Monday, December 29, 2014

Great News! More Movies in the Park coming to Winnemac Park this summer

The Friends of Winnemac Park board is working to bring more of the popular Movies in the Parks to Winnemac Park for summer 2015.  The board has tentatively secured funding for additional screenings in addition to the CPD allocated movie.  The added events will give more families a chance to enjoy a night out in the park!  Official dates to be determined.

Image Chicago Park District

Friends of the Park members and supporters identified Movies in the Parks as an excellent and accessible way to offer more events for the greatest amount of park users.  Other current efforts include: better promotion of programs to the community at large and hosting a large cycling event starting/ending at Winnemac Park (similar to the Ravenswood Run 5K).

Please contact [email protected] to volunteer, take on a Board leadership position and/or support programing and events at Winnemac Park. It's a great way to make connections and preserve a very special neighborhood asset.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reminder! Winnemac Park ONLINE REGISTRATION on December 2nd, 9:00am. Don't forget!

Winnemac Park winter session Online Registration is 
Tuesday December 2nd, 2014 at 9:00am. 
Pass on to your neighbors!

Click HERE for Winnemac Park Programs and Registration

The two main categories are Basketball and Aquatics.  Bitty Basketball held at Chappell school on Tuesdays for 5yr olds to 7yr olds  and Thursdays for 8yr olds to 10yr olds (both 6pm to 7pm) is a great affordable way to get the kids exercise in the winter. It's close by and only $30.00.

Swim lessons and aquatic sports are held at Amundsen High School.  The Welles Park pool is closed so more demand may shift to the Winnemac Park program! Make sure you save your favorites Online and put registration times in your calendar now.

Please pass the registration times on to your neighbors. I will have my kids in both Bitty Basketball programs this year and will volunteer for most sessions. We look forward to seeing our neighbors!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friends of Winnemac Park advisory meeting Tuesday November 18th, 6pm Dolce Casa Cafe

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Join us Saturday: An Age-friendly Chicago - What does it mean for our neighborhood?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Important! Friends of Winnemac Park Meeting Tuesday November 18th, 6:00pm

Friends of Winnemac Park Advisory Council Meeting
Refreshments Served
Tuesday November 18th, 2014 at 6:00pm 
Dolce Casa Cafe 4947 N Damen, Chicago
Email [email protected] or call 773-510-1597 and let us know you're coming. 
However, no RSVP necessary to attend.

Winnemac Park in October. Photo Eric Rojas
 Hello everyone!  Please join us for the Friends of Winnemac Park advisory meeting to learn about a few twists heading into the New Year.

1. The neighborhood group and existing non profit advisory council to Winnemac Park will operate under "Friends of Winnemac Park".  This is the non-profit name already filed with the state.  Friends of Winnemac Park have helped bring the play-lot and wildlife improvements to the park in the past (you love both, no?).  More recently neighbors have cultivated leaders for our Local School Councils, raised money for schools and hosted an annual park clean-up.

2. The current Winnemac Park Neighbors web site and the Facebook pages will change their titles to "Friends of Winnemac Park".

3. Friends of Winnemac Park is committed to a monthly meeting with the Winnemac Park supervisor. The first meeting will be Tuesday November 18th, 2014 at 6:00pm at Dolce Casa Cafe 4947 N Damen, Chicago.  This will be the one stop shop for community input for Winnemac Park.  We hope to make this meeting the "Third Tuesday of every month".

4. Finally, Friends of Winnemac Park volunteers and web site administrators will continue to help host and promote community meetings with officials, highlight local business around the park, help fund-raising efforts and inform neighbors around the park.

This month's meeting of Friends of Winnemac Park will focus on upcoming park programing, potential Board Positions for Friends of Winnemac Park and discussion of park issues, potential programs and park fundraisers. Ideas include a playground committee, a student nature day in the park and music events. Bring your concerns and compliments and get ready to help in small ways or BIG.

If you love Winnemac Park and the community around it... this is the place for you! Please consider lending your experience, time and resources to help maintain and improve one of the best parks  in Chicago.

[email protected]

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Still time to REGISTER and VOTE today!

For the first time ever you can REGISTER to vote on election day! 

We believe the closest location to Winnemac Park to register to vote today is Welles Park at 2333 W Sunnyside.

 Registered to vote?
Find your polling location HERE

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Amundsen Open House

If you are interested in learning about Amundsen High School, there will be an open house on Saturday, November 8th at 10am.  Stop by and see why so many people are talking about Amundsen these days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Visit the Asylum: Haunted House at Amundsen

Amundsen High School is again presenting a Haunted House Asylum this year, and everyone is invited, although young kids and folks with a heart condition might want to think twice.  Some photos from night 1 appear after the break, but be warned they are a bit creepy.

The show continues Wednesday and Thursday night this week (October 29 and 30) from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Enter through Door #5!  $5 suggested donation per participant, with all proceeds going to the Amundsen Theater Club.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Winnemac Park photos from the past weekends

All photos Eric Rojas to be used with proper links.

A handful of fall photos from the past couple weekends hanging out at Winnemac Park.  I wish I captured more people enjoying the weather!  Feel free to submit photos to us to post on the main page.  If you'd like to be an administrator and post local news, events and photos contact us at [email protected]

I spoke to a fellow real estate broker who lives in Lakeview/ North Center area while watching our kid's play baseball. He felt Winnemac blows away any Lincoln Park/ Lakeview / North Center parks (aside from the actual lakefront lol).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lincoln Square Art Walk this weekend! October 17th - October 19th

Check out your artsy neighbors at a dozen venues this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Opening reception with artists Friday October 17th at Dank Haus, Lincoln Square

"Chicago Blues" Youth Lacrosse at Winnemac Park

Lacrosse has been a growing and very hot sport in the Midwest for several years now. For the first time in my knowledge Lacrosse has shown up in our own backyard at Winnemac Park on the Amundsen High School sports field. I stopped for a moment and watched the the beginner leagues. It's really good for the neighborhood to have the Winnemac and Amundsen fields buzzing with action every weekend and evening.


Check out Chicago Youth Lacrosse "home of the Chicago Blues". 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Forward Chicago: Local organization focuses on aging in Chicago

Some of our neighbors are instrumental in Forward Chicago, a group focusing on the quality of life of our 55 and over neighbors.

 Please check out the next important community building event this week, Thursday October 16th at 6:30pm

Support Mustang Robotics at St. Matthias School


St. Matthias School Robotics Club is in its first year and is being led by Mr. Ken Lewis. The kids have met and are building simple machines until the Club gets their first robot and challenge materials. 

A fundraiser has been established for the club at GoFundMe.  

Click the link to support Mustang Robotics by Ken Lewis.  If you would like to help the club in  other ways (direct donations, experience, materials, sponsorship opportunities etc...) please contact the school at:

Ken Lewis, Robotics Club
St. Matthias School
4910 N. Claremont Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
Phone: 773.784.0999 Fax: 773.784.3601

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chase Park: Party for our Park at Artango Bistro TONIGHT!


Meet Alderman Ameya Pawar and other movers and shakers at a great neighborhood event.  Learn more about the new Chase Park fields!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Fest at Ravenswood Covenant Church October 30th

Sunday, October 5, 2014

**PANEL DISCUSSION & WORKSHOP** Building Strong Organizations and Communities: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

From Block Clubs and Neighborhoods Groups to Condo Associations - building a network of neighbors who have similar goals is a truly challenging yet rewarding experience. Join us at the library to learn more about how you can build your own network to strengthen your neighborhood or causes you care about. See details below. 

Building Strong Organizations and Communities: 
Best Practices and Lessons Learned 

October 16, 2014 
Thursday, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM 
Conrad Sulzer Regional Library 
4455 N. Lincoln Avenue 

Building and sustaining effective, resident-driven organizations is one vital aspect of creating stronger neighborhoods and communities. Join us for an interactive panel discussion featuring local leaders of established organizations within our community who will share some of their experiences, strategies, and lessons learned! 

How do you start your organization? 
What are some of the challenges…and how can you overcome them? 
What are some best practices for sustaining and growing your organization? 

What are the opportunities associated with strong community organizations? Please bring questions and ideas to this event! 

Alderman Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward 
Jeffrey Gawel, West Ravenswood Neighbors Association (moderator) 
Christopher Wilcox, Roscoe Village Neighbors 
Karen Kolb Flude, Forward Chicago 
Barbara Sullivan, Graceland West Community Organization 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Johnny Sprockets Andersonville: A great Winnemac Park neighbor!

A neighbor of ours in the Winnemac Park area owns the Johnny Sprockets bike stores in Lakeview and close by in Andersonville.  Johnny Sprockets is also a proud donor to St. Matthias Parish and School's 15th Annual Friends of the Grape fest!  Check out and support a local neighbor and business owner at their "Biketoberfest" this Saturday October 4th at the Lakeview store.

Johnny Sprockets will host an all things cycling "Biketoberfest" this Saturday October 4th at their Lakeview store 3001 N Broadway (at West Wellington). Beer, booths,!

I recently stopped by the Lakeview Johnny Sprockets store to size up my oldest kid and get him a quality bike we could pass down to our younger kids.  I also picked up some lights, grips, a strider for my youngest... and left my 1998(!) Trek 7000 for a tune up.

Johnny Sprockets has another location on the super retail and restaurant strip of Andersonville at 5434 North Clark Street. Both locations offer easy access to lakefront riding.

Johnny Sprockets is a proud Winnemac Park area neighbor and donor to the 15th Annual "Friends of the Grape" fest at St. Matthias School and Parish. Check them out and THANKS!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lincoln Square Barber Shop

Lincoln Square Barber Shop 2415 W Lawrence, Chicago

Many of us know owner and barber Aaron Williams from Esquire way over yonder in Andersonville.  But now "our guy!" is up and running around the corner at Lawrence and Western AvenuesLincoln Square Barber Shop has the expected great cuts and local Chicago feeling we love. You can make appointments online and the space has great potential to be that classic guy hang-out.

Aaron is also a proud donor to the 15th Annual St Matthias Friend's of the Grape fest coming up this October 5th.  Eat, drink and bid on many cool items including packages with Lincoln Square Barber shop signature haircuts.

Thanks Lincoln Square Barber Shop!  I'll see you at the shop!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crime in the City

Most neighbors awake late on Friday evening probably heard the helicopters overhead for a while.  Turns out there was an "aggravated robbery" in the park. Alderman O'Connor today posted a short update...

Chicago Police are advising people to be especially careful in the wake of an aggravated robbery in Winnemac Park.  A woman was walking with two children when she was approached by two robbers who knocked her down and stole a necklace she was wearing.  CPD was quick in calling out helicopters and canine units and have since added more police presence in the area. The lessons are to always be alert no matter where you are, and don’t forget to attend your C.A.P.S Beat Meeting.  You will learn what is happening in your area and how you can assist police.

The park is in beat 2032; according to the 20th District Police calendar, the CAPS meeting for that beat will be tonight (Wednesday Sept 24) at 7 to 8pm, at the Ravenswood Evangelical Church (4900 N. Damen).  The public is welcome to come ask questions about this crime or others in the neighborhood, or just to stop by and thank the folks in blue who protect us day in and day out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

St. Matthias 15th Annual "Friends of the Grape" October 5th... buy tickets now!

Enjoy an awesome variety of local restaurants, wine, beer, and auctions at Friends of the Grape!  All for $45-$50!
Eat from 20 great Lincoln Square area restaurants. Each table features wine pairings!
 The 15th Annual Friends of the Grape food and wine fest benefiting St. Matthias Parish and School is Sunday October 5th at 12:30pm.  The event takes place under the tents and main level of St. Matthias School 4910 N Claremont in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The location is easily accessible by CTA Western Brown Line stop, bus or park in the school/church parking lots.

The terrific value allows you to sample approximately 20 local restaurants while sipping dozens of wine choices. Cheese plates, Lauganitas beer, coffee and desserts round out the once a year opportunity!

Check out some of the restaurants including acclaimed Browntrout!

Eat at the many banquet tables or stand-up tables throughout the tent areas.

Cheese, fruit and desserts from Lincoln Square's favorites!
Last year's silent auction items featured a Harbor Country vacation cabin, fine wine packages, Pro Team sports packages, original artwork, restaurant certificates, progressive dinners and more!

Our professional auctioneer made the Live Auction and other raffle games fun and exciting! Live auction items featured private dining parties, lobster boils, a Cape Cod vacation cabin, hotel and golf get-a-ways and a Chicago Blackhawks meet and greet experience.
So much to choose from.
Getting a good spot for the auction.
Ready to raise those paddles!
Click the link to buy tickets today!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Great time! Friends of Amundsen Mixer recap

Here's a quick recap I wrote for my blog with some links from last night's Friend's of Amundsen mixer.  130 people were there, so you probably were too!

Alderman O'Connor addresses 130 registered guests at Dolce Casa Cafe, 4947 N Damen Avenue in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Later Amundsen High School Principal Anna Pavichevich highlighted programs and the improved metrics at Amundsen High School.
 I had a great time supporting the Friends of Amundsen High School with neighbors last night in Ravenswood.  Local leaders including the the Mayor's floor leader 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor, 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar and Dr. Maureen Gillette, NEIU's Dean of the prolific College of Education spoke on the ongoing efforts helping to improve our neighborhood attendance high school on the Winnemac Park campus.

Me and da future Mayor?  Alderman Pawar looks thrilled to be in my company!
Teachers, politicians, Local School Council members from several schools, neighbors and administrators were educated on the path to a strong welcoming high school that promises to prepare our kids for college.  There was much emphasis on a caring environment coupled with laser sharp focus on instruction.  Bottom line: Don't stress out!  Make this your school for your kids.

Smart guys! Amundsen LSC members (from left) Michael Cohen and Jeffrey Newman. McPherson Elementary LSC Chair Bob Farster on the right.
The packed house enjoyed the hospitality of Dolce Casa Cafe and beverages donated by Friends of Amundsen President Stephen Reynolds.
Seasoned schools contributor Wendy Vasquez outlines an action plan to take part in now!
Your next step is to click here and attend a tour of Amundsen High School

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Meetings/ Events TONIGHT and Tomorrow on Damen Ave!

Click the links for more information!

Tonight, Wednesday September 17th, 7:30pm
, 4845 N Damen Ave
Community meeting on proposed Ampersand Wine Bar
Meet at 4845 N Damen (the proposed site)

A presentation will be made for the new wine bar concept to be located in the 4845 N Damen retail space.

Thursday September 18th, 7:30p-9:30p, 4947 N Damen Ave
Amundsen High School Mixer featuring Alderman O'Connor and Alderman Pawar
Meet at Dolce Casa Cafe 4847 N Damen for the fun night with local leaders and neighbors supporting Amundsen High School.  Drinks and refreshments served!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Get Ready, Get Hungry

The signs on the construction barricades of the former Dorado restaurant at the corner of Foster and Oakley say "get ready", "get hungry", and "?".  What is it going to be?  To my eye, the font and design of the signs looks similar to that of the Weber Grill company.   Could this be a new location for the Weber Grill Restaurant?

There was a new concrete pad poured in the rear recently; it looks too big and prominently close to the street to be a loading dock, but too small for an outdoor seating area.  Perhaps an outdoor grilling area?

Whatever it is, as long as it's delicious we'll be happy to have this mysterious new restaurant in our neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Community Meeting September 17th: New wine bar concept for 4845 N Damen Avenue

A new wine bar concept will present it's plan for the retail space on September 17th, 7:30pm. Photo of the new construction condo buildings and retail space at 4845 N Damen Eric Rojas, Kale Realty.
You're invited!

Community Meeting and presentation 
for proposed wine bar concept Ampersand
September 17th at 7:30pm in the space at 4845 N. Damen

Read some background on the proprietor and wine bar concept HERE

Questions and feedback to be directed to:
Jim Poole
Chief of Staff
Office of Alderman Ameya Pawar – Ward 47
4243 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BIG EVENT! Aldermans O'Connor, Pawar address Amundsen High School mixer September 18th

Learn more about Amundsen High School from the top leaders and decision makers in your community! 

  • Principal Anna Pavichevich
  • Alderman O'Connor
  • Alderman Pawar
  • Dr. Maureen Gillette, NEIU Dean of College of Education
  • Amundsen LSC members
  •  and more!

Awesome neighborhood event!  View the flyer below.

Huge thank you to Ross Outten and Dolce Casa Cafe for hosting another great community meeting!

Questions? [email protected]

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cool picnic sponsored by Ravenswood Community Council: This Friday August 15th 11am-6pm!

From Ravenswood Community Council

Hello Neighbors!

We are planning a free event on Aug 15 called Growing Spaces Picnic, at 4542 N. Ravenswood Ave. from 11am-6pm. Can you promote it with your members and friends?
Ravenswood Community Council has taken the Challenge to transform a vacant lot into a people space. We have partnered up with Midwest Pesticide Action Center and American Indian Center to make this event a success.
Bring your lunch or simply stop by and say Hi.  There will be several activities going on through out the day, learn about our initiatives, and grab a goodie.

Check out our Facebook link:
Contact me if you need additional information.
Cecilia Diaz
Program Manager
Ravenswood Community Council
1802 W Berteau Ave, Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60613

visit us at

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fun sports camp at Ravenswood Elementary: Hurry NEXT WEEK!

Volunteer coaches are hosting a mini basketball camp (and more) next week for 2nd through 8th graders.  My son Ryne will be participating and I'll be helping with the 2nd-5th graders.  A few spots are still open at all ages so contact Chris below now! Hurry!

Lincoln Square Basketball Camp...    Let’s Have some-- FUN!!!!  

What: - Basketball All Skill levels. 
Learn some hoops, tennis, and music, all in the neighborhood.

When:          Mon-August 4th, Tuesday-August 5th, Wednesday –August 6th.

Where:         Ravenswood Elementary Gym 4332 N. Paulina Avenue, Chicago, IL.

What Ages : Boys/Girls 2nd thru 8th  Grades. (Group A= 2nd thru 5thgrade)  (Group B= 6th thru 8th grade)
Some crossover permitted.

Times/Daily Agenda.
Group A

Drills and Skills Clinic , 15% Beginning Tennis, 15% Surprise Entertainment

Group B

60% Drills And Skills Clinic, 20% Games/Tournaments, 10% Beginning Tennis, 10% Surprise Entertainment

At Break Time—Water/Apple juice  and a snack will be provided. 
We have asked several talented young musicians to provide entertainment at break times.  We will see how that works out!!

Coaching Staff:  Joe Cravens, NCAA Division 1 Coach-Girls High School Championship Coach-Utah.
 Rus Bradburd, NCAA Division 1 Coach,
Assistant Coach-Chris DeSimone- NCAA Division 1 Player.
Assistant- Coach-Open.

Cost:     Group A….      Suggested Donation $35.00 per participant.
Cost:     Group B….       Suggested Donation $45.00 per participant.
Minimum $1.00 Donation per player.

20% Discount for multiple children.
All proceeds will be donated back to Ravenswood School.

Each player will receive a Lincoln Square Basketball Camp-T-Shirt.   Please bring a water bottle.
We expect to sell the camp out very quickly-We will be ordering shirts and supplies next week-please sign up ASAP. 

Please pre-register your athletes by sending an E-mail to: [email protected]
We need: Childs Name, Group A or B, Shirt Size (xs,small,med,large,xl), parents contact info.
We will then confirm your childs spot at the camp.  Thanks, Chris DeSimone, 773.332.2643773.332.2643.
… All proceeds will be donated back to Ravenswood School.

Commercial filmed at Winnemac Park today

It appears the popularity of our local park continues to grow in many ways. I noticed a good sized production crew set up in Winnemac Park today.  I was told it was a commercial shoot by one of the production people.  Anyone know the subject of the commercial?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chappell School accepting students, applications for 2014-2015 school year

Chappell Elementary School is still accepting neighborhood and out of district applications. Interested parents can contact the school office at 773-534-2390. They are also open M-T from 9 am - 1 pm through mid-August.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Prairie is as High as an Elephant's Eye

Have you
seen the
 Prairie lately?

Email your best prairie photos to 
We will post the best shots

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