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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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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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brian / August 24, 2005 1:49 PM

Clean up the CTA stations to remove the scent of pee. Metra stations too. A little goes a long way.

Brenda / August 24, 2005 1:53 PM

Frank Kruesi's head on a stick. But I'd settle for just firing him.

Pedro / August 24, 2005 1:57 PM

Introduce term limits

amyc / August 24, 2005 2:17 PM

I would clean up the pee with Frank Kreusi's stick-mounted head -- two birds, one stone.

Also, I would change all the CTA signs to match the color of their respective lines. (Why are there blue signs at Brown Line stops? Why?)

sky / August 24, 2005 2:28 PM

Amy! I can not agree more! When I first started taking the el, it would confuse the hell out of me!
And ditto on the CTA....i'm so scared of the material seats.....they should get those plastic sheeths they have on toilets that rotate after someone gets off of them.

jen / August 24, 2005 2:33 PM

sign explination
when i moved here it drove me mad as well. but there WAS a reason...

but i don't know, before CTA improvements i think i might implement a recycling plan that actually WORKED (eff the blue bags - why not bins?)

mike / August 24, 2005 2:36 PM

Corporate sponsorship shouldn't end with parks:

The Daley Center would change to G. Heileman's Old Style Center.

Stroger Hospital would change to Viagra Hospital.

C-Note / August 24, 2005 3:26 PM

Kick back in my new office with a glass of bourbon and enjoy the view of the public executions being held under my window, while enjoying the luxury of my new silk underpants, listening to the jeers and cheers from the crowd below.

steven / August 24, 2005 4:04 PM

I would place one of those World Series-Super Bowl-NBA Championship bets with another city's Mayor.

"I'll match your Gray's Papaya with one Billy Goat Cheeseborger!"

Seriously though, I'd fix the CTA, balance the budget and demand that everyone wear name tags.

Craig / August 24, 2005 4:07 PM

I'd pee in a CTA station.

paul / August 24, 2005 4:22 PM

I'd build a giant casino complex on Northerly Island, capped off with a giant, Statue of Liberty-sized statue of Daley, all the while raking in billions in kickbacks.

But first would be the installation of a private outdoor bar in my roofdeck garden for me and my cronies.

I bet I could even get a kickback from somebody who'd want to do the Frank Kreusi's stick-mounted head pee clean-up job.

Baltimore / August 24, 2005 4:34 PM

Provide that all new housing projects in neighborhoods with a med income of over 75 grand must provide for or include 50 percent for low income rentals. This would also include section 8 housing which would now only be allowed in communities that have no or marginal low income housing. Then I would role up my sleeves and deal with the Public Schools!

NotSoHealthy / August 24, 2005 4:46 PM

everything you ever wanted to know about cta signs,

jennifer / August 24, 2005 5:00 PM

Getting Journey to play my inauguration.

PMan / August 24, 2005 5:32 PM

Pedestrian protection.

$1,000 fine for failure to yield.
3X for children under 16.

mike-ts / August 24, 2005 5:41 PM

I'd find out who had more than three parking tickets, and instead of demanding that they pay, I'd conscript them for payment in kind, hours of work for amount owed, at a rate of $7 owed per hour to be worked.

*Now* I'd have my crew in place for the daunting task of Cleaning up the CTA Stations to Remove the Scent of Pee.

jgs / August 24, 2005 6:25 PM

ban SUVs from all surface streets. Of course I'd provide park and rides for all those suburban jackasses who want to go see menopause the musical. But the rides of the park and ride wouldn't be those quaint little trolleys, they'd be more like a short bus.
c'mon, high gas prices aren't enough to break people of their overconsumptive habits, but sticking them on a bus and calling them retards might work. and yes we'll take the retards to the zoo.

printdude / August 24, 2005 8:32 PM

Close the Gold Coast area to taxi and buses only after 3pm daily. Start building parking lots with free "L" access, so as to help fund next year's project, the "printdude line" which runs around the emerald necklace, mostly at street level.

Leelah / August 24, 2005 9:16 PM

No more parking permits. No more meters where a quarter means 15 minutes of parking time. No more parking garages that cost $13 for the first half hour.

I've got some parking issues...

Crumudgeon / August 25, 2005 6:53 AM

Like everyone else, I'd beat everyone else in Chicago down with my own brand of oppressive dictatorship:

I'd move the Bean to the Dearborn St subway to stifle the critics that say there is not enough artwork in Chicago's subways.

Then I'd pass a law fining people who complain about the CTA, unless they have lived in Chicago for at least 30 years.

Anyone who has lived in Chicago that long understands the CTA is what it is, and stopped complaining about the CTA circa 1985.

We shouldn't have to listen to a bunch of 20-something urban hipsters who graduated from Northwestern in 2001, and then moved to Bucktown, complain that some dude said 'BOO!' to them on the Howard Line last night. You had to have lived through the northside or west side 'ghetto days' to earn the right to complain.

charlie / August 25, 2005 10:06 AM

Invade Milwaukee

Chris / August 25, 2005 10:14 AM

Crumudgeon -

I'm really sick of people like you that have no respect for anyone who moves into the city. God forbid a college graduate moves to Bucktown and complains about a service that they paid for. What do you think about the families that move here? Immigrants? Illegal immigrants? Police/Firemen? Undergrad students? Tourists?

I just recently moved into the city for school from Joliet. Oh, and I lived there during it's "ghetto days." You know, before the casinos. I played on a playground with needles and drug lords around me. Woohoo. Do I give a flying crap if someone moves to Joliet? No.

Oh, and I lived in Bridgeport before Joliet, so do I have my "street cred?" If I were Mayor, I'd do without all the I'm-from-Chicago-bow-down-to-me elitist snobs.

It's not where you came from. It's where you are.

jen / August 25, 2005 10:37 AM

aww, crumudgeon, so cute of you to show your nasty face again (couldn't put a name with your comments here, either!)
nor could you properly spell curmudgeon! looks like my degree (not from Northwestern) was good for something after all!

but back to the mayor thing... yeah, fining cars heftily for nearly hitting pedestrians would be a HUGE financial boon for the city. and i second jgs' ban of SUVs. if not a ban, city stickers that cost $500/year.

Jen / August 25, 2005 10:50 AM

the CTA. Simply improving the tracks and the stations, that's it. If the tracks are improved, the trains shouldn't be late....if the stations are well lit and clean there shouldn't be as much trouble.

oh, and security guards on the trains that aren't asleep on the job (I experienced this).

vit / August 25, 2005 10:58 AM

Crumudgeon -- I was born in Chicago Heights and received a fair portion of my college education at the illustrious Truman College up on Wilson in 1992, I know about 'ghetto days', I'll complain about the CTA as much as I want.

zyke / August 25, 2005 11:56 AM

I'd install metal detectors and TSA type guards in every L stop.

That way we could confiscate people's nail clippers and the L would finally be a nail clipping "no fly zone".

Sigers / August 25, 2005 12:13 PM

Immediately give Paul Vallas my job.

Ser / August 25, 2005 12:22 PM

Two chicks at the same time.

steven / August 25, 2005 12:30 PM

Very much in agreement on your last point.

steven / August 25, 2005 12:30 PM

Jgs, very much in agreement on your last point.

frontside slappy grind / August 25, 2005 12:48 PM

i'd carve a whitecastle slider out of india's sacred cow.

Kirsten / August 25, 2005 12:48 PM

Install public bathrooms in CTA stations and around the city. I'd rather have smelly public bathrooms than smelly public streets. If Daley wants to Chicago to mirror European cities so much, I can't believe he hasn't done this yet.

Ron / August 25, 2005 1:23 PM

I'd announce to the public who hired Angelo Torres and who controlled his actions.

(former director of the hired truck program..Daley refuses to answer the questions)

Mister C / August 25, 2005 1:26 PM

Obviously you people have never tried to clean up pee with a severed head on a stick. It's terribly inefficient. But I digress. To the question.
After declaring that all concert and entertainment venues must create a "Mayor's Box" (or at least a nice permanently reserved section for smaller venues) I would get down to enacting some of the brilliant public policy initiatives put forth by fellow Gapers.
Baltimore's housing plan is job # 1 (after I create a security detail armed with bazookas to protect me from the mercenary army that developers would hire to kill me--oops, that Mayor's Box would have to be bigger). Seriously, even a watered down version of that idea would be something to work for in the real world.
No SUV's on surface streets is nice, jgs, but those busses would also have to play the Wesley Willis classic, "Retard Bus" to further the message (isn't an SUV really just a short bus?).
Parking ticket scofflaws cleaning the CTA would be glorious poetic justice, M-TS. Perhaps then the system would be "nice" enough for them to bring themselves to ride it (other than during Cub games).
One last "tough love" initiative of my own: All graffitti artists and taggers would be hunted down, captured, and given an ass-whuppin. Then they would all be sent to art school (those that are already brilliant would recieve city funding and gallery space). The taggers who are just thrill-seeking SAIC students (of which there are several)-just the ass-whuppin. I can forgive some poor kid who knows they're never going to see the inside of an art school, but not somebody already in an elite conservatory program just looking for kicks.
This is fun, like a fantasy public policy league!

Ken Kahoots / August 25, 2005 1:52 PM

1. Ban any and all use of the word "hipster" from Gapers Block
2. Record a chopped and screwed album with the People's Champ Paul Wall

vit / August 25, 2005 2:03 PM

Ban trucker hats from ukranian village and wicker park

Put kruesi in stocks and issue free tomatos to the citizens of chicago

Hire my own damn trucks

I'm with him / August 25, 2005 2:59 PM

> illustrious Truman College up on Wilson in 1992, I know about 'ghetto days'

I doubt it.

How about the late sixties when the entire west side was looted & burned down? The convention days when you couldn't PAY people to go into that part of the city...when police brutality meant something? about the early 1980s when attendance at Wrigley Field on a good day was 3,000 people and Lakeview was a wasteland?

A few of us find it hard to take it seriously when someone complains that someone else was talking loudly on their cell phone, disturbing them on the CTA.

jgs / August 25, 2005 3:01 PM

Thanks jen et al for your support of my campaign platform, I hope i can count on you in 2007. In exchange i'll make you all ward bosses.

But a few finer points. The city stickers are in many ways useless. many of those jackasses avoid the penalty price by registering their car in indiana. Count the number of SUVs with citystickers/illinois plates sometime, compared to sedans there's much less compliance. it also passes the time.
Also(although basically immaterial): the ticket you get for not having a citysticker on your SUV should be more than you get if it were a sedan. As it is, although the stickers cost more, the fine is equal between cars and SUVs. Follow the logic through guys. it'll get you more money in the end.

jen*nee / August 25, 2005 3:18 PM

Throw an all night, citywide street party--free music and BBQ. BYOB.

ps. cheers to charlie ana frontside slappy grind

Rudiger / August 25, 2005 3:19 PM

The average attendence at Wrigley Field between 1980 and 1983 was around 15,400. If you're wrong about that, I'm with him, maybe you're wrong about your being better than everyone else.

amyc / August 25, 2005 3:21 PM

>How about the late sixties when the entire west side was looted & burned down? The convention days when you couldn't PAY people to go into that part of the city...when police brutality meant something? about the early 1980s when attendance at Wrigley Field on a good day was 3,000 people and Lakeview was a wasteland?

God, you're right! We're all complete idiots for not having the sense to be at least 50 years old!

ugh / August 25, 2005 3:28 PM

Since we're generalizing, ever noticed that it's the born n' raised faux-tough Chi-caw-goans like "Crumudgeon" and "I'm With Him" who bitch when someone advocates doing away with their non-civic-minded and lazy winter parking Dibs tradition?

Are these the same people insisting us yuppie (I work behind a desk in a professional job, so yes, it is so) Northwestern (Loyola actually) alum Wicker Parkers (Edgewater actually) shut up and deal?

"Boo hoo. I gotta dig my car out twice over by dere! Oh, the unfairness of it all. How am I gonna get to da Jewels and buy pop and mostaciolli?"

NotSoHealthy / August 25, 2005 3:42 PM

If you vote for me I will declare war! (On who? I am not sure yet.)

Baltimore / August 25, 2005 4:45 PM

As Mayor of Chicago, with thedictatorial powers this mayor has,I would inact the World Doesn't Need Another Accountant, Corporate Drone, etc Ordinance,
I know this will go over well in Lincoln Park, Streeterville and the Gold Coast, but this ordinance would place a one child limit per family in Chicago. Those that desire additional children would have to adopt either a foster child in Chicago or a child made parent-less by AIDS or war in Africa.
Parents who work for none profits, educational or social justice positions could apply for an extra child by explaining before a committee how they think both their children in an already over crowded and human battered world, will actually make the world a better place, i.e curing a major disease, promoting social justice, etc, etc.

elena / August 25, 2005 5:34 PM

I'd bury Lake Shore Drive. Run it through a tunnel -- no, several tunnels -- for about 10 miles. It would cost billions and billions, but think how pleasant it would be: more park space, less noise, and so much safer to get to the lake, for all Chicagoans. Yes, drivers would loose that spectacular view, so perhaps the Drive would be enclosed in a lucite tube for a mile along the Gold Coast.
Also, I'd have 6 city poets laureate from different neighborhoods and I'd throw enormous festivals where they'd compete for the highest prize, whilst citydwellers feasted on free barbecue, samosas and Rainbow cones, courtesy of me, the Mayor! The winner (by popular acclaim, of course) would become the next mayor.

ChimChimCheree / August 25, 2005 9:26 PM

If I were mayor I'd start reading Gapers Block and CraigsList to find out what the hell my citizens are concerned about.

That and I'd give my brother a job-nothing too special, perhaps I'd install him as an alderman.

joshua / August 26, 2005 8:44 AM

institute a "no dead-out sprinting" policy for all blue/red line transfer tunnels.

crimony. there are more trains coming, people!

vit / August 26, 2005 10:43 AM

I'm with him -- blah blah blah. my dad was at the 68 convention, my grandfather grew up in the bronx, I learned how to swim in Harvey, okay, I'm not some yapping yuppie from some north-shore burb who is scared to go to Chinatown, but I also know what this city could be if we just put our mind to it, just because wicker park is safe now and there is a starbuck on stoney island (no I donít equate starbucks with much good, but you canít deny their perceived economic significance) doesn't mean we can't hope to continue to improve things and lament what is not working. I'm only in my early 30's, so my memories of Chicago are mostly from the 80's onward, and no, I donít build roofs for a living on the south-side like my father did, and have a deskjob, but that doesnít necessarily mean I havenít been around the block a bit either.

Jilly / August 26, 2005 11:04 AM

Yeah! Some of us desk jockeys worked hard all our lives until we graduated college (which takes some doing when you come from a working class family) and now work hard behind a desk, where we get to SIT DOWN once in awhile! It gets a little old, and eventually you long to be back outside slaving yourself into a prematurely geriatric condition, but give us time! Everybody gets laid off sooner or later, particularly once their hair turns grey!

As mayor, I would install public bathrooms downtown, especially near the CTA (with police cameras to discourage criminals), roll the Bean into the Lake and do something about our poisonous water supply. Then I'd probably have a sandwich, if there were any decent delis in the city anymore, which there aren't.

And more rainbow snowcones! For everybody!

e_five / August 26, 2005 11:13 AM

Charge suburbanites double for every fee, tax, and fine.

NotSoHealthy / August 26, 2005 11:45 AM

Jilly, 11th and Jefferson, not only the best deli in chicago, perhaps DA world!

Mary Washington / August 26, 2005 2:05 PM

Free liquor licenses for strip bars, end the CTA smoking ban, and for realÖtear up Meigs Field! Tear that shit up two-times! Word!

Anthony / August 26, 2005 2:07 PM

"Ban any and all use of the word "hipster" from Gapers Block"


"Charge suburbanites double for every fee, tax, and fine."

Amen. And create special lanes for them to use: sidewalk, street, expressway, and mass transit.

Mary Washington / August 26, 2005 2:11 PM

Make love to all "hipsters" and suburbanite. All night long!

Roni / August 26, 2005 2:15 PM

mike-ts said:

I'd find out who had more than three parking tickets, and instead of demanding that they pay, I'd conscript them for payment in kind, hours of work for amount owed, at a rate of $7 owed per hour to be worked.

I'd vote for you based on this alone. Two women I use to volunteer with use to complain ALL the time about their parking tickets. I was like "Um, why don't you just pay them?" But I never asked as I knew they'd just complain about buying a condo in Wrigleyville or getting her car booted outside of City Hall while on county business. haha!

What would I do? In no particular order:

1) Turn up the lights on the underground CTA platforms.

2) Make the morning-pill available next to the condoms in every pharmacy. (Hey the glue is next to paper, white-out next to pens, and FDA sucks ass.)

3) domestic violence shelter's would be like the public libraries. Everyone would live within 1 mile of one.

4) Ditto on fair housing.

5) Start over with CPS.

NotSoHealthy / August 26, 2005 2:17 PM

Out are hipsters & trixies soooo 2004.
In are tricksters & hippies

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