Thursday, May 29, 2014

Not So Public Notice

At the bottom left corner of the Scabby the Rat photo posted yesterday is a public notice. This morning this writer took a picture of it. A man curious at my interest came outside and wanted to know who was taking pictures. "Just some guy on the street." In other words a member of the public taking a closer look at a public notice.

It appears that 6329 N California is being used as a makeshift construction office. The white piece of paper reads Deliveries for JBDY School 2754 W Rosement and Maytav construction Inc.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Scabby The Rat Pays A Visit To West Ridge

Scabby watches over California Avenue in solemn disapproval. Sneering, seething, ready to pounce on any non union worker passerby. "Notice To Public - Miller Concrete Pays Substandard Wages And Benefits - Laborers' Local 288"

This is a local job for Scabby who hails from Plainfield, Illinois. Big Sky Balloons and Searchlights have spawned other large rodents and creatures in their laboratory (giant skunks and pigs).

Scabby the Rat joined Twitter a couple years ago. Scabby The Rat @ScabbyTheRat "I was born in Chicago in 1990 to protest anti-union activities. Read my recent profile in Vice Magazine here:"

According to Mental Floss Big Sky sells one or two hundred inflatable rats a year. The six foot model seen above goes for two grand while the largest at twenty five feet sells for eight.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Neglected Morse Mini Mall

No way get into Chase right now. At least until they open their doors at 9. This mall is suffering a hangover from the holiday weekend. The card swiper has been swiped and trash overflows onto the ground.

A sinkhole that started last month caused one car significant damage over the weekend (another view). Silver lining is that they finally found a use for that strange concrete pillar with the handicapped parking sign. Usually it lays outback on its side dreaming of being useful again someday. Will the concrete pillar take out any more cars?

People are always entering and exiting the mini mall incorrectly. The corporate overlords have rented out spaces from an uncaring inattentive landlord. That sinkhole by the storm drain should've been fixed awhile ago. How much did this property receive in rent last month?

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Benefits Of Learning Kung Fu

Lots of stuff to look at and read at Freddie's Modern Kung Fu on Howard.

Kung fu integrates physical, mental, & spiritual elements. Practitioners are the healthiest and longest living individuals. Increase strength, flexibility, endurance & coordination, strengthen bones, muscles, and immune system, gain confidence & develop mental discipline, learn practical and effective self-defense, relief (sic) stress by practicing meditation, develop creativity and self expression

Business cards and flyers are stuck in the crevices of the door. Full window ads catch the eye of passing cars and pedestrians. What isn't there is any real street presence. The huge pictures of Kung Fu at Lake Michigan look awesome. But how could that beat watching a class in session? The opaque, completely covered storefront is a turn off. Much more fun to look at the boxing matches and ballerinas practicing on Clark/Ashland in Edgewater (EKF Martial Arts and Joel Hall Dancers and Center) . Maybe one day Freddie will take some of these posters down and show the neighborhood what they've been missing.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rose Rider Strikes Again!

The mysterious renegade gardeners are taking over more parkways. Their laminated calling cards were spotted this past week on either side of Ashland in between Rogers and Howard.

This time they joined forces with the Howard Theater Community Garden group. Funds were donated by the Rogers Park Garden Group. Next time your starving maybe you can satisfy your hunger pangs by foraging for food in the parkways of Rogers Park.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another Loose Tooth

The chuckhole on Wayne is getting wider. And the brick paved street continues to erode. Following photos are from last night. Unfortunately this tooth broke in half and can't be saved.

Most of Ward 49's funds are going into street repairs this year. What about our most unique street? 6900 N Wayne Avenue. Checking out the last two way brick paved street in Chicago and one of the last in the Midwest is a good excuse to come up to Rogers Park. And while your there have dinner at Act One and maybe catch a show at the Mayne Stage.

Last updated and edited 5/22/14 12:39 pm

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Gang Worth Joining?

The last time that the Guardian Angles made a visit to Rogers Park was back in 2012 after a woman was raped near the Morse "L" stop. The Chicago chapter of the Guardian Angels is looking for new members. The flyer at Glenwood and Morse has a phone number 1-312-217-7245, You-tube and Twitter site.

The YouTube site has numerous videos of their self defense classes, interventions and patrols. Guardian Angels while on patrol help people in distress,  look for wanted suspects and warn people about criminals on the loose. This year the Guardian Angels is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

Peter V. Bella wrote a blog post about them last summer on his blog Interesting Chicago. He demands that the Guardian Angels leave the city because they call the Mag Mile "Muggers Mile". Newsguy on his blog The Right Perspective extolls the dangers of being a Guardian Angel; getting injured in the line of duty and not receiving support emotionally or financially.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rogers Park Social - Soft Opening

Let's Get Social; the faded letters read on the sidewalk chalkboard (after the rain). A worthy successor to Duke's. Drink menu has two pages of mixed drinks, one page of draft beer, two pages of bottled beers and obligatory wine.

Sidecar was destined to fail. One man, entity or organization cannot run an interesting or successful group of bars or restaurants completely dominating a district. Unless that man is a genius its too much of the same thing.

Staff and owners stayed on top of orders and had time to mingle with patrons. The best part is the cozy corner at the window by the bar. Enough space for four to six people to visit and observe street traffic. Passerby walking their dogs, cars rolling on the brick road and the "L" train rushing by.

Impressive turnout despite it being Tuesday and having just rained. Definitely will be fun walking by this place and seeing what happens over the next few years. Hours - M-F 3 pm - 2 am Sat 12 am - 3 am Sun 12 pm - 2 am @ 6920-22 N Glenwood Ave Chicago, Il 60626, Facebook page.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Meet Me At Pooh Corner

Our usual rendezvous spot has been compromised.

We can't talk about this using Skype, email, instant messenger, text message, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, cellphone, payphone, telegram, semaphore, passenger pigeon, pony express, any type of letter or mail (not even with encryption and invisible ink), teletype, taped recordings, telegraph, walkie talkie, cb or ham radio, message in a bottle, time capsule with time machine, smoke signal, heliograph, photograph, movie, satellite, signal lamp, signal flare, dirt messages, or personal messenger.

Also please don't tell the town cryer, or use a fax machine, the PA system, a bullhorn, television ads, newspaper ads, stone tablets, graffiti, or post a message on the public square or even use the comment section here.

Everything is bugged. Trying to lose my tail as we speak. Pooh corner is the last spot left they don't know about. This message will self destruct in twenty seconds.

Sunday, May 18, 2014




312/ 647-8069

33 N. LASALLE ST. 2900



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Take That! You Pesky No Parking Sign!

A reader (JPS) sent in the following photos from work being done on the Redline at Fargo and Ashland that is probably causing many of you a sleepless night. Right now!

Street parkers need to remember that they do have a nifty back up when crazy street sweeping, CTA projects and People's Gas take over. Gateway Parking Garage at 7474 N Rogers is a way better option than circling the neighborhood for half an hour or chancing an expensive ticket. If you don't feel safe walking down the stairs then just walk down the car ramp.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Heavy Metal

Fonda Donya Chio

Blogger is missing the tilda so better to spell it phonetically. This is the new restaurant that Everyblockers have been talking about. Carl Good broke the news two days ago.

It has that just opened look, the new sign is printed on canvas tarp tied to the awning. Its logo is that of a Mexican with a large sombrebro taking a siesta against a cactus.

On the front door the handwritten sign advertises "huaraches, quesadillas, sopes, gorditas (en) estilo D.F." 6906 N Clark Street, 773-961-7592,, hours 10 am - 9 pm, no guns allowed.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Death Stalks Door County

Track work 5/3/14 in Jargowood

Jargowood novelist Patricia Skalka at Women and Children First, May 22‏

Patricia Skalka's novel, Death Stalks Door County has just been published through the University of Wisconsin Press. On Thursday, May 22nd at 7:30 she will be reading an excerpt and signing copies at Women and Children First (5233 N. Clark St.) 

I hope you and many more of our neighborhood friends be there to celebrate with Pat and (even!) to buy the book. Support our local author and our local, independent bookstore! Please spread the news.

Lorraine Dostal

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Parking Lot Rehab @ 6954 N Sheridan

This four plus one is in transition. Its parking lot is getting an overdue repair. 6954 N Sheridan is on the bedbug registry.  DLG is now renting spots in the parking lot next to the old Morseland. If you don't know what a four plus one is please click here to get yourself up to speed.

In 2011 DLG management was successfully sued for court costs (a little more than 50 k to the lawyers and 5 k to the complainant) for refusing to rent to a prospective tenant because one of his sources of income was section 8. The linked document goes into extreme detail about how court costs are determined, which court cases provided precedent and examines each lawyer's time involved in this case.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dead Conifers On Morse

These planters landed on Morse in 2011 or 2012. Ordinarily plants or trees do not grow so far above ground. Below is a quoted quote from HGTV regarding the drawbacks of being planted in artificial containers.
"Essentially any type of container exposes the roots to ambient temperatures," says Dr. Hannah Mathers, assistant professor in nursery and landscape extension at Ohio State University in Columbus. Mature roots can gradually get used to the cold, but young, immature roots can't. In containers, young roots grow on the outer part of the rootball. When exposed to the cold, young roots are unable to acclimate and die back.
We just had one of the coldest winters on record. These small pines never had a chance. If the built in sprinklers still work then the city should replace these dead shrubs soon.

Monday, May 12, 2014

7519 N Paulina For Rent

Voices Carry

This building had some noisy neighbors last night

Mid spring and early summer is the time of year you learn who makes a lot of noise. Normal discussions should not echo or reverberate between buildings, courtyards and across alleys to disturb others trying to sleep.

Increased ambient temperatures brings everyone outside. Windows are opened to get some fresh air and cool off. Chicago is pretty lenient with its official noise ordinance beginning at 10 pm. Better to nip things in the bud and call in noisy neighbors now. Rather than to letting things get out of control later on in the summer. Unless you feel comfortable do not speak to them yourselves. Unsolicited advice or complaints are rarely received warmly.

And then they know who you are and they may heckle you. Better to let the cops handle it. Its the Universes way of telling someone "Hey you are loud and obnoxious. Keep it down." That way things don't escalate.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A.I.M. Food Mart Off Limits

This isn't A.I.M. from Marvel Comics aka Advanced Idea Mechanics. (A.I.M. is one of two Hydra offshoots. You know Captain America bad guys.) Unsure what the ill-named store at 1652 w Howard Street stands for. One man died and two others injured when someone opened fire on the store and its occupants a month ago.

Friday May 9th the city shut down the ENTIRE PREMISES under section 13-12-120 and is to "remain 
unoccupied and vacant until further notice". The store has two different no loitering and no trespassing signs with 24th Police district insignias and a notice stating no smoking within 15 feet.

Inside the store another sign reads, "DON'T STAND HERE WE CALL POLICE". Its grand opening notice is still tacked onto the back wall.

Update - 5/13/14 1:20 pm -'s article regarding A.I.M.'s closure.

Last edited 5/11/14 6:11 pm

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hooray For People's Gas!

People's Gas has wreaked havoc upon our fair village this past year. They have done a decent job in covering their tracks though. Especially here at Fargo and Ashland. They planted sod in many instances where none existed. On parkways and private property all over the neighborhood. Sometimes the dermarcation is notably sharp. Like the solid strip of green in the dirt lawn above.

Strung out drug addicts are still hanging in the alcove at 7420 N Ashland around the corner in this troubled building. One anorexic lady whose years of drug use have robbed her of her vitality stood in the doorway nervously talking into her cordless landline looking up and down the street. One 911 operator thought that this wasn't worth police time. Ok so we should stake the area out, wait for the drug deal and then call it in? Speaking to the building's manager it seems that the landlord is in no hurry to sell. In the meantime addicts, drug pushers and prostitutes keep cycling in and out.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Shooting At The Lakefront

Sam Unger reported two people hit around 11-11:30pm by Touhy and Sheridan. Unwise to get any closer to an active crime scene (especially at night) for better photos. The crime took place at or after the parks closing time of 11pm. It was a large crime scene. Too large to cordon completely. Cops with flashlights searched for clues. A charcoal grill lay on its side.

Joggers jogged by and drivers gassed up, unaware of the violence that had just taken place nearby. A special forensics van came by to analyze the site.

First hot night in Rogers Park. Given the high number of gunshot victims (body count) of late this seemed inevitable. Will it get worse before it gets better? What kind of summer are we in store for here in the RP?

Last edited 5/9/14 7:57 am

Update #1 5/9/14 8:00 am - The Sun-Times article confirms that the incident took place at a Bar-b-q just before park closing. One man was shot several times (and is in serious condition). He was taken to St Francis by ambulance. The other man shot in the leg is also being treated at the nearest level one.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Another Shipment Of Chips Has Arrived

Didn't realize how often Round The Clock Liquors got chip bag deliveries. Here's one from 3/20 and here's one from 2/27. Maybe the Vitner's and Doritos drivers are friends and distribute bulk loads together? Vitner's was spotted in this old photo expose in the late eighties (Sullivan School shooting).

Vitner's is a local Chicago company. Well, it was; Snak King acquired Vitner's two years ago. Vitner's is based in Freeport, Illinois and 4202 w 45th street Chicago, Illinois. You can take a virtual tour of the factory here. The company started as a collection of family owned storefronts selling various sundries on the south side of Chicago. Then the family bought a popcorn machine, the extra popcorn was sold to local taverns. And one thing led to another.

Sample chips from Vitner's - bbq, sour cream and onion, cruchy curls, cool ranch, kettle cooked, salt and sour, Louisiana spicy. We can take pride that some of those chip bags flying around our city streets were locally made and distributed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Heartland Health Center Goes Blue?

Heartland health center's steel/metal exterior is brown on the schematics. The blue looks superior. Alley in back is still off limits. The clientele who visit and those who work at the health center should be a boon to local businesses like Ellipsis Coffee and Maddiebird Bakery. We need more anchor businesses that bring money into the community.

The sign out front with the rendering states that this will be LEED platinum. In order to qualify for the highest level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification you must score high in each of the seven categories. 80 points and above out of a possible 100 for platinum.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Rose Rider Garden Group

(Transcribed just in case you don't feel like lying or crouching down on the sidewalk at Lakewood and Farwell.)

This corner has been adopted by the Rose Rider Garden Group of Rogers Park! We are a collection of local gardeners and artists interested in helping Chicago to return to its gardening glory days via planting beneficial native plants, fruit and nut trees and shrubs.

Chicago's motto is "Urbs in Horto", which is Latin for City in a Garden. Let's work together to put Chicago on the map as one of the greenest cities in America. Planting fruit and nut trees and landscaping with native plants is the way of the future.

Recommended reading : Chicago Gardens (The Early History) by Cathy Jean Malony 
"Chicago Gardens traces Chicago's coming of age as a center of horticulture, gardening and conservation" - Robert E. Greese

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Salvavidas Para El Verano

Estamos contrantando salvavidas para el verano en su vecindario. El salario inicial es de $13.68 por hora.

"! Ayuda a propercionar un dia seguro y divertido adentro y afuera del agua !"

Complete una *prueba de natacion para ser eligible para inscribirse en la academia de entrenamiento de salvavidas del Chicago Park District. Despues de ser completado, recibera una entrevista para un puesto de salvavidas. Mas del 90% de los que terminan el entreamiento son efrecidos puestos de trabajo!

Para empezar visitar o llame a la Division de Acuaticos en 312.742.5121. 

*Ayuda financiera esta disponsible para los honorarios de las prueba de natacion.

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finance Station "M"

This little known branch of the US Post Office at 7617-15 N Paulina has limited hours. Its open Monday through Friday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Do keep in mind that as this is a federally run service this location will be closed Memorial Day Monday May 26th, Independence Day Friday July 4th, and Labor Day Monday September 1st.

Possession of firearms was banned by the Post Office before it became trendy. When the noticed were posted years ago revolvers were contraband. Original wall mounted radiators still line the north wall. (Another rare example of wall mounted radiators in Rogers Park is the Lang House.They do pop up on E-bay sometimes. Here you can see a new version that doubles as a towel rack.)

And take note that pets are only allowed to aide the hearing or visually impaired. Money Orders are available but like everywhere else in the vicinity no loitering is allowed. The orange crates and stacked plastic mail buckets in front make it look like an abandoned, unused post office.

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Scene-of-Crime North Of Howard

Rogers Park made it onto the latest citywide ballistics report again. Conflicting reports as usual. Sun-Times lists 7700 N Block of Paulina as the scene-of-crime; Chicago Scanner and Chicago Trib 1658 or 1600 block w Jonquil Terrace respectively. There is a 1656 w Jonquil but no 1658.

The building at that corner has multiple blue signs that read "No Trespassing/Loitering, Chicago Police Department Will Arrest Unauthorized Individuals For Criminal Trespassing Per Code 720 ILCS 5-21-3 Of The Illinois Criminal Code".

The caution tape is likely from some other misdeed.

Last edited 5/3/14 7:13 pm

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Jargowood Block Club

Jnauts & Friends

Jargowood meets May 6 Tuesday - usual time and place - see meeting notice and agenda attached - if you want to print this out and stick it in your condo/apt lobby, great - if you pass it on to an interested neighbor, great also.

Make a call to 311 about your favorite pothole - or bring a list of them to the Ward Service Office.  I think it would be a very good thing if we patched and filled every pothole in Jargowood before the City runs out of the goop they use to fill them!  

Lorraine Dostal

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Closed Until Next Tax Season

Hablamos su idioma. Su plana de salud podria afectar su reembolso. Ofrecemos servicios de preparacion de itin. Cambie y ahorre cinquenta dolares. Pague menos que el ano pasado. Rapido Income Tax parte de familia de Jackson Hewitt.

Este local estara cerrado hasta la proxima temporada de impuesto. Por favor llame al 773-289-1955.

You keep referring we'll keep paying.

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