23 June 2011

Celebrate Clark Street Fest

Celebrate Clark Street Festival

Saturday & Sunday

July 23rd & 24th

1:00 P.M. til 11:00 P.M.


6950 - 7100 North Clark Street

Between Morse & Touhy

Every July, Rogers Park becomes an international feast for the senses, offering ethnic food and music.


21 June 2011

Walmart: Hate It and Live With It

For blighted communities, there are few options when families wish to serve their families fresh vegetables and fruits. In certain neighbourhoods, daily life consists of gangs, illegal drugs, and crime. Would Walmart provide an oasis in the middle of these, so - called 'food deserts'?

But even more well off communities should be given another option where they can pick up a bag of pet food, DVD's and a flatscreen TV to watch them on. Love it or hate it, Walmart is a presence one can not (and, probably, should not) ignore. I am within walking distance from a Target store and I think it would be a welcome addition to my shopping list, to have a Walmart nearby to shop now and then. Target, Petsmart and other retail behemoths have been allowed to set up shop within city limits. Whether you agree, or disagree, with the company's policies regarding labor, Walmart should not be singled out for exclusion.


17 June 2011

9th June 2011 CAPS Meeting - Beat 2413

Sorry this is so late, but I've been extremely busy.

Apparently, someone at the Emmerson Park fieldhouse (1820 W Granville) did not get the memo, that the day and time was changed for our CAPS meeting, from the second Tuesday of the month to the second Thursday. The time, however, remains the same: 7 pm. There was no one present to unlock the fieldhouse and admit us, so we held the meeting outside the building! Luckily, there wasn't a severe thunderstorm or an evening temperature of 86 with 110% humidity.

But it was all worth it! This ranked as the most informative CAPS meeting I had ever attended, for it was highlighted by tips on how not to become victims to burglars, from former burglars! The all - male 'panel' were in a program to help them turn their lives around and become productive members of society, rather than continuing their career as criminals. There were six men present. Supervising them, was a representative of the sheriff's office, I believe. The ex - offenders were identified by sequential numbers only, to preserve their anonymity. Their introductions were in the form of stating their offences, their prison terms and what they were doing to transform their lives. Some had jobs, some had jobs lined - up, while others were going to college.

They provided those present with helpful information and advice. For instance, did you know that it takes a burglar only 3 to 5 minutes to complete his/her crime? Also, while some of the ex - offenders stated that they had no particular preference for the type of neighbourhoods in which to commit their crimes, some of the guys specifically targeted upper - class communities.

Also, we were informed that some their favourite parts of a residence to look for valuables were master bedrooms, closets, storage rooms and, even, kids' rooms. Preferred places of entry included, unsecured back and front doors and side windows. Their means of transporting the stoling goods included, any luggage they happened to find (Pullman models were particular favorites of the panel) and other items that were available in their victims' homes.

Deterrents: Deadbolt locks, nosy neighbours and communities in which residents, frequently, congregated outside their homes (they serve as the eyes and ears of law enforcement). Fences are NOT barriers. Dogs usually discouraged the men from breaking into houses and apartment units. But not always! (One member of the panel stated, he loved dogs and would feed them!)

Questions I asked:

"Were any of you armed at the time you committed your crimes?" "No," was the unanimous reply. One of the guys told us, they were not interested in confronting or harming the homeowners; all they wanted were the homeowners' valuables. Also, they advised fleeing if a burglary is in - progress when you return home. Then, call 911.

"Does living on the upper floor of a residential building provide protection from burglaries?" Again, the answer was "No."

One of my neighbours asked "How did you get caught when you committed your last offence?" The answer? Greed! They got greedy until, one day, a neighbour spotted them removing items and called police.

The presentation also included mistakes residents frequently make, such as, displaying decorative items in windows, having insufficient lighting, and leaving doors or windows open.

All in all, it was a very fruitful hour! It gave me hope that these men are making efforts to turn their lives around.


Are People Abandoning Their Pets?

While reading the various neighbourhood blogs, for Rogers Park and Edgewater, I have noticed an increase in posts concerning residents finding pets wandering around the community. One post described a homeowner seeing a cat outside, in their window and giving the feline a can of food which it promptly wolfed down (an indication the cat had not eaten for a while). Several other posts notify readers of lost dogs being found.

Are these just coincidences of pets lost and hungry, not just for food, but for affection? Or are people releasing their animals due to the poor economy? Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong. And it would sadden me, greatly, if the latter scenario were the case. Any animal welcomed into a household learns to trust those who feed them and care for their overall well - being; and when I can imagine the animals' heartbreak when that trust is returned with abandonment that leaves them vulnerable to motorists, people with evil intentions and disease as a result of contact with other animals (both, domestic and wild).


09 June 2011

Edgewater Eateries/The Best and Worst

Edgewater Eateries: The Best and the Worst

The Best:

Patio Beef
6022 N. Broadway

Always consistent, always friendly. Leo and his wife serve their fare with a smile. This Greek couple always make a visit to Patio Beef a pleasant experience. A true gem in the neighbourhood! And the BEST darned burgers on the planet!

Indie Cafe
5951 N. Broadway

Beautiful presentation! The food that arrives at my table in this pan - Asian restaurant is always fresh and, aesthetically, is as pleasing to the eye as to the palette. The tempura appetizer is almost too pretty to eat, and very delicious. They also serve exceptional sashimi here.

The Worst:


6158 N. Clark St.

The service is so poor at Alexander's, that it makes McDonald's look like an exclusive, 5 - star restaurant listing in a Michelin guidebook. Definitely, stay away from this loser!

Little Corner Restaurant

5937 N. Broadway

One waitress (whose name I learned was, Mena) was dressed like a 'lady of the evening' , and another forgot that I had requested butter on my toast (it arrived without it) and then she kept forgetting to bring me a steak knife (actually, I needed a table saw to cut into the tough New York strip steak). There is nothing good I can say about the Little Corner Restaurant, except, I will NEVER eat there again.


04 June 2011


DO NOT eat a "Little Corner Restaurant" at 5937 N. Broadway! I ate there yesterday and, apparently, the entire original waitstaff either quit and were fired and, for both of the only 2 servers, it was their first day on the job.

About 30 minutes after I sat down and ordered my meal, one of the servers (named, Mena) showed up on her first day on the job dressed like a hooker. She wore a low - cut, ruffled blouse and had the right side of the blouse lowered to just an inch above her elbow, exposing her bra strap. Either the owner, and/or manager, took her to the side, and told her to pull up her blouse and come dressed more appropriately next time. What a way for one to spend their first day at work!

For stability purposes, the manager should have kept one of the departing waitresses, until the new workers had settled into their new jobs and became more familiar with the way things at the restaurant were run. It was mass chaos! I asked for butter on my toast; it arrived without it. I asked for A1 Sauce; the other (more modestly - dressed) server forgot it.

As you can tell from the tone of this posting, this was not one of my stellar dining experiences. Who knows! Maybe the 'foxy lady' waitress will learn how to dress for work at a restaurant, and not as part of a female escort service; and the other server will improve her memory skills. One can only hope that things will settle down and "The Little Corner Restaurant" will return to serving great food again.