Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh. My. God.

First we had to see this:

Then we had this:

And as of Friday, finally this:

Nice, eh? But based on past behavior, will they water the lawn so the turf takes to it's new home?

Now will the building be condos or rentals? Affordable? subsidized? market rate? If the building goes condo, will parking be factored into the equation? Who will market the property?

More importantly, who's the developer?

This story is moving forward (with a nice lawn might I add) but still developing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Planted

Despite the fact that I live two blocks away from the urban garden, I'm still getting the hang of turning on the water supply from the golf course, ducking flying balls and not watering the veg so late that it's dark by the time you put the hose away and lock up.

I love our little patch of heaven but I ain't trying to get caught in a secluded grove of trees off a non-fenced golf course that's in a Chicago public park.

That's a recipe for a really bad time.

In fact, when I was watering last Tuesday about a 1/2 hour before the sun went down I noticed that random men were popping up on the golf course---without golf clubs and on the path surrounding the garden.


Unfortunately my time to water is limited as early in the morning isn't an option while I still have a job.

And no, there's nothing new to report on that front. Once I have news, I'll let you know.

Why do you think I'm trying to grow my own tomatoes, bell peppers and collard greens?


The potential for something very bad to happen back there is a real possibility so I always carry my cell phone and look for other people either jogging or on the golf course. So I try to very much stay aware of my surroundings while indulging my urban gardening steez.

Keep good gardening vibes coming my way. Keep your fingers crossed that a bounty is only a few months away.

Enjoy the pictures below.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Batty Batty Batty

After having a rare Saturday night off, I woke yesterday morning intent on doing chores.

Number one on the list was to start with the front porch.

I had filled up paper bags with stuff from the day before and was transferring them to the back porch to finally go to the alley.

The first bag---no problem.

But when I picked up the second bag, a loud and aggressive hiss came from whatever was under it.

Startled, I did what any self respecting feminist would do.

I screamed like a little girl, turned tail and ran into the house.

Sad, but true.

Perplexed, I went about my chores until I screwed up the courage to see what exactly was hissing at me.

Courage being my middle name (*ha!*) I opened up the window that leads to the front porch, opened it and took the broom handle and once again lifted the overflowing trash bag.

What revealed was an uglier version of a mouse with rougher looking fur.

Ladies and Gentlemen I believe I had found a bat.

This time he didn’t hiss at me so I assumed that he was dying.

My burning question was why a bat had suddenly appeared incapacitated on my front porch?

Despite their blindness, bats have built in sonar so it’s not like their going to slam into wall, objects or people.

Furthermore, they tend to avoid people and sunlight.

I could only deduce that Mr. (or Ms.) Bat might be infected with rabies.

Now I was tempted to let Mr. Puss out to make short work of the beast but the ensuing vet bill if the bat was infected gave me pause.

All I need is for my crazy cat to become rabid. He already has a questionable disposition.

The only reason why he hasn’t cut me is because I have opposable thumbs and can open his food.

So a few more hours pass and my intent was to scoop up the dead bat and throw him over the side where I imagine some neighborhood scavengers would take care of him.

But when I went to check on his whereabouts, he had moved.


I hoped he had taken flight and left me alone.

When I went to reach for the trash bag and disturbed some of the other stuff on the porch, that hiss told me otherwise.

*Cue Woody screaming and running like a little girl (again)*

It was time to call 311 (The City of Chicago’s non-emergency help line) for animal control.

While I missed them the first time, they did come within the hour and were quite courteous and helpful.

The ladies (yes, ladies---I felt so ashamed) popped in and scooped up Mr. Bat within 5 minutes.

They agreed with me that the beast was acting strange and they wouldn’t be surprised if it had rabies.

Their next concern was Mr. Puss’ exposure to the bat; as they were prepared to take him in as well.

I told them he rarely went out on the porch and had not been out on the porch yesterday.

After taking some additional information, they gave me a slip and said if the beast tested positive someone would call me within 72 hours and follow up with me.

So while I ran like a girl and immediately thought of how a man should help me; to my credit I did contact the proper authorities who in turn handled the situation with promptness and professionalism.

And they didn’t laugh at me.

Even though I had some laughable behavior.

With all the waste you hear about concerning the City of Chicago, at least you know that your dollars are being wisely spent at Animal Control.

I can stare a wannabe gang banger down like nobody’s business but a bat can make me his (or her) bitch.

Woody, redefining irony everyday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Club Honey

I received this text on Saturday from one of my neighbors:

"I think there is something going on at the Metro Club. Gave some ladies directions to 'Club Honeys' at 1445 East XXth Street."

Yet when I came home the street wasn't mobbed with cars.


The reason made itself apparent when I was walking to the train yesterday morning:

Is this lasting progress?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jackson Park Urban Garden, 2

Clean and green volunteers making signs.

Garden view of the golf course.

Jackson Park Urban Garden

Yes, we're just that close to the Jackson Park golf course.

The start of a new fence.

A young helper digging post holes.

My little "half acre."

The compost pile.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Here Comes The Judge, Part 2

I just don’t get the Honorable William Pileggi.

He seems like the real deal.

He’s cosigned on common sense initiatives and has even received an award from Neighborhood Housing Services.

From what I’ve been able to find on the web and glean from my lawyer friends, Judge Pileggi is okey doke.

He seems like a jurist who will put some bite and muscle into the maze of building codes in our fair city.

This makes his rulings concerning the property at 1512-1514 E. Marquette and Mr. Knight all the more troubling.

Court records indicate that on numerous occasions Judge Pileggi has given Mr. Knight more than enough time to comply with the City’s order.

My question is why was he granted so many chances?

If I can find the numerous actions filed against Carlton Knight in Cook County court system, surely he can as well.

One would think that those records alone would serve as a litmus test of Mr. Knight’s actions & behaviors.

Clearly I’m in the minority on this one.

As a result case number 2007-M1-402799 has been dragging out since October 4th of 2007.

But as I was recently mulling over the judges’ actions, I took a gander across the way and saw something miraculous.

A brand new porch.

Maybe it’s because I rarely look out of my back window or raise the shade. Perhaps with the sun rising earlier and setting later, it gave me an extended opportunity to gaze across the way.

Whatever the reason, that looks like new porch construction to me.

If the porch is new, I would be the first to tell you that I have no clue why Mr. Knight would all of a sudden comply with the city’s order.

I could offer up any number of theories but it would be a waste of both blog space and your time.

The bottom line is that the porch was built.

Now whether it’s up to code is the city’s call.


This person is one of the reasons why I keep on titling at windmills.