Saturday, June 28, 2014

28 June 2014, Pt. 2: Thumbs Up for Twisted Tapas

I don't usually post reviews or recommendations here, but when i encounter something wonderful right here in Rogers Park, i like to help spread the word. I've been wanting to eat at Twisted Tapas since they opened, and finally made it there last night. The service was prompt, helpful, and friendly; the prices are very affordable; and the food? Oh, such food! We had about ten different things and they were all delicious. And if last night's experience wasn't good enough, i walked past there this evening with my little dog, who proceeded to dance outside the windows on her hind legs to see what was going on inside, and the manager, Jill, came outside and gave the little show-off a biscuit. If i hadn't already fallen in love with the place, that would had sealed the deal!

I've always liked the look of this place, with its big windows opening onto the beach block of Pratt, and i've thought it was a shame that the previous tenants seemed to come and go. But this time, we definitely have a winner, and i hope they will be part of the Rogers Park scene for many years to come. 

28 June 2014, Pt. 1: Urbs in Horto

This was yesterday's photo du jour, but i had a busy day and didn't get time to post it. 
I love how luxuriant the landscaping is in front of this little house on Farwell nestled between two huge apartment buildings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

24 June 2014: Welcome Back, Jewel-Osco!

It was a big day at the new Jewel-Osco supermarket in the building formerly occupied by Dominick's at Gateway Plaza on Howard St. The store had its grand opening today, and Alderman Joe Moore and Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk were on hand for the festivities. There hasn't been a Jewel in Rogers Park for more than twenty years, ever since they closed the store on Morse (where the Chase bank, laundromat, and Family Dollar are now) in August, 1993! 
The layout of the store is very similar to how it was for Dominick's, but everything is bright, clean, and shiny, and the employees were all friendly and helpful. I was never a big fan of Dominick's, and frankly, their closing has created a lot more variety in shopping options in the neighborhood. I will continue to be a loyal Morse Fresh Market and Glenwood Sunday Market customer, but the Jewel will definitely fill a gap, as will the Whole Foods coming to Edgewater next year. Now, if we could just get a Trader Joe's, i'd never have to leave the neighborhood again! 

A big crowd was on hand for the opening ceremony.

Ald. Joe Moore and Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk were on hand for
the celebration.

The management presented a check for $2,500 to HOW (Housing
Opportunities for Women), a local non-profit working to break the
cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Tommy Hawk put a smile on the face of shoppers who posed for pictures with him.
Go Hawks!

Friday, June 20, 2014

20 June 2014: "Under a spreading *catalpa* tree…" (including a red-faced revision)

UPDATE: Turns out this ode to the lovely chestnut tree is sadly misguided. As a friend (and more knowledgeable observer of the natural world) just pointed out to me, the trees in question are NOT chestnuts; they are catalpas! So, everywhere i use the word "chestnut" in the following paragraph, mentally substitute "catalpa." Except for the last sentence; i still don't like chestnuts. 

I love chestnut* trees. I love that they are tall, and majestic, and filled with blossoms in early June. Those blossoms are all falling to the ground now, and they are such pretty little flowers, even though they can make a bit of a mess on the sidewalks. But i don't care about the mess because i love chestnut* trees. I am not, however, a big fan of chestnuts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

18 June 2014: The Center Cannot Hold

On a few occasions recently, i've lamented the construction chaos in the neighborhood: the torn-up streets, detours, random acts of sidewalk rebuilding, and runaway snakes. At long last, there is an explanation: the anarchists have taken control! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

17 June 2014: A Classic Chicago Scene

I sometimes ride the Brown or Purple Line instead of the Red, just so i can
take in this gorgeous view (which mercifully does not include Mr. Trump's
self-trumpeting new sign).  The Clark Street bridge is open because of
renovations related to the Riverwalk project. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

15 June 2014: The Artists of the Wall Fest

It was a beautiful weekend for this year's Artists of the Wall Festival:
Saturday: Artists at work

Sunday:A few finishing touches
It's always such a pleasure to see all the bright new paintings
at the end of each year's festival.

A few personal favorites:


The perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

14 June 2014: Photo Op

I thought it would be funny to take a picture of people taking pictures of other people
outside Wrigley Field, but the father and son in the foreground make this an especially
nice image for Father's Day. A few seconds earlier, the father had actually been
lying on the ground trying to get the perfect photo, but he sat up
before i could get out my phone and snap a picture.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

13 June 2014: Hard-core Hobbits

This former hobbit-hole at the corner of Morse and Greenview
was declared uninhabitable and sealed off with chicken wire
and cement. But times are tough for hobbits, and apparently,
one unfortunate member of the hobbit community has
broken down the barriers and is squatting in this derelict hole,
spending his time drowning his sorrows in Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

11 June 2014: A Little Baseball History

On the campus of the UIC Medical Center on the near west side of Chicago, this plaque marks an important piece of baseball history. Before the Cubs were even the Cubs, this is where they played. It is also the site of their last World Series winning season in 1908 (sigh!). As the plaque explains, this is where the phrase "out in left field" originated. I heard a different and more interesting version of the story from an older gentleman (a doctor, i think), who saw me taking this picture and stopped to chat. He told me that there used to be a mental institution beyond left field, and that's how the phrase originated to describe something irrational or a little cray-cray. I don't know if it's true, but it's a great story.

Monday, June 9, 2014

9 June 2014: Got Cats?

These contented kitties are enjoying the sunshine in the second floor windows 
of Felines & Canines animal shelter at Devon & Paulina. Check out their 
Facebook page and maybe let yourself be persuaded
to give one of these little sweeties 
a new home.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

8 June 2014: Hard time

I posted pictures of some Chicago architectural classics from the Library/State & Van Buren L platform a few days ago. What i didn't post was the view in the opposite direction, an equally interesting but much gloomier example of Chicago architecture, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a 27-story, triangular-shaped federal prison in the heart of the Chicago Loop. So today, when i was walking along Dearborn on my way back from the Printers Row Lit Fest, i paused for a few moments to look at it and snap a few pictures. There is an exercise yard on the prison roof, and two inmates can be seen looking out on the busy city below. 
In December, 2012, two inmates actually succeeded in escaping from the 17th floor of the MCC using the time-honored technique of making a rope out of bed sheets and dental floss. They were both apprehended--one two days later and the other the following week--but it remains one of the most amazing prison breaks i've ever heard of.   

On the left, the faceless statue of Ceres atop
 the Chicago Board of Trade; on the right,
the Metropolitan Correctional Center. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

7 June 2014: Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

We are celebrating our second birthday here at command central of Ms. Demeanor's Photo du Jour. For a person who is not exactly noted for her stick-to-itiveness, this is a pretty big milestone for me. Although i no longer feel compelled to post every single day, as i did for the first year, i'm still posting pretty consistently. This has occasionally been a challenge because sometimes there just doesn't seem to be anything new or interesting to photograph. But thanks to the witty folks at the Bullhead Cantina, that problem appears to be solved. From now on, if i'm stuck for a photo du jour i am just going to stroll on over to Morse and Glenwood and take a picture of whatever clever thing they've posted on the sandwich board out front. Here is today's offering:

Friday, June 6, 2014

6 June 2014: Snakes on a Wayne

For the past week (or two) there have been numerous sightings of a large snake near the corner of Wayne and Farwell. I have been looking for it ever since i first heard about it last weekend, but unfortunately, never caught a glimpse of it (and thus am posting a picture taken by a friend). It was a California king snake (a non-venomous species), and was a pretty big guy, about four or five feet long.

I've been worrying about it, since the nights have been unusually cool, and since apparently it had slithered its way across the street a few times. Since it lives on a diet of rodents, however, i had no concerns about it going hungry (blechhh!). I'd even decided that if i found it i would adopt it, at least while i tried to find its owner. But, alas, it was not to be. Early this evening the animal control van showed up after they were called by a resident of the east side of Wayne Ave. who had found it in a hole in her backyard. I hung around for about a half hour, but the animal control guy said it was still hiding in its hole and he hadn't yet succeeded in getting it out. He assured me that the snake would be turned over to the Chicago Herpetological Society, so it sounds like the story has a happy ending.  

The snake-catcher

California kingsnake, spotted last week at the corner of Wayne and Farwell
Photo credit: Adam Falstein

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

4 June 2014: This Philly Girl Anxiously Awaits the Opening of Philly's Best

I was delighted to read in DNA Info a few days ago that Philly's Best will be opening at the corner of Pratt & Sheridan. I was even more delighted when i passed there this evening and saw this sign in the window and a couple of people inside looking like they were doing some serious planning. Hooray, and welcome to the RP, homies! It's been sad to see this location sitting empty after the closing of Ciao Bella (and Pillars before it). 
I'm not a big sports bar person, but i am a Philly girl and a cheesesteak snob, and i can tell you this: Philly's Best's other locations are the only place in Chicago where i would even consider getting a cheesesteak (Of course, those wicked little cheesesteak eggrolls at BopNGrill are delicious too, but they really have very little in common with actual Philly cheesesteaks beyond the presence of beef and cheese). I don't know if they'll be doing the cheesesteaks at the new place, but i know that whatever they do will be a nice taste of home. And now because it's very late at night, i'm going to say my prayers and go to bed: 
"Dear god, thank you for bringing Philly's Best to the neighborhood. Please let there be cheesesteaks, and crab fries ala Chickie & Pete's, and maybe some good East Coast pizza. Dear god, let there be soft pretzels and TastyKakes! Amen."

Monday, June 2, 2014

2 June 2014: While Waiting for the L on a Beautiful Day in June

The view from one of my favorite L platforms at Library/State & VanBuren. 
And what a gorgeous day it was!

On the left is the Fisher Building, designed by Daniel Burnham,
which was completed in 1896. On the right is the Old Colony Building,
designed by Holabird & Roche, which was completed in 1894.
Between them are the CNA Center (the red building) and
ornamental copper owls atop the Harold Washington Library Center.   

A closer look at one of the wise old copper owls atop the library.

I love how the reflections from the windows
create a dappled effect on Dearborn St. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

1 June 2014: Let the Market Begin!

It was a beautiful morning for the first outdoor market of the season at Glenwood Sunday Market. I missed the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:45, but when i got there about an hour later the market was bustling with activity. It's still early in the growing season, but i did get some spinach, asparagus, and -- of course -- rhubarb!