I enjoyed my lunch in the Loop today, but not the walk back to the office:
Sigh. At least the sun sets at 5pm for the first time since November 5th.
Welcome to stop #78 on the Brews and Choos project.
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Co., 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Brown Line, Armitage
Time from Chicago: 12 minutes
Distance from station: 600 m
I put this one off for a long time because, in the years since I last visited, Chicago has had an explosion of craft breweries. Also because InBev bought them 12 years ago. The combination has taken Chicago's first and, for a long time, only local brewery taproom and made it kind of mediocre.
So why now? First, because later this year they plan to move to the Salt Shed, so there wasn't much time left; and second, because I saw M3GAN at the Arc 14 theater three blocks away, so it was convenient.
Since I used to drink a lot of Honkers Ale and the basic IPA, on Saturday I tried three beers I hadn't actually had before: the Phantom Limb pale ale (5.3%), the Flyway West Coast IPA (7.3%), and the Hazy Beer Hug IPA (6.8%). They were all fine, and I would have them again, but (a) I didn't take notes because I was out with a friend and (b) I wouldn't have had a lot to say anyway.
Goose Island used to be the only game in town, but they were revelatory. But a lot more breweries have opened up since 1987, with a lot better beers. InBev goes for volume over quality.
I'll still stop into their Fulton Avenue taproom at some point. And the new brewpub at the Salt Shed, when it opens. But really, stopping into their aging Clybourn brewpub was just to complete the B&C list.
Beer garden? Sidewalk patio
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? Yes, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Maybe
Would go back? Maybe
I've written before about urban highways, never favorably. Ploughing massive roads through dense urban areas has done incalculable damage to North American cities that tearing them down or burying them has only just started to fix—but usually with an order of magnitude more cost than their initial construction.
Today I got an innocent little email listing houses for sale around Chicago, both because I'm interested to see what's out there, and also because I've been too lazy to turn it off since I last moved. But one house stood out today: a beautiful, 4-bedroom Victorian built in 1898 with a lovely wraparound porch, tons of light and air, steps from everything.
I would love to live in a house just like this. In fact, there are similar houses near me, with price tags around $2-$3 million.
This stately lady in Old Irving Park can be yours for only $750,000. And that jaw-dropping difference in value is entirely due to its location.
You see, even though this house is steps from everything—only four blocks to the Metra, three blocks to the El, close to the shops in the historic commercial corridor along Elston—it's also just 200 meters from the 10-lane I-90/94 expressway:
I mean, holy hell. Getting to the El or to the Metra stations at Mayfair or Irving Park requires crossing all those lanes of traffic. I've done it; the Montrose and Irving Park bridges are soul-crushing for pedestrians. Worse, the Keeler underpass (which you'd take to the Irving Park station) requires you to cross two entrance and exit ramps on either side of a half-block-long underpass.
I'm not even going to talk about how loud the 10 lanes of traffic must be.
In short, this beautiful house, "the second built in the area," can't get anywhere near the price it would had the city not destroyed the neighborhood in the 1950s.
In other news:
And finally, a glimmer of hope that the 10-year project to build one damn railroad station near my house might finally finish in the next few weeks.
Longtime readers will know that I have spent a lot of time in Half Moon Bay, Calif., over the past 15 years. So yesterday's events shocked me:
Seven people are dead following two linked shootings in the Northern California city of Half Moon Bay, officials said.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office tweeted at 3:48 p.m. Monday that they were responding to a shooting “with multiple victims in the area of HWY 92 and the HMB City limits.” The office tweeted roughly an hour later that a suspect was in custody and there "is no ongoing threat to the community at this time."
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus confirmed at a press conference Monday evening that seven people were killed in two related shootings. She said four victims were found dead from gunshot wounds at a location in the 12700 block of San Mateo Road, also known as Highway 92, around 2:30 p.m. A fifth victim was discovered with "life-threatening injuries" and transported to Stanford Medical Center. They remain there in critical condition.
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) learned of the shooting while at the hospital with victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Los Angeles.
Neither the National Rifle Association nor the right-wingers suing Illinois over its latest attempt to regulate military weapons commented, though we can all expect them to say it's "too soon" to talk about why we're still the only country in the OECD where this happens. Perhaps they'll talk to the San Mateo County farm families mourning their loved ones today?
Accused fraudster Sam Bankman Fried did what every prosecutor hopes a defendant will do: start a blog. Researcher Molly White annotated his first post:
Sam Bankman-Fried has apparently decided to fill his time spent confined to his parents' Palo Alto home with blogging, perhaps in the hopes that he can just blog his way out of the massive criminal and civil penalties he's facing.
Although many of his statements here repeat things he's said elsewhere, I think it is useful to be able to analyze some of the story he's trying to spin all in one place, rather than cobbling his narrative together from multiple sources.
It's remarkable the extent to which SBF outright lies, or at the very least twists his version of events to distort reality in his favor. I don't intend to annotate further posts from him—which I suspect will be many—but instead hope that this will be sufficient to give some idea of just how thoroughly misleading his statements are.
If I was going to try to pick out a crypto firm that suffered large losses in an attempt to say "look, it was happening to everyone!", I might not pick the one whose founders have allegedly been in hiding for the last six months.34
It's clear that SBF's definition of "accurate" differs from most people's. SBF seems to think that if you tell someone that you have $1,000, and then later you say "...in monopoly money", it was still an accurate and defensible statement.
You know, I'm beginning to think 2023 will be the year people lose patience with lying fraudsters.
If you squint, you can see shadows on the houses down the street from me:
Officially those are "broken clouds," covering 7/8ths of the sky. But the sun is peeking out of that other 1/8th. I'll take it.
Of course, it'll be overcast the rest of the week. I'm really tired of this.
The graphical forecast for Chicago encourages me: it shows that the 100% overcast we've had for the last week will get a bit thinner tomorrow afternoon, then a bit thinner Tuesday morning, then...go back to another week of 95% cloud cover. Sigh. At least the sun finally sets after 5pm on Thursday.
Of course, the clouds actually keep Chicago warm in the winter, and the warm air keeps the clouds from thinning out until a strong enough front blows them away. So despite the lack of sun, the temperature still won't go below -8°C, which isn't bad at all for January.
Anyway, if I see the sun tomorrow, I'll post a photo, if for no other reason than to give me something to look at when it goes away for the next week.
I love this chart from Twitter user Jay Cuda:
If you don't want to click through to Twitter, here's Jay's chart:
The chart doesn't tell the whole story, does it? For example, both Chicago teams, both New York teams, Boston, DC, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Oakland are all about the same distance from downtown, but easily accessible by train. (Chicago's are both on the same El line, in fact.) Atlanta's and LA's parks, by contrast, are approximately the same distance but completely inaccessible by any form of public transit. (Atlanta's new park even appears deliberately located to prevent those people from getting there.)
I speak from personal experience, as long-time Daily Parker readers know: I've been to every one of them, except the new Atlanta park, which I refuse to visit because of its anti-democratic location.
I've barely finished my coffee so I'm still processing this amazing news:
Sunny, with a high near 2. West southwest wind 10 to 15 km/h increasing to 20 to 25 km/h in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 km/h.
"Sunny." I hope...I hope...I hope...
Of course, temperatures will fall below normal for the first time all year by Thursday, and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts believes Chicago has a 31% chance of getting 100 mm of snow by Thursday with most of it falling tomorrow evening...but at least we'll have sun.