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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

Gapers Block

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mtk / July 30, 2005 3:00 PM

A garage that really needs to be rebuilt, some pretty big pepper plants, and this crazy looking bug.

mtk / July 30, 2005 3:05 PM

I mean this bug

Shylo / July 30, 2005 3:25 PM

This morning, we saw a naked Mexican toddler playing on the sidewalk. And also our new silver maple tree, Swell.

hench / July 30, 2005 4:41 PM

one new construction condo and several apt buildings that i'm sure will be gut rehabbed into condos by the end of the decade.

jessica / July 30, 2005 5:16 PM

A bar (actually I can look out my front window and watch them playing pool), and if I turn to the right, at the end of my street, I see the Hancock building.

Hucklecat / July 30, 2005 6:16 PM

I saw one of those bugs on my window!

Outside I see a Potbelly's and a hotel.

Leelah / July 30, 2005 7:12 PM

I saw three of those bugs in my backyard. They were all on this web, and I was convinced that they were some kind of butterfly species that hadn't fully developed and then got caught by a spider. I turned away for a second, turned back and they were gone. I'd pretty much forgotten about them until I saw that picture.

When I walk out my front door, however, I see anywhere from one to twenty kids screaming, dancing, playing or setting off fireworks on the porch of the house across the street from me. Sometimes all of the above at once. I also see a blue hula hoop stuck so high in their tree that I suspect someone threw it out a second story window.

Erica / July 30, 2005 8:31 PM

A church and a brownstone. Lots of trees. A paleta man.

Eamon / July 30, 2005 8:47 PM

Dolores! She's the best.

Alex / July 30, 2005 10:02 PM

This, only greener.

Baldeesh / July 30, 2005 10:43 PM

My orchids, and sometimes my neighbor's dogs.

pang / July 30, 2005 11:57 PM

The wooden deck of the house we're renting, and if I look closely, I can see where some of the wood is starting to split. The flowers in cedar boxes that we bought to cheer the place up and that are heroically trying to stay alive. And, if I cheat, I can see some bees out of the corner of my eye; a clan is busily working on a new hive on the side of the house, and the landlord doesn't want to deal with them.

~L. / July 31, 2005 8:31 AM

This and the flowers on my porch that I've decided to give up on for the summer. I just don't think I can bring them back from being mostly dead...

waleeta / July 31, 2005 11:49 AM

My last Chicago Apartment - my window showed me Lake Michigan, and when I walked out my front door, I smelled Lake Michigan - which was a good thing usually. Mostly I saw hispanic or black families and Loyola students walking to class.

Now I walk out and see black and hispanic families with this view of Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument. I miss Lake Michigan.

Craig / July 31, 2005 11:57 AM

One of the last pre-turn-of-the-century-non-rehabbed buildings on my block. A large tree. A street lamp. An alley. A garage. Parked cars. And possibly a dog being walked.

C-Money / July 31, 2005 12:00 PM

Waleeta, let it go. Please. You can't live in Chicago when you live in Washington. The past no longer exists - the rest of us are dealing with the present and you're dragging us down. Seriously.

Steve / July 31, 2005 12:49 PM

Wed-Sun, I look around for the Trib, which will be anywhere from the sidewalk to the steps to my downstairs neighbors' front door. Also on the porch: several bushels and pots of plants that a downstairs neighbor never got around to planting elsewhere.

Not that it has been a good summer for the green stuff -- down the steps and onto the parkway, I spy the patch of land marked off with wood and bricks, a "do not mow here" a downstairs neighbor left for me to mark one of the spots where she tried to grow sunflowers -- she had much better success with the patch she grew on the north-south street than she did on the east-west street on which our corner building faces. Should I have cause to mow the lawn again this year, I will have to kick these bricks and wood aside.

Were I more industrious, I'd hook up the 100-foot extension cord and wack the few tall weeds that have succeeded during this grassless summer. But unless the landlord complains that I'm shirking my duty, I suspect that I shall let them continue to grow to create the illusion of fecundity -- or perhaps merely to salute their perseverance under such harsh conditions.

If I've employed corrective lenses before passing through the front door, I also see cars parked all about, and nice older houses.

waleeta / July 31, 2005 2:34 PM

Ha! No.

Amy / July 31, 2005 6:23 PM

On Cubs game days, this crazy looking dude parking cars. He has this long frizzy beard that reminds me of a billy goat. Is that mean? He also manages the Latin transvestite club around the corner. Don't ask me how I know that.

paul / July 31, 2005 6:55 PM

A few open parking spaces, some big ass trees and a Lutheran Church.

I've seen the bug but nowhere near my house (the picture was taken at Garfield Park Conservatory, outside in the garden).

Emerson Dameron / July 31, 2005 8:33 PM

Cristo Rey, a Jesuit school with a logo that incorporates a cross and a lightning bolt. Black metal, dude.

chris / July 31, 2005 9:55 PM

My driveway and my red, 1999, Honda Prelude I technically live in the south suburbs.

steven / August 1, 2005 7:37 AM

The Salvation Army College for Officer Training.

Paula / August 1, 2005 9:04 AM

A Catholic Church. If it's Sunday and I walk out the front door I can also see the congregation socializing on the front lawn and the elotes and ice cream vendors who set up on the sidewalk.

anne / August 1, 2005 9:13 AM

New single family house being built (I hope. it doesn't look like a condo at the moment), beside an apartment building that my landlord swears was the home of a young Vaudeville star named Bob Hope, and a shifting pile of construction material and construction workers who congregate in the middle of my block in between working on the various condos going up.

printdude / August 1, 2005 9:21 AM

I don't hardly ever walk out the front door. I mainly leave out the back. like 98% of the time.
And when I leave the house, I see a crazy-ass overgrown garden with 6+ foot tomato plants, a few dog bones and some cushion-deprived Cedar patio furniture.

Ramsin / August 1, 2005 9:25 AM

More often than not, a clown car.

Pete / August 1, 2005 9:39 AM

The decades-old front hedge that my wife would love to tear out and replace with a wrought-iron fence. (Daley smiles in assent.) After trimming said hedge in Saturday's 90-plus heat, I'm inclined to agree.

Carl / August 1, 2005 9:53 AM

Beyond the screen porch where my cat has perched to watch the birds i see a continuous green lawn that extends down the entire block, and so many trees it is impossible to count, sunlight is only something I hear about from other people.

Kennedy / August 1, 2005 10:25 AM

I see my Polish neighbors (who still have the Pope's picture in their front window) parking the car worth more than their house on the street b/c the two car garage in back is filled with junk! And they cried when the 3rd car was stolen.

Nicole / August 1, 2005 11:03 AM

Dogs attacking each other at a dog park and their owners frantically trying to get them to stop.

Andrew / August 1, 2005 11:25 AM

Stone Academy at the other end of the cross street.

roderick / August 1, 2005 12:00 PM

The parking lot of Ravenswood Evangelical Church.

Leah / August 1, 2005 12:25 PM

Mulberries squashed everywhere and the birds eating them.

april / August 1, 2005 12:46 PM

A parking ticket.

Cinnamon / August 1, 2005 1:20 PM

Children's chalk drawings, much to my downstairs neighbor's chagrin.

paulette / August 1, 2005 1:40 PM

I saw chalk drawings too! My neighbor is only 2 so I don't know how he knows the alphabet already.

I used to see the cute guys who live in the 3-flat across the street, but I think they've moved.

Eamon / August 1, 2005 3:25 PM

Chagrin? Who doesn't like chalk drawings? Heck, I just found a nub of purple chalk the other day and decorated my sidewalk with it. Fun!

mike / August 1, 2005 3:59 PM

--a row of brownstones, an old Serbian woman gardening basil, and an alley that leads to the back door of the bakery for Lutz (off of Montrose), so on those right days when the wind actually blows from the west, I get to smell Russian coffee and cheese cake.--

--sometimes my downstairs neighbor who sits on a lawn chair and smokes, especially when it rains. He's recently back from Iraq, so I wonder what he sees.

Leelah / August 1, 2005 4:48 PM


Dead bird under my bird feeder on my front porch. That can't be good. West Nile, anyone?

cjb / August 1, 2005 4:51 PM

Judge Posner's million plus townhouse.

Steve / August 1, 2005 6:16 PM

LeeLAH, as I was e-lecturing you yesterday -- get yourself some dang bug repellant already!

Of course, the bird might've died as a result of the spraying they did down in your 'hood last night.

j / August 1, 2005 9:53 PM


MikeH / August 2, 2005 8:16 AM

A beautiful million-dollar teardown that I could never afford...

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