Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wayne's World... Party On, Excellent...

Yesterday, Frank Sirmarco posted about some sad news: the Berwyn "Spindle" is being dismantled to make room for a new Walgreen's.

The Spindle, located in the town of my birth, Berwyn, gained world-wide exposure when it was one of the Chicago-area landmarks featured in the 1992 movie Wayne's World.

The Spindle is featured in the book "Roadside Americana," which my son (with a little help from my wife) got me for my birthday this year. I highly recommend this book.

Fear not-- most of the other Chicago-area landmarks, some of which are very near my home, are still safe.

The giant Native-American guy, who stands at 63rd and Pulaski, is still there. He holds a special place in my heart as a reminder of a late, great punk bar, Over Easy, which closed in 1986 to make room for a strip mall. It was a few doors down from the big guy.

Nearer to the Casa de Yen is the auto dealership sign, near Irving Park Road and Western, that Wayne and Garth passed. A developer is in the process of turning the former auto lot into a condo development, but left the sign up. Maybe a "Wayne's World" landmark is a selling point to some people.

Right around the corner from that is Chicago Joe's Restaurant. Their Sunday Brunch is outstanding, and in fact was one of the restaurants I named as a favorite when the restaurant meme was making the rounds a few months ago.

I haven't seen the movie in while. What other landmarks did they pass?


Skylers Dad said...

Cool stuff JY! The DIA airport has a great display of Americana between the two sides of the main terminal. The spindle is in there!

Splotchy said...

Apparently, the Berwyn Arts Council might be revving up a campaign to save the spindle.

There's a website, Save The Spindle but I'm not sure if it has any affiliation with the Arts Council. Also, there's not much to do there at this point.

I would think a petition would be the best chance of saving the spindle.

Sadly, my brother informed me that his personal favorite sculpture of Cermak Plaza, a little helipcopter thingy, has already been removed.

deadspot said...

Goddamn you, Walgreens.
Take the spindle from the mall?
Shove it up your ass.

Bubs said...

Thank God the replica leaning tower of Pisa is still up on Touhy Av, not too far from the giant fiberglass hotdog people with blinking eyes on top of Super Dawg.

Anonymous said...

Jesus. At least put up a TARGET or something-- it's quieter there.


Pave the Planet: One People, One Slab of Asphalt

Natalie said...

Can't they have a Walgreen's and a spindle?

Alasdair said...

Old-school landmarks rule! You're lucky, living in such a cool place for them. Our landmarks are mostly pretty predictable (i.e. a big hotel and some other forgettable crap, which I am not listing here because I have already forgotten it.)

The Elk said...

As a now Ex Berwynite (1 month ago)
I can honestly say that the Spindle is the only thing Berywn has going for it besides the James Joyce (Great Irish Pub). Well, two things goings for it, the spindle, the Joyce and Salernos Pizza on Grove....Three three things going for it The Joyce, Salernos, and Connies. Four things... The Spindle, The Joyce, Salernos Connies ...and a fanatical devotion to the pope....No scratch that last one.
I can once again hit Connies for breakfast as my Snivelling Rat of an ExLandlord is now polluting the sands of Arizona....What a weasel...

Elk Out

Tenacious S said...

Let me get this straight. They want us to move to Berwyn, but they are taking down it's only redeeming factor. That's it, the deal is off. I'm staying in Evanston.

MacGuffin said...

Progress... making America more bland and blah for all future generations! Wheee! I could go for a Starbuck's right about now, y'betcha...

yournamehere said...

God damn it! Just what the world needs, another fucking Walgreen's.

Who decided that having every town in America look exactly the same was a worthy goal?

GETkristiLOVE said...

Shit! Now I'm all kinds of hungry for White Castle hamburgers and can't get one out here. Damn you Johnny Yen, damn you all to hell!

GETkristiLOVE said...

Sorry. Must be the Dr. Zaius influence lately.

Elizabeth said...

Anything featured in Wayne's World should live forever.

Johnny Yen said...

Skyler's Dad-
Check out the book if you have a chance-- you'd enjoy it.

Oh, the helicopter thing! Yes, I loved that too! I hope if found a good home!

I think that in this case, the thing that talks is money. If they can come up with a new home and the money to move it there, they can save it.

Actually, there's a Walgreen's there, one of the busiest in the country. Apparently they want to rebuild. The mall it's in is huge-- I can't believe they couldn't find room for it where there wasn't a piece of art.

Adam's mother lives right by there, and it's his favorite hot dog place besides Hot Doug's.

The owners of Super Dawg's were regulars at the Smokehouse back in the day-- very nice people.

BTW, the Niles Pisa is also in Roadside Americana.

Big Orange-
The odd thing about Walgreen's is, unlike every other major retailer, their stores look exactly the same as they did 25 years ago.

The Mall is huge-- they could have put the Walgreen's in another spot.

Yes, but Walla Walla is such a cool name!

Well I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition....

We need to make another excursion to the Joyce. I enjoyed that place.

Don't forget the Houby Festival! Can Evanston match a festival based on mushrooms?

I saw in the New York Times today that Starbucks, which now has 13,000 stores, has a goal of opening 40,000 stores worldwide. It's insane. when I was in Shanghai, China five years ago, we came across a Starbucks in the middle of a country where everyone drinks tea, not coffee. I've read that it's the biggest growth of a brand ever-- bigger even than McDonald's and Subway.

In downtown Chicago, there are places where you can see one or even two Starbucks from another Starbucks.

Yeah, it's amazing. You go from town to town across the US and every town has a commercial strip that looks frighteningly similar.

Next time, tell Zaius "Get your hands off of me, you damned dirty ape!"

The Costco near me carries packs of frozen White Castle sliders-- check your local Costco-- they may have them.