Monday, February 23, 2009

"Inspirational" Oscars Ad

Many of us were delighted to see our 'hood featured so positively in a commercial during the Oscars ceremony last night. The same reader who enlightened us about Uptown's ties to the Academy Awards gives us an update:

"Uptown has a NEW Tie to The Oscars – Inspiration Corporation

Press release about the commercial:

Web site, where you can view the commercial, and a “Behind the Scenes” video, both directed by Helen Hunt: and

This isn’t the video from The Oscar commercial, but is an interesting insight to this service to Uptown’s homeless neighbors:"

Update: US News & World Report did an article about Lisa: Inspiration Cafe Outshines Academy Award Winners


  1. How cool was that?! If you looked closely you could see small parts of Uptown. I'm so happy for them to receive that much attention.

  2. Thanks UU for posting this. I've always wanted to know more about what they do!

    I've lived or worked in Uptown for the last eight years and I've followed this blog almost from the start.

    I'm very happy to see the UU moderator refer to "Uptown's homeless neighbors." I hope it's a sign of things to come in how UU talks about the homeless population in Uptown, and I hold onto hope that it's the end of UU's days posting photos of the homeless on the blog with headlines that often don't recognize the homeless as part of our neighborhood community.

    Regardless of the politics of why and how many and personal versus community responsibility, our homeless neighbors are human beings who deserve our basic respect.

    Thanks UU for showing great respect in posting this. Much appreciated from this longtime resident and lurker.

  3. If you looked closely, you could see the cranes at Wilson Yard.

    I dunno what made me cry harder, Heath Ledger's family, or the cranes.

    Might be the cranes.

  4. This is for all you so called Uptown Settlers, having lived here only 3-5 yrs from some other state or suburb. You think you know Uptown well riddle me this:

    What building (address) did John Dillienger hide out in for a short time while on the run?

    Where was John Dillinger laid to rest after his run in with the Lady in Red?
    (by the way it was not the Lady in Red but the OUTFIT that gave him up to the G because of all the heat he was bringing the City)

    Where did Al Capones' bookkeeper live?

    What Uptown building did Al Capone have a ownership interset in? (no it's not the Gren Mill)

    Where is "blood alley"?

    What is the nickname of the Aragon Ball Room?

    Where was Hillbilly Heaven and who owned it?

    Where did visiting baseball teams stay when they played the CUBS back in the day? (over 50 yrs ago)

    Waht loaction did one of Chicago's former mayors Live?

    lets see if you know your Uptown!!!!

  5. Oh, Enforcer, you're so behind the curve! Most of the answers to your Jeopardy category "Uptown" can be found right here on Uptown Update.

    For example.

    I doubt anyone here considers him or herself a settler. That would be the people who lived here 25 or 30 years ago. My neighbors tell SOME stories, about their cars being shot by gang members running down the street and bodies being found on the empty lot where my home now stands.

    In my opinion, a TRUE Uptowner loves this neighborhood and works selflessly to make it as good a place as it can be. It doesn't have to do with longevity or how well one plays bar trivia.

    Before you write me off as an upstart, my roots here go way back. My great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my father were all Uptowners. I can't walk two blocks from my house without passing somewhere my family has lived in the past 120 years. Myself, I've been in this neighborhood since the early 1960s.

    Yet it's when I participate in community events and activism that I feel "I am a true Uptowner."

  6. Enforcer - I know a few of these:

    Dillinger was buried in Indianapolis but was embalmed at the funeral home that was at 4506 N. Sheridan.

    I believe Al Capone had an interest in the Uptown Broadway Building.

    Blood Alley is the section of Clifton between Wilson to where it curves into Broadway.

    Aragon Ballroom = Aragon "Brawlroom"

    Hillbilly Heaven was where Kinetic Playground is now (on Lawrence). Owned by Sharon (last name?).

    Cubs visiting baseball teams stayed at the Sheridan Plaza.

  7. Thanks for the several blog entries on the Inspiration Cafe!

  8. Actually they stayed at the Leland Arms 1207 W. Leland. And the hideout was 808 W. Junior Terrace.