Monday, August 31, 2015

Loyola Dispatch Still Reprinting Articles

To make matters worse the portion of the story that they reprint is from the Sun-Times which is obvious retread of the paper (Chicago Tribune) that actually made the scene and took pictures.

Crime reporting in Chicago reads like stock reports. Grains were at blah blah blah but closed up at blah blah blah with brisk trading at the end of the day due to the worsening drought in blank.

At least we got some photos from the crime scene from the Chicago Tribune. Loyola Dispatch could've saved themselves a lot of time and just retweeted the original source.

If LSD really wants in on the crime beat hire an honest to god reporter/producer that goes to the actual crime and interviews people, takes photos. Or they could just leave it to the professionals and amateurs.

Anyone remember when LSD reprinted a Chicago Tribune article and tweeted it onto's Twitter Feed?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crime Scene @ Touhy & Lakefront

5 shots at the Leone Playground and one man two men taken away by ambulance ten minutes ago. Cbs,Wgn, Nbc, Abc news vans on site.

Yeah not much info to be gained at a crime scene. Couple of cars on Sheridan slowed down to ask what happened. Bystanders relayed what they saw or heard. Bicycler slowed down to see what was going on, "Just another night in Rogers Park".  Chicago Scanner tweeted that the shooting took place at 1222 w Touhy. One Everyblock poster heard eight bangs, another thought it was seven.

Chicago Tribune reported that TWO men were shot. The 19 year old took one in right arm and abdomen and was taken to the nearest level one trauma St Francis. The 21 year old with the less serious bullet wound to the leg was taken south to the other level one Masonic. (Probably best to separate the two victims and to not overwhelm the trauma surgeons.) Police told the newsmen that the victims were gang members. Bill Morton was on scene and posted a couple videos of the immediate aftermath. Vito888@vito888 posted pics of the gang members being hauled away by ambulance. This all took place under a blood red moon (last photo, hard to capture with camera phone).

Touhy and Lake Michigan can be a dangerous place for warm weather cookouts and hangouts. May last year two men were hit by gunfire at a late night bar-b-q.

Last updated 8-31-15 8:05 am

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Fear The Walking Dead

Billboard 002992 has its own power supply, electric meter, and sidewalk. But good luck trying to cross the street. Walking around the east end of the sign the concrete path abruptly dead ends without a crosswalk. Which makes one question the very existence of the sidewalk.

If you missed the first episode (pilot) of Fear The Walking Dead last week you can catch up tonight on AMC before or after the second episode (so close, yet so far).

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Monday, August 24, 2015

September Jargowood Meeting

Shortest street in Rogers Park
now on Google Maps street view

Jargowood meets on the first Tuesday of odd numbered months - that will be Tuesday September 1.

Usual time and usual place

of note :  The RP Historic Society will have its annual housewalk (a fund raising event) in the Jargowood neighborhood including some of our neighbors in Sherwin Chase.....around Touhy Park.  Our neighbors have graciously offered to invite us into their homes and gardens - so check out the website.  Tickets are cheaper if purchased in advance and if you are a member of the Society.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

That's One Sick Fisher!

Yesterday Sol Cafe regrammed Mr Fisher's newly completed "Big Fruit". Quite a statement at forty six by fifty two (and twelve deep). According to the regram it took almost a fortnight, one cherry picker and a ton of paint rollers. Mr Fisher gives thanks to the RPBA* for the commission and much thanks to the "ever powerful Simone Freeman and Sol Cafe". In case you have amnesia Sick Fisher's painting of Howard and Marshfield hung in Sol Cafe's window overlooking the same intersection almost two years ago.

Apparently the Howard "L" stop is the second busiest in the city. All those people staring into space (or into their phone) waiting for their train now have something else to think about. Whatever (last pic on link) was there before we'll never remember.

*Rogers Park has been quite active in the mural department of late. Monstruo (at the Dunkin Donuts lot on Clark) was just added to the long list of murals excellente in earlier this month.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Rogers Park Woman's Club

This might have been discussed already on Facebook or Everyblock but the Unification Church of Chicago is no more. The plaques were removed revealing the original purpose of this building (at the southeast corner of Estes and Ashland). (And remember no apostrophe in Rogers Park.)

Stephanie Barto posted to EB that the building was for sale 6/15/15. The Rogers Park West Ridge Historical Society's page on the Rogers Park Woman's Club (which closed in 1996).  According to Coldwell Banker 7077 N Ashland was added to the multiple listings last November and is going for some six hundred and fifty thousands. More than double Zillow's zestimate.

There is parking reserved for pastors, the Korean name for the building is still up as is the HSA-UWC (short for Holy Spirit for Association for the Unification of World Christianity) Family Church signage. Inside is sparse. The let's keep God's house clean reminder is gone.

What will the next hundred years be like for the RPWC building?

Last edited 8/17/15 9:23 pm

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hotspot Grill Still Coming Soon

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Some grand openings never happen; like the Mexican restaurant across the street. New signage on this grill to be is a promising sign at Marshfield and Howard.

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Construction With Old Trees

Kenmore south of Granville - Edgewater, Illinois

It would appear that the developer strategically planted trees as the land sat vacant for many years. Or they are simply taking advantage of what greenery exists. Either way this four story apartment building on Kenmore is unusual. Maybe this will start a new trend?

This foundation work began mid June. According to the advert there will be three and four bedroom units for let with two and three baths respectively. Four bedrooms are uncommon outside the university setting. So this undoubtedly is catering to Loyola students. It also boasts a roof top deck with lake views.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

7331 n Sheridan Rd - A Walk Through

Lake themed reminders for each level; umbrella, flip flops, light house, beach ball, sailboat. Fire extinguishers every fifteen feet. One electrical vehicle Charge Point station. A few spots for Zipcars. Zippy two door elevator. A tour de force for parking garage aficionados.

About 20-30 cars using the lot so far. Bare bones office. Video cameras every fifty feet. Credit cards only, thirty minutes one buck, one hour two bucks, two hours four, first twenty four hours eight bucks, overnight six bucks,

A tale of two garages....

Updated 8-13-15 7:10 am - Finally had time to upload pictures and review everything published this week. Chistreetblog showed how a parking garage is a great place for a peaceful self reflective bicycle ride. Parking garages are great places for photos and panoramic views. Happy to see Chistreetblog took some nice pics and video. Their other article earlier in the week was just a retread and used stock drawings. Otherwise there is Joe Moore's email blast.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Tree That Blacked Out Fargo

Com Ed and the city of Chicago did an excellent job attacking the devastation left in the wake of Sunday's microburst. Clear the thoroughfares, restore power, trim precarious limbs, and then chip the rest as time allows.

This what the tree looked prestorm. Not only did it knock out power but it took out the gutters and blocked the alley. Power was restored Monday morning.

Twitter served most excellently for neighbors to share pictures of downed trees, dented cars, damaged street lights, etcetera. Bill Savage wasn't in town but he asked a very good question. Did our two most famous trees (at Farwell Pier) weather the storm? Yes they did. published a tree casualty map. While incomplete it does catalog the major trees that bit the dust.

Last edited 8-6-15 9:59 pm

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spectator Car

Joe Runge likes to race every single weekend. There are different levels of racing; spectator, late model and super late model. This is a regular full size car with the doors welded shut. The welding makes it more solid and less likely to fly apart. Contestants drive as fast they can without crashing in the qualifying rounds. The best times compete in the last race of the day.

Racers accumulate points during the season. The top five places get a small cash prize and bragging rights. That's Joes car up there. He wasn't racing seriously this past weekend but he drove well enough to qualify for pole position. Spending lots of time on the track and working with cars probably helped.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

1313 w Morse - Rogers Plaza Demolition

Slant of wind on Sunday didn't impede progress on J. Pritzkers' construction site at Morse and Wayne come Monday. This former drive in emporium is doomed. It served as a repository for valet cars for the past few months. Earlier this spring a couple guys tried to repair their car in the parking lot. The authorities came by and then a couple of big puffs of smoke and they were gone.

Fresh water is being siphoned off from the corner hydrant to prevent explosions and fire. A chain link fence was erected on the north end of the property for safety. Reminding this writer of the mini-mall on California and Armitage. Strip malls are a poor use of urban land. They can look and function better than the typical Rogers Plaza type. They could even have two stories.

When 1313 w Morse is finished it will be two stories taller than the Wayne Senior building seen above. J. Pritzker didn't waste anytime getting started. Just over a month since the Mayne Stage conclave.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

The Day After The Storm

An unusually bright cheery day after the hail storm that crunched cars, toppled street lights, strong enough to blow over bus shelters and knocked out power to thousands. You start looking at trees different after so many split open, fell apart or ripped free from the ground. Why didn't those leaning trees fall over? Were those trees leaning like that before?  The endlessly useful Google maps street view answers that question. Yeah they were and the trees that didn't make it looked sturdy enough..

Cherry pickers with chainsaws and linesmen from Com Ed were all over Rogers Park today. The poor silver Nissan that got squashed at Ashland and Greenleaf was photographed by everyone. Rahm stopped by to talk to those affected by the storm, assess the damage, and take pictures with the public.

Apparently the mayor has a professional picture taker that will fulfill that need to have your countenance next to Rahmbo's. Yeah he's short. But he has charisma and that you don't want fu$k with me that radiates from his small frame.  Flanked by his security detail he walked toward Heartland Cafe where a Channel 2 news van waited to interview the mayor and do their report.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hail Storm Culls Rogers Park's Topiary

The storm started innocently enough. A drizzle and a cool breeze. The wind quickly accelerated coupled with a torrent. Cars in Edgewater waited out the storm under the Granville viaduct. Hail and straight line wind downed many trees. So many trees were blown over or snapped that some thirty eight thousand lost power.

It didn't last that long. The fast moving storm sure left a lasting impression. People returning home at night surveyed the damage. Scratching their heads in disbelief, snapping photos and hoping that their power was still on.

Traveling through Rogers Park Ashland was blocked south of Greenleaf and Greenview was impassable north of Greenleaf. Tree trimmers and Com Ed will be busy in Rogers Park, West Ridge and Edgewater.

Storms like these are tree killers. 75 trees were damaged or destroyed in Sundays brief but brutal storm according to The bus stop at Morse blew over too.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

1313 w Morse & Brick Paved Wayne

In the foreground one of the last two way brick paved streets left in Chicago. In the background a vacant mini mall near the Morse "L" stop to be demolished later this year. Then an eight story 45 unit building with three floors of parking is going up.

What does this mean for brick paved Wayne? There will be construction traffic, then more cars coming to Rogers Park to visit and live. Will this investment and increased attention to Morse and Wayne benefit this rare brick paved street? Only time will tell. Money is being poured back into Rogers Park. It may not be Wilmette, Illinois (home to many restored brick roads) but its not too shabby.

If you haven't strolled by 1313 w Morse take a closer look while its still unfettered by construction. At the entrance to the mini mall you will notice three rows of horizontal bricks perpendicular to the rest of brick paved Wayne. Details like this help make the 6900 north block of Wayne a one of a kind Chicago treasure.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Full Serve At Shell Gas Station On Touhy & Sheridan

This is biggest reason why we should bring full serve back to gas stations. Gas station attendants have almost been completely phased out. Glenview has at least one gas station left with full serve. In Oregon and New Jersey handicapped drivers don't have any problems getting filled up. Those two states mandate full service.

It may see odd to the millennial generation but gas stations used to be service stations. When you drove up for gas you triggered a hidden line that signaled the gas jockey to fill er up. Ding! Ding! Full service or just gas today ma'am? Regular or unleaded? Oil corporations are maximizing profits by discontinuing car repair and putting in Mc Donalds, Dunkin Donuts. Subways (like this Shell on Touhy) and the like.

Full service used to mean checking the radiator fluids, oil, wind shield wiper fluid, the air in your tires and wiping down the windshield. That was before self service existed. People would usually pay cash for their gas and tip their attendant.

The early seventies oil crisis was the beginning of the end for this tradition. In 2011 CBS observed that most gas stations in Chicago did not assist drivers with disabilities at the pump. Bill Savage popular Rogers Park tweeter and NW professor wrote up his observations regarding the phasing out of check out clerks.

Pumping our own gas was just the beginning. Now we scan our own items, ring ourselves up (cashier) and bag it up (bagger) at most grocery and big box stores. All that's left is stocking the shelves and doing price checks. Jobs that used to be summer jobs and supplement income for those trying to make ends meet continue to disappear.

Last edited 7-31-15 6:40 pm

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Dead Trees Come Back To Life

No leaves back in early June. These drought stressed trees just needed more time and a ton of rain.

Even more impressive these trees were barren two summers ago. They have been dormant for a couple years.

Yellow Line is still out of commission. Its supposed to be fixed before the end of summer?

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Teal Room @ Pub 626

That extra room in-between the Glenwood and Club 626 now serves a purpose. It's now a private event space with a fully stocked bar.

For questions or to book an event, email

It also serves on occasion as the cream and milk stand for Smack Dab coffee counter.

Maybe one day it will house Smack Dab. Right now that coffee counter is doing very well. Blueberry rhubarb is this writers favorite of late. Cold brewed coffee is a great way to imbibe your caffeine this summer. Less acid and higher caffeine content too.

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Main Street On The Lake

Three people are watching this E-bay auction which ends in 26 days. If you are a Rogers Park fanatic then this old street sign is something you must add to your collection. Its going for 800 bucks. Chicagostreetsigns has been active on E-bay since 2011 and presumably is the official city of Chicago outlet for all things Chicago and street sign.

"(It) measures approximately 36 inches by 27 inches and is a thick steel covered with porcelain.  It has a very nice design with hands of varying shades showing ethnic diversity in the city and the neighborhood." This has been the symbol of the northernmost lake front Chicago neighborhood for a generation and is featured prominently on Alderman Joe Moore's website.

In 2013 a traffic calming study for Sheridan Road won funding in the Participatory Budget election. Whether the community will reap the rewards of that study is uncertain.

Seller's notes - "It has the typical dings in the porcelain, oxidation, scratches, gouges, fading, bends, and blemishes (see pictures) of a used decommissioned Chicago street sign. It likely has some dirt and dust on it too." and "If there is a dollar, ruler, or something else in the picture other than they sign, it is not included and is for purposes of letting you judge the dimensions only." Sorry guys dollar bill not included.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pulling Up Stakes On Morse

Nothing officially released yet regarding the historical society's move besides the moving sale notice on their storefront. Half price on all regularly stocked items! Mugs, totes, books, t-shirts, images, and note cards.

So far this has been the most eye catching storefront for the RPWRHS (est 1975 - now celebrating its fortieth anniversary). Next activity in Rogers Park proper is a guided walking tour August 23rd during the Glenwood Arts Festival. September 13th will feature their 29th historic house tour (location and time to be announced).

Does this mean the landlord has a new tenant lined up for Morse and Greenview? And where will the society be moving? And will they be able to take their etched glass with?

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Unnamed Park On Ashland

Dubkin Park lost its signage recently. Strange little park feels like a living room. It can be a mini dog park, a place for early morning drinkers, quiet meditative retreat or the local garden club depending on what time of day you walk by.

The triangle shaped park is bounded by Ashland, 7400 N Marshfield & its alley and the "L". Leonard Dubkin wrote about urban nature. His columns and essays were collected into the tome The Natural History Of A Yard.

His park looks like an apropos spot to read about and observe urban nature. Michael Bryson agrees. If your looking for summer reading ideas how about learning more about the great outdoors of Chicago?

Maybe the city is fixing to put a new sign? This writer will check with the alderman's office come Monday.

Last edited 7-25-15 6:53 pm

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A new pot & point for Witch's Hat

The corner house has a new finial for the namesake turret. Hostas and a large stone planter now adorn the corner of Paulina and Rogers. First impressions are important. For many this is their first view of Rogers Park as the head south from the Howard "L" station.

A tough corner to take care of (trash from Gateway bus yard) but the new owners are doing a great job.

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