Self-proclaimed “Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon”
Sandy Goldman writes n everything from his travels in
Peru to the alderman’s relationship with real estatedevelopers.
Don’t tell Sandy Goldman that he writes a blog.
living in this politically animated community for almost half of a century,
Sandy has seen his share of debates – 229 community meetings, to be exact, said
Carol, his wife of 51 years. But
now the couple no longer attends the meetings as diligently as they once did.
used to be a regular, outspoken presence, who sometimes shouted at meetings
about everything from zoning, protecting the lakefront or developing run-down
Rogers Park streets
, ow the grandfather of four says whatever he
wants on his own ebsite called
“And that’s my opinion.”
e also calls himself the Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon. Sandy has joined the growing number of far North Side residents who, discontented with Rogers Park development, politics within the community or just the alderman himself, have turned to publishing their thoughts on or blogs.
however, can say they knew what Rogers Park was like in the late 1950s.
Sandy grew up in Lakeview, when the area was lined with brownstones and Rogers Park was a place to go for its sights and sounds on Friday evenings.
e and Carol
moved into Rogers Park following an 18-month stint in Germany while Sandy was
in the Army
in apartments before buying a house in 1970 on Touh
ey and Ashland. For
the next three decades, they their community change drastically.
has a laundry list of potential reasons why Rogers Park has continued to
decline from its status as a once-vibrant community: bad landlords, social
service agencies, drug dealers, badly maintained buildings, crime, unkempt
alleys and streets. The list, to be sure, could go on.
began working on housing issues for the Rogers Park Community Council and,
because of her, Sandy became involved in the community.
“I remember when the former
Mayor Daley was going to sell off some beachfront land from Devon to Howard in
Rogers Park,” Sandy’s best friend Jim Brockhagen said. “We all sent him pound
bags of sand – 100,000 pounds of sand in total – and he finally decided not to
sell it. Sandy was one of the organizers for that.”
what he is most know for, at least among Rogers
Parkers, is the carnivals.
remained active in the RPCC until 1997, when he wrote a column for the
newsletter in which he criticized Ald. Joe Moore.
According to Sandy, he upset several members of the council and was given the
choice of resigning from the board or his wife resigning from her salaried
position, due to an obscure rule that bars relatives from holding office.
publishes whenever he feels like it and not always on local topics. A recent
column detailed his thoughts on American Olympic gold medalists who don’t know
the words to the ational
Moore is “cozy with developers” and his affection for Craig Gernhardt who
writes the “Broken Heart of Rogers Park” blog.
“He’s not as curmudgeonly as you’d like to believe…He waxes nostalgic quite a bit, and he has more panache than those other [bloggers],” Hollenkamp said. His panache apparently has not gone unnoticed. Moore has been known to respond to Sandy’s columns every now and then in what Carol calls a “pingpong game.” “I get constant feedback,” Sandy said. He has a readership of about 1,200 people, according to Carol, who has been typing up his thoughts and correcting his spelling since they were undergraduates at Lake Forest College on Chicago’s North Shore. The two rarely agree on anything politically.
“But Carol always says, ‘Sandy, you have to answer all the time,’ he smiled. “So I do.”