Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Long Duro Art

Duro Art (seen previously here at night) is no more. This past week 1832 Juneway went up for sale. The northwestern edge of Chicago is up for grabs. A lot of people don't realize that this is little corner is still city proper.

What will take the place of this venerable art supply factory? Would be the perfect place for something noisy like a recording studio. Big enough for a brewery, coffee grinding, or an internet start up company.

Listing price 1.35 million. The properties features include; high visibility - traffic count - 23,700 vehicles per day, 40 spaces in parking lot, CTA bus stop at Mulford street, one drive in door, 10-12 foot ceilings, and heavy power.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Not Just Decoration

Affiliated Customer Service Inc. takes care of fire alarm maintenance for the city of Chicago and beyond. Hang around the city long enough and you will see crews going around checking up on the boxes that still work.

Most cities like Chicago have scrapped their fire alarm boxes. Boston hasn't. Honeywell who bought out Gamewell makes replacement parts. So its entirely possible to fix the nonworking boxes.

The article linked above gives a good example of why fire alarm boxes are still useful.

When a computer glitch caused New York City's 911 system to crash for two hours in March 2004, the street boxes continued to work, and someone used one to report a serious fire in Brooklyn.

An EMP or Carrington effect could take out all or some of the electrical grid. Having a redundant system may be more expensive but it saves lives.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blue-Red-Yellow @ St. George's Square

Work on three houses at Austin and Sherman is almost complete (former St Francis parking lot). Whoever the architect they do possess style and taste. Prices a bit steep (for the area - St. George's Square) at 725 a piece. The real estate folk get that highfalutin name from the former high school demolished across the street in 1969.

Modern developments in the city are sometimes too suburban and cookie cutter. Variations on a theme with a unique feaure on each house is a nice change from the usual schlock. Driving up Custer north to Seward you run into a familiar row house construction found in more than a few places in Chicago  (Racine in North Lakview and also in Bowmanville) that is rather bland. With luck it develop character as it ages or it will meet its maker (another developer).

Developers have a responsibility to build homes that will endure. Making a quick buck and leaving behind an ugly structure and landuse pattern is not a legacy to be proud of. Plots used to be sold one by one to the property owners who would then commission whatever house they wanted built. A tradition not entirely dead but certainly uncommon.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Plenty of things to do in Rogers Park and the city New Years Eve. (Mayne Stage, Bullhead Cantina or Peckish Pig for starters) While the city has a tendency to empty out during Christmas it fills back up in a hurry for NYE.

These dark days are made bearable with holiday merriment. These X-mas trees really dress up the otherwise nondescript lot at Howard and Ashland.

A great previously forgotten tune was aired on 88.7 a couple days ago (day of post actually Catching up on posts in the blog business means that while this was written up 12/29/14 it can be backdated and posted to 12/27/14.). "What are you doing New Year's Eve?" by Edie Adams.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Mulford House On Ridge

At this site, in the early 1840's, Major Edward Mulford erected a two-story frame house. The second home to be built in Evanston. Major Mulford was Grosse Point's (Later Evanston) first permanent settler and first justice of the peace.

In 1963, Dunbar Builders Corporation razed the original Mulford House and built the first condominium in Evanston. 

Erected by the Evanston Historical Society, March 31, 1964.

For a glimpse of the old Mulford House, his biography, and how Oakton street got its name check out this site.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Inner Metaphorphosis University For Sale

Everyblock does have useful data (besides staying current with the latest troll to catch fire). What if there was an external stagnation academy? Well maybe you could open one after buying 1418 w Howard Street Chicago, Illinois. It hit the real estate exchange just under 700 k this past week (December 20th).

Before the I.M.U. the building housed the vegetarian Lake Side Cafe which opened in 2005.

Apparently I.M.U. closed its doors earlier this year. The listing states that the property is vacant and was a restaurant. Flyers offering classes from 2014 sit in its plastic box outside. If there was going to be a 2015 they should've been printed and posted by now. Astronomers take note, this building is equipped with a brand new solar system.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

CTA Holiday Train & Bus In Rogers Park

South bound Purple Line
holiday train looking out on W. Morse Ave.

If you haven't yet climbed aboard the CTA holiday train you're cutting it close. Last minute shopping? Take this afternoons train downtown from RP and get it done. Santa's train is one of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season. Singing along to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells, getting a holiday train pin, a candy cane from one of his elves, and if you're really a big fan a CTA issued polaroid of a picture with the man himself. 

Each station you hit everyone pulls out their phones, Ipads, etc to take a pic. The excitement is contagious. Fun to watch the expression of new boarders gazing around in awe of the X-mas cheer.

The holiday train has been such a big hit a reticulated holiday bus hit the streets this year. It made its RP debut 12/19 at the Howard Terminal. It returned the next day just after sunset. It you missed it this year there is always the 2015 holiday season.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

What's New @ Sol Cafe?

Holiday donuts, hot chocolate snow balls, peppermint oreo royale, spiced egg nog bismark, sufganiyot (Hanukkah donut cranberry ginger), cranberry-orange glazed.

Artemisia - Free Concert! Saturday @ 6 PM December 20th @ 1615 w Howard Street. Chicago's premier female vocal trio would love your company for A Musical Celebration in the Rogers Park Community. Bridging the gap between classical and folk, Artemisia will offer a diverse program with music from Bulgaria, Georgia, Appalachia, Poland and more, including a Christmas carol sing-along! Join us for an exciting event celebrating music from across the centuries and the globe!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Catch The Holiday Train Before Its Too Late!

As X-mas approaches the days shorten to the maximum so winds down the CTA Holiday Train. (Pictured above the 3:14 pm south bound Red Line at Jarvis)

Purple Line tomorrow. Red line again Saturday for pictures with Santa back again Monday. Tuesday Santa heads back to the north pole via the short Skokie Swift.

Cubicles For Let

1500-2500 square feet waiting for something to happen at Howard and Ashland.

First the for lease sign was upside down and falling down, then it was properly upside down. Now its right side up. If Dilbert and their crew are looking for a place to hang their shingle.... This is the spot. Public transport, coffee shop close by, Mexican restaurant soon to open, a place to blow off steam (Freddie's Modern Kung Fu), and walking distance to the lake (in case you get up too late to take a shower).

Why cut up a vanilla box? Cubicles narrow possible renters. From DevCorp to Corp Unknown. Whoever is leasing the space lets you decide how many cubicles you need. Blue door up front is a head scratcher. Last year it had potential. Now its deadsville.

Last edited 12/18/14 10:13 am

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crosswalk Parker

This car has taken up residence for the past couple weeks at Birchwood and Ashland. Navigating a crosswalk flanked by two cars is unusual. Hopefully you won't have that opportunity.

A dangerous precedent to try to set. Especially when garage parking is available just down the street at 7474 N Rogers. Most of Rogers Park is not blessed with this option. Better to use it and save yourself a ticket and you won't endanger Homo Sapiens bipeds.

Evanston can be seen in the background (405 w Howard).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day After Fatal Stick Up On Albion

Reports of a shooting started coming in via Twitter from Chicago Scanner and Sam Unger immediately after a robbery gone wrong at Albion and the "L" last night.

In the shadow of the inaugural Polar Palooza news vans idle waiting for the signal to broadcast live. Around 8 pm last night (12/5/14) a young college student was killed during a scuffle over a gun.

Usual parley on Rogers Park Everyblock. Firsthand accounts, the alderman's official report, neighbors trying to keep dissension or varying viewpoints off unsuccessfully, talking about people in third person and muting, anecdotal accounts of robberies, and then politics.

Fighting over a gun is a life and death struggle. It could be victim versus criminal, policeman versus citizen, man/woman versus man/woman. Firearms take conflicts to their natural conclusion straightaway.

The alley @ the Albion "L" is a common cut through for students and neighbors alike going back and forth from the Loyola train station. Loyola Campus Safety released a communication.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lavan Gets Booted

Lavan Galleries set up shop in the 1300 block of west Devon earlier this annum. Like many antique stores and purveyors of fine art browsing by appointment only. Not the sort of shop that you can check out on a whim.

Last night the city of Chicago booted the Galleries car. Its not parked in the permit area. Presumably ticketed for no city sticker?

Always cool to have a company car advertise the local biz. (For Example) If your driving down Montrose check the soon to open Breakroom Brewery with its cool thirties truck.

Mascot vehicles are a great gimmick. When yours gets booted its hilarious.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Be A Postmate!?

POSTMATES - Now Hiring!

Deliver local goods, work whenever you want, and explore the city! Join the team using your car or bike, and with your passion for customer service you can earn $20/hour! Take a picture of this flyer and go to and enter my referral code to get started!

Forbes wrote an article on the SF based company's decision to expand here in Chicago. Using an app on your phone you can order whatever you're lazy (or physically unable) to get yourself. Minimum delivery charge five simoleons. Reasons for moving into the Chicago market?  Grubhub seamless needs competition and low car ownership rates.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cannibal's Countenance

WATCH OUT! The next step you take may be your last!

Hip fracture season has begun early this year, late November. Fifty degrees, rain, temperature plummets, freezing rain, puddles freeze, light snow covers the newly formed black ice, Passerby loses traction but catches themselves just in time. Every so often passerby caught completely off guard falls and fractures. Leading to a long rehab or an operation plus long rehab or its the final nail in the coffin.

Especially treacherous since winter has come upon us early. The patches are few and far between silently waiting for their victims like something out of Final Destination. Persons of a certain age and with the right risk factors should just stay home on a day like today. Can you spot the black ice?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So You Wanna Be An Artist?

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

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

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

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

Last Edited 11/18/14 5:15 pm 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Sign Up For Winter Classes @ Touhy Park

Touhy Park 7348 N Paulina (773)262-6737

Registration Online Begins 12/2/14

Classes Begin the week of January 5th:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Support Your Local Independently Owned Gas Station

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nightly Projections On Howard

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

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

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

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

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Touche' Gets Gold Stars For Its New Look

The scaffolding is down revealing Touche's new face.

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

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

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

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Still No Bicycle Pump On Paulina

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

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

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

Sherwin Chase Neighbors Meet Up

Holsman House in its final days

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

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

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

Tony Iniquez,
Sherwin Chase Neighbors

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"I can't effin' believe it!"

1300 block of W Farwell Ave
site of water management construction

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Bar Is Open @ Philly's Best

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

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

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

Last edited 11/3/14 1:09 pm

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