Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ridge House Has Gone To The DAWGS

7245 N Ridge is nigh invulnerable courtesy of Door And Window Guard Systems. The people illegally occupying the vacant house were evicted earlier this month. Potential squatters will have a much tougher time gaining access to this old craftsman house. Basement, porch and first floor windows are walled off. No trespassing is posted in a couple places with emergency contact info.

DAWGS Chicago headquarters is located on the far west side (8770 W Bryn Mawr Ave). This vacant property security company reminds us how squatters, vandals and thieves get in.

Independent research has shown that 95% of break-ins occur on the sides or back of vacant property because those openings are concealed and less visible to passers-by.

A funny question.

9. Do DAWGS block out air and sunlight? No. Our window guards are specially constructed to allow in natural light and fresh air.

And a unique feature of the DAWGS system.

15. Do you have a keyless entry system? I may need people to access the property when I’m not there.
Yes. DAWGS door guards can be outfitted with a Frequent Access Security Tool (FAST) that allows anyone with access to open the tamper-proof lock without a key

The housing bubble and collapse of the market was a boon to vacant property security (links to Chevanston coverage of rival firm in Chicago) companies.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

CLOSED - Please Call Again - Will Return Never

Despite the eye catching LED Bed and Mattress Outlet is no more. It first opened just over a year ago.

The proliferation of light emitting diode to commercial storefronts helps illuminate otherwise dark corners. Drawing in more business and customers? Probably not. In may cases the cheaper and flashier alternative to neon serves to accentuate the seedier side of Chicago.

Problem with this location? Too small and irregular for decent showroom or storage. Limited hours - closing at 7 pm everyday and closed on Sundays. This triangle shaped storefront with so many windows is a natural for a cafe or restaurant.

Whoever thought you would or could walk down the street to go pick out a bed? In ye olden days you made the trek downtown to some warehouse or department store. Now most main streets and malls have a bed store. You can't download a crib and its nice to try out before having it delivered.

Mattress Firm, Sleepys, American Mattress, Verlo, Mattress King, etcetera. Not very exciting but it pays the bills and everyone sleeps.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Serious Work Begins On Witch's Hat

A few days ago the wheelchair ramp was removed, the backporch boarded up and its rotten boards cleared away. Last month new windows were installed upstairs and downstairs.

Repair of the house with the magnificent cupola started soon after it sold late January. Its fate was in limbo ever since its former owner passed away four years ago.

Not the only Witch's Hat; there is also a brewery, water tower, hostel, The term witch's hat is synonymous with the pointed roof aka cupola. Not many survive today. Those structures that still have their witch's hat intact are special. It's not called the Witch's Hat for nothing.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

SAVE - Live To Race Another Day

Number 47, Runge Roach Racer is back from a day of demolition derby at Sycamore Speedway. It was towed back to homebase (7478 N Rogers) for repairs and an overhaul. You have to spray paint save on the car after the derby if you don't want your heap hauled off to the scrap yard.

Tim Rungee and his son Austin have been racing in Maple Park, Illinois for the past fifteen years. They haven't missed a single weekend. When they arent't tearing up the track in the hinterlands of Chicago the pair put in long hours fixing customers cars and their pet projects.

On his off hours the younger Rungee toils late into the night on his own street stock car. If you look carefully at Austin's car you will notice that the headlights are decals. Modified for racing and definitely not street legal.

Dirt track racing is the most popular and common auto racing in the United States. Top seeds at the Sycamore track are usually 70-80 mph. If you're looking for some excitement maybe drive out west and cheer on our local race car drivers.

Last edited 3/20/15 1:16 pm

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Neighbors Tie Blue Ribbons @ 24th Police District HQ DNAinfo Reports

Deoxyribonucleic Acid Information Dot Com reported earlier today that citizens of Rogers Park were responsible for the blue ribbons at police headquarters. The ribbons were posted to show support for the local constables.

Outside 6464 N Clark is an old fashioned concrete park from the brutalism days of architecture. The sculpture is impenetrable, uninterpretable. It serves as a deterrent to those who would linger. When Chevanston photogs walked the plaza there actually were people hanging out and kids running around. But not for long. The negative energy soon drove them away.

Almost everyone's lives matter. Save those who don't heed the mantra that life matters. Everyblockers discussed the blue ribbon movement as well. Some facts were shared, this blue ribbon affair started back in 1988 , May 15th is Police Officers Memorial Day. Otherwise it was the standard internet argument. Which is to say those with different opinions typed unworthy sentences at each other.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Boulevard Of Broken (Orange) Bikes

Trash swirls among the two wheeled wreckage along Granville boulevard. Is this some strange beautification project? Has an orange loving gang taken over? Or does it mean another orange theory fitness is moving in?

Orange Theory has announced its about open a studio at 1126 w Granville (among many other locations). There will probably be a lot of head scratching this spring all over Chi-town. Orange Theory pulled this stunt in San Diego last year.

Our local DNAinfo reporter Benjamin Woodard did some research regarding abandoned bicycles this past January in the chain link forum. Were these cast off bicycles imported or merely repurposed for advertising?

DKNY was the originator of the orange penny farthing phenomenon back in 1908. Or was it 2008?. New York City rounded up the carrot colored bikes in short order.

3/18/15 1:12 pm - Update - DNAinfo reports that complaints to the Ward 48 have resulted in the removal of the orange bikes.

Last edited 3/17/15 11:18 am

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Capt'n Nemo's Here

The sign is back up (above pic from last year). Not an off hours place to get food. Mainly the lunch or early dinner crowd (Hours: M-Sat 11am-7pm Sun closed). Consequently lots of people haven't checked out this Rogers Park original.

The restaurant (est. 1971) that launched a small chain. An excellent alternative to Jimmy Johns subs (which has yet to invade RP). Captain Nemo's gets a solid four out of five on Yelp. If you haven't stopped by you are missing the best subs and soup on the north side. Where else can you hang at the Jules Verne room?

PM magazine broadcast a review of the place in the early eighties (when the original sign was still up and Lou Ragusi the owner still worked behind the counter). Norman Mark gave them 9 and a half forks out of ten. One half fork off for not having parking. The decor has taken a hit on the inside since. Original wooden whale sign is gone.

The quote (below) from the review is classic. If you watch the video you can see Rogers and Clark before Walgreens wrecked the corner with its parking lot.

"No parking except by meters, nondescript neighborhood. I mean you're not going to send a postcard home from Rogers Park to say wish you were here. But yet here we have the triumph of the human soul. We have a temple built for the submarine sandwich."

Last edited 3/17/15 11:21 am

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Are you a rapper emcee?

If slinging coffee (barista position at Sol Cafe) isn't your thing maybe try your hand at busting some rhymes.

For inspiration perhaps take Western south to Markham. All the way down south Western turns into Dixie highway. There at 163rd you could listen to Future @ Adriana's for inspiration.

Future's flyers are easily disposed off after the show. Will Gizzo Production scrape off his sticklers after his big event? Or is this a permanent invitation? In any case better this than sticker tagging.

Gizzo has put out at least seven videos on YouTube. Some of the rappers aren't half bad. A good place to get some experience.

If you need threads for your try out stop by Laced Up or Villa on Howard Street.

Last edited 3/16/15 9:36 am

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lake Michigan Thaws

Welcome to Chicago

When you leave or enter Evanston signs (oh god the signs!) either welcome you or hope you hurry back soon. At Howard and Western in Chicago you are greeted by a gentleman in a wheelchair begging for change. Some people have a hard time seeing this man.

He says the money is good. Apparently being run over is worth the risk. His name is.... none of your business. Maybe he's from Toronto? Or just a fan of the Blue Jays? Yesterday was a nice day for panhandling at the city limits.

A stark reminder of the difference between the burbs and life in the big city. He's on the right side of street. If he plied his trade on the Evanston side he would be given the old heave ho before he could gather up enough money for coffee. On the city side this is par for the course. Hey, whaddya gonna do?

He's been at it for the past year or so. Usually he's on Western just south of Howard. This time he was in the middle of Howard. Hopefully something is done about this dangerous situation before he or anyone else is seriously injured or killed. In one of the photos he looks bored, resting his weary head on his arm.

Last edited 3/11/15 8:45 am

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Monday, March 9, 2015

We already got somebody doing that

(7416-26 N Ashland post garbage pickup)

The unholy harvest (aka the sins of our recent past) has begun. Snowfall way above average for February and the bitter cold of early March has resulted in record accumulation of debris. The conapt at the southwest corner of Fargo and Ashland has its fair share of troubles. One of them isn't a janitor.

Most people will grudgingly or gladly thank you for picking up refuse or indifference. For the new alpha male gang member or drug runner its a threat.

Man is his thirties with red hat and sunglasses (like an evil Fab 5 Freddy) cocks his head across the street. He sees litter being picked up on his new turf.

You live in that building over there? No.

You don't need to pick up that trash over here we already got somebody for that. Ok.

Crossing the street to run an errand on Jarvis, have a good day sir. Silence and blank stare. He stands in the same place on the sidewalk as passerby passes by. Not moving for minutes.

It appears that the new pain in the ass this year is sizing up the situation. Last year a couple of crack cocaine prostitutes and their entourage took over Fargo and Ashland. The bad guys don't like a well kept pad. Bad for business. Should be an interesting spring and summer at the viaduct.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015


In Silent Theatre, no one can hear you scream

What's a retropost? An entry you didnt have time to post in a timely fashion or something about an old fashioned topic. Like peanut butter and jelly, the Silent Theatre Company of Chicago and its old school bus.  OONA* replaces STOP on the mechanical arm naturally.

Maybe Nosferatu (STCC's last production which ran from October 19th until November 23rd) got a ticket would've been a better tagline. Buster (formerly known as Pandora's bus?) did get busted this past March 3rd. March lately has been coming in like a lion.

STCC is now celebrating its ten year anniversary. Their HQ is in Wicker Park but they do have a tour bus as they put on shows at various playhouses like the Chopin and Athenaeum.

* if you really don't know what Oona refers to you are truly ignorant of the history of silent film. Charlie Chaplin ( who filmed his some of his earliest pictures in Chicago's Uptown Essanay studios) had a very long motion picture career. He had a total of four marriages. The last woman he married was Oona O'neill with whom he had eight children.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CAPS Meetings For Rogers Park This Month

March 3rd - today
7:00 PM-8:00PM
2412 Beat Meeting
Contact Details: 24th District Community Policing Office. (312) 744-6321
Location: Warren Park 6601 N. Western

March 10th
7:00 PM-8:00 PM
2432 Beat Meeting
Contact Details: 24th District Community Policing Office (312) 744-6321
Location: 24th District 6464 N. Clark

March 17th
7:00 PM-8:00 PM
2424 Beat Meeting
Contact Details: 24th District Community policing Office (312) 744-6321
Location: Pottawatomie Park 7340 N. Rogers

March 24th
7:00 PM-8:00 PM
2422 Beat Meeting
Contact Details: 24th District Community Policing Office (312) 744-6321
Location: Willye White Park 1610 W. Howard

Clear Maps for crime, beat map and events calender.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Jules Verne Room

After a long day of investigating the supernatural, deep sea diving, office work, whatever nothing beats taking a break and having a submarine sandwich is this classic nautical restaurant (Captain Nemo's at Clark and Jarvis).

Instead of windows the first floor has eight port holes. Four captain chairs are waiting for you and your crew to hang out. Be on the look out for giant squids, enormous whales and out of control drivers. Who knew that plants that could survive on such little sunlight? Mr Nemo specially bred them himself to prevent scurvy (fresh tomatoes) and for when he got homesick for the surface.

The best deal is the half sub, cup of soup and soft drink.

In the same location since 1971. For many hidden in plain site. It does need an update but part of the charm is the fact it isn't. The original radiators line the entrance and burble behind the trash bins and tables. Eighties era neon celebrates the arrival of the cash machine.

This past teatime this sailor grabbed the current extra large edition of the News-Star and caught up on the fascinating details of local property assessment.

If you haven't checked it out tie your craft to an open spot at the dock or just drop anchor. They even have a spot for those on the run from pirates. Jump overboard, swim over and grab a torpedo then continue on to parts unknown.

Last edited 3/3/15 12:31 am

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Jargowood Meeting

Its almost the first Tuesday of the odd month. So you know what that means....

Jargowood (Jarvis/Birchwood/Fargo) block club is meeting at the Chalet again.

Topics for discussion? Sheridan/Sherwin parking garage construction continues, Leone Beach Nature Center proposal. Participatory Budgeting this year. And whatever concerns you feel is worth the board's attention.

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Like Fine Wine - Glenwood Ave

Brick paved Glenwood may be a pothole haven. Large portions are simply well worn.

Google image old asphalt road. No wonder we don't have an old part of town with century old cement or blacktop. Cracks, disintegration and many instances brick road reemerges.

Most brick roads in Chicago nowadays are alleys (West Randolph) or underpasses (Peoria). Tucked away hidden corners of the city. Most car paths here are anchored by old brickwork.

Joe Moore 49th ward alderman helped get the ball rolling on fixing this stretch of Glenwood with participatory budgeting in 2013. Dnainfo reports that the state (our Rep Kelly Cassidy) is pitching in with near matching funds to help restore Glenwood from Lunt to Glenwood.

Not mentioned or yet slated for repair is two way brick Wayne Avenue. It's dead end Mayne Stage with its classic facade matches the vintage road perfectly.

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Last edited 3/1/15 11:30 am

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Now Playing At The Howard Street Theatre

P and J presents - Nike and the Strength Inside - at 1627 w Howard Street. How many seasons has this show been playing? Seven, ten, twelve,fifteen? Recently the Factory Theater did a mock up using the same frame.

Too bad the theater itself on Howard was destroyed. Maybe one day the centerpiece will house another theater or movie house. Plenty of other retail space on the strip for PJ's to relocate.  Shoe stores used to take center stage on Morse ( Cobbler Mall ).

The other marquee tougher to photograph. Its dark. "I live this" Conditioned to conquer brought to you by Nike. A view of another Howard Street type city-scape from the elevated.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Guardian Gryphons

Like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Morning sunlight pierces the ad hoc entrance of the apartment building on Howard; revealing the archaic original.

Griffins indifferent to the cold stoically watch over the entrance. No loitering and no trespassing warnings are superfluous. Should anyone threaten the safety of the occupants the bas relief gargoyles will emerge from their stony slumber.

Ever been bitten by an eagle with the strength of a lion? Having done some research into the matter for a previous case this writer can tell you its not pretty.  Ancient literature on the subject was hidden under some dusty scrolls in the back of the rare books room (downtown at the Newberry library).Its a long story. Merek had wanted to find out what happened to his family in the Middle Ages.

Anyways griffins when hungry will pluck an ox up from the farmstead and fly away to their mountain retreat to feast. One strange gryphon made a Jell-O ad. Best to not interact with them unless its unavoidable. They are unpredictable.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A New Beginning For Witch's Hat?

The for sale sign has been taken down, the front steps are shoveled and salted, a missing window in the back three season room has been patched. Rehab work has started inside.  The cute one car brick garage still stands.

Things looking up for this charming Victorian.

It went through some tough times. The previous owner passed right as the real estate market collapsed around 2007/2008. Kids hung out under the porch, threw rocks at the back windows. Passerby after passerby littered the yard year after year, the parkway and lawn left overgrown. Neglected by its owners and bank.

7430 N Paulina recently sold per Zillow (late January) at a price low enough to warrant restoration and reinvestment. The house is in a key location for the neighborhood. At the deadend of Fargo and on the corner of Rogers and Paulina. It sets the tone for the neighborhood. Its the gateway to Jargowood, Rogers Park (especially walking south from the Howard "L" stop).

The location has its down sides. It gets more than its fair share of commuter trash blown over from the large Gateway bus station. To keep this part of Rogers Park looking good the SSA should be dispatched on a regular basis to pick up Rogers Ave. This old house was here long before the bus station and should get due deference.

Last edited 2-25-15 8:30 pm

Monday, February 23, 2015

Down Zone At Fargo And Sheridan

7450 N Sheridan - Former Moonies Outpost
across the street from 7430 N Sheridan "The Ship House"
So what is 7440 N Sheridan - the pole?


Address : 7440 N Sheridan Road

File No. - A - 8096

Amendment - X

Wireless Communication Facility - NOT X

On JAN 21 ST 2015, an application was filed by

Name and Address : Joseph A Moore 7356 N Greenview Alderman 49th Ward Chicago Il 60626


Change RT4 Residential Two-flat, Townhouse and Multi-unit District to RS3 Residential Single Unit District

For additonal information, please contact the applicant at Contact Information Ald. Joseph Moore (773) - 338 - 5796

This notice shall be posted not less than 5 days after filing the above application and shall be removed within 3 days after the public hearing.

City of Chicago
Department of Planning and Development
Bureau of Zoning and Land Use

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What The Heck Is Metro PCS?

One way to ensure your tweet gets no favorites or retweets is to announce the opening of a new cell phone store. This authorized dealer at 7547 N Paulina will be unlocking its front doors soon (to indifference, applause, or mild enthusiasm?). METRO PCS is English for generic corporate phone store. Metro Pcs just opened up a branch on Clark street in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot to zero fanfare. There is another branch at Western and Birchwood.

PCS either stands for nothing or Personal Communication Services.

Metro PCS will give Cricket on the Evanston side of Howard some competition in the prepaid, zero contract wireless market. Across the street on Howard Robbie Communication 10 and K.K.H.comm are the modern day equivalent to catch all mom and pop electronic gadget stores.

They (Metro PCS) joined forces with one of the other major generic cell phone providers T-Mobile (which has a branch at the Howard Gatway mall if your too lazy to walk). You have to name a company something (like CVS short for Consumer Value Services).

Last edited 2/24/15 10:34 am

Friday, February 20, 2015

Frozen Fargo Beach

Fargo's rock pile recently lost its pole from rough waves. The warning which shooed people away from the rocks is no more. There isn't a strong undercurrent or riptide right now. Certain death lies beneath the unstable lake ice.

While this winters ice cover is impressive it doesn't hold a candle to last annum. People routinely walked their dogs east of the rockpile in 2014. There was also a footpath from Fargo to Howard Street Beach

The lakefront's change in appearance from year to year is dramatic. Ice caves dominate the shoreline in 2015. One of the neanderthals left a beer bottle behind.

Chicago Park District flag system is out of commision. No lifeguard on duty. Some people like to swim in winter. For some reason the Rogers Park Polar Bear Club never caught on.

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