Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just A Little Perspective Here...

Yes, shootings are upsetting.  We live here too:  we hear the gunshots, we've called 911 more times than we can count.  We hate these "boys clubs" with their secret signs and secret guns, more than we can express.

But Uptown is not Englewood.  It's not even North Park.  Nights like last night are depressing, upsetting, discouraging.  Unfortunately, they are what life in Chicago in the 21st Century is like.  Next time you run into an Insane Crunchy Viking Overlord (or whatever juvenile cartoon character name the gangs call themselves), thank him for what he's brought to your community.

Here are the crime stats from the past month.  Uptown was one of many communities with violent crime at a rate of 0.2 violent crimes per 1,000 people.  That's exactly the same as Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park and Lakeview.  It's means there was less violent crime in Uptown than there was in the Loop, Albany Park and North Park.  When it came to violent crime, Uptown was tied with many other communities at #43, out of 77 community areas.

If you want to dig a little deeper, when it came to property crimes, Uptown was #59 out of 77 community areas.  That means your stuff, your car, and your home were less likely to be messed with in Uptown than in Lincoln Park or Lakeview (tied at #37).

Yes, there are safer areas, like Edgewater and North Center.  But there are worse areas, too.  Right next door, in fact.

What we're saying is, we hate nights like Friday.  But get a grip -- you're not living in the ghetto.  People living in North Park probably wish they had Uptown's violent crime rate.  People in Lincoln Park probably wish they had Uptown's property crime rate.

If you've attended gang seminars in the past, you've heard the experts say that there is not a single neighborhood in Chicago that does not suffer from the presence of gangs.  Uptown's got a long way to go, but it's pretty middle-of-the-road when it comes to Chicago communities.  Don't forget that.


  1. First - I appreciate the perspective, we do need to understand that we're not the worst off place in the city (not even the north side!). That being said, rather than step back and say "it's really not that bad", we should harness the outrage and frustration expressed on this board to drive for real change. The outrage of citizens is real power and can (and should in my opinion) be used to push for real change in our community.
    One of the biggest frustrations I see expressed in these comments in lack of real leadership from the powers that be to direct us in how we can demand real change. Do we need to sign petitions, organize rallies or raise money for additional policing? Something else? People are looking for answers and if the powers that be are smart they will see this and direct the anger / outrage into real productive avenues.

  2. Um, well, you can have my car just please don't let me get caught in the crossfire in Uptown. Keep it real, bud.

    So, I was considering renting a condo upon the recommendation of a friend of a friend. I googled the address - NO THANKS ("Uptown" wasn't even mentioned in the communications - peculiar). I googled the address again after the recent shooting. It was less than a block away (at 5:30pm no less).

  3. I have been telling you that years. Working out of Grand Central for the last couple of years really makes it obvious.

  4. I don't care what number Uptown comes up in these stats, no one should become a victim of these idiots crossfire. I don't care if its Englewood or Uptown but getting killed in either location should not happen or be let allowed to happen. Lets just evict these scum bags so people can walk the streets without avoiding gun shots!

  5. And the cycle continues.

    There's a shooting or a series of shootings.
    People are panicked and want something done now.
    They go to CAPS and scream for more police.
    The police shrug their shoulders and say there's no funding for it.
    People go home upset.
    Anger dies down and people stop going to CAPS.

    Another shooting occurs.
    Repeat cycle.

    Here's another version of the same story:
    There's a shooting or a series of shootings.
    People are panicked and want something done now.
    They go to CAPS and scream to get rid of all public housing
    Others get upset that the poor are getting blamed.
    Words are exchanged and the tension mounts.
    Anger dies down and people stop going to CAPS.

    Another shooting occurs.
    Repeat cycle.

    A couple of thoughts:
    Maybe we get stuck when we believe the only answers are more police and less subsidized housing. (Besides Helen, was there ever an elected official who didn't want more police on the streets?)

    Maybe there is no one like the Wizard of Oz who can rescue us.

    Maybe the Good Witch was right and we had the answer all along but we were too focused on finding someone to save us.

    Maybe instead, we will repeat the cycle that has gone on for years and years. Elected officials come and go, but the cycle continues. Or does it have to?

  6. What we need is tough legislation against those terrorists who feed the pigeons! Thank god our alderman has introduced such legislation, once those pigeons are gone the drug dealing, gang banging and all the other crimes that prevail in our great city will fade into a distant memory. I'm proud to be part of a ward who's elected representative knows what afoul!

  7. In 2007 after 20 years+ of living in Uptown in 2007 I was diagnosed with PTSD(Post Traumatic Shiller Disorder).

    As has been said many times there are lies, dirty lies, and statistics.

    At this point with the exception of stats regarding homicide I have little faith in the numbers being put out by Mayor Rahmbo and his handpuppet/dummy Garry "Charlie" McCarthy. If they could figure out how to "game" the homicide stats they would.

    If you don't understand the "Charlie McCarthy" reference your knowledge of American pop culture from the mid 20th century is lacking.

    There are many factors that need to be considered in crime stats. For example Lincoln Park and Lakeview have much more retail than Uptown. Hence their theft stats appear higher.

    The Loop has a relatively low resident population compared to the million plus people who work downtown on a weekday. Hence their numbers appear high.

    Now obviously compared to many neighborhoods in Chicago and some suburbs Uptown's level of crime is low. I suspect that with the exception of gang gunfire Uptown is comparable to nearby hoods for overall property crime and sex assaults etc.

    Where we clearly lead the way among neighboring hoods is in gunfire. Now Rogers Park probably has more gun crime than we do, but that's the one relatively nearby exception.

    What does Rogers Park have in common with Uptown that causes that. B A N G E R S.

    It seems to me that 80 percent of the gunfire in Uptown happens in a handful of locations.

    1. Two blocks east or west of Broadway from Montrose to Wilson.

    2. 1200 Block of Wilson and nearby.

    3. Sheridan and Lawrence and nearby.

    If you live in Buena Park or north of Lawrence gunfire is a very rare occurrence.

    If you live on Malden or Magnolia south of Wilson.......not so rare. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the other locations.

    The level of crime in general and gunfire in particular has been dropping in Uptown since the early 90's. I recall the years of white bangers fighting Puerto Rican bangers, fighting black bangers, fighting Mexican bangers etc.

    Lotsa different banger groups means relatively lotsa bullets flying through the air. Dat's da fact, Jack.

    I fully expect that as the years go by crime in general and specifically gun crime will continue to drop in Uptown, but if you expect it to disappear quickly you are likely going to be sorely disappointed.

    The National Guard is not going to be called out, the bangers aren't going to be hung from lampposts and/or sent to Gitmo and the low income housing where bangers hang out and/or live is not going to be bulldozed.

    What you'll see is the Capplemaniac tackling the crime problem one building at a time. It's a slow process, but we'll see progress as time goes on.

    The building directly across the street from me was loaded with hispanic bangers 20 years ago. It was renovated and they disappeared like a fart in a hurricane.

    So endeth the lesson. Go in peace!

  8. killerminpin said...
    What we need is tough legislation against those terrorists who feed the pigeons! Thank god our alderman has introduced such legislation, once those pigeons are gone the drug dealing, gang banging and all the other crimes that prevail in our great city will fade into a distant memory. I'm proud to be part of a ward who's elected representative knows what afoul!

    Hey now, we have to tackle those broken windows that haven't been shot out by the bangers....and the pigeon poop.

  9. Is this supposed to be some sort of joke?

    So, because there are more shootings in Englewood I should feel better about living in Uptown?

    That's lunacy.

  10. Toucan, Killerminpin, assorted trolls.. Now that we have established you are apparently incapable of multi-tasking, I am even more delighted that we have an Alderman that can....

    1. Uptown superhero :You don't tug on Superman's cape
      You don't spit into the wind
      You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
      And you don't mess around with Jim

      Thanks for the name calling

  11. Killerminpin,

    I'd call you an eejit, but the eejit lobby would probably object and try to subpoena me.

    It's possible for Cappleman to deal with multiple issues besides crime. Pigeons do cause tens of millions of direct and indirect economic damage to our fine city. The CTA spends tens of millions of tax dollar yearly dealing with the aftereffects of our winged "rats".

    Personally, I want to be licensed by the United Nations to kill pigeons, but I need to consult Bill Murray first.

    I really think that if I had to live my life over I would have become an exterminator. Instead I'm merely the world's second greatest moral philosopher.

    Let us learn from the wisdom of Monty Python. You are unworthy of a hyperlink.

    1. What was a question of priorities seems to have gotten under your skin as well. I can only guess that calling others idiot and such is how we come together and work to solve issues as a community.

      “If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.”
      Elbert Hubbard

  12. I saw 5 kids ages 10 to 13 in Starbucks on Lwarence and Broadway pointing toy guns at each other, some of the guns looked real though they were toys. I told them they couldn't do that ,the police would arrest them or shoot them if they are seen with a gun.

    It was weird, given all that's happening. The kids said they were toys and kept pointing them at each other.

    They could get themselves killed, I thought. Somebody with a real gun might shoot in "self defense".

    Very strange to see that

  13. While this story is factually accurate and fair if you use this web site!cook-il/9/41.91964,-87.82532/Chicago,IL/ which shows all crime for the city on the map, and weed out arson and theft and other crimes leaving only shootings and assault you'll find that only 8 areas of the city have these violent crimes and uptown is one of them. In fact uptown is the only one on the entire north side! I'm not dismissing the impact that other crimes have on our and other communities but when you look at violent crime we are not equalls with other areas around us, we are the red headed stepchild of the north side. We are 5th most dangerous ward in Chicago based on the time frame trulia uses. So take a look for yourself play with the numbers how you chose but notice that we are a red hotspot on the map which they signify as having 350+ incidents per block per year! I applaud uptown update and wish not to discredit but to only point out that if your looking for certin types of crimes,the kind that we are focused on right now, this ward has more problems and a higher rate than all if it neighboring wards for miles and miles.

  14. I'm not happy with IP. Dissing Rogers Park is so uncool when you don't live there. I spent two nights in Uptown this past week and I'll take Rogers Park over Uptown anyday.

    For those who are willing to hang out by Aldi's/Target on any given night, have you ever met the loud SOB who shouts and cusses at every customer walking in and out of the stores? I think he is going to hurt someone, someday.

    And, Friday night, the gunfire was some of the worst I've heard in recent memory.

    Uptown is fucked up.

  15. Craig,

    take your meds. I drink mine, in moderation. I'm unsure if you're being sarcastic, but since you made your internet "rep" badmouthing RP for years you need to shut the Joe Moore up.

    RP has problems with gangs. Uptown has problems with gangs.

    That's not "dissing".. dat's da fact, Jack or Craig.

    I actually like RP. The blocks east of Sheridan and south of say 7200 north would be great to live on if you're a water loving pirate such as myself.

    RP does lack big box retail though. As for the loud SOB I've never experienced the joy of seeing him. Again since you spent two nights in Uptown instead of RP perhaps you're more of an expert on the Target and Aldi than me.

    Now if you will excuse me I need to go before I call "killa" an idiot.

  16. Well, I had to add more but I'm the guy above that declined the condo rental at the last minute.

    I think it was almost a year ago that someone I was dating texted me that he had just exited Target (in the daylight) and was "wrapping a makeshift tourniquet around a guys ankle that just got shot". He then added "the cops are here". I replied "great, not get the H out of there".

    From my personal experience (fudged statistics aside), it seems like Uptown has had some serious quality of life issues for at least a year now.

  17. RP has Dominicks, and is right next door to Edgewater with Dominicks and Aldis.

    What more "big box" retail do we need? Another Target store? There are 3 between RP and downtown, how many do we need? There is a major school of business thought that says that big barn retail is starting to unwind as we go from being a consumption-mad society to a much more frugal one. There are going to be more empty malls, power centers, and big box store buildings useless for any other purpose than we will ever have the funds to tear down or convert to another use, because the developers will never have the dought to pay back all the TIF and municipal loans they got to overbuild all this crud in every city and town in the country, as it is.

    Just look at the numbers posted by Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, and other major emporiums- retail is shrinking rapidly and maybe it's about time.