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. 


Monday, August 8

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Ebert Adds Voices

Chaz Ebert announced today the launch of a new Twitter account, @ebertvoices, that will tweet news, so as to separate that stuff from @ebertchicago and give Chaz room to "innovate" with the account as Roger requested.

UIC Unveils the Daley Archives

Speaking of former mayors, UIC opened its Richard J. Daley Library this week. Like his office on the Fifth Floor, it's accessible by appointment only, but WBEZ's Richard Steele got a tour.

Horns on Sale

Still not cheap, but Specimen has some of its smaller "hornlet" and "hornling" speakers on sale, for those who want to listen to Andrew Bird's music in its natural environment.

Stuffed Full of Buns

Dare you enter one of Wow Bao's bao eating contests to celebrate its 10th anniversary?

Water Tank Falls from Brewster Apts.

A water tank fell from the roof of the landmark Brewster Apartments, injuring three people.

What Does Future Chicago Look Like?

Check out ideas from several architects at the exhibit City Works: Provocations for Chicago's Urban Future, on display at Expo 72. [via]

Fake Cops Pull Over a Real One

Two men posing as police officers stopped the wrong guy: an actual cop. They managed to lose him as they sped away. Still, could be worse: they could've been real cops hassling their off-duty commanding officer.

AKA Water

The Blackhawks will be selling melted ice, allegedly from the United Center rink, to raise money for team charities. Meanwhile, the Sox are selling broken dreams and the Cubs are selling tickets to next year.

Daley Dating?

Two years after his wife Maggie passed away, former Mayor Daley is apparently dating -- or at least had a date for the Lucas-Hobson wedding last month. Dr. Adele Joy Cobbs is a member of the Board of Chicago Department of Public Health (Daley happened to appoint her in 2010) and is also an emergency physician at Rush.

Start Getting Ideas

Chicago Ideas Week announced its first batch of speakers, which include astronaut Buzz Aldren, journalist Malcolm Gladwell and chef Cat Cora. Tickets for the Oct. 14-20 event go on sale Sept. 5.

Not Mad Men, Crazy Ones

AdWeek notes that "The Crazy Ones," CBS's upcoming series starring Robin Williams as the kooky president of a Chicago ad agency, bears some resemblance to Leo Burnett for a very good reason.

Where is David Gimelfarb?

Chicago grad student David Gimelfarb went on a hike in Costa Rica in 2009 and never came back. Chicago mag's Dave Seminara tries to pick up the scent.

Play in the Street

Open Streets Chicago is back Sept. 15, shutting down Milwaukee Avenue to automobile traffic from Ashland to Kedzie for a variety of activities.

Chicago Kitty Tribune

The main story on the Tribune's homepage briefly looked like this earlier today. [via] UPDATE: Tribune's Amy Guth explains to Gizmodo how it happened.


Malört Snow Cones?

Yep, Malört snow Cones. At Red Door.

Bouncing Balls on Trampolines

Spikeball was just beginning to catch on in 2008 when I posted about it in Tailgate. It's now catching on nationally.

Go on a Book Tour

Ernest Hemingway's birthplace in Oak Park and the Poetry Foundation made Flavorpill's list of 50 places every literary fan should visit.

Cook County Board News

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has killed plans for a county gun court that she'd previously supported, according to Commissioner John Fritchey. Meanwhile, Preckwinkle fired a member of the County ethics board who was pushing for punishment of Assessor Joe Berrios for nepotism.

End of Life, Online

NPR host Scott Simon has been tweeting about his mother's last days from a hospital here in Chicago. Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilband passed away last night.

Blowin' Up Bridges

The crew for Jupiter Ascending shot an explosive scene on the Lake Street bridge over the weekend.

The action's about a minute in.

Dancing in the Stacks

Andrew Rosner, a member of the PhiNix Dance Crew at University of Chicago, pops and locks in the Regenstein Library. [via]

How often CTA honchos ride the CTA

RedEye reporter/punster Tracy Swartz writes that chairman Terry Peterson rode the system eight times from the start of this year to the end of June.

Honus Visits Rosemont

The National Sports Collectors Convention is out in Rosemont this week, and will feature the auction of the super-rare Honus Wagner T206 card, among other highlights.

Pay Tickets by Subscription

Milwaukee-based Ticket Ninja just launched in Chicago as a way for chronic parking ticket receivers to pay tickets automatically before late fees rack up.

Child Sex Trafficking Sting nets Chicagoan

The FBI arrested more than 150 people, including one in Chicago, in a massive child sex trafficking sting over the weekend, freeing 105 sexually exploited children.

Privatized Bus Shelters a Good Deal

While the city seems to get the short end of the stick on most privatization deals, the one for bus shelters and newsstands (previously) has actually paid off.

To Have and to Hogtie

A local couple tied the knot during a cowboy-themed wedding shown live on WGN News, the groom pledging to his bride he would "love and cherish and lasso her when she gets out of line." [via]

Do Drugs & Draw Pictures

John Campbell, creator of Sad Pictures for Children, has released a new comic book chronicling his experiences with the psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine.

When TV was Weird

"This Week in Joe's Basement" aired on Chicago public access cable from 1989 to 1993. You can watch all 60 episodes on Media Burn

Help Save Illinois' Only Indoor State Park!

The Neo-Futurists are running an Indiegogo campaign to revitalize their large waiting area dubbed the "State Park." They're at about 70% of their goal with less than two weeks left! Full details about the renovation project at the Indiegogo page.

Helping Kids Write Their Next Verse

Kanye West and Rhymefest are launching a music writing program for at-risk youth on the South Side. The "Got Bars?" program will be run as a collaboration between West's Donda's House and the ARK of St. Sabina. [via]

All Your BasedGods Are Belong To Us

All the modern maniacs are playing Kanye Quest 3030, an RPG about Kanye West battling rapper clones in the future. Download it here.

The Tributes from Lakeview

Two Chicagoans are competing on "Capture," the new Hunger Games-esque reality show on CW.

Murder Capital? No.

Eric Zorn would like to remind you that Chicago still isn't the "murder capital of America" and backs it up with a few charts. Whet Moser examines why we keep getting beat up in the national media.

Catch the ISS

Wonder if the giant magnet that just arrived at Fermilab is part of the plan in today's xkcd cartoon.

xkcd: Snare

Malatia Leaves WBEZ

WBEZ President and CEO Torey "Southside" Malatia resigned today after 20 years at the radio station. [via]

Divvy Beats Parking Meters

WTTW shared a photo of a Divvy truck that had knocked down a parking meter. They want you to caption it.

New Mall Opens Next Week in Rosemont

Fashion Outlets of Chicago opens on August 1. The mall, which "broke rules that needed to be broken," will run shuttles to and from O'Hare and also allow shoppers to ship their baggage from the mall to the airport, in addition to offering 130 retail options.

Right On, Chicago!

As part of its "Documerica Week" series, The Atlantic presents "America in the 1970s: Chicago's African-American Community," featuring the photography of John H. White, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, former Sun-Times photojournalist, who documented Chicago's black community (mostly the South Side) in the '70s.

"Two words: Free. Booze."

A Wheaton couple's wedding invitation went viral this week thanks to its hilarious RSVP options.

LGBT Bars Boycotting Russian Vodka

Sidetrack decided to stop serving Russian vodka in protest of anti-gay legislation and attacks in that country. Several other bars have followed suit, part of a national trend. The boycott spurred Stolichnaya Vodka's CEO to write an open letter noting the brand's support of the LGBT community.

Zimmerman "Got Away with Murder," Juror says

The only juror of color on the George Zimmerman trial jury was originally from Chicago. She spoke with "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts Thursday and said she originally voted for second degree murder.

West Town Tavern is Dead, Long Live Chicago Taco

Proving old dogs can learn new tricks, Drew and Susan Goss of West Town Tavern (previously) have announced they're reopening as Chicago Taco. Viva los Gosses! [via]

Chicago gets SceneTap

The company behind SceneTap, a nightlife mobile app that gives you intel on the age, density and gender ratio of the crowd at bars near you, is moving from Austin to Chicago.

Save West Ridge's Zoo

The bear is long gone: Indian Boundary Park's little zoo has dwindled to just a couple goats and some chickens, and the Park District wants to shut it down entirely and turn it into prairie landscaping. Fans of the park are protesting the move with a petition and a march this weekend.

Reaching a New Concord

The new Concord Music Hall, which took over the former Viaduct Theater space on Western Avenue, released its debut schedule today. Adam Ant is playing next Thursday, with Gogol Bordello headlining the official launch show Aug. 17. EDIT: Sorry, Constellation replaced the Viaduct. Concord is in the former V-Live space on Milwaukee.

Attack of the Mayflies

Mayflies are swarming in Chicagoland, and it's messing with radar.

Divvy-ided Market

Do you like the idea of renting a bike on occasion, but dislike the idea of being relegated to where Divvy has stations? Then you may be interested in SpinLister where you can rent bikes owned by locals for a day (or more). And these aren't your average heavy, beat-up, partially rusted bikes for rent. Oh, no, there are some pettable bikes here. For example, this bike may be what you need if you have a dog (the moustache and dog are not included in rental.)

Find Your Next Meal

City Eats, a NY-based restaurant discovery and reservation site, launched in Chicago today.

Major Meowtion Pictures

The CAT Film Festival this weekend showcases 14 films featuring felines. The same program screens at Chicago Filmmakers on Friday and South Side Projections on Saturday.

The Weedly Reader

Illinois' medical marijuana law isn't going to mean dispensaries on every corner and safety for home growers. Mick Dumke gets the goods.

Guardian Angels on Muggers Mile

The Chicago chapter of the Guardian Angels passed out flyers on Michigan Avenue referring to it as the "Muggers Mile." Mayor Emanuel responded in a press conference that the Angels would be more useful guarding Safe Passage corridors for students.

Hip Ice Cream on Wheels

Keep your eye out for the Gladwell Company, a new ice cream trike.

Where Did All the Bitchporks Go?

Pitchfork Music Festival usually arrives with an evil twin -- Bitchpork. But this year the underground festival didn't happen. Music blog Pigeons and Planes tells the story of Bitchpork and why it's no more.

CPL's New Geeks in Residence

Public Good Software, a benefit corporation founded by Obama campaign vets, are setting up a pop-up office in the Harold Washington Library to give the public a hand as "geeks in residence," as well as upgrade CPL's website.

Cop Turned Actor, but Always a Cop

"Dennis recently told me he had 10,000 partners on the police department. Every guy claimed to be his partner." The Sun-Times' David Hoekstra talked with one of Dennis Farina's actual partners, Nick Nickeas.

Bloggers Swarm the City

BlogHer's annual convention is in town this weekend, bringing 4,000-5,000 bloggers -- and lots of marketers -- to McCormick Place and the Sheraton.

Mary Ann Ahern Gets Some Backup the form of a very cute child. [via]

Upscale Grocers Continue Expansion in Chicago

Mariano's South Loop location has been put up for sale today, says Crain's. The Chicago Tribune reported recently on upscale grocers gaining heat in the city.

Save the Cuneo

The Cuneo Hospital at Montrose and Clarendon may be the next building of note on the City's demolition list. The Friends of Cuneo are leading the charge to protect it.

Watch the City Grow

Take a look at Chicago's growth over time on a collection of cool maps by WEBZ.

Movin' On Up -- Or Not

Children of poor Chicagoans are not very upwardly mobile, according to new research into economic opportunity. The children of rich folks don't move much either. NYTimes has an interactive feature.

Out with the Old Mell, in with the New Mell

Democracy at work! Newly retired alderman Richard Mell will be replaced by his daughter Deborah, effective today.

CPD to Perps: Don't Shoot

Police officers are going door to door this Friday warning potential shooters and victims on the West Side not to commit any violent crimes.

Cargo Cult

Got a cargo bike? There's a meetup for you this Saturday.

New Bill to Bring Trauma Care Back to South Side

Congressman Bobby Rush has introduced a bill that would relieve the "trauma desert" on Chicago's South Side by providing $100 million to promote access to trauma centers in underserved rural and urban areas.

H.R. 2660: Trauma Relief Access for Universal Medical Assistance Act by Gapers Block

Lunch Melts in Your Mouth

"Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" staffers had some fun with another odd Chicago sandwich, the "Gravy Bread," which is essentially a dipped Italian beef without the beef.

The Next Shoe Fad

Can Bucketfeet become the new Crocs or TOM's shoes? More importantly, does it want to?

Eat a Hot Dog Today

Why? Because it's National Hot Dog Day. Chicagoist rounds up their 13 favorites, while the Daily Meal more than doubles it to 29, while also proclaiming the Chicago-style dog the best in the world. You might also peruse GB's The Dog Show archives. And if you're really hard up, a few fast food places and convenience stores have deals today.

Careful on the Lakefront

The National Weather Service is warning of high waves and even possible "rogue" waves on Lake Michigan today into tomorrow.

Squeeze This into Your Summer Mix

The Hood Internet has mashed up Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" with the theme from "Growing Pains," starring his dad, Alan.

Double Feature of Destruction

Director Edgar Wright is screening a double feature of his films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz at Music Box on Aug. 2 -- and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are going to be there for the Q&A. It's already sold out, but GB's Steve "at the Movies" Prokopy is running a contest for tickets over on Ain't It Cool.

A Phone Call from the Alderman

Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward reportedly abused power by calling Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley and Taboo Tabou, according to a report from the City Inspector [PDF]. Tunney called Thomas regarding assistant state's attorney Sarah Naughton allegedly biting an employee at Taboo Tabou.

Redesigns & Special Sandwiches

LTHForum launched a redesign today, which includes a new focus on feature-length articles about Chicago culinary topics. The first is an investigation into the origins of the jim shoe sandwich.

Get the MANual

Guys, do you need help becoming more well-rounded? The MANual this Thursday may help. It's an evening of networking and TED-like talks on topics ranging from dating to grilling to storytelling (I'm speaking about exploring the city beyond the obvious options). It's free and men-only.

Blogging Neighborhood Crime

The blog Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown has gotten the attention of everyone from residents to the police and aldermen.

Port of Chicago Privatized

The Port of Chicago is getting a $500 million investment and will be run by a private firm under a 62-year lease.

RIP Dennis Farina

I can't believe it, either. The Chicago native, actor, and former police officer died today at age 69.

Ald. Moore Under Ethics Probe

Ald. Joe Moore is being investigated by Chicago's legislative inspector general for allegedly firing a staff member for blowing the whistle on campaign work being done by city employees. [via]

There's a Band in Town!

Steve Delahoyde found a flyer for the Lemonade Band, "a group of four girls who wanted to entertain you while selling lemonade and other yummy treats." The band vanished as fast as it formed, but Steve decided to make a music video for them anyway.

Joly Takes Top Bartender

named American Bartender of the Year at "Tales of the Cocktail this weekend.

Crawling for Crullers

WBEZ's Curious City would like your help on a doughnut crawl.

Take the McCormick Place Busway

Neil Steinberg takes a ride down the "magic road" that takes politicians (and, ostensibly, conventioneers) from McCormick Place into the center of the Loop.

The Art Map

ODLCO has come out with a cut-away map of the MCA to help you get around the museum.

Chi-Town's Next 10

Vibe talks with 10 of Chicago's up-and-coming hip hop artists, including Chance the Rapper, Sasha Go Hard and a few you might not have heard of if you don't read Fake Shore Drive.

#P4K Cheat Sheet

If you're headed to Pitchfork this weekend, PitchforkPal is a handy mobile-optimized schedule.

A Sketched Love Story

I've seen some really beautifully designed engagement announcements, but this one is pretty great. Great design and story by Matthew Bush, Josh Compton and Gabe Cooper. Congrats!

Uber Your Ice Cream

Car service Uber has an ice cream truck on call today. Use the app to get frozen treats from Ice Cubed delivered to you for $25 for six people.

Musical Big Hits

NewCity's annual Music 45 list of musical heavy hitters is out.

Got Deep Pockets?

Three beautiful light fixtures from the Uptown Theatre are for sale on eBay right now.

Hot WiFi in the Summertime

The Park District has installed free wifi at North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster and Rainbow beaches. Don't get sand between your laptop keys.

CPS Laying Off 2,000

Chicago Public Schools announced last night that it is laying off more than 2,000 employees today, including 1,036 teachers. CPS blamed the cuts on stalled pension reform in Springfield.

The Hottest Mayor in the Place

Would you like to see footage of Rahm Emanuel awkwardly dancing to "Blurred Lines" last week at Robin Thicke's appearance at Taste of Chicago?

Fresh Vodka Cocktails

CH Distillery aims to be the first distillery in Chicago with an in-house bar.

Chicago Principal Speaks Out Against CPS Budget Cuts

At a City Hall news conference, Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere excoriated CPS budget cuts for "turning a full school day into an empty school day."

Go Out & Be Geeky

The Chicago Nerds Social Club is an excellent friend-making resource for those of us not so into organized sports.

Let's Hear it for the Hawk

If you get the MLB Network, tune in tonight at 6pm for Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, a documentary about the White Sox's colorful announcer.

Wrestling with Andy's Comedy Album

Drag City recently released Andy and his Grandmother, the first-ever Andy Kaufman comedy album. Grantland explains how this came to be.

Notable Chicagoan: Jackie Ormes

Jackie Ormes was the first published African-American female cartoonist. Her comics appeared in the Chicago Defender, among others, and she was a founding board member of the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

10 Years of Guns

As Illinois falls in line with the rest of the country on concealed carry laws, legislators voted to strengthen gun laws in Chicago and Cook County. WBEZ took a look at gun crimes over the past decade, from 2002 to 2012, and created an animated .gif of the maps.


South Side Groceries

There has been some discussion about which grocery chains are best for the city and why they aren't moving into the food deserts in Chicago. Gaylon Alcaraz, a local activist, has created a petition to challenge Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to open a store on the South Side of town. Whole Foods does plan to open a store in Hyde Park next year, but she hopes they will move into food deserts.

You Gotta Regulate It

Do you make consumer goods? Do you have an idea for a small business related to consumer goods? Are you interested in finding out all the rules and regulations on what can and can't be part of something manufactured, especially if it is manufactured for children? If so, then this small biz seminar put on by the Small Business Ombudsman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is for you. Free and open to the public, but an ID is needed to get past security.

Walk the Beach in Edgewater

Morry Matson thinks Edgewater needs a boardwalk along the beach. Check out his proposal.

Hot Night for Barbecue

The Green City Market's annual Chef's BBQ Benefit is tomorrow night. Enjoy food prepared by some of the city's top chefs -- and this year, there's also Green City Cocktails to go along with the food. Tickets are still available.

There's a Crack Problem in Wicker Park

A major crack in the sidewalk in Wicker Park has been a hazard for seven years, despite calls to the Park District to fix it. For more, see the Chicago Stumbler (previously).

Leave a Message After A Tale of Two Cities

Max Temkin really doesn't like telemarketers. So when he was forced to have a business number, he came up with a novel solution. [via]

Save the Home of the Blues

There's a crowdsourcing fundraiser going on right now to restore Muddy Waters' home on the South Side, which in bad enough shape to have been included on Landmarks Illinois' Most Endangered Historic Places list this year (previously).

Chicago's Top Young Jews

Oy!Chicago and the JUF Youth Leadership Division have chosen their second annual Jewish 36 Under 36.

Beach Scenes

Photographer Lenny Gilmore has been hanging out at city beaches, taking pictures.

Haymark-(hic!) Riot & Other (hic!) Events

Comedy Central's "Drunk History" covered Chicago's tipsy past in its latest episode.

No Christmas Conversion for Skokie Scrooge

Peter Troost, the miserly multimillionaire owner of a gravestone company, was sentenced to a year in prison and 200 hours of community service for tax evasion.

Sentences You Never Expected to Read

Let alone in the NYTimes: "Today, the Chicago Metered Parking System is considered one of the world's best." Naturally, folks have jumped on that.

Devastation to Destiny

Love rose from the ashes of a devastating fire for Milio's Hair Salon owner Dahlia Dalia Awdisho and Chicago Bagel Authority owner Greg Gibbs.

New Handicap Placards Rolling Out

The Secretary of State has redesigned disability placards in hopes of reducing the number of scofflaws using placards to get out of paying parking meters.

Chicago's Chicago's Best

Chicago magazine's annual Best of Chicago picks are now online.

MJ and Fallon, Together at Last

Michael Jordan stopped by the "Late Show with Jimmy Fallon" last night. Sort of. [via]

Later, he sang.

You Wear it Well

RedEye trawled through Zazzle to find some pretty awful Chicago t-shirt designs; the ones we found on Amazon last year were pretty bad, too. At least none of them are as expensive as Kanye's new t-shirt.

Don't Come to Bad Wolf Coffee Looking for a Chair

Bad Wolf Coffee opened last week in Lakeview, DNAinfo reports. The owner wants to create a social atmosphere with no chairs so that people aren't glued to their laptops.

An Open Letter to Phish Fans

In advance of this weekend's three days of performances by Phish at the new Northerly Island amphitheater, the folks at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion and Live Nation posted a long note on Facebook to try and alleviate their concerns about the lawn seats after a muddy time was had by Parrotheads in June. (Can't make the Chicago shows in person? Order up the live webcast.)

Random Stat of the Day

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people claim the title of CEO in Chicago than in any other city.

A Safe Place to Live

The Chicago House TransLife Center, the first transgender housing center in the country, opened its doors Monday.

Blago Appeals

Attorneys for former governor Rod Blagojevich have filed an appeal of his 2011 conviction on corruption charges -- just barely under the midnight deadline last night.

South Shore Jazz Fest Canceled

The South Shore Jazz Festival has been canceled this year due to debt and time constraints.

Feeling Clever?

The Numbered Days is launching a new puzzle hunt called the Clever Ape Race that supposedly tracks the evolution of man. Register for the Aug. 17 race here.

United States of X: Classic Film Edition

Time Out New York published a map and article picking iconic movies for each state; Illinois got Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Time Out Chicago points out problems with that flick, but doesn't deny it as an option.

"What we saw was... something else."

The Lucky Horseshoe and Man's Country are among the spots highlighted on One Star Yelp Reviews of Strip Clubs. [via]

Juggalo Breaking News

Speaking of underground festivals, the trailer for Insane Clown Posse's annual Gathering of the Juggalos downstate in Cave-In-Rock is up.

The Un-Pitchfork Music Festival

In past years, Bitchpork was the anti-Pitchfork music festival, lining up truly underground bands for crazy shows. Bitchpork's no more, but the tradition lives on with Rotted Tooth Fest, running July 19-20 at an undisclosed location.

Underground Nightlife

At WBEZ, Britt Julious profiles up-and-coming music and event promoter 1833 Presents.

Chicagoans Rally to Protest Trayvon Martin Verdict

Over 200 people rallied Sunday at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago to protest the acquittal of 28-year-old Florida man George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

City Sticker Deadline is Today

Today is the last day to buy a city sticker without paying a late fee -- and the last day to get one on your windshield without getting a ticket.

United States of X: Autocomplete Edition

Not a map, per se, but the autocompleted Google searches for 50 cities pegs Chicago as corrupt, windy, cold and violent.

The 1111% Tip

A server at Pequod's Pizza received a $500 tip on a $45 bill from the family of a man who died last year, whose last wish was "Leave an awesome tip (and I don't mean 25 percent. I mean $500 on a fucking pizza) for a waiter or waitress."

Chicago Hospitals Lead in LGBT Healthcare Equality

The Human Rights Campaign released its Healthcare Equality Index yesterday and six Chicago health care facilities were named Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality (PDF). Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and the Cook County Health and Hospitals System are among those making the list. This is the fifth year in a row Rush has made the list.

Really, Really Big Flowers

Chicago photographer Bill Guerriero recently got interested in macro photography, so he purchased a macro lens and wrote about learning how to use it for Encyclopaedia Britannica. The article has plenty of photographs, but you can see even more on flickr.

Books & Tech Mix Well

Gigaom's Signe Brewster thinks public libraries across the country should follow Chicago's lead and create maker labs.

Still Cool

Koval was named one of America's coolest distilleries by Travel & Leisure.

The R.Kelly Question(s)

Jim DeRogatis has chronicled R.Kelly's career and brushes with the law. He leads a WBEZ investigation of various aspects of the musician's role in pop culture, and whether he should be headlining Pitchfork.

Rahm to Jump in the Lake

Missed this over the weekend: Mayor Emanuel has pledged to do a polar plunge this winter if Chicago students read 2 million books this summer. Write your own punchline.

Annotating the City

The City of Chicago is on RapGenius's News Genius annotation site, thanks to the Smart Chicago Collaborative. TIF Illinois has a good number of documents on there, too.

Suicide by Cop?

Police shot an off-duty fireman outside a Mount Greenwood pharmacy, after mistaking his wallet for a gun. His wife called the cops because she was concerned her husband was suicidal.

A Rick Bayless Restaurant Could Feed Google Employees

CTA's Morgan station opened just over a year ago. Google already announced its move to the area, and rumors of a Rick Bayless restaurant are now swirling.

Didn't They Check Bieb's ID?

Justin Bieber apparently had a drink or two at Bodi while he was in town this week, and the club has been fined for serving a minor. The 19-year-old pop star was also shirtless in the bar despite the clearly posted sign...

Pier of Knowledge

Whet Moser says you can learn a lot about on Navy Pier, and not just about tourist behavior.

Help a Squeezebox Store Out of a Squeeze

Alywind is the city's only accordion store. Owner Bea Polverini needs to raise $2,000 by Friday to keep the store open -- give her a hand?

Chicago's Death Toll

DNAinfo, which has been tracking murders in Chicago all year, just launched an interactive timeline view that introduces you to every person killed.

Get Your Hot Dogs Here

July is National Hot Dog Month, which is part of the reason we're throwing our Hot Dog Cookoff this Saturday (get your tickets here!) Meanwhile, Time Out put together a list of the city's best hot dogs.

Beauty by iPhone

Pretty Quick calls itself a "personal beauty concierge," designed to help busy women take care of their looks.

Being the Better Man

Pearl Jam is donating a portion of ticket sales from its July 19 show at Wrigley Field to the South Chicago Art Center and Marwen. The Cubs and Theo Epstein's A Foundation To Be Named Later are pitching in to double the donation.

Banal Views Made Interesting by Time!

Check out the Illinois Department of Transportation Chicago Traffic Photographs collection for vintage photographs of all sorts of historic Chicago street scenes, including the intersections of Jackson and Market and Michigan and Washington, and -- for some reason -- Oak Street Beach. [via]

Let's All Go to the Movie Blog

The Dissolve, Pitchfork's new film blog, launched Wednesday afternoon. Editor Scott Tobias explains what they're up to.

Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Baby Penguin

The Shedd Aquarium announced its newest zoo baby, a tiny Rockhopper penguin chick. The young penguin is healthy and thriving with its parents, on exhibit at Shedd's Polar Play Zone.

Chicago as Unit of Measure

"A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago, broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday."

Remembering Ron May

Friends and fans of the late tech writer Ron May can pay their respects July 25 at a memorial service and "life toast" at the Artisan Cellar in the Merchandise Mart.

Quinn Moves to Suspend Lawmaker Pay Over Pension

Governor Quinn announced today that he would issue a line-item veto of a budget bill on his desk to halt Illinois lawmakers' pay, including his own, until they come up with a solution for the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Hey Champ, Drink Up

Double Door's new subterranean "speakeasy" bar, Door No. 3, opens tonight with Hey Champ performing live, along with DJ sets by Gemini Club, pOCEANs and Greg Corner. It's free, but you have to RSVP on Do312.

Chad Camoflage

This Craigslist ad for a fixed-gear bike is aimed squarely at Lincoln Park bros hoping to blend in over in Wicker Park... though really, is there a difference these days? [via]

Divvying Up Bike Access

Divvy bike share registration has been steadily growing since it opened June 24, but most bike stations remain out of reach for most of the city's black and Latino populations. The Tribune has
a map

Another Donut Gang Rolls into Town

An outpost of the Los Angeles-based Stan's Donuts will be opening in the former Skewerz space located at the base of the Wicker Park/Damen Blue Line.

Chicago, Believe it or Not!

On Nov. 21, 1968, Ripley's Believe It or Not! opened a museum in Chicago. (They'd been here before, at the World's Fair.) By the late '80s, it was gone. Dan Kelly tells the story.

Popping in at Cretors

Crain's took a tour of C. Cretors & Co., the Chicago-based inventors of the popcorn machine, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.

But No Turkey Legs

The Taste of Chicago opens today at 11am. The Sun-Times' Grid runs some of the numbers surrounding the annual food fest.

Justin Meets Stanley

Justin Bieber hung out with the Stanley Cup before his show at the United Center Tuesday, and hung his sweater in Toews' locker. Fans were not pleased.

Guilty Plea in McShane/Jurich Beating Case

Three years after brutally attacking two women with a baseball bat in Bucktown, one of the two suspects has pleaded guilty.

Evanston Votes for Temperance

Temperance Beer Company received the first-ever craft brewery license in Evanston at last night's city council meeting. Temperance plans to build a tap room and brewery at 2000 Dempster St.

Chicago Ups Wind Energy

Mayor Emanuel's office announced a deal with Chicago's energy suppliers that will double the city's wind energy. Integrys Energy Services was chosen to supply 5 percent of consumer electricity, via ComEd, to save money and ease pollution.

Concealed Carry Now Law

The Illinois general assembly and senate overrode Gov. Quinn's amendatory veto of the concealed carry law, making it officially legal to carry a gun in public. See the Illinois State Police's guidelines on how the law will be enforced.

Hire a Chef

Kitchensurfing is a site that helps you find a chef to cook for a dinner party, teach you how to make something, or put together a catering plan, based around your budget. It just launched in Chicago with a couple dozen chefs on board.

The Brat Variations

Keep your eye out for Johnsonville's latest sausage, a giardiniera-infused smoked link, made specially for the Chicagoland market.

Low-Hanging Fruit

Are you a huge fan of Juneberries or mulberries and upset that you can rarely find them at a farmer's market, and never at a grocery store? There is a great database called Falling Fruit with a Google map showing where every public or semi-public fruit tree is. Type in an address, or share your location, and then search to see where gingko nuts or even an apricot tree can be found. Feel free to add to it. The Oak Park Forestry Division seems to have pretty good coverage of what can be found on the far West Side.

Urban Arbor Retreat

I had a treehouse -- a couple of them, actually. None were as cool as Alex Gabbard's treehouse in Bowmanville.

Chicago's First Resident

Dan Grzeca has produced a poster (in two colorways) memorializing Jean Baptiste DuSable, the first permanent resident of what is now Chicago. It's available in his online shop.

Appling to Sandberg to Banks

ChicagoSide put together a Chicago baseball dream team borrowing from all eras, as part of its ongoing Sports Almanac of Significance.

Making Things at CPL

The maker lab at the Harold Washington Library opened today. Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica lets us know how it is.

The Dissolve Resolving Wednesday

The Dissolve, Pitchfork's new film review site staffed by ex-AV Club writers, launches on Wednesday. Mashable has a sneak preview.

Chicago Women are Funny

Thea Lux, Ali Clayton, Stephanie Hasz, Sonia Denis, Irene Tu, Julia Solomon, the Puterbaugh Sisterz, Marlena Rodriguez, GB's own Caitlin Bergh, Kelsie Huff, Candy Lawrence, Ever Mainard and the recently departed Cameron Esposito are all featured in AfterEllen's 50 Hot Women in Comedy list.

More People Parking Coming Soon

With the success of parklets in Andersonville and elsewhere, more plans are in the works to turn parking spaces into parks. But, of course, not everyone is happy about it.

Calling out Crime

Hey Jackass! beats a steady drum about crime in the city, particularly gun violence. [via]

When Hollywood & Broadway are Calling You

Steve Gadlin of Blewt! and I Want to Draw a Cat for You fame has a new project: Steve Gadlin's Star Makers, showcasing some of the area's greatest talents.

No Boobs on Facebook

Facebook's sexual content restrictions affect artists and mothers alike.

Sun-Times Gets Blasted for Controversial Headline

The Sun-Times didn't make the best decision about how to title Sunday's front-page coverage of the Seoul-based Asiana flight that crashed during landing in San Francisco.

500 American Lives

"This American Life" will soon air its 500th episode. Host Ira Glass spoke with Slate about how they get subjects to open up in interviews, how they pick their stories, the TAL's unique place in NPR, and the business side of the show.

Taking Back the Street

Real estate broker Gary Dailey chased down a mugger who stole a woman's cellphone as people headed to the lake shore at Division for 4th of July fireworks.

UFOs on the 4th?

There were several reports of UFOs on the 4th of July in Chicagoland and elsewhere around the country.

Meter-Free Sundays Begin

Parking meters in most of the city are free on Sundays starting today, excluding the central business district within Roosevelt, Halsted, Division and the lake.

Take it Easy

Loyola business ethics professor Al Gini says taking a break from work is beneficial to the bottom line. With that in mind, we'll see you on Monday unless something important comes up

American Dream Less Dreamy

A new study by economists at Wheaton College and Northwestern found that since the 1970s, Americans have not been as upwardly mobile as the British have been.

Here's an earlier article by the study's authors, covering similar ground.

Grandfathers Matter(ed): Occupational Mobility Across Three Generations in the U.S. and Britain, 1850-1910 by Gapers Block

Refighting the Napoleonic Wars

The July 4th holiday may put you in the mindset for Revolutionary War or even Civil War reenactments, but the Napoleonic Historical Society would like you to relive the effort to thwart Emperor Napoleon's progress across Europe.

The Ghosts of Moo & Oink

Vintage advertising murals for defunct Moo & Oink were recently revealed on a building at 72nd and Stony Island. (You can still buy Moo & Oink brand products online.)

Dogs Around the World

Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's shares some thoughts on hot dogs in other countries in Condé Nast Traveler.

Mell Out, Mell In?

Longtime alderman and Blago father-in-law Dick Mell announced today that he will be retiring July 24; insiders speculate that he will get his daughter, state Rep. Deborah Mell, appointed as his replacement.

United States of X: Booze-filled Edition

Thrillist's "Red, White and Booze" map of the best-known alcoholic beverage from each state is miles ahead of that corporation map that went around the web last week, while still giving people plenty to argue about.


George Ryan is a Free Man

Former Gov. George Ryan was released from home confinement today, and is now free to travel at will. He still has a year of court supervision, though. (In case you're wondering, Blagojevich is in prison till 2024.)

Poopies in the Park

Fulton River Park has become a "landmine field" of dog poop due to the increasing number of residential towers surrounding it -- so much so that Blommer Chocolate is no longer sponsoring Movies in the Park because it doesn't want to be associated with the pet waste.

Adopt an OK Pet

PAWS Chicago has another 79 pets rescued from Oklahoma City-area shelters up for adoption.

Boozer is not a Crook

"When Carlos Boozer trends on Twitter it's never to laud his successes." ChicagoSide's Ben Lyon argues that the Bulls' big man reminds fans of what the team is, instead of what it could be.

Bunching Buses, by the Numbers

Ever wonder why some CTA buses tend to bunch together? So had Transitized, so he took a look at the data. The top three worst bunchers are the 66, 49 and 134. While population density is part of the equation, it's not the only factor.

Riding Divvy's Whole Route

Speaking of Divvy, John Greenfield rode to all 68 bike share locations in one day, and somehow lived to tell the tale.

An Eviction in Englewood

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about endemic poverty on Chicago's South Side in the Atlantic.

Hipster Heat Map

Yelp has a few heat maps of words that pop up in user reviews, such as bacon, tourist and hipster.

The Stanley Cup's Doppelgängers

Homemade Stanley Cups are popping up all over town, and we've started to collect photos of them. Have you photographed any? Consider adding them to our flickr pool!

The Art Institute's Pretty Great

Great enough for TripAdvisor users to vote it the best museum in the country and third best in the world in this year's Travelers Choice Awards. [via]

Divvying Up the Ride

Divvy launched this weekend with only a couple of hitches.

Andrew Mason is Working Hard

Ex-Groupon CEO Andrew Mason released an album of business motivational songs last night; I've posted my first impressions in Transmission, and the lyrics are already being pored over on rapgenius. Meanwhile, Sam Zelitch released his own version of the album last week: Andrew Mason's Hardly Working.

Crumbling Home

The CHA has expanded Section 8 housing subsidies over the past decade to house former residents of the projects, but more than half of Section 8 buildings have failed inspections in the past two years, with slumlords picking up the government check.

O'Hare to the Loop No Longer a Deal

As of today, the CTA has increased the cost of taking the Blue Line from O'Hare to $5 for everyone except airport employees and some others.

Murder in the Family

The older brother of slain Hyde Park Academy basketball star Malcolm Whitney confessed to accidentally shooting his brother with their father's gun and trying to cover up the murder.

Is Chicago Snobby?

Travel & Leisure thinks Chicago is the seventh snobbiest city in the States -- not because of the people, apparently, but because we have nice architecture and a strong theater scene. [via]

The Whole Bresaola

West Loop Salumi is the city's first USDA-certified salumeria. Their Randolph Street storefront isn't open yet, but you can shop online.

The Loop in Miniature

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's model of downtown just got an update, adding new buildings and removing those that are gone -- all with 3D printed models.

More Cuts at the Sun-Times

After laying off its professional photographers in May, the Sun-Times will also be cutting its book review section and folding its entertainment coverage into their lifestyle section later this month.

Farming on the Green

Modern Farmer profiles Chicago Lights Urban Farm, which grows fresh produce in Cabrini Green. The farm was recently sold to the CHA.

No School in East Garfield

The CPS school closures have left East Garfield Park with no neighborhood schools, and put the neighborhood's recovery from the housing bubble in jeopardy.

We'll Always Have Boston

Mere days after winning the Stanley Cup, two Blackhawks players (one of whom scored the final goal in Game 6) were notified that they had been traded to other teams.

Sharpton's On His Way

Rev. Al Sharpton says he's moving to Chicago to help with youth violence.

1 Million Take Pride

Police estimate a million people came out to the Pride Parade this Sunday, thanks in part to the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8.



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