Archive for March, 2005

An original is returning to Northbrook Court, sort of

I grew up across the street from that bastion of crass commerciality, Northbrook Court, and watched how one former hayride farm could completely transform the area for miles around it. Still, as a kid, having a mall essentially across the street doesn’t suck, especially when it had restaurants like The Magic Pan. My sister and I were nuts for their crepes, both the savories they served as meals as well as the sweets we’d count on for desserts. We loved watching the crepes being made, since they did it the “real” way, on the flat bottoms of frying pans.

Well, almost 30 years (!) since that mall first opened, one of the original names on the mall directory is returning. Signs throughout the mall proclaim that The Magic Pan is coming soon! My guess, though I have no special insight, is that it is Lettuce Entertain You’s reincarnation of The Magic Pan. It sounds like some of those 70’s menu classics are reborn, but when it’s enveloped in a crepe, how sucky can it be?

Watch for me hanging out at the grand opening.

Lisa Madigan bitch slaps People’s Energy

I love when any horrendously overpriced, monopolistic public utility finds themselves in hot water. But if there are 2 that I would really like to see go down, it is Comcast and People’s Energy. My heating bill for my small 900 square foot apartment is usually about $160 in the dead of winter. And that is a load of crap. From The Trib:

Georges and Madigan indicated they could seek hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties, fines and forfeited profits.

The lawsuits claim the alleged scheme went on from 1999 to 2002, a period during which residential gas bills rose significantly.

The article also says that we shouldn’t hold our breath for a giant settlement check as customers. But even if they get inconvenienced for a while, I am OK with that. Anything that is a pain in the ass to them will do fine.

Prix Fixe Fun for All!

Matt and I are heading over to Le Bouchon tomorrow night with a group of friends, and found out that they offer a prix fixe menu for $22.00 on Tuesday nights, your choice of any starter, any entr

Feeling safe

Tom wonders why the cops are stopping him as he walks home. Tom, they’re the man. They’re keeping you down.

Having said that, when I first moved to Chicago my friends from a smaller town would ask how it was living in the big city. “Well,” I’d say, “there was a knife fight on the street corner last night but the cops came right away. There are neighborhoods in the city that don’t have knife fights, but there are also neighborhoods where there are knife fights and the cops don’t come. So it’s OK.”

(There was the time our roadtrip car broke down in Shamrock, Texas (Pop. 2,029) and we were walking from the Ford dealership to the grocery store to get a snack and a cop pulled over and actually started the conversation with, “you boys aren’t from around here…”)

Will Prevail

I’m getting so cynical. Just this week I noticed that most of the businesses in my neighborhood had these signs in their windows:

A Nation of Laws, A Community of Friends Will Prevail

“A Nation of Laws, A Community of Friends Will Prevail.” It sounds good — laws are good, friends are good. Prevailing is… Over what? Over whom? I bet it’s just another way the man is keeping us down.

Except, it’s not. The signs show support for Judge Lefkow and, I suppose, the whole notion of the rule of law and civilization. Which I can get behind 100%. I just wish the signs weren’t so… vague.

Memo stolen from Taco Bell corporate

From: Taco Bill, Chief of Hot Sauce
To: All Taco Bell employees
Subject: We are totally AWESOME!

Congratulations! I knew we could acheive this feat! We set out to build a retail location that had the most unintuitive and unsafe layout for motor vehicles in the history of time, and we really surpassed this goal with store #2563830459575906 on Clybourn in Chicago. Well done, pats on the back all around!

I would like to thank the architect who decided it was a great idea to loop the drive-thru entrance around the front of the store so close to the pedestrian exit, almost guaranteeing that an incoming car would hit any patrons exiting the establishment. I have tested it myself, and it works like gangbusters! They can’t see a damn thing around the corner. It is not easy to create such a gaping blind spot, but you did it.

Also, I would like to thank the land scouter for finding a location so close to a Metra overpass. Drivers exiting the store left onto Wrightwood are almost certain to hit any westbound cars. The overpass blocks their view! Brilliant!

In closing, I haven’t been this proud since we came up with the gordita. 3 cent raises for everyone!

Was it REALLY snowing when I walked out the door this morning?

Because this weather is RIDICULOUS. Easter, the harbinger of spring, is only 2 days away and there is absolutely no good reason that I should have to drive to work through slush.

Spring is incredibly important to Chicago. You know it, you’ve seen it. That first really nice day of the spring that break up above 55 we all drag our incredibly lazy and hibernated butts outside and explode from sun exposure. Everyone and their mother heads to the lakefront. There are puppies being walked everywhere. You take out your storm windows (!!! I CAN’T WAIT)

So, you can do voodoo or spring dances or whatever to make the weather get here sooner, or you can be rational and check out the almanac. Here is the deal from the people that claim to know

Despite a cold start, April will be mild, with several spells of unusual warmth. May will bring temperatures near normal. Rainfall in April and May will be near normal in the east and below normal in the west.

Predicted average temperature: 52

OMG, April please hurry up. We are dying here and need to see the sun.

Whole Foods Closed Early?

Anybody know why the Whole Foods on Ashland was closed early tonight???? Hmmmmm…….

Damnit! I want my hundred dollar bag of groceries!!!!!!!!!

Spring is here; bring on the outdoor drinking!

After I left my house this morning to go to work, I noticed that the pub round the corner from my place, Blackie’s, has put out all their outdoor furniture. That put an enormous smile on my face.

Winter, thus we defy thee!

…Then I proceeded to my car, where I had to brush all the frost off my windows because the sun hadn’t risen yet, to melt it away. (But I am totally taking the snow shovel out of the trunk this weekend!)

Do it for the kitties

A little late in coming but in case you haven’t heard, the Tree House Animal Shelter received some damage when the building next door to it burned down. All the kitties are OK and safe, but Tree House is in need of donations to cover the cost of repairs.

You can donate here to spread the love.

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