The Crater- mostly vanquished, ditch & protruding metal thingie remain

photo of a patch in an alley
The crater has mostly been patched

Today as I was driving home, through the alley to my garage, it occurred to me that there was backtop patch in the alley!  It had been fixed!  I actually yelled, laughed, and hollered all at once.  🙂  (See the blog post above this one for more on the crater that was eating the alley).

alley photo
Note the ditch w/puddle in the center of the photo

I went back to examine and take photos, and I saw that there was still a muddy ditch next to their patch.  Why didn’t they finish?  Also that big piece of metal that sticks out menacing my tires is still there too.  I took a good photo of it in the post above this one.  Hmmmm.  So, it’s a victory for civic involvement, for calling in issues to 311 and organizing neighbors and getting them to call.  But is it a total victory?  What do you think?  I will say it is easier to navigate than before, and a ditch with a metal tooth is better than a growing crater with a metal tooth.  Thanks for calling 311, and for “liking” my facebook post.  Yay for Chicagoans who take action!

Huge crater eating a Chicago alley for years- Resident apathy or City incompetence?

photo of alley pothole turned crater in Chicago
No longer a pothole, this is a crater eating the alley

Here is a crater eating the alley near our home in Albany Park, Chicago.  I had assumed this was a case of Chicago city incompetence, but when I was out photographing it for this blog, I interviewed a few residents and they all said they had never called the city about it.  Two were private home owners whose homes and garages are just feet north of this crater.  One said “We don’t hang out there, so we didn’t call.”  The other said “I don’t drive that direction” in the alley, so she didn’t call either.  Another resident with his garage further up the alley also said he had never called.  He agreed that it was a big issue, and that the crater had been there for “at least two or three years” and that it had been getting “bigger and deeper.”

alley crater in Chicago
another view of the same crater, alley east of 4415 N Drake Ave

Here’s another view of the same crater, this time facing south in the alley.  This view shows buildings that are right on the north side of Montrose Ave, which include a City of Chicago Streets and Sanitation building.  I learned at my recent Town Hall meeting that Streets & San does not handle pot holes, but maybe they handle craters?

It takes a village to fix a crater.  Help me to get this fixed.  I have called 311 to report this on 3/23 and again 4/1.  Please call 311 to report it too.  Here’s what you will need to know for the call:  It’s in the alley just east of 4415 N Drake Ave, between Drake Ave and St. Louis Ave, and the majority of the alley is regular road pavement except for the big, growing crater.

photo of crater in alley
Watch your tires! the metal piece sticking up out of the edge of the crater

Here’s an additional special feature of the crater.  It has a big piece of metal sticking up out of it.  It’s shown in this photo, just above my women’s size 10 sneaker which I included for perspective.  I’d love to know why the heck it’s there, but more than that I’d love it gone so I don’t have to worry about hitting it and risking my tires.

So show me that some Chicagoans care.  Show me you can call 311 and ad your voice, comment on the blog or “like” or share this on facebook.  I will be sending this blog post to my alderman, and to a Channel 2 facebook account.  I will be doing updates on this, and hopefully one day the crater will be gone.  Help me vanquish the crater!

Chicago Snowed-in with the “SNOMG” “Snowpocalypse” Snow of Feb 2011

view of Chicago Albany Park street after big Feb 2011 snow, many cars buried in snow

Well sometimes they say it’s hard to think of what to write about, but not today!  For days now people have been talking about the snow storm that was coming.  We stocked up on groceries and filled our gas tank on Monday, and Tuesday afternoon and evening we watched the blizzard out of our windows, all safe and warm at home.  At first it looked like a snow globe that someone kept shaking, with all the blowing snow, but then it was snowing and blowing just too much, and looked more like some scene out of a movie.

It’s a great time to be a renter with a garage space, since the building owner’s son is due to come this afternoon with a big snow blower and plow out the alley.  Lorenzo has chronic back issues, so thankfully he is not tempted to help with the shoveling.

Currently he is working on coloring on the computer an original hand drawing he did of a lion, with a great big mane and a pretty cute face.  It’ll be up in our etsy shop by mid February, and I think it will be a big hit.

In the center back you see a snow drift in the shape of a wave
Snowy view from kitchen window 2/2/11, double click to see larger view of wave-shaped snow drift, center back
View of Chicago street after huge snowfall, good samaritans helping jeep stuck in snow
Good Samaritans dig out jeep in Chicago's Albany Park Neighborhood, SNOMG Snowpocalypse Feb 2011
view of Chicago Albany Park street after big Feb 2011 snow, many cars buried in snow
Let's hope this is the biggest snow of the season! The perils of street parking in a blizzard.