Friday, January 30, 2015

Living In A Post Foot Locker World

Foot locker has met the same fate as Shiekh. A Nike box lies dead on the Evanston side. A casualty of the move out. Have no fear; plenty of places (seven) for footgear on Howard. 

Laced Up, Villa, J-Bees, P and J Footwear, Athlete's Foot, Payless Shoe Source, Marshalls.

Maybe in its place a bookstore, movie theater, greasy spoon, thai food, mountain or prairie gear store, hardware store? Or other main street mainstays like butcher, candlestick maker, jeweler, blacksmith, cobbler? About half of Howard's commercial strip is unoccupied. But there is at least the requisite mattress outlet. 

A playhouse (Factory Theater) is moving to Howard. Another excuse for folks to get off the EL and check out the North Pole. Currently Sol Cafe, Lost Eras, Roman Susan Annex, and Peckish Pig are justification enough to visit the city limits by the lake.

Last edited 2/3/15 4:46 pm

Please continue reading for more pictures

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How Low Will It Go?

Take the "L" or fill your heap with black gold?

Gasohol now sells for about half it did in 2008. The average then 4.227.

On the Chicago gas price map Evanston is red hot. Not because its a good deal or demand is high. Its the most expensive area to fuel up. By and large the more car dependent an area the cheaper the gas and vice versa.

Chicagoland is pretty sprawled out. If the internet gas spotters are reporting correctly the spread between high and low is almost two bucks. 3.89 a gallon on the west side of Chicago and 1.87 out in Romeoville.

Fracking has broken the big oil producers strangle hold on gas prices. Charge too much and the free market finds new sources. Dinosaurs lived everywhere. Its just a little harder to extract the gooey remains here. Read Time magazine for more analysis and info.

Wall Street Journal prints the obvious article on how this will hit Big Transit.

Last edited 1/29/15 9:26 am

Please continue reading for screenshots

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

People Mover @ Howard EL Almost Back In Action

Through the open ceiling of the makeshift clapboard moving stairs churned this forenoon.

The magic companionway is well-nigh fully operational. One of Chevanston's shadow partners fell into a time portal. He (formerly known as Merek) was aghast when first confronted with voltaic steps. Even those from Medieval times eventually adjust.

If you choose to drive through Paulina's northbound (bus only) lane (like the gutsy grey car parked in front of the CTA van) please do so slowly. Like six miles an hour maximum. There should be an undercover at the DD's with a radar gun to make sure that city workers, buses and scofflaws alike aren't over doing it.

Tip of the day. If someone asks you "Can I ask you a question?" and you reply no, you aren't obligated to answer the forthcoming question.

Last edited 1/27/15 2:18 pm

Monday, January 26, 2015

525 W Howard Street Evanston, Illinois

still waiting for something to happen

The only thing missing from Coldwell Banker's site advertising this property is a night photo. Which brings to mind an important question. When is Google Maps putting out a night edition? Things look a lot different when the sun goes down. This is important for posterity and orientation.

This building has been for sale on and off since Google Maps first street capture in August 2007. The last time someone occupied this storefront it was a light fixture store that folded right around the real estate collapse in 2008. So it wasn't there long. And there was an Infinite Light bookstore in 2006.

There are a couple posters with prayers from Francis of Assisi. Perhaps left over from the bookstore or some church? Plenty of folks live in the area that have to drive or take the "L" south or north to shop due to lack of local options. Remember don't let your dogs poop in the back parking lot.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bleached Beyond Recognition

Exiting the Jarvis Red-line a tall green metal box welcomes you to Rogers Park. Informing passerby, tourist, newcomer, old timer alike of the area's history. The structure itself is fine. A gift from Elite Welding and Car Repair (so proclaimed Joe Moore early in Richard M Daley's reign, when he was in shape and had hair).

Like the Farwell Pier the kiosk light is sometimes operational and sometimes not. One side welcomes you to Rogers Park with very bleached picture of Farwell Pier from the 1920's. The other side contained a brief account of the past two hundred years (courtesy of the West Ridge / Rogers Park Historical society). It also contained a picture of the original inhabitants (the Pottawatomie) and a modern survey.

Right now because of sun damage and moisture the side with RP's bona fides and its cartogram is illegible. Someone lost on Jarvis would receive no help or orientation. Time for Ward 49 and the WR/RP historical society to print up a new introduction and you are here map.

By the way, there is a sticker putter in the neighborhood who wants you to throw out all your religious thoughts and books with the rubbish.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Monday, January 19, 2015

Off Season For Runge Roach Racing

Mickee (number 10) dreams of the carnage that lies ahead. Demolition derby season is short and tough. The survivors are rebuilt to battle another day. The losers are sent to the junk yard for scrap metal.

A mid January thaw warm melts the snow early in winter hibernation. Mickee yawns and takes in the sights and sounds of the auto yard. The Skokie Swift waits its turn at the Rogers Ave bridge. Big van tells Mickee about the Holiday Train and some car chases. The Toyota with a broken axle regales the crowd with tales of a recent joyride.

Mickee goes through at least a couple tires each contest. The trailer is equipped with a complete set of replacement tires and a spare. In the quiet between the occasional parley Mick reviews derbies of days gone by and strategy. This year is gonna be his year.

Please continue reading for wideshot

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Down Escalator Out Of Service @ Howard EL

Robbie Burns Night!

Peckish Pig invites you to our 1st annual Robbie Burns Night!

Sunday Jan 25th @ 5 pm at 623 w Howard Street, Evanston, Il 847-491-6778

Enjoy a traditional Burns celebration with pipers, dancers, and poets! $10 includes a sampler of Chef Debs haggis, tatties and neeps with homemade shortbread. Regular dinner will be available as well as flights of Scotch, all night long! Call for details and reservations - seating is limited!

Haggis = pudding of sheep's liver, lungs, and heart minced with onion, oatmeal, and mutton fat AND Tatties and Neeps = turnips and potato.

Who the heck is this guy? Well he wrote Auld Lang Syne. You know the sentimental song you sing on NYE? Before eating haggis you must first address it.

What better poet to celebrate than one you can drink to? According to experts are in short supply. To keep up with demand not every Burn party can be held Jan 25th. There's a Burn party circuit. If you aren't lucky enough to attend one on his true birthday choose Jan 29th since the first Burns supper was held that day in 1802

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Respect Our Community - Do Not Litter (Even In Winter)

These signs are definitely an Edgewater phenomenon. There was another one to the east at Kenmore and Glenlake. Easy to forget that litter louts don't take a day off in the winter. Snow may be on the ground but...... hiding under the surface waiting for the slowed down water molecules to warm up and evaporate is a months worth of garbage.

Quite a few corners in Rogers Park could use these reminders and a couple of garbage cans. Ward 49 has a spring clean up which has been a tradition for years. As more and more people take care of their community's litter on a daily basis such events will seem quaint and out of date. We shouldn't wait until early April to pick up a winter's worth of trash on the parkway.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I-phone and passerby can get confused which side of the street is what this far north (or south depending on home base). Guess they over printed a couple memorial street signs. Instead of throwing them out they pasted Winchester over them and called it a day. (There is a Winchestown, Wales.)

The building at this corner has seen a major upgrade in the past few years to the lobby and retail space. FYI - Warning, premises (are now) under 24 hour video surveillance. Lots of decent vacant commercial storefronts on Howard waiting for something to happen. Word on the block is that Aguas Tortas on Howard isn't gonna happen. Seeing as how the original restaurant went out of business couple weeks ago.

Please continue reading for more pictures

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Three Car Crash On Sheridan

One lane of traffic was blocked south of Birchwood this morning after a car smashed into the parkway. Two other cars were hit. We don't have a resident Bill Smith or Evanston Now in Rogers Park so something has to fill the void. Why aren't big accidents being covered south of Howard or Juneway Terrace? City driving is way worse than it is in the burbs. Accepted norms are different in Evanston and Rogers Park. Auto crashes aren't reported on unless you hit a cop car, someone dies or is critically injured or its a drive by shooting.

The lady in the picture tried to intimidate Chevanston's on scene photographer. This isn't your own private car crash. If major damage is done to parked cars and is causing traffic problems its public knowledge. Why did this accident happen? Was it because of a talking on a cell phone or texting? Was it driving too fast for conditions? We need traffic calming and more enforcement on Sheridan before pedestrians and drivers alike are hurt and killed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

1706 w Wallen Avenue

CHA property (current or former?) on Wallen has been under going renovations since June 2014. The work inside continues into the new year. Building looks sharp with new black trim windows. Its next door to the former Ghost Pepper Creative Arts Agency (link has pic of this building boarded up). If this is indeed a six unit building then the units are very large. Homes by Marco lists this as a tax exempt home.

Google Maps latest drive by in September 2014 saw some men digging a hole in the front lawn with a sawzall laying on the ground still plugged into the building. (Note this alley is special. It is bounded by City Code 27-223)

Some info you need a password or membership to see the data. Funny thing is Google still reveals enough of the link to provide some insight on this property. "Building Permits at 1706 W Wallen Ave, Chicago, IL 60626 1706 W Wallen Ave was remodeled 2 times in the last 6 years, with a total of $680000 spent. The biggest job was $662000: Cha project: interior renovation of 6 ..."

Please continue reading for Google Maps pics

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Water Main Break @ Lakewood & Farwell

Printing & Delivery Services

Community businesses in Rogers Park are stepping up to satisfy a public need for printing hard copies and a place to receive packages.

No Kinko's nearby or anywhere really. There is a UPS store at the Gateway Mall. Why trudge all the way over there when you can run off paper copies at Sol Cafe? Average cost is around 19 cents a page. PRINT WITH ME is also available at Royal Cafe at Pratt and Sheridan.

If you are't home all day (and don't have a work place) you can direct your internet packages delivered (UPS Access Point - Convenient pickup and drop off, Monday and Friday until 5pm) to V-tone. How many more threads on Everyblock do you need to read through re stolen parcels?

Double Chip Delivery In Benumbed Weather

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Sea Is Coming For Your Car!

Parking at the dead end of 1200 E Jarvis rewards your car (for all its hard work surviving city driving,etc, etc) with a great view. Its also a fantastic place to read the newspaper as your auto warms up. 

Best to heed the  "WARNING" as your turn into Jarvis' easternmost block. For there be "Dangerous Waves" and if you park here you "Park At Your Risk". Remember, "No Free City Tows."!

There must have been an incident that required city tow truck intervention.This is a frozen car in Chicago and this isn't. Beside being stuck in a hellacious blizzard on LSD the most likely place that your car would ice over is Jarvis Beach (soon to be Marion Mahoney Griffin Beach). 

Please continue reading for more pictures and video

Monday, January 5, 2015

City Code 27-223

Greenleaf Tattoo Company

This new business has been flying under the radar with their understated and unassuming storefront. Tattoo, piercing and artistic services their raison d'etre and mission. They were given the go ahead by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health this past October.

SAILOR M❂❂N @_FunkyCold_  ·  Dec 27
Party tonight at the Greenleaf Tattoo Shop in Rogers Park!!! Clark & Greenleaf

Above first tweet re the new tattoo parlor on Greenleaf. Its right by the Lunt Metra Station in a building whose fate was in limbo two years ago.

Tattoo artist Ian Cognito brings his unique, varied style from Brooklyn to a friendly independent shop in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood.1766 Greenleaf Ave Chicago, Illinois (773) 899-5142

Closed Now
Closed until Tuesday 12:00pm - 9:00pm

Please continue reading for more pictures

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rogers Park's Branch Of The Little Free Library

Charter Number 11908
Take a Book Return a Book

How does this library work? (seen here in Sept 2014)

This Little Free Library offers a way to share good things to read - favorite books from your childhood or books you would recommend to friends, books that teach, intrigue and engage you.

Whose library is this? It belongs to everybody - neighbors, friends and people we don't even know yet. Anyone can use it. That's why we want to take care of it. 

Take a book. If you see something you would like to read, take it. Look inside and see who gave it, who else has read it. 

Share it. Return it to any Little Library or pass it on to a friend.

Give books. Leave notes in them, be a friend of all libraries by helping anyway you can. Pay it forward!

We support reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world. 

Please continue reading for more pictures and words

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Illegal Advertising @ Gateway Mall

The telephone pole at Gateway Mall earlier today. Now the signs are where they belong, the trash. Some shyster decided this was a great place to post flyers hawking bankruptcy and mortgage services.

Scary to think that anyone would be desperate enough to jot down these phone numbers behind the Ethiopian Diamond across from the new BK.

When places are too corporate, filled with mostly large chains, and the owners are a board, a REIT, essentially a bunch of executives and stock holders (theoretical people who possess land but not a landlord in the old fashioned sense) this is what happens. No pride.

No oversight by anyone who really has a stake in whats going on. Well except just the bottom line. As long as the money comes in, well who cares if some unscrupulous con men come by and put up unauthorized promotions?