Friday, December 30, 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022

Friday, December 9, 2022

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Major Taylor Trail community input meeting Sat. 12/10

This Saturday will be a follow-up on 2 previous meetings to gather community input on development ideas for areas adjacent to the Major Taylor Trail near 119th and Halsted. Many excellent ideas have been suggested. 

If you live near this section of the trail or use the trail, please come out and see what's being discussed.

It's happening this Saturday 12/10 from 10 am to noon at Far South Community Development Corporation, 837 W. 115th St.  

Click here to reserve a spot at the meeting. 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Friday, November 25, 2022

Sunday, November 13, 2022

John Todd Hetherington: from Lake Forest to Geneva

Ridge Historical Society is presenting the third in a series of Friday evening lectures on Friday 11/18 at 7 p.m. 

Architect John Todd Hetherington’s career has been long overlooked. On the Ridge, we associate him with the one hundred or so homes and buildings he, his son, and his grandson designed in this community. However, his reach extended much farther than this enclave on the southwest side of Chicago. At the close of the 19th century, he was the architect to some of Chicago’s most prominent residents. Hetherington, along with other leading residential and landscape architects of his era, designed some of the first estate homes in Lake Forest, Illinois. At the dawn of the 20th century, on the heels of Colonel George Fabyan who established a large estate in Geneva, IL, now part of the Kane County Forest Preserves, longtime friends E. F. Dorton and T. S. Fauntleroy moved from the North Shore to banks of the Fox River. They commissioned Hetherington to design three homes that began the transformation of Geneva’s Batavia Road neighborhood.

Michael Lambert is the Preservation Planner for the City of Geneva, and the Founding Chair of both the Will County (IL) Historic Preservation Commission and the Plainfield (IL) Historic Preservation Commission. He has served as an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Historic Preservation. He has been honored twice by Landmarks Illinois for preservation advocacy and restoration. Currently Lambert is also the President of the Plainfield Historical Society.

$10/members, $15/non-members. Reception following the program. You can make a reservation through Eventbrite at this link.   Reservations are recommended.

If you have questions, contact RHS at 773-881-1675  or

Friday, November 11, 2022

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme

The original:

Saturday, October 22, 2022

95th St. farmers market

It's happening for 2 more Sundays - tomorrow and 10/30.

Friday, October 21, 2022

fall fest on 99th and 103rd

 Fall fest is happening tomorrow at 99th/Walden and 103rd from Longwood to Wood.

Click here for more info.

non sequitur Friday

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Open House Chicago today and tomorrow

 Open House Chicago is back in neighborhoods across the city, plus Evanston and Oak Park, on 10/15-10/16.  You can get an app for your smart phone to make it easier to navigate and get info on the fly.

 Some locations are available by reservation only or have other requirements. If you see a site you really want to visit, it pays to check out the details in advance.


Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

 More info here, including sites listed by neighborhood with hours for each site. OHC is always a cool experience and a chance to learn about parts of the city we might not usually get to see.

Friday, October 7, 2022

non sequitur Friday

He's in town at Jazz Showcase next week if you want to see a live performance.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Pullman House Tour 10/8-10/9

 The annual Pullman House Tour is happening Sat. 10/8 and Sun. 10/9 from 

Click here for more info. Tickets are available online at a $5 discount compared to buying on the day you visit. It also saves time waiting in line.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

keeping your bike safe

When I see bikes locked like this, I'm glad that we're not in a neighborhood with a lot of bike theft, otherwise people would be coming back to find their rides gone, or nothing left but the frames. 

I often see the first bike locked up here for the day. In a high theft location, someone with bolt cutters would just snip that cable and take the wheels. If a thief was more ambitious, they might use tools to break the U lock and take the whole bike.

On the second bike, only the front wheel is secured. They have a good lock, but a thief could detach the front wheel and steal the rest of the bike.

The third bike has a spaghetti mess of a skinny cable lock. A thief wouldn't even need real bolt cutters to snip that and take the bike.

On the fourth bike, only the frame is locked to the rack. A thief would have an easier time with this one than with the first bike, because the wheels aren't secured. 

Too often I see bikes end up like this if only the frame is locked to the rack.

This page has good tips on securely locking your bike. There's no guarantee, but it improves your odds of keeping your bike intact.

Take care and enjoy your ride. I hope that you keep your ride.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Monday, September 5, 2022

non sequitur holiday edition

Variations on a theme.... If you're off today, enjoy the holiday. If you're working, this song's for you.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Friday, August 26, 2022

Rocambu Jazz at Ridge Park on 8/30

These guys played a GREAT show at Ridge Park last year. Save the date, bring your chair or blanket, and come see them on 8/30.

non sequitur Friday

Some tunes from a fun band - coming to Ridge Park on 8/30.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Major Taylor Trail Keepers ride on Sat. 8/20

  Have you signed up yet? This ride offers multiple distances and funds raised will be used for maintenance of the mural on the Little Calumet River bridge, restoration of the mural at 111th St., and other improvement projects.

It offers multiple distance options, with a start location at Whistler Woods in Riverdale.


MTTKC is a 501C3, so donations you make are tax deductible.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Major Taylor Trail clean-up this Saturday 8/13

We're doing cleanup this Saturday morning from 9 am to noon in 3 locations. 

      Meet on the trail at 94th - opposite Jewel parking lot. Signup link here

      Meet on the trail at 128th Pl/Eggleston. Signup link here

      Meet on the trail at 111th by the old mural.  Signup link here

Dress for yard work. We'll be picking up trash and cutting back weeds. If you have work gloves and/or tools, please bring them.

The signup links above are on Facebook. If you're not on Facebook and you'd like to let us know that you're coming and which location, send email to maj (dot) taylor (dot) trail (at) gmail (dot) com.

We're cleaning up in preparation for our annual fundraising ride on 8/20

non sequitur Friday

Monday, August 8, 2022

How do trees help keep us cool?

 They can reduce your air conditioning use and costs. 

Click here to learn more.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Major Taylor Trail Keepers ride on Sat. 8/20

 Have you signed up yet? This ride offers multiple distances and funds raised will be used for maintenance of the mural on the Little Calumet River bridge, restoration of the mural at 111th St., and other improvement projects.

It offers multiple distance options, with a start location at Whistler Woods in Riverdale.


MTTKC is a 501C3, so donations you make are tax deductible.

Rocambu Jazz at Ridge Park on 8/30

 These guys played a GREAT show at Ridge Park last year. Save the date, bring your chair or blanket, and come see them on 8/30.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday, July 1, 2022

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Beverly library reopening

 If you've been missing the Beverly library on 95th St., you'll be happy to know that it's reopening after construction on Tuesday 6/7 at 10 a.m.

Friday, June 3, 2022

107th St. grade crossing work this weekend

 Here's the scoop according to Metra:

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE: Weekend track construction occurring near 107th Beverly for a crossing renewal, June 4-5. Weekend trains 202-322 and 205-221 may experience delays up to 10 minutes.

What's happening on 99th St.

Looks like a good weekend to visit 99th St.


non sequitur Friday

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Green Sanctuary Group of Beverly Unitarian Church will host a collection of household electronics and hazardous waste this Sunday 6/5, 1 to 4 p.m. at 11030 S. Longwood Dr.  (Morgan Park United Methodist Church).

The following items will NOT be accepted: freon, incandescent bulbs, appliances, alkaline batteries, bio-hazardous products, needles, latex/acrylic/water-based paints, caulk or cleaning products, or other water soluble products.

Accepted items include: computers, monitors, printers, laptops, small electronics, small TVs (24 inches or smaller), cell phones and pagers, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, rechargeable batteries, mercury thermometers, anti-freeze, used motor oil, oil based-paints, paint thinner, aerosol paints, batteries, lawn chemicals, hobby and photographic chemicals, pool chemicals and solvents.  Hazardous items must be properly sealed.

They will also accept clean styrofoam items (except packing peanuts). Eyeglasses will be accepted for reuse or recycling. 

Donations are encouraged to help cover costs. 

For more info, call Eileen Klees at 773-708-5111.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Let's welcome Afro Joe's to the neighborhood

 We were sad to lose City Grange. Now we're glad to welcome Afro Joe's to the same space at 1818 W. 99th St.

They're open since 8 am today. On Sunday, they'll have a live DJ set of house music from 11 am to 1 pm.

Block Club Chicago published a story about the opening.

Afro Joe's on Instagram 

Dutch reach

Here's a local news piece about how car doors opening into traffic can cause crashes and injuries. 

Click here for a web site with a lot of resources about preventing doorings (bicyclists struck by opening car doors.

Now that the weather has gotten nicer and more people are riding bikes, please be kind. Look out before opening your door into traffic. You could save a life.

Friday, May 20, 2022

non sequitur Friday

If you're nore familiar with Leonid and Friends, the band is a Russian-Ukrainian group. They like to cover Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire and other American bands with horns.

Here's the Earth Wind and Fire original in glorious 1970s color.

Friday, May 13, 2022

BAPA home tour is happening this Sunday

 Did you order tickets for Sunday's BAPA home tour yet? This year they're featuring homes designed by the Hetheringtons, a multi-generational architecture firm here in the neighborhood.

Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

For more info and tickets, click here.

BAPA porch concerts kick off tonight

 The first BAPA porch concert features the Leadfoot Band. It's happening from 6-8 pm on the Longwood side of Ridge Historical Society, west side of Longwood slightly north of 107th St. Bring your own chair. Swanson's Deli will have food for sale. There will be a limited amount of beer available from a local brewery for a suggested donation.

For more info, click here.

non sequitur Friday

Friday, April 29, 2022

non sequitur Friday

I know I'm not the only one who's tired of rain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Divvy bikes and how to park them

 Since the weather's been getting a bit warmer, I'm happy to see more people riding Divvy bikes around the neighborhood. The downside is that people don't always leave the e-Divvy bikes in the best places when they've finished their trips.

Plenty of blocks don't have sign posts. Other than bike racks, that's the best place to lock up away from a Divvy station. If it's feasible to lock up to a fence, that works too. I'm seeing too many left like this one, in the middle of a sidewalk.

Divvy bike left on sidewalk at crosswalk
Divvy on sidewalk, 100th and Longwood

I've been hearing neighbors grumbling about situations like this. Lots of people use this crosswalk, and it's not very considerate to leave a bike in a spot like this. Also, a bike can get blown over and damaged in high winds. We've had plenty of those lately. 

Divvy bike locked to sign post
Divvy locked to stop sign

When I ride one home, I lock it to the stop sign on the corner. It's out of the way and secured so it can't blow over or get knocked over. 

If you use Divvy, please be considerate and lock it to a publicly accessible fixed object (bike rack, sign post, etc.) when you're done with your trip if your destination isn't close to a Divvy station. If there is no good place to lock up, don't block the sidewalk.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Major Taylor Trail needs some TLC

Many of us have used and appreciated the Major Taylor Trail for years. Much of the pavement on the off-street sections is now about 20 years old and in need of some TLC.  Portions of the on-street sections are even worse.

Going north from 95th St., there are spots where the edge of the trail is crumbling away. Some spots have plants growing through.

Just north of 95th St.

Cracks in trail surface

Crumbling edges with plants growing through

From 87th St. to the north end and 83rd St. trailhead in Dan Ryan Woods, there are deteriorated areas in need of repair.

Crumbling edges

Long cracks

On the connector from Major Taylor to
loop trail (near 85th), one side of the trail is crumbling.

The on-street section from 97th to 105th has its challenges. It needs repairs as well as signage and pavement markings. There are a few utility cuts that have been left in rough condition - not such a big deal for cars, but a potential hazard for cyclists.

cratered pavement at 97th and Prospect

unpatched utility cut on Prospect near 102nd

rough pavement on Prospect south of 103rd

On streets anywhere in the city, crack sealer should be much more widely used, not saved for special occasions. 

crack sealer used at edge of new pavement

East of Vincennes, 105th St. has been a disaster for years and a hazard to riders, causing several crashes that I've witnessed. It's in desperate need of repaving.

rough pavement on 105th St east of Vincennes

rough pavement at 105th and Throop

There are plenty of cracks and ridges in the trail surface between 105th and 107th. These will become very hazardous if not repaired within the next few years.

From 107th to 127th, there are many areas in need of repair.

Just north of 119th where a fence was removed, the edge of the trail has crumbled away, creating a real hazard.

The trail has an on-street section from the Metra Electric tracks at 121st to a spot north of 122nd. It's been a cratered disaster for well over 10 years and is in desperate need of repaving. 

destroyed pavement 12100-12200 S Union

ADA curb ramps at 127th need some TLC, too. On the north side of the street, it's totally crumbled away. On the south side, the pads need to be bolted down again.

crumbling curb ramp N side of 127th

loose curb ramp plates S side of 127th

From 127th to the river, conditions are fairly good up to 128th Pl, then the trail condition gets rougher from there to the bridge.

I hope that CDOT is planning on resurfacing in the near future and that they're coordinating with the park district and forest preserve district. This trail is a real asset to the city. It's used by more people each year - for walking, biking, jogging and other uses.  We all need to have safe conditions there.