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Management Report: January 2017

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office HoursHOLIDAY SEASON: The staff of Malibu East is highly appreciative of your generosity through the holiday fund and your recognition of the staff’s hard work. We are looking forward to another year as busy and fulfilling as 2016. It is our resolution to continue to serve you to the best of our abilities, expertise and consideration. Our warmest thanks and best wishes for 2017 to all of you. [more...]

Employees recognized for 155 years of loyal service

By Tracy Poyser

ArmandoIn our 500-unit vertical village, it takes many hardworking and dedicated employees to keep things running smoothly 24 hours a day. From routine maintenance to troubling issues, from garage hikers to engineers and Receiving Room personnel, janitorial crew and night-shift workers, from office management to security, from plumbing repairs to electrical work… every task and every hour spent is valued and important. It would be impossible to calculate the total number of hours, smiles, miles of corridors walked or stairs climbed, packages logged, elevators cleaned, cars carefully parked and retrieved, clogged sinks cleared, emergency calls answered, and doors held open. And, all of that is done by our great staff day and night, always with a smile, a personal hello and that invaluable “can do” attitude. [more...]

High-rise living from a child's perspective

By Beth Robinson

Elaine Rojas-CastilloPeople sometimes ask what it is like to be a child in a high-rise community. In Kay Thompson’s children’s book, Eloise is a little girl who lives in the Plaza Hotel. Out of place in a world full of grown-ups, she lives a charmed life making mischief, talking with pigeons and crashing wedding receptions.

Since it opened in 1971, Malibu East has been home to multiple generations of children who have grown up in the building. Malibu East is not the Plaza Hotel, and the children who have grown up here have a more settled life and are much better-behaved than Eloise. Though definitely in the minority, children have a significant presence here. On the elevator, adult conversation dissolves into cooing when a baby appears. At the pool, the playful splashing bunch negotiates space with the serene floating crowd. [more...]

Evanston bestows honor on Malibu East resident

By Tracy Poyser

Clara Hairston PateDuring my 10 years as a volunteer staff writer for the Dialogue, I have had the pleasure of interviewing many wonderful residents, but rarely someone like Clara Hairston Pate, whose amazing life force never let anything stand in her way despite the odds.

Our neighbor Richard Hicks had alerted us that the City of Evanston had honored Clara’s long and successful tenure as a former Oakton Elementary School principal and District 65 teacher with her very own street name: The portion of Oakton Street between Ridge and Barton avenues has now been designated as “Clara Hairston Pate Way.” [more...]

State of the Association

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel Molins Another year.

Do you have the same impression that I have? Years seem to fly.

This last year we had again a number of challenges. The most important was, of course, the modernization of our elevators. I do not know about you, but in my case it has been a lot less painful than I had feared. I hope that you are as pleased as I am with the result. The Architecture & Aesthetics Committee has to be congratulated for a job well done. [more...]

An immigrant story of resilience, perseverance

By Tracy Poyser

Betty and MarieOne of the facets of life at Malibu East that’s so special to many of us is that it’s a veritable United Nations (with an emphasis on “united”), and that goes for all of Edgewater. As a naturalized citizen from Germany who has had the good fortune to realize her American dream in more ways than one, I’m always in awe of how much hardship and heartbreak so many others have faced in order to become a part of that unique melting pot of ours. So, here’s the story of one family whose resilience and grace is worth noting: our own beautiful neighbor Betty “Bebette” Graham and her mother, Marie Graham. [more...]

Malibu East's 45th anniversary party honors architect

By Tracy Poyser

John MacsaiWhat better testimonial to our vibrant, multigenerational condo family than a rousing 45th anniversary party, especially with our building’s venerable architect, John Macsai, as the guest of honor! At 90 – double the age of our building – Macsai’s vibrant spirit and ironic humor are testimony to a remarkable life of genuine passion for his craft (more about him later).

Our equally venerable Windjammer Room was packed to capacity on June 11, a fine spring evening. The festivities brought together original owners and Malibu East newbies to reminisce and raise a cheer to all that makes our 45-year-old building special. Organized by our tireless Board member and Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet, a great many people made sure that this would be a memorable party. [more...]

Holiday lunch celebrates Malibu East employees

By Tracy Poyser

It’s an annual ritual, but one that should resonate with all our residents throughout the year: Malibu East’s festive employee appreciation and holiday luncheon hosted by Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet and our Board of Directors.

This year’s event, on Dec. 18 in the Windjammer Room, featured a festive buffet of food favorites, from pizza to fried chicken, pasta, vegetables and, of course, lots of seasonal cookies and a special cake. In addition to Sandy, many Board members were there to mix and mingle, including Art Arfa, Carol Beatty, Martina Molins, Carl Stahlheber and Neil Warner. [more...]

Three cheers for Malibu East's dedicated staff

By Tracy Poyser

Malibu East StaffThe annual staff holiday luncheon has been a festive tradition at Malibu East, but one that many of our residents may not know about. Lovingly organized by Board member and Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet, this year’s lunch party on Dec. 19 again brought together as many of our building and garage staff members as possible at one time. It marked another year of exceptional service and dedication to our residents. Of course, since essential functions like the doorman/reception station, Receiving Room and valet parking service can’t be left unattended, the festivities lasted from noon to 2 p.m. to give everyone a chance to participate. [more...]

Meet Violette Deschamps - our property manager

By Lori Ziesmer

Violette DeschampsMalibu East is one of the largest high-rise buildings on Sheridan Road, containing more than 867,000 square feet of space in the residential tower. Including the parking garage and the Captain’s Walk mall, the building encompasses close to one million square feet of space needing to be maintained and managed. We have been fortunate to have dedicated boards of directors over the years to oversee and plan for the long-term upkeep of our building. [more...]

Very different life paths led to historic marriage

By Beth Robinson

Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio
Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio (from the Chicago Gay History Project)
With cake and about 100 guests, Ken Ilio and Ron Dorfman, longtime residents of Malibu East, celebrated their marriage in a reception at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, formerly Riccardo’s, in January. The location had special significance for Ron, who had spent many hours there with fellow journalists after hours.

Ken and Ron had made history as the first gay men to legally marry in Illinois when a Catholic woman priest conducted their wedding ceremony in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital chapel in December. Coincidentally, the first gay women to marry in Illinois (Nov. 27), Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, also were Malibu East residents. (Vernita died at home March 18 at age 65 after a long battle with breast cancer.) A judge had granted both couples the right to marry before the Illinois gay marriage law takes effect, due to health considerations. Ron Dorfman had a serious heart condition and passed away at home Feb. 10 at age 73. [more...]

A special Thanksgiving for special neighbors

By Tracy Poyser

Vernita Gray and Pat EwertUnless you turned off your radio and TV and didn’t read any local or national papers in the days surrounding this year’s Thanksgiving, you won’t have missed the exciting news about two very special Malibu East neighbors. By court order, longtime Chicago activist Vernita Gray married Pat Ewert, her partner of five years, on Nov. 27, making them the first same-sex couple in the state’s history to be legally married within Illinois. Their touching and joyous ceremony was performed in their Malibu East apartment by Judge Patricia Logue, former head of Lambda Legal Midwest and a longtime lesbian activist, in front of about 25 family members and friends. [more...]