Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Foodies" tour, Chicago style...

So the first stop on the Labor Day weekend extravaganza was to do a walking food/architectural tour of the Bucktown & Wicker Park neighborhoods of Chicago... was a rainy day, so I broke one of my own photography rules and left the DSLR in the car and used my phone to take pictures...thus the quality of some pics are suspect at best....


Sidewalk stamp...
First up. A Chicago style hotdog from George's Hot Dogs.
Family owned since 1948. The original owner (George handed over the reins to his
son-in-law, George a few years ago, so it's still George's)
A Chicago dog is First and foremost a Vienna all beef dog, only,
 on a poppy seed bun, with mustard, pickled peppers, onion, relish, tomato & a dill pickle spear...
..don't even TRY to put ketchup on it!
...then off to Beard Award winner & Chicago's top-ranked pastry & dessert restaurant
 "Hot Chocolate" for some cold chocolate...
iced hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow...
Where Bucktown and Wicker Park meet..

the Flat Iron Arts Building. Home to a wide array of art studios
open to the public... these old corner buildings...
The Goddess & Grocer.
Gourmet foods & delicatessen & purveyor of local, organic and artisan groceries...
...we sampled the Kale salad.
Then it was off the the Sultan's Market a Middle-Eastern cafĂ©.
...we had the Falafel... was fal-awful! Although other liked it, it just wasn't for me.
Carrie, in the light top, was our tour guide for the rainy afternoon,
she did a great job, we highly recommend this tour!

We went to a brew house pizza place for some of their beer and...

New Haven style pizza? Didn't get that, we should have had
Chicago deep it was intended to be made in Chicago...

..I think it was really about the beer. Craft beers aren't my deal either,
Lore in her rain poncho toasts the day! 

...the name of the pizza place was "Piece",
this is their take-out window...'piece out'
They have 2 corner buildings in the area.
this one is supposed to look like a dog looking up...still haven't seen that one...

Some of the beautiful Victorian brownstones in Wicker Park.
In the '70's you could pick one up for around $75,000 in much dis-repair...

...most have been fully restored and you can't touch one now for
less than $1,000,000...yes, 6 zeros!

Funny story around this canon in someone's yard involving the American Legion the current owners and the U.S. Navy.
The Legion used to own and operate out of this house. When the new owner bought it, the Legion showed up one day to retrieve "their" canon and wanted to know how to go about tearing down the wrought iron fence.
Obviously distressed the owner contacted the Navy who said the canon is U.S. government property and that the Legion had no claim to it and she could keep it on her property as long as she wanted's still there...

Some very nice work done an all these renovations...'s all in the details.

This one will set you back about 3Mil...
Ice cream, we want ice cream...

"icream" makes their ice cream using liquid nitrogen...

...yummy. friendly neighborhood...
...more of the big Chicago adventure to come...






A Trip Back Home...

We recently made a trip back to my hometown area of the Quad Cites, (Rock Island & Moline, Illinois and Davenport & Bettendorf, Iowa, & surrounding towns) to lay my father's ashes to rest at the National Cemetery at the Rock Island Arsenal.
Here are some shots of where I grew up...

 This is the house I grew up in. It has changed quite a bit.
it used to have a 2 car carport to the left, 1/2 brick under the picture window, with a full length planter from the porch to the end of the house.
There used to be wrought iron railing all along the porch and stairs leading up to it
& the sliding doors in front of the car used to be the original one car garage.
Our pool was in the back where you couldn't see it, not on the side of the house.
And most of all, it used to have a flat roof, not a hipped roof...
...just my opinion, but it doesn't have the curb appeal it used to have.
My grade school, Immanuel Lutheran, in Rock Island.

the hills out in front of Immanuel Lutheran.
 Good sledding back in the day!!
The "other" house I grew up in. This is Ann & Bill Graham's house.
Ann used to watch me after grade school & in the summers while my parents were at work.

This used to be a small grocery store just up the street from Ann's house.
they used to have a big stand of 1 cent candy...for a quarter you could get full day's sugar buzz!
What's left of the original Sherrard High School.
Only 1/2 the building remains and is now partially the city library in Sherrard.
I haven't been able to find out what happened to the other 1/2 of the school,
 but it looks a lot like a fire.
It also used to be covered with English Ivy, it's nickname was the Ivy Tower.

pretty funny, you can see where the hallways used to be.

Home of the Tigers!

The new Sherrard High, not as much personality as the old "Ivy Tower".
My class was the first class to graduate from the new H.S. in 1978
 My dad's shop in Milan. It still bears his name nearly 30 years
after he sold it: Merl's Business Machines

The old building could use a coat of paint!

Downtown Milan.

My dad's masonic lodge was just above his business.
Clock tower building at the Rock Island Arsenal.
 A beautiful military installment on an island in the Mississippi river
between Rock Island & Davenport.
There is a very nice military museum and over 160 Confederate solders are buried here
as the base was a P.O.W. camp during the civil war.

The Army Corps of Engineers have harnessed the mighty Mississippi
in this Northern region. By building a 16 lock and dam system to make the river deep enough
for large barges to travel up and down the river.
This is Locks & Dam #15 at the Arsenal.
Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse.
One of my favorite buildings in Rock Island is the old "Fox Theater",
now a dinner theater.

LOVE this building...
I spent many a Saturday afternoon watching movies here growing up.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is leaving this place with my dad & little brother after seeing John Wayne in the War Wagon.
Some of the beautiful details of the building.
Wish I could have gone inside, it has some great Indian motif carvings as well.

 Chief Blackhawk and the Sac/Fox Indians are big all over the Quad Cities.
Many things are named for the great Chief, who was actually a Sioux that had been captured as a young child by the Sac and raised as one of their own and become one of their greatest warriors and eventually chief. 

possibly masonic symbols?

a tribute to the American Buffalo
The Centennial Bridge at night.
The link from Rock Island to Davenport used to be a toll bridge...
guess they finally paid it off.
 ...from the Quad Cities, we ventured up to the Windy City...
..more shots from that part of the adventure coming soon!