Talk of The Town: July 2023


With folks all over the country preparing to celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 4, we’re going to talk this month about birthdays. We’ve got tips on where and how to celebrate your special day and what science has to say about how your birth month might affect the rest of your life.


Ever since humans started to observe astronomical cycles, they have looked to the heavens to better understand human behavior. Indeed, there is evidence that the practice of astrology dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE. Today, scientists and statisticians are turning to large-scale studies, rather than celestial bodies, to find correlations between a person’s birth month and how the rest of their life might play out. Cause and effect are difficult to pinpoint but clear patterns have emerged. Some of them are fascinating!

Examining records from more than 1.75 million people born in the 20th century, researchers at Columbia University Department of Medicine have found significant correlations between an individual’s birth month and their health in later life. Looking at a variety of ailments from respiratory and neurological to cardiovascular disease, they found that people born in JULY are at lower risk for developing these conditions later in life. Those born in OCTOBER and NOVEMBER were more at risk for certain respiratory and neurological illnesses, but tended to live longer—perhaps because their risk of cardiovascular disease was lower.
Other studies have focused on correlations between birth month and personality. One Hungarian study found that university students born in MARCH, APRIL and MAY scored higher on the hyperthymia scale, indicating a sunny and optimistic outlook on life. A study in the U.K. found that NOVEMBER babies had the lowest rates for depression as adults.

On the lighter side, a group in the U.K. looked at the birth month for 300 celebrities and billionaires pulled from a variety of sources including Forbes and Business Insider—looking for a correlation between birth month and future success. It turns out that the most common birth month among this A-List group was OCTOBER. Out of the 300, there were 36 October babies including Bill Gates and Simon Cowell. JUNE was next with 30 celebrities including Ariana Grande and Lionel Messi. The least common month was NOVEMBER with just 17 out of the 300 celebrities, but included superstars Leonardo DiCaprio, Gordon Ramsay and DJ Khaled.


Dining out is a great way to celebrate your birthday, and some of Chicago’s most popular restaurants offer private spaces that promise a more intimate, memorable experience. Here are a few of our favorites:

Bistro Campagne | 4518 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago: This Lincoln Square landmark is beloved for its French bistro fare and offers a unique private venue: The Cottage. Blending Prairie School architecture, whimsical murals and French provincial charm, it seats up to 48 guests.

L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge | 7110 N Lincoln Ave, Lincolnwood: Seating up to 36 guests for private events, Lynn’s Back Room evokes the warmth and friendliness of a North Woods supper club, right down to the high-beamed ceilings and pine wood paneling.

Marisol | 205 E Pearson St, Chicago: Located inside the Museum of Contemporary Art, the private dining room of this chic, contemporary restaurant features a colorful mural by Chris Ofili and a seasonal farm-to-table menu under the direction of celebrated Chicagoan Jason Hammel.

Momotaro | 820 W Lake St, Chicago: On the 3rd floor of this esteemed Japanese restaurant, the Executive Suite offers a lush private dining experience for up to 32 guests, or 45 for a cocktail reception. The space features teakwood tables, navy velvet banquettes and mid-century light fixtures.


No birthday celebration is complete without cake! From McKinley Park to the North Shore, here are some locally owned bakeries with cakes that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

BAKE | 2246 W North Ave, Chicago: Husband-and-wife pastry chefs Jennifer Kane and Eric Estrella don’t offer custom cakes, but do offer unique baked-to-order ones. Their Nutella Malt Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake are especially popular.

Alliance Bakery | 1736 W Division St, Chicago: Chef Peter Rios and his talented team can transform your imaginative vision into a cake that will delight your eyes and your palate. Complex 3D designs, figurines, cut-out shapes and elaborate tiered styles will require 2 weeks’ notice.

O Lala! Cakes | 3358 Commercial Ave, Northbrook: Working individually with each client, this North Shore cake studio specializes in custom cakes designed uniquely for your special occasion. Freshly made to order with the finest ingredients, their delicious creations are true works of art.

Kristoffer’s Cakes | 1735 W 35th St, Chicago: If the birthday guest of honor is a tres leche cake fan, then you’ll want to head over to this bakery known for their homemade tres leches cakes. Starting with their secret family recipe, their talented chef continues to innovate with new signature creations like RumChata, Mango and Abuelita.


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