Archive for the 'Neighbors' Category

Morning Walk

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I was wandering around the neighborhood this morning taking care of some business when I saw a middle-aged man peeking into the old Villa May Pizzaria that’s been empty for almost two years.  My neighbors and I have been wondering what would eventually occupy the incredibly-convenient-for-us space.

Me: Is someone finally doing something with this place?
Man: Yeah… It’s going to be a Middle-Eastern restaurant.
Me: Great!  I live across the street.
Man: I’m Gene Shulter, your alderman.  I’m just checking in on our little projects.
Me: Oh!  Hi.
Gene: Let’s see how the other ones are coming along.

And with that he lumbered off down Montrose — to check in on the construction at Damen, I presume.

Hole Encore

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I live on a resiliant little street.  Well, not the street itself — it’s as frail as a lactose-intolerant octogenerian — but the businesses around it manage to keep going despite multiple floods, a ridiculous sinkhole, a year-long train station construction project, and now… emergency sewer repair.  Here’s the news we all received:

Repeated partial collapses during cleaning and inspection operation have persuaded the Department of Water Management that a full sewer replacement between Damen and Hermitage is necessary.

Repeated partial collapses?  That explains why the neighborhood smells like a toilet.  Still, Roong Petch, Glenn’s Diner, Lather, Subway, Scot’s, Beans and Bagels and my friends at the convenience store keep on truckin’.  Even El Torito has signs that they’ll be reopening soon.  El Torito, which looked like this only a couple months ago:

Kudos bi’ness.

Meet Crazy Horse One

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Some coworkers and I were walking to Subway one day to get lunch when we passed by a horse.

RYAN: Is there anything weird about this?

The horse lives in stables next door to a strip club. Before they changed their name to “VIP’s” (or is it VIPs?) the strip club was called “Crazy Horse Too.”  I wonder if anyone ever got confused and went in the wrong building.

Now I Feel Like An American Idiot

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I was at my parents’ house over the weekend. We were sitting in the backyard when the neighbors’ 3-year-old son, Leo, wandered over… followed shortly by his mother yelling, “Leo? Where are you??”

It turns out my parents had given them a copy of my CD. Leo’s mom said, “Do you know who this is? It’s Evan Jacover. He sings your favorite song!” Leo stared at me blankly as his mother prodded him. “What’s your favorite song, Leo? Is it about a wagon? Me and My Wagon? What’s your favorite song?” She really wanted him to tell me that he liked my CD.

“Go ahead Leo? What’s your favorite song?”

Finally Leo gave an answer: “American Idiot?”

Breaking News, Literally

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

About 6 months ago we had a sinkhole in front of our apartment building. It wasn’t really a big deal except that it exposed issues with our water main that ended up costing the building $12,000.

Turns out the water main had bigger problems. This morning there was another sink hole on Montrose avenue. This one is a big deal.

Our basement, like every other in the neighborhood, was flooded. My neighbor who lives in a garden apartment had it worse.

Neighbor: I woke up to a sandal floating by my face.

Jen put it well.

Jen: I felt like I was in that scene from Ghostbusters (skip to 2:36).

Anything But A Mattress Store…

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Once I lived across the street from a “tobacco” shop. I can’t say it was a big surprise when a “going out of business” sign with a Grateful Dead sticker on it appeared in the window one day. It was a time of great excitement for my roommates and I. None of us were all that into “tobacco” and we were excited to see what would move in across the street. Would it be a great sandwich shop? A bookstore?? An arcade?! A waterpark?!?!!?

After months of construction, the plywood on the windows finally came down, awnings went up, and we were left with… a Sprint Store. A Sprint Store! I guess there are people who go to such places for their Borg implant bluetooth devices, but I was still rockin’ the land line at the time — rockin’ it hard. Oh how I missed the old bong shop.

Recently signs went up on the pizza place across the street from my house announcing that they are moving and once again I find myself excited by the possibilities. You may be thinking that I’m crazy for not wanting a pizza place right outside my front door. I’m not. Here are 4 reasons:

  1. There’s also Chicago’s Pizza and Giordano’s very very nearby, offering much tastier pizza.
  2. I’ve never actually seen anyone buying pizza there.
  3. It seems they have a nasty habit of dumping grease directly in the sewer.
  4. There’s a Donkey Kong Jr. machine in there that drives me crazy because I suck so bad at Donkey Kong Jr.

The thing is, my neighborhood is so dang awesome that I can’t think of anything I really need. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Maybe it will be a branch of my weird bank. Or maybe someone will bring back Photon. A kid can dream…

No, Really, How’s it Going?

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I never know what to do when I’m asked, “How’s it going?” Like many, I usually offer a cursory, “fine” in response, regardless of how “it” is actually going. Sometimes the inaccuracy of that response is a little too obvious. I recently ran into my neighbors in the stairwell of our building.

Neighbor: How’s it going?
Me: Fine
Neighbor (Noticing that I’m holding a parking ticket): You got a ticket? That sucks.
Me: Yeah
Neighbor (Noticing that I’m also holding jumper cables): And jumper cables?
Me: Well, maybe “fine” wasn’t the best response.

My neighbors were nice enough to give my brother’s car a jump — the car I borrowed just long enough to break and get two parking tickets.