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My wife went there yesterday for about 3 pounds of salmon and it was great -- plus it was only $9 per pound. Highly recommended!

— On the neighbor message Chi Town fish
8:36 a.m.

I believe they used to be downtown, by Fulton and Halsted, but had to move. I went there right when they were just about to open -- I'm going there tonight for a big mess of salmon!

— On the neighbor message Chi Town fish
11:46 a.m.

Marmalade a little further east (Montrose and Damen), is EXCELLENT. A little pricey, but really, really good.

— On the neighbor message Neighborhood Breakfast Restaurants
7:44 p.m.

Got a GREAT lead on a cat-sitter: Teresa Malinowski, (312) 241-7258. We've used her several times and she's dependable, thoughtful, conscientious, and has even developed a rapport with the cat that hides from EVERYONE. I recommend her highly.

— On the neighbor message Pet-sitter recommendations?
1:51 p.m.

I would recommend walking a little further east and going to the Montrose Saloon and Montrose and Richmond. It's great.

— On the neighbor message Bar at Montrose and Bernard
3:03 p.m.

There's a white Astro van parked RIGHT in front of our place, but it's not the right license plate. I'll keep my eyes open for you. Good luck.

— On the neighbor message Hit and run
2:34 p.m.

I can totally sympathize -- I lost my phone at Horner Park but found it after about an hour of frantic searching. Don't iPods have some sort of way of tracking them? What about calling it from another phone? You might hear the ring -- that's how I found mine. Hope you find it!

— On the neighbor message iPhone lost at Horner Park this morning
11:54 a.m.

In the future, might be more helpful to post the details here. Just a thought.

— On the neighbor message Outdoor movie night: Toy Story 3
4:18 p.m.

Catbus: Even if that's true, that the majority of cyclists don't stop for red lights, they're putting only themselves at risk. Yes, there are times when a cyclist does some damage to a pedestrian. That's really unfortunate. Not long ago, I saw a car have to SLAM its brakes to just miss a moron who blithely rode through a six-cornered intersection. Obviously, these riders exist.

That said, hang out at a stop sign today. Take note of how many cars slow down to less than, say, 14 mph for this sign. Tell me how many look both ways for pedestrians before they speed on through. Tell me how many go straight through the sign because they're holding a cellphone to their ears. Then get back to me about unsafe cyclists.

— On the neighbor message Bicyclist vs car = not good
8:43 a.m.

I'm very sorry about your cousin. That's really sad. As a cyclist, driver, or pedestrian, no one likes to hear stories like that.

But my point was, you're in a car. They're on bikes. If there's an accident, they're going to bear the brunt of it. Also, bikes can stop in a rather short space. So even if you did have to slam on the brakes, they might have been able to avoid you.

Lastly, I wasn't going to "blame you personally for everyone on the road." Actually, that's what you seem to be doing -- you cite two cyclists who were doing something unsafe. That was two people. How many cyclists actually follow the rules of the road? I'm guessing the large majority. Personally, I stay in the bike line (or off to the side), I wear a helmet, I wear bright lights, I use hand-signals.

Meanwhile, I can give you a dozen times I've nearly been hit by a car that swerved into a bike lane, drove right into traffic without looking, coasted through a stop sign at 18mph, etc. My wife was hit by a car, while walking, by a driver who couldn't wait to get around the car that had stopped for her. (She was fine, thankfully.) There are myriad stories about people getting killed by drivers who plowed through stop signs (like the agonizing story of the 4-year-old girl hit by the car by the Lincoln Park Zoo).

So here's my point: Are there cyclists who don't ride safely or obey the rules of the road? Undoubtedly. But they don't stand for the majority of cyclists. Also, they're going to get the worst of any bike/car accident. So I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

— On the neighbor message Bicyclist vs car = not good
1:03 p.m.

I drove on Western today and saw several cyclists on that street. I often ride to work myself, but I'm sorry, I'd rather try to pedal on the Chicago River than ride on Western.

— On the neighbor message Bicyclist vs car = not good
7:18 p.m.

I often take Elston -- it only gets a little sketchy by Fullerton. Otherwise, it's fast and pretty safe. As for summer, I'm lucky enough to be a member of a gym across the street from where I work. But before they opened, I used baby wipes. (You gotta do what you gotta do, right?)

— On the neighbor message Bike Commuters
11:49 a.m.

I've never been to Golden Crust -- what's the deal? Is it good? I heard it's becoming a brew pub or some such thing...

— On the neighbor message Favorites?
9:58 p.m.

Great thread, Joe! Unfortunately, I have to go to Lincoln Square for some of these:

-Pizza: Don't know one around here. We go to Pizza D.O.C. on Lawrence and Western, or Spacca Napoli.

-Pub: Montrose Saloon (Montrose and Richmond)

-Taco joint: I actually prefer El Asadero (Montrose and Lincoln) to La Pasadita (Irving and Richmond). I never thought I'd like anything more than La Pas, yet... here we are.

-Supermarket: Cermak Produce on Kedzie

Butcher: Don't know of one -- we go to Lincoln Quality Meat on Lincoln across from new gym. Good stuff, good prices, but man they are SLOW.

Produce: Cermak

Entertainment: My daughter

— On the neighbor message Favorites?
8:40 p.m.

I believe you go to the terminus of that line (in this case, Kimball) for the Lost & Found. I hope you find it -- keep us posted of your progress.

— On the neighbor message Artwork lost on the Brown Line
10:18 a.m.

Yes, that Rosemont Krispy Kreme is now a Culver's (where they make really good burgers and turtle sundaes). The only other Krispy Kreme I know of is the one on the way to Midway Airport -- is that one still there?

— On the neighbor message DONUTS!!
10:05 a.m.

WHOA! Here's some big news: I just discovered a donut food truck. Check it out!

— On the neighbor message DONUTS!!
2:33 p.m.

Unfortunately, there aren't many great donut places right near us. Dinkel's on Lincoln just north of Belmont is pretty good, but I've found them to be hit or miss. There's also something about the service that kind of rubs me the wrong way, but that's just me.

Roeser's ( on North Avenue is very good, but a little bit of a drive. The Swedish Bakery ( is very solid, but closed on Sundays (grrrr!). Lutz ( is good, but I don't think they have donuts, per se. It's more oriented toward fancy pastries.

The two best donut places that I know of that aren't on the far South Side are Do-Rite Donuts at 50 W. Randolph (only open during the week), and the Donut Vault on Franklin just north of the Merchandise Mart. And if you do venture to these places, be ready to wait in line for a while.

— On the neighbor message DONUTS!!
11:04 a.m.

There's a Dairy Queen on Southport a little north of Addison, and one way west on Irving Park.

But the better option is Susie's at 4126 W. Montrose. They've got the best shakes in the city.

— On the neighbor message Soft Serve / Twisty cones?
5:26 p.m.

I think things seem to be moving upward on that stretch of Irving. There's a building with a pizza sign in the window on the north side of Irving there -- anyone know what's going on with that?

— On the neighbor message Buying a condo at 3300 W. Irving Park
3:16 p.m.

Bob: I appreciate the DIY spirit. Thanks for your work. But unfortunately, I think it's a little tougher when graffiti is on brick.

— On the neighbor message Do-it-yourself graffiti removal
10:14 a.m.

@Tino: Ok, so since we don't have a great familiarity with gangs, we should just move if we don't like them marking up our neighborhood? You realize that's incredibly patronizing and unhelpful, don't you?

And by the way, I'm a Chicago native. But that shouldn't matter. Who cares where people are from? If they want to keep their neighborhood clean and safe, I don't care if they're from New Zealand.

11 a.m.

I know exactly where that is, and that's why I wouldn't want to live in Ravenswood Manor. Obviously the houses are beautiful and it's an idyllic little spot. But it's an island surrounded by two streets (Lawrence and Montrose) that are just too shady for my liking.

11:53 a.m.

Years ago, I went with Just Decks on Clybourn. Had a very good experience with them.

— On the neighbor message Rooftop Deck Advice/Help
2:37 p.m.

Ugh. This makes heading east so much longer.

— On the neighbor message Wilson Avenue Bridge Closure Extended
11:07 a.m.

Matt: Sorry we got so ridiculously off-topic -- how silly to talk about quality of food when discussing a restaurant.

2:46 p.m.

@CJLane: I hear you. When Apart opened, they seemed to really want to be different. They wanted to use really good ingredients, become an important part of the community, etc. Hell, they even produced their own newsletter for a while. But I think they sold it and now, it simply feels like a... business. I find the service not very friendly and the product not that good. When we want pizza, we're more likely to spend a little more money and go to Pizza D.O.C. on Lawrence.

2:43 p.m.

@Chicagoan: I agree that the reason they've gone out of business -- if that's indeed the case -- is b/c of declining quality. We used to get take-out from there fairly often, but the last few times the salad literally tasted like they'd opened a bag of lettuce, tossed a few olives on there, and called it a day. The pizza went from excellent to simply... good enough.

Meanwhile, don't think it was the ridiculous bus shelter is a reason for their woes, but I don't think it's been beneficial to them over the years. The shelter totally hides the storefront from the street (and likely reduces the sidewalk to an illegally small width -- there's no way a double-stroller can fit through there). I don't hate the bus shelters, but I don't think they match the city. They're fairly formal, and I wouldn't describe Chicago that way.

2:27 p.m.

Wow, I hadn't seen that. Keep me posted. We used to love Apart, but we feel like their quality has definitely taken a hit over the last year or two.

On an unrelated note, they got totally screwed by the city with those ridiculous bus shelters.

1:29 p.m.

Mary: I live by Montrose and Kedzie, and might be interested in renting to you. It's a 3-bedroom with a deck, parking, and a backyard. Would you be interested in that? Let me know.

2:58 p.m.

Steve -- unfortunately, you don't get points for being sanctimonious. But thanks for the sound points otherwise.

7:25 a.m.

Yeah, people, what's the matter with you? The city and local realtors know what's best for you! If a toxic-waste dump/death-metal concert venue opens next door, just suck it up! Clearly, it's none of your business and you should just accept whatever comes your way.

9:23 a.m.

Well, I just called Centro -- they said they're not open tonight (?), but will be open tomorrow night. But the overwhelming opinion here seems to be that it won't be in business for much longer.

4:02 p.m.

Chris: What did you mean, "it's closed and gone"? What are you referring to?

3:55 p.m.

Hmm -- the more I see about Centro, the more it sounds like a bad deal.

3:48 p.m.

I'm not a fan of Tai's -- actually, I've never been there, but I can imagine it's not the best. But what's the problem with Centro? Why is it such a fiasco?

3:40 p.m.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure why this is a terrible idea. A bar could bring drunk people to the area, but this building is currently a closed business. Why is an empty building better than a bar? Ashland isn't exactly a residential street, there are several bars within a block or two (The Long Room, Tai's 'Til 4, Ten Cat, etc). Why is this any different?

3:30 p.m.

We may be in the epicenter of a looming gang war, but we've got several great chicken places near us:

-Fina Estampa (on Montrose, just west of the awesome Montrose Saloon)
-The aforementioned Brasa Roja
-D'Candela (The Reader's favorite)
-Flying Chicken (Pollo Volador, on Montrose just west of Kimball)
-Semiramis (YUM)

So we've got that going for us.

— On the neighbor message Gang Tag-3115 W. Montrose
1:03 p.m.

Schwag: Glad you're ok. Can you tell us why they were shooting at you? Might give us an idea of what kind of behavior to look out for/avoid.

— On the neighbor message Gang Tag-3115 W. Montrose
8:06 a.m.

Wouldn't it be more effective for them to walk?

I kid, I kid. This has got me kind of freaked out, but I thought I'd add a little levity.

— On the neighbor message Gunshots (Albany/Troy)
8:04 a.m.

I have seen two houses on our block get bought and revamped. That's pretty exciting news.

— On the neighbor message It's the small things!
8:02 a.m.

Sh. R. -- I imagine it's pretty unsettling to see such blatant gang writing on your building. I'm thinking, though, that your office happened to be a handy spot for the gang to make their "statement." Putting up cameras there would likely deter such action in the future, I'm thinking.

PS: Thanks for taking care of this so quickly. As a resident of this area, this is unsettling; as a father of a four-year-old daughter, it's pretty effing scary.

— On the neighbor message Gang Tag-3115 W. Montrose
8:01 p.m.

Knowledge is power.

— On the neighbor message Gang Tag-3115 W. Montrose
10:09 a.m.

Ugh -- that's about a block away. I'll call it in right now. Thanks for the note.

— On the neighbor message Gang Tag-3115 W. Montrose
2:37 p.m.

Give me a break. You live in a safe 'hood that's one most desirable parts of the city. It's filled with beautiful houses, cool bars, eclectic shopping, a movie theater (a movie theater!), highly rated restaurants, a huge park, a library, a CTA and metra stop, and much more... and you're griping about having to look for parking occasionally? Give it a rest.

You don't like it? I hear parking is plentiful in Jefferson Park.

— On the neighbor message Old Town School and parking
10:32 a.m.

I drove past there today -- it has been taken care of (I'm guessing by the city). Thanks to everyone who called it in.

— On the neighbor message Gang tagging on garage
12:43 p.m.

Oh man -- thanks for posting. That's going to hurt my commute. Montrose already crawls in the morning.

— On the neighbor message Wilson bridge closing temporarily
7:40 p.m.

I think we shouldn't try to get Caribou in that spot. Instead, we should cross our fingers that an indie coffee shop has the money to buy a massive space and fill it. I can ride my unicorn there and drink their tea that's made from the distilled vapor of a rainbow.

10:30 a.m.


3:22 p.m.

I used to knock on garden-view windows when I was a stupid teenager. I'm guessing it's not more than that.

Here's why I stopped: One time, a woman came out and said, "You know, that's really disturbing when you do that. I'd appreciate it if you didn't do that anymore." It made me feel really dumb and I never did it again.

— On the neighbor message Knocking on the windows
11:40 a.m.

I've heard good things on an anecdotal level, but their test scores aren't that good.

— On the neighbor message Bateman
4:20 p.m.

Lisa: Thanks for the great post! Very informative. Good to know about Charlie's, and I have been to the new taco place. Truth be told, I wasn't wowed -- I prefer El Asadero, at Lincoln and Montrose. (Although Rocky's on Montrose isn't too bad in a pinch.)

My point wasn't that I want Montrose & Kedzie to become Armitage & Halsted. And I do frequent several businesses here. But overall, the vibe on Montrose is kind of rundown. The strip mall you mentioned may have a decent store there (I've had pretty good luck with the chicken place there, Fina Estampa), but when it's packed with cars in the potholed parking lot, it doesn't do much for the area. And there are several abandoned businesses (the former restaurant just east of Peacock liquors) that I would love to see filled -- and not with tchotchke stores that also make keys.

3:48 p.m.

I'm not saying The Leader and Pitchfork are the awesomest places ever. But they look pretty good compared to the crappy places on Montrose now. There's a pretty large happy medium between LP and where Montrose is at right now.

1:49 p.m.

On the stretch of Montrose between Kedzie and California, there is: the aforementioned House of Cheap Plastic Crap and Keyz; a storefront church that never shovels its walk; a new taco restaurant that already wants to sell; a closed spa/nail salon in a large building; a store whose facade is wallpapered huge, garish signs saying they want to buy your gold; a hideous little strip mall that with parking spaces for about 8 cars (that routinely holds about 28); and about a half-dozen vacant storefronts.

In short, if Leader Bar, Pitchfork, et al, wanted to move to Montrose, I would hire a brass band to welcome them. I don't care about trendy (is D'Vines trendy, or just a decent resto?). I just want some semi-decent businesses on Montrose, and those businesses are just that.

1:07 p.m.

@DarkAngel: There's not a pizza shop at Sacramento and Montrose, but there is a lovely vacant lot, a place where you can get a haircut for $5, and a shop that a very, subtle, elegant way, lets you know they'll buy your gold.

@Shaun: I have no idea how that florist/key-maker/crap-seller opened that business -- nor why they thought, "Hey, here's a money maker!" Then again, maybe they're striking it rich. What do I know.

12:08 p.m.

Tim C: Irving Park is an underperformer, too, but it's definitely headed in the right direction (Leader Bar, D'Vines, Pitchfork, etc). Montrose isn't seeing the same progress.

11:30 a.m.

@Shaun: Yes, Brasa Roja and the bike shop excepted. I mean, tell me you aren't discouraged by that awful little "florist shop"/crapsville tchotchkes shop just west of that bar at Montrose and Troy. Every time I walk by there, my heart sinks.

11:27 a.m.

Great question! I've wondered the same thing myself. Maybe we need to convince them to move to Montrose instead -- that area just east of Kedzie is so janky.

11:08 a.m.

DZT: The wine fridge is probably six years old and was maybe $150 new, tops. So maybe this is the great Appliance Maker in the Sky's way of telling me it's time for a new one.

— On the neighbor message Need a fridge repairman
10:20 a.m.

April: Don't you think it's a little facile to say "bicyclists do this" or "bicyclists do that"? Different cyclists behave differently. That seems completely obvious, but I'll say it anyway.

I ride my bike several miles to work, and I stop at stop lights and slow down dramatically for stop signs. Do I come to complete stops? Only if a car is there and has the right of way. I think that's reasonable.

— On the neighbor message Ald Mell want bike licenses
9:48 a.m.

I'm a bike rider, but I don't have a problem with this. The city needs money, period. Everyone is going to have to pay more. The city is also becoming increasingly bike-friendly (i.e., the protected lane on Kinzie). If that's the case, it's completely reasonable for the city to expect cyclists to pitch in.

Also, if a cyclist blows through a light at a six-way intersection, nearly getting hit and causing all sorts of chaos (like I saw today), I have no problem with him getting a ticket.

Lastly, that article referred to a cyclist who said, "if the aldermen don’t want people to ride bicycles, they should just say so." I don't believe that aldermen don't want people to ride bikes. I think they want to increase the city's revenue, and they're throwing this around as an idea. Cyclists ride on city streets, and it takes money for the upkeep of those streets. Saying "You can't charge me for that!" is basically a NIMBY attitude.

— On the neighbor message Ald Mell want bike licenses
3:11 p.m.

@Laura: Good riddance. Have a nice time in your cul-de-sac.

— On the neighbor message Berteau and Whipple
9:35 a.m.

I'm all for bike riding. I ride to work. I vehemently defended the Kinzie protected lane on this very site. And I think Critical Mass is obnoxious as hell.

If I'm in a car and I'm trying to get somewhere, and I have to wait 10-15 minutes because cyclists want to take over the roads, I don't think, "What a clever way to establish a presence in the city!" Instead, I think, "This is incredibly selfish and pointless." And as I said, I'm sympathetic to the cause. So you can only imagine the anger it provokes in people who don't dig cycling.

So instead of creating some sort of dialogue, all you're doing is creating gridlock and provoking anger. Not the best way to engender a good back-and-forth.

— On the neighbor message Critical Mass TONIGHT!
10:47 p.m.

Hold on a second. Murders? Prostitutes? Crack houses? Are you living in Albany Park or on the set of "The Wire"? I live by Cullom and Albany (two blocks away) and I haven't seen any of those things.

As for these teens, I don't know what to tell you. I've never seen groups this big, and it's a nice night not long before winter arrives, so I'm inclined to think it was a one-off.

— On the neighbor message Berteau and Whipple
10:23 p.m.

Good question. We're looking for our daughter as well, and our top option is Disney 2. Unfortunately, the odds of getting in there are infinitesimal. If none of our best choices comes through, we've heard Bateman is surprisingly good.

— On the neighbor message Schools in East Albany Park
9:49 p.m.

Wow, that's so great, Sheila! Thanks so much for posting that wonderful opportunity! And hey, if Goldman Sachs did something like this 4 billion times across the world, maybe it would make up for a little of their role in our country's economic collapse!

PS: You misspelled "National."

3:52 p.m.

I don't think it's a scam. I gave a kid $20 and got a Trib subscription.

— On the neighbor message Rockwell El Stop solicitations
10:44 p.m.

So... you'll be at work all day, eh? Hmmm. Can you tell me where you'll be hiding your spare key? Just so, you know, someone else is there to help take care of things...

I kid, I kid. I wouldn't worry so much about the car thefts. I don't think there's much of a problem -- I would attribute it to a statistical anomaly. Wouldn't hurt to get some sort of theft-deterrent system, I suppose, but it's not chaos in the streets here.

— On the neighbor message Moving to Chicago
4:07 p.m.

I will do the note today and say if it happens again I'm calling the police (which will actually probably be the alderman, but tomato-tomatoe). And believe me, Brian, the cinder block is a tempting option (although we'll probably go a little more passive).

— On the neighbor message Car alarm on Albany
11:57 a.m.

Your mom's basement?

I kid, I kid.

The Montrose Saloon is a bar, but they have a huge outdoor area. Don't know if that's an option, but maybe during the summer months it would work.

9:25 a.m.

Grace: His name is James Porter, and you can reach him at or call at (773) 401-8071.

— On the neighbor message DJ for a block party.
3:48 p.m.

I know some GREAT DJs, but they specialize in older Motown stuff. Would you be interested in that, or are you looking for new stuff?

— On the neighbor message DJ for a block party.
3:28 p.m.

@Eric: Just so you know, bikes are supposed to ride in the streets, not on the sidewalk.

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
9:44 a.m.

Oh my gosh, you have to actually pause to look over your shoulder to make sure you won't hit a bicyclist? Wow, this bike lane really has damaged your life.

And I don't think it's fair to say "they don't stop for stop signs." Many do. What about drivers? How many stop for stop signs? You can find many stories of people getting hit by cars because they simply blew through a stop sign.

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
2:45 p.m.

Greg: Sorry to hear about your friend. Yes, riding a bike can be pretty scary, especially at the bigger intersections. I ride on Elston, and most of the way it's pretty clear. But at the bigger intersections (such as Diversey & Elston and Fullerton & Elston) it can get a little hectic. It just takes one jag who's not looking and you're in serious trouble. And it gets a little nerve-wracking to ride alongside a whole line of parked cars -- you never know who's going to open their door without looking.

The intersection of Milwaukee & Kinzie isn't fun, either -- it's a big, wide turn, and it's difficult to get into the right line. But having this bike lane definitely helps.

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
11:34 a.m.

@Paul T: Thanks for bringing it down a notch. My apologies. That said, I'm not sure how you can point to the bike lanes as the cause for the increase in traffic. If there hasn't been a decrease in the number of lanes, how has the number of cars that can go through this area changed?

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
9:27 a.m.

@Fabian: Excellent point. It's not like the number of lanes decreased. To criticize bikers for the increase in traffic is kind of, well, ludicrous.

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
9:20 a.m.

@G! -- Here's a tip: The Grind Cafe. 4613 Lincoln Ave. Open until 10pm every night except Sunday.

— On the neighbor message Starbucks @ Montrose & Wolcott
10:08 p.m.

Those terrible bikers! It's so awful when they go barreling down the street at, what, 18 miles per hour? Such a danger! They're a hazard to everyone, unlike those cars who always come to full stops at stop signs, never run red lights, are always respectful of pedestrians, and never attach after-market gear so their cars will sound extra-loud and cool!

Clearly those stupid bikers, with their exercise and non-polluting means of transportation, are the problems here!

— On the neighbor message Kinzie Street Bike Lanes
10:03 p.m.

Uhhh.... what?

— On the neighbor message A Great Place to eat
9:38 p.m.

Would this affect the other schools at Lycee Francais -- specifically Park View Montessori?

— On the neighbor message Lycee Francais/Ravenswood Hospital
11:50 a.m.

I might know someone -- can you tell me what kind of work you're looking for? ChicagoGirl0042, too.

— On the neighbor message Help! Handyman Needed
6:30 a.m.

We ended up going to the Bad Apple, and we had a really good experience. (Well, the fairly aloof waitress aside.) But the food was great, and our guests really dug the vibe there. We were going to go to Margie's afterwards for a caloric blowout, but our daughter was too tired. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

— On the neighbor message Need "All-American" Place for DInner
8:46 a.m.

Adrian: I know exactly what you're talking about. I've actually never been there, but it does have that classic American diner vibe. I'm leaning toward Bad Apple then maybe Margie's, but that's a good suggestion. Thanks for sending it along.

— On the neighbor message Need "All-American" Place for DInner
2:45 p.m.

Wow, these are some great suggestions. I neglected to mention this: One of the people in our group will be our four-year-old daughter. So places like the Northdown might be a little beyond us, at this point. I've been inside the Fountainhead, but that was only to check it out right after it opened. It seemed kind of loud -- maybe too much for our daughter.

Glen's is a good call, but maybe a little too upscale. (Then again, maybe not.) I love the Big Apple idea -- can't believe I didn't think of it myself. Margie's would be a great way to end the night. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

— On the neighbor message Need "All-American" Place for DInner
11:58 a.m.

Amy: Those are good suggestions. I don't love the Daily food, but I like the outdoor area. Fork is in the old Fiddlehead Cafe location, right? Is it pretty good?

— On the neighbor message Need "All-American" Place for DInner
8:01 a.m.

I haven't noticed it, but I do appreciate that you used the word "miasma."

— On the neighbor message Reeking River Miasma?
4:16 p.m.

There's a place called Sabroso Grill at 3816 W. Montrose. I went there tonight to see if I could get some chicken, but they don't have a to-go menu (what the...?!?!). But according to their website, it's mostly a catering place. Anyone have any experience here?

— On the neighbor message What's your favorite rotisserie chicken spot?
10:01 p.m.

It's very good. But if you're looking for something similar and you want to support a local biz, might I recommend Brasa Roja?

— On the neighbor message Las Tablas Restaurant
10:40 a.m.

I heard it, too -- figured it was fireworks.

MM: where was the tagging?

9:16 a.m.

Good question, Marco. There used to be a sushi place on Montrose -- Paradise. It's now a taqueria (that's pretty good, I hear). There was also one on Irving Park, but I never went there and I don't think it's around.

I haven't been to Pitchfork or Leader Bar on Irving, but I've heard good things. And if you want a good hang-out bar, you can't do much better than Montrose Saloon. One of the best dives around.

— On the neighbor message A Sushi Spot Worth Checking Out
10:24 a.m.

And I heard they just added outdoor seating? Nice.

— On the neighbor message A Sushi Spot Worth Checking Out
10 a.m.

If we're going on taste, I'd have to go with Semiramis. When I was a bachelor, I ate their chicken at least twice a week. But Brasa Roja is a great deal. Has anyone tried that other place further west on Montrose, on the north side of the street? I can't think of its name...

— On the neighbor message What's your favorite rotisserie chicken spot?
7 a.m.

Umm... right.

— On the neighbor message 4057 N. Spaulding
4:04 p.m.

Samowl: Maybe you could write about things happening in the neighborhood without being judgmental and assuming no one else is doing anything.

— On the neighbor message 4057 N. Spaulding
12:14 p.m.

I have to say, I'm heartened by Dot.Dot's response. And I don't mean to be a Negative Nelly. When I first moved here, I loved the neighborhood. But six years is a long time, and I think the hit we're going to take on the sale of our condo has tainted my perspective, too.

— On the neighbor message Leland Crossing Information?
10:04 a.m.


I think AParkRes' write-up says a lot. I've lived about 3/4 of a mile from Leland Crossing for six years, and my wife and I are looking to move, too.

When I bought my condo in 2005, this area seemed primed to be the next Lincoln Square. And things progressed for a while... then the bubble popped, and I really feel like things have gone downhill. There are empty storefronts on Montrose or crappy florist/key-making shops. Gang issues seem to be getting worse. There seems to be more tagging all the time. Loud neighbors have parties or card games until 3am. I'm done.

There are a lot of great things here, of course -- Semiramis, Noon O, a great dive-y bar (Montrose Saloon), Cermak Market, etc. But those seem like oases in an area that just doesn't seem to be improving.

Of course, you could be an urban pioneer and get in when things are low. You might do well that way. But that's why I bought here six years ago, and if we're lucky enough to sell our place we'll probably take a 20% loss, at least. So do with that what you will.

— On the neighbor message Leland Crossing Information?
9:28 a.m.

I don't know where you're talking about -- where is this, exactly?

— On the neighbor message Stefanos
10:26 p.m.

Good question. Montrose has lagged behind other streets when it comes to getting nicer -- something good going in there would be a hell of a start.

— On the neighbor message 4410 north whipple vacant lot
9:52 p.m.

Bigger picture, it's frustrating to me that this is even an issue. I don't understand how Irving Park can be getting cool bars like Pitchfork and Leader and Lawrence and Montrose are staying the same/getting worse.

— On the neighbor message Uno Billiards by Lawrence and Troy
8:23 p.m.

Just wondering: What do you mean, "That Montrose & Sacramento guy will lead you into very tricky territory"? I live close to there and would love to know what you're referring to.

— On the neighbor message Uno Billiards by Lawrence and Troy
3:47 p.m.