A quiet garden oasis five minutes from the action of the city, our space is an excellent value. Run with the efficiency of IKEA or Costco, our guests save money through a collaboration between guest and host, making relaxation in WP affordable. We look forward to facilitating your travel adventures!
Welcome to Wicker Park, the best neighborhood in Chicago! We live just 1 block from the action that happens at Damen & Division every night. Our proximity to the Division Blue Line stop on the "L" (subway) makes getting to the "touristy stuff" (museums & Michigan Avenue... and WINTER HOLIDAY SHOPPING) not only quick & easy, but so much fun! Our Zagat-rated restaurants and the oh-so-romantic Wicker Park make this a Valentine's Day mecca!
Our uber-efficient system makes our bnb one of the best values, and most flexible stays, in the area. I've answered nearly every question you could have in our Guidelines and Directions that I'll send you the link to (and most are already answered here in our profile).
We are now allowing Instabook! Yay! Just make sure you've read through our listing thoroughly b/4 booking, please... : ) I'll send our must-read Guidelines & Directions once you've booked. Please remember: no "man's best friend" (dogs/pets) or smoking allowed on the property. A butt-free property is good for everyone!
Our space is its own PRIVATE APARTMENT in a four-apartment building with its own entrance, key, living space, etc. My husband and I live in a separate apartment upstairs, so you will have the space completely to yourselves, unencumbered by having to "converse with the hosts." (Unless you want to!) : )
LEAVE THE PLANNING TO ME!
For an extra $25, if you give me a brief description (I've got a system, of course!) of what you want to do while you're here, I will create a customized itinerary for you and yours... Having traveled to just over 30 countries and having lived here for 11+ years, I can easily plan a vacay for you that has you well-rested, eating great food, staying within your personal budget, and maximizing your time in our fair city.
Now let's be clear. I listed that we can accommodate 8 people, but the reality is that we currently have one full size bed in its own bedroom, a luxury queen-sized air mattress (it's as comfortable as our luxury mattress) in its own bedroom, a luxury over-sized twin air mattress, a camping cot, and a large (6' x 4') custom butcher block eating/cooking/work area with 2 bar stools, all sitting on glistening, newly discovered hardwood floors. That's our space at the moment. We welcome a large party, and the floor space is vast, for those looking for uber-budget savings in exchange for slumber-party-esque sleeping arrangements.
Fan or AC? It's your choice: Save $5/night and skip the AC. Or splurge $5 more dollars per night and bask in the cold. This is my way of keeping your costs down. We have two oscillating, height-adjustable fans, two ceiling fans in the living room, and a brand-new AC as of June '13. But the space is usually cool enough that you won't need the AC.
And I marked "Breakfast is Provided," but, again, for clarity's sake, I've got some b-fast items (and other items) "for sale" in the unit (personalized-sized cereal, pop tarts, NutriGrain bars, potato chips, cookies, etc.). A price list is on the fridge. If you see something that isn't on the list, it's because it's new or temporary (we happened to have it on hand, so we put it in the bnb). For those items, just give what you believe is fair.
Also, I've marked us as handicap accessible, because we're on the first level and have some bars on the bathtub wall. But there is one 2' portion of the walkway that is checkerboard stone ending in an 9" riser up to the patio. Please keep this in mind when booking.
(Oh, and that "review" we have listed under our name at the very beginning was an auto-review by Airbnb. We cancelled that reservation back then b/c we decided not to do Airbnb, so we hosted that couple for free instead.)
As we do love traveling, we might be home during your stay or we might have gone off on an "adventure" somewhere in or out of the country last-minute. Our life is spontaneous like that. Just yesterday my husband decided to cancel his local bike trip and booked a 3a flight to Guatemala for five days. So you're expected to be pretty independent. Read the Guidelines and Directions before arriving, as they'll answer all of your questions.
OUR EXTERIOR (aka: THE GARDEN)
Enter our home by pushing open a black gate, walking over the cobblestones covering the front patio from which you can sit at the wrought iron table or lounge on comfortable furniture, watching friendly neighbors walk past our lush 6-year-old English flower garden. Bring your computer out and enjoy free wi-fi while you bask in the warmth of Chicago.
Continue on through another, taller black iron gate, down a pathway (sometimes it's candlelit!) to our rear garden, filled with hyacinths, lilies, a trumpet vine, and a hummingbird-attracting honeysuckle vine. Sit on this large shaded patio, eating your breakfast (they say it's blasphemous to eat indoors during the Chicago summer months!) just next to our modern Japanese-inspired river rock garden. A tall birch fence on the north side and the garage blocking the view from the alley ensures privacy, while a shorter fence on the alternate side allows sociability with the neighbors. In the evening hours, plug in the fairy lights (the plug connection is right by the stairs) for a romantic ambiance. (I was pretty excited, b/c it turned out prettier than I had even planned!) We have worked hard over the past 6 years to create an inviting, peaceful garden with plenty of variety and interest... future plans include a water feature, an outdoor shower, a vertical garden, and a pond...
Enter our home through the rear. This space will be yours while you are our house guests. The house is over 100 years old, so it has beautiful ARCHITECTURE, but all of the modern features so that you can actually enjoy its character.
As you walk in, you will see an open floor plan, with a BRAND NEW IKEA KITCHEN, cooking supplies (if you find that you need something culturally specific, like a griddle, a tortilla roller, or an idli pot, we probably have it upstairs... just ask!), and a large repositionable (it's on wheels!) multipurpose butcher block surface. Two bar stools accompany a bar-level eating/work space. Plug in your computer and other electronics in one of three power strips. Two are located under the work space. One is hidden under the kitchen counter next to the stove. We have a bagel/toast toaster, 12-cup coffee maker, coffee bean grinder, & 1-cup french press in the apartment. (The free gourmet coffee is in the freezer.) A dishwasher, gas stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, & washer/dryer complete the amenities. Plus, for the grilling types, we have a new outdoor grill on the 2nd level just waiting to be tried out! If you need something else, you can always text me and ask if we have it... who knows?... we probably do and we're more than willing to lend...
OUR "SNACK SHOP"
For those late arrivals and those rushed mornings... or for when you've walked all day & are starving, but can't bear the thought of running out for a snack... I've stocked the space with goodies. At the moment, until they run out, we have chips, Oreos, pudding snacks, wine, regular and diet Pepsi or Coke, local beers, & Nutri Grain bars. The snacks change based on what we happened to pick up when we were shopping. You can pay for your cravings by putting money in a vase on the counter.
OUR FREE "COOKING ESSENTIALS"
I've also stocked the kitchen with free-for-you-to-use cooking essentials, should you want to save a bit of money there. (Though I'd take advantage of Chicago's amazing culinary rainbow!) The fridge has pre-chopped garlic, ketchup, mustard, & relish. There's also oil, a sea salt grinder, and a black pepper grinder. Feel free to text or call and ask if we have specific spices (we have loads for you to borrow) upstairs. You're more than welcome to them and we have loads. Sometimes there are other goodies that have been left behind by other guests (butter, red wine vinegar, etc.). I leave them in the space... no need to be wasteful...
Off to the right are the bedroom, a bathroom, a 2nd small "city" bedroom, and a "laundry room" (this is just a closet in the 2nd bedroom).
The bathroom was a recipient of the renovations, with brand-new wall-length 8-inch deep medicine cabinets, perfect for hiding away your travel kit and extra toilet paper. But, really, why even bring your shampoo/conditioner/blow dryer/etc.? Oh, and, hundred-year-old homes come with charming quirks. Our bathroom sink has one: cold is hot and hot is cold. But the fixture is pretty and new and European, so... ! ; )
We have a lot here (cotton swabs, shampoo/conditioner, quality soap, lotion, etc.). A hotel-style curved shower curtain rod allows ample space for washing up in the tub. The whole room is bright white, with a window facing the gorgeous Chicago brick, letting light and air in.
THE FULL-BED BEDROOM
The bedroom includes a full bed with white 1500 thread count sheets and duvet cover... along with a medium-sized closet with plenty of hangers for storage. There are fold-away hooks on the wall for hanging your... whatever. Umbrella? Pants? Coat? Scarf?
THE QUEEN-BED BEDROOM
The extra bedroom can be a bedroom... Or deflate or relocate the queen air mattress to use it as your sunny yoga or prayer space, a place to store your suitcases, whatever. Just put it back when you leave, please.
THE "LAUNDRY ROOM"
Our "laundry room" is essentially a closet off of the 2nd bedroom, where our washer/dryer resides. Our full sized ironing board is in the "laundry room". On top of the mini-washer/dryer (it's a condo-sized washer/dryer, so the cycle runs longer), you'll find the iron, detergent pods, & dryer sheets. One wash is $1 (including 1 detergent pod & dryer sheet).
Need a book to read or a magazine to peruse? We've got a decent library and plenty of mag's (Time, Photography, etc.). Just ask. And Lonely Planets from about 40 countries.
Speaking of storage, you probably won't need it, but this is our home, so our renovations created huge amounts of overhead, out-of-the-way, but easily accessible, storage. No need to worry about where to put your "stuff".
Because this is a garden-level apartment, you probably won't need the air conditioning... Even so, it is available for an additional $5/day. As for heat, we do have central heating.
Free wi-fi is part of the gig, both inside and out. For this reason, we do not have a television. Watch TV inside or out by logging on to one of the many websites offering quality television for free ((website hidden), (website hidden), (website hidden), (website hidden), netflix, etc.).
IF YOU NEED IT... don't be afraid to ASK...
Also, because we live in the building, if you need it, just ask (when we're in town). We probably have it. Once you confirm your stay, I will send you "Guidelines & Directions" that will have more specific information.
We have very easy access to O'hare & Midway via the Blue line or 90/94.
We are equidistant (half a mile) between two "L" stops. (The "L" is our subway system.) Damen stop & the Division stop.
We are less than 5 minutes driving distance from 90/94. This is a big deal, b/c it eliminates having to drive through traffic to get to the highway. That can mean taking more than a half an hour to 45 minutes (not to mention stress) off of your driving trip.
We also have great bus stops near our home: Division, Damen, Chicago, and Ashland buses are all super-efficient.
You can easily park on the street for "free" in front of our house. (You'll need a city sticker, which we'll provide for $1 per entire stay.) Keep in mind that if you arrive on a Friday night or Saturday night, or if you have a large vehicle (full-size van, large truck, etc.) parking becomes exponentially more difficult and you may have to look harder.
Chicago's an extremely bicycle-friendly city, with bike lanes on most major streets.
Take advantage of Divvy Bicycle Rental. It's new as of 2013 and very popular in Chicago! It's an automatic rental system, so it's "open" 24/7, and we happen to have a bike station a block from us.
If you're able to fix bikes, we have a bike you can borrow if that's your thing... (My hubby just broke a spring in the something-or-other than connects my wheel to my frame.)
We've been voted the best neighborhood in Chicago... for good reason!
Our home is very quiet both inside and out. We're in the back, but even in the front, you won't be assaulted by noise pollution.
Walk 5-10 minutes and you have the option of all of the Zagat-rated restaurants you could possibly want. On a budget? We have that. Ready to splurge? That's here, too. But no matter what, it all tastes delicious. We're a knowledgeable neighborhood when it comes to food and those spaces that offer mediocre food or overprice do not last long here in Wicker Park. Don't waste your time in the Loop. This is some of the best food at some of the best prices in the city.
Not into nightlife or just need a break? Sit in one of the many parks within 10 min's walking distance. Wicker Park (the actual park) is one of the best. Most have beautiful fountains... Or sit in one of the many restaurant or cafe courtyards... Or just take a walk... I love walking in our neighborhood... The residents here care about their homes and their gardens and it shows... The building stock is fabulous and we've been established as a historic district, so the facades of these gorgeous, old buildings are not allowed to be changed...
It's got NIGHTLIFE...
More into the party than the peace? 5am bars within a 7-10 minute walk let you experience Chi-town's love of a good time. Restaurants are open until 10p-12p, with some bars offering food until 1am or later. Bars are open until 2a, some until 3a, and others 4a on weekdays (5a on wknd). And these are some of the best in Chicago. You can live here for years on end and not exhaust the bar scene.
It's got COFFEE...
Seriously. How our neighborhood supports the amount of coffee shops it does is beyond me. But our cafes are high-quality, laid-back, and don't mind if you people-watch for hours.
It's got BRUNCH...
We Chi-towners love brunch. And WP does brunch well. We live literally 2 minutes' walk from Milk n Honey, one of the absolutely to-die-for best brunch places in the country.
It's got GELATO...
We have at least three amazing gelato spots within 5-15 minutes' walk. Mexican Chicago gelato at Black Dog Gelato (Chicago & Damen)? Yes, please!
It's got MUSIC and ART...
Music and art are the fabric that make up our soul in WP. More than three legendary music venues (including the Double Door) are within walking distance. The flat-iron building teems with art studios. Walk around and you'll find some beautiful graffiti walls that change every few months.
It's FASHIONABLE and QUIRKY...
Love shopping? People come from all over to shop in our boutiques. Jewelry designers, clothing designers, baby stores... For instance, walk down our street to the corner and you instantly see an upscale flower shop that I frequent (Cattails), walk a few feet to the right and you'll see a boutique offering high-quality goods from all over the world. (Great if you just got back from Zimbabwe and forget to get your sister a gift!) Walk to your left and you can buy your baby nephew a high-priced t-shirt from Sprout. Cross the street and buy some hand-made earrings or go into the door next to Cattails and make your own at one of the best bead shops I've ever been to.
It's got SUSHI...
So many sushi restaurants in our neighborhood, many open late... Crazy-high-end (many say that Marai has the best sushi in town) or 1/2 price sushi on the cheap.
It has PROXIMITY to HOLIDAY SHOPPING, parades, etc....
We're only 4 subway stops from State Street: the mecca of holiday shopping, the Thanksgiving Day parade, the famous Macy window displays, the lighting of the Daly Plaza Christmas tree & the Kristkindle Market, etc.
It's got WHATEVER I FORGOT TO NAME...
Seriously, our neighborhood has it all for everyone...
Because it's just been renovated, it's clean-clean-clean. Brand new paint job, brand new everything, means super-clean for the serious germ-phobic in you. I will expect you to clean up after yourselves (call us the IKEA of bnb's), so I've included a list of "extra cleaning items" on our Directions and Guidelines. Should you decide, for instance, not to do your dishes or clean the blender thoroughly after using it, or track dirt/mud in all over the floor, your deposit will be kept in full. This reduces the overall nightly cost for you.
The INTANGIBLES... (Well, some are tangibles.)
I like making our guests happy. Perhaps you'll arrive and there will be tea straight from Nanjing waiting for you. Or Girardelli chocolates on your pillow. Or truffles. Our goal is to make this better than a hotel would be. You are our friends-without-strings. And let's face it. We're nice.
If you really want, I can even make you breakfast for $10/person, but you'll have to let me know in advance (otherwise, we probably won't have the food to make breakfast) and we might not be home, so I might not be able to offer this (definitely not on weekdays). I'm no chef, but I can make your basics if you're in the need of relaxation: Omelette, Toast, & Coffee.
We're also HANDS-OFF...
You may see a lot of us; you might not see us the entire time you're at our home. We don't really have a routine schedule. We both have full-time jobs and lives that are pretty unpredictable. I'm super-detailed, so as long as you read our info, I'll make your arrival very easy, your stay super-smooth, and your departure just as simple.
When you book, you'll receive an electronic version of our DIRECTIONS & GUIDELINES. This will give you more information about your stay than you'll even care to know. It will list our comprehensive recommendations for restaurants, bars, boutiques, music, etc. It'll include lists: "What to do in Chicago when you're too tired to do anything." "Where to get the best hot dog." "Where to get a cup of coffee."
You'll have the option of buying a 3-day CTA card (subway/bus) from us rather than having to seek out a vendor. (They're $20.) It doesn't really make us money or save you money, but it saves you the hassle of having to go buy one.
We basically have our own little tourist/visitor center (brochures, maps, etc.) that has been weeded out to include only the items you'll need. (Want to take trapeze lessons? We have a brochure for that!) And if you need help with your trip, we can assist.
All of this will save you time... an important commodity when you're on vacay.
Oh, yeah, and we have hammocks. I love hammocks. Everyone should have hammocks.
At the end of the day, we know you'll have a lovely stay with us. Hope to see you soon!
You will have access to a whole apartment set in a garden, three outdoor spaces where you can dine, read, or nap... Two bedrooms and ample floor space for larger groups, if you'd prefer savings over personal space!... Free wi-fi... a convenience "store" in the apt... plenty of kitchen items and counter space for cooking... reading materials in lieu of a television (Sorry! We don't have a TV!)... A "travel center" with plenty of info... and more...
We communicate with our guests primarily through the Airbnb website. This provides a secure platform for our guests. We may or may not be home during your stay and upon check-in and we have full-time jobs, so we expect you to read through our listing and Guidelines and Directions thoroughly before arrival, as we've answered nearly every question you have before you've asked...
Wow! We love Wicker Park! The history! The eclectic vibe! The Zagat-rated restaurants with cuisine from all over the world! The gorgeous parks! The access to practicalities! Easy transportation to anywhere in the city and the world! All within 5-10 min's walking distance! And a quiet backyard from which to relish in our fortune to be able to live here... and to share our neighborhood with you...
The L is a half-mile away (10 min's walk).
The buses are a block away (2 min's walk).
The airport is 45 min's away via the subway.
Taxis pass constantly and usually take 0-5 minutes to hail.
We expect you to read the listing... as well as the Guidelines and Directions... This is a required part of agreeing to stay in our building.
Enjoyed our stay in this pleasant, semi-hidden cubby. Spacious main room, soft linens, attractive updates. Clean and helpfully stocked for all your basic needs, plus! Local information graciously organized into binders and at hand for perusal. We had a bit of trouble parking (arrived late on a Friday night) but were able to find something a walkable distance away. Enjoyed the fun vibe of the area and a chance to stay in a historic building in an authentic old Chicago neighborhood. Would love to see the residence flowers in spring! We only communicated through Airbnb, and hosts were extremely responsive. Personal touches - Thank you!
Great little two bed garden apartment ...perfect parking situation for wicker park and walking distance to all the areas attractions
Damn fine air bed I might add
See you soon ...
Our stay at Lyney's was our first experience with Air Bnb and we couldn't have asked for a better host or place. Lyney's apartment is in the perfect location. Just a few blocks from the L stop make the place a perfect home base to explore the city. Wicker Park is full of good restaurants, shops, and bars and we enjoyed exploring new places everyday. Our plane was delayed four hours getting into Chicago due to some crazy mid west weather. But it wasn't a problem at all staying with Lyney. She made it very easy to arrive whenever we wanted and they were very accommodating. We were very pleasantly surprised to show up at midnight and have a fridge full of cold beer and bottles of wine to choose from. It was a perfect way to relax after a hectic day of travel. The apartment was very clean and neat upon arrival. Being a DJ I was extra happy to see a box of used vinyl and enjoyed thumbing through the stack. The place was pretty simple, a comfortable couch and chair, a nice bed and a small kitchen. There was an extra bedroom with a blow up mattress that would sleep two more. There wasn't a tv but who wants to watch tv when you have the city of Chicago to explore. We never got a chance to meet Lyney cause she had just brought home her first newborn. But we texted with her when we thought we locked ourselves out. She wasn't at home but told us how to get through her apartment to get into ours. She was very sweet about our blunder and understood. We would love to stay again and hopefully next time get the chance to buy her a beer and some Big Star tacos. Lyney's place is the perfect home base to easily get around the city and take in all the great things Wicker Park has to offer.
We had a really good time at Lyney's place. She was really nice to us and her place is amazing. I would highly recommand it ; it is the perfect neighboorhood to discover Chicago, and come back after a long day in a clean and warm home. Thanks a lot, Lyney!
The reservation was canceled 48 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
Great place. Very cute and comfortable. The weather was freezing and the apt was warm and toasty upon arrival. The location is great. Very convenient for walking around to shops & restaurants and getting to the train. I had a great stay for the weekend.
We've had a rather mixed experience at Lyney's and Taplyn's place. We stayed for two weeks; came to work (conference!), and had two toddler children with us. In my worldview, an ideal temporary apartment is one that you don't have to think about. This one required some attention. Positive: Taplyn and Lyney actually brought us some fresh groceries when we couldn't get to a store few days after arrival! - a lifesaver :) thanks much Taplyn was friendly and understanding Clean, good-sized living area, nice floors, our first impression was very positive and we enjoyed the space; bedrooms tiny but sufficiently comfortable The extra supplies in the bathroom etc were most helpful WARM in winter, with a working hot shower! A short and inexpensive cab ride away from downtown Lovely Russian bathhouse next door, nice neighborhood Negative: Pipes were frozen when we arrived - things happen, and a plumber was coming to fix them. We weren't told that we'd be staying without water (and I mean it! - couldn't flush the toilet) 8 am to 4 pm the following day. Unfortunately, this was precisely when we had to be at the conference clean and fresh. Didn't work out so well. Other old house problems: no electricity for half a day, leaking dishwasher, broken door handle, very unreliable Internet until we fixed it ourselves... Some of the repairs scheduled on our very last day, which could no longer improve our stay but could definitely get in the way. We were told that the apartment was child friendly. Then we gradually discovered that the kitchen knives were all stuck to a large bar magnet under the kitchen table, just at my toddlers level. Next thing we discovered was a mousetrap. When one of us adults placed the laptop on the floor to try and get a better internet connection, his finger got badly hit. When we asked Lyney if she had any other mousetraps in the apartment, she got annoyed and said that no, she didn't, and this one we could just move. We would have! - if we knew it was there. Lyney expects preparation from guests (admittedly, we were not prepared: missed her first email, which started things on a wrong note). Unfortunately, any question on our part was treated as proof of our inadequacy - either because we hadn't read the 20-page manual carefully or because we hadn't figured out such an obvious thing (e.g. where the soap is) by ourselves. As a result, we often felt patronized. Little respect for privacy (Lyney, not Taplyn). She would just walk in and do her thing. Shelf in a room so high up by the ceiling that I had to jump on the bed to reach it (I tried). Ok, but Lyney actually got annoyed with me when she found out that I wasn't using it! Wow. No desk or table except for the kitchen counter Did not offer any discount or refund despite technical issues, barely an apology for the...
The three of us (21-24 yrs) stayed at the apartment over Christmas and it was a great choice. What we liked most was its location in Wicker Park, close to public transport to Downtown and a very nice neighborhood to eat and shop. It felt safe, lively and was a much better option for us than to stay in the downtown area. Kitchen and bathroom are equipped with everything we needed (and more that we didn't have to use). Also, Lyney's "guide" to the apartment answers all the questions, which was very helpful and saved time. Lyney was always available when we needed help with something. We definitely recommend anyone to stay at this location since it was cozy, well-equipped and perfectly located.
Wow Lyney was amazingly organized and her home was perfect. Everything we needed and more.
This two bed one bath apt was amazing .
I have two teenage sons who joined me on this trip to see Chicago and we all were extremely comfortable .
Liney came to introduce herself and we ended up chatting for over an hour , a perfect host , well travelled and extremely hospitable infact overly helpful (thank you)
The location was perfect , one block from everything you may need
Busses,cabs,food etc .
In a nutshell
We will return
Thanks for a spotless warm and very comfy house