Blog Posts

Gentrification in Pilsen

When people ask why I live in Pilsen, I’ll occasionally respond, “I’m half-Mexican and half-hipster, so it’s perfect for me.” It’s Andy Kaufman-esque in that it's simultaneously funny and slightly uncomfortable. The real answer is that I moved to the area 16 years ago to be close to the (then) cheapest state school, UIC. Had… Continue reading Gentrification in Pilsen

Laquan, CPD, and Data

The last week in Chicago politics and law enforcement has been a lot. The Van Dyke trial was a difficult moment for the city. Conversations about the impact of the decision on young Black men, cops, families, the courts, the police department, activists, and politicians were running hot. While I’ve had brief conversations with police… Continue reading Laquan, CPD, and Data

Optimizing Magic: The Gathering in R

Magic: The Gathering Two years ago I was in the midst of starting a gut rehab on my home, starting a new job, and ramping up PERRO’s lead in the water campaign. Someone suggested that it might be good to do something that wasn’t productive to relax. In this midst of this presidency, a lot… Continue reading Optimizing Magic: The Gathering in R

NASA Frontier Development Lab

As usual, my long absence from writing has run concurrently with life being busy. Since my last post, PERRO has had three lead water filter distributions and is preparing for a fourth. I've been promoted to Executive Architect at IBM. The gut rehab of my new home has provided a constant source of excitement, entertainment,… Continue reading NASA Frontier Development Lab

Lead in Chicago’s Water

Back in 2014 I was giving a talk at the local library on a local environmental issue.  Afterwards a man came up and started telling me about the danger of lead in Chicago's water.  If you're like me, when someone starts talking about the danger to the water supply, your expectation is that tinfoil hat… Continue reading Lead in Chicago’s Water

On this Election Day

On this election day, when you decide between an insane trust-fund baby and a candidate that has proven themselves most adept at trading their public service for personal wealth, let us remember St. George:   The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice … you don’t. You… Continue reading On this Election Day

The Chicago Cadet Cap

Democrats with Chicago Characteristics To many in the US, Chicago is the quintessential Democratic city. Indeed, the last Republican mayor of Chicago was "Big Bill" Thompson in 1931. But under the surface of that solid stretch of Democratic control are stories of power struggles and corruption that make Chicago's politics legendary. My hope is that… Continue reading The Chicago Cadet Cap

The Last Time the Cubs Won the World Series

The last time the Cubs won the World Series the year was 1908. The last time the Cubs won the World Series they played at West Side Park "bounded by Taylor, Wood, Polk and Lincoln (now Wolcott) Streets". The original rooftop seating was on Taylor Street! My alma mater, UIC, now stands here. You could see Pilsen's St. Procopius church all… Continue reading The Last Time the Cubs Won the World Series