Being a freshman most of us take a seminar to acclimate ourselves into the city while also learning about DePaul, and one of our requirements is to attend the Involvement Fair that is offered here twice during the academic year. Many of us thought “Ugh this is such a tedious assignment” but after I attended the Involvement Fair, I was so happy that we had to attend it because if I wasn’t involved here at DePaul I think I would have way too much time on my hands than I should have.

As I walked through the Involvement Fair, I could not believe how much DePaul had to offer which was great because we are such a diverse student body. Speaking for myself, I am one who can have a strong sense of anxiety if I am involved in too much given my other commitments such as homework, so I decided that I would join one or two clubs at most.

After consideration I decided to rush and be an active member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. I never thought of myself as a sorority girl because I would always think of them as like the girls in all the basic college movies, but after rush week and learning about them it was much more than that. Now that I am a part of Delta Gamma I could not be any happier for a number of reasons. Not only did I gain a group of sisters whom I’ve grown to love over the last few months but I also get to serve my community or more importantly our Philanthropy “Service for Sight”. This philanthropy means a lot to me because I had lost a friend during my junior year of high school, and his family decided to have his eyes donated to someone in need. Which is exactly what Delta Gamma does, we try to get as many people as we can to become donors so they can donate their organs especially their eyes. In addition to serving our community, I also have so many girls around me who support the Vincentian way, course work, and to have a never-ending bond of sisterhood. Even at the start of my experience with Delta Gamma I was a timid person, but throughout these few months I have become so comfortable with the other woman and the organization that I have applied to become Vice President of New Member Education.

A sorority may not be one’s thing or maybe it is, but if not being involved on campus can mean so much more. You may be thinking that I can’t have a never-ending bond in a group that isn’t a sorority but I don’t think that’s true. I think in any group such as intramural volleyball, Quittach Club, or Chess club you can create something special. Yes… it may sound cheesy but its true. For each of these organizations you may meet up to two times a week and than have something on the weekends, so you’re basically spending a lot of time with these people. Which is why some of these people may become some of your best friends or maybe even your worst nightmares. But even so it can be a great experience, which everyone should experience.

If your pondering the idea or maybe your shy and don’t feel like you can join an organization, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new. I myself was very timid with all the organizations here on campus because I started to make excuses for myself like, “Will I be good enough?” or “Will I have enough time for it all?” and truly you will have time for it and it will make your college experience all that better. Now that I have created such a connection with my sisters and even have created networking through it, I don’t regret it at all.

Which is why I would tell everyone who attends DePaul to join at least one or two organizations and to not be afraid. I know for myself after seeing the connections I have made I want to join more organizations here on campus.

Learn more about Delta Gamma Fraternity on the official site: http://depaul.deltagamma.org/

Spring Break Has Begun, Now What To Do?

By Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

Spring break is finally here…hallelujah!

Now all we need is the weather to realize that spring is here and we will be all set. I mean really though, the first day of spring was this past Friday. I don’t know about you but I recall wearing a scarf and boots to class. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of fall and winter style but I am more than ready to move on. Oh and did you see all this snow today? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.

Turning in my final literature review during finals week, felt similar to that feeling I get when I am running late and there is no line at Starbucks. Thank you!

With finals over and spring break underway – I finally have time to do whatever I want, right? Well, kind of. I plan to use this brief time off from class to catch up on some much needed me time. I have realized that a large portion of my days are consumed with tending to others (I do enjoy helping others, after all I am studying counseling). But if I don’t take care of myself who will? So I plan to use this week-ish to do things that help me feel “fresh” – fresh means literally feeling refreshed. Kind of like that feeling after you take a good afternoon nap. I usually feel great, similar to what I imagine a child feels like after they nap and need a good 10-20 minutes before anyone talks to them.

So some of the things I plan to do during spring break include finishing the book Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, workout (discovering the workout playlists on Spotify has changed my life- check em out), take a few naps, spend the weekend in New Orleans, paint my nails orange or yellow, and final celebrate my birthday!

My list of things to do may seem lame-with the exception of New Orleans- but what’s most important is that it’s my list. So I encourage you to make a list of your own. At least do one thing each day during break that is just for you! Whether you are going on vacation or staying around campus; doing one thing per day is more than manageable. Like taking a nap really won’t be that difficult 😉

Hopefully the weather gods (whoever they are) will figure out it’s springtime and bring us some beautiful weather during break. Just remember to enjoy yourself because you earned it after a long week of finals.

HappySpringBreak

Dancing to Help The Kids: For All The Right Reasons.

By OSI Blogger: Lindsay Ritenbaugh

In April 2014, I completed my first Dance Marathon—and the third ever DemonTHON at DePaul. 428 registered dancers, 34 directors and assistants, 26 Morale captains, the overall advisor, and I stood 24+ hours For The Kids at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. These incredible students raised $214,050.46 this year, more than $468,000 to date, and have become the 17th most successful Dance Marathon in the nation! But more than that, they’ve raised awareness For The Kids and families with pediatric illnesses in the Chicagoland area. They did so with their opening video (which conveniently showcases the beautiful city in which I live). They did so with each Morale dance at the top of every hour. They did so with every event held on campus and throughout the Chicagoland area throughout the year. They did so through successful social media efforts before and during the Big Event.

I came to DePaul to work as a Program Coordinator for Student Organizations, expecting to supervise student employees in the office and maybe advise a student group. I had no idea how much the latter would impact my life and DePaul experience. During my first month on the job, I reached out to Edwin, the current DemonTHON advisor and offered my help if needed. I later met with Blair, the executive director, who asked if I’d be interested in advising the Morale team. The high school cheerleader/folk dancing camp counselor/karaoke extraordinaire in me was ecstatic. Throughout the year the advisors met weekly with Morale captains, their amazing director and assistants, the overall committee, and management core committee to prepare for this past weekend’s culminating events. Still, I completely underestimated what it would feel like to complete a dance marathon from start to finish. My feet were throbbing and tears (both happy and sad) fell on multiple occasions, but I would will do it all again in a second.

All of my dark hours, when I thought I couldn’t keep standing, paled in comparison to what the miracle children and their families face during treatment. I just thought of faces like sweet Mia Gurevitz and how DemonTHON serves them directly. Wouldn’t you keep standing if you saw this face?

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DemonTHON: I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return (Wicked, 2004). Your ability to build campus affinity and fundraise For The Kids is a force to be reckoned with. And like St. Vincent de Paul reminds us, “There are two things to be considered here, namely, not only to do good, but to do it well.”

Fundraising for DemonTHON 2015 is continuing from today until the end of our Big Event on April 24-25, 2015! Every penny counts. Register or donate today!

If you’ve never experienced a reveal for a Dance Marathon, please watch this immediately: DemonTHON Reveal 2014

…Lindsay Ritenbaugh is the Program Coordinator for Student Organizations at DePaul University in the Office of Student Involvement. Among dancing and fundraising For The Kids, she enjoys watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and playing trivia!

You’re so nice. Minnesota Nice!

By OSI Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath

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Enjoying the vibes of Minnesota.

I was born in the state of Illinois, Elk Grove Village to be exact. Living in the area of Elk Grove and also Joliet during my childhood. I grew up going to catholic school and living what I considered to be a normal childhood. Near my eighth birthday my parents had gotten a divorce and my mom decided to move to Minnesota with my step dad, where I had to make the decision of whom to live with. For any child in this non-ideal situation it can be hard to choose one single parent to live with especially being at such a young age. I had chosen to live with my mom and create a new life in Minnesota.

From what I remember Minnesota wasn’t such a scary place for me when I had first arrived, I was a very outgoing child, which did make it easier. On top of that, I thankfully had enjoyed my new Dad and siblings, whom made me, feel very welcome in my new family.

Not to mention that I now lived in the state that had the Mall of America! At the time, being as young as I was it was a great time because they had a theme park called “Camp Snoopy” with rides that related to the Peanuts characters and that’s not all… they also had a play area related to General Mills where you could make your own Cereal! Every child’s sugary dream!

As time went on…growing up in Minnesota, I started to associate myself more with Minnesota than Illinois, I was from Minnesota! In my eyes Minnesota and Illinois have some differences. I never noticed them in my younger years going back and fourth to visit my dad here in Illinois. It wasn’t until I started being here full time as a college student that I began to notice the differences.

Of course the first one being, the accent, obviously I had never noticed it while I was in Minnesota but once I started introducing myself to people all that changed. I would get comments like “Oh my gosh your accent is so cute!” and I would be so confused because I never thought I had one. Also I had certain words that as Minnesotans say differently because of our thick “O’s” like “about”, “home”, etc. At first I was very conscientious about my accent and tried my best to sound “normal”, but realized I loved my little “O” sound I had in words and also didn’t want to lose sight of my roots in Minnesota.

It has been nice being back “home” in the city of Chicago but I do see those differences. The city of Chicago is a very cultured place with such rich history and many different people fill the city. The atmosphere is also very different. Seeing that I grew up in a place that is referred to as an area where everyone is extremely nice to one another…Minnesota Nice. Every now and then I will mention to people that I’m from Minnesota and they’ll respond with “It’s so weird how nice Minnesota people are” when I hear that I really never know what to say because shouldn’t everyone be nice when you first meet them?

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Just one of the many beautiful views in Minnesota.

The atmosphere in each Chicago is full of buildings and sights to see, while Minnesota (where I grew up) and surrounding areas are very environmental sights with those sights being bluffs and of course the 10,000 lakes. So the big picture is much different.

Whenever I visit these sights in Minnesota I get a nostalgic type of feeling that just gives me peace of mind. My friends and I always come together and talk about our different sights… we refer to them as vibes. Being in a place like Minnesota, the vibes are again very nostalgic because of its great beauty. Not saying that Chicago is not a beautiful place because it truly is a great place and I love being here, but at times when I want to get away I see myself going back to Minnesota because of its environmental beauty and vibes.

Well with that said, now that I am in Chicago for studying at DePaul University, with the possibility of making this my home after college once again. I am very excited to possibly make Chicago my home again, even though my bank account might not be happy about it.  I will never lose sight of my home back in Minnesota and will always make sure I visit whenever I’m stressed because Minnesota is set as my ultimate happy place.  I do hope that people will enjoy my Minnesota Nice style while making Chicago my home.

So I have been living in Chicago for a few months now and the ironic thing is that while I was on break in Minnesota, I was telling my friends and family things like, “I can’t wait to be back home” or “Back home we have…” Which is why I can now say that I can’t wait for what the city has to offer me and what lies ahead for my future.

“Home is not a place- it’s a feeling” – Anonymous

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Erin and her new home – Chicago!

..Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity!