Monday, June 15, 2009

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, Part I

Last week an addition came to the strip mall at Kenmore and Lawrence: a wrought-iron fence around the parking lot. See all those pretty purple flowers? They were planted by a neighbor to make the corner more attractive. Unfortunately, the gangbangers and drug dealers who like to hang there (the better to serve their clientele at the Lorali) think the flora makes a fine and handy place to hide their stashes. We believe and hope that having a fence there might make it a little more difficult for them; also handier for the police to trap them in the act.


  1. I live down the block from that corner of W Lawrence & N Kenmore and saw an immediate change in loitering when that fence was put up. There was also a drop in the amount of litter thrown in the garden.

    I know the neighbor who planted the garden there a number of years ago. When he started it, he would find people sleeping on top of what was planted. It was as if they found it a softer place to lay down. He then placed a number of rose bushes in there and that put an end to it.

  2. i'm glad this has made a difference, but it saddens me that our only choices are rampid crime and loitering or a neighborhood of fences and blue light cameras.

    I hope the gardening continues around this fence as it does make it more legitimate commerce and neighbors

  3. This is great. Not only does it make the corner look nicer, but it keeps loiterers away. I wish more of the really horrible looking open lots could get a simple makeover such as this! It's amazing what the smallest of changes can being about.

  4. C'mon James where's the transparency, you know it was your partner Richard doing the gardening. Is this the type of clarity we should expect if you run for alderman?

  5. ihatemondays, what does that have to do with anything? I think your post tells us a lot more about you than James.

  6. IHateMondays,,, your complaint is the partner of a guy who wants to run for Alderman took his time, sweat and money and invested it in trying to make the community better?... really? wow......

    I am sure Helen often volunteers for various community clean up programs ... when she decides to leave her expensive condo in the middle of Andersonville ....

  7. IHM, you make a good point, and there’s no harm in asking. By all means, I highly value transparency.

    The purpose of transparency is to expose any hidden agenda and to provide the community with the opportunity for their input. Given the political scandals in City Hall, transparency is needed now more than ever. In this particular situation, there’s nothing to hide or to be gained by exposing this person’s identity.

    If you live on our block, you probably already know who this person is because he doesn’t do this work in secret … and I honestly don’t think he would care if his name got out. However, it’s really not my place to say who he is. It belongs to him and I want to respect that.

    I also highly value being respectful of others... I trust that if elected, you will find me respectful of you as well.

  8. IHM,

    it's purdy clear that the Capplemaniac is running for Alderman.

    Given the level of dissatisfaction citywide I think it will likely be a good election for challengers. Only 20 months away. Of course 20 months is a long time........perhaps Daley will manage to keep his family members out of jail and the economy will pick up.

    As for Jimbo not revealing that his partner planted the garden that can be seen in two ways. If in fact his partner did plant the garden.

    1. That could be seen as Cappleman saying "OOOH look at me and the good work Richard and I do." Kinda annoying for those of us raised in families where announcing one's accomplishments or good deeds is seen as bad form or blowing one's own horn too loudly.

    2. Your point is valid. I guess I would say go with transparency.

    So now that we have that resolved James and Richard can blow each others horns as long as they announce it.

    Ok, that sounds naughty. It was meant to. I admit it.

    IMA baaaaaaaaaaad man.

    I do look forward to voting for James in 20 months.

    YOO HOO, Helen.........the end is nigh!

    Don't ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thy political career

  9. Kinda annoying for those of us raised in families where announcing one's accomplishments or good deeds is seen as bad form or blowing one's own horn too loudly.

    Oh, give us a break. The guy is a would-be politician posting on the Internet.

  10. Richard deserves an award for everything he does around Uptown and James deserves to be alderman!

  11. I deserve a cookie and warm milk........just sayin'.

  12. I decided I am going to run as a republican. It will be fun@

  13. Nice trick in a non-partisan election. ;-)

  14. It would be nice to get behind anyone who loves Uptown and knows how gorgeous it could be.

  15. ...and how gorgeous it is because of residents like Richard who take the time to plant and tend to spots of unexpected beauty.