Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday In The Park

Well, that didn't take long. Another reader just emailed us this photo of someone taking a load off in the BRAND SPANKIN' NEW Stewart School Campus Park this afternoon. All of the hoopla of the grand opening from earlier today with Mayor Daley and Alderman Shiller is long gone. We are now left with the reality of having a park in the area that is already inundated with loitering. We hope Stewart School has a plan to protect their beautiful new park from the ravages of excessive loitering.


  1. Mayor Daley decided to use his time in Uptown today to reflect on how he believes that a reduced police force should not affect crime. O-Kay. I guess I should stop being so surprised and disgusted by how out of touch he is with this neighborhood (to wit: see the Uptown Theater article). It is aging me.

    From "Daley: lack of new police not affecting public safety" in today's Tribune:

    Mayor Richard Daley on Saturday dismissed the notion that his administration’s failure to make good on a pledge to hire more police is affecting public safety, even as Chicago combats growing violent crime.

    "No, no," said Daley when asked about the lack of new hires and the impact on city safety. When pressed, Daley bristled and said "It just won’t."

    The mayor said he's "working on" hiring more police officers, but didn’t have a time frame for when that would happen.

  2. He also talked repeatedly about our tax dollars going to the state and feds but the park was paid for locally with TIF money and, I believe I heard him say, not with tax dollars. Of course he had had his panties in a bunch denying his brother was a lobbyist earlier this week. Maybe the blood circulation to his brain hadn't yet been restored.

  3. Please God, don't let me ever feel the urge to lay down on green grass and take a nap, unless I'm in the wilderness, far away from the cameras of UU.

  4. I agree with kenny, what if this guy was 28 years old, white, dressed in a polo shirt? Would it be "excessive loitering" or would it be someone enjoying the new park? if the guy is panhandling or building a tent there, that is one thing, but it's a damn park. You can lay in the grass in the middle of the day. I pray that I never take a snooze in the park on a beautiful day in anything but my finest clothing.

  5. Of course this will become the place to "camp out". Soft grass vs. the drive through of the Harris Bank?

    No contest.

    If he were 28 years old, white, and in a polo shirt, he'd be in Lincoln Park, where Dear Leader tells us we should move to.

  6. let's ask if we would be upset the strungout bloody junkies in the next pic were a couple of cleancut DePaul students in designer jeans kissing in the autum sun.

    Maybe Christopher and Kenny should go have a picnic with him...maybe some cheese, strawberries, and PCP-laced marijuna. Just make sure to leave a trail of litter, empty cans, and non-descript plastic bags to mark your day in the park.

  7. Doesn't everybody take all their earthly possesions in plastic bags with them to the park to relax on a Saturday? Come on folks. =)

  8. chgorun said...
    Maybe Christopher and Kenny should go have a picnic with him...maybe some cheese, strawberries, and PCP-laced marijuna. Just make sure to leave a trail of litter, empty cans, and non-descript plastic bags to mark your day in the park.

    Think whatever you must to stay sane, dear, I'm sure it must be frightening to those of you who had no clue where you were moving to.

    Really. This isn't Lincoln Park.

  9. Kenny, knock it off with "you didn't know where you were moving to" attitude. Bet I've been here a lot longer than you.

    Unlike those (like you?) who think Uptown should be a refuge for low standards and bad behavior, a place where every single public space becomes a de facto bar/toilet/shelter/hot-sheet motel, I believe Uptowners deserve more.

    A question: Do you think that -- should the gentleman pictured have been there at 8:45 a.m. -- he would have been welcomed by Stewart School and the parents of the children who attend there? Would they have wanted Mayor Daley and Arne Duncan and every other dignitary there to see how their pretty new expensive park is to be used? As a de facto campground?

    No, Kenny, this isn't Lincoln Park. That's why I live here. My freaking tax dollars paid for that park, and I have high expectations for it. So do the parents of the kids who attend Stewart. I actually feel pity for you because you don't.

  10. Kenny is a Shiller Troll. He is also a she.

    Seems she feels with tax payers money. Her heart is as big as our wallets can spread open. The people who live by the law, work hard, try to do the right thing should just shut up and give more money to her cause.

    Im sure this guy just got done with a jog along the lake, or maybe he just got off work and needed a rest, or maybe he was to tired from filling out job applications all day and he go tuckered out.

    It happens to all of us.

  11. Kenny is a she, and no, she hasn't lived here as long as the venerable OZ, TSN (or alternately, IrishPirate.)

    I'm just left wondering why it is that, after ten years of owning a condo here, I haven't experienced anything "bad" nor do I have my panties in a wad over someone taking a nap in the park.

  12. Kenny, what on earth does that question have to do with anything?

    Nice punt.

    But I guess, seeing as you're here to start shit, not have conversations, you don't have to make sense.

    Carry on.

  13. Uh, Richie?

    The park was paid for with Menu money - you know, the "walking around" money you give to Alderbeasts to buy votes with.

  14. This guy looks like he was dropped from a plane, plastic bag suitcases and all. It ain't right.

    Given the location/signs posted, even a '28 year old white guy' would still be in the wrong.

    Doesn't Shiller's long roster of social services offer this individual another place to flop?

  15. Starck Mad:
    No, not really. most days all the shelters are full. Transitional housing program can have waiting lists as long as 4-8 weeks, and subsidized housing stretches out at least as long as 2-3 years. Sure there's lots of social services in Uptown, and I don't really disagree that they need to built in other parts of the city, but not at the expense of the good ones that exist.

    And that guy looks pretty harmless overall. Maybe the Alderman/police would take you more seriously if you picked your battles. Calling 911 over every little thing doesn't really give you credibility when something bad happens.

  16. Oh, and even if he is in a shelter, most of them make residents leave during the day. A lot of them used to go to the Salvation Army, but since it's closing Monday...look forward to more of this. I know you were excited to hear the SA was got what you were looking for.

  17. i agree with megan a lot of you not all was happy when it was posted on uu that sa will be closing. all i got to say is you THINK its bad now,wait until it closes on the 30th people are going to be frustrated because they can't get no breakfast and they can't get no the fact that you can't get no shelter unless you go to pgm on canal and 15th and you either have to do one of two things. get a 1 or seven day bus pass or hope the train illegally and i don't think you will have a lot of people that want to go way out to pgm especially when you have business affairs in uptown like doctors appts, doing flyers, etc. i use to be homeless and i keep up with what's going on in uptown(cause i'm up there everyday) and have a lot of buddies who are either homeless or live in sros

  18. please disregard. i meant to say hop the train not hope the train

  19. Megan, it doesnt matter if he looks harmless, if he has plastic bags or no bags, or if he wears a polo or not. In this neighborhood where people are frequently laying on all types of surfaces, one person, no matter the appearance, laying in the grass sends the message to all the loiterers that its ok to lay there. And the signs there say its not. I don't care if it seems like mild lawbreaking to you, its lawbreaking. In this neighborhood we can't prioritize which should result in calls to 911. All calls for broken laws should go to 911.

  20. Sorry megan and eric, I won't buy your arguments. SA enabled the homeless to remain homeless. That's not kindness and that's not help.

    Your soft bigotry of low expectations is harmful to this community and most especially the poor. Also, the shelter beds are not full and there is no reason to sleep out in a school park. People who do not want to work on the reasons why they are living in a perpetual crisis can find some other place to live out their chaos. Perhaps your backyard. Let me know your address and I'll send them over to your place.

  21. wow.....Holey Moley, beautifully put.

    Megan.....I think you stumbled upon a simple truth...
    "maybe the Alderman would take you more seriously if
    you picked your battles....."

    All the 'Battles' in uptown have PAINFULLY been brought to the attention of the Alderman's office.
    Remember she has created the multitude of 'battles' herself, simply by ignoring the bulk of uptown's citizens desire for a better community.

    Also remember......"this isn't your college campus sweetie!'
    That sounds like a battle cry, and a shot blindly fired across the bow of her very office.

  22. I agree with megan, eric, christopher, and kenny. "If this guy were 28 years old..." This is just another ready-made example of how the majority of the people on this site are willing to give up on and think the worst of people. (and a side note to chipdouglas: name-calling is a real mature and reasonable way to formulate an argument.)

  23. Give me a break (Christopher, Kenny, Nathaniel, etc.), this has absolutely nothing to do with the race. More than any other area in Chicago, Uptown is plagued by quasi-homeless people laying around causing trouble. This is not an anti-homeless sentiment, rather anti-crime. Where there is loitering in Uptown, there are problems and safety issues.

    That being said, I am much less concernd about the guy in the park, who may be harmless, than the scumbag junkies in the next pic. I have recently seen the guy in that pic (making out on the ground) rubbing what appeared to be lotion on open track marks on his arms while simultaneously making beligerant comments to pedestrians. What if he was white and wearing a polo? He would be just as much of a disease spreading waste of a life. Since you don't give up on people and are such optimists, why don't you guys invite him into your home for tea and a chat? Maybe he just needs a bleeding heart friend to help him out.

  24. Nathaniel Davis

    Seems "he" only pops up when the other trolls start blogging. Always about race. It's the same group that uses one computer at magnolia and sunnyside. What a surprise they happen to post from one of the worst corners in Uptown.

    Why wouldn't they defend the gangbangers and low lifes? It's all they know from that area.

    It's the same folks who cried they used to have to "avoid stepping on needles", yet when someone says something about the people using the needles all hell breaks loose. Irony.

  25. Honestly, grown adults should not be sleeping in a children's playground. It does not give a perception to the parents that the area is safe when they see adults sleeping there.

    I remember being told I hated the homeless when I wanted the park curfew enforced at a time when we had over 100 people sleeping there on a daily basis. The "Walk in the Park" drug bust confirmed that there was a lot of drug dealing occurring when the curfew was allowed to be ignored.

    I don't know if the person in this photo is homeless, but I've lived here long enough to know that's something is up when someone is sleeping beside a plastic bag with their belongings. As a social worker, I have worked with the chronically homeless who have mental illness and substance dependence. If that is the case with this young man, the solution is complex, just as the problem, but I must admit that I sometimes cringe at the enabling behavior I witness from some well meaning individuals and some organizations.

    I think we can all agree that the homeless need help. I don't believe anyone would object to the use of best practices to give the homeless that help. Whatever the case, the safety and well being of the rest of the community should not be sacrificed. I can move out if I don't like it. The poor living here cannot readily pick up and move if they find the area to be too dangerous to raise their children.

  26. Whats wrong with taking a load off, or dropping a load in the park? C'mon I think most of you are upset because you can't bring your dogs to the park. Everyone's acting like this guy set up camp and started boozing. Are we really giving this much attention to a photo to which we don't know the context.

  27. Sheridan Park Parade posted (in a post that had to be edited for Bloggers Terms of Service):

    The Uptown issue is NOT "how do we cure homelessness?"


    "How much compassion should we have for the homeless?"

    But for some ridiculous reason these themes consistently galvanize the attention of the nerdy latent speech and debate club kids living inside us.

    The issues that concern Uptown are not so much ethics, or social sciences, but rather simple statistics.

    Uptown has a disproportionate amount of Section 8 housing, Methadone Clinics, and Homeless Shelters in comparion to all other wards on the northside.

    After reviewing those stats, it's a bit easier to see that this is not a battle between rich and poor. It's a battle between a corrupt alderman and ta group of taxpayers anxious to make this a safe, enjoyable community.

    We're never going to get rid of homelessness. Homelessness happens when people give up on themselves - government can't control that. What we could control - if we had the proper leadership - is the flow of transient people we openly invited into the neighborhood.

  28. Oooops.

    I'll refrain from calling certain alderman names for now on. I guess all I really did was state the obvious anyway :)

    I apologize to UU. Very sorry.

  29. Whenever anyone mentions to the COURAJ people that the homeless are rarely from Uptown but they come to Uptown from other parts of the city and state, you get this glazed look on their faces. Your reasoning doesn't support their agenda so they sidestep the argument and whine about being a victim.