Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guitar & Drum Lessons On Howard.

                 This doorway is part of the beautiful Lost Eras building. Many times as you pass by you can hear bands rehearsing or practicing upstairs. Bit of green in the hallway is cheery (which you can see if you keep reading and you can also see closeups of the ads for guitar and drum lessons) 

Talk Shop! Open Mic Event @ Sol Cafe.

Sundays Fundays @ Sol Cafe.

               Every Sunday there is story time at Sol Cafe @ 1615 w Howard (just east of the Howard Red Line) 1030 am - 1230 pm. So bring your kids and get some hot cocoa and coffee.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Emergency Fire Board Up @ Farewell & Greenview.

               A lot of damage evident here. Doors & windows busted, smoke & fire damage, the Dog On Duty gate off its hinges.  In the lead story from yesterday two people in West Ridge were pronounced dead from carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty boiler. And now this fire started from faulty wiring exacerbated by a probable gas leak. Geothermal heating is looking better and better everyday. Thankfully everyone is safe, including the dog.

              Please continue reading to see a close up of A Emergency Fire Board Up's Insignia and of their company van. In the old days we used to use the phone book or yellow pages (some people still do) to look up services and businesses we needed. Many companies vied for first spot in their various sections by adding an A in front their name or in this case A is the name. For example, A Lamp & Fixture Shoppe at 3181 N Elston. 

Farwell & Greenview Fire - Aftermath.

                 Pictures taken about 3pm. Board up company was wrapping up. Never knew they had a stencil like that. The smell of sour soot was in the air. The worker was using a nail gun to put up the last board while the photographer was there and the yellow caution plastic cordon was still up. More pics after the jump break.

Persona Non Grata

For closeup of fire hydrant please continue reading.
Le autocollant du bouche d'incendie.  (Trying to increase pageviews from France.) This sticker reminds me of those missing kid pictures from milk cartons. If there were a 49th ward site like the 8th ward site in Evanston then perhaps a neighbor would write a missive as follows to Joe Moore. "Dear Joe Moore I know this is on the Evanston side of the street but could you call up Ann Rainey and see what she could do about these awful rap stickers all over Howard, especially by the nice 415 w Howard building? Thanks, signed concerned citizen"

Farwell Ave L Substation - Construction

       These pictures are from 1-26-13. Some ground level photos of this monstrous project. A bobcat sits lifeless below the viaduct. Two gigantic machines of unknown variety sit idle on top. Below the jumpbreak is the narrow canyon the tenants navigate to reach the back door of their apartment buildings. The majority of the surrounding apartment dumpsters are under the Pratt viaduct currently. If you haven't already checked out How to build a substation then you are missing out on a great day by day documentary on this substation's creation. For the last two pictures please continue reading.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jargowood Meeting In February.

Jargowood (Birchwood and Ashland) looking west toward 415 w Howard, Evanston Il. 

                           February 5th 7pm @ Chalet 7350 N Sheridan.

7303 N Damen Commercial Space.


              This commercial space is currently a vanilla box. This would be a great location for coffee shop  restaurant or bar. Every section of Rogers Park should have an unofficial community center which nowadays is one of the three (Act One Cafe/Heartland Cafe/Charmers Cafe). This particular area possesses none of these types of businesses. Damen/Rogers/Chase is an emerging area. And for it to emerge its commercial spaces need decent businesses. 

             We see the typical response to the improvement of commercial space. $wine is commonly etched or  written on buildings in response to the rehab of a long neglected building. This building never had a red X on it but the one next to it did. (That picture of the $wine is a close up of the outside black trim.) At press time there was some purple scribbling on one of the windows. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. (Well according to DNAinfo it is Damn & Rogers.) If you don't fix a building up you may get a red X, fix it up too much you get marked with a $wine. 

CO (Carbon Monoxide) Poisoning In West Ridge. Natural Gas Is A Primitive Way To Heat Our Homes.

               This has been covered by all major news sources, including DNAinfo, Huffington Post, CBS, Tribune, Suntimes, WGN, Beloit Daily News,, ABC, NBC and of course many of these articles are on Everyblock already. Whenever unexpected death occurs it is tragic especially if its because of how we heat our homes. The fire dept was called yesterday morning 1/28/13 to 2500 block of W. NorthShore Chicago Il. according to numerous news accounts. Confirmation by autopsy of the two bodies will need to be done before official cause of death can be determined. But CO poisoning from a defective boiler is suspected.

WGN news van transmitting signal at the scene
 of the tragedy (Northshore & Campbell)  @8:20 pm CST 1/28/13. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ashland and Fargo Looking North.


              This picture was just from this past Friday. Now its 45 degrees and the snow is gone.

Suburban Pace Bus @ Chicago's Howard Bus Stop.

             This Pace 215 bus line  is one that some people may not know about. Living near the Howard Gateway transit center is really convenient for getting from place to place. This bus line takes you all the way to Old Orchard Shopping Mall in Skokie. Route 290 via Pace takes you to O'hare.

Shai Town Realty.


               A memorable name and what better logo than the city skyline?  (The cab above was parked on Glenwood east just north of Morse.)  Researching their site, they do have a commercial listing here in Rogers Park at Morse and Clark.          

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Restaurant Sarajevo - Felony Level Graffiti Tag.

             Sometimes citywide problems supercede community problems. This writer has noticed over the past few years that this particular building @ Lawrence & Washtenaw has been getting tagging over and over. Today the worst tag yet.

Address Unknown - Damen & Chase.

        This building's corner door is newly adorned with Latin Kings graffiti, though not seen on this picture which was taken a week earlier. No address on this small commercial space attached to the slightly rundown apartment building which has an unofficial auto shop in its garage. The inside of this space has been framed out and outfitted with brand new electrical and insulation hangs from the ceiling. But this space sits vacant today as it has for years. At least the fire hydrant and fire lane have been repainted. The do not enter sign however has fallen victim to sticker vandalism. Hopefully some day soon a shop of some sort will inhabit this forlorn and dead corner to bring life back to this area of Rogers Park.

Do Not Enter sign is depressed because
a human put a mail sticker on it.

Signs Of Life @ 7303 and 7247 N Damen.


      Red X's on buildings can be a successful impetus to get owners to make improvements. Especially if neighboring buildings with the same red x's are knocked down (7312-18 N Rogers). Taking photos yesterday the same kid asked me why I was taking photos. Understandable that the owners are ill at ease. Neat two tone van was parked at the same spot each day. This is really a cool part of Rogers Park, having something to do or shop at would make it that much more interesting. 7303 N Damen was recently upgraded and in the past ten days the north part of 7247 N Damen has been following suit. 7303 N Damen has nice handsome black trim and new windows and doors. No sign there that anyone is looking to lease it out yet. Someone etched "SWINE" into the black trim. This is a fairly common response when something is improved, and the S many times is a dollar sign. No good deed goes unpunished. These properties are up for sale as advertised on the former drug store and current bodega at the corner. Please continue reading to see this for sale sign up close.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Double Decker Newspaper Box.

(New alien height newspaper boxes should sound the alarm)
To read more about newspaper box blight read derivative works

              In order to increase readership the Onion and the Reader have joined forces to create the first double decker newspaper box. The Onion and Reader have decided that in order to be fair fifty percent of the time the Onion will be on top and the fifty percent the Reader. "Its a win win situation", the Onion's president said this Saturday morning, "especially in the advent that our current projections from the Onion's genetic scientists that humans will continue to become taller each successive generation are correct." 

              This writer spoke with Mr Onion Onionsen ( the president of the Onion) over a webchat earlier today, "This gives us a higher profile with readers. Of course we have learned through trial and error that these boxes have to be welded together and then welded to an iron fence or some such thing. Earlier models were simply makeshift and high winds or clumsy humans would cause them to tip over and injure passerby." Referring to customers as humans leads this writer to believe that the Onion might actually be a propaganda tool run by aliens. Later on in the webchat Mr Onionsen wished to take a break, instead of the screen going blank like usual it was still on. This writer saw him speaking in an inhuman voice to someone off camera. He then took a live rat by the tail, his jaw came unhinged and he ate it whole. 

            These extra-terrestrials  will slowly change modern society to suite their needs until its too late. They are already here publishing the Onion to gain a foothold on Earth. Through their sarcastic fake news they lull the earth men into a false sense of security. When actual papers start publishing more and more bizarre Onion like stories the common man will simply write that off as desperate reporters aping the style of the Onion for sales, but in reality its really the aliens taking over.

Morse L CTA Retail Now For Lease.



Construction trouble lights still line the ceiling. Scaffolding and work clothes left behind are evidence that interior cement work is wrapping up at these two commercial spaces now for rent on Morse. This particular space is right next to the podiatrist's office on the south side of Morse. Inside we can see the top of the old radiator on the right hand side, (in total this space has four radiators). The retail space at the corner of east Glenwood and Morse is for lease as well. Workmen recently installed black iron fencing in the alcoves at the Morse and Jarvis stations. It has been many years since these spaces have seen tenants, great to see the city reinvesting in the L, the backbone for transportation and commerce for Chicago. already posted pics of spaces ready for lease in Edgewater, and here is the link regarding the spaces for rent by the Morse L station. For more pictures of the adjacent retail space please continue reading. 

Starbucks @ Broadway & Devon - Update.

Rendering courtesy of Starbucks to open this coming summer 2013.

               Just released via mass media, an updated rendering of the new Starbucks at the previous Maxwell hotdog stand. The driveway is quite long, hopefully long enough so that traffic doesn't back up onto Broadway unlike the Dunkin Donuts on Clark south of Devon. Signage indicating that you just entered Edgewater (leaving the confines of Rogers Park) would be posted as well.  Starbucks has a store made out of container boxes already on the west coast in Seattle (Tukwila suburb) in 2011.

            From the DNAinfo article "The Starbucks would also have a walk-up window and outdoor seating in winter months." Hopefully this was an error, because outdoor seating in the winter months would be unpopular with the local populace and not likely to draw many takers. This would also present a public health safety hazard, promoting sitting outdoors in the bitter cold. Perhaps the outdoor seating would have heat lamps or seat warmers like in fancy import cars however. Glad that there is a walk up window however.

Update 1/26/13 11am - However cool and innovative heated seats and and overhanging heat lamps would be it is indeed an error and's article has been amended. No outdoor seating in winter months folks. 

Bruno's Fate?

Est 1956.

Kona Brewing Co.


              The only building that Loyola doesn't own on Sheridan by the Loyola L stop. Bruno's is a classic liquor store slash bar, not too many of these left in the city and it would be a shame to lose this one. The building does have beautiful terracotta. Did someone previously post as to the origin of the Maher advertising that was revealed after the other commercial buildings were torn down? Holdouts sometimes are the most interesting because they are the only unique feature left on an otherwise bland dull block. Lets hope that Bruno's is stubborn enough to not sell and remains in place. A beautiful building and an interesting part of Chicago history deserves to stay in business if it wants to. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Living Art @ Sol Cafe.


                          Like most things in life there is more to Cafe Sol than you can take in at first glance. Treat yourself to a bit of green this winter's day by visiting this new high end coffee shop on Howard. Moss as living art.  Ashley Lieber is the artist. This is better than a chia pet or a bonsai tree. One of the baristas there mentioned that as this is organic art it will change slowly over time and needs minimal maintenance. For a closer look at the art, please continue reading. Makes sense that Cafe Sol took 6 months to get ready for their grand opening, the interior decorating, duct work, exposed brick, etc, etc is top notch. These pictures were taken this morning 1/25/13.

We're On A Road To Nowhere - The Stub.

             This funny outcropping can also be given the monicker the watchtower or the lookout. Yes this is the most odd, awkward part of the Gateway Mall at Howard and Paulina. As others have surmised, this truncated catwalk looks to have been a bridge to the Howard L never completed. Cars, pedestrians, buses etc pass by it and under it everyday, some never questioning the bizarre nature of this canopy. Its a great vantage point to view downtown Chevanston but doesn't serve much of a purpose otherwise. The other part of the catwalk links up the Gateway mall and the parking garage's second floor. This second floor may be accessed either by auto, stairs or by the urinevator. The urinevator being the least savory option. This was brought up by regular poster Davey back on January 19th on Everyblock. 

Underworld Blogger Joke.

Chicago Reader dispenser in original condition circa 2013

               Reblogging an interesting old blog post. This was found on the extensive Rogers Park blog archive. Never followed Rogers Park in 1000 words from the get go and we are constantly surprised at what we find in the archives. This old post from 2007 is hilarious. Its saved on Chevanston's computer for posterity but please follow the link for this great comicstrip from the Reader. Currently Chevanston's staff consists of one  person and an occasional freelance detective and photographer. No openings are available at press time for positions however as the budget is tight.

Bonfire @ Touhy Park January 29th.

     A reminder to visit Touhy Park this coming Tuesday for a bonfire. The Chicago Park District is putting this event on. It will be from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. 

"In 1948, the district acquired 6.35 acres in Rogers Park, which was among the city's neighborhoods most in need of open space and recreational facilities. ........ Touhy Park was not completed until 1954. In the 1960s, the park district built an addition converting the original comfort station into a fieldhouse. " 

excerpt from the Chicago Park District page explaining the history of Touhy Park.

com·fort sta·tion  (Noun) - A public restroom for travelers.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jarvis Coin Laundry Now With Wi-Fi.

               October 2012 (confirmed by speaking with management) Jarvis Coin Laundry added wi-fi. Sudz Laundry @ 1425 w. Morse also has free wi-fi. So if the coffee shop is packed and your internet goes down, take your laundry over to Jarvis Coin Laundry and fire up your laptop. This addition to the laudromat was overlooked due to many other pressing issues, like the closing of the Jarvis L and the surrounding construction, graffiti concerns, sticker blight, restoring fire hydrants, etc. Also there is usually someone loitering at that corner, one man who stands there lives at a nearby nursing home on Fargo. He is always panhandling for change, leading passerby to just avoid this side of the street.

              While researching wifi in laundromats this writer came across a bizarre blog entitled Wow Chicago Huh?, not a very enlighting blog post, but weird. Anyways wi-fi is the modern equivalent to air conditioning or color tv, pretty soon it will be an odd thing to even advertise. Nowadays having wi-fi is simply expected at any reputable coffee shop. This writer remembers in 2002 the first time wi-fi came out. It was like magic, wow you can just access the internet without a wire going directly into your computer. You can just sit there outside drinking a coffee and type away and check your email? Now when wi-fi is added to the local laundromat we hardly notice.


South Evanston looking towards North of Howard.

Farcroft - Danger No Trespassing.


                Pictures from Jan 18th. Will those old address numbers stay? Work continues on our tallest building, some people say it has 12 stories and some say 13. The official count on Emporis and Farcroftbythelake is 13. There is a waiting list of 200 people for showings of the Farcroft.

              This photographer had flipped the safety cone around so that we could see the name Beverly on it. The wheel barrow there is inscribed "bonus". To see the view of the Farcroft as you head home from the beach please continue reading. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Keeping Warm @ Job Site.

Worker tending bonfire. 

       Keep warm today readers, its very cold outside. 12 degrees F right now. 7318 N Rogers Ave is now rubble, the workman is using remnants of the Ho to keep warm this morning. Its snowing a little.The bricks are being neatly bundled and the excess metal already placed curbside for the metal collectors. Keep reading to see more pictures.

Fence Made Out Of Welded Rebar.


            This is the courtyard building on Rogers Ave across from the Red Violin. Never have seen a fence like this.  Its made out of rebar welded to a steel frame. That's ingenuity.

7044 N. Clark Managed By Receiver Since November

            "S H O R T S A L E Seven Apartments And Two Stores Tenants Pays Heat And Electric Subject To Lender Approval " reads the listing for 7044 N Clark on Dreamtown's site. The Rogers Park Metra station is just down the street from this large handsome victorian commercial building. One store front on Greenleaf and one on Clark street. Great location. Lots of foot traffic on Clark & right by rapid transit. Hopefully someone with deep pockets buys it, fixes it up and gets some decent retail in. The vintage features are many -the fire escape, weird fenced in side entrance, the old fashioned below ground entryway, and the minaret turret (so many of these have bitten the dust.) The real estate listing from Dreamtown is lackluster as most short sales are and provides only one uninspired view.  The most important photograph for this listing would be that of the building with the Metra train and station in the background.

The red letter in the window below the Kizza's Unisex Salon sign reads as follows.

" November 13, 2012

Notice of court action regarding property 7044 N Clark in Chicago Il 60626

These premises are the subject of a foreclosure action in the circuit court of Cook County Bank Financial FSB v. 7044 N Clark LLC Case number 12CH 35700

Dear Currrent Residents

As you may be aware your building is currently subject to a foreclosure action the judge presiding over the action deemed it appropriate to appoint a receiver to operate the building while the case is preceding. As such on November 8, 2012 I Jeff Cagan was appointed by the court to act as a receiver for your building/property with this appointment there is a change of control of your building as I am now authorized by the court to operate the building/property.

In order to properly operate and maintain the building I have engaged the services of Cagan Management Inc. to manage the building You should direct all building inquiries, maintenance requests and rent payments to them. Cagan Mangagment is distributing a welcome package with their contact information and instructions for payment of the rent. If you have not received this information please call the number below. As the month of November is approaching we remind you that rent is expected per your lease agreement. Check or money orders should be made payable to 7044 N Clark St Building going forward.

Furthermore we advise to disregard any request of compensation or documentation from previous owners as they are unauthorized by the court to distribute such material at this time. Finally this is not a notice to vacate the premises. You may wish to contact a lawyer or legal aid or housing counselor to discuss any rights  you may have.

I appreciate your cooperation with this matter and transition. If you have any questions please contact me at

Sincerely Jeff Cagan court appointed receiver
3856 Oakton st.
Skokie Il 60076"

For more pictures please continue reading.