• Top 10 Alley Chicago T Shirts - June 2013

    Posted by Mark Thomas

    Here's the current run down of the top 10 Alley Chicago T Shirts.

    All of these shirts are available for just $10. What an awesome deal is that?

    Check 'em out! This list starts at number 1.


  • Lifelong Animal Lover Selling Dead Bats, Squid in Jars as Art - DNAinfo.com Chicago

    Posted by JaE

    Lifelong Animal Lover Selling Dead Bats, Squid in Jars as Art - DNAinfo.com Chicago.

    Lifelong Animal Lover Selling Dead Bats, Squid in Jars as Art Updated 2 hrs ago


    LAKEVIEW — Dead tarantulas in antique perfume bottles and snake skeletons enshrined in glass may sound pretty disturbing to some people.

    But to Art Scott, a preserved bat in a glass jar appears normal and natural — not to mention beautiful enough to display on a fireplace.

    "I don't get what's disgusting about it," he said. "What could be more adorable than a mouse with wings?"

    Scott has been preserving dead animals since he was a kid, and at 46, he's discovered he's not the only one who appreciates the elegance of a squid in a jar. He's even been filmed for the upcoming fourth season of "Oddities," a Science Channel show about one-of-a-kind and bizarre artifacts. 

    The suburban Des Plaines resident started selling his creations last year on Etsy as The Curioddities Cabin. Now, the specimens are for sale at The Alley, located 858 W. Belmont Ave., where Scott works as a piercer.

    He's sold three to five specimens a week since he started, he said — about 80 percent of them to women, a customer base that has surprised Scott.

    "I never, ever, ever had any idea," he said of interest in the specimens from females. "Where were you when I was in high school?"

    While the mustachioed man now publicly embraces his love for animals — which he said all died naturally — the hobby did not settle well with his peers when he was growing up in Huntington Beach, Calif.

    Scott, forgoing sports or cars, instead spent free time in tide pools examining animals, alive and dead. He read books on preservation and ended up with dozens of preserved fish, lizards and scorpions. Many of them were former pets that he couldn't bear to get rid of.

    "I didn't want to flush them," he said. "They were my pet! ...I assumed every kid did that with his pet fish."

    After graduating high school, he gave them all away before moving to Los Angeles to sing for a band called Black Tegu, which had a sound he described as a combination of heavy metal and Mexican mariachi.

    He was planning to go to college to study animals but instead sang in Black Tegu and worked for the reptile wholesale company LA Reptile. The band eventually broke up, and he fell in love with a girl in Chicago. He then decided to take the leap and move.

    Scott didn't stay with the girl, but he remained in the area and turned his hobby into a business. His three kids love the animals — his 4-year-old son asked for a squid in a jar for Christmas — and gone are the days of putting dead fish in pickle jars.

    He now attends estate sales to find ornate, antique containers for the preserved animals. It's all about displaying the beauty of the beast, he said.

    "There should be some romance behind it," he said. "If the animal is presented in a very beautiful form, then that stereotype of 'Oh, gross, it's a dead snake,' maybe that can get eroded away."

    Scott's creations are for sale on Etsy and at The Alley.

    Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130114/lakeview/lifelong-animal-lover-selling-dead-bats-squid-jars-as-display-art#ixzz2HyOIIEvv

  • Eat, Drink & Buy Local - Stories about Local Businesses - The Alley - Lakeview/44th Ward

    Posted by JaE
  • Nocturna Costume Contest Alley Giveaway!

    Posted by Jet

    As you all know, I'm a huge fan of Nocturna, a once a month 18+ goth/industrial club night DJ'd by Scary Lady Sarah. It's usually held at the Metro, but sometimes it is held at the Bottom Lounge.

    Sarah's page: http://www.facebook.com/scaryladysarah?fref=ts

    Nocturna's page: http://www.facebook.com/events/259281710861258/permalink/259281714194591/

    The Alley does give-away bags for the raffle occasionally (once we even gave away a leather jacket!) Last year and this year we gave away magestic  giftbags stuffed with Alley goodness to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place costume contest winners at the Halloween Nocturna!!!

    People came out in droves to this awesome night, and the costumes didn't disappoint! Glitterguts photobooth was there as well to capture all the amazing costumes. We took pics of the three winners with their awesome prizes, but if you'd like to check out more look here: http://glitterguts.com/photobooth/nocturna-7


    1st prize went to Peg and Al Bundy

    2nd prize went to Pinata

    3rd prize went to Lelu from Fifth Element


    Congrats to the winners! Hopefully I'll see everyone out at the next  Nocturna! (friday Nov 30th at the Metro)


  • 5 Bad Choices On A Worknight

    Posted by Jet

    Along the same vein as my drinking blog, I am once again questioning my sanity as I prepare to end a long workday by going clubbing...then opening the store again the next day. All day long I try to both rev myself up and sternly remind myself how control and moderation are qualities that the bible and people who wear sweatervests and have real jobs are always touting as good to possess. It's like the classic angel and devil on the shoulders routine...the devil screaming about dancing, doing shots and staying out til dawn, and the angel shaking his finger, spouting many examples of workdays where no amount of  water or Dunkin Donuts breakfast sammiches could save me from my hangover. So here is my list of the top 5 worst decisions you can make on a night out if you have to work the next day. I'm sure I'll make at least four of them, despite my best intentions.



    You know why you never wear them? CAUSE THEY ARE FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE, THAT'S WHY, YOU IDIOT. It seems like every third time I go out I suddenly want to release my inner stripper. 8 inch heels? No problem! I know the straps give me blisters? Who cares?!! You'll care the next day when you have to work a ten hour shift (standing the whole time) with blisters and a twisted ankle, cause you know your drunk ass is gonna fall while dancing. I'm locking my shoe closet tonight.


    I don't need to elaborate. We've all been there- and we all know that shit lasts til the sun comes up



    It's only 2:30 a.m.....what could one more drink hurt? You think you're "not even feelin' it", but your friends don't tell you that you have one eye half closed and your eyebrows are smeared. Never, ever try to cram in that extra drink. We all know you're gonna order a long island...and then it's all over.



    Gurl....they are never gonna play your fucking jam. You probably didn't even write legibly, or they were straight up lying to you when they said they'd play it. At 3 in the morning, with a mere few hours to go til you need to be at work, grinding on strangers to what drunk you thinks is your favorite song just really isn't a priority. It forever results in another hour at the club...and we all know that hour is the difference between being okay and being in pure misery the entire next day at work!


    Somehow, some way, every single fucking time I go clubbing I fall for this one. It's even worse when you don't just do the drivethru, but one of your asshat friends decides that a nice sit-down at Denny's or Golden Nugget is just what the doctor ordered. Don't do it! Just eat a piece of bread or five day old pizza when you get home. We all know you don't even enjoy that breakfast anyway...you're just going to eat all the bacon out of the middle of your omelet and steal your friend's fries. Just go the fuck home and get some sleep!


    I'm sure I'll break all these rules, but oh well. Rules were made to be broken, right? Someone bring me Pepto and a bagel to work tomorrow.


    Stay safe, stay unique and always, always be yourself!

    xoxo Jet