Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Albany Park blog has a new home!

(First off, I apologize for the lapse in posts, I have been away on vacation roaming through Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. )

This blog will be moving over to WindyCitizen.com in the next day or two. I am very excited, and hopefully I will get some help in covering this wonderfully diverse neighborhood!

Monday, October 5, 2009

swimming in Gompers Park

North River Commission meeting is tomorrow night

The NRC is having its bi-monthly meeting tomorrow night at the Harmony Healthcare and Rehab Center (3919 W Foster), starting at 7pm. The purpose of this meeting is to:

Share your neighborhood’s top successes from the summer and hear updates on NRC’s 2009 Priorities and activities
Come and help us identify and discuss trends and issues that are affecting our neighborhood as we begin setting priorities for 2010. What is your community’s biggest issue right now? We need your help to set strategic goals as we look toward next year!

Welcome Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer as she gives us an update on programs at the County level. Ms. Gainer replaced Mike Quigley when he was elected Congressman of the 5th District. We will also hear State and Federal level updates from Leah Pouw, Chief of Staff for 40th District Representative Deborah Mell, and Kimberly Walz, District Director for 5th District Congressman Mike Quigley.

Harmony Healthcare, our host for this meeting, offers a range of services for all ages and abilities. Learn more about this resource in our community. Tours of the facility are available before the meeting at 6:30pm.

Iron Cycles has moved!

Their new location is 3136 Montrose, off Kedzie and across the street from Basa Roja.

According to the owners, they moved because their prior location (2860 Montrose) was broken into 3 times. Matt (pictured right) says their new store has "a safer layout". The new store also has a lot more room, which they needed.

And here are the Yelp reviews (all stellar!) for Iron Cycles.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NBC Chicago is lazy...

NBC Chicago included Albany Park in their "Food for Olympic Thought" article, and they say Albany Park has the best Korean food. Korean? That's old news. That is Albany Park 5 + years ago. How many great middle-eastern restaurants are there in this neighborhood? What about Dawali's falafel?

The Kimball Station Condo Building and more on gentrification

I am sure you noticed this 5 floor condo building go up a couple months ago, located right across the street from the Kimball brown line station. The space used to be a warehouse, and still has that "warehouse-y" look with its stainless steel accents. An estimated 14 million went into that building, and it has 59 units (full) of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments and includes an elevator (really needed?) and a heated parking garage (again, really needed? It's freaking across the street from the train station). The building is still looking for a commercial tenant on the ground floor. Before you start booing, read this: the building is not all condos any more. Liz Griffiths, of the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, informed me of the growing "luxury rental trend" where condo buildings now rent out their units. Such is the case with the Kimball Station building.

(random fact: the H&R Block guys off Kedzie are the realtors for the Kimball Station building)

According to Griffiths, the majority of new residents moving to Albany Park are people displaced by the high cost of living in Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Andersonville. Albany Park is a cheaper alternative. The APCC works with over 60 landlords and owners to keep rent affordable, but unfortunately, some buildings can't maintain their low rental prices in this economy. Griffiths related this story about the building on Spaulding and Lawrence: the owner tried to do everything in her power to prevent the apartment from being flipped to condos. This included laying off her cleaning lady and cleaning the apartment building herself. This went on for a while until the owner eventually and reluctantly (?) sold the apartment units to her residents for a "deal" before flipping the property. She sold 8 units to her former tenants.

My super explained to me the other day that my building is completely full, something that hasn't happened in years. "It's a little sad to see", as all the new people that moved in are victims of foreclosures or the economy. "Great time to be in the rental business", he adds.

Friday, October 2, 2009

empty Huddle House

Weekend Events


Art in my Backyard has a new exhibition opening today, in a newly renovated storefront at 4201 N Elston Ave. The opening reception is tonight from 6 - 9pm. The exhibition is titled "Buy Land" and
explores the American landscape through painting, drawing and video, and features ten artists who live and work on the northwest side of Chicago. The show title "Buy Land" draws attention to the current real estate crisis and borrows from a Mark Twain quote: "Buy land. They're not making it anymore."

Artists include Lorna Fillippini, Pamela Gibson, Liz Gresey, Fletcher Hayes, Jennifer Hines, Michael Kolasinski, Chris Novak, Garrett Reese, Neil Shapiro, and Cyd Smillie."
via 39th Ward newsletter

The space is only open on the weekends (check website for hours) and the show runs until October 30th. Admission is free.

Chicago Calling at Brown Rice.
The Chicago Phonography collective, which participated in the MCA's “Here/Not There” performance series this summer, plays recordings from the Ragdale artists' retreat in Lake Forest as part of the Chicago Calling Arts Festival. For more information, visit chicagocalling.org.
from TimeOut Chicago
Visit the Brown Rice website to find out who the second set will be (includes video projections from 3 artists) .
When: 10- 11:30pm
Where: 4432 Kedzie
Free (suggested $5 donation)


North Park University's annual Homecoming Block Party. Look for music, games, BBQ food, and booths by local organizations.
Where: Off Kedzie and Carmen (if it rains, HBP will take place in Hamming Hall)
When: 10:30am- 1:30pm

Gomp-tober Fest Party in the Park! Featuring food, drink, live music, with an entrance fee of $5. Only for 21+
Where: Gomper's Park
When: 7:30pm- 10:30pm.

The Swimming Pool Project Space new exhibition "Badgerland" opens. The exhibition features various media produced by students visiting Prague.
Only for 21+ (free Grolsch beer)
Where: 2858 W Montrose
When: 6pm- 9pm


Albany Park's first mural will be complete and hung by Our Lady of Mercy. Go check it out!
(more info about the mural, including interviews, to come soon)