Monday, October 27, 2014

Uptown Nights At Aragon Ballroom, November 11

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via Alyssa Berman-Cutler of Uptown United:
"Hope you’ve heard about our upcoming event at the Aragon – it promises to be an amazing evening of “Games, Gals and Glitz” with Casino games, Kiss Kiss Cabaret Burlesque, Jazz from the Flat Cats and food and drink from great Uptown establishments.

All-inclusive tickets are going fast, but we have a special group rate I hope you can take advantage of – only $50/ticket for five or more guests.  Please get your neighbors together and join us for the best of what Uptown has to offer."   Tickets are available here.

Update On Today's Shooting From Ald. Cappleman

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photo credit: Willie Walker III
via Ald. Cappleman's email:
This morning a woman from out-of-state stopped at the BP gas station at the corner of Lawrence and Marine Drive due to problems with her car. She called her cousin and her boyfriend who came to her assistance. After they arrived, another man arrived at approximately 12:15 p.m., pulled out a gun, and shot the cousin, who as of right now, is in critical condition. The boyfriend also had a grazed wound and is fine. The police are investigating to confirm that this was a personal incident. There is very clear video footage from a number of different sources that the detectives are now reviewing.

Commander Voulgaris of the 19th Police District has confirmed that there will be an increased police presence in the area where the shooting took place. Please feel free to email me or come to my office hours tonight between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to discuss this or any other concerns you may have in-person.
r man arrived at approximately 12:15 p.m., pulled out a gun, and shot the cousin, who as of right now, is in critical condition. The boyfriend also had a grazed wound and is fine. The police are investigating to confirm that this was a personal incident. There is very clear video footage from a number of different sources that the detectives are now reviewing.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Have You Seen This Young Woman?

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Destiny Wilson, age 15, also known as "Sweetie," is missing from her home in the 2300 block of Ashland.  She is known to frequent the area of  Wilson Avenue between Beacon and Magnolia.  She was last seen in June 2014.

At the time she went missing, she had very long brown hair with blonde highlights, was 5'5" tall, and weighed 130 lbs.

If you can help locate her and get her home, please call 911 or the CPD detectives at (312) 747-8380.

Here's What The SSA Brings To Uptown (Still Time To Vote)

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We got a note from Alyssa Berman-Cutler of Uptown United:

"Nice piece on the Lawrence House Pharmacy move.  Wanted to let you know that the window renovation for this project was supported in part by the SSA’s “Business Beautification Grant” – small grants available to make spaces on the Uptown commercial corridors more inviting.   More information is here.  We also helped with the renovation at 4023-27 N Broadway – pics attached.

As you know, we’re still seeking support signatures for our ongoing Reconstitution process herewe hope readers who are excited for these improvements will support this effort."

Touring Graceland

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Graceland Cemetery is beautiful any time of year.  We've posted photos of fall, spring and summer as proof. Spending time there is always free.

But this time of year, there are tours offered for those who want a more detailed experience.  You can still catch the beautiful fall colors as you tour with a group and guide and learn about this peaceful part of Uptown behind the tall walls:
  • The Chicago History Museum is offering tours for $25 today (1pm), tomorrow (10am and 1pm) and Halloween Day (1pm).  More info here.
  • The Chicago Architectural Foundation is offering three tours for $15 each:  Graceland Cemetery (tomorrow at 1:30pm); Graceland: Women of Influence (today at 1pm), and Graceland: A Second Look (Sunday, November 2 at 1:30pm).  More info here.

Chase Park Halloween Jamboree On Sunday

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Chase Park is located at 4701 North Ashland.

Need Help With Winter Heating Bills?

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From Ald. Osterman's latest newsletter:

City of Chicago and Peoples Gas Announce $1 Million for Help with Heating Bills.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Peoples Gas announced a doubling of funding for Share the Warmth, a financial assistance program that helps low-income families pay their heating bills. This winter, the City and Peoples will provide $1million in funding for the Share the Warmth program, enough to assist 5,000 families with their heating bills. Share the Warmth provides heating grants to limited and fixed-income households. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rocky Horror Sing-A-Long At Crew

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Changes Afoot At Sheridan & Lawrence

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Looking SE at Sheridan & Lawrence
A few more neighborhood upgrades to report:
Now that the rehab of Lawrence House is underway by FLATS, the pharmacy that operated out of the building for years is likely moving to the ICA Building on the SW corner of Sheridan and Lawrence. We noticed that the awful black film that covers most all of the street level windows has been removed on the corner of the building (see photo above). There hasn't been retail in this space for as long as we can remember. We are glad the owners of the pharmacy are staying in Uptown, just down the street. We hope that the other retail spaces in this historic building find great tenants. Removing the black film on the windows is a welcome start.
There's another interesting development you can spot in the photo above. The blighted blue signage that hung over the entrance to Uptown Pantry (SE corner) has been removed. This building has seen better days and we hope that someone steps up and puts the TLC into that it really deserves. It is the last remaining building on this corner with retail on the ground level and setback apartments above. The other two corners all had beautiful buildings like this at one time that sadly met the wrecking ball. Could this be the start of better things for this corner?

Update: Interesting to note that if the Lawrence House Pharmacy does move into the corner space of the ICA building, this will be the first time in a loonnnng time a pharmacy has occupied this space. The last one we know of was Walgreen's back in the 1930s. Thanks to a savvy Facebook fan for reminding us of that.

Let The Sunshine In!

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SE corner of Wilson & Malden
The building on the SE corner of Wilson and Malden has been getting a bit of a facelift lately. The exterior of the building was tuckpointed and trim around the windows was repainted. New awnings are most certainly next. The biggest change at street-level is the addition of new windows and doors on all of the businesses. The new windows make a huge difference to the streetscape and we hope that the businesses, like Sheridan Park Food & Liquor, keep the windows clutter-free and inviting for pedestrians. We bet the police would appreciate a clear view into the stores as well.

Saturday Afternoon: Puptown's Traditional Howl-O-Ween

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Registration starts at 1:15pm. Judging begins at 2pm.  Local sponsors include SoFo Tap, Unleashed, Blum Animal Hospital, and Baker & Nosh.  Visit Puptown's Facebook page for more info.

Saturday Morning: Canine Costume Party at Baker & Nosh

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Prizes and onsite Puppy Adoptions from volunteers for PAWS Chicago.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Details About Decatur Classical School's Possible Move To Uptown


Ald. Cappleman gave more details about the possibility of Decatur Classical School moving to the former Graeme Stewart campus in his weekly newsletter:

"A number of months ago, Decatur Classical School's principal (Susan Kukielka) and their local school council met with me to discuss the possibility of moving their school from Rogers Park to the Stewart campus.

Last week, I met with over a hundred parents from Decatur Classical School, along with the principal and the school's LSC, to further discuss this option of which I am in full support. For Decatur, this move would provide them an opportunity to add a 7th and 8th grade (currently they are only K-6) and increase the number number of classes to add more students.

Decatur Classical School is rated the #1 public grade school in Illinois, and their solid reputation would add greater strength to the 46th Ward. To view this school's website, click here.

Ultimately, it's the decision of CPS on whether or not this move will occur. Until that decision is made, I have asked to suspend the RFP process for other possible uses until a decision is made about Decatur Classical moving here. Although other private schools and developers have shown an interest, I believe that the best use for this site is a CPS school."

Autumnal Uptown

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click to enlarge
Autumn leaves are turning, and it can be stunning (as long as you're not the one who has to rake).  Thank you to reader NG for this beautiful scene of the bridge over the lake in Graceland Cemetery.  This scene is located just feet from the intersection of Montrose and Magnolia.

Another Candidate Enters The 47th Ward Aldermanic Race

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It looks like Ald. Pawar may have some competition.  Businessman Rory Fiedler has announced his candidacy for 47th Ward alderman.

He says on his campaign website, "I am a lifelong resident of the area, attending Queen of Angels Grammar School and Lane Tech High School. I have extensive management, customer service, design and property rehabilitation and development experience -- in this area."

Right now aldermanic hopefuls are gathering resident signatures in order to get on the ballot. Signatures will be turned in to the Board of Elections near the end of November to determine which candidates qualify to be in each race.  The mayoral and aldermanic elections will take place in February 2015.  All three Uptown aldermen -- Cappleman (46th Ward), Pawar (47th Ward), and Osterman (48th Ward) -- have announced their intentions to run for second terms.

Stewart Campus To Host Another CPS School?

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Classical education coming to a classic building?
Remember the community workshops held last spring by Metropolitan Planning Council and Ald. Cappleman concerning the future of the former Stewart School?  The community said, among other things:
"Stewart School site.  The existing school building, a beautiful, historic and important structure in Uptown, should be preserved and reused. If the building is reused as a school, the community’s strong preference is that it be a public school."
That just may happen.  Yesterday's Sun-Times mentions that a Far North Side selective enrollment school -- one that prides itself on its student diversity and a "retro," classical curriculum -- may move into the former Stewart campus:
"[CPS] is considering the cost of moving the overcrowded Decatur Classical School currently at 7030 N. Sacramento Ave. into the building at 4525 N. Kenmore Ave. that used to house Stewart, he said. That building costs about $79,000 a year to maintain as empty."
You can read more about Decatur Classical School here.

  • In other news, the Sun-Times says that CPS is putting the former Trumbull building, located in Andersonville, just across the street from Uptown, up for bid.

Pumpkin Carving Contest At Buena Beach Bar & Grill This Thursday

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The old Razon space at 4250 North Marine has been transformed into Buena Beach Bar & Grill, which describes itself as "an eclectic American casual gastropub." You can find out more about it by visiting its Facebook page, here.

Or, why not show up on Thursday evening for a pumpkin carving contest?  Or pay a visit on Halloween in costume?

"Buena Beach Bar & Grill is challenging you to create the most outrageous Jack-O-Lantern. Whether it be scary, humorous or a chip off the old block, bring your knife skills to the new gastropub at 4250 N. Marine Dr. this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and carve away.  Five dollars will get you a pumpkin. Bring your design and join neighbors and friends in creating your own signature pumpkin.

Pumpkins will be on display through Halloween. Judging will culminate at Buena Beach’s Halloween Costume Party 6 p.m. October 31. The costume contest entry fee is $20 which includes two drink tickets (house drinks, house wine and tap beer); costumed characters dining receive a complimentary dessert with purchase of an entree.  First prize costumed winner will receive $50."

Early Voting Taking Place Now

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You can vote early in the general election (Election Day: Tuesday, November 4th) now through Sunday, November 2nd.

Voters registered in the City of Chicago may use any Early Voting site in the city, regardless of where the voters live.

Ballots cast in Early Voting are final. After casting ballots in Early Voting, voters may not return to amend, change or undo ballots for any reason.

All 51 locations will be open Monday through Saturday, from 9am to 5pm. For information on voting locations, visit Early Voting.   A few locations, including the one in the 47th Ward, will be open on Sundays.

Uptown wards' locations are:
  • 46th Ward - Truman College 1145 W Wilson
    Monday thru Saturday, 9am-5pm (closed Sundays)
  • 47th Ward - Welles Park, 2333 W Sunnyside
    October 20-25 (Monday thru Saturday), 9am-5pm
    October 26 (Sunday): 10am-4pm
    October 27-31 (Monday thru Friday), 9am-7pm
    November 1st (Saturday): 9am-5pm
    November 2nd (Sunday): 10am-4pm
  • 48th Ward - Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N Broadway
    Monday thru Saturday, 9am-5pm (closed Sundays)
Voting is for U.S. Senator, several U.S. Reps, state and county offices, as well as judges, and approximately ten referenda.  You can see what decisions are on the ballot here.

Voting for city offices (mayor, aldermen, city clerk, etc.) take place in late February.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Insidious At The Haunted Drive-In

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Come see Insidious (PG-13) ... if you dare!  It will be playing at the Haunted Drive-In at Margate Park (4921 N. Marine Dr.) on Thursday, October 23 from 6:30 - 8:30pm.

$5 admission which includes popcorn, hot dog and a drink. Ages 13 and up. This movie is best suited for teens and adults. More info is here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Flats Studio Presents: Poortraits

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The Wilson L Rehab: We've Only Just Begun

We bid two fixtures of Wilson Avenue adieu; soon to come, a modern L station.
If you were hoping to get one last glimpse of two buildings that have stood next to the Wilson L tracks for almost 100 years, you better do it fast. Demolition crews have put up fencing around the building known as the CTA Carpenter Shop (shown above on the right) and the white and green glazed brick building that most recently housed Rokito's Mexican Kitchen. This marks the start of the first phase of the Wilson L rehab. It has been a long time coming and we are excited to see the end result. Too bad we can't fast forward to the fall of 2017 when all of this construction will be behind us!

From Ald. Cappleman:
"The Wilson L rehab started yesterday and the dream of a new L stop will soon become a reality. From now until Oct. 31, the sidewalk on the south side entrance to the Wilson L will be fenced off and closed to pedestrian traffic so that the carpenter shop can be demolished. The sidewalk on the north side of Wilson will remain open during this time."

We also spotted fencing up along Broadway just north of the stationhouse, blocking off the parking lot to the old Wilson-Broadway Mall that will also be demolished.
The view looking south along Broadway from Clifton

Old Meets New With Autumn Tasting Menu At 42 Grams

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Autumn Tasting Menu @ 42 grams from Jack C. Newell on Vimeo.

via 42 Grams:
"Chef/Owner Jake Bickelhaupt of 42 grams (4662 Broadway St) unveils his much-anticipated third menu this fall.
“For this menu, I was inspired by simplicity; I wanted to perfect the art of simple cooking and honor culinary traditions and techniques from hundreds of years ago, while still making dishes that taste original and offer an element of surprise,” says Bickelhaupt. “I’m bridging the gap between ancient craftsmanship and contemporary, edible art, drawing from various cultures and customs that surround me in Chicago—the melting pot I call home.”
Dishes on the multi-course chef’s tasting menu will be raw, pure, and genuine with layers of hyper-sensitive flavors meant to awaken and excite the palate. Guests will be taken on an exhilarating journey from the edge of the Indian Ocean, through the diverse streets of Thailand, to the exotic highlands of Vietnam. Though the physical and chemical transformation of ingredients featured on previous menus will be subtly integrated on the latest installment, Chef Bickelhaupt’s ability to showcase the authenticity of food in a meaningful and compelling way remains the common thread throughout the dining experience. Standouts from the new menu include:

Cultured Barley Porridge
Crispy pork jowl, pig heart, housemade barley koji, grapefruit
Skuna Bay Salmon
Brined in a barrel-aged forbidden forest lapsang souchong tea, spent malted barley and hops sourdough, housemade miso, chanterelle mushroom dashi
A5 Miyazaki Wagyu
Marinated with housemade barrel-aged fermented soy sauce and grilled over binchotan coals, beef and bone marrow, umeboshi jus, red shiso

Check out the video above or visit 42 Grams online for more info or reservations

Monday, October 13, 2014

Update On Alleged Arsonist, Other Crimes

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An update on Uptown crime from Ald. Osterman in his latest email newsletter:

  • "My office is currently following a case in Uptown's Margate Park neighborhood regarding a suspected arsonist in the area. He is currently being held on $100,000 bond for attempted arson and burglary charges. He is suspect in several area fires including one on the 900 block of Margate Terrace and one at the Somerset this summer. Community participation and information helped piece together a case and over 20 court advocates have attended court to help emphasize the importance of this case in our community.
  • On September 25 at 10:25 pm, a 16-year old gang member was walking at 1006 W. Ainslie when rival gang members fired a handgun at him from a passing vehicle. He was not struck but the errant rounds struck and broke a window in a nearby building. 20th District officers broadcast a description of the offender’s vehicle and shortly thereafter, officers in the 24th District spotted the vehicle near Jonquil and Ashland. Several of the occupants fled the scene but the officers were able to apprehend a 24-year old male, who is a self-admitted gang member. The handgun was not recovered but he was charged with reckless conduct and resisting arrest.
  • Due to the recent increase in gang related violence in the Uptown area, 20th District tactical officers were performing a gang suppression mission near Sheridan and Ainslie on October 2. The officers observed a known gang member, a 20-year old male, driving a Toyota Camry and effected a traffic stop. The suspect abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot with the officers in pursuit. Upon being captured, the suspect was returned to the vehicle and the officers learned that it had been stolen from Evanston. A search incident to the arrest recovered 9mm ammunition. This individual was on parole and in addition to being charged with the stolen car and ammunition, his parole was revoked.
  • Earlier this summer, a parole compliance check conducted by the Illinois Department of Corrections resulted in an arrest of an area gang member for possession of a firearm. I would like to thank the officers and leadership of the 20th and 24th police districts, Cook County State's Attorney office, Illinois Department of Corrections and court advocates who attended hearings for this case as it resulted in a sentence of 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. This individual is linked to many criminal incidents in our neighborhood and having him off our streets for several years is a big step in the right direction for our community's safety.
  • We are always looking for court advocates to represent the community during these trials. If you would like more information on what court advocacy is or would like to join us, please notify Marko Zaric from my office with your information. He can be reached at or 773-784-5277."

Bum Steer


Well, this is a depressing sight:  The Cow On Parade that was donated by a Lurie Hospital supporter to stand in front of the Uptown Broadway Building has been damaged.  Nice going, idiot vandal.

However, help is the way.  The reader who took this photo says, "Received confirmation from Cappleman that they will work to have it repaired. There are a number of hairline fractures around the horns and ears."

Seems like it was a bad week for animal art installations in Chicago.

Update:  A woman from Lurie Children's Hospital posted on UU's Facebook page:  "Looking for a fabricator to fix it. Some lovely citizen dropped off the horn so we have it."

Vintage Garage Season Finale Set For Sunday, October 19

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Indiana's Hunt and Gather Pop-Up Market Comes to Vintage Garage Chicago October 19

UPTOWN--dealer's from Indiana's Hunt & Gather Pop-Up Markets will be setting up at Vintage Garage Chicago this Sunday. Hunt and Gather is held several times a year at various locations in that state.

"The partnership with Vintage Garage Chicago seemed to be a natural extension of the growing interest by the next generation of antiques vendors," says Hunt and Gather owner Carey Keenan-Rowell. "Everyone is excited to bring their wares this weekend. We'll show Chicago what we've got."

The last event of the season, the October installation of Vintage Garage Chicago will also include the popular Record Ramp attraction, as well as Audio Archeology spinning vinyl records.

"For the Vintage Garage customer the partnership will mean a new crop of dealers and merchandise," says Melissa Sands of Vintage Promotions, LLC. "Some fresh faces and a new set of eyes curating vintage merchandise."

The market will feature furniture, records, housewares, clothing and jewelry, decor, architectural items and more.

The Season Finale of Vintage Garage Chicago and Record Ramp will be held October 19 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The address is 5051 N Broadway, at the Argyle stop on the Red Line. For More information, visit

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Electrical Fire At 4639 Broadway Friday Afternoon

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Late yesterday afternoon, there was a small electrical fire in the building at 4639 N Broadway.  As you can see, the Fire Department responded in force and the fire was put out quickly.  Broadway was shut down for less than an hour.  Several readers reported a helicopter hovering in the area, and apparently it was ABC News, judging by the photo they posted.

Thank you to reader JM for supplying the photos.