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Added Apr 19 2012

  • Inactive user

    Humboldt Park is still one of the worst neighborhoods to live in. I wouldn't live in that part of the city to save my soul. I remember going to boxing tournaments there years ago and the gang-bangers were out in full force, it looked like an occupied community. God help anyone who lives in Humboldt Park, it's a terrible place to raise a family.

  • I was out in my yard with my dog at the time and couldn't believe what was going on. Scary. The cops came almost immediately, but didn't do a great job cleaning up because there was still a big pool of blood this morning. Gross. I thought they would throw some sand/bleach on that.
    My husband wants to move to the suburbs. We've been there 7 years and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Too bad no one would buy our house that we over paid for.

  • paradoxymoron Neighbor

    @Jill R: Yes, it is scary. But this type of thing does not happen very often anymore in our 'hood. I have to respectfully disagree with your assertion that there has been no improvement in 7 years. We have been here 3 years, and have seen vast improvement in that short span of time.

    I am sure when you bought your place, even though you say you overpaid, you probably got more for your money than you would have on the other side of Western. Living in HP is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

    We just have to keep on it, and keep making things better for our families and neighbors.

    Most of the posting regarding our neighborhood involve nuisances lately, not gang killings.

    @JW - I believe, as per usual, you are trolling. You don't live here, and have some old anecdotal evidence of how bad our neighborhood is. I don't appreciate you referring to it as a terrible place to live. It has it's pluses and minuses, just like any other neighborhood. No neighborhood in Chicago is 100% safe.

    The original post was intended to be informative, and to let our neighbors know about this shooting so that we can be safe, and a little more vigilant about goings on.

  • Inactive user

    Nester, you're actiing like everyone is supposed to say favorable things about your neighborhood, even when someone gets SHOT IN THE HEAD. Give me a break. It's my opinion that Humboldt Park is a horrible place to live and despite the "renaissance" occuring over there, not much has changed besides new, younger money coming to the 'hood. In one sentence you admit that things are "scary" and in the next sentence you condemn me for essentially agreeing with you - by saying things are indeed scary and who would want to live in a war zone like Humboldt Park.

    Which way do you want it?

    Jill, your husband is a wise man for wanting to get out.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    One less banger that should not have been hanging out in Humboldt Park, (did not live anywhere close), can't be many left. My family enjoys HP but I am sorry to say this crap still happens but it is no way close to how it was a few years ago.Decades ago, there would be four bangers shot on the street at that location at one time, anyone know when the last shooting occured on that block?!? empty nester, you should not reply to a person who is as fake as the picture displayed.

  • Yes, I do know. The woman working at Subway one block south on Western was murdered a few months ago. There was a car set on fire in front on my house about a month ago. And that banger who just got out of jail was killed on the 1300 block of Campbell last year. A cop was shot in the arm in front of my house a year before that. Believe me, I'm not a hater - I go to CAPS meetings and I would love to think that things are getting better, but I just don't see it. True, one murder a year may not be much, but it might just be one more than my family is willing to put up with. I'd love to feel safe enough to walk my dog after dark, but I'm just not there. I'm rooting for goods things to come!

  • That's mess up he has a 2 yr old son that now will not see his dad no more.ps I did not know that u have to live in Humboldt part area to go to that place ass far as I know is a free country I would also appreciate if People would stop talking about the guy also he was not a banger the resend why I know is because he is my family so thank you and have a nice day

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    What is messed up is that banger should have been with his two year old son instead of that alley doing what?!? Was not seeing his dad then. The point is that the cobra affiliate was not a resident of HP because the area is getting better as the bangers move out! As for being a gang banger, I will quote the paper "Police suspected the shooting to be drug-related, but offered no additional details. Benitez, who police said was affiliated with the Spanish Cobras street gang, had at least 30 arrests and several felony convictions for drugs, according to court records." Who is not telling the truth here, The court records must be fake.The problem here is someone figured a banger with several felony convictions would make a good father to a child! So your welcome and I am having a nice day!

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    The Subway was a Robbery and not on the block. My heart goes out to that working womans family members, hope they catch the robber. I worked your block and the area known as (THE TWILIGHT ZONE) in 88. One holloween, what started out as an egg fight ended a few days later with 12 shot and a few of them dead in that time. There were four shootings in 8 hours at Campbell and Potomac, as soon as the police left, another banger got shot, it was unreal. Today even the dead banger memorials in front of the church are gone (used to be replaced on the days of their killings for months). Sucks when a gang banger returns to the hood and acts like it is the old days again! Be glad it only lasts till arrested again or shot. I do not consider you a hater, most people have no idea how bad it was just a few years ago. Just wait another few years and you will be able to sell at several times what you payed for your home, that is if you still want to leave! I was working in the area when the Police Officer was shot in the arm. Clemente H.S. was letting it's 'Students' out when they started shooting at each other and the Police Officer was in the line of fire and was hit. Now they have security on every corner down Division to California and stagger dismissal. You moving in and hard working Police officers is why the area is so safe now from what it was. Hope my information was a help to you and you are pretty safe now even if you do not feel like it.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    J.W. - Should we judge your neighborhood (Kenwood) from some time we passed through it "years ago"? Why do you feel the need to comment here? What's with the trolling and the fake photo?

  • HUMBOLDT MUD & SUN East Humboldt Park

    Why isn't Chicago suing the gangs like they are doing in other places in Illinois? The law is called 1993 Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act
    The shooting originated from Division street which is infested with gangbangers every night. I  challenge you to walk between California and Western at night without witnessing some kind of misdemeanor, if not felony.  For comparison, Leavitt to Wolcott has a thriving, diverse business that is inviting.  Obvious difference- gangs don't run the street. Shouldn't the Division Street Business Development Association Chamber of Commerce  be suing the gangs, too?.   For that matter, the many churches and cultural centers on that strip should join suit.

  • I would encourage people to avoid obvious "situations" in Humboldt Park or anywhere in the city. Stay away from dog-fighting, cock-fighting, baby-momma scratch and hair pulling fights, the Puerto Rican Festival (until they get enough police working there) and something I haven't heard about: boxing matches? Certain activities seem to encourage certain attendees to act in a certain way; like gang-bangers. Funny. I have NEVER seen or heard of any shootings or gang activity during games at Little Wrigley Field in Humboldt Park, the hundreds of soccer games on multiple fields including the new artificial turf full-sized field, on the tennis courts, during the multiple yearly bicycle ride events or jogging/running events like the 5K race coming up on Saturday for Earth Day, or when the Blackhawks came and played a fundraiser game here. I know this is hard for some of you, but DON'T BE STUPID. Have reasonable expectations of what might happen if you hang in the wrong crowd.

    If you act like an idiot, you will be treated like one. By everybody.

    It takes me less than 30 seconds to throw a bag of trash away in my alley. What the HECK does anybody do in an alley that takes longer than that? Get the frick out of the alley. The police have to be called. There is NO GOOD reason to be in an alley late at night. OK. Walking your dog is OK but please bring a bag to pick up the pooh, you dirt balls.

    Word up below...

  • Continued from above...

    As far as the local non-profits and churches giving a crap about the neighborhood they are in? Good luck. A large church, located in the precinct the residents recently voted dry, refused to get involved in collecting signatures for the vote dry petition, and even though they attended a CAPS & community meeting about the problem, they did NOTHING and even REFUSED to get involved to help stop the violence. Now there's some real Christian leadership for you. It was found out later that the church was renting parking space from the liquor store owner where ten people were shot in 2010. FILTHY, NASTY, little financial secrets RUN the West Side, and the longer we allow the non-profits and churches to increase our tax burden often FOR NOTHING IN RETURN the longer we will spiral downward. It is nice that they pick up some trash on Sunday mornings. I pick it up, but not only on the Sabbath...

    These non-profits are consuming space that commercial tenants could utilize. But our tax dollars are paying high rents to "connected" commercial building owners that non-profits rent, our tax dollars also pay the salaries, utilities, etc. & as soon as the door is locked & the paycheck is in the pocket, the "concern" about the 'hood LEAVES the 'hood.

    Non-profits continue getting huge grants, TIF dollars, & participate in no-bid contracts for the construction & management of mixed-use buildings. We (the tax payers) overpay for all of this, & the commercial units (built w/o any prospective tenant in mind or lease agreements, unlike the "real" world) often sit vacant (FOR YEARS), waiting for just the right non-profit to consume it.

    Only people who have a stake in the community, those who live, work (not counting narcotics trafficking) & play (not counting narcotics use) here will act in a way that will make the place better. Yes, you have to have a little "fight" in you to be happy in Humboldt Park, but it is a fight that is worth having, & it is getting easier.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • Mariann Pepitone:

    I remain thankful for the diversity of comments and commenters on this forum. However, following your post, all I can think of is an ostrich with its head in the sand.

    If your little toe needs medical attention, do you forget about it because it is an extremity, and because you had an ingrown toenail there several decades ago?

    Any part of this city that has problems affects all of us no matter where we live. Humboldt Park has changed for the better, and is continuing it's upward thrust.

    Here is some info about Rogers Park. I used to live a mile south of you and thought it was OK around me also, but I just wasn't tuned in.

    http://www.suntimes.com/11885191-417/gangs-are-under-audit-in-rogers-park-neighborhood.html

    CHICAGO SUN TIMES ARTICLE:
    Gangs are under ‘audit’ in Rogers Park neighborhood.

    [249 KNOWN ACTIVE GANG MEMBERS IN ROGERS PARK]

    In other parts of Chicago, Black P Stones gang members are almost always African-American. Latin Kings are usually Hispanic. But in Rogers Park, you might see a Pakistani Black P Stone or Asian Latin King.

    The North Side neighborhood’s ethnic diversity extends to gangs. But gangs in Rogers Park are different in another way, too: Their violence isn’t usually rooted in disputes over money like gangs on the West Side and South Side.

    “It’s all about gang-banging in Rogers Park — respect,” said Rogers Park Police Cmdr. James Roussell.

    His district completed a “gang audit” in February to get a better picture of gang territory, gang membership and gang dynamics of the area. Similar audits are being done across the city. Rogers Park provides a snapshot of how police districts are tailoring gang information to their unique problems.

    The Rogers Park audit identified 17 gang factions and 249 active gang members in the district, Roussell said. Several retaliatory shootings have been prevented recently when cops caught suspected gunmen with weapons, he said.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    In my direct area, the gangs tend to sell drugs and fight with rival gangs. If they want to make some good coin, they have to go to a nice neighborhood, to rob and steal. Like north on Sheridan road.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    FWIW, Latin Kings are to the west and north of the park. Imperial Gangstas are to the northwest, Manic Latin Disciples are east and north, Spanish Cobras are east, Insane Dragons are south and southeast, and i think there are still some Campbell Boys and C-Notes still around to the south east. Each gang has a different personality.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Mariann Pepitone, if your information is from the fifties, it is a little old. HP has not been mainly Puerto Rican for over a decade. Also all the gangs that alex trebeck pointed out have all but vanished from there all time highs in the 60's to 80's, except for the few that return during the PR fest or end up dead in an alley like this banger did. If you do not know HP then you should not bad mouth it. I have noticed only people that do not live anywhere near HP talk extremely bad about it (a living hell) and that is shamefull.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAKAR: What does that mean...."all but vanished" ... . ? It sounds like youre saying there is no gang activity in HP, except for the fest.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Thank you EveryBlock, for the "Mute user" button.

  • Like Rogers Park, Humboldt Park has good, better, and yes, BAD parts. I think making broad, sweeping statements about HP or RP simply cannot be accurate. It is a mistake to lump it all together.

    Folks like Marianne should indeed do what pleases them, even if it includes trashing HP. I really can't blame her for her opinion, even using 60-year old data; there has been at least 40 years of negative media coverage. This builds up a negative stereotype, one I frequently see crumbling when people actually visit and have a positive experience and enjoy themselves. For us "locals" who are pretty darn normal (i.e. we work, fix up our houses, have decent cars, brush and floss) we joke about how the media keeps HP one of Chicago's best kept secrets.

    There is little media coverage about great things that are happening in HP, but I expect that in the coming few years, the good and interesting news emanating fro the HP will outnumber the bad.

    Folks like J.W. who have left HP behind and want to trash-talk it should continue to build their ego based on whatever frail theme of the day they fancy, including bashing HP. No problem. Strangely enough, as I often find when people interact long enough, there is something that we might have in common: I also think it may be a good idea that the National Guard should be brought into HP. During the Puerto Rican Festival, something drastic needs to be done to maintain law and order in the park and in a several block perimeter around it. The lawlessness is amazing, and those perpetuating it should be stopped so the rest of us can enjoy the festival and get on with our lives.

    As far as the police being an abysmal failure, what do you think about the 10 Latin Kings arrested last week? That is nice work, 14th District, and the citizens are happy you care.

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Ten-Arrested-After-Gang-Bust-in-Humboldt-Park-147147255.html

  • Mariann, I don't see how anyone can trash talk a neighborhood they haven't visited in 50 years. Also, your comment here about there being no gangs in your neighborhood seems to be in direct conflict with your last comment on another thread: "If I see gangs hanging by the bus stop I don't pay attention to them. I stay there and wait for the bus or walk the next block down. I don't pay attention to them. That's the best way to handle the situation. Close your eyes and ears to what you don't want to see and hear." Although I guess if you are only pretending they are not there and that works for you, more power to you. Maybe you should keep that in mind when you make disparaging comments about someone else's home though.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Mariann also posted this on April 2nd:
    "There was shootings on Morse the other night and it might not be safe coming home from the "L" at night. Gangs hang out by the "L"."
    Sounds like things are pretty rough up there.

  • Funny, I failed to see the simplicity of cause/effect in Marianne's statement above:

    "I would not ever live in HP for rent free."

    Well, tens of thousands of people live in HP FOR FREE (and all over the west side of Chicago) or almost free in "affordable housing" or some other name for government subsidy. There are many voucher systems available on the city, county, state and federal level.

    When Cabrini Green was dismantled, what it did is move a huge number of AH tenants out of a decimated zone from an otherwise very tony area that is now experiencing a huge surge of redevelopment. Shopping centers, grocery stores, retail centers, theater, culture, buzz etc. etc. filled the gap.

    Those AH tenants have relocated to places like HP. There continues to be a building boom for Affordable Housing on the west side, built by non-profits who legally steal, bully and intimidate land owners, acquire their land, get illegal zoning changes, and build monolithic structures at great expense to dominate and overpopulate the immediate area. Take the Zapata Projects. These units are costing taxpayers close to $400,000 each, all in an economy where 2-flats are popping on the market for less than $100,000 but would-be investors have a hard time getting financing, and people who need to relocate can't sell what they have due to an excess of short-sale, foreclosure, and other inexpensive properties on the market. How does the regular citizen deal with reality? We have to eat it. How do non-profits like Bickerdike get huge TIF grants and other tax dollars that do not serve the whole community? They serve the well connected non-profit owners and operators, who in a bad economy remain well-paid, by YOU AND ME. This is all happening with Aldermanic nods and winks, despite strong community opposition and the need for other kinds of development.

  • Continued from above...

    When there are high concentrations of Affordable Housing units on a block, or in a neighborhood area, crime increases. IF THE REST OF THE CITY HAD TO HOUSE AN EQUAL PERCENTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS, things would change. But no, they get slammed into my neighborhood and it sucks.

    There are a lot of good AH tenants, and I am not dissing them all. But gee whiz, stop cramming this crap into where I live and share the burden equally, all city dwellers.

    There used to be a term that I used to hear, but is now rare. It is "Working Class Neighborhood."

    This is where I want to be, and what needs to be done. Everyone needs to pull some weight, whatever they can manage, and at least TRY not to add weight to others who are struggling through all on their own.

    As for me, in eight years of being in Humboldt Park I have seen what Affordable Housing development costs the neighborhood. It subdues and sometimes kills development that could benefit the entire neighborhood. Many times it takes good commercial properties and converts them to residential with non-profits in the "commercial" spaces on the ground level. How is this good for the city? They lose property tax, and any potential payroll, sales, and other revenue. Tax payer money is used to take land, fight lawsuits to take land, to pay for overpriced no-bid construction contracts, and it pays for decades of management and maintenance of the building. Millions of dollars people. The building is "great" at the beginning, but give it 5 or 10 years, and the decay shows you what this all is really made of.

    We have an uphill struggle, which would be easier if our Alderman weren't so guided by the carrot on the end of the stick and took off their horse blinders.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    First - birds of a feather flock together- let us take the high road and just ignore the subjects who have the right to talk about things they have no knowledge about and be thankful they do not live here whith such narrow minded beliefs.
    Second-no alex, read my comment again, 60's to 80's you could not walk down any block around the park or in the park without being invilved in gang violence! Now, most of the signs of gang activity have vanished except for when the PR fest returns and so return all the gang members to act like it is the old days again from where they moved away to. There used to be four gang bangers shot at one location in HP at any given time, now it is down to one gang banger (who does not live in HP like this one) and returned to HP and learned the hard way that the good old days are over forever!!! Watch the news, sadly a little gang violence continues in HP but as the PR fest get closer more violence will occure to a yearly high and then after the PR fest is over, it drops to all most a vanishing point until next year. I have observed this first hand for over a decade now and it gets better with every passing year and I hope one day it will be gone as it is in West Town, Buck Town and West Buck Town. Can anyone remember when the gang violence was just as bad there as it was in HP over ten years ago?!?! I for one see a day when Division St west of Western Ave looks just like Division St east of Western Ave now. They looked the same only a few years ago and individuals called it a living hell to!!!! As I said before, It is getting better in HP with every day that passes!!!! HP's future is very bright and this crap will be only history soon.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAKAR: if you are saying gang activity is down, then i agree....at least for the area I live in (SE of the park.) But to say its almost nothing, is vague and relative. There is still gang activity. There is still graffiti, drug sales, and shootings. One local bakery infamously moved away for those reasons. Saying its better than ten years ago may ring true for the old timers, but its small comfort to all the newbies in the neighborhood. I do know there is a HUGE increase of Section-8 housing around HP, compared to 10 and 20 yrs ago. The Sect-8, the economy, and the real estate bubble, will all work against HP improvements for a long time.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    alex, now you are on the money! We have our work cut out for us here in HP. May I suggest we start with the next elections and vote in officials that think of the tax payer first and everything else a distant second!

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    I lived in west Humboldt Park up until 1985. Back in the 1970s we were the "nice" part of Humboldt Park, (LOL) but it was quite dangerous around the park itself. It is MUCH better now around the park, but I don't go into the old neighborhood except to stop at Jimmy's Red Hots. Rakarwowski is right, HP has improved considerably, and gets better every year.

  • As someone who actually lives in HP, I feel it necessary to join the thread. I am a young professional who moved onto the 2600 block of cortez 3 years ago with my family (my girlfriend and our dog). Since I have been here, of course I have seen crime, but I have also seen great strides in that time ..... new business taking hold, improvements to the park (i.e. turf field), empty lots becoming new housing + improvements to the streets by the city. I often walk around the neighborhood after dark, although I certainly take the same precautions late @ night I took when living in Lincoln Park. JW + Marianne - Please don't make uneducated comments on a topic you don't have relevant experience or facts to back up. I am proud to call HP home, and not just for "the new stuff," but for the wonderful community that has existed here long before I jumped into the fray.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    neighbor on cortez, this is what I am talking about but we still have a way to go to put this crap behind us. So many people have no idea how nice it is in and around HP.

  • Also as someone who has lived in HP since 2004 (a few blocks west of the park) things are getting better and better.

    In a weird way, the spat of foreclosures have actually been a good thing around our block. I can think of 4 houses near us that went into foreclosure in the past few years. No one was sad to see the tenants or owners of those houses leave. Every single house was bought, rehabbed, and is now inhabited by folks who have been much better neighbors.

  • @ Jill R -- Police officers do not clean up blood, the fire department is supposed to do that. (I'm a bit behind in my reading, sorry for chiming in days later.)

  • Got it. The blood and "other" is gone now, but I was surprised it took about 18 hours. Kids play basketball in that alley, so I thought that was kind of gross and unsanitary. Not meaning to knock the CFD though -- I know those guys are super busy these days! :(

  • @ Jill R -- Next time call your CAPS office and 311.

    We can go back and forth forever about how the neighborhood has improved (or not), but my question after reading the article is why someone with 30 convictions, including for felonies, is out on the street? Don't look at the police, look at the Crook County State's Atty and the judges hand-picked by the Chicago machine.The most incompetant array of lawyers who ever graduated from third-rate law schools run our joke of a judicial system.

    An example: Who really thinks that Balfour guy would be going to trial if he shot up another Englewood family that wasn't related to Jennifer Hudson? Had it been a family without clout, he'd have already pled to agg assault, gotten credit for time served and would be out on the street to once again prey the citizens of Chicago. And the taxpayers wouldn't have had to pay to clean up 26th and Cal so Jennifer wouldn't get her Mano's dirty coming through the private entrance.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Andy, I am glad you noticed the same change to HP as a lot of us caring neighbors have. Buildings do not make a neighborhood bad but criminals living in low income buildings do. The foreclosures that have happened by me on the westside of HP have wiped out the gangbanger presence more than the police ever could! I would see several bangers drinking, gambling and gang signing in front of the buildings they lived in for years. Then for whatever reason the building would be foreclosed and boarded up and then sold to good people that care for their property and HP. Foreclosures have moved out so many bangers that entire blocks are beautiful now and no one would have believed the change for the better if they do not see it for themselves. Foreclosures have removed properties from gangbangers and slum landlords and have helped clean up HP from what I have noticed. Bye bye bangers and good riddance.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Wow. Who would have thought there was an upside to all the foreclosures! RAKAR.....how are the vacant buildings doing? are the banks taking care of them? are they finding new owners quickly?

  • Same thing in the Smith Park neighborhood. Foreclosed buildings have almost all been bought and rehabbed by established landlords and rented out to people who are good neighbors.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAKARWOWSKI:

    Latest edition of CHICAGO READER....their feature article is titled: BESIEGED: WEST HUMBOLDT PARK IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST OPEN-AIR DRUG MARKETS IN AMERICA.

    Some quotes in the article:
    - "A University of Chicago gang expert called Humboldt Park 'the most dangerous neighborhood in the Nation.' "
    - "The volume of drug busts here is astounding: more than six a day . . . . "
    - "Beat 1112 consistently ranks in the top three beats citywide in narcotics arrests, while 1121 is always in the top ten."
    - (In beats 1112 and 1121) "there were more than 1,000 arrests for dealing or possessing heroin last year, accounting for one of every six heroin arrests citywide."
    - "Last year at least 17 people were murdered in the two beats (1112 and 1121.)"
    - " . . . the drug business in west Humboldt remains so brazen that dealers . . . complain to their alderman."
    - " . . . . politicians quickly became adroit at making dramatic announcements every time they could showcase a drug bust."

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan
  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Alex, Thanks to foreclosures my daughter owns a condo across the street from me that she could not have been able to afford when sold new and I made a great purchase of a two flat grey stone a few blocks away and have fantastic tenants compared to the banger buildings on the block! Yes foreclosures have a good side to them here. As for the Reader, the key is (WEST HUMBOLDT PARK)!!!! If you look at some maps, the area know as WEST HUMBOLDT PARK goes as far west as CICERO AVE. and as far south as CHICAGO AVE.!!! that is like saying Damen and Armitage is East HP! I go insane every time that area of the 011th District is in a paper for the sewer that it is and in bold print, it is named HUMBOLDT PARK, what stupidity!!! The first thing we HP residents need to do to restore HP's good name is to have the boundaries for HP clearly defined by the city as a two or four block area around HUMBOLDT PARK like the Ukrainain Village did and is the only neighborhood to do so in city council. People that do not know that the murders and gang crime reported like in the Reader happen miles from HP and that is why you will hear from unknowing individuals calling the park a hell hole and do not understand why anyone would live here. They just don't know the true HP and we continue to get a bum rap from the press due to a line on a map which is unjust. It is like you stating you live in Ukrainian Village when a map shows that you do not, But the way Ukrainian Village as spread so far west you are probably accurate! Ask gpdlight about the area the Reader is writting about and the difference should be perfectly clear! At least that area is now being called (WEST) HP and not just HP.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Cicero Ave??? Dude.....the article referenced crimes in beat 1112 and 1121. Thats from Pulaski going right up to Kedzie....the western edge of the park. BEAT 1121 GOES RIGHT UP TO THE PARK. Youre a former cop....you know this.

    11th DISTRICT MAP - Police Beats
    https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Communities/Districts/District11/Map%20and%20Direction

    Your claim that these crimes happen miles from the park are contrary to the crime stats reported in the READER article. Im not sure what to make of that.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    I really doubt someone will re-draw the boundaries of the HP neighborhood as limited to the 2 or 4 blocks from the actual park. That would mean most of the current HP neighborhood would need a new name. Some suggestions:
    - Humboldt Puke
    - Schmackadelphia
    - Spliffsavania
    - White Chinatown
    - Little Detroit
    - the neighborhood formerly known as HP

  • It would be interesting to see the crime stats for those two beats broken down by north and south of the train tracks (which at kedzie are just south of grand ave).

  • Agreed, Andy. I'm right in this target area (north of tracks, south of Division) and I consider my street really nice with good neighbors.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    I now see that beat 1121 goes south to Franklin. I agree that south of Chicago av, has a different character than the northern part. I have driven around there, and it doesnt seem hispanic down there. Beat 1112 is farther from the park, to Pulaski, but doesnt go as far south as 1121. But the western boundaries of both these beats are nowhere near Cicero Av.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Here we go again, First I wrote the HP map goes to around Cicero/Chicago Ave.'s, The Reader is not the only story about crimes in that area AKA HP! Next, Pulaski/Chicago Ave.'s are ONE AND A HALF MILES away from HP! Anyone that knows the area, knows as soon as you go west of Kedzie on Chicago Ave you are no longer in the PARK. In fact, I would go as far as you have left the planet, The Reader discribes that area to a T and makes in new understanding to the saying "wrong side of the tracks"!!!! I can not make my case more strongly-(that area should not represent the PARK)!!! Now as for the maping, Ukrainain Village had their boundaries defined in City Hall. Politicians in Chicago will do just about anything for a vote and with this, no cost- no brainer, should fly through City Hall. The area around the park- Chicago Ave. to Bloomingdale / Western to Central Park )staying north of Grand Ave. is by no means small and with out a doubt defines the area of and around HUMBOLDT PARK. To save HP from being known as 'the most dangerous neighborhood in the Nation.' we (the true residence of HP) must demand the city to recognize this realistic maping of HP! One more note, yes as a former Chicago Policer, I have talked to my 1121 beat officers, who agree that they very little violent crime calls on 1121's beat north of Grand Ave. compared to the rest of the beat/district and I recall one officer calling the area as HOLLYWOOD and should not be in the 011 district! But do not quote me on that.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    I believe the city uses the name "Humboldt Park" to describe a "community area"....not a neighorhood. Logan Square is another community area, and is a huge area. Then realtors conspired to split it up into 9 separate neighborhoods for marketing reasons. The changes eventually became commonly used.

    You may try to lobby the city to change the name of your community area. I bet you could get support from real estate professionals. Then "Humboldt Park" would only refer to that specific neighborhood.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Sure, the beats referenced are large, and neighborhood quality can change by the block. But Kedzie is the western edge of the park. I dont understand how you can claim Kedzie is not in the HP neighborhood. Saying that I "left the planet" .. . . . thats a personal attack, to distract from the reality that beat 1121 borders the western edge of the park.

    i think the disagreement is in part because the city definition of HP differs greatly from yours. You think HP means "2 to 4 blocks from the park." That seems misleading to me. But I concede that the citys definition includes some areas that seem closer to Garfield Park. That would create some problems with statistics.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    This disparity between the use of names comes up a lot: Humboldt Park is one of the 77 community areas, and a neighborhood within that area, and an actual park. All three with different borders. RAKAR, it might be easier to get recognition as a "neighborhood" immediately around the park than get the "community areas" changed - just a guess.
    However, I'd say Chicago Ave is a little far south for the Humboldt neighborhood. Maybe Augusta would be a better southern border. From Augusta to Grand, Western to California is quite different than the area around the park to the north. I used to live there, and if anything, I'd call it "West Ukrainian Village."

  • Jason -- changing your northern boundary to Chicago Ave, the neighborhood is officially called Smith Park. The local group is the Smith Park Neighborhood Alliance. It's an old Italian neighborhood. Many families live there and have for generations.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Good point - Smith Park is a GREAT little neighborhood (and a fun park). So I guess West UKV would be a little strip between Chicago and Augusta...

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    For a bit of historical irony, when I was growing up in west Humboldt Park, no one in the neighborhood referred to it as part of the Humboldt Park area. It was always referred to as North & Pulaski, or Grand and Pulaski, or whatever the closest intersection was. West Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Austin, and even most of Logan Square was predominantly white ethnic working class, and had crime and gangs (yes, actual white gangs) but Humboldt Park was considered much worse. Riots, cars flipped over and set on fire, more murders, and a much more visible trade in drugs.

    The inversion of areas in this city over time is pretty amazing to me. If you told me back in 1977 that I would own something across from the old Victor Hotel in Wicker Park and live there happily, I would not have believed you. Decades ago, North and Damen was a pretty grim area.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    The c-notes were the only (white) gang I knew of by Smith Park but I think they are history now. I don't think there is a white gang left around HP now, is there?

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    I think all the city's white gangs are history. The Latin gangs have diversified membership it seems, so they have some white gang members. There are websites and videos on YouTube that I am too lazy to hunt up at the moment about the heyday of the Gaylords, Simon City Royals etc.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Wicker Park was a pit 20 years ago. Latin Kings ruled. Many storefronts on Milwaukee were boarded up. Cheap rent, and bars on all the windows. I had some friends that were attacked there. The difference today is almost unrecognizable. But much of that gentrification was driven by the artificial housing market bubble. Im not sure change can happen as quickly now for HP.

  • The C-Notes have a few aging members and new recruits. The beat cops know everyone of them and keep them in line -- at least in their beat.

  • AbraChi 8 year East Humboldt park resident

    Hate to further fuel the eternal border debates but it is important to have correct frame of reference in mind before wholly digesting news stories, articles and perceptions. Yes, the city has not done us a favor by having varying Neighborhood and Community Area boundaries but the generally accepted delineation for crime statistics is indeed the Community Areas (77 of them as earlier mentioned). Perhaps R.A is right and we should do a better job of defining boundaries but I personally hate boundaries and choose instead to see Chicago. It makes it difficult however when many who don't know the area paint HP with such a broad brush. Like R.A. alludes to, issues touched on by the article regarding the western reaches of HP are not emblematic of what we see in the eastern part of the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Not saying that we don't have ours but not even close to what the article describes.

    Steering a bit back to the original incident and location: Do you know that the reported statistics on Humboldt Park DOES NOT include the areas east of the Park (California to Western) - the original subject of this thread ?

    <Continued Below>

  • AbraChi 8 year East Humboldt park resident

    <Continued from above>

    This is because the area east of the Park is actually officially WEST TOWN [area 24] (which is comprised of these "real-estate neighborhoods": Wicker Park, East Humboldt Park, Ukrainian Village, East Village, River West, Noble Square and Smith Park). Verify for yourself from the official city community area map. The Humboldt Park Community area [area 23] begins West of Kedzie between Division and North Ave.
    So yes, "Alex Trebeck", the neighborhood monikers are used by most but officially and for the statistics you read, the Community Areas, you brought up, are almost always used. To improve your resolution in terms of looking at areas, look at the Police Beat. FYI the subject of the article, 11th District (Harrison), is largely Garfield Park. This area does some of HP but the a nice chunk of HP is in the 14th District (Shakespeare) along with Logan Square + the other West Town neighborhoods.

    Want to blow your mind even further? Humboldt Park (the Park) is not a part of (for official stats) Humboldt Park (the Community Area) but is a part of Humboldt Park (the neighborhood). :)

    All in all, when you have issues in your proximity, on your block, it really does not matter what which boundaries say, those issues are paramount to you. Stay safe everyone.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    "Humboldt Park (the Park) is not a part of Humboldt Park (the Community Area)"

    Wow.

  • Alex: I read the READER article also, and when it says:

    "A University of Chicago gang expert called Humboldt Park 'the most dangerous neighborhood in the Nation' "

    it is referencing the year 1984, when Harold Washington was the mayor.

  • Regarding the READER article:

    [In beats 1112 and 1121] "there were more than 1,000 arrests for dealing or possessing heroin last year, accounting for one of every six heroin arrests citywide."

    Anyone able to access data of how many individuals are arrested would concur what we already know from attending court proceedings through court advocacy and from tactical and narcotics officers:

    OUR POLICE ARE ARRESTING THE SAME PEOPLE OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND THE JUDGES ARE THROWING OUT THEIR CASES!

    Yes, there is a huge drug problem in H.P. and elsewhere in the city. But a hypothesis of 500 individuals getting arrested more than once a year is generous. More than likely it is less people involved, operating with impunity and emboldened every time they get their charges dropped by our complicit judicial system.

  • READER article:

    "Beat 1112 consistently ranks in the top three beats citywide in narcotics arrests, while 1121 is always in the top ten."

    So, I don't want to hear ANYBODY pretending to believe that our 11th District Police officers aren't out there busting their buttz.

    Go 11! Make 2000 arrests in 2012! Make them re-open the Cook County prison facility that was wrongfully closed due to a lack of necessity.

    600 beds facility, then a 300 bed facility closed.

    http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/press_page/press_JailBldClosure_03_04_2010.html

  • READER article:

    "Last year at least 17 people were murdered in the two beats (1112 and 1121.)"

    Numbers can change, sometimes pretty quickly.

    In 2010, after 10 people were shot (one to death) in front of Pagan Liquor store in Beat 1121, the voters of the 2nd Precinct of the 26th Ward created a petition, gathered signatures, submitted it downtown, and then in the February 2011 election voted the precinct dry. The result was that the unresponsive business owner was not able to keep his store open, and the gang-bangers had to stop overt drug-dealing becasue their constitutional right to hang out on the corner (as corner store customers) was revoked along with the liquor license. The constitutional rights of the registered voters who LIVE in the area have had a chance of being restored, THANKS TO THEMSELVES.

    In 2011 and to date in 2012, ZERO PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED OR SHOT in front of the (closed) store, although there was a shooting 2 blocks away, where someone shot at a police car and was apprehended.

    The 2nd Precinct boundary at that time was shaped like a slice of pie; it ran from the intersection of Division and Kedzie, south a couple blocks to Thomas, west to Spaulding, south to Grand, Grand northwest to Monticello, and east back to Division and Kedzie. This precinct boundary has recently changed, but that is what it was.

    The precinct is indeed in the target area beats above, with all of the residential area being north of Grand and east of the Metra tracks.

    Or, as most 11th District cops openly admit, the "suburbs" of the 11th District, and the area that they can never get to (becasue of the RR tracks and limited points of entry from the south or west).

    I am happy to call this Wedge of Chicago my home.

  • READER article/Alex:

    " . . . . politicians quickly became adroit at making dramatic announcements every time they could showcase a drug bust."

    Aldermen Maldonado and Moreno got even more pissed when white Australian female cupcake bakers who have been terrorized in the 'hood as a PEACEFUL response created playful menu names based on personal experiences in Humboldt Park.

    If these guys would focus their energy on business development and public safety, we all could be enjoying cupcakes!

    Instead, they try to squeeze racism out of a dry towel and make public statements about it. All that ANYONE who LIVES here wants is to live in peace.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/23/activists-to-protest-bakery-over-crack-bar-remarks-about-humboldt-park/

  • Carlos Munoz CostaRicaCarlos

    Anyone who watches the local news can see more homicides happen in Englewood than any other hood in Chicago, by far.

    I've been doing business in WHP, EHP and WP for over a decade, as a landlord, and recently my tenants have been telling me WHP (at North & Pulaski) is an "up and coming area".

    However, everyone there knows and the staff at Jimmy's wearing gun hosters (with guns in them) will tell you to stay north of Grand Avenue, or risk getting shot. Drug activity goes up exponentially the closer you go west or south to I-290 due to suburban kids getting their high with a quick "drive through" score in K-town.

    Having lived in WP for 20 years now. It was much worse in '92 than HP is today. I was dodging bullets, hookers on North Avenue, chards of glass from broken car windows everywhere and gun shots rang nightly. We didn't see the first unescorted woman walking around (sans the working kind) until the mid 90's.West town has come a long way and will only get better when the Bloomingdale trail's finished it'll accelerate the revitalization of NHP. So excited to see it break ground!

    Someday we'll say "remember when we enjoyed HP all to ourselves/the cheap prices and the extraordinary diversity" as we did in LP and WP 10 and 20 years ago before real gentrification.

    Buy before it's too late or move to Garfield Park (east of K town).

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan
  • AbraChi 8 year East Humboldt park resident

    Carlos Munoz: Thank you for that perspective an optimism. For those of us who purposely chose to anchor in this community, cognizant of its warts and all, it helps to keep that big picture in mind.

    The same virtues (diversity, value, neighborhood-feel, and Chicago's most beautiful park) that attracted us here, keeps us patient as it gets better. And in just the past 5 years, it is leaps and bounds better but there is room for more improvement.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    @ CARLOS: what/where is "K town"?

  • paradoxymoron Neighbor

    @ Jeopardy Host:
    http://bit.ly/JKLFlQ

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    @ EMPTY NESTER: wow. If you get upset by people asking questions, then maybe you should avoid forums.

  • Carlos Munoz CostaRicaCarlos

    Thanks everybody great to be a part of Everyblock.

    K town is on the west side where the street names start with "K". Kedzie to Kostner mostly south of 290, but, north of 290 looks and acts pretty much the same. Stay north of Grand and be safe!

  • paradoxymoron Neighbor

    IT'S A JOKE! :)

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    What is it about "south of grand" that makes it more dangerous? A different gang? Drug houses? More sect 8 housing?

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Alex did you read the Reader? 5 year old shouting his gang name to the police. 5 YEAR OLD GANG MEMBER!!!!!! Dealers say it only weed and out to make a little cash in front of police in the middle of the day! These are the residents, not like the bangers that return in my area during the PR Fest and leave when it is over! The article is actually pro PARK and telling how it is south of Grand Ave. I learned a great deal from the article, Puerto Rican riots in 66 and again in 77, when working class people moved out and the criminals took over. It also pointed out that gentrification is reclaiming the park but not the area that is mostly African-American. Can you believe some people still think gentrification is a bad thing!!! If gentrification means less gangs, crimes and killings, I say give me gentrification and criminals can PUSH OFF!! Again, buildings do not make a neighborhood bad, the criminals that live in them do! You know criminals have to live somewhere (they are not about to change their ways), and I know they do not want to live anywhere near me, I CALL THE POLICE and because of the job I held, I tell them face to face to PUSH OFF!!!!......Have a nice day. NOTE- I suggest anyone else not to confront a gangbanger like I do unless they also have the three decades of training in the art that I have under my belt.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    My favorite part of the article was the alderman who says drug dealers actually complain to him about police enforcement of drug laws.

    Ive confronted gang bangers too, and been threatened. So far, Ive only had a brick thru my front door, and a bullet thru a window. And now there are $200k condos all around me. Not bad for 20 yrs.

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    Gentrification is never a bad thing. True, it can displace honest working renters, but that is at a landlords discretion. I would fault the landlord who does not know his tenants before condemning gentrification entirely.

    As a formerly undesirable area gentrifies into a desirable area, some will be priced out, and some will be pushed out. A thriving dealer or other criminal element with substantial financial resources will have no problem with increasing rent or property taxes, but an honest working tenant may not be able to keep up. A good landlord should seek to keep decent and honest tenants.

    For working class homeowners wise enough to have a fixed rate mortgage, there is rarely an issue. For players taking on properties to dominate a block or area, may use riskier acquisition tools that make them liable to foreclosures.

    As the area gentrifies, there is an educated population less impressed or cowed by bangers and more willing to cooperate with law enforcement against them. The bangers move on. It's not worth the hassle to them. They care about business at the high level. Neighborhood activists interfere with business.

    This is just a fact of urban living. If it was not true, East Lakeview, North & Clybourn, Halsted and Armitage, and all of Wicker Park would still be slums.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    The Puerto Ricans complain about gentrification. Before that the Polish complained about it. Before that, the Potowatomi complained about it. Nobody likes change.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    brain, it is refreshing to read that someone understands what gentrification is about in Chicago. I have been to several community meetings where gentrification is spoke as if it was a four letter word, and even read it in some questionable papers in HP. There are groups that seem to want the gangs to stay (NO CHANGE)! They call whites racist if they talk about shootings in HP (Tipsey Cake owner). I read about a collage doing a study how gentrification is harming HP, can you believe that!
    alex, I do not think it was called gentrification by the Polish when the Puerto Ricans started moving in. I have never read that Polish groups had campaigns like - do not sell (NO SE VENDE),(NO YUPPIES), or had Polish flags placed across streets as to say this area is for Polish only. I worked here when the flags went up and hate crimes against non-Puerto Ricans/whites went through the roof and the hate crimes continue to this day but mainly during the PR fest only now. It sucks when my children are told by bangers that they do not belong in HP and to get out at almost every PR Fest. Everything changes and the gangs and crime leaving HP because of gentrification is a change for the better. I like this change so I guess some others like change also.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    alex, wait to see what happens in the next four years after November in HP! I know you stated you are or were a gang member but becareful when you confront bangers, I have been shot at and I would not like you to go through that! I believe you can take care of yourself, but take care.I like hearing from you on EB and want communication like this to continue.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAKAR....are you referring to me? If so . . . . .

    I HAVE NEVER BEEN A GANG MEMBER.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    As for your advise to take care when confronting gang members -
    Ive been on this street for twenty years, and Im still here. :-)

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    "Gentrification" is a new term. Im not sure what was used 50 yrs ago to describe the racial population changes. The phrase "white flight" was used to describe the response to those changes.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    ALEX, on a different thread, I thought you stated you were or are a gang member. Sorry, must have been someone else. Truely sorry for that that mistake! Still glad your still here after twenty years. I remember HP with Polish bakeries and shops when my parents would bring me here to shop and visit other relatives. There all gone now, the last Polish smoked meat shop just closed and is for sale on the 2700 west block of Division St. That's change for you.

  • OldLady In the 'hood.

    Actually:
    Humboldt Park is NOT a HORRIBLE neighborhood. It is a real community. I have little babies and I am not afraid of this neighborhood at all. Whoever thinks that it is should pay a visit to Englewood or Garfield Park and redefine their definition of a bad neighborhood.

    There are not gangbangers hanging outside of liqour stores 24-7, prostitutes walking up and down the block, cluckers pretending to wait at the bus stop. And if you do see gang bangers in Humboldt Park I'm sure it won't be longer than an hour. Why for such a short amount of time? Because it is becoming a gentrified neighborhood and the yuppies who moved from Lakeview to Humboldt Park because it's more affordable are calling the police. All the 'bad people' know this and avoid police confrontation. The higher the police presence or likelihood of them intercepting them hanging out or crimes, the less likely it will happen, or that you will see these people.
    So, please re-consider what you may think is a bad neighborhood. When you're sweeping your porch outside and hear gunshots and cars screeching then you decide to go inside to move your babies to the other side of the house just in case it moves to your block: then you would be living in a bad neighborhood.

    Sometimes, people shoot at each other, it happens. But when it's an occasional shooting in a neighborhood, like oh, once a month or once a season? And when it happens, it's the talk of the town, you don't live in a bad neighborhood. You live in a neighborhood that was once a bad neighborhood and is in the motions of being sweeped of street violence.
    I have a family and I am not scared to walk my toddler and newborn down the street. I think this feeling should be mutual among neighbors.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Now that is telling them na-sayers Jenn Henn, good for you!

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    My family moved to North Humboldt Park from West Humboldt Park about 8 years ago. It was like moving to the suburbs, as far as we were concerned. Grass on the parkways, quiet at night, minimal to no illegal activity on our block (we do have an on again/off again problem with street walking hookers on the corner of North Avenue and St. Louis, but they have to play cat and mouse with the police, which at least counts for something). North Humboldt Park and West Humboldt Park are two different worlds. Two different planets. North Humboldt Park is still a little rough around the edges, but the signs of change are everywhere.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    More good news, thanks Heather, can say around where west HP to around where north HP?

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    I used to live on Ridgeway south of Division, and now I am on N. St. Louis, north of North Avenue. In what is a very, very short distance geographically, we crossed Division, Grand, and North Avenue. These are three major dividing lines that create a significant buffer zone between our old neighborhood and this one. This is what makes HP so hard to define, and so confusing to many reporters and outsiders. You just can't say "Humboldt Park" and have that be enough to explain the area. It bothers me when reporters do that - but the Reader article was excellent. That was our old neighborhood all right - we lived right there very close to several of the blocks mentioned in the article.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Heather, glad you survived.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    HEATHER: , how is gang activity north of North Ave, around you? How far west of you do you have to go to notice it getting worse?

  • Conor Klaus Sox Fan, teacher, musician, married w/ lil boy

    I gentrified and paid one A. Santana thrice his investment - no harm no foul I wish him well with his cash money. The no yuppie activists were barking up the wrong tree - if you sell it we will come. I lived over in Twilight 2002-04 1242 N Campbell to be exact that patch of the city is just too hot. Many folks made a simple directional generalization i.e. East must be better than West HP and that is definitely not true

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    @RAKA, we didn't really feel too unsafe ourselves in WHP- everyone knew us, since we kind of stood out :) Of course, stray bullets don't discriminate and if you live over there long enough you are going to have some close calls. But again, that can happen anywhere. And safety is relative - I would sit out on my porch or my neighbor's porch at night, but I would never have walked off my block after dark.

    We did get really tired of the open air drug markets though, and watching so many little kids growing up and getting caught up in the street life.

    @alex As for gang activity in NHP, I don't notice too much west of here, but I don't walk any further west than Central Park. I don't have any reason to.

    I used to see a lot of gang loitering just east of here, actually - Wabansia and Kimball, on the corner, and east to about Wabansia and Spaulding. There was a raid on the 1600 block of Spaulding recently, and there has been a pretty heavy police presence ever since, so in the last couple of weeks I haven't seen much of anything in terms of loitering. The police are sending a message.

    There is a police camera on Wabansia and Drake, another on Wabansia and St. Louis, and another on Wabansia and Kimball. We've seen a squad car parked recently at North and Spaulding, so bangers are running out of places to loiter. They'll find someplace, they always do, but with the Bloomingdale underway soon, I think they'll have to forget about Wabansia, and this immediate area, altogether.

  • AbraChi 8 year East Humboldt park resident

    Conor: True. We too had the "no yuppie" folks tagging our place even before we moved in. Fortunately, it was all good after they realized we didn't bite. :) The 1200 block of N. Campbell has had its share of challenges for specific reasons that I am sure you are aware of however it is nowhere close to where it was a decade ago when you bought there. That block has a lot of very active and involved neighbors. I chuckled reading the 'Twilight Zone' moniker. Don't hear much of that anymore. I hear it was indeed the case in the 80's through the '90s, or thereabouts.
    @Heather: We are really keeping our fingers crossed that the Trail gets off the ground this time. It was one of the factors that brought us here but after 10 years of several starts and stops, our enthusiasm has waned a bit until it happens.

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    @AbraChi, Rahm wants the Bloomingdale open by September 2014, with construction to start this coming January. They are in the final planning stages of the design and had planned on awarding contracts sometime this year - I think that plan is still on track.

  • Andrew Electrical whizz

    For what it's worth, I'm one of those rats that lives south of Grand, west of Pulaski, in "West West" HP (or whatever it's called). I've lived here for five years now; given property values, I'll probably be running out my mortgage here.

    It's not all that bad, all things considered. Maybe it's just that my block is older and more stable than others, but it definitely doesn't fit the mold of constant gangbanging and drug dealing. Other than one house, it seems like people mostly just keep to themselves. My neighbors say hi to me when they go past, and I say hi to them. There is some property crime: we have a lot of very aggressive scrappers trolling the alleys, and sometimes the back yards and the garages. But so far, it's not been all that bad.

    Now, south of Division gets scary, and so does east of Pulaski to about Central Park or so: Springfield Ave. has a reputation as a constant gang hangout spot. And Potomac Avenue over here is just a disaster area, unless you like drugs. But all of that feels like it's fairly well contained to its own blocks. It's not, as far as I've seen, a really rampant problem.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Andrew, becoming use to it is a very bad thing! That is the #1 reason that area is so bad. Go visit Lincoln Park and see what a neighborhood should look like and you should understand what I mean. I remember when I moved into HP with non-stop police/fire and ambulance sirens and gangs everywhere, and my neighbors said this is no big deal!!!! I was forced out of Lincoln Park because of the size of my family and rents besides a few other things and could not believe that HP people thought this was a normal way of life. Normal for Iraq maybe...no wait it was safer there a few years ago!

  • Beach and Homan - 30 Years 30 Year resident HP, 60 Year, Lifelong Chicago Res

    @HEATHER: Do you understand the implications of the police car "parked" at North and Spalding?

    That means that that car has been assigned to "hot spot" duty by the district / Superintendent, and it can GO NO WHERE ELSE and RESPOND TO NOTHING during the entire 8 hour period that it is sitting in the assigned spot.

    A hot spot duty car cannot go outside of it's assigned "zone" during its entire duty roster - for ANY reason. This is part of a new experiment by Mayor ONE TERM and Superintendent NO BRAINS who have cooked up an idea that if you intimidate the gangs enough the problem will go away. Unfortunately it does not go away. It also causes all kinds of other problems because now you have one vehicle and two officers who are, for all practical purposes, out of service for anything except their baby sitting duty.

    This is also going to end next week as all officers are assigned 12 hour days and assigned to the "red zone" downtown and completely REMOVED from neighborhood duty.

    Effective sometime in the next two weeks, and running through May 22, many roads in Chicago will be CLOSED TO traffic and activity in the Downtown area will be restricted only to those with specific NATO reasons to be there.

    The areas to be affected include:

    - NORTH AVE on the north to 39th St on the South.

    - DAMEN Ave on the west to the LAKE.

    - The Kennedy Expressway completely closed 100 or more times to provide protection to dignitaries.

    - LAKE SHORE DRIVE will be completely closed for several days.

    - NO parking downtown

    - Museums, including the Art Institute, Museum Campus, and Museum of Science and Industry off limits at certain times.

    - When dignitaries travel to neighborhood restaurants, all traffic in the are of the restaurant will be REMOVED from the street.

    - ARMED and UNIFORMED MILITARY PRESENCE downtown and through the RED ZONE and where ever "dignitaries" travel.

    continued . . .

  • Beach and Homan - 30 Years 30 Year resident HP, 60 Year, Lifelong Chicago Res

    continued from previous comment:

    Beginning today, the Chicago police transition from having complete authority to being under the control and supervision by the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service, so all bets are off on any local protection and gang control for at least a month.

    Enjoy the constant supervision of the gangs by the car locked into the babysitting zone at North and Spaulding for the rest of the week because the gangs will take back control next week as the NATO police and military presence escalates and Chicagoans loose more of our Constitutional rights while Chicago hosts what could become one of the biggest riots since the Democratic National Convention of 1968.

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    @Beach and Homan - The hotspot car at North and Spaulding was never going to be there long term, NATO summit or no NATO summit.

    That doesn't affect the long term positive momentum of this neighborhood.

  • Inactive user

    neighbor on cortez: Your stating HP is better living than Lincoln Park? I worked in Lincoln Park from 1966 thru 2011 and there is no comparison to HP. And Emily: I seen HP then and I don't care to see it now. I also knew what the southside looked like then and seen what it looks like now when shown on TV . Boarded up stores, run down buildings. I seen Cabrini Green when it was built and before it was knocked down I am living in this building for 7 years and so far there has not been any shootings down the block. But Howard street is a different story although the police arrested 17 people and looking for 4 more. When you see 3 or 4 young blacks sitting on the bench at the bus stop you mind your business and wait for your bus. You can't pinpoint every young black as a gang member.

  • Inactive user

    Jenn, are you serious? Humboldt Park has to be one of the largest cesspools this city has to offer. What makes Humbolt Park different than Garfield or Englewood when you have people getting shot in the head in Humbolt Park? This type of violence anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere. You can't elevate your community over another when the same crap is happening in your back yard.

  • "I don't care what it looks about now, I saw it 30 years ago." Your opinion is outdated and ignorant. By the way, I didn't say that all young black men waiting for the bus were gang members. I quoted YOU as your words seemed to strongly contradict what you said in another comment. You are welcome to stay in your own neighborhood; we aren't missing you here!

  • J.W. and others:

    I can't speak about Englewood, but the difference between what I see in Garfield Park and Humboldt Park is the number of people who care and are working together to clean things up. In Garfield Park, the concentration of good people is growing, but is quite a bit lower than in HP. Parts of Humboldt Park have reached a critical mass of being considered quite safe and family friendly.

    About 50% of the time, the dunderheads arrested in H.P. for drugs, violence, etc. are NOT from the neighborhood, but for some reason (location, location, location) like to be in H.P. This might not mean much to jerk wads who are seemingly experts on all neighborhoods Chicago, but to those of us who live here TODAY it means that the bases of criminal activity are moving away from us, and we are intelligently fighting against those that remain, as well as the imports/visitors, to speed healthy neighborhood growth, safety, and progress.

    Mariann: Again, I remind you that your neighborhood of Rogers Park has its own problems, including the unique multicultural diversification of gangs that is happening there, etc. and RP is far from perfect. However, instead of considering it like I might a bad restaurant experience where I give it an appropriate review, tell a few friends to avoid it, and choose to dine elsewhere, I choose to look at the problems of R.P. as being connected to the ones in my own beloved H.P. Drugs, gangs and violence in the city is drugs, gangs and violence in the city and it should concern all of us who live here. And, if a "bad" restaurant gets a new chef or is under new management, I might try it again.

    Humboldt Park has a new menu.

    I don't blame you for hating on H.P.; but 30 years is a long time. Things change. H.P. is well on its way to branding a new reputation AND out of vigilance we will never forget where we were...

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    HP is way better than Englewood or Garfield Park!!!! A closed mind is a waste, do not try to talk sense to to someone who does not have the sense to listen. They love where they live and I love that they live there to and not next to me.

  • Inactive user

    How does a community become "better" than another community when said community has the exact same social ills as the community that it's professed to be better than? Humbolt Park, like other areas of the city is a disgusting, pathetic place to live and I wouldn't even raise my dog, let alone my kid in a neighborhood like that. Gangs, corrupt cops, shootings, murders, etc. a neighborhood to be proud of, for certain!

  • Heather Haskins Mom of 2, natural building enthusiast

    The Mute user button is a nice feature on this site.

  • Agreed, Heather! I used it for the first time today!

  • I am delighted to know that a number of close-minded people who have made themselves known in this conversation LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE. While I am no authority on Humboldt Park, I live here, and have an up-to-the-minute perspective on my surroundings.

    One of the problems that H.P. suffers is most evident during the Puerto Rican Festival, when hoodlums who have left the area (for many reasons, including that they are "wanted" here by police and earned enemies) RETURN thinking that nothing has changed.

    In fact, gang-bangers DO VISIT HUMBOLDT PARK IN GREAT NUMBERS during the Puerto Rican Festival, and inevitably somebody gets shot or stabbled, and the residents suffer from the brief return to mass idiocy.

    For the other 51 weeks of the year, at least in the area of HP where I live, it is safe. In eight years I have never been shot at, threatened with a weapon, had my residence burgalarized or vandalized, etc.

    In nearby blocks, where neighbors are lazy or not as vigilant (or the number of good people is low), it is probably worse, but then again, I don't really know.

    Making blanket statements about Humboldt Park or any neighborhood is ignorant. Chicago is made up of neighborhoods within neighborhoods, and quite often enclaves are developed block by block.

    I think that I'll rely on my own first-hand experiences, and other data such as the census and statistics, which all clearly show me what is happening to my part of the city. GENTRIFICATION OMG!

    Some people stick around and effect change; others can't hack it and tuck their tail between their legs and move on...Good luck but I will be happy here.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    My building was burglarized in 1991, 1994, 2005 and last summer. My garage is super secure, but there have been at least 5 attempts to break in (counting the crowbar marks on my door.) I have had a brick thrown thru my front door. Have had 4 windows ruined with BB pellets. I caught two kids trying to steal my car in 1998, my vespa was stolen in 2001, and my girlfriends minivan was stolen in 2009. And had two gun shots thru my window.

    The good news is there has never been a drive-by shooting on my block, but there are a couple of "hang out" locations a block away where it has happened. Maybe 30 times in 20 years. I have never heard of a woman being attacked in my neighborhood.

    Im near California and Augusta.

    Full disclosure: I tend to call police when things happen and the gangs know it. Plus I have, on occasion, gone out to have a "friendly chat" with people when i thought I could discourage some inappropriate activities. On a cost/benefit analysis, I find the real estate prices are affordable. while the hassles and dangers are manageable.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Alex, you have a thick skin! I have seen others flee at a drop of a hat but that appears to be happening less and less. Get a dog, I have six and zero burglaries in over a decade! My wifes fish in a pond out front have been wiped out a couple of times but my neighbors helped replace them the last time and that was a few years ago. I have great caring neighbors here.

  • MK

    I've heard some people mention 'issues' on the 1200 block of Campbell... Are these recent? (other than the shooting that started this thread which seems to be a block away).
    I am not to far from there, seems quiet... Other than kids after school and one thug that walks around threatening his own son.
    This is what makes me sad... Some of these kids have no hope for a future because of their thug parents.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    A lot of problems were at Rockwell & Augusta, but then the city installed a blue light and things are better now. Seems there are more problems now at California & Augusta.

    Each burglary has a different method of entry. After each, I made changes to address the specific security weakness. Last year, a 1st floor air conditioner got pushed in. so I installed window security bars.

    As for thick skin, well....my building is a business, so I consider the hassles as just a cost of doing business. The neighborhood issues are just the price I pay for caring about my neighborhood. All my neighbors are good people. Even many of the gang kids are nice, although misguided. Most seem to respond positively to courtesy and respect.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • With all due respect, Humboldt Park is inhabited by many races now, not just Puerto Rican. If your intent is to keep it Puerto Rican, you have failed. I believe the latest census shows that PR no longer has the majority. I can appreciate you being proud of your heritage. However, acting like your race is the only one that should have a say in the community IS RACIST and exclusionary of many of the people who live and pay taxes in Humboldt Park.

  • O.k. let's try to read the exact words I used and resist the temptation to interpret them through your lens. First Puerto Rico is not a race, it is an enthnicity/nationality. Using race identifiers (white, black, asian, etc.) IS indeed racist. Second I NEVER stated that Puerto Ricans should be the only people who have a say in the community. My efforts at preserving the cultural identity and history of HP, especially the Paseo Boricua community, are not intended to erase or negate any other ethnic presence. If Mexicans, Central Americans, or African-Americans want to do the same as me, I would say they are within their rights to do so. In addition, I never said that Emily, mr. Raka, or any other residents couldn't or shouldn't be active in improving the community. I did critique the fact that when the Puerto Rican leaders/activists are mentioned, we are referred to in a negative light. That is why I mentioned La Estancia.,

  • paradoxymoron Neighbor

    I don't see any negative mentions of PR leaders and activists on this thread. Did I miss it?

    Also, I have to agree with you that preserving one's heritage is not inherently racist, but, it is racist when the DSBDA DENIES the right of any non-PR entrepreneur to open a business on the Paseo. That is racist.

    Your PR leaders are holding this area back by denying others from opening businesses here.

    If you flip your comments around, and replace PR with any other Race, Ethinicity, Heritage, or whatever you want to call it, you will see that it comes across as exclusionary, and indeed, racist. If someone posted something like that on these blogs, there would be hell to pay.

    Re your comment: "My efforts at preserving the cultural identity and history of HP, especially the Paseo Boricua community, are not intended to erase or negate any other ethnic presence" - is incorrect, in that keeping something the same does indeed negate any other ethnic presence. You see how that works?

  • Raul: your quote

    "Your three person protest was not emough to stop La "Estancia..."

    seems a little out of line, especially when Raka seems to be community activist. You state:

    "I do not appreciate the tone against long-time residents and community activists taken on this site..."

    Sounds like the kettle calling the pot black, senor.

    In the book "Engaging the Community in Decision Making. Case Studies Tracking Participation, Voice and Influence" by Roz Diane Lasker and John A. Guidry, the 2nd chapter illustrates what block clubs can do about subsidized housing development.

    If you read the names, you see some that are Hispanic-sounding, and you also see UNITED BLOCKS mentioned.

    UNITED BLOCKS and the BLOCK CLUB FEDERATION had a lot to do with the location of such developments, and helped to scale them back a little bit, making them slightly less unmanageable.

    United Blocks is a multi-cultural, multi-racial group of concerned citizens who are looking to keep the working-class potential intact for our neighborhood. It was 15 years ago, and so it remains.

    I believe that Raka is a member of United Blocks.

    Welcome to the neighborhood, Raul. Raka and others who see the world through a different lens have been here a long time, and unlike others, are open to diversity, and except for the police horses, are in opposition to horse-blinders.

  • Raul:

    I read a lot of things that sound "goofy" to me in your post(s).

    You state: "...If Mexicans, Central Americans, or African-Americans want to do the same as me, I would say they are within their rights to do so..."

    Uh, are you forgetting anyone?

    You don't have to wait for the 2010 Census in order to see how diverse H.P. is, and how naturally inclined MOST people are to live this way.

    You state: "...and for those residents that cannot afford to live elsewhere." WTF? Foreclosures and short sales are available everywhere. Home sale prices show that homes are incredibly affordable. Or, in your defense of the La Estancia project and the neighborhood did you mean people who cannot pay for rent or manage the ownership of a house on their own for a variety of reasons?

    You state: "...to self-determine the development of their community." Does self-determine mean self-pay, or are you one of those who advocates the use of TIF funds and other community resources only to serve your purpose of preserving the "...Puerto Rican identity of this community I so love"?

    Do whatever you want, as it is a free country, but pay your own way, like the rest of us, and let's use TIF funds and other community resources to pursue projects that benefit EVERYONE in the community.

    This land is your land,
    This land is my land...
    This land was made for you and me.

  • I appreciate the dialogue. I do not speak for DSBDA nor any other organization in the community. I feel like I can share, though, the sentiments of countless Puerto Rican community activists that have been struggling to improve the quality of life of Humboldt Park long before it became a trendy place to invest in. I choose my words carefully so when I listed other ethnicities/nationalities, it was my intent to list people groups who are historically marginalized and oppressed by the dominant group(s) in this country. However, I think Irish, Italians, Polish, Jews and Norwegians should also preserve the identity of thier people in HP, if any remain. Being Puerto Rican, however, I need to focus MY energy on Puerto Ricans. United Blocks of West Humboldt Park were indeed critical in the case study outlined in the "Engaging the Community in Decision Making" textbook. But I would argue that the organization looks significantly different than when the homes for new mothers project was being developed. You should note that I am listed as a contributor in the book since I was part of the working group as a partner of NNNN in the multi-year effort. Also worth noting is the Puerto Rican community's effort at saving the oldest Puerto Rican mural in Chicago-the other case that was included in the book. I was intimately involved in ensuring that the vacant lot on Artesian and North was controlled by the community and recently oversaw the development of the community garden space that we enjoy today. Lastly, if people are put off by the celebration of Puerto Rican culture and presence in a community does that mean it should stop? I say no! Celebrate YOUR culture, YOUR identity, YOUR presense in HP. Because I sure as hell will celebrate MINE. Sorry if my post seems a bit "goofy" to anyone. Although I never ridiculed anyone's post on this thread.

  • Raul:

    No matter what someone says, if what is said is in opposition to you or another monomaniacal "activist" whose ideas you support, it seems to be a uniform response to point a finger and claim "ridicule" or personal attack,

    Unfortunately, I have been here a long time, and I have come to understand what is happening in this neighborhood.

    Some of my best neighbors, and good friends are Puerto Rican. When you say things like "if people are put off by the celebration of Puerto Rican culture" it sounds like you are making a very negative, disturbing, and damaging assumption.

    And while a lot of people in my neighborhood are frequently celebrating, I am working, paying my bills. Some of those who celebrate a lot have been evicted, or their homes now sit vacant. Why? Too much celebration and less work-ethic in what Humboldt Park is: A WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD.

    Your viewpoint will not serve your interests well. You are participating in the active alienation of decent, hard-working and open minded neighbors and community members.

    And you bet that I will celebrate MY culture, MY identity, and MY presence in HP. But I will do so with my own funds.

    All that I ask, Raul, is that you use your own money to celebrate yours.

    See ya in the Park! Se vende Humboldt Park! Over 150 homes CURRENTLY listed for sale, where the average selling price is $60,000! Affordable housing in Chicago is here! Come and get it!

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    I was born and raised in the greater Humboldt Park community. Years ago, I purchased my first home in Wicker Park, not too far away from the area I grew up in which was too dangerous to live in. I am interested in seeing the quality of life improve in in HP for the reasons posted on this thread. It would be great to see the long-time working class families that have not sold their buildings realize a hard earned return on their investment.

    I do not appreciate the tone against HP residents and community activists taken on this site, especially from Mr. Raul who is anxious to prop himself as a resident who is committed to building up the community but has a clear bias in favor of who he regards as the rightful residents of HP. Your quaint and dated identity politics are not enough to stop HP from being a successful, diverse, and safe community and will hardly be sufficient to distract anyone from attempting to self-determine the development of their community.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    I have seen complaints about multiple gangs attending the fest, complaints about severe violence during the fest, and complaints about anti-white racist comments. I have also seen false accusations of racism made against a white HP pastry maker. But I have never seen anyone post anti-PR comments. Of course, I could have missed it, and would welcome a link to such a post.

  • I think that I am familiar with the mural you speak of "The Crucifixion of Don Pedro Albizu Campos."

    That's the one that cost all of us tax-payers a million dollars or more.

    Some money went to pay attorney and court costs to sue the developer who constructed one floor of a new legal, permitted structure.

    Some money went to pay for the demolition of the structure and subsequent purchase of the site from the developer. Some money went to wrest control of this privately owned property out of the developers hands and place it into the hands of a very few; NOT in the hands of the COMMUNITY, mind you, but leaders of the PR community.

    Some money went to repaint and restore the mural.

    Some money went to landscape, garden and fence in the lot.

    Some money went for signs.

    What does the mural celebrate, in addition to other Puerto Rican cultural figures?

    TERRORISTS! People who brought guns into the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol shooting incident (1954). Look it up on google. Five Representatives were shot.

    This group is the one that carried out an assassination attempt on U.S. President Harry S. Truman on November 1, 1950.

    Raul, is the spending of a million bucks of US Taxpayers money on this mural off-putting? It certainly is. This money should ALL have come from private sources, NOT everybody's money!!!

    This is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about. Instead of spending public money to preserve decaying relics of a violent past, we should be spending every available dollar on preserving our city's infrastructure, making improvements to schools, building educational park programs, and on things that benefit everyone.

    I know that diversity is important, and it is one of the reasons I am in Chicago, and remain in Humboldt Park. But geez. I want a refund. Mural restoration = not a good deal.

    Job well done, however.

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    Raul: "my focus is preserving the Puerto Rican identity of this community I so love"
    You are aware that identity has been around for a very short time, right? If it thrives, and people want to stay, it will survive, and be a valued part of the community.
    But fighting to freeze a neighborhood in time is a losing game.
    Try concentrating on education and jobs. Then people can afford to live wherever they want.
    For what it's worth, I grew up in Old Town, but now I couldn't afford a cup of coffee over there. Am I mad? Who cares? 18 years was plenty. Why fight over turf?
    Unless of course you're just trying to keep a concentrated ethnic voting bloc in place. In which case, I guess that's just Chicago being Chicago, but be prepared when others don't get behind you.

  • Wow! It is apparent that the main voices on this thread are not people interested in dialogue and exchange. It seems that people like humboldtwriter, alex trebec, and others are only interested in people who support THEIR perspective on what Humboldt Park should be about. I have been cordial in trying to share my perspective, while avoiding disagreement with YOUR opinions. I hope that others who view this thread and EB can see who you really are. You come off as supportive as long as the comments support your views. There has been no attempt to really see things through my lens. You mention a book to support your points but when I mention the same book to shore up my own credibility you skirt over it only to bring in other divisive subjects such as terrorism and taxpayer funds. In addressing my comments about "being put off by my celebrating my culture" you say I am making "dangerous assumptions", yet you prove that they are not merely assumptions but statements rooted in fact, "Why? Too much celebration and less work-ethic". The last string of comments prove to me that the dominant voices on this list are part of the dominant class in this nation. I wonder if the poor and working class Mexican and African American families that live in HP and Paseo Boricua are as angry about me celebrating my culture as you on this list? I affirm and validate Raka's right to build up the community and UBOWHP's right to do the same. But when I try to assert that right I get attacked. Thanks for exposing your true colors and your true interests. Make it a great one!

  • HUMBOLDT MUD & SUN East Humboldt Park

    Rebuilding our neighborhood and Division between the flags is a great point. How did this shooting in the alley 50 feet from Division at 7pm on a warm sunny day happen? I call it failures across the board. Failure on the part of all the neighborhood Joes and Josephines walking to the store or restaurant for not calling 911 on the obvious drug activity they had to walk through. Failure on the part of the police when they just drive by even if average Joe and Josephine call. Failure on whomever monitors the multiple cameras on Division. Failure on every business owner who do not call 911 or pressure the DSBDA to take some action. Failure on the DSBDA for obviously doing nothing to keep the street clean of gangbangers and not courting new businesses to rejuvinate the strip so many more neighborhood Joes and Josephine would spend their money at. If you live around here, go ahead look outside right now and watch all the people who choose to live in this neighborhood go east of western or north of North or south of Division to spend their money. You may even be one of them.

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    Raul, your writing is passive aggressive, your lens in monocular and your goals are exclusionary and conditional on a national identity one can only be born with. You are not looking for dialogue and exchange, you are looking for affirmation and approval. You may want to try some critical thinking.

    Or maybe you are right, maybe it just every other person in HP that is crazy, and you are the only sane voice of reason.

  • Raul:

    I looked back at an earlier post of yours and saw that you wrote: "Using race identifiers (white, black, asian, etc.) IS indeed racist."

    I guess that pretty much invalidates the US Census, eh?

    Now I understand.

  • Raul:

    You state that I: "bring in other divisive subjects such as terrorism and taxpayer funds."

    Well, I really don't have to think that hard, long or philosophically about what people should be considered when they SHOOT OTHER PEOPLE, including elected officials of the US Government. Terrorist is the modern 9/11 version, but I suppose I could hearken back to the day when it was just called violent anarchy.

    Taxpayer funds are going to get more and more into focus, as the city, county, state, and nation gets deeper and deeper into debt.

    I find a lot of unity with a diverse body of people who share my concern about how to invest and spend taxpayer money.

    If you want to use taxpayer money to uphold your culture, you are going to have to ask politely, as the days of grabbing are over.

    You rammed us into the great divide when you talk about Humboldt Park in terms that most prominently include all things Puerto Rican, begrudgingly include "Mexicans, Central Americans, or African-Americans" and fail to mention anyone else. This isn't a chalkboard, and you aren't holding the eraser.

    This place is a mess if you try to point out all of the differences. It is really quite beautiful if you blend a little...

  • Raul:

    When I said "Why? Too much celebration and less work-ethic" with regard to people getting evicted or losing their homes to foreclosure, I guess you took this to mean the celebration that occurs during the P.R. Fest?

    What I was talking about is not about a 4-day event. I was talking about a year-round lifestyle that includes people intoxicated or high pretty much all day, everyday, sitting on couches and/or porches, or WORSE, slinging drugs in my neighborhood and gang-banging, and taking that money somewhere else.

    People should be out doing something legit to earn cash and a bit of pride in earning a living and being a productive member of society.

    There aren't enough non-profits or TIF funds in the world to save and protect people against their own laziness and bad habits.

    On my block, a significant percentage of "affordable" homes built during the past decade are being foreclosed.

    You can't grant a work ethic.

    Those of us who have it will celebrate AFTER the bills are paid.

    Regarding your statement about me being from "part of the dominant class in this nation" I'm not sure if I am about to laugh or throw up. Fascinating perspective you have; always ready to be OPPRESSED or a VICTIM for something that one is born with.

    White, black, brown skin, male, female, straight, gay, satanist, evangelical, and those of us who can't tell the difference between any of the above we all live here, know it ain't Paradise, so all this talk about CLASS is pretty bogus. Middle class? I don't think so. Working class, yes.

    Anybody who reads these posts has no question about what kind of person I am and with what I am concerned. It is mostly things with which you don't seem concerned. Herein lies the difference.

    Best of luck Raul. Hope to hear from you again, but you won't get a free pass from me if you write something that just isn't right, accurate, or fair.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAUL: as I posted earlier, you are welcome to link to any previous post that illustrates anti-PR sentiments. Personally, I have not seen that. But I could have missed it.

    I do agree with others that it will be hard to keep any neighborhood from changing. When real estate prices change, then the demographics change. Thats not racism. Its basic economics. Thats happened to Irish, Polish, Mexican, German, Italian etc neighborhoods across Chicago.

  • Beach and Homan - 30 Years 30 Year resident HP, 60 Year, Lifelong Chicago Res

    Without attacking anyone personally, I need to make a statement that is probably floating in the minds of many who have been reading these comments.

    EVERY PERSON in Chicago, is in IMMIGRANT. In fact, almost every person in the US, save for Native Americans, are immigrants. We are, almost all of us, descended from non-native sources.

    My generation of my family came together from France, Germany, Ireland and Italy - pretty much in equal parts. We also have a tiny bit of Native American, Spanish, Norwegian within those blood lines, but those are "trace amounts" -- just enough to make individuals in our family interesting.

    As a child, I lived in a diverse world of languages. At home, as the 2nd generation born in the US, we spoke exclusively English. While we were at any of our grandparents homes, where there were usually 3 generations of family members living under the same roof, usually in a big old house, we were immersed in the culture and tongue of the first generations: French, German, and Italian. At 4 I spoke pretty good French and Italian. I never did get the hang of German because my Mother's Grandmother passed away when I was very young.

    My family's first and 2nd generations spoke their native languages at home and learned to speak English in public and at work. My Great Grandmothers and Grandfathers taught me to love the foods and traditions of those countries from which my family members came but also taught me to respect the traditions and English language. If I did not speak correctly, or I did not respect someone, I was reprimanded by my family - not by law enforcement officers.

    If I got in trouble in school, I got into a whole LOT more trouble when I got home - literally being grounded and having my bicycle taken away from me for an entire summer.

    continued in next post . . .

  • Beach and Homan - 30 Years 30 Year resident HP, 60 Year, Lifelong Chicago Res

    . . . continued from previous post:

    The difference I see between my background, and, I suspect, the backgrounds of a huge majority of American's is that we melted together to create what is now America - with all of the uniqueness and idiosyncratic contributions of each of our original generations and the countries from which our Parents came from.

    My issue with much of what I see going on today is that there are several groups of new immigrants who have no desire to acclimate to their new Country -- they have no desire to blend with the American culture.

    If we are going to bring back a culture where everyone respects each other, then we need to begin by respecting both our individual cultures and the cultures of every other person. We need to respect our roots, and adopt to live in the culture of the Country in which we live, and that includes having everyone adopt English as their primary language - no matter what other language or language they speak at home.

  • Raul:

    When you state things like: "Being Puerto Rican, however, I need to focus MY energy on Puerto Ricans"

    You are stating that you are engaged in a RACIST agenda amongst Hispanics. The bottom line here is that there are many more Mexicans in the neighborhood than Puerto Ricans, and on my block there are several Central American and South American families and individuals, which is also representative of the greater neighborhood. If you feel as though Puerto Ricans deserve something over and above what any of these other Latinos deserve, which oozes from your every post, then you are acting in a racially superior manner and are a RACIST in my opinion.

    I've been to NNNN meetings in the past. A very small group of people who can't even pay their phone bill. I am sure they did a lot for the Puerto Rican agenda, but once the grant money is gone to pay their salary, the activism dries up for the most part.

    On the other hand, folks like myself and others around me are not on any payroll for doing the community work we do, and will remain consistently involved as best we can. The work we do IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY. It has NOTHING to do with race, upbringing, language, class, wealth, being trendy, etc. We live here, we would work here if there were any jobs to be had, and we sometimes play here when we aren't spending our money outside of the community because there are so few places to spend it here.

    If you would get rid of the myopic view of the neighborhood that you have, you might find people like myself, who might not take stock in your brand of cordiality, have their own heartfelt and genuine concerns AND IT IS STUPID TO BE FIGHTING AGAINST EACH OTHER and unavoidable progress.

  • Raul, when a million dollars of tax money is spent on a mural that celebrates and promotes the beatification of individuals that use violence and the threat of violence to promote their beliefs, AND there is very little economic/business development in the community, WHAT MESSAGE DOES THIS SEND TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION?

    In my opinion, it glorifies guns and violence, diminishes the importance of dialogue and peaceful disagreement, and equates leaders of terrorist acts with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ.

    All kids in this neighborhood need a decent education, and a decent chance of gainful and legal employment.

    Is it more important to stimulate that mural or stimulate economic growth. A million dollars! That money could have been invested in dozens of businesses, enabling them to expand, modernize, and hire employees.

    And that million is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Billy Ocasio and other leaders in the Puerto Rican community would rather "honor" Puerto Rican culture, instead of enable self-worth by stimulating businesses and thereby work ethic. I hope the current Alderman can serve the broader best interests of the community.

    Teaching kids how to work will serve them their whole life.

    Teaching them to solve their problems by shooting people will serve them until they are caught or killed.

  • Raul:

    Your "efforts at preserving the cultural identity and history of HP, especially the Paseo Boricua community" has created and sustained a DEAD-ZONE in the natural growth and development of a community. Division St. from Western to California is full of vacant commercial buildings, properties that nobody will buy, and TONS of non-profits and clinics. That may represent greatness to you, but to me it leaves a lot to be desired. The Paseo may be festive and lively when there are big parties going on, but drive through on a non-festival Friday or Saturday night, and you see a lot of dark windows, an illegal club or two, gang-bangers hanging around, and the few restaurants and bars that are there struggling to keep their doors open. Plenty of parking, though.

    "Saving" the Paseo for the exclusive use of Puerto Ricans has failed. I don't mind if you hold onto the dream. I understand and have accepted that I have to zip up to North Ave, or down to Chicago Ave., or a few blocks east of the Paseo to have a good and safe time. But you have held back a generation of Puerto Ricans from having gainful employment in the very neighborhood that you so desperately want to keep as your own. How are non-working residents supposed to afford to live anywhere?

    I don't argue with Al (Albert Einstein), when he says:

    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for WAR."

    You cannot simultaneously prevent (non-PR) development and prepare for (PR) development.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Raul, you gave me a fantastic compliment that makes all my hard work worth it! You remembered me from one of the few who stood up and represented hundreds who signed a petition against the La Estancia (THE STAND) Project! Now I know that I made a mark and an impression on individuals against change for the better years later. For that I THANK-YOU. Even though politicains stated we ask for the project, the truth was my neighbors wanted no part of it in the area it was built. Remember, the gas station that could not make a living on the corner of Division/California, and then sat vacant for a long time (you know like the vancant lot on the north/east corner now). A private developer purchased the land, received permits to build four stories of condos for private ownership (great tax base) but was forced to sell to the city (at tax payer expence) then sold to Bickerdike for a DOLLAR!!!!, to build the no tax base project that is the stand! I think most people would say it is racist to build a building with tax dollars and say this is the stand against non-Puerto Ricans moving in! The No Se vende / NoYuppies groups are out and out RACIST, that is just fact, are you showing that you are a member when you state (my focus is preserving the Puerto Rican identity of this community I so love), do you want to keep out other groups? You come across loud and clear to most on this thread, like you say we do to you.
    On this thread I believe everyone wants the same thing (rich or poor, HP hater or not), we all want to live in peace and not to be forced by the powers that be to live where they want us to live.
    This also includes not having gangbangers return to the old hood and settle their differences by shooting each other in the head like how this thread started. You want to start a thread about racism on EB, please do, I would enjoy to continue a dialogue and exchange with you so more can read about your point of view and mine to. The ball is in your court now will you do it?

  • OldLady In the 'hood.

    Um, yes, J dub, I am entirely serious when I say that HP is not as bad as Kelvyn Park/ Englewood/ or Garfield Park. I meant every word.

    Because it's true.

  • Inactive user

    If people don't llike the truth about their neighborhood then they should write to the media not to publish it. I don't care that my message was hidden. The truth is the truth about HP. And it cannot be covered up. Little Village is in the same category. And there are shootings in both neighorhoods. Its always on the news. I don't feel like getting hit in the crossfire. Both neighorhoods are swamped with gang members. That you cannot hide. If you like living that way so be it. I don't.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    I read that there was another drive by shooting in Rodgers Park and women are affraid to go to the bus stop because gangbangers hang there. Looks to me that Rodgers Park is has more problems than HP. I am glad I live in HP and not that a more dangerous place like Rodgers Park! The truth is the truth if you say so even if there are no facts to back it up! If you repeat a lie enough some people will say it is the truth! Weak people.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    RAKAR: are you referring to the community area called Rogers Park? Or the actual park with that name? Because the actual park is a nice area.

  • Inactive user

    Rakar appears perfectly willing to comment on areas where he doesn't live, but seems to oppose those who don't live in Humbolt Park but may have an opinion about HP. Gotta love it!

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Sorry alex, I was just demonstrating how foolish one appears when they write about areas they have no knowledge of. I do not live in Rodgers Park so I have no idea of what the area is like even if I drove through it or was there decades ago. I also don't believe half of what I read after people repeat false information to try to make it out to be the truth. I did read about gang shooting in that area just to point out shooting like this one happen everywhere.

  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    Hey, did you notice?!? If a comment now recieves enough (NO THANKS), it is hidden on EB. I hope this will remove trolls from the site. Thanks EB, great move.

  • Inactive user

    Rakarwowski, what is your definition of a troll, you owe that to your audience here. Is it someone that doesn't live in HP but offers commentary on your neighborhood? Or, perhaps it's commentary that you disagree with. Can you define a troll?

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    First off, there is a MUTE function for participants to use when they prefer to ignore a specific poster. So Im not sure why EB added the the NO THANKS option. Second, the new NO THANKS option will allow just five posters to dominate a discussion. I see that as a problem if its used to mute dissenting views.

  • I agree with Alex. This forum should maintain itself as a place to for neighbors (and others) to communicate with each other and/or share experiences and opinions. If I don't like what someone says about X but read something they have written about Y a few months later and like it, I don't have any confusion about what has happened. People often disagree with each other under the best of circumstances.

    As far as TROLLS are concerned, SOMEBODY has to live under the bridge. Only in the movies and fairy tales does a troll play a significant role.

    I think that EB has over-stepped its bounds by providing a nuclear option.

    I haven't muted anyone yet, but it is an option that has been already in place for those that want to avoid certain participants.

    Unfortunately, what started out as an interesting discuss list has turned into a popularity contest. Smile!

  • Jason W Lifelong Chicagoan

    No, the mute button is the "nuclear option" because you have to decide that someone is effectively dead to you and you never want to hear from them again.
    The "No Thanks" system offers more specificity, allowing you to disapprove of a single comment, while still seeing everything else someone has to say. It is an improvement.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    "Disapprove" is a pretty broad standard. Users could "disapprove" of facts that support a contrary position.

  • OK, but it was intimated that five "-no thanks" over and above any "+ thanks" might remove or suppress a comment. I'll go back and look at the EB policy to see what is what.

    My opinions is that a Nuclear option cannot effect just one poster. The Fallout is broadcast far and wide, and only the unlucky survive. I would rather call muting a user the "Instant Karma" option.

    What is Nuclear about "No Thanks" is that during the course of a possibly heated discussion, five people can effectively suppress a point of view.

    I am one who prefers perspective. Does the post of a troll really have that much effect on you? Do you think that ignorance and/or bigotry will spread if those exhibiting it on this site are allowed to share their opinions freely and the post to remain intact for all to see?

    My preference is that a bigoted, arrogant, offensive and/or ignorant post REMAIN attached to the person who posted it ad infinitum so that all can see who they are, clearly. If that individual has no sense of decency or honor, then the uncomplicated task of discernment will naturally follow and those with a molecule of common sense will gravitate toward other information without any help from anyone. THIS FORUM IS NOT AN OPINION POLL.

    Without evil, would we have good? Without darkness, light? A BROAD SPECTRUM represents my philosophical, spiritual, and personal beliefs about what is good for us all. Let's have it here on this forum.

    Some have to live with their Scarlet Letter and have "troll" tattooed to their forehead.

    Others have to learn to live with them. That would be us.

  • EveryBlock Marina EveryBlock Community Manager

    humboldtwriter: As it currently stands, 5 "no thanks" will collapse a comment, regardless of how many "thanks" it receives.

    We're looking at everyone's feedback about "no thanks" and learning how it's being used.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • RAKARWOWSKI RETIRED CITY WORKER, CLEANING UP HUMBOLDT PARK

    How is NO THANKS censorship? You mute someone, you do not see what they write anymore! Some one writes something that is untrue and defaces the truth/fact but it is their strong belief no matter what anyone else writes or proves to the contrary and that comment will be collapsed by 5 people who agree the statement is BS! You want to read it, you just click reveal it and read away. There are individuals that troll EB looking to write things they know nothing about just to stop caring neighbors from helping each other clean up their neighborhoods, for what reason,I do not know. Fake names, fake pictures and never write about what is being discussed on the topic of the thread. People look back at what was written by the individuals who receive NO THANKS! Not once was anything written helpful to the thread, just untruths to start confrontations and these same individuals go to other threads and do the same. None of them have the right to question me or anyone else but that is what they do and when questioned back, they do not reply or have no facts to back up the statements they make. This is off topic and I said what I felt about the gang banger (convicted felon) getting shot in the head and killed in my neighborhood and will continue to fight to clean up HP and make it a safe place for anyone to raise a family. Till the next HP thread, bye bye.

  • brian Wicker Park resident since 1994

    "no thanks" is far from Nuclear, and not truly Suppressive if it can be revealed with a single click. If I was following a lively discussion I would definitely expand any hidden comments. But it is a useful tool to declutter a thread from unhelpful comments or thrill troll snark.

  • You are probably right, brian and RAKAR, but I haven't finished the trilogy and am not yet ready to concede that there is a LORD OF THE TROLLS...

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Not suppressive? Of course its suppressive. Thats the point. Saying its "a useful tool to declutter a thread" is disingenuous. I would suggest the goal of the "NO THANKS" option is to suppress counterproductive or disruptive postings. Will it also be a tool to suppress inconvenient facts? Time will tell.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    The NO THANKS is a form of censorship. But theres nothing wrong with that. Its EB's site and they can censor what they want (the rules are known as "terms of service.") People do not have a constitutional right to post on EB, or on any other company-owned communications medium. Its only when the GOVERNMENT starts censoring people that there is a constitutional problem.

  • EveryBlock Sarah EveryBlock Community Manager

    Hey folks, passing along the blog post explaining how "No Thanks" works and when it should and shouldn't be used (ie. to express disagreement). http://blog.everyblock.com/2012/may/07/nothanks/

    If you have any questions or comments for us, please feel free to join the discussion on the blog!

  • Inactive user

    I will correct one statement. I worked in Lincoln Park from l996 to 2011 not 1966. Live where you feel comfortable. If you like living in HP so be it. I know its crowded with gang members like Little Village. East Rogers Park is not. And our police department has done an excellent job of arresting gang members from Howard Street. They are always riding around the neigborood making sure everything is okay. HUMBOLDTWRITER: Listen, you can't sweet talk me. HP is not a safe neighborhood to live in. And I don't care who doesn't like my comments. They just don't like hearing the truth. Sheridan Road is lit up and our alley is really lit up. There are no gangs hanging out on corners. Those that sat at the bus stop were not gang members just friends and they are gone

  • I so promised I wouldn't get involved, but alas.

    Mariann, on March 17th on discussion board entitled, "Moving," you wrote: "I am not familar with HP. When I had a vehicle the last time I drove down North Ave. was in the 70's. I lived on Division and Damen but moved in 1962. Neighborhoods have changed since that time as there was no gang activity in the 60's & 70's. I live 7100 North on Sheridan Road and so far there are no gangs hanging on the corners and shootings since I moved here 7 years ago. Now Howard St. may be a different situation as they police arrested 21 people four months back for drug dealing. No matter where you live you have to be careful."

    So, which is it? You know everything about my home and my capabilities to hear "the truth" OR you haven't even driven in this neighborhood since the 70s?

    "Worked in Real Estate office for over 15 years"... red line much?

    If you hate my neighborhood so much, STOP TALKING ABOUT IT! What do you want to get out of this?

    I'm sure you have a lovely, safe beautiful home where you live and you are happy and healthy and loved. Great. Let us discuss our neighborhood, and ideally how we can ALL make it better, as a community. We promise not to make you come to the neighborhood b-b-qs or Jazz in the park or the playdates I have at the playgrounds with kids from super-diverse backgrounds.

    Let us worry about it. Enjoy RP.

  • Humboldt Paul Member of United Blocks of West Humboldt Park

    @Mariann. I know its called Everyblock, but it doesn't literally mean you have to comment on EVERY block.

  • Inactive user

    RAKAR & EMILY: Who do you think your kidding? HP will never be cleaned up. Your comments are a joke. MORGAN: And you really have to worry about it. I don't have to watch my back walking down Sheridan Road. I don't live in a home I live in an apartment building and we don't have to worry walking down the block. There has been no shootings around this area since I lived here for 7 years. I would not step foot in HP. I am sure the police in HP are always on the move waiting for a shooting to happen.

  • Why are you still here? What do you want?

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    MARIANN: Im not sure how a comment like "I would never step foot in HP" is in any way helpful or constructive. It appears that there are many many people who disagree with you, as we all live here.

  • EveryBlock Becca Director of Community Management

    Hey folks, let's try to keep this discussion on topic. As a reminder, if you don't like what someone has to say or you no longer want to see them in your news feed, you can still mute them by clicking on their profile page and scrolling down to the bottom.

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