Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Get Ready! Wilson L Renovations Start This Month

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photo credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune
By Tracy Swartz, Red Eye

CTA riders who use the Wilson Red Line stop soon will need a new thesaurus.

For years, some riders have used words such as “dirty,” “disgusting,” “dilapidated,” “dangerous,” “depressing,” “sad,” “shabby,” “smelly,” “unsafe,” “frightening” and “horrible” in emails to RedEye to describe Uptown’s Wilson station, which dates back to the early 1900s.

But starting this month, the CTA is slated to begin work on a three-year, $203 million renovation project that will transform the Wilson stop into a transfer point for the Purple Line Express and a station accessible for riders with disabilities. Continue Reading

"Orange Is The New Black" Star To Host Preston Bradley Concert

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Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles presents an afternoon of female-centric choral and symphonic music hosted by comedienne, jazz musician and actress Lea DeLaria ("Orange is the New Black"). DeLaria, known as the "Butch Queen of Hollywood," broke new ground more than two decades ago as the first openly-gay comic to appear on national television, with appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and as host of Comedy Central's all-gay special, Out There. DeLaria will play emcee at this special event, which features an appearance by Chicago's own Artemis Singers, the first lesbian feminist chorus in the U.S., as well as the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band, one of the first gay bands in the world, which will perform the masterworks planned for this special event.

OITNB star Lea DeLaria
Sunday, November 16, 2014
3 PM - 5 PM

Preston Bradley Center
941 W. Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60640
Tickets are $25 - $75.

Visit for a full event description.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

500 New Solar Panels Now Live On Top Of ICA Building

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The ICA Building at 4750 N. Sheridan Road
Live solar panels lining the roof of the ICA Building
The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) flipped the switch for nearly 500 solar panels to go live on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at the ICA GreenRise Building, 4750 N. Sheridan Rd. The event, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., featured a ribbon cutting, Share Fair for around 40 area nonprofits and speeches by ICA CEO Terry Bergdall, City of Chicago Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert and Uptown Alderman James Cappleman. This addition of green technology, the largest installation of solar panels on a building outside of downtown Chicago, will reduce the buildings dependency on an external supply of electricity by 23% and offer a yearly savings of over $16,000. Also unveiled at the event was a TV screen in the ICA GreenRise lobby displaying real-time energy and cost savings from the solar panels. For more information visit

Monday, September 29, 2014

Buddhist Temple Bumps Up The Curb Appeal

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The Buddhist Temple of Chicago at Leland and Racine hasn't had the greatest curb appeal over the years. Large expanses of gravel along Leland often ended up on the sidewalk and even out in the street. All of that has changed! We noticed that new shrubs and flowers are now lining Leland and Racine. New pavers have also been installed in front of the SW corner of the building. A huge improvement!

Truman College's Wilson Avenue Refresh Nearing Completion

Looking west along Wilson from Clifton
Major construction has ended on Truman College's "north entrance plaza" refresh along Wilson. Landscapers were hard at work bringing in dirt to fill in the new planters and trees were waiting on a truck across the street to be planted.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Six Uptown Sites Featured In "Open House Chicago"

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Six sites in Uptown will be featured in this year's "Open House Chicago" sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The newly rehabbed Somerset Place Apartments as well as the historic Preston Bradley Center are just two of the Uptown treasures you can take a peek inside. This all takes place on October 18 and 19. More info can be found on the CAF website.

Uptown Thriller Parade This Halloween In Buttercup Park

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How cool is this? If you've always wanted to dress like a zombie and reenact Michael Jackson's Thriller video, then this is your chance. Register to dance here or register here as a volunteer. The fun is scheduled for October 31 in Buttercup Park. To get you in the mood, we leave you with this.

Support Uptown's SSA #34

Uptown United -- the organization that manages the programs of Uptown's SSA -- has been told by the City of Chicago's Department of Planning & Development that we MUST have a strong show of support in order to renew or reconstitute the Special Service Area!

Special Service Areas are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas. The enhanced services and programs are in addition to those currently provided through the City.

The support of property owners in the district is KEY!

If you live OR own property within any of the highlighted areas above, please visit this link and register your support!

Medical Marijuana Dispensary A No-Go

Residents at the BPN Meeting on Monday
via a Buena Park Neighbors email blast:
"We had a great turnout last night.  60 people attended the meeting at Brennemann School and heard from Alderman Cappleman and Bill Petty about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary proposed to go in the building formerly known as Nick's Uptown (near Sheridan & Irving Park).

We will have a fuller report on the meeting in the October newsletter,but for now we want to let everyone know the result of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary proposal.  Basically there is none.  The people from Advance Herbal Alternatives, who were scheduled to give a presentation, didn't show up.  We also found out that Thorek has not signed a letter of intent with them, nor have they verbally agreed to lease any space  to them.  At the end of the meeting it was decided that the issue was essentially dead and if it resurfaces, Buena Park Neighbors will send out a notification."

You're Invited To The Grand Re-Opening Of Somerset Place

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via Ald. Osterman's office:

Save the date:
October 2, 2014 at 6:00pm, 5009 N. Sheridan Road
Zidan Management Group (ZMG), one of the Midwest’s leading property management companies, recently announced the Grand Re-Opening of the historic Somerset Place apartments in Uptown, Chicago. The grand opening event is open to the general public and will take place at the above mentioned time and place. Attendees can RSVP by sending an email to

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Revisiting 1984 at Vintage Garage Chicago September 21st

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Hard to believe that the second to last Vintage Garage of the season is coming up already.

Looking back on the last century, there are several standout years, one of which is 1984. It may seem like a long time ago, but the folks at Vintage Garage Chicago aim bring it back September 21. It's the theme for the next Vintage Garage Chicago in Uptown.

A leap year, 1984 saw the Winter and Summer Olympics, the 1984 World’s Fair, and a Band Aid recording of the charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Chrysler introduced the Minivan, Apple released the Macintosh personal computer and the world was introduced to Birkins, Discman, the Tandy 1000 and the Atari 7800. And who can forget Slice?

Along with all their great vintage from all eras, our vendors will be showcasing their 80's merchandise. Professional DJs Sasha and Ross will be spinning 80s tunes.

Vintage Garage Chicago takes place at 5051 N Broadway on September 21 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It's at the Argyle stop on the Red Line.

Man Killed in Gang-related Violence


There's been an uptick in gun-related incidents in and around Sheridan Park over the last few days. Readers have reported gun fire across a few locations roughly between Leland, Sunnyside, Magnolia and Beacon. Unfortunately the violence seems to have culminated in a man being killed on Monday.

DNAInfo has the story on the man here, and the Alderman's office has issued a formal response.

Late this morning, an individual was shot from a gang-related shooting on the 4500 block of N. Magnolia. He later died at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital. I've requested an increased police presence in the area while I work with the detectives and the commander. They are reviewing camera footage from police cameras and other surveillance cameras in the area. As always, if you see something suspicious, do not hesitate and call 911 immediately. 

While more police presence helps curb crime, it's not enough. We need to do more and offer more alternatives for our youth in our community. I have helped many youth programs secure City funding and support them in their programming and fundraising efforts.  After talking to other elected officials and organizations in the area, a few weeks ago, I asked a number of youth organizations to participate in the creation of the upcoming 46th Ward Community Youth Forum. At this forum, youth organizations, community leaders and elected officials will come together to talk and create a plan of action that will respond better to the needs of the at-risk youth in our community. Any ideas or suggestions you have or if you want to help, please contact Caitlin at or stop by my office during open office hours Monday evenings between 5 pm -7 pmto chat with me. 

I would like to also encourage you to attend your next CAPS meeting where the commander and myself will be present to answer any of your questions. Click here for information about CAPS meetings in your area. Additionally, I'll keep you updated on the 46th Ward Youth Forum as we get closer to the event.

Please remember to always call 911 anytime you believe you've heard gunshots, or notice any type of drug-dealing or other gang-related activity.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Positive Loitering Tonight (Weather Permitting)

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Come stand with your neighbors and police officers for a safer Uptown.

from the Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering enters its fifth year in 2014, taking place in trouble spots in the 19th District on Friday evenings.  Tonight we will stand at the southeast corner of Wilson & Broadway, near the currency exchange, then may walk to another spot at 7:30, depending on the group consensus.  Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring your dog!  All are welcome to attend.  The 19th District Police are aware of and encourage our efforts.  As always, they will stand with us and/or drive past our location(s) every few minutes to lend support."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gunnison Street Multi-Family Yard Sale On Saturday

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Gunnison Street Block Sale
Saturday, September 13th
8:00 to 2:00

900 Block of Gunnison

(west of Marine, one block north of Lawrence)

Over a dozen residents on Gunnison Street will be participating in the Gunnison Street Block Sale this Saturday, 9/13, from 8am to 2pm.  Come find terrific bargains ranging from household items, furniture, baby goods, antiques, clothing and more!  Shop early for the best selection!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chase Park Offers Fall Crafting Classes For Kids & Teens

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Chase Park (4701 N Ashland) is offering some after-school arts and crafts classes for kids in the community.  Fun, and very affordable too.

Weaving at Chase Park for $5.00
  • Tuesdays and Fridays, 6pm - 7pm
  • September 16th - December 5th, 2014
  • Co-ed 7-15 year olds
  • Instructor: Stephanie Kitts
Teens will learn different weaving techniques and methods throughout the 10-week course. No matter the experience, course members will learn basic skills then advance in making a huge rug from a hula hoop! Towards the end of the course, teens will make a wooden loom to then take home and continue to weave as they please.

Arts and Crafts at Chase Park for $10.00
  • Fridays 4:45pm - 5:45pm
  • September 19th - December 5th, 2014
  • Co-ed 9-15 year olds
  • Instructor: Stephanie Kitts
Through the 10-week Arts and Crafts class, teens will use several mediums of art, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and printing. Through facilitation teens will create beautiful crafts and art work to take home and enjoy!

Please come into the park and register for these classes.  You can also go online and register at, just type Chase Park in the search engine!

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Clean Montrose Point

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Spoil Me Salon Sidewalk Sale

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Spole Me Salon is located at the corner of Leland and Broadway.

Reminder: Don't Let Strangers In Your Building

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Scam artists and thieves are out there, trying to get into your building.  They'll force their way into units, or help themselves to packages in the lobby.  Once again, PLEASE don't let anyone in unless you know them.  That includes unexpected delivery people and people claiming to be from utility companies and charities.  This happened this week in Buena Park:

"There was an incident yesterday where a stranger was buzzed into the building and was going door to door trying to get in people's units. Luckily one of the residents saw what was going on and started questioning him, which eventually scared him out of the building. 

This gentleman asked our resident if he could get into the unit because he was there to do some electrical work, which was clearly not true. A few minutes later the resident noticed him trying to open other people's doors. He was not from ComEd and was not authorized to be in the building. He ended up leaving and walking outside to two friends that were waiting for him.

I can't stress enough how important it is NOT to buzz anyone in that you aren't expecting or that you don't know. Sometimes FedEx and UPS will try and buzz every unit just to get into the building so they can leave a package. If you are not expecting a delivery, DO NOT buzz them in. The person expecting the package will have to make arrangements to receive it.

Spread the word to your neighbors if you see them."

If anyone ever notices any suspicious activity, I would suggest calling the police and then notifying management. Thank you in advance for your cooperation."

Meeting About Margate Park Arson Fires Tonight

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From Margate Park Block Club:

"Kevin Duffin, 20th District Police Commander, and a representative from the 48th Ward will be holding a meeting on Wednesday, September 10th at 6:00pm to update us about the recent arson fires in our block club area.

If you have any information and have not already shared it with the Police, please do so immediately.

The suspect is still in custody, but has not been charged.

  • August 19th, 2014 – Porch/building fire at 919- 923 W Margate around 4:00am
  • August 26, 2014 – Dumpster Fire at 840 W Ainslie around 2:30am"
The meeting will be at 1008 Argyle (just west of Sheridan).  6pm.

Note:  Jaden, one of the cats who was displaced by the Margate fire, is still missing.  If you live near the area, please keep an eye out.

CAPS Meeting Tonight For Beat 1914, Including Clarendon Park

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From the Beat 1914 CAPS co-facilitator, Amy:
"Hi Neighbors:

It's that time again -- our monthly CAPS meeting for Beat 1914 will be held Wednesday 9/10, at 7pm in the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse (Clarendon and Sunnyside).

This monthly meeting is your opportunity to talk with the police officers who work in our neighborhood, and to work with the police, other neighbors, local businesses, and community organizations to improve public safety for everyone. Representatives from the Alderman's office typically join us at this meeting. We strive to work collaboratively and constructively to make where we live a safer place.

Looking forward to seeing you."

Beat 1914 goes from Lawrence to Montrose, and includes everything east of Broadway.  If you are concerned about the recent goings-on at Clarendon Park, we urge you to attend tonight's meeting.

Suspect Arrested In Red Line Sexual Abuse Incidents

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Your Red Line commute may have just gotten a little safer.  Noor Jalil, age 53, of Logan Square, was arrested yesterday for two incidents of criminal sexual abuse on the Red Line on September 2nd and 3rd.  While neither incident took place in Uptown, we realize how many of our readers use the L on a regular basis.

Mr. Jalil doesn't match the description given (white man with light colored hair), but his photo does resemble the one of the perp.  He is charged with 2 felony counts of Criminal Sexual Abuse/Force; 3 felony counts of Aggravated Battery / Transit Passenger; and 1 felony count of Unlawful Restraint.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Have You Seen This Man? (Updated: FOUND)

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Update:  Mr. Johnson was found by the 24th District police on Devon Avenue.  He is safe.

Please keep an eye out for Samuel Johnson, age 64.  He was being treated at Thorek Hospital on Monday and waited in the lobby for transport to take him back to his residential care facility in Bridgeview. After several hours of waiting for his van, he left the hospital lobby.  He was last seen Monday at 4:30 at Irving Park and Broadway.

Mr. Johnson suffers from dementia, diabetes and cancer and is considered to be "high-risk missing."

He was last seen wearing a brown and gray tee shirt, blue jeans, and brown shoes. He is 6'1", weighs 200 pounds, and has brown eyes and black/grey hair.

If you see him, please call 911 or call the Special Victims Unit at 312-744-8266.

Sorry for the bad quality of the photo; it's the one supplied by the police.

Patti Smith Documentary At Bezazian Library This Wednesday

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The Bezazian Library will present the documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life this Wednesday at 6pm.

It's free!  And if you haven't been exposed to the rawness, the passion, and the energy of her work before, you're in for a treat.  She was punk before the term was invented.  She's a poet, a singer, a lyricist and performance artist.

Patti Smith will be appearing in Chicago at the end of October and beginning of November. Among other accolades, she will receive the 2014 Chicago Tribune Literary Award and perform at Symphony Hall as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

For more information on the screening of the documentary this week, click here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Don't Have A Cow, Man


The Uptown Broadway Building, located at 4711 N Broadway, has a new friend out front, a former member of the herd in the popular Cows On Parade art exhibit.  It was donated by the Potocsnak Family, who also made a $2.5 million donation to Lurie Children's Hospital, a division of which is located in the Uptown Broadway Building. Read more about it at Windy City Times.

Positive Loitering Cancelled For Tonight

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NOTE:  Due to the threat of severe weather, no positive loitering will take place tonight.  See you next week!

Come stand with your neighbors and police officers for a safer Uptown.

from the Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering enters its fifth year in 2014, taking place in trouble spots in the 19th District on Friday evenings.  Tonight we will stand at the southeast corner of Wilson & Broadway, near the currency exchange, then may walk to another spot at 7:30, depending on the group consensus.  Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring your dog!  All are welcome to attend.  The 19th District Police are aware of and encourage our efforts.  As always, they will stand with us and/or drive past our location(s) every few minutes to lend support."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Final 2014 Argyle Night Market Tonight Features Ric Addy and the Pogo Ponies

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From Uptown United:
  • Drum circle starts at 5pm at the base of the Sheridan Road stage...
  • At 6pm, the gathering from the nearby Vietnamese Association of Illinois' Mid-Autumn Festival will parade over to the Night Market
  • And wind up the evening with alt-country from The Pogo Ponies, fronted by Uptown's own Ric Addy of Shake, Rattle, & Read Books & Records at 7pm.
As usual there will be Fresh and prepared foods *** Desserts *** Arts *** Crafts *** Accessories

Favorites from Argyle include:
  • Duckwiches & Housemade Tofu from Sun Wah BBQ
  • Egg rolls, Beef Sausage, Fried Rice from Hai Yen Tai Nam Market
  • Tank Noodles - Phoenix Bean
  • Pho Xe Lua - North Garden Chinese Restaurant  
Other Vendors on hand:
  • Tasty treats from Beijo de Chocolat, Uptown Brownie, and Yoberri Gourmet
  • Vintage Collectibles from Sylvia's Backroom
  • Fresh fruit from Lyons Fruit Farm
  • Muffin & Schotzee's Arts Boutique
  • Artist Bari Fleischer will be making art on the street
  • Crescent Moon Henna
  • Desert Flying Fish Crafts
  • Farmer Friendly. 
The Night Market takes place between 5pm and 9pm on Argyle street between Kemore and Sheridan.

Red Line Rider Sought For Criminal Sexual Assault

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This is not particularly an Uptown story, but still possibly affects readers.  If you ride the Red Line, please keep an eye out for the man pictured. He is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman on the train yesterday, between the Chicago and Clybourn stops, on a crowded southbound train, in the morning rush hour. He is described as a white male, 5'10" to 6' tall, medium build, possibly with light brown or blond hair.

If you see him, please call 911 or the detectives at (312) 747-8380.

Memorial Service Today For Hassan Al-Shwally

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We apologize for the late notice in getting this information out to the community. Many Uptowners will recognize Mr. Al-Shwally by sight. We are saddened to hear of his passing, and his friends and family are in our thoughts.

"It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing of our friend and neighbor, Hassan Al-Shwally. Hassan was a tremendous part of the Uptown community and will be remembered at Mercy as a generous neighbor who had a kind word and a blessing for everyone from elected officials to people living on the street. He was a dedicated volunteer who freely gave his time wherever needed, whether to water the Mercy Housing/Ezra garden, register voters, set up tents at the farmers market, or just to help out a friend in need. He loved to make people happy and asked so little in return. We are better people for having known him, and he will be sorely missed.

There will be a memorial service for Hassan at Mercy Housing’s Delmar Apartments (5042 N. Winthrop) on Thursday, September 4th at 2:00 pm. Please join us, and please help us spread the word to Hassan’s many, many friends throughout the community."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"The Tarot Show" Coming To Uptown Arts Center

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Coming in September to the Uptown Arts Center in the historic Preston Bradley Center:

The Tarot Show...
celebrating the elegant allegory of tarot

Opening Reception 5-8pm 
Saturday, September 27th
Exhibition thru October 26th, 2014

Tarot illustrates our attraction to insights into ourselves, our world, and our past, present and future.  Being more about choice than prediction and crossing the borders of conventional thought into our subconscious, tarot can become a meditative practice and a way to illuminate the complexity of human behavior.

On October 25th, Uptown Arts Center and The Tarot Show will be part of HI typ/O's Re-Mapping the Salon, a featured Chicago Artists Month event that travels between Chicago's neighborhoods every Saturday in October, engaging with local communities, and encouraging dialogue between artists and spaces. Performance artist Natalia Nicholson presents a creative response to The Tarot Show.

For more information, visit the UAC's website.

... Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

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Reader Susan Hannigan posted on UU's Facebook page: " a new big bike rack on south side of Irving Park Rd., just east of Sheridan. A very big bike rack!" Stop by the Holiday Club for a cold drink while you're there.