Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back From The Races

Runge's race car now with three flats waits for its post race tune up. This dirt car isn't street legal. Taking closer look one notices the headlights and brake lights are decals.

The lucky right front tire "Hoosier" made it through the contest unscathed. Faithful readers will remember Runge's racecar from March when Austin Runge was working on in it inside the garage.

Number 71's trailer has been sponsored by Speedway Motors, Lefthander Chassis and Motion Pro. Well maybe not sponsored, but made possible by.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


May is an odd month and so another Jargowood Meeting looms on the horizon. 7350 N Sheridan May 5th at 7:30 pm Chalet. Incorporated in 1988 its one of the longest running neighborhood groups in Rogers Park and Chicago.

The Fargo "L" viaduct wall continues to crumble. Towbar is under new management. Plots at the Howard and Ashland Peterson garden wait anxiously for their gardeners to start tending.

If you live anywhere from Clark to the lake inbetween Howard and Jarvis and have a bone to pick with the alderman or want to keep up with neighborhood developments and news you should stop on by.

(Anyone remember the heart of darkness of Jargowood? Thankfully no photos were taken of the scene.)

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Chillaxin In The Backstreets

Rambling the virtual streets of Rogers Park on Google Maps the urban explorer can walk down more alleys than not. Coverage still far from complete with many abrupt stops and dead ends. Chicago is blessed with a proponderance of alleys. Houses or apartment buildings without alleys are the exception.

Some neighbors take advantage of the road less travelled looking for metal scraps, odds and ends, a quiet place to hang out. Drivers find another way around a blocked street or a new way home. Eccentric builders built coach houses some with stables, some without.

A couple back lanes (like the those inbetween Jarvis and Fargo) have stop signs. The scene below resemles a farm house on a country road.

For now there is no designation on Google Maps for which alley is what or an archive as to which alleys are included. If you haven't all ready got your building or your house address outback there's no time like the present to rectify the situation. Doing so aids firemen and policemen responding to emergencies.

Using Google Maps to scout alleys is an excellent way to check out unfamiliar territory, study a neighborhood you think you know quite well, or a good way to pass the time. There are always hidden pockets of the city that merit further investigation.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Alleys Off Clark Street

Is there a human skull on the red truck's hood?

Now that Google Maps has been almost everywhere they need to finish off the alleys. Random backstreets here and there are visible on the Chicago edition. The short lived Pac-Man version of Google Maps proved how important back lanes were in evading Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde.

Joe Zekas commented on the slow addition of alleys to Google Maps last year. The most famous alley featured on Google Maps is the fictional Diagon Alley. There is an alley named alley on Google Maps here in Chicago, but the car never made it through.

So far the longest stretch of alley here in Rogers Park runs from Lunt to Touhy parallel to Clark. Exploring the alleys the virtual wanderer takes a left behind the old firehouse on Greenleaf. At the deadend make a right and take it straight down. The street view car took a right before hitting Pratt and then traveled east to Clark. 

Another short jaunt from Albion north (just east of Clark) almost to Pratt and then right to Ashland. Gets boring just driving on the streets. How many other alleys are on the 'net?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Faces Of Rogers Park

Another vacant store front is being put to good use. Photography will be on display at the former Goods For Less at Jarvis Square. May 28th at 6 pm with a suggested donation of five dollars.

So far 500 have been invited and 107 are going. Another great event sponsored by the folks at Tow Bar and R Public House. Rogers Park has a lively and active Photography Facebook page. Should make for an interesting gallery to study before taking the "L" downtown or just before dinner at one of the Jarvis Street restaurants.

This mall isn't in as bad shape as Rogers Plaza recently purchased by Jennifer Pritzker at Morse and Wayne. Its right next to rapid transit and the lake so definitely not the highest use for the land. Its perfect for those people who like to drive around and not walk.

Great place to get errands done but its definitely not drawing folks off the "L" or from outside areas. Unless you have business with the alderman, laundry (with wifi), currency exchange, cleaners or need a quick bite to eat or Indian food there is no reason to park here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Now you see it and now you see it?

Starting next month Sol Cafe will have an evil twin. An unreal doppelgänger tempting you to come in for coffee. Opening the door, reaching for that first cup of joe in the morning, it slips through your fingers. Your waving hand waves right through your friendly neighborhood barista. Your head starts spinning and you wonder if you've been drugged.

No you haven't dropped acid. It's just Benjamin Keddy's public interactive video installation. first broke the news back in early March. This morning the flyers for this art project gone mad were on display at Sol Cafe. Gotta do something with these empty storefronts.

Starting May 2nd running through May 29 th "a 3d digital model of Sol Cafe" will be "projected on the windows" next door at 1617 w Howard Street. Opening reception on Saturday May 9th 8 - 11 pm.

Last edited 4-22-15 11:10  pm

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Come For The Quesadilla & Stay For The Yoga

The awning which hung like a poster now serves as an awning. Now your local source for Mexican vegetarian cuisine. Too much bad karma from the chicken, pork and beef.

Inside decor is the same. Those in search of nirvana can start with introduction to yoga. Blue flyers have been posted all over the neighborhood inviting literally everyone to give it a shot.

Created to appeal to people from a wide range of goals are to stretch and lengthen tight muscles and connective tissue, improve strength and balance and enhance full range of motion. Yoga practice also cultivates a peaceful, open heart, a clear, focused mind, and refreshes and illuminates the spirit.

The I.M.U. lives on Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30 pm for 16 dollars.

La Reina Del Sur ( broke the news in early Feb) unfurled their new awnings sometime this past week. We were promised a Mexican restaurant at the other end of Howard. Looks like this one will do just fine. Sunday through Thursday 10 am - 10 pm and closing early on Friday at 5 pm. Credit cards and their resultant fees are also bad karma. So cash only please.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Pub 626

Brought to you by the same schmucks as the Glenwood. This corner (Morse and Glenwood) has seen a lot of changes since the dollar store closed a couple years ago. First Morsel, then Bulkhead Canada (or was it Bullhead Cantina)? The only other corner to see this much action recently is Pratt and Sheridan (Pillars, Ciao Bella and now Philly's Best).

A Mexican restaurant gay tavern? Retaining the same wild west depression era bar and eeping what worked with Bullhead's Cantina fusing it with what works with the Glenwood. Catering to the growing influx of gays and lesbians priced out of Lakeview and Edgewater is just common sense. Gay Pride North only started being celebrated here a few years ago.

If you must try the Blue Moon Horchata Ale remember its a novelty drink. Cinnammon in a bitter alchoholic drink? It tastes about as good as it sounds.

Last edited 4-17-15 8:17 am

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marshfield & Rogers Avenue CTA Cut Through Cleaned Up

CTA workers use this gate on Rogers Avenue to walk up to the "L" tracks. Its not uncommon to see their trucks parked at this corner doing some emergency repairs.

Years of accumulated garbage and litter has finally been picked up.

The 7400 N block of Marshfield used to be the boulevard of broken dreams.

 In case you forgot that big white metal box on the hill "is part of the ATC signal system, which keeps the trains from colliding with each other." Clark St posted this helpful comment last summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do You Feel Lucky?

Be a part of our penny floor mosaic. Drop your two cents in the mail slot. We're making tiles like these to renovate the gallery.

B1E Gallery is out of commission right now because a much needed? overhaul. As long as it has that same charming off the wall content. Nothing posted to the Facebook page since 2013. Perfect timing for an Abraham Lincoln themed storefront. Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of his assassination at Ford's Theatre.

This corner of Rogers Park is always fun to check up on at least quarterly. Google Maps reminds us of the dark days before B1E opened. Hope to see new paintings, sculptures, dioramas, and artists soon.

Like (Almost) Nothing Happened

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Roof Crash @ Gateway Parking Garage

Attempting suicide is not funny. Flipping your (Zip) car over on an empty roofdeck is hilarious. Kudos to the architect for making the walls tall enough so that unbalanced drivers can't drive off into the sunset. You never know how well designed something is until its put to the test.

Trying to kill yourself in spectacular fashion is one thing. Please don't do it at the expense of innocent bystanders. The important thing here is that no one died.

Every news or traffic chopper in the city (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) covered the scene of the driver being rescued by firefighters earlier today. How about just one helicopter get the scoop and then share the photo? Probably not a good idea for every pilot lookeeloo to do a fly by.

By the way when is getting a helicopter?

Kyros C. recounts the facts of the case on Rogers Park Everyblock.

Last edited 4-15-15 2:32 pm

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Evanston's Camera Truck

Is this a stake out? A multi-day stand off? Why has Evanston SWAT been parked on Custer these past couple days? Surely they have a better place to store their vehicles? Or is this truck here to help with neighborhood security?

According to Evanston Now the Evanston police department added this camera truck to its crime fighting fleet in 2013. The authorities park the vehicle in problem spots and record daily activity 24-7. It has a total of six cameras and can transmit video to squad cars and cell phones.

Retrofitting old armored trucks with video cameras is a common crime fighting tool. Peoria, Illinois unit "the Armadillo" predates the Evanston truck by a few years.

So if you see a giant armored trcuk parked in Evanston beware.  Your activities are being monitored.

Last edited 4/9/15 5:45 pm

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Funeral For His Holiness

Not everyone got the memo about the big event at St. George Cathedral (Mar Gewargis Cathedral). Suv barreling down the alley behind the church. The driver stops. "What's going on?" Big funeral for one of the higher ups in the church. Touhy is shut down from Clark to Sheridan. "Oh Geez I'm late for work" Slaps forehead and continues down the alley looking for another route.

Foggy brisk spring morning. Perfect day for a funeral. This one was bigger than most.

Mar Dinkah IV Patriarch of the Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East passed on late last month. He was a Christian leader in the Middle East. Not a place known to be friendly to non Muslim religions or their peoples. According to his obituary he actually served in the ministry in Iran in the fifties. He had close relationships with key Middle Eastern political figures.

A more complete biography here outlines his career and move to the United States in the seventies.

The wake happened yesterday at St. Andrews Church in Glenview. Friday is the third day commemoration mass. Sunday Commemoration mass will take place in all parishes this Sunday.

Craig posted pics of the funeral itself. (So did Kyros C.) In the official notice it states that no pictures or video was to be taken of the event. Whoops.

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