Monday, November 30, 2009

community input wanted: rehab ideas for purple and red line stations

The CTA is looking at the possibility of rehabbing stations along the Red and Purple lines from Addison to Linden, if funding becomes available. As part of a preliminary "vision study," the CTA is seeking a community wish list." Which station would you most like to see fixed up? What improvements would you like to see?

There will be no formal presentation, strictly an open house to get community input. Tonight's session will be open from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Loyola Park Field House, 1230 W. Greenleaf.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Orishas...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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 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.

Monday, November 23, 2009

theatre in the neighborhood

The Side Project has a world premiere production now on stage: Laura Eason's Rewind. Check it out in Jarvis Square until 12/20. You can enjoy a tasty dinner at one of the nearby restaurants and have a drink afterwards at Poitin Stil.

Theo Ubique's production of Man of LaMancha has been extended through December. Catch it at No Exit Cafe.

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

Evanston Public Library holiday book and art sale

Save the date. The Evanston Public Library will be having a holiday book and art sale on 12/19 and 12/20. Stay tuned for more info...

Tuesday, November 17, 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. With the continued growth of I-Go locations in Rogers Park, it's a lot easier when a car is the only workable answer.

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. Even though I haven't had a car payment in years, the cost of insurance, license plate, city sticker, parking, 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.

Saturday, November 07, 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 06, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

special treat on Monday night

If you've never seen Dee Alexander, you have a special opportunity to see her on the north side on Monday 11/9. She'll be at the Green Mill, giving everyone a taste of her unique vocal stylings. It's easy to get there on the red line, so there's no need to worry about parking, or about driving home if you have a few drinks. Go and enjoy some tasty tunes.

working in the neighborhood

Have you noticed the improvements this summer at Kilmer Triangle (middle of the Rogers/Ashland/Birchwood intersection)? Take a look. All plants, mulch and labor were generously donated by Gethsemane Garden Center. Next time you're at Gethsemane, thank the staff and management there. Gethsemane has been very active in landscaping traffic circles and medians and other public spaces – donating shrubs, trees, labor and other materials. Jargowood Block Club is a lucky beneficiary of their generosity.

If you're new in the neighborhood, the boundaries for Jargowood are Clark on the west, Birchwood on the north, Jarvis on the south, and the lake on the east. If you've never been to a meeting, you might want to check it out. It's a good way to meet more of your neighbors and get involved in the neighborhood.

Jargowood Block Club is currently fund raising for further improvements (stepping stones?) for the Kilmer Triangle and also because the Jargowood Treasury is EMPTY. If you'd like to contribute, please drop off a check made payable to “Alan Walker, Treasurer” in the mail slot at 1625 W Jarvis. Alan can provide you with a receipt for tax purposes. Membership dues are voluntary. $20 per household is a good starting point – more if you can bear it.

Monday, November 02, 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:


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.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jargowood meeting on 11/3

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 11/3 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.