Now open: Hairpin Lofts & Logan Square Arts Center

July 28, 2011

Hairpin Lofts & Logan Square Arts Center
on Milwaukee Ave.

It’s been over 20 years since the public has stepped foot above the first floor of the Hairpin Lofts and Logan Square Arts Center (photo left, “before”) — until today!

The reconfigured and newly renovated and restored building at the northwest corner of Diversey and Milwaukee Avenues (photo above, “after”) is certified for occupancy and open for business.

You can read a bit more about the building’s journey at History of the Morris B. Sachs building (Part I) and (Part II), Celebrating Hairpin Lofts! and Desirable defacement.

On the top four floors of the building, tenants will now reside in new apartments (photo left) where office workers once toiled.  And enjoy a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood (photo below left looks north up Kimball Avenue).

On the second floor of the building will be the Logan Square Arts Center, a performance and multi-use space managed by the Logan Square Chamber of Arts.

You can dive right in and see for yourself the new Logan Square Arts Center during the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival this weekend (see below).

Scene in Logan Square:

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival takes place this weekend, July 29-31, from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday on Milwaukee Avenue between Rockwell and Wolfram Streets.

You might start off your festival experience with the 50 & Fabulous performance at the Logan Square Arts Center Friday night at 8:00 p.m.  You could take some time on Saturday to channel your own artistic side starting at 2:30 p.m. with the All Ages Make & Take Art Workshops, fuel your artsy adventure at neighborhood restaurants or the curated Food and drink at the festival, or test your artistic expression at 7:30 p.m. with Foreign language karaoke.  You may challenge your perspective on Sunday at the Undomesticated gallery, see how the festival has unfolded at the See, Hear, Now gallery, and pick up a souvenir of the festival at the Indoor Art Market.  There’s much more to see and do.  Map your own route or let the art unfold in your own exploration.

Kedzie Avenue bike lanes and sharrows

July 18, 2011

They’ve been up for a month now.  How do you like the new Kedzie Avenue bike lanes courtesy of a Federally funded city-wide bike lane installation project?

Everyone who uses Kedzie Avenue here will have to make the necessary adjustments, and so far, so good from what I’ve seen.

For those unfamiliar with the markings, the solid lines with the bike stencil and solid, single arrow (photo below right) designate bike lanes dedicated to bicyclists.  Motor vehicles must not cross the solid line.  Bicyclists must travel in the direction of the arrow.

The dotted line delineates the area where cross traffic can cross the bicycle lane, and the bike stencil with two chevrons above it–otherwise known as a “sharrow” or shared lane marking (photo below left)–indicates where cyclists and motorists must share the road. Read the rest of this entry »

The trick is what to choose for Halloween in Logan Square

October 27, 2010

Soooooo much to see and be scene for Halloween this year:

14th District Haunted House:  The police get a sense of horror humor Thursday – Saturday, October 28-30, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, October 31, from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. at 14th District Police Station, 2150 N. California Ave.   

Weegee’s Pumpkin Carving:  Fun with alcohol and knives Thursday, October 28,  from 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. at Weegee’s Lounge, 3659 W. Armitage Ave.

Musical of the Living Dead:  A zombie comedy musical, Thursday – Sunday, October 28-31, 7:30 p.m. at The Charnel House.

Logan Square Halloween Parade:  Children’s costume parade Friday, October 29, 5:30 p.m. at the Logan Square monument; noisemakers of all kinds encouraged!

Longman & Eagle Pumpkin Carving:  Hot cider, hot chocolate, sweet treats Saturday, October 30, from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. outside in the backspace at Longman & Eagle; cash is king dead presidents dominate. Read the rest of this entry »

Croissant kerfuffle

September 21, 2010

Perhaps you’ve heard that the eagerly anticipated La Boulangerie opened a couple of weeks ago.  The four-seater bakery/crêperie has opened to much ado about an agreement it made that it would not sell coffee or individual croissants in order to secure a lease at this 2569 N. Milwaukee Avenue location.

Inside La Boulangerie Overlooking Logan Square

This has many neighbors up in arms.  Sacré Beurre!  You can’t eat buy just one croissant or un café.  But this is because those are the terms La Boulangerie agreed to. 

When New Wave Coffee negotiated its lease, probably two and a half years ago or more now, it protected its business venture by securing the exclusive rights to sell soup, sandwiches, coffee and baked goods in this building at the southeast corner of Logan Boulevard and Read the rest of this entry »

Emmett Street lot improvements, a day late, and done

September 9, 2010

Things didn’t go exactly as planned for the Emmett Street parking lot maintenance.  But they are done, a day late and a dollar short I don’t know and I don’t care at what cost (since Chicago Parking Meters, LLC/LAZ Parking is picking up the tab per the city’s 75 year contract with them).

There was some confusion with regard to what exactly consitutes north and south in a lot that’s oriented northwest/southeast, both by LAZ and by drivers.  They ended up splitting the maintenance work on a vertical, rather than horizontal axis as first explained.  They changed the dates mid-stream so that the switch between south and north (or west and east, if you like) was made a day later than planned and the completion date was a couple of days later.  There were some straggler drivers that didn’t make the shift in time.  But in the end they completed the project a day later than originally planned, a day earlier than the revised plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Not this SSA

August 24, 2010

What is an SSA?

A Special Service Area (SSA) is like what’s known as a Business Improvement District (BID) in other cities, if you’re familiar with that term.  It’s a specified district, the properties of which are assessed a special tax to fund services specifically for that area that other areas would not receive. 

SSAs are generally in commercial districts and can be useful economic development tools in the right circumstances, if they are well-conceived and well-received.  Chicago has 40 some SSA districts from State Street to Roseland to Lincoln Square and beyond. 

Proposed Milwaukee/Armitage SSA

Back in April I learned about a proposed SSA that would include Milwaukee Avenue.  The application was due and was submitted in mid-May.

Initially, the proposed district included properties in three different wards on wide swaths of Milwaukee, Fullerton and Armitage Avenues in Logan Square and a smaller strip of properties on California Avenue. 

Like many things in Chicago, SSAs do not go forward without aldermanic Read the rest of this entry »

Scene in Logan Square: Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

July 20, 2010

The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival takes place this weekend, July 23-25, from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday on Milwaukee Avenue between Washtenaw and Dawson Avenues (pdf map available for download).

Start off your festival experience Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. with some art and music at the 2010:  An Art Odyssey Gallery and Stage.  Kick it up a notch and experience the Graffiti Battle at the Advance Basic Concept Gallery and Stage at 6:00 p.m.  At your leisure, head over to experience a different kind of contemporary art at the Danny Think Tank gallery. Read the rest of this entry »