Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Beat 1914 CAPS To Meet On Wednesday

Beat 1914 (the area bordered by the lake, Montrose, Broadway, and Lawrence) is having its bimonthly CAPS meeting Wednesday,  December 11th, at 7pm.

It's held at the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, 4501 North Clarendon. It's a chance to find out crime statistics for the past couple months in the area, speak with police officers, a representative from the alderman's office, and your neighbors about what's going on in your community and what to do to help make Uptown safer.

Beat 1914 CAPS is held the second Wednesday of even-numbered months.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Strawdog Brings Musical Theater to Margate Park on Monday & Tuesday Afternoons

photo courtesy of Strawdog Theatre 

Live theater for all ages is coming to Margate Park this Monday and Tuesday. Performances of the musical Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, based on the award-winning book by Eric Kimmel, will take place between 4:30pm and 6pm on December 9th & 10th.

It's performed by Strawdog Theatre Company, and it's FREE. It's the same show Strawdog is performing on its home theater stage, and tells the fantastical story of trickster Hershel of Ostropol defeating a series of goblins over the eight nights of Hanukkah.

The family classic features book and adaptation by ensemble member Michael Dailey, music and lyrics by Jacob Combs, direction by Lauren Katz and music direction by Yair Farkas.

This event is presented as a part of the City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Theatre.

Margate Park Fieldhouse is located at 4921 North Marine, with limited parking in the lot and on the street.

Check Margate Park's website to confirm times.

Urban Grill Soon To Open On Wilson Avenue

A new restaurant is coming to the corner of Clifton and Wilson. Please keep an eye out for Urban Grill, at 1132 West Wilson, which will be opening (hopefully) by the new year.

Owners Brittany and Marcus Ward are excited to be part of Uptown and are working hard putting the finishing touches on the menu and storefront.

They tell us that customers can expect hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, Italian beef, and "our delicious fried chicken and shrimp" when Urban Grill opens.

The restaurant will offer discounts for Truman students and staff, and also for community safety workers (firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, etc.)

And ... they're hiring! "We’re also in the market for a few more team members to join us and we would love to hire from the community! Feel free to send inquiries to urbangrillchicago@gmail.com."

We'll keep you up-to-date on Urban Grill as we hear more.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Xfinity Store Coming To 811 Uptown Complex

Comcast has announced that a new Xfinity Store is slated to open early next year at 4407 Clarendon. According to an announcement, "the store is designed entirely around the needs of customers, providing them with the opportunity to explore, learn about and interact directly with the latest Xfinity services or get help if they need it."

The store will feature contemporary displays designed to give visitors hands-on experience with Xfinity’s range of products and services, from the company’s mobile phone service, Xfinity Mobile, high-speed Internet and cable TV, to its home security and automation platform, Xfinity Home.

The store also will feature iPads and other mobile devices visitors can use to explore Xfinity’s mobile apps, including Xfinity Stream and Xfinity WiFi.

Along with product and service demos, customers will be able to pay bills, pick up and return equipment, and get assistance from technology and service consultants.

The new store will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10am to 8pm and Sundays from noon to 5pm.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

We Give Thanks For Graceland: Bikes, Prairies, History, Birds, And A Registered Arboretum, Too

One of the things we are most grateful for in Uptown is Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum, which gives visitors free access by car, foot, or bike. It's open every day except holidays, and showcases Chicago's history and architecture, as well as a gloriously maintained vista of flowers and trees. (Keep an eye out for groups giving tours, like this one from Atlas Obscura.)

And now it even has transformed 2.5 acres of lawn to a native prairie, the culmination of a project that began in 2014.  Its architects say, "The native plants have attracted native birds, butterflies and other pollinators and is now a main destination for bird watchers in the Chicago area."

Graceland is open until 4pm daily this time of year. You can obtain maps of the trees and notable gravesites from the office during the weeks; or you can download one from the website. The tree map is here.

It's there to enjoy, year-round. And we're grateful that it is.

The new prairie:

The autumnal colors (this year's season was sadly cut short by the late-October snow):

Hey, hey, Mr. Cub! We're so glad you spend eternity in Uptown,
close enough to Wrigley Field to hear the cheers of the faithful.

Even beautiful after it snows:

Click on each photo for a larger version.

Montessori-Based Play Space Coming To Wilson Avenue

We've been watching the empty retail space next to the Public Barber (1319 West Wilson) for the past few weeks as it's been filling up with child-height furnishings, and we finally know what its going to be:
"A Chicago based, Montessori play and education center is coming soon! the abode chicago, is a home away from home for children aged 8w-3y and their parents/caregivers. Follow along as we work to spread the beauty that is Montessori, and the miracle that is young children."
Follow along on Instagram and Facebook as they prepare for opening.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Special Delivery

Thank you to the reader who sent in these photos of the helicopter delivering HVAC units to the WaterFord condo building on Saturday.

Amazingly, it took only 15-20 minutes to lift multiple heavy units from Gordon Terrace to the top of the building at 4170 Marine Drive.

Even more amazing was the man sitting in the open door of the 'copter with his legs hanging out during the entire operation.

Marine Drive was scheduled to be closed for two hours, but reopened quickly thanks to the fast work of the crew.

CTA's Holiday Bus Travels Through Uptown Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Santa and his CTA helpers are making their way around the city on various bus routes, beginning Thanksgiving weekend.

Use the Holiday Bus Tracker to know exactly where it is when it's in service!

There are a few chances to take a ride in the area around Uptown:

Friday, November 29th: The Holiday Bus will go westbound from the Howard Terminal as Route #97, leaving at 12:38pm. There will be photos at Old Orchard from approximately 1:35pm to 2:30pm. It heads back to the Howard Terminal at 2:46pm.

Then it will leave on Route #22 (Clark bus) from the Howard Terminal southbound, at 3:55pm, making its way through Uptown to downtown. (Our advice: Allow 10-15 minutes to make its way to Foster, or be assured of a seat by boarding at Howard.)

Saturday, November 30th:  It will leave the Howard Terminal as the #22 Clark bus at 12:30pm and go southbound along Clark, including through Uptown (our advice: Allow 10-15 minutes to make its way to Foster, or be assured of a seat by boarding at Howard.).

There will be a photo session at the Howard Terminal between approximately 4:10pm and 5:05pm.

Sunday, December 1st:  It becomes the #92 Foster bus, and leaves Berwyn at the Red Line station at 12:13pm.  It will travel west on Foster to the Jefferson Park Blue line.  At 1:05pm, it will become the #91 Austin bus and travel that route.

At 5:40pm, it will again turn into the #92 Foster bus, and depart the Jefferson Park Blue Line at 5:40pm, going eastbound on Foster until it reaches the Berway Red Line.

That's it for the Holiday Bus in our area this year, although it will continue around Chicago throughout December. Its complete schedule is here.

The Holiday Train will be in Uptown on the Red and Purple Lines on Tuesday, December 17th through Saturday, December 21st. We'll post a schedule closer to those dates and link it here.

Uptown Leads The Numbers In Same-Sex Marriage

Where do the most same-sex couples getting hitched in Illinois call home?

That would be right here!

The 60640 zip code leads the way in Cook County during the time span from 2013-2019, with 972 same-sex couples taking the plunge.  60660 (just north of 60640) was next, with 645 marriages; and our immediately southern neighbors in zip codes 60657 (574) and 60613 (541) filled out the leader board.

By the end of the year, Cook County expects to issue its 15,000th same-sex marriage certificate since marriage equality became legal.

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarborough has issued a nifty handout with all the statistics and charts, if you feel like geeking out (like we did).

More than 40% of Illinoisans live in Cook County, and not all counties keep records of same-sex unions.

Congrats, newlyweds!

"The Healing Corner" Seeks Volunteers and Donations For Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, a group of community volunteers will stand at Wilson and Sheridan and distribute food, clothing, warm drinks, and personal-size toiletries to people in need.

If you would like to help, either by standing with them, or donating goods or money, please click on the link to find out how. https://www.facebook.com/events/728948330918066/

"Please join us for our annual Thanksgiving Healing Corner on the southwest corner of Wilson & Sheridan next to Uptown Baptist Church! Volunteer Thanksgiving morning with us in passing out food to the homeless and community members. We will be serving pastries, bananas, and fruit. We also need hot chocolate and coffee preferably boxes of joe from Dunkin Donuts that we transfer into igloos at the corner. Please bring gently used coats (washed) beforehand and winter garments.

If you would like to volunteer with us and want to bring something, please bring one of the items listed above and let Arielle Maldonado know what you plan to bring.

We also would like to put together travel size toiletries and hand warmers in little bags for the homeless. Please contact Rita Karlo if you want to help with this.

If you can't make it but would like to contribute, we are collecting funds here: https://www.paypal.me/called2serve

The Healing Corner is a community building event in which we pass out free food, hugs, and resources while having an open dialogue with the community around the issue of violence. We focus on reaching the young men and boys who hang out on the corner and guide them towards a positive path."

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Marine Drive Closed Saturday Morning Between Buena & Irving Park Road

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:


This Saturday, November 23, Marine Drive will be closed between Buena & Irving Park, along with the Irving Park (southbound) exit ramp from 8:00 - 10:00 am because of a helicopter HVAC lift at 4170 Marine."

"Hidden Stories at Graceland Cemetery" Tours Next Two Saturdays

If you're looking for something a little different to do the next couple weekends, consider a late-autumn walking tour of Graceland Cemetery, in an intimate group of no more than 15.

"Hidden Stories at Graceland Cemetery" are sponsored by Atlas Obscura Chicago, and take place on Saturday, November 23rd and November 30th, from 11am-12:30pm. The cost is $20 per person and they can be booked here.

The description says:

"Meet at Graceland's historic entrance for an in-depth tour of the most fascinating stories and monuments at the cemetery, presenting a unique view of Chicago (and American) history. Stories in the cemetery go far beyond the industrialists and "movers and shakers" who ended up with streets named after them. Though the tour will of course include the famous "Inez" and "Eternal Silence" statues, I’ll focus on lesser-known but equally interesting tales, some of which have never been published. 

Though the route can vary from tour to tour, some of the stories here include Underground Railroad workers, a woman who funded the research behind the first birth control pill, a detective murdered by Jesse James, America's first known female spy, a man whose cause of death was listed as "brutality of policeman," a reporter who saw Einstein naked, and more. The stories will be endlessly fascinating and often hilarious."

The full description is here.

Danang Kitchen Opens On Argyle

photo courtesy of  Business Partners-The Chamber for Uptown

Business Partners featured a new Argyle Street restaurant in its weekly mailing:

"Danang Kitchen opened their doors on November 14th, 2019. Stop by their restaurant at 1019 W Argyle Street for central Vietnamese cuisine."

It's open at 10am daily, except Tuesdays (closed), and open until 9pm each night except Sunday, when it closes at 7pm.