Monday, June 30, 2014

Jargowood Meets July First

SHERIDAN & JARVIS 7350 N Sheridan Road Conference Room 7:30 P M

Do we have your e-mail address?
BEAT 2422/2423/2424 meet last Thursday each month 7212 N Clark Street
Call Neighborhood Relations 312-744-6321 for info

JARGOWOOD MEETS Tuesday Sept 2, 2014
Sherwin Chase Neighbors & Touhy Park Advisory – second Monday odd months
How can the police and fire department find your house?

Positive Loitering @ Morse & Wayne


Its really warm out now. Which means that the gangs are out again. Morse Gyros and Golden Mini Mart have been their home base for many years. We have seen what happens when businesses give in to intimidation and allow gang loitering; a shooting followed by shutdown.

Golden Mini Mart from what this writer can see personally and from discussions with local businesses has continued to cave in to gang intimidation. If GMM can't resist the temptation to allow gang loitering its days are numbered. Anybody remember A.I.M.?

Morse Gyros ran out of gyros yesterday during the Pride North rush. Refreshing to see police hanging out at Nino's old place. Instead of reacting to gang loitering they used it as their temporary HQ.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gateway Cafe's New Look Is Driving Away Customers

Things have really gone down the tubes at this out of the way and now infrequently visited plein air diner. Fluorescent bulbs, diffuse natural light, huge ventilator shafts give it that industrial edge and vibe that used to make it such a hip spot. But encircling the patrons with dumpsters is taking things a bit too far. Functional art that doesn't smell good will kill almost anyone's appetite.

Pretty sure the city is gonna shut this place down pretty soon. Can't be healthy to have all this trash rotting away so close to the kitchen and dining area. Right now the cafe is most popular with the janitorial crew during their smoke break. Hopefully this place can bust out of its current loading dock doldrums so that this space can live up to its true potential.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mr H & R Bloch Finally Settle Down

After years of wandering this popular tax service decided to put down roots and find a place to call home (Gateway Mall on Paulina). Usually the Blochs would pack up, move out and hit the open road each April 15th. They would end up scrambling to find some vacant storefront January the next year.

After all the paper work was finally done Henry would invariably look at Richard and say "I don't know about you but I'm outta here". Everything was put into public storage. The next six months he went incommunicado. No one had any idea what Henry or for that matter Richard did during that long barren stretch of time between tax prep seasons.

At the ripe old age of 59 Mr H and R got tired of traveling the world exploring unknown territories. That doesn't mean that they're done goofing off. If you really want to get some serious work done better call ahead of time and book an appointment. Most of the week the office is closed. H and R are usually up north in the backwoods fishing in some no named lake in Wisconsin.

Last edited 6/26/14 2:26 pm

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chase Branch On Morse Closing September 13th

A redacted letter from a regular reader was sent to Chevanston yesterday.  The letter dated June 13th 2014 states that the Chase branch at 1425 w Morse Ave will close its doors for the last time September 13th at 1:00 pm.

Dan Sano (VP District Manager) writes that this branch is collapsing into the "nearby" 6415 N Sheridan Chase. Doubtful that most people that live near Morse will walk that far.

Guess Chase was fed up with the landlord's lackluster upkeep? Some other national chain will likely take its place. Rent is pretty steep for this commercial space.

Will miss this "Main Street" bank. Every downtown needs one. The Morse "L" stop effectively is Rogers Park's downtown. Looks like closing bank branches is a national trend. Join the discussion at Everyblock.

Please continue reading for the letter

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wayne After The Rain

Reflecting pools graced this fine boulevard earlier today. Beautiful even in its decay. Photographing this rare brick paved street throughout the year makes one truly understand why this type of road is special.

Another Youngstown block is wiggling loose as we speak. Cars zoom back and forth over the uneven terrain worrying away the weak spots. Well that is unless the city steps up and fills in the potholes. Preferably with more bricks.

Last winter is now in the record books. Its why we are still talking about potholes in summertime. Repair or patching of Wayne Avenue is long overdue. Let's take care of business  and put the polar vortex behind us once and for all.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ancient Dirt Road Slowly Emerges On Wayne

6900 N Wayne Avenue is minus one more Youngstown O. block. These small pits weren't as noticeable after the rain this afternoon. Drivers or bicyclists hitting them won't be forgetting them soon.

Usually you catch a glimpse of old brick roads through Chicago's potholes. Not so at Wayne's northern terminus. Here you can look and wonder about the mess this town was before sun-dried clay. Makes you think about muddy divots in old dirt roads. Hell of thing to hit with your horse and buggy full-bore.

How many more bricks can Wayne lose and still be a brick road? Probably as many files a file room can lose and still be a file room. Upper left photo demonstrates more pieces of the puzzle soon to be lost.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kershaw Tie Crane

Stop Engine and Secure All Unit Locking Devices When : Adjusting, Lubricating, Fueling, Making Repairs

Daily - Check engine oil add as needed, Check engine fuel and refill, Check hydraulic oil level add as needed, Drain water from air tank, Check hydraulic lines for wear and leaks, Check for oil leaks, Check for fuel leaks, Check lights and wiring, Check engine air cleaner service indicator, Check propelling chain tension, Check coolant add as needed

(For lubrication chart please refer to side of vehicle - accepted oils for hydraulics, engine, and gear, differential, planetary and pump drives are listed)

Full specs here and more pics here.

Please continue reading for more pictures and words

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ratha-Yatra June 29th

Once again (fourth time) the Chariot Festival will start at Howard & Ashland. Jump in and help drag the chariot. The reward? You and your last seven generations will be forgiven for their sins.

ISKCON's headquarters in Rogers Park - 1716 w Lunt just east of Clark. Click here to look through photos from last year's parade preparations.

The parade is on Sunday 29th and starts at 11:30 am. Festival on the beach will run from 12:30 am til 6 pm at Loyola Park (1234 w Greenleaf). Free feast and festival!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flip This House! RP Edition

When the real estate market hit rock bottom this house sold for only 91,500 (early part of 2011). Five months later it "resold" for over double, 237 k. Was a rehab loan rolled into a new mortgage? If memory serves correctly no major rehab was done until later that year. Property listed on 4/24 for 399, now reduced to 389. Zillow's "zestimate" of the house's value is 279,315.

A charming abode with an odd configuration. One of the few surviving single family homes surrounded by large apartment buildings. The side yard abuts the alley and provides plenty of parking (six spots) for guests or to let. The garage, roof and exterior were redone in 2012-11.

According to Trulia the schools are sub par; Field Elementary and local high school rated below standard. But local transportation is optimal. Walking distance to the lake, "L", and Metra (closest of the three). By far the biggest perk is the plethora of parking spots.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dero Fixit @ Gateway Bus Station

Riding your bike around South Evanston and need a tune up? Or just finding your tires a little flat? Well the City of Chicago has been generous enough to install a Dero fixit bike station at Howard Street and Paulina. We don't mind if come over and use it.

In 2012 there were at least six bicycle repair stations in Chicago (including a homemade one @ Hyde Park). Riverwest got its own bike repair stand in 2013. If you bike all the way downtown you can even take a shower at Millennium Park in the McDonald's Cycle Center.

Each Dero fixit station comes equipped with wrenches, screwdrivers, compressed air (shrader or presta), allen wrench, and a place to set your bike while you work on it. This writer emailed the address of this station to update the Dero Fixit Map.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Another Brick In The Road

Wayne Avenue lost another brick today. Most potholes damaged by the 2014 polar vortex have been filled and repaired. These most unique of all chuckholes however remain untouched.

Fort Wayne Indiana is preserving some of their brick streets. An advocate for brick road restoration had the following to say in a recent News-Sentinel article...
" 'While the initial cost to repair a brick street today is high in comparison to asphalt or concrete streets, they require very little maintenance, they never get potholes, and they can be expected to last 50 to 100 years. In Traverse City, Mich., there are brick streets in use that are nearly 100 years old. The average asphalt street in Fort Wayne lasts just 18 years
More of this stretch of Wayne Avenue exists than doesn't. Almost a hundred years or more later. (Imagine what the average asphalt street would look like in the same time period. It would be a complete amalgam of pothole filler) Unfortunately brick roads eventually do develop potholes.

The West Central Neighborhood Association hailing from that same Fort Wayne, Indiana published an exhaustive pamphlet detailing how brick roads can be repaired.(The Benefits of Restoring Brick Streets) The pdf covers brick street assessment, construction, brick storage, repair process, equipment, materials, and financial considerations.

Cities in Illinois (Champaign, Rock Island, and Downers Grove) with much less wherewithal than Chicago have had experience with brick road repair.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Track Renewal - Construction Activity Notice

Flyers are now posted in Jargowood with "L" construction dates and times.

In an effort to maintain track along the CTA Red Line and Purple Line, eliminate slow zones, and continue to provide quality rapid transit service, work will be performed that may affect your community. While progress sometimes comes with inconveniences, we will do our best to keep them to a minimum.

Date :                 8 pm, Friday, June 13 through 11pm, Sunday, June 15, 2014

                          8 pm, Friday, June 20 through 11pm, Sunday June 22, 2014

Location:            Tracks between Howard and Jarvis along the Red and Purple Lines.

Work Activity:    Track Renewal

Local Impact:      There will be noise while the work is being performed.

                              Noise may include: 
                              - Engine noise from diesl track maintenance equipment
                              - Beeping from backup alarms on track maintenance equipment
                              - Crunching rock
                              - Metal on metal hammering
                           There will be light in the work zone
                           There will be some restricted alley access at times

Friday, June 13, 2014

More "L" Track Work @ Fargo & Ashland

Someone is making money on all this construction. Bonds are selling well and CTA is paying very low interest on them. So many projects that little stuff like switching out tracks and railroad ties doesn't rate press.

No public announcement of any kind. On the alderman's site, CTA Tattler, the official CTA or any news outlet. For the "L" this is just a routine upgrade. A perfunctory heads up is always appreciated though.

And ICYMI new CTA train cars are due should start rolling out sometime in 2019. And a mega redo of the Wilson stop will finally start late this year.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Darkness Reigns On Pratt

For the past week or so street lights have been out on Pratt Boulevard. All the way from Sheridan down to the "L" tracks almost blackout. Does this have something to do with work being done on the new "L" substation at Glenwood and Farwell?

Pedestrians seem to come out of nowhere walking down the street. The pickup truck sitting in the Hillel vacant lot looks sinister amongst the gloomy dimness. Astor house looms mysteriously overhead hiding in the shadows.

Take care walking down this unlit corner of Rogers Park. Highwaymen, criminals, unknown horrors, undiscovered mutants, barbarians and centaurs lurk in the ebony cloak of night. Best bring your torch and broadsword out with you if strolling about after dark. At least until the magic orbs are fixed.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wayne In The Rain

Brick roads are way more photogenic than modern asphalt or concrete. ICYMI here is another example of a Rogers Park brick road in the rain; Glenwood from Estes to Greenleaf.

Scenes like this will make you get out your trusty camera, lie down on your belly and take some pics. (Really you shouldn't, only your cellphone need touch the street)  Brick roads look weird edge on.

This historic street is in dire need of repair (chuckhole is still there today). We know it can be done. Its just a matter of getting the funding and calling the right people.

Please continue reading for more pictures  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

La Raza Calls Dibs On Jarvis & Clark

This dumpster is just behind Capt'n Nemo's. Generally the upside down pitchfork disses the Folk Nation which includes local bangers the GD's.

Someone thinks that Gangster Disciples shouldn't shop at the Rogers Park Fruit Market across the street.

Gang tagging that sits uncontested for long periods of time is a sign of a neighborhood or street in trouble.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Alley Parkers Of Marshfield Avenue

Illegal parking has been a chronic problem with this alley.  Its a unique situation. Large apartment building with absentee landlord and tiny dead end street intersects an alley right up against the "L".

Consequently anything goes.

One tow zone sign has been replaced but the other by the small electric substation is still missing. After the city put up the tow zones last year they promptly disappeared.

This is a neglected corner of Chicago. Years of trash still cover the hill below the "L" electric substation. Litter is routinely thrown on the ground. Street cleaning never comes to 7400 N Marshfield.

A tight enough corner to maneuver without a car occupying it. SRN for missing tow zone sign west side of 7461 N Marshfield - 14-00872943.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Saturday, June 7, 2014


An interesting variation on the Jewish/Christian religion.

1 (800) ITS-YHWH (The Father)

SHALOM - Shalom (שָׁלוֹם) (Sephardic Hebrew/Israeli Hebrew: shalom; Ashkenazi Hebrew/Yiddish: sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) is a Hebrew word meaning peace, completeness, prosperity, and welfare and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.[1][2][3]

YHWH and YAHSHUA'S TEMPLE at 725 1/2 W Howard Street Evanston, Illinois.

Yahshua (The Son)- Reading from The Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 10, page 10, we find that the supposed name Jesus is actually the common Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua.

Sabbath Bible Study: Friday 7:30 pm
Sabbath Service: Saturday 10:30 am

Undersheperd: Brother Mykayah and Website

(Clicking on the link above leads you to some intriguing videos. Gives insight to this unique take on religion.)

COME, Beloved of YHWH and Receive Ha Kodesh Ruwach (The Holy Spirit)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fatal Shooting 1900 Block W Howard Street

click to enlarge

The Google Maps marker (small red arrow above) for 1900 w Howard is at Howard and Paulina. Yahoo Maps is a bit more accurate. Its marker is at Buffalo Joes 1841 w Howard. The !900 w Howard block runs from Cash America pawn shop to Popeye's at Damen.

According to reports on Twitter an 18 yr old black male was shot at 1:45 pm today. Soon after he was pronounced dead. Tribune's report hit Twitter first. The area cordoned off in the Trib's photo is just west of the shoe repair store at 1913 w Howard Street. Chicago Sun Times & released vague and incomplete accounts soon after.

Another photo posted to Twitter just 20 minutes ago of the crime scene. Neighbors reported helicopters over ahead. King James Son @TaeBrody Tweeted around 4 pm  "he got shot earlier today. I read it was in Rogers park supposedly at 1:45. Crazy as hell. He just graduated and shit"

6/7/14 Midnight - Hours ago the Chicago Tribune released the name and photo of the victim, 18 year old Alante Vallejo, a recent graduate of Evanston High School. Evanston Sun Times reports that a second youth aged 20 visited Evanston Hospital later in the afternoon with a gunshot to the foot.

6/7/14 10:45 am - Chicago Tribune publishes the definitive followup.

"Even Cooler At Night"

The dreaded c word rears its ugly head again; "conversation".

Definition - "the informal exchange of ideas by spoken words." Synonyms: discussion, talk, chat, gossip, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart, exchange, dialogue; informal confab, jaw, chitchat, chinwag, gabfest; formal confabulation, colloquy.

Related words - banter, chaff, cross fire, give-and-take, persiflage, raillery, repartee; conference, parley, powwow; babble, chatter, chin-wag [slang], chitchat, confabulation, gabfest, gossip, natter [chiefly British], palaver, prate, prattle, rap, small talk, table talk; round-robin, roundtable, symposium; debate, deliberation

English is a rich language. It is much more interesting than most of  what comes out of peoples mouths in today's movies, tv shows, and radio. "Sally listened to the usual persiflage of day time tv. The round table discussion consisted of the same chatter about upcoming and past "conversations" (i.e. debate, interview, you know humans flapping their lips back and forth)".

Count how many times conversation is used on NPR in one day. Another overused c word is curate.

This sad, isolated corner park of Chicago (at Clark and Howard) now has a weird sculpture with a cryptic but unoriginal title. 3 way conversation.

Last edited 6/6/14 7:24 am

Please continue reading for more pictures

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ixnay On Pooh Corner Meet Up

Don't want to get into the nitty gritty but plans for the pooh corner conclave have been nixed. Will send you a coded message about the new convocation location via skywriter. Where and when the pilot will be flying will be revealed by a weighted letter dropped from a hot air balloon. Details of air balloon flight will be will be mailed to a p. o. box.

The key and address to the p.o. box will be put into a lead safe and dropped into Lake Michigan. Coordinates to the drop location and the combination will be encoded in braille in a random book at the public library. Which public library and book? Those particulars will be taped underneath the sixth seat from the front on a CTA bus. Still working on how to get you the bus number, route and time.

Gotta go. One of their agents just put a tail on me.

Drive Thru On Howard Street?

Whoever bought this irregular strip of land (Howard street east of Rogers) asphalted over the grass, put up a new chain link fence and for sale sign. Minimal investment with potential for a big payday.

Zoned B3-3 - "Shopping centers, large stores, and retail storefronts, often along major streets. Allows more types of businesses than B1 and B2 districts. Apartments permitted above the ground floor."

new Sonic drive thru on Wilson (in between Sheridan and Broadway) just opened in Uptown. A drive-thru this close to the lake and the "L" is definitely not the highest use for this lot. But it could be a good temporary placeholder.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vivian Maier In Rogers Park

More than a few passerby have been confused with this poster at TOWBAR. The what and when but not the where. Somewhere on the print the location should be mentioned.

This is what should've been posted. Walking past Lakeside Treasures should clear things up for curious passerby.

Sure to be a well attended event. This is a fundraiser for the "Photographers of Rogers Park Party and Fundraiser for Loyola Park Advisory Council".

"at 6pm and 7pm (this Saturday June 7th @ 1500 w Jarvis Ave - TOWBAR - Chicago, Illinois) there will be a rare opportunity to view "The Vivian Maier Mystery" movie, produced by the BBC"

Movie tickets are 10 bucks. Raffle tickets, one for five bucks or three for ten, for a limited edition Vivian Maier print.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Howard Theater Community Garden

The Honey bee says "Want to join us? Like us on Facebook."

This garden is a member of Openlands' Homegrown Chicago Food Garden Network.

This median has been adopted by the Howard Theater Community Garden and the Rose Rider Garden Group with a grant from the Rogers Park Garden Group. This garden is a gift to Rogers Park and the city of Chicago! Please enjoy and help us keep it liter (sic) free and beautiful!

Please continue reading for more pictures

Monday, June 2, 2014

Payphone Blight On Howard Street

Impossible to call 611 to repair this phone at Howard and Elmwood. At least from this broken phone. No dial tone. When these photos were taken a lady sitting in her car in the laundromat parking lot talked on her cellphone.

But what if someone steals your cellphone and you got mugged and need help? Or your cell runs out of juice? Or you can't pay your phone bill? What happens when a major coronal mass ejection hits knocking out your cell tower's satellite?  Or if you're in a dead zone? Payphones are still needed in emergencies.

This payphone was still operational (handset hanging on its hook) in August 2011's Google Street Map photo of Clean Wash Laundry at 804 w Howard Street, Evanston, Illinois.

Last edited 6/2/14 7:29 pm