Archive for December 2014

Major milestones in the South Loop in 2014

Major milestones in the South Loop in 2014
Here are a few major milestones from the South Loop that happened in 2014 that for one reason or another I never got around to writing about. The New Skateboard Park:  I complained and whined and I was right to do so, but now that it’s finished, it’s not so bad.  The hill that the... Read more »

The Good Old Neon Wilderness

The Good Old Neon Wilderness
I’ve just finished reading–looking at, actually–a remarkable new book: “good old neon” by Nick Freeman, a former advertising man turned painter and photographer who lives in St. Charles.  It contains scores of beautiful, colorful and vibrant photos he took of neon signs–some lost, some still here–from around the Chicago area. I realize that these days... Read more »

The Chicago Firehouse: the first day of the rest of its life

The Chicago Firehouse:  the first day of the rest of its life
The Chicago Firehouse  caught fire yesterday.  Extra alarms.  Scores of firefighters.  I could smell the smoke at my house at Roosevelt and State from the fire at 14th and Michigan.  I could hear the never-ending sirens.   And the helicopters capturing it live for the news. They say it was an accident.  Workers.  And Propane... Read more »
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Crowdfunding week: time to make a trip for some "Crowdfooding"

Crowdfunding week:  time to make a trip for some "Crowdfooding"
With all the crowdfunding and fundraising going on this week for every not-for-profit in the world, with all the appeals that have been filling our many inboxes in hopes of filling our generous hearts, somehow I never saw anything about filling any empty stomachs. That is, until I suddenly heard from the Building Owners and... Read more »

Jack Simmerling: before he died, he made sure he'd live in the Gilded Age forever

Jack Simmerling:  before he died, he made sure he'd live in the Gilded Age forever
One of my first big newspaper assignments–about 35 years ago–was to get myself to the Beverly neighborhood on the far South Side and to come back with a story about what makes it tick.  When I arrived, wading through the lace curtain Irish, the Top Notch burgers and the Beverly Area Planning Association, everyone said... Read more »