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Old 06-01-2016, 04:11 PM
Location: a northwest suburb
36 posts, read 105,982 times
Reputation: 32


Originally Posted by barryofthailand View Post
I worked at LA Piazza in Pipers Alley in 1969. I have fond memories of Old Town in Chicago
Omigosh!!!! Please tell me you have pictures of La Piazza, or maybe a saved menu or matchbook? There are a lot of people in different places who have mentioned that wonderful place and its wonderful pizza. But there is only one dark picture to be seen, and one short scene from a movie (which doesn't show all that much of La Piazza).

Happy memories!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:47 AM
6,438 posts, read 6,937,497 times
Reputation: 8743
Originally Posted by Mike Warmington View Post
We were the "weekend hippies" visiting from the suburbs. It was easy to identify us as such, since the real hippies usually looked a little grimy, strung out, and underfed.
I used to look down on the weekend freaks but at some point I realized they had choices and advantages, so I became one :-)

John Bassette
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:10 AM
Location: ireland
6 posts, read 6,566 times
Reputation: 11
used to go there in the 60's. generally not an inviting place
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:51 PM
3 posts, read 5,016 times
Reputation: 12
Default All about the "Old Town" neighborhood of Chicago and how it got its name.

All about the "Old Town" neighborhood of Chicago and how it got its name. Originally known as the "Cabbage Patch," then by "North Town," Old Town had a rich and colorful history. An in-depth history, lots and lots of business names, a Piper's Alley hand-drawn map and over 35 images, including the 1971 fire. How many businesses do you remember?

CLICK TO READ ─► The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journalâ„¢: All about the "Old Town" neighborhood of Chicago and how it got its name. in my Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journalâ„¢
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:44 PM
5 posts, read 11,532 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Kinetic Playground, originally the Electric Theater. I saw Led Zeppelin open for the Vanilla Fudge there. Also saw a show with Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, Buddy Rich and The Who.

The Aragon was a psychedelic joint for awhile, called the Cheetah. I saw the Moby Grape there, undoubtedly the tightest and hardest rocking of the hippie bands.
The Aragon Ballroom also had acid rock and blues bands and whatnot under its own name too. Tbh, I never recall it as "The Cheetah," though there was a club by that name in the Rush Street neighborhood.

The Aragon was only about 3 blocks East on Lawrence Avenue from the Electric Theater/Kinetic Playground, which was at 4812 N. Clark, across from a large, walled cemetery which, if memory serves, was primarily or exclusively Jewish.

Bands that come to mind that I saw at the Aragon were Big Brother and the Holding Company, Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield Blues Band with a surprise set that included Jimi Hendrix, and I simply don't remember anything else offhand, though I went there fairly often. Between that place and the one up the street, we had a lot of world-class music regularly available for a few years.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:54 PM
5 posts, read 11,532 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by baileyvpotter View Post
^^^^Interesting read. So the Earl of Old Town is now Corcoran's and That Steak Joynt is the Adobo Grill.
By any chance were you able to hear Richie Havens there?
I only ever heard him a few times at the Electric Theater, and once for free in Lincoln Park. This would have been 1968-70.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Rweat View Post
The Man At Ease was a great clothing shop at that time north of north ave on Wells street. I remember seeing Janis Joplin with Big Brother and The Holding Company playing in a storefront club further south on Wells in what must have been 66 or 67 and thinking how wild that woman singer was. Wells street was rally great back then- I remember listening to that jazz pianist Judy Roberts(?) outside a Wells street club and dancing to the music.
That storefront club further south on Wells would be Mother Blues. Big Brother played there for awhile.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:22 AM
5 posts, read 11,532 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by Older'nDirt View Post
Spent MANY a night at "The Theater." It was at 4812 N. Clark, next to a Roller Rink that I don't remember the name of. Remember seeing Led Zeppelin there, the lights went off while they were playing, strobes came on and they started throwing candy wrapped in foil! Drove many of us to near insanity! All those great bands and it only cost us, if I remember correctly, $5.00 - $7.00 to get in.

I have an original Theater Poster hanging on my wall for a Friday and Saturday July 18 -19 show with Led Zeppelin, Savoy Brown, The Litter and special guest Jethro Tull.

The 60s, if you remember them you really weren't there!
Yep, it was $5 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $2 for Tuesday night talent jams, although sometimes on the talent jam nights, I remember bands like the Flock, Alice Cooper, and the Finchley Boys showing up.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:49 AM
5 posts, read 11,532 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by toogood2betrue View Post
In 1967 I was 15 yrs. old. I lied about my age to get a job at a great restaurant on Wells St. called "Little Pleasures". A girl that worked there was temporarily moving back to N.Y. so she sub-let her room in an Apt. that, was located, more than less, above Piper's Alley. My bedroom window looked out on the Alley bout midway down. Unbeknownst to my at the time, naive 15 yr. old mind, the older than I was, people that also lived in the Apt. were ah ... dealing drugs.... How dare they. One night we were all sitting around and all of the sudden the front door came off the hinges and Chicago's finest , we called them "Pig's" at the time, entered and proceeded to bust the place up. Accused me of being a girl because my hair was long and asked each other if they should check to see. They found no drugs because as it turned out, I was to learn that these folk knew where to hide such things. After working at Little Pleasures, I managed to get hired at "The House of Lewis." While working there I learned about, let's just say. how the city worked at the time i.e. pay offs to assure that your establishment did not get robbed/ burned to the ground ect. When ever I went to The Man at Ease, which was a lot,
I begged the owners to let me work there because to me at 15/16 yrs. old, that represented the coolest of cool places. Believe it or not eventually they gave in a gave me a job. By that time they had moved it to Clark St. I too met many Rock stars via working at the "Man at Ease" or "The House of Lewis". One night at "The Electric Theater", I was somehow allowed backstage and there met Pete Townsend. I played Guitar at the time and I remember that he was really nice and showed me a couple of riffs, maybe twenty minutes before he went on stage. Ended up one night at a Party that Led Zeppelin through in there Hotel. I remember that they seemed either tired or bored. Many, many memorable nights at the Electric Theater. Looking back, sometimes I think that at 15/16/17 yrs. old, during those years, maybe I saw just a little too much....... as in > When I lived on Well's in 1967 there were Army Tanks on Wells St. and helicopters flying above because of the Detroit Riots/how other cities, Chicago, was responding to them/the Detroit riots. The police cars had tape on their roofs so the helicopters could I.D. them as Police because there was a curfew in effect for a couple of days and as such no one was allowed on the street, in a car or on foot after, I think I remember 5pm. I was directly involved in the the protest Marches during the 1968 Chicago DNC. I remember the bus loads of police in riot gear. I remember running from their swinging batons. I remember LoVe In's in Lincoln Park. Needless to say I lived/breathed Wells St. during the 60's and my ah formidable years. I hope that some can relate to what I wrote &/or enjoy "the trip I experienced". "Have you been experienced, well I have".
Yeah, I was there for all that too. Got my introduction to tear gas at the DNC in '68, got another blast of it when Sly and the Family Stone cancelled an appearance at the Grant Park band shell and people started rolling cop cars over, and a whole lot more in maximum security prisons in the 2/3 of the '70s I spent there and the every-last-damn-day of the '80s. My last blast of tear gas was, of all places, in a courtyard at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel in November of 1990. It's an Arab town, and there was an IDF convoy in coming through. A gun battle broke out on the other side of the wall, the IDF deployed tear gas, and experienced as I was in such matters, I advised all the tourists milling around out there to wet their handkerchiefs in the fountain, cover their eyes, nose and mouth, and lie face down on the ground until the gas dissipated. Some of them ignored me, and paid a price for it. But a Franciscan brother, who had flaked me off earlier when I asked his opinion about Islamic motifs in Spanish and post-Colombian Mexican art (he was Mexican), changed his mind about me and took me and the tour group I was with to a chapel that had in the church that had been closed to the public for over 200 years. In it was a small altar, and behind that a classic 4th-century Byzantine fresco. It was an allegory, and he explicated it for us. That made my day, really, because I could care less about religion, but I was interested in the art and the history.

Experience is always relative.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:58 PM
Location: Land of Ill Noise
3,482 posts, read 3,405,742 times
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I grew up in Oregon, and my mom is from Idaho, but she graduated from Valparaiso University in the late 1960s and as a social work major frequently came into Chicago for school-related reasons. When I moved to Chicago most recently, in 1999, I lived at Wells and Goethe. I told my mom I lived in Old Town and she seemed skeptical about being a proper place to live, but when she visited she said, "This isn't the Old Town I remember."

It's changed a lot. One aspect of the seedier side of the old Old Town that does remain is the Bijou Theatre/gay sex club.
Not in Old Town per se(but close nearby just east of here), but I miss the Village Theater that's on Clark just south of North. It's been abandoned since sometime in the mid-2000s, for probably something like 10-12 years now. Not long ago, I saw signs promoting a high rise building that made me wonder if that building was being threatened with demolition. Elly's Pancake House on the southwest corner of North/Clark closed after August, and the orange brick building just to the west was recently all boarded up the last time I went by. I wouldn't lose any sleep if the Elly's and the orange brick building were demolished, but I feel it'd be an architectural mistake to let the building with the Village Theater get demolished. I love the terra cotta on the outside of that building. Maybe it could at least be facade-ectomied, on whatever building replaces it if it is to be demolished soon? Thinking like what happened to the white terra cotta eagles building on the southeast corner of Sheridan and Clarendon(Halsted just south of there, and this is the brief part of Sheridan where it goes east/west instead of north/south), that got demolished not long ago for a residential high rise. The eagle terra cotta will allegedly be reconstructed, along with the Starbucks that was there on the 1st floor, once this new high rise will be built. It'll be a little weird to see the terra cotta reinstalled on the exterior facade of the replacement high rise, but I guess it'll be like 520 N. Michigan, when that became an indoor mall after the original building there was torn down.
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