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Artist's Map Of Edgewater, Andersonville Shows What Makes The Area Special

By Linze Rice | November 6, 2015 6:58am 
 One of artist Joe Mills' newest additions to his Chicago map collection, featuring Edgewater and Andersonville.
One of artist Joe Mills' newest additions to his Chicago map collection, featuring Edgewater and Andersonville.
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Facebook/Joe Mills

EDGEWATER — Artist and teacher Joe Mills never lived in Chicago's Andersonville or Edgewater neighborhoods — but after demand from residents to feature their Far North Side community in his maps collection, Mills soon began digging into what made the area so special.

It didn't take long, he said.

"I played with the notion of separating the Andersonville one, but as I looked more at Edgewater and the history of it, I like the combination of the different things going on in Edgewater," Mill said. "The Bryn Mawr Historic District, the Swedish history along Andersonville, and even including Edgewater Glen and Loyola, every time I start a new map I'm always surprised by all the things I don't know about Chicago."

Down to about 85 from an original batch of 100, the $30 Edgewater maps are moving, he said.

The Chicago-to-Darien transplant, who teaches art part-time to elementary kids in suburban Aurora, has made maps of other neighborhoods before, like nearby Ravenswood.

Neighborhoods with "sentimental value" were among his first maps, but after getting feedback from residents across the city, he said Edgewater and Andersonville stuck out.

He began his research process, carefully combing through data, historical information and other maps to get a feel for the layout. Then he made trips to the city to document buildings and special sites by taking photos before finally compiling them together in a cohesive design.

Map of Edgewater and Andersonville by Joe Mills. [Facebook/Joe Mills]

He said one of the only criticisms he generally gets about his maps are that they lack treasured local restaurants and shops, but Mills says it's all purposeful.

He likes to stay away from the contemporary he said, because even neighborhood institutions (like Hot Doug's) can someday close.

One historic building from Edgewater that didn't make the cut was the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel that was demolished in the late 1960s. The pink co-op apartment building, however, stands tall and sturdy as part of the map's rendition of the Bryn Mawr Historic District.

RELATED: Here's a Look Inside the Astounding Pink Edgewater Beach Hotel Apartments

By tracing back the neighborhood's historical and architectural roots, Mills said he gets a much better idea of what a community's fingerprint really looks like.

A few modern moments made it in subtly, he said, like a fish to represent Simon's Tavern in Andersonville and a food-slinging pig to pay homage to Hamburger Mary's.

But in neighborhoods so defined by their cultural heritage and less by modern day additions, it takes only a cursory glance to notice many of the communities' favorite things: the iconic Andersonville water tower, tall detailed churches, gingerbread men fresh from the Swedish bakery and the perfectly lined single-family homes that dot Edgewater's residential streets. They're all places Mills said he's now come to know and appreciate.

He said he doubts if he'll ever move on to other big cities or even Chicago suburbs, but would rather find another way to keep preserving his ties to the big city he so loves.

"I was a longtime Chicagoan and now that I've left, I feel like I have learned more about it through this than I ever did as a resident. It's just a different way to stay connected without actually living there," Mills said. "I'm sometimes embarrassed even to tell people I no longer live there because my whole business right now is Chicago stuff. But at the same time, it's home for me, I guess you could say."

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Wear a P.J. Shirt Like D. Rose: Trump Tower Clothier Debuts New Line

By David Matthews | November 6, 2015 12:24pm 
 Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose wearing a shirt depicting his son after Thursday's nationally-televised win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose wearing a shirt depicting his son after Thursday's nationally-televised win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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Twitter

CHICAGO — The shirt Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose wore on national television Thursday depicting his meme-able three-year-old son is the latest product from a Rose family business.

And Kaeya Majmundar, the River North clothier selling the shirts online, said she can't print enough of the crew necks to keep up with demand.  

Majmundar, a 22-year-old recent Emory University graduate, said she's run out of the shirts three times already since Rose wore one following the Bulls' nationally-televised victory Thursday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though Rose was the model, the shirt's real star is his three-year-old son, P.J., shown flashing an adorable mean mug that went viral over the summer after a Bulls playoff game. 


One of the items for sale. [ZipTank]

"My printer in Burr Ridge is probably pulling its hair out right now, but it’s really exciting," she said.

The shirt is part of a "Bullies" collection between Majmundar and Mieka Reese, P.J. Rose's mother. Majmundar — who owns the ZipTank clothing website — said she linked up with Reese when she moved into Trump International Hotel & Tower this summer and met arguably its most famous resident: Derrick Rose. 

"I figured I'd hang in the residential lobby and try to meet people," Majmundar said. "[Rose and his friends] asked me what I did and they casually mentioned that’s P.J's mom has a clothing line." 

Though the shirts are flying out of her warehouse, Majmundar said she's ordered more and she hasn't sold out. The P.J. Rose shirt — with a portion of each sale going to the Chicago-based After School Matters charity — is available for $30, while a sweatshirt is priced at $50. ZipTank launched in June, with its first product a basketball jersey that doubles as a bag. 

On Monday, the clothier will open a pop-up store along with Succezz at 210 S. Wabash Ave. And none other than P.J. Rose himself will make an appearance.

"We all adore him," Majmundar said. "It epitomizes Chicago. He is Chicago's spirit animal."

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