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We get this thread every year - the nicer the weather gets, the more tagging, fights and general purpose crime we generally get. We should all stay vigilant, but the sky is not falling.

7:56 a.m.

IO Theater is great. There's an improve adult puppet show on Wednesdays that's really funny. He might dig some of the Gorilla Tango burlesque shows as well.

— On the neighbor message Fun things to do with a 19 year old
7:23 a.m.

Oh god. So happy Oberweiss is gone. Sell ice cream with one hand and endorse discriminatory legislation with the other? Not in my hood, people.

— On the neighbor message Potbelly at Wicker Park Commons
11:44 a.m.

It's a small improvement, but I would've loved to see that area go a little more "Randolph restaurant row" and less Bucktown chainification.

Yes. I know. #FirstWorldProblems

— On the neighbor message Potbelly at Wicker Park Commons
8:29 a.m.

@paul:

I'm sorry my friend, but the laws of physics and sensible logistics don't change from city to city. In Minneapolis cars are parked on the street bumper to bumper in the various neighborhoods with few exceptions. the procedure for dealing with snow is very simple and works regardless of how dense the city is, since you can park the same amount of cars in X amount of space from city to city.

1) Snow Emergency is declared. Snow Emergency route parking is verboten. Should you be parked on a snow emergency route after 9pm the night the emergency is declared you will be ticketed and towed. A parking enforcement team comes along and tickets and then the tow trucks follow along shortly and tow any car that's ticketed and still on the street at that point.

2) Day 2/3 - alternate side parking policies are in effect (snow emergency routes are now clear for cars to park on them). The same procedure for ticketing and towing is followed.

Rinse. Repeat. I can't really follow why people would think this approach wouldn't work here in Chicago. Don't get me wrong - I love this city. But from a snow removal perspective we really aren't that special.

— On the neighbor message Hey Rahm, can we get our street plowed now?
1:24 p.m.

I lived in Minneapolis for 14 years. Alternate side plowing by zones worked just fine in the vast majority of neighborhoods. Chicago needs to get its act together when it comes to plowing in a big way. I'm frankly baffled as to why the city doesn't enforce the snow route parking rules at the minimum. Seems a solid source of revenue and not having those streets plowed is a fairly significant hazard.

— On the neighbor message Hey Rahm, can we get our street plowed now?
8:04 a.m.

The condos we knew about - but the last rumor was that Lettuce Entertain You was putting in a restaurant in the retail space. That was early last year and nothing has happened since the demolition. What's the timing/plan these days?

10:09 a.m.

I'm a big fan of the Midwest Health Center on Milwaukee. Just north of Ashland. They're always willing to take whatever time is necessary.

— On the neighbor message Good Quality HMO Doctor?
7:12 a.m.

We bought one a year ago and haven't had any trouble. But you can buy flood insurance (and sewer back up ins) with no issues.

— On the neighbor message Duplex down?
4:13 p.m.

I really dig Rapid Transit, on North and Paulina-ish.

— On the neighbor message Bmx and bike
11:01 a.m.

I get that people like to allow their dogs some freedom, but if you must, take the long lead approach mentioned earlier in this thread. Allowing your dog off-leash in public spaces is illegal (outside of designated areas, of course). And in some places, like the much-debated beach in HP, they aren't allowed under any circumstances. You can debate the wisdom of this law ad nauseum, but it's still the law and you're still making many others uncomfortable and deciding what's safe for other users of the park by disregarding it.

I've got 3 very well behaved dogs and other than do parks, they're never outside off-leash. It's safer for them and makes for much better neighborhood relations.

9:29 a.m.

It's probably what the biz license says. Nothing particularly crazy on this list - super fast fixes. If they start getting a pattern of neglect - then we start worrying. Anthem had a pretty crappy inspection a month or so ago too and they got their act together in a hurry.

— On the food inspection Big Red Star failed inspection
10:42 a.m.

I would guess it'd be similar to what they've done on Elston between North and Division - protected bike lane with parking between the bike lane and traffic.

— On the neighbor message Elston - bike lanes
7:53 a.m.

One of our dogs picked up a tick and according to the vet we see this year is going to be brutal for ticks. Because of the warm winter the mouse and rat population is exploding, providing ample feeding for the ticks, which in turn breed like crazy.

— On the neighbor message Ticks in Chicago
7:15 a.m.

Yeah - none of the items on the list are catastrophic. Just seems like some folks are getting a bit lazy on the smaller cleaning items and some areas need minor construction upgrades.

— On the food inspection The Anthem failed inspection
8:54 a.m.

NOYB - I think he meant razed.

— On the neighbor message Open lot near Wolcott and Chicago
10:29 a.m.

I hate to say it, but it's not just about the bad apples with dangerous or otherwise nuisance dogs. It's not fair to the people at the park to leave your dog off leash - are you sure your well-behaved dog isn't going to go say hi to someone with allergies? Or go sniffing (or sampling) someone's picnic? Or decide to go check out someone's on-leash dog? And don't accuse me of being anti-dog. I have 3 of them.

Bottom line, if you want to let your dog stretch its legs, find a dog park.

11:30 a.m.

The Anthem Jucy Lucy (and yes, that is spelled correctly) is probably the best burger in Wicker Park. Can't really think of a great burger in Bucktown. Kuma's, of course, is the gold standard.

For those who've had a Jucy Lucy at Matt's Bar in MPLS, The Anthem's take is dramatically different. Delicious, of course, but it has no real comparison to the one here. Matt's are wee little hockey pucks covered in onions and pickles and loaded with American cheese. The Anthem offers up a more high-falutin' take on the breed, save for the pile o' molten Velveeta in the center.

— On the neighbor message Where do you get your favorite burger?
10:57 a.m.

She's no longer the Susan Lucci of pastry!

7:31 a.m.

Almost forgot! Go buy amazing fresh pierogi at Kasia's! Ignore the frozen ones. You want the fresh ones - glistening with butter and caramelized onions. And at 20 bucks for 8 dozen you can fill up in a hurry.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
8:02 p.m.

Ashton - they're kids. White, black, hispanic or otherwise, as long as they're not involved in criminal activity of their own they're not going to be thinking about whether the cops are going to be coming in with kevlar and guns drawn. They're going to be thinking about setting off pretty 'splosions. And regardless of what you think of them setting off fireworks, it's sad to think about kids getting roughed up because they're setting off a few M-80s.

— On the neighbor message Fireworks/Gunshots?
5:50 p.m.

Those would be any kids just having fun who have nothing to do with the gang activity, of any color just to be clear.

— On the neighbor message Fireworks/Gunshots?
1:53 p.m.

Gunner - I was saying why people are setting off fireworks. Not why people are wondering if they're gunshots or fireworks.

— On the neighbor message Fireworks/Gunshots?
10:33 a.m.

That area tends to be a little busier just by virtue of being closer to North Ave. Get the rodent control folks out there and keep them coming until the problem is under control. We're right by Division, but there are so many stray cats near us that we've got no issues.

— On the neighbor message RAT INVASION!
10:17 a.m.

Why? Because fireworks are available in May in advance of July 4th and people like blowing things up.

— On the neighbor message Fireworks/Gunshots?
10:12 a.m.

Good call on Black Dog Gelato. I'd add a trip to Bleeding Heart Bakery for brunch as well. Sure, you can get cake balls in Lakeview, but the brunch is mighty tasty and not available at the other locations.

First person to tell me not to frequent the West Town location because of the "drama" needs to explain why there's drama in the first place. Preferably in a non-ranty and coherent way.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
3:46 p.m.

Get thee to Arami. Best sushi in Chicago. Bar none.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
3:37 p.m.

My wife works at Ruby Room, on Division in Wicker Park. The place is lovely and does everything from haircuts to massage and skin care. And they're great at all of it!

— On the neighbor message Hair Salon
1:36 p.m.

James,

Still missing the point. When a massive organization like the military wants to invest in technology and research, it gets done. Congress is the roadblock for investing more money in green technology. If the DoD says they need to spend money on something, they generally get it. If Obama tells Congress he wants something, it gets debated endlessly. See the difference?

As for technology that trickles down from those advances being not very useful in the civilian world, classified, or expensive, allow me to introduce you to other advances that aren't useful to civilians, classified, or too expensive such as:

- GPS
- Satellite communication
- The internet
- Nuclear power
- Radar
- Jet engines

Please let me know if you'd like additional examples of these nigh-useless technologies.

As for your reference to research on people with efficient cars driving more miles, that theory was recently debunked. Turns out that people actually have to go where they have to go, regardless of the car they drive. In essence, the Prius Effect is a load of crap.

Again - feel free to check the math: http://co2scorecard.org/home/researchitem/23

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
3:08 p.m.

James - judging by your comment I think you completely missed the point (and likely didn't bother clicking on the link). The military, like any massive organization, is full of waste. However, it wields a lot of power, influence and momentum. The military has been on the leading edge of tech development for decades (the internet being a solid example of technology developed because of military research). Because they've set energy efficiency goals, money will be directed at technology that reduces energy and environmental footprints.

This has nothing to do with bureaucracy and everything to do with a massive organization pushing green technologies and research. Whether the money is being spent efficiently is beside the point.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
2:34 p.m.

ROTC once upon a time - but that doesn't really count. Not sure why service records are germane to the conversation though.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
12:18 p.m.

While yes, the military IS a big user of fossil fuels, they're also some of the biggest proponents of sustainable technologies since those technologies simplify logistics and supply chain. If anyone is going to be able to drive Congress to invest in these technologies, it's the DoD.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/01/operation-sustainability-u-s-military-sets-ambitious-environmental-goals

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
10:16 a.m.

Here's the thing - the government is better at encouraging research than it is picking winners. And since manufacturing is really not what the U.S. is known for these days, the government should be encouraging sustainable energy research - not placing bets on particular companies to go into production. Once the improved solar panel tech is developed (or biofuels, etc), manufacturers can get in the game and license the tech. New tech will take a while to reverse engineer, giving the U.S. a chance to make the stuff as long as it's willing to be nimble enough to keep improving and researching the next thing.

But attempting to compete with the Chinese on commodity tech prices is a losing proposition.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
4:45 p.m.

@Mitch - because every investment pans out? Plenty of startups go belly-up for any number of reasons. It doesn't mean another company in the same industry doesn't work. By that logic everyone should stay far away from pretty much any technology startup in existence.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
3:28 p.m.

Numbers are from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, btw. Just in case anyone wants to check the math. http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm#financial

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
8:29 a.m.

It consistently baffles me how people can say "we need low gas prices" out of one side of their mouths and then turn around and complain about government handouts, welfare and other assorted intervention. Gas is one of the most subsidized products out there. And what we need isn't low gas prices - it's a viable alternative to gas. And yes, Bike Jedi, one of the biggest reasons we don't have such an alternative is because the oil industry also has one of the largest and most influential lobbies in government today.

Fossil fuels are a mature industry. Back in the 50s and 60s we saw how effective the government can be in pushing research and development. And yet in 2010 the fossil fuel industry received $409 billion in subsidies globally. And only $66 billion on renewables. From 1961 to 2008 the govt spent $172 billion on green energy research, but $30 TRILLION on fossil fuels and electricity infrastructure from 1970 to 2009. You just let me know when those numbers add up to making an attempt at real change.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
8:26 a.m.

We joined WPAC during the pre-sale, so we got a great deal. But WPF just dropped their prices to something like $38/month. Both are going to be fairly small clubs, just like all the other gyms in the area. We went with WPAC because the classes seemed more interesting and the fogged up windows at WPF gross us out a bit, but if you're in the neighborhood you probably can't go wrong.

— On the neighbor message WPAC or Wicker Park Fitness?
12:03 p.m.

That's my biggest issue with Comcast. They charge a premium over other local providers and the gap between marketing and actual performance tends to be large. I had 10mbps service from them up until last week and never got better than 4mbps performance.

— On the neighbor message Best Internet/Cable provider in 60622
1:10 p.m.

Kinsey - just for reference, what speed do you pay for?

— On the neighbor message Best Internet/Cable provider in 60622
1:01 p.m.

If you have access to true Uverse (ie: you go online and are offered speeds higher than 6mbps) and don't need business class speeds, Uverse is actually faster and cheaper than Comcast. Comcast speeds top out much higher than Uverse, but 12 Mbps service with Uverse delivers higher bandwidth than anything comparable on the Comcast side. And the DVR interface doesn't look like something from the early 90s.

— On the neighbor message Best Internet/Cable provider in 60622
9:38 a.m.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a higher end gastropub type place along with a fairly quick service one along the lines of an M Burger. But time will tell.

11:32 a.m.

Wait - a Tweety Bird tattoo? Am I the only one who weeps for Tweety's reputation being dragged through the mud via ill-advised tattoos?

5:42 p.m.

Still in with Jen, so put us down for 2.

7:36 a.m.

10th works best on our end. :-)

7:57 a.m.

Word.

4:38 p.m.

Seadog or Kin works for us. Looking forward to it!

4:32 p.m.

There's one vote for Seadog. And Jen can make it as long as it's past 7:30 and not on a Thursday. lol

2:17 p.m.

Seadog and Cumin would both be good options on that front.

1:48 p.m.

Le Boulangerie in Logan Square not only has amazing traditional bread. Plus, you can actually subscribe for weekly bread delivery.

— On the neighbor message Looking for a place to get good bread
10:12 a.m.

B&L is reserving the communal table up front for us, so when you get there, introduce yourself - anyone at that table should be from Everyblock.

3:07 p.m.

But not so big that we don't fit in the place. Lol

4:41 p.m.

Do your parents have delicious food options like foie gras hot dogs and a constantly changing list of craft beers?

1:24 p.m.

@NinnyMuggins - Bangers & Lace allows underage folks in for brunch and lunch, but I believe any time past happy hour it's strictly 21+, whether you're with a parent/guardian or not.

And as Abby mentioned, I'd strongly discourage anyone from taking responsibility for a minor unless they're actually responsible for you (ie: parent, family member, etc.).

12:38 p.m.

13 so far. Keep the RSVPs coming. Meet your neighbors AND wash down soft pretzels (w/chocolate stout mustard sauce) with craft beer. How can anyone turn that down?

10:46 a.m.

Talked to Bangers & Lace the other night and they're all for it. 6pm on the 12th. I just need to give them a rough head count a couple days before. So might I get a count of folks still planning on going?

10:57 a.m.

Bucktown Barbershop and Belmont Barbershop aren't bad, but they all pale in comparison to Oscar, the barber at the Elysian hotel. He's a 3rd generation barber and it shows in the man's skills. It's a little pricey ($45 - in line with Art of Shaving and Trufitt & Hill, the other high end options in town), but it's well worth it for what is the best shave I've found in Chicago. Plus, it's a super easy ride on the Division bus. I go get my beard shaped every other week and it's all sorts of relaxing. In fact, I believe CS magazine just tapped Oscar as giving the best shave in Chicago.

If it's a little too rich for your blood, my advice is to stay far away from Floyd's. The haircuts are good, but they aren't barbers and the shaves suffer for it. When I was still hunting for the right place to go, I tried Floyd's and I actually left there with what was literally the worst shave I've ever gotten.

— On the neighbor message Recommendation for Beard Barber
10:49 p.m.

Thanks for the heads up, Tom. We'll keep an eye out. We're not far from there and I'm surprised it happened in broad daylight. Talk about desperate...

Or maybe just plain stupid. Who knows?

— On the neighbor message Mugged @ 2pm Today at Hermitage & Crystal
6:48 p.m.

I'm always game. Looking forward to chatting about this in Jan at B&L!

— On the neighbor message Restaurant outings In our Neighborhood
11:57 a.m.

Anyone want to check in with the B&L folks to give them a little warning. I can if no one has connections/wants to do so.

11:53 a.m.

We're game. Some evening at Banger's & Lace? Anthem? Bar Bar Black Sheep? Cumin? Anyone else have thoughts on places that can handle communal type tables?

10:40 a.m.

Read Bordain's original book - Kitchen Confidential. He's pretty honest about how rough things are behind the scenes.

— On the neighbor message Knife sharpening?
12:02 a.m.

Man, this thread got depressing in a hurry. I think the point isn't that the guy shouldn't follow his passion, it's that he should go in with his eyes open. Keep in mind that not every chef is going to have the same experience, not to mention the simple fact that not every chef is going to cook on the line. Some may start catering businesses, or be private chefs. Or start a food truck. Not to say that chefs are paid what they deserve or that they don't work craptastic hours, but there's no reason to crap all over the guy's dream.

— On the neighbor message Knife sharpening?
11:36 p.m.

Hey there - my wife and I have been hunting for friends in the neighborhood. And how could we argue with having a friend who knows pastry?

10:29 a.m.

I've heard a mixed bag about them. The biggest issue is that they don't seem to serve most of Wicker Park.

— On the neighbor message WOW cable service ?
2:52 p.m.

Just a bit bizarre, really. The mental gymnastics necessary to justify those boundaries are somewhat astounding.

— On the neighbor message New alderman for portions of the 32nd
10:37 a.m.

I'd imagine it's a matter of avoiding liability. They post the signs and try to keep people out so people have that much more trouble suing if they get hurt.

— On the neighbor message The Bloomington Branch
10:27 p.m.

Huh - somehow had completely missed this project. Works for me!

— On the neighbor message The Bloomington Branch
3:40 p.m.

Couldn't disagree more. Make it like Minneapolis' Humboldt Greenway or NYC's High Line. Both projects were ridiculously successful and provide the kind of infrastructure that's in short supply in Chicago. Bikes, especially, could use a city-based trail like that.

Why not leave it as is? Well, because it'll eventually become blighted, if it isn't already. Because "enter at your own risk" doesn't mean the police don't need to investigate when someone is raped, mugged, or otherwise goes missing. Because that land is too valuable as a driver of improvement to leave it fallow.

Need more?

— On the neighbor message The Bloomington Branch
3:37 p.m.

Well, they've gutted the building, so it would seem like they have two options - 1, raise the ceiling. Or 2, add a 2nd story for the pool. Seems like the latter would be the easier option.

The problem is that as soon as I have to do anything but walk to the gym, I'm less likely to go. Clemente isn't bad, or at least it wasn't when it was open, but the hours are monumentally difficult, and during the winter months it's a hop in the car or bus. Makes it difficult to get there reliably. I really want a full featured gym in our 'hood. My thrashed knees would really appreciate it.

— On the neighbor message Old Division P.O.
3:35 p.m.

Yeah - I got the same info via Twitter. Disappointing. Not sure why gyms in Wicker Park/Bucktown are so anti-swimmer. Hate having to truck into the Loop or Lincoln Park to go swimming.

— On the neighbor message Old Division P.O.
3:14 p.m.

Just a heads up - I received confirmation via Twitter that it will indeed be a Chicago Athletic Club property. Now I'm trying to find out if they're going to have a pool.

Because that would be awesome.

— On the neighbor message Old Division P.O.
5:34 p.m.

The permit states "Wicker Park Athletic Club." Which leads me to believe Chicago Athletic Clubs is behind it. Trying to get confirmation but they haven't responded via Twitter yet.

— On the neighbor message Old Division P.O.
1:39 p.m.

That'd make me all sorts of happy. Is there enough room in that building for a pool though?

— On the neighbor message Old Post Office on Division
1:40 p.m.

Tony - I wouldn't jump to conclusions. For all you know it could be another independently owned business that'll cater to a different audience than WPG. For example, right now I go to FFC in Lincoln Park and wouldn't even think about going to WPG. There's no pool - a necessity for a guy who destroyed his knees during 12 years of rugby.

— On the neighbor message Old Post Office on Division
10:15 a.m.

Is it all that mega? I mean, I belong to Fitness Formula right now and that place is huge. Would love it if a really nice gym opened up down the street so I could just walk down there, but something tells me it's just going to be an oversized Cheetah Gym. I'd love to see something with a pool and catering to peeps who aren't 20-somethings anymore.

— On the neighbor message Old Post Office on Division
3:03 p.m.

A big gym with a pool would get me in a heartbeat. Trader Joe's would be nice, but I'd rather see a Whole Foods. Unfortunately, I don't think the space is large enough for that.

— On the neighbor message Old Post Office on Division
10:27 a.m.

Good question. Maybe there are some city records on who owns the place now?

— On the neighbor message Old Post Office on Division
10:14 a.m.

Here's the post - supposedly the place is called Neat. Anyone know anything about its fate? http://www.wickerparkbucktown.info/content-bars/new-wicker-park-bucktown-neighborhood-bars?A=SearchResult&SearchID=897737&ObjectID=3857238&ObjectType=35

— On the neighbor message Craft cocktail and burger bar?
11:25 a.m.

Entirely possible. There are too many sports bars to keep track of, apparently.

I think I saw the post about the craft cocktail and burger bar in Wicker Park Insider. Will have to go digging.

— On the neighbor message Craft cocktail and burger bar?
11:22 a.m.

I think Anthem is going in farther West on Division. I don't believe there's a name for the new place in the Makisu space. But I could be wrong.

— On the neighbor message Craft cocktail and burger bar?
10:55 p.m.

Gregory - I can't argue with that. The good neighbor thing to do would be to offer to help her bag it all up.

— On the neighbor message Those falling blown leaves
2:56 p.m.

Gregory - It may have been blunt, but the bottom line is the woman is breaking the law. No amount of complaining will change that. If she's physically able to rake her leaves into the street, she's probably also able to take the time to bag them.

— On the neighbor message Those falling blown leaves
2:19 p.m.

They'll all care if they get fined to the tune of $100.

— On the neighbor message Those falling blown leaves
10:56 a.m.

Outlawing leaf blowers baffles me. Regulate the behavior (ie: no leaf blowers before 9am or after 10pm), not a handy tool that isn't actually the problem.

— On the neighbor message Those falling blown leaves
10:09 a.m.

Completely illegal. It clogs the storm drains and is specifically outlawed.

— On the neighbor message Those falling blown leaves
9:18 a.m.

Damen - Do you have pics or a listing online somewhere?

— On the neighbor message 2 BR apartment?
2:45 p.m.

I love that there's so much passion behind keeping the station open, but I wonder if there should be some teeth behind this petition? Are people willing to donate 10 bucks to contribute toward modernizing the station? Or work to secure support from the businesses in the area toward that modernization? I live in Wicker Park just a few blocks north of the station, but I get what the city is trying to do. Is closure the best approach? Probably not. Is the city strapped for cash? Absolutely.

Is it time for us to put our money where our mouths are? Definitely.

9:22 a.m.

That's horrible! I'm sorry to hear that. It's definitely a testament to how careful people should be when walking anywhere in the city at that point in the night/morning.

9:16 a.m.

Ivan - where might one see those listings?

— On the neighbor message 2 BR apartment?
9:13 a.m.

Laura - she can do up to about $1700, but it has to be walking distance to the Blue Line. It doesn't look like your listing on Montana is a reasonable walk in the morning on the way to work.

— On the neighbor message 2 BR apartment?
10:05 p.m.

Jason - does that mean you have any listings that fit the bill?

— On the neighbor message 2 BR apartment?
9:53 p.m.

None thus far. Didn't even get a response from B&L. Sad about that.

— On the neighbor message Rugby World Cup in Wicker Park?
1:08 p.m.

I live on that alley and luckily have a garage. But I'm not surprised. That alley is narrow, not particularly well lit, and an easy target just off Division as it is.

1:56 p.m.

He's freaking adorable! Poor little guy. I'll spread the word.

— On the neighbor message Pitbull pup needs a permanent home
11:03 a.m.

We just moved over to Division and Wood, but we loved our block for the 2 years we were there. We just loved the condo we bought even more!

— On the neighbor message Family Friendly area
10:17 a.m.

Nick - we lived on the 1900 block of Evergreen just west of you for 2 years. It's a great spot. Our son went to Pritzker.

— On the neighbor message Family Friendly area
9:38 a.m.

Agreed - if you're on Division, especially at Division and Damen, you're going to get noise. All the Division fests are there. Try moving near Pritzker - Evergreen, Potomac, Crystal, Schiller, Lemoyne, Leavitt. Just stay within about a 5 block radius of the school and you should be fine.

— On the neighbor message Family Friendly area
9:15 a.m.

Well, it's better than an empty storefront, I guess.

— On the neighbor message Update on Lush and Caribou Coffee on Damen
11:41 a.m.

Meh - I'd only be interested if they provide something different than Wicker Park Fitness and Cheetah already do. If we're going to get another gym, I want a pool or something more interesting than another steamy windowed germ factory. ;-)

11:39 a.m.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for such things, but I try to keep my bath water, and unmentionable bits, sparkle free.

— On the neighbor message Update on Lush and Caribou Coffee on Damen
11:25 a.m.

There's going to be a Lush? I completely missed that. Not sure I love that idea.

— On the neighbor message Update on Lush and Caribou Coffee on Damen
10:31 a.m.

It's too big to be a space station!

If there's one thing the neighborhood definitely needs, it's a better grocery option. I'm still holding out hope to see a Whole Foods, but I'd take a Trader Joe's in a pinch.

Or a gym smart enough to put in a pool.

10:30 a.m.

Internet in Chicago is tough. We've had the most luck with AT&T Uverse service in the areas where we could get it. AT&T DSL is pretty pathetic though - the service and speeds are night and day compared to Uverse. We just moved, so now we have to use Comcast - which has been pluperfect misery so far. They're scheduling two weeks out on installs at the moment. Hopefully the service will be better than the initial experience.

— On the neighbor message Internet providers in Chicago?
9:17 a.m.

I'm trying to convince Bangers & Lace to show the games too. That beer list and rugby a couple blocks from my condo? Heaven.

— On the neighbor message Rugby World Cup in Wicker Park?
7:42 p.m.

Man, a drive through shooting range would make for a whole lot of hipsters scrambling to get their FOID. lol

12:59 p.m.

Tom - I think you're missing the point.

1) There are far more groups than just EVA opposing the proposed development.

2) No one is saying the bank can't build a branch, they're saying that the proposed design doesn't fit with what's best for the neighborhood, and given that the area is really going through something of a renaissance, it's hard to disagree.

3) The proposed design DOESN'T adhere to the current zoning on the parcel of land. That spot requires a pedestrian friendly development, according to the zoning rules I've read for it.

4) If you have issues with EVA, by all means participate in it. Neighborhood groups stop representing the neighborhood if only a narrow slice of the residents are involved. Personally, I agree with their stance. If you don't, then you owe it to everyone who shares your viewpoint to make your voice heard. If you're not bothering to show up to the table, then you don't have much room to complain about the organization.

5) On another note - by your logic (the neighborhood needs jobs, community doesn't have the right to dictate to property owners) you might be ok with a strip club opening on that lot. Would you take issue with a strip club that adheres to zoning laws plopping itself down in the neighborhood? It's an extreme example, but it serves to prove a point. Communities and businesses need to work together to sustainably develop in a way that suits the neighborhood and its long term goals.

12:03 p.m.

I've been watching this thread for several days and I'm more than a little frustrated by the ridiculous all or nothing argument offered up by the folks supporting the bank's right to build. Here's the thing - no one has said a bank can't open there. All the EVA and others are saying is that a standalone bank with a drive-through doesn't fit the character of the neighborhood and definitely isn't a good fit for the long-term plans and goals of the area. Since the lot is zoned for pedestrian friendly development, there is some leverage there. While the type of mixed use, pedestrian friendly development being proposed is more expensive, in the long run the bank will make more money off of it.

So before you start tossing out comments to the effect of "the neighborhood should be thrilled anyone wants to develop the property and has no right to complain" you should try to understand the issues at hand. This isn't about blocking capitalism or taking away the right to do business. It's about getting the bank to operate responsibly (ie: adhere to the zoning rules in place and work with the neighborhood on a project everyone can be happy with).

10:51 a.m.

Makisu was pretty pathetic. Weird clubby suburban sushi restaurant comes into a neighborhood with Arami (best sushi in Chicago), Mirai (overpriced, but still better), and Seadog (reasonably priced BYO sushi)? Yeah - that's going to go over well.

The Bangers & Lace folks have a big hit with B&L. The food and beer is great, the clientele is a nice mix of types (though it seems especially popular with older hipsters who don't want to wait for a table at Big Star), and the service is friendly. I'm hoping they're not going to open a place like The Boundary or Jerry's, but we'll have to wait and see.

— On the neighbor message New Restaurant 1725 W Division?
9:25 a.m.

According to my wife (she works just down the block) the folks from Bangers & Lace are going to open "an upscale sports bar" there.

— On the neighbor message New Restaurant 1725 W Division?
2:08 p.m.

@Cable Mail - It may boil down to government intervention and control, but it's not "just as overseas." The EU and its constituent countries, not to mention many others, do a great job of recognizing the difference between artisanal goods and mass market commodities. Cheese, salumi, baked goods, dairy - all sorts of hand made items created in ways similar to the techniques used for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years over in France, Germany, England, Italy, etc. It's only here, where our food safety laws were drafted during an era where mass production was viewed as a public good, that ingesting a chemistry set of ingredients is looked at as safer than fresh simple foods. In fact, the whole "better living through chemistry" approach is really about as American as it gets.

9:15 a.m.

They're shooting the pilot of Powers, a comic book about a cop who polices superheroes that'll be on FX. Guessing that's the pyrotechnics.

— On the neighbor message Fireballs in Wicker Park
9:41 a.m.

Is Jam closed right now? I hadn't realized that...

— On the neighbor message Jam
8:17 a.m.

The vast majority of cities with vibrant cultural scenes and economic growth feature street food as a way of life. Go to Vietnam, Japan, even L.A., and you'll see it (and smell it). Chicago will be better for allowing it. Not to mention the simple fact that it will allow increased entrepreneurship, something the city certainly needs!

2:11 p.m.

My son started at Pritzker in the school's 8th grade honors program last Fall and he loves it. He's never felt unsafe and has made some amazing friends.

4:01 p.m.