Saturday, January 20, 2018

Chance The Rapper Visited Uptown Last Night

Guess who showed up at the Pedersen-McCormick Boys and Girls Club on Friday night? Chance the Rapper made an unannounced appearance to help distribute winter clothing to club members. He stayed for a couple of hours giving autographs, talking to the attendees, and posing for photos.

The Pedersen-McCormick club, located at 4832 N Sheridan, is one of 23 Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, which serve 17,000 youth annually. Their services, activities, and after-school programs are available to anyone between the ages of 6 and 18. Membership is $20 per year.

This isn't Chance's first unannounced visit to Uptown. Last March, he visited Courtenay School for a career fair. Good guy, that Chance.

More photos of Chance and the club members are below. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

City Announces Start Date (2019) And Staging Area (Parking Lot) For Complete Rebuild of the Lawrence Red Line Station

It's a sign of things to come! The City of Chicago has announced that it will lease the parking lot it owns at 1130 West Lawrence to the CTA for use as a staging area for the reconstruction of the Lawrence Red Line station beginning in 2019.

The lot, which is located between the Uptown Lounge and the elevated tracks, will go under lease beginning June 1, 2019. It will be used as a staging area for construction equipment and supplies that will be used to completely renovate the Lawrence station and the tracks on either side of it.

Lawrence will be the first of four stations to be rebuilt as part of Phase 1 of the  CTA’s historic Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) project. The other stations are Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr.

Dating back to 1923, the Lawrence station will be completely renovated. There is no final design yet, but the CTA says the new station will include an elevator, a larger station house footprint, and wider platforms, among other modern amenities. More than 1.1 million riders use the station annually.

Why the Red Line and why now? The CTA says that, after more than a century of use, the tracks and stations of the North Side Red and Purple Lines are "approaching the end of their useful life" and are 40 years past their expected lifespan. In addition to being the most heavily traveled train lines in the entire CTA system, they also have the fastest-growing ridership numbers.

The project is set to begin in mid-2019. But if there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that most things take more time than projected. We'll hope for a 2019 date, but won't be placing any bets.

City Council Approves Cappleman-Sponsored Program To House Homeless

One of the measures approved by the City Council on Wednesday will provide the chronically homeless with case management/wraparound services and access to housing. Here is the news release that the city issued Wednesday afternoon:


Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Will Quickly Connect Chronically Homeless
to Housing and Wraparound Support Services

The Chicago City Council today approved funding for the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP), a one-of-a-kind supportive housing rental subsidy model that combines both housing/rental subsidy expertise and intensive case management to effectively house residents who are experiencing homelessness.

The FHSP, co-sponsored by Alderman James Cappleman, establishes a rental subsidy source that allows the City of Chicago to quickly house and provide supportive services to some of Chicago’s most challenging and costly homeless populations, including individuals who are high utilizers of emergency rooms and the criminal justice system.

The program brings together an unprecedented partnership that includes the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)."

The entire news release is here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Happy Anniversary, La Patisserie P!

From Ald. Osterman's newsletter:

"Please join me in congratulating La Patisserie P, 1050 W. Argyle, on celebrating 35 years in business this month. La Patisserie P has been a staple on Argyle St, anchoring the eastern end of the district. Thank you to the many neighbors who have supported Peter and his family over the years, here's to 35 more!"

If you haven't discovered this gem yet, make a beeline to Argyle between Kenmore and Winthrop. The pastries and breads are delicious and reasonably priced. (Pro tip: Try the cream horns!)

Owner Peter Yuen is a classically trained pastry chef who is part of a second generation who are changing the face of Argyle Street (along with the owners of First Sip, Ba Le, and Sun Wah).

Peter's parents opened the New Hong Kong Bakery in the early 1980s after emigrating from Hong Kong. In 2004, Peter took over the business and changed the name to La Patisserie P.  He creates Asian and European pastries, and runs the store with his wife, Susan.

La Patisserie P's hours are 8am-6pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 8am-7pm Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Tuesdays.

Black Playwrights Festival At BET

Monday, January 15, 2018

Towkio Visits Lawrence House For Newest Video

Take a look at the Lawrence House's bar (Larry's), lobby, and pool, as they are featured in Chicago rapper Towkio's new release, Symphony.

Lawrence House is located at 1020 West Lawrence.

CAPS Meeting For Beat 1912 Is Tuesday At Sulzer Library

The CAPS meeting for Beat 1912 is tomorrow, Tuesday, January 16th, at 7pm. It takes place at the Sulzer Library, 4455 N Lincoln.  The beat's boundaries are Lawrence, Clark, Irving Park, and Damen, which puts it just west of our coverage area, but it is still technically part of Uptown.

The meetings take place on the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months, and are combined with Beat 1911.

If you are concerned about crime in your community, and want to talk to the beat officers and CAPS officers about what is going on, this is the best place to do it. If you have a concern that you'd rather not voice publicly, you can speak to an officer after the meeting.

A complete listing of all Uptown's CAPS beat meetings and schedules is available here.

Snowy City Night

The falling snow and the new lighting on the Gerber Building and the Wilson L station combined to make Wilson and Broadway a dramatic scene Sunday evening.

We love how the modern station glows blue and the vintage Gerber Building has warmer golden tones. Click to enlarge.

Lawrence/LSD Viaduct Closed to Vehicular Traffic Overnight This Week

A reminder that the viaduct under Lake Shore Drive at Lawrence will be closed this week between 8pm and 6am. This is to allow the workers to install steel and make repairs under the bridge as part of its safety rehabilitation.

Foster and Wilson will serve as alternate routes.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed in early spring.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Do You Have The Time?

Gerber Building status as of Sunday, January 14
For the first time in over 60 years, if someone asks you for the time at Broadway and Wilson, you don't have to look at your wrist or smartphone. You can simply gaze upon the Gerber Building because the clock is back.

Two lighted pillars have been added on each side of the arch as well as on both sides of the clock. Lighting still has to be added to the underside of the arch. If you pass by at night, it is certainly beautiful. Doors have also been installed under the iconic "Uptown Station" sign and a new floor has been poured inside the large retail space.

What a change for this corner! In case you need a reminder...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Chicago Wheel Jam At Chase Park On February 4th

Books, Business, and Folk Music: It's What's Happening At The Bezazian

There's a lot going on at the Bezazian Branch Library in January and February (1126 W Ainslie):
All branches of the Chicago Public Library will be closed on Monday, January 15th, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Zen and the Art of Escalator Maintenance

There have been questions about the escalators at the new Wilson station being out of service, so we reached out to our contact at the project management firm. This is what he said this afternoon:
The extreme cold has been causing problems for the escalators. As of this afternoon, the east escalator and both elevators are running. The reason the west escalator has not been fixed yet is they are waiting for a specialty part to come in – hopefully sometime next week.
While not having escalators is annoying, we didn't have them for years prior to this. Let's have some patience -- and in the meantime, take the stairs if you're able, and the elevators if you're not, while they continue to make adjustments to get everything working.

Photo credit: Reddit