Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Chicago Blogs Well-covered

I wonder if Chicago Magazine and Time Out Chicago are feeling like they just showed up at the party wearing the same dress: the February issue of the former and the January 24 issue of the latter both have Chicago blogs as their cover story and feature lists and lists (and lists) of bloggers and blogs.

Montrose Street Collapse

A section of Montrose near Wellington collapsed into itself. My friend Scott Sexton sent me an e-mail detailing his encounter with it during his morning commute:

The street is covered in mud, water and snow. Clearly a water main has broken. Shopkeepers are shoveling the debris off their walks. I get up to the next intersection. There are bulldozers and backhoes and more cops and CTA personnel. One of the lamp posts on the side of the street looks like it has sunk into the ground, but I really can’t see what’s happening. The L station appears to be open, however, but we can’t get to it. The cops route us up a block, through an alley, and then back down toward the station under the tracks. I pass the Beans n Bagels coffee shop and the floor is caked with mud and water. Crossing the street in front of a WGN news crew, I get to the L station. There are fans positioned everywhere trying to dry the soaked floor. It isn’t until I climb the stairs up to the platform that I can see exactly how bad the damage is. The earth has been literally washed away. Under the concrete, water is still gushing from the jagged end of a giant pipe. Montrose is dead.

He also took pictures from his camera phone:



Edit: My friend Gena has a great flickr set of the sinkhole as well.

Child’s Play 2007

Child's Play 2007

Let’s talk about Child’s Play for a second. Back in 2003 the guys from the mostly-videogame-oriented webcomic Penny Arcade got mad at a newspaper columnist who was recycling the too-easy trope “violent videogames are training children to kill.” But instead of just spluttering to the choir on their website, they decided to put their money, and action, where their mouth was and organized a donation of videogames and toys to a Seattle children’s hospital. That first year they raised about $150,000 in toys and cash for a single hospital. This year they’re on their way to a goal of $750,000 for 40 different children’s hospitals around the world. There’s no children’s hospital in Chicago represented, but sick children in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan are still, you know, sick children.

Attention: New Parents!

If you’re looking for good, affordable childcare in the city of Chicago, don’t sweat it. And please, for the sake of your sanity, don’t pay any attention to all those people telling you you need to find it a year in advance. Those people are insane.

Contact Action For Children. It’s a nonprofit organization that, for next to nothing (I’m talking around $20 a year), will give you lists of in-home childcare providers and childcare centers in your neighborhood and surrounding areas, complete with phone numbers and addresses. They’ll also give you all sorts of things to think about when making your decision.

The going rate for childcare in the city of Chicago – at least for in-home care – is anywhere between $50 and $60 a day. But listen – don’t worry. You can find really good care for around $35 a day without a problem. That’s still a lot to swallow, but whaddayagonnado.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about this. It’s just something that’s been on my mind, I guess.

Andersonville Midsommarfest!

There’s at least one more neighborhood festival this weekend, this one for the northsiders. It’s time for the Andersonville Midsommarfest! Last year there was a ton of live music, booze, booths, and chow. And it’s a really lovely length of commercial stores, so patronizing these businesses is very rewarding. Toymakers and theaters tend to also show up en force.Me? I hate street festivals. I get claustrophobic and lightheaded. But I’ll be damned if I don’t know dozens of people who love this one.

Paul Revere Play Lot Renovation

Recently, while playing at the park with my daughter, I learned of some neighborhood plans to renovate our play lot. I’m very excited about this, because some of the current equipment seems to be a bit dangerous. Rotting wood, rusty bolts, etc., etc. As far as I know, there’s no word on how long the Friends of Paul Revere Playlot & Park think this project is going to take, but if you’re a parent in Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, North Center or St. Ben’s, please consider getting involved.


Adult Cicada With Wing

Originally uploaded by Happy Monkey.

So we’ve mentioned the 17-year Cicadas here and here but according to the news, tomorrow is the day they little buggers start making lots of noise. Last time, I remember that they were mostly gone by July–and that better hold true for this year. Otherwise, the Decemberists show is going to suck.

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It’s Official


Originally uploaded by officergleason.

The US Olympic Committee has picked Chicago over Los Angeles as the applicant city for the 2016 Games. So what do you think? Colossal boon or blunder?

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The Step It Up Rally

The Step it Up Rally is Tomorrow. For those who don’t know, and are too lazy to click the link, Step It Up is a movement to get Congress to pass legislation that will mandate an 80% reduction in US carbon emissions by 2050. Instead of having the supporters of this type of legislation fly to DC, thereby increasing carbon output, the organizers are encouraging people to follow the adage of, “Think globally, act locally.”

Whose going and how are you getting there?

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Rumors from the South Side

My clients have a tendency to exaggerate events and happenings in their neighborhood. To them, its a bit of a game: How much can we get Gleason to believe. When one kid brings up something, I typically let it slide. When another kid mentions the same details as another kid, I start to pay attention. Especially when we’re talking about Stranger Danger.

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