Friday, September 30, 2011

Got Clothes At International Cleaners?

A few readers have forwarded this to us.  If you're a client of International Cleaners on Lawrence (next to Dib), you'll need to know:

"International Cleaners is changing hands. As of Saturday, October 1st, 2011, International Cleaners will be under new ownership and will be run under a different name.  For your convenience, you may still drop off clothes through the end of the day on Friday, September 30th. Those orders will still be processed by International Cleaners ownership and employees.

Also for your convenience, our clerk will be available to return those orders, and any other orders dropped off with International Cleaners previously, for two more weeks, until Saturday, October 15th. If your order is not picked up by October 15th, you will need to pick up your order at an alternate location, to be determined (location will be posted).

We truly thank you for your continued business over the years. If you have enjoyed the quality we provide, and would like to continue to receive our quality of work going forward, you still can. You can do so by going to our parent company's website,, and signing up for our pick-up and delivery service.  Pick-up and delivery is free, and you'll pay the same prices you've paid while you were a customer at International Cleaners. (Note: This is special pricing not available to all other Drive Cleaning customers!)

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (312) 321-0033."

Musical Murals

A reader sent in this photo and says:  "A few days ago, this art appeared on the landing of the auxiliary entrance to the Wilson stop.  I think it looks great, and it covers the formerly blank space where graffiti appeared on a daily basis!"  We trust there are more improvements in store for the Wilson El and agree this is a good start.

Alternatives' Haunted Lanes Bowlathon Returns

click to enlarge
Get ready to bowl us over with your costume and strike up the fun on the lanes – Alternatives’ 14th Annual Haunted Lanes Bowlathon is just around the corner.

Join us at Diversey River Bowl (2211 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago) on October 20 at 7PM for a fun night of bowling, karaoke and creative costumes to benefit Alternatives’ clinical services and youth development programs.

Your individual ticket includes:
  • dinner
  • three hours of bowling and karaoke
  • bowling shoe rental
  • costume contest entry
Team and Corporate packages available for groups of six or more. Tickets and group packages can be purchased online here.

The Bowlathon is supported by volunteers from our Community Outreach Committee, a group of individuals who live or work in Uptown and the surrounding communities. For information about joining the Community Outreach Committee and supporting future community activities, including our annual benefit, please email

"Gay Chicago" Goes Web-Only

Some sad news from Gay Chicago Magazine:

Effective today, Gay Chicago will cease publication of its print newspaper. Gay Chicago will continue, however, to produce an online news and entertainment.

Gay Chicago Magazine was founded in 1976 by Ralph Paul Gernhardt, who passed away in 2006. “It is with great sadness that we have come to this point in our publication’s history,” said Craig Gernhardt, the publication's publisher.

For many years, Gay Chicago was the only openly gay publication in Illinois and one of a few openly gay publications in the North America.

Gay Chicago was started at a time when routine arrests of gay people were common place and where no laws existed prohibiting discrimination on the basis of LGBT status.

“My dad did an incredibly brave thing by putting out a gay magazine. He did this despite the risks he faced and provided a sense of community for many LGBT people in the state of Illinois when no one else would.”

Mr. Gernhardt, who passed away in 2006, was inducted into Chicago’s Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2004. Gay Chicago Magazine was inducted into the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1991.

In April 2011, Gay Chicago hit a milestone with its 35th anniversary.

“Continuing print operations became more and more difficult in the past few years with dwindling ad revenues and rising print and operating costs. We just can’t sustain our old model anymore,” said Gernhardt. “It’s time to turn toward a new direction.” And that's the internet.

"Gay Chicago will continue to serve as a dynamic news, information, and lifestyle portal for Chicago’s LGBT community. Gay Chicago plans to continue serving as a consistent voice for the LGBT community," said Gernhardt.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

City Rental Subsidies Going To Troubled Buildings Still A Problem

By Micah Maidenberg, Chicago Muckrakers

Last September, The Chicago Reporter's Angela Caputo wrote about Chicago's ineffective attempts to keep building owners who let their properties deteriorate from using taxpayer funds.

Residential property owners city lawyers hauled into court for rat infestations, broken plumbing, rickety porches and other code violations nonetheless retained access to public subsidies, Caputo found.

It's still a problem, a number of aldermen said this morning in City Hall, when a version of this issue emerged during a city council's Committee on Housing and Real Estate meeting.

Alderman James Cappleman, who represents the 46th Ward, said his community struggles with a number of building owners who manage their properties "very, very poorly" but still are helped by the city's Low Income Housing Trust Fund.

The trust fund operates three programs meant to keep rents affordable for some of the poorest residents of Chicago, those whose household earnings total no more than 30 percent of the area median, and even less than that in some cases.

The trust's rental subsidy "reduces rents on a specified number of units approved by the Trust Fund Board of Directors in the building or development to a level that is affordable for very low-income individuals and families," according to the city's description. There's a mortgage loan-forgiveness effort and dollars for supportive housing programs.

Cappleman said there were 13 troubled buildings in his ward, and that "four or five" of them were getting rental subsidy from the trust fund.

"There's a lot of drug traffic inside those buildings. And it's caused a lot of concern for the residents living there and also for the residents in the surrounding community," he said. "There are some buildings with multiple, multiple numbers of code violations, and getting them to respond in a manner that's quick and efficient is next to impossible."

Property owners seeking to qualify for trust fund dollars should be able to demonstrate a record of solid management practices, he went on to say. "I don't see that in place," he said.

Continue Reading

More Demolition Coming At Sheridan & Irving

The parking lot at Sheridan and Irving and neighboring building slated for demolition (Google)
A reader writes in:
"I know it’s just the corner of the community, but I’ve always been frustrated at Thorek Hospital.  When we do our Buena Park Green and Clean (or Clean and Green, whatever), that building along Broadway is always so trashed out and filthy. It’s a large hospital, you’d think they could pick up litter and try to make it look inviting.  I believe it’s the medical office area, much of which is vacant.  There is always a ton of trash along Irving bordering their endless parking lots and vacant areas as well.

Then three years ago they tore down a large decent looking residential building right at Irving Park and Sheridan so it could sit as a trash filled weed chocked plot of dirt.  Now I see there’s a permit to tear down a really beautiful looking 3-flat (4009 N. Sheridan, see above) next to it from the early 1900’s.  The building has new windows and a new roof, so I’m guessing it’s the hospital at it again (why else tear it down??).  I’m afraid they’re going to let that one sit as a huge eyesore as well.

Between those two buildings and the extremely suburban style Walgreens going in across the street with all that parking, it’s such a massive waste for a corner with a 24-hour train station and two bus lines.  The corner is embarrassing."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Family Dollar Collared

From CBS2Chicago's website:

"A dollar store in the Uptown neighborhood is closed, after previous plumbing issues were found to have gotten worse when city inspectors made a follow-up visit.

The Dumpster Task Force closed the Family Dollar store at 4613 N. Broadway because of inadequate plumbing and failing to correct serious violations for which they were cited on Sept. 20..."
Read the rest of the story here.

Residents with good memories may recall that this Family Dollar outlet was closed for many months five or six years ago when it turned out that its basement was full of raw sewage and that rodent poison was put out on its sales floor where children could easily ingest it.

Remember This Guy?

And his (alleged) handiwork?

We sent the video to the 23rd District police, and this is what they said:

Please request that the victims report the incidents to police. I ran the last two weeks on beat 2311 and have no reports of smashed windshields. We appreciate this information and would like to have access to the victims for prosecution once we catch this offender. 

So if you had a smashed windshield and believe it to be the work of this "gentleman" and his bag full o' rocks... make a police report.  It may help get him off our streets, and away from our parked cars.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cyclists, Get Ready: Another Bike Uptown In October

"Bike Uptown returns next month! This time we are going along our beautiful lakefront. You will discover why the 46th Ward is proud to boast its unique lakefront: 2 bird sanctuaries, 2 harbors, an archery range, a lakefront golf course, a beach, a pier. A totem pole and some of the most majestic views Chicago has to offer. We will see them all! The ride is FREE and begins and ends at the Peace Garden – east side of Lake Shore Drive at Buena.

When: Sunday, October 16 at 10 a.m.
Where: The Peace Garden (Lakefront Trail and Buena)
Questions? Email"

You can see photos of August's Bike Uptown here.

Pumpkin Patch @ Margate Park

Ring in autumn at Margate Park this weekend.  Here's what the Park District website says:

"Everyone just loves pumpkins! The Chicago Park District brings a little bit of the country to the city with its annual Pumpkin Patches. Join us for an afternoon in the park at this family-friendly event!

Date: 10/01/11, Start Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
At the Chicago Park District’s pumpkin patches, you get to pick your personal favorite from a field filled with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, and personalize it at the pumpkin decorating station. Enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, petting zoo, horsedrawn hayride, and tattoos complete a day’s worth of fall fun. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture a family memory at our harvest photo station. Cash only. Activity tickets will not be sold after 1:30pm.
Cost: fees vary per activity $1 - $6
Location : Margate Park, 4921 N Marine Drive"

Pet Blessings In October

At St. Mary of the Lake (Buena and Sheridan), as at many Catholic churches, in honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, there will be a ceremony to bless pets.

"Bring your animal friends to our annual Pet Blessing, after the 4:30pm mass (5:15pm) on Saturday, 1 October, on the front steps. House Rules, Please:
  • Don’t bring your "friend" into church
  • Keeps "friends" leashed or in carriers"

There will be another pet blessing at St. Thomas of Canterbury, 4827 N Kenmore, on Saturday, October 8th at 11am. "In honor of the Feast of St. Francis, we will celebrate a Pet Blessing on Saturday, October 8 at11 a.m. in front of the church. You are invited to bring your pets (all species welcome!) for a blessing. We will have treats for cats, dogs, and humans too!"

Garage Sale This Weekend (Got Donations?)

From the Buttercup Park Advisory Council:

"Greetings Neighbors...

On October 1st, you will have an opportunity to shop or donate to the 1st annual garage sale to benefit the Buttercup Park Advisory Council/ Buttercup Park!

If you would like to donate items to be sold to benefit the B'PAC, please contact

We hope to see you there!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

And After It Rains, There's A Rainbow...

Thank you to a reader for this photo, which was taken at 8:40 this morning.

Hit & Run Sedan On Camera

This is the car that police believe killed a pedestrian on the 4700 block of Sheridan this weekend, by first striking her and then backing over her.  Chicago Breaking News says"A nearby camera captured the image of a light-colored sedan traveling south on Sheridan Road, according to a community alert. The front of the vehicle may have front end damage. Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call the police's Major Accident Investigation Unit at(312) 745-4521."

If you have any information at all about the incident, please call the cops about it.

Update:  A reader has combined the two images and taken out the color contamination.  The car is believed to be a Buick Park Avenue.  Please keep an eye out for it.

Community Alert

Funny how when there's a restaurant or bar around Clark and Carmen, the media is quick to call the area "Andersonville," but when there's a crime, it's "Uptown" all the way.

Please be careful and keep an eye out.  There was an attack and attempted sexual assault on the 1500 block of Carmen (between Clark and Ashland) early Sunday morning and the police have issued a community alert.  You can read it all here; this is a description of the attacker:

The man is described as white Hispanic, in his 30s, 5-feet-5 inches to 5-feet-8 inches, between 165 and 185 pounds with brown eyes, black hair and a light beard and mustache, police said.

He was last seen wearing a dark colored baseball hat, worn backwards with dark blue jeans, dark blue gym shoes and a white "sports team" type jacket and a tan colored messenger style bag with one shoulder strap, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (312) 744-8261.

Update:  Edgeville Buzz has a police sketch of the suspect.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Clarendon Park Party Pics

CPNA has posted photos from last weekend's block party, and is asking for more:

"We are getting some terrific photos from the Block Party last Saturday.  Here is the link to take a look at them.

This is a link to the CPNA's Facebook page. You do not have to be a "member" of Facebook to see these photos, you do not have to sign up or log in to Facebook to see them -- it is a public folder.

If you have more photos that you would like to share, please send them over to this email address ( and we will post them!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Woman Dies from Hit-and-Run Accident on Sheridan

From Chicago Tribune:

"A female pedestrian described as in her 40s has died after being struck by a hit-and-run vehicle early this morning in the city's Uptown neighborhood on the North Side.

Preliminary reports said the accident happened about 1:30 a.m. on the 4700 block of North Sheridan Road near Lawrence Avenue, said Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.

The woman was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she later died from her injuries, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office. The spokesman did not have information available about what time the woman died or about her identity.

The Police Major Accident Investigation Unit was investigating."

Update:  The updated Trib story says the victim, Beverly Akerson, 43, of the 1200 block of North Laramie, passed away at Illinois Masonic Hospital. And the Sun-Times's version makes a very tragic story even worse: it says that the driver reversed and ran over Ms. Akerson twice. We hope the driver is found. If you have any information that can help the police, please dial 911.

Fontana Grill Groupon

Fontana Grill & Wine Bar is being featured on Groupon.

Choose between the following options:
  • For $35, you get a four-course meal for two Sunday–Thursday (a $74.75 value).
  • For $37, you get a four-course meal for two Friday or Saturday (a $74.75 value).

The four courses include:

  • One appetizer (up to a $10.95 value)
  • One salad (up to an $8.95 value)
  • Two entrees (up to a $23.95 value each)
  • One seasonal dessert (a $6.95 value)
You have a couple days to catch this deal, but don't wait too long!

Uptown United Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of
We're excited about this fundraiser:  a chance to see the fabled interior of the Uptown Theater.  The rest sounds cool, but it's the lobby tour that has us twitterpated.

From Uptown United:

"Experience Uptown Like Never Before at Uptown Live!

Gala Evening Features Cocktails in Historic Bridgeview Bank Rotunda, Exclusive Tours of Uptown Theatre Lobby, Dinner at Authentic Local Favorites

Get an insider’s view of Chicago’s most entertaining neighborhood with an exclusive evening showcasing the grand architecture of Uptown’s entertainment district and the foodie haven of Argyle Street.

On October 26, gather for cocktails and light appetizers in the historic restored Bridgeview Bank rotunda – you might catch your Uptown alderman or State Rep pulling a shift as a celebrity bartender. During cocktails, local historians will lead exclusive tours of the magnificent Uptown Theatre lobby, normally closed to the public. Try your luck on our raffle as well: prizes include coveted reserved seats at the renowned Green Mill jazz club’s holiday show. For dinner, guests will dine in small groups on house specialties at a choice of local Argyle Street favorites, including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian options.

Tickets are $100 per person, or $500 for a group of six and includes cocktails, Theater tour and dinner; sponsorship opportunities are also available. All proceeds will benefit Uptown United, Uptown’s community economic development organization, and Business Partners, Uptown’s Chamber of Commerce. Visit to register.

Participating restaurants include Furama Restaurant, Hon Kee Restaurant, Masala Indian and Thai Cuisine Restaurant, Pho 777, Pho Lily, Pho Viet, Sun Wah BBQ and Tien Giang. Restaurants are BYOB and a discount coupon for Foremost Liquor will be included in the evening’s program book."

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Dog Sitting Service
(Mention UU For A Free Walk)

From Dignified Dog Domestics:

"As a 12 year Uptown resident and a huge dog enthusiast, I am pleased to announce that I have officially launched my own dog sitting service. Unlike most kennels, I handle overnight stays at either clients' Uptown homes or my own, no crates. Dogs are treated like royalty and have full reign of my home, including sleeping in the master bedroom.

I just require that all doggies guests be fully house trained, up-to-date on their vaccinations including kennel cough and rabies with a local vet, be spayed/neutered, freshly groomed, must get along with my two big super friendly doggies (I always test all doggie guests compatibility with my own pooches before their first overnight stay) and adore children.

I'll walk your dog 4x a day, feed them, brush them and overall pamper them and spoil them with attention. I am already booking for Thanksgiving, Christmas through New Year's. I also doggysit for those who travel during non-holidays as well. Please email me at and be sure to mention UU for your free walk."

CeaseFire March Today

From Clarendon Park Neighbors Association on Facebook:

"At 1pm, meet up with Ceasefire for a Peace March starting at Racine and Sunnyside (Truman College)."

Mmmm, Soup

Click on the coupon, then print
Another special at Cousins Restaurant, on Leland just east of Clark.  This weather is definitely made for soup, and Cousins has some of the best.  They're open Wednesday thru Monday from 7am until 10pm, and they're a BYOB with no corkage fee. Check out their menu and their new specials on the website,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good Times On Tap

We have some friends who will think they died and went to heaven upon reading the next listing. Well, wake up, kids, it's real!

The Beer Hoptacular is returning for a second year to the Aragon, with an afternoon and an evening session on Saturday, November 5th.  According to its website, "For one flat fee [UU Note:  Just under $50 if you print your ticket out at home], you receive your own souvenir sampling glass that is yours to keep. During the session use your glass to try whatever beers you want from the 100+ fantastic beers available. Really like one kind? Feel free to refill! Want to try as wide a variety as possible? Help yourself. If you have a favorite cast your vote for it to be Beer Hoptacular of the Year! Compare beer notes with others, talk beer with friends, hear some music and eat great food too."

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

More cool window displays at Shake Rattle and Read, which is quickly becoming Uptown's version of Barney's.  Ric Addy says : "New display dolls created by Leslie Rowan. They are lovely and spin around slowly as the wind catches them!"  Stop by 4812 N Broadway and take a look.

Bears In Blue Fundraiser: Baby Wilson's Legacy

If you were touched by the story of Baby Wilson and his rescue, please consider attending this fundraiser.  The Bears in Blue Foundation is his legacy, and also that of the detective who worked tirelessly to find out who he was and why he was thrown out like garbage.  We will be there, and we will never forget him.

Free Job Training For Uptown Residents

A note from Asian Human Services:

“I was hope that Uptown Update could publish something about this training and employment program that Asian Human Services is making available to Uptown Residents?

Energy Auditor Training with Nationally Recognized BPI Certification. AHS Employment Department is partnering with Priority Energy to offer Training for Tomorrow, a new employment program for unemployed or underemployed residents of Uptown, Rogers Park, Albany Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

Students receive classroom and hands-on worksite training to become certified Energy Auditors. Building Performance Institute certification is included in the training, which is free of charge. Students are recommended but not required to have a background in the trades, construction, or other technical field, or with a knowledge of building science. Classes and certifications are held year-round.

For information or to apply for Training for Tomorrow, call AHS Employment at 773-293-8115 or email Peter Castaldo at"

Broncho Billy Hoop Removal Controversy

A story in this week's Chicago Reader chronicles the controversial removal of the basketball hoops at Broncho Billy park. As Uptown Update reported in June, Alderman Cappleman, with the support of the 23rd District police officers, had the hoops removed to allow the the playlot to be restored for use by children and families.

Here are some of the key points from the Reader article:

The response has been mostly positive, Cappleman says. "I'm hearing the number of children 12 and under utilizing the playlot has gone up significantly, and parents over there are delighted."

But many longtime residents believe race is at the heart of the issue, since most of the kids who played at the park are black. "This is real clearly an attack on low-income and black families," says Miglietta, who, like Cappleman, is white. Removing the rims "obviously hasn't ended the problems, and we've told Cappleman that it will get worse because kids don't have a place to play."

The alderman hasn't yielded. In a face-to-face meeting with Miglietta, Hobbs, and other residents, Cappleman rejected the alternatives they proposed, such as installing a security camera in the park or organizing residents to patrol it.

The group is now recruiting other community leaders to join them in pressing Cappleman to reinstall the rims. They've received a letter of support from the principal at Stockton School, which is next to the playlot, and are asking Park District officials to back them as well.

Broncho Billy playlot has been the source of several shootings prior to the removal of the hoops, including this past April.

UU Readers - What do you think about the removal of the basketball hoops? Has it been positive for the safety of our neighborhood?

The Reviews Are In...Caravan Is A Winner!

Several readers have emailed Uptown Update to tell us about their experiences at Caravan, the new Persian restaurant in the 4800 block of Broadway. All feedback has been unanimously positive about the food, environment and service.

Some of the comments that we have received:

"Reza's in Andersonville used to be my go-to spot for Middle Eastern food until I tried Caravan the other night. The filet mignon kebab was the best meat that I have ever tasted, and you must get the dill rice! Amazing!"

"Just wanted to tell you about Caravan - the new restaurant on Broadway. I didn't know what to expect from the crazy looking exterior, but once I got inside, I was really impressed. The decor is really classy - they clearly spent a bunch of money remodeling the old Wild Pug space. And the food was great too - the service was really good. The servers are still learning the ropes, but they were really attentive and really excited about Caravan. What a great addition to Uptown!"

You can check out reviews on Yelp and Metromix. Caravan is currently open for dinner seven days a week from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m., with extended hours until 11 p.m. on Saturday nights. Take a look the Caravan's menu.

Let's make sure we support our local Uptown businesses and be proud to call the intersection of Lawrence and Broadway the most diverse ethnic restaurant intersection in the city (Persian, Indian, Ethiopian, Chinese, American, Mexican, Thai, Italian and Vietnamese).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BPN Autumnal Clean & Green This Saturday

September 24, 2011, 10am at Dollop Coffee, 4181 North Clarendon. We will be conducting our fall Clean and Green on September 24th. Come on out and spend a few hours with your neighbors as we pick up trash and landscape several neglected parkways. We'll meet at Dollop Coffee & Tea at 10am and spread out from there. At noon we'll rendezvous at the former KFC parking lot on Broadway and Buena, then head to Michael's for lunch! Bring your own gloves; we will supply plastic bags for trash, plus tools and mulch for landscaping.

Book Fair / Bake Sale To Benefit 20th District Programs

The 20th District CAPS office will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A percentage of the book sales will go to the children of victims of domestic violence.

In addition, the 20th District Youth Explorers will also be hosting a bake sale on the same day. All proceeds from the bake sale will go to the 20th District Youth Fund.

If you would like to donate baked items for the sale, please contact Libby Godinez in the CAPS office at 312-742-8770 x116.

Free Health Testing On Monday


  • HIV Testing
  • Blood sugar screening
  • Blood pressure screening
4407 N Broadway, Chicago 60640
Monday, September 26, 2011

For more information, 773-561-3177 or visit the website of The UIC Community Outreach Intervention Project (COIP), formerly know as the AIDS Outreach Intervention Project, at the University of Illinois School of Public Health.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Buttercup Playlot Cleared Out

Looks like the clearing and moving part of the renewal project at Buttercup Playlot is finished!  A reader sent in this photo of "the clearing."  We can't wait to see the new, more inviting finished product around December, as weather cooperates.

Out Late Saturday Night? Be Sure You're Sober
(And Wearing Your Seat Belt)


The Chicago Police Department will conduct a DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Belmont (019th) and Town Hall (23rd) Districts. The DUI Strike Force Patrol will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2011 and end at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2011.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI) prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Strike Force Patrol.

The DUI Strike Force Patrol conducted in the Austin (15th) on September 17-18, 2011 resulted in the following: Driving Under the Influence 3; Unsafe Vehicle Violations 18; Seat Belt Violations 28; Drivers License Violations 10; Insurance Violations 20; Speeding 7; Traffic Violations (Other) 33;  Total Citations 119; Other Arrests (Warrants) 0; Vehicles Towed 7.

Inspiration Needs Toiletries

From Inspiration Corporation's Facebook page:

"Our Supportive Services department has a severe shortage in toiletries for their participants. Anyone that can donate: Soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, etc. please call 773-878-0981 x222 to set up a drop off! Thanks for your support!"

Two Women Injured In Early Morning "Lawrence House" Fire

Chicago Tribune Staff Report
Two women were injured in an early morning fire at a retirement hotel in the city's Uptown neighborhood, officials said.

Firefighters took about 45 minutes to battle the blaze confined to a single room on the fifth floor of the 12-story Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave., officials said.

The fire was put out at about 1:30 a.m.

The victims, described as women in their 40s, were taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital in fair-to-serious condition for smoke inhalation injuries, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis. Continue Reading

Monday, September 19, 2011

Smashing Video

Well, what do you know? A bunch of people reported their windshields being smashed last week, and here's footage of some jackass doing just that on Clifton. Smile, buddy, you're famous! Caught in the act. If you see this guy and his big bag of rocks, give 9-1-1 a call. Looks like he may just be the reason so many people reported smashed windshields without any evidence of theft last week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

46th Ward Open House / Meet The Artists

From the newsletter:
Art by Isz
From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

When: Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6pm - 8pm
Where: 46th Ward Office (4544 N. Broadway)

We have the works of local artists hanging in our office. Please join us for our Open House event and meet some talented people.

Anyone with questions, concerns, or comments about ward or city matters is also welcome to stop by.

In October, there will be an open public forum at another location within the ward.

Lots of Car Crime Reports

Readers have been sending in stories about car shenanigans all week.  Not sure why this is going on, if it's an increase in incidents, or just an increase in people reporting them.

Unless you stay with your car 24/7, there's not much you can do while it's parked outside, but please keep an eye out for people who might be messing with cars and call 9-1-1 if you see something suspicious.  As the cops constantly remind us, there's nothing a thief or criminal hates more than nosy neighbors who call police.  Be sure to report any problems to the police, too, so they can look at the patterns.

And be sure to keep up the insurance payments.  This is a big city and odds are we'll all experience something, sometime, no matter what neighborhood you live in.  Still sucks, though.
  • On Wilson between Beacon and Malden:  "Wednesday night a car was keyed; last night a rusty wrench was thrown through the back window of a car."
  • Leland and Winthrop (photo above):  "I came out to this lovely surprise Thursday morning - a rock was thrown at my front windshield overnight. Not sure if others have been vandalized recently, but it didn't even appear to be a robbery attempt, just some jerk throwing a rock at my car. I know that this happens all over the city, I suppose it's just a reminder that the loiterers that troll up and down Leland have no regard for property...just a heads up to keep your eyes and ears open always!"
  • An abbreviated version from a reader:  "My boyfriend and I each have our own cars, but we take public transportation almost everywhere. On Saturday, we were coming out of our condo complex when we saw a tow truck backed up against his car with a sign on it that said "We buy used cars." He hadn't used the car in a few weeks, but it was legally parked in the lot.  My boyfriend asked the tow truck driver (who was in the process of trying to break into the car) what he was doing.

    The tow truck driver said the gentleman with him had asked him to tow away the car.  When my boyfriend said it was HIS car, the man said "It's mine. I bought it yesterday from some guy. The title is in the glove box, I just need to get into it and show the tow truck driver, but I forgot the keys."

    I called 911 and my boyfriend went to get the title.  A family member continued to talk to the tow truck driver to keep him there until the cops came.  The man claiming to own the car saw me on the phone and said "I'm going to go get the keys from my sister, then I'll prove that this is my car."  He left, never to return... of course.

    The cops arrived in less than 5 minutes, but the would-be thief was already gone. After filling out a police report we did not press charges on the tow truck driver. We believe that he was honestly caught in the middle of everything. We believe the thief was trying to convince him to break into the car and then had plans to knock him out and steal the car. Either that, or he thought he could convince the driver to take away the car, even though it didn't belong to him. Legally, a car can't be towed if the person asking for the tow does not own the car.  (Impounding doesn't count... obviously.)

    The cops mentioned that this happens frequently to nice cars (nicer cars than my boyfriend's), not necessarily just in Uptown. Unfortunately, there is really nothing that we could do. I believe that specific car was targeted because the thief thought he could hotwire the car (it was older than most cars in the parking lot). So just a head's up to those who don't use their cars very often or have older cars who can get hotwired easily."

Come To Uptown, Earn A Badge

A reader writes:  Thought your readers might be interested in this Huffington Post article.
Chicago has joined Foursquare. If you visit different cultural locations and small business attractions, you get a badge. “The badge is the first of its kind developed by Foursquare for an individual city.”

“To earn a "Windy City" badge, you can check in to five of the following 20 locations:

The Oriental Institute Museum in Hyde Park; Garfield Park Conservatory in Garfield Park; DuSable Museum in Washington Park; Chicago Velodrome in South Chicago; Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Little Italy; Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Rogers Park; Green Mill in Uptown; Dat Donut in Chatham/Morgan Park; Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles in Bronzeville; Renegade Handmade in Wicker Park; Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport; Vida Simple Mural in Pilsen; Ping Tom Park in Chinatown; Merz Apothecary in Lincoln Square; Swedish Dala Horse in Andersonville; 63rd Street Beach in Jackson Park; Milio’s Hair Studio in Lakeview; Music Box in Lakeview; Michael Jordan Statue at the United Center; and Revolution Brewing in Logan Square.”

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

The one-day-only Agatite Street Lawn
It's a gorgeous sunny weekend, and there's so much going on:

Today you can

Tomorrow is Bears Day!  Go to Crew (4804 N Broadway) for the game and enter a drawing to win Bears tickets for the September 25th game.  You can also enjoy the great weather at the beach by watching the game on one of the many outdoor screens at The DockThe Dock just posted on Facebook that they are closed for the day due to the weather.

Enjoy the lovely weather this weekend, Uptown -- we probably won't have too many of these left.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hours Of Fun

In the interest of transparency, they say, the City of Chicago has put its crime incidents online in a searchable database. It goes back ten years and while it doesn't give exact addresses, you can narrow it down to a specific block.

We just browsed our block, and wow, the neighbors have been busy.  Particularly curious about the numerous "indecent exposure" incidents in the alley during January and February.  What kind of masochists are hanging out (quite literally) in our alley?!

You can view the database here.

Still The Fighting 47th

Still some post-election friction in the 47th Ward:

People in the 47th Ward could be forgiven for wondering if the change in their alderman’s office earlier this year was just a dream. Judging by an e-mail that their former alderman, Eugene Schulter, sent across the North Side ward, it seems Schulter himself is not eager to yield to his successor.

In the message, Schulter urged residents to come to his Democratic committeeman’s office for help in receiving the sort of government services that aldermen customarily provide. The newly elected alderman, Ameya Pawar, accused Schulter of trying to usurp his position.

“I saw the e-mail that the former alderman is running a shadow operation,” said Pawar, who beat Schulter’s handpicked successor in the February city election. “I think someone should remind him that he isn’t the alderman any more.”

Read the rest of "Months After Vote, Pawar Still Wrestling Power from Schulter" in Chicago News Coop.

Sometimes Uptown Confuses Us...

As seen near Stockton School on Thursday afternoon.

Something Up At The Wilson El?

We're hearing that around 7:30 this morning, there were police, fire equipment and tv crews at the Wilson Red Line station.  Anyone know what's going on?

Update:  We're hearing the mayor is at Wilson and Broadway passing out flyers about the curfew law.

Morning Has Broken...

A gorgeous shot from a reader to remind us of what we have here in Uptown, its beauty available to all.  Enjoy the day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Buttercup Park Planning Meeting This Saturday

Buttercup Park Advisory Council Quarterly and Community Meeting

Saturday, September 17, 2011 at Margate Park Field House, 9:30 am - 11:00 am

The Buttercup renovations have begun!!!

Michael Lange: Project Manager of Planning and Development, Chicago Park District will be our guest from 9:30-10am. Come out and help shape the future of Buttercup! It's our Park...It's our community!

Free Concert to Celebrate the Great Lakes

Free concert starring Guster
September 22, 5:30 p.m.
The Dock at Montrose Beach

"Celebrate the Great Lakes and the end of summer with a beachfront concert. Admission is free to all on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want a chance to win VIP tickets for the best spots at the show, check out Shedd Aquarium’s Keep the Lakes Great Facebook page and join the Great Lakes conversation.

You can help the Great Lakes by donating to Shedd Aquarium's annual fund. Donations to Shedd Aquarium support animal care, education programs and conservation initiatives, including Keep the Lakes Great. Donate online now or you can donate at the concert on Sept. 22."  Check out the Shedd Aquarium for more.

BTW, The Dock has a great concert scene.  Check out its Facebook page for complete information.

Bridge Relief?

It's hardly a secret that the bridges and overpasses we have in Uptown are falling apart and stuck together with chewing gum, braces, and safety pins.  UU posted photos of them in 2008 and it's only gotten worse.  But a reader writes in with some intriguing news:

"I was looking over the Chicago Park District 2011-2015 Capital Improvement Plan to see what was being planned for our neighborhood. Here's what is listed:

  • under Minor Improvements : 
  • "entrance and washrooms in Montrose Beach comfort station - construction in 2011"

But what I found really interesting was listed on page 17 of the report under Facility Rehabilitation

  • Major Rehabilitation:
  • "Bridge to the lakefront at Wilson funded by the Chicago Dept. of Transportation
  • and Bridge to the lakefront at Lawrence funded by the Chicago Dept. of Transportation
  • and underpass renovation at Montrose funded by the CDOT"

I am taking this to mean they are going to be adding pedestrian/bicycle bridges at Wilson and Lawrence. Maybe you could check it out and/or post to see what you and others think."

We're not sure if that means they'll be adding bridges or rehabbing the horrible, decrepit ones we've got, but any money and improvements are very welcome!  Anyone know any more about it?

Presto Change-o!

And thanks to an observant reader, what it looks like today.