Friday, November 30, 2012

Ward Eight Bar on Howard - Soft Opening

                    This is the first day that this blogger noted that the temporary curtains/paper on the windows have been taken down. One can see inside if you cup your hands, but no lights on so taking a picture we just see a reflection of the Popeyes across the street. There is a paper sign on the window directing deliveries to call a certain number, otherwise the facade is completely blank. Holiday decorations in front are subdued and in good taste. According to Ward Eight's Facebook page doors will be open tonight from 8pm til Midnight. Finally the vicenarians will finally have a place to get a beer on Howard..

This blogger did attend the GRAND (soft) opening. There wasn't much to photograph on opening night. All openings nowadays are two parters soft then grand opening.  If you didn't know any better you wouldn't be able to tell it was open driving by. The windows were blocked off with dark blinds so the inside was only visible through the  door. There some rough characters loitering outside Tally Ho but an Evanston cop came by to chat with the door man and they took off. Inside there are three booths natural wood as are the small tables in the middle and on the left is the bar which appeared to corian. A large group was having a merry time to the left of the door at a larger table. 

           A chalkboard advertised sandwiches, cheese, meat and a few entrees. Four craft beers on tap and plenty of mixed drinks and wine. Essentially it looks like a decent yuppie bar you would find in Portland, Oregon. It is a small intimate space and if successful perhaps they could expand into the next vacant building. This is first time this blogger ever had a beer on Howard, (it was a Flywheel IPA) and it felt very strange. Parking wasn't an issue and this writer walked past a hipster couple that had just left. The atmosphere was festive, inviting and there was at least one booth and two small tables still open but the bar was packed. An intriguing beginning to the renaissance of Howard. And for the first time there are Christmas lights on both sides of Howard. Chevanston is finally becoming a reality. 

This is pretty much how it looked except a lot better. The tables are square, natural wood and the chalk board was to the left of the bar, this rendering doesn't do it justice. Pictures will become available of the interior eventually. The poles in real life aren't so obvious because in this rendering it almost looks like a strip club. Basically a smaller toned down Act-One Cafe. Not bad Evanston and Howard, someday you may be as nice as Morse. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chevanston police force make drug bust

           Evanston police ventured over to the Chicago side of the border yesterday to bust a marijuana dealer.To read all the details please check out Evanston now As with most drug busts, cash, guns and drugs were confiscated and the perp arrested.The perp resided in West Ridge on W Pratt Ave.

Chevanston stock photo of Evanston Police Car in Chicago.
            The Evanston police force had a special warrant to arrest in the Chicago jurisdiction. How many Chicago police are poaching criminals from the Evanston side? Are there not enough criminalsin Evanston that the police have to come to Chicago for them?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Chicago, the leader in late breaking forensic news.

The neighborhood news market is getting crowded and competitive, Everyblock (news by hearsay), Newstar (old fashioned newspaper), Broken Heart of Rogers Park (crime blog), Curbed Chicago (real estate and development news), Chicago News Report (news for scared suburbanites), and now we have a new entity that will be covering the entire city. One might expect an entity named DNA-info to be covering the latest in genetic testing, forensic news, gene therapy, medical breakthroughs, or in the future designer genes. But neighborhood news?  So far for Rogers Park the articles that Benjamin Woodward have produced are well written and informative. But who could have predicted such a bizarre name for a news organization? Per the Reader they have been stealing away real reporters from the big newspapers like the Sun Times and scooping them as well. This invasion of local new market is coming from New York City (phew!). Joe Ricketts billionaire of TD Ameritrade is financing this operation.Yes its the same Ricketts who now owns the Cubs (thats the son of Joe Ricketts). will stay strictly in the city limits. So Evanston Now doesn't have anything to worry about but perhaps Uptown Update does. It will be interesting to see if Everyblock carries's stories (probably not). 
Chicago's most up to date genetic profiles
CSI for Rogers Park (B. Woodward)

Google Maps and Chevanston. (Google maps doesnt acknowledge existence of Chicago west of Howard)

                     Mapquest atleast works for all Chevanston addresses. Google Maps is accurate for Howard addresses east of the EL tracks, but is confused by the Howard addresses for Chicago west of the tracks.1637 w Howard is the highest numbered address east of the Howard EL Stop, yet if you type in 1700/1800/1900/2000 etc. it will show the Paulina and Howard intersection as the location. Yahoo maps is even worse than Google Maps and is even less predictable with its output. The Evanston side of Howard atleast can be mapped without problems
with Google Maps

North of Howard ain't all bad. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thoreau's Corner complemented by Natural Trash Geyser

Perpetual Trash Fountain
Mr. Thoreau's great legacy lives on just across the street.

              Henry David Thoreau would be proud to have his namesake on this corner, especially since its so close to our unique natural trash formations, native to Rogers Park. Many places wish they could have such fountains that so regularly spill forth trash that you can set your time by it. The 49th ward has workers that routinely empty these natural geysers which hours later spew forth all sorts of trash. This eruption was viewed and observed this past Sunday. This time there were happy birthday cut outs and papers seen on the pavement as if nature were saying Happy Birthday World!. That's the great fun with these garbage fountains, you never know what will be frothing up to the surface from deep below the Earths crust. Its too bad Henry David Thoreau never visited our fair city or lived long enough to see his legacy inspire such dedicated hard work from the caretakers of this wonderful local treasure.

North Of Howard Loses Blogger With An Attitude?

          RogersParker said (on the village messageboard)"The people who have been giving me a hard time for singing the praises of this neighborhood when I first moved up here should be pleased to know that I am not nearly as enamored with NOH as I was. In fact, I'm looking into moving to Evanston sooner than later. I should be able to take my dog for a walk at 9 or 10 pm without literally fearing for my life."

RogersParker also said "As for NOH itself? In the 2+ years I've been up here, it seems to be getting worse, not better. Broken windows are going unrepaired in a couple of businesses along Paulina. There's litter everywhere that nobody's picking up. " and " I called Rogers Park Holdings a slum landlord and it's TRUE! "

Example of Sticker Vandalism from Tales from the Top

          It is nice to see that RogersParker is seeing the reality of the situation on NOH. If it is ruled by Slum landlords  then doesn't that consequently make it a slum? This blogger would not blame her for leaving. NOH will get better but only after a sizeable chunk of the slum landlords are given the old heave-ho.

          RogersParker also said "And on Halloween I stood no more than 20 feet away from a young man with a gun while he was firing it into a crowd of people (two people were injured in the shooting)."

          We have to be careful and not put ourselves in harms way, we may want to think the best of people and to not judge them but also use common sense and not to walk in between two different factions of thugs. This blogger refused to do this in the past and had to hole up in JB Albertos because there were two rival gang factions at Wayne and Morse. This writer simply called police and waited until both groups were dispersed. Similar action shouldve taken place in the above situation (avoidance). Overall a bummer to see a thread about Happy Thanksgiving on the village message board devolve into I'm leaving Rogers Park.

 (Blog of RogersParker)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

LaShawnda McKibbey. Sockpuppetry paranoia. Revised.

"JimA, not sure about RP Advocate, but I'm pretty sure "LaShawnda" is JeffO, who was banned from these boards months ago. Something about "her" writing style that reminds me of him, aka Phillip McGregor. Fake profiles/ multiple aliases are weak, imo."   Quote from RogersParker on Everyblock.
11/25/12 at approx 10:24 am

The village founder Phillip McGregor Rogers would never stoop to impersonate anyone on Everyblock
especially with an insensitive name meant to cause insult like "LaShawnda". Sockpuppetry does run rampant on the Village community board nowadays and thats because of the censorship that takes place there. Chevanston is where Phillip Rogers has decided to stay and thats it. What is also weak is RogersParker being on her high horse all the time speaking with some kind of "authority" on Everyblock against anyone who disagrees with her.

RogersParker's worst nightmare!

Blog Spam Is Weird

To help bloggers build HUGE muscles  for the
 MASSIVE amounts of work it takes to maintain a  blog

                "Hey there! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website such as yours take a massive amount work? I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my journal on a daily basis. I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it! Feel free to visit my web-site ... Sytropin Reviews"

               Never knew about blog spam because this writer is new to being a blogmaster. Yes being a blog master takes MASSIVE amounts of work so this writer will just hop on over to your site and start bulking up. With newly developed, massive muscles this writer will be able to type faster and harder! Yes kind sir that is a bit off topic. Hey great blog by the way check out my B.S. body building crap.

Asexual reproduction of fire hydrants.

Hydrants located at Lunt and Ravenswood

                    Caught for the first time in the midst of asexual reproduction we see a fire hyrdrant from 1939 has sprouted runners with the new offspring about to hatch. The new hatchling is dated 2012. This happens about every 50 to 100 years. Typically the old hydrant takes between a month or two to wither away and die, sad, but the hydrant lives on inside the new hydrant much like in the movie Being John Malkovich.

Note bene - The 1939 hydrant is of the variety that has the collar surrounding the pentagon shaped nut to prevent ragamuffins from turning the water on.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Beyond this gate? A safe & wild habitat for beer bottles and cans.

Who is the key master?
Two beers cans relaxing next to their buddy MGD in the wild

An otherworldly pile of trash, so close yet so far.

           This is the embankment of the CTA Redline on the south side of Rogers Avenue and on the east side of El tracks. The gate is locked barring any neighbors from the wild habitat where beer cans, beer bottles  and fast food wrappers have returned to their native state and roam free from human interference. Maybe there is some powerful bureaucrat out there that can give the common man access so that these fields may be cleansed or perhaps he has some workers that he holds sway over that this may be put right yet! Until that day may Mr Mgd and Mrs Budweiser bask in the sun in blissful harmony. 

Gallaghers Suspended. (with some decent pictures)

Shadow and Light create an atmosphere of mystery surrounding this Dive Bar most Foul 
         A lot of shenanigans have occurred at this bar, maybe now we have a shot at a decent bar for the Green Zone of Rogers Park. Where is the Green Zone of RP? East of Ridge, North of Pratt, West of Ravenswood, South of Touhy is per CPS (Chicago Public Schools).The Metra station area of Rogers Park deserves better than a bar where gunshots ring out, prostitutes roam and stabbings are a regular occurrence. For many people this is their gateway to Rogers Park and Gallaghers sure isn't dragging people off of Metra in droves. Refer here for School Tier Map for Rogers Park.

Ooooh. THATS the building we are talking about. (Non tight shot)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Clear Channel Commands! Watch The Hobbit (Brought to you by Caterpillar Yellow)

Metra train about to arrive at Rogers Park station at Greenleaf

                Proof positive that it doesn't take a long time to get downtown from Rogers Park.  7000 N Ravenswood is the Metra Stop for Rogers Park. Note the patchwork paint on the bridge. The previous graffiti on the bridge was covered over with white paint, is it so hard for the city to use yellow? Caterpillar yellow spray paint available at Ace Hardware is the best matching yellow I have found for the Metra/EL underpasses. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mr. Rogers's (of Everyblock fame) Avatar Is A Hoax

(Previous Icon of Mr. Rogers of Rogers Park) Is it or is it not a hoax?
Obvious Photoshopping!

Update 4/11/13 - (This post was written in the long long ago when the great message board of Rogers Park ruled the neighborhood. It was written tongue in cheek and in the voice of founding father Phillip Mcgregor Rogers though not in a convincing manner so it was deleted. What has happened to one of our leading voices of Beat 2424? Likely not to resurface until another message board akin to Everyblock returns to the 'net. It was interesting to have the site because for a short time everyone in the neighborhood could talk to each other. And we heard from our compatriots from west of Clark for the first time in a meaningful way)

Update 4/12/13 (Posts like this were also written as a method to communicate with the outside world. At that time it was impossible to post on Everyblock with fellow neighbors due to their censorship. Which as was pointed out in this post ironic given that they allowed this offbeat picture of Mr. Rogers giving everyone the finger. When people are thrown off of a site unceremoniously and without just cause alternative means to communicate will be (was) developed. Perhaps Mr. Rogers will never resume his previous online alter-ego just as Applejack and many others have disappeared for good. Mr. Rogers was most active in talks concerning the Ho and other neighborhood events at Damen and Rogers Ave.)

This Exit Sign Has Been Brought To You By......

              This is located on the west side of the Gateway Mall catwalk which traverses the large bus depot. A representation of the unblighted beauty of the city causing a blight upon the city. Is that what we are supposed to get from this?  If this artist is to be true to him/herself then the artwork itself which is an el underpass should have blight such as the sticker itself upon the underpass itself until it disappears into infinity. (And this should've been placed on the el underpass)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Broken Heart is Eight this week,

Dont cry Mr. Heart it will be okay.....

               This week the Broken Heart of Rogers Park turned eight years old. This blogger started following it a year after its debut. Before the advent of Everyblock it was the only place that neighbors had to discuss neighborhood events. For a long time the comments section was the only place available for discussing important issues and getting to know the neighbors.Without the Broken Heart it would've taken Rogers Park a lot longer to make the strides it has made to become the more interesting and safe neighborhood it is today. This blogger is very happy  to have the Broken Heart back up and running. Rogers Park and Morse are no longer broken-hearted and they aren't even hellholes, but it sure was for a long time. Only by pointing out problems can solutions arise and Craig Gernhardt accomplished that and more with his site. Ofcourse the blog wasn't responsible for single-handedly turning around Morse, but it was a very important factor. Its great to have the site back (the sabbatical lasted from winter 2011 - fall 2012) as an alternative to the new mainstream message board of Rogers Park (Everyblock).

Dear Craig , here's hoping that your blog reaches 100!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Loitering Sign by Cafe Sol and Walking Etiquette


            The inside of the cafe can be seen by cupping your hands over your eyes. It looks to be complete, there will be seating in front facing the window with stools and a counter, the cash register area and counter is set up. It simply says Cafe Sol Coming Soon on that very small piece of paper. The most important sign is the one above to the left. Howard  has had a major problem with loitering, drug dealing, public drinking, shootings, prostitution, cruising, cars stalled and double parked to drug deal, car chases etc,etc,etc. While walking down the street this morning (on the south side and headed east aka building side of the street) an older lady decided to just about walk right into this blogger who was following protocol and had to squeeze by her and the bricks. This writer simply said "sorry just trying to walk down the street".

Leaf Hoarding Gone Awry

                    The large amount of leaves has created so much pressure as to break the window (joke). This window is not in great shape and some of the great outdoors is starting to invade the building. 311 was called and the landlord notified. The identity of this building will be kept anonymous because we wouldn't want the bad guys to know.

Klark Street is Kool!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

YMCA run in Rogers Park 11/17/12

Successful hand off of refreshment
Helium balloon tied to back of  bike increases visibility, safety & coolness.

Runners make it through the Rogers EL viaduct 


               On my walk this morning this blogger came across the YMCA Run. Apparently its only the second race. How long is the course? This blogger was picking up trash and  the positive littering (styrofoam cups); the trash bag was offered to the runners and their cups were tossed in.

School Tier Map for Rogers Park and West Ridge

School Tier by Census Tract Chicago 2013-14

Enlarged view of Rogers Park/West Ridge section

            Scanning Rogers Park discussions on the internet this writer came across a discussion regarding the
Chicago Public Schools and the tier system by census tract. As with any bureacracy there is a byzantine
confusing way to figure out where your address is ranked in the tier system or you could just look at the map. Red is tier one, orange is tier two, yellow is tier three and green is tier four. Tier one is the worst and tier four is the best. Easy enough to understand as most real estate agents refer to the safe part of the city as the Green Zone (that borrowed from Iraq War) and Red generally means Danger. Atleast there are no red zones in Rogers Park, The orange zones do correspond with the roughest/most violent parts of Rogers Park and West Ridge (atleast with NOH -North of Howard and with adjacent to Warren Park).

How are these tiers determined?
1)Median family income
2)Percentage of single family houses
3)Percentage of homes where English is not primary language
4)Percentage of owner occupied homes
5)Level of education for adults
6)Achievement scores for students

Skyline of Evanston/Chicago

Farcroft to the Left and 415 w Howard to the right. South Evanston in the foreground.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Evanston Now Reports Plan To Retire Hair/Nail Salons On Howard Rejected

Google Street View of Evanston Side of Howard

"Evanston's Plan Commission Wednesday rejected a plan to drive hair salons off Howard Street." "Marino argued that the hair-care establishments have a "cumulative negative impact" on the neighborhood" Currently there are eleven hair/nail/personal care businesses at the very east end of Evanston on Howard. Are there too many hair/nail salons on Howard? How about a plan to retire the sneaker store monopoly on the Chicago side of Howard?

Local Blogger & Anarchist Threatens Relaunch Of BURP

Local BURP Rogers Park blogger threatens to restart his blog once again.  The infamous blogger's latest warning was posted on Everyblock yesterday, "Hello Neighbors and Friends! I have been quiet for far too long. Suffice it to say that 2012 was a CRAZY, BUSY year in my house. But I am back and the BURP site will soon return as well! Happy Autumn to all!"

Hey Rogers Park can always use another Blogger. Hopefully this one will make good on his threats. Unfortunately per his blog site there will be no grandstanding and will be written in the get along gang* Everyblock tradition. Link to report on the aborted (BURP Rogers Park) coverage of the Tibble Square grand opening is below

                                                                                                 *(credit given to poster DUI)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vicenarians Not Allowed. Age Discrimination @ Tally-Ho Bar

Tricenarians or older!
Excessive ID requirements,
no obsolete pay phones either.



         This bar and its name date back to the 1920's. If only it was like the Green Mill and still retained the original interior, but it wouldn't be impossible for someone with money to restore it as such. It is obvious that this is an older bar, it has been grandfathered into being able to continue selling packaged liquor. In the recent past it was known as Monsen's Tally Ho.
             Researching the internet one cannot find any information about this phenomenon (the age restricted bar in the ghetto). Does anyone have any other information regarding this unusual age restriction or thoughts about the Tally-Ho? Three forms of ID? So that would mean a driver's license, a passport and a birth certificate and/or social security card? That's a lot to get ready for a night out. On the other hand you would have an exclusive place to hang out and something to look forward to when you are finally a tricenarian. Maybe the vicenarians will finally have a place to hangout on Howard when Ward 8 opens up! Tally Ho is located at 1951 w Howard, Chicago IL.

Hira's Cafe on Morse (Sushi and Asian Bistro) opening date TBA

Los Portales Delivery Car parked in front.

An Asian screen blocks clear view of interior



                     Hira's Cafe recently failed an inspection November First.  Rogers Park's peanut gallery believes that this is quite common for new restaurants, so hopefully this doesn't reflect on the quality of its service or food.This Cafe replaces a storefront Church. The new awning popped up unannounced within the past month or so and complements that of neighbor Los Portales. A restaurant district is evolving on Morse that is attracting people from out of the neighborhood and tempting those that would simply pass Morse by on the EL to get off the train and check it out. 

Seriously improved retail space at Winchester and Howard

               Comparing this building to what you see on Google Maps one can quite clearly see a huge difference. Previously this building's first floor was mainly brick. Within the past year (summer 2012) renovations took place which seriously improved the curb appeal of this building. A very important component to developing and maintaining a commercial corridor is having windows to look in and look out. Its why people find city living so interesting, people like to people watch and this will certainly help with public safety when you have more eyes on the street.

            Another observation, one major reason why Howard has never thrived is that while the cops are cooperating, it appears that both cities have their backs toward either. Winchester and Callan don't match up. Clyde and Wolcott don't match up either and all of these streets are one way towards Howard. Dodge is two way but on the Chicago side Damen is only one way south, as if the Evanstonians don't want the Chicagoans coming up to cause trouble on their side. Google Maps can't accurately locate the south side of Howard. Both sides of Howard have odd numbered addresses, even when you type in the address and put Chicago as the city, Google Maps will show you the Evanston side of the street. There are many problems with Google Maps when it concerns the border of Chicago and Evanston like try finding the intersection of Clark and Howard in Chicago, you can't.

Photograph of GoogleMaps mid-Aughts view of this same building

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Commercial Property owned by Evanston on Howard

Fall 2012
This is one of a few buildings owned by the City of Evanston on Howard waiting for someone with a great idea.  This one in particular looks like it would be a natural for a nice restaurant or cafe. Its just down the street the Ward Eight wine bar which will be opening very soon. Anyone have any ideas of what they would like to see here? This is at Callan and Howard and after studying Google street view we can see that this used to be a Beauty Salon.

Mid Aughts.