Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rogers Park (Metra) Textbook Now On Sale!

According to the E-bay  there are five of these wonderful books for sale. Why wouldn't someone write a textbook on the important subject of Rogers Park (Metra) of the Union Pacific Railroad?

Books for Africa is a nonprofit organization (headquartered in St Paul Mn) that sends books and computers to Africa. The sale of this improbable book is supposed to help support this worthy cause. You can also see in the bottom right corner that there is "high quality content by WIKIPEDIA articles!"

List price is 98.54 and they are on sale for 76.28 (22 percent off). Free standard shipping straight from Lakewood, New Jersey. This book is being sold by unbeatable sales which has a 99.4 percent approval rating with over 70,000 sales. The blurb below doubles as a complete description of the Rogers Park Metra station.

Please continue reading to read the E-Bay listing's blurb

Friday, November 29, 2013


Horus the falcon wears a red and white pschent crown standing on his perch. God of the sky and war for Ancient Egypt. Horus's symbol is the wedjat eye (as seen here in Rogers Park) representing protection, royal power and health (Curiously it also is thought to be have been an important tool in Egyptian mathematics).

There is alot to read about Horus. This particular Express Mail version is based on the Horus statue standing outside the Temple of Edfu (Just outside the town of Idfu in southern Egypt along the Nile. Almost all cities in Egypt are located along the Nile). According to Wikipedia the building of the temple began in 237 BC and was completed 57 BC (or ten Ptolemys - from Ptolemy III until Ptolemy XII).

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On The Auction Block

Yesterday Direct Auctioneers (7232 N Western - "antique auctions every two weeks") emptied out most of the Witches Hat. The future is uncertain for this house at the intersection of Fargo and Paulina (corner of Paulina and Rogers). Word on the street is that in a month or so the house itself will go to auction.

Not too many houses have monickers, names or titles; and if so rarely so aptly named. Situated on an irregular corner plot this is a key piece of property this neck of the woods. Will it survive? Or will it be demolished to make way for denser housing like this victorian in Uptown?

Fatal Gun Shots @ Greenview South Of Howard

Reports of shots fired a few days ago (Nov 24th @ approx 10 pm) at Jarvis and Sheridan and now someone shot to death at Greenview just south of Howard. Sometime in the wee hours last night (sometime between 2 and 3 am) a man in his twenties was shot to death. A white pick up reportedly fled the scene. According to the Sun-Times the slaying occurred in an alley.

The consensus via Twitter is that the man was shot in his face and chest. Chicago Tribune has a photo of the crime scene and body. Plenty of shooting at this intersection in the past few months (JB's laundromat and  Rogers just south of Howard). Evidence of one shooting in particular still sits at Greenview and Howard.

Update 11/2/13 1:03 pm - new pictures added from 7500 N block of Greenview from this morning

Update 11/2/13 1:46 pm - just published a decent article regarding the murder last night on Greenview Avenue.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Drop a Line" Note Cards

Concise descriptions of World Religions just in time for the holidays

This is a collection of 4.25" X 5.5" Note Cards by mcl.  All photography is original work.  New cards and photography will be added periodically...please check back on a regular basis. Several of the cards (A,BC,M,N,O,P) depict original art work which can be viewed at the ForWalls web site along with posters (D,F,L) and other items.  

Cards are printed on matte ivory finish, heavyweight embossed stock.  Prices are $2.00 each or 6 Pack (same card) for $10.00; 12 Pack (6 & 6)for $18.00 or 24 Pack (4 X 6) for $34.00.   Please identify card by the letter or letter + # below it.  Quantity prices are only available on orders from web site and include delivery (minimum order of 6) in Rogers Park and the surrounding communities (60626). Outside of that area there will be a mailing cost, the amount of which will depend on the size of the order.

"Drop a Line" Note Cards are available at The Heartland CafĂ© General Store. 

To place an order or for more information contact Michael Luckenbach at (phone number is here) or

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stop The Killings!

Sobering sign at the community garden @ Juneway Terrace and Hermitage. The internet site mentioned on the sign doesn't exist. There is a site though. Perhaps some day in the future North of Howard won't have need of such a grim plea or hotline. Good thing this intersection also has a Buddha nearby to help even out the karma.

Looking at the 650 N Cicero Chicago Il address of  the Break Through Word Harvest Church (on Google Maps) you can catch a glimpse of the Google photo car.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hop Haus Is Now Rollands

Sometime in the past few weeks Hop Haus became Rollands. First mention on the 'net was 11-19-13 on the South Evanston Quick Topic Forum. The signs @ 7545 North Clark Street have been redone but are still advertising the same amenities and services.

Friday fish fry, outdoor dining, rock 'n roll music, 26 wild burgers, sports galore, late nite kitchen, weekend breakfast, worldly beers, Friday lunch and free parking in the shopping center. This is the 4 am (5 am Saturday night) bar for North Rogers Park. The old signage is still in place on the side and rear of the building.

11/25/13 4:07 pm - Update - article about Leona's chain being sold ( 9 of 11 restaurants ). Toia the grandson of the founder of Leona's is keeping Hop Haus now named Rollands. The restaurant is named after long time employee Rolland Alter and now partner in this new venture.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gangs Of Rogers Park

This looks to be the pitchfork of the Gangster Disciples. When its thrown down its the symbol of the Latin Kings. Where was this? Across from the United Church of Rogers Park. Ashland and Clark are dividing lines between rival gang factions. Symbols like these should be removed or covered over immediately. People shoot each other over perceived territory based on these geographical markers.

Chicago Cold War has the best local database on gang graffiti on his Flickr account. Chicago Talks has an excellent article discussing the gang problem of Rogers Park. In the piece police commander Waldera states that half the gang members that hang out here don't live here. Landlords who turn a blind eye to gang activity are a major part of the problem. This graffiti was right down the street from the featured intersection Ashland and Farwell in the Bang Da Hitta video.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Do You Have A Sucker Pole On Your Block?

The street signs Howard Street and Marshfield Avenue outside Sol Cafe (next to the bike rack) are being held up by a sucker pole. This writer informed the Sol's staff of its presence. broke the story about how bike thieves use these unbolted poles to steal bikes. According to the article the crooks routinely check known sucker poles. Gives a whole new meaning to bike route.

Neighbors should check to see how many sucker poles exist within walking distance of their abode. Sucker poles should be called into 311. Crime does keep the economy moving. Some people can't afford to lose their main means of transportation though.

In general not a great idea to lock your bike up anywhere overnight or any real length of time unattended. If you must lock your bike outside don't use a street pole. Even if the pole is bolted it may be loose and easily unbolted.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

6900 N Sheridan - November 2013

The two front white doors keep out the cold while the rehabbers await delivery of the real entrances. Very modern zen garden and fence arrangement for this jumbo 4 flat. A steel staircase replaced the previous worn out shoddy wooden set.

This building built in 1918 was sold for 590,000 back in March 2013 just a few months after it was listed for 599,000. In June the building was completely gutted.

This is where the lonely mannequin lived. Staring off into space she dreamed of a future which didn't involve being stuck wherever some human decided to leave her.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Abandoned House On Pratt

Not much known about this photograph for sale on E-Bay. Ten bucks is the buy it now price. Its a four by five negative of a photograph dated April 13th 1963. Anyone have any idea of where this picture was taken?

Taking a stroll down Pratt via Google Maps there are some sixties buildings on the south side of Pratt east of Ashland. One on the corner of Ashland and one on the corner of Bosworth. There are also some drab brick buildings on the north side of Pratt by Greenview. And there is a sixties condo building at Glenwood and Pratt south side (that's where this writer's money is).

Pan Oceanic Engineering Gifts Fence To Howard Street Urban Garden

Gulzar Singh is president of the company who donated this fence to Howard and Ashland. According to their website they were formed in 1998 and are union affiliated. Pan Oceanic (curious name for a civil engineering firm in the Midwest) is located at 8501 W Higgins suite 630 Chicago, Illinois. It is refreshing to see a corporation based in the actual city working on projects here in Chicago and giving back. How common is it to see donations like this from city contracted companies?

Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co., Inc., is an Illinois based certified MBE/DBE General Contractor specialized in Excavation, Underground Utilities, Concrete & Asphalt Paving, Ornamental Fence & Bridge Work and Landscaping. Please contact us for more information and pricing for your upcoming project.

Trucks have been busy dumping piles of chips (now numbering 15) on the future site of an urban garden. No mention in the article about the donated (superior, first rate) chain link fence. Our local media is not always privy to (or allowed to report on) the back room dealings of Chicago politics. Regardless of such matters we are grateful for the attention and care this neglected site is currently receiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TowBar Is Now A Bar

Last Friday it became official. Towbar received its liquor license. They have two beers on tap, Great Lake's Nosferatu (this beer scores a 92 percent on Beeradvocate) and an unnamed brew with the Jack O Lantern handle. Apparently you can't order any alcohol until you've had a liquor license for a set amount of time. So all the the hooch now in stock was donated from Taste wine shop. No plans to carry any more draft beer than just the two.

Non draft beer available  : Victory Prima, Tetley's Smooth Flow, Lagunitas Bay Time and A Little Sumpin Wild, Dynamo Copper Lager, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, Capital Island Wheat. The chalkboard special is a Carte Blanche - Hendricks gin, peach bitters, cucumber and cava.

Check out their Facebook page for other mixed drink specials and wines.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gateway Plaza Parking Elevator Out Of Service

As of November 7th the CTA Park & Ride elevator has been out of order. And according to the notice Richard M. Daley is still mayor.

This elevator has been taken out of service and is sealed to prevent its use at this time. The use of this elevator would violate Chapter 13-20-120 and 13-20-130 of the municipal code of Chicago.

It is illegal to remove this seal pursuant to Chapter 13-20-017 and 13-12-040 of the municipal code of Chicago. The breaking of this seal or use of this elevator (except in the performance of permitted repair work) shall result in a fine of up to $500.00 per day.

Elevator inspector : O'Malley

This seal may be removed only by a city of Chicago Department of Buildings Elevator Inspector or a qualified mechanic in performance of permitted repairs.

Address: 7474 N Rogers

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An Accident Waiting To Happen?

Locals should be able to adapt to the new rules of the road here on Albion. This one way street now has an extra  lane (marked by the double yellow line) allowing bicycles to ride against the natural flow of traffic. A new sign warns motorists to watch for bicycles when making a left turn into the alley.

Imagine someone from another neighborhood or out of town visiting a friend. Its night time and you don't have the lay of the land. Driving down the street looking for parking you decide to cut through the alley for one more go around.


You hit a bicyclist who came out of nowhere. When bicycles enter the conflict from an unexpected direction accidents happen. The major reason why sidewalk bicycle riding is illegal (at least if you're over 12) is to prevent unforeseen misadventures.

(By the way you can see minor street flooding from the heavy rains that hit Chicago earlier today)

Smart Parking?

Parking pandemonium at Touhy and Ashland this Sunday morning. The usual crowd hit the Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church en masse. Only one thing was different; the Smart Car parked at an odd angle. One passerby commented that the Smart Car could've easily paralleled parked with room to spare. Wouldn't be as much fun or as convenient though. The park job raised a lot of eyebrows.

Here is a link to a story from the UK about someone getting a ticket for parking their Smart Car at a right angle to the "kerb". The English woman got a ticket because her car stuck out over the "white bay markings". Not sure what these lines are called here in the United States. This NY Times article states that right angle parking of Smart Cars is off limits unless angle parking is allowed. Dimension of Smart Car : 98.4 inches long by 61.4 inches wide. So clearly there are times right angle parking will get you a spot you wouldn't otherwise.

Imagine if everyone had a Smart Car. How much more parking would be available? The car was gone by early afternoon.

Last edited 11/18/13 3:04 pm

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Aftermath Of Peterson Park Mini Mall Fire

Water was still being poured on the ashes (hot spots) of last nights fire at Lincoln and Peterson as late as 3:30 pm today. It was such a large fire that the smoke was spotted as far east as Rogers Park. A four or three alarm fire. Flames shot up over fifty feet high in the air. Traffic was backed up on Peterson and Lincoln earlier today as motorists slowed to witness the damage. Loads of pedestrians walked by or hung out at the scene. CBS 2 News broadcasted live throughout the day from the intersection.

The fire started sometime around 4 pm yesterday and was reported to be under control around 6 pm. American Mattress, Mid-America Furniture and For Eyes are total losses. CBS has a picture of the fire from overhead. CFD told media that a firewall and a trench-cutting method were used to help stop the fire.

Please continue reading for more pictures and words (from Bill Savage)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sick Of People's Gas Construction?

Neighbors are revolting against the parking restrictions due to People's Gas construction in the 7400 north block of Paulina. This pile of ripped down no parking construction zone notices were flying around this morning.

We know from experience that even no parking tow zones bolted down are subject to removal. The ironic thing is that all of this is taking place without sight or walking distance of a very large parking garage.

Parking is a problem in Rogers Park. But not this area. According to Parkopedia Gateway Plaza Garage has 592 spaces. Five bucks for 12 hours or ninety nine bucks for the month. Parking tickets can easily cost over a hundred bucks.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Enjoy North Kenmore Ave While You Can

Not sure when Kenmore from Rosemont to Sheridan opened back up again but its sure to be temporary. Figured that photos of this soon to be defunct road should be posted for posterity. It is a nice shortcut through the Edgewater neighborhood. A great way to avoid the traffic of Sheridan.

Loyola plans on paying out something over three hundred thousand to the city in order to close Kenmore. Alderman Osterman of the 48th Ward supports the plan. The pedestrian plaza is supposed to cost three million bucks. This last stretch of Kenmore never saw it coming                                                                  

Please continue reading for more pictures AND
(Update 11/14/13 2:40 pm)  words from Bill Savage

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Original Rogers Park Presbyterian Church

According to the E-bay listing this postcard was mailed in 1914. Two bids currently, 10.49 is highest bid just over three days to go. Looking at the church nowadays the first church is lost in the shadow of the larger current church. It doesn't look like a typical parsonage. The RPPC was founded in 1910 when this building was erected (1910-1912).

The church we know today as the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church at the corner of Greenleaf and Greenview was built in 1927.

Update 11/13/13 - Pictures Of Original RPPC Present Day

Rogers Park Food Co-op Public Meeting

Greetings from the Rogers Park Food Co-op Founders Group,

We are reaching out to you, the Rogers Park community to solicit input and gauge interest in the creation of a community-owned grocery store. With the recent unfortunate news from Dominick's, addressing food access and security at a local level seems more timely than ever and illustrates some of the problems with the conventional corporate business model.

Our group has been meeting since December 2012 developing structure and studying best practices for the creation of a food co-op in Rogers Park.

We ask that you share this meeting announcement and press release with your members and attend the open meeting December 4th, 7pm at the United Church of Rogers Park.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,
Rogers Park Food Co-op Founders Group

Please continue reading for more information

Are You Freaking Kidding Me Edgewater?

Just over a month ago a Northwestern academic tweeted that he was surprised that you could be arrested for riding your bike on the sidewalk in Rogers Park. The title of this blog post is a riff on this  tweet; "are you f&*^n' nuts, Chicago @ Rogers Park?" Maybe he didn't realize how many drug lookouts or dealers ride their bike around as well. If you do that you could be arrested.

In Edgewater if you don't walk your bike they will walk it for you. reported that there will be stricter enforcement of the ban on sidewalk bicycle riding. And more importantly increasing the fine to two hundred dollars from fifty. You will notice on the sign above that the $200 has been stuck onto the sign. No mention was made though of the possible temporary disabling of the offender's bicycle. Incapacitating and making someone's bicycle unrideable even for a short time must be demoralizing.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Worst Payphone In Rogers Park Five Years Later

The phone still works.

Used some duct tape to stabilize the connection. 611 was called to repair the device. It will take 7-14 business days for a crew to come out.

Here you can visit Rogers Park in 1000 words and see what it looked like five years ago. Back then there were payphones plural as in two. Now just down to one phone and the Loyola Cellular store is closed.

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Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva

Avalokitasvara (Guanyin) Bodhisattva has a thousand arms. She is said to have observed the multitudes headed straight for hell. She tried to reach out to every person at once. Her arms broke into a thousand pieces. Later she was able to reassemble herself but the damage was done. A bodhisattva is someone who is on the path of enlightenment or in Theravada postpones nirvana in order to help others. It may take them a few lifetimes to attain enlightenment (like Buddha himself). 

Has she escaped samsara? Or is she putting it off indefinitely? What would you do?

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Samurai Guarding Rogers Park's Border

We were on a big walk today and John spotted it first. A samurai on the northeast corner of Devon & Ridge. How exciting to have a mystery. I wonder what the artist's range is? Tomorrow we're going to Evanston. I'll let you know if we find more. --- Steve

Thanks for the photo Steve. This blogger believes that this is the best one yet. Samurai is derived from a word meaning to serve (nobility). Ronin is a samurai with no master who is then supposed to perform hari kiri.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Turtle House Update covered the story of the missing turtle after a couple of squatters were thrown out of this distressed property back in May.

The house is no longer boarded up and a brand new back door is about to hung. No trespassing and no loitering signs ring the perimeter. Nice to see this property come back to life after the drama it went through.

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Through A Window Cracked Part 2 - Bullet Window

An anonymous source sent these photos into Chevanston of the cracked window at Howard and Greenview. Very cool neon sign advertising antiques and gold. Too bad its marred by broken glass. There is actually broken glass on the floor just below.

This is a bullet window. Someone shot at it and its over a year old. Is Howard Street really turning the corner when a long standing good guy business like Lost Eras can't manage to replace their bullet window? Calls to the alderman's office have been met with disinterest. Several messages have been left with Michael Land. The Aldermans office told this writer to tell the business to fix their window. Is that really the job of the average citizen?

When will the bullet window of Howard Street be replaced? And why is the neon sign only turned on during the day?

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

In Receivership

The building at the southwest corner of Fargo and Ashland had an event filled summer. Five minute friends would call on the place at all hours of the day. Looking up and hollering to be let in. Police were dispatched numerous times for drug dealing, gang activity and public drinking. Condoms have been regularly found on the grounds. Neighbors are in agreement that this is one of the major problem buildings of the Jargowood area.

Currently there is a broken window on third floor at the corner. Word on the street is that this apartment building is in receivership. You can see from the following photos how close to the "L" it is. The building has been ringed with No Trespassing signs in attempts to keep the bad guys away. Management has done their best to keep things safe but has had little to no support from the absentee landlord. There is no property management sign or contract on the building. It has been called into 311 numerous times to no avail. Hopefully this property lands into responsible hands soon.

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Street Repairs Continue On Brick Paved Wayne Avenue

Some cars didn't heed the no parking signs on Wayne making street repair a bit more challenging. But that couldn't stop these hardworking men from doing a great job on the exposed surface. These pictures are from earlier today.

Much obliged to the reader who submitted these important photos documenting a rare occurrence; brick paved street repair in the city of Chicago. Hopefully more such streets will be saved in our fair city.

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Rogers Park's Walk Score Is 85

An eighty five puts Rogers Park in the top fifty neighborhoods (number 48) of Chicago out of over two hundred. The transit score is 75 (surprising given the number of Metra and L stops) and the bike score is a 71 (this will increase with the new bike lane on Clark). has compiled an exhaustive live of nabes in Chicago from big to little. Ever heard of Tally's Corner at 215 (last place)? Me neither.

Given that the city is cut up into that many different areas Rogers Park has a solid score taken as a whole neighborhood. Chicago gets a sixth place in large cities with an overall average of 74.8. So Rogers Park is above average scoring a solid B. The site proclaims "Most errands can be accomplished on foot in Rogers Park."

The map above is almost completely green because of so many Walker's Paradises (like 1523 w Lunt a 94). Areas in light yellow score lower east of Sheridan (1209 w Sherwin gets 75 very walkable) and near Ridge Road (2024 w Lunt gets 69 somewhat walkable).  The score is largely based on how many and which businesses are in walking distance. In dense neighborhoods with large populations over 40k Rogers Park is only beat out by Lake View with a score of 90.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Plaza @ Loyola Station

Coming Spring 2014 - The Plaza @ Loyola Station. The four story mixed use commercial building will not be open to the elements this winter.

Reviewing the blueprints for the building at the above link there will be 14 apartments (two studios and twelve one bedrooms) on floors 2,3,4, four commercial tenants on the ground floor. Chicago Curbed says it will be a 41 unit building, but 14 times three equals 42.

The two story storefronts (formerly home to Carmen's) just north of Bruno's are badly tagged. Its currently being used to advertise Albion @ Loyola Station. There is a defunct Lakeside Management sign still stuck to the building. Why is Loyola putting up with this vandalism?

Here are some pictures from August of the construction site.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gunfire Reported @ Marshfield and Jonquil

Peter Nickeas @PeterNickeas with the following Twitter account (Chicago violence and mayhem (overnight) reporter for the @chicagotribune @chicagobreaking desk. )

tweeted an hour ago "Jonquil + Marshfield, shots fired at a group. Unclear if anyone hit."

Update 1/6/13 1 am - A few hours later the scene of the alleged shooting is all quiet except for drizzle. Guess the gangs forgot this was a safe school zone. This shooting happened just a block north of Sol Cafe. Increased density of coffee shops correlates positively with lower shootings. We could use a coffee shop or diner North of Howard.

Please continue reading for daytime photo

Brick Paved Street Repair @ 6900 N Wayne

Not very often a brick paved street is repaired; especially in Chicago. In fact one of them (Concord) in Wicker Park was buried under black top this past spring.

At first this writer feared the worst. Another asphalt job further diminishing this grand street.

But after the asphalt patches were jackhammered and cleared of debris three large sections were repaired using a pallet of old bricks.

This last two way brick paved stretch of road in Chicago is not going the way of the Dodo.

Last edited 11/5/13 10:30 pm

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Supplies Have Arrived

No that's not an army barracks in the photo above. Its the dirt and planter boxes that suddenly appeared this past weekend at the southern end of the former Lerner site (Rogers and Ashland). At the north end five large piles of chips were dumped.

Some critics have called this a "gentrification bullet". That's either being overly optimistic or pessimistic. Plenty of corners like Lincoln and Kedzie where neighbors would have a good laugh over a crack like that (site of former motel).

Howard Street is ripe for development (potentially). Just not right now. Hence the community garden placeholder. A common solution to many many sites sitting vacant after the housing bubble. This site is still stuck in development hell (a term normally used for scripts and movie ideas rotting away for years).

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Future Of Sheridan Road?

There already is a stretch of Sheridan road in Wilmette with three lanes instead of four. A middle lane for turning, a north and southbound car lane, and bike lanes on the perimeters. Much of Sheridan Road that travels through Evanston is two lanes. But the stretch of Sheridan from Chicago Ave to Central is still four lanes wide.

The new road layout set for Broadway from Wilson to Montrose sticks to this same concept except that its better. Parked cars serve as extra protection for the north and southbound bike lanes. From Montrose to Foster the layout will consist of the same layout except the parked cars won't serve as a buffer (which is too bad). Chistreetblog has the renderings.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

What Are Ya, Some Kinda Einstein?

Albert Einstein is in Nortown or Northtown, Chicago. The US Postal sticker exhibit of portraits of important historical figures continues.

Einstein contributed many different ideas to science. One of the lesser known but cooler theories of his has to do with what happens to molecules when they approach absolute zero (Kelvin). He collaborated with Satyendra Nath Bose in 1924-25. A new form of matter (Bose-Einstein condensate) is created when atoms slow down and hardly move. The theory was proven correct with the first pure condensate in 1995. Reading the math and explanation of this unusual physical state will make your mind turn into a gooey gel like substance as well.

Please continue reading to see where this Einstein bust was found