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TGIF: 9 Stories That Show How Cool Chicago Is

By DNAinfo Staff | September 15, 2017 12:53pm 

CHICAGO — Mysterious swings are popping up in Logan Square, a South Shore rapper won a massive contest and goats are back at O'Hare.

Check out what's happening around the neighborhoods:

[DNAinfo/Mina Bloom and Courtesy Joe Williams]

Mysterious Rope Swings Delight Logan Square

LOGAN SQUARE — In Logan Square, people are swinging into fall — literally.

Several swings, made with wood and rope, have popped up throughout the neighborhood as of late.

So far, it's unclear who's responsible for the swings. But, just like the communal trampoline, one thing is for sure: People are loving them.

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[Courtesy Sasaki Associates]

A Riverwalk Expansion To Chinatown Looks Incredible [Renderings]

DOWNTOWN — Some of the biggest names in architecture have some bold ideas for extensions of the Chicago Riverwalk, and the public is invited to check them out and weigh in.

As part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial that launched Friday, the city has commissioned some of the world's leading design firms to develop ideas for an extension of the riverwalk. The designs are on display at Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph St., beginning Saturday.

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[Courtesy Gianna Franzia]

Meet The Cookie Queen Of Chicago: Determined Girl Scout Sells 30,120 Boxes

LAKEVIEW — Last year, 9-year-old Lakeview resident and St. Andrew student Giada Gambatese sold 13,061 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and donated them to the Gift of Caring Program, which sends the cookies to organizations that put together care packages for members of the military.

But Giada isn't the kind of kid who rests on her laurels. This year, she wanted to sell even more boxes for the Gift of Caring Program.

The final 2017 tally? 30,120.

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[Courtesy Chicago Scenic Studios]

This Chicago Set Designer Is Behind Some Of Coolest Backdrops In The World

CHICAGO — They designed the stage in Grant Park where Barack Obama celebrated his first presidential victory and the stage the Cubs used when they won their first championship in 108 years.

They dressed dinosaurs and lion statues in giant Chicago sports jerseys and helmets.

But after relocating to a massive new warehouse-style headquarters in Pilsen, Chicago Scenic Studios can start to dream even bigger.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin]

These City-Employed Goats Eat Their Way Through Overgrowth At O'Hare

O'HARE — The job of landscaping the more than 11-square-mile expanse of O'Hare Airportis too much for humans to handle on their own.

For the fourth summer in five years, the nation's second-busiest airport has turned to a herd of goats and sheep to clear the shaggy brush surrounding its miles-long perimeter, a tool city officials say is both more efficient and environmentally-friendly than heavy machinery.

This year's herd includes 100 animals, roughly doubling the size of its goat army over previous years, officials said.

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[Courtesy]

Chicago Rapper Y.K. Supe Beats 9,000 Freestylers To Win National Contest

CHICAGO — Life for local rapper Y.K. Supe has felt like a movie the past month.

The 23-year-old South Shore native, whose real name is Marcus Dixon, beat out nearly 9,000 rappers in a freestyle competition this summer.

Dixon has been named the winner of Verizon’s and 300 Entertainment’s #freestyle50 challenge, which is in its second year. He will receive a record deal with Kevin Liles’ iconic hip hop label 300 Entertainment, home to such multi-platinum acts as Migos and Fetty Wap. Dixon’s debut single will be produced by London On Da Track.

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[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli and Screenshot]

Why Did Sears Cover Up Its Windows? It Wasn't Always That Way

LINCOLN SQUARE — The darkened windows of the Lawrence Avenue Sears are about to see the light of day for the first time in decades as the former department store is slated for redevelopment into a mixed-use apartment-retail complex.

Architectural renderings of the property's proposed facade turn the clock back nearly 100 years, calling for the exposure of the building's long concealed second-story windows.

The question is: Why were they ever covered?

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[Courtesy Kelly Langan]

Kris Bryant Is Sending Thank-You Notes To Fans Who Sent Him Wedding Gifts

CHICAGO — Cubs star Kris Bryant and his wife, Jess, are sending thank-you notes to all of the fans —including strangers — who sent them gifts for their wedding.

Fans dug up the Bryants' registry several months before their January wedding and sent them gifts from their wishlist. Now, the Bryants have returned the favor by sending out signed and personalized thank-you notes to everyone who sent them a present.

Kelly Langan, who gifted the newlyweds stainless steel mugs for Moscow mules, got her note Monday. Langan, of suburban Barrington, doesn't know the couple, but she's a "big Cubs fan" and thought it would be fun to send the Bryants a gift after learning their registry was public.

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[Facebook/XO Marshmallow]

Fall Has Arrived On The North Side — Here Are 4 Ways To Get In The Spirit

EDGEWATER — Though technically autumn doesn't officially start until Sept. 22, the spirit of seasonal change and smell of spice is already in the air. 

The leaves haven't quite yet turned, but for those wishing to bid adieu to summer and usher in fall, you're not alone.

From spicing up your snacks to painting your own skull-shaped stein, check out these four fall-themed ways to set the season's tone.

Read more.