Joan Hadac

Joan Hadac

It’s a busy January in Gage Park

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By Joan Hadac

Neighborhood correspondent at large

Greetings, Gage Parkers! I’m pleased to be filling in this week for Karen Sala.

It’s fun for me to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something happening in this big, exciting part of Chicago, so here goes.

  • All of us know that Chicago Park District programs are popular and fill up quickly. But over at Gage Park, 2415 W. 55th St., there are still a few openings for boys and girls ages 9-13 who want to learn basketball fundamentals.

The class is called Basketball Skills at Gage. Class is in session from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays in the east gymnasium, through March 17. Online registration is no longer available, so stop in and register or call (312) 747-6147.

joanhadac 1

Joan Hadac

  • Are you still looking for a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot for yourself or your child? Solorio Academy, 5400 S. St. Louis, is hosting a vaccination clinic from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8. This event is open to everyone, not just Solorio students and families. Walk-ups will be accommodated, but organizers ask that you make an appointment at events.juvare.com/…/726589ad-1495-4ad0…/1246453/. For more information, call (773) 553-5437 or send an email to oshw@cps.edu.
  • With all the recent disruptions in Chicago Public Schools, a number of parents may be considering alternatives for educating their sons and daughters. There has been quite a bit of chatter on social media about home schooling, and that certainly is an option.

One other good option is to enroll your child in an established, effective Catholic school. Right here in Gage Park, we’re fortunate to have just that: St. Gall School, 5515 S. Sawyer, which will begin their annual Catholic Schools Week celebration at 9 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the church, 55th and Kedzie. After Mass, the school will welcome all at an open house from 10 to 11 a.m. There will be activities for children all ages, school tours and refreshments.

St. Gall offers before- and after-school care, tuition assistance for families in need of a boost, and more. If you can’t make the open house, the school offers personal tours on most days. For details, call (773) 737-3454.

  • Also at St. Gall, mark your calendar for Sunday, Feb. 6. The parish will host a flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the church basement. If you want to be a seller at this event, table rental is just $40. For details, call Brenda Rodriguez at (773) 737-3113.
  • Here’s a bit of Gage Park history. Ask anyone living here if the neighborhood ever had its own movie theater, and most would shrug. Some, mostly old timers, would mention the Colony, on the very south end of the neighborhood.

But there’s more than that. I’m too young to remember it personally, but there was the Acadia Theatre, 2739 W. 55th St. As a girl walking to St. Clare of Montefalco Church and School, I saw a painted sign high up on the east wall of what had been the theater. Years later, the building was demolished.

Also, there was the Gage Park Theater. It was badly damaged by a fire in 1946 and years later was home to a furniture store. As best I know, the building still stands. Where is it? I encourage you to look it up at cinematreasures.org, which offers a wealth of free information about theaters across the nation and beyond.

  • Well, that’s all from me for this week. I was called upon at the very last minute to whip this column together, so I gathered what news I saw and presented it as best I can. But I worked up an appetite, so now I’m going to head over to Carnitas Uruapan, 2813 W. 55th St., and get some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. Chances are, I’ll order the Carnitas Especial platter (a half-pound of carnitas, one taco dorado, chicharrones and frijoles) and a tall horchata. My younger daughter, I’m certain, will order the freshly-made guacamole, and I know my husband will get the frijoles refritos.

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