Monday, November 23, 2015

November Snow Prompts Early Visit From Father Christmas

As Santa gets up in years it helps to dust the cobwebs off ye old sleigh and take the pulse of what the children want for Christmas. The colder than usual temperatures and record snowfall over the weekend was all it took to push him out the door for a test run above the streets of Chicago.

Elves handed out candy canes and booklets of other times the CTA Holiday Train will be out. Hard to not catch the X-mas spirit. The CTA will be updating their online schedule with exact times and stops as that info becomes available. This year there will be four (double the usual two) different times to line up and get your picture taken with Kris Kringle.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

"Smack Dab Is Back!"

the cafe bound girl exclaimed with visions of cheesy biscuits in her eyes. For those now unstuck from a snow drift, waking up from a coma, incommunicado due to school or work projects, the unconscious now newly conscious, visitors from another time or planet, you may have missed that the littlest coffee shop in Rogers Park found a new home at the Red Line Tap. Day three at their new digs & its feels like they've been there for years.

Red Line Tap while being a dive bar is not an old man's bar. It is not open at 7 or 11 am for eye openers or those looking to get an early start on Friday or Saturday night. The bar space sits empty and sad waiting for first call. Well no more!

After the counters are moved into place, the coffee is brewed, the bakery is baked,  the bar serves caffeine all week long (M-F 7 am - 11 am, weekends 7:30 am - 1 pm). No wi-fi available, which may give you a chance to sit down and read a book, talk to a person, or think thoughts. Its a new back to basics trend according to one cafe in Durango, Colorado.

Chalkboard - New butter biscuit and jam, fluffy tender biscuit with butter and our homemade sweet jam! (rotates so ask) plus vegan donuts on the weekend! Follow us on f - smackdab Chicago and t - smackdabchi and

Last edited 11-21-15 1:29 pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Invitation To Disaster

Through this open chain link gate you may travel to the local teenage hangout under one of the CTA's ATC signal machinery or just walk up to the Red Line's tracks. Fine if your a CTA employee and a really bad idea for an adventuresome youth.

Mr CTA Employee and company please lock the gate behind you when your up on the tracks at Rogers and Marshfield. And please have someone clean up the yard. No one else can do it legally. A shame to see it look so trashy when it was looking magnificent in April.

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Build To Suit At Estes And Clark

The former Adelphi Theatre went from promising clock tower condo building to unofficial swimming pool skate board park, to the present feartureless gravel pit. In Evanston it wouldve been flattened to a grassy plain. A barren wasteland save for the Honey Bucket. So if you really got to go jump the fence and take care of business.

Up to 40,000 square feet of retail, office or medical can be built to your specifications. Just call Jason Vondrachek of Quest Realty Group. 312-850-2620.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Bars Closed But Towbar Is Still Open

Sometime last week the Coffee Speed Shop version of Towbar silently closed taking with them the draft beer, cider, wine and all manner of alcohol. The taps are still there but only coffee, caffeine, scones, doughnuts are available.

It appears that the purveyors of Peckish Pig have decided to take the helm. The more things change the more they stay the same. Maybe someday the alcohol will return. For now Jarvis Square still has Taste wine shop, Pointin Stil, and R Public House.

Was the type of day for driving off with a canoe on the roof rack to points unknown.

Halloween's Pure Cider event was the last call.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jargowood Meeting November 3rd

Jnauts & Friends

Jargowood meets Tues Nov 3 - at the usual time and place - (Chalet Living and Rehab Center - 7350 N Sheridan at 7:30 pm)

SAVE THE DATE - Jargowood Holiday Party Sunday Dec 13, 2015

Autumn Reminder - Falling Leaves and Streets & San - Although Streets and San do come down our streets and curbsides picking up fallen leaves and what not, often this is not enough.  Storm Drains Clog!  You!  You there!  Clear the dead leaves and plastic bags and smashed paper stuff out of your storm drains!

When it snows, if you have not made any personal effort to remove the dead leaves from curbside and storm drains, you will shovel wet leaves as well as snow when you dig out your parking space at the curbside.  A perfect winter activity, shoveling dead leaves......and the very big puddles where the storm drains are clogged, also a fun thing in all seasons.

Lorraine Dostal

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Rogers Park Art Gallery Grand Opening On Friday

Friday 10/23/15 6-9 pm "Official Opening Sale" at the Rogers Park Art Gallery (formerly known as B1E) at 6902 N Glenwood. Shop LOCAL and support local arts.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Zombie Invasion Of Rogers Park Cancelled

But Factory Theater is still moving in. - Posted using BlogPress from an iPhone

And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Over the weekend one man was killed with four wounded at Fort Myers' event ZombiCon (a tradition for almost a decade). Somebody thought it was real?

Zombie Broads was supposed to open September 25th running through Halloween. Rogers Park did host Zombie Prom (at Mayne Stage) a couple years back and was given fair warning of Fear The Walking Dead.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Trick Or Treat @ Sol Cafe

Police investigate reports of money stolen from a tip jar near closing time last night. Someone took the trick or treat inscribed cups to heart. Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? The usual suspects.

Your hard earned money being used for? The money won't talk.

Hermetically sealed nailed down jars are cheerless. An emergency button to seal the front door would stop the foolhardy from getting away.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nearly Unoccupied House On Pratt Boulevard

The bricked up iron gated fortress on Pratt by the McDonald's has hit the market in time for our most spine-tingling unearthly holiday; All Hallows Eve. The Google Maps car didn't have the guts to map out the alley and cut through the fast food parking lot instead.

Sunlight manages to pierce the small cottage's glass brick. The front parlor curtains are drawn tight; its only regular window. What goes on up there in that pitch black attic?

Perfect abode for the photosensitive, undead, or the reclusive. Want to peek inside this crypt? According to the advert on Zillow its semi-vacant, an estate sale and "very easy to see".  (But not so easy to leave....., aha ha ha ha ha ha!). So what does semi-vacant, typically empty, quasi abandoned, in the main ghost free, mostly tenantless, etc, exactly mean? Is there some phantasmagoric, ectoplasmic residue that refuses to leave?

Zoned RT-4 - "This uniquely huge building could be turned into three flat or converted into six condos with seven garages".Price cut of 50,000 this past week. Has ten foot high ceilings, intact radiator heating and linoleum tile covers hardwood floors?  Certainly makes for interesting film location.

Last edited 10/12/15 1:48 pm

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Windows For 6923-21 N Wayne

The 16 flat ( or 18 flat? - which isn't for sale but Redfin thinks everything is) behind Pritzkers new apartment building slash parking garage is getting all new windows. Its gangway was defined by the back wall of the mini mall. Now its bordered by a chain link fence. Not the safest set up for the children who play out back. It will be tough on the occupants during the big build to come.

The sink hole on Wayne Avenue is now filled with storm debris. No major accidents yet, fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Natural Death

Rogers Park 6 am this morning

Bill Savage 9 am this morning reported, "Dead person under a sheet on lawn by tennis courts Pratt in Loyola Park. Spotted by morning dog-walkers".

Liam T. Ford tweeted half an hour ago ,"Sounds like a natural death".

Bill Savage, "I haven't seen any media coverage."

Peter Nickeas of the Chicago Tribune replied,"don't cover naturals usually."

....And the Everyblock discussion from 9/17/15.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Broadmoor Hotel On Howard

The vacant lot's fence became unraveled making the taking of this photograph possible. Not much action real estate wise with the Broadmoor, this vacant lot and its vacant buildings. Looked better with grass.

Was it really for sale? Did someone buy it? Will there be a drive-thru on Howard? Why was this cut through fenced off in the first place? Lots of questions and uncertainty for this stretch of Howard.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Keep Out! (Of This Death Trap)

Walking down this blind alley off grid (and Google Maps) you come upon a piddle soaked entry way. You are tempted to investigate the debris filled horror of a back patio but a large KEEP OUT stops you in your tracks. 

Decades of deferred maintenance of the old Eagle Cleaning and Dyeing Co. (and the building next door) has resulted in a courtyard of terror. Hidden from prying eyes an iron gate and a stern warning protects the most foolhardy from tetanus. 

Move along now. Its bizarre, strange, weird other worldly oddness has a grip on you but you must shake it off. Slap yourself if you must; keep walking. There is another exit to the northwest. Turn left  and head south to Greenleaf and back east to Clark. You're hungry and need something to eat. Find a seat at the old A & T and await further instructions.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day Two Of Wayne Ave Sinkhole

No major crashes yet. Some smart alec decided to take the orange traffic cone last night and drop it off at the corner. Bicyclists and especially motorists are at risk for a major crash. Falling into something like this could put you and your vehicle out of commission.

Bessemer Youngtown O Block the brick reads. City services will be notified tomorrow. Police already know. Spread the word to watch out for this slowly widening chasm on North Wayne Ave.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Watch Out For Giant Sink Hole On Wayne Ave

Disappearing SRO's On Clark Street

Scaffolding protects passerby from falling debris. An old mail slot is a handy way to power the outside safety lights. Graffiti sits defiantly atop city laid brown paint covering older graffiti. The scaffolding now obscures the etching in the concrete above; Eagle Cleaning & Dyeing Co, seen more clearly here in 2009.

Permit issued 8/21/15 - for work at 7056 N Clark Street. Interior and exterior alteration to existing 2 and 3 story brick building containing four existing commercial spaces (a shuttered post office, Bedz R Us, a check cashing place and another vacant commercial space) - no work to be done in four existing commercial spaces and 11 new residential units. Changing occupancy from existing church and SRO's to 11 residential units. (Private own and private funding. No accessibility standards required in the residential portion). As per plans. In an emergency contact: RDG-Fund/Residential Dynamics Group (773) 484-3278.

Hard to tell which buildings are included as there is a church in the building to the north and the building to the south is also being renovated.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rogers Park Real Estate Almost Afloat

Sunken, submerged, undersea home and condo prices are beginning to emerge from the murky depths of 2008's housing crash.  The Trib's actual paper article highlights the parts of the city (on a cartogram) whose real estate values are gained the most lost ground (to be posted later). There are still benefits to the good old fashioned newspaper. The 'net edition is missing this map.

In the city of Chicago, improvement was marked in ZIP codes that cover part of the Loop; near West 79th and Kedzie, and Rogers Park. The Loop's 60602 ZIP code saw the negative equity rate drop to 53.7 percent, from 64.5 percent.

Please continue reading for picture of Sept 7th Chicago Tribune business section

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chase Pulls Its ATM Out Of Jarvis "L" Stop

Courtesy of Google Maps  circa 2014
 Humanoid waits for teller machine to dispense bank notes

First Chase moved out of the Family Dollar mini mall one "L" stop south. Now they have vacated the Jarvis station. Why? Murmurs about them not wanting to sign some contract and something over money. Chase is becoming less and less convenient. Pedestrians really appreciate easy to walk to banking, checking and automated teller machines.

There is a Chase branch near the Loyola "L" stop and another near the Howard stop at Clark and Howard. For now Jarvis Square will be a plastic card society until someone else has the cajones to sign a contract with CTA to put in another ATM. Or is this the beginning of the end for hard currency? Are automated teller machines becoming superannuated?

Cash is king. Stores, waiters, auto mechanics, anyone can tell you they would much rather take cash over credit. A bone headed move on Chase's end to voluntarily remove a much appreciated and needed service from the community.