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• Recent LCA News •

Evening in the Garden - September 17 at Fire Station Park

We are so excited that our Evening in the Garden is coming up next month! This year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 17 from 5 – 7 p.m. in Fire Station Park, which is located at Larrabee and Armitage behind the fire station.


First held in September of 2014, Evening in the Garden celebrates the close of summer, our garden volunteers and the garden harvest. This garden party is used to honor the heart put into many neighborhood achievements and especially the volunteers who make our neighborhood parks such special gathering places. The event includes food, wine and beverages from neighborhood restaurants and businesses. It is free and open to the public.

At Evening in the Garden, we are excited to feature local restaurants who provide food for this favorite neighborhood event! This year, we are welcoming back three Evening in the Garden staples, Cedar Palace, Roots Pizza and Vanille Patisserie, and welcome one new one, Angry Octopus!


We are so grateful to these local businesses who are providing delicious food and beverages for our annual Evening in the Garden event!


We welcome Vanille Patisserie back to Evening in the Garden! Vanille is strictly retail now and one of their best sellers are the macaroons and cheesecake. They love to do wedding cakes and especially like to see families, dogs and kids to come in and enjoy their hot chocolate, coffee and the best croissants in the city! Check them out at 2108 N. Clark St.


Cedar Palace is a favorite restaurant in the neighborhood and at LCA events! We are so excited to welcome back Cedar Palace to our Evening in the Garden event. They will be serving up their authentic Mediterranean cuisine, including their amazing hummus! Make sure to try them for dinner or try their NEW brunch at 655 W Armitage Ave.


Roots Pizza will provide their tasty pizza at Evening in the Garden again this year! Roots will provide their authentic and made-from-scratch quad cities-style pizza for our neighborhood party! Thank you so much to Roots for contributing to LCA! Have you tried Roots Pizza yet? Check them out at our Evening in the Garden event and at 1610 N Wells St.


For the first time, Angry Octopus will join us at the event to provide delicious samples of their food! You may remember them at our Summer Block Party in July. Have you tried Angry Octopus yet? Make sure to stop by and try their amazing gyros, pizza, ice cream and much more at the corner of Dickens and Clark St.


Lincoln Central Association Events are always full of magic – magic of our beautiful community garden, magic of our neighborhood gathering and the amazing close-up magic of Magic Sam! Magic Sam will be returning at our Evening in the Garden event on September 17! Benjamin Barnes provides entertainment that both kids and adults enjoy! 

Community Meeting and 2 Ways You Can Help Local Asylum Seekers

Our local 18th District Police Station continues to be a shelter for asylum seekers, and now there are between 90-100 people sleeping there each night!


On Tuesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. at Park Community Church, 101 N Crosby in Chicago, there will be a public event to inform the public about the Refugee/Migrant Crisis in the Near North area. A few refugees will be there to share their journey so we can get a closer look at what is going on and what they have gone through. The goal of this meeting is not only to inform about the situation, but to give tangible ways people can help. They will also discuss what donation items are helpful, where to donate items, and what items are not helpful.


Here are a couple ways that you can help:

1. Donate a Blanket and/or a Mattress: Currently, there is an urgent need at the police station for blankets and air mattresses. Here are some quick links that you can use to easily purchase and ship:


2. Sign Up to Provide a Meal: In addition, a District 18 Meal Delivery website has been set up to help provide meals to the people at the police station. Learn more and sign up to provide a meal here.


Please help us provide assistance to these new members of our community!

LCA Zoning Update on 1633 N. Halsted

The Lincoln Central Association Zoning Committee has been closely following the planned development for 1633 N. Halsted. The committee opposes the development in its current state and has written an opposition statement to the Department of Planning regarding this.


Read the full statement here.

Save the Date for Howler at Bauler - October 28 at Bauler Park

Known as "The Haunt of the Neighborhood”, Howler at Bauler is held each year during Halloween weekend in Bauler Park. From the neighborhood firehouse bringing its truck, to the neighborhood fitness center staffing games, to our congressman, alderman and state representatives greeting the crowds, everyone puts their heart into making this a great neighborhood event. Howler at Bauler includes a bouncy house, costume parade, games, candy, a DJ to dance to and more to local neighborhood children and families.

Vanille Hosts FREE Open House Next Month

Join our friends at Vanille for a free open house on Friday, September 22 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at their location at 210 Clark St. More information in the flyer below!

Thank You LCA Sponsors!

LCA is dedicated to inspiring people to join together for the social, cultural, and physical enrichment of our neighborhood, and our local businesses are a critical part of that! LCA is honored to work with local businesses to improve our neighborhood and promote their business.


Thank You to Our Sponsors:

• Neighborhood News •

Opening Reception for Chantel Danyluk 'Against Dreamland' Exhibit

Our friends at the Old Town Triangle Association are hosting the opening reception for the Chantal Danyluk "Against Dreamland" exhibit at the Leslie Wolfe Gallery on Sunday, September 10th from 2 – 4 p.m. The exhibition runs from August 28 to October 6. Learn more and RSVP here.

Lincoln Park Uncorked: A Lincoln Avenue Wine Stroll

On Thursday, September 21 from 6 - 9 p.m., the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce will host Lincoln Park Uncorked: A Lincoln Avenue Wine Stoll, where you can treat yourself to some of the season’s best wines paired with delicious bites from Lincoln Park’s neighborhood restaurants. Use the promotional code LCALPU23 to receive $5.00 off tickets! Learn more and get tickets here.

Bauler Park Summer Events

September 20: Bauler Movie Night featuring The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Sundown is earlier ~6:30PM, so hopefully younger kids can join, too. Open to all.


October 11: 3rd Annual Glow Stick Dance Party


October 28: Howler at Bauler (Lincoln Central Association Event)

Discounted Tickets Available for No Man's Land

The Steppenwolf Theatre is giving LCA members a special offer for tickets on their new show, Sanctuary City. Neighbors can get 20% off tickets for preview performances, which run September 14 - 22 and is redeemable online with code: Neighbor here.

More about Sanctuary City

Newark, NJ. Post-9/11. Two teenagers, brought to America as children, now face an unlikely foe: unexpected, unreciprocated love. Their friendship is no longer enough (for one of them) and their adopted country doesn’t love them back. Pulitzer Prize-winner Martyna Majok brings light to the sacrifices made by DREAMers, lovers and life-long friends in the heartbreaking and hopeful Sanctuary City—a story that fractures and transcends—crossing boundaries, borders and genres in search of a place to call home. Sanctuary City will be the first Steppenwolf production that includes both a full membership series run, as well as a full run of student matinees as a part of the Steppenwolf for Young Adults series, providing a synergistic opportunity to cultivate more intergenerational audiences.

St. Teresa's Fall Blood Drive Set for Oct. 22

Join St. Teresa of Avila Church for an important event by donating a pint of life to others most in need. Kindly make an appointment to donate blood at the link below. This is a true celebration of life. Featuring live piano, harp and violin, music, pizza, bananas and a surprise gift for all donors.


LOCATION: St. Teresa of Avila Church

ADDRESS: Corner of Armitage Ave and Kenmore

TIME: 7:30am to 1:45pm


PLEASE BRING: Your photo ID and A FRIEND or FAMILY MEMBER. 2 pints are better than one! Make it a social outing!

QUESTIONS: Call or text Mark Buciak at: 773-307-0033 or come to LCA's Evening in the Garden and look for our table!


TIPS for a Successful Blood Donation: The day before have meals with plenty of iron (Beans, Spinach, Beets, and Meat)! The morning of the donation: A healthy breakfast with more iron and plenty of orange juice and/or water. No or little coffee.

DID YOU KNOW: That it is healthy for healthy people to donate blood? It is like an oil change for your body. You get rid of the old cells and your body creates new ones! Looking forward to seeing everyone on October 22nd.

Volunteers Needed for 9/11 Day of Service

Volunteers are needed for the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Meal Packing event that will take place on September 11 at Union Station in Chicago. Volunteers will get a t-shirt, a meal and a feel-good start to the week!


The organization is currently in need of volunteers to serve as support staff for the following shifts:


Shift 1: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Shift 3: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Shift 4 Maintenance Crew: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM


To sign up for a shift and learn more, click here.

• Feature •

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

By Deirdre Graziano

August 6, 2023 was a beautiful day in the neighborhood when the Lincoln Park community gathered to pay tribute to one of Chicago’s musical greats, Ella Jenkins. Ella’s musical compositions and award winning concerts have blessed young and old around the world for three quarters of a century. Our Community joined together to honor Ella on her 99th birthday. Admirers, from far and close, gathered at Ella Jenkins Park on the rain stalled Sunday, all wanting to meet, to touch the beloved Ella. The heavens, we believe, held the rain back just for Ella. The Celebration occurred through the concerted efforts of Lincoln Central Association, Old Town Triangle Association, Ella’s original neighborhood church, Church of The Three Crosses, Rev. Leslie Ritter-Jenkins interim pastor, and Tim Ferrin, Producer/Director Ella Jenkins: We’ll Sing a Song Together


America’s First Lady of Children’s Music: A Long Time Neighbor

Ella was a long-term Lincoln Park resident who lived quietly for decades on Mohawk Street. The tree-filled Mohawk street provided a safe sanctuary where Ella and her manager Bernadelle could greet neighbors and walk their beloved long-haired dachshunds without fanfare. Ella lived simply. Simply by choice. Her unobtrusive two-story townhouse sat across the street from a small neighborhood park, A park named after the notorious Chicago Alderman Paddy Bauler. A politician best known for the quote, "Chicago ain't ready for reform yet.” Ella and Paddy could not have been more different. The small, iron fenced park was a space Ella supported and cherished. Neighborhood children would joyously gather around Ella when, ukulele in hand, she would sing and share with them. All done without flourish, done in Ella’s open gentle way. For Ella, children were and are the true wealth of any community. A bench in Bauler Park eventually was dedicated to her, a small expression of gratitude from her community. Ella, supporting her neighborhood, frequented The Old Town School of Folk Music, our child-care centers and pre-schools even as she was gaining international fame. Awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement, Ella was a woman who continuously gave. Gave to her neighborhood, gave to her city, gave to the world at large. Gave fully with no pretension. It was time, once again, her community felt, to give back to her.


Ella’s Arrival by Medical Transport

The honored First Lady of Children’s Music arrived at her 99th birthday celebration blanketed in her wheelchair with her oxygen tube dutifully connected. Neither were distractions, joy was already spreading across her face as she settled in to celebrate the day of her birth. Ella, her wheelchair a small throne, was immediately treated like royalty as lines of waiting admirers (from toddlers to seniors) patiently gathered to speak to or to touch her. Leaning in, her fans continually offered her their admiration and love. Ella is a woman who has done for the world of children’s folk music what peacemakers have done for World Peace. Her audience experienced this in their lives and their gratitude infiltrated the air. At times, as Ella received her well-wishers, her velvet, softer than soft brown eyes displayed a flittering of tears. A gentle woman offering a gentle smile to all those who came to pay her tribute was truly, quietly glowing. To everyone’s delight, Ella even joined in to softly sing with Susan Salidor, the event’s talented performer who graciously donated her performance in honor of a woman the singer long emulated and admired. When the crowd requested Susan to sing Ella’s acclaimed call and response song, Will You Feed my Cow, Ella joined in and the joy of all was near palpable. 


Ella’s Audience

One young visitor exemplified the heart-felt devotion Ella’s fans held for her. Struggling for balance, the boy with autism had come with his family after hours of driving from Wisconsin. A boy on a pilgrimage of sorts, initiated by his family, so he could personally offer Ella a birthday card he had created especially for her. His mother explained Ella’s songs resonated with the boy, connected with him in a significantly deep way. His smile was all embracing as he, supported by his mother, leaned in to present his card. All who waited appeared to be as devoted to Ella as this family. 


Two of Lincoln Park’s aldermen Michele Smith and Vi Daley were present. These neighbors were instrumental in securing the original dedication of the park to Ella almost a decade ago. Together, Vi and Michele read the city’s Proclamation honoring Ella and presented Ella with the candle lit birthday cake as the crowd sang Happy Birthday to an emotionally moved Ella. Alderman Timmy Knudsen sent his deep regrets that he was unable to attend, but his chief-of-staff McKay Murphy was ever-present in the celebration.


Cakes and macaroons provided by Vanille, Sweet Mandy B’s and Church of The Three Crosses kept the crowd satiated. Balloon sculptures and face painting by Mary Macaron delighted the young. An art’s table allowed children to design and create Ella birthday cards. Photos of Ella throughout her career were lovingly displayed. Free kazoos provided by Alderman Knudsen and delicate oak tree samplings were distributed as Ella’s Pretty Trees All Around The World, the final song was sung.


A Civil and Children’s Rights Leader

Ella’s reputation goes far beyond the world of music, far beyond her neighborhood and her city. Her activism in children’s and civil rights is well documented. She was and continues to be a teacher and role model, a woman who always led with a gentle and accepting touch. Known as a Hidden Figure in the Fight for Civil Rights, Ella was an early member of CORE and a close, personal friend of John Lewis. Using music, Ella gently introduced, guided her audiences to the significance of African American heritage and universal brotherhood. Her understanding of child development was ever-present in her music. Ella, without didacticism, taught us all, through song, to respect and listen to children as few ever have.

Ella’s Thanks

Ella’s documentarian and close friend Tim Ferrin touchingly summed up Ella’s birthday experience: “On behalf of Ella, Bernadelle and myself we can't thank you all enough for the pitch perfect celebration for Ella's 99th on Sunday! 


"It was such a lovingly planned and implemented event. Ella had a wonderful time and was obviously invigorated by the celebration and well wishes that were shared with her. The party was so expertly done and carried the perfect vibe and the park looked beautiful. There was even peppermint ice cream for Ella, which blew me away. As the party was about to officially start, Gayle Wald, Ella's biographer who came in from DC remarked to me that 'it was a Chicago event.' I can't thank you enough.


"As she was settling back in her room Sunday evening Ella was all smiles talking about what a wonderful day it was. I don't think she's been out anywhere other than doctor's appointments since late 2019. This was a big deal.


"Thank you all for your love and consideration for Ella, Bernadelle and for myself. Thank you as well to the volunteers who made things run with seeming ease. You all knocked it out of the park yet again. It's easy to see why Ella and Bernadelle were proud to call the neighborhood home for so many years.


"Thank you for your kindness and for honoring Ella. Let me know if I can help with anything down the road, including providing for Ella Jenkins Park. I'm sending my love and gratitude to you all."


Our Thanks to Ella

We, in turn, continue to send our love and gratitude to Ella, an American treasure who once called our neighborhood home. 

Ella’s original vinyls, cds, kazoos, t-shirts, shopping bag were sold at the event and still can be purchased through Enjoy Ella’s Music and Help Support Ella!

From the Heart is an award-winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association.

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