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. 


Sunday, June 16

Gapers Block

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Tall Ships mishap

A "minor mishap" in yesterday's parade of tall ships down the Chicago River -- under the Lake Shore Drive Bridge -- resulted in the breaking of a mast on the HMS Bounty. The parade was a kickoff for Tall Ships Chicago at Navy Pier, where 25 of the world's tallest wind-powered ships are on parade, and can be visited from 11am-8pm. A one-day boarding pass is $8, and the festival runs through August 4.

Nomy Lamm

Nomy Lamm the self-described "badass fatass jew dyke amputee, performance artist, writer and activist" is going to be in town Sunday, August 3rd, performing with Chicago Kings and several other bands at the Bottom Lounge. She'll also be part of Estrojam on August 7.

Bowling Links

Wanna go bowling? Here's a list of all the bowling alleys in Chicagoland, alphabetized by name or location. Strike!

IKEA, Wal-Mart, Oh My....

The Trib reports that, in addition to Wal-Mart, IKEA might be coming to town. I don't know about you, but I'm most excited about the prospect of this "Starbucks" place in the city. Maybe someday.... [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Women Bloggers in the News

Hey, women bloggers got some props in the Chicago Tribune, yesterday.
[login: gapers/gapers]


Assembly is a project that "invites interesting people to discuss stuff they know a lot about." Today's assembly features talks by sound artist, performer, accordion hack, radio programmer, producer, curator and pirate Anna Friz, and Howard Alan, who specializes in organic architecture, passive and active solar power, and alternative energy conservation. Thursday July 31st, 8pm, Open End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton, $5.

FlashMob Chicago:

Tomorrow, 08-01-2003. Assemble at the Calder @ 5:30 PM. Bring sticky note. Acknowledge no one. Leave @ exactly 5:35.

Chi Town

Anne, from Bells and Whistles writes a wonderful review of Norbert Blei's Chi Town. It is the final book in a trilogy about the city of Chicago and would be a good place for new Chicago residents to read.
Another book which will serve new city residents, or people looking for a new neighborhood, is the Not For Tourists Guide to Chicago. It breaks the city down into regions and provides info on everything from liquor stores to hardware stores, restaraunts, and brief mentions of neighborhood feel. Cover price is $16.95.

Nude Hippo

Nude Hippo, "Your Chicago Show," broadcasts its 100th episode Thursday night. Catch the special 2-hour episode of the magazine-style show from 7-9pm on Cable Channel 25.

UofC Prof on Malawi

UofC prof Jacob Levy has an excellent article on Malawi over at The New Republic. It's informative, easy-to-read, and really lets you know what's up in Malawi. Africa's been a hot topic on The Block lately, and hey, would it really kill you to learn a little something about someplace in Africa that isn't melting down?

CraigsList Provides Entertainment, Etc.

You're missing out by not reading CraigsList Chicago ads on a semi-regular basis. Take a few minutes out of your day to check out a missive to employment, and ads for psychics, Mary Kay "smell goods," and lots and lots of threesomes.

Patricia Barber in Town

Patricia Barber is one of Chicago's most talented jazz exports. But she's been exporting herself so often she's almost never in town. Luckily for us she'll be at Green Mill playing Monday night gigs for all of August. Check out her a/v page if you've not yet been turned on.

Englewood Residents Under Watch:

Monitored by surveillance cameras perched atop streetlights, Chicagoans in Englewood are constantly observed by the authorities. It's part of an effort to curb gang violence and drug crimes in the area - something Englewood desperately needs. But is it worth the price paid in privacy?

The Good Ol' Days

The last 100 degree day we experienced was 4 years ago, in 1999. Not only was the temperature 100 degrees but the humidity level was at 100%. God bless Chicago! Appreciate today's 83 for CRYING OUT LOUD!

Bush Assassinated!

Derek Erdman recently made parody covers of the Sun-Times and put them in newspaper boxes around town, declaring among other things that Jesse Jackson had been declared emperor of Africa. He's giving away his extras free.

Limp Bizkit Bombs

Limp Bizkit was essentially booed off the stage at the Summer Sanitarium concert this weekend after concertgoers threw bottles, coins and at least one well-aimed lemon at the band. Fred Durst apparently through a fit and offered to take on "anyone within earshot" before leaving the stage 20 minutes into their set, leaving a 90-minute blank space between Bizkit and headliners Metallica.


We all know the social network Friendster (what? you're not on Friendster?), but how about the new Enemyster? Or even Fiendster? While Fiendster is a joke, does anyone have a beta code for Enemyster? Drop me a line.

West Side Green Corridor

The city has a plan for turning more of the West Side into a "green town" along the corridor near the Garfield Park Conservatory. The vision is to turn empty lots into jobs for the community, including landscaping businesses, a garden center and greenhouse. This initiative is the direct result of a study after the Chihuly glass exhibit last year, which brought thousands of visitors to the area, but little of those tourist dollars flowed into the surrounding economy. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Poised to shop

Our very own Cinnamon has excellent handmade goods geared towards the modern independent jet-setting female for sale at her site. All reasonably priced (a steal really) and quality made but what makes this kick the proverbial arse, is that about 75% of the proceeds go to various charities. Get your buy on!

Bob Hope dies.

I thought he was already dead a few years ago -- sorry -- but I am sure you have heard that Bob Hope passed away Sunday. Thanks for the memories, etc., etc., etc. Read about his connection to Chicago.

No Means No Law

My boy Governor Rod Blagojevich just signed into effect the "No Means No" law which will bring come down harder on acquaintance rape. What the law means is that a person has the right to change their mind even while intercourse is occurring. If that person says "NO" and you keep going -- that's rape, buddy. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Bitter harvest!

Where did that tomato really come from? As the popularity of farmers' markets increases, regulation is getting tougher. But Chicago is cracking down on farmers' market vendors who buy produce wholesale and pass it off as homegrown. (Trib login: gapers/gapers)

WTTW Chapter 11?

WTTW, our beloved public TV station, is in dire financial straits as the recent "Network Chicago" rebranding has failed, Jim Kirk reported in yesterday's Tribune Magazine. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Cheaper Fares?

The good news: the CTA is considering lower off-peak pricing. The bad news: you might need a Chicago Card in order to get it. Oh, cruel fate!

A New TV Critic

Relatively new Chicagoan Liz Butler, a friend of the Block, is now writing a weekly TV column for The Daily Gusto.

Vaudeville Returns to Chicago

A recent article profiled the resurrgence of vaudeville theatre in the Chicago area. The Daily Herald featured a detailed profile of the Vaudeville Underground troupe. It also mentions Chicago Burlesque and Vaudeville and includes a brief history of the Chicago vaudeville scene. However, for an excellent visual tour through vaudeville history, check out the online exhibition of American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 from the Library of Congress website.

Prado Velazquez Stop

On its way home to the Museum del Prado in Madrid from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Diego Rodriguez Velazquez painting of the ancient Greek author Aesop, will make a brief stop at the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting will be on display through September 26, 2003.

Ashtray Boy Returns

Ashtray Boy w/ Ludenschied ...a world premier of NEW CD! 'The Euro' Part-time Chicago band, Ashtray Boy, returns to Chicago on Saturday August 2 at 9pm at the BYOB club run by Elastic Revolution Productions commonly known as 3030: 3030 W. Cortland -- 1 block south of Armitage (2000 north) & 1 block west of Humboldt Blvd. (3000 west). Maybe if we're lucky, Dave Winer (formerly from The Baltimores and The Howards) will be playing with them that night. Be there or be square!

Nuclear Missiles on South Side

From 1955 to 1971 several Chicago parks hosted radar towers and nuclear missiles so powerful the Chicago Tribune called Chicago “the best defended city in the Middle West against enemy air-to-ground attacks." This website has pictures and a wealth of information about the little-known history of Jackson Park and Promontory Point.

Blog of Note

Ms. Amy at Rubbernun has gotten herself chosen as a "Blog of Note" by Ms. Musings.
"Don't be fooled by the props that she got
She's just Amy from the blog"


Remember how much fun you had at Ladyfest Midwest? Relive the magic at Estrojam! The four-day festival features DIY workshops, the premier of the documentary Coup d'Etat, and a whole purse-load of performances by Cat Power, Lydia Lunch, Princess Superstar, Panda Panda, Big Smith, the intriguingly named Bleeding Hickies and more more more! Proceeds will benefit the financially embattled Women in the Director's Chair. August 7-10 at the Vic, Subterranean, and other North Side venues.

Donors again

Better late than never, but we've added the few folks who donated just a bit more at the recent GB party. Much thanks to everyone though!

WDET streaming returns

WDET in Detroit, one of the country's best public radio stations, resumes its streaming today. The stream was shut down in February to comply with the RIAA, but DJs can now work around the rules by using a kill switch. For example, if more than four songs by the same artist are played within a three-hour period, the stream will simply be turned off for the duration of the non-complying programming.

3:15 Experiment

The 3:15 experiment is a collective writing project where participants write at 3:15am (in a specified time zone) every day for the month of August. Originally conceived at Naropa, it's intended to be an exercise on "states of consciousness and the writing discover what connections would be made while writing separately, but together." The next 3:15 is coming up, and they're looking for more participants.

The Ragtime Ephemeralist

For those of you with a soft spot for ragtime music, The Ragtime Ephemeralist may be of keen interest. The publication digs deep into the history of the genre, and the site offers additional resources, including some sample recordings. First rate!

Pomposity! Lit Rag

Pomposity!, a "lit rag for the computing set," is a product of a couple students in the Interactive Multimedia Program at Columbia College. The html version is dead, but the Flash site boasts a nice mix of high- and low-brow writing.

Lay-c Art Sale

Lacey Graves, artiste extrordinaire and her roommate will be having an open house art sale at their building (in their yard I presume), in the grand neighbourhood of Andersonville on Sunday. Judging from the amount of work here and here, there'll be quite some goodies to peruse and purchase. Details here.

Atomly and Eye-D at Rotation

Atomly, who entertained the Gapers Block party with his mellow techno, will be performing music tonight from the other end of the electronic spectrum: some rough drum&bass, and possibly breakcore. Rotation, the jungle weekly at Cafe Lura, will also host DJ Eye-D from the Netherlands, who pioneered the gabberjunglewar style. 11pm, $7, 3184 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The Black Menace

Thanks to Behind the Typeface: CooperBlack I learned that Oswald Cooper created this amazing font while working in Chicago.

Jesus Brick:

Jesus Brick: Unable to get laid in a Chicago park. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, has been released to much fanfare. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a review.

Among the changes: "Possessive versus attributive forms. A strong preference is expressed for retaining the apostrophe in plural forms (e.g., employees’ cafeteria, consumers’ group). 7.27."
Which means that Gapers' Block (with an apostrophe) is more correct than Gapers Block. We're still not changing the logo.

Boondocks Censored Again

The Tribune chose not to publish two Boondocks comic strips last week, MediaNews reports. Trib columnist Don Wycliff explains why: too offensive. Read them (1, 2) yourself and decide. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Studs Turkel

Studs Turkel has spent decades exploring the city and documenting the lives of its residents. You can explore his life and listen to some of the many interviews he's conducted over the years at


A replica of the schooner Amistad, the slave ship taken over by its captives and made famous by the movie of the same name, will arrive at Navy Pier this Saturday for a two-and-a-half-week stint. Explore the ship and learn about the history of the slave trade and the rebellion on Amistad's decks. Sponsored by the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

WLS Talks!

The complete history of WLS Radio. I gotta get me some WLS radio tubes.

Newberry Library's Bughouse Square debates

The Newberry Library is having their annual book fair from Thursday through Sunday. They're also hosting the Bughouse Square Debates in Washington Square Park. There will be prizes for the best speakers and hecklers on Saturday.
The park became known as "Bughouse Square" because of the numbers of soapbox orators who would use it as a forum for public display and debate. This all happened about the time that the mansions around the park were being converted to rooming houses after the turn of the century and the bohemian element started moving in.

Sorry, Ice Cube

So the other night I was watching Channel 2's 10pm news, and there's a report on a sexual assault in Wicker Park. Police apparently described the attacker as looking like Ice Cube -- and film clips of Cube flashed across the screen. Today the CPD and WBBM-TV apologized to the actor-rapper, who is in town filming Barbershop 2, for connecting him with the attacks.

American English

American English, the Chicago-based Beatles tribute band considered the best in the world (they're promoted by the Beatles' former manager) will be playing at Oakbrook Fest tomorrow. The show will feature a guest appearance by Louise Harrison, George's sister. A must-see for any hardcore Fab Five fan (keep your eye out for Terry Hemmert). See their schedule for more info.

Kosher in Chicago

Halakhah is hip. Or so says the Chicago Tribune, which has a nice article on the rise of kosher food in Chicago (login:gapers/gapers). It sounds like the Chicago Rabbinic Council has been busy certifying everything from slurpees to spices. Est gezunterhayt!

Masters of the Grill

Tonight, at Masters of the Grill, some of Chicago's top chefs will be grilling market foods at the Green City Market as a fundraiser for the organic, environmentally sustainable market. Cooks include Rick Bayless from Frontera Grill, Jennifer Newberry from Fortunato, and seventeen others. $35, 5-7pm, at the south end of Lincoln Park between 1750 N. Clark & Stockton Dr.

Veggie/Vegan Chicago again

Veggie food updates: Ian has a nice list of veggie and vegan friendly restaurants in Chicago. Add PJ's excellent and ever expanding vegan food section (with photos of various dishes). Mix well for an animal-friendly time. Also, visit Letizia's Bakery on Division, as they now have a vegan pizza offering.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

My inside connection tells me that Ted Allen of Bravo's new makeover show for guys Queer Eye for the Straight Guy happens to live in Rogers Park with his longtime partner.

Prince Club

Do you like Prince? A lot? Then show up at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont, Sunday night for Chicago NPG Music Club's monthly shindig and party like it's 1999 to Prince's music and nothing but, all night. More info on the club here.

New Kurt Elling Album

Hyde Parker Kurt Elling has a new album, Man in the Air that goes on sale today. It can be difficult to get past his unironic hipsterism, but Elling is a fantastic vocalist and his collaborator Laurence Hobgood is even more devastatingly talented. You can hear clips of the album and even buy tickets for the record release party late on in August.

Peace Memorial

There's going to be a Memorial ceremony tomorrow for victims (American and Iraqi) of the most recent war in Iraq at the Federal building (corner of Dearborn and Adams) tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Free Milk Press

The Free Milk Press from outta Chicago has some interesting things to look at, as well as some handmade journals and a book on photography to purchase. They are also looking for submissions for an "online fine art photography" magazine which will have a featured artist and group exhibition. Details here. They are also creating a gallery of found photographs as well. Via the excellent resource for female artists, Female Persuasion.

Funding for bike paths could be cut

Bicycle and public transportation advocates just received a massive blow to their efforts: a bill out of subcommittee in Congress would eliminate $600 million in funding for bike paths and walkways. The bill also calls for more highways and greater dependency on cars.

Chicago's Traffic Diva's

Chicago's Traffic Divas is a group of traffic reporters for area radio and TV stations who have gotten together to create a calendar to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It's a little late in the year, but you can still make your mechanic happy and give to charity, too.

Tuesdays on the Terrace

The Museum of Contemporary Art presents live jazz for free every Tuesday from 5-8pm. Tuesdays on the Terrace run from June 3 through September 2, and catering is available by Wolfgang Puck. Tonight's musician is Kahil El’Zabar.


Beyond Media is teaming up for a fundraiser with DykeMarch to raise a little coin at Las Manos Gallery this Friday. Your $3 donation will get you into the screening of "A Fish (Almost) Eaten by a Shark". Beyond Media's mission is to equip and educate "under-served and under-represented women, youth, and communities in how to tell their stories, articulate their identities and organize for social justice." They'll also be showing clips from their unfinished work about school conditions for queer youth in Illinois. They're collaborating with Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation.

Irvine Welsh reads Porno

Porno galore tonight when Irvine Welsh reads from his latest book. At the Metro so don't forget, and yes it's free!

Chicago Audio Society

Consider yourself an audiophile? Are you the type to spend hours tweaking your stereo system to get the surround sound perfect? Can you argue the merits of vacuum tube amplifiers over solid-state? Well then, you're ready to join the Chicago Audio Society.

Photoshop Tennis: Game On!

Coudal Partners announces the launch of Photoshop Tennis, Season 3. This time 'round, it's a 32-slot, single-elimination tournament. 11 spots are still open, so get your applications in!

The Quirkyalone

I've always liked going to the movies alone. No arguing about what to see, where to sit, or frustration if you don't like the movie someone else picked. Am I alone in this trend: no, I am apparently a quirkyalone. It appears that the quirkyalone predates the metrosexual. Take the quiz to see if you qualify, and then go to the movies by yourself to celebrate.

Scottie Pippen Returns

Scottie Pippen returns to the Bulls line-up next year, and of course there's lots of speculation on what his presence will do for the lackluster former champions. Read about it in the Tribune, Sun-Times, Southtown, Daily Herald.
[Trib login: gapers/gapers]

That's Good Bingo

There's a lot of discussion going on in the current Detour article about what is and isn't hip, or a hipster, or a dive bar, or the end of the universe, or something like that. Anyway, ignore that hot air and play for real money - Hipster Bingo. (via BoingBoing)

Thanks, GB party people

Just a note of thanks to everyone who came out to Ann Sather's last night for the GB Party, it was quite a success. More notes and whatnot to come.

Gray Line

The Gray Line is a proposal to convert Metra electric train lines into a CTA route serving the South and Southeast Sides. (More info here.)

Hello, George?

"Cash, small unmarked bills only in a paper bag, how can I help you?" That's the way the lawyer who ended up with ex-Gov. George Ryan's old cellphone number answers.

Rosehill Cemetary

Did you know that Rosehill Cemetery, at 5800 N. Ravenswood Avenue, was named Roe's Hill in 1859 when it opened? It was named after tavernkeeper Hiram Roe. A mapmaker erred and changed the name, and then a signmaker used that spelling, and the name stuck.
Did you also know that the Rosehill Cemetery is home to the largest secular collection of Tiffany art glass windows anywhere in the world? John G. Shedd (yes, that Shedd) commissioned Tiffany to design a skylight for his memorial chapel and made Louis Tiffany sign a waiver saying the design would never be duplicated. It takes about an hour and a half to tour all the windows. But, if you'd rather take an organized tour, the Chicago Architecture Foundation has one to offer.

HiFi Records

When The Clubhouse record store next to Metro closed, word was something would take its place as the source for Metro and SmartBar tickets without a surcharge. That something turns out to be a new branch of Lincoln Park's HiFi Records.

trunk show

Hey, crafty types! Trunk-show traders Ruth and Ebrimah Sillah are bringing their wares back to Caravan Beads, 3361 N. Lincoln, this Saturday and Sunday. Choose from African and Asian beads, vintage beads, jewelry, clothing, and more! Plenty of deals to be had!

Hello My Name Is

Unsubstantiated reports inform us that there may be a rash case of "Hello My Name Is" stickers and nametags floating around at tonight's Gapers Block Party. We wonder if these rumours are true. Find out tonight.


Pass this one on to your boss: 37Signals and Coudal Partners are teaming up to offer BloggingWorks, a one-day workshop on "how your business can harness the power of weblogs to improve efficiency and communication."

Air Quality

How does Chicagoland's air quality rate? Depending on who you ask, anywhere from a B to an F, according to this Pioneer Press article.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (good URL by the way) has a nifty little site with interesting exhibits, lectures, tours (tons of choices), and you can even volunteer. Now how many of you remember saying that you wanted to be an architect when you were growing up?

Capone's Furniture

In this edition of old school Cribs, we present you with a small 7-piece set of art deco furniture that Mae and Al Capone owned back in the day. I can imagine Al telling Mae in that dresser mirror, "Doll, you're my moll."

14th National Poetry Slam

Tickets for the 14th National Poetry Slam go on sale today at noon via the evil that is Ticketmaster. Three-day passes will be sold by the Chopin Theater beginning August 5th, and cover can be paid at any of the individual venues the throughout the event.
Marc Smith, a construction worker in Chicago, started an audience-participated open mike poetry slam at the Green Mill in 1986. The format spread throughout the world. Now, all the top winners are going to be descending on Chicago beginning the first full week in Chicago to see who can give the slam down.
They're also looking for volunteers.

Gold Coast NIMBYs beat reality TV

The producers of the reality show "Starting Over" have bowed to pressure from Gold Coast residents and moved to another neighborhood on the North Side, according to BackStage.

A Day on the Force fundraiser

Are you missing the Chicago Force already? Well the three women who filmed A Day On the Force are having a fundraiser at the Bottom Lounge on Sunday at 7 pm. For $10 you'll get to meet Jane Danger (great name!), #34 and Gerra Bosco, #42 of the team, see Jen Slusser MC for the Chicago Kings, watch Three Dollar Bill perform, and see other performers, too.

City Fish

This is just odd: The longnose dace is apparently the official fish of Chicago. We voted on this?

Homeless Coffee

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is selling fair trade coffee to raise funds for a coffeehouse to provide jobs and training. Coalition Café organic coffee is available at the Daley Center and Prudential Plaza farmers markets, several stores around town and online. More info and a list of sales location at the CCH's website.

Sister Cities

The sister city phenomenon is fascinating, and Chicago has 22 of them. Toronto, Osaka, Warsaw, Paris, Mexico City - it's not surprising the city of big shoulders is thusly connected. But Accra? Karachi? And thanks to the sister city phenomenon, Chicagoans are organizing lesbian sports clubs in Widerhoek, Namibia. Rock on Chicago Sister Cities!

Coudal Kudos

Coudal Partners gets a nod from the Sun-Times today for using weblogs to raise its profile and earn street cred. They were also recently featured in an Inc. magazine article.

Go Organic?

Is organic food better? An article in today's Times discusses the possible biases in studies on nutritional health. Regardless, most organic farming is more environmentally sustainable, and ingesting poison can't be good for you, even in minute amounts. So if you're organically inclined, head over to the Green City Farmers' Market today and every Wednesday at Lincoln Park just south of Armitage, 7am-3pm.

"Historic" Hoffman Estates

According to a story in the Daily Herald, the trustees of suburban Hoffman Estates have agreed to create a museum to showcase the village's history - all 44 years of it. One woman has "offered to donate to the museum a hand-woven coverlet made by her grandmother in the 1870s" - almost ninety years before the village was even incorporated.

buy more books

Does anything rock more than big sales at cool bookstores? Women and Children First's annual blowout runs July 19-27 -- 20% (or more) off every book in the store! Wow.

House In Progress

House In Progress is the diary of the restoration of a neglected Chicago bungalow, as well as a look into its history and a catalogue of things left behind by previous owners.

Kiss My K9

If you only insist on eating the freshest, highest quality food you can find, why do you insist of feeding your pet that crap you get at the grocery store? It must be because you've never been to Kiss My K9 in Evanston. It's okay, they've only been open a week. Antonia Robbins started her business because she felt like her pets weren't getting the care they deserved. Besides a variety of food and pet supplies, she also offers pet-sitting (licensed by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters), dog-walking, and doggie beach field trips. If you'd like to try their food but don't want to go all the way to Evanston, she'll deliver your food and supplies for free.

All Star Game

There's this thing going on down at Sox Park tonight. It's called the All-Star Game, you might've heard of it? If you don't have tickets, don't go near the stadium with less than a couple grand -- your best bet is to find a nice big-screen TV.

Interpol PRE-SALE "Secret"

I'll let you in on a little secret. Interpol pre-sale tickets for fan club members go on sale today (on sale Saturday for the general public). To purchase tickets go to their website and when prompted enter the following info - USERNAME: Interpol PASSWORD: Tickets. If that doesn't work, you will have to sign-up right then and there, and it only takes a second. My darlings (and by "darlings," I mean Carlos D.) will be playing September 19th, at the Riviera. Don't say I never did anything for ya!


Looking for a film festival that's not just a film festival? Looking for "a cabaret type atmosphere filled with musical acts, performance art, dance, puppetry, clowns...where gypsy palm readers can mingle with video mixers, film noir actors can meet cinematographers, capoeira dancers with naked tuba players"? (Who isn't?) Well, Knuckleface, get your ass over to the sixth annual Undershorts Film Festival, which hits the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee, on Friday, July 26 at 7pm.

Gurlesque Burlesque

Sissy Butch Brothers Productions welcome you to another fabulous Gurlesque Burlesque performance on July 19th at the Abbey Pub. This show features marquee performers the World Famous Bob and Lady Ace. Proceeds support a documentary on burlesque.

U-Pick Food

You'll feel all Laura Ingalls Wilder when picking and plucking your own food at small, family-owned farms. Check out this list of Midwest u-pick opportunities compiled by the Univ. of Illinois Extension Office.

Ms. Musings

Did you know that Christine Cupaiuolo , the writer behind Ms. Musings (the Ms. Magazine blog) and the editor for, lives in Chicago?

Midget Wrestling

Fans of Mancow may fondly recall "Puppet the Psycho Dwarf;" you may be interested to know he's moved into the world of pro wrestling, bringing his national act to the Clark Street Fair this weekend. The Trbune's Q has an interview with Puppet, aka Steve Richardson of Elgin. More info on the wrestling is at [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

World's largest drum circle attempt

Rhythm, a smoke-free percussion bar, is hosting an attempt to set the record for world's largest drum circle on Tuesday, July 15 at noon. 1108 W. Randolph, call 312.492.6100 for more information.

Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day! Celebrate in Chicago by dining at one of several French restaurants, or sign up for the Bastille Day 5K run/ walk in the west Loop.

Photo Booth Project

"A Booth Project" is quite similar to the Mirror Project, but focused specifically on photobooths. Visit one of the booths on their list tonight and send in your photo tomorrow!

Neil Armstrong

Did you know that Neil Armstrong, of "One small step for man . . ." fame, graduated from Chicago's own Lane Tech High School?

Chinatown Summer Fest

The 24th Annual Chinatown Summer Festival takes place this Sunday, July 20th, from 10:00 - 8:00 p.m. The fest features a Lion Dance procession at 1:00 p.m., great food, crafts, live music and entertainment. For more information, call 312.225.6198

Blur at the Congress

Last minute date? Go and catch Blur at the Congress Theater, tonight July 14th. Yeah, you remember Blur, right? The doors open at 6:30.

Point Reprieve

During the summer, the point is where Hyde Park comes together as a community. The Tribune (login:gapers/gapers) is reporting today that fascist plans to destroy it have been changed thanks to the hard work of those who want to save it. Huzzah! You can download the entire report of the meeting (warning: M$ .doc) and read more about it.

kick ass!

The fine folks at Chimera, who have been teaching self-defense for women since 1976, will lead a workshop at Women & Children First on July 14. Monday's demonstration -- designed for both women and men -- will present basic techniques of self-defense and assault prevention. At Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., 7:30 pm. Free!

Top Model

So that trashy UPN show, "America's Next Top Model?" The winner's from around here -- Joliet, to be exact.

Slurpee Alert! Slurpee Alert!

I'm not quite sure what they're hiding by not revealing the location, but 7-11 is going to open its 25,000th store somewhere on the North Side tonight. And if that wasn't enough, you can get a free Slurpee too. A Slurpee is a summer staple, but one can only question some of their other items: Go-Go Tacquitos (does it come with boots?) and DefCon3 Energy Drinks. And word at the rumor mill is that they will soon start selling beer too.

Border Opens in Hyde Park

Hyde Park has been seeing some changes lately. The implementation of the Woodlawn TIF means more money for development. A mixed blessing, since one result is that they knocked down all the chess tables and built a Borders that will open next week. Some Hyde Parkers are more than a little worried this will disrupt the fragile book ecosystem that keeps excellent stores like the Seminary Coop, Powell's, and O'Gara and Wilsons in business. This irks me so badly I need ointment.


I wish we could claim Neighborhoodies as a hometown product, but alas, they're in Brooklyn. Still, where else are you going to find a cool-ass hooded sweatshirt boasting your allegiance to Wicker Park or Bridgeport or Wrigleyville?

Pink Bloque Rock Lotto

Wanna be in a band without making the commitment? Sign up for the Pink Bloque Rock Lotto on Sunday, July 13 at the Empty Bottle. Participants are randomly placed in a band, and then have two weeks to practice for a July 27 performance at the Bottle. This Sunday's registration event also features DJs, videos, and a bake sale. 1035 N. Western, 9:30pm.

Donation Thanks!

Big thanks to Miranda of for her generous donation!

Skilling, with Puppet

Your fun fact of the day: TV weather geek Tom Skilling once worked with a puppet, in Milwaukee no less.

Dinner & Movie al fresco!

The free Chicago Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park begins next Tuesday with "It Happened One Night." Chicago Magazine's Morsels column tells us Cyrano's Bistro & Wine Bar is offering three different five-course French picnic baskets for $28 for those heading to the movie. Bon appetit et voir!

Anne Landers Replacement

Yesterday Chicago Tribune readers got an introduction to Anne Landers' replacement. After a 13-month search, Amy Dickinson, a journalist who has worked for the New Yorker, NBC News and NPR, will fill the vacancy left by Landers' death. Rick Kogan has a profile. The new "Ask Amy" column begins in the Trib on July 20, and will be syndicated nationally starting in September. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Young Non Profit Professionals Network

If you work for, or would like to work for, a non profit in the Chicago area and are a bit on the younger side, you may consider joining the Young Non Profit Professionals Network. This group meets monthly for dinner and drinks at area establishments to meet each other and share resources, job leads, and information with each other. They also host many seminars that run the gamut from "When to expect a raise" to "Building your artistic portfolio".

Comic Art:

The most recent issue of Comic Art Magazine features a fascinating interview with Chicago's own Chris Ware. He discusses his various and obscure influences, reveals some works in progress, and considers the medium of comics in general. Not an easy magazine to find, you should be able to locate a copy at Chicago Comics or Quimby's.

Hopleaf Food

Speaking of Andersonville and liquor licenses, Hopleaf at Clark and Foster finally got their restaurant license, and has begun serving food. No word yet on how it is, but if it's even half as good as their beer list is comprehensive, it'll be great.

Partly Dave Show

"What is patriotism?" Dave Awl of Neo-Futurist fame asks. Hopefully Partly Dave can help you answer it. And if one funny guy isn't enough to get you out to a political show, then maybe Schadenfreude can convince your cheap ass to head to the No Exit Cafe in Roger's Park.

Grass-roots Photography

Tomorrow marks the debut of "Supernatural," a grass photograph (as in, it takes advantage of the photosynthetic properties of grass to create a photograph -- not a photo of grass, a photo made of grass) by British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, on display July 10 till September 28 in the Yates Gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (at Michigan). It's pretty darn cool.
Ackroyd and Harvey will also create a grass photograph in an empty storefront at 151 N. State St., where we'll be able to watch the process from start to finished image.

You Shall Know Our Eggers

Yo! You know that dude that wrote that hipster book man, that everyone and their soccer moms I know seems to have read? Yeah! That McSweeney's dude! Dave Scrambled Eggs or sumthin? Yeah! He's gonna be reading from his latest book, "You Shall Know Our Velocity" down at the Ballroom at 112 S. Michigan on the AIC grounds. Man, that sounds like some religious thing. Nah man, that cool hipster bookstore that everyone and their soccer moms I know seems to go to is putting it on. Quincy? No man, that's a show about a doctor or sumthin, Quimby's man, Quimby's. Word up.

Short Comedy Film Festival

If you are not planning on attending the bash of the century, then one of your other options is the opening night of the Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival. The annual festival this year features debut comedy shorts by local filmmakers, including several Second City alumni, as well as the trailer for the upcoming film "Bad Meat," starring Chevy Chase. Friday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. at the Biograph Theater - 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. $10.

Cex at Fireside

Rapper Cex will be performing at the Fireside Bowl on Wednesday, July 9th at 10:00 p.m. along with Dakota, Dakota and The Thing That Always Explodes.

BYOB No More

Andersonville's Tomboy has been sold and the new owners have been able to secure a liquor license. Tomboy owners will be discontinuing the popular restaurant's BYOB policy soon. But there are other BYOB establishments around.

Chicago Force

Unfortunately, the Sacramento Sirens whupped the padding off the Chicago Force in a 47-7 playoff game. Maybe next year.

UIC Prof on Gamers

UIC Prof Steve Jones has been Slashdott'd, Boingboing'd, CNN'd, and Blogdex'd after doing research that shows gamers aren't just lonely geeks. With the gaming industry grossing more than the film industry these days, you'd think this wouldn't be such big news, but now Steve's got the hard data for the nay-sayers who still think Half Life is a measure of radioactive decay and Vice City a hardware store. But don't take my word for it, his report is freely available on line for all to read.

Chicago Directors' Festival

The final installment of Bailiwick Repertory Theatre's annual showcase of emerging directors opened last night. This last segment focuses on "GLBT Briefs," gay- and lesbian-themed one-act pieces. Shows run Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at 7:30; each of the four weeks features a new lineup. (Full self-promotion disclosure: I'm in one of the third week's pieces.) Tickets are ten dollars a night or $25 for a festival pass; the Reader has a full schedule.

Go Go Gadget Speedpass

If you're so inclined, you can get your gas and your McDonald's with the new Speedpass Timex. It's like wearing your credit card on your sleeve. Takes a Big Mac and keeps on ticking. Okay, I'll stop now.

Jim & Jennie:

There's nothing better than a dose of high frequency nasal singing. Everyone's favorite bluegrass band, Jim and Jennie & the Pinetops will be performing at everyone's favorite bar, The Hideout. Friday, July 11th @ 6:00 PM.

Lincoln Park Trixies

Far from dying as the joke wore thin, the Lincoln Park Trixies Society website has grown, now incorporating a discussion forum (covering such topics as "Bridgeport: the next LP?") and an "Ask Ashley" column. Get in your Jetta, hit Starbucks and read up on the unique social creature that is the Lincoln Park Trixie.

Green City Market auction

The Green City Market, Chicago's best organic and sustainable farmers' market, is having an online auction fundraiser through July 28. Get a group together and bid on various culinary packages from Chicago's top chefs, including dinner in your home by Charlie Trotter, be a pastry chef for a day at Tru, and various classes from the people at Sur La Table and the Chopping Block.

A Taste of Siberia in LaGrange

If you've been thinking that shamanic studies is for you, then head out to LaGrange this weekend for Blue Feather, a series of lectures and workshops by a shaman from Siberia. With trance dancing, fire rituals, and soul retrieval, it should be quite a weekend.

Kiddieland & Santa's Village

Out in Melrose Park, at North and 1st Avenues, lies Kiddieland, an old-fashioned amusement park now celebrating its 75th year. Santa's Village in East Dundee isn't quite as old, but it's just as well-loved. Both parks are a refreshing change of pace from that corporate behemoth up in Gurnee. (Thanks Wendy for the tip!)

O'Hare Delays

Air travelers may experience heavy delays today as severe thunderstorms pound the Chicagoland area. Today's swampy, unpredictable weather will continue through tomorrow. Check on any flight delays here.

New Music of the Baroque Season

Well lookee here! Chicago perennials Music of the Baroque have ended their search for a new musical director and have anounced their new season. It looks fantastic. Choc-a-block with great stuff including the baroque bubble-gum-pop of Purcell's Come Come Ye Sons of Art and the drink-the-kool-aid counterpoint of Bach's B-Minor Mass. And all served up by world-class musicians like Chicago's own Ellen Hargis. Oh yes.

Ana Castillo Premiere

Chicagoan Ana Castillo's play "Psst ... I Have Something to Tell You, Mi Amor" will have its world premiere on Tuesday, July 15 at the Goodman Theatre. The play, which is based on the true story of Sister Diana Ortiz who was kidnapped and tortured by Guatemalan authorities, will run through July 20. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Call for Art

Woman Made Gallery is extendeding its entry deadline (until August 6, 2003) for their group show: WOMEN, TRAUMA & VISUAL EXPRESSION which will take place October 17 - November 13, 2003. This show is open to work in all media by women artists who have experienced trauma. Artists can submit up to three professional slides or digital files of original work, which has been created at any time, but has not been previously exhibited at Woman Made Gallery. There is an entry fee. For more info, visit their website or download an application.

Portrait of Black Chicago

Portrait of Black Chicago is a photographic archive of Pulitzer Prize receiver John H.White's time taking photos of Chicago's African American community whilst working for the Chicago Daily News. He now works for the Sun-Times. Great stuff. Via the dense and fulfilling Things Magazine.

Vinyl Bracelets

Meg Musick Makely turns vintage vinyl records into cool-ass bracelets (and other accessories) available at

Millenium Park

One of the most comprehensive reviews of Millenium Park seen to date. The park will be finished during the summer of 2004, with some pieces already in place. The article includes a great picture with details of the items to fill the park, including the previously mentioned bike garage, Frank Gehry's band shell, "Jelly Bean" sculpture, and a 2.5 acre garden designed by an American who won the international design contest.

The GB Party

So, the big thing has now been unveiled, the Gapers' Block Party (see the special anouncement on the right there), will be on the 18th of July as Ann Sather's in Lakeview. A private room has been secured, and a slew of festivities will happen as well as a chance to mingle, relax and catch up with some of your online friends. We'd love to meet some of you, and it'd be a great opportunity to thank all of you for reading and supporting us. Details here.

Dolan Geiman trunk show at Heaven

Previously mentioned silkscreen artist Dolan Geiman is having a trunk sale tonight: clothes, housewares, prints and other "goodies." From 7-11pm at Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor. Also featuring work by Zoe of XNX Designs and Brecken Geiman.

Pointless celebrity gossip

Allow me to bring the level of discourse down a few notches—it's a holiday week, why not? I hear that Renee Zellweger was in attendance at last night's White Stripes show at the Aragon. Zellweger is rumored to be dating Jack White, who played a bit of "Mister Cellophane" from Renee's movie Chicago.

WLUW Record Fair

Would your small business benefit from having a table at the WLUW Record Fair? There will be about 50 vendors selling wares that range from used vinyl, posters by Screwball Press, and designer fashions. And, WLUW is hoping to expand their offerings by attracting smaller local businesses. The fair will take place on August 2nd and 3rd at 2156 W. Fulton. If you're interested, hit their website. They may be willing to cut a deal on the $45 per day table rent if you're a local vendor.

Pink Bloque

Pink Bloque has planned a dance action to take place on the 4th of July at 1 pm. They will be handing out information about "Patriot Act II: the remix", dancing in the pinkest outifits possible, and trying to kick up awareness as they kick up their heels. To fund their upcoming tour they'll be hosting a fundraiser at the Empty Bottle on July 13th and July 27th.

unconfirmed report

I received a tip that Alderman Joe Moore may be presenting an anti-PATRIOT act resolution to the Chicago City Council on July 2nd. If you are interested in supporting this legislation, you are encouraged to attend the meeting at 10 am. It will be held in room 201-A in Chicago City Hall, which is located at 121 N. LaSalle Street.

New Sega Game: Carbondale IL

Videogame maker Sega is mapping the city of Carbondale, home of Southern Illinois University (and not much else), as a model "average city" to be used in an upcoming, unnamed game.

Gay Bars Harrassed by Police

The owners of several gay bars complained of police harrassment after Sunday's Pride Parade, the Windy City Times reports. "It sets backs police and bar relations 15 years. I feel robbed -- it was a day to celebrate," said one of the owners of Sidetracks.


The Art Institute is currently showing a collection of daguerrotype photography, almost all by unknown creators. The New York Times "reviews the show today.


This American Life, our public radio powerhouse, is taking a page from the Neo-Futurists' ongoing theatre experiment, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," and attempts to present 30 stories in 60 minutes. Tune in at 7pm Friday or 1pm Saturday (or visit their site next week for RealAudio) to see if they succeed.

Apple Store critiqued

The Tribune's architecture critic delves into the new Apple Store and it's place on the Magnificent Mile. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Heat festival

Gateway Green, a non-profit group dedicated to environmentally beautifying Chicago, is holding it's third Heat festival fundraiser at the Finkl & Sons steel plant July 11 - July 13. Performers include all 36 members of Parliament/ Funkadelic and Fischerspooner. More information is available on the Flash-laden event site.



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