Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, May 23

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Pedal for Peace

Bike along the lakeshore to raise money for bail, lawyers fees, and other costs associated with the legal defense of the more than 900 people arrested for anti-war protesting in Chicago. Saturday, July 12th, Promontory Point, 5491 S. Shore Dr. For more information, call 312-494-5840.

UIC Campus Goes Wireless

UIC students will soon be on the cutting edge of technology: a plan is in the works to provide campus-wide wireless Internet access. Sections of campus are already active hotspots.


Right now, at both the Botanic Garden and the Garfield Park Conservatory, there are 90 sculptures from the Chapungu Sculpture Park in Zimbabwe, Africa, on display. Chapungu: Custom and Legend, a Culture in Stone runs through October 31, but the best time to see it would be now, when the parks are in full bloom and the weather isn't too hot.

Apple Store Photos

For those of you who didn't brave the hordes of Mac fans at the Apple Store grand opening Friday night, Mike of has posted a gallery of photos, and so has j3s and Leigh. The interior is exactly what you'd expect from Apple: stylish and simple.

Porch cave-in

Sunday morning as I'm at Urban Bikes procuring some bike parts, a friend informs me of the "...accident at a party in the DePaul area", with a porch collapsing and 12 deaths, which triggers my other friend to immediately call our friends to see if it was a party that they had attended that night (Saturday). Fortunately for the people they and I knew, it wasn't. However, things like this are pretty horrific and it's sad news indeed. For those of you with porches and a tendency to party, BBQ or socially gather people on them, please be careful.

Solar Energy Homes in Chicago

We're already one of the most bike friendly cities, but did you know Chicago is working to be the 'Greenest City in America'? The Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), a national non-profit catalyst for renewable energy development, is launching a project to construct 100 Solar Homes in Chicago. The first ten homes will be built this fall, with all 100 to be completed by 2004.

Poseidon! Benefit

Last winter's hit show at the Theatre Building and Bailiwick, Poseidon! An Upside-Down Musical, has been invited to the New York International Fringe Festival in August. To help pay for the trip the show's producers, Hell in a Handbag Productions, are holding a "New Year's in July" benefit Sunday, July 27th. The program includes a reception and silent auction at the High Risk Gallery, followed by a presentation of "Poseidon! Moments" at the Bailiwick. Visit Hell in a Handbag or call 312-409-4357 for tickets.


The City of Chicago has ceased dragging its feet on a publicly-subsidized old-folks home on the corner of Roosevelt and St. Louis in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. The nearest retirment home is in the 3700 block of West Washington, in Garfield Park. This is just one of the many projects initiated by the Stalinist-sounding "Plan for Transformation," developed by the CHA in "tandem" with City Hall. Work on the Lake Park Crescent mixed income development in Kenwood has also moved along well in the last three months; and the movement of Cabrini Green families into "North Town Village," the developer's neighborhood on Halsted between Evergreen and Weed has been completed with 79 families successfully relocated. It's just a start, but a start.

Starbucks invades south side

According to this recent story in the Chicago Maroon, Starbucks may be "getting over its fear of the South Side of Chicago." The coffee retailer has plans to rent out a vacant Hyde Park storefront on 55th Street, and "last month the City approved the company's plan to build a $1.4 million freestanding store with parking on 71st Street and Stony Island Avenue." These two additions would increase the South Side presence of Starbucks to three stores.

New feature, sort of

Just so you know, today's new Detour, Considering the Cross-town Classic, is written in a column-style, and we have comments turned on just for you folks who love to add your two cents. So bring it on.

Dali Show

Hello, Dali! Well hellooo, Dali! (OK, that was lame, but the showing of Salvador Dali works at the Zygman Voss Gallery, 222 W. Superior, promises not to be. The show runs this Saturday thru July 31.)

Critical Mass Friday

Once again, it's the last Friday of the month, and Critical Mass will be going down at 5:30pm congregating at Daley Plaza. It'll be funny if they went down Michigan and passed the Apple Store...

in-security deposit

Had trouble getting your security deposit back from your landlord? A new amendment to the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, supported by Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), might make it even more of a hassle. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Chris & Heather's Film Jamboree

When cartoonist Heather McAdams and her fella Chris Ligon (former owner of Record Roundup) moved to Delaware two years ago, they took their quirky music-and-film shows with them. But Friday they are back for a one-night stand of cartoons, stag films, bad-movie trailers, and music shorts, featuring live tunes from Robbie Fulks and Kelly Hogan. Yee-haw, y'all! Tonight at 9 at Fitzgerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, in sunny Berwyn.


This just in: OK GO will be performing at the Michigan Avenue Apple Store opening Friday night at 8 pm. I'm assuming it's going to be crazy with the geekiness so you might want to show up a little on the earlier side if you hope to see them.

Pride Weekend

This Sunday's Chicago Pride Parade isn't the only pride-related event of the weekend. For the first time, the Northalsted Area Merchants Association, responsible for August's annual Northalsted Market Days, is sponsoring a street festival at Halsted and Waveland on Saturday. Saturday also features the Chicago Dyke March in Andersonville.

Wicker Park Garden Walk

Feeling footloose and fancy free? Well then go for a garden walk. The Wicker Park Garden Club present a garden walk on Sunday, June 29, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit some of Wicker Park's finest gardens. Tickets are $5 per person and sold in the park. Ticket price includes booklet with map! For more information, visit their website.

*Sexy* Dance Performance

In case you aren't going to the Apple Store opening on Friday, you can always watch some folks dance. In a rare Chicago appearance, the Tom and Susana Evert Dance Theater will perform at the Adidam Chicago Center (located at 3301 W Fullerton) on Friday, June 27th at 8:00 p.m. According to the New York Times, "There is a natural and serene feeling to the flow, and the pieces seem to belong to some larger, organic whole...the duets... breathe quiet ecstasy and eroticism." So there. Doors open at 7:30 and the cost is $20.

Design Geek

You may be a geek, but are you a Design Geek? Our very own Paul McAleer ponders the usefulness of objects and the way they work. It's fresh and (somewhat) new. I wish he'd put up the old archives.

Now Shooting

The city's Film Office lists current television and film productions, for those of you who want to show up in the background on TV or movies. If you'd rather just watch, you can also peruse a list of film festivals. (You could also take a look at the Illinois Film Office.)

Museums for Free

Would you like every day to be free day at the museum? You've got it, if you've got a library card: Chicago Public Library branches offer museum passes good for one week from check-out. Major museums are covered, and it's a cheap way to experience some of the coolest stuff in town.


"Sodomy is not a crime," so sayeth the United States Supreme Court. (Provided it is between consenting adults, of course.) And the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, Equality Illinois and Chicago NOW will be gathering at 7 pm tonight at the corner of Roscoe and Halsted to throw a little celebration. I assume there will be many private celebrations going on later throughout the city.
[tribune login: gapers/gapers]

Third Coast Festival

Have you heard reference on WBEZ to the Third Coast International Audio Festival? Wondered what it was? Well, it's an online festival of audio documentary works of all types, from field recordings to news features, presented by Chicago Public Radio and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. There's a competition component to it, and the submission deadline is coming up -- July 18, to be exact. So get that tape of your grandpa's war stories ready, clean up the sound on your live recording of Guatemalan field hands. It's time to shine.


It's Saturday afternoon, you've got a bit of a hang-over, and a huge craving for greasy, hot fries and a sausage. You lurch to your neighborhood crap-food stand and instead of the lingering smell of old grease, you're greeted with a large orange sticker that has been put there by an inspector from the Department of Public Health. You groan and stop someplace else, which doesn't really satisfy, and you wonder through the meal: "What did they do? What did they do?" Well, thanks to Luke you know where to find out how badly your favorite place has sinned.

Singing cop sentenced to jail

Sheriff's officer William Jarding was sentenced to the maximum 16 months in prison for stealing ammunition after he was caught on tape by the FBI singing a duet about the crime with decorated Chicago police officer Joseph Miedzianowski in 1998, whom the FBI was investigating. See the damning song lyrics in this Associated Press report.

DuSable Park

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable is credited as the founder of Chicago, being the first non-native settler to the area. As such, the city is planning a park in his honor, not far from where his cabin once stood. Beyond that, not much is clear, the New York Times reports.

Young Feminist Book Club

Are you a young feminist who likes to read? Then venture to Women & Children First on the third Monday of every month for the Young Feminist Book Club. The group votes on which titles will be read and focuses mostly on non-fiction. The next book is Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson. She also wrote Sexing the Cherry and Passion, so you can guess that this is a quite sexy, yet gender-ambiguous novel. If you purchase the book at the store, you get a 10% discount.
Books have been picked through next January and will be available on the calendar portion of this site. Or, you can get more information by calling 773/769-9299.

Cortroom Brawl

Apparently Chicagoans aren't just assaulting visiting team coaches anymore: an attempted robbery defendant suddenly attacked his attorney during a bond hearing, punching him repeatedly in the face and sending him into seizures. Two bailiffs, the other attorney and even the judge helped to subdue the guy, who now faces aggravated battery charges as well. The defense attorney was released from the hospital this morning.

Preserving Meadow Lake

Designed in cooperation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Lakes Study, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL is undertaking a project this summer to improve the health of Meadow Lake. According to a story in the Daily Herald, "The lake, on the arboretum's east side near the main entrance, suffers from erosion and sediment caused by the fluctuating water table. Its high phosphorous levels make it uninhabitable for many fish." The solution is carefully digging a 3-foot-wide slurry wall to enclose the lake. This project is also part of the arboretum's $43 million expansion and renovation, expected to be completed in 2005.

The Bears, presented by...

When Soldier Field re-opens this fall, it will retain the name Soldier Field. However, a different kind of naming right has been sold: the Bears will, for the next twelve years, be known as "Bears football presented by Bank One." It's the first "presenting partnership" in the NFL. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

The Furtive Gaze

"The Furtive Gaze," an exhibition of candid, covert photos taken by Merry Alpern and Chris Verene runs through July 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College.

Hookahs around town

According to the Tribune, hookahs are the next big thing; the communal water pipes intended for tobacco use are appearing all over town. The Trib raises several issues, including if they are being used to entice college students to smoke, and whether they are covering up smoke from other herbs. I can't help but wonder with all the other stuff going on in the world, why I should care. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Pistil Magazine

Check your local newsstands for new Pistil Magazine, a Chicago-based quarterly focusing on "today’s groundbreaking talent, we uncover the relevant voices that inspire and change our world." We, uh, just missed their launch last weekend, but the mag has hit the streets. Check it out.

Crime Stats by Location

So our fair city has the highest murder rate in the country, and Daley's going to do something about it. In the meantime, if you want to see how bad it really is, check out the Trib's crime database. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Fine Art Fair

Ready for a mini-road trip? Visit the Cantigny Sculpture and Fine Art Fest, June 28 - 29. The fest will take place at 1 S. 151 Winfield Road, in Wheaton, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Mayan Influenced Art Exhibit

Artist Georgia Charuhas will exhibit her work, through June 28, at the C.G. Jung Institute, located at 1567 Maple Avenue, in Evanston. Ms. Charuhas' work explores the symbols and mysteries of ancient Mayan civiliation.

Pride Reading

Author Sheila Seclearr will discuss her book "A Tree on Turtle Island" at Women and Children First Bookstore. The reading will take place on June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at 5233 N Clark.

Ozone Day

Today's the first Ozone Action Day of 2003! Don't pump gas or mow your lawn or do much of anything at all.

Coudal Anew, plus Huff reads

Revamped and looking good, Coudal reboots fresh. We like the new logo. They have also launched a new feature called Reading which features none other than our Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Huff.

Chicago Force

The Chicago Force trounced the Corvallis Pride in the first round of playoffs for the Independent Women's Football League. They'll be playing the Sirens in Sacramento on June 28th in the second round. If they win they'll be travelling to New York to play on July 12th. So, if you want to see these ladies tear it up in person, you'll have to go to the coasts, or wait till next season.


Volvo (now owned by Ford Motor Company) decided recently to use their muscle to try to squeeze Volo Auto Museum, located on Old Volo Road in Volo, Illinois, into giving up the url they bought in 1997. Volvo registered their url in 2000. Volvo filed a domain name dispute with the World Internet Property Organization stating that Volo was attracting Volvo's customers who couldn't spell. Volo (which actually had a link to Volvo on their website for those customers) countered, got public support, so Volvo execs came to Illinois to visit the Grams family in the hopes of a quiet settlement. The Grams decided the settlement didn't suit them, so they continued with their counter-suit. And, the WIPO ruled in Volo's favor. Yay! for the little guys.

G5 Peek

Because it's Applemania week here in Chicago, we present you with this lone image for those of you: a first peek at the Apple G5. Update: they just changed their site, but the G5 is now launched.

Sustainable Chicago

June 26 marks the launch of Sustainable Chicago, the local network of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies: a group of locally-owned independent businesses, farms, and non-profit organizations. The event is at Garfield Park Conservatory at 6pm, and will feature an organic food reception (cooked by some of Chicago's top chefs), a talk by BALLE co-founder Judy Wicks, and a panel of local speakers. The cost is $20. For more information contact Sustain at 312-951-8999 ext.106 or email Jim at


PBR! According to the New York Times, Pabst consumption is up 134 percent in Chicago.

Terra Museum to Close

After years of legal infighting, the board of the Terra Museum of American Art voted to close the museum in late October 2004. Many of the 700 works in the collection, assembled by the late Daniel Terra, will be moved to the Art Institute of Chicago. Now the board must decide what to do with the North Michigan building, yet another point of legal contention. Read more in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pot Trafficing Lawyer

"Your Honor, may I be blunt?" A lawyer was arrested over the weekend when tried to visit his clients in a high security prison with two bags of marijuana taped to his inner thighs. The dope caught the interest of the drug-sniffing police dog, who made a beeline for his crotch...make up your own punchline.

African Diaspora Film Festival

Facets Cinematheque has brought the African Diaspora Film Festival to Chicago for the first time after being shown for the last decade in New York City. An engaging array of films with interesting titles, the Chicago Reader has the lowdown as well as recommended viewing. Runs June 20 - 26.

The bird will outlive us all.

Cookie, a Major Mitchell cockatoo at Brookfield Zoo, celebrated his 70th birthday today, and his birthday celebration this morning kicked off the zoo's Bird Weekend. Cookie is the last surviving original zoo resident, part of the intial collection of animals when the zoo first opened its gates in 1934. Although the average life expectancy of a cockatoo is between 50-60 years old, they can live to be as old as a hundred. Read more about it, and check out the zoo website for more Bird Weekend activities.

Cross-town Classic

The annual Windy City Cross-town Classic is underway. Watch the Cubs and White Sox battle it out to see who has bragging rights for the next year. (So far, it looks like the Southsiders will.)

Dolan Geiman: Art for sale

Just got back from lunch with Jes at the new Earwax (still good, and service is even better, a little more upscale) and right outside Polvo artist Dolan Geiman is selling some of his silkscreened artwork, silkscreened t-shirts, skirts and blouses for girls. Jes picked up some choice products and I picked up two 11x16 silkscreen on wood pieces, here and here for $10. Amazingly good prices (a damn steal!), amazingly good art. So rush on over to Earwax quick, he may not be there much longer though they may head on down to Maxwell St. I also suspect he did this piece (which looks like one of his pieces), a photo I took featuring none other than Andrew and Cinnamon.

Lost Indiana

Lost Indiana is a thoughtful, well-researched and documented website that pays tribute to some of the abandoned industries and history of our midwestern neighbor. Created and maintained by a local historian, the stories and photographs have a personal touch. Highlights include photo documentation of the abandoned Gary Union Station and the Crown Hill Cemetery, the third largest public cemetery in the United States and final resting place of two presidents and John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman. Worth checking out.

Burn Trotter's Burn...

"Baby, please don't be like that. I know you were looking forward to eating at Charlie Trotter's last night, but I can't help it if the place caught on fire. Yes, I know you were looking forward to that gold-encrusted lobster stuffed with diamonds, but you will just have to wait until they repair the kitchen. Yes, baby, we'll have to wait another 2 months for a new reservation, but I promise you, it will be worth it. Yes, I promise, I'll still spend $1000 on your meal. You know I love you."

Anti-war arrests dropped

The city's case against hundreds of anti-war protesters continues to crumble: Charges were dropped yesterday for 103 more people who were arrested on March 20. That leaves just 70 active cases out of more than 800 arrests that night. Strangely, most of the people who got corralled by police and spent nearly 24 hours in jail (with no food or phone calls) were not even the ones who shut down Lake Shore Drive. According to National Lawyers Guild attorney Melinda Power, who represented several protesters, "This was a deliberate plan on the part of the city to intimidate people to not protest the war." (Trib login: gapers/gapers)

Don't Mess with the Cubs

Testosterone ran rampant yesterday as Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Farnsworth defended himself from Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson who lunged towards Farnsworth after a too-close-for-comfort pitch. Sure they lost 3-1, but in the scrappy, playground-style knock-down fight game, the Cubs so won. And what did Cubs manager Dusty Baker have to say of the incident? "I know we're not the club to have bad blood with because we've got some guys who can hurt you with that ball. I don't suggest too many people get in some knock-down war with us." Wilson who was ejected from the game with a bloody, scraped up nose learned that the hard way. And that's the Chicago way.

Blood on the Tracks

Your worst CTA nightmare comes true: Woman falls off platform at State & Lake El, gets killed by Brown Line train (login: gapers/gapers). Horrors.

South Side Institution Ends

After almost 50 years on the Southwest Side, the Drury Lane Theatre, also known as the Martinique, is closing to make room for yet another Wal-Mart. No more Nutcracker performances, weddings, and theatre events - just to name a few - after January. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Drinking Outdors

Almost as important as the list of drink specials mentioned here a few days ago, is a list of Chicago beer gardens, where one can enjoy a beverage outdoors now that the weather has finally started to resemble the season. And after last call you'll need the list of 24-hour greasy spoons.

Puerto Rican Week

That means "parade" to the rest of us English speakers. This is the week (June 17-22) when Puertorriqueños celebrate their Puerto Rican pride. But, its more than just a parade (which happens Saturday at noon on Balbo between Columbus and Monroe), there are musicians, a free-standing art gallery, flag vendors, and there has to be food. Mmm...plantanos! So, head over to Humboldt Park and check it out.

Renegade Craft Fair

Cinnamon's original post on the Renegade Craft Fair led me to the site again today which has been updated to reflect an extended deadline due to exposure here and on WLUW and late requests. It's been extended one more month: July 20th is the deadline. They will aso be featured in Venus soon, which some of the GB family is involved in. Craft on!

Diagon Alley Comes to Oak Park

Although some of my fellow Gapers seem to have caught Pottermania, no one has mentioned the biggest Harry Potter event taking place this Friday for the release of book five. Thousands of people are expected to flock to Oak Park on June 20 as Oak Park Avenue between Lake Street and North Boulevard is transformed into Diagon Alley. The streets will be closed to traffic beginning at 7pm, and the event takes place from 9pm to midnight. Hosting the festivities, the Magic Tree bookstore in Oak Park will become Flourish & Blott's. Other participants include US Bank, which will be featuring goblin-led tours of the basement vaults of "Gringott's Wizarding Bank." Read more about it in the Chicago Sun-Times, Pioneer Press, and this recent mention in a New York Times article.

Taste of Chicago Music

Speaking of the Taste, the musical line-up is impressive this year featuring some great performers such as Erykah Badu, India Arie, Shemekia Copeland, Guster, Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow and Elvis Costello! Oh and don't forget good ol' Kenny Rogers.


Mmmm, smell that? It's the Taste of Chicago getting ready to start up again on June 27th in Grant Park in downtown Chicago. Ten days of sampling food from all over the city, and plenty of live music to wash it down. You can now purchase food tickets at Dominick's around the city, or (if you're cool) online at the Mayor's Office link above.

Miles of Music

If, like me, you've got nothing to do this Friday, or you work downtown and require entertainment for your lunch break, check out Miles of Music: 20 stages along Michigan Avenue between Jackson and Oak, featuring 45-minute sets from more than 60 local artists. Classical, country, folk, world beat, dance, opera and lots of jazz -- and it's all free!

Chicago's Tunnel System

"This website tells the story about a 60-mile, two-foot gauge electric railroad that operated 149 locomotives and over 3000 freight cars in small tunnels forty feet below the streets of downtown Chicago." And it's not the CTA. Amazing photos, backstory and more about these tiny tunnels beneath us. Makes me want to go down there...

New Cabs

Keep your eye out for burgandy cabs with a blue stripe -- they're from the new Chicago Carriage Cab Co., and they boast uniformed drivers, extra legroom and, of all things, Internet access. (No website for the company yet, though.) In the meantime, Yellow Cab is planning on converting about half its fleet to London-style taxis.

Sex Offender Database

It may be useful to you: The Chicago Police Department Registered Sex Offender Database Search. Leeeengthy.

Kinko's: 99c eco prints

Yesterday I was about to write off Kinko's as what is wrong with corporate America until I walked into their store at Clark and Wellington to print some 11x17 full colour posters when I found out that they are no longer $3.29 but 99c and printed on eco-friendly recycled paper to boot. I jumped on a G4 and printed away. Just a hat tip if you're interested in getting some quick and cheap color posters.

Free STD and HIV testing

Be safe, get tested: The Chicago Department of Public Health offers free testing, treatment and other services related to STDs and HIV at a number of clinics throughout the city. Call 1-800-AID-AIDS or refer to the Department's site for additional information.

Clinics are located at:

641 W. 63rd Street
(312) 747-8900

4958 W. Madison

2861 N. Clark
(312) 744-8829

Mile Square
2045 W. Washington
(312) 413-8000

Near South Side
530 E. 31st Street
(312) 747-0184

200 E. 115th Street

845 W. Wilson

West Town
2418 W. Division


There are, of course, many hundred bars in Chicago, so many that someone has taken the effort to compile a list of drink specials by day. This on top of a newspaper devoted entirely to the bar scene. Although it's incredibly easy to get a drink in this town, the June issue of Chicago Magazine reports that it's extremely tough to get a license to sell one. On newsstands now.

Birding in Chicago

The site's not much to look at, but the Chicago Audubon Society boasts a great collection of links on bird watching in Chicagoland, including a Chicago Bird Census and interactive database. Happy Birding!

Independent Potters, Part One

Love Harry Potter but hate The Man? In addition to Barnes & Noble as Alex mentions below, many local independent booksellers will also be hosting Potter parties Friday night, including Seminary Co-op in Hyde Park, Women and Children First in Andersonville, and the web-impaired Unabridged Books in Lake View.

David Schwimmer Vs. Ross

Northwestern U. weighs in on David Schwimmer and so does Studs Terkel in this excellent article [Trib login: gapers/gapers] about the actor and director most commonly referred to as "Ross". Shamefully but gratefully via TMN.

They want YOU!

Ever wanted to be part of a "live studio audience?" Many television shows filmed in Chicago are looking for a viewing audience. For details, visit Metromix's site.

CSO at Ravinia

Marin Alsop returns to Ravinia to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's first weekend of concerts this Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Among the selections being played are Brahms' "Double" Concerto; Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony; John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven's "Triple" Concerto. Tickets are $20-$40, and $10 for lawn. Call 847-266-5100 for more info.

Heads up for Potter heads

The latest installment in the Harry Potter chronicles, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" will go on sale Saturday, June 21st. Many Barnes and Noble Book Sellers will host release parties on Friday. Check with your local store for more information.

Taste of Ann Sather's

Did you know Ann Sather's, the brunch capital of Lakeview, also serves dinner? Stop into the Belmont restaurant this Friday or Saturday after 5pm and enjoy a "Taste of Ann Sather's" -- sample portions of your choice of any four items from their newly updated menu (not reflected on their website, unfortunately), soup or salad and dessert for $12.95. Plus, they're BYO, so you can enjoy whatever wine you please along with the meal. Reservations recommended; call 773/348-2378.

Chicago: 25th costliest city

To me this is a good thing: Chicago is the 25th costliest city in the world to live in [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]. Tokyo tops it at No. 1, and no other US city aside from New York at No. 10 is in the top ten. LA is the next biggest at No. 22, with us in third, coinciding with the sizes and ranks of the three biggest cities in the US.


I finally managed to lay my hands on the newest copy of Venus a locally produced print magazine that focuses on music (lotsa rockin' females) and Do-It-Yourself culture. It's quite a slick and interesting publication, and the most recent issue has quite a nice one-page article about the ever-talented Mena Trott. To make it even more relevant, it's written by Chicago's own Shylo Bisnett.
I'd recommend heading to their website, it's got a great redesign, and an essay by me. (If Naz can self-promo, I can, too!)

Latino Theater Festival

The Goodman Theatre is hosting the Latino Theatre Festival this year. There are six different productions being performed and most of them are showing more than once. If you're interested in going to "El Autmovîl Gris" (The Grey Automobile) playing July 11-13), or "Se Dicen Tantos Cosas" (So Many Things Are Said) playing July 17-20, and you're interested in saving a couple of bucks then call their ticket office (312-443-3800) and mention the "secret" password eCAPA and you'll save $2 on each ticket.
To sign up for discount email offers, visit their patron website.

"The Cliffhanger"

Nine filmmakers each have one week each to contribute 10 minutes to a 90 minute feature-length digital movie: that's the Exquisite Corpse-like formula for "The Cliffhanger," a new project from Split Pillow, an organization fostering "development of emerging motion picture artists in the Chicagoland area." Production begins in mid-July.

NCP: Photo Collages

If you're looking for photographic goodness, you want to get your cute little butt on over to Phineas' Photo Collages, impressive stuff. I haven't been there in a while but was reminded by today's K10K link (mad props and flava!).

Hilary's Coming Home

Heard on WBEZ this morning that Hilary Rodham Clinton is coming to the Women and Children First bookstore June 28th at 10:30am to sign copies of her book. Wonder if she's going to travel along or will be coming with her husband too?

Happy birthday, APOD!

It's the eighth birthday of one of my favorite sites on the net: APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day). Check out the archive for some stunning pictures, ranging from hi-res NASA imaging to photographs taken by sky enthusiasts.

Architecture River Tour

Now that it's warm out, if you've never done so you should take an Architecture River Tour. The hour-long docent-narrated boat ride is a neat way to see downtown from a new perspective while learning about the city's history through architecture. Several companies offer tours: Shoreline and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Gold Dust Twins Revealed

There was a time when advertisements were less PC-clean than they are today. Gold Dust washing powder is as defunct as the twin black children that graced its packaging, but a recent tear-down on Irving Park has revealed some old advertising for the brand. The Church of the Bad News has photos.

Viagra Gum?

"Kiss a little longer, last a little longer -- give your _____ long-lasting freshness with Big Red!" The old slogan for Wrigley's cinnamon gum may be raised from the dead if plans for a Viagra-infused gum come to fruition. Reuters says a patent was filed in 2000 for just such a thing -- but we'll have to wait till 2011 for the little blue pill's patent to run out before Bigger Red can hit shelves.

Sammy Uncorked

Never let it be said that Chicagoans lack a sense of humor about our heroes: The Sun-Times is advertising today t-shirts for the "Sammy Sosa: Uncorked Tour 2003." Only $16.95 (+s/h). Rock on.

No East

The latest issue of No East, a digital magazine created by members of the Chicagobloggers group, is out at last. The theme this time is "work," in its many permutations. Enjoy.

Lake Breeze

Yes, it's almost 11am but damn if I don't feel like having a nice cool drink at the moment. Preferably this scrumptious sounding Lake Breeze by Ian Olsen-Clark.

MCA Summer Solstice?

I hope this isn't true, but I can't find any information on the MCA's ususally annual Summer Solstice celebration. I'm concluding that they have decided not to hold it this year. A shame because I've been to each and every one in the last four years ever since I found out about it. If there are any members of the MCA or anyone who has info please drop me a line. Update: Thanks to the two Jon's who wrote in and let me know that nope, there will be no Summer Solstice this year, perhaps never again. A damn shame.

Mmm, produce.

Summer starts in one week, and you know what that means: farmers markets! More than 30 weekly and monthly markets, scattered across the city, will be offering fresh produce from June through October. The Mayor's Office of Special Events has thoughtfully provided a handy schedule so you can see what markets are closest to you.


And speaking of fests, I can't believe no one's mentioned that this weekend is Midsommarfest in Andersonville. Because every neighborhood worth its salt has a street fair. This one has good music, crafty stuff to buy, people dressed all Swedish-like, and you can't go wrong with the Jesse White Tumblers.

Beer! Elgin! Come on!

If there's one thing we like besides live music, and bikes and ribs and stuff, it's Beer. So we'd be remiss if we didn't point out the 8th annual Prairie Rock Brewfest in Elgin. Beer! Lots of it! Bad suburban karaoke! Possibly even ribs and bikes!

And, Yankovic and Cooper!

A quick glance at my co-author's post below reveals my two main men keepin' it real in the weeks to come, also at the Navy Pier Skyline Stage, Alice Cooper and Weird Al Yankovic. They ain't got no rocks to prop, Coop and Al from round the block.

Rick Springfield at Navy Pier

Get your 80s groove on! Rick Springfield (a.k.a. "Dr. Noah Drake" from General Hospital 20 years ago) will be performing at the Navy Pier Skyline Stage on Saturday, June 14 at 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. Come on, you know you want to go!

Northcenter Ribfest

It's not the big Naperville Ribfest, but the Northcenter Ribfest is this weekend. Local restaurants will compete for the title of best ribs, and an amateur chefs have a separate cook-off. 4000 N. Lincoln Ave June 14, 12pm-10pm; June 15, 12pm-8 pm.

Bike Depot

Announced today, a new plan for a bike depot located in the parking structure beneath Millenium Park. Mayor Daley is taking the city to a "new level of bicycle friendliness" with this new bike station, complete with a bike storage area for up to 400 bikes, showers, lockers and a coffee bar. Grants from the federal government will help pay the costs, as funding for the bike station comes from the federal government under a program to ease congestion and improve air quality. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

WLUW Benefit Show

More music for you to listen to: Tomorrow night you should head to Metro at around 5ish for the Loyola College Radio Benefit Hip Hop Show, featuring Vakill, Necrobats, Frontline Entertainment MCs, Mac Lethal, Seel, Sureshot, Akbar, Profound, Eratik Statik, Longshot and DJs PNS & Ternaround. Tickets are $10, and it's all ages so you can bring your kid brother (or, if you're R. Kelly, your date). Proceeds benefit WLUW, Loyola's excellent community-run radio station -- which recently got its webcast back up.

It's Friday and you got nuthin' to do?

It's Friday the 13th folks. It may be cloudy out there but it don't matter kids, because there's plenty to do. You may want to check out head-butter extraordinaire Wesley Willis and his drawings (if you want a sneak peek, head on over to the Burger King in Wicker Park on Milwaukee, they have one of his drawings — quite cool), or be one with the green gentle giant under the stars, or check out some folk, some discrete multi-performances or some good time rock n' roll (my band is playing — plug!). I don't wanna hear, "There's nothing to do!" now. There's aplenty.

Starbucks photo database

When I woke up this morning, I thought to myself "The world really needs photographic evidence of every Starbucks in Chicago and the suburbs." Ok, not really. But this guy is intent on seeing all the Starbucks in the world. I hope he at least uses a travel mug.

Who is Shadow Traffic, Anyway?

Talk about a Gaper's Block. My usual 45 min commute took 1hr 45 min. today due to extreme rubbernecking on the Edens. It made me wonder: why does every radio station report travel times from "Shadow Traffic" but you can't find anything about them on the web. The only traffic site I know of is astoundingly inaccurate, while Shadow usually seems spot on. Shouldn't this information be more widely available?

The Discrete Series

The Discrete Series is an event of poetry/music/performance/etc. on the second Friday of each month at Elastic Revolution. Tomorrow's performance features poetry by Mark Nowak, Drew Kunz & Greg Purcell. For more information, see the event listing. 3030 W. Cortland, 9pm, $5 donation.

Olympia Fields US Open

The golf world has its eyes turned to Olympia Fields Country Club this week, as the U.S. Open tournament gets underway. Among the many thousands of fans expected will also be more than 400 uniformed police and security officers (and who knows how many undercover) watching the watchers.

Chicago Pagan Parents

Are you a pagan? Wondering how to raise your child in a true pagan environment? Chicago Pagan Parents is for you! Although their site hasn't been updated in awhile, the group is still very active, as the YahooGroup can attest. You might also be interested in Witch School, which is now accepting donations to buy a building in Hoopeston, IL, to serve as a campus.

Ghostly International @ Empty Bottle

Since its inception 1999, the Ann Arbor label Ghostly International has been "building something bigger than a label, an institution grounded in a distinctive cultural aesthetic." Some of its artists are playing at the Empty Bottle tonight for the Idol Tryouts tour. Performers include Midwest Product, Kill Memory Crash, and Dykehouse. 1035 N. Western Ave., 9pm, 7$.

Clinton calls Sosa

A Chicago Sun-Times article states that former President Bill Clinton has called Sammy Sosa and offered him the advice to just hang in there and "...stay strong and don't give up." Um...insert whatever comment you'd like to add to this >> here <<.

Twilight Zone in Chicago

Don't adjust your dial: Bob Feder reports that Chicago will be entering the Twilight Zone once again with the debut at midnight July 5 of the Twilight Zone Radio Dramas on WGN. Oddly enough, the show is produced by Schaumburg-based Falcon Picture Group, but other than a small AM station in Harvard they've had no pick-up in their home market until now.

Cinema Under the Stars at EAC

This Friday, Evanston Art Center will be showing the animated favorite Shrek -- as well as other video shorts by EAC video art students and faculty -- on an outdoor screen starting shortly after dusk. Bring a blanket and a snack (and perhaps a few bucks for a donation -- it is a non-profit, after all) and enjoy some great film under the stars! They'll be showing two more films in July and August -- for address and more info click on
Evanston Art Center Center for the Visual Arts 2603 Sheridan Rd Evanston, IL 60201 Phone: 847-475-5300 Schedule: June 13: Shrek July 11: Spirited Away August 8: Bringing Up Baby All shows start after dusk, preceded by short videos by students and faculty in EAC's digital video classes. $3 suggested donation for non-EAC members.

Page Brothers Open Studio Program

The Page Brothers Open Studio Program puts the making of art on display at State and Lake. Using an empty storefront, a rotating schedule of artists, including painters, photographers, sculptors, fashion designers and tattoo artists, will put their processes of creation on view. Completed works are also displayed. The open studio runs from April 7 to September 21, Monday - Friday, noon - 6pm, 177 N. State St. The current artist is Rashid Johnson, a photographer.

UAL stock worthless?

United Airlines told its shareholders yesterday that they can expect to lose everything they've got—it's "highly likely" shares of UAL's common stock will be cancelled when the company emerges from bankruptcy.

The Knife Sharpener

The American Sentimentalist takes a long, loving look at a job that has faded away in most neighborhoods, but not his: the Knife Sharpening Man.

Chicago Force

Have you been thinking how nice it would be to have a Chicago sports team enter playoffs without a single loss? Then you're in luck. The Chicago Force our Women's Pro Tackle football team (member of the Independent Women's Football League) will be playing their first playoff game on Saturday June 21st. With the average score being something like 50-0, and $10 tickets ($5 for kids) you'd be silly not to go to De La Salle Stadium and watch these women show the boys in town how to make a victory.

But if sitting in the sun and watching women tackle each other isn't your idea of fun, then maybe you'd enjoy a documentary about this history-making team. Three local filmmakers will be having the world premiere of A Day on the Force on June 20, 6 pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center. This was part of the 72 Hour Feature Project which is an international filmmaking competition where participants have 72 hours or less to complete a feature film. This film had 9 camera crews, 40 hours of footage, and four computer systems working around the clock to get this film in.

Design Engine

Design Engine is a chaotic online mag featuring all sorts of design related features. They're currently accepting submissions for their third annual Photoreal Competition -- submit your photorealistic computer rendering of a chair/seating of some sort by August 15.


Has anyone else noticed Metroblossom? It's another urban-focused website with ultra-slick design, and it seems to be run out of Chicago and is looking to take off. Kind of like No-East except with less words.

No, you’re not getting smaller

The organizers of NeoCon wanted something to attract attention to this year’s World’s Trade Fair celebrating its 35th anniversary. Well, they found that something. A 40-foot-tall Italian chair which will be on display June 16 through the 18 at the Merchandise Mart. And is it just me and my adolescent humor, or does anyone else think it’s hilarious that the fair is billed as WTF?

Lincoln Park Zoo Upgrade

Sooner or later it's bound to stop raining, and when it does, you should get back to the Lincoln Park Zoo. They've finally opened the Regenstein African Journey which not only means that you can see the giraffes and elephants again, but there are now warthogs, an aardvark, some excellent new fish and the coolest meerkat in Chicago. Now how much would you pay? Nothing. It's still free.

Loop Tour Train

The Loop Tour Train is a unique way to absorb some of the history and internationally renowned architecture of downtown. The 40-minute ride is narrated by docents from the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Tickets for the tour are free, but must be obtained on the day of the tour at the Chicago Office of Tourism Visitor Information Center on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street. The tours run through September 27, departing from the Randolph/Wabash station every Saturday at 11:35 am, 12:15 pm, 12:55 pm, and 1:35 pm.

Wesley Willis art exhibit.

Still can't get anough of Wesley Willis, the 350-pound schizophrenic whose insane musical rantings were all the rage in about 1995? There's going to be a show of his drawings at Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee, from June 13 to August 30. Opening reception is this Friday, June 13th, from 5 to 8PM, with a Wesley Willis performance at 7:30. Rock over London, rock on Chicago!

Buy-a-Tux goes busto

After a quarter century of bravely outfitting classical musicians and bartenders throughout the city, the aptly name Buy-a-Tux is going out of business. Does this signal the enroachment of UIC into the garment district? The decline of classical music in the city? More people drinking at downscale joints? Who knows. But if you're looking for a cheap tuxedo, now is the time to strike.

Baseball entendre

Headline on an ad for The Honeysuckle Shop, a Clark Street sex toy shop, in today's RedEye: "Put Some Cork In Your Bat!"

Blues Travesty

"Like Hollywood's best film noir, these clubs are in the business of producing middle-class fantasies of urban life, thrilling and dark. But in reality, most of these places feel more like Disneyland with booze." In an interview for U. Chicago Press, Blue Chicago author David Grazian skewers the crass commericalism of the city's blues clubs -- and expectations that blues musicians must be black.

Poet Laureate Nominations

The position of Illinois Poet Laureate was created in 1936; since then, it has been held by three people: Howard B. Austin, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The position has been vacant since Brooks's death in 2000. Recently, a lobbying process was begun to find a new laureate, and to impose term limits on the position. The lobbying was successful: what was once a lifetime appointment will be a four-year renewable term. Nominations are now being accepted.

Put Down the Prairie Dog

Monkey to Gambian Rat to Prairie Dog to Human: that's the apparent chain of animals leading to the first outbreak of monkey pox in North America that came to light over the weekend. Several people in Wisconsin and a couple here in Illinois have come down with the West African virus, picked up from their infected prairie dog pets.

Chicago's Tony winners

Chicago Tony Awards roundup from last night: The Billy Joel musical Movin' Out, which was received poorly in its debut here, took home Best Choreography and Best Orchestration. Hometown boy Brian Dennehy won his second Best Actor in a Play Tony for the Goodman Theatre's Long Day's Journey Into Night, which also won Best Revival of a Play, although it didn't win Best Director for the Goodman's Bob Falls. (Vanessa Redgrave, who replaced Pamela Payton-Wright from the Goodman production, also won Best Actress.) And finally, Michele Pawk took Best Featured Actress in a Play for the Carol Burnett-authored Hollywood Arms, which also premiered at the Goodman.

The return of the Pansy Kings.

This week's hot theatre ticket is hot pink: as part of the GLBT Pride celebrations this month, author and performer Dave Awl is reforming the Pansy Kings, a group of Chicago's swishiest performing folk, for a one-night-only extravaganza at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, Wednesday night at 8PM. Expect moments of "campy fabulousness," as the Chicago Reader puts it. Also expect a standing-room-only show; the Pansy Kings quit at the top of their game in 1997, when they were able to draw a crowd large enough to fill the Park West.

Chicago Museums? Free.

If you're low on cash and are dying to see dinosaur bones, take heed: all Chicago museums are free this week. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Hyde Park Art Fair

Hey dude, I almost forgot: the 57th St. Art Fair is going on in Hyde Park like, now. Consider yourself duly warned.

Protecting The Big Boys' Property

Somehow, the City of Chicago has lost its campaign to eliminate the independent Property Tax Appeals Board (PTAB), which every year accounts for millions of dollars in shortfalls in the schools budget. The Mayor and Cook County Assessor James Houlihan tried to endorse a county-run appeals board in order to keep big business from exploiting their legal resources to save money on their property taxes. The Illinois State Senate struck down the bill to eliminate the PTAB, and the city is predicting millions of dollars in losses, which will directly affect the CPS, which is largely funded by commercial/industrial property taxes.

The Anachronization of Neighborhoods

The development juggernaut known as the University Village Association (UVA), which has extended UIC down to 18th Street along Halsted as well as displaced countless businesses and homes between Van Buren and Taylor Streets between the west 800 and 1200 blocks, is now trying to make Taylor Street more "European." They've issued a set of guidelines for current and future businesses that would insist on "street furniture," fancy "menu boxes," for restaurants, and turning the ABLA homes power plant into a "funky" microbrewery or bookstore. This follows the pattern of forcing an old-world sensibility on organic neighborhoods that has marred places like Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and "Old Town." Been to Taylor Street recently?

The irony of this situation is that Taylor Street's diversity and "organic," nature, meaning its somewhat disjointed streetwall, are the epitome of the "European" style of urban development. Zoning laws and community-enforced architectural regularities are all but absent in most European towns, and as a result you get...well, you get Taylor Street, more or less. Taylor Street is one of the hidden gems in the city's long list of historic commercial strips, getting none of the publicity or foot traffic that its cousins up North or Northwest get. This attempt by the UVA to homogenize the Taylor Street streetscape will completely rob the area of its wonderful, organic, small-town feel. If you enjoy a good Mario's Lemonade, drinks at La Vita, the phenomenal Italian sandwiches from Conte DiSavoia or soul-food breakfasts from Sweet Maple, let Alderman Danny Solis know it!

"Starting Over" Off to Bad Start

The new reality TV show "Starting Over," from the producers of The Real World, will follow six down-on-their-luck women try to straighten out their lives. However, the producers may have to start over themselves: some of the neighbors of the Gold Coast greystone the show will be filmed in have filed suit, claiming violations of zoning laws and renovation beyond what has been licensed. (In related news, Palatine native Mallory Snyder is one of the inmates cast members of Real World Paris, which debuted this week on MTV.)

17 months and counting

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky calls out democrats, liberals, environmentalists, lawyers, judges, seniors, veterans and anyone with compassion to put a new president in office in 17 months. Call it a challenge, if you will.

The Animatrix

Years before The Animatrix hit screens, Chicago had its own Animatrix Network, an anime and manga fan club going strong since 1995. (Maybe the Wachowski brothers were members once upon a time?)

Block 37 Movie Theater?

The Daley administration, in a surprising shift of thinking, may now be considering movie theaters for the contentious spot of vacant land in Chicago's Loop known as Block 37. According to Crain's Chicago Business, movie theaters had been specifically excluded from the original plans as Daley did not want to return to the theaters that had occupied the land in the 1960s and ’70s that became "seedy magnets for drugs, gangs and other criminal elements."

Since 1991, the block has been the summer home of Gallery 37, a job-training program in the arts for youths aged 10-21 and sponsored by the city's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Darkstar 7

Darkstar 7 is a live electronic music event taking place tonight at the Shanley Pavilion in Evanston. Performers include Todd Sines with Natacha Labelle, Soultek with Jackie Kay, Miles Tilmann, Projectile, and others. Five dollars, 5pm-1am, 2031 Sheridan rd. See the Darkstar site for full lineup and directions.

Chicago Comedy Association

Twenty of Chicago's comedy theatres have banded together to form the Chicago Comedy Association, according to PerformInk. The membership includes all the biggies: Second City, ImprovOlympic, ComedySportz, Noble Fool, and Free Associates, among others. "The association was created to foster awareness of Chicago's legendary comedy scene and promote Chicago comedy both locally, and nationally," reports PI's Christina Biggs. That awareness-fostering apparently doesn't include a website. Inquiring minds are directed to call 312-644-4032, which goes to the administrative office of Second City.

Inspiration from Nature

The opening reception for the group art exhibit "Inspiration from Nature" will take place Friday, June 6th. The exhibit features artists Pia Brix-Thomsen and Marcia Olivieri Quinn among others. The exhibit will be held at Lydon Fine Art Gallery located at 309 West Superior from 5 - 8 pm. For more information call 312.943.1133.

Yo La Tengo

Tomorrow night at The Vic, don't miss Yo La Tengo performing at 7:30. This amazing trio promises a good show. Tickets are still available and only $18.50. Not familiar with Yo La Tengo? They are hailed as "One of rock’s last true visionary bands" by USA Today. And oh, they are! Visit their site at Matador Records for mp3 downloads and info.

Brandeis book sale

There's been a lot of smack talked up lately about used books etc. Suffice to say, the entire Printer's Row thing is not where it's at. Those in the know know that the most important book fair in Illinois is the Brandeis sale this Saturday. But don't worry about getting a place in line, since profesional bookdealers have been lining up since MONDAY to catch the most tasty tidbits. First edtions beware - the sale that drains the entire Midwest of used books is about to be in full effect.

Renegade Craft Fair

Do you consider yourself crafty? Are you interested in selling your handmade items at one of the local street fairs but find the juried atmosphere too expensive and stodgy? Then, join the Renegade Craft Fair. It will only cost you $50 for a 10 foot space (which you can share with your friends) in Wicker Park (1425 N. Damen Ave.) The fair will be on September 20th from 11 am to 5pm. The deadline for entry is June 20, so go download an entry form and tell them about your wares.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is this year's recipient of the Harold Washington Literary Award for her creative use of the written word. Her most recent book, Oryx and Crake was published last month. She will be accepting her award at the Harold Washington Library on Sunday, June 8th at 1:30 pm as part of the Chicago Tribune Printer's Row Book Fair. If you're wondering why you haven't read anything about this in the Chicago Tribune it could have something to do with the fact that her books often end up on Banned Book lists. Or I could be beating them to it.
Check out the program for more activities.

Arne Duncan Profile

Catalyst, a monthly magazine chronicling school reform efforts, has an in-depth profile of new CPS Chief Arne Duncan and what he's done so far.

Ira Cox yes?

In what may become a daily read for me, the misleading-at-first-but-makes-sense-after "North Avenue Traffic Report" (currently in a I-just-moved-no-internet hiatus), a site by one Ira Cox, details his adventures on his fixed gear bike (a man after my own heart), and escapades dumpster diving around the city. It's shocking to see the sort of stuff he finds... Via the indomitable Kiplog.

Hyde Park Arts Fest

The first weekend in June is one of my favorite weekends in Chicago as it marks not only the Printer's Row Book Fair but also the annual Hyde Park Arts Fest. Hyde Park's 57th Street Art Fair is the oldest juried art fair in the Midwest and is celebrating its 56th year. The fair exhibits the work of more than 300 artists from throughout the United States and Canada, and, best of all, it's absolutely free. This weekend's fest also includes the annual Hyde Park Community Art Fair that features local arts and crafts artists. Check out the full events schedule for many more things to do in Hyde Park this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Crane's Top 10

Chicago-based writer Elizabeth Crane, of "The Messenger is Hot", a book which by now you've seen in that you should read section of your local Borders or B&N (it has quite a nice design), lists her Top 10 Reading List, subtitled "An Antidote to Bestselleritis". Undoubtedly, most intellectual and "hipster types" will find this list familiar.

Urlacher a Bear for Life

Fans of Brian Urlacher will be happy to know he signed a contract effectively making him a Bear for life: the 9-year, $58 million contract is the largest ever for the team and will take him through the end of his career.

Lakeshore Bus Routes Change

The CTA approved changes to express bus routes serving the north and south Lake Shore regions. Theoretically, the new routes will improve commute times and allow passengers to take just one bus to their destinations (instead of having to transfer.) The CTA's site has more details. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

R. Kelly "Chicago Idol"

A chance to record with R. Kelly is the top prize in the new "Chicago Idol" contest sponsored by radio stations WGCI and WVAZ. Only 300 contestants can qualify to compete, and you must be 21 or older -- which is a good thing, considering his recent trouble with underage girls. "Pied Piper of R&B," indeed.

Reading at Women & Children's First

DePaul professor Maria de los Angeles Torres will be reading from her book "By Heart/De Memoria" tonight, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. The book chronicles Torres' journey (and that of 10 other essayists) from Cuba to Miami, during the Bay of Pigs invasion. The reading will take place at Women and Children First bookstore located at 5233 N. Clark. For more information, call 773.769.9299.

Katherine Dunham to Speak

Katherine Dunham is one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of this century, one of the greatest african-american artists in our history and, along with Ruth Page, one of the founders of dance in this city. This Friday the native Chicagoan will be making a rare public speech at a conference honoring her work and her legacy. A rare opportunity to hear one of Chicago's greatest daughters speak about her life and work.

Volo, Volvo -- same difference

Car maker Volvo is threatening legal action against the tiny Volo Auto Museum in northwest suburban Volo because its domain name,, is too similar to The museum began using the domain in 1997, three years before Volvo created its site.

Slow Food Feast of the Senses

The Slow Food movement is sponsoring a Feast of the Senses on Saturday, June 7th / 6:00pm-8:30pm. 24 art galleries will be open for perusal while attendees sample tastings from Chicago's top chefs. Each gallery will host a chef / winery or brewery / food vendor. Tickets are $35 for Slow Food Chicago members / $40 for non-members, and can be purchased online at

Sosa's Corked Bat

In case you don't normally look at the sports page, Sammy Sosa was ejected from last night's game for using a corked bat, which shattered during the game. Sosa claims he picked up the bat he uses for practice and home run exhibitions. Columnist opinion round-up: Rick Telander thinks he's lying, Mike Downey defends his honor, Rick Morrissey calls him a cheater, Phil Rogers pities him, and Mike Imrem is undecided.

Restaurant Round-Up

Former Chicago web logger, soon to be ex-patriate traveling around the world, Paul Nendick gives us as his final good-bye gift, his round-up of favorite Chicago restaurants. Some obvious choices -- and some hidden gems ready to be jumped on. Good luck Paul!

Drag King Tour

Academy and Emmy-award winning filmmakers, Sonia Slutsky and Nigel Noble, are filming a tour of Blueband Productions' Drag Kings. You'll be able to see Carlos Las Vegas, Johnny Kat, Pat Riarch, Christopher Noel, and Luster perform at Stargaze (5419 N. Clark St.) tonight for $6. It's a small price to pay to possibly be part of a crowd shot in a future award winning movie. If you liked Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you'll want to be a part of this.

Late Nite Catechism

One of the creators of Late Nite Catechsim, Maripat Donovan, just happens to be a Loyola Alumni and is going to be performing her famous ister act at Mullady Theater, in the Centennial Forum Student Union, on the Loyola Lake Shore Campus this Saturday, June 7th, at 8 pm. The $20 cost is well worth it to see a sister in all her ruler-breaking, Hail Mary! glory. It's a great show if you're Catholic (or recovering) and great if you're a heathen, too.

AVIT VJ Conference

AVIT (Audio Visual It), is hosting its 2003 North American VJ Conference and Visuals Festival this weekend at the Heaven & Buddy galleries, 1542 North Milwaukee. For more information on the pre-party and artist's reception (June 6) and the North America Conference & Talent Showcase (June 7), visit the AVIT site.

Printer's Row Book Fair

The 19th annual Printer's Row Book Fair (June 7 & 8, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Dearborn & Polk, free admission) will feature a panel on Chicago's independent publishers.

From the Lake Claremont Press site:

There are about 56,000 small and independent presses in the United States and only a handful of large publishing houses. The latter generates 80% of the industry's revenue, but the small presses release 80% of the titles. Our Chicago Indie Publishers Panel will showcase a variety of local presses; delve into their different origins, roles, and specialties; consider the independent publisher in light of such things as media conglomeration, the Internet, DIY, and other trends affecting literacy and the distribution of knowledge and art; and inquire into ways Chicago could build its independent publishing scene.

The panel will be moderated by Julie Parson-Nesbitt, an editorial board member of Tia Chucha Press, the publishing wing of the Guild Complex.

Panelists: Sharon Woodhouse of Lake Claremont Press, Haki Madhubuti of Third World Press, Penelope Rosemont of Charles Kerr, Anita Miller of Academy Chicago, and Jackie Lalley of Family Support America.

Chicago #1: Arts!

Because we like to be Top Dog, American Style magazine has compiled a list of Top 25 Arts Destinations. And of course, we're Top Dog. Hat tip to Steven for the link.

Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe's glass house that begat all glass houses, is up for sale, and the State of Illionois can't afford it. The New York Times Magazine details the backstory of this modern masterpiece on the Fox River.

Food Part 1.

Okay, okay, we frickin' love to eat so here's a few choice links to Chicago foodies with a vegetarian/vegan slant. Jes has her recipes, and so does Jen. PJ has a nice selection of vegan places he's eaten, both American and Thai, lacking only the recipes to his own creations. Paul goes at it on his food webbity and on a related note, Sandy and Luke talk restaurant. If you know other good Chicago food links and recipes, drop me a line.

Where's My Wax?

Earwax, a video store turned cafe that seemed to be a staple of Wicker Park, is gone. Or is it? As it turns out, they're moving across the street. Although that New City story claims the fantastic Myopic Books will be taking the old Earwax space, a sign in the ol' window claims that "Wicker Park Guns and Ammo and Cocktails" will be taking its space. I'm confused. For now, Filter will have to do.


Whilst browsing some restaurant reviews over at Metromix, I came across this review. I like how the rater expertly gave his advice (warning, a little crude): "OVERPRICED AND OVERHYPED LOUSY SERVICE WITH AN ATTITUDE I HAD A SPOONTANG MARTINI AND IT TASTED LIKE POONTANG YUCK!!" (yes, caps and all). Some may not complain.

Looted Iraq: Artists Respond

In response to the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq, over 80 prominent artists are donating works for a special auction to benefit the "Iraqi Museum Database Project" at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The auction will take place next Saturday, June 14th at 7 p.m. at Gallery Mornea in Evanston. Tickets for the auction are $20 and are tax-deductible. For more details, including a full list of contributing artists, read the press release.

Goodbye, Checkerboard

The Checkerboard Lounge has closed its doors, after several attempts to find new ownership or relocate to Alderman Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman's (3rd) proposed Blues District a few blocks south. The Checkerboard, at 423 E. 43rd Street, has been the center of Chicago's Bronzeville blues scene since the 1930s. Among the superstars who paid for the chance to play at the Checkerboard were Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Eric Clapton -- now, due to the stubborn refusal of the owner to sell the building to the manager, it will close its doors. Hopefully, if Ms Tillman's controversial "Blues District" ever leaves the ground, the Checkerboard can be resurrected. Don't count on it, though--Ms Tillman's record in development has been abysmal.

Closing Up The Clubhouse

After 10 years of rockin' hard, The Clubhouse, the tiny record story next to Metro, is closing June 28! Anyone who's ever needed to find the latest release by some obscure oi punk or industrial band knows what a loss this is. It eliminates the only place you could pick up tix to Metro shows without getting hit with a Ticketmaster surcharge.

Census Maps

The University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library has an interesting collection of maps, especially pertaining to the 1990 and 2000 census data for Chicago.

Picks for Grant Park Festival

The schedule for The Grant Park Music Festival is now out. Lots of good -- if genero-standard -- music to hear. The most interesting thing on the program is the June 25 and 26 performance, which includes a nice Howell's piece and -- most importantly -- a performance of Morton Lauridsen's recent and award winning Lux Aeterna.

Chicago's Polish Vote

Did you know Chicago has the largest Polish voting block outside Poland? The Wall Street Journal's front page feature discusses the implications of the Chicago vote in Poland's referendum on joining the EU. Anyone with a Polish passport can vote, provided they register by tomorrow. It's anticipated that between 4,000 and 10,000 votes will be cast here when polls open on June 6&7 -- the Sun-Times has a list of polling places in its article.

I haven't been there in a while but it seems that Supersphere is alive, well and kicking. If I'm not mistaken, they are Chicago-based and if not, well there's a wide range of media available on the site in the form of indie films and shorts, video features, mp3's and live footage of shows and especially from the early archives: bands playing at the Fireside Bowl.

Mat Johnson Reading

Author Mat Johnson, will be doing a reading to promote his new book "Hunting in Harlem" on June 3 at Barbara's Books located at 1350 N. Wells at 7:30. Walter Mosley says of the book, "Mat Johnson's breathless thriller cuts to the heart of gentrification. Hunting in Harlem shakes up the issues of urban blight and asks, How far do you go to set it right? Implausibly humorous, righteously terrifying, (it is) a cautionary tale for our time."



GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15