Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Major Taylor bike ride on Sat. 11/30

Do you feel like taking a casual bike ride on Saturday morning?  Come down to Ridge Park and join Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago and Friends of the Major Taylor Trail for a casual ride (5-15 miles depending on weather and what we're all up for) including part of the trail and ending at Jimmy Jamm for pie.  9 a.m. start.  For info, contact Peter at 312-914-3629.

non sequitur Friday




Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting TONIGHT 11/20

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail have their monthly meeting tonight - Wed. 11/20, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.  The agenda includes tree planting workdays, rides and annual election.  Anyone is welcome.  Please join us!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on 11/20

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail have their monthly meeting on Wed. 11/20, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.  The agenda includes tree planting workdays, rides and annual election.  Anyone is welcome.  Please join us!

Friday, November 15, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Here's talented young local band worth watching.



Friends of the Major Taylor Trail tree planting TOMORROW 11/16


Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and the Openlands TreeKeepers program welcome community volunteers for a tree planting along the trail north of 127th St. (approx. 500 W. 127th) on Saturday 11/16 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. 

All able bodied volunteers are welcome.  Tree planting experience is not required.

Tools will be provided.  If you have work gloves, bring them. Some gloves will be available. Hiking boots or work boots are recommended, otherwise supportive closed toe shoes will do.  We will be planting, mulching and watering young trees to improve the environment along the trail. 

If you have questions, please email or call Anne Alt 312-520-1641.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail tree planting workday on 11/16

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and the Openlands TreeKeepers program welcome community volunteers for a tree planting along the trail north of 127th St. (approx. 500 W. 127th) on Saturday 11/16 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. 

All able bodied volunteers are welcome.  Tree planting experience is not required.

Tools will be provided.  If you have work gloves, bring them. Some gloves will be available. Hiking boots or work boots are recommended, otherwise supportive closed toe shoes will do.  We will be planting, mulching and watering young trees to improve the environment along the trail.

If you have questions, please email or call Anne Alt 312-520-1641.

Monday, November 4, 2013

volunteers needed at Ridge Park tomorrow 11/5


Friends of the Parks is seeking volunteers to help spread the fibar surfacing in new playgrounds across Chicago. Fibar is the wood material that lies under and around swings, slides, monkey bars and other playground equipment.  

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Please dress appropriately in clothing suitable for active outdoor work and closed-toe shoes: boots or sneakers. You will be working with wheel barrels, rakes and such.

The Ridge Park workday is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 11/5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

volunteer help needed at Ridge Park on 11/5

Friends of the Parks is seeking volunteers to help spread the fibar surfacing in new playgrounds across Chicago. Fibar is the wood material that lies under and around swings, slides, monkey bars and other playground equipment.  

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Please dress appropriately in clothing suitable for active outdoor work and closed-toe shoes: boots or sneakers. You will be working with wheel barrels, rakes and such.


The Ridge Park workday is scheduled for Tuesday 11/5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

household hazardous waste collection on Sat. 11/2


The Green Sanctuary Group of Beverly Unitarian Church will collect household hazardous waste and electronics for recycling Sat. 11/2, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the church parking lot, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. (the Castle).

The following items will be accepted:  computers, laptops, printers, monitors, stereo equipment, boomboxes, mercury-flourescent lamps and bulbs, televisions, cell and land line phones and small microwaves, as well as eyeglasses, washable athletic shoes, and textbooks.

The following Hazardous items will be accepted if PROPERLY SEALED:

Anti-freeze, used motor oil, old gasoline, OIL-BASED paints, paint thinners, aerosol paints, car batteries, reusable batteries, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, lawn chemicals, solvents, drain cleaners, pool chemical, and hobby chemicals.

In addition, we will accept unused or expired Prescription Drugs (non-controlled only) for transport to the Chicago Hazardous Waste Facility.

We CANNOT accept any latex, acrylic or water based paint, Freon, incandescent bulbs, or products you can clean up with water, Bio Hazardous Material or needles.

Thanks to Beverly Bank & Trust and Com2 for their ongoing support of this community service.


Modest contributions to help offset transportation costs are appreciated. To volunteer or obtain more information contact: Eileen Klees, eklees@gmail.com, (773)968-3396 or Fran Sowa, frannevpk@yahoo.com (708) 423-6392.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

BIA family bike ride on 10/20

The Beverly Improvement Association invites everyone to join your neighbors for a short but beautiful 2.5 mile bike ride along the Major Taylor Bike Trail departing from Cosme Park at 3:30 pm on Sunday, October 20th.  Paul Weise, owner of Beverly Bike & Ski at 9121 S. Western Ave., will be there to help with minor tuneups. If you are coming from a distance, there is plenty of parking.  The Beverly Improvement Association (BIA) will provide light refreshments.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting tonight (Wed. 10/16)

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail have their monthly meeting tonight - Wed. 10/16, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.  The agenda includes upcoming tree planting workdays and rides.  Anyone is welcome.  Please join us!

Vincennes bike train


Have you been wanting to try the new Vincennes bike lane but thought it would be better with a ride buddy or two?  I've done it a few times now.  Drivers respected the lane and gave me room.  The most challenging section has been near Simeon High School, where lots of parents were dropping their kids off for school.  Most of the pavement is in good to excellent condition now, making the ride much easier.

I'd like to have a morning group ride at least once a week for as long as the weather allows.  I'll be riding from Beverly to the Loop (approx. 12-14 mph riding pace).  If you want to ride north (commute or recreation) for part or all the ride, you're welcome to join the train.  If you know anyone who would be interested, please share this info with them.

Stops will be brief to keep the train moving.  If I've gotten no confirmations for a specific stop and I don't see anyone waiting, we'll keep moving past that stop.

If you're joining in, please leave a comment below saying where you're going to join, along with any questions or suggestions, or text me at 312-520-1641.  Here's an estimated schedule.

99th and Wood - LEAVING at 7:30 a.m.
95th and Vincennes - 7:36
91st and  Vincennes - 7:39
There will be a few more stops along Vincennes, depending on how many folks are joining in.

From 71st and  Vincennes, we'll cross the Dan Ryan, then continue north.  I'll be going to the Loop.  Take as short or long a ride as you wish.  On the way, we can talk about possible future rides, including weekend rides.

Get on the bike train!  Let's create a positive bike presence in the Vincennes bike lane.  Come out on Friday morning and bring a friend.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

just say NO to anti-BYOB ordinance

How many of you have heard about the proposal by Alderman Graham to ban all BYOB in dry precincts?  From the map in the news story, it appears that this affects a small number of precincts in her ward and most other wards in the city.  It affects a substantial portion of our ward and a few nearby wards.

BAPA has started a petition against the proposed ordinance.  If the health of our business districts, having a good variety of restaurants, and keeping jobs in our neighborhood matters to you, I hope you will sign it.  The ordinance would affect the 19th and 34th wards more heavily than most other wards in the city, as we have the highest number of dry precincts.

Having a BYOB option allows many of our restaurants to compete and stay afloat, especially when there are comparable restaurants nearby that can sell alcohol.  This ordinance has the potential to harm or kill off existing businesses - something we don't want at any time, but especially not in this economy.  The last thing we need is more vacant storefronts, fewer businesses and fewer jobs.

If you're a Chicago resident who doesn't live in the 19th ward, I hope that you'll sign it and encourage your alderman to oppose the proposed ordinance.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

103rd Street construction detour

Got this from CDOT today, after being puzzled by seeing 103 buses running on 99th St. this morning.

TRAFFIC ALERT: 103rd at Seeley will be closed for a water main installation 9am to 3:30pm Wed through Fri. CTA buses to use 99th; cars 107th .

Ridge Park playground construction

Yesterday I noticed construction fencing and equipment at Ridge Park playground. Looks like construction is beginning.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Metra construction alert - Sunday 10/6


News from Metra:

In order to remove two bridges, the Rock Island Line will be closed north of the Gresham Station on Sunday Oct. 6, and there will be no service to and from the LaSalle Street and 35th Street stations during the shutdown. Access to and from downtown will be provided via a transfer to extra Metra Electric Line service at Blue Island-Vermont Street.

Passengers south of Blue Island who are traveling downtown can take inbound Rock Island trains to Blue Island and transfer to the Metra Electric Line's Blue Island branch, where special trains will take them inbound to the 18th St., Museum Campus, Van Buren and Millennium stations. The special Metra Electric trains also will make the reverse trip to Blue Island from Millennium Station.

Passengers north of Blue Island - those who normally board at Gresham or at stations along the Rock Island's Beverly branch - can travel downtown by riding outbound Rock Island trains south to Blue Island and transferring to the special inbound Metra Electric trains north to Millennium. They will have to make the reverse trip on the special outbound Metra Electric trains to Blue Island and then on regular inbound Rock Island Beverly branch trains north to their destination. Riders will be charged the normal fare for their zone to downtown and back.

For a full schedule for Sunday, click here.

Regular Sunday service on the Rock Island Line will resume with the 6:25 p.m. departure from Joliet, arriving at LaSalle Street at 7:49 p.m., and the 6:30 p.m. departure from LaSalle Street, arriving in Joliet at 7:55 p.m.

About 1,800 inbound passengers and about 1,000 outbound passengers normally ride on the affected Sunday trains on the Rock Island Line. Metra apologizes for the inconvenience but it was determined the temporary closures were the best option for carrying out the work.

The two bridges at 60th and 66th streets are being removed and the viaducts filled in as part of the Englewood flyover bridge project. The flyover is a new bridge that will carry the Metra Rock Island tracks over a set of tracks used by Amtrak and freight trains at 63rd and State, eliminating conflicts between trains and cutting pollution and noise from idling trains. Closing the streets and filling the viaducts provided design flexibility and cost savings compared to replacing the viaduct structures on the new track work alignments.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ridge Park tree care workday on 9/28

There is a TreeKeepers workday this Saturday 9/28 from 9 a.m. to noon.   We will be pruning and mulching trees in Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr.  If you are a trained TreeKeeper or arborist, we welcome your help with pruning.  All volunteers are welcome for mulching and other assistance.  

Work gloves and tools will be provided.  Hiking boots or work boots are recommended, otherwise closed-toe supportive shoes are best.

We will meet by the drinking fountain at the corner of the parking lot near the fieldhouse.  For more information, contact Dave Westerberg 512-590-9906 or dwesterberg@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vincennes bike train - commute or just ride a while

Have you been wanting to try the new Vincennes bike lane but thought it would be better with a ride buddy or two?  My ride 2 weeks ago went fine.  Drivers respected the lane and gave me room.  The most challenging section was near Simeon High School, where lots of parents were dropping their kids off for school.  Most of the pavement is in good to excellent condition now, making the ride much easier.

I'd like to have a morning group ride at least once a week for as long as the weather allows.  I'll be riding from Beverly to the Loop (approx. 12-14 mph riding pace).  If you want to ride north (commute or recreation) for part or all the ride, you're welcome to join the train.  If you know anyone who would be interested, please share this info with them.

Stops will be brief to keep the train moving.  If I've gotten no confirmations for a specific stop and I don't see anyone waiting, we'll keep moving past that stop.

If you're joining in, please leave a comment below saying where you're going to join, along with any questions or suggestions, or text me at 312-520-1641.  Here's an estimated schedule.

99th and Wood - LEAVING at 7:30 a.m.
95th and Vincennes - 7:36
91st and  Vincennes - 7:39
There will be a few more stops along Vincennes, depending on how many folks are joining in.

From 71st and  Vincennes, we'll cross the Dan Ryan, then continue north.  I'll be going to the Loop.  Take as short or long a ride as you wish.  On the way, we can talk about possible future rides, including weekend rides.

Get on the bike train!  Let's create a positive bike presence in the Vincennes bike lane.  Come out on Friday morning and bring a friend.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Metra construction alert - Sun. 9/22

News from Metra:

In order to remove two bridges, the Rock Island Line will be closed north of the Gresham Station on two Sundays, Sept. 22 and Oct. 6, and there will be no service to and from the LaSalle Street and 35th Street stations during the shutdowns. Access to and from downtown will be provided via a transfer to extra Metra Electric Line service at Blue Island-Vermont Street.

Passengers south of Blue Island who are traveling downtown can take inbound Rock Island trains to Blue Island and transfer to the Metra Electric Line's Blue Island branch, where special trains will take them inbound to the 18th St., Museum Campus, Van Buren and Millennium stations. The special Metra Electric trains also will make the reverse trip to Blue Island from Millennium Station.

Passengers north of Blue Island - those who normally board at Gresham or at stations along the Rock Island's Beverly branch - can travel downtown by riding outbound Rock Island trains south to Blue Island and transferring to the special inbound Metra Electric trains north to Millennium. They will have to make the reverse trip on the special outbound Metra Electric trains to Blue Island and then on regular inbound Rock Island Beverly branch trains north to their destination. Riders will be charged the normal fare for their zone to downtown and back.

For a full schedule for these two Sundays, click here.

Regular Sunday service on the Rock Island Line will resume with the 6:25 p.m. departure from Joliet, arriving at LaSalle Street at 7:49 p.m., and the 6:30 p.m. departure from LaSalle Street, arriving in Joliet at 7:55 p.m.

About 1,800 inbound passengers and about 1,000 outbound passengers normally ride on the affected Sunday trains on the Rock Island Line. Metra apologizes for the inconvenience but it was determined the temporary closures were the best option for carrying out the work.

The two bridges at 60th and 66th streets are being removed and the viaducts filled in as part of the Englewood flyover bridge project. The flyover is a new bridge that will carry the Metra Rock Island tracks over a set of tracks used by Amtrak and freight trains at 63rd and State, eliminating conflicts between trains and cutting pollution and noise from idling trains. Closing the streets and filling the viaducts provided design flexibility and cost savings compared to replacing the viaduct structures on the new track work alignments.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dan Ryan Woods workday tomorrow 9/14

There will be a workday tomorrow at Dan Ryan Woods from 9 am to noon. We will be cutting invasive species as well as collecting and dispersing ripe native grass seeds.

We will meet at the "Dan Ryan Woods East" parking lot (2 blocks west of Damen Ave. on the north side of 87th Street). Please contact Benjamin Cox via email or 773-398-1178 for more information.

Tools and gloves are provided. It's a beautiful time of year to get out and see the forest preserves. We need your help to maintain healthy habitat for the plants and animals that live at these sites.

non sequitur Friday

Thursday, September 12, 2013

bike commuting from Beverly

Have you been wanting to try the new Vincennes bike lane but thought it would be better with a ride buddy or two?  Come out on Friday morning and bring a friend.

I'd like to have a morning group ride at least once a week for as long as the weather allows.  I'll be riding from Beverly to the Loop.  If you want to ride north (commute or recreation) for part or all the ride, you're welcome to join the train.  If you know anyone who would be interested, please share this info with them.

Stops will be brief to keep the train moving.  If I've gotten no confirmations for a specific stop and I don't see anyone waiting, we'll keep moving past that stop.

If you're joining in, please RSVP and leave a comment saying where you're going to join, along with any questions or suggestions.  Here's an estimated schedule.

99th and Wood - LEAVING at 7:30 a.m.
95th and Vincennes - 7:36
91st and  Vincennes - 7:39
There will be a few more stops along Vincennes, depending on how many folks are joining in.

From 71st and  Vincennes, we'll cross the Dan Ryan, then continue north.  I'll be going to the Loop.  Take as short or long a ride as you wish.  On the way, we can talk about possible future rides, including weekend rides.

Get on the bike train!  Let's create a positive bike presence in the Vincennes bike lane.

new use for old 95th St. fire station

From the alderman's newsletter:

Yesterday, the City of Chicago's Community Development Commission (CDC) approved Optimo Fine Hat Company's plans to renovate the old Chicago Fire Station, Engine Company 121, at 1700 W. 95th St.  For the past several months, Optimo owner Graham Thompson has been working to acquire and revitalize this historic Chicago building.  Moving forward, Optimo's production workshop will move into the fire station with retail functions remaining at the 10215 S. Western location.

This project will not only breathe new life into a once great building, but also eliminate a vacancy on 95th Street and generate new property tax revenue for the City.  After winning CDC approval yesterday, the property transfer will be brought to the full City Council in October.  This is a very exciting development, and I am grateful to Optimo Hats for there continued investment in our community. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Tristan Angus at Tristan@the19thward.com or (773) 238-8766.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

why should our park be a dumping ground?


In recent weeks, a Peoples Gas crew has been doing work on Longwood Drive just south of Ridge Park (approx. 9725S).  Last week I noticed a small pile of asphalt dumped at the southwest corner of the park.  This morning on my way to the train, I saw a bigger pile, dumped on top of the smaller pile.

I sent Peoples Gas a message, asking them to clean up their mess.  Our park is NOT a dump.  If you'd like to send them an email too, please do

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TreeKeepers tree watering workday on the Major Taylor Trail this Saturday 8/31

This Saturday 8/31 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., TreeKeepers and Friends of the Major Taylor Trail are working together on an urgently needed workday.  Many summer storms that drenched the north side didn't make it south of 95th St., and the little oak trees we planted along the trail in the spring are in need of some TLC.  This is an emergency workday to help the trees stay healthy until fall rains kick in.

We'll be working along the trail from approx. 125th St. to 127th St. (approx. 500 W 127th).  Here's a map link in case you need it.  http://goo.gl/maps/CJJZj  If you're driving, it's easiest to take 127th to Eggleston (next street east of the trail), turn north and park along 126th Pl or 126th St.  See map link for detail: http://goo.gl/maps/zhPID

If you think you'll be able to help, please respond so we have an idea how many volunteers to expect.   If anyone you know might be interested in helping, please invite them. The more people we have, the easier it will be for each of us.  

Hiking boots or work boots are recommended. If you have work gloves, please bring them. If not, some work gloves will be available for use. If you can bring at least 1 5-gallon bucket and/or a garden cart that can carry 40+ lbs, that would be helpful, but it's not required.

Friday, August 16, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Tunes for your Friday...






Friday, August 9, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Guilty pleasures from a long ago summer...



Thursday, August 8, 2013

save the date - Shakespeare in the Park

Chicago Shakespeare is bringing"The Comedy of Errors" to Ridge Park on Wednesday, 8/21 & Thursday, 8/22 @ 6:30 p.m.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

a loss to the neighborhood

I got some very disappointing news last night: Koda has closed.  I thought it odd to see them closed before 9 p.m. on a Thursday night.  Calling their number confirmed the rumor I'd heard.  As of 7/16, they closed permanently.  I will miss my favorite special occasion place in the neighborhood.

Koda has been a highlight since they opened here.  The neighborhood won't be the same without their delightful fare.

non sequitur Friday

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Major Taylor Trail events this weekend

We have two events this weekend: a workday and a trail ride.

The workday happens tomorrow (Sat. 7/20) from 8-11 a.m.  We're meeting at the Major Taylor mural (approx. 1050 W. 111th St.) and will be working along the trail south of 111th, doing tree pruning and invasive species removal.  Work boots or hiking boots are recommended. (If you don't have either, we suggest fully enclosed shoes that are comfortable for being on your feet all morning.)  If you have work gloves and tools, feel free to bring them.  If not, we will have some available for use.

The ride is Sunday afternoon, starting at 2:30 p.m.  We meet at 119th & Halsted for a casual ride of about 15 miles or so.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wednesday

If you're interested in events and stewardship on the Major Taylor Trail, please join us for our monthly meeting on Wednesday 7/17 at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 7:00-8:30 p.m. This month's discussion will include the upcoming addition of bike lanes on Vincennes, the needs of various community members and organizations relative to that project, and building connections between south side communities to advocate for needed bike/ped improvements connecting with and near the trail.

Monday, June 24, 2013

if your sidewalk is overgrown like this....



...please trim your shrubs. Thank you from all the pedestrians who need to walk here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dan Ryan Woods celebration on Tuesday evening

There's a celebration on Tuesday 6/25 from 6:30 p.m. to sundown, dedicating the renovated historic pavilion at 87th and Western.  The celebration features outdoor nature activities, a concert (Jamaican rhythms with Nyahbinghi Drum Choir) and stargazing. Hopefully we'll have a nice clear night.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

town hall meeting TONIGHT at 22nd district police station

Tonight (June 13th) at 7:00 p.m., the 19th Ward, Civic Association of Morgan Park, and Old Morgan Park Civic Association will co-host a town hall meeting at the 22nd District Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey Ave.  Commander Jim Gibson of the 22nd District and Alderman Matt O'Shea, as well as several city agencies and departments, will talk about current initiatives and answer questions from residents.

Friday, June 7, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Three on a theme: trains. Out of my brain on the train may be about right once the red line shutdown takes effect on Sunday.



Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Longwood Drive construction update

Longwood has been reopened to traffic.

Friday, May 24, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Three on a theme: holiday. How are you spending your holiday weekend?





Thursday, May 23, 2013

water main breaks in the neighborhood and Longwood detour

5/23 UPDATE:  As of 6:00 p.m., the 9600 block of Longwood was still closed to traffic.

This morning (5/22) when I turned on the tap, the water pressure seemed a bit off.  Later in the morning, I got an email from our alderman explaining why.

Last night's storm caused the Roseland pumping station to temporarily shut down.  When service was restored, the resulting water pressure caused several water mains in the Beverly / Morgan Park community to break.  As a result, several thousand area residents awoke to either no water service or low pressure.
Currently, crews from the Department of Water Management are addressing damage at the following five locations:

- 8800 block of S. Longwood Dr.
- 9500 block of S. Hoyne Ave.
- 1900 block of W. 95th St.
- 10500 block of S. Seeley Ave.
- 1700 block of W. 105th Pl.

The Department of Water Management will coordinate efforts with the other utilities and make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.  

UPDATE:   Crews from the City's Department of Water Management have been working since late last night to repair several broken water mains in the Beverly community. Currently, three of the original five breaks have been repaired.  Work is near completion at 88th & Longwood Dr. & 105th & Seeley Ave.  The Department of Water Management estimates completing these repairs with water restored by 7:00 pm this evening.

During the course of the day, a sixth break was discovered in the 1700 block of W. 99th St.  Repair work at this location will begin tomorrow.

In addition to the locations listed above, I noticed this on my way home from the 95th St. Metra station.




Water Management is currently excavating on Longwood Dr. just south of 96th. Longwood is CLOSED to traffic between 96th and 97th. Due to equipment and materials currently stored on 96th around the corner, turning to or from 96th is difficult. You may want to avoid the intersection of 96th and Longwood until this project is completed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Three on a theme: funk.

Here's a little warm-up.





Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

farmers market season is here!

Chicago's farmers market season starts this weekend.  Our Beverly market will start its season this Sunday May 12 at 95th and Longwood, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

For more information on other downtown and neighborhood markets, click here.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

a transportation alternative to help beat the red line shutdown blues

Are you concerned about how the red line shutdown (starting 5/19) may affect your ability to get around?  I-Go might be a workable answer if you only need a car for occasional trips and you have the ability to plan your trips in advance.  They have a variety of plans for different driving needs.

I don't own a car and sometimes need to visit friends in Hyde Park, Avalon Park or other locations that I can't reach easily using transit, especially at night.  For some of those trips, I-Go gets me there safely without the need to make multiple transfers between buses and trains.   Without the red line, some destinations will be tougher to reach, so I'm grateful to have another option for trips I might not want to take by bike.

If you decide to give I-Go a try, please mention on the application that you heard about it here on Ridge99.  Thanks!

Friday, May 3, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Here's a long one, featuring the fine New Orleans sounds of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Happy Friday!

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is your bike safe?

In the last few years, bike theft has increased in the neighborhood.  I often see bikes at and near our Metra stations that are only secured against the most amateur thieves and are left all day, vulnerable to the first thief with a bolt cutter.  The cable locks that were sufficient when many of us were kids are a joke to today's bike thieves.

This blog post contains a lot of good tips about how to lock your bike, and highlights some common mistakes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

farmers market season is coming!

Chicago's farmers market season is starting soon.  Our Beverly market will start its season on Sunday May 12 at 95th and Longwood, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

For more information on other downtown and neighborhood markets, click here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

tree planting on the Major Taylor Trail TOMORROW - Sat. 4/27

Please join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail, volunteers from the Openlands TreeKeepers program and other volunteers to help us plant 25 oak trees along the trail north of 127th St. We'll be working from 9 a.m. to noon. Click here for more information, including a map link.

non sequitur Friday

A bit of musical anticipation.
 



Saturday, April 13, 2013

garbage collection schedule changes next week

Garbage Collection Changes
Effective Mon., Apr. 15, the 19th Ward will become part of the citywide grid-based garbage collection, with collection only on Mon. and Tues. 

Monday Collection: All homes west of Western Ave., 99th St. to 107th St., Longwood Dr. to Western Ave., and all homes south of 107th St. 

Tuesday Collection: All homes north of 99th St., 99th St. - 107th St. east of Longwood Dr. 

If your household receives curbside blue cart recycling, your recycling pickup will also change to the day of your new garbage collection. If you have alley recycling pickup, your day of service may fluctuate. 

Report concerns to the 19th Ward office, 773-238-8766 or ward19@cityofchicago.org.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

as our thoughts turn to spring...

Many folks are getting out on their bikes again as the weather gets more pleasant.  For some, this means more conflicts.  Did you know that riding on the sidewalk is illegal if you're over 12 years old?  Does riding in traffic make you nervous?  Taking a safe cycling or traffic skills class can give you the tools you need to be safer in traffic and ride with more confidence.



If you ride at night, make sure to use lights so that drivers and pedestrians can see you.  It's the law.  Check out this page for more bike-related videos: secure locking tips, safer riding in traffic and other useful information.

Want more info on biking in Chicago, including bike registration if you just got a new ride?  Go here.  Wishing you safe travels and pleasant rides.  See you on the road!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bike traffic skills class

Would you like to ride more places but lack confidence in traffic? A Traffic Skills 101 class might be just the thing. There's a class starting Monday night 4/15. Click here for more info.

Monday, April 1, 2013

coming soon....

A new cafe at 99th and Walden...



I wish this wasn't an April Fools joke.  I'd really love to see a cafe in this vacant commercial space - Greek, Lebanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, or some other ethnicity that's NOT currently represented in the neighborhood, preferably with some healthy meal options (something that's also in short supply in our 'hood). 

We don't need another pizza or sandwich place.  An affordable little lunch and dinner spot offering something that we can't get in the neighborhood would be ideal.  Perhaps they could make an arrangement with the all day Montessori across the street to share their parking lot on evenings and weekends. And bike racks, yes, bike racks...

Who else shares this dream?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

non sequitur Friday

Take a musical trip to Madagascar with Tarika.






Wednesday, March 6, 2013

snow far not quite snow good

Last night when I was walking home from the Metra station, I followed 95th St., hoping that the sidewalk would be reasonably walkable. All was good until I got to the bus stop in front of the Trinity community center.  From both directions, snow was decently plowed.  That plowing stopped just short of the bus stop, and the plow guy was so considerate in blocking access to the bus stop with a wall of snow. 

By what stretch of the imagination is it acceptable to treat our bus stops as snow dumps and bus passengers as second class citizens?  This has been a consistent problem and it needs to stop now.



Friday, March 1, 2013

non sequitur Friday

A friend recently introduced me to the music of Red Baraat, a Brooklyn band that melds Indian music with the energy of a New Orleans brass band and flavors of other musical genres.  Click here to enjoy a  mini concert of their music.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

bike access on Metra

Do you take your bike on Metra? If so, please consider taking a survey about your experiences. It's a research poll for an upcoming blog post on Streetsblog Chicago (sustainable transportation blog). Thanks!

Friday, February 22, 2013

organic seed swap on 2/23

The 1st Annual South Side Organic Gardeners Seed Exchange will be held Sat., Feb 23, 4-6 p.m. at The Blossom Boys, 9911 S. Walden Pkwy. The event will feature Jodi Prout, the Program Director for Sustainability & Environment for the City of Blue Island, and provide an opportunity for local gardeners to swap their saved seeds with others from the area. For more information, contact: Abe Lentner.

non sequitur Friday

R.I.P. Magic Slim.  You gave us a lot of tasty blues tunes over the years.






Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BAPA could use our help

BAPA is preparing to move into their office space on the first floor of their building at 111th and Longwood.  Unfortunately, their curent office cubicles can't be configured to fit the new office space, so they need furnishing for seven offices.

Do you work for or know a company that has desks and office furnishings they could donate?  If so, please ask them to contact BAPA to make a tax deductible donation and help furnish the new space.

Contact Kathleen Riordan at 773-233-3100 or kriordan@bapa.org.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

19th ward EcoDistrict workshop this Saturday

I got an announcement recently about this event, and I'm curious to check it out.  How about you?



Friday, January 18, 2013

comings and goings

On a December morning, as I was walking to the 95th St. Metra station, I noticed an empty storefront where Markland Hubbard used to be.  There was a sign on door giving a new address of 1739 W. 99th St. Now there's competition for morning coffee sales on 99th again.

Iona's has stepped in to offer morning coffee and breakfast on 95th St., across the street from the station. They're open at 7 a.m. on weekdays except Tuesday.

Congrats to Home Run Inn on opening their new location on Western.  I look forward to the return of Franconello's and to trying out Horse Thief Hollow when they open.

So now we have one more vacant storefront on 95th St., which leaves me wondering when there will be a serious effort to make 95th St. more attractive to the kinds of businesses that will really attract customers and be assets to the community.  The streetscape project is appreciated, but it seems like an expensive bandage on a mostly untreated wound.

How about a serious look at more of the reasons why so many storefronts are vacant, aside from the economy?  What is the condition of the long-vacant buildings?  Are there any significant issues like leaking roofs?  Many building facades are worn and unattractive.  In some wards, I've seen facade rebate programs (from TIF money) used as a redevelopment tool.

For businesses whose customers are parking on the street, wouldn't it be nice if those parking across the street, and folks walking or riding bikes from the neighborhood, could get to those businesses more easily and safely?  I'd love to see a few boldly repainted crosswalks on 95th at non-stoplight intersections such as Hoyne, along with new pedestrian signage.

Wouldn't it be great to see something other than a day care business open in the vacant space at 99th & Walden - a cafe, perhaps?

Yes, it's a "what if" kind of day.  TGIF!

non sequitur Friday

Yep, it's one of those Fridays.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting Wed. 1/16

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meet tomorrow (Wednesday 1/16) at 7 p.m. at Ridge Park fieldhouse. If you're interested in the trail and planning for events and improvements this year, please join us.

Friday, January 4, 2013