Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bike The Drive Is This Sunday Morning

Reader Bill Andres sent this to us back in 2008

Sunday morning is the one time a year that motor vehicles are nowhere in sight, and it's all pedal power on Lake Shore Drive, for the 17th annual "Bike The Drive."

The ride begins at 5:30am, with riders encouraged to join in by 7am at the latest. The route is bookended by Hollywood Avenue to the north and the Museum of Science and Industry at 57th Street to the south, with riders choosing to do as little or as much of the route as they want.

The Drive will be closed to motor vehicles beginning around 4:30am and will completely reopen by 11am.

If you want to participate, registration (benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance) is still open. To register, and for more information, check out the Bike The Drive website.

Former 48th Ward Alderman Marion Kennedy Volini Has Passed

Before there was Harry Osterman, there was Mary Ann Smith. Before Mary Ann Smith, there was Kathy Osterman. And before Kathy Osterman, there was Marion Volini.

As alderman of the 48th Ward in the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, she stood up for gay rights, and stood with Mayor Harold Washington. She was responsible for the Broadway Armory being preserved as a community center.

On a more local note, she was a driving force in the creation of Edgewater as an official community area in its own right. Until 1980, Edgewater was part of Uptown -- at least as far as the city's community area boundaries were concerned. Now it has its own identity as Chicago's official 77th neighborhood.

Ald. Volini passed away on Monday at age 83.  In a statement, Ald. Osterman, whose mother Kathy was close friends with her, said:
"Yesterday our community suffered a deep loss with the passing of former Alderman Marion Kennedy Volini. As a mom, neighbor, community activist, Alderman, and businesswoman, Marion blazed a trail that brought people together to create a better neighborhood and city for all.

Marion's grace, caring, warm smile, and infectious personality brightened the lives of all those who knew her. As Alderman of the 48th Ward from 1978 until 1987 Marion's leadership, hard work, and dedication to our diverse community set us on a path to where we are as a neighborhood today.

Services for Marion Kennedy Volini:

Wake: Drake & Son Funeral Home, 5303 N Western
Wednesday, May 23rd from 3 pm to 8 pm

Funeral: St Ita's, 1220 W Catalpa
Thursday, May 24th at 10 am

Please keep Marion's sons Michael, David, daughters Monica, Marcie, and Mimi and their families in your thoughts and prayers."
Her obituary is here.

It's Demo Day!

Demolition underway on the former El Pollo Loco/Burger King at Wilson & Sheridan
Demolition permits to wreck and remove the former El Pollo Loco (and before that, Burger King) were issued in the past few days and CRG Development wasted no time in getting to work on their new project. The photo above was from yesterday afternoon, so El Pollo Loco might be a distant memory by now.
Update: As of 12:21PM, May 22, El Pollo Loco is no more.
If you need a refresher, a 12 story TOD with 150 rental units and ground floor retail is slated for 4555 N. Sheridan. A great use of a severely underutilized corner of Uptown!
4555 N. Sheridan (Forum Studio Architects)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Scenes From The First Uptown Thai New Year Water Festival

Thank you to reader and frequent contributor Rick Baer, who shared his photos of the Thai New Year Water Festival, taken on Saturday of the two-day event. We hear a good time was had, and at one point the line to enter stretched from Lawrence to Foster. We hope it's an annual event. (Hint, hint!)

Final Community Meeting Re Red Line Improvements Between Leland & Bryn Mawr

From Ald. Osterman's Friday newsletter:

"CTA RPM Development Meeting 

Wednesday, May 23
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N Sheridan Rd

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, is continuing its redevelopment study for sites surrounding the Red and Purple Modernization transit construction project (RPM Phase One).

Because the TOD study is community-driven, we rely on your input. These meetings are the third and final round of public meetings for the RPB and LBMM study areas. At the meetings, we will confirm the outcomes of the second round of meetings and provide residents and business owners with an opportunity to:

We look forward to seeing you. If you have questions or need additional information, you may contact us at RPM@transitchicago.com or visit www.transitchicago.com/rpmproject."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The United Colors of Uptown

Ald. Cappleman tweeted today:

"This gives everyone an idea of what the 17’ sculpture in front of the Riv will look like. The sculpture can be lit at night (and also turned off) and will be a great addition to highlighting our Entertainment District. Installation will be after the July 4th weekend."

Later he expanded in comments:

"What surfaced over and over again was highlighting the diversity found in the ward, so the different colors signify the many cultures that exist in Uptown. People also wanted something circular to highlight unity among all the different cultural groups. The size was determined by the desire to have southbound traffic on Broadway see it from their perspective as a gateway into the Entertainment District."


"The colors represent all the many different cultures in Uptown (the most diverse in Chicago) and the circle represents the strength of all the cultures when we stand united together. We are not a melting pot, but rather a mosaic of people celebrating our uniqueness."

We like that it's bright and light-hearted, and based on a design by one of our favorite Uptown artists, Lowell Thompson. We think it will look great across the street from Hebru Brantley's Flyboy mural.

Vintage Garage Returns On Sunday With Mid-Century Modern As Its Theme

Are you discovering your inner Don (or Betty) Draper?  Be sure to attend Vintage Garage, where you can celebrate the wonders of Mid Century Modern on Sunday, May 20h from 10am to 5pm. Vendors have been saving their best Mid Century for the show, and for those who aren't into MCM there will be a great mix of vintage in all categories ready to go!

This vintage, antiques and collectibles extravaganza takes place at the Vintage Garage, 5051 N. Broadway, Chicago on the 3rd Sunday of each month through October.  Vintage lovers will also enjoy the area's great "Little Asia" area for great restaurants as well as Andersonville for more vintage shopping. Easy access from the Red Line at Argyle.

Now in its seventh season, Vintage Garage shopping is always dry and covered, with over 100 vendors lining the ramps and parking areas.  You can read more about it at its website, and see what the season will feature in our previous post.

Photos courtesy of District Chicago and West Elm

Friday, May 18, 2018

Finishing Touches In The Heart of Uptown

Red stamped "brick" crosswalks are being installed around Lawrence & Broadway
The finishing touches to the $6M Broadway streetscape from Leland to Gunnison are wrapping up, the latest change being the addition of the stamped brick crosswalks at Lawrence and Broadway and other crosswalks in the immediate vicinity. The crosswalks are bright and make it easier for drivers to see crossing pedestrians.

The Uptown Square Historic District has certainly gone through a lot of changes lately. 

Speaking of which, we hear a perfect, new addition to the Uptown Entertainment District will be announced soon. Stand by for that.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Learn About Our Lakefront's Hidden Treasures This Saturday

Help Support McCutcheon's After-School Activities At Fat Cat on June 7th

McCutcheon Elementary is an Uptown neighborhood school with a Level 1+ rating. Of its approximately 400 students, 93.8%  come from low-income homes and nearly 20% are homeless.

In order to bolster its after-school programming, Fat Cat (along with sponsors City Pads, The Edge of Sweetness, DLG Management, and Lakeside Bank) are sponsoring a fundraiser. $50 will get you a night of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and live music. All proceeds will go directly to programming.

Buy tickets or make a donation here.

"Third Thursday" Discounts & Pop-Up Shop on Argyle Tonight

3rd Thursdays on Argyle is a monthly event on Argyle Street - with food specials from restaurants, drink discounts from Foremost Liquors, and pop-ups of art & music.

Curious about Vietnamese, Thai, or Chinese cuisine or simply craving it? Looking to indulge in art and music? Spend the night out on Argyle Street every 3rd Thursday of the month to sample authentic food from Asia and experience innovative pop-up events at First Sip Café (1057 W Argyle Street) and Axis Lab (1120 W Argyle Street).

This month’s specials (from 5pm-9pm) include:
  • Pho 888 (1137 W Argyle Street). 10% off all menu items when you mention "Third Thursdays" - BYOB
  • Cafe Hoang - Uptown (1020 W Argyle Street). 15% off all menu items when you mention "Third Thursdays" - BYOB
  • Hai Yen Restaurant (1055 W Argyle Street). 10% off all menu items & Free Flan dessert when you mention "Third Thursdays" 
  • Miss Saigon (1129 W Argyle Street). 10% off all menu items when you mention "Third Thursdays" - BYOB
  • Immm Rice & Beyond (4949 N Broadway). $8 Noodle Soup Specials (Tom Yum Noodle Soup, Khao Soi / Northern Thai Coconut Noodle Soup, Thai Boat Noodles) - BYOB
  • Phố Việt (4941 N Broadway). 20% off all of the following menu items when you mention "Third Thursdays": (Fried Rice w/ Beef Cubes ($13.95); Stir-fried Marinated Beef Cubes over Vegetables ($14.95); Chicken Stir-fried w/ Spicy Sauce ($11.95); Beef Noodle Soup( Pho) ($8.95); Seafood Rice Noodle Soup ($9.95); Marinated Grilled Chicken over Rice ($10.95); Veggie Pho ($9.95); and Stir-fried Seafood in Spicy Sate Sauce ($14.95))
  • Foremost Liquors (1040 W Argyle). Suggested Wine Pairings from Foremost Liquors. All wines are under $15 and 10% off when you mentioned "Third Thursdays"

Brown Paper Comes Down To Reveal Interior of Macaron Store T'Oui

Ba Le Sandwich Shop has been planning its next door cafe and macaron shop, T'oui, forever, but it seems like it may ... conceivably ... possibly ... be closer to happening.

Thank you to reader JC, who noticed that the brown paper in the windows of the shop at Argyle and Broadway has come down and "Coming Soon" signs have gone up.

You can see the seating areas and counter areas, and it looks nearly ready to go.

We started reporting on a sister store in Ba Le's original location (5018 North Broadway) in April 2014. Since then, the building facade has been replaced, the interior has been gutted and rebuilt, and a new awning has been installed. The name has changed from "Ba Le Desserts & Drinks" to "t'oui."

At this point, we are hesitant to say we look forward to trying it "soon," but we will welcome it whenever it opens.

Uptown Shavuos Holiday Celebration On Sunday

click to enlarge
From Chabad of Uptown:

"Join us as we celebrate this special event in Uptown!

3330 years ago the Jewish people stood as one a nation at the foot of Mount Sinai and received the Torah from G-d.

Each year on the holiday of Shavuot this historic event is re-lived as the Ten Commandments are read from the Torah.

Please join us together with family and friends at our annual reading of the Ten Commandments followed by delicious holiday Refreshments.

  • Sunday, May 20th, 2018
  • 5:00 PM 
  • 1109 West Lawrence
  • Admission free. 
  • RSVP here"