Sunday, February 08, 2009

living in the past

How disappointing that Bill and Dan Savage chose to live in the past in their contributions to the current Rogers Park/West Ridge-focused issue of the Reader. While I won't disagree that the loss of the lavish Granada was tragic, or that the bland building that replaces it does not deserve to bear its name, I think that they're both being short-sighted and missing the big point that neighborhoods change, and that we've had some very positive changes in recent years. They just haven't been in the area right around Loyola. Morse has gotten some great new places. Compared to 10 years ago, the current state of Jarvis Square is a small miracle. (Consider this a BIG thank you to Dan Sullivan for all his hard work in encouraging that to happen.) Clark has continued to have a lively mix of small businesses, including lots of tasty ethnic restaurants. The neighborhood has certainly lost many of its grand focal points, but it has gained many small gems. If they can't be bothered to discover those gems, it's their loss.


Al Iverson said...

Agreed. Dan Savage is kind of a jerk, so I guess his lack of effort in looking at our 'hood isn't too surprising.

Who is Dan Sullivan?

Fargo said...

I find Bill Savage's dismissal of RP more surprising and disappointing, as he still lives near Loyola as far as I know.

Dan Sullivan owns the two Jarvis Square buildings that house Charmers Cafe, Dagel and Beli (his businesses), Poitin Stil, Gruppo di Amici, Taste, Side Project, Rogers Bark, and other businesses. He also owns other buildings in Rogers Park.

Al Iverson said...

Oh, him. I *hate* the name of Dagel and Beli, but it, and the other stuff around Jarvis Square, are all pretty neat.

Bill Savage said...

Hey FO and other commenters:

I don't dismiss RP; I still live here because I love it, but I lament/hate the destruction to the SE corner caused by Loyola. I'm well aware of positive things as well--I'm a regular at Gruppo D'Amici, have been into the Morse Theatre several times, and don't bother going to Pilsen for tacos when Clark Street is right here (the old Dewey's on the west side of Clark just north of Devon is the best in my book). But the Reader pitched us on a piece about the difference between living in the area and having left it. And Dan does admit that all cities change, so it's not fair to take us to task for something we acknowledge.

Thanks for reading.

Fargo said...

There is still plenty to love about RP. No shortage of restaurants I enjoy. In a previous apartment, I often had a great time going out for Mexican food with a Mexican neighbor. I miss having him as a neighbor. At least there are still plenty of places for tacos and burritos in the 'hood. No need to go to Pilsen unless you just want a change of scenery.

Bill - Glad to hear that you're enjoying some of the current good places. Fair comment about Dan's admission. IMO, the tone of both pieces was a bit more negative than positive, which disappointed me for a RP-focused Reader feature. Keep on writing!