Monday meeting, rock & bowl, library, Blue Line


The next East Village Association membership meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, in the Happy Village at Wolcott & Thomas. Nicole Aquino of LaSalle II school is the featured speaker.

The latest East Village News can be downloaded here. There are details on a bowling alley seeking a live-music license for Chicago & Wolcott, plus the new West Town branch library, renovation plans at the Division Street CTA station, and even the ecological impact of dog waste.

See you on Monday. Till then, here are weekend events compiled by Eleanor Mayer of Wicker Park-Bucktown Special Service Area #33:

Art Evening in Wicker Park: Make Believe Tour + First Fridays
Join us for a special guided walking tour of the Make Believe art in vacant storefronts installations TONIGHT Friday October 1. The group will meet at 1266 N Milwaukee at 7pm and take a guided tour of the Make Believe art installations. During the tour, participants will meet the artists and learn about their work. The tour ends at the Flat Iron Artist's First Friday celebration where you can join in the art + fashion fun of First Fridays at 8pm. To RSVP for this great FREE program click here: http://pivotalchicago.pingg.com/October1.

Event: Bicycles and the Arts
On Friday, October 1 at 8pm join Borderbend Arts Collective at Happy Dog Gallery (1542 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor) for "Bicycles and the Arts," a true multidisciplinary event. Bicycles and the Arts creatively explores connections between these two vital elements of culture and society, it will include readings, an art exhibit and musical ensemble performance. There is a $7 suggested donation at the door. This event is designed for all ages and open to the public. For more information contact: info@borderbend.org or call (312) 380-9223.

Exhibit opening: Art Moving West
Visit the Art Moving West exhibit entitled "The City as Studio" opening Friday October 1 from 5-9pm at the Wicker Park Art Center (2215 W North Ave). Call (773) 278-7677 for more.

Design Harvest 2010
Come check out Chicago's 1st annual street festival celebrating the home. This FREE fall festival will have over 50 design-themed vendors and great live music. Design Harvest will be held October 2-3, from 11am-7pm on Grand Ave. between Damen and Wood. For more information visit: http://www.design-harvest.com/.

Bucktown 5K Run
On Sunday October 3, join other Chicago area runners for the annual Bucktown 5K race, a fully paved route that meanders through the leafy streets of Bucktown. Runners will begin at 1621 N. Marshfield at 8:30am. A map of the course and race entry details can be found here: http://www.bucktown5k.com/raceinfo/, the race entry fee is $40. Note that NO parking will be allowed on the course starting October 3rd at 4am. Check out this page for more parking details: http://www.bucktown5k.com/raceinfo/neighbors/.

Much ado: Can dog waste be recycled?


EcoTip | By M. Isaacson

Depositing dog waste in garbage cans like other trash is better than leaving it lay. But it’s not a benign solution. The number of dogs and the volume of waste they produce is a recognized environmental problem. So how does one dispose of dog waste responsibly?

Research cited at the Stormwater Manager's Resource Center finds that "non-human waste represents a significant source of bacterial contamination in urban watersheds." Specifically, these bacteria include escherichia coli (E.Coli) and salmonella, as well as parasites such as hookworm and roundworm. These pathogens can lead to human infection.

This contamination shows up in stormwater runoff when dog waste is left in place to degrade. Wrapping waste in plastic and sending it to today’s modern sanitary landfill is no better: It concentrates the disease-breeding process.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes in a 1993 report: “This evidence points to a need for enforcement and education to raise resident awareness regarding the water quality impacts of this urban pollutant source.”

But what exactly should the concerned dog owner do? On this, the EPA is not too helpful. It posit the "Long Grass Principle": Dogs are attracted to long grass for defecating. Areas that are mowed less frequently can allow feces to disintegrate naturally.

The design of such a dog park should mitigate stormwater impacts. Given the difficulty of locating any dog parks in the city means this solution is not scalable.

Governments outside of the U.S. have been addressing the dog waste problem more aggressively. Some locales have centralized collection points for waste dropoff, and the wastes are treated as part of the area’s waste management policies.

The Australian government’s Department of Environment is recommending picking up the waste in bags made from water-soluble material. Then the bag is flushed down the toilet, so the dog waste can then be treated along with human waste at treatment plants before being released into the water system.

There are also doggy loos, which I’ve seen in England. These disposal units are installed in the ground and decomposition occurs within the unit. In Vancouver, Canada, excrement of all types is banned from landfills.

You can learn about several methods of composting dog waste at the City Farmer website, which is also a good resource for all sorts of urban agriculture information.

The concept of recycling pet waste into an alternative energy source is often discussed, but until recently has never been implemented.

In San Francisco, where dogs outnumber children, a project was proposed but couldn’t overcome concerns about safety and other opposition.

However, a poop converter called Park Spark was established in Cambridge, Mass. It produces light and reduces greenhouse gases by burning methane. The converter looks like a modern sculpture and does not smell.

So, what should you do with your dog waste?

First, don’t waste your money on fancy bags that will supposedly break down as they decompose. This will never occur in a sanitary landfill.

If you have space in your backyard, you can dig a deep hole with a fence-post digger. An EPA bulletin says to bury 3 to 4 inches of pet waste at the bottom, chop and mix waste into the soil with a shovel, then cover with 8 inches of soil to keep rodents and pets from digging them up. Don't try this in a vegetable garden.

There is also the Doggie Dooley, an in-ground collection container that uses enzymes to break down waste. I tried one of these, but found the hard clay soil here was an impediment to decomposition.

After researching this article, I am convinced to try again. Or maybe we can start fund-raising for our own Park Spark!

Drug disposal on Saturday

The Drug Enforcement Agency will have a drug disposal box in every Chicago Police District on Saturday, according to 13th District Sgt. Juan Clas. Bring your expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals to the station at 937 N. Wood for free disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

West Town library: New Goldblatt's chapter


By M. Isaacson

An overflow crowd of dignitaries and library supporters attended a Sept. 11 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest Chicago Public Library facility.

The West Town branch opened on Sept. 7, and the following Saturday marked the dedication of this long-anticipated community resource.

The 13,300-square-foot facility is located on the first floor of the historic Goldblatt’s Building at 1625 W. Chicago. It replaces two smaller storefront branches to the east and west on Chicago Avenue.

The Goldblatt’s building was scheduled for demolition in 1997, when the chamber of commerce and some Chicago Avenue businesses were supporting a plan to sell the land to Delray Farms, a produce market that has since closed its Chicago stores.

East Village Association and other community members fought the demolition, and convinced Mayor Daley to purchase the building to house satellite city service offices.

The library collection, valued at $300,000, includes materials in Spanish, Polish and Ukrainian. It also offers a record 60 public access computer terminals.

The Goldblatt's building was renovated and designed with the environment in mind, and LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is being sought from the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey was joined by Mayor Richard Daley, aldermen Joseph Moreno (1st Ward), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Walter Burnett (26th); and Acting Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission Manny Flores.

Special guests included members of the Goldblatt family, who were on hand to see this reincarnation of the family store. They each received a piece of the original white marble floor, uncovered during the renovation. This marble was also reused in the entryway of the library, one of the many “green” features of the building.

Chicago Bowl frames development plan


Archideas design for Chicago Bowl, 1834-50 W. Chicago.


Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro provided this description of a bowling alley under development on the northeast corner of Chicago and Wolcott. Links have been added to provide context. The developers will ask the East Village Association for a vote Nov. 1 on its application for a Chicago live-performance license. Read a previous report and comments on the plan.

Located in a 23,000-square-foot warehouse at 1850 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago Bowl will be a state-of-the-art bowling alley / restaurant / performance space.

The heart of the Chicago Bowl project is the restoration and refurbishment of a dilapidated former auto parts warehouse, that has 200 feet of frontage on Chicago Avenue.

The building’s construction and design will seek to achieve LEED green certification and will highlight the building’s natural history, rehabilitating the beautiful aesthetic of this 80-year-old industrial warehouses. Led by architect Scott Hindsley of Chicago-based architectural firm Archideas, a team of local contractors and craftsman will transform a building that currently is empty and has minimal electricity, plumbing, and infrastructure into one of the city’s most exciting spaces. From restoring the original all-wood bow-truss beams to adding new
wide-plank wood floors, the venue will be a powerful combination of old and new.

Chicago Bowl will be a sister venue to Brooklyn Bowl, which opened in July 2009 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Brooklyn Bowl has been ranked by Zagat as the #1 bowling alley in New York City and the #1 venue of any kind in the borough of Brooklyn.
Like Brooklyn Bowl, Chicago Bowl will feature a kitchen and menu designed and overseen by the award-winning Blue Ribbon Restaurants group. Filled with comfort food classics all priced under $20, the food blog Serious Eats says, “As a standalone restaurant, the Bowl’s menu would be totally in the pocket.”

Brooklyn Bowl has hosted a wide range of events and fund-raisers and has been a resource in NYC for a wide rage of civic individuals and organizations, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Martha Stewart, the Clinton Foundation to the Brooklyn Public Library,
Conde Nast to the NYC Public Schools and Bike For A Cure to name a few. Chicago Bowl will continue this tradition and will work with local schools, community centers and Commercial Park to maintain a leadership role in the community.

Chicago Bowl will be open seven days a week. On weekends, hours will be from noon-3am. From noon-6pm, families with children of all ages will be permitted in. Specials will be available for families that live in the East Village geographic district. On weekdays, Chicago Bowl will open from 6pm-2am and will have a 21+ door policy. The 21+ door policy is an effective way to maintain a clientele that is mature, responsible and considerate of Chicago Bowl’s neighbors.

Unlike typical bars and venues, Chicago Bowl’s multifunctionality will minimize mass exiting and entry to and from the venue at one time. Because some people will bowl while others eat in the restaurant and still others sit at the bar or watch the various projection screens it will be rare for people to exit the venue at one time, reducing pressure on the immediate street.

To ensure that any sounds created inside Chicago Bowl stay inside Chicago Bowl, Richard Talaske has been hired to consult on sound and acoustical issues. A plan has already been created to put a new, second roof on top of the building’s original roof,
eliminating sound leakage.

Chicago Bowl is being developed and run by an experienced management team who has owned and operated multiple celebrated and respected establishments. The team also has been involved with notable ventures in the intersection of cutting-edge technology and entertainment, an element that will be a focal point at Chicago Bowl. Each member of the management / ownership team has direct roots in Chicago. More than 100 employees will be hired with an emphasis to hire from within the East Village and local community.

Chicago Bowl does not require any zoning changes or variances and will have its own dedicated parking lot on-site, meeting the city’s required amount of parking spots. Additional parking (by valet) will also be made be available in Alcala's dedicated parking lot one block east. The architectural team will place an emphasis on making sure that the exterior of the building adds a pleasing visual look to the streetscape on Chicago Avenue.

Chicago Bowl is seeking a Public Place of Amusement license, as the City of Chicago requires that all bowling alleys have a PPA license. Chicago Bowl also will seek an incidental liquor license.

Bowling alley pins success to live music

Board meeting minutes for Sept. 14, 2010 submitted by Dana Palmer

Attendance: Board Members Greg Nagel, Neal McKnight, Dana Palmer, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Aaron Bilton and Tom Tomek; Non-Board Members: Rich Anselmo, Carol Mrowka, Kenan Obaid, Jason Maras and Pete Shapiro (with his two business partners). Meeting commenced: 6:29 p.m.

Chicago Bowl

Pete Shapiro presented plans to open a bowling alley at 1850 W. Chicago Ave. Shapiro currently has a successful bowling alley in Brooklyn, New York, that offers food from Blue Ribbon Restaurants and live performances. The current property is 23,000 square feet, the same size as the Brooklyn bowling alley. His plans are to mimic the Brooklyn space with 16 lanes of bowling and a restaurant with an area for live performances.

Shapiro plans to tear down the red brick building to the side of the main property for on-site parking, and is working with Alcala's for additional parking at night. Shapiro is planning LEED certification for the main building, adding a second roof as a sound barrier.

Questions were raised by the group about curb cuts and the appeal of this to the neighborhood. Shapiro went on to explain that he does not plan any sidewalk use, is opting for an incidental liquor license that allows service until 2 a.m. weekdays and 3 a.m. weekends.

Chicago Bowl would employ about 100 new employees from the neighborhood and surrounding area, and serve only local beers. Hours of operation would be 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. until 3 a.m. on weekends. The facility would be 21 and older after 6 p.m. and would have a door fee and no arcade or pool, in order to deter a younger crowd in the evenings. Shapiro stated that he needs a Public Place of Amusement license for the bowling alley and asks the group to support the license.

Polish Triangle

The board discussed ways of having a food or coffee vendor placed in the Triangle to improve the area. Scott Rappe will discuss this request with Ald. Joe Moreno.

Dog waste cleanup

This issue was raised by resident Andre Kinaci at the last membership meeting. Ideas on how to alleviate dog nuisance were raised, such as posting signs from the Streets and Sanitation department, making signs to place in parkways and having waste bag dispensers throughout the neighborhood.

Scott Rappe agreed to speak with the alderman about obtaining waste bag dispensers. Dana Palmer agreed to make signs to post throughout the neighborhood and Greg Nagel agreed to a $50 budget for the signs.

Augusta parking meters

Arguments were made that meters placed on Augusta from Winchester to Wolcott are unnecessary, and is reducing available parking on the Wolcott block where there is no zoned parking or permit parking. Scott Rappe agreed to discuss this issue with the alderman.

Summer barbecue

Greg Nagel reported that he obtained $200 in Dominick's gift cards.

October membership meeting

Daniel Sirko with Birchwood Kitchen, 2211 W. North Ave., has agreed to do the business minute. Nicole Aquino with Lasalle II has agreed to be the guest speaker. Greg Nagel will be absent for this meeting and Neal McKnight has agreed to lead.

November membership meeting

Greg Nagel stated that he would e-mail Dan Nehm about being a guest speaker regarding energy-efficient windows. Rich Anselmo agreed to contact Bend yoga studio about possibly doing the business minute.

Treasurer report

Greg Nagel received an e-mail from treasurer Nicole Semple. She was able to fill out paperwork for a forwarding address; all funds were deposited in the bank and the new address was given to the bank.

Meeting adjourned: 7:55 p.m. Next membership meeting: October 4, 2010.

The long and short of Division Street plans


Eleanor Mayer, WPB Program Assistant, discusses the "Placemaking at the Polish Triangle" report with East Village Association member Christopher Long. Mayer said planning on the Blue Line renovations at Division is slated to start next year.

Membership meeting minutes for Sept. 7, 2010 submitted by Dana Palmer

Meeting commenced at 7:10 p.m. with Business Minute presented by Wayne Janik of Janik's Cafe. The cafe at 2011 W. Division is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. serving breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is served all day. Alcohol is available as well as delivery options, catering and online ordering.

Eleanor Mayer, program assistant for Wicker Park Bucktown (WPB) Special Service Area 33, presented a report, "Placemaking at the Polish Triangle,” that outlines micro, mezzo and macro plans to improve the Polish Triangle at Division, Ashland and Milwaukee.

Several micro-level plans already are taking place: volunteer cleaning crews, lights on the trees for the holiday season, public events such as a bike-light handout and a Halloween parade. Some ideas at the mezzo and macro level involve landscape improvements, vendor carts, public art and improving the appearance of the train stations.

Now that there is a tangible plan in place, Mayer said, when money is available WPB will be able to act quickly to put the plans in action.

Aaron Bilton announced that the Chicago Public Library's West Town branch is now open and has a grand opening scheduled for Sept. 11, 2010, and the Commercial Park Advisory Council is hosting a wine tasting from 7-9 Sept. 16 as a fund-raiser.

Trees on Augusta: Neal McKnight is in the process of setting a date with arborist Mark Duntemann to do a tree census of the East Village neighborhood.

Greg Nagel announced development news with a condo project at 1624 W. Division, sale of the old Mas restaurant building at 1670 W Division, and work being done for a possible restaurant. The old AAA Distributing Co. building at 1830 W. Chicago is desired as a potential bowling alley, and St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital Center is interested in doing more community development.

Paul Haase announced that he and his wife are raising funds for the re-election of Ald. Joe Moreno with an event on Oct. 21.

Andrew Kinaci raised an issue with the group about dog waste nuisance. He agreed to write an article about the effects of not cleaning up after your dogs. The group brainstormed possible solutions such as posting signs about waste attracting rats as well as signs just reminding people to pick up the waste. Other suggestions were made such as having bag dispensers and more garbage cans in the area. This issue was agreed to be further discussed at the board meeting.

An issue was also raised about new parking meters placed on Augusta from Winchester to Wolcott. The complaint was that this is primarily a residential area and that the meters are being unused during the day due to enough parking already existing on Augusta. This issue was agreed to be further discussed at the Board meeting.

Meeting adjourned: 8:40 p.m.

Goldblatt's building library to be dedicated Saturday

Goldblatt's office building

The new West Town branch library opened Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 1625 W. Chicago.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Sept. 11. Mayor Daley, Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Manny Flores and Joe Moreno, Flores' successor as 1st Ward alderman, are scheduled to attend. Activities include folk tales at 2 p.m. and children's music at 3 p.m.

The branch is in the former Goldblatt's building, designated a city landmark in 1998 with the encouragement of the East Village Association and other civic groups.

Ald. Joe Moreno called EVA and other local community and business groups "instrumental" in relocating the library after closing five years ago at 1271 N. Milwaukee. The new branch combines two smaller storefront libraries, Midwest and Eckhart Park.

"This is great news for our community," the 1st Ward alderman said in a statement. "This library will be a resource for decades." The branch includes movies and music, according to a Chicago Public Library flier, as well as Spanish, Polish and Ukrainian language materials.

The West Town Senior Satellite Center and other city agencies also are located at the former Goldblatt's. The building was built between 1921 and 1928 as the first in the department-store chain founded by Maurice and Nathan Goldblatt.

Branch hours are 10 till 6 Monday & Wednesday, noon to 8 Tuesday & Thursday, and 9 to 5 Friday & Saturday. The schedule complements the Bucktown-Wicker Park branch, 1701 N. Milwaukee, which keeps its late hours on Monday and Wednesday.

More Commercial Park fund-raising



A Sept. 16 wine tasting raises funds for Commercial Park. There's more: Details on the Halloween party, Election Day bake sale Christmas Party planned by the Commercial Park Advisory Council are at commercialpark.org.

Miniature golf at Commercial Park

A mini-golf course will visit Commercial Park on Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Commercial Park is block north of Chicago Avenue at 1845 W. Rice St.