Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spookiest Buildings in Hyde Park-Kenwood: A Halloween Special

posted by chicago pop

If you're serious about Halloween, here is HPP's list of the top spookiest houses in Hyde Park-Kenwood. No guarantee that they're haunted, but they sure look like they ought to be (and with good reason in the case of our #1 pic below).

#1. Franks Family Mansion, 2007
Kenwood Home of Robert "Bobby" Franks

Big, empty, falling-apart Kenwood mansion two blocks from the home of the President of the United States. But also the home of the poor soul, Robert "Bobby" Franks, the adolescent boy murdered by the most infamous U of C alums in history: Leopold and Loeb. Strangely enough, this tragic site was recently a preschool. The sign still hangs on a plywood board nailed over a window facing 51st Street. Very spooky.

#2. Spooky House on Blackstone & 56th

This house really does look like the classic, Hollywood version of the haunted Victorian mansion, complete with corner turret for strange lights to shine forth at night, ample attic for chain-dragging poltergeists, and an overgrown yard that will keep people from getting in ... or getting out.

#3. Spooky Apartment Building on Hyde Park Boulevard
at Harold Washington Park

One day this building upped and went empty. For awhile its yard was completely overgrown, but the vegetation was recently cut back, diminishing the spookiness. It has more of a serial killer as opposed to tormented ghost vibe. Spooky, for sure.

And of course ...

#4. St. Stephens Church

Down in the basement, with all the rats ... very, very spooky. And for sale.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Elegy Written by a Vacant Lot; or, The Lament of Hans Morsbach (A Prose Poem)

posted by chicago pop

"There is a need to have sensible local citizens to have a good relationship with the University. I am not among them.

-- Hans Morsbach, October 24, 2010

Hans Morsbach
Date: October 24, 2010 5:32:33 PM CDT
Subject: Re: [Good Neighbors] Anybody know anything about this?

I have been getting the invitation for years but have not been attending for a while. It is in the President's home and attended by folks from the University engaged in neighborhood matters and local citizens. There are fewer people I know than there used to be and I would probably feel like a stranger if I went. Somebody in the UfC's neighborhood staff has singled you out to be a significant citizen. The affair was more useful in the past when there were more UFC persons who cared about the neighborhood and lived in Hyde Park. I have a feeling that they have been replaced with folks who have a bean-counter mentality and like to convert old buildings, mess up the Point, and use the community garden as a building site. Some old UfC people working on neighborhood matters have left the Univisersity, some with bad feelings. I have been in the neighborhood for fifty years and have, at this time, no University contacts. I had lunch once with Lipinski and once with Sonya. I have no contact with anybody whom I know well enough to call and chat about neighborhood matters. I think the University is loosing its connection with local citizens. Somebody should point it out to President Zimmer. There is a need to have sensible local citizens to have a good relationship with the University. I am not among them.

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 10:54 AM, XXXX wrote:

I also received this very tersely worded invitation and had already planned
to call the University on Monday to find out more about this event. I am on
at least three University mailing lists, and it would also be interesting to
find out which one is the source for sending me the invitation.

When I find out more about this event, I will let you know.


----- Original Message -----
To: "goodneighbors"
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2010 05:45
Subject: [Good Neighbors] Anybody know anything about this?

Dear Goodneighbors,

Came home last night to find an invitation from the "president of the U of
inviting me to "a Reception in Recognition of Community Leadership". Has
anyone else gotten this? Who are we going to recognize? For what?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to Save Shoesmith Elementary School

HPP passes on the following:

Hello Shoesmith School friends and neighbors,

Thanks for your interest in getting involved at Shoesmith. There are some opportunities coming up that I’d like to tell you about:

First, Shoesmith’s Community Days will be held October 26, 27, and 28. Choose one of these days to tour the school, observe classes, and talk with administrators and each other about the school’s needs and possibilities. The goal here is to learn more about the school and to begin organizing as a community to support and improve Shoesmith.

If you’re interested, please e-mail me and let me know which day you would like to attend; we have room for around six participants per day. Stay tuned for a Community Day agenda, which should be coming to you by October 13. For now, I would recommend setting aside roughly 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the Community Day experience.

Second, I’m pleased to announce a great event at The Church of Saint Paul and the Redeemer on Sunday, October 17 at 3:00 p.m. Jacqueline Edelberg, author of How to Walk to School, will speak. She was instrumental in turning around Nettelhorst School on the Northside; her message is one of empowering communities to reclaim their local public schools. After that, Ellen Lorden, a CPS parent and the former community relations liaison under Arne Duncan, will speak. Ellen brings a wealth of knowledge about different public school choices, how to apply, things to consider.

Representatives from local public elementary schools—including Shoesmith—will be on hand to answer questions and chat with folks about how they can support their schools.

We think this event will be of interest to:
1. Parents considering sending their child to CPS, whether as a new student or a transfer student;
2. Neighbors who wish to learn how to work with and improve their local public school;
3. Staff at the local public schools who wish to work with their neighbors;
4. Anyone who needs a good does of enthusiasm and optimism.

I’ve attached an event flier. We definitely need help posting these. Let me know if you’d like to help or just go ahead and print and post some.

And please feel free to forward this message on to folks who might be interested!

Thanks and enjoy the weekend,

Eva Nielsen

Shoesmith School LSC, community representative

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tell Me Who To Vote For

posted by chicago pop

For once, I want you to tell me something. I want you to tell me who to vote for, or who I should want to vote for, or who I should want to have installed by appointment -- whichever may be the most appropriate scenario --as my 4th Ward Alderperson.

Because, as we all know, Toni Preckwinkle is on her way up and out, on to higher things. Last Saturday the Tribune endorsed our wonderful 4th Ward Alderperson in her race for President of Cook County Board. Good-bye old-time black South Side Democratic machine, hello black Hyde Park reformer. We wish her the best of luck, but are mostly sorry to see her go because we have no idea what the hay is going to happen to our dear 4th Ward, which we'd prided ourselves on telling people was an island of sanity next to an atoll of utter, involuted stasis, careerism, and mammoth, out-of-control community organizations (the 5th Ward) and flanked, until quite recently, by the carnivalesque hats of Dorothy Tillman.

So who are all these folks clamoring to take all my phone complaints at the 4th Ward office? There's George Rumsey, who seems like a nice enough guy, with a soft spot for mums and bulbs, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the old US Steel yard for the University of Chicago; then there's some radio guy Norman Bolden whose claim-to-fame is that he owns a block of 43rd Street; and of course State Representative Will Burns is Preckwinkle's anointed successor, who looks like a clean-cut kind of guy, but I've never heard of him.

Have I missed anyone? Surely I have. Someone help me out here.

Hyde Park Oktoberfest!

Hyde Park Oktoberfest: It doesn't get any better than this.

Hey, there's a beer festival in Ye Olde German-Towny Hyde Park, complete with Bavarian views of alpine Lake Michigan, lots of jugs, lots of beer, some of it in jugs, and plenty of volkst├╝mlich Gem├╝tlichkeit of the kind only available in the neighborhood of Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama. What the hell, it's a beer festival, people. There used to be Germans down here. Use your imagination.


Festivities along 53rd Street between Dorchester and Kimbark avenues include a beer garden, food vendors, live music from classic beer hall, brass bands like Akasha, Full Circle, and L.V. Banks, plus arts and crafts and export-oriented, precision machine tool technology, a pumpkin patch, and Germanic, beer-related kids activities, like bobbing for apples floating in large tubs of beer.

Where: Saturday October 9 11AM- 7PM
Cost: IT'S FREE!!!!
Event Phone Number: 773-324-6929