Category Archives: Chicago Lakefront

The New June 2013 Puzzler is here!


It’s time again for that monthly head scratcher, the June Puzzler.

This month’s Puzzler is just one simple question:

Who is known as . . . .  Seaweed Charlie?

Send your solution as a “comment” and I’ll publish the answer in a couple of weeks.

Good Luck!        


January’s Puzzler Solution!

Wow! Everybody who responded got the right answer!

Congratulations all! Some of you guessed. Some of you just knew you were right.

As you all know, the answer to the Puzzler is NAVY PIER.

Indeed the Pier has been:

     A jail for draft dodgers and housing for several regiments of soldiers in 1917-1918.

     The location of its own streetcar line, theater, restaurants and evergency hospital in 1919-1921.

     Its own “golden age of recreational and cultural activity. Mayor William H. Thompson’s “Pageants of Progress” drew nearly a million visitors in 1921 and 1922.

     A pioneer in broadcasting – the Chicago Federation of Labor radio station WCFL, “the voice of labor” began at the Pier in 1926.

      “Municipal Pier”, renamed “Navy Pier” in honor of Navy personnel in World War I, 1927. Soldier Field had been completed in 1926 to honor those serving in the Army in WWI.

      A lake freight and passenger terminus that declined, 1930-1940.

     A Navy pilot orientation training center for 15,000 pilots for military service,  including a young airman named George H.W. Bush, future President of the U.S. As many as 200 WWII planes still rest at the bottom of Lake Michigan as a result of  training accidents. 1942.

     A two-year University of Illinois undergraduate program replacing the Navy and remaining there until 1965. The Navy’s main mess hall became a giant library considered “the largest reading room in Illinois”. When I was a student at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in the early ’60’s we called the Pier “Champaign on the Rocks”.

Underpasses 2 – Belmont Avenue

 The Underpass at Belmont Ave and Lake Shore Drive connects trendy Lake View East and Wrigley Field with Belmont Harbor and the boating community. The mosaics of the underpass, known as Rhythm and Views, is a preview of the neighborhood’s spirit.

Baseball any0ne?

Hey! Hey!

Whaaa. . .

Solution to the Mini-Puzzler

Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several days ago I sent out an early-bird Mini-Puzzler. The question I asked referred to the familiar Chicago experssion, “The Hawk is flying today.” I wanted to know, Who or what is the Hawk?

Congratulations to all you veteran Chicagoans who answered that the Hawk is the Chicago wind, especially the winter wind. That morning I had been hit by the 30 mph wind and temperature in the low forties. After having enjoyed record breaking tropical weather for the previous 10 days I was quite impressed with the change. So I pulled out my old out-of-use Chicagoese and expressed myself to a neighbor, who enthusiastically approved.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Chicago’s wind is  often called ‘The Hawk’. This term has long been popular in African American Vernacular English. An early Chicago citation in the Chicago Defender, October 20, 1936: ‘And these cold mornings are on us – in other words ‘Hawkins’ has got us.’

The first line of Steve Goodman‘s song, ‘Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request’, is ‘By the shores of old Lake Michigan / Where the Hawk Wind blows so cold …'”