Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Walk West from Terminal Park, Guidelines to Keep Bullets in Gun Shops, Recommendation to Chairman Moore about the Northshore Slumlords

The pundits may call me crazy, but I'm not intimidated, whether I lived at Winchester and Rogers or Ridge and Rogers. I walk home sporadically down Rogers or Touhy from the Howard Street Terminal. I am by no means, alone. After midnight, the only way to get home, other than by using the parking lot is by foot. The 290 does not run. There are cabs on Howard that line up by Paulina, but you need cash. I don't see mobs, but don't doubt their infrequent existence. I don't know how neighborhoods will change without a constant law abiding presence.

What is the point of taking the CTA Train if you can't save a few dollars. Other than the area west of Damen just before the former Pulse Ambulance, the north sidewalk is well lit. I see no reason why others avoid the walk on the well lit south side of the street or even bike home from the Terminal. The new Walgreens and the remodeled RP Fruit Market give you an excuse to avoid the 'boob tube' for thirty to forty minutes.

There is often, not always, an baseball game that starts around 7pm on the diamond in the east corner of the Park. By the time that you reach Ridge Boulevard, the Lamp Post usually has a few smokers eager to 'light a grit' on the southwest corner. Neighbors just south of Potawattomi Rec Center hang out on their porch until about 11pm. I promise that they don't bite, but may chupa the 'cheles,' upon occasion. Near that corner is the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, which was relocated from the fence and sidewalk. A few often sit inside the fence at the home out of respect as the velas burn.

My walk home may include a stop at the RP Fruit Market on Clark and Rogers if I get home by 9pm. If not, then I stop by Dominicks which is open until one. If I want to skip the trudge through the Dominick's Parking lot, then I take the 22 to Clark and Rogers.

After living in the area on and off for nearly fifty years, I have accepted integration, embraced it, and even moved from the north suburbs more than twenty years ago. A few inconsiderate or loud folks talking on their cell phone or each other are not going to intimidate me. Why should they intimidate anyone else. However, being a guy has its advantages. Nevertheless, I see no reason why a few people cannot take a stroll without a hassle. It can be quite serene; I guess some are too afraid of each other to appreciate the moment.

Life on the West End - Suggested Guidelines that Keep the Bullets in the Gun Shops

If you live here, you belong and your neighbors will likely respect you. If you visit, enjoy your stay; don't be intimidated and visit friends in peace. If you waltz around raising your hands, dressing with 'boxers hanging out of your jeans,' doo rag flapping, rapping jive/trash talk, and looking for attention, you probably don't belong. White folks wear doo rags, occasionally even my wife, so it is the complete image not one garment! Start waltzing for the heck of it, with or without the dog, you might learn something or get some exercise.

Perhaps, you are unintentionally disrespect others or never figured out how to co-exist. We can observe, but need not report. We can act as a constant unintimidated presence to witness and encourage those who disrespect our streets to move on. However, that said, simply being a good neighbor and cleaning up your apartment's or home's parkway is a reasonable request.

Those who do and I have seen them more often than not sport Evanston City Stickers on their windshield, loiter on the corner, park in a no parking area, and eventually make it to the local grocery store to pick up a few cans of malt liquor. Yes, the locals go for the singles, but more often than not, those who don't belong trash our block and drive away. Chicago's Finest seem to care little about open alcohol or just don't look for it.

Chances are if you see something, it may be a new neighbor or someone who crossed Howard to get attention or attract bullets. Yet, I don't live in or near the Jonquil Jungle, but even Jonquil and Sheridan has significantly improved from its abandoned gas station past. You cannot get stability without reasonable amounts of single family housing.

Chairman Moore, Will We Encourage Single Family Homes to Challenge High Density Abandoned Apartments?

Chairman Moore, condemn and tear down those apartment building walls! The Jarvis walls just east of Ridge are full of brick waiting for demolition. Some are caked with City Condemnations Stickers. Building violations deserve attention, fines, condemnation, and demolition, not funerals for desperate Hispanic tenants. I recall that the Law Division contains a Department specifically geared to slumlords, condemnation, and demolition. Demolition was done in Pilsen, so why not Rogers Park? Why do we wonder about contributions to the Moore Political War Chest? Consider the sources! Could it be, slumlords and liquor stores?

Why stoop, Chairman Joe? A true progressive rejects and returns those contributions to their source! What influence does Joe actually wield towards those contributors that Craig Gerhardt so fondly harps about? [sarcasm intended] However, alas, I digress and am too utterly distracted by what seems like 'the current party line.' I regret that I fear that many, 'but not all,' members of the local DFA are a bunch of Cheerleaders for the status quo, rather than activists for significant local issues. Certainly, it makes it easier for others to fill the vacuum of dissent that seems non-partisan and often reasonable.

Should residents 'OD' near the front stoop of your Ward Office and local sidewalks without meaningful intervention or a POA, Alderman? Is this stupor an indication that the uneducated in your Ward have alcohol and drug challenges in need of reasonable police and medical attention? Or is it simply not a priority because these folks vote when encouraged? Neighbors should not have to post photos of small Ziploc bags gathered from the parkway on CAPs Websites to get attention for the obvious!

Well, my walks are otherwise undisturbed except for those unconscious concerns, which are often stored in brain tissue until the persperation makes those thoughts do the lambada out of there! When will Joe appreciate that those folks who live in Deerfield are looking forward to the next Blajovevic to influence? Perhaps, he does. What happens when Joe, among others, is sucked in, chewed up, and spit out in an eleven count indictment?

Perhaps, Joe will get out of politics in time. Maybe he will find a job at a large law firm until it implodes from too much political weight. Others have found private practice. Politics is a hypocritical livelihood in that you can only remain popular for so long. The rights to hold office are made that much tougher by the challenge of an incumbent's dependency upon power and privilege. The spotlight gets brighter and the wine turns acetic.

The Intimidated, 'spaced out folks' Up North with the Long Commute through Our Streets.

Well, those Northshore folks are too afraid to live nearer to their jobs. Perhaps, they are too embarrassed! Maybe, they are too bigoted and ignorant to find good Chicago Public schools in which to send their kids. Some suburbanites seem to revel in driving down 25 mph Ridge Boulevard at about 45 mph. Most, including the Freedom Bus, remain unabated by our local officers.

I fear that these peace officers would rather ticket the parked cars of locals on the west side, then cite speeders, ticket stoplight slackers, stifle litterbugs, and show up 'in key' at traffic court. Actions and integration are not curses nor is the freedom of speech! We should learn to interact and present reasonable, yet subtle persuasion to those who simply don't get it or reasonably appreciate our needs.

However, everyone deserves respect even if they let their boxers hang out and little else. We should tolerate and observe the lazy and loitering just long enough to encourage them to continue their stroll outside of our eyesight. When it ceases to be a stroll, it begins to become a trespass in progress. The sidewalk is an easement, not a public space to stop and drink a soda or make a phone call unless you live there. Don't be convinced, otherwise. Yet, I find the sidewalks to usually remain free of distractions.

I regret that some partisans may be encouraging the resurgence of Republican State lawmakers in Illinois, regardless of Democratic control of Federal elections. The concern is whether partisan progressives wake up, clean out their nostrils, and smell the stench. Perhaps, some prefer to be cavalier and feign ignorance about the situation; I think that their boxers are showing, as well.

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