Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Neighbor, film director Kris Swanberg debuts her film this Friday!

One of Lincoln Square's very own (and our neighbor) hosts the theater debut of her latest film "Unexpected" this week at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave in Lakeview.  Kris Swanberg's Sundance festival acclaimed film will be shown this Friday July 24th, 2015 at 7:00PM.  VIP reception at 6:00pm and Q&A with directer Kris Swanberg after the film!

Great reviews and great buzz surrounding the film. Check out the interview on WGN
Say hi when you see her in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence Day, 2015

Welcome to our blog, neighbors new and old! It's that time again... tine for the biggest spike in traffic our trusty neighborhood blog receives each year. But rather than tell you details about fireworks*, let me invite you to be a part of our blog, either as a reader (which you already are) or an author.  Many of the usual contributors to our trusty website have children under the age of 1 (of course, as our neighborhood is great for families).  But those kids are keeping us busy, and we'd love to have some more neighbors volunteer to help provide news, pictures, and other content to keep our blog fresh.  If you'd like to be a part of our team, just drop us an email at , and we'll see about getting you up and posting in no time flat. We're also on Facebook, if that's more your speed; come like us!

* About those fireworks: nobody publishes a schedule for them, because nobody is willing to publicly claim responsibility for the fireworks display, seeing as any fireworks let off in the park are unlicensed and illegal.  Enforcement of such regulations is certain to be lax again this year.  I'd encourage park visitors on July 4th to be vigilant about your safety and the safety of those around you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

School of Rock

School is out for summer, but that's only "regular" school... the School of Rock is definitely in session, and it's coming to Winnemac Park.  And this year should be bigger and better than last year (hopefully, seeing as last year it was rained out).  If you don't have tickets to see the Dead at Soldier Field on July 3, and want to get in on some Rock anyhow, come on out.  Showtime is at 7pm, and maybe the Dead might be stopping by too.  You never know!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Aging 2.0 - Aging Your Way Half Day Conference

Register today for Aging 2.0 - Aging Your Way Conference!

Join us at this half-day conference and get ready to Age Your Way.

We are delighted to invite you to Forward Chicago's first-ever conference, Aging Your Way, to be held Saturday, June 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Swedish Covenant’s Anderson Pavilion (2751 W. Winona Ave.).
For quite some time, people have asked for an opportunity to get together and learn more about how they can have their best aging experience. From legal and health topics and connections as we age, to housing and aging at home, Aging Your Way will be fun, interactive and reflective, filled with people you care about and people who share your interests. Our goal is that you leave feeling better connected, better prepared and inspired for your future.
The focus of this event is on you and your future, and the conference will provide a roadmap of resources and connections that will provide a path for tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you as we learn, grow and connect — together.
Registration: $15 suggested donation (includes box lunch). Scholarships available, please contact  for more information. 
To register, call 773-633-8312 or register online at Eventbrite. Click here to register online.
Join us to learn from local experts how you can age on your own terms. We’ll discuss:
  • "Understanding Housing Options and Aging at Home" - Helene Wineberg, Forward Chicago
  • ”Empowered Legal Planning I: Health Care Plans that Keep Your Voice Heard & Decisions Respected” - MacKenzie Hyde, JD, Clark Hill
  • “Empowered Legal Planning II: Legal Resources to Support Your Assets in Later Life and Beyond” -  MacKenzie Hyde, JD, Clark Hill
  • "Connections and Friendship in Later Life” - Louise Hawkley, PhD, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • "Healthy Aging” - Neelum Aggarwal, MD, Rush University Medical Center
Parking is available for $4. The hospital is easily accessible by public transit. Never miss an event because you don’t have transportation. If you need a ride, please call: 773-633-8312

Please register today and join us for this groundbreaking event, the first of its kind in Chicago!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Movies in the Winnemac Park

The annual "Movies in the Park" is back again this year, and our own Winnemac Park will be featuring the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on Saturday, June 13.  Showtime is 7pm, so bring your mutant teenagers (mutant younger children are also welcome!) and maybe a picnic dinner, and enjoy the show.
"Donatello" as old man. You're not a teenager forever!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lake View Township open for property tax appeals: Hurry, due May 8th, 2015!

The Lake View township tax appeal window is now open (look at your property tax bill for your township).  Do your civic duty and appeal your property taxes to help keep my property taxes lower.  Seriously, you have until May 8th, 2015 to file your appeal and May 18th to include all documentation.  

Two property tax assistance events tomorrow!
The 47th Ward and various public officials are sponsoring tax appeal assistance at their Ward office tomorrow morning Thursday April 30th from 9am to 1pm and tomorrow evening at Chase Park Thursday April 30th at 6pm. Bring your second installment property tax bill from 2013 and your recent assessment letter (be safe and bring your current and last years bills!).

Spring time and TAX APPEAL TIME!
Appealing your taxes can be as easy as using this online form from the Cook County Assessor's office. I just did!  Have some comparable property PIN numbers ready. You can type in neighbor's comparable home addresses on a site like Redfin to get the PIN number and taxes.

You may hire an attorney to appeal your taxes.  I have never taken this route but many neighbors and clients I know have an attorney appeal their property tax assessment each time the window is open.  Ask around for a referral attorney (a friend, neighbor or "moi" will probably have a recommendation). Attorneys are typically paid by a portion for the tax reduction for the first year or by their regular billing hours.

Need help, have questions? Contact 10th District Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer's office  

 Do it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

St. Matthias School Dodge-Ball tournament Saturday April 25th... register your team!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

In other pizza news... Roots Handmade Pizza sign going up on Lawrence/ Leavitt

Photo sent to me by super neighbor Brittanie Lindval (send us your scoops to [email protected] and we"ll post)

The long awaited Roots Handmade Pizza 2200 W Lawrence, Chicago IL 60625 is taking a big strides toward opening.  The distinct restaurant signage arrived this morning on a flat bed truck for installation.  The neighborhood abides. 

The Sixth  cocktail bar is happening too!

Photo Eric Rojas

Photo Eric Rojas

Photo Eric Rojas

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Winnemac Park Easter Egg Hunt: Sunday April 5th at 9:00am

There are Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday April 4th at 10:00am and Sunday April 5th at 9:00am.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fare Thee Well

The Grateful Dead are coming to Winnemac Park! (Kind of? maybe?)

The Dead are playing one last set of concerts this July at Soldier Field.  The concerts series, called "Fare Thee Well", feature just 3 shows, all in Chicago, and was sold out almost instantly. There have been some rumors of a few more shows, but nothing has been announced yet. Resale tickets will cost you upwards of $400 (that gets you an upper deck obstructed view seat).

Because demand is so intense for everything "Dead", the Mayor's Office of Special Events announced today that Winnemac Park will host one of six Fare Thee Well tailgate parties around the city in the afternoons before the concerts. The party at Winnemac will be ahead of the concert date on July 4 (come for the Dead, stay for the fireworks?), and in addition to a Dead cover band and a few other bands no one has heard of, the afternoon schedule includes a spot for "special". Maybe the Dead themselves will venture out to our neighborhood that day?

The Winnemac Park tailgate will be free (and you thought that Rahm wasn't going to pander to voters so much this time) but you'll need tickets. You can register for them online starting at 6pm tonight, Wednesday April 1, at the park district website. Like for the concerts themselves, demand is sure to far outstrip supply, so be sure to get your tickets today!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

You're Invited! Chappell School fundraiser at Revolution Brewery May 3rd

Chappell Elementary 2135 West Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
is a high performing neighborhood school in the Ravenswood/ Lincoln Square area with an excellent facility.  Friends of Chappell has cranked up their fundraising and community efforts.

If you enjoy brewery events (and many of us in Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood do) buy tickets now for this event at 
Revolution Brewery Sunday May 3rd from 7pm to 9pm.

New Ravenswood Metra shelter projected to open in May

Ravenswood Metra stop at 4800 N Ravenswood Chicago, IL 60640. Photo taken from Mariano's late March. The new station shelter is completed just south of this platform but is not open yet. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
No relief for Ravenswood Metra Union Pacific North riders exposed to the elements with the recent spring cold snap. CBS Local reports the newly built shelter is not open yet due to a delay installing the new tracks.  The latest projected opening is for May.  Bring your umbrella for April showers.

Friday, March 27, 2015

We Got Game youth sports and activities at Winnemac Park

We Got Game is coming to the gyms at Amundsen High School this spring.  Sign ups are open now for a 7 week session beginning in April.  

Easter Egg hunt in Winnemac Park - Saturday April 4th... free!

Event details

Missio Dei Chicago Lincoln Square is sponsoring their 2nd Easter Egg Hunt at the Winnemac Park play-lot located 5101 N Leavitt, Chicago IL 60625.

Questions or if you'd like to help please contact:
[email protected]

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Over 70 neighbors gather at Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood CAPS meeting, get details on recent homicide

Concerned neighbors, new and old, ask thoughtful questions at Wednesday night's Beat 2013 CAPS meeting hosted by Ravenswood Evangelical Church 4900 N Ravenswood, Chicago IL 60640. (Photo Eric Rojas)
A rare violent crime incident near Winnemac Park brought out many, many familiar faces to the District 20 Beat 2013 CAPS meeting. The vast majority wanted details concerning the reported gang related shooting in the quiet Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood community.  The police representatives stated suspects had been detained in connection with Sunday's homicide.

Neighbors appreciated the communication but left unsatisfied at the moment. The people involved in the shooting did not reside in the neighborhood. However, why the particular location for the crime was chosen was of importance.  Neighbors wanted to know if the crime was random or if the quiet alley location was specifically chosen.... with more gang activity to come.

The homicide technically occurred in Beat 2031. You may attend the next Beat 2031 CAPS meeting this 
Tuesday March 31st @ 7pm

2031's Community Beat Meeting
Details: 2031's Community Beat Meeting
Contact Details: Sgt. W. Lapitan 312-742-8770 Ext. 120
Location: Anderson Pavilion 2751 W. Winona at 7pm

 Please keep following up with the District 20 police and local officials on this incident and any other activity that you feel is "out of the ordinary".  Police representatives repeatedly asked that we call 911 when we see any suspicious activity that "doesn't feel right". They also suggested neighbors form email and phone trees specific to their blocks. Get to it people!

DNAinfo has reporting here

Monday, March 23, 2015

CAPS Meeting for Winnemac Park: This Wednesday, March 25th, 7:00PM

A serious shooting event took place in the neighborhood over the weekend near Winnemac Park.  Please attend your local CAPS meeting this Wedenesday.

For those who want more details on this event from the Police directly: the next CAPS meeting for the 20th District is this Wednesday, March 25, 7pm at Ravenswood Evangelical Church 4900 North Damen, Chicago IL 60625.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Large Job Fair TOMORROW at NEIU (about 2 miles from Winnemac Park)

Northeastern Illinois University is hosting a job fair open to the public.

Wednesday March 11th, 5500 N St Louis Avenue in Alumni Hall

Click this link for the job fair page!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Red Light Cameras to be removed from area intersections

Rejoice! The people have spoken! The Chicago Tribune reported 50 red light cameras will be removed from 25 intersections around the city.  The two nearest Winnemac Park slated to be removed are at West Lawrence / North Western and West Foster / North Western  [corrected:  Lincoln and McCormick and Western and Pratt] intersections.

Red light camera interaction map from Chicago Tribune

Red light cameras or not... slow down people!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Amundsen High School Luau this Thursday! Fun for kids!

Friday, February 27, 2015

City Lions Volleyball: Not Just for Girls Anymore

Neighbors who attended the Winnemac Park Advisory Council meeting in January may remember hearing a short presentation by Donna Jacobson, the director of the City Lions, a volleyball program for girls that rents space in our own Amundsen High School gym.  That program had been growing fast!  They've got a new website, and they are starting a new program for boys, too.  Some of the programs start really soon (soon as in next week! although some programs start later in March or April) so if you're interested, go visit the website and sign up. Note that this isn't a Chicago Park District program, so you don't sign up through the park district, but rather directly with the club.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Additional Shadow Days added at Amundsen

Because of overwhelming demand, Amundsen High School has added additional 8th grade Shadow Days.

Additional Shadow Days added at Amundsen

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Co-Ed Summer Softball

Activities in the park include park district sponsored activities, but also privately run activities hosted by organizations that rent space in our beautiful park.  One of those organizations is Ravenswood Catholic Young Adults (RCYA), who are hosting a 16 inch Summer Softball League this year. But, you don't need be a member, or even Catholic, to participate.  (You do need to be an adult, however.) The organizers describe the league like this:
We are a social and recreational league comprised of women and men from the Parishes of Lincoln Avenue: St. Matthias/Transfiguration, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Alphonsus, St. Benedicts and Queen of Angels. Game time is Monday evenings at 6:30pm & 7:30 pm at Winnemac Park, on the corner of Argyle & Damen. Opening day is May 18, 2015. The season will conclude with playoffs in August.
Players must be least 21 years of age, but participants do not have to be Catholic to play. ALL ability levels are needed: everyone plays and no one sits! Women may use mitts. Only requirements to join are the desire to have fun, enjoy the outdoors, and meet some great people.The registration fee is $70.00, and includes payments for the equipment, fields, umpires, t-shirts and free pizza after every game at our sponsor bar, K’s Dugout, located at 1938 W Foster Avenue!
Visit the registration site for more details, and to sign up.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Friends of Amundsen Social Mixer

Looking for a stress-free path to high school for your child? Join neighborhood parents and friends at Friends of Amundsen’s informal mixer and “selective enrollment decompression session.” The gathering will include a short progress update about Amundsen High School followed by plenty of time to socialize and share our collective thoughts about a quality K-12 education system right here in our community. Whether your family has recently survived the Selective Enrollment High School process, declined to participate in it or sees it on the horizon, come share your experiences and ideas for a more peaceful path to high school for all our children.

  • What: Friends of Amundsen Social Mixer and Decompression Session; adult beverages and refreshments will be served.
  • Who: All parents, neighbors and friends in search of a quality neighborhood high school for their children. (Adults only, please Update: Middle schoolers are invited to attend with their parents).
  • When: Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
  • Where: Borelli’s Pizza, 2124 W. Lawrence Ave. 
  • Why: Let’s discuss high school options in a stress-free zone and work together to ensure a quality neighborhood high school option for all our children.
  • Questions?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spring Registration for Park Programs

Spring Registration is coming soon for Chicago Park District activities in Winnemac Park!

Online registration for spring programs begins at 9am on Tuesday, February 24 for Winnemac Park (and all parks located East of California Avenue).  In-person registration begins on Saturday, February 28.  There's a bunch of activities you can participate in, no matter your age (although if you've got elementary school age children, you'll find a wider selection of choices), including:
  • Aquatic Exercise II
  • Basketball
  • Learn to swim
  • Park Kids
  • Soccer 5 on 5
  • Team Sports
  • Teen Club
  • Tiny tots swim
Some programs are free!  The ones that are not free are still pretty darn cheap.  Spring programs run the week of March 30 through the week of June 1, 2015.  If you've got questions, visit the park district website or call the park at 312-742-5101.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are you concerned about O'Hare jet noise around Winnemac? Neighbor shares new web site for that

A neighbor tipped us on our Facebook page today about a citizen developed a  web site to better log O'Hare jet noise complaints. Read the story here.

Clear, quiet skies over Winnemac

Click here for the efficient and citizen created O'Hare jet noise complaint web site.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Park Advisory Council Meeting Cancelled

Good news everybody -- it's friggin cold again!  You may not think that's good news today, but thanks to Lake Michigan's ability to retain heat (and cold), super cold winters lead on average to less than sweltering summers.

In the meantime, the February meeting of the park advisory council has been cancelled by Mr. Vacala on account of the cold.  Stay tuned for details on the March meeting.   (Hopefully it will be less cold in March.)

Public Comment: Proposed signs for new Roots Pizza at Lawrence and Leavitt

Please provide any comments on these three proposed signs (see images with dimensions below) by Feb. 23 Monday 5PM. Roots Pizza is planning on opening in May or June.

Direct comments to: 

Ernie Constantino
Planning & Development Director
47th Ward Alderman Pawar’s Office
4243 N. Lincoln Avenue

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chappell Elementary School fundraiser at Mariano's THIS WEEK!

Community members are invited to Chappell Elementary School's first Art Auction Fundraiser! Beautiful paintings, weavings, printmaking and multi-media works created by kindergartners through 8th graders will be featured and auctioned off to raise money for the school.

The auction will be held in Vero Cafe on the first floor of Mariano's, at Lawrence and Ravenswood, from 6-8 pm, on Thursday, Feb. 19.

Come learn about the great things that are happening at Chappell, and see the beautiful pieces created by our talented students!

Chappell Elementary School
2135 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 534-2390

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hurry! Donate now to Amundsen High Baseball on Donors Choose: Use the Code SPARK ($700.00 dollars to go!)

 Click  Covering All the Bases for Safety here and donate to Amundsen High School Baseball now. Use the code SPARK for the next couple days for matching funds up to $100.00.

Amundsen High School Baseball in Lincoln Square has a winning program on a shoestring budget right here in Winnemac Park.  They lack the basics many of our elementary kids enjoy in their leagues. Our family enjoys playing and watching youth baseball in Winnemac Park.  This is a great way to use your love of baseball to support our local high school!

Please visit the Friends of Amundsen page to get involved helping the baseball team or any number of academic and athletic programs at Amundsen High School in Lincoln Square at 5110 N Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nominations for Winnemac Park Advisory Council Board

Good news, everybody!  If you would like to nominate yourself apply to serve on the Friends of Winnemac Park Board, it's not too late.  Nomination Application forms were available at the meeting last night, but if you missed the meeting or neglected to submit your form, you can still do so at the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for February 17 (time and location TBD).  You can download the form to use here.  (To fill it out, the park supervisor is Lisa Ragucci, and the rest should be self-explanatory.)

You should probably use a few different fancy pens to sign your nomination application form; I'm sure they will become valuable collectors items one day when people tell the tales of all the amazing things you've done for our park and community by being a member of the board.

UPDATE [1/23]: Advisory Council President Mike Vacala has informed me that I made some errors on the first version of this post.  Apparently the date for the next meeting has not been set, and might be either Tuesday February 17 or Wednesday February 18, or maybe some other date.  And the forms linked to are application forms, not nomination forms.  My apologies for any confusion.  I do stand by the fancy pen comment, though—that is still 100% correct.

We're all a-twitter

We've got a twitter account now: @winnemacpark.  If you're into that kind of thing, feel free to follow us there.  You'll get all the news from the blog, and maybe some exciting new content, too!

And maybe this will inspire you to be a contributor!  We're always looking for people to help populate tho blog and associated online outlets with valuable news, content, or observations about our neighborhood.  Now you don't even need to write a whole paragraph to contribute -- you can just tweet us your news, links, and neighborhood photos.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friends of Winnemac Park meeting - Tuesday January 20th! Meet Alderman O'Connor, new events!

You're invited!
This month's Friends of Winnemac Park meeting will feature 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor as we discuss volunteering, issues, programs and more events. 
Announcing MORE Movies in the Park dates!

Tuesday, January 20th 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Amundsen High School Library
5110 N Damen Avenue
Enter Main Center Door on Damen Avenue

Alderman O'Connor addresses past Friends of Winnemac/ Winnemac Neighbors volunteers (Photo Eric Rojas)
There is growing interest and support for Friends of Winnemac Park as we look to increase resources and events. Please attend the meeting and consider nominating yourself for the Friends of Winnemac Park Board.  Play a role, big or small, in preserving the quality of Winnemac Park.
 Board member and officer elections to be announced in the near future.

Contact [email protected] for more info!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


It’s winter in Chicago again. There’s snow on the ground, and more coming soon. We all know what that means: it’s time for the “dibs” talk.

Last year, we reminded you that, per the "unwritten" rules (that have actually been written many times), dibs is supposed to be a reward for the hard work you have done to actually shovel the snow out of the parking space. If you don't do any shoveling, you don't really have dibs.

Here are a few more helpful tips:

Don't claim dibs using cardboard, paper, or other water soluble trash. 
If you do, your claim will be voided the instant the temperature tops 32 degrees (less on the sunny side of the street). 

Don't claim dibs using campaign signs for a candidate you oppose that you have stolen from your neighbors or local businesses. 
Both claiming dibs and stealing campaign signs are unneighborly activities, both are technically illegal but see little enforcement, and both are considered by a few die hards as longstanding traditions that are the birthright of every true Chicagoan. But that doesn't mean you should mix and match. 

Do feed the meter if you claim dibs on a metered parking space.
Did you know that the City of Chicago has to pay the parking meter company for metered spaces that are taken out of service for any amount of time? That technically includes when you claim dibs, as the space is effectively out of service for other motorists to use (and pay for). Do you think the parking meter folks wouldn't stoop so low as to bill taxpayers for your dibs?  Have you met those guys?  Their entire business model is based around screwing over Chicago taxpayers.  So don't be unneighborly-times-two, and feed the meter for your dibs spot while you are gone.

Lastly, if you really mean business on your dibs, just hire this guy:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This weekend! Amundsen High School Spruce Up with Aldermen O'Connor, Pawar

 Community Spruce-Up Day at 
 Amundsen High School

Grab your friends and neighbors, and come help spruce-up our neighborhood high school this Saturday morning 8:00am - 1:00pm, January 10, 2015.

Friends of Amundsen is teaming up with AHS administration, faculty, staff, parents, neighbors and Aldermen O'Connor and Pawar to give the building a little TLC. We'll be painting, hanging sports banners, doing small repair projects, minor clean-up and building community around our neighborhood high school. The Aldermen are providing the materials ... all we need is you! 

Click Here to Sign-Up

Like us on Facebook
Newer Posts Older Posts Home