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Mike's Corner

You Can’t Pete - I mean Beat - this Place for Great Local Breakfast

love Pete’s because the two owners, Pete Frustis and his father, Teddy are wonderful people, as is his staff. The folks at Pete’s Grill take customer satisfaction to a great level, found only in owner/family owned restaurants – and they offer great respect and service to everyone who passes through its doors – whether a commuter fresh of a bus, local residents, or, in my case, exhausted local guy walking in, sweat stained shirt, fresh from a morning work out down the street – looking to replace calories I just took off minutes ago. Pete’s offers reliable breakfast food (and lunch as well), and the faire at Pete’s is always fresh and good.
Posted by Mike G on November 18, 2015 |

JB Albertos 50th Year Celebration this coming Wednesday

We ask this question knowing that consuming a late night slice is not always the best choice - that it violates any kind of diet or healthy eating regiment we might be on - yet, the fact that a quick slice is readily attainable - fast, affordable, and delicious - causes many of us to submit - and we do so without little regret as JB Albertos pizza is delicious.
Posted by Mike G on October 26, 2015 |

Republicans: Look to NCAA Hoops For New Debate Format

How ironic to think back only five months. At that time, had I been in the same gym, people would be glued to their sets, all focused on one particular event – the NCAA basketball tournament – the college basketball tournament that begins with 64 teams, and through a round of single elimination play-offs, the field slowly whittles down to a mere 16 teams, and then four, and finally, a national championship. Suddenly, an idea! With 17 Republican candidates, why not create a sweet 16 debate format – a series of 1 on 1 debates – four fields of four – and through single elimination have a single Republican prevail. (But, there are 17 candidates?
Posted by Mike G on August 07, 2015 |

Complete ArtSpace Survey by June 2nd!

Late last year, the Rogers Park Builders Group joined a collaboration, spearheaded by the Rogers Park Business Alliance, to attract a major non profit developer named Artspace to convert an existing structure in the neighborhood (the identify of this parcel not yet determined) into a thriving Arts based development. Artspace is renown for completing many exciting projects throughout the country and in Illinois and we would be thrilled to see them do the same locally. Artspace has shown interest in doing a development in Rogers Park, and their willingness to proceed, and the size and scope of their development, will likely be impacted by the responses to a special survey which interested parties must complete on or before June 2nd.
Posted by Mike G on May 23, 2015 |

Bored Doodling

Though I typically don’t plan what I am going to draw, from time to time I do set out to draw particular person. At certain particularly boring meetings (or interesting meetings where the topic at that moment simply doesn’t hold my interest) I find myself settling on one of my Board colleagues sitting around the table, and I draw a caricature of that person. This proves to be quite challenging - not because drawing is so hard (which it is) - but because there are other people at the table who might observe me drawing instead of focusing on the subject at hand. Worst case, my colleagues sitting on either side of me, able to see what I am drawing, might bust me.
Posted by Mike G on May 06, 2015 |

City Election Officials - Learn from the NFL!

The NFL’s preference has been for warm locations, because people enjoy warm weather – and, frankly, warm pleasant weather encourages folks to go out and do things. Elected officials in the City of Chicago pay lip service to wanting a robust election with high voter turnout. Is anyone fooled to think that holding a City election on February 24th encourages voter participation? Its not just the cold weather on election day that is of issue: consider the frigid weather conditions during the crucial weeks leading up to the election – early voting, and candidates canvassing neighborhoods and standing on and around El stations to meet voters. Do you really want to shake hands with a candidate and discuss issues when your fingers are so cold you fear they might fall off?
Posted by Mike G on February 24, 2015 |

Two Unfortunate Losses over this Past Weekend (1/15 Postscript - upbeat news. Please read end)

In the last 48 hours came news of the tragic death of two friends of mine, both Rogers Park residents. Donald Morano had lived in my apartment building on Jarvis for over 35 years. He often bragged to me about the day, thirty years ago, where he saw smoke coming from a basement apartment. It was he, Don often reminded me, who called the fire department and prevented the building from burning down.
Posted by Mike G on January 11, 2015 |

An “Only in Rogers Park” Sunday Fall Afternoon

This past Sunday, with it being a beautiful sunny afternoon, I texted him and invited him over. 45 minutes later, as I was digging bats, whiffle balls and, luckily, a tennis ball out of my trunk, they showed up. We proceeded immediately to Touhy Park, where I started offering them a little hitting and base running instruction. Midway through our activity, a young adult, perhaps around 25, grabbed a seat at the bleacher. His headphones were on, and it appeared he was only half watching us play. We soon forgot that we have a spectator in attendance, and we lost ourselves playing a makeshift baseball game with our two bats and a yellow tennis ball (the whiffle balls destructed with two swings of a bat. After a short stint of running bases, we wound things up with a few final at bats, with each of us taking turns pitching to one of the others of us. I then announced that I had to leave. The kids decided to continue playing, and as I exited the field, the gentleman started walking away as well. Our paths crossed.
Posted by Mike G on November 04, 2014 |

This Young Couple Getting Booted Around

Of course, young people need to learn consequences from their actions, and I imagine that this young couple – if they come out of this crisis as a family unit or not – will learn to never callously disregard parking tickets again - especially in a revenue starved city like Chicago that relies more than ever on fines and fees to address budget shortfalls. Yet, here we see how the City’s attempt to balance its budget by imposing fees and fines rather than, say, a progressive tax severely hurts lower income folks, like these young people, in a far more substantial manner than middle income or wealthy people, who are less likely to mount such a huge debt based on parking violations, and, if they do, have access to the cash to pay off the balance. At least the financially more secure folks are more likely to be able to secure the funds to get the boot released. For them, the crisis will last a day or two, and then they can carry on and resume their life.
Posted by Mike G on October 21, 2014 |

In Support of the Northside Community Resources (formerly Rogers Park Community Council)

Our greatest gift is that a talented and hard working Executive Director, Chris Zala, is running the ship. He follows a line of talented Executive Directors who preceded him – as both of his predecessors, Cary Steinbuck and Elizabeth Vitell, can attest to the grueling work load and countless challenges that this position requires, especially during times of governmental budget cuts and cumbersome compliance requirements. I am personally aware of that Chris and other staffers at times put in long hours and sacrifice many weekends working to meet onerous grant deadlines – and they do this, in part, because its their job to do so, and more so because they are dedicated to the success of the organization, and to its core mission (as stated on the organization’s website): Northside Community Resources (NCR), was organized in 1952 to improve the quality of life in Rogers Park through social, civic and educational initiatives that foster health and welfare, urban renewal and conversation, law enforcement, and community organization.
Posted by Mike G on September 24, 2014 |

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About the Author

Mike G's photoMike Glasser

Mike has a long term relationship with Rogers Park, having lived here at various times in his life, most recently returning to the neighborhood in August, 2009. While living here as a third year law student, he remembers drunken nights at Biddy Mulligan’s and hosting a couple of memorable parties that he, hypocritically, now forbids his own tenants from having. Years later, after completing his stint as a lawyer, Mike started investing in apartment buildings in Rogers Park (and elsewhere), and soon after, did what many newly divorced real estate investors do: he moved into one of his buildings. In 1992 Mike was one of the founding members of the Rogers Park Builders Group, an organization that he eventually headed for six years, until yielding those reigns three years ago. Around a decade ago, on a whim, he reserved the web site “,” which he has been developing ever since, and which co-hosts RP BizArts networking events. Mike is the proud father of three wonderful children, Amy, Mitch and Ella.

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