Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bike The Drive

"I dreamed thousand of bicycles were whizzing right past me while I slept."  We can only imagine what the guy on the Montrose/LSD overpass thought when he woke up in the middle of Bike The Drive on Sunday.  The weather was glorious and it's always weird - in a good way - to hear bike tires instead of car motors for miles along the route.


  1. Bike the drive was fun except for the two guys wearing "Israel Kills" t-shirts.

  2. One thing about the homeless, they always get plenty of fresh air and sunshine! Gotta be good for the soul.

  3. ihate,

    I think those chaps were refering to Israel Idonije; defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears football squad.

    And, instead of "kills", they probably meant "licks your face like a puppy".

    I often see one confused for the other.

  4. In all facetiousness, if people are allowed to "Summer" in the park with a view of LSD, why bother buying a home in Uptown? Every year when Summer rolls around, many Homeless people band together in the Park with tents and sleeping bags circling a cooking grill. Their laundry is often strung out on the black iron fences lining LSD. A cop once told me that they want to remove the Homeless from the Park in Uptown, but that they've been told by the ald. to leave them alone.

  5. I'm sorry, but ANYONE sleeping in the part, camping in the park, hanging laundry in the park is BREAKING THE LAW! Homeless or not!

    Since when does Helen get to change the rules???

    Oh, I forgot ... she just does.

    All the while stating that 'crime is not her issue'.

  6. Hawkmoon-

    Would love to hear this straight from one of the police patroling our neighborhood.

    That might be the dagger in the coffin. A police officer detailing how the Alderwoman has changed the laws in her ward. Won't hold my breath though, cause that pretty much shows the police have no spine when it comes to local hacks (I mean politicians) doing their jobs.

  7. Oh my.
    This is the 1st time I've posted here - I've been reading for about 2 years... but I do have to ask the last poster "I'm Watching Too"...
    Have you NEVER been slightly destitute - you silly lovely thing you? Never EVER been without a washer and a dryer to call your own? Let alone a place to wash yourself - OR GET CLEAN WATER - EVEN WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE?

    Never EVER been "in-between?"
    Never EVER had to sleep in a park?Just wondering... (and by the way - the time I HAD to sleep in a park - the people sleeping there with me were incredibly wonderful - we all protected each other)

    Are you and yours COMPLETELY untouched by the recession?
    If so - and I mean this, I really, really do - I am not being facetious - I honestly don't wish a bad moment on ANYONE.
    Good for you and yours - seriously.

    Also - just so you know - it is illegal to sleep in the park (after curfew) - but I'm pretty sure it's ok to hang your laundry there - as a matter of fact - it's very eco-friendly.
    Come on peeps!
    It's not about legal or not - it's about decorum...
    We don't like what WE SEE in Uptown right now...
    If every sad sack, every drug dealer, every addict would GO UNDERGROUND - there would be no more UU. Am I wrong?

  8. Sorry, but is another one of those false choices people like to post.

    He is not forced by poverty to live in the park. There are plenty of shelter beds, supportive housing beds, intake centers, transitional housing beds, etc. in Uptown. No one has to live in a park unless they choose to.

    That said, I really don't care if people sleep outdoors it's just there are not toilets and so the park gets filled with urine and feces and rats. That is where I draw the line.

  9. It's still against the law ... and it's Helen who enables the breaking of the law!

    Wash your clothes anywhere you want. I really don't care.

    But why should I be help accountable for following the rules, but Helen isn't??

  10. No, Julie, there would still be a UU. If you've been reading for two years, and you only see people criticizing the unfortunate, well, that's some amazing selective vision you have there. Scroll down and see if you can possibly see any posts about anything else. In two years, you've NEVER seen any posts reflecting that UU readers do a great deal to help the community, including the destitute?

    Since you asked: If I were destitute and had nowhere to go, I would go to one of the 100+ social service agencies within a mile of my front door. I would ask to be put into one of the many shelters available in the city, where there are always empty beds, rather than sleep rough, because crimes against the homeless are at record levels and I remember the homeless guy being shot outside Wilson Care as a gang initiation a couple years ago. I also know that sexual assaults against women sleeping in the park is a continuing problem.

    I would ask one of the many social service agencies for help restructuring my mortgage, and for job training to help me get out of being destitute. I see people who are hard to employ getting jobs thru them, including CleanSlate.

    You seem to be saying that if a person is destitute, then a different set of laws apply. Is that what you're saying, that it's okay to sleep in the park then?

    As long as the park is open for anyone who feels like living there, then I think we should all mark off our homesteads and build townhomes and McMansions there.

    Because surely you're not advocating that there be different laws for people with money and no money, right? I think there may have been a Constitutional amendment or two about that.

  11. There are plenty of shelters and social services for people to avail themselves of. You can call 311 and say you need "Shelter placement" and they will take you to PGM, eventually. There's REST, Cornerstone, etc, etc, etc. You can call the mobile linkage team of a social service agency like Thresholds and they will teach you how to survive better, get referrals for community services, tell you where the soup kitchens/food pantries/etc are. It's a free call from any payphone. There really is very little excuse for sleeping outside unless a person doesn't want to follow the rules of the shelter.

  12. Looking forward to Julie D's reply but not holding my breath...

  13. Dear Caring Neighbor...
    In response to your 1st paragraph -No - you're right - I've seen a LOT OF POSITIVE from this blog - A LOT! I'm sorry if I sounded like a plug.
    As for your 2nd paragraph - it's true isn't it? That we've closed at least 3 shelters in the last year in the 48th ward? Probably a few in the 46th as well...
    There are certainly LESS places (less than the 100 you mentioned within a MILE of your door) - in this whole country, let along this state, or county or city where one can go for help - hence, more people on our streets that are "a nuisance"
    Pardon me - for one sec - listen to my IPOD

    'Billy Dalton staggered on the sidewalk, someone said he stumbled and he fell'-Kris Kristoferson...

    As for your last 2 paragraphs.
    OF COURSE I'M NOT SAYING that anyone destitute gets to "break the law"
    But in my mind, "BREAKING THE LAW" consists of actually hurting another person.

    Sleeping and eating (and pooping and peeing) in the park doesn't add up to breaking the law (at least in my mind... and I did take in your comment about rapes on the lakeside...) I still don't see how some sad sap who NEEDS to make his sorry home under a tree near the Foster exit makes himself a rapist - it just doesn't figure.
    As far as mugging and raping - we all have to watch our backs.
    It's the nature of the city.
    People suck :)
    That was a smile...
    Really - I'm not an a*& - just slightly opinionated.

  14. Truthbearer,

    Really? I'm assuming you are responding to me with your post...

    Could I ask you in a VERY NICE way - How old are you? What is your income? Mostly what does your family contribute?

    Have you lived long enough, or if you're old enough (40+) Have you lived HARD enough to understand ANYONE who is homeless - have you every BEEN homeless? That's the real question...Ever? Been homeless?

    Just a question - and if you'd rather - we can talk about it in a nice way here - and I really mean that - in a nice way - I don't have a huge agenda - I really want to know why people are so angry about the poor on this blog...
    anyway - here it is - for all.
    Let the games begin.
    Oh my - I'm a bit scared
    Hey - don't forget - I'm super-nice, all and all...

  15. Dear Quietly Conscious,
    I replied - once - I replied with way too many words - it was thrown out - after that I replied very concisely - with a lot of words... lets see what shows up first -
    I totally need cheese!
    I've been trying for 2 weeks to be a vegan - eh - sadly it's not going to happen...:

  16. yeah i have been following Uptown Update for a while too. I have lost sympathy for the bloggers here. It is just the way so many of you come across, so negative, so many cheap one shots, so uncaring. Disagree with me, it doesn't matter, the constant negativity here and uncaring has made up my mind.

  17. Dear quietlyconscious -
    I did reply...
    I think my response is waiting for the kudos to go ahead - however, I wanted to tell you that right away... and your profile is blocked...
    Anonymity is everyone's choice - it's just not very democratic.
    Julie Daley
    I'm probably an idiot.
    Bueno suerte con su vida.

  18. julie, me thinks this is the very reason UU exists. I don't think it's about 'sad sacks' or snaps of much-less-than-perfect-life here in Uptown....Julie, it's all about the FAILINGS of yours and mine elected official up here.

    In my opinion, fish farms, 10 story neo-Robert Taylor Homes, and rampant gang crime are NOT what Uptown residents 'want' or 'need'.

    The 46th Ward is apparently the "Oz" of Social Services....but guess what?......it ain't working!

  19. Don't forget the free showers at Margate Park.

    Yes, there are people who like to sleep in the park. If I wasn't afraid of being clobbered, I'd bring a tent and the kiddies.

    People used to sleep on their porches.

    The park closes at 11:00 p.m. The police clear out the lingerers at the various beaches. But they don't go into the park beyond the paths and roust people.

  20. Julie -- No, in answer to your question, I've never been homeless. But I've been destitute. I've been unemployed. I've had 5-day pay or quit notices tacked to my apartment door. I never slept in a park because of the services that are available that I took advantage of. I have lots of empathy for those who are down on their luck, having been there and still being closer than I want to be.

    I have a close relative who, if he lived in Chicago, would be one of the guys sleeping in the park. That's the difference between him and me. I chose to ask for support and took it. He chooses to break the law to get by.

    Services are here. In Uptown, there's a larger concentration of social services than anywhere else in the state, and maybe the country, all to help people who have some disadvantage. If a person chooses not to ask for help, they have the right. But that decision doesn't give them the right to break the law. YMMV.

  21. how do you sleep outdoors, in the open, when the sun is up? seems more like he passed out there and was just coming to...

  22. I wish an alderman would TRY to tell me what to do or how to do it. I would refuse right in their face and do the opposite.

  23. I have to agree with Jonathon. He is right when he says "...so negative, so many cheap one shots, so uncaring." I continue to come to Uptown Update to get updates about Uptown events and whatnot but it is annoying that in the past few months the number of post that are primarily just gripes about the poor and homeless and Helen have increased to the point that they outnumber the truly informational posts.

  24. Agreed - everyone wants to cry but half these people actually make it to neighborhood events to speak their mind.. a lot of crying, a lot less doing.

    I am getting frustrated with Uptown refusing to come to grips with what it wants!! WHAT DO WE WANT!! If we knew what we wanted we could direct the politicians to help us create it... but we are always fighting.. us versus them.. housing vs no housing.. call a neighborhood meeting - just the neighborhood - those who show and vote get a say in what they want.. no more crying just voting and doing.