Friday, April 30, 2010

Cranky Pants are OFF

I needed a mental health day and I got one. D. and I went to the park- for almost six hours.

At the park I ran into four or five readers of The Pipeline... a few said kind words and one referenced a tidbit from this past week's issue.

As corny as it sounds, it makes me feel like I am working on something that matters and has a purpose, whereas if I were in a cube selling advertising I'd really be only benefiting myself and whoever I sold ads to, in a very insular world, albeit one with steadier pay and health insurance.

In any case, I'm trying to be thankful and grateful and hope that this positive energy will aid in the process of constantly soliciting funders.

The heaviness is gone, I hope it sticks this time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coverage of Community Safety Meeting by Nandika Doobay

Bucktown residents met with 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack and District 14 police Thursday morning at Club Lucky to discuss safety concerns following the vicious beating and robbery of two young women. The attack, which occurred early in the morning of April 23 under a viaduct on the 1800 block of N. Damen, left the victims Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich hospitalized and the neighborhood on high alert.

Police presence in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area was noticeably increased in the days following the attack, with officers handing out community alert fliers, interviewing business owners and even giving courtesy rides to people walking late at night, who they felt might make easy targets. Streets and Sanitation pitched in as well, by searching garbage bins for possible discarded items pertaining to the case.

By the beginning of the week, two suspects were detained and Alderman Waguespack started the meeting by commending all the police work that went into getting the arrests made. "We have some of the best police officers at work in our area," said Waguespack, before introducing new appointed District 14 Commander Flores.

The Commander explained a bit more about what officers did in order to apprehend the suspects and assured that she intends to beef up patrols in order to prevent future crimes, but reminded everyone that they must also be vigilant. "That person with their headphones on, not paying attention...that's our next victim." She did say though, that the two women who were attacked did nothing wrong, but unfortunate things like these may be prevented.

Paula Barrington, of the Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce, encouraged business owners to install cameras to monitor their buildings and the sidewalks outside, before handing the floor back over to the Alderman. The large crowd at Club Lucky, brimming with questions, mostly about the safety of the Bloomingdale Trail and its viaducts, now had their chance to grill Alderman Waguespack.

Greg Viti, a local real estate agent, asked about adding lights to the viaducts, adding to the huge pile of complaints residents have for Canadian Pacific, the owner of the defunct rail line. Another meeting attendee asked the Alderman how come the city has not sought legal action against Canadian Pacific for their lax care of the property, with its peeling paint, cracked infrastructure and nonexistent security. Proposed as "Chicago's next great park" by nonprofit grassroots organization Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, the elevated tracks which run from the west side to the Chicago River currently poses safety risks to residents. "We are working with Canadian Pacific to take over the Bloomingdale Trail," said Waguespack, which resulted in groans from quite a few attendees who have heard this all before.

Other residents sought answers from the police department on whether or not it is undermanned or spread too thin in Bucktown, where affluence, high property taxes, bars and trendy stores may gain it the wrong kind of notoriety. Alderman Waguespack answered, "If you want your property tax dollars spent in Bucktown, you need to write the mayor."

-article and photos by Nandika Doobay for The Pipeline

Monday, April 26, 2010

Young, pregnant, and homeless

Banned from Photobucket: Boo!

This photo, below, of Chelios at Stop! Look! Oddments at 1307 N. Western, one of my all time favorite places to pop in at, was deleted by the Photobucket censorship crew, thus I am posting it here for the purpose of linking to it in tomorrow's 'Spaces column' since SLO recently underwent spring cleaning resulting in a much more spacious look and feel.

Chelios, who greeted me with ' hey, you're the girl that shows up on my phone every week!' (I've heard that line before in reference to the newsletter) is accompanied by a larger-than-life painting by artist Maurice Wilson, circa 1983.

Also included are some photos snapped around this time last year, back when Chicago was still a contender for the 2016 Olympics. At the time I'd been vehemently opposed to the Olympics, and Chelios had been very much in support of the games, with his feelings expressed on a cardboard sign vying for Olympic Gold Tourism Dollars.

Wow and Zen Closing Sale

Speaking of people and muses, it's shop owners and readers like RJ Seidel of Wow & Zen that make working on the Pipeline worthwhile.

RJ is one of the friendliest people in town and soon his doors at 1912 N. Damen will close like so many others have of late.

Every time an independently owned store closes its doors I get sad thinking about not just the loss of the store, but the loss of the shop owner and the fact these small retailers are neighbors and contributors to the community as well as retailers.

I could go on, but I'll stop. There's pictures to load. Per this letter from RJ to his customers, everything is on sale. Wow & Zen is slated to close at the end of May, though the W&Z website will still be active after the closing, per RJ.

Reader Survey

Truth be told- and outside of Lauren's article about the TV Pilot filming- I wasn't that happy with last week's Pipeline.

I won't go into why- I know why- but moving forward, and in the next issue, I am going to include an Anonymous Reader Survey. It's been 53 weeks now, and I need to ask readers a few questions, mainly why are they reading the newsletter and what is or isn't important in terms of coverage.

As much as I'd like to take glam shots of my cat, write letters from an imaginary character to Jared the Subway Guy, and work on silly song lyrics, none of those endeavors pay any sort of bills, and while it's not like the Pipeline is paying all of the bills, it's paying enough of them to try to keep it going. I figure if I address reader's concerns and try to include more of what they like to read, then I will have a better chance of paying the bills.

Lately I've been a bit cranky. There's a lot of email and for everything I include there's always 10 more things I could include. Nothing makes me more annoyed than sitting with my butt glued to a computer for 20 hours and then within an hour of sending the newsletter out I get emails from people asking me why I haven't featured them, or why I didn't include their event.

In a way, this is 'good stress' because it means people are at least reading the newsletter, and I shouldn't be sad about it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm fighting a losing battle. I cannot express how much I love writing and reporting and how I feel as if it's a doomed industry in the age of the Internet when everything appears to be free. I desperately want to continue doing what I'm doing, but it's getting very tiresome to sell and take care of the business side as well as write and take pictures. Nevertheless each week it gets easier in some way, or a new contributor comes aboard, or stories nearly write themselves, so I will keep at it, and look forward to people hopefully responding to the survey. I need some guidance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day Photos

All of the following photos were submitted/snapped by Paul Feaser of the BCO.

All of the following images have something in common. The answer will reveal itself in tomorrow's Pipeline unless anyone happens to see this and wants to guess.

Pulaski Local School Council Elections this Wednesday

Following is a cut-and-pasted email regarding the Pulaski IB 2010 Elections. I am posting it here so I can link to it in today's Pipeline. After attending a Constant Contact Business 101 this past week, I learned that it's better to link than to put TMI in your e-newsletter, thus in the future I will try to do more linking to keep the scroll bar fatigue down. Last week's Pipeline was 22 printed pages. That is too long!

NOTE: Unsure if you can vote or not? Click here to view a map with boundaries. If you live in the purple section you are eligible to vote. For more background visit or this past blog post from August.

Pulaski IB 2010 Parents Need Your Vote!

LSC Election


This month marks the two year anniversary of our grass roots effort to improve Pulaski Elementary. Your assistance in writing letters, making phone calls and attending meetings was instrumental to our success. It has been a true community effort and we are proud to be a part of it.

The Pulaski Local School Council (LSC) elections are this Wednesday, April 21st. If you are unfamiliar, the LSC is equivalent to a local school board. The LSC has several important oversight responsibilities, the most important being principal selection.

Several of our Pulaski IB parents are running in the LSC election. Your votes are critical to electing these parents to the LSC and will guarantee our voices will be heard.



Pulaski IB 2010 Parent Candidates:

Steve Dillinger for Community Representative

Sheila Saegh Henretta for Community Representative

Sarah Harris for Parent Representative

Paul Millar for Parent Representative

Candidate Bios:

Steve Dillinger is married with two children and has lived in Bucktown for 17 years. He chairs the Education Committee of the BCO and has been a leading force in the drive to bring the IB program to Pulaski Elementary. Steve is a Managing Partner at Cornerstone Trading Group.

Sheila Saegh Henretta lives with her husband and two young daughters in Bucktown. She is a corporate lawyer at Jones Day and an active community volunteer, serving as a board member and officer of the Better Government Association and teaching constitutional rights to 7th and 8th graders in CPS. Sheila is also a member of the Pulaski IB committee and has dedicated her time and energy in the past year working to help bring the IB program to Pulaski.
Sarah Harris is an early elementary teacher who currently stays at home with her two boys, the oldest one in his first year of Pre-K at Pulaski. Sarah has been an active parent and member of the Pulaski school community over the past year. She regularly attends LSC meetings, has organized Pre-K open houses for neighborhood parents and acts as the primary liaison between the school and the Pulaski IB committee.

Paul Millar has volunteered with the BCO for eight years, helping with the website and special events. He currently works at a technology company and owns a small business. His oldest daughter attends Pulaski and his son is looking forward to joining her in a few years.


Location: Pulaski Elementary School - Main Entrance

2230 W. McLean (Between Leavitt and Oakley)

The school is one block North of Armitage and three blocks West of Damen.

Date: This Wednesday April 21st

Time: 6 AM to 7PM

Other: Two forms of ID, one with address, required.

Pre-Registration is not required.

You are allocated 5 votes. You may vote for any combination of candidates (parent or community).


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three Garden Club Workshops on Sat. May 1st

Register Now - Reservations Required for Workshops - Pay at Door
Limited Enrollment -

Special Plant Sale Workshops - Held Saturday May 1
Wicker Park - 1425 N. Damen - Chicago

Saturday, May 1 - 10am - Noon - $15
Design Ornamental Flower or Attractive Herb Containers
Susan Fontana - Thinking Outside the Pot
Flowering Plants and Herbs Available at Plant Sale-Same Day

If you missed last year’s sold out workshop, you have another opportunity to get inspired about the elements of container design: color, foliage, texture, and height. You can even learn to create an attractive ornamental yet totally edible vegetable container composition. Susan Fontana (Thinking Outside the Pot, Inc.), will lead a lively workshop with demonstrations on the art of container design and maintenance. Susan is known best for her superb container designs and unified multi-container compositions. You can learn to design several containers to work together. She will discuss location characteristics such as sunlight and wind for a wide variety of areas including yards, rooftops and balconies. She will address container choices such as material, size, shape, color and insulation for year round plantings. Bring your questions and experiences to share. Following the workshop, you can shop at the plant sale, discuss your specific interests and design ideas with Susan, and go home with plants for your own containers that will thrive throughout the summer and fall seasons.

Saturday, May 1 - 1PM - 2:30PM - $15
- Small Space Vegetable Gardening
Beth Botts - Senior Editor - Chicagoland Gardening Magazine blog:
Vegetable and Heirloom Tomatoes Available at Plant Sale – Same Day Outside
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: (773) 278-9075 - Pay at Door

Don't miss the experience of tasting fresh flavorful vegetables that you grow yourself. Beth Botts will discuss how to grow vegetables in all types of containers, rotate them throughout the season, and how to get the best results from growing vegetables in your city gardens, on your decks, or incorporating them in your patio's designs. She will discuss soils and fertilizers and how to

grow vegetables organically if you choose to use those techniques. Beth Botts is a writer, speaker, consultant and Master Gardener who writes on gardening for the Chicago Tribune and is a senior editor at Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. Several of her stories have won awards from the Garden Writers Association. Raised by an organic gardener on the South Side, she now does her digging and weeding in Oak Park in the shade on the north side of a 4-story apartment building and grows tomatoes and salads on the 3rd-floor porch. Visit her blog:

Saturday, May 1 - 3PM-4:30PM - $15
DESIGNING WITH BOLD ACCENTS - Bulbs, Annuals, Vines, & Ground Covers
Add Variety at Low Cost - Try Seeds and Bulbs
Doug Wood - Wicker Park Garden Club –
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: (773) 278-9075 - Pay at Door

Most gardens can use a bit more drama and bold statements within their overall structures. Also, in new gardens there are many 'holes' during the years you are waiting for the shrubs and perennials to fill in to these spaces. Doug Wood will discuss the incorporation of seasonal bulbs, ground covers and bold-structural annuals to bring accents and drama to your garden designs. Ground covers can act as excellent backdrops to help focus color and texture of feature plants. In addition, he will discuss a variety of annual seeds that you can plant directly into your garden in May and perennial vines that will extend your gardens vertically (focus on clematis types - with pruning tips). These additions to your garden designs will assist to extend your garden's interest throughout all four seasons.

Sample Sale, 80% off, April 24th in Bucktown


Images from Trio Dog Adoption Event at Riley

Apologies for just posting images... I've got words on this event in today's Pipeline, but due to space and the fact there was more than one cute picture (with dogs, how can every picture not be cute?) I am posting a few more images here!

More info on Trio can be found at

Saint Alfred and Nike: New Collaborative Space

Nike is opening later in the week at 1529 N. Milw, where boutique Hejfina used to be.

The space won't be called Nike, though. There is no name yet, per an email thread with PR spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton of Nike's Chicago office. It will be a collaborative space with neighbor Saint Alfred at 1531 in the adjoining storefront.

Pasted below is a backgrounder sheet, sent this morning.

A new Nike and Saint Alfred retail partnership focuses on soccer to tap into the energy of the World Cup, providing a deeper consumer experience. Incorporating art, music and fashion, the retail space, located at 1529 N. Milwaukee, will feature Nike Sportswear collections, Saint Alfred x Nike Co-Lab pieces, exclusive artist collaborations, soccer licensed product and special events during the next few months.

During the month of April, the space is featuring six designs by well known local artist Cody Hudson. Centered on the themes of soccer and Chicago, this artwork has been created exclusively for the space and will be available as a limited-edition screen print for tees and other product through an on-site customization process that will enable visitors to work directly with St. Alfred designers.

Hudson is a Chicago-based artist who also serves as owner and creative director of the design firm Struggle Inc. His graphic work and paintings have been exhibited throughout the US, Europe and Japan including the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), New Image Art (LA), Rocket Gallery (Tokyo), The Lazy Dog (Paris), & Andrew Rafacz (Chicago). Cody’s work has been featured in numerous magazines and publications including idN, Arkitip, Anthem & Juxtapoz.

Hudson’s designs will be available until April 30, and the month of May will feature the work of Mr. Cartoon.

The space opens to the public Thursday, April 15. Hours will be 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours beginning June 1.

Media Contacts:

Cindy Hamilton, Nike

Krabby Rangoon - CSRW, Saint Alfred

Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Street Sweeping

The following is an italicized cut n' pasted letter from new First Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno regarding Street Sweeping, which is here to stay until Nov. 30th 2010.

I guess the biggest 'take-a-way' is that this year the sweeping will happen in grids vs. on a ward-by-ward basis.

There are Nine Zones on the Grid. If you own a car, as I do, the most important thing to do is find your ZONE, and then see where it falls on the GRID, and then be sure not to park there on the designated day of the month when the sweeping occurs.



Street Sweeping season begins tomorrow; 4.1.2010 and runs, weather permitting, through 11.30.2010. It is important that residents move their cars on the day of their scheduled sweep to help keep the community clean.

Our ward is one of the few that has a permanent sweeping schedule. It was my predecessor's belief that this permanent schedule would save manpower and resources. I share this belief because with a permanent schedule, we do not have to allocate one of our Streets and Sanitation workers to hang signs on trees for notification purposes.

Our ward is divided into 9 sweeping zones. Zones 1 through 8 have a permanent schedule. Zone 9 will be swept on Mondays and notification will be provided by temporary signs, hung at least 24 hours in advance.

The recent proposed change to sweep in grids, rather than a ward-by-ward basis, should not affect us because of our permanent schedule. I will, of course, keep you updated with any developments.

Please review the map and remind your neighbors to move their cars on the scheduled day. If you have any questions regarding sweeping, please call the 1st Ward Streets and Sanitation Ward Yard at (312) 744-5523 or my office at (773) 278-0101.

Thank you for your attention to this notice.


Proco "Joe" Moreno

Alderman, 1st Ward

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wicker Park, In Bloom 2010

As compared to last year, it looks like the Garden Club might be getting an earlier start on the planters, or perhaps the tulips pictured here will be replaced by something else soon and replanted elsewhere? I guess these are questions I can ask Master Gardener Doug Wood of the Wicker Park Garden Club.

For now, here's a few images of area blooming, in or near the park, and The Summer Day by Mary Oliver (APOLOGIES ON LINE BREAKS. As a writer of poems, I know how important line breaks are, and if I can figure out how to fix this formatting wise I will)

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

by Mary Oliver