Thursday, October 31, 2013

Life Saving Station

This postcard for sale on E-bay (bidding started at 5.99 and is currently at 16.39 with two days to go) has the following message on the back.

"Cheer Up. Dear Sister Martha you will excuse me for not writing sooner. Received your letter and the deed. I certainly thank you very much. I think I will wait until mine (sic) vacation before I fix up those papers unless my country calls me before that time. Will write you a letter later. Ray."

Mailed May 28th 1917, postmarked in Evanston, Il.

"Up for bids (sic) is a real photo postcard showing the Great Lakes Life Saving Station at Rogers Park, Chicago, IL.  The view shows a building, several vintage cars, and a number of people including at least one sailor.  The card was done by H.B. Brooks,"

Bricked Paved Glenwood From Estes To Greenleaf

Glenwood & Estes 10/31/13

We know that the brick paved stretch of Glenwood from Lunt to Morse and Morse to Farwell will be restored with Ward 49 participatory budget money.

But what about this stretch of Glenwood Avenue? And Wayne Avenue's brick paved stretch from Morse to Farwell continues to die a death of a thousand patches.

Concord Place in Bucktown was brick paved and it was in decent shape. It bit the dust this past May.

Several suburbs have many brick paved streets. Downers Grove, Wilmette, Forest Park.

According to the 2013 article it costs 2.5 times more to brick pave a street. The Chicago Tribune story from 2006 quoted a contractor 1.5 to 2 times for brick over regular paving.

Studying Google Maps this brick paved street is broken up by two decent size splotches of asphalt. Still this stretch of road is more brick than black top. Narrow Glenwood and the murals look and sound so much better brick paved. Hopefully it stays that way.

Last edited 10/31/13 7:34 pm

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Affordable is Rogers Park?

Rogers Park and Uptown have long had the cheapest rents on the north side along the lake. And they still do.  Domu's data :  Rogers Park studios 650 - 875, one bedrooms 780 - 1150 and two bedrooms 995 - 1425. Uptown's apartments are similar in price. In the past ten years the cheapest studios have gone up about 100 - 150 bucks a month. (Click to enlarge photo and read the ISO flyer)

On Zillow the cheapest apartment in Rogers Park is 625 for a studio. To really get a feel for price range for the area you have to check out Craigslist. Senior studio apartments are listed for 525-550. The cheapest studio is 615, the vast majority going for 650.

Compare that to Edgewater where (according to Domu) studios range from 725 - 850, one bedrooms 895-1400, and two bedrooms from 1595 - 2000.

Update - 10/30/13 1:30 pm - ISO just tweeted the link to the Facebook page of The Rent Is Too Damn High!

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Tow Zone Back In Effect On Marshfield

Picture taken tonight of the newly replaced Tow Zone sign @ 7461-63 N Marshfield. Hopefully the sign stays up this time. This photo was taken as proof that the tow zone exists and to document that people are blocking the building's entrance when they break the law.

Here you can see this pole sans sign and this is when the second sign went missing.

The city of Chicago decided to install this tow zone. Its not up to John Q Public to take it upon himself to dismantle public infrastructure because they disagree with it. What kind of neighborhood would allow such lawlessness? Yes this isn't the biggest infraction. But when such an atmosphere exists it sets the stage for bigger crimes.

Not too many streets like this anywhere. Only one building exists on this ultra short stretch of Marshfield. It runs south from Rogers Avenue and quickly dead ends into the alley of Leonard Dubkin Park. People also have taken to parking in this alley as evidenced here.

Parking is tough in this neighborhood, but unlike some parts of Rogers Park there is a huge public parking structure a five minute walk from here (7474 N Rogers Avenue).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Don't Be A News Recycler

Where's the original content?

Loyola News Dispatch's article three days ago on the CryptoLocker virus was vital, important data that the community needed to know.

Rehashing news (the West RP stolen meat story) which already has been covered extensively (and covered well) by all the other major news sources last week is unnecessary. No analysis either. If there was a new angle on the story with new photos it would make sense to publish it.

Instead what we have above is a ho-hum Google Maps photo, a one liner and an excerpt from ABC-7 news. The title of the article is misleading as well. J.K. Kebab is in West Ridge not Rogers Park. Rogers Park sans direction is bounded by Devon, Ridge, Lake Michigan and Evanston.

LND has tons of potential. Use this opportunity at Loyola and at this blog/site to cover actual stories; not reprint them. There isn't enough time in the day to cover all the great stories out there. A promising sign is that they have a video segment on their site (a la discussing weekly news.

The above article took at most ten minutes. How about getting up from the laptop, out of the coffee shop and finding something out there worth writing about?

Last edited 10/28/13 6:31 pm CST

Does This Thing Run?

As a landlord can you completely divorce yourself from your alley? The owner of the Family Dollar/Chase/Sudz parking lot effectively has. The businesses there should either clean up the mess and withhold whatever the cleaning bill is from the rent OR demand that the landlord do his/her job.

Is it common to chain your motorcycle up in the alley? Is that brown rectangular object with the black cap where the gas is stored? If it is its pretty small. Though license to IL is cool, no doubt.

The alley behind Family Dollar's parking lot is chaotic. Now there are two mattresses on top of the garbage that already was there on the commercial property's land abutting the alley. New graffiti actually cheers up the otherwise drab and depressing area. Weeds and garbage choke the fence in back as well.

Update #1 10/30/13 2 pm - This writer just spoke to the regional manager at Family Dollar to alert them to the situation in the alley and regarding the dead handicapped pillar.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

To Whom It May Concern

Couldn't find this posted or reported on anywhere. Please click on the photo to read Urban Equities REC Incorporated's message regarding the fire this past July 24th at Lunt and Bell. A repair replacement permit hangs in one of the windows. The building looks as good as new right now.

Click here for Chevanston's post of the damage after the fire and here for Bill Savage's aerial shots of the fire as seen from Loyola.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jargowood Meeting In November

  • Location - Chalet Living Center conference room @ 7350 N Sheridan
  • Time - Tuesday November 5th @ 7:30 PM
  • Reminders from Jargowood ....
  • Keep your porch lights on for neighborhood safety.
  • Put your address on your garage if you haven't already
  • Drug dealing reported at Jarvis and Paulina
  • Parking concerns @ Rogers Park Fruit Market (Clark/Rogers/Jarvis)
  • Update on Red Violin

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crime Scene On Bosworth Morning After

This picture is of where the blood had just been washed away (Bosworth east side just south of Albion). A concerned neighbor told me how one of her school aged children had witnessed some of the horrific shooting. She gave me what was left of the crime scene tape on her property. This neighbor thought that this blogger was a reporter. Another neighbor mentioned that the shooting sounded like that of a cap gun and that it was definitely a small gun.

Apparently Clark Street is the dividing line between two gangs. The Latin Kings and some offshoot of the GDs? Walking north and west there was Latin King graffiti at the stop sign at Northshore and Ashland. One neighbor asked if the kid was okay, she thought this writer was police.

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Teenager Hit In Shooting Near Sullivan High School

Very short blip by the Sun-Time regarding the shooting. Would hardly call it an article.The Chicago Tribune said the shooting took place @ southeast corner of Bosworth and Albion at approx 7:50 pm (6500 N block of Bosworth). The nearest level one trauma is St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. The shooting victim was taken there and is reported to be in stable condition. This corner is just south of Sullivan high school. (Above is lawn near the site of the shooting, thankfully no one died)

Facebook news groups fill in the knowledge gaps.

Update #1 10/25/13 2 pm  - reports that the 16 year old was shot in both legs.

Please continue reading for Facebook transcripts or click here  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Languishing Commercial Space On Rogers

Surprising to see retail within sight of the lake sitting empty year after year. This one story commercial building is vacant except for the bodega/liquor store at the corner of Rogers and Sheridan. Plenty of foot traffic to and from the "L" and to Rogers Avenue Beach.

The East of Sheridan crowd this far north doesn't have a neighborhood bar a la the Lighthouse. Seems a natural to have some sort of bar or restaurant along this stretch. Or even a greasy spoon diner. This is one of the densest neighborhoods in the city. For the level of density Rogers Park is definitely lacking in the commercial, retail sector. Rogers Park has lost population in the past thirty years but still has greater than 25,000 people per square mile according to census data.

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Rogers Avenue Beach Ruins

These pictures are from Saturday, October 19th. To the left we see what appears to be a defunct boat ramp. To the right the stairs lead down to what once was a dock. Today the stairs lead to an abrupt four foot drop off to the beach.

The water fountain at Rogers Avenue beach was still running last weekend. A pint sized fountain forces anyone above four feet to bend down for a drink. What other Lake Michigan beach can you hear the water lapping against the remnants of an old pier and an old leaky water fountain?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Skateboards On Howard Street

Most people probably think that you have to go all the way to Skokie's Shred Shop for a skateboard. No need for that. The Athlete's Foot located in the old Broadmoor Hotel has a great selection of skateboards and accessories (wheels, trucks, allen wrenches). They also carry donkboards and longboards.

What's a donkboard you ask? A giant skateboard with big wheels and lights. The company is based in South Florida.

And don't forget that this isn't your standard Howard Street sneaker store. They carry a large variety of running shoes for men and women. 1540 W. Howard Street, 773-274-8520.

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Boarded Up Window @ Morse Gyros

According to one neighbor on Rogers Park Neighborhood News a drunk couple was rowdy and somehow broke the window this past Monday night? The thread was started by someone who labeled Morse Gyros a pita place. News by consensus can be confusing. Its not a Middle Eastern place. Morse Gyros is a general fast food establishment specializing in chicken and gyros.

The window is boarded up now. It needed to be replaced anyways because someone had etched MEEK into it a couple years ago. Usually Morse Gyros's windows are left open. Lately it has had closed blinds. No further news on the restaurant's website. Incidentally probably about time Mayne Stage broke down their al fresco dining area.

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Operation Handcuff

"WARNING! This payphone is monitored! Whoever, without reasonable cause, dials "911" from the payphone for the purpose of a false alarm fire or false emergency will be prosecuted and fined!"

"OPERATION HANDCUFF Notice to drug dealers ... All numbers, along with the date and time, dialed from this payphone using coin, credit card, and collect are recorded automatically and subject to subpeona by law enforcement officials."

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

P And J Footwear Under Wraps

Shrek (Shiekh) has left the building. And now P and J Footwear is undergoing renovations? The ill placed shoe store has been the centerpiece of the historic Howard Theatre building for at least ten years. Definitely not the highest use for this location or its intended purpose. The marquees on either side are pretty cool though.

The Mayne Stage/Morse Theatre was previously the Cobbler Mall. Maybe one day a theatre will once again grace Howard street in the building it was built for. Built in 1917 its been around for almost one hundred years. According to cinema the auditorium was destroyed in 1999. Perhaps someone with deep pockets will build a new one in the next ten or twenty years.

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S & C Electrical Company's Building 14-A - Steel Skeleton

Ground was broken to erect a four story building back in August 2013. did a write up concerning S and C and the details regarding this building. Now its late October and the steel shell is complete and the concrete brick exterior has begun. These pictures are from this past Sunday.

The campus has the feel of a movie studio back lot (weird little jeeps and pallet drivers). Comparisons can be made to VA campuses (Veterans Administration) with the building's no nonsense name. Didn't venture onto the grounds for these photos. Maybe someday an official tour. Above is the south facing elevation. On the north side of the building there is a catwalk connecting it to a two story building.

Previously this was the site of Alwart's Coal Company.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Outlanders Visit Emil Bach

Outsiders unfamiliar with Rogers Park ventured into our village to visit the newly renovated and restored Frank Llyod Wright on Sheridan. The line started at Jarvis to enter Emil Bach this past Sunday afternoon.

Reviewing the photos it becomes obvious now that the driveway has disappeared. Which makes sense since it already has a garage in back.

Just as large a crowd visited on Saturday as evidenced by Max Grinnel's tweet.

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Blog Spam Can Be Educational

Blog spam tends to have a certain cadence, rhythm, and unorthodox usage of the English language. Large ten dollar words are peppered in at odd intervals. Grammatical errors abound. Sometimes you actually learn something reading them though.

Trx Suspension System Cheers Me Up 

Mark Mathabane's 1986 autobiography, Kaffir Boy, describes his upbringing beneath South African apartheid and the method by which he escapes to your U.s.

A lively pupil, youthful Mark devours the publications his mother's white employer lends him, and via their romance, he also starts taking part in tennis which was quite substantial on the document of white and upper-crusty sports activities actions in all those times. 

Below the help of a black participant, Mark gets so skilled that he is invited to interact in at an all-white tennis club. 

Remarkably, nobody with the club cares that this is a huge rule violation, and Mark's presence don't just dispels some white stereotypes about blacks, and also tends to make him accept his personal basic equality utilizing a planet that would have him believe or else. 

Ultimately, Mark's mentor encourages him to appreciate for that South African Breweries' Open, which the apartheid government has produced

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Conflicting Data

It says 12 foot 10 is the clearance for this railroad bridge spanning Devon just east of Ridge. Two other signs on Ravenswood say otherwise. Probably not much truck traffic on Ravenswood though. Did the clearance for this bridge change over time? Quite possibly. Would be nice to have a consensus since accuracy is important to avoid trucks getting stuck.

The other side of the bridge should clear up the confusion as to what is and isn't Rogers Park to Loyola students. It clearly marks Rogers Park is on the north side of the street and Edgewater the south.

Please continue reading to see the other signs and pictures

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shrek Has Left The Building

Well they haven't left yet, but they are packed. Otherwise known as Shiekh (arabic for leader) this chain originated in Onatario, California. They specialize in urban, contemporary shoes and style. Something that Howard already had in spades. So not shocking that this store didn't last long (not much more than a year if memory serves this blogger right).

This news was reported by NOH resident Helen Carlock earlier this week on Facebook. They opened a store last year on Halsted just off Maxwell Street. In total there are 138 locations in the United States.

What Howard could use is a greasy spoon (like a Golden Nugget) or regular urban/standard fare sit down restaurant (like thai food). A bookstore would be nice too (there used to be the Bookworm North Of Howard). Hopefully something other than a shoe store will move into this soon to be vacant space. There are already two other sneaker shops on this side of Howard one of them in the same building.

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You're An Overly Professional Blogger

I can not believe the degree of thought bloggers put into this blog stuff, I just struggle to find a chance to browse let alone write! my web blog; Roseanna

Great subject matter, I was wondering if you had a normal blogging schedule or is it just off-the-cuff? Would like to try to keep up with the posts My web-site - Candida

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zone Marker Yellow

Yesterday this gentleman was busy painting fire lanes. The name of this color is unofficially zone marker yellow (per the painter). A roller is much faster than a brush. The intersection pictured above is Pratt and Lakewood.

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V-Tone's Side Yard Looking Sharp

Barbed wire sits in the new and improved side yard of V-Tone Fitness. A reminder of the bad old days. Have to give credit where credit is due. V-Tone and the surrounding area has really looked great these past few weeks. Being situated right next to the L helps with business but not with litter and trash.

Keeping up appearances discourages crime, littering and graffiti. Pictures taken this morning. Located at 1550 W Jarvis this fitness center gets 4 out of 5 stars from 25 reviews on Yelp. V-tone recently started selling bicycle parts and service repair, as well as selling bicycles.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rebuilding Of Duplex Continues @ Greenview & Farwell

Truly a unique project. Not everyday half a duplex is reconstructed. Especially of this age and construction (frame). It is heartening to see the progress. These pictures were taken this morning.

The litter at this exact corner is impressive. This writer has been fighting the litter at Greenview and Farwell on and off for four years without much progress. Would be nice if the neighbors pitched in. No one can do it alone. Can tell that it hardly ever gets picked up. Hopefully the spirit of the corner will rebound after the duplex is whole once again. Took about five minutes to get two armfuls of garbage thrown away.

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Wayne Avenue's Brick Paved Street Keeps Getting Smaller

Twelve whole bricks and five bricks broken in half lie on the parkway this morning. Four construction horses protect a giant metal slab. Loose bricks noted near the chasm. Glenwood Avenue (west side) from Lunt to Farwell has been approved for repair. What about Wayne Avenue from Farwell to Morse? It is rumoured that there might be left over funds to repair this last two way brick paved street in Chicago (is there another?).

From past experience this writer knew better than to assume any kind of repair work would happen. Pretty obvious from the signage on the horses that this stretch of road will be asphalted (M and J Asphalt Paving). These bricks were picked up and stored in a safe location. Mayne Stage with brick paved Wayne in the foreground is as classic as Chicago gets. Hopefully this historic street get the attention it so sorely needs and deserves in the near future. Before it completely disappears.

Here is another post concerning Wayne from the Everyblock days last December.

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Emil Bach Open House

Another reason why the Holsman House was torn down is so that people from outside Rogers Park can come visit this Frank Lloyd Wright House est. 1915 (and if they wish stay in the B and B next door - Cat's Cradle). Address - 7415 N Sheridan Road Chicago Illinois 60626.

Mums have been planted in the front yard even as tremendous work continues on the facade and interior. The backyard stone work has been completed.

Diane Galleher just tweeted this morning (a link) that the Emil Bach house will be open for tours very soon (this upcoming weekend it looks like). It will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 am - 4 pm.

Update 10/16/13 1:17 pm - confirmed by Diane Galleher - Open House this weekend October 19th, 20th.

Please continue reading for more pictures (taken two weeks ago)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Public Drinking Ban Unpopular With Locals?

New tow zones aren't the only laws and signs unpopular with neighbors. This sign didn't last too long on Howard. The photograph above left is from August. Above right is from a few days ago. The stop sign is now devoid of the drinking ban. This will be called into 311 and reported to the alderman's office. So many signs missing so little time.

Perhaps it was someone concerned about losing our freedom to become publicly wasted? Or just a collector of signs? This sign was bolted down. Was it not tightened enough? How about a sign declaring that its illegal to steal signs?

If this really is going to be a new Howard and a "brand new experience" the public drinking has got to stop. Still plenty of liquor bottles (beer, whiskey, wine, etc) to pickup every week.

ICOPS Rosetta Stone?

Location - Morse south side in between Lakewood and Wayne Avenues. Photos taken @ 8/24/13 at 6:24 pm. In case you haven't read the article click here. If Chicago already had a graffiti tracker program this information, the tags and locations would've already been catalogued in a central database. With hidden cameras at predictable hot spots this program has captured many taggers in the United States. This "piece" in and of itself is not bad. However it gets a bit much when its all over the northside and near north suburbs.

L.A. launched a graffiti tracker program powered by smart phones in 2011. In the article it mentions that the city spends 10 million dollars a year cleaning up graffiti. The smart phone app used with the graffiti tracker program is called Report It!. La Mesa California has had some success in decreasing the number of graffiti "incidents". The program isn't that expensive. "The software costs the city about $1,500 a year. The city has won around $8,000 in restitution so far, he said."

The tag means nothing. Most taggers are high school age and tag as a means to get attention and to defy authority. This case is no different or special. In general the community and city are doing a great job cleaning up graffiti and tags. Keep up the good work neighbors.

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Garden Fence @ Leonard Dubkin Park

Volunteers and gardeners erected the new fence at Leonard Dubkin this past weekend. It should last much longer that the last one. Part of the fence has been stained dark red. Makes sense to have sturdy fence posts this time around.

Here is a post from 2007 documenting a trash overflow in the alley (RP in 1000 words). The alley is in much better shape nowadays. This is one of the cooler parks in the city. It feels like an outdoor living room.

This Window Will Not Be Fixed Later Today

The building across the street was hit in a drive by shooting in September. Windows were replaced the next day. Lost Eras (a great local business) corner window has been busted for a year? Or more?

The above title is a spoof on a story that Occupy Rogers Park was excited about. Back during the hoopla of the Trayvon Martin Case there was some rioting in Oakland. A liberal group put a sticker on the window which said the following, "This window will be fixed later today. When will the US Justice System?". If someone had done that here in July, well.... that would've looked pretty stupid almost three months later.

Checking 311, this building code violation was called in September 13th. SRN is 13-01349870. They said no one has gone out to check on it yet, but they will as soon as they can.

The aldermans office said that Michael Land will talk to the building owner.

Perhaps this window should start a Twitter account? That would be entertaining and perhaps would get the message across?  If trees can start accounts, an inanimate object should be able to as well.

Another View Of Sink Hole @ 7609 N Greenview

A concerned neighbor (ERP and NOH Facebook group) posted a tight shot of the rapidly enlarging sink hole on Greenview just north of Howard. This is posted for those who don't have a Facebook account and to put the sink hole into perspective.

The construction horse can serve many purposes; including hole filler. This photo was taken this morning (looking south towards Howard). Beware fellow neighbors of this mega pothole.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Early Morning Loitering @ Howard & Paulina

(Chevanston stock photo of Howard/Paulina)

This morning at 9:30 am there was a crowd of youth hanging at the intersection of Howard and Paulina (just to be clear, the youth are not pictured above, that is a file photo from Chevanston's archive). Five or so were on the north east side and the same number on the south. They were yelling at each other. They weren't trying to cross the street. Just hanging on the corner (911 was called).

This is the gateway to Chicago proper from Evanston. Would you want to walk past two gangs yapping at each other ? Standing at the Howard L stop and looking down, would you want to walk down below to explore the "new Howard"? Probably not. You are at a disadvantage; outnumbered.

"Say hello to a brand new experience. Welcome to Howard Street." Howard streetscape, new fencing at Howard and Ashland, new businesses like Sol Cafe, and increased police presence has made a difference. But judging from the loitering at Howard "L" stop there are still some major obstacles to overcome before that sentiment (brand new experience) can be taken literally.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Repairs To Former Dev Corp North HQ On Howard

This building and vacant lot haven't seen this kind of attention in years. Anyone remember DevCorp? The former incarnation of the Rogers Park Business Alliance.  A lot of newbies don't. Tuckpointing and parging of the brick wall has been ongoing the past few days. They are using the building for storage and electricity.

Bill Morton's review of DevCorp North 7/31/2007 (he has fun to read reviews of most everything in Rogers Park during this time period) - "Devcorp North currently = misuse of community funding. Alderman Moore shakes down every business in Rogers Park for both campaign contributions and Devcorp North memberships."

The inside of 1557 w Howard is being worked on as well. The garbage has been taken out, the windows cleared of debris, new lighting, walls about to be redone, hopefully the floor will be sanded. Pictures taken yesterday (as always click on the photograph for enlarged view).

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Teenage Nuclear Zombie Confronts Thanatophobia

Jonny Warner was just a regular kid trying to fit in at his new school Enrico Fermi High. He worked part time at the local nuclear plant saving money for college. A tragic accident at the plant delivered a lethal dose of radioactivity to the teenager. His body disappeared in the lake. It was considered too toxic to retrieve.

Three weeks later he emerged from the lake bottom a walking corpse glowing radioactive green. Like any normal teen he went looking for his high school sweetheart. He had no idea the firestorm of controversy and zombie hate he would set off inside the small town school.

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Drug Dealing & Gangbanging 7700 North Paulina

Bright lights North Of Howard haven't scared away the gangbangers, drugdealers or loitering. But it makes for great photographs. The increased police presence on Howard has pushed the unsavory element north. Now the criminal activity needs to be pushed out of NOH.

The scene below and the scenes beyond the jumpbreak are what people are shot over. Drug dealing turf. Open air drug dealing is now off Morse and the surrounding areas (at least the blatant stuff). Its off Howard but still way too close for comfort. Any kind of informal or formal drug pick up or drop off spot can not be tolerated if we want to stop the violence.

Blogger's Note - The above photograph was taken at 4:10 am 10/10/13.

These photos (taken last night) were just sent to Chevanston by a concerned NOH neighbor. Please continue reading for more pictures and words     

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Four Plus One @ Morse & Greenview Getting Some TLC

Last year on Everyblock some net neighbors complained about trouble coming from this building @ Morse and Greenview (1515 w Morse avenue). Haven't seen any repair work or activity in the recent past; until now.

For those that don't know what four plus ones are....  buildings that were built in the sixties and seventies to exploit the building zoning of the time to maximize number of units and parking. The first floor is always different from the top four. Many different variations on this theme. Many people think they are ugly. At best they are an acquired taste. One major problem is the old air conditioning units. They are ugly and most likely broken. You can even see them at the rehabbed Reside on Morse building.