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13 Chicago Stories To Perk Up Your Weekend

By DNAinfo Staff | August 25, 2017 11:38am 

CHICAGO — If you're trying to get a good weekend vibe going, this could be what you need: The Sox helped a fan after he had his foul ball stolen, Stan's Donuts is offering a deal and a mysterious pumpkin patch sprung up in Lincoln Square.

Catch up on the neighborhoods here:

[Lincoln Park Zoo]

'All My Penguins' Chronicles Love, Betrayal At Lincoln Park Zoo

CHICAGO — Robben left Pilchard for Preston, and Dudley is cooling his tail feathers after Madiba dumped him for Mandela.

Such is life for the penguins of Lincoln Park Zoo, who are having their dating ups-and-downs chronicled in the zoo's soap opera blog, "All My Penguins."

Penguins, you see, are typically monogamous, or at the very least loyal for a season or so. No one told the new Lincoln Park Zoo penguins, though.

Read more.

Grown Woman Steals Young Sox Fan's Foul Ball, So Team Gives Him Signed One

ARMOUR SQUARE — A young White Sox fan's visit to the game Monday was made memorable by a team executive who gave him a signed ball after a foul ball he retrieved earlier in the game was snatched from his hands.

The broadcast for Monday night's White Sox-Twins game caught the young fan running for a foul ball that landed in the stands near the left field foul pole. He beat a woman to the ball, but she apparently thought she had dibs.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]

Stan's Donuts Celebrates Birthday Of Founder With 88-Cent Deal On Saturday

CHICAGO — To celebrate its founder's 88th birthday, Stan's Donuts will be selling its signature glazed doughnuts for 88 cents on Saturday.

All six Chicago locations will offer the special deal, which brings down the cost of what is usually a $1.80 doughnut, or $19 for one dozen.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

Pumpkins Mysteriously Start Growing In Lincoln Square Parkway

LINCOLN SQUARE — This Halloween, one Lincoln Square neighbor can save himself a trip to the pumpkin patch in search of a Jack-o'-lantern.

That's because he's got a couple of the gourds growing in his yard, courtesy of a bit of an "oops" on the part of the city's Water Department.

"The Case of the Mysterious Parkway Pumpkins" started months ago, when city crews removed a diseased tree from the parkway in front of the home of Andy Buchanan, who lives in the 4900 block of North Oakley Street.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Her Hands Built Homes, Saved Lives And Now Run A Thriving Massage Clinic

WEST LOOP — As a massage therapist for 15 years, Lillie Barnett has used her hands to help hundreds of clients at her West Loop clinic manage the stresses of life.

But before she got her license in massage therapy, she used her hands to build houses on the South Side and helped construct the 49-story Presidential Towers, often as the only woman or person of color on the job. For two years, her hands helped save lives while she worked as an emergency medical technician.

"I feel so fortunate that I'm able to give to people like that and enjoy it," said Barnett.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

Half Acre's Huge New Beer Garden Opens Soon: Take A Peek (PHOTOS)

BOWMANVILLE — Half Acre is still a few weeks away from opening its long-awaited Bowmanville taproom and beer garden, but it offered a taste of things to coming during its Big North anniversary bash on Saturday.

The entire brewery at 2050 W. Balmoral Ave. was transformed into a playground for revelers, who were treated to live music, tattoo and gaming stations, pours of rare beers and a backstage glimpse of what's now Half Acre's main production facility  — so many cans, stacked so very high.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Sam Cholke]

Cloudy Or Not, Chicagoans Flock Outside For Eclipse Viewing (PHOTOS)

CHICAGO — For a few hours on Monday, the moon passed between the Earth and the sun.

And though the eclipse in Chicago was a little less noticeable than in other places, with the moon only covering 86.6 percent of the sun from our vantage point, people flocked to get glasses and check it out. 

Clouds covered most of the city sky Monday, but that didn't stop thousands of people from heading outside to take a look. 

Read more.

Songs For The Dying: Choir Brings Peace To Southwest Siders' Final Days

MORGAN PARK — Marilyn Durkin, 91, laid tightly curled in bed for days before she died June 10, her daughter, Carol Nick, said.

Durkin suffered from dementia and lived at Smith Village for six years before she died, said Nick, who lives near her mother's former retirement community in Morgan Park.

In her final days, Nick asked members of the Threshold Choir to sing to her mom. As the singing began, the terminally ill woman "totally uncurled," said Daryce Hoff Nolan, who founded the chapter of the choir four years ago.

"We got a response from her, and it was amazing," said Nick.

Read more.

This Chicago Summer Camp Turns Kids Into Baking Pros [VIDEO]

ROSCOE VILLAGE — At Give Me Some Sugar bakery, teens spend their summer rolling out dough, melting chocolate and crafting cookies — and are smiling through it all.

The bakery, 2205 W. Belmont Ave., was founded nine years by Executive Chef Alekka Sweeney. Give Me Some Sugar started offering camp sessions five years ago, when Sweeney realized her friends with children didn't know what to do with their kids toward the end of summer break.

Sweeney, who grew up baking, "took a lot of ownership" in what she made as a child and realized she could share that with kids.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Queer Folks: Spruce Up Your Wardrobe At Center On Halsted Clothing Swap

BOYSTOWN — For the fifth year, the annual Queer Clothing Swap will provide a chance to update wardrobes and find clothes that best reflect the identity of their wearers.

Genderqueer Chicago will host the swap at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Participants are invited to bring donations of gently worn clothing, shoes and accessories and parse through the offerings to find the perfect replacements for their own wardrobes. Organizers ask that donations not include stained clothing, T-shirts or undergarments.

Read more.

[Provided/Akito Tsuda]

This Japanese Photographer Captured Pilsen In 1990 — Now He Wants To Return

PILSEN — Akito Tsuda roamed the streets of Pilsen in the early 1990s, doing his best to capture the essence of those who lived there and the neighborhood they called home.

Today, 10,000 Hispanic people have left Pilsen. In their wake has come Taco Bell, proposals for 30-story glass towers and wealthier, single white people.

Tsuda's work serves as an important reminder of who made Pilsen what it is today, and that's why Cultura in Pilsen is looking to bring Tsuda and his new photography book "Pilsen Days" back to the neighborhood.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]

Who's Blu? After DNA Test On My Dog, I've Got Some Answers

WICKER PARK — The DNA results for Blu arrived from Orivet Genetic Pet Care.

Finally, I would have an answer to the question many ask when they see us walking around Wicker Park: What is he?

As it turns out, the answer is not easy.

Read more.

(Bonus: Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

[Courtesy Paul Biasco]

Squirrel Goes Nuts Over Pizza In Logan Square: VIDEO

LOGAN SQUARE — New York's Pizza Rat has got nothin' on us.

We've got Logan Square's Pizza Squirrel.

Read more.