Friday, February 28, 2014

The Case Of The Missing License Plates

Why did State Representative Kelly Cassidy comment on The Case Of The Missing Driveway? The only logical answer is that she lives close by. Actually she lives next door.

Day in and day out motorists block the driveway of 7632 N Ashland with no response or action from Ms. Cassidy. Would that be the case if Joe Moore lived next door?

Kelly Cassidy's solution to the trash disposal situation was not to make sure that the driveway was free and clear. Her answer was to call Streets and Sanitation to have the garbage can removed. Since then a couple more garbage cans have been placed there by this writer. The garbage cans keep disappearing.

Update - 2-28-14 10:25 am - This problem was discussed with Wayne Frasier at the alderman's office.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lake Michigan Islands

Lake Michigan's South Chippewa Basin is normally devoid of islands. Remnants of shelf ice now float in the frozen fresh waters off Chicago's coast.

Northern Lake Michigan has islands. (The largest island in Lake Michigan is Beaver Island. It used to be a Mormon stronghold. After founder Joseph Smith died most Mormons recognized Brigham Young as successor. A smaller faction followed James Strang onto Beaver Island in 1848. Read the Wikipedia entry for more on this lesser known Mormon offshoot that founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.)

Upper Lake Michigan lays claim to most ice islands as well.

Earlier today one human student decided to go for a walk on the thin, see-through lake ice near the Chicago Yacht Club.

Update 2/27/24 4:40 pm - Here is the video of the ice walk yesterday.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Biddy Mulligans Wasting Away

Biddy Mulligans' signage is still up inside the foyer of 7644 N Rogers Avenue. An empty gas can (at least we hope it is) and mail sits below on a ledge. A no smoking sign looks out of place since the smoking ban happened after the bar closed. (The origin of the name Biddy Mulligan is from a song from the thirties/forties about a Dublin street seller. There are Biddy Mulligans bars all over the world. Too bad the one in Rogers Park bit the dust.)

A writer for Chicago Magazine waxes nostalgic about using fake ID's to drink at Biddy Mulligans in the early nineties. It had a habit of opening and closing and opening and closing.

The Rogers Park Review believed that the owner of the corner properties at Rogers and Sheridan was land banking. According to RP Review (in 2006) Sargon Isaac owns 7630-40 N Sheridan, 7644-46 N Sheridan and 7650-54 N Sheridan (the yellow courtyard building north of Biddy Mulligans).  At that time Biddy was open under the monicker Island Groove Cafe. Joe Moore refused to support their bid for a liquor license in 2007.

Back in 2005 there was a plan to knock the corner property (that houses R and V liquors) down and put up a 40 unit condo building.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Footsteps On The Edge

2/16/14 (8 days ago) was near or at the apex of Lake Michigan's ice cover.

Walking the frozen wasteland of Lake Michigan is perilous. Some footsteps like those above could have easily led to an icy tomb. The path from Fargo to Howard beach is now impassible.

For a few weeks it was well traveled.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Iceberg Alley

Yesterday over three hundred people (including Miss Teen Illinois) took part in NU's Polar Plunge. The lake has decreased to 38 percent surface ice.

An ice wave near the south pole was passed off as Lake Huron.

Scenes like this are quickly disappearing. In their place iceberg like chunks float in the melting Great Lakes. The higher temps hasn't stopped gawkers from walking on the now thinner lake ice at Holland State Park in Michigan.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

"The Only National Bank In Rogers Park"

This envelope (4 days left to bid) dates back to when Rogers Park used to print its own money. You also used to get fifty cents when opening an account for five dollars or more with this token. On the back of the envelope it states "member federal reserve system".

Hard to imagine this corner of the neighborhood used to look so swanky, model T's and all. Especially during the Depression (1931).


Our banking system in (West) Rogers Park has indeed fallen from grace.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

By Appointment Only

New city fees regarding hanging signs have forced many businesses to take them down (rather than pay the fee or fill out the paperwork). Making it look like some operations have shuttered their doors.

Dr Z. Usman's (aka Dr "Z") schedule depends on how many dog or cats need to be seen that day. Usually the hospital is open somewhere around ten o'clock and closes around two or three during the week. Saturday hours tend to run a bit longer. He still performs smaller operations and procedures on cats. Dr. Z has retired from operating on dogs mainly because of the weight.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Audio Archaelogy On Devon

A few days ago an Everyblocker posted about a new vinyl store opening in March (15th). It fills a long vacant storefront at the corner of Wayne and Devon.

The store specializes in selling refurbished vintage and new record players. Consoles, portables, turntables, headphones along witth matching furniture from the fifties and sixties.

The consoles are especially cool. So many of these are just thrown out in alleys. Nice to see them being put to good use. So many younger folks never knew radios, televisions or record players used to be so big.

Update 2/21/14 9:45 am - Here is the article. They will be selling records to play on those giant record playing machines.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It Was A Dark And Snowy Night

Sunrise Before The Thaw

Now more than ever its important to not venture onto the ice. The thaw will turn many alleys into treacherous tractionless traps (consider parking at the Gateway parking garage) and the ice shelf into a death zone. published a story about a family being ticketed for reckless behavior on the lake ice. Current temperature is 39 degrees.

West Michigan's Fox 17 warns viewers that Lake Michigan's ice is quickly disappearing. Three separate incidents of people falling through the ice in Grand Haven, Michigan on the 16th, three more on the 17th.

Lake Huron was solid enough yesterday for a small plane to make an emergency landing.

Pictures posted in reverse order of Fargo Avenue's dead end this morning.

Last edited 2/18/14 2:02 pm

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Monday, February 17, 2014

The Last Investigation?

The ruins of the former pier at Leone Beach are common knowledge to most Rogers Parkers

How many people know of the pier that used to stand just south of South Blvd beach? Most people just drive past this section of the lake.

Those that would know are the joggers, walkers and bikers.

Looking into Evanston history there is plenty of info on the former Davis street and Foster piers. Another thousand words has a photo of the pier in warmer weather.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Eighty Percent Ice Bound

Lake Michigan hasn't seen this much ice since 1979.

Its not likely to beat that benchmark with temperatures expected to reach the forties next week.

Grand Rapids Michigan's local news channel 8 WOOD has a blog devoted to weather and lake related news. It is postulated that ice formation on the great lakes may help restore the lake's water levels (by decreasing evaporation).

Somewhere around eleven thousand people have visited the caves of the Apostle Islands (Lake Superior coast near Bayfield Wisconsin) this past weekend. This is a rare opportunity. Usually the caves are only reachable by kayak.

Ice caves have formed on the eastern coast of Lake Michigan.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Frosty Leone Beach

This lakefront photo set spans Fargo to Greenleaf. A small section of the lake is being used for ice skating just north of Leone Beach as mentioned on Everyblock.

A Sno-Baller snow ball maker lies on the ground just north of the ice rink.

Chicago just missed breaking the freezing mark today.

The Biscayne Bay ice cutter is rarely needed this far south. Usually its up north near Mackinac Island. Some barges and freighters had to be freed as they made there way to Burns Harbor.

Rogers Park in 1,000 words has tons of Leone Beach pictures including this one with a sunrise in the middle.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Celebrate Valentines Day @ Towbar and Taste

The evening kicks off at Taste with free bubbly (champagne) and chocolate tasting 5-8 pm

Towbar dinner options
  • serrano ham with olive tapenade on crostini or garlic shrimp with truffle mayo
  • paella with chicken, shrimp, mussels and calamari or crispy seared salmon with creamy pancetta polenta
  • burnt cream flan or chocolate stuffed raspberries
Flamenco performance begins at 8 pm

28 bucks per person, 40 dollars with wine included. 

For reservations call 773-743-2233

DANGER Stay Away From Ice Shelf - Hidden Air Pockets & Hypothermia - Chicago Park District

If this winter became the norm new signs would have to be posted. Some footprints in the snow went further than they should. Hopefully everyone that ventured out came back. Wikipedia's entry on shelf ice.

Ice has been causing trouble as far back as December last year. At that time Lake Michigan was 13 percent covered. New Year's Eve cruises had to be cancelled.

The coast guard employs an ice breaker named Biscayne Bay. Its currently stationed at Navy Pier.

Ice continues to advance across Lake Michigan. Compare these satellite photos taken four days apart; February 7th and 11th.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Temperance Beer On Tap @ R Public House

R Public House started carrying Temperance Beer on tap back in November.

Evanston historically is a dry town. The first liquor license was issued in the 1970's. So it was only natural that the first brewery in Evanston be named Temperance. WBEZ's small blip on Temperance.

Prairie Moon hosted the launch party of Temperance Beer Co. September 18th. The Temperance Brewing Company pub opened December 20th 2013.  16 reviews on Yelp, overall average rating is 4.5

Temperance sells growlers which will come in handy walking down Howard for refills at the Peckish Pig.

Editors note 2/12/14 7:10 pm - Apparently growlers are usually brewery specific. Its a liability thing. Peckish Pig are supposed to be selling their own growlers.

Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunrise

Sunrise @ Fargo beach morning - 2/11/14. Another day begins at Lake Michigan's beautiful yet deadly ice shelf. According to Tom Skilling's forecast today should be the last bitter cold day. Tomorrow's high will be 25,Thursday's will be above freezing.

Only six other winters compare with number of days below zero.

This may be the last below zero sunrise we see for sometime.

(In case you didn't know the title of this post was inspired by this song. In general Chevanston usually frowns upon swearing and crude language. Take note of the expletive free Twitter Feed. But its cool in small clever doses when used tastefully.)

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Shootings

Record breaking cold and above average snowfall hasn't stopped the Far North side gangs from fighting over territory. What will it be like when its warm out?

Gang graffiti keeps appearing and kids are being shot.  The Buddha head at Clyde and Howard has brought good karma. But even that isn't enough to stop the violence on a very snowy Saturday.

A candle light vigil will be held tomorrow 6 pm at Pratt and Clark where Markeyo Carr was gunned down in broad day light Feb 5th. Perhaps the recent shooting on Howard was in retaliation?

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Howard Street's Frozen Terminus

It was premature back in January to think that the ice ridge would recede. Now the path from Fargo to Howard beach is a well worn path. No one has attempted the Howard to Rogers beach traverse. Nor should they. Walking from Fargo to Howard may seem safe but it isn't.

One of the few places by the lake (north side) rap music blasts from parked cars. Hand painted signs remind visitors and residents to refrain from diving and swimming off the concrete barrier at Howard's end. There should be a new sign warning folks to not walk on the ice.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Keep Warm With A Sol Cafe Knit Cap

Condition 3 Weather

An ice ridge connects Juneway Terrace to Rogers Avenue beach. Only the most foolhardy or experienced solo ice trekkers would attempt crossing further south from Rogers to Howard Street Beach.

A month long stay in Antarctica would be excellent preparation for this winter weather. Condition 3 weather is mild with winds less than 48 knots, wind chills below 75 degrees F, and visibility better than a quarter mile.

According to this report more than half of Lake Michigan is now frozen. This will give new meaning to cooler by the lake this summer. Lake Superior is almost completely iced over.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Engine Company Number 71

This firehouse has been in operation since the WM E. Dever administration (1927). The new fire stations may be more practical but they sure don't have the same charm.

Engine Company 71, 6239 N California, is part of the 2nd District and 9th Battalion (which includes the fire station at 7340 N Clark in Rogers Park).

Red and green lights on firehouses is said to have originated at around the same time (1927-1931) this firehouse was built.  This link from the Warrrenville Fire Protection District states it was fire commissioner Albert Goodrich who began the tradition. But the plaque here states that Joseph Connery was fire commissioner in 1927.

Red light is port, green is starboard? No one really knows if that's true but its a tradition.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

What's Going On With Pratt?

Crime scene tape is still stuck in the bark from a shooting January 26th on Pratt. The more public a street the less neighbors look out for each other and after the parkway. Well that's the theory at least. Scene-of-crime cordon doesn't take itself down. The authorities are busy.

When a shooting or murder investigation is finished they pull down the plastic and rush back to the station to do the paperwork or answer some other emergency. Neighbors, owners, management et cetera have to take pride in their neighborhood and finish the clean up.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Morse Gyros Now Accepting Link And EBT Cards

Earlier this year Morse Gyros started taking EBT and LINK cards as payment.

These types of credit cards were typically redeemed at grocery stores like Jewel, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Food 4 Less. Recently restaurants, pharmacies, convenience stores, and gas stations have begun accepting food stamps.

EBT is short for electronic benefit transfer which can be used for to buy sundry items and food. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - previously known as food stamps) assistance is meted out via Link card (Link is not an acronym). Link works just like an ATM card the user uses a pin (personal identification number) when buying food. The major difference being no sales tax, surcharge or card processing fee can be charged.

Special Note! Please don't be one of those people who say PIN number or ATM machine. If you do you are really saying personal identification number number and automated teller machine machine. Another example HIV virus (human immunodeficiency virus virus).

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Ship House

7430 N Sheridan is the closest thing Rogers Park has to a haunted house. Its across the street from the Moonies' house with the big blue school bus that's still boarded up after a Halloween fire.

The ship house is a sprawling old brick dwelling that has suffered from years of neglect.

A tall ladder leans against the south side. Up above the attic window has come loose. The north side of the attic is also open to the elements.

Walking by its obvious the eaves are almost completely rotten. Evidence of water leakage is observed on both sides of the house.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blocked In @ Pritzker's Construction Site

Groundhog Day morning

If there is so much parking in our neighborhood why are two cars illegally parked at the construction entrance of the soon to be built Pritzker garage? These cars were still parked there after sundown.

No parking, no estacionarse, and in large black letters DO NOT BLOCK on the gate. A big red pickup truck is trapped in the vacant lot. The white van has been sitting there at least since the last snow fall Friday night. Ironically signs posted state security cameras are in use. But cars blocking the driveway? No big deal?

Maybe these guys will rent spots when the new parking garage opens? For a better look click the photo.

Theories and calculations (like Steve Vance's - How Many Cars Are In Rogers Park) make for interesting discussions. Analyzing human behavior and the world as it really is however is more challenging.

Last edited 2/3/14 7:45 pm

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's Blue Sky Somewhere

The sun really tried to pierce through the clouds. 
But the clouds won.

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