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Puppies, Babies And Baseball: 13 Stories To Remind You Why Chicago Rocks

By DNAinfo Staff | July 28, 2017 2:15pm | Updated on July 29, 2017 9:29am

CHICAGO — There's been a spike in newborns thanks to the Cubs' World Series win, free cheesecake is being handed out and business is booming for a Little Italy restaurant.

(Bonus: This weekend's weather will be amazing.)

Check out what's happening around the neighborhoods:

[DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

The Cubs Baby Boom: Births Spike 9 Months After Cubs Go All The Way

WRIGLEYVILLE — If Dave and Erin Hettinger have it their way, the newborn they had July 17 will grow up to be just like his namesake. 

And judging by Theo Hettinger's decidedly calm demeanor, he's already got the cool-under-pressure vibes of Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein down pat.

"You know, as a father, obviously you want your kid to grow up looking up to those role models and those leaders," first-time father Dave said. "And everything we read about Theo [Epstein] and understand what he's done made it feel right."

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

Edgewater Pet Parade To Feature Costumed Mutts Strutting Around Town

EDGEWATER — Now in its sixth year, Edgewater's Edge Fest celebration has a new feature this year: a pet costume parade and contest that also showcases dogs available for adoption. 

For $10, community members can sign up to take part in the parade, which includes a quick walk around the block, pet-themed contests and adoptable dogs from One Tail at a Time. Half of each entry ticket goes toward local food shelter Care For Real's pet food pantry, which feeds thousands of pets each year. 

Read more.

'Tongue-Tickling' Biscuits May Be Key To Future For Sweet Maple Cafe Owner

LITTLE ITALY — Cinnamon roll pancakes and thick slices of french toast served with Vermont maple syrup are among the favorites at Sweet Maple Cafe.

But the warm buttermilk biscuits might be the key to the cafe's future.

West Chatham native Laurene Hynson opened Sweet Maple, at 1339 W. Taylor St., in 1999. Thanks to its location — near the University of Illinois-Chicago and its hospital — and its high quality dishes, business has been great, she said.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Ted Cox]

Medieval Times Knights Teach Park District Campers Swordplay, Chivalry

RANCH TRIANGLE — Day campers at Adams Playground Park were instructed in the ancient arts of swordplay and chivalry Monday by a pair of knights from the Medieval Times dinner theater.

Donald Webber, as the Blue Knight, and Michael Kiburz, as the Yellow Knight, staged a half-hour lesson for about 45 campers, aged 6-10.

Honesty, loyalty and integrity are the knight's code, Sir Donald told the kids, "and helping around the house whenever you can."

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[DNAinfo/Joe Ward]

South Side Sandwich Wars: Father, Son Open Competing Restaurants

BRIDGEPORT — Seven months after he lost his business and home in a devastating fire, Pete Soluri has reopened his sandwich shop in what he thinks is a nicer building and a better location in the neighborhood.

With a few weeks at the new establishment under his belt, Pete is optimistic about his business. Things are going well, Pete said. But he does have some new competition.

Fewer than 2 miles away, his son, Giovanni Soluri, also has just opened a deli and is using the family name and a similar presentation as his father's shop.

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Beautiful day calls for beautiful pops ☀️ 📸: @chelseagalera

A post shared by Milk & Wood Chicago (@milkandwoodchicago) on

Want A Green Tea Kit Kat Ice Cream Bar? Head To Logan Crab Spot (Really)

LOGAN SQUARE — Popular California-based stand Milk & Wood, which specializes in handmade ice cream bars drizzled with chocolate and topped with cookies and Froot Loops, has just one location in Chicago — inside an unassuming Logan Square crab restaurant.

The ice cream counter debuted about a year ago when The Crab Pad, 2529 N. Milwaukee Ave. opened to the public, but now is the time to check it out, co-owner Theresa Tran said.

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[DNAinfo/Sam Cholke]

Women From Woodlawn Recovery Home Singing Anthem At Sox Game Monday

WOODLAWN — Women recovering from life’s most traumatic experiences will sing the national anthem Monday at the White Sox game against the Kansas City Royals.

The women at St. Martin de Porres House of Hope sing as a way to recover from addiction, violence and homelessness, and on Monday their Harmony, Hope and Healing ensemble will step in front of their biggest audience yet at Guaranteed Rate Field to open the baseball game.

“I’m feeling very excited,” said Marge Nykaza, how has directed the ensemble for 17 years.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

My Corn Is Wearing Pantyhose, And It's NOT A Fashion Statement

LINCOLN SQUARE — It's bare-legged season in Chicago, but my corn is sporting nylon stockings.

Since when is there a dress code for produce, you ask?

There's not, obviously. It's just the latest in a long line of increasingly desperate ploys to end the growing season with one edible ear to show for four months of effort. 

Growing corn is hard.

Read more.

[Eli's Cheesecake Company]

Free Cheesecake, Classic Cars And A Raptor Set For Eli's Festival Sunday

CHICAGO — Eli's Cheesecake Co., 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive, never lets National Cheesecake Day go by without a fitting celebration.

Continuing a tradition the Dunning mainstay has honored each year since its 1996 move into the neighborhood, Eli's will host a full day of games, performances and free treats with its annual Cheesecake Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Read more.

[National Roller Derby Hall of Fame]

Roller Derby, Born In Chicago 82 Years Ago, To Get Its Own Week

SOUTH LOOP — Roller Derby, the occasionally bone-crushing sport born in Chicago, is set to get its own week. 

World Roller Derby Week will start Aug. 13 in Coliseum Park, 1513 S. Wabash Ave., the site of the old Chicago Coliseum where roller derby debuted in 1935. 

Back then the country was in the middle of the Great Depression, and promoter Leo Seltzer was looking for a new draw. Inspired by "walkathons" in the Pacific Northwest and the growing popularity of roller rinks, Seltzer decided to combine the two into roller derby. 

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[Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez]

Shark Week At The Shedd: Meet The Aquarium's New Shark Expert

DOWNTOWN — The Shedd Aquarium has a new shark expert just in time for Shark Week.

Steve Kessel started this month as director of Marine Research at the Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. That means it was too soon for him to plan this year's activities for Shark Week— a time when the Discovery Channel provides nonstop coverage of sharks — but he's excited by all the attention the event brings to his favorite subject.

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Hey Drunk, Naked Chicago Guys: 'Shameless' Needs You

CHICAGO — Know anyone who's really good at being a naked, drunk guy? They might be able to land a spot on "Shameless."

The show follows the travails of the Gallagher family, led by father Frank (who's often either getting drunk or passed out somewhere instead of caring for his six kids) and oldest daughter Fiona. They live in Canaryville.

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[Facebook/Taco Bell]

A Boozy Taco Bell Is Opening Just Off The Magnificent Mile

STREETERVILLE — If you were excited about a boozy Taco Bell opening Downtown, now there will be two.

A new Taco Bell Cantina is expected to open by late August or early September at 205 E. Ohio St., a block from the Mag Mile, said Laura Nedbal, a Taco Bell spokeswoman.

Streeterville's new boozy Taco Bell is set to open at about the same time as another coming to 407 S. Dearborn St. in the Loop, Nedbal said.

Read more.