Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's Missing From This Picture?

Take a close look at this photo of Sheridan and Lawrence.  It's a beautiful sunny day, the weather is balmy for January, and it's a gorgeous afternoon.  What's different?

Hint:  It's been like this about six weeks now.

Anyone besides us notice that the loitering has diminished considerably lately?  We've walked by here in the morning, afternoons, and late at night, and there's a marked difference.  What's happened?  Our suspicion is it's because a better-run shelter has taken the place of REST, but that's just a guess.  Whatever's making the difference, the corner is a much pleasanter place now.  We've noticed that the businesses in the area seem to have more customers now, as well.  Seems like a very good thing is happening.


  1. I live nearby and have noticed that both this corner and the one at Kenmore and Lawrence have been oddly quiet. There's been a much bigger police presence at Kenmore with squad cars and tactical officers present. We even saw some eating at Dib the other night.
    Whatever it is, lets hope that it holds.

  2. good job guys. hopefully they wont come back, but im sure you will stay on guard for backsliding

  3. i did notice it too.
    also the "s" pantry is now "uptown pantry"?

    seems like they have a temp sign above the doorway.

    but yes with laura, whatever it is hoping that it holds up.

  4. I'd love to see that place gutted and turned into a nice place to eat... maybe a big corner La Ciudad!

  5. I think that's a little harsh, Uptownism. The store's owners are trying to make a living, and as long as the loitering isn't being encouraged, I'd love to see them succeed.

    Did you know that it used to be a restaurant, and a real Uptown hidden gem? I used to go to Pasteur when it was there, in the 1980s. There was a catastrophic fire there around 1995, if memory serves, and that caused their closure. They've since opened (a few times) in a more posh space in Edgewater.

  6. From the Reader (1997):

    "Two years ago, on the opening day of Taste of Chicago, Kim Nguyen and her family arrived at their Uptown restaurant to discover a fire had destroyed the apartments above it, bringing floors, furniture, and fixtures crashing down into the kitchen and dining room. The calamity ruined the restaurant and $20,000 worth of food they had stayed up until 1:30 AM preparing for the Taste. The family quickly boarded up the windows and drove to their second, smaller cafe, where they cooked up more food for the festival. When it was over, the Nguyens wondered what they should do with Pasteur, their flagship restaurant, which they named after a Saigon street where merchants once hawked pho (beef noodle soup) on almost every corner. In ten years, they had transformed the eatery from a soup shop into a popular southern Vietnamese restaurant."