Tuesday, December 29, 2009

holiday in jazz

Looking some fine musical entertainment this week? Check out the Jazz Showcase calendar.

kids' New Year at Blue Moon

Want to have some New Year's Eve fun at Blue Moon with the kids? Enjoy a craft and ring in the New Year at high noon with Professor Becker and his guitar! The event starts at 11 a.m. this Thursday 12/31. Call 773.840.3618 to make a reservation while there's still space for this popular event.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Ricky Martin.

Pégate

jazz thoughts for the new year

Save the date: the Hyde Park Jazz Festival will be back on 9/25/10. I'm SOOO looking forward to it.

For now, I need to get to Jazz Showcase. Haven't been there in a while, and I've missed it - a downside of unemployment and having to cut back on entertainment spending. All things considered, it's been a good year. I've had a lot more free time to enjoy free concerts and other things and to ride my bike. No complaints about that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

311 holiday wishes

A while back, I wrote about a miracle on 98th St. and hoped for a few other things to be fixed before winter set in. In the last few weeks, I've seen those wishes granted.

The streetlight closest to that spot on 98th St. was burned out for months, and I'd called 311 a few times. It's finally fixed.

There was a small gas leak near 96th & Damen for several weeks. Peoples Gas made several visits there, excavating in a few different places before getting it fixed, but leaving a large area of ground-down pavement at the intersection. Fresh asphalt appeared just in time, before the first snow.

My thanks to all who made those repairs so that our streets are safer this winter.

dead politicians club

Found this one in the drafts file and still found it funny, so I thought I'd revive it. Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2009

a new category

I was catching up on work stories with a police officer friend and heard one worth retelling. On a narrow street, genius #1 is driving with headlights off. Genius #2 is driving in the same direction in front of genius #1. #2 attempts a 3-point turn and is t-boned by genius #1. Of course, each blames the other. To make it even better, each is driving while his license is suspended for drunk driving. The most amazing fact of the incident is that neither driver was drunk while it happened. They were this stupid without alcohol!

Drivers like this need their own category of citation: Driving While Stupid.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Ana Gabriel.

Como Olvidar

No Entiendo

Thursday, December 17, 2009

be careful at 97th & Leavitt

There is flowing water across Leavitt at the south side of the intersection. The pavement is starting to buckle. Looks like a water main break. I've called 311, so hopefully a crew will be out before long. Be careful out there, as it's likely to turn into an impromptu skating rink as the temperature drops.

holiday sale at Blackstone Bikes

Blackstone Bicycle Works, a program of Experimental Station, is holding a HOLIDAY BIKE SALE through this Saturday. They have refurbished bicycles for children and adults ranging in price from $25-250, as well as helmets, locks, and other bicycling accessories.

This is a great time of year to buy a bike. If you are looking for a refurbished bike, which can offer more reliable transportation than a cheapo bike from a big box store, this is the best time of year to find a broad selection of bikes.

All revenues for purchases of bicycles and accessories help to support Blackstone's youth education program. If you want to know more about Blackstone Bicycle Works, you may view this WGN piece on the shop from this past August.

Shop hours for the remainder of the week are today 12-5pm, Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm. You can find them at 6100 S. Blackstone Ave.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

holiday parking hell

Had enough of the malls and holiday shopping? Need a laugh? I hope this video will help you blow off a little steam. Remember, Christmas shopping will be over soon.

caroling at Cloud Gate

This Friday evening at 6 pm will be the last night of the season for this Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

new on 103rd Street

The rumors were true. The Music Station is getting up and running in World Music Company's former space on 103rd Street. They will be offering lessons in guitar, bass, upright bass, voice, piano, and rock band; outreach programs, drama and puppet shows, special needs kids class, and pre-kinder music. They will also include a store and a performance venue. A Grand Opening is planned for New Year's Day.

For a little more info, check out the Beverly Review story here.

java and jazz at Blue Moon

Need a jazz fix this Friday night? Come on down to Blue Moon. Emanon TME will be playing at 7 p.m. Enjoy swingin' tunes and some of Caroline's tasty treats.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para risas. Here's a very silly Shakira parody.



...and the original Shakira video.

TGIF!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6 pm thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call it the Bean?

Beverly Bike Club Holiday Lights Ride


Don't put your bike away for the winter quite yet. Join us for a holiday lights bike ride on Saturday 12/12. We'll meet at Blue Moon, 1742 W. 99th St., at 5 p.m. Stop by early for hot drinks and some of Caroline's sweets. The ride will be 5-10 miles (depending on weather) at a leisurely pace.

Feel free to decorate your bike and/or yourself if you're so inclined. We'll enjoy some of the best holiday light displays in the neighborhood. If enough people decorate their bikes, we become part of the show.

Headlight and tail light are REQUIRED so we all have a safer ride. Don't have lights? You can always stop by Beverly Bike & Ski to pick up some before the ride.

Need a few tips for riding comfortably in winter? Check out the Bike Winter web site. See you at Blue Moon!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Mercedes Sosa.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

have a greener Christmas

A lot of harm is done to the environment at the holidays, through increased household waste, consumption of non-recyclable products, energy use, etc. Have you thought about how to make your Christmas greener but weren't sure how to do it? Look here for some tips on how to make your holidays greener, by smarter food shopping, your choice of gifts, how you wrap them, how you decorate your home, etc.

Donating unused household items in good condition to charity can help the environment as well as aiding people in need. Did you get a new winter coat this year but still have an old one in decent condition? Donate it to a holiday clothing drive. It's a great way to feel good about recycling.

the spirit of giving

To celebrate the holiday spirit of giving, Blue Moon Coffeehouse (1742 W. 99th St.), My Sister’s Knits (9907 Walden Pkwy.) and The Blossom Boys (9911 Walden Pkwy.) are accepting donations of warm clothes, personal items, books, magazine subscriptions, CDs/DVDs, phone cards, gift cards, etc., from now through December 12th for wounded soldiers and their families.

The gifts will be taken to local VA hospitals (Jesse Brown, Hines, Manteno, Great Lakes, etc.) before Christmas by the ministers and members of St. Joseph/St. Aidan Episcopal Church in Blue Island. Please make sure the gifts are wrapped and have a tag that says whether the gift is for a man, woman or child. These should be the kinds of gifts that you would give to your own loved ones at the holiday.

Feel free to drop off your gifts at Blue Moon, My Sister's Knits or The Blossom Boys, or call Caroline Mooney (773-840-3618) or Carol Oprondek (773-238-4555) with any questions or to arrange drop off.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends of the Cal-Sag Trail

Considering a year-end charitable donation? This organization has an ambitious goal that will benefit many local residents and communities - when the trail gets built. It will connect communities from Lemont to Hegewisch, providing a path for walking, bike riding, or running. The trail will connect many existing trails and open up many new possibilities for regional bike touring. Please consider a contribution to help make it happen.

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6 pm thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Chicago Children's Choir, December 4

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call it the Bean?

java and jazz at Blue Moon

Need a jazz fix this Friday night? Come on down to Blue Moon. Emanon TME will be playing at 7 p.m. Enjoy swingin' tunes and some of Caroline's tasty treats.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

breakfast with Santa at Blue Moon

Looking for something fun to do with the kids on 12/12? Have Breakfast with Santa on Saturday 12/12 from 8am - Noon at Blue Moon. Make your reservation early, as space is limited.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

more wildlife in the neighborhood

I wrote recently about red foxes in Beverly and Morgan Park. My significant other, a neighbor, and others have spotted larger carnivores around the neighborhood.

This morning, my S.O. and our next door neighbor both spotted a large animal running down Damen and around the corner onto 97th St. moving fairly fast. It was the size of a large German shepherd, with a thick coat and long legs, but the head and coloring were definitely NOT that of a German shepherd. This big guy looked like a wolf, although it might have been a wolf-dog hybrid. More on wolves here.

Wolf sightings are fairly rare in Illinois, but since we've seen cougars and all sorts of other wildlife here in recent years, as well as an increase in the deer population, it's not outside the realm of possibility.

In the last few years, coyotes have been seen in many parts of the Chicago area, and even in the Loop. They're seen in the Dan Ryan Woods and adjacent areas on a regular basis now.

We've been seeing a lot fewer rabbits and squirrels in recent months. These guys are probably the reason why.

Here are a few safety tips for coyotes, that you should also keep in mind for wolves as far as your pets are concerned. Wolves and coyotes don't normally approach people. If one does approach you, don't turn around and run, which would make you look like potential prey. Stay calm, back away slowly, and try to frighten it with loud noises. It is probably more frightened than you are.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beverly Bike Club Holiday Lights Ride


Don't put your bike away for the winter quite yet. Join us for a holiday lights bike ride on Saturday 12/12. We'll meet at Blue Moon, 1742 W. 99th St., at 5 p.m. Stop by early for hot drinks and some of Caroline's sweets. The ride will be 5-10 miles (depending on weather) at a leisurely pace.

Feel free to decorate your bike and/or yourself if you're so inclined. We'll enjoy some of the best holiday light displays in the neighborhood. If enough people decorate their bikes, we become part of the show.

Headlight and tail light are REQUIRED so we all have a safer ride. Don't have lights? You can always stop by Beverly Bike & Ski to pick up some before the ride.

Need a few tips for riding comfortably in winter? Check out the Bike Winter web site. See you at Blue Moon!

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Orishas



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

miracle on 98th Street


For many months, there has been a sinkhole in the middle of 98th - not a huge one, but large enough that a small child or small dog could possibly fall into it.

Streets & San's answer: one traffic cone, then a construction horse. The horse was run over countless times and picked up again. More 311 calls. No repairs. I was starting to think that it wouldn't get fixed this year and that it would cave in at some point over the winter.

I was ready to start another round of 311 calls. One day last week I took a walk and was amazed to discover that all the 311 calls that I and many others have made were finally answered. It's fixed! Yeah!!!


Maybe one of these days the Peoples Gas will return to fix the mess they left us with at 96th & Damen. That would be a lovely holiday gift to the neighborhood.

Perhaps Ginger will put Leavitt south of 96th on her repaving list for next year. That's high on my 2010 wish list. Hey, I can dream, can't I? ;)

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6pm from this Friday thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Apollo Chorus of Chicago, November 27

Chicago Children's Choir, December 4

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call the the Bean?

Pullman candlelight house walk on 12/6

On Sunday 12/6, take a candlelight house walk through historic Pullman from 3:30-6:00pm.
Tour select Pullman homes decorated for the holidays, then enjoy a light holiday buffet and silent auction at the Visitor Center. Reservations are required. Call 773.785.8901 for reservations/info.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

World Music Company farewell

The Beverly All Stars will be appearing tomorrow evening, November 25, at a "WMC Farewell Concert" from 6:30pm to 10:30. This concert will feature several musical acts which have appeared at World Music Company over the years. The Beverly All Stars will be onstage for a few tunes, probably earlier in the evening. The proceeds from this event will help to reduce the financial deficit of the not-for-profit organization which is departing 1808 W. 103rd St. at the end of this month. We've heard sketchy details through the grapevine about a new music organization which may take over the WMC space starting next month. Stay tuned for more info about the new tenant and what's next for the Beverly All Stars.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Banda El Recodo:

Te Presumo

Para Toda La Vida

Thursday, November 19, 2009

java and jazz at Blue Moon

Need a jazz fix this Friday night? Come on down to Blue Moon. Emanon TME will be playing at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

one less car

My ancient car wasn't getting much use and had reached the point where the $$$ needed to make it reliable and safe again weren't easily justified. I was talking recently with friends who live in places where sprawl is the norm and getting anywhere without a car is impossible. At times I felt like I might as well be talking to someone on Pluto.

In most parts of the Chicago, bikes and public transit can get us around pretty well. Public transit has been a priority in my choice of jobs. I would not accept a job in a location where bikes or public transit are not a viable commute option.

For me, the answer "just buy a new one" doesn't sit well. A lot of resources go into making a car and transporting it to a dealer. A lot of energy is consumed by the average car during its lifetime. A lot of time and money are spent on getting a car to and from the mechanic and getting it serviced. I've experimented with how to get by without, using bike, bike plus trailer and public transit. Now that we have an I-Go location in Beverly, it's a lot easier when a car is the only workable answer. (Thank you, I-Go!)

One friend, who drives a Chevy Suburban, pushes the idea of an SUV or crossover. Putting another SUV behemoth on the roads is definitely not the answer for me. I don't believe that putting more tanks out there makes the roads safer.

In car-pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian is much more likely to die or be severely injured if hit by an SUV than by an average-sized car. Studies are being done to modify designs to improve pedestrian safety, but that doesn't change basic physics: force of impact is directly proportional to the weight of the object. Heavier, taller vehicles hit with more force in ways that are harder to survive. They make the roads less safe for pedestrians, cyclists, occupants of smaller cars, etc.

I've donated the car to charity. It's nice to have more room in the garage and free up money for other things. Even though I haven't had a car payment in years, the cost of insurance, license plate, city sticker, gas and minimal maintenance adds up. That's roughly $800-1000 a year that I can spend on other things. That money will more than pay for as many Metra, CTA I-Go and Pace trips as I need to take, with cash to spare for bike maintenance. Having one less car in traffic is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday night at World Music Company

...7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. Join them for a night of fine music.

This will be their last night at World Music Company, as fundraising efforts have not been enough to counter the effect on the loss of students due to the economy. I'll be sorry to see them go.

Stay tuned here for further info once they've found a new Wednesday night location.

C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover), for one last time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

donation of children's books

Do you have some children's books in good condition that you'd like to donate? Books Ink, 1835 W. 103rd St., will collect donations of gently used children's books for donation to the Robbins Library through Nov. 24. Books should be geared to ages pre-school through 15. Drop off during store hours, Mon-Fri, 10 to 6 and Sat, 10 to 5. 773-629-6919

Saturday, November 14, 2009

incident in Ridge Park

I just got a report of a disturbing incident that happened in Ridge Park this morning. Two teenage thugs robbed three people at gunpoint in the playground area around 10:30 a.m. The victims were a couple with their toddler nearby, and another person.

Keep your eyes and ears open and be aware of your surroundings. Look like you're walking with a purpose, not appearing to be lost or confused. If someone approaching you seems threatening or suspicious, cross the street or otherwise get away from that person. If more of us are out on the street, we're all safer.

I hate to say it, but as someone who has been robbed at gunpoint in an unlikely location (in another neighborhood), I've seen enough evidence that incidents like this can happen anywhere.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

winter farmers market and brunch on 11/14

The Church of the Holy Nativity at 93rd & Pleasant will be hosting a winter farmers market and brunch on Saturday 11/14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free for the market. Suggested donation for brunch is $10/adults, $5/kids under 10. For more info, call 773-445-4427.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

silly Saturday

Here's a bit of visual humor for your Saturday. No, I'm not ready for snow yet. They've gotten some in Colorado already, but I don't want to see it here anytime soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

household hazardous and electronic waste collection

The Green Sanctuary Group of Beverly Unitarian Church will collect household hazardous waste and electronics for recycling Sat. 11/7, 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the church parking lot, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. (the Castle). Modest contributions to help offset transportation costs are appreciated. Collections are scheduled on the first Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. For more information, call 773-233-7080.

tonight at World Music Company

...7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. Join them for a night of fine music.

Recently, I've heard the unfortunately news that World Music Company may be closing. It's sad to see a fine neighborhood non-profit so adversely affected by the economy.

They have been fundraising, but they're not out of the woods yet. Please come out and support them, and make a donation if you can. If it's possible to keep the place open, I'd love to see that happen. Get info on scheduled performances or make donations here.

C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover) and enjoy the place.

Monday, November 2, 2009

a way to help balance the city budget

What do you think of this idea? I think it's a great one. For more background, read through posts here. 25 less rubber stampers. Millions saved. The fact that aldermen have continued to approve raises for themselves over the last few years while other city employees have faced layoffs and unpaid furlough days is nervy, to say the least.

Here's a link to the petition. If you want to gather any signatures, keep in mind that they have to be sent in next week. Here's the info on where to send 'em:

Send completed AND notarized petitions to:

* JOHN NORTHEN
1960 LINCOLN PARK WEST
CHICAGO, IL 60614

Appropriate postage, no certified or registered mail, no page numbering, and a standard 8.5 by 11 printed page. Include contact info in the return address or a self addressed envelope or postcard for receipt info.

Signers must be registered voters, living in Chicago, listing their actual voting address.

Petitions have to be in Sgt. Northen's possession prior to 15 November as the filing deadline is 16 November. Remember that 11/11, Veterans Day, is a postal holiday, so mailing by 11/10 is recommended.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

foxes in the 'hood

No, not Redd Foxx, but red fox. Tonight I was talking to my neighbors across the alley. They were telling me about the latest neighborhood wildlife sighting - in our yard. Friends of theirs near 112th & Lothair and 108th & Longwood had mentioned seeing red foxes near their houses, even a mother fox with 4 babies.

Looks like Mother Nature's response to our overabundance of rabbits. Perhaps a balance will be restored. I wouldn't mind having a few less rabbits eating my flowers next year. Time will tell...

fun on a rainy day

I don't know about you, but all this grayness and rain is getting to me. Needed a bit of fun to remedy that situation. Hope it does you a bit of good, too. TGIF!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

fall Festival at 99th/Walden/Wood on 10/24

On Saturday, October 24th, the other merchants of 99th and Walden area will present a Fall Festival, featuring family friendly entertainment, food, and bargains! Blue Moon will be host World Music Company's Professor Becker and his Guitar for a child-centric lunch with the whole family at Noon. There will be a lot of other fun events and activities in the area, including a puppet show, face painting, and some great one-day only sales for mom and dad.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween breakfast at Blue Moon

On Saturday 10/31, All Hallows' Eve, the Blue Moon (1742 W. 99th St.) brings you a spooky breakfast of pancakes, sausage, Halloween Treats, and loads of fun for only $8. The only scary thing about this event will be trying to get a table without reservations! Please call 773.840.3618 to make your recommended (though not required) reservation. If you can't get to the phone in the next couple weeks, come down anyway from 8am to Noon on the 31st. You might get in without a reservation, but it's one of their most popular events.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

a jazz change of pace

Due to a schedule conflict, the Beverly All Stars will NOT be playing at World Music Company tonight. If you want a fix this week, check out a free public concert on Friday 10/16 at 6pm, in the Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library downtown where their keyboard man, STEVE THOMAS, will be appearing in an "All Chicago" themed program with the Barrister's Big Band. The library is an easy walk from Metra's LaSalle St. station, so you can getting there without worrying about traffic and parking. The Beverly All Stars will be back at World Music Company next week.

you can help save the World

Come out and support the World Music Company and help keep the doors open...

Wed. 10/14: UPDATE: Beverly All Stars will NOT be appearing tonight.
Fri. 10/16: Rock Band Night 7 - 10 pm
Sat. 10/17: October Festival 3 pm
Sat. 10/17: Dyed In The Wool and The Mississippi Flanagan ~ 8 pm

Please check out the web site for more details.

this week at Blue Moon

Foreign Language Round Tables continue every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. If you want to get some speaking practice in a language you're studying, or you want to revive one you haven't spoken in a while, give it a try. On Friday 10/16, check out the power pop band SLUMP starting at 7 p.m. Come on down to Blue Moon for a warm drink to get you through the transition to this cooler weather.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicago Bungalow and Green Home Expo on 10/17

Stock up on advice and resources for bungalows, home restoration, and energy efficiency at the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Saturday 10/17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more info.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

103rd Octoberfest is happening today

Visit 103rd Street between Longwood Dr. and Wood St. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and enjoy a Fall Festival of Delicious Food, Music as well as numerous FREE Children's Arts & Crafts & Activities. Children can paint pumpkins and gourds, design a scarecrow and learn to make Halloween decorations, treats and fall crafts. Local retailers will be featuring specials including fall art from Heritage Gallery, holiday gifts and decorations from Beverly's Pantry, Beverly Hills Flower Shop, Gumption Gifts and Books INK & Penn INK. Enjoy street side gourmet and specialty foods from CAFÉ 103 and Calabria while enjoying music and beverages in a German Brau House Style tent. For more info, call 773-294-6231.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I-Go adds another car at Ridge Park

Now there's a new Honda Civic available at Ridge Park, in addition to the Scion we've had since May. If car sharing would be useful for you, give I-Go a try. It can be a lot cheaper than owning a car if your use is limited.

funky Friday

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

tomorrow night at World Music Company

...and for a few more Wednesday nights, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. Join them for a night of fine music tomorrow night.

Recently, I've heard the unfortunately news that World Music Company may be closing at the end of the month. It's sad to see a fine neighborhood non-profit so adversely affected by the economy.

There will be more music performances throughout the month. Please come out and support them, and make a donation if you can. If it's possible to keep the place open, I'd love to see that happen.

C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover) and enjoy the place.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pullman house tour this weekend

The Pullman house tour is happening this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 10/10 and 10/11 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It's an interesting look at historic preservation and home rehab. You might pick up some ideas for your own place. Click here for more info.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

winter cycling workshop

Have you been thinking about riding your bike in winter but weren't sure how to stay warm, or needed a few other ideas to make it happen? Check out this Bike Winter workshop - Get Layered: Winter Cycling Tips and Tricks. It's a free outdoor workshop to promote biking as year-round transportation in Chicago. Free gaitors and stickers! It's happening on 10/11 from 11am-1pm at the Logan Square Farmer's Market: 3111 W Logan Blvd.

music at Blue Moon on Friday 10/2

Visit Blue Moon Friday evening for a bite, and enjoy the unique rock of Slump, 7 p.m. The food and drinks are excellent. Check it out at 1742 W. 99th St., just east of the Metra tracks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

tomorrow night at World Music Company

...and every Wednesday night, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. Join them for a night of fine music tomorrow night.

World Music Company is a great place to relax in the evening. Tell your friends. Meet some new ones. C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jazz Showcase

Looking for something cool to do this week? Check out the Jazz Showcase calendar.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working Bikes 10th anniversary

Working Bikes is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this Saturday 9/26, 6-10 pm at its "new" location, 2434 S. Western Ave. There will be live music, food and Fat Tire and Hoptoberfest beer provided by New Belgium Brewing.

Over the last ten years Working Bikes has gathered, repaired and distributed about 10,000 bikes in the Midwest and about 30,000 bikes internationally, providing sustainable transportation all over the planet, making people smarter and healthier and the earth a better place to be. Celebrate 10 years of community service and international aid!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daniel Burnham scavenger hunt 9/26

It's happening on Saturday 9/26. Check it out if you and a team of friends want to test your knowledge in local history and architecture.

ShamrOcktoberfest at Cork and Kerry

Cork and Kerry is hosting its annual ShamrOcktoberfest Sat. 9/26, 3pm to close. Bands will play in the beer garden and inside the new Kells Room. $10 donation (at the door) goes to supporting local charities, including BAPA. Enjoy samplings of Authentic Munich Oktoberfest Beers and Domestic Octoberfest favorites. Your donation also gets you a T-shirt and beer glass, while supplies last.

history mystery bike tour coming soon

The History Mystery Bike Tour is back - Sunday 10/4, 11am-4pm. Take a ride through the neighborhood with family and friends - answering clues along the way. We have a mini-mystery tour for the little ones! Sign up in advance to make sure you get an event bike bag!

transit freebie today

McDonald's is giving away free coupons and transit cards this morning for a promotion. Read the article for details.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

out and about in the neighborhood

I was out for a ride this morning, running some errands, and noticed a few things.

When I first checked out the new Dat Donuts on 111th, there was a large group of us, and we watched each other's bikes. This morning I stopped there and realized there are no bike racks on that section of 111th. Checked the signpost nearby - don't lock to that! Someone could easily pull the loose pole and take off with your bike. The iron fence next door worked as an improvised rack. Afterwards, I noticed orange paint marks on the sidewalk nearby - early warning of a new bike rack. Yeah!! Also, there are a couple of racks around the corner on Longwood next to the BAPA office.

Next stop, 103rd St. I've long appreciated all the racks within a block or so of the Metra tracks, and I use them often. Stopped in at Calabria to pick up a few goodies. They've taken out another cooler and added more tables. Goodbye, Pellegrino Limonata. I love that stuff. They've changed the product mix a bit, presumably because a greater variety of people have been visiting for lunch. Now they have Jarritos Limon instead. It's tasty if I want something sweet. I guess I'll have to get my next tart lemon fix with Schweppes Bitter Lemon from County Fair.

Oak Lawn bike and dine on 9/26

The Bike Psychos bike club of Oak Lawn is having a bike and dine progressive lunch/dinner from 1-5 pm on Saturday 9/26. Riders will meet at 12:45 at the Oak Lawn Village Green, 94th & Cook and leave at 1:00 to have appetizers at Baja Sol, salad at Jason's Deli, entree at Grassano's Pizza and dessert at Millie's Ice Cream. ($20 per rider - includes water and a soft drink. Other drinks available at additional cost.)

Registration deadline is TOMORROW 9/20. Helmets are required, and riders must be at least 18 years old. If you're interested, contact Debbie at dastof@sbcglobal.net

Friday, September 18, 2009

(park)ing day

This event has been happening for a few years now, but I know that plenty of you haven't heard about it yet. It's a creative way to make a statement about the need for green space in our cities.

Here is the current list of the various Park(ing) Day sites taking place in the Chicago area.

Moss and Strand Design, 3552 N Southport Ave near Addison
Quatrine Custom Furniture, 670 N. Wabash
Architecture for Humanity, 3337 N. Broadway

World Music Festival starts TODAY

Chicago's excellent World Music Festival starts today in many different venues around the city. Beverly will host a concert tonight: Cara Dillon at World Music Company.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

cooking classes here in the neighborhood

Have you ever wanted to take a cooking class here in the neighborhood but didn't know where to find one?

Cakewalk Chicago on 99th St. is the place to go for baking, cake and cookie decorating, candymaking, gingerbread houses and children's classes.

Beverly's Pantry on 103rd offers a variety of cooking classes, including "create a class," where you and a group of friends choose a theme and get a class designed just for you. They have classes for kids, too.

Koda on Western occasionally offers classes, which are advertised via their e-mail list. Cooler weather will be coming soon. It's a great time to get back into the kitchen to cook up a treat.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Larry Gray Jazz Trio at WMC on 9/19

The Larry Gray Jazz Trio will be playing at World Music Company on Saturday 9/19. This will be a show worth seeing. Come check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boulevard Lakefront Tour

This is absolutely my favorite big ride in Chicago - a wide range of city neighborhoods, a great mix of people, live entertainment, food, and fun. This year's 21st anniversary event is happening on Sunday 9/13. Registrations are accepted up to the start of the ride.

It starts at Washington Park, within easy riding distance of the CTA red and green lines, if you prefer not to drive. It's even a Climate Neutral event (the first of its kind in Chicago). There's a route for every ability: 15 mile family ride, 27 mile Beverly Cruise, 35 mile Boulevard Tour, and 62 mile (metric century) Ultimate Neighborhood Ride. The 27 and 62 mile routes visit Beverly and Pullman.

The Ride Guide will point the way and offer details on Chicago’s rich history and main points of interest along the route. The post-ride festival will feature live entertainment, picnic lunch and drinks by Goose Island Brew Pub.

Registration includes:
• Event T-shirt and post-ride festival
• Volunteer support and five rest/water stops on the course
• Ride guide with points of interest along the route
• Scavenger hunt for raffle prizes
• Live entertainment at the festival

If you'd like to support the event but can't ride, please volunteer.

Either way, I hope we'll see you out there!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

World Music Company open house TODAY

World Music Company on 103rd Street is having an open house on Saturday 8/29 from noon to 4:30 p.m., featuring musical activities for kids and adults, live performances, and free refreshments. Stop by and check out this special place in the neighborhood.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jazz at BAC on Monday night

The Pat Noland Group will play jazz in the courtyard, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Bring picnic blankets or chairs. (In case of rain, concerts will move indoors.) Admission is free. 773-445-3838. This is their last BAC performance of the season.

Friday, August 21, 2009

funky Friday

Two great Chaka Khan versions of jazz classics...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ride Civil

Last Friday night we had a different kind of ride in the neighborhood. Ride Civil is a concept that started in Seattle (as far as I know). Nine of us rode on 99th St., Western, 111th, and back up Longwood to 99th, in a law-abiding cruise to raise the visibility of cyclists in the neighborhood. The group ranged in age from a toddler to a pair of senior citizens. Thanks for Mary Lynn Wilson for organizing and leading.

Her goal is to have a monthly ride on 2nd Friday of each month. I'll post info here when I hear about the next ride.

Thanks to Dat Donuts for staying open a little later than normal to welcome us. I've been meaning to try them out since they opened their new location on 111th St. near the Metra tracks. They have excellent donuts, coffee and frozen custard.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

caring for trees and planting new ones

Have you ever seen neglected trees in local parks and forest preserves and wished you could do something to help them? Or have you seen open spaces that really need some trees and wanted to plant some? Are you interested in habitat restoration in local forests and prairie preserves? Treekeepers could offer you an opportunity to help.

There's a new 7-week session of classes starting 9/12 at Humboldt Park. If you're interesting in the fall class session, check out the brochure here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

what's happening at Blue Moon

This week at Blue Moon:

Thursday: foreign language night. It's been good to see folks representing Spanish, Italian and French on a regular basis. Come on down, and enjoy one of Caroline's tasty desserts. 7 p.m.

Friday: jazz by Emanon. 7 p.m.

Saturday: jazz by the Junta Ensemble. 7 p.m.

If you like this business and the stimulating variety of entertainment and activities it brings to our community, please help support it. Most events have no cover charge. If everyone buys at least one drink or cookie or pastry, it helps cover the cost of having the business open in the evening. If no one buys anything, Caroline might as well be home with her family. Please let her know that you appreciate the evening entertainment.

Monday, August 10, 2009

jazz in the parks

As a preview to our Labor Day weekend favorite, the Chicago Jazz Festival, you might want to check out Jazz in the Parks, happening throughout August at various locations around the city.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a local film you should see

If you didn't catch "The Merry Gentleman" when it opened in commercial theaters in spring, it's playing at Beverly Arts Center tonight and Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Michael Keaton expresses more with eyes and body language than with words. The exquisitely subtle cinematography adds to the mood and complexity as the story develops. It was entirely filmed on location in Chicago (including interiors), and not in all the usual places. This independent film (also Michael Keaton's directorial debut) is a refreshing change from mainstream Hollywood flicks.

It was a fairly full house for last night's showing, followed by a Q&A with the executive producer and a couple of the actors. Check it out. It's well worth seeing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

community meeting about 2016 Olympics

As part of its pledge to hold community meetings in all 50 wards, the Chicago 2016 Committee will hold a public hearing in the 19th Ward on Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 8/5, 7:00 p.m. at Saint Xavier University, 2700 W 103rd St., in the Butler Reception Room. Members of the 2016 Olympic Committee will give a presentation, followed by time for questions and answers and comments from the community.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the 2016 Olympic proposal and express your views. If you can't attend this meeting, click here for a complete schedule of 2016 Olympic hearings. You can also share your views by sending e-mail to Alderman Ginger Rugai at vrugai @ cityofchicago.org or calling her office at 773-238-8766.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Open Streets is happening tomorrow!

If you'd like to experience a portion of Chicago's boulevard system as an extended festival, tomorrow is your golden opportunity. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., from Marshall Square to Logan Square, you can ride your bike, walk, skate, dance, play with your kids, or otherwise enjoy car-free streets with music, games, children's activities, art activities, workout classes and more. Open Streets is free and open to anyone who wants to come. Check it out!

If you enjoy this festival and would like to help support the work of the Active Transportation Alliance, please become a member. The organization has presented Bike the Drive and other cool events, developed a regional bike route map, provided consultants to many local municipalities to develop bike plans and bike route networks, developed extensive educational programs and materials and more. Use the code STSAVE5 to get $5 off your membership.

funky Friday

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

have you considered a car share?

I've been enjoying the new I-Go car at Ridge Park. If you have one car and only occasional use for a second, you may want to give I-Go a try instead of buying another car. This new location was added in May. The car is in the parking lot at Ridge Park, near the south end of the fieldhouse.

This flexible car share system is great for grocery shopping or other errands, especially if you plan efficiently. If you can plan ahead even a little and combine multiple stops in one trip, this offers a much cheaper option than owning and maintaining an additional car.

Now thru 7/31/09, I-GO is offering new membership applicants a special discount: $50 off the normal sign-up cost of $75. Neighborhood residents who want to take advantage of this offer should enter the promotion code RIDGE25 in the “Promotions” section of the online application form.

funky Friday

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a bit of good news

Among all the dismal news of this year, here's a bit of good news. The cool wet weather has worked in our favor in terms of disrupting the breeding activities of the Northern House Mosquito. The Dept. of Public Health reports that they have trapped just over 10,000 Northern House Mosquitoes citywide so far this season and that none has showed WNV infection. That may change as the summer goes on, but it's nice to be this far into summer with no evidence of West Nile virus in the city.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

hope on the water

This story offers hope that paraplegics may find more ways to exercise, retain strength and aerobic capacity, and reduce or reverse bone loss. Very cool.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

movies in the parks

There are movie nights coming up soon in neighborhood parks. All movies start at dusk and are open to the public. Don't forget your Off!

July 15 “Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa” at McKiernan Park
July 19 “Snoopy Come Home” at Beverly Park
July 22 “Hotel for Dogs” at the Kellogg School Playlot
July 30 “Matilda” at Munroe Park

Friday, July 10, 2009

bike race tonight

The Superweek bike racing series starts this week. They'll be racing tonight in Beverly and Morgan Park, and all day Saturday in Blue Island. The pro racing starts at 6 p.m. tonight from 107th/Longwood to 108th Place to Hoyne and Seeley to 105th Place back to Longwood.

funky Friday

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

congrats to Caroline at Blue Moon!

It's been a year since Caroline opened Blue Moon. Stop by and wish her a happy anniversary, and make her kid-friendly business a regular habit. Her homemade cookies and pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches are outstanding.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Space Shuttle in view until 7/16

The Space Shuttle will pass within 200 miles of earth between now and 7/16. It will be visible briefly at dawn and dusk. Here are general instructions for using NASA's skywatch web page and data for Illinois on when the Shuttle will be in view, how long, and where in the sky. Now we just need some clear mornings and evenings....

Friday, July 3, 2009

have you visited the new library?

Our new Beverly branch of the Chicago Public Library is just finishing its first month in its beautiful new location at 95th and Damen. Stop by and check it out.

bike drive for Working Bikes Cooperative

Neighborhood high school students Madeleine Senko and Madeline Lindsey are collecting used bikes and bike parts that can be repaired and used to help others in need of transportation on Sat., 7/11, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Beverly Bank, 1908 W.
103rd St. Bikes will be donated to Working Bikes Cooperative, a volunteer, non-profit organization that repairs donated bicycles and ships them to communities in need around the world. Many of these bikes will end up providing affordable transportation to people in developing countries. Any bike is a welcome donation. Bikes and bike parts, even if they are broken, rusted or old will be gratefully accepted. Last year almost 100 bikes were donated at the Beverly Bike Drive. If you need pick-up or more information call 773-238-4044 or 773-233-5143.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

funky Friday

Two from Peter Gabriel:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beverly/Morgan Park garden walk this Sunday

The garden walk is happening on 6/28 this year. I'd expect that BAPA will have more info on their web site soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ouch!

While riding my bike around the neighborhood yesterday and today, I was amazed to discover how much serious tree damage there was from Friday night's storms. Here's the worst example I've seen.


To the left of the pole with the street signs, notice where the big branch snapped.


It crashed through the nearer section of fence, took down utility lines, then crashed through the fence on the other side of the yard.


Com Ed truck #3 has just arrived. Now there are 2 big cherry pickers and one regular truck. That's one big mess to clean up. I feel bad for the neighbors whose power is out and for that poor wounded tree. I hope the power is restored soon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sweet Home Chicago bike tour tomorrow

The Sweet Home Chicago Bike Tour is happening tomorrow, Saturday, 6/6 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, starting at Calumet Park Fieldhouse, 9801 S. Ave. G. This 20 mile tour focuses on locations where movies were made in the neighborhoods of South Chicago, Eastside and Historic Pullman, movies like The Road to Perdition, The Package, and the Blues Brothers. Ride through blue collar neighborhoods, natural open spaces and historic streets. Organized by the Southeast Environmental Task Force (SETF). Call 773-646-0436 for more information. Helmets required.

funky Friday

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Friday night at Blue Moon

Open Mic Poetry at Blue Moon, 7 p.m. $3 cover if you're reading, $5 otherwise. Bring your words or just be part of the experience. Every 1st and 3rd Friday. For more info, contact Leonard 708-536-3344.

my new car

...is a car share. I've been enjoying the new I-Go car at Ridge Park. If you have one car and only occasional use for a second, you may want to give I-Go a try instead of buying another car. This new location was added in May. The car is in the parking lot at Ridge Park, near the south end of the fieldhouse.

This flexible car share system is great for grocery shopping or other errands, especially if you plan efficiently. If you can plan ahead even a little and combine multiple stops in one trip, this offers a much cheaper option than owning and maintaining an additional car.

Their current promotion will make the deal a little sweeter. I-GO is offering new membership applicants a special discount: $25 off the normal sign-up cost of $75. Neighborhood residents who want to take advantage of this offer should enter the promotion code RIDGE50 in the “Promotions” section of the online application form.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pullman garden walk

The Pullman garden walk is happening on 6/20. It's a great excuse to take a pleasant walk around Pullman and see what's happening in people's back yards.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

UPDATE on disappearing parking meters and the local economy

We've gotten some encouraging news from CDOT via our friends at the Active Transportation Alliance:

"CDOT’s Bike Program has already begun to address the impact of lost bike parking as a result of converting parking meters to pay-and-display areas. This subject is addressed in the Bike 2015 Plan, but the acceleration of the parking-conversion effort requires the City to explore new ideas.

The Bike Program is already reviewing areas where meters have been removed for possible bike rack installation, based on requests from citizens and aldermen. The best place to request a bike rack is through the Bike Program’s web site or by calling 311. More than 11,000 bike racks have been installed citywide to date, and that number will continue to grow.

In the short term, the City plans to leave 1-2 meter poles* per block to serve as bike parking, when no bike rack is available nearby.

The City is also reviewing what’s occurred in other cities where parking meter conversions have occurred, and is exploring other equipment options that might be used to provide additional parking.

CDOT also continues to explore other funding sources for bike parking, in addition to the state and federal grant dollars we receive.

We recognize that the loss of parking meters will pose a challenge to some cyclists. We are committed to minimizing that impact, and to doing so on as an aggressive timeline as possible."


*These will either have parking meter heads left on, or have a ring added, similar to this so that bikes can be securely locked."

If you see locations where bike racks are needed, put in your requests.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday and Saturday nights at Blue Moon

We've got two nights of music this week: the Apeture Duo plays tonight at 7:00 and Slump (classic rock and pop) plays Saturday night at 7:00. Stop by Blue Moon to check 'em out.

funky Friday

Thursday, May 28, 2009

film crew in the 'hood


This morning I encountered a film crew working around 97th & Winchester. Don't know what the project was, but they were there for a while in the a.m. and gone by afternoon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday night at World Music Company

...and every Wednesday night, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. They're back tomorrow night.

World Music Company is a great place to relax in the evening. Tell your friends. Meet some new ones. C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover).

Monday, May 25, 2009

new I-Go car at Ridge Park

If you have one car and only occasional use for a second, you may want to give I-Go a try instead of buying another car. This new location was added this month. The car is in the parking lot at Ridge Park, near the south end of the fieldhouse.

This flexible car share system is great for grocery shopping or other errands, especially if you plan efficiently. If you can plan ahead even a little and combine multiple stops in one trip, this offers a much cheaper option compared to owning and maintaining an additional car.

If this is a viable option for you, their current promotion will make the deal a little sweeter. I-GO is offering new membership applicants a special discount: $25 off the normal sign-up cost of $75. Neighborhood residents wishing to take advantage of this offer should enter the promotion code RIDGE50 in the “Promotions” section of the online application form.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bike the Drive is tomorrow

I love Bike the Drive. Can't believe tomorrow is almost here. If you haven't registered, there's still a little bit of time to register online today. You can use this discount code (FOR6A5) for $5 off your last-minute online registration, or come down tomorrow morning and do day-of-event registration (which takes a little longer).

Looks like a beautiful day for a ride. Hope to see lots of you there!

Friday, May 22, 2009

funky Friday

Two from Peter Gabriel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

tonight at World Music Company

...and every Wednesday night, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. They're back tonight.

World Music Company is a great place to relax in the evening. Tell your friends. Meet some new ones. C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

disappearing parking meters and the local economy

In recent media coverage about the city of Chicago's parking meter fiasco, an issue has arisen that needs urgent attention from local cyclists. A few months back, a friend posted an item on a local online forum mentioning disappearing parking meters creating a shortage of bike parking in some neighborhoods.

The latest bit of news is that, due to pressure on the new parking meter companies to make up for their screw-ups so far, parking meters will be phased out quickly to ensure more accurate metering and reduce the number of erroneously issued parking tickets. The plan discussed on Chicago Tonight was for 30,000 of the 36,000 existing meters throughout the city to be replaced by pay boxes by year-end.

How does this affect cyclists? It creates a fairly urgent need to get a LOT of bike racks installed really soon. IMO, I think it's critical to emphasize to the powers that be that many of us shop and dine by bike, supporting neighborhood businesses, thus supporting the city's tax base. In light of stories like this, asking for bike racks so that we can help support local business may improve the odds of our message being heard sooner rather than later.

Ride of Silence Wednesday 5/20

The Ride of Silence is an annual memorial ride happening tomorrow in Chicago and many other locations to honor the memory of bicyclists who have been killed in crashes. Many of us have lost friends to crashes. I'm planning to do the Chicago ride. Will you join the ride?

Bike the Drive

Bike the Drive, one of Chicago's coolest bike rides, is happening Sunday 5/24. Click here for all the details. If you register online, use this code for a $5 discount: FOR6A5. C'mon out and ride!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

garden walks in June

Click here for a list of local garden walks happening next month.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

new exhibit at Pullman State historic site

Just got this info today from a friend:

THE GREAT MIGRATION : Celebrate more than 150 years of African American Ancestry in Chicago at an opening at the Hotel Florence this Saturday, 5/16 at 11 am. The Bronzeville Historical Society will display artifacts provided by Black Migrants to Chicago. The International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry will exhibit the work of former slaves in a heritage quilt. The Pullman State Historic Site and the Swahili Institute are also exhibit project partners. Call 773 291-9115 or send e-mail for more info.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

there should be a law

If incidents like this one don't make the case for a law to create appropriate penalties for negligent vehicular homicide, I don't know what would.

If this issue is important, please take a few minutes to call or write to your Illinois state legislators. It's inexcusable that careless drivers continue to kill and seriously injure people because they have so little regard for others on the road that their desire to shave, talk on the phone, polish fingernails, eat, or send text messages takes precedent over safe and responsible operation over the potentially lethal weapon that their vehicles can be. It's equally inexcusable that our legislators allow them to get away with it.

green festival 5/16-17

If you're interested in green technology, architecture and products, you may want to check out the green festival.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

burglary alert

In recent weeks, there have been a few house burglaries in the neighborhood - on the 9700 block of Damen and the 9800 block of Hamilton. In one case, the burglars entered through an unlocked side door. I've heard that the burglars may be driving a beat-up dark colored Jeep Wrangler. Keep your eyes and ears open,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

organic plant sale 5/16-5/17

Gardening news from the Chicago Park District:
Buy all you need to garden organically at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse plant sale. The greenhouse will sell more than 150 varieties of organically grown vegetable, herb and flower seedlings at this annual sale on May 16 & 17. Plant prices range from $2 & up. Kilbourn Park is located at 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave. Click here for more information, or call 773.685.3351 or 773.685.3359.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

portraits on 5/8 and 5/9

If you need a Mother's Day gift idea, I got this one from Sue Rosengard at Under the Wire, 2210 S. Halsted:

Anne Farley Gaines will be artist in residence on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th. Stop by and have her do your portrait in pencil, pen and ink, or watercolors. Prices start at $25 for a 5x7 pencil. Frames available.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

silly Saturday

box cat - for folks who appreciate cat funnies

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saturday at Blue Moon: jazz and reading

Just got word that Blue Moon has a new band playing this Saturday night at 7 p.m. (or at least the band is new to me): Prosaic. Wish I didn't already have tickets for another event that night. I hope they'll be back again so I get a chance to check them out.

Earlier in the day, the Great Books Reading Group will be discussing "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson at 10 a.m.

concert in Pullman Sunday 5/3

Just got this from a friend in Pullman:

***** SPECIAL ORGAN CONCERT Sunday 5/3 at 4 p.m. ***** at Greenstone Methodist Church featuring noted organist James Russell Brown (presented by Chicago-Midwest Chapter Organ Historical Society), a tribute to church member & organist Bill Lang (deceased last year), suggested donation to benefit the organ maintenance fund $5.00.

James Russell Brown has performed at National Cathedral, Harvard University, University of Vermont, University of Connecticut, Stetson University, and in the Chicago area with The City Musick, Chicago Baroque Ensemble, His Majestie’s Clerkes, and Bach Week in Evanston, and in solo recitals at Holy Name Cathedral, St. James Cathedral, Fourth Presbyterian Church, St. Luke’s Church (Evanston), and other locations. He is the Director of the Organ and Early Music Program at the Music Institute of Chicago where he also teaches organ and harpsichord. Since 1985 he has served as Organist and Director of Music for St. Giles Episcopal Church, Northbrook . In 2008 he joined the faculty at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where he teaches both organ and harpsichord.

The Greenstone church is located 11211 S. St. Lawrence Avenue in Historic Pullman (Chicago). Free on-street parking; refreshments following. For further info, call 773-785-1492 or 773-370-3305

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

good news from I-Go

For those of you who could occasionally use an additional car or are debating whether to replace an old one that isn't used a lot, I just heard from good news from I-Go: I-GO is partnering with the Chicago Park District to bring three new car locations to Horner Park in Albany Park; Ridge Park in Beverly; and Independence Park in Old Irving. We’re excited to work with the CPD in our ongoing efforts to bring car sharing to all neighborhoods across Chicago. Details to be announced in the May newsletter.

That's some of the best news I've heard this year. Stay tuned for more info.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

cozy house

This place in Virginia makes a Pullman rowhouse look big. It's a compact home with character.

silly Saturday

Pit bulls in Spamalot.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a White House seder

This is the first time a sitting U.S. president has hosted a Passover seder, another step in the right direction towards cultural inclusiveness.

looking for a special meal on Easter?

Koda will be open in afternoon and early evening.

Potemkin village

Eric Zorn summed it up well. All that apparent enthusiasm for the 2016 Olympics was just a shallow illusion. Shocking!

Do the vast majority of us support the Olympic bid? There are plenty of reasons NOT to do so.

sar-Kass-m

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chia! More Kass silliness....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

high tea

If you're looking for a special treat this Saturday, try high tea at Cafe 103.

urban farms

I'll be curious to see if this idea is adopted here. It could help to solve a number of problems. It could provide jobs in communities that have vacant land and few jobs. With farmstands, it would offer a source of fresh produce in areas that lack healthy options. Could be a win-win if we do it here.

Jazz Links jam session TONIGHT

Are you a young musician looking for a jam session? Do you know one? Read on. Here's a bit of info from the Jazz Institute of Chicago:

Through a partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center, the Jazz Institute of Chicago has initiated a monthly jam session for young jazz musicians in Chicago. Students are given the opportunity to perform with world-class professionals in the Jazz Links house band, led by pianist Ken Chaney. As a free event, the jam session is both an educational experience for the students and an inter-generational community event, where parents, teachers, students and the general public witness the development of young talent before their eyes and ears. If you've come to a jam session you know that there is some serious talent in the next generation of musicians, and they improve every time you see them.

Jazz Links Jam Session tonight, 4/8, 5-7 PM
Randolph Cafe, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St

Monday, April 6, 2009

last week's circus

Chicago has been quite the circus in the past week. On Thursday alone, we had the huge mid-day demonstration at City Hall and Daley Plaza by Chicago police and firefighters, the Blago indictments and associated media circus around the Federal court house, then the evening anti-Olympics protest at the Federal plaza.

Yesterday, there were plans for pro-Olympics groups running and cycling along the lakefront, to coincide with the IOC evaluation team's tour of potential venue locations. The weather may have put a damper on that. In mid 30s temps, rain and wind, I don't know how many people were motivated enough to get out there.

Will it be a circus again this week? Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

silly Saturday

Excellent blog post on April Fool's pranks - lots of funny stuff. The Xbox one is excellent.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beverly Branch Library closes 4/4 for moving

The Beverly Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 2121 W. 95th St., will close on Sat. 4/4 and remain closed while collections and other materials are transferred to the new library building at 1962 W. 95th St, which is scheduled to open in June.

meanwhile, in Evergreen Park

Opinion on the South Side Irish parade is apparently mixed. Stay tuned...

funky Friday

More from Senegal's Baaba Maal. If you enjoy African percussion, I think you'll like this one.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the circus resumes

After a long lull, the Blago circus is revving up again.

missing teenager is home

Tonight on my way home, I was talking to a friend on the train about all of today's downtown street theater and free speech. I happened to mention this morning's unusual event - being handed an Amber alert flyer by a family member of a teenage girl reported missing last night from the 9500 block of Damen.

My friend said that he knew the family. His wife heard this afternoon that the girl was back home. He described her as a mixed-up 13-year-old who ran away and decided to have an adventure downtown. I was glad to hear that she got home safe.

anywhere but here

Toni - Well said.

Tonight's anti-Olympics protest at the federal plaza was vocal and well organized. The police presence there seemed almost as large as that at the noontime protest at City Hall and Daley Plaza. I was there in support of our officers and firefighters. The fact that they've been 2 years without a contract is a disgrace.

The track record of Mayor Daley and the city with major projects like Millennium Park does not inspire confidence in the likelihood of building multiple sports venues, an Olympic village, transit improvements and other necessary changes on time and without significant budget overruns. There's a very real possibility, based on the last few Olympics, that Chicago could end up incurring enormous debt without enough of an increase in tourism revenues during and after the games to avoid making our current budget deficit much worse.

I'd be happy to see Rio get the 2016 Olympics.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

no April Fool's joke

This idiot was seriously lucky that nobody was killed in this freak accident. I'll bet her neighbor doesn't want to talk to her now.

into the 21st century....someday

Working on projects at home early this morning, I lost track of time and ended up rushing to get to the Metra station on time. I waited....and waited...and the train arrived almost 30 minutes late, after several messages saying that the train was delayed "due to late arrival of equipment. Got the reason why later on. Wish I'd had notification like this, or, even better, this. I have not been a fan of Twitter so far, but delay notifications would be extremely useful, unlike much of the fluff there.

I appreciate the fact that Metra usually runs on schedule, but too many aspects of their service are antiquated and inefficient. After seeing conductors unable to collect a substantial number of fares on many runs in recent years, I'd imagine that any investment in faster, more modern fare collection technology would be recouped in a reasonable time span. Train Tracker would be a VERY welcome update to at least dip a toe into the pool of modern technology.

more April Fool's fun

The Economist opens a theme park. Don't forget to click on the different sections of the map at the bottom of the page. IMO, that's the best part.

piano prodigy

Here's the world's next great concert pianist.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

bird party



There's a major sparrow party going on in my yard. I guess my feeder is one of the easiest food sources for these guys with most things getting covered by wet snow today. It's been a non-stop chatter-fest out there. The feeder (about 10 feet to the left of the picture) is emptying fast. Each of the little green circles contains a sparrow. At times, there are twice many in the tree and hedge. There are 8-20 birds on the feeder at any given time. They're fun to watch.

signs of spring

I'd like to see more of this.


Not this.

a bit of local political/social commentary

...courtesy of SCC

local talent at Jazz Showcase

Last night I enjoyed an energizing show at Jazz Showcase. Maurice Brown has a tight band of talented musicians, bouncing syncopated rhythms off each other and making the room come alive. They're playing again today - last day. Boost your weekend with some outstanding music.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

a bass god

If you appreciate really excellent bass playing, here's an interview with Victor Wooten, with a link to a Youtube video. Really amazing bass player. Here's another cool solo in a slightly different style.

silly Saturday

Friday, March 27, 2009

closet shopping - this Sunday

If you have some clothing in decent condition that you're not wearing, the Chicago Clothing Swap this Sunday might be a great closet shopping opportunity for you.

funky Friday

Here's one from Senegal for your Friday. TGIF!!!

pedestrian accidents

This article in today's Trib about local pedestrian rates had one surprise for me. I would not have expected Oak Park to be so high on the list. Your $0.02?

signs of spring

I saw my first blooming daffodils of the season. Hostas and peonies are starting to come up. Irises and daylilies first showed up a while ago. The blue lawns are blooming. A friend down south has seen her first hummingbirds of the year.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

something different next St. Patrick's Day

I was a little surprised, but then not really surprised at this news. If you checked out the poll results and comments on the Sun-Times article, I'm guessing that most who oppose cancelling the parade are NOT from the neighborhood. I know a lot of people who live within a few blocks of Western who leave for the day. We live far enough from the route that we don't have a lot of problems with the drunks. The parade has a major impact on lots of businesses in the neighborhood. Of those within a mile of the parade that are usually open on Sundays, most non-bars close on parade day. I'm that some business lose $$ because of it, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was a factor.

A friend on 111th speculates that lots of drunks will show up and make the rounds of bars on Western anyway. She said that there were already drunks peeing on the side of her house at 11:00 a.m. - BEFORE the parade started. Sheesh!

I'll be curious to see what they plan next year. My guess would be that any parade would be small and kid-oriented. They'll probably continue the Irish film fest and have some concerts. That's not a bad thing. The parade itself is still fun, but the drunkfest has gotten a bit out of hand.