Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Up In The Air! It's A Bird... It's A Plane....

Matthew S Parrilli

A gentle reminder, particularly to those who may be new to Chicago, that the Air & Water Show takes place this weekend, and the aircraft practice their moves in advance. Thursday and Friday prior to the show are rehearsal days.

If you hear loud and low-flying jets around Uptown, it's likely not anything nefarious. They practice over the lake, so we have a front-row seat for some of their warm-ups. This year's show will feature the Air Force's Thunderbirds, the Army's Golden Knights parachute team, and the Navy's Leap Frogs parachute team. (The entire lineup is here.)

In past years, Uptown residents have gotten great shots of the practice, like the one above. If you get a photo you'd like to share, either send it to or post it to our Facebook page.

There may also be loud noises Saturday and Sunday as the planes leave for their next destinations and create sonic booms.

The actual show takes place between Navy Pier and Fullerton, with North Avenue Beach being the prime viewing spot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Winthrop/Lawrence Alley Work Commencing

View From Above Reveals Construction Details

Work on the TOD mixed-use building at 4555 North Sheridan has reached the second floor. From the ground, it looks calm. Boring, even.

But look what's going on from above! There's a lot involved with putting together a new building, apparently. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see all the details.

Thanks to Ryan Brevard for the aerial photo.

Ainslie Winthrop Water Main Meeting Tonight

From Ald. Cappleman's newsletter:


Aldermen Cappleman and Osterman are hosting a meeting tonight regarding a water-main improvement project. Representatives from the City's Department of Water and NPL, the company managing the project, will attend to answer questions.

The project is scheduled to begin on or around the week of Aug. 20. Work will affect N. Winthrop Ave., from Lawrence to Winona, and W. Ainslie Ave., from Winthrop to Broadway.

WHAT: Water-main improvement project meeting
WHEN: Monday, Aug. 13, 6:30 pm
WHERE: 48th Ward Summer Safety Office, 1102 W. Argyle

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Matt in the 46th Ward Office at or 773-878-4646.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Patio Weather At Tiztal Cafe

In all the times we've enjoyed lunch and brunch at Tiztal Cafe (4631 North Clark), we've loved the friendly service, the fried potatoes, the oatmeal shakes, the juice cocktails, and the steak-and-eggs. What we didn't realize -- until today -- was that there's a comfy little patio behind the restaurant.

It was a perfect day to enjoy the sun-dappled oasis, and we bet there'll be many more this year. Highly recommended!

Enter via the gangway immediately south of Tiztal's storefront; the patio isn't accessible through the restaurant.

Out With The Old....

After a 43-year run, the legendary Uptown dive Carol's Pub closed in 2016 due to tax issues and a revoked liquor license. Earlier this year we got the lovely news that a new owner is working on opening it again, hopefully sometime during the fall.

Today reader/photographer Bill Biederman was on the scene as the pool table from Carol's was removed from the premises at 4659 North Clark, as were the electronic dart boards.

The new owner, Ed Warm, who also owns Joe's On Weed Street, has promised to keep the ambiance of the original Carol's alive, along with some civilizing touches like no more crack-of-dawn opening hours and the installation of outdoor security cameras. 

There is no opening date yet, since the labyrinth of licensing has to be navigated, but one good omen is that, as of a couple weeks ago, Carol's was seeking to employ an experienced bar manager.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Weiss Plaza Renovations Continue As New Facade Appears

click to enlarge

The renovations continue at Weiss Plaza, at Sheridan and Lawrence. Thankfully the black plastic bag phase of the project is done, and new facades have begun to go up.

Let's hope the new look attracts some quality retailers. The existing businesses need them as anchors. It can't have been easy getting through a long construction project when there's no signage to indicate what businesses are in the Plaza.

Family Dollar was a great draw for the other retailers in the plaza. We hope that the store on Broadway can move to this location when it closes for construction of the 4601 Broadway mixed-use midrise. The north space was, after all, most recently a Family Dollar.

Argyle Night Market Is Tonight!

Tonight is Argyle Night Market, at Sheridan and Argyle between 5pm and 9pm. There will be a kids play area between 5pm-9pm with face painting between 5pm and 7pm, and free bike parking at Uptown Bikes, 1124 West Argyle.

In addition to the vendors and food, be ready to enjoy
Admission is free. Have fun!

Meet Uptown Children's Book Author Savy Leiser At Launch Party for Just Me, Wrigley on Saturday

The Furever Home Friends, an award-winning children’s book series by Uptown author Savy Leiser, will be releasing its newest book on Saturday, August 11, 2018. To celebrate this new book, The Furever Home Friends will be holding a launch party at Portage Park store Replica Chicago, 4425 N Milwaukee Avenue.

The Furever Home Friends is a series of kids’ books and stuffed animals based on the stories of real rescue dogs. Each book addresses multiple social issues and includes discussion questions for kids, parents, and teachers. Additionally, 10% of all profits benefit no-kill animal shelters in Chicago.

The launch party will celebrate the release of Just Me, Wrigley, the third book in the series:

Wrigley loves to dance. She can shake her tail all over the animal shelter. But for some people, Wrigley’s rhythm isn’t enough. Wrigley is a mutt; she doesn’t know what breed she is. While others come to the shelter looking for schnauzers, labs, and Dalmatians, Wrigley wonders when it will be her turn. Can Wrigley find the confidence to stay true to herself and dance her way into a forever home?

The launch party will run from noon until 3pm on August 11. The party is free to attend, and children are welcome, but we ask that you do not bring your dogs. The party will include a reading of Just Me, Wrigley, a Q&A with the author, and a book signing.

Limited Wrigley T-shirts will be available to the first 20 guests for $24.99 ($19.99 for children). Guests can also enjoy free paw-print-shaped chocolate pops, while supplies last.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Farewell, Lionel!

The Lion King of Buena Park has closed the curtain on his residency in Uptown.

As we recently posted, he was going to stick around after his stylist/owner moved. After 20 years of being well-dressed for every occasion, and probably for years before that, he held court at the corner of Dayton and Montrose.

But his Facebook page posted today, "Lionel and I had a long chat, although I will admit it was pretty one-sided. As you may have noticed, he has chosen to be a Southern Belle with me. So while he will no longer be a resident of Uptown/Buena Park, stay tuned for his next exploits."

We will miss him, but we're glad he is going to be able to gain new fans in another part of the country. And we can still follow him on Facebook.

Now there's an opening for a new Uptown mascot. Anyone want to volunteer?

Uplift HS To Take Part in New Initiative To Bring Together Community, Students, Families & Staff

Uplift High School is one of 20 schools in Chicago to be named a Sustainable Community School, CPS announced Tuesday night in a statement. The pilot program will split $10 million among 20 elementary and high schools, pairing each with a dedicated community partner. Uplift (900 West Wilson) will be partnered with Kuumba Lynx.

The Sustainable Community School initiative is aimed at transforming struggling schools that have low enrollments and where 80% of the student body is considered low-income. Uplift's most recent enrollment is 177 students (down from 377 in 2013) and 96% of its students are considered low-income (i.e., they are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches, live in substitute care, or their families receive public aid).

The goals of the Sustainable Community program are to engage the students, the parents, the community, and the educators so that they are working in concert to create successful lives for the students. The $10 million will go toward creating extra services for students, tailored to each school's individual needs. The program will begin in October.

This will be the second time Uplift is taking part in a new CPS initiative. It opened in 2005 as a "Renaissance 2010" school, with no geographic enrollment boundaries and the ability to exercise flexibility regarding CPS curriculum and policies.

Dr. Tyrese L. Graham was named last month as Uplift's new principal, succeeding Stephanie Moore, who had held that position for Uplift's entire existence. Dr. Graham came to Uplift from Lake View High School.

With the additional money, the Sustainable Community initiative, the community partner, and a new principal, we look forward to what is to come.  As Dr. Graham recently tweeted,
We are accepting transfers @uplift_high for the upcoming school year! We have a lot of changes in store, including new AP offerings for our students! Join us as we transform Uptown’s neighborhood high school. #BuildingABetterUplift