May 2007 Archives

Intrepid lifestyles reporter Leslie Baldacci writes today that Tamara Hill Garner, a social worker from South Shore, is such a bad dresser that her husband turned her into the fashion police — TLC's "What not to Wear."

We could take a stroll around Hyde Park, and I could point out landmarks like Rockefeller Chapel or Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap.

We might even stop by my favorite spot for fajitas, Mellow Yellow, just off Harper Square.

I'd also probably take you The Cove on 55th, the closest dive bar to the lake.

But if you want a better Hyde Park tour guide than I'd be -- maybe someone who lives in one of those stately Hyde Park mansions and happens to be running for president -- then I'm here to help.

Anna Sieczkowski of Lake View tutors five adults in reading and life skills at the Anixter Center on Clybourn every Monday afternoon. "I was working at a restaurant and I felt like I just wasn't contributing [to society]. I wanted to do something to give back," she says. "The students I tutor are very enthusiastic and appreciative, kind-hearted people.

My sister "Fred" is a cicada 'fraidy cat, who's hobbling on crutches (which become cicada killing machings) after knee surgery. This is her cicada story.

Got a cicada story of your own.? Post it here.

Who is Cornell Drive in Hyde Park named after?

The first person to post the correct answer here wins a Sun-Times T-shirt.

Last week's winner was Elaine Soloway. She knew improv comedy was created by the Compass Players at a bar in Hyde Park.

Chicago's largest philanthropic organization, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announced it will invest $26 million in 16 low-income neighborhoods — Auburn Gresham; Chicago Lawn; the quad communities of Douglas, North Kenwood-Oakland and Grand Boulevard; East Garfield; Englewood; Humboldt Park; Little Village; Logan Square; North Lawndale; Pilsen; South Chicago; Washington Park; West Haven and Woodlawn. — over the next five years.
It's great news for neighborhoods that need help.

Improv Comedy was born in Chicago. But in what neighborhood did the comedy of Second City get its start?

The first person to post the correct answer at wins a Sun-Times T-shirt.

This cocktail from Dr. Sparki is for all you smokers out there, who's days smoking in bars might be numbered.

It's called the ashtray, but doesn't taste like one.

Clare McKeown and Catherine McDonald of Beverly have collected more than $3,000 for the Little Company of Mary Cancer Center by selling their handmade pink jewelry, headbands and trinkets.

Today, I took you on a mini-tour inside a few Chicago bungalows to give you a feel of what its like to live in Chicago's signature home.

Do you have a Bungalow story? Share it with us here.

After my talk with Yvette Harris, the mother of boy who allegedly shot up a CTA bus last Thursday, Michael "Mario" Pace, it was clear that she really didn't know how to handle this situation.
Yvette's niece, Cleo Harris, had this to say: "Even though Mario is still alive, he's good as dead in the jail system. We won't be able to love him and care for him the way we do anymore."

Julian High student Blair Holt was a citizen casualty in a gang war. His alleged shooter, some say, was a victim too. Michael Pace, 16, has been described as a mixed up kid "with a short temper and a bad attitude" who grew up in poverty without a father and with easy access to "blunts" and guns that led him to his breaking point. Same goes for 15-year-old Kevin Jones, who police say gave Pace the gun to do the shooting.
People concerned about the escalating violence all have the same question: What can we do to stop it?
Do you have any ideas on how to answer that question? Use this space to vent your feelings on this tragedy, and the state of the neighborhoods around this South Side war zone.

This comes from reader Su Ki, who writes about her night at Looptopia. Enjoy.

Ol' Sparki at the Four Moon is at it again with this refreshing afternoon cocktail for all you paper pushers out there. It's prefect for this beautiful weather.

Sara Feinstein of Logan Square and nine other volunteers for Trees Across the Miles planted 500 trees along the Dan Ryan and the Kennedy Expressways in April. "The goal is to help the environment, create beauty in community and help clean the air. It's really a fulfilling way to connect with the earth even in an urban environment."

Last Friday afternoon, I raced from the office to Sun Liquors in Edgewater hoping to score the last Budweiser tall boy ever sold there -- a trophy marking another part of Chicago where you can't buy a cold one any more.

Papa Joe Maltese has probably seen it all in Chicago. He grew up around the corner from Gonnella Bread and down the street from indicted mobster Joey "the Clown" Lombardo.

Who was the developer responsible for establishing what is now the Edgewater neighborhood? Be the first to post the correct answer at and you win a Sun-Times T-shirt.

Last week's winner Laura Sanchez knew the original name of Irving Park Boulevard -- Graceland Avenue.

Chicago's Soul Queen, Helen Maybell Anglin, was influential in the civil rights movement here in Chicago by providing free meals to marchers and equal rights leaders — MLK and Jesse Jackson — when not many people would.
Her South Side restaurants — including her current establishment, Soul Queen Restaurant — are her culinary legacy.

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, Sparki will be mixing Mint Juleps at Four Moon Tavern this weekend. Stop by if you get the chance.
If not, here's how to mix a Julep yourself.

Jose Mercado loves baseball so much he spends almost all his time around the ball fields at Hamlin Park during the warm months, tending to the players and coaches of the Hamlin Park Baseball Association.
That's why they call him the Mayor of Hamlin Park.

After a tragic Wrigleyville apartment fire killed 4-year-old Blake Carlson's mother, the president of Harry Caray's Restaurants group, Grant DePorter, put together a benefit at Hi-Tops in Wrigleyville to start a trust fund for the boy.

The first person to post the correct answer wins a Sun-Times T-shirt.

What was the original name of Irving Park Boulevard?

Here's a hint: A famous Chicago cemetery where railroad mogule George Pullman is buried has the same name.

Brian Sloan of Bucktown knows how to get a head. Police found four human skulls at his place after a customer dropped a dime Tuesday night.

In a couple hours, immigrant rights activists will lead a march from Union Park at Lake and Ashland to Grant Park aimed at protesting further deportations and raids until congress passes an acceptable immigration reforms.

Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2007 is the previous archive.

June 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.