from the Sharon Harkness team of real estate experts

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2014 New Year’s Wish

No More Polar Vortex

First of all I would wish that whoever invented the idea of having this Polar Vortex deal show up in Illinois be sent back to meteorologist school. There were people in the ditch, frozen pipes, chilled toes, and too much time at home with kids. So we’ve experienced that and lets put the next one off for another 20 years or so.

We can live without cold like the last few days just fine.

We can live without cold like the last few days just fine.

Trader Joe’s in CU

Wouldn’t it be cool to just bike over to TJ say in Savoy someplace or in the old Country Fair space–like next to where True Value in going. I mean just cruise over there and get some of that great peanut butter, or some of those awesome quinoa/black bean chips. Can you just imagine being able to get good old “two buck chuck” right here in Champaign Urbana? We are dying for a real grocery store here–even a Whole Foods would be welcome!

Life in CU would improve with one less generic grocery and one more Trader Joes in 2014.

Life in CU would improve with one less generic grocery and one more Trader Joes in 2014.

Ikea — might as well wish!

This is just fantasy to be sure but to have the blue and yellow right here in central Illinois would be wonderful. Right now we have to drive to Ikea in Chicago (like Bolingbrook or Schaumburg) to wander through the maze and sip cheap coffee. Granted that driving up there gets us out of town and the big city is so much fun. But the huge advantage of having the Swedes close is that we wouldn’t have to drive three hours with boxes hanging out our trunk!

Imagine this store down in Savoy--and being able to drop in for that 99 cent breakfast any day you want.

Imagine this store down in Savoy–and being able to drop in for that 99 cent breakfast any day you want.

So those are my wishes for 2014.

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Luxury Homes in Champaign

All around Champaign Urbana there are real estate options for high end homes. Perhaps there are more on the Champaign side, but with the development of Stone Creek, Urbana now has older as well as newer homes for sale over $500,000.

Homes like this in Stone Creek subdivision in Urbana give you fine living near near on of CU's best golf courses.

Homes like this in Stone Creek subdivision in Urbana give you fine living near near on of CU’s best golf courses.

One of the very good areas for homes for sale over $500,000 in Champaign is at 1407 Waverly – right near the Champaign Country Club. Actually the price has just been adjusted on this fine home. Not only is this location perfect, but this one has so much to offer when you open the door as well.

Another good option is right around the corner on Armory. This one has a grand view of the golf course and has gardens to die for.

armory

There are also good options for luxury homes for sale in Urbana right now as well.

Call Sharon today ((217) 621-6308) to have a look at one of these fine homes today- luxury homes is her specialty!

 

 

Food Trucks in Champaign Urbana

Champaign Foodies

So there is good news and bad news when it comes to food trucks in CU. Godd news is we have them just like on TV. And good news is both cities have passed ordinances to welcome them. And good news is they are on the street all year around pretty much.

Bad news is that they range in quality from just good to poor. Here is a brief review of three of them–and yes there are more. So comment and give suggestions and reviews of others. Or even tell us about great ones you have experienced in Chicago or Portland or Flatville (joke).

Here we go.

Cracked Egg

This one I would classify as good. Nice array of breakfast and other goodies. The Cracked Egg menu has sandwiches, wrap (even veggie), sides and some cool drinks. Generally the food is fresh, perhaps a bit oily, but very serviceable. One cool spot they often fill is a the farmers market in Urbana– makes a good late breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Food truck in Champaign

Cracked Egg selling it on the street in downtown Champaign

Food truck in Urbana

This one wins the prize for artwork.

Mas Amigos

I find the Mas Amigos food truck attractive but underwhelming food wise. In particular the meats are good flavored but the lettuce and other veggies on the burritos was stale. Good sized and reasonably priced but not “fresca”.

Burrito King

Ditto of Mas Amigos–sorry. The burritos are a smothered affair and fairly tasty. But with old lettuce they flop. Sauces and cheese are muy rica but the chips were refried refried- so tough and greasy.

Food truck in Urbana

This food truck in Champaign is fairly basic.

Food truck Champaign

The actual burritos are not bad–good cheese and sauce.

So…give us your feedback on these and other food trucks in the area.

Sounds at Sunset

August 6- right around the corner!

The Champaign Park District continues to roll out fun and award winning events. One to watch for coming up is at Douglass Park, 6-8p on August 6. This one is a part of National Night Out 2013.

Candy Foster will be the feature on this one–great local talent.

National Night Out

This annual promotion is an initiative from the National Association of Town Watch and here are some background notes from their site:

The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. NATW’s National Night Out program culminates annually, on the first Tuesday of August (In Texas, the first Tuesday of October).

NATW’s Executive Director, Matt Peskin introduced National Night Out in 1984.The first National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 7th 1984. That first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.

Douglass Park

The location for this event is in the grassy fields of Douglass Park. This park is easy to get to – just morth of the University of Illinois off of University Ave a few blocks at 6th Street.

https://i0.wp.com/www.champaignparkdistrict.com/parks/ParkImages/aerial/douglass.jpg

Champaign Music Festival

Once again this weekend, they block some streets in downtown Champaign and local bands of all kinds take the stages. It is the Champaign Music Festival put on by the Champaign Park District and it runs 6-12p this Saturday, July 20.

Here is a rundown of the evening from the Champaign Park District site:

2013 CHAMPAIGN MUSIC FESTIVAL Entertainment Schedule
Saturday, July 20, 6pm-12am

NEIL and MAIN ST. STAGE

Time
Performer
Style
6:00 – 7:00pm Carrie Lyn Infusion Blues/Soul
7:30 – 9:00pm 90’s Daughter 90’s Hits
9:30 – 11:30pm Brat Pack 80’s Hits

WALNUT and CHESTER ST. STAGE

Time
Performer
Style
6:15 – 7:45pm Delta Kings Blues/Rock
8:15 – 9:45pm Mighty Pranksters Southern Rock/Jam
10:15 – 12:15pm James Wesley Country

MAIN ST. and MARKET ST. STAGE

Time
Performer
Style
6:00 – 6:45pm Pete Stillwell Classic Hits
6:55 – 7:40pm The Fabulous Javelinas Americana
7:50 – 8:35pm Justin Larkin Blues/Rock
8:45 – 9:30pm Cody Sokolski Southern Rock/Jam

 

 

Champaign County Fair

This is a busy weekend for festival/event lovers in Champaign Urbana. There is the Champaign Music Festival in downtown Champaign. This one is put together by the Champaign Park District and runs from 6p- midnight, Saturday July 20.

But the big annual fling, the Champaign County Fair, is even bigger this year than ever. The News Gazette headlined it “DOUBLE THE FUN” this morning and it looks to be quite a week long of festivities.

The fair is easy to get to –just north of Carle Hospital in Urbana.

Here is a complete schedule from the fair website:

CCFA Events and Entertainment Schedule PDF Print E-mail

2013 Event Schedule

New schedule for 2013

Click Here to See Fair Admissions, Carnival Ride and Grandstand Prices

[G$] = Grandstand event. Check link above for admission prices.

Friday, July 19

5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:00 pm Grandstands Open
7:00 pm Preview Night, Demotion Derby #1 [G$]


Saturday, July 20
(Military Appreciation Day – Special Events)

Noon – 4:00 pm 22st Annual Classic & Custom Car & Truck Show
Noon – 4:00 pm Motorcycle Rodeo
1:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:00 pm Prairieland Monster Truck Nationals [G$]


Sunday, July 21
(Family Day / Agriculture Day)

9:00 am Horse Show
10:00 am Religious Service
Noon Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from noon to 5:00 pm
11:00 – 4:00 pm 5th Annual Fire Apparatus Water Ball Competition
12:30 – 5:00 pm Champaign County Farm Bureau Agriculture Events
5:00 pm Rodeo [G$]


Monday, July 22
(Livestock Day)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
10:00 am – Noon Pre-School Day in Kiddie Land – Tickets will be available to pre-school children only, tickets are limited to five (5) tickets per child. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1.00 ticket / $1.00 ride. Rides in Kiddie Land will be 1 & 2 tickets for pre-school children.
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
7:00 pm Talent Show & “Big” Give-Away, WITH SPECIAL GUEST JUDGE AND FREE CONCERT BY GRACIA HARRISON! [G$]


Tuesday, July 23
(Democrat Day / Senior Citizen Day – Free Gate – 60 years or older until 4:00 pm)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
12:30 pm Harness Racing, Post Time [G$]
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from 5:00 – 10:30 pm
7:00 pm Harness Racing, Post Time [G$]


Wednesday, July 24
(Republican Day)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:30 pm AMA Motorcycle Races – “Dick Andrae Memorial Race” [G$]


Thursday, July 25
(4-H Day)

1:00 – 4:00 pm Champaign-Urbana Optimist Youth Day
The Champaign-Urbana Optimist Club will sponsor rides for Children aged 3 thru 12 ONLY from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
5:00 pm – Early Admission

5:30 pm – Grandstand seating and Track open

7:00 pm – Concert Start time

Country Concert [G$]


Friday, July 26

5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
7:00 pm Demolition Derby #2 “COMPACT CRAZY NIGHT” WITH NEW FIGURE 8 EVENT! [G$]


Saturday, July  27
(Youth Day)

11:00 am Tractor and Truck Pull [G$]
Noon Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from noon to 5:00 pm
5:00 pm Tractor Pull, Illinois Championship Semi-Truck Pull [G$]

414 Avondale, Champaign, Illinois

This lovely home is for sale in the Hessel Park neighborhood of Champaign…very near the University of Illinois.

Homes in Hessel Park are a value, they are near bus lines, they are close to downtown Champaign and they have that old Champaign ambiance.

Call us today to have a look at this low maintenance, quality residence.