Summer in Chicago. Its one of the biggest reason that I still live here The weather this season has been better than it has been in the most resent summers. Just one thing, the beaches are closed and thanks to COVIC – 19 so is almost everything else fun. The neighborhood fests I’ve come to love and concerts of any kind. Not happening. Last summer I hardly got any biking in and that includes work commute. Maybe 20 x all of 2019. This year I bike to Evanston several x a week for leisure and to help get the weight I’e gained this year due to self quarantine and all of the restrictions put in place. For months the mayor had the Lakefront Bike Trails closed.
The lakefront has served as my gym for 21 summers. It has also been my fortress of solitude and when I’ve had stretch of unemployment in the summer, it’s where I went to feel better. It’s free. At least it was.
Depressing and it is the fact that I can’t help but be depressed as the reason I haven’t mad time to sit down and update this Diary of a Damned Man. It seems right when things start going good another event happens that just puts a damper on my emotions.
Depressed that I’ve gain so much weight by doing what I’ve been told and for months STAYED AT HOME except for going to the store for necessities. Even though most of all my shopping has been done online.
Crime and violence in Chicago are at an all time high. People have no fear of consequences since the States Attorney releases so many felons, and these include a lot of illegal gun convictions felons. Our Mayor seems to encourage disrespect of the Chicago Police Department and she is a fucking joke. She doesn’t address what the real problem is in her city. She never addresses her own people that don’t follow the guidelines of mandatory mask wearing and social distancing. As the COVID- – 19 cases spike again she punishes bar owners. Look around dammit.
Thursday after work my plan was to bike to Evanston. It was so windy that I scrapped that idea and only did about 5 miles. I went to Marianos to pick up a few items and discovered someone had stolen the bungee cords from my bike rack. Luckily I had 2 backpacks adjusted them and rode around w/ 2 backpacks on.
Earlier in the summer someone was nice enough to steal my bikes seat. I planned on a new one anyway but was another example of how its hard to have anything nice in this city without someone fucking it up. And I’m paying the rent I pay to live in a “safe” neighborhood.
Last Tuesday I biked south on the Lakefront Trail for the first time all year. I was anxious to see the Navy Pier Flyover which is years passed its completion date. I noticed as I got around Fullerton that the erosion and damage from this past winter winter weather had torn up all of the concrete much of which was new for the expansion of lanes for pedestrians and bikes. The traffic was sparse thus finally letting me know why the trail north up by me is so crowded. The lake is insanely high this year. There’s almost no beach at Oak to Ohio and the water is up on the northbound lane of the path.
I was excited to see most of the flyover complete but as I approached the Chicago River Bridge came upon a virtual maze as there is still one final phase yet to be finished It will be wonderful when they finally have it under wraps.
The much-anticipated completion of the Navy Pier Flyover bike and pedestrian path has been delayed again, due to the need for more extensive repairs on the Depression-era Lake Shore Drive bridge over the Chicago River, city officials said.
The $64 million flyover, started in 2014, is now expected to be complete by the end of this year. The city had originally planned to cut the ribbon on the flyover in 2018, then last year, then this spring.
To complete work on the Lake Shore Drive bridge, there also will be a new traffic configuration on lower Lake Shore Drive, starting Monday. Northbound vehicle traffic, currently moving on the east side of the bridge, will be moved to the center of the bridge. Northbound vehicles on lower Lake Shore Drive will be able to access upper Lake Shore Drive, but will no longer be able get to Illinois Street and Grand Avenue, according to city officials.
The final phase of the flyover construction involves both repairing the 83-year-old Lake Shore Drive bridge and building the flyover on the bridge’s eastern side. This will widen the pedestrian and bike portion from 9 to 16 feet.
Even if the flyover were finished, its use this spring would be limited by the extensive damage to the Lakefront Trail. Due to flooding caused by high lake levels and the resulting damage to pavement, large sections of the trail are closed, including Fullerton to North Avenues, and Oak to Ohio streets.
Last week as I made my escape to the southwest burbs I got the sad news that a very good friend and music business associate had passed away doing what he loved. He had a heart attack while DJing a wedding. I’ve known Rick Linus since 1999 when he was a college radio intern at Rebel Radio while I worked there. We worked together in the industry and I had PRONG hire him to do their merch. His 2 favorite bands were The Misfits and Ministry. Incidentally it was Rick who introduced me to Man B Que.
He was a great guy and he will surly be missed. Rick Linus leaves behind his beautiful wife Melissa and son Victor.
Friday July 24th was to be our family reunion back home and a sort of memorial for my father who passed away on April 8th right after the mandatory self quarantine went into effect. As if things haven’t been depressing enough the reunion was cancelled due to the recent spike in COVID cases. Instead on Saturday the 25th I took Metra out to Aurora when I met up with another very good and very alive friend Bob (Newbomb Turk) Hoeksema. I had no idea how badly I needed this till I got there and with the heatwave being what it was spent from about 1 PM till almost midnight outdoors on his beautiful wood deck in the shade of his giant trees in his huge private fenced in back yard with the company of his dogs Otis and Lugar.
A nice strip steak and the first steak I’ve had in years.
The newbie a very playful Otis posing for me
Bob fills the pool and the dogs go nuts
Two Phil Campbell signature guitars: Philip Anthony Campbell (born 7 May 1961) is a Welsh rock musician, best known as the lead guitarist in Motörhead from 1984 to 2015. The band disbanded upon the death of founder and frontman Lemmy. He currently tours with his own band Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, featuring his three sons; Todd, Dane and Tyla.
As dusk set in Bob set up his digital projector where we watched the 3 hour long Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The pull-down screen and speakers are attached to the back of his house.
I was to discover the next day that it was exactly one year since the movie debuted on American screens.
Another treat of visiting BH, Sunday morning breakfast. A tradition.You should see his breakfast pizza!
When I got home it was over 100 degrees inside, I closed all of the windows and closed the curtains, turned on the shower, turned on the AC and set up the fans. Katrina and Anny were happy to have me home. I made some drinks and watched Wild Horses with Robert Duvall and James Franco and Hells Angels on Wheels with Jack Nicholson.
So many Amazon boxes for the cats to sit in this year.
I feel compelled to include this food tasty item from the gay iHop in Boystown the CHICKEN FAJITA OMELETTE
The perfect fiesta in one package. Our omelette stuffed with grilled chicken breast with Poblano & red bell peppers, roasted onions & Jack & Cheddar cheese blend. Served with salsa, sour cream & grilled Serrano pepper.
I had this after Ellen the current cohost of the MKULTRASOUND Podcast drove me to the laundromat and grocery store to shop for food for Alex Zanders Rock n Roll BBQ 2020.
The guest of honor Nick Huffman owner of the Looney Bin in Bradley IL. One of the funniest and kindest people I’ve ever met
Max Bravo took over grilling duties thankfully as I played host.
Dare I say survivors?
Ellenita grilling vegan burgers for her and Cassie
Hairdresser to the stars SY L SPICER
My favorite place to eat off of Argye, PHO VIET. I took Ellenita there and on July 2 brought Brad Wattle here the day before we drove to Indianapolis for July 4 weekend.
Banh Mi Thit Heo Nuong
Grilled marinated pork sub with cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, sour carrots, radishes and green onions
Friday morning July 3rd we went to the final day of the north side location of the Vienna Beef Factory and store and I stocked up.
We crossed the state line and bought as many fireworks as we could carry
The back of the Wattles family home where we spent a lot of time during the weekend. They were kind enough to have Brad drive to Chicago abd get me and then both Brad and Dawn brought me home to Chicago on Monday the 6th.
July 4th Dawns delicious deviled eggs
The cacti Xmas gifts I gave them years ago still alive and growing.
Jeff “Creepy” Brown who was longtime asst editor on MK ULTRA from 1995 till 1997 in the kitchen.
AZ, Brad Wattles and Jeff “Creepy” Brown
Back home July 6th at El Palmar
I can’t go a summer without Bobs Pickle Pops
Athletes of all types are reaching for pickle juice for leg cramps.