Sunday, July 23, 2017

Idiot Bicyclists and Bistro Voltaire

Image result for bistro voltaire chicagoImage result for bistro voltaire chicago



 “Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.” ― Voltaire

  DNAinfo ChicagoThe video shows a bicyclist apparently slowly pedaling into the intersection of Halsted and Roosevelt when a car hits him, sending the man over the car's roof and landing several feet away.
The driver of the car, a 22-year-old woman, stayed at the scene and has not been cited in the crash
Read more at https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=995_1500584271#UeqSxFGsIJCZARVJ.99

“Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.” ― Voltaire


My lovely friend and I enjoyed a superb evening at a remarkable destination - Bistro Voltaire at 222 West Chicago Avenue.  The getting there was like watching Dunkirk on IMAX.

We began our trip to Bistro Voltaire at 4 P.M. on a hot and sticky Saturday, armed with an umbrella for the much threatened rains.  No rain.  I decided to take North Avenue from Oak Park to the restaurant, because Taste of River North was getting under way and the expected traffic at Ohio exit of 94 North would be as thick as creme brulee on hot sidewalk.

North  Avenue is a wonderful ride east to the hipper environs. You travel through Austin and West ad East Garfield Parks, where my Aunt Nellie Shea and her husband Dinny had an apartment until their moves to Heaven and then Humboldt Park.  I turned south at California and we saw old gents playing dominoes in Humboldt Park.  We passed the wonderful Flying Saucer diner run by a brilliant Australian lad named Andy and headed east again at Chicago Avenue heading into Ukrainian Village with its magnificent Churches and Museum and finally the bedroom community of self absorbed.
Image result for Cyclist runs red light ChicagoImage result for Cyclist runs red light hit by car Chicago
These hipper environs are noticeable more by its tattooed and tanned denizens pedaling expensive CEEPO Vipers, or the more modest 6061 BLACK LABEL - PEARL WHITE.  These people want everyone to know that they are alive . . ., at the moment. 

Last week I watched a video (above)  of a graceful idiot imitating a bug on a windshield, in DNAinfo Chicago.
Image result for Bike creeps  in chicago
Yesterday, I watched no fewer than four such well-accoutred imbeciles sped through red lights at Chicago and Western , Chicago and Damen, Chicago and Ashland and finally at Chicago and Larabee.  These death defying morons caused traffic, which was not inconsiderable, to buckle and wane in expectation of meeting between force and matter.

My son lives in Wicker Park, as do many young people brought up with Old World values in the un-hippest of neighborhoods and continue to live accordingly.  These young people know what it means to not receive participation trophies, how to wait their turns, have deference for other people and how not to spark a confrontation with their elders and betters.

Living among them are tattooed and tanned spawn of Montessori, Lab and Liberation education.

Free to form, do what they may with creative intensity and speak their little minds.

There were no speeding ninnies observed from Oak Park to Sacramento along Chicago Avenue, it was only at the boundaries of Wards run by Proco Joe Moreno and Brian Hopkins that the Clay-brained people emerged.  Always aboard a most expensive set of wheels

Our Lady Blue Divvy bikers tended to their slow pace and themselves.

Once we found on-street parking on Chicago Avenue, we took an amble to the Brehon Pub and caught the pivotal 8th Inning of yesterday's W over St. Louis.  My lady had scrumptious baked pretzel as a pre-prandial salivation for the delights awaiting at our 5:30 P.M. reservation.

Opened in 2010, Bistro Volatire is top of the charts.  The music is an exquisite combination real jazz, jazz Manouche, Edith Piaff, Michel Le Grande and Ray Charles.  The walls are festooned with image of Western literary giants, save the bothersome portrait of career bullshitter Studs Terkel - Volatire, Balzac, Victor Hugo, John Dos Passos, Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Gertrud Stein, Virginia Wolf, Joseph Conrad, Guy de Maupassant, James Joyce and Eugene O'Neill.

The lighting is perfect, the seating cozy-comfortable and the service wonderfully attentive, friendly and pure Chicago homespun at its best.

Our server, James, was a Dubliner and student at UCD enjoying the freedom of our city and working the fresh markets in the same neighborhoods that are home to the Morons sur les bicyclettes of our trip here.
Image result for salade bistro
The menu is simple and inviting .  We both had the Bistro Salade of crisp and chilled Romaine and endive lettuce, bacon, and  a poached egg over a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

After sampling the driest of white wines and settling on the Chardonnay, the birthday girl ordered the Vivaneau - Red snapper over spinach and parsnip puree.
Image result for steak frites bistro voltaire
My only disappointment was they were out of swordfish and I opted for the wonderful steak au poivre.  You can not miss this.  The Frittes (fries) are seasoned with garlic and pure love of Man.   I could cut the steak with a spoon.
Image result for profiteroles cake
Knowing that my lovely guest was celebrating her birthday, the wonderful manager sent over the lady's favorite cocktail Kir Royal and a candle topped Profiterolle ( a pastry puff stuffed with gelato and covered in a sinful chocolate sauce.  I got more than few spoons of it.

Bistro Voltaire is the ideal  romantic evening, special dinner treat that will put you in solid with the one you love.  Get there before James returns to his studies in economics at University of Dublin in September.  He is a great entry to the superb entrees at Bistro Voltaire.

I took I 94 to the Ike home - no bikes.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trapped by Happiness? Have a Cold One in a Very Cold Place

The Coldest Beer in Chicago - tap your own. 

Mellow out. Enjoy the benefits of Christianity without the pain, as Mustapha Mond encouraged the mellow folks of Huxley's Brave New World

Have a cold one.

I like beer as much as the next twenty or thirty guys, but where I like it best is in a chilled glass and a warm place.

Long a draft beer man, I have quaffed, sipped, guzzled and turk'd pilsners, lagers, ales and stouts from every vessel but a beautiful woman's boot.  She wouldn't come across with the footwear, for some reason.
Image result for red solo cupDrewrys Extra Dry Beer "HALF QUART" 16oz Flat Top Beer Can. USBC 228-16


Beer from Boots, Dunkels, Dimpled Pints, Solo Cups, kegs,  bottles or cans is wonderful.  Unless it is a really bad beer. These would gag a maggot, but I was more than happy to pound them down once they were chilled to a frosty 42 degree,  Then, and only then, were they potable.Image result for Really Bad beers in cansImage result for Really Bad Midwestern beers in cansImage result for Really Bad Midwestern beers in cans Buckhorn, BullfrogImage result for Really Bad Midwestern beers in cans Buckhorn, Bullfrog

The after effects were crapulous - From the Late Latin word crāpulōsus, dating back to 1530-40. See crapulent, -ous: 1530s, "sick from too much drinking," from Latin crapula, from Greek kraipale "hangover, drunken headache, nausea from debauching." The Romans used it for drunkenness itself. English has used it in both senses. Related: Crapulously ; crapulousness.

That was unwise.  Where such drinks were consumed was determined as much by the initial selection of drink - , broke, underage and furtive.   The fewer nickels in the palm determined the caliber of the content consumed.  The younger the dumber and always sneaky.  We drank under the stars in alleys, burned out grocery stores on Ashland Avenue, in Dan Ryan Woods, at Rum Valley on 79th at the viaduct on 2200 West.

With legality, the settings improved and could chart our rise from impecunity to working class and eventually burgher middle class.  We drank where we were moist comfortable, biker bars, dives, slop-shutes, holes in the wall, lounges, discos, pubs, clubs and scenes. " A tavern chair is the throne of felicity," growled Dr.Samuel Johnson. Felicity and courtesy reign together,

To me a great place to have a beer, or any beverage, is in a friendly, unpretentious inviting, warm and welcoming licensed premise that attracts people from all walks of life.  Keegans Pub ( now Barney Callaghans) at 10618 S. Western hosted such a clientele.  I  noted in December, 2008:
Barney Callaghan's Pub
The Great Mount Greenwood Southwest Observer a wonderful neighborhood website offers a recent poll of Local Pubs and Watering Holes.
County Armagh's and Now Chicago's Own Bernard Callahan's Keegan's Pub is ranked at the top of some very fine Saloons here in the 19th Ward.
Keegan's Pub
10618 S Western
Chicago
773-233-6829
Keegan's Pub is headquarters to a group of wits, workers and wunderkinds that could body slam any Mensa Chapter west of Alexandria, Egypt in its best day and serves the most laboriously crafted 'pint of plain' - Guinness this side of foamy brine.
Get thee to Keegan's soak up some laughs, nuanced analysis of the day's events and the creamy goodness of that Old Black Magic brewed at St. James's Gate Dublin.
There was a jukebox available for customers, but commanded for level and intensity by the bar staff and  if Black Dog appeared to induced the same psychological effect upon an intoxicated patron teh volume was adjusted accordingly.  Dark wood and black leather furnishings added to the Irish Pub look and feel, as well as walls decorated with Padrig Pearse's Poblacht na héireann proclamation, photos of writers, rebels and neighborhood reprobates.  Conversation was key.

Most great watering holes, saloons, taverns, Cervecarias and Piwiarnias are poor man's clubs. Richard M.  Daley killed off most of Chicago's great clubs of this kind in favor of hipster haunts and scenes with music at Wagnerian levels of discomfort and banning chat entirely. You can't talk you drink more. More Revenue.  Move-on!

Today in DNAinfo Chicago I read about the coldest place to quaff a beer.


LOGAN SQUARE — The latest bar to join the neighborhood has serious do-it-yourself vibes.
Logan Square's first "pour your own beer" taproom, on the ground floor of the "L" luxury apartment building at 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave., debuts to the public Saturday. . . .The way it works is customers will be given a card when they walk in, which they will enter into a slot above their chosen beer or wine tap. The bar is offering a rotating selection of roughly 40 beers and 10 wines on tap along the back wall, decorated with city grid maps. 
Using Pour My Beer technology, iPads will measure the ounces and tabulate the cost of each beer, eliminating the need for traditional bartenders or servers. Staffers will be stationed near the wall to assist and give suggestions.
For folks who don't want to go the do-it-yourself route, the taproom also a small traditional bar tucked in the corner, where customers can order beer and cocktails made with locally-made spirits from bartenders.
The beer selection will rotate as the seasons change. Right now, summery beers like Empirical Brewery's Up Cork Passion Fruit Pale Ale and 21st Amendment's Hell or High Water Watermelon Wheat Beer are the focus.
"Our goal is to put as many different beer brands through these taps as possible," said Enarson, who added that lineups will be posted on the taproom's Facebook and Twitter pages in advance.
This will be a hit.  Beer that tastes like grapefruit, apples, watermelon and passion fruit has its fans, "I’m getting huge onion and garlic nectar, coffee ground  for sure, sage, and a trace-hint of  fecal too. Also exotic hops."

I was getting, " This is a nice beer."

 The IPA drinkers who scorn un-hoppiness and embrace global happiness will market-drive this venture.

Maps of City Grids bespeak the death of neighborhood and soul-less spirituality that is the culture in the driver's seat.  Rahms city grid for garbage collection was nail in Ward autonomy's coffin.

Here soma-like IPA's with alcohol contents exceeding  ABV 8% tapped from cold-steel panels will be self-yanked, avoiding a chat with the barkeep.

This will be a hit with our gotta have it now demographs and avoid the frustrations of having to wait one's turn, until Master Tap-tun arrives to serve the center of the universe.

As I said, this Logan Square venture will be a sure fire hit.  That is sad to me. Cold beer in a warm place seems preferable.

When yanking your own beer pull, you will not need to leave your comfort zone,  "I get overripe Velvetta, cheesiness, Parm, and tangy on the palate. It’s a little bit of Slim Jim."


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

GOP is the Swamp: Save Your "Passion and Personal Integrity" Nonsense for an IRS Audit and Repeal ObamaCare

 9 GOP senators Trump must watch out for

". . .  it turns out that the GOP-controlled Congress can't seem to pass any meaningful laws at all. Either they have forgotten how, or the divisions in their own increasingly radicalized caucus are proving too difficult to surmount. Whatever the explanation, thus far these GOP legislators are on track to be the least productive group since at least the Civil War.
Now, okay, technically the Ryan-McConnell 115th Congress is so far actually a bit more active than recent Congresses, if you measure by the 43 laws that President Trump has adorned with his garish signature. Obama was at 40 at this point in 2009. George W. Bush had signed even fewer midway through 2001. But sheer number is not the best way to think about how much is being achieved. As The Washington Post's Philip Bump pointed out, a majority of the bills signed by Trump thus far have been one page long, meaning many are just symbolic or ceremonial." The Week

Can't argue with that.  The GOP is and has been a country club for egos with a hoggish appetite for personal gain.  Halliburton did not invent itself. Mind you, the Democrats are far more slavishly addicted to both avarice and pomposity, but they are are loyal - psychotic, obnoxious, goofy and very loyal.

I honor loyalty.

The GOP honors . . . honors . . .sorry nothing comes to mind.

Susan Collins, Rand Paul,  Ted Cruz, Aunt Lindsey Graham, Red-eye John McCain are but a handful of the oafish and preening goofs who care more about themselves than the State of the Nation.  These patrician wannabees smooched Caligula's rump for eight years and now want to gum up the work of draining our national swamp.

I am a Democrat.  There are many like me.  We voted for Trump, because some of us have met Barack Obama and are underwhelmed by him and know the Clintons to be almost as rotten as Dick Durbin, Rahm Emanuel and Richie Daley - almost.

We live in rogue states, like Chicago.

Obama Care is a Ponzi scam that has further enriched the pharmaceutical giants, raised Blue Cross/Blue Shield premiums and eliminated smaller insurance options for most Americans.  The creeps crow that 'more Americans are enrolled!'  Swell.  How about treated? Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans are better off. Do the math.

As a whole, Americans are not better off now than before Obamacare was enacted. It's time for a change. A change toward patient-centered reform that empowers individuals to control their health care dollars and make their own decisions.
Market-based reform would put individuals in charge of their own health care and reward value by creating consumer pressure on providers to increase quality and decrease costs. Reform should be about individual choice, not government mandates.

Not an hour goes by that some GOP Man of Conscience tries to out do the NPR ninny-hoodisms of Susan Collins, as tiresome a virago as Elizabeth Warren.

Conservative, Neo Con, Moderate, or Tea Party Republican - you are there to vote away a national disaster.

Repeal.  Fix later

Save the bullshit for Chris Matthews, Jake Tapper and Judy Woodruff.






Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sun Times Crows For Elitist Chicago


Image result for boarded up properties in EnglewoodCityHall Vision for All  of us in most meighborhoods . . .Image result for vision of lake shore drive and that Vision for all of them and the tourists. 


To thrive, a major city must keep re-imagining all of its streetscapes and neighborhoods. Sun Times
Without Vision the People Perish -The Book of Wisdom


The Chicago Sun Times has long lost any credibility to Chicagoans, people who live in its neighborhoods, attend its schools, pay its ridiculous fees and fines, while enduring the endless parade of grifters, grafters and goofs in public office, due to media stooging and propagandizing.

The Chicago Tribune has caught up to the Sun Times, but it continues to feign independence. Hal Hardick's bumshell of a yawn about working class boors needing to be replaced by working class boors of another race is an example Medill magic making Rahm seem to care, really care about the feelings of people universal.  Inspector Joseph Ferguson's pre-wrapped gift to Rahm needed more trumpet time.Image result for rahm and his friend Brrett Murphy

You see the pipe trades and tangential trades unions were the first to wildly support Mayor Emanuel for his ludicrous second term.  They delivered.  Rahm can not reciprocate and therefore must send a message - the door on 5 is closed.  He slit the throat of his 'friend' Barrett Murphy in very public manner, in order to shore up his support of an African American lawsuit against close-knit ethnic ( media code for white, Catholic and usually Irish racists) leadership and rank and file in the Chicago Water Department.
Image result for Chicago Trades for Rahm button
E-mails revealed that pipe trades people engage in racist, homophobic and sexist banter.  Lord have Mercy, what a shock.

E-mails in the future will reveal similar attitudes, because " Dominance hierarchies exist in numerous social species, and rank in such hierarchies can dramatically influence the quality of an individual’s life. " — Robert Sapolsky.  The sword cuts two ways. Irish out and African American's in - Oh, wait a minute.  That's right.  The Irish still are dominant hierarchy of most trade unions.

Rahm needs time to work out exactly what the seismic shift in ethnic hegemony in the Water Department will mean to him and his brother elites.

The Tribune plays for time.  The Sun Times plays for the long game. The long game is for the zero-matter voter - people who buy in and play along.

The Sun Times chirped this brain-fart of an editorial

Sun-Times Editorial Board- To thrive, a major city must keep re-imagining all of its streetscapes and neighborhoods.
Chicago succeeded on that score last week as state and local officials unveiled their latest redevelopment plans for Lake Shore Drive from Grand Avenue north to Hollywood Avenue.
We don’t know where the money will come from, or even how much it would cost overall. But we hope some of the beguiling notions laid out in the plans inspire city leaders sufficiently to  lift at least some of these ideas off of the drawing boards and move them to reality.Among the concepts are straightening the hazardous S-curve near Oak Street Beach a bit, adding park land and installing more bike and pedestrian pathways. The goal is to speed traffic, ease pedestrian and cycling congestion and minimize flooding on wavy days. Construction won’t begin until 2019 at the earliest.
Ideas that fell by the wayside in the planning process include a light rail line and sending the Drive underground through a tunnel below Oak Street Beach. (emphasis my own)

Now, why did I highlight those locations for this 'visionary' miracle?  They ain't in Englewood.  They ain't in Back of the Yards. They ain't in New City.  They sure as hell ain't in Brighton Park.

Vision for city means the whole city, not just the choice chops of real estate with pretty infrascture.

The elitist vision is Chicago -50th Ward,  47th Ward, 46th Ward, 44th Ward, 42rd Ward, 41st Ward, 33rd Ward, 32nd Ward, 26th Ward,  20th Ward, 11th Ward, 5th Ward, 4th Ward, 3rd Ward, 2nd Ward, 1st Ward.  Roughly 75th & Lake shore Drive to Evanston and O'Hare Airport to the Loop.

These sixteen Wards represent who and what is important to Progressive Democratic Chicago - the global city.
Image result for rahm and his friend Brrett Murphy
Englewood, Brainerd, Grand Crossing, Gresham, Morgan Park, Beverly Mount Greenwood will be allowed to be mirror images of Ford Heights, Robbins, Markham, Harvey and Dalton.

From the garbage grid through this plan of limited scope and vision, Progressive Democratic Chicago is about shrinking the map and eliminating the neighborhoods.

Rahm's vision would never consider placing a trades school in Englewood when one can turn neighborhood Lindblom High School into a Magnet school, benefiting very few students living within walking distance.

Rahm's vision, like Richie Daley's seeks to get the most for the fewest number of people and shed the skins of all others.

Imagine if Rahm, the two Chicago newspapers, the bow-tied tweedy goofs at our private but public policy driven universities actually cared about people, homicides, justice, or the future.

Imagine.  Putting resources into neighborhood values-centered education that would help kids from K-12 develop skills that would make them competitors, who placed service, pride in work and family above getting over on people. Kids could learn and develop the skills necessary to become pipe-fitters and engineers and gain immediate admission to apprenticeship programs.  Kids need to know that 1/8th is larger than 1/16th and much larger than 1/32nd -Rahm's CPS has not managed to divine that mystery for generations of kids. Imagine that.

Politicians do not imagine, they appropriate. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Anne Little told the story of Olmstead's Riverside.  That is vision.

Frederick Law Olmstead created the only ideal living space in Cook County - Riverside, IL.  He came to Chicago with a whole vision - you know holistic. He wanted a respite from Chicago and its teeming neighborhoods packed with competing ethnicities.

 "The city, as yet, has no true suburb . . . in which urban and rural advantages are agreeably combined." Olmsted envisioned Riverside as a sylvan retreat where "the conveniences peculiar to the finest modern towns" would be combined with "the domestic advantages of a most charming country."

Daley and Rahm, with help from the globalist academics, pared down Chicago closing neighborhood saloons, eliminating parking, section 8 housing scams, paying off ludicrous lawsuits without the slightest challenge, looting pensions for foreign (Russian & Red China ) investments, race baiting, eliminating Ward autonomy until neighborhoods became empty of middle class values and initiatives and hope deserts.

The Sun Times has been the most obedient servant in these efforts.

Today's huzzah for a piecemeal streetscape for disposable income demographic as if it were Dan Burnham resurrected is just one more nail in Chicago's coffin.  Vision my broad manly ass.  Chiacgo is going to Hell - a Progressive Democratic Hell.

Hell is a place where the bartenders are physicists, the accountants are historians, the traffic engineers are experimental psychologists, and the clothing shops are run by geologists.