Category: General Tips

Check out our block party pics to see the coolest firemen in Chicago

Even the trees got festive for the occasion.  Rainbow of colors.  Dollar store plastic tablecloths cut in half.
Here’s the photo gallery from our block party a couple of weeks ago.  Check out how much fun the guys from the Chicago Fire Department had with us (I gave their supervisor a heads up that I was blogging about their visit and he was fine with it).  The last seven pictures will crack you... Read more »

Don't miss Bulls' Kris Dunn & the 400 security camera giveaway

Don't miss Bulls' Kris Dunn & the 400 security camera giveaway
How cool is this?  I just received the following email about a big giveaway taking place this Saturday, September 23.  I blog a lot about safety, personal security and building safe neighborhoods.  It must have gotten someone’s attention because they reached out to me to share this information with you.  In the spirit of “things... Read more »

I shouldn’t be telling you this but…registration closes TODAY at 5pm

I shouldn’t be telling you this but…registration closes TODAY at 5pm
  I was tossing around the idea of blogging about this today.  See, there’s this “lottery” that anyone who meets certain guidelines and owns a residential property in Chicago can enter to get assistance with repairing or replacing a roof or porch.  You can only put in your name once a year and they hold... Read more »
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Did we get our fire truck at the block party?

Private note to U.L. subscribers: Happy Labor Day Weekend!  If yours was even half as fun as mine then I’m sure you had a blast.  I’ve been off the grid all weekend and I’m gearing up to get back into the work routine tomorrow. I just wanted to take a minute to let you know... Read more »

‘The Chicago Way’ to get a visit from a fire truck

‘The Chicago Way’ to get a visit from a fire truck
. Read: Dancing on the pole to boost my block club? Starting from a foundation of mutual affection and respect, club members laugh a lot and razz each other constantly.  One member we’ll call “Roger” poked fun with a respectable and highly respected retiree in her 70s.  A fancy sports car drove down our street... Read more »

Dancing on the pole to boost my block club?

Dancing on the pole to boost my block club?
. Subtitle: How an unfortunate rumor got started (Caution to more sensitive readers.  And to anyone with good taste.) . So, our block club was having a planning meeting to get ready for our annual block party when someone asked the perennial question: how can we increase our chances of a visit by a Chicago... Read more »
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The best time of year for updating your windows

The best time of year for updating your windows
I suspect it’s only rained two times in Chicago since Jan. 1 (slight exaggeration?) and both of those times were nights I planned to go to Ravinia.  I have big San Andreas Fault-type cracks in my lawn (seriously) because it’s been so dry the last few weeks. But the 2nd time I pointed my car in that direction... Read more »

Section 8 vouchers: Do shady participants equal a bad program?

One of the great longtime subscribers to this blog, Anneliese, reached out to me via email about my recent post “Chicago’s ‘Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative.'”  She had some questions about the Sec 8/Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and rental vouchers in general.  Anneliese made some great points and raised some great questions, so I asked... Read more »

The magical mystical Cook County Land Bank lures homebuyers

The magical mystical Cook County Land Bank lures homebuyers
. . . . . . . . . . . Check out my previous post on the CCLBA: “Wait, did you say you just WAIVED all the taxes?   The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) site even goes so far as to suggest sources of down payment assistance for first time homebuyers.  By... Read more »
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Chicago's "Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative"

More than just being a landlord, I’m a person who is interested both in information science and broader issues related to housing.  So I have the privilege of being on a lot of listservs.  Recently I received the following evite: The Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative cordially invites you to the Veterans HOUSING FAIR Friday, August... Read more »