Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shakespeare In The Park

Shakespeare on the green is happening all over Chicago this summer.

If you missed out on Touhy Park's Shakespeare event this past weekend (On Saturday, July 19th and Sunday, July 20th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Touhy Park 7348 N Paulina St.Chicago,IL 60626.  the Spectralia Theatre,in cooperation with the Touhy Park Advisory Council and various sponsors,along with the Chicago Park District Presents Shakespeare's "The Two Gentleman of Verona"   this FREE  90 minute version is about Love,Intrigue and Male Friendship.) have no fear. There are still plenty of Shakespearean events around town to check out.

This Friday and Saturday (25th and 26th)  A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed at Loyola Park (1230 w Greenleaf). Touhy Park is not listed on the website but checking the Park District site there is an event listed for the same play on Sunday August 17th from 2- 3 pm.        

(Above left - bonus shot of lady with cane loading her bike onto the front of the same CTA bus)

Mucking Mess @ 7500 N Rogers

Fresh sod now adorns the parkways of the irregular Ashland/Rogers/Birchwood intersection. The city has a man with a water truck come by every few days to hose it down. And most of it looks smashing save the parkway of 7500 N Rogers.

Cars routinely cut the corner short into the alley ruining the fresh sod job. Adding insult to injury the sewer is backed up turning the mouth of the alley into a giant mud puddle.

7500 N Rogers for low income housing is by and large a nice looking building. The front is hidden from view. Upon closer inspection one address numeral has fallen down and another hangs loose.

One very curious thing about the building. A Porshe Cayenne has been parked outback for the past year. Discussing this with a fellow neighbor got the following response, "I've given up on Rogers Park and all its inconsistencies".

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Your Tree Is Only Mostly Dead

Jnauts & Friends

Now that summer is finally here - take a look at your parkway trees - are they dead? 

You cannot tell if your tree is dead during the winter time - but now in the summer - if there are no leaves upon your tree - it is dead.

Some trees are 100% dead.  Some trees are 40% dead.  Some trees are 80% dead.  But you cannot tell this in winter time - just now that summer is here.

Call 311 for removal of your 100% dead tree.  Call 311 for trimming of your 40% dead tree.  If your tree is 80% dead, call 311 and tell them to do something about it.  Then wait.

You may have trees or shrubs on your personal private property that are dead.  Last winter was brutal.  Trim off the dead bits that might fall and damage something else or some body perhaps...

Lorraine Dostal

Monday, July 21, 2014

Track Renewal Continues Into August

Another generic nonspecific "Construction Activity Notice" was plastered all over town. Expect construction noise anywhere from Howard down to Granville all night long except on Friday and Saturday nights for the next four weeks.

Expect sudden street closures and giant heavy machinery to pop up on your block if you live close to the "L". Spose it would be pretty tough to print up a schedule on all the particulars for such a large project. Maybe you could rip down one of those notices and show it to your boss. A good excuse for being late to work.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bangers Return To Devon

Just before noon a group of four (twenty something) gangbangers wearing red shirts and caps stood in front of  Devon Market's parking lot (@ Devon and Greenview). It was not safe to take their picture. Police responded quickly.

The flowers, candles, posters in memorial of the innocent bystander (William Lewis) killed in the crossfire of a gang dispute was taken down this afternoon.

Neighbors near and far have to stay vigilant in Rogers Park (and Edgewater). It may not be your property, your corner or your block but your well being (and everyone elses) depends upon you avoiding and not tolerating gang loitering.

This tragedy was just a matter of time. Untrained gunmen kill people on the south side with stray bullets on an almost weekly basis in the summer.

It may only take ten 911 calls or it may take a hundred and ten. In the end it doesn't matter. The streets don't belong to gun toting outlaws. And no one is safe with four corner hustling.

Out Of Towners To Chicagoans - Don't Walk This Way

Wayne and Farwell yesterday

An outlander decided a parking spot was more important that pedestrian access this past weekend. Not sure if this Hoosier's Nissan got a ticket but the infraction was called in Saturday and today. Apparently you can get in trouble for not paying Chicago parking tickets even if you reside in Indiana.

Yesterday an Acura from Georgia blocked the sidewalk at Greenview and Chase.

People in wheelchairs, walkers, strollers have enough trouble getting around in summer with all the street corners torn up. Visitors should respect the same laws in effect at home when travelling across America. covered neighbors outrage over workmen blocking sidewalks on Everyblock. Maybe someone should investigate why guests with amnesia are clogging up our walkways.

At least the butterflies weren't disturbed.

Last edited 7/20/14 8:23 pm

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Friday, July 11, 2014

And Now A Giraffe For Rogers Ave "L" Viaduct

The artist busy looking busy for the iPhone

Ben Bauman has resumed working on his mural @ the Rogers Avenue viaduct. For awhile there it seemed that someone had just decided to put up a cheetah for the hell of it last fall. Most of his mural work is on display in Madison, Wisconsin. He is very happy to have the opportunity to gain some exposure in Chicago.

Like most artists its hard to find time to do your real work. He is busy with two or three other jobs right now. Next up a Zebra and an African tribal background. It does look sharp an unfinished background. The contrast of the unfinished pillars should still make this scene "pop".

Ben doesn't have a website yet but he has uploaded some stuff to Flickr. When he finds the keywords or link hopefully he can share that with Chevanston so that we may ooh and aah over more his paintings.

Last edited 7/11/14 4:50 pm

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Still Not Okay

Even though someone took down the no parking tow zone sign (last year when it was still up) this park job is still illegal. You can't park in an alley without your flashers on. This is where Marshfield Avenue meets the alley just north of Louis Dubkin Park.

When people openly skirt the law knowing that no one cares is not a nice place to live. Its not up to the tenants to keep things looking good and up to snuff. Whose job is it then? The landlord who collects the rent.

Problem is so many landlords take a hands off approach leaving it all up to a building super and or management company. Without oversight things like this happen. A forgotten corner of the city where people think its okay to squat down and take a pee break.

Needless to say this was called in. Plenty of legal parking still around this time of day. Worse case scenario there is the Gateway Parking Garage right around the corner on Rogers Ave.

K.K.H.Comm Electronics Ramadan Hours

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Just In Case You Had Any Illusions About Sleeping


the CTA decided to use a giant reverse vacuum cleaner to blow dust all over the place at midnight. Looks like this falls under noise category diesel track maintenance equipment. Weird scene, the unearthly tumult and upheaval just above pastoral Leonard Dubkin Park. Its like something out of an M Night Shyamalan movie?

Can imagine that many neighbors with open windows on this hot and humid night are lying awake restless right now. Others are having nightmares fighting off construction workers and machines on the way to catch the "L" late for work.

Rock grinding has nothing on the DTME din.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Roman Susan

June 2014 - Joshua Kent

August 2014 - Amber Ginsburg & Katie Hargrave

September 2014 - Pate Conaway for gallery hours, appointments, proposals, and event listings

1224 w. Loyola Ave. Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Take Care Of Your Fireplug!

Jogging is great exercise. When you're done though you don't have much to show for it except a sweaty t-shirt, sore legs, shortness of breath and extreme thirst.

Getting off your duff and taking five minutes to put caps back on your hydrant isn't too much to ask. City services use the hydrant and sometimes they forget to recap them. You aren't gonna call 311 and ask the city to do it, are ya?

This particular hydrant sits at Damen and Lunt. Single family homes dominate this vital east-west thoroughfare of Rogers Park. Neighbors should have enough pride in their block to take care of business like this.

A functioning hydrant and the fire department are the last line in defense in saving you and your house (apartment, condo, 2-3 flat, etc) from disaster. Ultimately its in your own self interest to keep your johnny pump happy. Besides a hydrant with no caps looks like hell.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Public Urination @ Marshfield Avenue

A regular emailed this photo to Chevanston earlier today. Best to not approach public pee-ers close up. Just yell from far away that its not cool to piss on a public street. 7400 N Marshfield just can't catch a break. Illegal parking, litter and now a lady dropping trou.

Two men were there to shield her from public view. You can see one chivalrous man doing his job. Only with extreme close up can you see the squatting woman.

Um miss, you do realize that this is a public street and kids are playing in the park over there? I'm sure Sol Cafe or some other nearby respectable business (like Subway on Paulina) would be more than happy to let you use their facilities. That's one good thing about getting a BK nearby. We need a good defacto public bathroom.

After the photo she got up and left with the two men in search of a decent place to relieve herself.

Loitering @ Golden Mini Mart

Golden Mini Mart just shooed away these loiterers after a short discussion regarding pros and cons. Not too many pros and a whole lot of cons. Con mainly being a drive-by shooting.

Right now the guys running GMM are sitting out front standing guard. If you see any more loitering feel free to give GMM a call 773-338-5478. Its been a long battle but public safety is worth the fight. The bangers will move back in if you let them.

Golden Mini Mart @ 1339 w Morse next to Morse Gyros; where you can buy all legal vices (cigs,lotto, alcohol mixers,condoms,junk food) save alcohol. They carry Jarritos too.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th Of July Shooting On Birchwood Avenue

Transcript from ABC 7 News July 5th 8:02 am

"Later in the 1500 block of west Birchwood (that's in the Rogers Park neighborhood) another police involved shooting. In this case police officers said they approached a man drinking beer on the street. Investigators say he yelled to them, " I have a gun  you'll have to shoot me". And then he reached into his waistband. That's when they opened fire. He was shot and seriously wounded. This is still under investigation. None of the police officers were injured."

First reports of gunplay appeared on Twitter soon after 11:30 am 7/4/14.

Last updated 7/6/14 7:57 am

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Jargowood Address Project"

unknown garage in Jarvis/Fargo alley 

Jnauts & Friends

City Ordinance requires that you display your address at the front and rear of your property - so the firetrucks and police cars can find you when you call for HELP - makes sense, eh?

The CAPS 24th District has FREE NUMBERS - so you can post them at the front and rear of your property - they are self stick (just peel off the backing) and they stick to brick and wood and metal and all sorts of building materials.  They are BIG NUMBERS - approximately 8 inches high.  and they are REFLECTIVE NUMBERS too so they glow in the headlights of the approaching emergency rescue vehicle and the police and firemen can actually read them when they respond to your call for HELP.

To request (say please) your FREE BIG REFLECTIVE self sticking NUMBERS get in touch with Mayra Gomez at (312) 744-6321 or via email

If you are greedy, you could request two (2) sets - one for the front of your property and one for the rear of your property.....Mayra says she can deliver them to you because she wants to meet more community residents and help them get involved in the CAPS program.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ah, The Boot? What The F!?

Morning of July First the owner of this car made a horrifying discovery.

This vehicle has been immobilized ("BOOTED") by the city of Chicago for failure to timely pay or contest parking, compliance,or red light tickets

Warning do NOT disable, remove or damage the boot. Moving the vehicle or tampering with the boot will automatically subject the VEHICLE OWNER to fees of $750 to $1000 in addition to all costs. The City will hire attorneys trained to : PLACE LIENS AGAINST HOMES, REPORT TO CREDIT BUREAUS, and GARNISH WAGES.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Jargowood Meets July First

SHERIDAN & JARVIS 7350 N Sheridan Road Conference Room 7:30 P M

Do we have your e-mail address?
BEAT 2422/2423/2424 meet last Thursday each month 7212 N Clark Street
Call Neighborhood Relations 312-744-6321 for info

JARGOWOOD MEETS Tuesday Sept 2, 2014
Sherwin Chase Neighbors & Touhy Park Advisory – second Monday odd months
How can the police and fire department find your house?

Positive Loitering @ Morse & Wayne


Its really warm out now. Which means that the gangs are out again. Morse Gyros and Golden Mini Mart have been their home base for many years. We have seen what happens when businesses give in to intimidation and allow gang loitering; a shooting followed by shutdown.

Golden Mini Mart from what this writer can see personally and from discussions with local businesses has continued to cave in to gang intimidation. If GMM can't resist the temptation to allow gang loitering its days are numbered. Anybody remember A.I.M.?

Morse Gyros ran out of gyros yesterday during the Pride North rush. Refreshing to see police hanging out at Nino's old place. Instead of reacting to gang loitering they used it as their temporary HQ.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gateway Cafe's New Look Is Driving Away Customers

Things have really gone down the tubes at this out of the way and now infrequently visited plein air diner. Fluorescent bulbs, diffuse natural light, huge ventilator shafts give it that industrial edge and vibe that used to make it such a hip spot. But encircling the patrons with dumpsters is taking things a bit too far. Functional art that doesn't smell good will kill almost anyone's appetite.

Pretty sure the city is gonna shut this place down pretty soon. Can't be healthy to have all this trash rotting away so close to the kitchen and dining area. Right now the cafe is most popular with the janitorial crew during their smoke break. Hopefully this place can bust out of its current loading dock doldrums so that this space can live up to its true potential.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mr H & R Bloch Finally Settle Down

After years of wandering this popular tax service decided to put down roots and find a place to call home (Gateway Mall on Paulina). Usually the Blochs would pack up, move out and hit the open road each April 15th. They would end up scrambling to find some vacant storefront January the next year.

After all the paper work was finally done Henry would invariably look at Richard and say "I don't know about you but I'm outta here". Everything was put into public storage. The next six months he went incommunicado. No one had any idea what Henry or for that matter Richard did during that long barren stretch of time between tax prep seasons.

At the ripe old age of 59 Mr H and R got tired of traveling the world exploring unknown territories. That doesn't mean that they're done goofing off. If you really want to get some serious work done better call ahead of time and book an appointment. Most of the week the office is closed. H and R are usually up north in the backwoods fishing in some no named lake in Wisconsin.

Last edited 6/26/14 2:26 pm

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chase Branch On Morse Closing September 13th

A redacted letter from a regular reader was sent to Chevanston yesterday.  The letter dated June 13th 2014 states that the Chase branch at 1425 w Morse Ave will close its doors for the last time September 13th at 1:00 pm.

Dan Sano (VP District Manager) writes that this branch is collapsing into the "nearby" 6415 N Sheridan Chase. Doubtful that most people that live near Morse will walk that far.

Guess Chase was fed up with the landlord's lackluster upkeep? Some other national chain will likely take its place. Rent is pretty steep for this commercial space.

Will miss this "Main Street" bank. Every downtown needs one. The Morse "L" stop effectively is Rogers Park's downtown. Looks like closing bank branches is a national trend. Join the discussion at Everyblock.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Wayne After The Rain

Reflecting pools graced this fine boulevard earlier today. Beautiful even in its decay. Photographing this rare brick paved street throughout the year makes one truly understand why this type of road is special.

Another Youngstown block is wiggling loose as we speak. Cars zoom back and forth over the uneven terrain worrying away the weak spots. Well that is unless the city steps up and fills in the potholes. Preferably with more bricks.

Last winter is now in the record books. Its why we are still talking about potholes in summertime. Repair or patching of Wayne Avenue is long overdue. Let's take care of business  and put the polar vortex behind us once and for all.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ancient Dirt Road Slowly Emerges On Wayne

6900 N Wayne Avenue is minus one more Youngstown O. block. These small pits weren't as noticeable after the rain this afternoon. Drivers or bicyclists hitting them won't be forgetting them soon.

Usually you catch a glimpse of old brick roads through Chicago's potholes. Not so at Wayne's northern terminus. Here you can look and wonder about the mess this town was before sun-dried clay. Makes you think about muddy divots in old dirt roads. Hell of thing to hit with your horse and buggy full-bore.

How many more bricks can Wayne lose and still be a brick road? Probably as many files a file room can lose and still be a file room. Upper left photo demonstrates more pieces of the puzzle soon to be lost.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kershaw Tie Crane

Stop Engine and Secure All Unit Locking Devices When : Adjusting, Lubricating, Fueling, Making Repairs

Daily - Check engine oil add as needed, Check engine fuel and refill, Check hydraulic oil level add as needed, Drain water from air tank, Check hydraulic lines for wear and leaks, Check for oil leaks, Check for fuel leaks, Check lights and wiring, Check engine air cleaner service indicator, Check propelling chain tension, Check coolant add as needed

(For lubrication chart please refer to side of vehicle - accepted oils for hydraulics, engine, and gear, differential, planetary and pump drives are listed)

Full specs here and more pics here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ratha-Yatra June 29th

Once again (fourth time) the Chariot Festival will start at Howard & Ashland. Jump in and help drag the chariot. The reward? You and your last seven generations will be forgiven for their sins.

ISKCON's headquarters in Rogers Park - 1716 w Lunt just east of Clark. Click here to look through photos from last year's parade preparations.

The parade is on Sunday 29th and starts at 11:30 am. Festival on the beach will run from 12:30 am til 6 pm at Loyola Park (1234 w Greenleaf). Free feast and festival!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flip This House! RP Edition

When the real estate market hit rock bottom this house sold for only 91,500 (early part of 2011). Five months later it "resold" for over double, 237 k. Was a rehab loan rolled into a new mortgage? If memory serves correctly no major rehab was done until later that year. Property listed on 4/24 for 399, now reduced to 389. Zillow's "zestimate" of the house's value is 279,315.

A charming abode with an odd configuration. One of the few surviving single family homes surrounded by large apartment buildings. The side yard abuts the alley and provides plenty of parking (six spots) for guests or to let. The garage, roof and exterior were redone in 2012-11.

According to Trulia the schools are sub par; Field Elementary and local high school rated below standard. But local transportation is optimal. Walking distance to the lake, "L", and Metra (closest of the three). By far the biggest perk is the plethora of parking spots.

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