Warm nights.

Well, what a night. What a day. Dawned in the 40s, sunset in the 70s. I’m not sure where this warm air came from, but it’s welcome. I can hear loud mufflers out on I-94, and I suspect the Hellcats will be at play tonight, Dodge being the street racer’s muscle-car choice of the moment. A friend of mine wants to photograph them some night, but why bother when they have their own Instagram accounts?

I was down in a fairly deserted part of the city a couple-three weeks ago, and a swarm of kids — young teens, not little kids — pulled out in front of me on bicycles, popping wheelies and not getting out of the way. Most cities have “twelve o’clock boys” now, kids on ATVs and dirt bikes who do the same thing, but this was the first time I saw the human-powered version. I think they were waiting for me to go Karen on them, but I just poked along behind and admired their technique. When I finally could pass, I offered a fist pump because I could never, even in my youth, pop a wheelie and maintain it for a whole block.

One of the dirt-bike boys passed me on a four-lane road last year, perfectly balanced on his back tire, and maintained it for about half a mile, his non-throttle hand dangling at his side like oh yeah I don’t need this one at the moment.

Not much to report so far. The big news here is, Michigan will lose a Congressional seat after the census, but everyone expected that, so maybe not such big news. Texas gains two, and yet, Axios today says the Sunbelt “underperformed,” so why do I even bother reading the news? Better to listen to the Hellcats.

Today is David Reilly’s funeral, which will be live-streamed. I think I’ll watch it. You enjoy Wednesday.

Posted at 8:44 am in Same ol' same ol' |

34 responses to “Warm nights.”

  1. Deborah said on April 28, 2021 at 9:03 am

    At 3pm yesterday it was 84 degrees, at 3am this morning it was 48.

    I saw some of those young teens on bikes do that performance routine on Michigan Ave, I was walking so all I did was gawk. It was impressive.

    Illinois lost a congressional seat too, I hadn’t heard that it was probably going to happen so I was surprised. And New Mexico only had a 2.8% population growth over the last decade, the only state lower was Wyoming. NM only has 3 congressional districts, WY only has 1, which we all know is represented currently by Liz Cheney. Her population is smaller than Washington DC’s.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on April 28, 2021 at 11:27 am

    The Chicago Tribune is almost gleeful at the loss of population in Illinois, since it feeds the editorial board’s worldview that progressive policies and a more active government lead people to flee Illinois. (The editorial cartoonist, Scott Stantis, leans libertarian/conservative and is famous for his frequent evocation of U-Haul trailers hightailing it out of the Land of Lincoln. It’s his go-to cliche.)

    It is true the state is well and truly fucked with its public pensions grotesquely underfunded and the political corruption here is almost off the charts as our state competes with New Jersey and Louisiana as the dirtiest. Yet Chicago has been the leader in attracting corporate relocations for six consecutive years and in every direction construction cranes are visible on the horizon.

    One thing shrinking states such as California, New York and Illinois appear to share is a dearth of affordable housing. Despite the coronavirus shutdowns, despite the sluggish economy, despite the daily death toll of gang murders particularly on the West and South sides, it’s nearly impossible to find a reasonably priced house or condo. Inventory is nonexistent so people are paying premiums by overpaying the asking price. Our own modest wood frame house is an example. It’s about 1,300-1,400 square feet on a lot that is 25 feet wide and 125 feet deep. We have replaced pretty much everything: roof, windows, HVAC, garage and have remodeled the second floor and both bathrooms, but it’s still a small house on a small lot. My real estate friend estimates we could sell our house for north of $700,000 and our lot alone is worth $400,000 because of the desirability of Lincoln Square. I find those figures obscene.

    At some point, when climate change turns the American Southwest into a blast furnace, huge droughts befall much of the West and coastal cities morph into modern-day Venices, people will return to the Midwest, I guess. But I’ll be long gone by then.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on April 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Florida gets one more seat, and three more voters against electing any more Repubs.

    Our last day here and much to do, but I just have to report that our wall of windows was installed today, and squee! it’s really starting to look like a place. We’ve gotten all our licenses and car registration etc, done, and chosen or purchased everything else for the addition. I’m exhausted and looking forward to crashing when we get back to the Fort, but I’m deeply satisfied with the progress we made.

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  4. susan said on April 28, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    My niece just moved into a 300 sq ft apartment in Chicago, with her S.O. One thousand K/mo, plus utilities, 8th floor. At least they have their own bathroom and kitchen….


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  5. brian stouder said on April 28, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Uh ohhhh…looks like Rudy got raided…this ought to become interesting

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  6. Suzanne said on April 28, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Housing prices in places like NYC are high in part because investors, foreign & domestic, buy up real estate, especially luxury, as investments, not to live there or live there only a few weeks in a year. Some of it is money laundering, some simply greed. Every time I go to visit relatives or friends in the New York area (well, when I used to do that) they point out newly built, mostly empty luxury apartments. Free marketers would say supply and demand but there is clearly a demand for affordable housing but very limited supply, so I think the free marketers are, shall we say, full of it.

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  7. LAMary said on April 28, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Saw a posting today for a one bedroom apartment for 4200 a month. Newly gentrified neighborhood.

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  8. David C said on April 28, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    My uncle lived in an apartment building on Lexington and 81st street in NYC that was converted into a single dwelling. If i remember right there were eight apartments in the building.


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  9. Icarus said on April 28, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    it’s nearly impossible to find a reasonably priced house or condo. in desirable white neighborhoods

    fixed it for you. You can find plenty of inexpensive housing in Belmont Cragin, Hermosa, and other not yet gentrified zip codes. But even if these nabes weren’t ignored by police beats and city council, they aren’t easy to access downtown from nor do they have desirable amenities like coffee shops and itsy-like shopping.

    From the last thread, I only live 5.2 miles from the house I grew up in Humboldt Park (or West Bucktown if you believe realtors). But then I’ve been lucky to make it work in Chicago.

    I haven’t watched the Oscars in ages. I feel it is a show that holds you hostage; like having to watch someone’s vacation slides for 2 hours in exchange for the 2 minutes you care about.

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  10. alex said on April 28, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Federal hate crime charges for all three in the Arberry case! Yay!

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  11. Julie Robinson said on April 28, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    Icarus, the Oscars regularly run over three hours. I only made it to 30 minutes this year.

    The cost of our 600 sf addition in Orlando is more than all three Fort Wayne homes added together. And the contractor is bitching about how much lumber went up since we signed the contract. After the mess he made with the pool we are not feeling sympathetic.

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  12. Deborah said on April 28, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    We bought the condo we had been renting in Santa Fe just in time a year and a half ago. Prices are soaring there now and a lot of it is for investments. There’s nothing special about our condo building for sure, it’s architecturally insignificant but it meets LB’s needs location wise. We’re going to replace all the windows in the building, each owner has to pay for the new windows in their unit, and the building will be re-stuccoed after that. Then if there’s any money left in the kitty, the parking lot will be redone. We have a clinker of an owner of one of the 5 units, we all have to agree on the windows and we’re in a historic district so there are restrictions, she has been dragging her feet on this decision for at least a year and a half.

    Julie, how exciting it must be for you to see progress.It may seem like it has taken a long time to you, but it seems like a short time to me.

    We leave for NM a week from today. We went down to our storage room and got our travel bags, now I have to figure out what I need to pack and try to remember what is already there.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on April 28, 2021 at 7:15 pm


    You’re absolutely correct, of course, though many black families are abandoning the city entirely. And who can blame them? They are treated like shit. Mayor Lightfoot has said all the right things about investing in areas outside the Loop and the Mag Mile, but there’s little evidence anything is changing.

    I certainly acknowledge my neighborhood is overwhelmingly white, though when we moved her almost 30 years ago, there was a substantial Latino population. They’ve been driven west by rising rents and gentrification.


    What to do? My late nephew, who was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in 2010, balked at the high apartment rents in Hyde Park and considered moving to Englewood. He was a naive white kid –blond and blue-eyed to boot– from suburban Cleveland who saw only dollar signs. Why couldn’t he rent an apartment in Englewood and take the bus to UC? He had no concept of how dangerous it would be for him. Fuck, it’s dangerous for black people. I fear Jon would’ve been picked clean in short order.

    I’ve long thought investments in the poorest of neighborhoods would pay dividends for every area of a city, but I honestly don’t know any more.

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  14. alex said on April 28, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    My old condo in Chicago at 3550 has evidently been re-sold to investors at some point because I’ve seen it advertised as a rental.

    What blew me away about the real estate pictures was the color of the living room — the same color my realtor made me “neutralize” in order to sell it.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on April 28, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    If you want a laugh, look up Sherwin Williams color of the year, Urban Bronze. We saw it at the store and it’s the most depressing thing ever, a sort of muddy olive green brown, though it looks gray online. Sorry if that’s anyone’s favorite color, but if I painted a room in that color I’d feel suicidal.

    And if I can further offend anyone else, I despise neutrals. Why are people afraid of color?

    Deborah, I keep a little book filled with lists for going back and forth. I tried keeping it on my phone, but this has worked well for me.

    Have been looking all over for my tiny violin to play sad songs for Rudy Giuliani; unfortunately it’s been permanently misplaced.

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  16. Deborah said on April 28, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    I thought Biden’s speech was terrific. Unfortunately mostly the choir watched it, but he did good.

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  17. alex said on April 28, 2021 at 10:28 pm


    As someone who has discovered the magic of Urbane — yes, “Urbane,” not “Urban” bronze — years ago, before it became the color of the year, I have to put in my own two cents’ worth.

    I didn’t buy mine from Sherwin Williams. I had it mixed in Davis Paint, a much higher-quality product, but the color is well known. Decorators and designers love it and have sworn by it for many years.

    The reason it was popular with decorators and designers long before receiving its current accolades is that it is a fabulous accent color that helps unify disparate elements. My house is a case in point.

    For years I found it vexatious that my stone, siding, roof and trim were all disharmonious. Urbane bronze on the trim helped tie them all together. People now ask me who was the designer who chose my colors. The short answer is Uncle Google. My interior walls are Pratt & Lambert Seed Pearl, another one of those colors that plays well with others.

    I like to take full credit for having a good eye, but when it comes to design, I have to confess that I steal from the best.

    So, yes, if you covered an entire room in it, you might want to commit suicide, but sometimes the reason something is good is not because it’s your main color but rather

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  18. alex said on April 28, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    The Tim Scott rebuttal of Biden is laughable. At least they had sense enough not to have their Uncle Tom window dressing talking like Tucker Carlson. He’s just pissing into the wind and getting hosed by himself.

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  19. Colleen said on April 28, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Had to look up Urbane Bronze. I don’t hate it. Maybe not for all 4 walls, but I generally don’t like dark colors. Our house now is builder gray….which is better than builder white, but I would like to add some color. The challenge is, with the open floor plan, where do you stop painting? There’s no real room demarcation. An accent wall will be the way to go, but Steve refuses to paint any more, so either I do it, or we hire it out.

    Saw POTUS this evening. Cheered a couple of times. Overall, I liked what he had to say, though I dozed off for the last 20 or so minutes. But seeing Nancy and Kamala sitting behind him…about damn time!

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  20. Dexter Friend said on April 29, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Biden was OK by me; I watched it even though MSNBC had already schooled me on its content. Tim Scott is a ridiculous man, even crediting Trump for smashing Covid19, which is ridiculous.
    I saw a surprising TV segment about car dealerships suffering as the supply of all makes of new cars has all but dried up. They showed a fussy new SUV buyer who wanted specs and was irate that an 8 month wait was imminent, so he tried Ford instead of Chevrolet, which he wanted. The caveat was that used cars are higher priced than ever, and the message was that if you have a car for sale, sell it now. This makes for a personal conundrum as I have Carla Lee’s car, but my lifelong policy has been if you have a perfectly good car, running like new with good tires and all, and it’s paid for, why sell it? I use it for out of town trips only as I no longer trust the old minivan outof the county. So…I will keep the car.

    RO Girl, 67 comment last thread: Congratulations! Paying off a house is a thrill I have had only twice in my lifetime. I hope you celebrated properly somehow. I just paid my house off about 6 weeks ago after not really figuring I would ever live long enough. As satisfying to me was paying off the last remaining credit card balance a while back. I’m poor but I ain’t drowning in debt anymore. So good for you again!

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  21. Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Yup, I knew Urbane (whoops) Bronze would have proponents. I can see it on outside trim. Our house had dark colors everywhere when we moved in, and a woman who has lived here forever said she craves dark colors after all the sun. In 10 years, I may be painting with Urbane Bronze and eating crow!

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  22. Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2021 at 6:08 am

    I forgot to add my congratulations to ROGirl and Dexter, what a great accomplishment. We had three years mortgage free until we bought the Orlando house and I remember that free feeling.

    Mother uses a wheelchair at the airport because distances tire her out. I got a little snappy with the gate attendant who asked me if she could walk onto the airplane. Yes, I said, and she can speak for herself too.

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  23. alex said on April 29, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Re: Urbane Bronze, it’s very reflective and doesn’t look like a dark color, at least not how I’ve used it. It’s on my trim and on my fences too and looks like a very muted medium color.

    One of the tricks to choosing good paint colors that will work together is to find similar percentages of primary colors within their makeup. My gray-blue siding, for instance is 33 percent red. You’d never know it to look at it. Urbane Bronze is also about 33 percent red. And these two unlikely colors jibe because of it.

    I’ll post to Facebook so some of you can see what I’m talking about.

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  24. Colleen said on April 29, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Alex…look me up on FB. I would love to see it!

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  25. JodiP said on April 29, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I had to look it up: I love the color. It speaks to me of mushrooms and damp loamy soil for some reason. Alex, I would love to see your pics on FB as well. I just sent a friend request.

    We had our half story painted last year–it’s a sitting room and our main bedroom. The sitting room got done in canvas tan, very neutral because we have a red couch and pictures from my wife’s trip to Rwanda a few years ago. There are also cutouts where we display glass art, pottery and other things. So it’s kinda an art gallery. We chose a light, sky blue for the bedroom and are really happy with both. We have lots of color throughout the rest of the house.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Alex, how do you find the color proportions?

    Our son was so excited about getting rollerblades, and fractured his elbow on the first trip out. He sees an ortho on Monday. Of course it’s his dominant arm. This morning he couldn’t even drive. Womp, womp.

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  27. Deborah said on April 29, 2021 at 11:41 am

    My mother-in-law is 102 today. She went to the Dr yesterday, she’s very weak, can’t move around much with her walker anymore but otherwise in relative good health. She’ll have to be in a wheelchair now when she goes anywhere which is rarely. When my husband was there a couple of weeks ago she was in high spirits, but not always lucid, she kept talking about bringing in the horses. The weird thing about that is that at no time in her life has she ever had horses, so it must come from movies she watches. When my husband calls her now she often confuses what she’s been watching on TV with reality. Up until about a year ago she was sharp as a tack.

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  28. Sherri said on April 29, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Elections have consequences, indeed. Tana Lin, a friend of mine has been nominated as a Federal judge!


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  29. alex said on April 29, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Julie, if you google the name of a paint color and “hexadecimal color code” or “hex code” you’ll find there are several sites that give a breakdown of the color values. Some will even steer you to other compatible paint colors.

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  30. Deborah said on April 29, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    One of uncle J’s great grandsons has contracted Covid, probably from his private school. Uncle J is no longer with us, so we don’t have to worry about him but the kid has been around his grandparents (both sides) and one of his grandfathers has all kinds of underlying conditions. All of his grandparents have been vaccinated but as far as I know his parents have yet to be. His mother is a bit of an anti vaxxer, she’d had the kids vaccinated as required by schools but she talks a lot about how much that worries her. The kid with Covid is 10 and he has a younger brother who’s 8. Many in that family are republicans so who knows.

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  31. brian stouder said on April 29, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Sherri – that is superb!!

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  32. Dorothy said on April 29, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Someone my daughter played basketball with in middle school, a 38 year old young woman, was recently in the hospital – and her husband too – with Covid. They’re home now but still need to use oxygen at home. Their three kids had to stay with grandparents while their folks were hospitalized. I refrained from asking my daughter if she knew their political leanings. I’m just curious, and definitely not gleeful. I don’t wish illness on anyone.

    When I worked in a quilt store for five years I really loved doing fabric selections for people shopping for a new quilt. I have a pretty good eye for matching colors and combining colors. I don’t love Urbane Bronze, mostly because it seems really dark to me. But as an accent color I can certainly appreciate it’s attributes – it IS the color of the light fixtures I’ve already picked out for our new house. We had our design choices day on St. Patrick’s day and I took pictures of all the choices (kitchen backsplash, cabinets, flooring, counter top, kitchen faucet, etc.) so I keep going into my phone once in awhile and gazing at them. I can’t wait for it to be done, and it’s not even started yet. There were only two choices for wall color and it was white or less white. I went with less white. I might use my retirement time painting some accent walls. It’s a much smaller house, an open floor plan, so fewer walls to hang pictures or quilts on.

    Julie your remark about the gate attendant asking you a question instead of your mother making you a little mad was so timely! Earlier this week I ordered yarn from this company I’ve been buying from for a dozen years. Imagine my surprise when I got an email thanking me for being a first-time shopper at Knit Picks! I emailed them right away, correcting their mistake and I got an apology email. Then today the yarn arrived, and inside the box was a lovely, colorful post card thanking me for becoming a new customer of theirs. So I fired off another pissy email, and got an apology AGAIN with a $20 credit on my account. It pays to complain sometimes!

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  33. David C said on April 29, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Public defender, EEOC, and Michigan Poverty Law Center. I wish we had an entire judiciary filled with lawyers like Ms. Lin instead of (probably) corporate lawyers on a busman’s holiday.

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  34. Deborah Beckett said on April 29, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I like dark bronze colored metal, our door hardware at the cabin is dark bronze and it looks great with the spanish cedar wood. the door handles on the doors on either side of the cabin are matching wood, it’s a long detailed story why they’re different that would surely not be interesting to anyone but another designer, and even then, probably not.

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