Five Questions with Andrew Huff

By Mike Fourcher | Monday, November 1, 2010

Andrew Huff guarding the entrance to The Internet. Photo by Mike Fourcher

Editor’s Note: We want to get to know our neighbors, so we picked five questions to ask each of them. Feel free to ask them your own questions in the comments. Or submit your own responses on our submissions page.

The proprietor of Chicago’s indy-Internet phenomenon, Gapers Block, Andrew Huff has been moving from one high-tech office to another on Chicago’s growing technology corridor, Ravenswood Avenue. Andrew’s been working in one Ravenswood office space or another for three years, at first sharing space with tech startups Humanize and Perk Spot. Now he’s in a private co-working space with some freelancers and seems pretty happy about it.

1. What’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

Good question. I’d say it’s kinda in between City Provisions now and Spacca Napoli. City Provisions is a fast riser. I’ve been over there almost every day they’ve been open. During the week at least. To get coffee or grab a sandwich.

2. What’s the goofiest thing you’ve seen in the neighborhood?

There have been so many…[confers with officemates] So…This lot next to us was going to be a new condo development and that fell through. I don’t know if it’s the developer or it’s someone else, but they’ve basically used it as their private dumping ground. We’ve witnessed over the past year or two mountains of dirt and gravel and sand rise and fall. There were multiple boats stored on the lot. At one point a variety of construction material and construction equipment. Yeah. Just bizarre…there was a houseboat that appeared to have somebody living in it at one point.

Somebody was living in a houseboat?

It wasn’t really a houseboat, but it was an inhabitable boat. And it appeared that somebody was living inside for at least a day or two.

[banters with office mates about the lot]

And it’s been a while, but every so often somebody will drive a cargo truck into the Metra tracks and scrape the top of their truck off. But I’d say the menagerie of boats was the strangest.

3. If there was one thing you could change about the neighborhood, what would it be?

I’d like to see less permitted parking. There are a lot of small offices here. Not everyone who works in them is a neighborhood resident. Everybody could get permits but…most of the parking along here is directly related to the Metra stop and keeping commuters from parking here. So it would be nice if I wouldn’t have to explain to visitors to the office where they need to go to find available parking.

4. What’s different about the neighborhood since you got here?

Many more restaurant options since we moved in. O’Shaughnessy’s has moved in since we got here – obviously to replace the Zephyr, but the Zephyr had closed about a year before O’Shaughnessy’s opened up. Spacca Napoli is a wonderful change. Lill Street with First Slice on the first floor. City Provisions opening their deli. There’s a lot of new options.

And then the Gaztrowagon stops on Ravenswood as well. So that’s a plus!

5. Octoberfest or Ribfest?

You know I haven’t been to Ribfest in a long time, but I’d probably prefer that over Octoberfest. Just on the basis of there being better food.

Even though you don’t put your mouth where your choice is?

I like Ribfest, but I tend to be out of town when it hits. But I can get a beer as big as my head for the same price or less without having to put up with all the idiots. Just by going to Brau Haus any day of the week.

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