Thursday, July 2, 2015


If ever there were a brick wall perfect for movies. The nice lady in the big black truck uses her projector to call attention to cruelty to elephants.

A surreal scene with the full moon on this unseasonably cool summer night.

Ttam started their tour of the Windy City October 2014. Colleen Plumb and company took a break this past April to wander Portland.

So far she has only been written up by fnews magazine (of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago). Her mission statement was posted to her blog before this all started September last year.

Anyone half paying attention to NPR already knows that astounding numbers elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory. Its gotten so bad that people have banded together to hold ivory crushes. Its make it or break it time for our fellow mammals.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Results Of 1313 W Morse Community Meeting

4-5 years ago the owner of Rogers Plaza was optomistic that he would find a new tenant. The facade was given a fresh coat of paint . Magic Video was cleaned out and fixed up into an empty vanilla box. Then nothing. Now somethings happening.

Chicago Curbed calls Jennifer Pritzker's new plans for 1313 w. Morse Anti-TOD.

20 minute presentation from Tawani. Then lady with long rental history. Rogers Park Business Alliance talk half an hour. More people (with money) need to live there for the empty stores to rent out. Tawani has long waiting list for rental units. 5 units set aside for low income housing by law. 950-1500 range of rent.

Bike racks, air pumps, garbage shute with compactor. Two elevators for residents and one for parking in the lobby.

Overall a pretty boring meeting.

While there might be some objections from the peanut gallery this building is going to be built. Its not surrounded by single family houses. The landlords and owners in the area are generally in favor of the project.

Crib notes from the meeting courtesy of

Chicago Streetsblog doesn't like the plan. They call it transit ignoring. The author is biased against cars as a means of transit.

Last edited 7-3-15 10:06 am

Scout Video Collection Unit

Bill Savage @RogersParkMan
I was wondering about this too. How many cyclists will it catch blowing the stop signs (besides me)?

Traffic study in progress for the low stress N/S Glenwood bicycle route. Could it be for any other reason? One unit set up at Greenview and Fargo and another one block north at Birchwood.

The units are locked to stop signs and are about 20 feet high. Apparently an anonymous traffic study. More info at This study is being performed by Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc., consulting engineers.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

1313 W. Morse - Birds Eye View

Joe Moore finally made the big annoucement. The plans for Rogers Plaza at Morse and Wayne were divulged earlier this afternoon. The new building would require an upzone from B3-3 to B3-5. From this angle we see that the building is in scale with the rest of the neighborhood.

The bicycle/public transportation contingent isn't happy with extra parking and zero retail. Currently there is plenty of vacant storefronts on Morse. Former Morseland, the old Chase bank, Pritzker's own storefront at Mayne Annex, most of Morse and Ashland all empty.

The mini mall this building replaces was struggling. Magic Video closed many moons ago and sat empty ever since. If you want more information (or a public venue to protest) you can attend the community meeting next Wednesday July 1st 7 pm at Mayne Stage.

Update 6/26/15 10:19 am - the article re 1313 w Morse.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rogers Park Art Gallery

Tough to see with the glare. There is a new art gallery in town. B1e Gallery is no more. Most of the former gallerys work is still on the sidewalk and the yard next door.

RPAG will be open every Sunday 10 am - 2 pm and other hours to be posted on their Facebook page

Hand panted cards available for twenty dollars. Contact to purchase or order custom cards.

Will the floor be composed of penny mosaic tiles?

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Evanston camera truck pays a visit to Chicago

Camped outside Farafinnah Hair Braiding (specializing in African Braids) the armored truck silently records motorized and pedestrian activity. This way it gets a better looks at Evanston westbound vehicles.

Sometimes it parks the wrong way. This isn't one of those old fashioned nondescript vans with a bunch of FBI agents inside listening to a wire tap. Just a steady stream of surveillance collected and tranmitted offsite. The large ex-Brinks truck is meant to be in your face. Instead of a squad car sitting there day in and day out a giant unmanned behemoth keeps watch.

At first you may miss it. This truck has five video cameras on its roof and one in the cab. According to Evanston Now they are planning to put solar panels up top.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Neighbor Market @ Morse and Wayne

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A Stone Heritage Property

In case you didn't know this is the Emil Bach house. Chicago's only Frank Lloyd Wright vacation and private event rental. Call 773.654.3959 to make a reservation. Redundant to display a picture of the very thing you're walking past. One sign with the window design suffices; three is overkill.

Orange, red and yellow marigolds have replaced spring's tulips on the front lawn. At its 100th year birthday (earlier this month) bash a commemorative coin for Emil Bach debuted and Bach music was played.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Welcome to Hello! Howard

No dogs.

Please lock chain and chain even when gate is open so it doesn't get stolen again.

Free peppers.

Take a strawberry too many for me.

Someone stole our garden decorations please be kind.

Senior - What? Senior citizens and highschool aged youth learning how to garden (and cook!) together When? Wednesdays 6:30 - 7:30 pm and Saturdays 11-12 noon Come check it out. Tell your friends. Meet at grow to give at north end of the garden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Another Look At Rogers Park's Sistine Alley

This has definitely been photographed before. An unknown artist or tagger put this up (alley east of tracks inbetween Chase and Sherwin) sometime in the past year or so. The iconic fingers touching (from the Creation of Adam) painted by Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel are unmistakable.

Adams hand is to the left and God's right. Its power to move people hasn't waned over the years. For a small time Twitter handle the tweet got seven retweets and eight favorites. A personal record for Chevanston.

The photo above is washed out. With luck sometime this summer a bluer sky with better lighting will result in a better composition.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Outdoor Cat Winter Shelter


These shelters were placed here by Tree House Humane Society. Tree House sponsers this cat colony in accordance with the Cook County "Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance" 07-0-72. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Tree House at 773-784-5488 ext. 234 or .....

Thank you for your cooperation.

For most RogersParkers the Chase Avenue terminus is the most obscure. The presence of stairs is evidence that there was once was a beach or easier access to the lake. Now its a place for cats inbetween homes to take shelter when its bitter cold.

The graffiti here harkens back to an earlier era. These shots look like something out of the early eighties.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lost Eras Vestibule

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Trees remain dead & Yellow Line still on the fritz

But if you want to cool off at the Howard "L" there is an electric fan at the phone bank. Public outlets are scarce. Keep the Howard stop in mind if you need to make a call and charge your dead phone.

Corpse trees continue to haunt the city of Chicago. Between the ash borer and droughts it's been rough. These saplings on Paulina haven't leafed out in years. It's about time we gave them a proper burial and planted some babies.

The Yellow Line has been out of service almost a month after a portion of track collapsed. Still no word on when it will be back up and running.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Ashland Alley Short Cut

Make way for the Google Maps car! Last year the Google Maps car got bored of driving on the same surface streets and decided to take the path less travelled. Consequently we can see the new fence at the corner of Willye B White in action.

Drug dealing per neighbors on Everyblock is rampant at Jonquil and Ashland. Recess was cancelled and then reinstated at Gale Elementary because of a deadly daytime shooting (building straight behind the cut through).

Making the fence whole would go a long way in making the area safer. Either that or make this an official path. A dirt path through an incomplete fence into an alley is not a safe way for children to make their way to and from school. It is a minor improvement; its not a hole in a chainlink fence.

The replacement fence was an item up for bid on the last particpatory budget in 2014. It didn't win funds but got built anyways.

Its cool that people want to hangout in the alley. Whats not cool is that people are dealing drugs in the alley by Gale Elementary and at the nearby corner of Jonquil and Ashland. Lets close off this dangerous cut through. Children will get extra exercise walking around the block the old fashioned way and its one less place for drug dealers and gangbangers to hide and escape.

If you haven't taken a virtual trip down the 7600 N block of Ashland (alley) click here and give it a whirl.

Hotspot Grill - Coming Soon To Marshfield & Howard

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Haunted House On Jarvis

Every neighborhood has one. Walking home from school or work you half notice a dark negative energy telling you to not look up.

Cobwebs have overtaken the fence of this empty brick and stone structure. A giant mailbox waits for no letters. The last resident had no use for a garage.

Paint chips slowly flake off the rotten back porch. The sidegate is permanently shut with chain link.

Years ago wood (presumably for the fireplace) was neatly piled outback. Mysterious caretakers make sure the front lawn is not overgrown.

Local folklore has it that a family dispute sent this old brick cottage to probate hell.

Last edited 6/7/15 9:41 pm

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Smack Dab Joins Glenwood Farmers Market

This coming Sunday marks the return of the Glenwood Farmers Market. June til October on Glenwood from Lunt to Morse local fruits, vegtables, baked goods, cheese, and other foods can be purchased at reasonable prices.

For many this Sunday will be their first visit to the newest coffee shop in Rogers Park. Right now its a counter top shop with room to expand into a proper cafe. They will stay open an extra couple of hours (weekdays 7:30-11:30 am) closing at 2pm.

Smack Dab hands down has the fastest quality coffee and pastries for those without time to waste. If you haven't stopped by yet.... What are you waiting for? Plenty of parking on Morse in the morning to run over and satisfy your morning caffeine habit.

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

You Actually Are Beautiful

It wasn't always the case. There was that one time. It was quite an unusual event. Someone finally made it out of the matrix. With his new found freedom and knowledge he decided spill the beans. A foolish gamble that almost cost him his life. The ugly truth was revealed last August.

When Agent Smith caught wind of the misdeed he blew his stack. His minions went into a frenzy putting the viaduct back to its original state. Before anyone could start asking questions.

Today lights wink in and out of existense in this pigeonless underpass. Plastic spikes ensure that valuable guano doesn't collect on our city sidewalks.

The beauty movement is catching on in Edgewater too.

Last edited 5/31/15 6:11 pm - viaduct height is 11 foot 8 inches - over an inch shorter than the average semi truck and trailer -

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wish You Were Here (In Rogers Park)

Dear Friends, Having a fine time, took a long bike? ride yesterday. We have lovely neighbors they are all so social. We have such a large porch, we are on it most of the time. This is the street we are on. Love to all. Ill. 

There was a time when Rogers Park was postcard worthy. Will it be again? Remember that hilarious Captain Nemos video from the 80's? The one where RP is a nondescript neighborhood? "I mean you're not going to send a postcard home from Rogers Park to say wish you were here."

Maybe one day Rogers Park will merit its own official postcards once again ? For now we will just have to bid on old ones on E-bay.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dear Mother

Dear Mother this is very near where we live. I have a dandy home here. Mrs. Deberard? has fixed things up so neat and clean. She is a dandy mother. She did my laundry, darned my socks, and are ? (ironed my shirts).

The children are the nicest little things. No(t that) cold and for all the world like a California winter. I'm feeling fine. Hope you are too (now that) papa is better, Goodbye with love, Chester.

Some of the words are hard to make out. If anyone has any corrections feel free to speak up. This corner hasn't changed much since 1913. Click on the link if you want to purchase this postcard.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Group Home On Jarvis For Sale

The Lawrence Hall Youth Service Jarvis Group Home is now on the market. According to it was added to the multiple listings 49 days ago.

The real estate sites all agree that this 1920s praire style house was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright disciple. It has an original wood burning fireplace, a grand staircase with balustrade (WHAT?), two sun rooms and original pocket doors. Whoever wrote up Zillow's report ended with a flourish. OH NO! No more room to say more! Go to for more info!
This home has been used as a Not-for-profit group home for over 40 years. It has some institutionalized features that are easily removable if you don't want the extra fire doors, etc. BIG BONUS for the buyer is that this home has not been on the tax rolls because of it's not-for-profit status. This means that there will not be any property taxes due until 2017! 
Clicking on Remax's link reveals more interesting and unusual data regarding this large six bedroom three bath house. If you were to close on this house next month you would enjoy a year and a half of property tax free living.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Northshore And Clark - Morning After Latest Shooting In Rogers Park

Sometime after midnight (early this morning) a white car pulls up to the stoplight. Two older men one drinking a beer come up to talk to the car full of young men. Both men exchange handshakes and fist bumps. One of the men, the one drinking is especially fired up about something.

Yesterday after 10 pm a car drove by and shot someone in their foot.

This corner of Rogers Park is definitely one to watch out for. Its an active corner that has had more than its fair share of gunplay. If you haven't already continue reading at Everyblock and add to the discussion. According to one poster there is also gang graffiti in the alley.

Its one thing to talk about gang graffiti. But when you drive by and see it.... Pretty shocking. When stuff like this is up  the neighborhood really is the pits.