Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So You Wanna Be An Artist?

You will either be filthy rich or a starving artist. Which will it be?

Is there a budding Van Gogh, Picasso, Basquiat, or Francis Bacon living in Rogers Park? Of course not. There might be an unknown artist living in our midst however. This show would give this mystery person the opportunity to hang their masterpiece in a public gallery.

Or their early work before the masterpiece. What higher achievement then great art? Creating something beautiful and magnificent that never would have existed otherwise? The presence or absence of great artists would have a far greater impact on our history than anything else. Well, at least in this writer's opinion. Only way to tell is to study the many parallel Earths or conduct unethical time travel experiments.

Roman Susan's Annex on Howard Street is opening its doors November 22nd from 12-5 to improve your drawing skills and to post your best stuff. Who knows maybe the Rogers Park, Chicago of today will rival Impressionist Paris?

Last Edited 11/18/14 5:15 pm 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Sign Up For Winter Classes @ Touhy Park

Touhy Park 7348 N Paulina (773)262-6737

Registration Online Begins 12/2/14

Classes Begin the week of January 5th:

 *Tot Spot* Saturday’s 10:30-11:30am  - $10 (10 Week Session)  for 1-3yrs

 *SOCCER* Tuesday’s  4:15-5pm - $10 (10 Week Session)  for 6-7yrs

*FLOOR HOCKEY* - Thursday’s  4:15-5pm for 6-7yrs - $10 (10 Week Session)

*KIDDIE COLLEGE* - Wed & Fri 9:30-11am for 3-5yrs  -$30 (10 Week Session)  preschool
$10 (10 Week Session)  4-5yrs

*SOCCER* - Monday’s  4-4:45pm  for 4-5yrs $10 (10 Week Session)

*BASKETBALL* - Wednesday’s  - 4-4:45pm

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Support Your Local Independently Owned Gas Station

Haven't seen the Ridge and Devon Shell tow truck in awhile (its inside of the service bays right now). The photos above were taken last year when building 14-A (at S and C) was still under construction. City gas stations are more resistant to change and corporate take over. Why? Zoning.

Not sure if the BP across the street is company owned. Chances are it is. Publicly traded businesses work to maximize profits to the nth degree.

Getting rid of auto repair and replacing it with a McDonalds or Subway (the Touhy/Sheridan Shell is a good example of this being a good idea, that area is a veritable food dessert) will make you a whole lot more money. Over the years the service in service stations has all but disappeared. In its place self serve gas, fast food, lottery tickets, coffee, cigarettes and junk food. New Jersey and Oregon are exceptions to the rule. These two states mandate that gas stations remain full serve. People get paid to pump gas, check the fluids, clean your windshield.

That's a major problem in the modern economy. We rely heavily on service jobs to support people and the economy. But the large companies have cut back on them. Take for example the dearth of baggers in grocery stores. Bagging your own groceries is now common practice. Heck we even scan our items and ring ourselves up now. Next we'll have to pickup the phone ask for a price check too.

If you lost your cell phone and need to make a call from your car stop off here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nightly Projections On Howard

Hours for Roman Susan Annex gallery; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 3-6 PM.

What's going on with those crazy lights on Howard? Find out at their reception this coming Saturday.

We are near the tail end of Streetlight 2.0, If you haven't checked it out yet do so before it ends this 15th.

Sol Cafe now sells Glazed and Infused donuts on Fridays (since Nov 7th). Drivers from other parts are welcome to park in the four or five spots out back grab a coffee and go or take a seat and linger.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Touche' Gets Gold Stars For Its New Look

The scaffolding is down revealing Touche's new face.

Long overdue rehab on the old gay bar on Clark. The black painted wood was peeling and faded. DineHere.us@dine_us tweeted a photo of Touche's old look yesterday. Traffic cones protect the facade while it dries. The siding was replaced over the past couple of weeks,

The gold stars up top and the black trim look sharp. "Chicago's Leather Bar since 1977" They just celebrated their 37th birthday this past Thurday.

Google Maps car last drove by Touche just a couple months ago.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Still No Bicycle Pump On Paulina

RPBA over a month ago told everyone on Everyblock that to chill about the missing bicycle pump. A vital component was broken and it was simply removed for repairs.

Dero's homebase is Minneapolis, Mn and these repair stations are actually made in the USA with American steel. Not sure about all the components of the station though. Maybe that's the problem.

What good is a bicycle repair station if it can't pump air? The only sign of progress, one of the black rubber covers was replaced (on one of two arms where the bicycle rests during repair)

Sherwin Chase Neighbors Meet Up

Holsman House in its final days

The Touhy Park Advisory Council, Sherwin Chase Neighbors, (been around since at least 1996) and surrounding  community will meet on Monday, November,10th 7:00pm at Touhy Park 7348 N Paulina. 773-262-6737.

This is our last meeting of the year, I will give a short report on what has happened so far this year.I really need your help for next year, what events would you like to see at the park, I need ideas and input from all of you.We have a great Supervisor & Rec leader that go the extra mile, BUT we
need your help.

We will discuss safety concerns and crime in our area, especially with the Holidays coming up, I'll give some tips on how to stay safe.Please come to the meeting to report any Bad Buildings, Gang Activity, Drug Dealing, or any other illegal activity in our area.I will submit your reports to the
24th District Police Commander.  THANK YOU.

Tony Iniquez,
Sherwin Chase Neighbors

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"I can't effin' believe it!"

1300 block of W Farwell Ave
site of water management construction

The ritual of tearing down no parking tow zone signs commences once again. This hinders the seemingly never ending construction. Its an old city and these repairs are overdue. The electrical substation project has been on going since 2012. And now the fire hydrants, water and sewer system are being fixed and replaced.

Typical response from enraged motorists is to spit in the eye of authority and tear them down. Meanwhile the heavy machinery and workmen have no where to park. Further delaying the rebuilding of city infrastructure.

If someone rips down a parking sign who puts it back up? Surely that's not the end of the matter? Don't like a parking law or the rules of the road? Just take it down? Local constables were notified on the situation and they took appropriate action. Far better to receive a ticket than a tow.

Previous posts -
Reader submitted photo of revolt against street cleaning
The people rise up against People's Gas

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Bar Is Open @ Philly's Best

The booze signs are hung and lit. Eight beers on tap. The current line up : Stella Artois, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Blue Moon, Revolution Brew Double Fist, Lagunitas IPA, Two Brother Side Kick, Matilda, and Founders. Two cops stopped by to grab a bite. The New England Bronco game was on. A man with glasses alone tapping away at his computer. College age kids at the corner walk-up table.

If anyone opening a restaurant wants to know what the customers are thinking you can't escape the site that is Yelp. Most common complaints; philly cheese steak too small and you can't have different games on different televisions. It looks like people like what they're getting. They just want more of it. What do people rave about? The fry/burger bar and customer service.

We are lucky that Philly's Best moved from Evanston to Rogers Park (6800 N Sheridan Chicago, Il). We needed another neighborhood retreat for good grub. drinks, a place to unwind and catch the game whatever it happens to be.

Last edited 11/3/14 1:09 pm

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Friday, October 31, 2014

How much does this thing weigh?

Well Mr Morse Market says about 750 lbs.

Takes a forklift to move it and its not for sale. Where does it come from? The owner is mum.

Its for for the kids he says. Each year a gigantic pumpkin is plopped down onto Morse Avenue. For how many years?

Let's be careful out there folks. Dangerous wind gusts.

Largest pumpkin in USA is over one ton.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The End Is Nigh

Garden Closes November 2nd

Rules of the garden.

Absolutely no trash in the super sacks! Compost cannot be processed with trash - if there is trash in here, it is not picked out - all of the great organic matter and nutrients are thrown out instead

Clearing out your bed :

-Cut off plant stems at soil level and leave the roots in the ground. OR pull out plants, but SHAKE OFF ALL SOIL INTO BED. Excess soil in the super sack slows the decomposition process when making compost and leaves your bed with less soil for next year.

-Leave perennials: chives, horseradish,strawberries, mint, thyme, oregano, tarragon, raspberries, and sage in the ground. They will grow back next year.

-Bring rosemary indoors - it will not survive a Chicago winter.

-Lay trellises flat on bed.

-Absolutely no extra pots, fertilizer, bags or containers may be left in walkways.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jargowood Meeting November 5th

Jnauts and Friends

VOTE!  Election Day is Tues Nov 4 - Early voting opportunities exist.  Strangely, you are supposed to vote only once.

Jargowood will meet on WEDNESDAY Nov 5 at the usual time and place - see meeting notice and agenda attached.

Standard time starts (and Daylight Savings Time ends) this weekend in the wee hours of Sat nite/Sunday morn.  Fall back!  Set your clock back one hour.

Halloween is Friday - watch out for tiny goblins.

SAVE THE DATE - Sunday December 14, 2014 - Jargowood's Annual Holiday Party @ 3 pm

Lorraine Dostal


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Who's Vandalizing The Witch's Hat?

0.375 Liter Amsterdam Vodka - for when you want to get
wasted wherever you happen to be

Its no secret this house has suffered neglect and parts of it are falling apart. Slats of wood have been rotting beneath the back porch for years. These slats were ripped off in the past week. They didn't just throw themselves onto the ground one day.

Back gate still won't shut after someone removed the latch. A caulking gun sits on the garage roof after some home improvement? Incidentally the orange notice on the garage is gone. Maybe it won't be knocked down after fall (after all)?

Vandalism and hanging out on Witch's Hat property isn't new either. Check out the old graffiti under the porch. Keeping an eye on vacant properties and picking up the trash routinely is key to stopping further destruction. Halloween is right around the corner. Let's be extra vigilant and take up the slack the bank just won't.

Last edited 10/27/14 12:53 pm

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Single Families @ Sherman & Austin

Early August there were only two houses at Sherman and Austin. Now there is a third. Two car garages in the back. No listings yet on Third Meridian Realty's (for sale sign out front) web site.

This land is (according to multiple real estate sites) is zoned R-5. Vague description below from the city of Evanston.
R5 General Residential District - The R5  general residential district is  intended  to  provide for infill development of a mix of multi­family residential structures at a medium density, including  townhouses, two­ family dwellings, three­ story  walk­ups  and courtyard  apartment buildings  that  characterize the  traditional multiple ­family housing development found in this district.

No listings for the houses @ 409, 411, 415 N Sherman, Evanston, Illinois yet. It was once grass and a parking lot. The parking lot sold last year for 215,000 in just 57 days. According to Redfin,"There is a sewer cover from the days when it was a staff parking lot for St. Francis Hospital before the parking garage was built". Redfin also points out that these properties are just two and a half blocks from the Purple line.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

North Of Howard - The Gated Community Of Rogers Park

Road Closed at Clark and Juneway

The other side of North of Howard now has an unmanned checkpoint. Couple weeks ago Jonquil and Sheridan had a police manned barricade. Per Mike Klotz the road closed fence is pushed back to the middle of Juneway at night. Has been for the past few days at least.

North of Howard is the site of a disproportionate amount of gunfire and violence on the far north side. A weird sub neighborhood (no man's land) that became part of Chicago by default.  Two major chokepoints; to the east Sheridan and Jonquil and here (Clark and Juneway). Cruisers are usually positioned at Howard/Paulina and Ashland.

Evanston Police conduct impromptu seat belt and speed checks on Sheridan by the graveyard time and again. How about gun checks going in and out of NOH?

NOH becomes a de facto gated community with these street barriers. Evanston years ago walled off its entry point to NOH at Chicago and Mulford. Streets can tie communities together or divide them. Another example of poor Evanston/Chicago connectivity? Custer is north/south north of Howard and Damen is south bound only south of Howard.

Last edited 10/25/14 2:30 pm

Chicagoans and Noh'ers not welcome in Evanston?
No cross walk, no bike path, just vegetation to block the view.
Foreground Chicago, Background Evanston

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Setting Up - First Art Reception @ Roman Susan Annex

This Saturday the 25th from 5-8 pm there will be a reception (for THRESHOLD) at the new Roman Susan Annex on Howard. 1607 w Howard Street its the first thing you run into going east from the "L".

Preparation for the big shindig began this past afternoon. (Before the partial solar eclipse finally showed itself). Personally this writer doesn't care what the artist or art critic thought he/she was exploring, confronting or trying to define. The main thing is the art looks cool and is well done.

This photo says that the hand above thinks its a spider and its waiting to attack unsuspecting passerby.

"The Breakers" Own Private Beach?

October 5th 2014

How do you get from here to there? How far out into Lake Michigan does someone have to wade so as to not trespass? Does the private beach get bigger when its frozen? If the lake overtakes the beach for a few decades destroying the sign what then?

Any type of apocalypse anything goes. In the meantime what happens to interlopers? Are they captured and held in dungeon of the Breakers? Do they walk the plank at Farwell Pier? Fall off a boat in the middle of the night and wash ashore? Is that okay?

Internet standbys Chicago Curbed, Yo Chicago, and RogersPark.com have all done write ups on this exclusive, off limits beach. Funny thing is most days its empty. Maybe the lords in the tower like it that way. Of course this writer walked all the way back to Jarvis back to Sheridan and then down to Sherwin to photograph the other side. Naturally.

Please continue reading for more pictures of the Forbidden Zone

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Some Corporation Name" Or Gallagher's Is Open Again

"We reserve the right to hold your I.D. cards
 until you leave premises"

Whatever its called its been open about three weeks. Atmosphere laid back. Low key accordion music seeps out into the dead Tuesday night air. The bar could be somewhere, anywhere in the desert or Southwest. The other octagon has a barely functioning neon parrot (Corona). If this place was really turning over a new leaf you would think maybe a different paint job or updated neon signs.

Two men came out to see why someone was taking pictures. "You like taking pictures of scenic places or something?" Nah, just wanted to see what was going on with this place. What's its name? Is it still called Gallaghers? "No man, its some corporation name". "You should come in for a drink." No man that's okay, tired, what night is it anyways? Oh yeah Tuesday night, gotta go, thanks guys.

Not completely hostile. But with smart alec answers like that would you want to go inside for a beer? If someone were taking pics outside Mayne Stage or any of the other various drinking establishments in the RP would someone be dispatched to see why the curiosity (about a new bar opening)? 1770 W Greenleaf's last drinking establishment Gallagher's was shut down November 2012 after a stabbing. Sidenote; the sidewalk makes an irregular diagonal jag in near the bar. Makes for a weird parking spot.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Third Time's The Charm

Sports bar with environmentally progressive decor is very cool and bizarre. 6800 N Sheridan (still inscribed "Community, Awareness, Respect and Environment.") has the buzz, atmosphere, food, drink, staff to make it at this high rent corner of the RP.  Its still self serve. Instead of a coffee bar a fry bar and a booze here section.

Late Sunday lunch  consisted of deep dish pizza (sweet tomato sauce!), Philly cheese stake (steak i mean and worth the ten minute wait), the Bears game (well....). What more can you ask for? Rogers Park has a new hangout. Film crew was there for an interview at the back table.

If you haven't come out of your crypt or coffin in the past few months your missing some good grub. So dust off the cobwebs, shake your creaking bones, take a long overdue shower, be sure to lock the mausoleum door (remember what happened last time?) and take a stroll down to Pratt and Sheridan for some good vibes and lunch or dinner.

Last edited 10/20/14 8:42 am

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stakeout On Wayne

Another sleepless night waiting for something or nothing to happen. My partner snaps some pics to pass the time. Sitting in the jalopy for the second night in a row on a likely bum tip. No one fits the description of the perp or their "friend". College kids, drug addicts, drug pushers, punks, hipsters, hipster wannabes, blue collar, white collar, nondescript, and senior citizens walk by.

Rain slows to a fine drizzle. The "L" train stops less and and less frequently dropping off less and less pedestrians and possible suspects. Fred finally notices the person of interest in between paper airplanes and footballs on the small dash monitor. She enters the building through the back entrance. Good thing this detective had the foresight to set up a throwaway cam on Glenwood. Hope this pans out. Nothing worse than a wasted stake out.

Please continue reading for more of Fred's pics

Monday, October 13, 2014

In The Heart Of Rogers Park?

You wake up and its forty years ago today at 7242 N Damen. A polite black dog with a red collar sips a martini at the bottom of the ashtray where your lit cigarette rests. Everyone is smoking inside the bar.

Reality starts shifting between the past and the present. Half the time you are in a front room with your smoke with people you don't know. They look at the smoking stick in your hand with horror.

Streets are deader today in many parts of the city because so many corner bars closed. Converted to living space or torn down to become residential. We weren't necessarily better off with more bars. Made for a more active urban life though. Right now Damen and Rogers is pretty barren.

This vintage gasper receptacle is for sale at the buy it now price of 22.95.