April News

Chicago Police mission attempts to dial down neighborhood noise

Cracking down on incidents of neighborhood noise on Lower Wacker and Lower Columbus Dr., the Chicago Police Department conducted a “mission” to punish volume-violating motorists over the first weekend in March.

“There were several citations,” an officer reported during a CAPS meeting at 400 E. Randolph on March 13. “I don’t know the exact number, but I heard it was a lot.”     

People at the meeting appeared to welcome the department’s effort, but still offered a handful of their own suggestions for maintaining peace and quiet.

One attendee recommended that the police use heat-measuring devices to identify vehicles with warm engines and then determine if the temperature resulted from illegal activity.

In response, another attendee remarked that it’s not illegal to have a warm engine. He then cited a law in Title 9 of the Chicago Code that has been referenced at previous CAPS meetings.

Unofficially translated, Section 9-76-140 requires all motor vehicles on public roadways to “be equipped with a muffler in good working order” and operated only if the exhaust system is “labeled in accordance” with a federal regulation that specifies “noise emission requirements.”

The officers reiterated their commitment to neighborhood noise reduction and encouraged residents to report alleged violators to the department.

— Daniel Patton

Mezcalina announces remodeling 

In April, Mezcalina restaurant replaced its signage, website and voicemail with messages about a plan to temporarily close and work on a “new look” that will be unveiled during a Grand Opening celebration on Cinco de Mayo.

Explaining that, “we’ve heard great ideas that were shared by (our customers) and our peers,” the popular Benton Place eatery expressed its commitment to “take Mezcalina to the next level” while continuing to offer “delicous and authentic” food.

Further details will be reported on New Eastside News’ website — www.neatside.com — when they become available.

— Daniel Patton

Studio Gang Architects Presents Aqua Shared Space Renovations


Aqua lobby conversion concept by Studio Gang

Studio Gang Architects presented design concepts for planned interior renovations to common spaces at the Aqua Condominium. The scope comprises the condo lobby, third-floor club rooms, and upstairs corridors.

Unlike the current angular configurations in these areas, the proposal calls for “light, fluid, textural, and translucent,” design elements to match the exterior’s undulating balconies.

Objectives of the project include imparting an open and airy feel to shared spaces; delineating between the condo and apartment lobbies; modifying finishes; and emphasizing verticality.

Hosted by the Aqua’s Board of Directors, the presentation gave owners a chance to see conceptual notions for the renovation at varying levels of architectural involvement and at corresponding price points.

The plans are a starting point for conversation among the building’s constituents and still require Board approval.

— Shanti Nagarkatti

Maggie Daley Park tennis courts open

On April 1, the tennis courts at Maggie Daley Park opened to the public.

Although the courts are available “for walkup use at no charge,” according to the park’s website, permits to reserve courts for three or more dates are also available for the following fees:

  • Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — $15 / hour
  • Monday – Friday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. — $20 per hour
  • Saturday – Sunday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. — $20 per hour

— Daniel Patton

GEMS World Academy students launch newspaper and newscast   

Middle School students at GEMS World Academy launched a newspaper and video newscast in March. Featured coverage includes classroom activities,  “Teacher of the Week,” and creative writing.

Besides presenting the information, students also handle much of the writing, editing and photography behind the scenes.

In related news, GEMS World Academy will host an open house on April 30. For more information, visit www.gemsworldacademy-chicago.com/

— Daniel Patton

New Starbucks to open in Mila Tower 

The street-level retail space in the Mila Tower at 200 N. Michigan recently displayed a sign indicating that a new Starbucks is moving in.

The nationwide coffery appears to be the first retail tenant in the apartment building on the corner of Michigan Ave and Lake St.

Designed by bKL Architecture and Design, the 41-story Mila Tower unveiled floor plans in late 2015 and is expected to begin accepting tenants in the summer of 2016.

— Daniel Patton

Chicago’s 2016 Draft Town will include a Ferris Wheel 

TOWN0003The football-centric village to be temporarily erected in Grant Park as part of Chicago’s Draft Town from April 20 -30 will add a Ferris wheel to its offerings in 2016.

Supporting the city’s role as the official home of the NFL’s 2016 pro draft, the ride will join a midway of team tents and athletic activities that helped draw more than 200,000 fans to the event last year.

The world’s first Ferris wheel debuted at Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition in Hyde Park.

For more information about Draft Town 2016, click here.

— Daniel Patton

Chicago Park District opens registration for summer camp 

Maggie Daley Park will begin registering children ages six to twelve for field trips, explorations, crafts and more in April. The online process opens April 5 at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. The in-person process opens April 9 at 337 E. Randolph.

The six-week day camp begins on July 5 and runs through August 12. Additional programs begin on June 20 and continue until August 22.

— Daniel Patton

“Floating resort” idea approaches the Chicago shoreline

BREAK001awebBreakwater Chicago’s proposal to anchor a “unique entertainment & hospitality destination” off the shores of Lake Michigan sailed closer to the Windy City when the company released new renderings of the concept in March.

Images of a boardwalk-bordered “party barge” containing semi-futuristic recreational dwellings and a water park were accompanied by messages asking “can you imagine dining and swimming on top of Lake Michigan?” that cruised across several social media channels on the internet.

Launched in 2014, the idea has since generated more than $60,000 from an online Kickstarter campaign.

— Daniel Patton

Temporary parking restrictions for street sweeping take effect

Beginning April 1, several temporary parking restrictions will take effect on streets surrounding the New Eastside as the city beautifies its roadways.

In a memorandum from Alderman Reilly’s office, drivers are reminded to “be mindful of all temporary and permanent street sweeping parking restriction signage.”

Although none of the scheduled maintenance is scheduled for the streets that border Lake Shore East Park, a number of those directly outside the neighborhood will be effected.

For more information, including an interactive map and cleaning schedule, visit www.ward42chicago.com/ or call (312) 642.4242.

— Daniel Patton

Tower occupancy surges in Maggie Daley Park

IMG_9381webThe Lighthouse in Maggie Daley Park appeared to experience a notable increase in tenancy during a weekend of unseasonably warm weather in March.

Nestled within an 8,500 square-foot area known as “The Sea” that also contains a Whale and a scale-model ship, the Lighthouse is equipped with “kid-powered light generation, talking tubes, viewing scopes, and a spiral exit slide,” according to the Maggie Daley Park website.

It is part of an even larger section of Maggie Daley park known as the “Play Garden,” which was specifically designed for kids and is open from 6 a.m to 11 p.m.

— Daniel Patton

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