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TGIF: 8 Chicago Stories To Get You Ready For the Weekend

By DNAinfo Staff | September 22, 2017 1:43pm 

CHICAGO — Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder is playing with locals, a jail job program helped an Austin man change his life and two River North businesses are warring with Post-it note art.

Check out what's happening around the neighborhoods:

[DNAinfo/Andrea Watson]

How A County Jail Job Program Helped This Ex-Con Find His True Calling

AUSTIN — Returning to society after spending time in jail can be tough, but a West Side barber was actually able to find a career path thanks to his time in Cook County Jail. 

Michael Moore, a 26-year-old West Side native, served 18 months for possession of a firearm.  

He was unsure how he'd find a job when he got out, fearing a criminal record would scare off potential employers. But a job-placement program in the jail ended up helping him turn his life around. 

Read more.

[DNAinfo/David Matthews]

Post-It Note Window War Wages Between River North Office Buildings

RIVER NORTH — Two Chicago developers are waging a Post-it note window war in River North, and so far, they're sticking to it. 

The first salvos were fired last Friday when Related Midwest put up a red Pac-Man ghost on the third floor of its office building at 350 W. Hubbard St. The Habitat Co., the building's fifth-floor tenant, then put up a pink Pac-Man ghost. Then the building across the street got involved.

"It's a friendly competition of sorts," said Maureen Vaughn of The Habitat Co. "Like any game, there's got to be a winner. There's not a winner here, but everybody wants to have the coolest window."

Read more.

[Courtesy Jane Deitrich]

Monarch Butterflies Flying High This Year After Recent Declines

LINCOLN PARK — If you think you've seen more monarch butterflies recently, you're not mistaken.

The butterflies appear to be back after recent declines in population as they make their way through the city and the Midwest on their annual jaunt to Mexico.

"It seems to have been a good summer for monarchs, and so there's a strong migration that's come through," said Doug Taron, chief curator at the Notebaert Nature Museum.

Read more.

[Courtesy PAWS Chicago]

PAWS, Dylan's Candy Bar Team Up For Sweet Dog Adoption Event

DOWNTOWN — PAWS Chicago is teaming up with Dylan's Candy Bar to find homes for rescued dogs during an adoption event.

Those who attend the event will meet dogs rescued by PAWS — including pups rescued after Hurricane Harvey — and can even bring one home if they're ready to adopt. Attendees will also be able to donate to PAWS.

Everyone who attends will get a free ice cream scoop, but those adopting a dog will get an extra sweet treat: a paint can to fill with candy from the shop.

Read more.

Bonus: These Hurricane Irma Kittens Rescued By Paws Need Your Help

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder Plays With Street Musicians Outside Wrigley Twice

WRIGLEYVILLE — Jack McKee thought he might make a little money and put a few smiles on people's faces on Friday when he decided to busk on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland after the Cubs game. What he was not expecting was an impromptu jam session with Pearl Jam frontman and Cubs diehard Eddie Vedder.

But Wrigley became a real-life field of dreams that night, and McKee really did get to play with one of his heroes.

Read more.

[DNAinfo and Facebook]

Not Your Dad's Western Ave.: Trendy Bars, Shops Bring New Flavor To Beverly

BEVERLY — The stretch of Western Avenue that runs from 91st Street in Beverly to 119th Street in Morgan Park has long been synonymous with bars painted Kelly green and adorned in shamrocks.

These dimly-lit Irish pubs have served bottles upon bottles of light beer for decades. And as for food, it would be hard to find a two-mile strip with more pizza parlors anywhere. Other comfort foods abound, including late-night subs, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef and more.

But many of the newcomers to this commercial stretch have bucked the trend, bringing a fresh vibe to the businesses district by adding craft beer, healthy food options, shops designed to take advantage of natural light and more.

Read more.

[Courtesy City of Chicago]

Chicago's Own Mount Rushmore? Huge Mural Will Honor Iconic Chicago Women

THE LOOP — Oprah Winfrey, Gwendolyn Brooks and other powerful women in Chicago history will line up in formation Downtown in the biggest painting yet by Kerry James Marshall. 

The renowned Bronzeville artist will start work Thursday on the 132-by-100-foot mural depicting 20 Chicago women outside the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. 

The mural is the latest addition to the city's Year of Public Art, a campaign to add art throughout all of Chicago's neighborhoods. 

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]

One Of These Murals Is Not Like The Others — Or Is It?

ALBANY PARK — In a matter of complete coincidence, two recently unveiled murals — commissioned by separate entities and painted by different artists — share a common source of creative inspiration that's also the theme of a third, not commissioned, work of street art.

Take a look at these interpretations of the Chicago River running through Lincoln Square and Albany Park.

Read more.