The Newsletter of Lincoln Central Association
Winner of 2016, 2017 & 2018 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
February 8th, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

There are no words sufficient to express my appreciation, respect and admiration for Kathy Jordan, who retired from LCA's Board in January. After serving six years, the last four as Vice-President, she had reached the end of her term limit. Likewise, it is not possible to recount all of the contributions Kathy has made to our organization and to our neighborhood.

A favorite moment working with Kathy came at last October's amazing Howler at Bauler. Our Events Chair, Kelly Dotson, had long been frustrated with my failure to stay on schedule for announcements, raffle drawings and otherwise, at LCA events. That day at Howler, Kelly asked Kathy to "manage me," saying: "He won't listen to me, but he'll do whatever you tell him he needs to do." So, during the event, Kathy kept a close eye on the clock and on my whereabouts. Each time my presence was needed somewhere, Kathy appeared and said: "Kenneth, it's time. Let's just go take care of it." Of course, before the event was over, she didn't even have to say anything at all. She just had to show up and give me a look. Manage me, she did.

Kathy's grace and her generosity are rare, her wisdom and knowledge, irreplaceable. Thankfully, Kathy is still energetic and nearby. We have a lot going on as an organization and we're still counting on her.

From the Heart,
Kenneth Dotson, President, Lincoln Central Association

P. S. Do not hesitate to contact me at any time at  or 773.531.5515 if you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns.
Perhaps the biggest topic of discussion in and around our neighborhood over that last year has been the proposed Lincoln Yards development. When that much discussion occurs there is often much that needs to be clarified. This is one of those occasions.

It was recently reported that Lincoln Central Association, along with Wrightwood Neighbors Association, had jointly issued a letter of support for the Lincoln Yards Planned Development proposal prior to the January 24th, 2019 meeting of the Chicago Planning Commission. The reality is not that simple. Our Board unanimously voted to join with Wrightwood Neighbors in a conditional letter of support. You can read the letter here and other documents below:

The letter also sets forth our disappointment that the matter was hurried onto the Planning Commission schedule with minimal time for public review of the final plan. Additionally, the letter expressed our dissatisfaction with the community review process including a lack of transparency until recent months. We have received assurances from Alderman Hopkins that going forward the deficiencies in the process will not be repeated.

Below are clarifications and answers to questions we have received. Should you have questions not covered here, please email them to us and we will do our best to provide answers.
The joint letter states that LCA advocated for a delay in the Lincoln Yards' proposal appearing before the Planning Commission and that you were disappointed by Alderman Hopkins' statement expressing support for Lincoln Yards. Why didn't LCA continue to oppose Lincoln Yards and testify against the project at the January 24th Planning Commission meeting?

To clarify, LCA had never taken a position opposing Lincoln Yards, per se. Rather, we opposed the height, the density, the 20,000 stadium, the large scale entertainment district, the lack of park space, and the lack of transparency regarding infrastructure, among other things, and felt we should have more clarity on the sequencing of the project. Much progress has been made in those areas following the July and November public meetings. We believe more progress still needs to be made and along with other neighborhood organizations we will continue to advocate for further concessions.

As to why we did not testify on January 24th in opposition of Lincoln Yards, the answer is quite simple. Testifying against the project or other forms of opposition would have served no purpose. Once Lincoln Yards was placed on the January Planning Commission agenda with the public support of Alderman Hopkins, in whose Ward the subject property lies, passage through the Planning Commission was a certainty. Indeed, it passed by a unanimous vote. No opposition from LCA would have changed that outcome.

As a small, volunteer not-for-profit, LCA prioritizes initiatives where our engagement can make a difference to the neighborhood and there are many . We do not have the luxury of fighting battles the outcome of which have already been determined. We are not a volunteer army; we are merely volunteers. But, to any who believe LCA did not do enough, your future participation in our initiatives is welcomed.

Even if LCA felt opposition to Lincoln Yards was a waste of time, why did it send a letter of support — even if only conditional?

We followed the approach we believe gives our organization the best opportunity to continue having a positive impact on the development over the course of time. It is important to note that LCA did not give up our right to continue to push for reduced density, additional open space and more transparency. Our efforts to advocate for the neighborhood are continuing in conjunction with the other neighborhood groups in Lincoln Park most affected, including Wrightwood Neighbors , Sheffield Neighbors and RANCH Triangle . While our organizations do not always agree on all points or strategic approaches, we are each committed to working together to represent our neighborhoods to the best of our abilities based on the information available to us.

What were the conditions of the support from Lincoln Central Association and Wrightwood Neighbors Association?

  • Extensive increase in the amount of, not only open space, but publicly accessible, programmable park space 
  • Removal of the proposed stadium on the southern parcel of Lincoln Yards
  • Significant reductions in the size and mass of proposed structures
  • Elimination of the large scale “entertainment district” 
  • Significant investment and improvement to existing transit, traffic and infrastructure conditions 
  • Increased transparency on the infrastructure phasing
  • 11.18 acres of park space located within the Planned Development irrevocably remaining a public benefit in perpetuity, recorded as such within the appropriate Planned Development statements and operated like any other Chicago Park District facility enjoyed by the general public 

Most of these concessions had been agreed to and announced in advance and, in those cases, our condition was that Sterling Bay honor their commitments. We believe they will.

Additionally, our letter encouraged Alderman Hopkins to use his best efforts to help make the proposed North Branch Park & Nature Preserve a reality:

Moreover, as you know, our organizations have strongly advocated for the creation of a large-scale, 
public park found generally within the location of the existing General Iron site, often referred to as the 
North Branch Park & Nature Preserve. 

We understand this is a separate and distinct land parcel from the Lincoln Yards property, and therefore, 
not subject to the control of Sterling Bay. Nevertheless, we will continue to advocate for the creation of 
this important community amenity. As the Alderman in whose Ward this parcel is located, we strongly 
encourage you to continue your efforts to make this concept a reality as you publicly stated you would 
do at the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce’s Lincoln Park 2019 breakfast held on January 22, 2019. 

Our letter closed by strongly encouraging Alderman Hopkins to improve the community review process for development proposals that impact our neighborhoods:

In closing, as the elected official representing significant portions of our collective communities, we 
strongly encourage you to improve your community review process. Moving forward, we would 
appreciate your increased attention to proactively engaging our respective community associations, as 
well as the public more generally, in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome on development 

Before submitting the letter, we received assurances from Alderman Hopkins personally that he would continue to support the proposed North Branch Park & Nature Preserve and that the deficiencies we experienced in the community process for Lincoln Yards to date would not be repeated going forward. So far, Alderman Hopkins has honored that commitment by proactively initiating communication with LCA on several occasions to ask questions, seek feedback and discuss details of a meeting he intends to hold in the coming weeks for LCA members. You can read additional details about that meeting in the section immediately below.

Additional Clarifications, Questions & Answers About Lincoln Yards can be found below following the FEATURE ARTICLES section.
Must Be An LCA Member Current on Dues to Attend This Meeting
Alderman Hopkins has requested a meeting in the near future with Lincoln Central Association to answer questions about Lincoln Yards and listen to concerns. Also attending the meeting will be representatives of Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Planning & Development. We will make an announcement as soon as the time, date and location are finalized. This will not be an open public meeting. At our request, the meeting will be limited to LCA members current on their dues.
A Tribute to Kathy Jordan
Sally Drucker's Journey to Cambodia
By Kathy Jordan
The youngest child of a preacher, Kathy Jordan had moved five times before she landed in Chicago at age 14. She’s been here ever since, save for a few years as a newlywed living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 

Jordan’s parents were Salvation Army officers; her father was principal of the SA school on Broadway. The family lived in Ravenswood Manor, and Jordan went to Roosevelt High. An “A” student throughout her schooling, she graduated second in her class but won the honor of giving the valedictory speech. “I wrote a better speech because my father was a preacher,” she says, smiling at the memory. 

At 18, Jordan followed her siblings out of the Salvation Army church community, which they loved for its youthful camaraderie but not for its rules: no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no movies, no connection to the outside world.
Writing comes easily to Jordan, pictured with an APEX Award for Publication Excellence she won for a newsletter article, and became her lifelong career. She had her own business and worked for the American Medical Association Alliance writing brochures and for its magazines. She interrupted her college education to work but completed her B.A., at age 41, at Loyola University, where she majored in communications and journalism. 

Lincoln Park has been her home for decades. With her late sister Nancy, Kathy shared an apartment at Dickens and Sedgwick ($180 per month!) Later, with husband Jim, she settled in the Larrabee Street townhome where she still lives. (An early marriage ended in divorce. She says meeting Jim, when she was 34, renewed her life.)

Sally Drucker visited Cambodia in January 2018. An LCA Board member and Chair of the Parks Committee, Sally talked with From the Heart about this special experience.

From the Heart: What made you decide to go to Cambodia?

Sally : I wanted to explore a part of the world that was, for me, not known beyond books and Western culture’s perspectives. I was ready to broaden my understanding of history, religions and the life of a people I knew little about.

From the Heart : How difficult was it to get there?
Sally: Not really difficult, just tiring. The journey took over 30 hours and several plane connections. The most difficult legs were the 14+ hours on the long-stretch flights. Once I arrived, I was so full of adrenaline and excitement it was difficult sleep much the first few nights. (Sally pictured here in Fire Station Park & Gardens.)

From the Heart : Were there signs of war?
Sally: The faces of the older people wore lines of hardship, starvation and pain if you were really looking at them. At times I would see those who had been maimed and are now living their lives with the scars, disfiguration or loss of limbs due to the atrocities of war. We were told to stay on the paths when wandering the temples and more rural areas due to possibly still active land mines.

These two feature articles are continued below after the UPCOMING EVENTS section.
Bright Promises Foundation Gives Kids a Chance
New Play Coming to LCA Member Victory Gardens
By Kathy Jordan
Bright Promises Foundation, in its 150th year, funds organizations that change the lives of at-risk children.
Rodger Owen, former LCA President (pictured here with wife Janet), has been on its board for 40 years. Its appeal, he says, is a very involved board that uses outside expertise to hone the focus of their giving. “We listen,” says Owen. “We figure out: What’s the pressing need? Something bubbles up, say, social-emotional learning, and with that we can be on the cutting edge with our giving.”

Chartered by the state in 1869 and formerly known as the Illinois Humane Society, the organization’s endowment pays for administrative overhead; all donations go directly to pay for services that are measurably beneficial to children and their families. Bright Promises' focus of funding changes every four years. Grants range from $20,000 to $40,000 with a two year commitment that may last four to five years. Currently there are 18 grantees delivering programs at 87 sites to 10,000 children and 2,500 families in metropolitan Chicago.

Board members visit sites before and during funding. Their mission is to fund programs that are results-driven, sustainable, and demonstrably improve the lives of children. Here’s an example:

“Beginning in 2012, we focused on Promoting Resilience,” explains Owen. “Kids, every day of their lives, have absent parents; they see death. They go to school and act up. We funded providers to educate the educators to identify trauma; we funded providers to work with children so they had a toolbox to manage. We’re looking to make individual and institutional change.”
With institutional change, he notes, children and families are helped long term, after providers leave and funding ends. For Promoting Resilience, the eight grantees delivered programs at 46 sites. Bright Promises Foundation then partnered with the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition to create “ Look Through Their Eyes,” a website with resources for parents and caregivers about childhood trauma.
A current grantee is Refugee One, which provides foundational skills for children and adults learning to live in a new culture. Refugee One provides direct in-home therapy. They may work with a mother who feels her child is abandoning their culture and with the child who’s pulling away. Other refugee families learn from, and are empowered by, the family’s success. With that, there’s a ripple effect to the foundation’s funding.

Expert advice to guide board thinking was the brainchild of past president Paul Bodine, says Owen. "The board was looking to make investments in programs that would produce long-term change.“ According to Owen, Bodine said, “With expert input we can fund the pressing needs of today.” To stay current, the board agreed to change the focus of giving every four years. There are 18 board members. “We’re agile, hands-on people who want to change lives,” Owen added.

Owen is president of BGD&C Homes, longtime builders of luxury custom homes. Bright Promises Foundation is his sole civic endeavor, though he is also a generous supporter of LCA.

Learn more about Bright Promises | Contact Bright Promises
Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee will be opening at Victory Gardens Theater on April 13. It’s the story of a young woman, Neary, and her father, Chum, who fled Cambodia and took up residence in the United States. 
The play takes place in Phnom Penh in April 2008, with flashbacks to April 1975, and outside of the city in April 1978. Neary, an attorney who has been in Cambodia for two years, is seeking to try Duch, the comrade who ran S-21, a noted prison for so-called traitors during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.* 
Chum arrives to take Neary home. She fights the idea, since six prisoners have been found and identified, but they still have not found the infamous seventh prisoner who escaped from S-21 and who can help in the prosecution. 

Music is an important part of this moving play. Chum was a member of the band that is part of the flashbacks. Duch, as opening moderator of the piece, says, “Music is the soul of Cambodia.” It’s also an important part of Cambodian Rock Band.”
The play features the music of Dengue Fever, an American band from Los Angeles who combines Cambodian rock and pop music of the 1960s and 70s with psychedelic rock and other world music styles.

Stay tuned to our emails and our Facebook page to learn about about some special opportunities exclusively for LCA members during the show's run.

*Khmer is pronounced kuh-MAI. It means Cambodian, but can refer to the language, the people or as red Cambodia (Khmer rouge).

Learn more about the Cambodian rock scene in the 1960s and 1970s.

Valid for LCA members who are current on dues
LCA and member organization  Victory Gardens Theatre are pleased to announce that  LCA members now receive a 20% discount on all Victory Gardens tickets purchased online using an LCA member code provided by Victory Gardens.
This benefit is made available through LCA's  Values From the Heart™ program. We will soon be sending those members current on their dues an email with this code and additional information on other new benefits available exclusively to LCA members. Until then, members should email  to receive the appropriate discount code.

Special Note : For non-members, Victory Gardens will donate $5 to LCA for every ticket purchased using the following code:  LCA5
The letter of conditional support makes reference to the North Branch Framework Plan. Why is that relevant to Lincoln Yards?

In 2017, Chicago City Council approved the  North Branch Framework Plan . The Framework Plan, overseen by the City’s Department of Planning and Development, established guidelines which allow for new developments within the former North Branch Industrial Corridor (NBIC) to contain substantial allocations of height and density as a trade-off for improvements to the local infrastructure and increased allocations for open space. ( Read more )

Accordingly, height and density similar to that recently approved by the Chicago Plan Commission for the Lincoln Yards development was a largely foregone conclusion as early as the summer of 2017, as by the City’s own guidelines, any development (or developments) seeking approval for any land parcel within the former NBIC would be eligible for similar density and height allowances.

How will you be advocating for the neighborhood? What are the next steps?

We have been in nearly daily contact with the leadership of other neighborhood organizations, even those who have withheld support at this time, to try and identify ways we can work together to exert positive influence on the development going forward. We will continue that dialogue. Additionally, we have been in frequent contact with Alderman Hopkins directly to seek additional information to share with the neighborhood and to better understand our future opportunities to advocate for changes to this development.

What concessions did LCA help negotiate?

To be clear, LCA did nothing alone. We were one of many participating individuals and organizations, including Wrightwood Neighbors, Sheffield Neighbors and RANCH Triangle, who advocated for: removal of the soccer stadium, elimination of the large-scale entertainment district, lowering of building height and density, additional green and other forms of open space, improved transparency and greater clarity on the sequencing of the development and the infrastructure, among other things. Many of these concessions were achieved through direct dialogue in meetings with Alderman Hopkins and Sterling Bay.
Why does LCA support Lincoln Yards and not the North Branch Park & Nature Preserve?
Suggestions that LCA does not support the proposed North Branch Park & Nature Preserve are demonstrably inaccurate.

To the contrary, LCA has been part of the North Branch Park & Nature Preserve coalition since its formation. On many occasions, we have expressed public support for the proposed park and/or for additional park space in the North Branch corridor more generally. Among other things, LCA has been part of public statements advocating for the proposed park. We've testified at city council about our neighborhood's over-crowded parks and the need for more park space in the North Branch corridor. We've advocated for more park space in the North Branch corridor in media interviews. We've spoken at public meetings in favor of the proposed park.
LCA testifying at City Council advocating for North Branch park space
LCA Media Advocacy for North Branch Space
Quite simply, it is not a binary decision. One project does not preclude the other. The properties are not the same and neither is the ownership. (Only a tiny sliver of land in the area of the proposed park is owned by Sterling Bay. Should the other necessary parcels of land be assembled for the park, LCA would advocate for Sterling Bay to contribute the small piece they own.)

Many other advocates for the proposed park also recognize that it is not a binary decision. For example, architect Richard Wilson who has provided the creative vision for the proposed park's design, said in a written statement supporting Lincoln Yards:

I am writing to earnestly express my support for plan commission approval of the Lincoln Yards PD. The master plan document is excellent and the plan has undergone major adjustments and feels like it is in good shape. There is no reason why Lincoln Yards should not advance to the next base.

The Friends of the Chicago River , also a strong advocate of the proposed North Branch Park & Nature Preserve, expressed support for Lincoln Yards saying:

On behalf of Friends of the Chicago River’s board; staff; and 10,000 members, volunteers, and online activists, I [Margaret Frisbee] am writing to provide our support for the instream, riverbank, riverwalk, and open space improvements put forth in the most recent plans for the Lincoln Yards development proposed by Sterling Bay.

Our mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals and we believe that the commitment that Sterling Bay has made for natural riverbanks, wetlands, large open public areas divided nature-based and active recreation, on the water access, and wildlife habitat will help us achieve our goals. 
Why did LCA not participate in all of the public statements and activities supporting the proposed park including "No Park, No Deal?"
While LCA has supported the proposed park from the outset, as an organization we declined to be a signatory to certain publicly released statements advocating for the proposed park because of our discomfort with the specific language and/or the tone contained in those particular statements.

Likewise, LCA as an organization has never participated in the "No Park, No Deal" movement because we believe there are more constructive approaches to advocacy. Moreover, based on feedback we’ve received and survey results we’ve reviewed, the biggest concerns relative to Lincoln Yards are related to infrastructure and traffic congestion. As such, “No Bridges, No Deal” would be more in alignment with our neighborhood's sentiment.

That said, LCA's commitment to parks and other forms of open space is well documented, including below.
LCA yields to no one in our support of our neighborhood parks and open space more generally. In fact, by a rather wide margin, the largest portion of our organization's limited funds go to maintain or upgrade our neighborhood parks and to enhance and protect open space.
Since 1999 LCA has served as the fiscal agent for Bauler Park contributing many enhancements to that Park over the years. Last year, with matching funds from Alderman Smith's office, LCA installed two tables with attached seating in the Park (pictured). Additionally, at the request of the Chicago Park District, LCA reformed and assumed responsibility for the Bauler Park Advisory Council (BPAC) in 2018.
For the last eleven years, LCA has organized and hosted Howler at Bauler (pictured here), one of the most popular and well-attended Halloween events in all of Lincoln Park. Last year's Howler attracted 950 neighborhood residents during the two hour event despite overcast skies and the prospect of rain. This past December, LCA hosted the 1st Annual Caroling from the Heart in conjunction with BPAC.
Lincoln Central Association also helps support Oz Park. In 2017, we donated $5,000 to the new tennis court surfaces. In 2018, we contributed to the new security camera installation in the Park.

For each of the last two years, LCA has partnered with the Oz Park Advisory Council to organize, fund and host the lighting of the holiday tree in Oz Park as a gift to the neighborhood. The inaugural tree lighting ceremony was referred to by Alderman Smith as " the most amazing thing Lincoln Park has done in decades ." Our organizations intend to continue this new neighborhood tradition.
Our volunteer organization has for years fully funded and maintained Fire Station Park & Gardens located at Larrabee and Armitage behind the Armitage fire station. The Park is home to a variety of native plantings, and a community herb & vegetable garden from which anyone, LCA member or not, is welcome to harvest. In both 2017 and 2018, the Park received a Chicago Excellence in Gardening Award, the only gardens in Lincoln Park so honored.
The Park is home to two of LCA’s popular annual events, Summer Sipper (see brief video of Summer Sipper 2018) and Evening in the Garden. The Park is also home to Traveler, a beautiful sculpture LCA is hoping to purchase next year through the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit. In 2018, we provided space in our gardens for children to plant, including students from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.
LCA funds and maintains lushly landscaped Lincoln Central Park, at the corner of Lincoln and Dickens. The Park offers an ideal venue for neighbors to sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful fountain in the Park’s central plaza. Our enhancements to the Park in 2017 included new plantings and a natural waterfall feature. Each year, LCA makes additional improvements to the Park.

The Park, along with perimeter street Dickens Avenue, is also home to LCA's Spring Zing, a family friendly event which will be celebrating its 6th anniversary this June 1. Dickens Avenue was dedicated by Alderman Smith and LCA as Richard "Dickie" Harris Way at a celebration in November 2015.
In 2018, LCA led a beautiful restoration of Ogden Mall Parkway (pictured here) that runs alongside Ogden Mall Park at significant expense to our organization. Assisting us on this project was Old Town Triangle Association (OTTA) who made a generous donation of the 100 year old Purington Paving bricks that were used in the restoration.

LCA and OTTA are now developing plans for a rehabilitation of the Park itself, a project for which LCA will need to raise significant funds.
In 2015, Lincoln Central Association, Old Town Triangle Association and Alderman Michele Smith worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation to dedicate a small park next to the Church of the Three Crosses to neighborhood resident and famed, Grammy winning children's singer, Ella Jenkins who is known as the First Lady of Children's Music.
Ella Jenkins Park was officially dedicated on Sunday afternoon, September 20th. 2015, Jenkins, then 91, was in attendance as many community leaders, friends and admirers gathered at the park to honor her and to celebrate her life and career. A monument funded by LCA, OTTA and Alderman Smith was installed at the Park prior to the ceremony.
Kathy Jordan, continued
Always a dog owner, Jordan has frequented Oz Park since the 1980s. There she met others who sought to improve the park; they formed the Oz Park Advisory Council in 1994. Jordan is credited with writing the grant that won $600,000 in funding from the Dorothy Melamerson estate, which required that spending benefit children within the 43rd Ward.

“She gets a shout out for writing that grant,” says Judy Johanson, president of the Oz Park council. She and Jordan were among those who designed The Emerald City Gardens, using end-of-season leftovers donated by garden stores. “We can always count on Kathy to show up and volunteer in the gardens,” adds Johanson. (Read Meet the Women Who Make Oz Park's Garden Beautiful Year In And Year Out.)

Bitten by the travel bug, the Jordans traveled to Italy many times — Santa Margherita is a favorite spot — as well as England, Scotland, France, Germany, and Austria. They took a canal trip through the wine regions of France and toured the Romantic Road in Germany. Cities are her love, especially Paris and London. Jim died in 2011.

Jordan, pictured above in Antarctica, joined the LCA board in 2012, retiring last month as vice president. “She’s wiser than a tree full of owls,” says Kenneth Dotson, board president. “Whenever I didn't know what to do, Kathy was my first call and the final word, always.”
Jordan is most pleased with LCA events that bring people together, including Summer Sipper and Evening in the Garden. These neighborhood events are an outgrowth of LCA’s Heart of the Neighborhood rebranding strategy, which began in 2014 during Rodger Owen’s final year as LCA President. Says Dotson: “When Kathy and I presented our recommendations to the Board, Rodger was fully supportive and encouraged us to proceed.” He adds, “Kathy (pictured here on right at Summer Sipper) was instrumental in bringing to life the words ‘the heart of the neighborhood’ by helping instill them as a core value of everything we do as an organization.”

We will miss her quiet but powerful presence on the Board. Thank you, Kathy.
Cambodia, continued
Image from Genocide Museum
Image from Genocide Museum
Choueng Ek Killing Fields
The official acknowledgments of the Khmer Rouge period were memorialized in museums and monuments; these were often too horrendous for me to look at for more than a brief time, such as the S-21 Genocide Museum, a school used as a detention and torture center in Phnom Penh and the “killing fields” site at Choueng Ek (all shown above).

From the Heart: What places did you see?

Sally: I visited several temples in the Siem Reap area: Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace). My journey to the boat on Mekong River at Kampong Cham took me down the eastern shore of Lake Tonle Sap with a visit to a 12th century Khmer bridge at Kompong Krei (known as the bridge connecting ancient and modern times) and a rubber plantation begun by Michelen during the French colonization. I boarded our riverboat, the Jahan, and for the next five days, explored remote villages, temples and monasteries, Phnom Penh, fishing villages, and local family farms and schools. We crossed into Vietnam at Chau Doc and completed the river trip at Vietnam’s Sadec’s Binh Thanh Island via longboat and Cal Be floating fruit and vegetable market via local sampans. We anchored at My Tho, where I said farewell to Cambodia and headed off to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Temples at Angkor Wat shown above
From the Heart : What was your impression of Ankgor Wat?

Sally: This was a magical day for me. We were up by 5 am to get to Angkor Wat before sunrise. We were able to find seats on the ancient walls and look towards the temples as the sun began to glow behind and around the massive stone structures. Monks performed their morning chants and, to top it all off, this day was my birthday — a spiritual, moving and awe-inspiring site.

From the Heart: Did you have a favorite place?

Sally: I most enjoyed the symphony of life I observed along the Mekong River from sunrise to sunset. The days would start with sunrise Tai Chi and the first shorebirds scuttling along the river’s edge. Soon there would be the sounds of children playing along the river, longboats shuttling produce to markets or the chanting of the monks in the nearby monastery. The heat of the day would begin to rise and we would go ashore to visit with the local people in their villages and homes, eating fresh vegetable dishes and dragon fruit, rambutan or jack fruit chips. The floating villages demonstrated a communal and necessary reliance on one another to manage day-to-day living. Life all along the river, in the villages and markets is colorful, a cacophony of sounds and smells and my senses were heightened by all of these new experiences. The sunset view of the Bamboo Bridge at Kampong Cham was surreal. This bridge is rebuilt from bamboo every year after each monsoon tears it away down river.
Bamboo Bridge at Kampong Cham
A floating village on the Mekong River
Shopping in a Cambodian marketplace
From the Heart: Why were the markets special places?

Sally: The markets left a lasting impression everywhere I went. Just closing my eyes I could separate the cackling hens from the smell of cooking street food. Opening them, I was assaulted by the raw meat of every type of animal, fish and fowl — some not dead until selected and paid for. Miraculously, early in the market day there were no flies or stench of meat because everything was fresh as the day’s dawn.

From the Heart : Would you recommend a visit to Cambodia to others?

Sally: Absolutely! I believe any opportunity to learn about other cultures, the natural environment that they must manage, nurture and preserve for their well being, and the history that shapes their present are all sufficient reasons to visit Cambodia. It is a humbling experience which fostered a change in my perspective on the world once again.
Have a story idea for From the Heart? Want to write an article for the publication? Let us know by emailing us at
Wednesday, March 6 | 6:00-8:00 PM 
J9 Wine Bar | 1961 N. Halsted
LCA member  and sponsor  J9 Wine Bar  (1961 N. Halsted Street) will host a complimentary wine tasting reception on Wednesday evening, March 6, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM featuring a selection of Chilean wines paired with hors d'oeuvres.
The will be no charge to attend the event but it will be limited exclusively to members of LCA who are current on their dues and their guest. An RSVP will be required. LCA members will be notified via email when the RSVP link is posted approximately two weeks prior to the reception. You may also check LCA's Facebook page for updates on this and other upcoming events.
If you have recently joined LCA or have renewed your membership and your LCA card has not arrived by the time of the event or if you forget your card, we will have membership records at the entry to the reception. The membership card itself will not be necessary to enter the event, just an active  LCA membership. (Need to check your membership status for this event?  Email us.) 
LCA members receive an on-going discount of 21% at J9 Wine Bar (1961 N. Halsted) including on the purchase of tickets for J9 events that have an admission fee. LCA members can obtain the discount code for ticket purchases by emailing us at .
Congratulations to LCA member John Fitzgerald of Lakeshore Sport & Fitness on his election to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday, February 20th | 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Theater on the Lake | 2401 N. Lakeshore
Celebrate local flavors at Savor Lincoln Park , Chicago's indoor neighborhood food festival, as it returns for another year with great food and beverage and spectacular views at the iconic Theater on the Lake . Warm up and enjoy tastes, bites, and sips from Lincoln Park's hottest restaurants. Savor Lincoln Park is brought to you by our friends at the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, an LCA member.
Guests can also treat themselves to one-of-a-kind silent auction packages from some of Chicago’s best destinations and savor your memories with a snapshot at the Fotio vintage photo booth.

2019 Participating Restaurants & Eateries

  • Blue Door Farm Stand
  • Bobby's Lincoln Park
  • Broken English Taco Pub
  • Chez Moi
  • Gaslight
  • Geja's Café
  • Insomnia Cookies
  • J9 Wine Bar
  • King Crab House
  • KINGS Dining & Entertainment
  • The Lakefront Restaurant
  • Maplewood Brewery & Distillery
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Old Grounds Social
  • Oyster Bah
  • Tandoor Char House
  • TeaGschwendner
  • Terry's Toffee
  • Vanille

Purchase your tickets here.

LCA members in good standing receive a $5.00 discount on tickets to Savor Lincoln Park. To receive the discount code, email
Monday, February 11th—February 25th
 Early Voting City of Chicago Elections

Monday, February 11th
Taste of Wrightwood
Join Wrightwood Neighbors on Monday, February 11th, from 6:00PM to 8:00 PM at New Life Community Church (111 W. Lill Avenue. No cost to Wrightwood members; suggested donation of $5 for non-members

Tuesday, February 12th
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting
Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

Tuesday, February 26th
 City of Chicago Elections

 Thursday, February 28th    
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, March 12th
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting
Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

Thursday, March 28th
LCA Monthly Board Meeting    
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public.

Tuesday, April 4th
 City of Chicago Run-Off Elections

Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th
Lincoln Park Wine Festival

Saturday, June 1st
6th Annual Spring Zing
Join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun at LCA's 6th Annual Spring Zing from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Lincoln Central Park (corner Lincoln & Dickens). 

Saturday & Sunday, June 8th & 9th
2019 Old Town Art Fair

Sunday, June 23rd
5th Annual Summer Sipper
The 5th Annual Summer Sipper will return to our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens on Sunday, June 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Summer Sipper is a neighborhood reception style event featuring dishes from local restaurants and dishes prepared by neighbors using herbs grown in the garden.

Friday July 19th through Sunday, July 21st
Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk

Saturday & Sunday, July 21st & 22nd
Chicago Craft Beer Fest

Saturday & Sunday, July 27th & 28th
36th Annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Thursday, September 12th
6th Annual Evening in the Garden

Enjoy a neighborhood reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens. Hors' d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Stay tuned for additional details.

Saturday, October 26th
11th Annual Howler at Bauler     
The 12th annual Howler at Bauler will be held at Bauler Park on Saturday, October 27th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Honors Former Ones at Recent Annual Meeting
On Wednesday evening, January 23rd. LCA held its annual meeting and Board election at at LCA member Bridgeview Bank's Lincoln Park location (1970 N. Halsted) followed by a neighborhood reception hosted this year in conjunction with Bridgeview Bank honoring the former LCA Board members who were in attendance. (See more photos from the annual meeting.)
At the meeting, LCA welcomed two new Board members, Joel Merkin and Jill Thompson where were elected to serve a two year term. LCA (You can read their bio's here.)
Directors Anne Moore and Jerry Swarzman (pictured here with Tom Graziano) were re-elected to the Board to also serve a two year term.

LCA President Kenneth Dotson was elected to serve a one-year term after which he will be ineligible to serve, due to term limits, until he has been off of the Board for at least one year.
LCA also said goodbye to two departing Board members, Kathy Jordan, who you will read about elsewhere in the newsletter, and Alex Hlavacek, a valued member of the Board for the last four years who asked not to be re-nominated due to other demands on his time. Alex served on LCA's Parks & Events committees, We thank him for his dedicated service to LCA and to the community.
LCA, along with our friends at Bridgeview Bank would like to thank the following establishments for providing complimentary food and beverages for our reception: Geja's Cafe. Summer House, Oyster Bah, Stella Barra, Mon Ami Gabi, and Cafe Ba Ba Reeba.

Please remember to support the businesses who help support LCA and please thank them for their support of LCA.

LCA offers a special thanks to Bridgeview Bank, and especially Jill Valentine & Julia Van Vliet, for hosting our event.
First Joint Public Appearance by All Candidates
On Thursday evening, January 17th, Lincoln Central Association, Wrightwood Neighbors Association, and Park West Community Association hosted a 43rd Ward Aldermanic debate at Lincoln Park High School.

The debate, moderated by LCA President, Kenneth Dotson, was the first time all six candidates on the ballot had appeared on stage together in a public forum. The debate was televised by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV). Click here or on the image below to watch the video.

Read Block Club's coverage of the debate.
Each of the three organizations who sponsored January 17th debate is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All are non-partisan politically and do not endorse candidates running for any office, including that of 43rd Ward Alderman.
Lincoln Central Association, Wrightwood Neighbors Association and Park West Community Association would like to thank Lincoln Park High School and Principal Mike Boarz for graciously allowing us to use the high school auditorium for this important community event. We are deeply appreciative.
From the Heart  is an award winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association, and co-edited by. Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan. We welcome your feedback and story ideas. We look forward to hearing from you at .

From the Heart  has received APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In total the newsletter has received six APEX awards since 2016 .
Additionally,  From the Heart  has been named a Constant Contact All-Star for 2015, 2016 and 2017 based on the open rates and other metrics associated with this newsletter in comparison to other Constant Contact clients. 

Visit our  archive  to catch up on past issues.