Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
The exterior of the house at the corner of Sheridan and Farwell is nearly completed. Probably because i fantasized so much about how i would restore this building if i won the lottery, i'm a little underwhelmed by the reality of its restoration. Admittedly, it looks a lot better than it did a year ago, and as i've noted before, the brickwork looks gorgeous. But i just can't understand the decision to install such characterless windows. Since i'm a big fan of fresh air, i also wonder if and how these windows even open. They look like the kind of windows that make sense in a high-rise, opening only a few inches at the bottom so the residents can't plunge to their deaths, crushing innocent passersby in the process; but that hardly seems like a legitimate concern here. Were one to take a dive from one of these windows the worst that could happen in the way of collateral damage would be a squashed shrub and a little scattered mulch. Have i mentioned that i find the landscaping a little uninspired?
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
This picture breaks at least two of my own rules:
First of all, i never ever take pictures in a bathroom. Heck, i don't even understand how people can talk on their cell phones when they're in the bathroom.
Secondly, I took this yesterday, thereby breaking the "same-day" rule that has always held with this blog until now.
But every time i see this example of "Canadian graffiti" i laugh, and i thought we could all use a chuckle in this gray November weather.
Monday, November 25, 2013
If you follow this blog regularly, you have probably noticed that i've been a little remiss in posting lately. The fact is that this time of year really kills me: it's cold, it's gray, and it seems to get dark out before the day has barely gotten underway. Standing on the L platform at Morse this morning, i was struck by how completely lifeless and colorless this usually vibrant street looked. Then, by the time i got back this evening, all of this was wearing a treacherous coating of black ice, which made it even worse.
Sorry, dear reader, i'd love to offer you something more upbeat, but for now the best i can do is wrap myself in a cocoon of grumpiness and prepare for the long wait for spring.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
East Rogers Park continues to be an obstacle course with many of the streets torn up and sidewalks closed because of all the construction work that is going on. Today's adventure took me to the bucolically named Greenview Ave., which at this point might more appropriately be named Trench Warfare Blvd. Between Morse and Jarvis, i had to:
- cross the street twice because of closed sidewalks,
- avoid paving equipment and step in fresh macadam in order to cross Sherwin,
- dodge a few Bobcats of the mechanical rather than wildlife variety.
I'm a big fan of progress and infrastructure improvement, but at this point i just wish they would finish so the neighborhood could go back to being as walkable as it used to be.
Meanwhile, around the corner on Greenleaf Ave., workers laying the new gas lines blew dirt out of a hole and apparently discovered the underground spring that is the source of the world's pea soup.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The house at 1444 W. Farwell, destroyed by fire last January, was damaged beyond repair and had to be demolished. Fortunately, it is now being rebuilt to look as it did before. This is good news for the neighborhood, restoring the property to its former beauty. The house next door to it, which shared a common wall and a unified design, looked sadly incomplete without it.
Unfortunately, it is rare to see a rehab project of this scope give this much attention to a residence's history unless it has landmark status, and i applaud the effort. During the last real estate boom, we saw many of our beautiful old single-family homes torn down and replaced with bland six-unit buildings, identifiable by their cheap, orangey-brick facades that are somehow supposed to look "authentic;" many of our larger apartment buildings suffered get-rich-quick, slap-dash rehabs that turned those elegant old Rogers Park apartments into bland, characterless condos. Then there's the soon-to-be parking palace on the site of the former Shambala Meditation Center on Sheridan Road and the Loyola Juggernaut. With so much "progress" in the neighborhood, it's refreshing to see that this one corner of Rogers Park will maintain the look that has made this such a beautiful and interesting place to live.
Check out Curbed Chicago for more stories and pictures of Rogers Park architecture.
And here are links to my earlier posts on this property: