An inside look at Chicago real estate

Talk of the Town: September 2019

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Uncategorized


Get Smart

Get inspired this month to expand your horizons! We’re exploring some interesting ways to gain some new knowledge—from online resources to cool gadgets to make your home a little more intelligent, we’ve got you covered.

Learn Smart | Fun Smart | Live Smart

Learn Smart

These online resources are a great way to learn something new from the comfort of your own couch!


  1. Coursera- With courses brought to you by some of the world’s top universities, you’ll be able to learn about topics ranging from philosophy to law.
  2. TED- There’s always time to learn something new, and TED-Ed’s impressively animated shorts will immerse you in some cool new facts, interesting concepts, and so much more in 10 minutes or less.
  3. Udemy- With over 100,000 online video courses and a mix  of paid and free options, Udemy has it all. Build custom courses in everything from development and design to travel and cooking.
  4. Khan Academy- Khan Academy personalizes learning to help kids of all ages from pre-k to high school achieve new educational heights. They even offer test prep course for your college-bound kids!
  5. Alison- Alison offers courses primarily in business, technology, and health—as well as several language options—taught by some of  the world’s leading experts. They even offer certification courses in some areas!
  6. Youtube- ave a topic in mind, just hit that search button and you’re on your way! This “old-fashioned” resource offers millions of learning opportunities—find everything from longer videos to short clips and learn something new today.
  7. CodeCademy- Learn to code for free! Unlike other coding sites, Codecademy allows you to practice your skills live along with the lesson for real time feedback. The organized dashboard will help you learn an entire language without needing to manually choose your next course.
  8. EDX- Originally founded by Harvard and MIT, edX offers amazing free courses to over 70 million people each year. Boasting classes from over 120 institutions—including Oxford and the Sorbonne—you’ll finding something worth learning here.

Fun Smart

Interested in gardening or becoming a grill master? These fun interactive crash courses are perfect for learning something a little untraditional.


Flex your master chef muscle. The Chopping Block offers a variety of classes covering everything from knife skills to pastry making. Want to take your skills to the next level? Check out their boot camps—each week-long session provides an intense curriculum to have you cooking like a pro

Become one with nature. With courses and workshops ranging from gardening to photography, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s offerings allow you to explore nature, engage your senses, and discover hidden talents.

Run away to the circus. The city’s premier teaching space for the aerial and circus arts, Aloft Loft’s recreational programs will teach you everything you need to know to finally fulfill your childhood dreams!

Showcase your creativity. Lill Street Art Center offers a First-Time Artists course with a variety of mediums to help you start from the basics. From pottery to crochet, you’ll be set on a path for creative fulfillment.

Shake things up. Pick up insider secrets from some of the city’s premier mixologists at the Violet Hour. Offering basic and advanced courses, you’ll learn to whip up some of their acclaimed house cocktails. You can even book a private lesson for you and a group of friends! Interested in elevating your cocktail prowess? KOVAL’s cocktail series will get you into the spirit.

Live sustainably. Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange hosts a variety of workshops designed to help you learn everything from DIY home improvement to recycling. If you’re looking to customize your home, check out their woodworking classes and build your very own chair, shelves, wine racks, and so much more.

Get crafty. Take the guesswork out of home-
brewing with one of Brew and Grow’s hands-on classes. Designed to cover the basics, the beginner’s class will teach you everything you need to know to get started. Ready to take it to the next level? Their advanced course will help you craft a quality brew from scratch.

Live Smart

Who says technology can’t make your daily home life smarter? These handy gadgets are guaranteed to make your home a little more innovative and keep you on the cutting edge of smart home tech.



Upgrade your light switch with Orro. The first wifi-enabled lighting system to use self-learning technology, Orro understands how your like to light your home and anticipate your lighting needs in advance. It even connects to your smart hub!


Incorporating actual artificial intelligence technology, Netamo uses facial recognition to distinguish between people who should and shouldn’t be in your property. Don’t worry—it can be set to only record when unidentified faces are present, meaning it will respect your privacy.


Automatically granting access to you when you approach and securing your home when you leave is just part of what the August Smart Lock Pro+ can do. Guest access can be assigned to friends, family, cleaners, Airbnb guests—you name it—with no need to get copies of your keys made.


In the market for an AI-equipped wine fridge or a range with built-in sous vide? Signature Kitchen Suite’s range of high-end appliances combine state-of-the-art technology and luxury to create the perfect blend of innovation and purposeful design.


The latest from smart sleep specialists 8 Sleep, the Pod learns the temperature you like to sleep at and regulates itself to provide you with a good night’s rest. It also wakes you up by gradually raising the temperature of the bed, and is easily controlled via app or by voice thanks to Alexa compatibility.

Comments are closed.