Sunday, May 31, 2015

You Actually Are Beautiful

It wasn't always the case. There was that one time. It was quite an unusual event. Someone finally made it out of the matrix. With his new found freedom and knowledge he decided spill the beans. A foolish gamble that almost cost him his life. The ugly truth was revealed last August.

When Agent Smith caught wind of the misdeed he blew his stack. His minions went into a frenzy putting the viaduct back to its original state. Before anyone could start asking questions.

Today lights wink in and out of existense in this pigeonless underpass. Plastic spikes ensure that valuable guano doesn't collect on our city sidewalks.

The beauty movement is catching on in Edgewater too.

Last edited 5/31/15 6:11 pm - viaduct height is 11 foot 8 inches - over an inch shorter than the average semi truck and trailer -

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wish You Were Here (In Rogers Park)

Dear Friends, Having a fine time, took a long bike? ride yesterday. We have lovely neighbors they are all so social. We have such a large porch, we are on it most of the time. This is the street we are on. Love to all. Ill. 

There was a time when Rogers Park was postcard worthy. Will it be again? Remember that hilarious Captain Nemos video from the 80's? The one where RP is a nondescript neighborhood? "I mean you're not going to send a postcard home from Rogers Park to say wish you were here."

Maybe one day Rogers Park will merit its own official postcards once again ? For now we will just have to bid on old ones on E-bay.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dear Mother

Dear Mother this is very near where we live. I have a dandy home here. Mrs. Deberard? has fixed things up so neat and clean. She is a dandy mother. She did my laundry, darned my socks, and are ? (ironed my shirts).

The children are the nicest little things. No(t that) cold and for all the world like a California winter. I'm feeling fine. Hope you are too (now that) papa is better, Goodbye with love, Chester.

Some of the words are hard to make out. If anyone has any corrections feel free to speak up. This corner hasn't changed much since 1913. Click on the link if you want to purchase this postcard.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Group Home On Jarvis For Sale

The Lawrence Hall Youth Service Jarvis Group Home is now on the market. According to it was added to the multiple listings 49 days ago.

The real estate sites all agree that this 1920s praire style house was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright disciple. It has an original wood burning fireplace, a grand staircase with balustrade (WHAT?), two sun rooms and original pocket doors. Whoever wrote up Zillow's report ended with a flourish. OH NO! No more room to say more! Go to for more info!
This home has been used as a Not-for-profit group home for over 40 years. It has some institutionalized features that are easily removable if you don't want the extra fire doors, etc. BIG BONUS for the buyer is that this home has not been on the tax rolls because of it's not-for-profit status. This means that there will not be any property taxes due until 2017! 
Clicking on Remax's link reveals more interesting and unusual data regarding this large six bedroom three bath house. If you were to close on this house next month you would enjoy a year and a half of property tax free living.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Northshore And Clark - Morning After Latest Shooting In Rogers Park

Sometime after midnight (early this morning) a white car pulls up to the stoplight. Two older men one drinking a beer come up to talk to the car full of young men. Both men exchange handshakes and fist bumps. One of the men, the one drinking is especially fired up about something.

Yesterday after 10 pm a car drove by and shot someone in their foot.

This corner of Rogers Park is definitely one to watch out for. Its an active corner that has had more than its fair share of gunplay. If you haven't already continue reading at Everyblock and add to the discussion. According to one poster there is also gang graffiti in the alley.

Its one thing to talk about gang graffiti. But when you drive by and see it.... Pretty shocking. When stuff like this is up  the neighborhood really is the pits.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Coffee Speedshop

Towbar is slowly morphing into the Coffee Speedshop. Benjamin Woodard (who incidentally is pulling up stakes for an associate position with the Seattle Times) broke the news late April, The trim has changed from brown to red, new coffee is being served, and a Honda motorcycle now adorns the front window. Shockingly they opened bright and early today at 8 am and they cooked up some bbq. New monicker still TBA.

Lost walkers, drivers, pilots, seamen, dog companions, commuters, casual pedestrians all need a place to order an eye opener or a nightcap. If you find yourself stranded, shipwrecked, marooned, run aground, or exiled to Rogers Park... Make the best of it and stop on by for some libations. Maybe you will find your bearings and figure out how to make it back home.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Crash @ The Peckish Pig?

No mention of anything on Evanston Now. A still functioning parking meter (how quaint) was knocked over by some unknown force which also caused a section of the bar to be boarded up. The outdoor patio outback is ready for the Memorial Day crowd. That is if this beautiful weather holds up.

Craft beer week was celebrated this past Thursday night at the pig. Peckish Pig has their own version of the no bullshit special (remember Bullhead Cantina?). A burger, beer and shot of buck bourbon for fifteen bucks. This is probably in the response to the us people them people rant last September. So us and them people can now afford a burger and a beer on Howard Street.

Update - 5/23/15 5:55 pm - Peckish Pig tweets - "@Chevanston Yep. Unfortunately, despite the DUI checkpoint on Howard Street last night, this drunk driver got through (our windows) at 3 am."

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scratch Off Hall Of Fame

After Stephen Colbert finished selling off his Comedy Central extras he purchased 90 scratchers and a couple cigarillos. Smoking away on his favorite stoop he made quick work of the lotto cards. "C'mon Goddammit!" hitting nothing and then scattering them to the four winds.

Express Dollar Plus has plasterd their storefront with the small fraction that pay out. Their most successful coin scrapers have won one hundred dollars up to one thousand dollars. One Lucky Lottery store winner did win twenty five thousand.

Average spent before winning? In most cases equal to or exceeding the payoff. Most scratch offs end up on the sidewalk. Untold hours of our lives spent waiting for someone to buy their scratch offs. Well thats if we insist on shopping at the local bodega. At least we have smart phones to look at Twitter, Everyblock or Facebook to pass the time.

Last edited 5-19-15 5:44 pm

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

"Get The F%$^ Outta The Road" Program

Group of kids early evening (tonight) bouncing a basketball with a pair of adults. Crossing the street one of the kids decides to lay down in the middle of the road. The other kids start heading back in forth into the intersection playing in traffic. One driver honks them and is able to drive on. This driver turns the corner and the ball bouncer decides to dribble close to this writers car.

"Get the F off the Street!"

The adults watching the kids didn't say it. Of course it shouldn't have to come to that. No one was doing anything about this dangerous behavior. Police SUV cruiser saw it and gave the kids (and hopefully the adults) an earful. Horseplay on the main drag is a good way to get yourself killed. Cross the street and move along. If you don't learn it at an early age you probably won't grow old enough to tell other kids the same.

The official get the f outta the road program was rolled out six years ago with mixed results.

Last edited 5/17/15 3:27 pm

Recyclery 10th anniversary benefit tonight

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Dissent on the 'net

(Coach) Alley houses are cool

So many other things to talk about on the 'puter besides petty stuff. Kyros C. was a welcome addition to Everyblock with his (or her) accurate crime reports. Unfortunately he or she has decided to enter into Internet Argument Mode. There isn't a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Just more and more bad karma. E-block goes through cycles. With luck this one won't last too long.

Some people like to cross swords on the 'net. Joining into the fray is a serious waste of time and makes for a dull read. Many people take 'puter 'net talk personally and hold real life grudges that last years. Unproductive, unrealistic and boring. Everyday we all get into disagreeements and tiffs with all sorts of people. And there is nothing wrong with that. You make up later and move on. Its normal and natural to get into squabbles. Rehashing old comments from years ago is ridiculous and obsessive.

Unplug your console, go outside, read a book, watch a movie, check back in later after you've spent enough time real world. What happened to sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Halfwit Coffee To Go @ Morse Red Line Stop

The signs are a little hard to read in this light.....

Now Open! Smack Dab Chicago. A weekday to go breakfast counter serving local drip coffee and freshly baked pastries. Yay we opened a coffeeshop! Locally roasted coffee.

Halfwit coffee did not disappoint. Excellent drip coffee, cookies and fast efficient service.

Single source brews and quality over quantity. This little shop hits the spot in the morning.

Update 5/15/15 4:58 pm -'s coverage of Smack Dab.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Smack Dab!

In-between Pub 626 and the Glenwood at 6956 N Glenwood a little commuter coffee shop is opening tomorrow. Finally those headed downtown jonesing for caffeine and late for work will be able to nab their morning energy boost. Chicago Honey Co-op tweeted the big news a couple days ago.

Common Cup is a great place for community events, reading the paper, doing your homework, and ordering caffeinated concoctions. It's also a little too far for some.

Smack dab will serve Halfwit Coffee, zucchini bread, sour cream coffee cake with handmade strawberry jam, and penny doodle cookies. For now opening at 7:30 am and closing at 11:30 am. If business is brisk they may open a half hour earlier.

This is a no-nonsense grab and go shop. No place to sit and no cappuccinos and lattes to slow down the flow. Get in get out and make your train.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Seeing Double On Howard Street

Benjamin Keddy worked most of the day putting the finishing touches on his ersatz coffee shop. Lugging a ladder around for the outside work and adjusting your reality with his clicker.

He mentioned that the piece took a lot more time and money than he thought it would. But what doesn't? How does it work? Layering graphics, 3d modeling, tons of scans, computer programming, stuff like that.

Applications for this technological masterwork? Movie sets, mock ups for future businesses, landlords enticing new commercial tenants, stores for fake people, ultimately, the Matrix.

Last edited 5/10/15 2:00 pm

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Roman Susan Annex @ 1629 w Howard

Definitely not a promotion but a neat change nonetheless for this art gallery. The streetlight display is a return to cool smart art. The annex was losing its direction and then a Sprint pop up store prompted the move to this smaller, intimate storefront.

While the former movie theatre entrance is still occupied by a sneaker store RSA is next door and soon Factory Theater will be bringing drama back to Howard.

If you didn't know to look for it or aren't paying attention (like looking at your smart phone or texting your life away) you could easily miss 1629 w Howard.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Chicago and Main construction site

If you haven't driven through or ridden by this intersection in a couple of weeks stuff is finally happening.

The bigwigs here tried floating an office building but no takers. Guess the corporate fat cats still prefer downtown commuting. Instead it will be more of the same; luxury apartments.

Jane Jacobs school of thought - mixture of uses resulting the most vibrant community with activity all day long - is unfortunately rarely practiced in Chicagoland.

We want to (or have to) shop at the mall, work way downtown or the burbs and live somewhere else.

Last edited 5/4/15 2:45 pm

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Opening salvos

@Chicago Scanner - 024: Shots fired 1628 W Sherwin #Chicago #ChicagoScanner #RogersPark

@Chicago_Scanner  ·  14h 14 hours ago

So, basically, shots are being fired in #Chicago

Sometime after midnight cannon like booms echoed through the outskirts of Chicago. 200 or so years ago it was the sound of flintlock and musket fire in the forest.

A half block east of Touhy Park rivals actual or perceived encountered one another last night. No news story or police tape or investigation as the shooter missed his mark.

The beautiful summer like weather means the return of old grudges and turf battles. Where the hotspot will be this summer is anyone's guess.

A city sign proclaims Touhy Park a gang free zone. However when competitors randomly run into each other everywhere; anywhere is the field of battle.

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