Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, December 2

  • Fiery Single-Car Crash on Chinatown Feeder Ramp Kills 2 Men (Tribune)
  • Ald. David Moore: CDOT Used TIF Money to Pave Street in Ward Against My Wishes (Reader)
  • Hundreds of Cars Towed on the First Night of Winter Parking (DNA)
  • MPC Checks Out Ex-CDOT Chief Gabe Klein’s New Book “Start-Up City
  • Buying Gifts at Your Neighborhood Bike Store Will Support the Local Cycling Scene (Keating)
  • Yes, It’s Snowing, But There Are Still Some 5K Events Planned for Lakefront Trail (Active Trans)
  • Santa Claus Is Riding the CTA Brown Line Train This Week (DNA)
  • Bad News for Punks (& Former Punks): The Alley Is Closing — TOD Construction Blamed (DNA)
  • “Walk The 606 With Light” Procession Doubles as a Winter Clothing Drive (FOTBT)
  • See You at the Streetsblog/Moxie Party This Thursday, 6-8 p.m. at E.M. Lounge? Please RSVP Here

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  • johnaustingreenfield

    Word. That was my favorite place for chilaquiles.

  • My raised-in-Texas mother in law insisted we eat there at least once every time she’s in town, because she currently lives in Toronto and misses what she calls “real Mexican food”.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Fortunately, real Mexican food is easy to find in Chicago. It’s even easier if you use Steven Vance’s Burrito Tracker:

  • Yeah, but now we have to try to find another place SHE will personally admit is yummy to her standards. :->

    That map is missing a lot of neighborhoods. Is there a submit link anywhere on it, to bring possibilities to his attention? I couldn’t find one.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Not sure. Feel free to email him: svance[at]

  • I will take suggestions, but they are all personally reviewed places. And I haven’t updated that list in two years (even though I’ve visited additional taquerias).

  • “Ald. David Moore: CDOT Used TIF Money to Pave Street in Ward Against My Wishes”

    This isn’t surprising. And we have only a half-way to see what the mayor’s administration is spending TIF on.

    Despite some minor increases in TIF spending transparency, the “run of the mill” projects that TIF is often used to pay for, like street repaving or bike lanes or Divvy stations, isn’t documented on the city’s website. The TIF map the city had a consultant make only shows the big things, like the Home Depot stores and parking lots it paid for, new CTA stations, and the $55 million it paid for property on which to give to the Navy Pier state authority for the construction of the hotel next to the DePaul university stadium.

    You can see a constantly updated TIF projects map here: (but again, it doesn’t have the “small stuff”).

  • planetshwoop

    One of my recent favorite TIF finds is the Elston-Armstrong TIF getting a ton of new street lights for “pedestrian vitality” on Elston Ave (!!!) near Central. This has a bus barn and a giant factory — zero pedestrians where they put giant new streetlights.

  • Anne A

    I hope they can rebuild.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Lakeview won’t be the same without The Alley. But that corner’s metamorphosis to upscale from the funky will make it an urbanized suburban zone, with mattress stores, 7-11s and Subways. Homogenized puke. Belmont and Clark used to have a great choice of businesses. The long gone Asian market is much missed by me. Eventually, I would expect to see as the Gay community gets more assimilated, we will see the loss of business on Halsted too.

    I also imagine the owner wanted to get out as soon as he received a good offer considering with the eventual tear down and rebuild of the Red/Brown line flyover that business will continue to be tough on Clark for the foreseeable future. What business is willing to locate there now knowing full well they may lose their lease or lose their shirts unless it is a corporate venture with the deep pockets to absorb the losses.

    Good by Alley. Hello Mattress store.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Oh well, we’ll always have Berlin.

  • BlueFairlane

    I always wonder how many mattress stores a place needs.

    Consider: The population of the city of Chicago is 2.7 million. Adjusting for the current marriage rate in the U.S. and assuming that all married couples share a mattress, that works out to a total demand for 2,195,000 matresses. Now, I just this year bought my first new mattress in 20 years, but it’s a well-known fact that I’m cheap. Mattress people suggest you replace your mattress every 7 years. That’s just marketing (like the oil people saying to get an oil change every 3,000 miles), but if everybody does it, that means 313,591 mattresses should sell in Chicago every year. How many mattresses does a mattresses store need to sell to break even? If a store has to sell one a day, that leaves space for 859 stores. I feel like we have way more mattress stores than that. Just one chain, American Mattress, has more than 20 stores inside the city limits.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    I read a recent article about the matress store phenomenon. The matress companies want you to replace your matress ever five to seven years because of deadly threat dust mites. My respnse is hey wash your sheets in hot water once a week, change you matress pad, regularly and flip your matress once a month. Optimal wear. Mine is about 20 too, and I paid wll over 500 for the set. Its still good. When I rent a good carpet cleaner with upholstry attachment, I runvthat over the pillow top too. But hey with a pair of lazy cats that burrow under the sheets, were all good.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    John, I aged out of Berlin years ago. Keep it for the kids.

  • R.A. Stewart

    A story in yesterday’s Tribune says they were insured and are determined to rebuild, and are looking at a possible temporary location across the street in the meantime. I’ve never even been there, but such places are so important to the city’s neighborhoods that I always hate when something like this happens and am happy when there is a prospect of a comeback.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Maybe mattress stores and Chase Bank branches have some weird symbiotic relationship.

  • Anne A

    I’ve eaten there many times over the years. Good food at affordable prices. It’s been a real neighborhood institution. When I go, I often see large family groups enjoying a meal together.