Community Blog

911 vs. 311 – When to call 311 and when to call 911?

911 vs. 311 – When to call 311 and when to call 911?

The primary functions of 311 are to:

o  Provide information about city services and events
o  Process requests for city services such as missing signs, graffiti, burned out street/traffic lights, leaking water mains, pot holes, etc.
o  Process non-emergency police requests when there is no offender on the scene and there is no immediate threat to safety or property, and/or a report is all that is needed such as a theft or criminal damage that has previously occurred.

    Call 911 for emergencies and other situations that require immediate police and/or fire response. Call 911 for Police Services …
  When there is a crime in progress or one has just occurred
o  When there is an immediate threat to life or safety
o  When the services of a police officer are required on scene at that moment; such as a disturbance, or parking violator that is blocking a garage, driveway, hydrant, handicap space, etc.

    Call for Fire Services…
 When there is a serious or life threatening medical situation
o  When there is a fire or hazardous material incident/spill
o When there is a trapped person
Remember – If you need an officer or an ambulance immediately do not call 311; call 911.
    For more information contact the 19th District Community Policing Office at 312-744-0064 or

Join Buena Park Neighbors for our Spring Clean & Green, May 13 at 10:00 a.m.

Join Buena Park Neighbors for our Spring Clean & Green, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. to improve the green space near the tunnel entrance to the Lakefront path. Meet at the corner of Marine and Buena.

We will also have information and resources on how you can live green in Buena Park. Check our Facebook page for updates on organizations and topics you can learn about!

Please dress comfortably, and weather appropriate. In case of rain, we will post to the Facebook event page about postponements or cancellations. This is a great way to meet neighbors and work together to continue our “Good Living by the Lake”.


Buena Bunnies Set for Sat., April 8, 10:00 a.m., St. Mary of the Lake School Hall

The Buena Park Neighbors Association announced that its annual Buena Bunnies charitable event will be held Sat. April 8, 10:00 a.m. at the St. Mary of the Lake school hall. The school hall is located on Buena Ave. at Kenmore Ave. Parking is available in the lot on that corner, and the entrance is from the parking lot.

Buena Bunnies is an annual event. All are welcome to help make Easter baskets and fill plastic Easter eggs for neighborhood children. Approximately 20 baskets filled with toys and candy are needed this year for children of needy families who receive assistance from the St. Mary of the Lake St. Vincent De Paul Society food pantry, a Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Equally important is the need for hundreds of plastic Easter eggs to be filled with candy for the St. Mary of the Lake Easter Egg hunts which are for all young neighborhood children and held on Easter Sunday (April 16) at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on the St. Mary of the Lake church lawn, Buena Ave. at Sheridan Rd.

Donations of pre-filled plastic Easter eggs, or empty plastic Easter eggs and small candies to fill them, are needed and can be brought to St. Mary of the Lake church before or after Masses each day, or to the school hall on April 8 at 10 a.m. Supplies to fill baskets are also helpful, but please NO Easter “grass” for the baskets as we have more Easter “grass” than we need.

Sign Up for an “Anytime Membership” and Get 50 Percent Off Your First Month

That’s just $3.63 per weekday, and you’ll enjoy free and unlimited gourmet coffee, tea, & snacks; Use of 3 private meeting rooms; use of private phone booth; member benefits include free lunches and promotion of your work and services online and in our newsletters; and support and encouragement by a collaborative, friendly member community! Email here to get started.  

For The Love Of (or, the Roller Derby Play)


When Joy, a driftless young woman, gets on the Brooklyn Scallywags and meets the star, Lizzie Lightning, she and her long-term partner Michelle find their lives turned upside down. For the Love Of asks how much you’re willing to sacrifice – or lose – in order to follow your heart. This world premiere play by Gina Femia, a Brooklyn born and based playwright whose work has been presented in more than 30 festivals locally, nationally and internationally, will open March 16 under the direction of Rachel Edwards Harvith. Press opening is March 20, 2017.

Pride Films and Plays Artistic Director Nelson Rodriguez says, “In an era when women’s rights and autonomy are threatened, I am thrilled for PFP to present For the Love Of. Femia’s superb writing, diverse all-female cast of characters, and representation of contemporary queer women is anchored by Joy’s journey of realizing she has the authority, confidence, and passion to find fulfillment in herself. This play is one hell of ride in which we see that love and roller derby are both contact sports.”

For the Love Of”s design team includes Elyse Balogh (Set), G. Max Maxin IV (Lights), Uriel Gomez (Costumes), Melanie Vitaterna (Props), Heath Hays (sound). Denise Serna will serve as assistant director and PFP Company Member Christopher Young will assist with choreography and movement. Jenn M. Thompson will stage manage and Iris Sowlat will be production manager.


For the Love Of (or the Roller Derby Play)

By Gina Femia


Directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith

PRESS OPENING – Monday, March 20, 2017, 7:30 PM

Industry Night – Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 PM

The Buena at Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway

Previews Thursday, March 16, Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 19 at 3:00 pm. Preview tickets are $15.

Regular run performances Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM

PFP’s $10 Access Tickets for students, seniors or others who cannot afford full price are available for each performance on an honor system. Those tickets are $10

Tickets available here or 1 800 737 0984

Spotlight: National Poetry Month

EUGENE FIELD: Buena Park’s Master of Verse for Children

“Uptown Update” blog recently reported that the stately red brick mansion at 800 West Buena has been purchased by Haymarket Books. That news coupled with the fact that Eugene-FieldApril is National Poetry Month brought to mind the famous poet Eugene Field who once lived in Buena Park. Field rented a house for his wife Julia and their large family near Clarendon and Hutchinson St. His landlord was his friend Robert A. Waller (the developer of Buena Park). While Field was also a prose writer and a newspaperman, his star ascended because of his poetry. He wrote poems only for children and thus was nicknamed the Children’s Poet. He is best known for “Little Boy Blue” and “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.”

Eugene Field was born in 1850 in St. Louis. His father was attorney Roswell Martin Field who was famous for his pro bono representation of the slave Dred Scott. After the death of Field’s mother Frances in 1856 Eugene and his only brother were sent to Amherst, Massachusetts to be raised by a cousin. Eugene dropped out of both Williams and Knox colleges before winding up at the University of Missouri. Eventually he found work as a journalist and edited and wrote for daily papers in St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver. He had a knack for composing funny pieces that were cleverly written in a gossipy style. In 1883 he accepted a job with the Chicago Daily News and there wrote the humor column: “Sharps and Flats.”

In 1895, Eugene Fields died at age forty-five in his Buena Park home of a heart attack. The impact of his poetry on the public had been so great that many of his poems were set to music with commercial success. Others were accompanied by Maxfield Parrish paintings. The original Fields home in St. Louis is now a museum. In Chicago a statue of the Dream Lady from his poem “Rock-a-by-Lady” was built in 1922 in the Lincoln Park Zoo. There is a park named to memorialize him in the Albany Park neighborhood and another in Oak Park. Elementary schools throughout the Midwest are named for Eugene Field.

Love-Songs of Childhood is a collection of Eugene Field poems that was published in 1894. Included in the book is a poem set in Buena Park. The first two stanzas appear below with the permission of Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, Inc.

The Delectable Ballad of Waller Lot

By Eugene Field

Up yonder in Buena Park

There is a famous spot,

In Legend and in history

Yclept the Waller Lot.


There children play in daytime

And lovers stroll by dark,

For ’t is the goodliest trysting-place

In all Buena Park.


To finish reading the poem, go here.


Walter Vatter, BPN Cub Reporter

Become a Buena Park Architectural Tour Docent

There are currently a few openings for docents for our guided tours of the renowned architect George Maher’s mansions on Hutchinson Street.

Every summer and fall Buena Park Neighbors offers free walking tours of the neighborhood that present the history, architecture and special features of our Chicago Landmark District.

The 30-minute sidewalk tours showcase these architecturally significant homes. In many ways this street and the architecture put Buena Park on the map.

The two-session Docent training will be held in May for the tours in June and September. Here is your chance to:

  • Meet neighbors who share your interest in architecture and local history
  • Raise awareness and support for our celebrated community
  • Learn the satisfaction of sharing our remarkable neighborhood with Chicago

For more information about this significant volunteer role, please contact Karen Sims at