WBEZ | Lincoln Square http://www.wbez.org/tags/lincoln-square Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago’s German community welcomes World Cup watchers http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-german-community-welcomes-world-cup-watchers-110336 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GERMANY5-horiz.jpg" style="height: 373px; width: 280px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Dank Haus member Erwin Lickmann stands by the cultural center’s prized painting of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Germany’s first leader (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />At Lincoln Park&rsquo;s Dank Haus, Erwin Lickmann &nbsp;and I slowly walk into a crimson walled room. He whispers as he shows me a giant 19th century portrait of Germany&rsquo;s first leader, Kaiser Wilhelm I. Lickman is dressed in pea green lederhosen and he tells me the Dank is more than a refuge for older Germans who want to engage in their culture</p><p>&ldquo;The Dank Haus is a community of serving people,&rdquo; he says &ldquo;Sports brings people together. And they can have a beer afterwards and be happy, you know. Builds friendships!&rdquo;</p><p>The Dank Haus was founded in 1959 as a haven for Germans, a place where they could celebrate their heritage and their culture. Next week, it&rsquo;ll welcome hundreds who&rsquo;ll pack the place to watch the World Cup. On this day, around two dozen senior citizens listen to Dank member Sara Hartig read a German poem. Many of them, like Gerhard Grieff, came after World War II.</p><p>&ldquo;I emigrated from Germany in 1952 because Germany after the war was bad,&rdquo; says Greiff. &ldquo;Living over there, we didn&rsquo;t have much of a future there when I was young. So I came over here and stayed here.&rdquo;</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t easy here either, being German in America after the war. That made places like the Dank Haus all the more important for German Americans. &nbsp;Over the years the community assimilated. Sarah Hartig has been with the Dank for decades and wonders about its future. None of her six children are involved in the cultural center.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to be more American. English is spoken at all the meetings,&rdquo; says Hartig. &ldquo;When we started everything was spoken in German. We&rsquo;re getting older, young people came in and they started speaking English.&rdquo;</p><p>I asked how she felt about that. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going along&rdquo; she sighs.</p><p>Today, German traditions are alive and well, celebrated by Germans and non-Germans alike. There are two main festivals in Chicago each year: Oktoberfest in the fall and Maifest in late spring. This year in addition to the traditional German songs and suds, talk at the festival turned to the World Cup.</p><p>Anna Liese and Rafael Vasquez have a bit of a problem as the games approach. She&rsquo;s German and he&rsquo;s Mexican. Anna Liese was raised with a strong sense of German pride. She&rsquo;s dressed in a dirndl costume, speaks German and Spanish. She met her husband more than 40 years ago in Mexico.</p><p>&ldquo;Of course my father was a little upset. But after many years, he was at peace with it,&rdquo; Liese says.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GERMANY2.jpg" style="height: 210px; width: 280px; float: left; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px;" title="Ana Leise and Rafael Vasquez have a laugh at Maifest in Lincoln Square, May 30. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />Her husband Rafael, dressed in lederhosen, passes around shots of apfelkorn better known as apple schnapps.</p><p>&ldquo;She cooks Mexican food. She liked soccer, she drinks beer. What else could I want?,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I won the lottery!&rdquo;</p><p>Vasquez says you don&rsquo;t have to belong to one nationality to enjoy what another one can bring. But he&rsquo;s not planning to root for Germany in the World Cup. He&rsquo;s supporting his home country.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh my god, you&rsquo;re putting me on the spot.&rdquo; says Vasquez &ldquo; Mexico. Hopefully they will make it to the semifinals. I want to say there&rsquo;s a 10 percent chance they will make it past the quarterfinals.&rdquo;</p><p>If Mexico doesn&rsquo;t make it, he may want to latch himself to his wife&rsquo;s team, Germany, which is favored to go much farther in the tournament.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ Host/Producer Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a><u>&nbsp;</u>and <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></em></p></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-german-community-welcomes-world-cup-watchers-110336 There in Chicago (#7) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/there-chicago-7-98770 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/14--2012--Western-Lincoln.JPG" title="Western Avenue at Lincoln-Lawrence--view south"></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/14--1955--Western-Lincoln-b_0.jpg" title="1955 (CTA photo)"></div></div><p>How well did you find your way around 1955 Chicago?</p><p>We are on Western Avenue at the intersection with Lincoln, just north of Lawrence. The Western station of the Ravenswood "L" (Brown Line) is in the distance. The massive building behind the streetcar is now Dank Haus, Chicago's German American cultural center.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 10:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/there-chicago-7-98770 Touring the Old Town School of Folk Music's big new digs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-13/touring-old-town-school-folk-musics-big-new-digs-94853 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-13/building_august.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/" target="_blank">Old Town School of Folk Music</a> has been part of Chicago for more than 50 years. So after a half century of concerts and classes, it was no surprise that they decided to expand. The <a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/together/" target="_blank">new building,</a> right across from their main location in Lincoln Square, is state of the art and has studios with sprung floors and classrooms that have been acoustically engineered to prevent sound leakage. Bau Graves, executive director of the Old Town School of Folk Music, took <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> on a tour.</p><p>The new Old Town School location in Lincoln Square will open Jan. 9.</p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 15:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-13/touring-old-town-school-folk-musics-big-new-digs-94853 Venture: Do aldermen have too much power over small businesses? http://www.wbez.org/story/alderman/venture-do-aldermen-have-too-much-power-over-small-businesses-84648 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-03/IMG_3573.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The biggest economic news in Chicago this week may be what happens in politics.<br> <br> On Tuesday voters in Chicago will choose almost a third of the city council. And for small business owners, that has big ramifications. They know their success can hinge on who their alderman is.<br> <br> In Lincoln Square, just north of Lawrence on Western Avenue, a block of small business owners learned firsthand a few years ago how powerful an alderman can be. Alderman Eugene Schulter of the 47th ward pushed forward a proposal for the city to acquire their properties and sell them to a private developer to turn into condos and retail stores.<br> <br> Tim Van Le owns Decorium Furniture in the targeted block. Now, three and a half years later, he still heaves a sigh when he describes how it felt knowing he might have to relinquish his store.<br> <br> “Absolutely we feel so hopeless,” Le said. “We really felt like we had no word.”<br> <br> Just next door is Chicago Soccer, which sells cleats and other soccer gear. Imre Hidvegi is one of the owners. He led the campaign to fight Alderman Schulter's plan.<br> <br> “It steamrolled so quickly we didn’t even have a chance to sit down and ask wait, why, how, what’s going on here? I equate it to a violent attack,” Hidvegi says with a laugh.<br> <br> He can laugh now because they rallied enough protesters to get Alderman Schulter to drop the idea. Schulter didn't respond to calls seeking comment.<br> <br> That attempted land grab was pretty brazen, but every day aldermen are asked to sign permit applications for things like awnings and sidewalk cafes. And they get notice from the city for every building permit and license application. That can have business owners feeling like they have to make nice with their alderman.<br> <br> George Fink is president of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce. He says he senses fear on the part of small business owners.<br> <br> “That’s the general feeling in the public that oh well, we can’t do anything unless we go through the alderman to do it,” Fink said. “Is that a good feeling for free people? No, I don’t think so.”<br> <br> Elizabeth Milnikel agrees. She's researched the regulatory environment in Chicago as part of her work as director of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. It’s a law clinic with a libertarian bent that works with lower-income entrepreneurs. She says Chicago's political system vests too much control in each individual alderman.<br> <br> “It puts a lot of power in one person and that person can be the gatekeeper for a business that’s really trying to get started, trying to flourish in a community,” Milnikel said.<br> <br> Milnikel says making things easier for small businesses is even more important right now as the city tries to pull out of the recession and create jobs. But she says some businesses can’t even get off the ground if they don’t have buy-in from the alderman. She cites the case of one of her clients who wants to open up a day care but was told by the alderman there were already enough day cares in the area.<br> <br> “She has held this building and paid property taxes for over a year now, [but] she hasn’t even been allowed to start building it up as a day care,” Milnikel said. “Meanwhile this block has yet another empty building sitting there.”<br> <br> Alderman Vi Daley, who’s leaving the 43rd ward, says she worked hard during her 12 years to fill empty buildings. Still, she says it’s the alderman’s job to make decisions.<br> <br> “I mean an alderman certainly knows their community, knows the street and you could probably reach out to chambers and get their input if they’re active on the street, but I guess, who would then make that decision?” Daley said.<br> <br> In Lincoln Square, where those small store owners pushed back, Alderman Schulter is leaving office after more than 35 years.<br> <br> Small business owners say they’re excited about his replacement – a young Northwestern University staffer named Ameya Pawar, who ran as an underdog and won. Pawar says what’s needed for local businesses is more transparency.<br> <br> “I think this is probably endemic in the city of Chicago where campaign contributions are linked to things actually getting done – to signs or awnings processes getting taken care of,” Pawar said. “And I think moving forward what we need to do is create a climate where businesses in the ward and all wards in the city of Chicago feel like they understand how to get a license, how to get a permit, and I don’t think we have such a climate at this point.”<br> <br> Entrepreneurs say they like what they hear from Pawar, but after years of doing business in Chicago, they’ll believe it when they see it. And in 14 wards across the city tomorrow, small business owners will be watching election returns closely to see who will be their new gatekeeper.<br> <br> Each week on Venture, we bring you something called our Windy Indicator – a fresh way to understand the climate of the economy.<br> <br> It could be sunny. Or it could be stormy.<br> <br> One person who’s banking, literally, on April showers is Jeff Hodgson, founder and president of Chicago Weather Brokerage - a brokerage for precipitation. He says the amount of rain we get can be a strong indicator for all sorts of sectors of the economy.<br> <br> “A lot of people talk to me and they talk about speculating. ‘Wow, I can’t believe you can trade rain or snow. Now you’re betting on the weather,’” Hodgson said. “And the answer I always get back to people is, ‘You’re investing all this money into a marketplace where the main revenue driver is something you cannot control. You’re the one speculating here.’”<br> <br> The Chicago Mercantile Exchange started selling rain contracts six months ago. The whole idea is that farmers, golf courses, outdoor music venues, and fertilizer companies could treat the rain contracts as a sort of insurance. Heavy rainfall could be an economic disaster for those businesses. But so far – it’s been a hard sell.<br> <br> “Farmers understand how to trade crops – crop futures. You know, wheat, corn, soy beans, things of that nature,” Hodgson said.<br> <br> But Hodgson says it’ll take some time to get customers used to the idea of putting money on the weather – something you probably don’t think about buying.<br> <br> Next week – our Windy Indicator goes premium at the gas pump.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 04 Apr 2011 05:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/alderman/venture-do-aldermen-have-too-much-power-over-small-businesses-84648 North Side Aldermanic Races http://www.wbez.org/story/bernard-stone/north-side-aldermanic-races <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/3478679048_abba175cf3_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 11:00 p.m.</em> There were a number of tight North Side aldermanic contests, with runoffs to follow in April. Among the highlights are a virtual tie in the 46th Ward race to replace retiring Ald. Helen Schiller, and 83-year-old Ald. Bernie Stone will face challenger Debra Silverstein in a runoff, as Stone edged Silverstein by just a few hundred votes.</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 35</strong></p><p>36 of 36 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Rey Colon, (i) 4,451 - 51 percent</p><p>Miguel Sotomayor, 2,174 - 25 percent</p><p>Nancy Schiavone, 2,117 - 24 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 36</strong></p><p>55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>John Rice, (i) 6,709 - 48 percent</p><p>Nicholas Sposato, 3,346 - 24 percent</p><p>Jodi Biancalana, 1,964 - 14 percent</p><p>Brian Murphy, 656 - 5 percent</p><p>Thomas Motzny, 650 - 5 percent</p><p>Bruce Randazzo, 628 - 5 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 38</strong></p><p>53 of 53 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Timothy Cullerton, (i) 5,795 - 48 percent</p><p>Tom Caravette, 2,699 - 22 percent</p><p>Bart Goldberg, 945 - 8 percent</p><p>Carmen Hernandez, 723 - 6 percent</p><p>Mahmoud Bambouyani, 704 - 6 percent</p><p>Sheryl Morabito, 672 - 6 percent</p><p>John Videckis, 402 - 3 percent</p><p>Ed Quartullo, 237 - 2 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 39</strong></p><p>47 of 47 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Margaret Laurino, (i) 7,735 - 76 percent</p><p>Mary Hunter, 2,392 - 24 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 41</strong></p><p>56 of 57 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Mary O'Connor, 5,885 - 30 percent</p><p>Maurita Gavin, 4,890 - 25 percent</p><p>Richard Gonzalez, 1,887 - 10 percent</p><p>Thomas Murphey, 1,718 - 9 percent</p><p>Jim Mullen, 1,650 - 8 percent</p><p>Daniel Lapinski, 1,593 - 8 percent</p><p>Brock Merck, 728 - 4 percent</p><p>John Quinn, 528 - 3 percent</p><p>Barbara Ateca, 353 - 2 percent</p><p>James Schamne, 152 - 1 percent</p><p>George Banna, 134 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 43</strong></p><p>57 of 59 precincts - 97 percent</p><p>Michele Smith, 5,040 - 37 percent</p><p>Tim Egan, 3,862 - 29 percent</p><p>Charles Eastwood, 1,394 - 10 percent</p><p>Rafael Vargas, 1,219 - 9 percent</p><p>Mitchell Newman, 637 - 5 percent</p><p>Bita Buenrostro, 408 - 3 percent</p><p>Jim Hinkamp, 378 - 3 percent</p><p>Mike Jankovich, 356 - 3 percent</p><p>Carmen Olmetti, 149 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 45</strong></p><p>53 of 53 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>John Garrido, 5,121 - 32 percent</p><p>John Arena, 3,567 - 23 percent</p><p>Marina Faz-Huppert, 3,065 - 19 percent</p><p>Michael Ward, 1,638 - 10 percent</p><p>Anna Klocek, 1,189 - 8 percent</p><p>Don Blair, 965 - 6 percent</p><p>Bruno Bellissimo, 216 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 46</strong></p><p>47 of 47 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Molly Phelan, 2,712 - 20 percent</p><p>James Cappleman, 2,706 - 20 percent</p><p>Emily Stewart, 2,018 - 15 percent</p><p>Don Nowotny, 1,591 - 12 percent</p><p>Marc Kaplan, 1,331 - 10 percent</p><p>Michael Carroll, 1,241 - 9 percent</p><p>Scott Baskin, 821 - 6 percent</p><p>Befekadu Retta, 602 - 4 percent</p><p>Diane Shapiro, 458 - 3 percent</p><p>Andy Lam, 186 - 1 percent</p><p>Caitlin McIntyre, 141 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 47</strong></p><p>51 of 52 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Ameya Pawar, 8,351 - 51 percent</p><p>Tom O'Donnell, 7,157 - 44 percent</p><p>Matt Reichel, 600 - 4 percent</p><p>Tom Jacks, 342 - 2 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 48</strong></p><p>53 of 54 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Harry Osterman, 10,161 - 81 percent</p><p>Philip Bernstein, 716 - 6 percent</p><p>Jose Arteaga, 639 - 5 percent</p><p>Patrick McDonough, 629 - 5 percent</p><p>Steven Chereska, 354 - 3 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 49</strong></p><p>42 of 42 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Joe Moore, (i) 6,857 - 72 percent</p><p>Brian White, 2,665 - 28 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 50</strong></p><p>44 of 45 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Bernard Stone, (i) 4,143 - 37 percent</p><p>Debra Silverstein, 3,763 - 34 percent</p><p>Greg Brewer, 2,095 - 19 percent</p><p>Ahmed Khan, 659 - 6 percent</p><p>Michael Moses, 475 - 4 percent</p><p>Here is a look at some of the aldermanic races WBEZ reporters will be following closely.</p><p><strong>50th Ward</strong></p><p><em>Updated At: 8:40 p.m. </em>&nbsp; Vote tallies show tight races in the 46th and 50th wards on Chicago's North Side, where runoffs appear likely. Candidates in the 46th Ward are vying to replace retiring Ald. Helen Schiller, who represents much of Uptown. Chicago's oldest alderman, 83-year-old Bernie Stone, is fighting to hold onto his seat in the 50th Ward.</p><p>On the city&rsquo;s far North Side, West Ridge residents say this race is about the same issues brought up in past elections: development and beautification of the once-thriving retail corridors on Devon and Western Avenues, as well as building cohesion among the ward&rsquo;s ethnically diverse populations. When incumbent Ald. Bernard Stone declared that he would run again for an eleventh term, the 83-year-old said now was &ldquo;&shy;not the time for change.&rdquo;</p><p>In his last election Stone found himself forced into a runoff. Later, he lost the Democratic Committeeman seat to State Senator Ira Silverstein. In this race, Silverstein&rsquo;s wife, Debra, is running against Stone, as is one-time Stone ally, Michael Moses. Both of those challengers hail from the area&rsquo;s Orthodox Jewish community. Also running are Greg Brewer, an architect who unsuccessfully bid for Stone&rsquo;s seat in the last election, and Ahmed Khan, a young community organizer of Indian-American descent.</p><p><strong>47th Ward</strong></p><p><em>Updated At: 9:06 </em>&nbsp; Ameya Pawar has a slight lead over Tom O'Donnell and two other challengers in the 47th Ward race to replace Ald. Gene Schulter.</p><p>In this ward, 35-year incumbent Gene Schulter dropped his reelection bid in January to make a play for the Cook County Board of Review. That unsuccessful run set up the first wide-open race since the 1970s in this ward that includes Lincoln Square, North Center and Ravenswood. Schulter threw his support behind Tom O'Donnell, a longtime ally who is president of the Ravenswood Community Council. Schulter gave O'Donnell at least $15,000, helping set up a huge money advantage for O'Donnell. He raised more than $100,000 since jumping into the race just over a month ago.</p><p>His biggest competitor is 30-year-old Ameya Pawar, a program assistant at Northwestern University who bills himself as young, savvy and reform-minded. He collected endorsements from both major daily papers, and managed to raise about $30,000 without the backing of an established political organization. Activist Matt Reichel and Northwestern University administrator Tim Jacks are also running for the seat.</p><p><b>46th Ward</b></p><p>This ward is largely contained within the Uptown neighborhood, which entered this election at a crossroads. For years it&rsquo;s been under pressure to preserve a tradition of taking care of the economically and socially underserved. At the same time, young homeowners want to see new businesses that can serve them, and raise their property values.</p><p>Outgoing Ald. Helen Shiller had championed to keep affordable housing in the 46th Ward, and she won her final battle most recently with the creation of the Wilson Yards mixed-use development. The development brought in a Target and an Aldi grocery, but it also included low-income and senior housing. Shiller&rsquo;s decision not to run left the door open to eleven candidates, who have had to delicately address economic development while retaining affordable housing.</p><p><strong>41st Ward</strong></p><p>This ward includes far-Northwest Side neighborhoods like Edison Park, Norwood Park and Edgebrook -- largely white, middle-class areas home to many cops, teachers and city workers. There, the City Council's only Republican, Brian Doherty, gave up a reelection bid for an unsuccessful run for the state legislature. He threw his support behind his longtime administrative aide, Maurita Gavin (who, it so happens, took Alderman Doherty to prom back in the 1970s). She is running on a platform of continuity, promising even to keep largely the same staff.</p><p>She faced a huge field of 10 challengers, including three former or current police officers and a fireman. In contention are Mary O'Connor, a small business-owner and Democratic committeeman, Richard Gonzalez, a police sergeant who has loaned large sums to his campaign, and Thomas Patrick Murphey, an urban planner who nabbed the Chicago Tribune's endorsement. Bread-and-butter issues dominated this campaign, like basic city services and preventing local police from being deployed to other wards. Most candidates promised to fight to uphold the area's &quot;suburb in the city&quot; character, dominated by single-family homes and good schools. Also running for this seat are former police officer Jim Mullen, firefighter Daniel Lapinski, small-business owner James Schamne, police officer Brock Merck, George Banna and Barbara Ateca.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef and Gabriel Spitzer contributed to this story.</em></p><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bernard-stone/north-side-aldermanic-races Revision Street: Gabriela Fitz (III) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-iii <p><p><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span><em>I&rsquo;ve just asked Gabi about her dog Blue, who, during the course of our conversation has become very very concerned about its own tail. There&rsquo;s been barking, jumping, moving around&mdash;dog things. Things I don&rsquo;t understand.</em></p><p><em>It&rsquo;s all stuff Gabi&rsquo;s OK spending time on&mdash;in fact, she and her friend Lisa started a non-profit business several years ago out of their homes called IssueLab. Their entire mission is to explore the kinds of things I don&rsquo;t understand.</em></p><p>We essentially archive research done by other non-profits, <em>she tells me. </em>That includes all kinds of things: community ethnographies, large-scale survey reports, longitudinal studies. There&rsquo;s an enormous amount of research produced by non-profits every year, but there&rsquo;s no publishing system for it, no way that it gets archived. It doesn&rsquo;t get cataloged by the Library of Congress, there&rsquo;s no journal system. Grant makers who fund the work don&rsquo;t actually hold the work or archive it.</p><p><em>What this means is: social service organizations and other non-profits are forced to waste financial and human resources either hunting down or re-conducting research with every new program. (Which goes a long way toward explaining why problems like youth homelessness or street violence have never been met with a coordinated, effective response.)</em></p><p>I think we should have 5000 pieces of research within the next month, <em>Gabi says, and this clearly excites her.</em> But the challenge is that people are interested in the research from their field. They&rsquo;re not interested in whether there&rsquo;s an interdisciplinary collection of all research. They just want to know they can get what they want. So it&rsquo;s difficult to get people behind the project as a whole, the same way that it&rsquo;s difficult to get people behind any kind of infrastructure.</p><p><em>And then the dog does something funny, and we move on.</em></p><p>Blue came into my life in December. I had been training for a big event last year, a sports event that was taking up a ton of time. I had been wanting to get a dog, but I kept thinking, I can&rsquo;t have a dog. I mean, what if there&rsquo;s a great band playing? But it&rsquo;s like, you&rsquo;re not going to see a band. Just get a dog. It&rsquo;s a complete myth that I&rsquo;ve been maintaining about myself that I&rsquo;m this super socially active person.</p><p>I mean, there&rsquo;s a lot of people that aren&rsquo;t like that right? I&rsquo;m thinking about my friend Therese, who knows a million freakin&rsquo; people and is connecting people all the time. Lisa and I are a bad example because we don&rsquo;t pick up the phone. We&rsquo;re like agoraphobes, which is why we work on data. We work out of our homes and are like, God, I hope the FedEx guy doesn&rsquo;t come, I don&rsquo;t want to have to talk to him.</p><p>Maybe that&rsquo;s also the neighborhoodiness of Chicago, too, you know? We don&rsquo;t connect our issues a lot of the time, which I think the structure of the city has fostered. There&rsquo;s no excuse for why I don&rsquo;t know who else is doing related things.</p><p>I have to say my involvement in Chicago politics was tainted by an experience with Alderman Schulter. Some friends and I were living in Lincoln Square and were really concerned about the fact that it was getting impossible for people who&rsquo;d lived there for decades to afford to live there any longer and wanted community voice in the direction of development. This was maybe 2000, 2001? Everything was going through the alderman&rsquo;s office. You can&rsquo;t add a trash can in your flippin&rsquo; alley without his permission, and yet we&rsquo;d go to community meetings and he would say he was powerless. That this building was going up, that this business was going in here&mdash;that he was completely powerless. He couldn&rsquo;t do anything about it, which was of course total horse shit.</p><p>So we were really pushing for some of the procedural things to change around how community members, and renters specifically&mdash;because it was so based on home ownership&mdash;could vote on zoning changes. But if you rented you never even received the notice, so there were things that we wanted to see changed.</p><p>We did some art-related agitprop stuff, including an Onion-like mockery of this local paper and Alderman Schulter sued us for liable and slander. So we were in court for five years, and weren&rsquo;t allowed to do any kind of political activity around... It was really a classic SLAPP suit, strategic litigation in order to shut down public protest. We talked to other community members about keeping them involved and they were like, We don&rsquo;t need that. We don&rsquo;t want that mess in our lives. So it was incredibly effective.</p><p>There were three of us that were sued, but you know, he&rsquo;s still in office and that neighborhood in the meantime is unaffordable. It was the first time I&rsquo;d gotten involved in local politics. It felt very stifling. I mean, it was literally stifling for years and years. That&rsquo;s an extreme example, but I think that that happens all the time in the city. There&rsquo;s a lot of silencing.</p><p>We ended up negotiating a settlement: we agreed to make a donation to a charity and so we made a donation to a food pantry in Lincoln Square, trying to say, you know what? There are poor people living in your community. You can ignore it if you want, but they&rsquo;re there.</p><p>I think it silenced me, I do. I think that most of all it wore me out and it kinda took the creative fun out of it.</p><p>That&rsquo;s such a crazy thing to say when there are people who have incredible political resilience and maintain their political commitment through all kinds of real oppression. Being sued by an alderman is hardly an enormously oppressive act, but it definitely made me realize that we do have to engage in the kinds of activity that also nurture us and cultivate more political energy.</p><p>I have a lot of energy for the work we do at IssueLab. At some point, you gotta find the things that feed you energy back. Otherwise it&rsquo;s just a grind.</p><p>That&rsquo;s the funny thing about living in one city for a while, is that you get to reflect back on who you were when you got there. I guess, I&rsquo;m 14 years older and there are certain parts of me that came here that are now defeated. And there are other parts of me that came here that are much richer and much savvier. Whether that&rsquo;s Chicago or whether that&rsquo;s life, I have no idea. I guess [<em>laughs</em>] it&rsquo;s my life in Chicago. <!--EndFragment--></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 17:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-iii Revision Street: Lincoln Square http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-lincoln-square <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a rel="attachment wp-att-27677" href="/amoore/2010/06/revision-street-lincoln-square/27676 /img00077-20100526-1508"><img width="420" height="313" class="size-medium wp-image-27677" title="Lincoln Square" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//IMG00077-20100526-1508-300x225.jpg" alt="" /></a>&nbsp;<br /><em>(photo by AEM)</em></p><p><em>The installation of my favorite store&rsquo;s new sign, on Western near Lawrence. To my great sorrow I do not yet own anything purchased from this store, but if you invite me to your ball, this is where I will shop first.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-lincoln-square