Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Police Commanders In Both Uptown Districts

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According to Second City Cop, there were quite a few command changes and promotions in the CPD brass announced yesterday.  Both Uptown districts and their commanders were affected:
  • In the 19th District (south of Lawrence), Commander Eli Voulgaris was transferred to Commander of the Bureau of Patrol.  Captain Robert Cesario from the Central Investigations Division was promoted to Acting Commander (the "Acting" until he is confirmed by the City Council).
  • In the 20th District (north of Lawrence), Commander Kevin Duffin was transferred to Commander of Area North.  Captain Cornelia Lott from the 18th District was promoted to Acting Commander.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Robberies In Buena Park

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Hey, guys, this isn't Mayberry. Even Mayberry isn't Mayberry any more. Lock your doors and windows!

Ba Le Starts Construction On "Desserts & Drinks"

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Construction work is now going on at 5018 North Broadway, empty for years

The old location of Ba Le Sandwich at 5018 N. Broadway, slated to be "Ba Le Desserts & Drinks" (via Google)
About this time last year, Ba Le took out a building permit at its original location, 5018 North Broadway, one storefront north of the current sandwich shop.  It stated that a shop called "Ba Le Desserts & Drinks" would open there.

Thanks to reader MH, we know that the groovy window stencils have come down and construction began at the site this week.  It's our understanding that the new place will serve desserts and bubble tea, and be a place to sit down and talk and relax, unlike the austere tables and stand-up counter at the sandwich shop.

We look forward to enjoying Ba Le's tasty macarons in a new comfortable setting.

Celebrate Spring's Arrival With CircEsteem! This Weekend and Next

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Peel off the winter layers and come out of hibernation as 120 kids ages 3-18 dazzle you with their feats of strength and daring!  You won't want to miss this show.

SPECIAL: (Only for advanced ticket sales) Buy 2 adult tickets get 1 child ticket free.  Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Spring Party & Barbecue Saturday

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Missio Dei is having a Spring Party at Buttercup Park...a party for everyone! Family Fun and Free BBQ as well!  For more about Missio Dei, visit their Facebook page.

Citywide Clean and Green

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Help Clean & Green The Sunnyside Mall On Saturday

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Please join  your neighbors and Sunnyside Mall Committee to spruce up the Sunnyside Mall located on Sunnyside between Magnolia and Beacon, on Saturday, April 18th, 10 AM to 1 PM.   Clean garden beds and mall, maybe even planting.

If you can’t join us on Saturday and want to help with gardening, email

Thank you for taking pride in your neighborhood and lending a helping hand.

Join Truman Square Neighbors For Clean & Green on Saturday


Murder On Wednesday Morning

As many readers are already aware, there was a shooting that resulted in a death in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday.  It happened at 1:50am in the 4500 block of Broadway.  A 24-year-old woman who was a passenger in a car was shot in the head.  The driver of the car took her to Illinois Masonic, where she was pronounced dead.  Readers tell us that Broadway was fully blocked off by the police doing investigations by 2:30am.

We've been waiting for more information to pass along, but there's nothing more to report. We heard a rumor that the couple was from central Illinois, not from Uptown.  Other than that, there's no further information to be had.

Was it road rage?  Was it a domestic situation?  Was it gang-related?  Was she a target or an innocent bystander?  We don't know any of those answers.

What we do know is that a family is burying a young woman and grieving her senseless death.  It's so very sad, and our hearts go out to those who loved this young woman.

Update from Ald. Cappleman's 4/17/2015 newsletter:  "At approximately 1:50AM Wednesday morning, a 24 year old woman was fatally shot in the head on the 4500 block of N. Broadway. Chicago Police Department detectives are gathering information including video footage. CPD has stated that they do not believe this was gang-related. If you have any additional information or questions, please call the 19th District CAPS office at 312-744-0064."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Tragic Death At Truman College Today

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We've had several inquiries about an incident at Truman College this afternoon.

We are told that a Truman College instructor jumped or fell from one of the buildings in the back of the campus, in the area near Clifton and the back of the parking structure.

Our heartfelt sympathies to those who knew and loved him, and to the entire Truman College community.

Update:  The instructor's name was Thomas Worms and he taught Nursing.  You can read more about his life in DNAinfo.

Free On April 28th? Come Help Challenger Bark Grow

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On Tuesday, April 28th Challenger Bark will be closed for tree planting.  The hours are 9am-1pm.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help out needs to register with Openlands at this link:  It takes about 30 seconds.

For any questions people can email Kent at and they can also visit and like our Facebook page:

Help Available Appealing Property Taxes

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We've been hearing from property owners who got their property value assessments from Joe Berrios's office last week.
  • Some are upset that they're overly high ("This has to be some grossly incompetent mistake or intentional fraud because [my value going up by $110K] is absolutely laughable.  They didn’t raise our property taxes so they raised our estimate fair market value.")
  • Some are upset that their property value has dropped ("I wanted to re-fi, but this new value puts me under water.")
Luckily, there is some help available.  You can appeal your tax valuation until May 8th. "Please warn Uptown residents to watch for their love letters from Mr. Berrios.   Many of them won’t even receive them like I didn't for several years.  The tax appeal deadline is May 8, 2015 for Lakeview Township [which includes all of Uptown]."

  • We heard from Commission Bridget Gainer's office.  "From now until May 8, the Cook County Assessor’s Office is accepting property tax assessments appeals for Lakeview Township. Next Monday, April 20 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM – staff from Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s office will be available at Alderman James Cappleman’s 46th Ward office (4544 N Broadway) to offer property tax assistance. Homeowners may visit Commissioner Gainer’s staff to for assistance to file an appeal and for answers to their property questions."  If you can't make that date or times, please contact Bridget Gainer's office to see if there are other opportunities.
  • Former Uptown community activist Molly Phelan is a tax lawyer, and posted on UU's Facebook page:  "For property tax appeal assistance, contact me at or visit"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Helen Shiller Withdraws Application As City Council Financial Analyst

(José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune photo / January 29, 2011)
16 months after she threw her hat in the ring for consideration as Chicago's first City Council independent financial analyst, former 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller has withdrawn her application.

Not that she thinks she wouldn't be great, mind you.  She does.  But she says she's tired of waiting for a decision, and she's got other things to do.

It came down to a standoff between 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar, who didn't want a former alderman in the position, and 34th Ward alderman Carrie Austin, who was determined her former colleague should get the job.

Someone must have blinked, or someone *cough*Rahm*cough* threw some clout around.

In a statement, Ms. Shiller said:
“I felt (and frankly still feel) that I was the most qualified to work with all 50 aldermen on drilling down into this information and providing them the tools to make the tough decisions.

Now, I have moved on to other opportunities that interest me personally. ... Things change, and as time has gone by, my day-to-day priorities have changed. While I remain committed to the establishment of an office that is an effective resource for aldermen, I no longer wish to be considered for this position.”
She still has a lobbying firm and a healthy pension.  She's a smart cookie, we'll give her that, and there are probably many opportunities available for someone with her talents, political passion, and background.

You can read more of her statement in the Sun-Times.

Clean and Green Beacon Street On Saturday

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Interested neighbors are invited to join in the block clean-up of Beacon Street.  Meet at the Lawrence triangle at 11am and work south from there.

Ross Dress For Less Slated For 918 W. Montrose

Looking east down Montrose from Sheridan (Mid-America Real Estate)
How about that for retail?

Remember the old Dearborn Wholesale that has been sitting vacant across from Jewel at 918 W. Montrose? Well, according to Mid-America Real Estate, a new retail development with Ross as anchor tenant will be coming soon! One retail space with 4,800 square feet at the far eastern end of the development is still available.Total number of parking spaces is listed at 73. Expect to be hearing a lot more about this very soon. See the entire flyer and specs here.

Looking west on Montrose towards Sheridan (Mid-America Real Estate)
Update: We are told that the deal has not yet been finalized.  So, stay tuned for more details.  We'll let you know as we find out more.

Like Mumford & Sons? Find Your Thrill On Cricket Hill

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It's not just for sledding and movies anymore. JAM Productions has announced Mumford & Sons, with opening act The Maccabees, will play a concert on Cricket Hill near Montrose Beach on Wednesday, June 17th.

Tickets go on sale this Friday online; and at The Vic box office; and by calling eTix at 800-514-3849. Cricket Hill is located northeast of the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Montrose.

Later in June, the Beach Boys and Kool and the Gang will play at Montrose Harbor near The Dock.

"An Evening of Jazz" To Support the Boys & Girls Club

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Here is one of best annual events in our area in support of our great neighbor, the Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club. By supporting this event, you get a wonderful evening with neighbors and a great evening of Jazz.

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

For more about the Boys and Girls Club, click here.
To make your reservations, click here.

Vintage Garage Opens For The Season On Sunday

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Vintage Garage Chicago kicks off the 2015 vintage season on April 19th.  Here's what they have to say:

"We are excited to be back for 2015 with 100 vendors of great vintage in all categories like vintage clothing, home decor, mid century modern, pop culture, furniture, kitsch and more.

5051 N. Broadway Uptown is the place.  10 to 5. $5 admission.  The Garage is covered so rain or shine, we'll be there.

Below we've shared some tips to make your Vintage Garage season opener the best it can be!
  1. Be early.  At the opening bell, your chances of getting the best are better! (see how to get in even earlier, (9:30 at the season opener and get a coffee each month by becoming a V.I.G. here)
  2. Dress WARM.  The Vintage Garage in April is usually cold inside.  We are covered, but sides are open.  Wear a few layers you can peel off, and warm socks and shoes.  Concrete is cold after the long winter.  You won't be sorry!
  3. Get good parking.  Come early.  This is Chicago, so street parking can be scarce later in the day.  If you come early, you should have no trouble and there are no meter fees on Sundays! VGC is less than a block from the Argyle Red Line station as well.
  4. Be sharp!  Tired or hung vintage shoppers might miss something, so get your beauty sleep.  :)
  5. Bring cash!  Many dealers take all forms of payment, but don't miss anything by making sure you have plenty of cash with you.  If you happen upon that one dealer who has your dream piece and they only accept cash, someone else can grab it while you are at the ATM.
  6. Meet the vendors!   Many of our Garage dealers are there every month and want to build their customer base.  Tell them what you are looking for.  Hunting down things is what we do.  The dealers are also a really cool group of people!
  7. Ask for a better deal. Don't be afraid to ask for a better deal and be polite and reasonable. Don't offer less than 1/2 price for an item, think 10% to 20%.   Dealers have to pay for their booth and all sorts of other expenses associated with tracking down the coolest vintage, but make no mistake, they want to haggle.
  8. Buy the best you can afford.  Quality pieces stand the test of time.  Be on the lookout and know what serious quality is in the category you collect.  The price is right with vintage, you can get more for your money.
  9. Look closely.  It's dim in the Garage and in most early morning markets.  Pull out your iPhone flashlight or ask to take the piece closer to light for a better look.   Also use your fingers to feel as you look, be confident your piece is 100% whole and undamaged.
  10. Spend the day.  Uptown has amazing shops.  Two of the best antique malls in the city are a few Red Line stops away.   You never even have to move your car!   So many great places to eat too!
Vintage shopping can unearth amazing things, start practicing now, the Vintage Garage is right around the corner, April 19th, next Sunday!  We can't wait to see everyone! See the buttons below to take you to the Facebook page etc.

The 2015 market dates are,  April 19, May 17,  June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20 and October 18.  The Vintage Garage has vintage and antiques at 5051 N. Broadway, Chicago IL 60640 each month, April through October on the third Sunday.  10am to 5pm $5 admission and the official website is

Purchase a season pass (Very Important Garager) via Paypal below.  It helps support the Garage and keeps the best in vintage coming to Chicago We thank you for your support and look forward to the 2015 season!

Vendors the first month include Dead Girl's Vintage, Century Chicago, Retro Treasures, NOV, Abundance Abounds Antiques, Mid Century Misfits, Karma Vintage Goods, First Ladies Vintage,  Narrative Mercantile, Collector's Agency, Gypsy Mouse, The White Iris Boutique, Proud Mary Vintage, Kaleidoscope Vintage,  Pippy,  Bolted and many more.  We'll have Heritage Outpost, Fotio and 104.3 K-Hits.  It's going to be a great day Uptown! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Enjoy Dramatic Music In An Historical Space

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VOX 3 Collective and Lakeview Orchestra to invite you to attend a FREE performance of Carl Orff's musical masterpiece "Carmina Burana" at the historic Preston Bradley Center on Saturday, April 25 at 7:30pm.  Both VOX 3 Collective and Lakeview Orchestra have strong roots in Lakeview and Uptown; we are excited to give back to the community with this amazing gala performance in one of the neighborhood's glorious spaces.  More information is here.

Bring Back Beautiful Butterflies to Buena Park

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Buena Park Neighbors to Plant Monarch Butterfly-Friendly Species 
at Its Spring Clean and Green on Saturday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. 

The Monarch Butterfly is in decline and Buena Park Neighbors' Spring Clean and Green will help provide an inviting habitat for our beautiful flying friends by planting Milkweed and other species of plants that attract and provide food during the Monarch Butterfly's spring and fall migrations.

Buena Park Neighbors will hold its Spring Clean and Green on Sat., April 18 at 10:00 a.m. at Dollop Coffee and Tea at 4181 N. Clarendon Ave. which is on the northeast corner of Clarendon Avenue and Gordon Terrace.

At this annual event Buena Park residents will volunteer to plant Monarch Butterfly-friendly plant species and help clean up their neighborhood. The group will meet at Dollop at 10:00 a.m. and spread out from there.  The Buena Park Neighbors Association supplies the trash bags and tools. Residents should bring a pair of gloves. At noon everyone will meet at Michael’s Pizzeria for a community lunch.

This is a great way to meet neighbors and work together to make Buena Park shine.

Buena Park Neighbors is a 46th Ward neighborhood association of more than 200 residents, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations in the nationally registered Buena Park Historic District. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Buena Park.

Introducing The Coffee Hour at Peoples Church

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From Rev. Seth Fisher:

"Peoples Church of Chicago is officially launching The Coffee Hour this week. The goal of The Coffee Hour is for people of all faiths and philosophies to become better people and create a better world together.

Every Sunday at 11AM people are invited to come find out what's going on in our community and to catch up with neighbors. Each week there will be art from Uptown Arts Center and acoustic music on the auditorium stage (musicians welcome - bring an instrument), followed by some kind of program such as a creative writing workshop, serving a free lunch, a facilitated discussion, etc.

April 12th will feature a meditation group at 1PM. Guests will also learn about other events going on throughout the week, both at Preston Bradley Center and throughout Uptown. Every event listed is free and is something that feeds the soul and builds community in our neighborhood. The Coffee Hour - Caffeine for the soul!

For more information:
UU Note:  Peoples Church is located at the Preston Bradley Center, 941 West Lawrence, at Sheridan

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Model Railroad Club Open House On Sunday


One of Uptown's best-kept secrets is the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club, a miniature world hidden in the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse.  As their website says, "Most people won't get the opportunity to run a local freight, operate an important passenger train at full speed with farms whizzing by or get to perform switching at a busy rail yard. At the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club you can escape the world you know to a magical snapshot in time, hand-crafted, hand-operated and always different."

If you'd like to see this world of wonder, you're in luck.  One of the members says, "Just wanted to let you know our club will be having an open house this Sunday from 1PM - 4PM. The event is free and is great for the whole family. More information can be found on our newly redesigned site www, Our club was recently featured on City of Chicago TV, that video clip can be found our homepage."

The fieldhouse is located at 4501 North Clarendon, at Sunnyside.  There is free parking in the lot.

FLATSstudio Presents WORK WERQ On April 23, 1050 W. Wilson

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

No CTA Closure Of Broadway This Weekend

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The tracks have been removed from the overpass in preparation for demolition

Buh-bye. You won't be missed. Can't wait to see Broadway and Leland bathed in sunlight

The CTA continues the demolition of the old North Shore railway overpass at Broadway and Leland, which was until recently utilized by the Purple Line.  The traffic closure of the 4600 block of Broadway that was originally scheduled for this weekend has been canceled, but the demolition will go on.

We still encourage you to patronize the businesses on that block during the entire reconstruction process.

As for this weekend's demolition of the overpass, a spokeswoman says:
"There is a revised demolition plan in attempt to reduce the impact to community and residents of Uptown. The revised plan includes working on Saturday morning at the Majestic Building. Broadway will be open, there will not be a need for a full closure of Broadway for this weekend. The attempt is to work Saturday from 7am to 5 pm and throughout the week. This may eliminate (1) weekend closure. More details will follow once an assessment on progress is made with the revised plan.

For now, Broadway will be open this weekend and demolition is scheduled only for Saturday from 7am - 5pm." 

Reminder: CAPS Beat 1914 Meets Tonight

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"Hi neighbors:

Please join your neighbors, local businesses, community representatives, and neighborhood police officers tonight for our monthly CAPS meeting.

7pm tonight at the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse (Clarendon and Sunnyside).

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Amy, Beat 1914 co-facilitator"

UU Note:  Beat 1914 includes the area east of Broadway, south of Lawrence, and north of Montrose.

Amy Crawford Thanks Her Supporters

Here's what supporters of Amy Crawford's campaign got in email this afternoon (and yes, surprisingly to some, one of Team UU is/was a Crawford voter):

"Uptown Saturday Nights" Kicks Off April 11 With Free Events Every Second Saturday

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Uptown Saturday Nights Debuts this Saturday April 11!
Explore restaurants, music venues, art installations, performances and entertainment in the UPTOWN neighborhood every 2nd Saturday April through December 2015.

Uptown Walking Tours starting at Shake Rattle & Read
2:00pm, 3:00pm and 4:00pm     
Hosted by Chicago Greeters of Choose Chicago, enjoy a cultural and historic walking tour of Uptown's Entertainment District. 

Juicebox at Baker & Nosh
4:00pm, 1303 W. Wilson
Join musician Carol Weston for an interactive program of children's songs. K 

Maracujaz at FLATSstudio
7:00pm, 1050 W. Wilson Ave.    
From mellow bossa novas and upbeat sambas to jazz classics, Maracujaz is a musical journey to Brazilian jazz.