Trib writer Matthew Walberg calculated he's shoveled about 25 tons of snow this winter. If you've got a driveway, you might have come close.
Trib writer Matthew Walberg calculated he's shoveled about 25 tons of snow this winter. If you've got a driveway, you might have come close.
The cute and vaguely creepy Puppet Bike is celebrating ten years of bringing improvised performances of tiny puppets to Michigan Avenue and the city at large.
A mesmerizing animation gives a satellite's-eye view of where Chicagoans travel throughout the day.
A Chiberia t-shirt has been created to commemorate the harsh Chicago winter that won't quit. The shirts run for $25 and sales will be donated to help those who hurt the most this winter: the homeless.
The Shedd Aquarium announced the arrival of their fourth adopted dog, Marlin. Marlin, a chocolate Lab mix (possibly with a little Boxer and a little Great Dane) will be one of the canine ambassadors at the aquarium. Each canine ambassador at the aquarium came from a local shelter and are all named after Finding Nemo characters.
An infographic compares the nation's two most fast-paced and busy cities, Chicago and New York, on a variety of aspects of city culture, from sports to airports to tourists, and of course, the ever-lasting pizza rivalry.
A member of a blues band says that McNally's Bar in Morgan Park closed early last Saturday because there were "too many black people here" for the apparent owner of the bar, a Chicago cop. If the man was in fact the bar's owner, he may be in violation of several CPD rules of conduct.
Chicago radio host and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh called the LGBT community "a group of constitutional terrorists" on Twitter Tuesday, in reference to the Arizona bill allowing businesses to deny services to LGBT customers. Walsh's tweets continued, as he said he felt forced to respect other people's constitutional liberties but others don't respect his.
No one goes to Navy Pier, no one lives in the Loop, and never underestimate the Tamale Guy are just a few of the truisms out-of-towners should learn about Chicago, according to Thrillist.
Chicago's inequality between the richest and poorest citizens ranks eighth in the country, according to a study by the Brookings Institute. (Thanks, Dee!)
China's urbanization process will be facilitated by Chicago architects, as the "boom country of the 21st century" will be home to nearly 1 billion people by 2030. In a series created by the Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin and photographer John H. Kim, the two reveal how remodeling China's cityscape impacts the most crucial pillars to urban life.
Since drinking on the CTA is not (yet) legal, a map has been created correlating the "best and closest" bar to every "L" stop. Each stop on the map has been replaced with the correlating bar.
Longtime Rearview contributor Andy Marfia was out photographing the lake on Feb. 9, and stumbled upon a lovely moment as a couple (he thinks) got engaged at Osterman/Hollywood Beach. He'd like to give them a copy of the photo. Anyone know these adorable huggers?
A lot of people who live here are from here. But Curious City finds that it's not all that unusual.
Curbed takes a look at US Census data about where Cook County gains and loses residents.
An online tournament of sandwiches has begun in Chicago, and is being called an "edible version of March Madness." The bracket currently consists of 64 sandwiches of various types all around the city. Participants who agree to the challenge eat the sandwiches, take photos and blog to the group's Google Docs.
Chicago's very basic cubicle hotels offer a brief, inexpensive escape from the cold for many people with nowhere else to go.
"Chicago police have long been criticized for interpreting the Constitution in different ways depending on which neighborhood they patrol." The Reporter backs that compliment up with data showing blacks far more likely to be shot by police in Chicago.
DNAinfo put together a map of the Loop's Pedway system showing how to eat, drink, and shop without heading out into the cold.
Vice's Noisey began an eight-part documentary on "Chiraq" this week, visiting Englewood to learn more about Chief Keef, the rise of drill music, and its connection with gangs.
New celebrations of the Chinese New Year are coming to Chicago, with lantern celebrations, fireworks, and vendor fairs planned to attract international tourists and help residents celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Horse.
The Adler Planetarium is hiring a Sky Show Operator. "The premise of the show is that it's the year 2096 and a company called Space Express Tours conducts guided excursions into the Solar System. After viewing a brief pre-flight movie in the Welcome Gallery the visitors are met by their tour guide, Jesse, at the entrance to the Grainger Theater and enter the theater to begin their journey."
When will someone here take notice of how Pittsburgh handles their dibs problems?
Online voters selected "Chicago Authors" as the topic of a future exhibition at the Chicago History Museum as the result of its first-ever crowdsourced exhibit search.
Natalie Moore thinks the nickname "Chiraq" needs to go now that the city is less of a war zone.
African Americans in Chicago are 54 precent more likely to tweet than other adults, according to a new study.
The city's single room occupancy hotels are disappearing, leaving their longtime residents with few options.
Have you been down to Christkindlmarket yet? We know it's touristy, but there's something special about drinking mulled wine and eating strudel beneath the skyscrapers downtown; you have until Thursday.
On her morning bike commute today, reader Kathleen King was passed by a horse on Wells Street, presumably on the loose from Noble Horse Theatre. Horses escaped from the theater's stable exactly one year ago, too.
King says the horse was "heading north on Wells, before turning right on North Ave. I hope all (including horse) are safe."
UPDATE: The Sun-Times' George Siefo fills in more of the story.
"Excuse me you need to take your cameras off this corner. It's Safe Passage." Te-Nehisi Coates visited the West Side with videographers for the Atlantic, and had an interesting interaction with police.
The Sun-Times' Dave Hoekstra takes a few nostalgic sips at the Loop Tavern & Tap Room- a "slashie" found a few miles away from the Loop in West Town.
The live lit series That's All She Wrote has 2014 live lit calendars for sale featuring over 40 listings for Chicago live lit events each month, and post-it note portraits of everyone who read at TASW during its inaugural year. They also have note cards. Calendars are $12, sets of cards are $10, and can be shipped.
Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, Ald. Will Burns shut down Jennifer Pritzker's proposal to buy and rehab two Wright houses in South Kenmore and make them B&Bs after neighbors objected that they'd bring "transients" to the residential block. At least one resident took notice of the tone.
There will be even more of the walking dead on the streets during St. Patrick's Day weekend next year when the Walker Stalker Con for fans of all things zombie comes to Chicago.
Yolanda Perdomo compares Capone tourism here with the potential for Pablo Escobar tourism in Colombia.
Plate magazine's Project: Blackbird gets the oral history of the founding of the iconic West Loop restaurant 16 years ago.
Kicking off downtown at 8am on Thursday, Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
Hip hop shop Exclusive 773 is giving away 1,000 turkeys to needy families today at the store, 857 W. 87th St. Young Chop, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Durk, Co-Still, Twista and other local rappers have sponsored hundreds of turkeys, and there's still time to donate a couple yourself.
The Christkindlmarket returns to Daley Plaza next week, with one notable absence: no ceramic boot mugs. This year's souvenir gluhwein mug is a skinny cylinder shape, and has some boot fans, well, bent out of shape, to say the least.
Looking for "hipster" neighborhoods ideal for real estate investment, a new study ranks three Chicago ZIPs- 60625, 60647, and 60642- among the top 25 in the nation.
Nortasha Stingley, who lost her 19-year-old daughter to gun violence, tells you how to survive a shooting in this week's Reader.
After Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy expressed an interest in using drones, new legislation was proposed to ban law enforcement's use of the unmanned flying machines in Chicago.
Fast Company lists Chicago as #9 on its list of the smartest cities in North America, citing the commitment of developers to green building, open government efforts, and growth in broadband and other technologies. [via]
Coya Paz recently attended a contentious meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors about the Broadway Youth Center, and was shocked at the bigoted comments made by attendees. She talked about it on Vocalo's "Morning AMp" Thursday.
Back of the Yards watering hole Stanley's hasn't changed much since it started serving factory workers back in 1935, writes DNAinfo's Casey Cora.
Renters are eclipsing buyers in Lincoln Park and Logan Square is booming, according to a breakdown of how the city's neighborhoods changed since 2000 by Chicago Magazine.
With studies finding 48% of people in Chicago's homeless shelters are convicted felons, advocates are looking for ways CHA and other groups can get ex-offenders off the streets.
From beauty salons to mechanics, technically any business in Chicago can be BYOB if they want to- and some local leaders are looking at ways to regulate the tradition (or at least get some money from it).
There are currently more live lit events in Chicago than in New York or San Francisco according to Poets & Writers magazine, which published a piece featuring Ian Belknap of WRITE CLUB, Dana Norris of Story Club, and Keith Ecker of Guts & Glory.
In what could be a defining moment for nuptials in Chicago, a local man got help from the ever-present Puppet Bike when he proposed to his girlfriend. Can this be the beginning of a new tradition?
DNAinfo Chicago reports City Council approved $125 million in tax incentives on Wednesday to renovate Bronzeville's Rosenwald Courts apartment building that once housed Nat "King" Cole, Quincy Jones, and Gwendolyn Brooks.
Despite efforts to hold property owners accountable and provide money for improvements, the Tribune finds that vacant buildings are still a growing problem in many Chicago neighborhoods.
GB alum Britt Julious answers, which Curious City examines the role of corporations in neighborhood redevelopment.
While printed books may be in decline, libraries are in the midst of something of a renaissance in Chicago and across the country, offering new digital services like access to 3D printers and online tutoring.
Haunted Houses are set to open in arenas, corn fields, jails across the Chicagoland area.
The police are organizing community actions to retake parks and playgrounds from gang violence.
Hipsters have been haunting Chicago's neighborhoods since the 1890s. Aimee Levitt tracks their movements through history in this week's Reader.
A man from Morton Grove traveled with two Syrian friends earlier this summer to see the civil war in Syria firsthand.
After Meagan Lane's cell phone was stolen while she was riding on the L, she found herself reconnecting with the people of the city.
Chicago magazine takes a look at how other countries' media is reporting on Chicago's violence.
The Tribune has put all 547 of 2013's multi-victim shootings on an explorable map.
After months of complaints about an open manhole near 58th and Blackstone, a sign went up explaining that "a few crappy pieces of wood hastily nailed together and light enough for any curious eight-year-old boy to move is sufficient to guarantee everyone's safety." We'll see if that spurs some action by the Department of Water Management.
The olinguito, a newly discovered species of small, teddy bear-like raccoon, is now on display at the Field Museum after sitting undiscovered in a drawer for decades.
Steve Harvey is aiming for a new world record by bringing 654 singles to Navy Pier for a blind date that will include an appearance by crooner Michael Bublé.
A new ordinance passed by City Council increases fines up to $1,500 for throwing trash from car windows and gives police the ability to impound vehicles of drivers caught littering.
When privately owned subsidized housing goes into foreclosure, the owners often neglect the property -- and the CHA isn't informed. WBEZ and Chicago Reporter investigated and found a predictive trend between CHA inspection failures and foreclosure.
Moving snafus forced Aimee Levitt to spend a night in the alley behind her new Rogers Park apartment, giving her a front-row seat (on her own couch) of the area's late-night happenings.
Streeterville: The Play, which depicts the neighborhood's foundation by the controversial Cap Streeter, will be performed in its namesake area for the first time later this month.
Julia Thiel makes the case that Logan Square's influx of cocktail bars and restaurants means Wicker Park-like gentrification is just around the corner.
WBEZ looks back on a century of refuse, comparing modern waste management with that of the 1900s.
Whet Moser maps the safest neighborhoods -- and the most dangerous -- in the city, and it's probably exactly the ones you suspect.
A judge has ruled Fannie May and Freddie Mac don't have to follow the city ordinance that requires owners of vacant, foreclosed buildings to maintain the properties. The mortgage lenders own 258,000 loans in Chicago. [via]
An ad promoting the upcoming debut of a Nike running store in Bucktown featured the phrase "We Run Bucktown," which angered residents who thought it came off as arrogant, based on its double-entendre. It's been changed to "Nike Running Bucktown."
Local filmmakers including Kartemquin Films, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Media Process Group, and The Kindling Group have teamed up to make a documentary about the aftermath of Chicago Public School's recent decision to close 50 schools. Students with Free Spirit Media will help with post-production.
Women shouldn't have to feel afraid of what might happen if they take public transportation, says former GB contributor Niki Fritz in the RedEye.
The Tribune photography department put together a stunning feature chronicling violence in the city. Spend some time with this, and have a tissue handy.
There's a battle for the hearts and minds of Bridgeport going on -- on Facebook. After one too many racially and politically charged arguments on the Bridgeport Chicago IL group, two neighborhood residents created The REAL Bridgeport and Bridgeport Neighborhood groups as hate-free zones; at least one group formed in response has already been closed.
Crain's this week explores "the business of life and death" at Leak & Sons Funeral Home, one of the oldest African-American funeral homes in the country.
Chicago Shakespeare in the Park is bringing free performances of the Bard's A Comedy of Errors to green spaces around the city all summer.
Neil Steinberg takes a ride down the "magic road" that takes politicians (and, ostensibly, conventioneers) from McCormick Place into the center of the Loop.
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.
Whet Moser says you can learn a lot about on Navy Pier, and not just about tourist behavior.
I had a treehouse -- a couple of them, actually. None were as cool as Alex Gabbard's treehouse in Bowmanville.
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about endemic poverty on Chicago's South Side in the Atlantic.
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.
More than 300 vacant buildings have been demolished so far this year, under the City's effort to curb violence and crime; some say it will hurt the city more in the long run by hampering economic recovery efforts. Last year, David Schalliol documented 100 buildings on the City demolition list, and followed it up this year with a look at an entire neighborhood being bulldozed for a new rail yard.
On the night of June 29, 2003, 13 people died and more than 50 were injured when a wooden porch collapsed during a house party in Lakeview. RedEye takes a look at the aftermath, 10 years after the tragedy.
Two bike tours this weekend give you an intimate look at two very different neighborhoods: on Saturday, Ald. Toni Foulkes leads a tour of Englewood, while Forgotten Chicago takes a tour of Avondale on Sunday.
Media Matters' Eric Boehlert analyzes media coverage of Chicago's homicide rate, which continues to get national attention despite being down from last year.
It's tough running a business at the 600 block of East 79th Street. RedEye's Tracy Swartz talked with some of the local owners.
John Greenfield took a walk up Elston Avenue for NewCity. John walked several venerable streets for GB over the years, too.
Crain's got a variety of civic and cultural leaders to suggest ways Chicago could improve its standing with international tourists.
Efforts are under way to save the Leo Lerner Theatre in the former Hull House Association center in Uptown, which was sold in foreclosure after the organization filed for bankruptcy and closed. The building is slated to be converted into condos; a petition on change.org seeks to get aldermen to stop that.
Curious City asked how much panhandlers and street musicians how much they made in a day.
Here's another "Chicago sucks" article to get pissed off about, this time from Business Insider.
Today would have been Wesley Willis' 50th birthday, so in honor of the man, watch the rock-u-mentary Wesley Willis's Joy Rides. And then peruse the archives of Wesley Willis Art to see some classic examples of the man's drawing style. [via]
WBEZ maps outdoor seating in Chicago, and explains why it's nearly absent on the South Side
Chicago grew the slowest of any major American city last year, new census data found. We added just 10,000 people between July 2011 and July 2012.
Food assistance programs have seen a surge in usage recently; Whet Moser breaks down why.
Step inside the Turkish Cultural Center, a private social club, with the Center Square Journal.
Every murder costs the city $5 million, and shootings cost $1 million, according to research cited by Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
You can see a timelapse gif of how Chicago's landscape has changed over the last 28 years, courtesy of Google Earth Engine.
If so, what's the treatment? Mick Dumke explores some of the approaches being taken to reduce gun violence.
Last weekend, the Glass Slipper Project held its last "boutique" date of the 2013 prom season, during which it provided hundreds of prom dresses, shoes, makeup and accessories to needy teens free of charge. If you have a donation to make for next year, get in touch.
Since 1950, the neighborhood with the most population growth is Ashburn, while Fuller Park has lost the most. NBC5's Ward Room breaks down the numbers for all 77 community areas.
Four intersections on the West and South sides made Neighborhood Scout's 2013 list of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America: Halsted & 77th streets (fourth) and Ashland Avenue & 76th Street (16th) in Auburn-Gresham, Homan Avenue & Roosevelt Road (13th) in North Lawndale, and Indiana Avenue and 60th Street (25th) in Washington Park.
View Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods in a larger map
At least this year they're all legitimately crime-heavy places. In 2010, out-of-date data resulted in two areas that once but no longer held public housing complexes were included on the list; one was an empty field.
On Curious City, Robert Loerzel tells the history of Dunning, a legendary insane asylum and potter's field on Chicago's Northwest Side that eventually gave its name to a neighborhood. In 2009, Gapers Block's Dan Kelly took a look at what the Dunning neighborhood (and nearby Schorch Village) is like today.
Today marks the first of a series of featured videos from the Media Burn Independent Video Archive. This clip is a 1978 performance by Blind Arvella Gray at the Maxwell Street Market, originally from A Tribute to Chicago Blues. Watch more from the feature on Media Burn.
CBS's "Sunday Morning" show this week took viewers on a tour of an East Lakeview penthouse and the unfinished residential unit on the 89th floor of the Trump Tower, which has been for sale since May of last year for $32 million.
The Sun-Times has launched Homicide Watch Chicago, "dedicated to the proposition that murder is never a run-of-the-mill story. Attention must be paid to each one, not merely a select and particularly tragic few." It's modeled off of Homicide Watch DC and is produced in partnership with Medill.
A DeLorean traveling down I-90 yesterday was a subject of several photos (taken at the same time) posted to Reddit.
The CTA's Red Line South Project, which gets under way May 19, will close three stations in Englewood for several months, but there are other projects that aim to bring more transportation options to the neighborhood and hopefully boost the local economy.
Peoria Street turns into a pedestrian bridge over I-290; here's a plan to make it pedestrian-friendly for another block, north to Harrison.
The City's new garbage collection map greatly simplifies Streets & San's job and eliminates a vestige of Machine politics going back a hundred years.
Chicagoist is doing a good job of rounding up photos of flooding, sewer geysers and the like thanks to all this rain.
Citing unresolved building violations, the city is moving to immediately close Logan Square's Congress Theater. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Cook County Circuit Court.
Inspired by the New Yorker's map of median income along subway lines, Moacir P. de Sá Pereira made one for the CTA, and did a little digging into why the Sedgewick stop is so complex when looked at through this lens. [via]
Last March, Chicago saw 52 murders. This year there were only 15. RedEye shares some analysis.
Chicago is now only the fifth largest city in North America, having been edged out by Toronto. We've got 2.71 million people to their 2.79 million. (Thanks, Dee!)
Britt Julious writes about how neighborhood stereotypes help to limit our knowledge of the city as a whole.
The Galewood-Montclare branch of the Chicago Public Library is in danger of closing due to a lack of activity, so neighborhood residents are taking action -- by checking out everything in the library. Stop by at 5pm to help out.
Why do neighborhoods sometimes vary from block to block? WBEZ's Natalie Moore attempts to answer.
Mary Schmich profiles Mike Perrone, a graphic designer whose love of the old Magikist lips (last seen in 2004) has driven him to make a t-shirt memorializing the signs -- and to buy one of the signs in hopes of getting it put back up somewhere in the city.
1,001 Chicago Afternoons picks up where Ben Hecht left off, collecting 1,001 stories of life in Chicago.
City Council approved the sale of 105 vacant city lots in Englewood to Norfolk Southern so the railway company can move forward on the expansion of its 47th Street Terminal. The expansion will eliminate an existing neighborhood, as documented in The Grid earlier this year.
In These Times details one of the contributing factors to Chicago's high murder rate: the dearth of trauma care units in South Side hospitals.
Zagat's released a list of the city's "30 Hottest Up-and-Comers Under 30" list.
PTSD affects police officers, too, and the pressures of work took the life of Officer Ryan Healy recently.
March 2013 has been almost the exact opposite of March 2012, meteorologically.
Chicago magazine's Whet Moser breaks down the stats on illegal gambling in Chicago.
If you've listened to one or both of the "This American Life" shows related to Harper High School shooting during last school year, and felt yourself thinking "Man, I wish there was something I could do to help." Well, rest easier because now you can. The school's administrators have started a fundraiser. They'd love to get $2 million to provide ACT prep classes, after-school programming, transportation assistance, college tours and more.
Medill takes a multimedia look at Bronzeville's arts-filled past and present, including three galleries: Gallery Guichard, Blanc Gallery and Faié Afrikan Gallery. Another important area gallery is Milton Mizenberg's gallery and studio.
The abandoned Edgewater Hospital on the edge of Andersonville could become a retirement home for gay senior citizens, if a proposal by graduate student Vea Cleary and the Friends of West Edgewater moves forward.
Crain's makes a case for a more broadly defined city center -- one that is the most prosperous in the nation.
A White House petition is being circulated to change the national anthem to R. Kelly's 2003 hit "Ignition (Remix)."
If you're looking for a reason to enjoy the weather, might I suggest tonight's SNOWBRAWL?
Coming in September, a new music-oriented team with the City is planning the first-ever Chicago Music Summit to promote local music.
The Reader's Mick Dumke goes over recent drug arrest data, and relates it to his excellent story about the New Breeds gang last week and our new Public Enemy No. 1, Joaquín Guzmán Loera -- who the LA Times reports may have just been killed.
Illinois winters have warmed 0.88 degrees over the past four decades, making it the 12th fastest warming state according to research by Climate Central.
The trailer for the upcoming episodes of R. Kelly's neverending story Trapped in the Closet has been released.
The Reader's Mick Dumke dissects a West Side heroin ring, starting with its leader.
Guys, if you're looking for love, start your search in Woodlawn, which has the highest proportion of single women in the city. (Ladies, you should look in Washington Park.)
"Just a few years ago, I had no idea what cold felt like, and no way to know how to prepare for it." A-J Aronstein talks about February in Chicago in the Paris Review.
WBEZ's series "Our Guns" introduces you to people for whom guns are an important part of their life and identity. Meanwhile, in Mechanics, Jeff Smith notes that attitudes about gun control are "as much a geographic and cultural divide as anything else."
Beginning this summer, Lakeview's Pride Fest and the Chicago Pride Parade may take place on separate weekends due to congestion concerns.
Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography created maps of racial distribution in Chicago and the suburbs during the 1940s, '50s and '60s, in connection with a journal article on how the Baby Boom affected population here.
A Chicago high school basketball star himself, former CPS chief/current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan connects to Chicago's gun violence and its toll on the city's youth through basketball, as Rick Telander tells it, and he's enlisted friends Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to help formulate a plan to combat it.
The Atlantic Cities mines census data to figure out where the creative class -- and the service class -- live.
In 1999, Gary Comer, the founder of Lands' End, began investing in his childhood neighborhood of Pocket Town. Chicago magazine takes a look at what $86 million has done for the tiny South Side neighborhood.
Chicago is a city marked by the spirit of entrepreneurship and independent vision. Here, dedicated, innovative thinkers reinvent the collaborative processes that elevate ideas from daydreams to reality. So close, yet so far from the shiny Magnificent Mile, artists like Alexander Fruchter, owner and operator of local hip hop record label Closed Sessions, challenge traditional practices to make way for more exciting forms of magnificent creative expression.
Closed Sessions creates not only music but short documentary films, shown on their website, that give insider peeks into the stories behind these local artists. Fruchter says they are "genuine about wanting to capture the story in this historic period." They just signed their first flagship artist, Alex Wiley, who will perform Feb. 9 at 4pm at Reggie's Rock Club for just a dollar.
Rick Kogan interviewed Shirley Chambers, the woman who lost four children to gun violence in the city, on "The Afternoon Shift" yesterday. Meanwhile, a woman was shot while driving a van on the ramp from Lake Shore Drive onto I-55 this morning. Police Chief Garry McCarthy appeared on Channel 7 this morning to talk about efforts to stem gun violence.
The Chicago Police Department has recovered 50,000 guns in the past 12 years, and they've tracked down their origins.
A Reddit user has made a nifty GIF of how the city's race demographics have changed over a 90-year span.
Chicagoist's "Ramova Room" soup kitchen event is tonight at 6pm at Benton House. Get down there to sample soups from some of Bridgeport's best chefs. With more than 200 RSVPs on Facebook, it's going to be quite a party.
"I am where I live and where I Iive is who I'll always be." Our own Britt Julious writes about how one's home neighborhood informs one's identity on WBEZ
As RedEye's map (previously) demonstrated, Chicago's 513 murders last year were not evenly distributed throughout the city. Fifteen neighborhoods had no murders in 2012 -- and Mount Greenwood has been murder-free since 2007.
While many Chicago neighborhoods faltered during the recession, Chatham has rebounded well. The NYTimes reports on reasons why.
One of Mayor Emanuel's first acts in office was to assign 1,000 more police officers to patrol the streets, but the Sun-Times found that there are actually fewer cops on the beat now than a year ago. Commentary on Second City Cop is enlightening.
If you're a renter and your building has poor heat, the law is on your side to make sure your landlord is kept in check.
The gentrification of Bronzeville runs counter to the usual gentrification story -- in that the gentrifiers are black, and not all of them are moving in from other neighborhoods.
What was the geographical distribution of minorities changed in Chicago and other cities before and after the Fair Housing Act of 1968? Pro Publica shows you.
While the deaths of 20 young children in Newtown, CT has caused a national debate over gun control, 270 children have been killed by guns in Chicago since 2007, notes Hoy's Jeff Kelly Lowenstein.
Local photographer Jon Lowenstein's photographs of South Side immigrant families were the launching point for a new series about Latin American immigration featured today on the NY Times' photography blog.
If someone on your gift list listens to WBEZ's news quiz "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!", consider buying them tickets to the live taping, where they can hear all of Carl Kassel's saucy quips that don't make it to broadcast. Thursdays at 7:30pm at the Chase Bank Auditorium, $24.75.
Activists are advocating against the City's efforts to close single room occupancy hotels, which are often the only housing option for low-income residents.
Tracking software charted CTA bus and train movement over one day last month. It's awesome. [via]
A Logan Square resident has been chronicling the (alarmingly fast) construction of a neighborhood McDonald's.
DNAinfo visits the "swastika house," one of Englewood's neighborhood tourism spots.
Yesterday was the second warmest Thanksgiving on record in Chicago. And of course today we're back to the usual chill.
Looking for a way to "pay it forward" this holiday season? Give the gift of warmth to a child in need by supporting Dorger McCarthy Group's annual coat drive and holiday party for children whose families are currently living in homeless shelters. Coats and volunteers are needed for this annual event, which happens Dec. 8. Email Sara.firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to volunteer.
The LGBT community is aging right alongside everyone else, but finding housing has been a challenge. New developments in Boystown and elsewhere hope to change that.
The Urbanophile argues that Chicago should take better advantage of Northwest Indiana.
When you've got a name like Luvvie, you just have to see the world as a place full of love. And for Chicagoan, activist, writer, Red Pump Project creator and humorist Luvvie Ajayi, her world is most recently full of love from Women's Media Center where she received their Social Media Award. Hopefully for Luvvie, the love doesn't stop.
Gapers Block has covered CeaseFire extensively over the years, both positively and more skeptically. Most recently, Jason Prechtel questioned the decision by Vice magazine to run a documentary about CeaseFire as part of a marketing campaign for a revenge-themed video game; Vice has since removed the documentary from the marketing campaign site.
Chicago has its share of odd public works, but well known are John Kearney's metal animal sculptures. This weekend, his work in Lakeview was removed by their owner after he sold the property on which they sat. Residents will now have to get used to a world without their favorite large chrome giraffe to welcome them home.
Photo by Michael Lehet.
You're not imagining things, there are more neighborhood festivals than ever -- and organizers are looking for new ways to fight for their sliver of attention.
Chicago's high level of gang violence is nothing new, but its increasingly popular "trap" rap scene, featuring juvenile rappers that rhyme about guns, "bitches" and drugs, is adding more fuel to the already out of control fire. Many wonder who is responsible for the epidemic, the misguided teens or their parents? Chicago blogger Alexander Fruchter explores this troubling trend in an editorial for Ruby Hornet.
Logan Square's Real Tenochtitlan was forced to cover up the bare breasts in a painting hanging in the restaurant after a patron complained about "obsenity." Eater spoke to an employee, "Yes, it's art, but to some persons they are a kind of pornography and that's what they understand."
Mayor Emanuel wants billboard companies to tear down five traditional billboards in the city in exchange for permission to build digital billboards on City property all over the city -- including, potentially, within neighborhoods where no billboards currently exist.
ABC News says we just got our Christmas tree. Is it too early to be thinking about the holidays?
If you aren't into wearing a Halloween costume this weekend, a lot of dogs will be getting into their favorite (or tolerated) costumes and patrolling the city for your entertainment. You can find pet parades in Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Logan Square, the South Loop, Avondale, the Gold Coast, and even the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Chicago's 311 system is now integrated with SeeClickFix; as of today, the City will be monitoring services requests made on that site as well as its own avenues. You can also track your 311 service request online.
Here's a Google Streetview grab of approximately 4880 S. Union Ave. The I-beam fenceposts are gone, or at least hiding behind the wood fence, but that appears to be the same house, remodeled. Wonder how long the photo on the North Side has been there.
This post originally referred to Calumet 412 as a project of Forgotten Chicago. I've been notified that they're not related.
Connecting families across the city, the first annual "Strollers in the Front" 5K Walk & Run on Sunday, Oct. 28 welcomes walkers, runners and strollers alike. With a Kids Dash and a Halloween Finish Line Family festival, this family oriented race is the first of its kind to make its way to the city, so register your strollers now and be a part of crawling to the finish line!
Everyblockers in Edgewater debate what to do when you spot a peeping tom in the building next to you.
Tuesday, Oct. 30 is the night that Anthony Moser and the Fat Tones Blues Band performs at Buddy Guy's Legends. Come in for a spell at 9:30pm for the show -- and as the "witching hour" approaches, get ready for Black Magic beginning at 11:30pm.
The CHA has approved plans that would lead to the demolition of 1,800 public housing units in Lathrop Homes, Altgeld Gardens and the Cabrini rowhouses. The plans now head to Washington for HUD approval.
The final version of the city's 2012 Cultural Plan is now live. If you're looking for a quick read, here's the direct link to the pdf executive summary.
Or just read it here:
In honor of Chicago Ideas Week, the city turned to Twitter to ask users their opinion about the best way to get guns off of the streets. They received over 300,000 responses, varying from stricter parenting to looser gun control.
Noyes Street Station, one of the northernmost stops on the CTA Purple Line, will be closed for repairs this weekend. Commuters traveling to or from Evanston will not be able to access the station between 10pm on Friday until 4am on Monday.
The Chicago Journal explores an "urban island" on the near South Side, cut off from the rest of the city by the Stevenson and Dan Ryan to the north and south, the Red Line and Amtrak tracks to the east and west.
The Legacy Walk, a series of plaques from The Legacy Project that honors heroes from the LGBT community, will be unveiled on Halsted Street in Boystown today, National Coming Out Day. Download a PDF walking map.
With an estimated 280 machines live across the state as of yesterday, video gambling is legal at bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal organizations. And just when I thought I'd never find a way to fund state improvements while playing poker by myself at a truck stop.
The African American Cultural Center Gallery of UIC's upcoming exhibition, "Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S.," posits that "mass incarceration has replaced segregation as a form of social control for black people." The exhibit opens Oct. 23 and runs until Nov. 21.
CBS Chicago reports that some Lakeview residents are complaining that the pay-what-you-can Panera Cares on Diversey is bringing an "unwanted element" into the neighborhood -- aka homeless people. As Chicagoist notes, it's not the first time Lakeview residents and businesses have tried to exclude people.
The Reader this week tells the story of 18th ward residents' fight against yet another pawn shop in their neighborhood.
Crain's reports that Chicago's suburban office parks are the most vacant in the country, with enough available space to fill the 110-story Willis Tower almost eight times over.
If you'e got an idea about how to get illegal guns off the streets, and can sum it up in 140 characters or less, the city's listening (if it has the hashtag #whatifchicago). The best suggestions will debated October 11 with police Superintendent Garry McCarthy at a Chicago Ideas Week panel.
WBEZ puts the latest gang territory data from CPD on a Google Map, and compares it with locations of schools and homicides.
As of this morning, Millennium Park features free wi-fi -- the first of Emanuel's push, which plans to include all parks and public spaces in Chicago. The City is looking for everyone's help in designing the network via The Broadband Challenge.
The Chicagoist recaps the Congress Theater/Portage Theater fiasco, and it's gotten a little ugly.
Darcy Phillips began a quest earlier this year to run on every block of the city. You can follow his journey via Facebook.
The two and a half year reconstruction of North Grant Park is now underway, during which Daley Bicentennial Plaza will be transformed into Maggie Daley Park. Three renderings of the park are available on the construction website (Tip: Open each rendering in another window to see the full resolution version).
During the recession there was a lot of talk about how the housing bubble made it cheaper to rent than own. According to Trulia, it's now cheaper to own again, in Chicago and every other major city in America.
In "Chicago Interrupted," Vice magazine followed two members of CeaseFire, Tio Hardiman and Ameena Matthews, as they went about the daily business of keeping fights from escalating into more serious violence. The first part of the video series was posted yesterday. [via]
Stay tuned for more in the series.
Gapers Block has covered CeaseFire a number of times over the years, profiling Tio Hardiman back in 2008 and more recently digging into criticism of the organization's tactics as it rose to prominence with the release of the documentary The Interrupters.
A new development around the Ravenswood Metra station began construction last week. Highlights of the project include covered platforms and warming shelters, and a planned Mariano's and L.A. Fitness.
CDOT released the Chicago Pedestrian Plan, a document aimed at "improving all aspects of the pedestrian experience and increase pedestrian activity."
The Museum of Science and Industry is hosting its Illinois Free Days: no admission charge for all residents (with ID) on weekdays Sept. 4 through 28.
According to the LoganSquarist, the Congress Theater will soon undergo renovations and build a storefront community center.
Crime in Chicago is a new site from the Tribune that provides crime maps, statistics and other useful info for each of the city's 77 community areas.
Emanuel and McCarthy's anti-violence strategy gets poor reviews from residents of the neighborhoods that are affected, where they're calling for even more of a police presence. Meanwhile, 50 officers were sent to the Democratic National Convention.
Sixth ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer tried speak with concerned citizens after a shooting in his South Side ward. He was told, "Ya'll can't do nothing" by a teenager who was the brother of the shooting victim.
The police cracked down on gangs this weekend in an effort to curb violence, arresting 300 people and confiscating more than 100 guns. And speaking of guns, UofC Crime Lab researchers determined that most guns recovered by police in crime investigations are purchased in the suburbs -- one in five was bought at a single
Riverside Riverdale gun shop.
The Reader's Steve Bogira delves into statistics that show that poverty is Chicago's deadliest killer.
If it seems like graffiti in your neighborhood is staying up longer than usual, you're not imagining it -- the Graffiti Blasters' funding has been cut back to save on the City budget.
The Urbanophile runs down several ways to look at cities globally and marks Chicago's status against them. Meanwhile, London's World Cities Culture Report left Chicago out (though it did limit itself to one city per country, so only NYC ranks in the States.)
The Trib notes some of the street, town and business names around Chicagoland that can make travel for visitors confusing.
Among the many events this weekend is the Chicago Korean Festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday on Bryn Mawr between Kedzie and Kimball. It's probably your only chance to see traditional Korean wrestling (ssireum) this year.
In 1992, a young, suburb-dwelling Shaun Sperling achieved a major feat: he did the entire dance accompaniment for Madonna's "Vogue" video for the people at his Bar Mitzvah party. It's 100% awesome, and I hope he still has the shirt.
The Woodstock Institute shares data on foreclosures in Chicago, including an interactive chart that lets you compare trends in your community area to others around the city.
The murals will go up on the Chase, Estes, Greenview/Sherwin, North Shore and Rogers Avenue CTA underpasses and the Birchwood, Estes, Farwell, Morse, Rogers and Touhy Avenue Metra underpasses.
Chicago 1955 by Aaron Wooten
If you're intrigued by suburban companies moving back downtown (including today's United announcement), you may be interested in Forgotten Chicago's "Corporate Kings of the Suburbs & Stern Pinball Tour," which will visit several midcentury suburban corporate campuses. Their upcoming Hyde Park modernist walking tour looks promising too.
Starting August 20, the Chicago Public Library will be offering amnesty for overdue books. No fines, no questions, no nothing -- for three whole weeks. So if you've had a copy of Tropic of Cancer checked out since junior high school, now's your chance to return it.
The stars of the local show All About Chris had quite a time during last weekend's Bud Billiken Parade, particularly because they were being hounded by their female fans throughout the parade route. One swarming event is after the jump.
Speaking of the military, September 8 commemorates the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearborn (it's represented as one of the stars on our city's flag, in case you didn't know) with a reconciliation between Pottowatomi tribe members, military reënactors, descendents of soldiers in the battle, Mayor Emanuel and other dignitaries. The celebration will be part of the the 6th annual Festival on Prairie Avenue sponsored by the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance.
If your nose is stuffed up and your sinuses are aching, there's a good reason: Chicago's mold count is the highest on record this week.
Buff up on your Chicago history with a South Loop Historical Society walking tour of Northerly Island next Tuesday, August 14.
Get caught smoking a joint and it's a $250-500 ticket now. Get caught building a marijuana farm inside a South Deering house, and it's going to be a much bigger headache.
The RedEye has mapped out bar brawls across the city. Either the North Side likes to fight more than the South Side, or the police just don't get called as often south of Roosevelt.
The Chicago Sister Cities Festival runs through Friday in Daley Plaza. Get out of the office and explore the world on your lunch break.
The new law allowing police to ticket people for possession of half an ounce of pot or less goes into effect on Saturday -- which is convenient for a certain segment of Lollapalooza attendees, Ward Room notes.
Chicago's murder rate went down in July, according to Supt. McCarthy; we only had 49 homicides, compared with 55 in 2011. McCarthy says this means the CPD's gang violence reduction strategy is beginning to work. Need I mention that Second City Cop and crew disagree?
Chicago's segregation isn't just along racial lines, but income lines too. Interestingly, Bucktown is on the rise, as the only area outside Lincoln Park where more than 30 percent of residents make more than $200k.
A new city ordinance prohibits children under 18 from using tanning equipment. Looks like they'll have to get their ultraviolet radiation fix the old-fashioned way: at the beach. Swim at your own risk, though: city officials have decided that they'll only close beaches when the lake's been contaminated by overflowing sewers.
Tomorrow is Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day (also Chik-Fil-Gay Appreciation Day), and the Chicago Republican Party is celebrating by holding a press conference at City Hall announcing the filing of civil rights complaints over Ald. Moreno and Mayor Emanuel's comments about the chain's opposition gay marriage. (On that note, read Ramsin Canon's thoughts on the matter.)
The expanse of empty grass and trees you see to your right when you cross under the Stevenson on Cicero headed toward Midway was once LeClaire Courts one of the many housing projects shut down by the CHA in recent years. It's completely gone now.
Chicago's racial segregation extends, perhaps not surprisingly, to our nightclubs.
WBEZ reports on the ongoing saga of City Parking Lot #47 at Devon and Rockwell.
Darren Calhoun explains how he got an entire L car to sing "Lean on Me" in NewCity.
Psychologist and criminal justice professor Arthur Luringo discusses five beliefs about homicides in Crain's.
Crime in Chicago is a new site that helps visualize crime trends by ward and date.
What's the best neighborhood for families? The Huffington Post invites you to vote for one of eight qualifiers in its Neighborhood Showdown. (An earlier version of this post linked to HuffPo's original article, which used the term "neighborhood deathmatch." After receiving feedback about the use of that phrase during what's almost certainly the city's deadliest summer, the editors removed the phrase and renamed their voting tool altogether.)
The facade of an Art Deco building at the corner of Milwaukee and Spaulding will soon be removed and replaced with (less distinctive) brick. The building, which dates back to the 1930s, was first owned by the Hump Hairpin Manufacturing Company.
Do you peek into apartment windows and backyards as you trundle past on the train? You're not alone.
In NewCity, Galen Leonhardy recalls his role in saving a woman from drowning in Belmont Harbor. He wasn't able to save her friend.
At Learnapalooza Chicago, you can study everything from origami to harm reduction.
After a controversial budget in January that reduced library hours (previously), Mayor Emanuel announced that neighborhood libraries will reopen on Monday mornings.
According to columnist Georgie Anne Geyer, Chicago's rising murder rate is due to too many "illegitimate" children growing up without fathers at home. "Solve that, and find out where the plethora of guns is coming from, and train more women to say no to unmarried sex and more men to say yes to fatherhood -- and you'll solve the murder problem."
Video via Boing Boing.
Eighteen percent of CHA's public housing units are vacant, despite around 40,000 families being on the waiting list for an apartment. Part of the reason is the future of the historic Lathrop Homes complex is still undecided.
Want to celebrate your independence by going on a date? Newly launched Project Fixup's first batch of events start Friday.
Racially segregated neighborhoods on the Red Line, as illustrated by time-lapse video.
Columbia College professor Teresa Puente shares her experiences being a Chicana in America and abroad.
Lakeviewing.com is a new arts and entertainment blog showcasing all the fun and interesting things to do in Lakeview. It's a partnership between the Lakeview and Lakeview East chambers of commerce, Brown Line Media and Gapers Block. Check it out!
Gay Chicago TV is streaming today's Pride Parade live if you're interested.
The Pride Parade is running a different route this Sunday, and that's not all that's new this year. There will also be a stronger crackdown on public alcohol consumption. You could always watch it live from home. (Time Out has some other makeover suggestions, too.)
New taxi rules -- which, as we reported in January when Mayor Emanual first proposed the reform regulations, were not without their share of controversy -- go into effect July 1. The good news is, all cabs must have credit card processing equipment and the fuel surcharge is going away. The bad news is, the flag pull rate goes up -- and there's a new $50 vomit clean-up fee.
Ravenswood-based Poopbags.com sells biodegradable, compostable bags for cleaning up after your dog.
Connect Near North is a new site covering, you guessed it, the Near North Side.
Scott Turow reflects on Chicago's second city syndrome and its urge to be considered world class.
Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visit the Wiener's Circle.
• Dan Telfer (who also hosted)
• Cameron Esposito
• Eddie Pepitone (whose documentary The Bitter Buddha opens tonight at the Siskel)
• Amy Schumer
• Kyle Kinane
• Pete Holmes
• Patton Oswalt
• Janeane Garafalo
• Brian Posehn
• Hannibal Buress (appearing Saturday at Chicago Theater)
• Aziz Ansari (performing two shows tonight at the Chicago Theater;
tickets still available sold out)
In short, it was brilliant.
For those tired of getting street sweeping tickets, it's worth checking out TktTxt, a free reminder service that notifies you by text or email about upcoming cleanings. It's currently operational for two wards, with more being added this week. (There's also SweepAround.Us.) [via]
So says Mary Schmich in her latest column, on the violent summer we've had so far.
Hyde Park, Roscoe Village/North Center and Logan Square get shouted out as three of the city's must-see (and shop, and eat) neighborhoods.
Chicago may be losing ground, but Mayor Emanuel's trying to shore up the city with the help of a non-profit board that'll seek private investors for public works projects.
Out in Galewood, kids know how to have a good time -- by staging a backyard production of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, for instance. [via]
Photo by Bryan Bedell. The show was staged by EDGE Youth Theater.
Even though the term "food desert" has been the subject of some debate lately, the City Council's decision to allow mobile produce trucks has got to be good for folks who don't have easy access to grocery stores -- or who just want a really, really ripe peach.
A change to Taste of Chicago's free open seating policy for concerts and chef events: this year, the City has chosen Groupon as the exclusive ticket retailer for both, concert tickets going for $25 apiece, and Celebrity Chef du Jour tickets for $40. Advance sales start 10am Friday, on the Taste's website.
The richest and poorest neighborhoods are basically where you'd expect: the Near North and Southwest Side, according to new hardship data.
Toyota is running a Facebook competition called 100 Cars for Good. There are a bunch of non-profit organizations in Illinois competing for your votes to win a car, including several in Chicago: the Japanese American Service Committee, La Casa Norte, Open Books and Streetwise.
Patrick Reardon recommends you see the "real" Chicago instead, by driving down Western Avenue or wandering Avondale or Woodlawn.
The week of June 11, the 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th and 50th wards and most of the 40th and 44th will move to a grid system for trash pickup.
A Chicago Reporter investigation discovered some startling stats: more than a third of police misconduct cases involved officers with multiple complaints, and just 1 percent of the police force was responsible for more than 25 percent of payouts in misconduct cases. Read more in the current issue of the Reporter.
Chicago is hosting the NATO summit this month, and to educate world leaders on the rich culture of the city, a video was released on YouTube. The video featured sweeping shots of the Bean and McCormick place, and such egregious errors as naming Chicago the capital of Illinois, and claiming Barack Obama grew up here. The video is now listed as "private" on YouTube.
Today Columbia College presents Manifest, its annual celebration of student work now in its 11th year. The event kicks off with what they are calling the Great Convergence, a spectacle that is to include a collaborative effort from many of the college's performing and fine arts disciplines. The festivities turn the South Loop into an sprawling outdoor extravaganza. Manifest begins at noon at 1001 S. Wabash Ave.
Hyde Park's Big Girl Makeup Bar and Spa has a fun connection to Oprah; the company's owner was one of the recipients of the legendary car giveaway episode in 2004, and rather than keep the prize, she sold it and used the proceeds to fund her business.
"Wicker Park in 1990 was in the earliest stages of gentrification, and it had features familiar to anyone who'd grown up in a crumbling Rust Belt town: Decay, limitation, the creativity demanded by making do." Zoe Zolbrod explains how the old Wicker Park made her fall in love with Chicago.
Chicago Magazine has assembled a "NATO Weekend Survival Guide," going over closures, protest zones and where you can get involved.
The Illinois Coalition for Responsible Outdoor Lighting is trying to reduce the amount of light pollution produced in Chicagoland and other parts of the state. Dim Your Lights offers some easy ways to make nighttime a little darker.
The ethnic makeup of gangs in Rogers Park is as mixed as the neighborhood itself, a police audit finds.
Whether you just arrived from somewhere else or you've been here your whole life, Chicago is ripe for discovery and adventure in the spring. Don't be afraid to be a local tourist; take that Ferris wheel ride at Navy Pier and have that sunset Champagne at the Signature Room...but don't forget to explore the road less traveled too. Check out these touristy but oh-so-fun springtime activities and then, after you rested and recharged, put on your walking shoes and enjoy a few of the less obvious treats that our city has to offer. Now get out there and enjoy!!!
The City will expand the Blue Cart recycling program citywide in 2013, Mayor Emanuel announced yesterday.
Do you look at your yard and think about putting in trees or plants and then get overwhelmed by the price? Do you like the idea of having a compost bin or rain barrel, but not the idea of buying what you need? Let the city of Chicago reimburse you for half of your cost.
Craving the worst of the worst of Chicago's thriving nightlife? The good people at Complex Magazine have compiled 25 of the Windy City's worst bars/clubs. Presumably, they did that so, hopefully, you won't have to. I used the City Life/Cultural tag, but, yeah, "Cultural."
A panhandler with an excellent idea: set up next to the State Street preacher and add a little commentary.
Mondog, the Montrose Dog Beach community site, reports the death of one dog in the jaws of another, and its owner's apparent remorselessness about the killing. The owners of the deceased pet are trying to contact the killer dog's owner, who snuck off instead of taking responsibility.
Designslinger takes a closer look at Theophil Studios, one of the artist-reworked homes on Burton Place in Old Town. View additional images of the building and others by the artist in our gallery of photographs from a book about his work.
An interactive exhibit based on the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" opened at the Museum of Science and Industry today.
Former Bulls star and current agent of the reigning MVP, BJ Armstrong, has been appointed to the city's Park District Board. "One of Armstrong's duties will be to oversee a renovation project of 100 outdoor basketball courts around the city," the Tribune reports.
If you want a seat in the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park during Taste of Chicago this year, you may have to shell out $25 due to a new ordinance being introduced by Mayor Emanuel. The lawn is still free though!
What do single cancer survivors have in common with millions of other singletons in the United States? They also braving the ocean of the dating world looking for some love, except they often have a way more interesting life stories to share. Check out MeSoFar's Me vs. Cancer event and hear the stories of 10 single cancer survivors and mix and mingle after the show. Added bonus, all proceeds benefit Imerman's Angles. The event is on April 7th at Den Theater. Buy your tickets here.
In what can only result in days of "No Soup for You" headlines, The State of Illinois is a vote away from banning all shark fin trade in the state. Between 26 and 73 million sharks are killed annually, and while most are consumed overseas, Illinois is one the the country's largest consumers.
Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition will be at the Museum of Science and Industry from March 15 through Sep. 3, and looks like a lot of fun. Chicago Magazine has a look at one of the 14 interactive exhibits.
Help one of Chicago's most beloved bar owners: Susan Stursberg of Gold Star Bar (1735 W. Division) was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A GiveForward campaign has been launched on her behalf to help with medical bills.
Why head to Beverly except to hit up the South Side Irish Parade? The Chicagoist starts you off with five reasons.
The Huffington Post wants to know what the moment was when you knew you were a Chicagoan. Assuming, of course, that moment wasn't birth.
Got an old refrigerator, freezer or air conditioner you've been putting off getting rid of? Save money by recycling these items. Com Ed is offering a free pick up service to its customers and offering upwards to $50 per item (limit two). To get green for going green, schedule a pick up before May 31.
In light of the NYPD's recently revealed spying efforts on Muslims, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy promised that the department "does not and will not conduct blanket surveillance and profiling of any community in the city of Chicago."
A celebration of Chicago's 175th birthday with Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago History Museum was interrupted by a group protesting the closure and consolidation of city mental health clinics.
There's a lot of buzz going around about the city's "birthday" this Sunday, including a daunting list provided by the Sun Times filled with ways to celebrate it. However, because March 4th marks city's incorporation rather than the day it was founded, it's arguable that Sunday better resembles the day it got its first job.
Among the last stories published by the Chicago News Cooperative as it suspended operations was one about the fate of homeless undocumented immigrants.
The Skokie Public Library is hosting a DIY Lie Detector Machine workshop for students on March 6. Sorry, adults; you have to be between grades 6-12 to participate.
Hip-hop artist Common joined Johnson publishing CEO Desiree Rogers at Thursday night's 28 Days program hosted by AT&T. He wrapped up the evening with a freestyle over the "Sweet" beat off of his album, The Dreamer, The Believer.
Comedian, talk show host, and oddball actor Tom Green will be at Zanies, 1548 N Wells St., tonight and tomorrow at 8:30pm. There will be a second performance at 10:30pm; tomorrow only. Check the Slowdown Calendar for ticket information after taking a look at one of his earlier visits to the city below.
The secret's out: The office of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is celebrating African-American Heritage Month at 12pm today at the State of Illinois Building, 100 W. Randolph, with a musical program featuring Chicago hip hop star Lupe Fiasco, jazz vocalist Dee Alexander, radio icon, V103's Herb Kent, Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child) and others.
This year's Art Loop installation will be Jessica Stockholder's "Color Jam." The installation will involve wrapping an intersection on State Street with colorful sculptures, paintings and possibly even fabric. [via]
Newcity takes a "subterranean safari" through the city's underground pedway network- an odd, sprawling area littered with shops where the city's own map is out of date. (Our own two-part pedway tour could probably use some updating, too.)
If you love old photos of Chicago as much as we do, new blog Chicago Past looks extremely promising.
Here's a brief video asking 35 locals why they love Chicago — and which is part of the "175 Ways to Love Chicago" project.
MeSoFar is hosting its very first LGBT event on Feb. 19th at the Den Theatre! The event will feature 10 single "presenters" who will each give six-minute slideshows about themselves to 50 other single audience members. Speakers and listeners mingle during and after the presentations. The speakers are already lined up but there are still some spots open for listeners. Sign up soon!
Isis, the Shepard/terrier mix in East Garfield Park whose owners were charged with animal cruelty after casting her off and leaving her to be beaten by neighborhood kids, will be available for adoption soon; Animal Care and Control (2741 South Western) will be accepting applications this Saturday from noon to 6pm. CACC also has many wonderful animals available for adoption as well; come by and get your next pet!
Here's a recent pic of Isis:
The Tribune's new Maps & Apps bit lets you see the old and new ward maps side by side, as well as check if your address will end up in a different one.
Where's a nerdy guy or gal suppose to find love post-college these days? At the Oak Park Library of course! The library is hosting a "Shaken and Stirred" speed dating and online dating panel on Sat. 11 February. The list is full of lovely ladies but some book-loving men are still needed. Sign up today!
Chicago hip hop artists Sev Seveer and Defcee launched Organic Beat Market, a youth-mentorship organization set on "breaking down stigmas around the culture by working with parents and teens directly." Two of the program's participants just released the organization's pilot project, The Promse EP.
Another "Shit Chicagoans Say" video was just released, just a little behind that other "Shit Chicagoans Say" video. If you're a North Sider, this one probably sounds more like it to you.
We had a "You might be a Chicagoan if..." thread in Fuel back in 2007; it's interesting to see how many of the bits from that thread showed up in both of these.
Bears aren't in it, which mutes much of my interest in the game, but the commercials still got a shot at tuning me in. I caught wind of this 10-second teaser, featuring the hometown '80s icon and all time favorite bad influence Ferris Bueller, who looks ready for some mid-life madness.
The Reader's cover story on bedbugs is terrifying for a number of reasons- one of which is that the species is on the rise in Chicago.
The Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and the Trust for Public Land invite you to help design a future park at Milwaukee and Leavitt that will be an access point for the Bloomingdale Trail. The meeting is tonight at 6:30pm at Holstein Park, 2200 N. Oakley.
Happy [belated] Chinese New Year! Parade and activities will be held in Chinatown on the 29th of January. Activities begin around 11:30am, the parade steps off at 1pm.
Time Out Chicago tries to decode a mysterious flyer hung around town. (Does that say "Louie" under the bee?)
Via Twitter (of course), Fischer said, "[The map] is paths from one geotagged tweet to the next by the same person, routed along the most heavily geotagged path in between." In a comment on Flickr, he clarified, "Keep in mind this is trying to be a map of travel from locations to other locations, not of individual tweets. The individual tweets are just to guide the paths. I think what you are seeing here is mostly a lot of travel between O'Hare and the Loop, not a particular tendency to tweet while driving on that route. (Also, the Edens is hardly represented here at all. Those two big routes to the north and northwest are Clark Street and Milwaukee Avenue."
WGN-TV footage from the city's fourth worst blizzard in history, that brought down nearly 19 inches of snow from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 1979.
From writer Craig Wright (Dirty, Sexy Money, Lost, Six Feet Under), director Troy Miller (Parks And Recreation), and the channel that used to show music videos, comes, yet another scripted series, that is scheduled to shoot in the city this April.
Domu put out a series of articles, one of which is a comprehensive guide to snow removal on city sidewalks- where the legal responsibilities fall and Illinois law regarding liability in the event of an accident.
The Sun-Times broke news this weekend that the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade would be returning after three years' absence. But not everyone is thrilled, and many are skeptical that the organizers will be able to keep public drinking away from the parade.
At the close of last night's "Saturday Night Live," castmember Vanessa Bayer wore a shirt printed with a picture of Mike Enriquez, a veteran Chicago improviser who died last week following a battle with cancer.
Just happened upon some footage that features some of the best bboys, or breakdancers, in the city, battling it out at the Alternatives Youth Center back in November.
Submit your favorite love song at Chilights.com by Feb. 10 and you might win a place for it in this year's V-Day playlist on State Street's Lightscape, a choreographed song and light show in the Loop. The winner will also receive a romantic getaway package at theWit. Contestants may also tweet songs to #LIGHTSCAPE or text "Lightscape" to 33938.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security looked at Project Shield, Cook County's security measure which outfitted squad cars with cameras able to send live feed, amongst other things. Though installation began in 2005, the recent investigation found that everything that could go wrong, well, did.
It's about time you explored Bridgeport (assuming you don't live there).
WINGS, a Cook County Court program aimed at rehabilitating prostitutes, is barely a year old, but already it's having an effect. In Mechanics, Sarah Ostman shares the story of the first woman to go through the program.
What's the expiration date of celebrity status? The Tribune features a collection of photos that, while including some Chicago greats, goes into a debatable realm of relevance in terms of the people that still pass for famous.
As his resolution for 2012, Mayor Emanuel is giving up his cherished set of four-letter words, admitting, "I'd like to do something about my potty mouth." Whether or not he can be the same Rahm is up for debate, with one aide commenting, "It's gonna be like Samson losing his hair."
Through Feb 10, weekday admission to the Art Institute is free for all Illinois residents.
Last winter Google engineer Brian "Fitz" Fitzpatrick shared his advice on how to survive winter in Chicago. It's always good advice.
A UIC student tells Mashable how she picks up odd jobs to make ends meet while going to school.
The street-wear shop, Leaders, carries crewneck sweaters featuring the city's favorite bull masked for either the blistering cold or an old-fashioned mugging. Its title suggests the latter.
Just a reminder, more than a few businesses and government offices will be closed today, including City and state offices, post offices and Chicago Public Libraries.
For the list-inclined: Newcity's annual Top 5 of Everything. Maybe the only time you'll find mentions of Sherwood Schwartz and watermelon mojitos in the same place.
Still looking for some holiday activities, go out tonight and enjoy the Zoo Lights at either of the city's zoos. Brookfield Zoo Lights runs from the 26th through the 31st. Regular admission fees apply with lights on from 4 to 9pm. Lincoln Park Zoo Lights runs nightly through January 1. Admission is free to the public and lights begin at 5pm until 9pm. Both are closed the holiday weekend Dec 24-25th. Don't forget to dress warm!
Footage from a 1960s Chicago Christmas parade shows the city's 48th mayor Richard J. Daley, the legendary Dick Clark, and curiously enough, some creepy clowns in cars.
Chicago was named the fourth most economically powerful city in the world by The Atlantic. Meanwhile, the idea that the rest of Illinois should separate from Chicago is still getting play. The Huffington Post Chicago sums up the dramatics nicely.
While we're on the topic of city cred, Chicago ranked 26th in the Mori Memorial Foundation's Global Power City Index this year, we're the fourth most walkable city in America (previously), and came in sixth in the Chicago Council of Global Affairs' 2010 Global Cities Index (previously). So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
And here's the The Fur Suit Parade!
Never thought about it before: the CTA Holiday Train goes through the subway, not just up on the elevated tracks. CTO John Tolva caught Santa arriving in the Blue Line tunnel this weekend; he'll be jingling down the Red Line tracks today and this weekend.
A new website catered to "major design cities," Shared-Practice.com is a social networking site that helps you keep track of design events, resources, and the people behind them.
Gawker declared "Chad" to be the new term for the stereotype heretofore known as a "bro." Yet another example of New Yorkers thinking they came up with something Chicagoans have been doing for years. (Wait till they find out about Trixies.)
As part of his goal to make Chicago the most "immigrant friendly city in the world," Emmanuel established the Office of New Americans. WBEZ spoke with the office's head, Adolfo Hernandez, about how he'll meet that goal.
Benevolent is a new Evanston-based crowdfunding site with a twist: it's oriented toward individuals in need, who are "validated" by a nonprofit. The campaign goals are usually low, so even small pledges make a big difference.
It's time to vote for next year's city stickers. The theme this year is "Chicago's Heroes."
The city has 500 more acres of public open space than it did in 1998 -- but there's more to be done.
If you thought house flipping ended when the real estate bubble burst, you'd be wrong. WBEZ explains how short sales became a flipper's tool.
While discussing the One City, One Food Drive campaign, Emmanuel announced, "One in six Cook County residents is food insecure, or uncertain of where their next meal will come from." If the surplus on your table so moves you to donate, find out how with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
In Mechanics, Ramsin Canon points out some serious privacy concerns surrounding the proliferation of surveillance cameras in Chicago.
The Chicago Loop Alliance is ditching white Christmas lights in the trees this year in favor of a light-based art exhibit called "Lightscape" that will blast holiday music from speakers mounted in LED-lit, 9-foot-tall "prairie grass" stalks. The installation will remain up year-round for five years -- presumably not playing the music the whole time.
The latest issue of the Chicago Reporter focuses on the impact of the Secure Communities initiative on local immigrant communities.
Curbed Chicago makes its picks for the best and worst AirBnB options in the city.
Explore the city through NabeWise, a site that sort of acts like a Yelp for neighborhoods.
The Tribune's Steve Johnson spends some time with The Museum of Science and Industry's contest-winning month-long tenant, Uptowner Kevin Byrne.
A CTA bus driver allegedly tried to kick a gay couple off the 146 for kissing, according to Windy City Times.
Matador Records has a keen blog piece gushing about the emergence of awesome indie record stores while others are sadly closing. They give some love to Chicago-area stores Saki (Chicago-Logan Square), Cyklopx (Forest Park), and to Permanent Records' expansion out west from Chicago.
With the advent of several infrastructure tech upgrades ("mobile electronic ticketing"), it's no longer a hassle for your alderman to write you up for the small stuff. Which, at $50 to $100 per offense, quickly becomes not so small. (See also: remove all your old city stickers.)
Based on number of children 5-14, median household income, walkability and "creative spirit," Chicago-Naperville-Joliet is edged out by only New York-Northern New Jersey and Bridgeport-Stamford.
How do you keep gang members from hanging out on your street corner? Try a cookout.
He may not be able to drive, but your pooch still needs a dog license in the City of Chicago, and less than 5 percent of Chicagoans have been buying them. Starting next year, you'll get fined unless fido has a bit of official City jewelry on his collar. Licenses range from $5 to $50.
With Thanksgiving only a month away, organizers for the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade are still looking for volunteers to do anything from carry banners in the parade to, um, cleaning up after the horses as part of the "poo crew." Visit ChicagoFestivals.org to learn more.
Why are blacks leaving Chicago and moving back to the South? Trymaine Lee reports.
The three finalists for the Official Christmas Tree of the City of Chicago have been chosen. and now it's up to you to vote for your favorite. The tree will of course sit in front of Daley Plaza this holiday season so make your vote count.
Scam artists prey on illegal immigrants in a variety of ways -- including exploiting the confusion between licenciada and abogado.
Sue the T-rex was a lot heavier than originally thought. About three tons heavier.
While City Hall works on trimming the budget, some Water Management workers were grilling burgers in a construction site.
The Tribune has assembled a searchable database of all significant ComEd power outages in Illinois since 2008 with, most interestingly, the cause of the outage. From the looks of it: bad PR for trees.
Cameron Esposito talks about a bizarre proposition at 2am outside Berlin.
Jamie Oliver wants to know about your kid's school lunches. Fresh and healthy, chemical-laden, or somewhere in between, upload your photos and rate others' contributions here.
Over in A/C, we've launched our "graphic journalism" feature series. The first story follows a Chicago woman through her marriage at the Cook County courthouse to her fiancé, an inmate at the county jail who will eventually be tried for first-degree murder.
The social media-driven economic and class protest effort known by the Twitter hashtag #occupywallstreet has bred its own Chicago version under the similarly tagged #occupychi. Support for the so-called "99%-ers" has most recently drawn the attention of Keith Olbermann.
The Reader's got some numbers on how many in the city would be affected by Obama's proposed tax on those making more than a million dollars.
Security cameras are coming to Wicker Park, the park, after one too many costly acts of vandalism. Ald. Moreno blames the damage on "disrespectful trust-fund babies who think it's cool to be homeless."
Tomorrow is the Active Trans Alliance's Car-Free Day--instead of driving, try taking mass transit, or walk/bike to your destination(s). I donated my last car to WTTW a few years ago, which was a relief for me and my beloved wheels--perhaps it's time to get rid of your jalopy?
The Urban Institute released a study today find that Chicago's "blue light camera" program helped reduce crime in one neighborhood but not in another. GB took a look at the blue light cameras in Mechanics back in February and found their effectiveness to be similarly inconclusive, and wondered if the cost justified the program.
According to a report in The New York Times, Groupon seems to have overcome its recent SEC problems and fears of market volatility, and appears back on track to move ahead with its IPO.
One quarter of all mortgages in Chicagoland are underwater (i.e., owe more than the property is worth).
The Chicago News Cooperative has Alderman Lona Lane back at her seemingly otherworldly need to ban the raising of live chickens, this time only seeking approval of the ban in her home ward.
Yesterday, Chicago's City Council passed a well-supported urban agriculture ordinance. The Mayor's proposed ordinance expanded limits on community garden plot size to 25,000 square feet, allow limited produce sales in residentially zoned areas, relax rules on fencing and parking for large commercial urban farms, and allow aquaponics outdoors in hoop houses.
New developments via CNC's New York Times section outlines advances in state legislators' position on a bill for a proposed Chicago-owned casino. House sponsor Representative Lou Lang (Democrat, Skokie) states that further delays by Governor Quinn will spur a presentation of the bill as is, barring any outline of "his concerns 'in short order.'"
Sex toy boutique Taboo Tabou has announced the first in a monthly burlesque performance series starting this Tuesday with a showcase featuring Scarlett Deville and the Deville-ettes, Titty Perkins and Ruby Dee. The action starts at the Belmont store location at 8pm. $5 suggested donation.
Possession of more than 10 grams can now get you in real trouble, reports the Sun-Times. No, seriously: you might even get a ticket.
The Reader pieces together a timeline of his statements about the meter-lease deal, showing a bit less consistency than most of us would probably like.
A small but growing resistance movement has begun to form in response to the G8 Summit scheduled to take place in Chicago May 15-22, 2012. Organizers have recently launched a Facebook page with extensive information on the meeting. A Wikipedia entry with additional information is also available.
Looking for the cool after party this Friday night? Weary art-goers will find refuge from the drudgery of making the citywide gallery circuit at the Fourth Annual After-Openings Dance Party at Phyllis' Musical Inn. Hosted by artists and local art world mainstays John Phillips and Nevin Tomlinson, the action starts at 9:30pm and rolls on until 2am.
Op Shop honcho Laura Shaeffer recently announced the expansion of her art-as-community-building project into S.H.o.P., the Southside Hub of Production. Made possible by a one-year lease at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago's Fenn House, a detailed call for involvement is up at CAR. The space is open Saturdays 10am-6pm until the grand opening on Oct. 1. More information is available at the S.H.o.P. website.
Check out a different, beautifully lettered definition of work on this labor-centric day in the form of Impractical Labor's "39 Kinds of Work" pamphlet. Sold through local online store Half Letter Press.
Little-known fact: "no small plans" was one of the names Naz and I considered considered when we founded this site, before settling on Gapers Block.
I'm clearly overpaying for my weed. According to the Huffington Post via Chicagoist, Illinois' weed prices are among the highest in the nation, with the average cost in Chicago of "a high-quality eighth of marijuana" clocking in at "just under $60." There's even a nifty interactive map called Price of Weed that will calculate your area's weed prices based on crowd-sourced data submitted by anonymous buyers.
Last year, noise and tech and new media and those who love them came together in the form of the GLI.TC/H festival. For five days, the strange and wonderful ways data can be corrupted were celebrated with videos, art, coding and more. Although a success, the people behind GLI.TC/H need more than pops and errant flashes to bring it back to life. Head to their Kickstarter page to make it happen again.
Or maybe not- turns out police lineups might not be worth all that much. Studies suggest almost one third of witness identifications are wrong. Scary numbers for cities eager to put criminals behind bars. Earlier work in Chicago helps lead the way.
In Mechanics, Christopher Gray takes a look at the impact on neighborhoods near the proposed Red Line extension on the South Side.
Jeanette Ingberman, co founder of the New York's influential Exit Art Gallery with artist Papo Colo, died yesterday at the age of 59 reports the New York Observer. Given Chicago's rich history of alternative practices, Exit Art has long been a valuable entry-level resource and oasis for up-and-comers from the city and around the world.
Bridgeport favorite Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar announces a celebration of the one-year anniversary of its makeover on September 3 at both the bar and art space Co-Prosperity Sphere down the street.
With tickets being written for up to $750, you might have to sell your entire suspenders collection to pay.
50 more "unusual" things to hit up in Chicago - not your standard guide book recs.
An employee at "a junk shop in a far North Side neighborhood" chronicles some of the more unusual objects that have passed through. Example: a VHS tape labeled simply, "Secrets." Oh yeah.
After 29 arrests in late July, "Operation Uptown Girl" has sent 11 to prison on narcotics charges. This follows "Operation Sugar Magnolia" in January as part of an effort to combat a rise in gang violence and drug sales in the area.
And with festival damage the worst it's ever been, it might not get better for another month.
The Tribune mapped US Census data on children under 5, and color coded it by ethnicity.
The sodium vapor streetlights that bathe the city in orange are being replaced with new, more energy efficient lights that also have a more natural color.
Photo by Kai Schreiber
Chicago Animal ER, a new 24/7/365 animal emergency hospital, has opened up in the Medical District neighborhood.
Apartment rental site domu.com surveyed its listings and came up with graphs of the average asking price of apartments in the 15 most popular neighborhoods. Perhaps not surprisingly, River North and Gold Coast turn out to be pretty bad deals.
Beverly residents met last night to discuss whether to bring back the South Side Irish Parade for St. Patrick's Day next year. Organizers said if it comes back, there may be a "zero tolerance policy" against alcohol to avoid a repeat of the 54 arrests and public drunkenness that led to the parade's cancellation this year. Share your thoughts on the matter in Fuel.
Translation: Are you a Welshman in Chicago? If so, the Chicago Tafia Society is for you.
Chicago officially completed its first protected bicycle lane on Kinzie Street between Milwaukee and Wells on Monday. The lane separates cyclist traffic from vehicle traffic by using flexible posts and painted pavement signals; read about early reactions to the lane in Tailgate. Next continuation plans are expected for Jackson Street between Halsted Street and Damen Avenue.
Interested in a live/work space? Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st ward) is sponsoring a new ordinance set to go before the city's Zoning Committee to expand opportunities for business owners to live where they work.
Tensions remain high in Boystown following several assaults in recent weeks. The alleged racial profiling isn't helping.
When you're gearing up to complain about how much that club sandwich costs just remember that at least according to one survey Chicago is only 108th most expensive city in the world.
For the past 25 years, an endlessly changing group of francophones have gotten together every week to chat in French. Learn more in A/C on this fine Bastille Day.
If you're a dungeonmaster who is worth his weight in geldings, I shall see you next Saturday.
In case you missed the fireworks and don't have a lot of time to catch up, here's a video of 30 minutes of neighborhood fireworks in 30 seconds, looking west from Western and Armitage. [via]
A man was beaten and stabbed by a group of young people on Halsted in Boystown Sunday night; the incident was caught on tape. Ironically, a "positive loitering" rally had been held the night before, after two similar attacks in recent weeks; the rally generated controversy itself.
The Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake presents Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. This comedic drama focusing on members at a dentistry conference, will bring laughs, unlike your last visit to the dentist's office. Theater on the Lake is located on 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive. This show opens tonight and runs through the weekend.
Bad news: your city sticker expires today. Good news: you get a 15 day grace period and have a few days still to purchase one online.
A look at the mixed income housing "experiment" that is Parkside of Old Town.
'Tis the season for outdoor festivals, even the Cubs decided to get into the act. This weekend, July 1-3, the Wrigleyille Block Party will bring food, entertainment, and Cubs fans together. Set on the east side of Clark Street between Addison Street and Waveland Avenue, the fest is open from 11am-8pm.
Okay, so not only do I need to compete with all the fit runners taunting me on the Lakefront, but now the mayor is bragging about his fitness routine?!
The western end of Logan Square's getting a new, spicy pizza place. Offering slices and BYOB, Dante's Pizzeria comes courtesy of Georg Simos (High Dive, The Rocking Horse) and a few people from Santullo's and Piece.
Chicago residents that have created environmentally-friendly landscapes in their yards can see how they can earn up to 50 percent off their next local purchase of tress, native plants, compost bins, or rain barrels. See how this applies and download rebate forms for all products at the Department of Environment's website.
The tires of
several 51 floats for today's Pride Parade were slashed last night at a storage facility at 48th and Halsted.
Still looking for something to do tonight? Head to the Daily Planet Rock And Art Poster Party at 720 North Franklin: it's showcasing some of the city's best screen printing artists, their posters, and beer from Finch's Brewery. You've got four hours, go!
A candidate for the best kid-friendly restaurant award in The Reader's Best of Chicago issue is kicking up some dirt with its readers. Learn more over at Drive-Thru.
School's out -- what's next? Chicago Parent has some fun ways for your kid to spend the summer that let them get hands-deep in grubs, paint, plants and more.
Most Chicagoans may not think about fishing or the far Southeast side very much, but the connection of these two men to the area and our waterways, as chronicled by the Chicago News Coop, will compel you to do both.
Sun-Times reporter Kim Janssen was covering the memorial for one teen murder victim when someone started shooting, nearly claiming another victim. UPDATE: Police shot and killed a man with a gun in the vicinity of this incident; he turned out to be a friend of the murdered teen.
EveryBlock is holding a contest looking for "very important neighbors"; be helpful on the site, earn thanks and you could win $1,000 toward neighborhood projects.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation catalogs historic designed landscapes throughout the country in their What's Out There database. This weekend, you can check out what's out there throughout Chicagoland with their series of free guided tours around parks, ponds, gardens, boulevards, and all sorts of other sites.
The keynote speech at the U of C's symposium on the arts and the city is a conversation between David Simon and Wendell Pierce of "The Wire" and "Treme" fame. Watch the conversation live on facebook now.
The Red Line Project tackled gentrification in Uptown -- and generated the sort of controversy you'd expect in the comments.
Archaeology students (and DePaul University Associate Professor Jane Eva Baxter) unearth the remains of an 1840s schoolhouse in the Edgebrook neighborhood.
Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel will preside over the civil union ceremonies of 30 same-sex couples today at 10am at Millennium Park.
City Hall is bracing for the first day of civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples in Illinois. The Cook County Clerk of Courts opens at 7:30am this morning, and the first couples in line will be showered with gifts. UPDATE: Janean Wackins and Lakeesha Harris were first in line this morning.
Sonny Fischer tells the story of the founding of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary a week from today with a conversation between David Ritz and Aaron Cohen, as well as readings by members.
Not rain, not wind, not even a drummer's broken ankle will keep the show from going on tonight as everyone's invited to the launch of the always free Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays series. Music kicks off at 6:30pm with Eleventh Dream Day, followed by Bonnie "Prince" Billy featuring The Cairo Gang. More information on the whole series in Transmission.
Are you a non-profit looking for a better website, or a developer, designer, or project manager (or master copywriter or QA genius) with a desire to help non-profits get present a great online face to the world? Check out The Nerdery's Overnight Website Challenge -- August 20-21, the web development shop is organizing a great opportunity for non-profits and nerds of all stripes alike. Non-profits register by June 30, volunteers by July 15.
In A/C, Kelly Reaves profiles Co-op Image, a nonprofit teaching kids to do everything from blow glass to make their own hot sauce.
Finish up Rahm's first day on the job by heading to Jane Addams-Hull House Museum tonight (6-8pm) for the opening of Visions for Chicago, a book composed of public art done by local high school students in response to the question "What is your vision for Chicago?"
Fire Department staffing levels have remained steady for more than a decade despite a marked decrease in fires, the Chicago News Cooperative reports. Some wonder if reductions are in order to help cut the city's budget.
In Mechanics, Devin Katayama reports on the plight of older homeless youth in Chicago.
If you want to get a fascinating look at the (soon to end) Daley Mayoral Dynasty, WTTW's new documentary, "Like Father Like Son," will be airing several times through Monday.
Gwyneth Paltrow recently visited an old boyfriend here in Chicago; here's her guide to where to go.
Over at Denizen, Laura Polk interviews Julie Englander, a journalist and filmmaker working on a documentary about the children of missionaries and their experiences upon returning to their "home" countries. You can help back the film on Kickstarter.
Two people, one bike, and a possible third wheel(?) make their way down the street in this short, kind of amazing clip taken in Logan Square.
If you live in the 1st ward, could you use a phone reminder for the next street sweeping in your neighborhood?
A potential juror for the Blago trial wants to get out of the gig because she has Oprah tickets in May.
It's looking like a still-cool, faintly overcast weekend. Utilize the power of literature and positive thinking with The Poetry Foundation's selection of spring poems.
A pizzeria owner tracked down five guys who allegedly attacked him after recognizing one of them in his son's hockey picture; the rest were tracked down via facebook.
The Arts Engagement Exchange published this interesting article last week about "overcoming cultural barriers" -- basically a history of public arts programming in Grant Park and how Millennium Park is carrying on the tradition of tricking people into listening to music they wouldn't normally seek out.
According to this report by WBEZ -- old municipal buildings never die, they just turn into theaters. Next in line? Griffin Theatre Company -- they just bought an abandoned police station near Foster and Damen for one dollar. When your neighborhood police station gets replaced by a theater, well, I think that's a good sign.
Rock & Roll apparel, etc. company Assault has come out with a line of old-timey gangland Chicago-themed, highly-detailed graphic t-shirts. Every order comes with a free mixed CD featuring local bands. Check them out here.
Humboldt Park art and community center Rumble Arts is (once again) in danger of closing its doors because the family-owned pawnshop that provides its primary source of funding is in danger of being replaced by a Cash America. Show your support for Rumble by attending the townhall hearing tonight at 6pm at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse.
Travel blogger Amanda Williams writes a head-to-head comparison of the Willis Tower Skydeck to the John Hancock Observatory like only a tourist could. (Locals know what beats both: The Signature Lounge, which offers nearly as good views as the Observatory for the price of a martini.)
In Mechanics, Chris Gray tells the story of Zabrina Worthy, whose Marquette Park home was foreclosed upon and boarded up without warning.
Registration for the Park District's summer programs begins today.
Chicago is an Industrial Metroplex on this map of "the 12 States of America."
Chicago magazine takes you inside Chatham's Blue White House, yours for considerably less than the average presidential election campaign.
Are Chicago police dropping gang members off in opposing gangs' turf? A video discovered by WBEZ seems to indicate there's truth to the rumors. UPDATE: Our own Micah Uetricht spoke to Humboldt Park residents about the video and more.
This week the Shedd switched its hours to its spring schedule, and next week will bring a special round of 8pm closings. If water isn't your thing, Adler After Dark should keep you busy on Thursday from 6-10pm.
Local plush maker Steff Bomb's created a soft-yet-deadly Han Solo blaster, so well-made any intrepid hero would be proud to have it at their side. Pick up one of these limited edition stuffed sidearms this weekend at C2E2: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Booth #1026, 2pm-3pm. Did I mention it comes with a holster?
Quasimodo, or "Modo" for short, is the Chapel Cat at the U of C's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.
Check out our new feature story in Book Club, a weekly interview and essay leading up to the Chicago Zine Fest -- get educated, get some zines, get that much more out of the celebration of independent publishing.
In A/C, John Greenfield shares his walk all the way up Pulaski Road, which once was known as Crawford Avenue.
There are registered sex offenders living all over the city -- and many live closer to children than the law allows.
Chicago turns 174 today -- celebrate with free cake and performances by the Tony Do Rosario Trio, The Latin School Band, and a Native American drum band at the Chicago History Center.
Mohamed and Fatima no longer shovel snow into garbage bags to throw out. Hear more about their adjustment to their new home in A/C.
Baba Marta, (aka Grandma Marta, a Bulgarian character who changes her mood quickly, just as March changes weather rapidly) will get a Martenitsa tree next year. Bulgarians living in Chicago, home to the largest community in North America, are sharing red and white tassels with each other today to wish each other health, fortune and happiness. Next year, Bulgarians will be able to tie their martenitsas to a tree to welcome Spring. In case you can read Bulgarian, check Daleche.com created a run by a local resident.
Food writer Raymond Sokolov apparently did a quick Google News search and cobbled together some ramblings on how Chicago is "finally hip" for Newsweek. (He seems to think Andrew Mason moved here from Pittsburgh expressly to start Groupon.)
In just two hours, the Abbey Pub will transform into an industrial, whimsical world of yesteryear through Clockwork Vaudeville: A Steampunk Circus Extravaganza.
First; athlete Michael Vick abruptly cancels an appearance on her show, possibly fearing a James Frey-style beatdown for engaging in dogfighting; then a (pre-Stedman) boyfriend pops up to tell his tales of eating stuffed mashed potatoes with her (recipe, please!) and getting coldly dumped; and finally, a student at Winfrey's South African all-girls school was hospitalized after giving birth in secret (and possibly suffocating the baby to death).
Approved today, the Navy Pier Flyover seeks to eliminate the lakefront path's most notorious choke point.
La Cueva, a historic Latino LGBTQ bar in Little Village, struggles to stay open in the face of opposition from suspicious conservative neighbors. Learn more in A/C.
The official 2010 Census numbers demonstrate that Chicago's population declined 200,000 people between 2000 and 2010. The African American population declined 17%, Latin Americans gained a little over 3% and non-Hispanic whites slightly declined.
The Reader's Steve Bogira takes a look at two of the city's most homogeneous neighborhoods, Edison Park and Washington Park, as a means of examining how little progress has been made in combating racial segregation. He discussed the story on Eight Forty-Eight this morning.
The James and John Allan's invite Chicago's menfolk to partake in "mini services" (trims, nail buffs, mini massages, shoe shines) Friday through Sunday from 4p until 7p. In addition to free business center services, complimentary morsels and cocktails will be served by David Burke's Primehouse and SVEDKA. Contact John Allan's directly for reservations.
Lexicographer Mark Peters discusses the meaning of the words "Chicago Style."
The ratio of Chicago residents over 65 to everyone else will climb from 1 to 9 to 1 to 6 over the next 20 years. Crain's looks at the effects of the demographic shift.
Jake Zalutsky gave the blizzard a bear hug with his board last night. Insane? Awesome? Or both? [via spigumus]
The Tribune gives you a sense of what to expect regarding transportation, utilities and hospitals today.
At this time of hard shoveling, mayoral candidates weigh in on parking space dibs to the Trib's John Kass.
If you have to use mass transit and your phone doesn't have web capability, I have a fix for you so that you don't have to go outside until it's time.
Whether you're a grounded visitor or you're just looking to ride out the blizzard in style, Kimpton's four Chicago hotels have you covered with a $99 "Stranded in the City" rate though this Friday.
Have ideas about how to make Chicago most sustainable? ChicagoREgen is a place to share them.
In A/C, Rachel Rabbit White explores the world of Chicago's LGBTQ balls, where competition is fierce and self-expression is at the forefront.
Those are apparently the most common names in Chicagoland.
With tonight's weather turning painfully cold, the Anti-Cruelty Society has some nice tips for caring for your pet in cold temperatures. And if you see an animal left outside or roaming about town, call 311 to report it.
A student at Oak Park River Forest High School could face expulsion for creating a list of the 50 "most attractive" girls at his school (complete with pics, comments on their perceived sexual promiscuity, and numerical rankings) and posting it to Facebook; he then passed out copies of his fine research at school and began yelling "Women are trying to take over the world!" and "Women are the future, unless we stop them now" in front of a cheering group of students.
There's a fishtank in the GB offices, and in it is an African cichlid. If I'd known about the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association sooner, I might have been able to keep it from killing all the others.
The NY Times visits the Brat Stop, the Kenosha restaurant that attracts the love of both Bears and Packers fans.
If your cat or dog is missing a needed vaccine, head down to Chicago Animal Care and Control Saturday for their Low Cost Vaccine Clinic. From 9am-noon at the shelter, 2741 S. Western, your beloved pet can get a DA2PPL and FVRCP vaccine for $7; the rabies vaccine is $15. While you're there, adopt another pet! They've got loving animals waiting to hang with you and yours.
A new monthly feature in Book Club profiles local literary purveyors of titles new, used, and varied, starting with Andersonville's Transistor.
It was bad enough when homeowners were walking away from homes, letting them slip into foreclosure. But now banks are walking away, too.
If you're out and about on CTA Sunday, don't be surprised if you see hundreds of pantsless people.
Vast quantities of dawwwww were manufactured yesterday when a white-cheeked gibbon was born at Lincoln Park Zoo.
While discussing the recent parking meter fare increase with an NBC5 reporter, a man feeding a fare payment box downtown looked over to see a Traffic Management Authority clerk ticketing his car on camera.
The Kingsbury Plaza apartment complex began transitioning to non-smoking on Jan. 1 -- as in, no smoking even in your own apartment, under penalty of fines. The 15 percent of current residents who smoke have a year to either quit or get out.
A Winnetka woman was able to get a SWAT team to surround her husband's workplace for three hours yesterday after she received an accidental "butt-dialed" cell phone call from him that led her to believe he was being held captive. He was actually listening to rap music while talking to a coworker.
Art Daily reports that last year, the Chicago Public Library circulated 8.8 million items and provided 2.8 million free computer sessions. A less cheery statistic: librarians reported that 60 percent of their time with patrons involved helping them look for jobs on library computers.
Chicago magazine helps you explore the center of the city's South Asian community.
Kara VanderBijil prefers Chicago to Los Angeles. Despite the cold.
You can recycle your live Christmas tree into much-needed mulch at any of 23 Chicago Park District sites through January 17.
CTA starts its annual penny rides starting at 8pm tonight through 6am tomorrow.
In A/C, Iya Bakare profiles Casa Aztlan, a 40-year-old community center and nonprofit organization in Pilsen that's helping recent immigrants find a life in Chicago.
Chicago is a big city. We have more residents than a handful of states. Big cities require big government. But I don't think I had any idea how big until I saw this list of all the departments that exist in Chicago. (Thanks, George!)
Think just cause you rent an apartment you don't have to shovel your walk? Well, the city's "Snow and Ice Removal" ordinance says otherwise. Essentially you have three hours after the snow stops to remove it. At least you only have to shovel a 5-foot swath down your sidewalk. (thanks, Sam!)
In Mechanics, Rory Fanning tells the story of one woman evicted from the last Cabrini Green high-rise.
Today is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago is observing it with a discussion, film screening and vigil at Jane Addams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted St., starting at 6:30pm.
The Department of Cultural Affairs laid off 20 employees on Friday, bringing the number of total layoffs since October to 29. The functions handled by those laid-off employees are going to be transferred, along with the appropriate funding, to the non-profit Chicago Tourism Fund (which is, by the way, hiring). UPDATE: Dan Morgridge adds some perspective in Transmission.
Lawrence is one of Chicago's most culturally diverse streets. John Greenfield recently walked the length of it for a feature in A/C.
Uptown Update reminds you what to do if the sidewalk by your home isn't shoveled.
Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.
NPR's Robert Krulwich delves a bit deeper into the story of Chicago's coyote pest control team.
Just ahead of the last Cabrini Green high-rise's closure, Residents Journal spoke to a three-generation family about their time in the project as they prepared to move out. The Chicago Reporter has another perspective.
The Academy for Global Citizenship -- a charter school on the South Side with 80% of students under the poverty line, and a kitchen that serves three organic meals daily -- got profiled in the Atlantic.
In A/C, Joe Erbentraut examines the challenges facing Chicago's trasgender community.
Eight Forty-Eight paid a visit to the farm at Altgeld Gardens on the far South Side.
Today is the last day of Kate McGroarty's month-long residence at the Museum of Science and Industry.
It's getting colder, but you can actually enjoy the winter weather while gliding around on a smooth sheet of ice (and I don't mean while driving down your street). Up Chicago has a great little roundup of local (mostly free) ice skating rinks, which do exist outside of the Loop, you know. (via)
Some ambitious, architecturally and environmentally minded people are delving into vertical farming and industrial reuse, right in the heart of the New City neighborhood.
Leonardo DiCaprio has taken on increasingly challenging and complex roles in recent years, and his latest project is no exception. Set to produce and star in a film adaptation of Erik Larson's best-selling novel, The Devil in the White City, DiCaprio plans to play none other than H.H. Holmes.
Metropolis Coffee has been nominated for the Stay Classy Philanthropic Business of the Year Award. This year, the father-and-son-owned coffee company started working with Aspire of Illinois, a nonprofit that offers services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. (Aspire's also a finalist in two other categories.) If Metropolis wins, they get $10,000 to donate to their charity of choice. You can vote for them (and Aspire, and other local nominees) here.
Despite his flaws, Julia Keller points out a particularly nice thing Daley did: he built 59 public libraries. Not all by himself, of course, but you get the idea.
The City Clerk's office is accepting entries for its annual vehicle sticker art contest. This year's theme is "Education Is Key." The winning entry will be displayed on over a million windshields next year, and will net its designer a $1,000 savings bond. (Nine runners-up will receive savings bond prizes, too.) The contest is open to Chicago high school students and runs through Nov. 5. For official rules, entry forms, and ideas on how to get started, click here.
Explore Chicago just launched a free ebook called Eat, Play, Love Our Neighborhoods. You can probably guess what it's about.
Who hates the Puppet Bike? Apparently at least one hoodlum, who trashed the bike late last night -- right on the heels of someone stealing a large piece of art from owner Jason Trusty. If you'd like to help, for now Trusty requests that you buy some of his artwork, displayed on his website. UPDATE: Damage to the Puppet Bike was not as bad as previously reported. I guess "trashed" is a relative term.
In A/C, John Greenfield walks Martin Luther King Drive, the first major road in the country named after the civil rights leader.
Apartment Therapy profiles Chicagoan and production artist James Wurm's industrial and practical, yet attractive and welcoming kitchen-studio-living space, created in a Pilsen storefront. It's worth checking out for the chandelier alone.
A neighborhood supposedly named "W. Lake St." is allegedly the most dangerous in the country, according to research by commercial real estate site NeighborhoodScout.com. However, a look at the area on EveryBlock shows a smattering of recent crime -- but quite a few new businesses.
CBS2 notes that the area used to include the Henry Horner Homes, but that notoriously dangerous CHA project was demolished in 2005. Another "neighborhood," called 4000 S. Federal St. in the report, also made the top 25 list. Half of it is a field.
Based on a scale called the Train Romance Index Score Total (how Kinseyian), the CTA Belmont stop (Red, Brown and Purple lines) is the most romantic place on the El.
Nathaniel Whitmore has some thoughts on how to make Chicago the next great innovation hub.
Depending on who you ask, urban chicken farming is either a major trend or less common than the media would lead you to believe. Nonetheless, poultry-possessing Evanstonians are putting pressure on their aldermen to legalize backyard chicken keeping. And the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts are sponsoring Hen-apalooza [PDF], a tour of 15 of the city's backyard coop locations, on October 3.
If you've been following the progress of the parents at Whittier Elementary School in Pilsen, then you know that a group of moms have been fighting for seven years to get a library. They've occupied the field house that Chicago Public Schools wants to tear down to turn into a soccer field. The Chicago Underground Library believes in their fight and is starting a book drive and asking librarians to get involved to help them build a library, book by book.
The Garfield Park Conservatory has had a major breakthrough...literally. An agave plant has grown tall enough to burst through the roof of the building. Glass was removed in anticipation of the plant's rare bloom; it will contain as many as 100,000 blooms.
Today is the beginning of autumn, so it's the perfect time to quickly look back at the summer of 2010.
Green spaces will be constructed for one day only today in a parking spots all over the city as part of Park(ing) Day 2010, an international event dedicated to turning normally cemented and exhaust-filled space into something a little less polluted and more relaxing. Stop by and sit for a spell!
Not in terms of our waistline -- this site provides a look at the civic health of Chicagoland.
Camaraderie ran, walked and wheeled rampant at the 2010 Disability Pride Parade downtown last July. Ruthie Kott reports in A/C.
In preparation for the Monday premiere of Oprah's 26th and final season, you can create yourself in her image on her website. I did, and since then I've opened my own successful business, lost fifty pounds and found the man of my dreams. Live your best life!
Chicago ranks [shakes magic 8 ball] as the eighth most stressful city in the United States. Debt, congestion and cold winters are apparently the cause.
Or Scott Waguespack. Or Bill Murray. Or Alpana Singh, Ron Huberman, Mike Ditka, or "Chicago cab driver extraordinaire" Mike Foulke. Nominate or cast your ballot for a candidate for Next Chicago Mayor. In true Chicago election style, vote early and often -- ten votes are yours to spread around, or throw at one worthy nominee.
John Greenfield reflects in Time Out on his penchant for walking the city's important streets. He's walked several for GB, including Halsted, Archer, Grand, Kedzie, Belmont, 63rd and, most recently, 79th Street. Check out his blog, Vote with Your Feet.
Berwyn is attempting to woo gay and lesbian couples to move to the near west suburb.
A Chicago Reporter investigation found that the majority of 17-year-olds convicted of felonies in Chicago are guilty of non-violent crimes. Many of them plead guilty in hopes of getting a lighter sentence, but at what cost?
In A/C, J.R. Williams tells the story of the nebulous gentrification of a colorful strip in Ukrainian Village, through interviews with its small business owners.
Freelance writer Rachel Rabbit White has a feature up in A/C about her visit to The Sins Center, where liberated grandmas and grandpas go to explore their BDSM fantasies now that they've got some free time on their hands.
The city's ethno-racial populations are made clear in this map on Radical Cartography.
St. Sava, the Serbian cultural and arts center in Lakeview, has begun hosting shows in its basement club, The Cave -- and not just for Serbian bands -- and also screens Serbian films with English subtitles, too.
What do you get when you combine 60,000 people, a carnival and 50 tons of sweet corn? The 2010 Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, of course! The weekend event begins tomorrow, and don't forget the free Del Monte sweet corn on Sunday afternoon.
Are "cop-in-a-box" police cameras cost-effective? A new study answers that question and raises others.
In this week's A/C feature, John Greenfield and friends take a walk along 79th Street from the western edge of the city all the way to the lake.
If you live in the Magnolia Glen section of Edgewater, your block club isn't just involved, it's EPIC.
Barack had a birthday dinner at Graham Elliot with Oprah and Gayle. Some other people were there.
Chicago ranks in the top 10 "cities for young adults" according to Kiplinger.com.
Show some love for your parents, grandparents or ancestors and your hometown with Formula Werks' "Made In" shirts, giving you five ways (English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, and Ukrainian) to say you're "Made in Chicago."
Chicago's Pakistani community is struggling with its identity in the face of terrorist plots and concerns about security.
Into anime? JAPC is for you -- and their next meeting is this weekend.
Looking into the effects of gentrification on the cultural identity of Pilsen.
It shouldn't be a surprise, but jobs close to home help make neighborhood safer.
Mick Dumke describes just how screwed up Chicago's recycling program is, and why it probably won't change for quite some time.
Respected research and abs development journal Men's Health has decided that we're the 11th most angry city in America. They can go f*ck themselves.
The big "Oprah Winfrey Show" sign that stood outside Harpo Studios in the West Loop has been removed. A source inside the studio says the sign is gone for good, but will be replaced by "another sign," not for the show.
Chicagoist takes on a survey in the Daily Beast claiming that Chicago doesn't make the cut in "America's Top 20 Gayest Cities." Survey guru Richard Florida apparently only used the proportion of same-sex couples, a flaw that the Chicagoist claims is problematic because it misrepresents Chicago's gay and lesbian community -- the nation's third largest.
Hit-and-run accidents accounted for 40 percent of pedestrian deaths last year, but almost none of the drivers are ever found. WBEZ's Chip Mitchell looks into why.
A 19th District police lieutenant emailed the Chicago News Cooperative with a list of simple crime tips and tricks-of-the-trade, all apparently provided by convicted burglars, a security consultant and criminology professor for a book called Burglars on the Job. Does that qualify as a self-help book?
Be nice to your parking payboxes today, however much you despise their insatiable hunger for all of the change in your pocket--it's the parking meter's 75th birthday today!
Have you always wanted to hear Rod Blagojevich's voice emanating from your pocket every time you get a call? Well, you're in luck--the Springfield Journal Register is offering downloadable mp3s of all of Blago's wiretapped calls which you can easily make into ringtones for your phone. Surprise your friends, amuse your family, and irritate everyone around you on the train!
On July 13, 1995, with a high temperature of 106 degrees, Chicago was experiencing the hottest day of the horrible heat wave that resulted in 700 deaths.
Once upon a time in Revolutionary France, a mob of peasants stormed a fortress-prison, sawed off the defenders' heads and paraded them on pikes. Thus we celebrate Bastille Day with our Parisian sister city every July 14. TimeOut Chicago lists the local cheese-tasting, crepe-wrapping parties going on tomorrow for all those Jacobins at heart.
If you haven't already voted, One Man Chicago has selected 20 handsome finalists in the competition to find "the one man in the Chicago area who represents the best of Chicago from the perspectives of community involvement, personality, intelligence, and fitness." The gay community is well represented.
The muckraking bloggers at Cars.com have uncovered a new set of wheels gracing the set of Transformers 3. It appears that Optimus Prime and his Autobots will be joined by two new steel beauties, "a gorgeous red Ferrari 458 Italia and a not-so-shabby blue Mercedes-Benz E-Class." Let's hope Ironhide doesn't get jealous.
Today marks the start of Andersonville's Green Week, with seven days of cool and informative activities for residents and shoppers. Events include t-shirt recycling, shopping discounts, LEED home tours, eco-storybook making, free stuff, and more.
It's summer. The kids are driving you nuts. Crazy Kids Chicago might help you find a way to deal.
The summer interns at the Art Institute have started a twitter account where they post funny things they overhear patrons say in the museum. The results are hilarious and sometimes adorable. Oh, and they have a blog now, too.
Chicago's South and West sides have some of the highest rates of chronic unemployment in the country, the Chicago Reporter finds.
The Gold Coast branch of Whole Foods brings back their Yoga on the Rooftop summer series: every Tuesday at 6pm, professional yoga instructors will help you increase strength and flexibility from the rooftop of 1 W. Superior. BYOYM (bring your own yoga mat).
Fascinated by feats of illusion, trickery, and sleight of hand? The Elmhurst Historical Museum explores Chicago's connection to the world of magic in "The Magical History Tour," running through September 12.
Chicago's population is a notable exception to the recession's downward figures.
Chicago's beloved mobile street entertainment known to one and all as Puppet Bike will offer up a little piece of itself on eBay starting next week. Owner/Creator Jason Trusty is "retiring" several older puppets and you can take them home, if you're the highest bidder.
The Palmer House Hilton offers historic tours of the hotel. Crain's Shia Kampos took the tour with Potter Palmer IV to get his impressions.
The Stanley Cup will make an appearance at this weekend's Gay Pride Parade -- as will Boystown neighbors the Cubs. The boys in blue will run a float for the first time ever, and Ernie Banks will be on it.
Lincoln Park's Wiener's Circle, described as "a microcosm of segregation in Chicago" and ranked 56th in journalist Catherine Price's highly subjective (nothing's unpleasant in France, really?) but admittedly entertaining 101 Places Not to See Before You Die. At least it beat out New Jersey's Grover Cleveland Service Area?
West Argyle Street is now on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition as an entry point for generations of Asian immigrants.
Learnapalooza spreads its tendrils of free classes across the city this Saturday. Mexican cooking, self hypnosis, independent publishing, and butchery will all be covered amidst the event's 70 workshops. You can RSVP here.
Forbes maps movement to and away from Chicago, showing which counties gained or lost people.
Writer Rachel Rabbit White takes us on a tour of Chicago's only all-bisexual swingers club in A/C today.
While the city was celebrating the Blackhawks win, taxi drivers weren't always in the best of spirits.
The Metropolitan Planning Council is once again holding its Placemaking Chicago What Makes Your Place Great? contest, this year in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Share your favorite "undiscovered" public space and you could win!
If you're into cheering for major sporting victories, head downtown Friday morning for the official Blackhawks celebration parade. The jubilation kicks off at 10:30am at Wacker and Washington.
Like telling stories? Like listening to them? In A/C, learn more about the city's storytelling scene and the many opportunities you have to tell your own.
With the systematic closure of the Cabrini Green housing projects come sad tales of eviction -- like this one, from longtime resident Dirrthea Smith.
Oprah Winfrey's longtime (and often silent) boyfriend Stedman Graham told Fox Chicago News that the city takes the talk show host for granted, and that "a prophet has no honor in its own town."
Chicago-based artist Krista Wortendyke just launched a blog chronicling her efforts to photograph the sites of every homicide that takes place in Chicago this summer. Since Memorial Day, she has already posted details and Google Maps shots of nine murder scenes, and with over three more months to go until she finishes her project, her records are, unfortunately, likely to continue to grow.
Get a little creative with your best Ferris Beuller movie reenactment ideas, and you could win a couple of tickets to fly friends into town to have a great "day off." Explore Chicago is sponsoring this Ferris Foursquare mission today and tomorrow. Leave your ideas on this Foursquare Facebook wall post to enter.
So apparently the Tribune wants to start up a photographic, chest-thumping competition between Illinois residents and those who live in Montana. Isn't that like getting involved in a land war in Asia?
Even though the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival has been canceled, you can still enjoy a free movie in a park near you thanks to the city's Movies in the Park program. Check out the schedule now [pdf]. UPDATE: Chicagoist notes a googlemap mashup of all the Movies in the Park locations.
Genderqueer Chicago, a support and discussion group for people who don't identify with strict male/female gender types, is holding a picnic and field day in Humboldt Park tomorrow.
Chicago was ranked 45th on Mercer's quality of living survey of international cities, beating out Seattle, New York, and Madrid, the last three cities in the top 50. The top US city? Coming as no surprise to anyone is Honolulu, at 35th.
Chicago didn't get the Olympics but it might get Atlantis. It's been discovered that the Planetarium is endeavouring to add one of the soon-to-be-retired space shuttles to its collection.
$70.6 million, that is. That's the final tally on Chicago's Olympic bid spending.
Archeworks' most recent unveiling is the Mobile Food Collective "Urban Farm Tool," a hub for the creation and support of urban community farming.
...Would just be corporately sponsored and smell just as sweet. The Onion's AV Club reviews the naming history of several big marquees in the Chicago area. Of particular note: The Chicago Marathon for three years was sponsored by G. Heileman Brewing Company and was known as the Old Style Chicago Marathon.
The third annual Zombie Pub Crawl is this Saturday, at 2pm in Andersonville hosted by Lakview improve theater company, pH Productions. So, crawl, stumble and reanimate on down, even if you need tips on looking undead.
Chicago Comic Con (AKA Wizard World) has had quite a stake in Chicago's fanboy circles, but this week, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (AKA C2E2) has made an impact as well. Meanwhile, check out C2E2 photos in Book Club to see what all the hype is about.
The Chicago Improv Festival kicks off tomorrow, with 70 acts on 12 stages across the city. While this typically brings in acts from all over the world, that pesky Eyjafjallajokull, er... Icelandic volcano, creating chaos throughout European airlines, is keeping many acts grounded.
This Saturday, come to the Little Village Boys & Girls Club's Sidewalk Sale -- your purchases help fund the oldest stand-alone Boys & Girls Club in the city. 2801 S. Ridgeway, 10am-2-pm. They are also accepting donations: call (773) 277-1800 for more info.
"There's a big dark town/ It's a place I've found/ There's a world going on/ Underground"
Men born in April to the end of the year, you're in luck: Halo [for Men] offers select free spa extras on your birthday (such as as shampoo or brow wax) with the purchase of another salon or spa service.
Chicago architectural icon had a dream: an America covered with "little villages" all connected by super highways as an alternative to "megacities." It, uh... it didn't go over well.
Ever watch the Amazing Race and think you could do it -- if it weren't for the jetlag? Take part in the River North Sleep Around Challenge, and you won't even need to leave the 312 area code. The Challenge Starts at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and ends up at Martini Park. Along the way, there are stops at seven hotels that will provide challenges and refreshments. Lots of prizes will be offered. Tickets available from the River North Business Association.
One Tail at a Time rescues unwanted dogs and finds them new, loving homes. The organization runs without a shelter, relying on crackerjack foster dog-parents to care for animals until they're adopted. Last week they raised $1,000 in just days to offset medical expenses for a rescued dog named Pinecone. Check out their fundraiser this weekend or apply to foster a pup.
Chicago Architecture Foundation's Jennifer Lucente has tasked herself with a challenge: participate in all of the CAF's 85 tours over the course of one year. Best part? You can join her (or at least watch from the social media sidelines).
Local comic book artist Sarah Becan chronicles getting healthier in a sort of sequential weight loss diary. Good for anyone who likes beer and delicious food but is trying to slim down, and/or enjoys sweet, autobiographical, journal-style comics.
It's a case of making lemonade out of the lemons of vacant storefronts. The New York Times recognizes Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood and Evanston as leading the way using that space for art displays.
A special After Hours tour of the new Matisse exhibit will have DJ's, cocktails and performances take over the Art Institute on Friday, April 9 from 9 to midnight. Then there's the intergalactastic "Superhero" themed Adler After Dark the following Thursday, April 15 at the Adler Planetarium at 6pm.
In Mechanics, Danny Fenster tells the story of Maria, a young woman pushed into prostitution by her boyfriend, and one organization that's trying to help women like her.
The Straight Dope Chicago gauges how Chicagoland and the rest of Illinois would be if they divorced.
Chicago took a leading role in the days and weeks after the Haiti earthquake. Read about it in Mechanics.
In case you missed it, check out Alison Cuddy's expose on Radio M last Friday about local artists who are also musicians. Or is it musicians who are also artists? It's all art anyway, isn't it?
The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) gives a nod to new global resource STACKD which lets people connect via their workplace. It's a great opportunity to "Act Local" and connect with others outside of that excruciatingly silent morning elevator ride.
TimeOut looks into who carries clout in the culture of this city. Looks like one famous critic stands out, surrounded by local powerhouse venues, bars, celebs and blogs (Gapers Block among them) [PDF].
It won't make everyone good drivers overnight, but anyone who bikes our city's streets should be pleased by a bill that passed the Illinois Senate almost unanimously last week. Bill 2951 would make hurling something towards, crowding or otherwise threatening a cyclist a Class A misdemeanor.
ChicagoStorytelling tells the stories of three cab drivers trying to get by in the city.
If you didn't get a chance to see the Chicago River dyed green last weekend, you may still be able to relive the glory of a (not so) lovely green pool in Pilsen.
The 2010 Census will start filling our mailboxes soon, but will your identity be truly counted? The Tribune looks into how mixed races might be erroneously counted with local Chicagoans.
While the parades are over, there's still tons of St. Patrick's Day partying to be had. Whether you're looking for must eat/drink places, kid-friendly activities, Irish pub spots or Boystown happenings.
The City of Chicago's website got its first overhaul in almost a decade today. Check out the new cityofchicago.org (which seems to run on a similar template to explorechicago.org) and see if you can navigate it any easier.
The Chicago Journal's AmySue Mertens lives in Greektown, Skid Row, West Loop, West Loop Gate, Community Area No. 28, the Near West Side ... and a "principality" of the West Loop.
The Metropolitan Planning Council asks what asset Chicago should "sign" from another city, à la the NFL.
Englewood's Urban Prep Academy for Young Men is celebrating because all of its seniors have been accepted to a four-year college.
Take in musical performances from the Latin School Jazz Band and have a slice of Bleeding Heart Bakery's Chicago-style birthday cake for free at The Chicago History Museum--where else? The festivities begin at 10:30am, March 4. And, if you share a birthday with the Windy City, you'll receive a special certificate signed by the mayor.
Lee Bey bids farewell to the CPD's M license plate with some references to it in popular culture.
In honor of Casimir Pulaski Day, city and county offices and municipal services will be closed Monday.
Explore Chicago has just launched an online gallery of free and cheap Chicago-oriented smartphone apps (mostly geared to you iPhone users, though some work on Blackberry and the like). You can keep track of shows at Broadway in Chicago, menus on GrubHub, get the latest Bears rumors, or locate nearby LGBT businesses through the Gay Cities Guide.
Open Books is having their very first Open Boxes Book Sale this weekend with more than 10,000 literary donations being sold for a dollar each for softbound, $2 for hardbound. Or, fill a tote bag to the top for $25. Festivities start Feb. 26 to help fund Open Books' literacy initiatives.
Represent your school at the Art Institute of Chicago's flash mob. Just show up wearing your college or university's assigned color -- Columbia is yellow and Northwestern is blue, for example. All the colors of the rainbow, get it? It's tonight at 6pm on the front steps.
Sick of waiting in the cold, only to be overcharged and/or harassed by a sketchy cab driver? Here are some tips to help you get where you're going quickly and safely.
Despite being hit hard by the economic slump, the Art Institute is hanging on-- they're even able to offer free admission during February, as always. How? Hipsters, among other things.
Not sure which gang is tagging your neighborhood? This flickr group should help.
The Museum of Science and Industry's logo is the latest transformation for the museum during its $205 million Science Rediscovered campaign. Here's the old logo for comparison.
Want to spend Valentine's Day with someone who will always be happy to see you? Chicago Animal Care and Control (2741 S. Western) is holding a special adoption event from noon to 6pm this Saturday and Sunday for you meet that special dog or cat. Refreshments, a souvenir photo for adopters and an on-site pet boutique will be on hand as well.
Former GB contributor Ted McClelland gives the New York Times a guide to "funky" Rogers Park.
In light of the news that Chicago suffered record home foreclosures in the final quarter of 2009, the city and the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago will hold six Fix Your Mortgage events this year.
Newcity has a new review of a show at DePaul that features reject art. The art will be sold from its collection to purchase more desired pieces, but visitors can still cast their vote on what they think is good, bad or just plain ugly.
Swap-O-Rama-Rama, a DIY fashion workshop/ resource, is returning to Chicago in March and seeking submissions for their competitive re:MAKE Fashion Show. For volunteers and beginners, there are regular meeting and events (the next on Feb. 4).
Just a reminder, the Art Institute is free (and full of events) throughout the month of February.
The Lakeview Polar Bear Club is taking their annual dip in Lake Michigan Sat., Jan. 30. So, head on down to Oak Street Beach (then, um, sign a waiver [PDF]) and take the plunge. Funds raised from the event and after party at Galway Bay go towards needy families.
No more excuses-- The Art Institute will be free the whole month of February.
Well, so to speak. Chicago museums and zoos caught a break in this year's sluggish economic downturn, seeing a 7 percent increase in attendance in 2009. The free-admission Lincoln Park Zoo; the Shedd Aquarium; and the Art Institute, who opened their new Modern Wing last summer, topped the list, with significant utilization of the attractions' free days. Here's the Local Tourist's free days list.
WBEZ will spend the next six months exploring Illinois' juvenile prison system in a project called Inside and Out. Radio stories, supplemental media and a community discussion are featured on the project website.
Chicago: A Biography, a new history of Chicago by Dominic Pacyga, is given a positive review by Harvard economist Ed Glaeser at The New Republic's online literary review, The Book.
Looks like Chicago had a low showing of talent on yesterday's "American Idol" auditions -- only 13 made the cut. While showcasing our wild and foul-mouthed side, "Idol" has Chicago Breaking News wondering how some Windy City contestants were filmed in front of palm trees and the Amway Center in Orlando.
Every year, Chicago Mag puts out an eligible Chicago singles issue. And this year's is coming up: Applicants must be over 21, single, accomplished, photogenic and somewhat interesting. Supposedly you can nominate yourself, if you're so inclined.
It may sometimes get confused as part of Wicker Park or Ukrainian Village, but the neighborhood of East Village is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
TimeOut takes a look at the good (a great place to hook up), the bad (the tougher gigs) and the ugly side (the horror stories) of volunteering in Chicago. And just in case you wanted to know what it's like to be a volunteer Planned Parenthood escort: "I've been told I'm going to hell more times than I can count."
The Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit against the City of Chicago next month which will determine whether local governments can legally ban ownership of handguns. Chicago Mag recently discussed the case and profiled the plaintiffs, who may not be what you'd expect.
Oxygen Network's "The Bad Girls Club," a reality show exploiting, er... documenting party girls is holding a casting call Jan. 16 in our fair city.
Hookah lounges fall victim to tight no-smoking ordinances enacted in some Chicagoland municipalities.
Staying on budget should never mean missing out on Chicago's magnificent museums. Thankfully, The Local Tourist has compiled a handy list to help you get the most cultural bang while saving your bucks in 2010.
What was Chicago like in the mid-century for the city's African American community? Unknown Chicago takes a look at the fast-growing and segregated "Black Belt," and the harsh housing conditions.
The Piñata Factory recently installed street altars created by young people from Humboldt Park and South Chicago to raise awareness of violence. The installations are at various locations around the north suburbs. Take a look at their creation and the finished products.
The Sun-Times raises a glass to the glogg being served up at Simon's Tavern in Andersonville, as owner Scott Martin gives the inside scoop on the tradition. * "God Jul" is Swedish for "Merry Christmas."
Be a part of the First Annual Schubie Awards by casting a vote for your favorites in music, food and web content.
As the city celebrates the centennial of the Burnham Plan, On Earth examines how urban planning has played out in the suburbs.
Chicagoans appear to be imbued with holiday spirit and decorating like mad fools. Local retailers report that decorative lights have been flying off the shelves this season.
Local writer Tiffany Meyers gives Canada's Globe and Mail an overview of Fulton Market's mix of fashion, design and food.
It's not exactly B.J. and the Bear, but a former Chicago and his animal friend are on a journey west for fortune and charity.
Sadly with so many news reports of school age children dying violently in Chicago there is seemingly little novelty in the latest such tragedy. However the the DCFS director happens to be the victim's former baseball coach and he makes some very insightful comments about the issue in general.
Some of you have probably given Jamba Juice a lot of your money over the years. Now the company will give something back to Chicago: free skating at Millennium Park this Saturday (for the first 200 people).
Chicago blog aggregator Windy Citizen is throwing "An Ugly Christmas Sweater Party" this Thursday, Dec. 10 at Black Rock Bar. Meanwhile, Chicago culture blog Chicagoist is having their Holiday Party/ Canned Food Drive the same night at Sheffield's. Maybe make it to both via the Brown Line? Ours is the following Thursday, Dec. 17, also at Black Rock Bar, so mark your calendars.
Interested in knowing more about crime and problem spots in your neighborhood? You may want to sit in on a CAPS meeting, a monthly opportunity for citizens to trade information and report issues within each police beat in the city. (Inspired by a comment by Mary in our current Fuel question about gang activity.)
Tons of new artists and bands just listed shows coming to Chicago, according to the Reader's Early Warning concert listing (a lifesaver for any concert-goer), including Alice in Chains, Bowling for Soup, Jack's Mannequin and why not, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to name a few.
Hate crimes are on the rise for LGBT youth in Chicago's south and west sides (in neighborhoods such as Englewood and Roseland) when Youth Pride Center members come home from the Hyde Park-located community center. Chicago Free Press looks into this unsettling trend and how it's related to LGBT legislation's prominence in the news.
The Adler Planetarium unveiled today a 4-foot by 180-foot mosaic made up of more than 800,000 images of the Milky Way. It's the world's most detailed picture of our galaxy, and it's now on permanent view at the museum and online. [via]
WBEZ web editor Justin Kaufmann is looking for Bears jokes (as if the team's play wasn't enough of a joke itself.) If you've got some, share then here. OK, two Bears walk into a bar...they forgot to duck. Hey-oooo!
Remember how earlier this month when that 872 area code took effect, it meant that you had to start dialing 11 digits no matter where you lived? Well, if your condo or apartment buzzer is hooked into your telephone, that callbox needs to be reprogrammed to reflect the change. Not only can this cost a chunk of change to fix, but it also means that your package and food deliveries can be derailed.
While you're bellying up to the turkey (or just at home, eating pizza), consider making this the day you adopt a cat or dog! Chicago Animal Care and Control is open for adoptions today (and tomorrow!) from 4-7pm at 2741 South Western.
OutsideTheLoopRadio.com, whose Chicago-interest audio magazine podcast and WLUW radio show is celebrating its third year on the air, is hosting a live taping Friday, Nov. 20 at Toons Bar and Grill. The event is free with some quite interesting guests stopping by.
BusinessWeek thinks Tinley Park is the best place in America to raise your kids. Last year they thought it was Mount Prospect, so I guess they just really like Chicago suburbs. (Thanks, Dee!)
Santa and the John Hancock Observatory are having a mini casting call, of sorts, on Nov. 14 and 15. All you have to do is deck out your kids (11 and under) in their best elf outfit for a chance receive four VIP Radio Disney passes to meet Mitchel Musso during The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
How do Chicagoans describe street addresses? Is Armitage "two-thousand" north or "20 hundred"? Straight Dope tries to figure it out.
Imagine a wall with the name of every person from your neighborhood who had died for decades. Imagine having to walk past it everytime you went to the grocery store. Now imagine how you'd feel if the Chicago Housing Authority's Plan for Transformation would result in the wall being torn down.
The 2010 edition of the Not For Tourists guide to Chicago is out, but you can download PDFs of the various sections for $1.50 each.
During tonight's 5:30pm broadcast, NBC Nightly News will profile CPS Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's annual program where students and faculty from local public high schools perform one of Willy's plays--this year's production was A Midsummer Night's Dream.
In other demolition news, the water tower at the Washburne Trade School has been demolished.
Stopping to give money to someone on the street could make anyone a bit nervous, but as the temperature drops, Chicago's homeless community becomes more apparent. So, Chicago Shares offers a solution: Vouchers to hand out in $1 increments, redeemable for food at area merchants.
The Obamas will have some interesting local flavor performing at their Pennsylvania Avenue digs this Saturday.
The imminent closure of the 61st Street Community Garden is getting a lot of attention from the media, with the Trib and Sun-Times augmenting weeks of coverage in the Hyde Park Herald and the Invisible Institute's Garden Conversations.
While the City Council chambers are buzzing with potential revenue sources, one solution is frequently brought up: casino gambling. Meanwhile, some alderman are hoping to make use of the formally proposed Olympic Village grounds. Here's what you said the last time this was considered.
Last night's "Ghost Lab" on the Discovery Channel featured the (alcoholic?) ghosts of Liar's Club.
Voting for your favorite scarecrow could win you a gift certificate worth up to $250 for any business in the Clark Street Special Service Area. Visit the displayed scarecrows (a list of participating businesses is posted here) and vote before Wednesday, October 28 at 5pm to qualify.
Well, as far as violent crime is concerned, anyway. Red Eye analyzed police crime statistics and found that more assaults, murders and rapes occur between 9 and 10pm than any other hour in Chicago.
The Lincoln Park Zoo has posted a wish list, with items costing $1 to $200. It's a great way to support our local menagerie, one of the last free zoos in the United States, and at the same time know exactly where your money is going--for example, a lovely nest basket for one of the McCormick Bird House's laughing thrushes--a bargain at one dollar.
"Adler After Dark," The Adler Planetarium's nightclub/stargazing event launches this Thursday, Oct. 15 and continues every third Thursday night of the month. The first night of cocktails and peeks through the Doane Observatory telescope is free, so why not?
Michael Salmonowitz makes a case for why Chicago's gangs are like Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, another fight broke out at Fenger High School while Arne Duncan and Eric Holder were in town to discuss youth violence.
Chicago's Cambodian American Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial is the only Cambodian museum in America.
Near the Loop tonight? Check out the Aon Center's nifty lights as it finishes its 16-day countdown to the Olympic announcement. Evidently, "1" is harder than it looks.
It's been 10 years since the CHA began its Plan for Transformation. WBEZ's Natalie Moore takes a look at the process, its successes and criticisms -- and our own David Schalliol contributed a slideshow of photos from public housing projects around the city.
The mosaic under the 47th Street Metra station is finished, and it is lovely. Hyde Park Progress has pictures.
You know that $13.7 billion the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid team says the Olympics will pump into the city's economy? Yeah, no. A new analysis to be released today says it will be only a third of that amount.
If it's been a while since you've been on a water taxi, here's a reminder about how great they are.
...To volunteer for its Thanksgiving Day Parade! They have something for everyone, from tech crew, to gift bag stuffer, to poo crew. And since it's aired live, you might even get on TV!
Say what you will about what the recent Oprahpalooza on Michigan Ave. did to your morning commute, some of the retailers in the area are saying that having Ms. Winfrey on their street worked out well for their bottom line.
Chicago Public Library's "Sound Off" contest taps local musicians to express how their city inspires them. Details in Transmission.
Man! If my prom had been as much fun as the Chicago Messenger Prom, I may have gone to it. And if you love hamming it up, photo-booth style, then I'm sure we'll see you on Friday night at the Gapers BlockParty where Ian Merritt will have a photo booth set up. Did we mention it's FREE before 9:30?
An opinion column in RedEye picks up on the "What can you do for me?" mentality of DC residents that makes it our nation's political hub. In the District, it seems nowhere is safe for a Chicagoan who just wants to enjoy a beer in peace, without being "networked" to death.
For only the second time in 120 years, London-based Granta Magazine is devoting an entire issue to a single city: Chicago. And we're reaping the benefits, including a literary-star-studded kick-off September 14 hosted by Chicago Public Radio's Steve Edwards and featuring local authors Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife) and Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project). The issue features 26 other locals; check Slowdown for more details.
The Chicago Public Library is hosting the ChiPubLib Sound Off Music Contest, where the city's musicians are challenged to compose an original, Chi-town-inspired song and upload video of their performance of it to the Not What You Think Vimeo group. A celebration of the winning songs will be held at Pritzker Park in October.
The Society of American Travel Writers has named Chicago #5 on their list of "Top 10 Cities for Live Music." The voting writers noted that Chicago kills for live blues, and that music is "all here, all the time." Nicely put.
It's probably time to rename this annual feature "Best of Chicagoland," considering a large portion of the list is out in the suburbs. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
We debut a new occasional feature in A/C today: Chicago Revenant, which sheds light on some of the lesser known neighborhoods of the city. First up, Dunning and Schorsch Village on the Northwest Side.
Monday, Aug. 17 is a "reduced services day" for the City; it's really the one we'd normally see on New Year's Eve, apparently. Only essential services remain open: fire and police -- and, interestingly, meter maids and boot vans.
This Ask MetaFilter multi-part question from a recent newcomer to Chicago is chock full of great info, especially if you don't understand The Grid.
Love em' or hate em' (and their fans), this site answers a question relevant to irate Wrigleyville dwellers, Cubs devotees, and many more.
Placemaking Chicago asked that question earlier this year, and now they're asking you to vote on which photo and video is best.
Chicago ranks first in the nation for the number of people arrested while under the influence of drugs.
Oh, the trials and tribulations of the Wrigleyville-resident Cubs fan. If only there were a new site dedicated to their plight.
One of the inspirations for the Don Draper character in the AMC show Mad Men was Draper Daniels, who was the creative director at Leo Burnett in the 1960s. His wife talked to Chicago Mag about her life with him.
Walkers, bikers, strollers and the like enjoy free reign on a network of boulevards between Logan Square and Little Village tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The route temporarily closes to motorized traffic in order to make room for Chicagoans to come together. The event, Open Streets, is free, and is modeled after Bogota's Ciclovia, where 1.5 million residents come out and enjoy their community.
A pro-immigration mural in Pilsen painted by local students has been defaced by someone who's clearly projecting.
As part of the Shedd Aquarium's re-opened marine mammal pavilion, visitors can now spend $200 to play with and pet a whale. Those who ante up get to wade into the Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat, help trainers give behavioral instructions, and scratch some whale tongue.
F-16s buzzed the city at 1am last night, and helicopters are stirring up dust by landing on a baseball field in Lincoln Park. Guys, the Air & Water Show isn't for another couple weeks. UPDATE: Seems the choppers are practicing for an Obama visit.
As our Fuel question demonstrates, when it comes to the Sears/Willis Tower name change, people either lament the loss of another piece of "Chicago" or you think it's much ado about nothing. Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin falls on the side of the former and tries to put the whole thing in perspective.
Today is the last day the Sears Tower will officially be known as, well, the Sears Tower. Tomorrow it become the (ugh) Willis Tower. We're toasting with a highball in its honor. Let us know what you think in Fuel.
Although it's not hard to catch him smoking in front of the Tribune Tower or having a burger at Billy Goat, 100 lucky Tribune print subscribers will schmooze and make beer-can chicken with legendary columnist John Kass Aug. 1 at the Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton.
Does living in Chicago make you a Chicagoan? Jeff Ruby thought so but now he's not so sure.
There's just a few short weeks left for you to nominate your favorite places in Chicago for MPC's Placemaking contest. We wrote about this great project when it started, but now's your chance to share your favorites.
The Architects' Journal ranks Chris Ware's Chicago second in its list of Top 10 comic book cities. Go vote in their poll -- we're currently tied with a few other inked metropolises. (Thanks, Twitterer and fellow comic book aficionado DovBee!)
Greektown's home values have dropped by 50 percent in the past year, making it one of the fastest-falling neighborhoods according to Forbes. (Thanks, Dee!)
As the final cut nears in October, the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid team is working it. The team is using a new promotional video featuring our Chicagoan commander in chief talking up the city. The bid team is also planning a ward-by-ward promotional push in the next months to shore up city support.
Are early summers in Chicago getting chillier? The Straight Dope runs the numbers.
July is National Hot Dog Month -- and why wouldn't it be especially significant in the Windy City? Nothing screams "National Pastime" quite like tube-stuffed, processed chicken, beef and/or pork trimmings. So, go out and celebrate.
The new "Ledge" finally opens tomorrow at the Sears Tower, and will allow visitors to stand in an enclosed glass box and look down 1,353 feet. Depending on who you are, that means either the heights of euphoria or stomach-churning dismay.
The Examiner takes a look at one of the granddaddies of the Chicago open mike poetry scene, the raucus Monday night poetry night at Weeds. Featuring (as host Gregorio Gomez puts it) "some of the best, some of the worse and some of the most indifferent poetry in Chicago."
The Windy Citizen takes a look at how the City is using this year's Taste of Chicago to demonstrate its preparedness to host the 2016 Games.
Going to Taste of Chicago? Worried about more than the heat, sweaty tourists, and the cash you'll need? Chicago police have announced their security plans to ease your mind and prevent a rerun of last year's violence.
This past weekend was Rogers Park's annual Artist of the Wall festival, when local residents paint new murals on the long concrete bench along Loyola Park's beachfront. Here's a video walking a good portion of the wall.
Free admission, a Harry Potter exhibit, and a 76th anniversary was an epic combination for the Museum of Science and Industry last week. On June 19 the museum packed in 19,955 guests, the highest single-day attendance in more than 10 years.
Chicago has four of the top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, according to a study of FBI crime statistics by NeighborhoodScout.com. Automotive arson aside, you'll want to avoid 55th and State in Washington Park and three spots in Englewood.
The usual collection of semi-talented, questionably-talented and what-the-heck-are-they-doing-here talented braved the early morning rain to audition for American Idol at the United Center.
The Hyde Park Urbanist takes a look at the verge - "that strip between the sidewalk and the street" - on a stretch of East 57th Street.
To celebrate tomorrow's Puerto Rican Independence Day Parade (kicking off from Columbus & Balbo at noon), we are chowing down on traditional dish Mofongo over in Drive-Thru.
Yeah, might be cool to have a unique license place number. Then again, it might not.
Word is that there's a web series based on the Green Hornet being filmed in or around the Uptown Bank Building these days, a sort of prelude to the movie being filmed starring Seth Rogan (?) and Kung Fu Hustle star Stephen Chow (though we really wished those "Jet Li as Kato" rumors were true).
The answer varies depending on the times -- and who exactly you're talking about.
The Taste of Chicago preview event used to be the dirty (greasy?) little secret of local VIPs and intrepid reporters looking for "the inside story" -- as well as a chance for free food. But now they're thrown the doors open to the public.
The plight of the pizza deliveryman in Evanston who was beaten and had his car hijacked and wrecked has touched many readers of the Chicago Tribune, who saw the story in today's paper. Here's the website if you wish to donate.
312 Dining Diva points us to the first cameras reaching the inner sanctum of Schwa: NBC Chicago's interview with Schwa chef Michael Carlson. The interview includes a mini-rant against celeb-chef culture, reveals why your reservation calls are never returned, and shows some mighty facial hair.
Come up with a good answer and you could win some pretty cool prizes from the Metropolitan Planning Council.
The nifty bike valet at Millennium Park is in jeopardy of closing this summer due to chief underwriter Chase Bank's "refocusing on business matters."
Straight Dope Chicago: "Short answer: no. Slightly more nuanced answer coming right up."
"The man stuffed 17 yellow, purple and turquoise pansies into a navy blue suitcase" and was promptly arrested.
A deserted Sears parking lot on the West Side has become a training ground for Chicago's next generation of entrepreneurs. Their stock in trade: honey-producing beehives.
Your job may not be &*@#!* golden, but your hair can be. It's "Blago" shampoo and conditioner. Only your hairdresser and bagman will know for sure.
A judge threw out an Uptown residents group's lawsuit against the Wilson Yard project, saying it was filed seven and a half years too late. Uptown Update has posted a copy of the suit, and FixWilsonYard will be meeting to discuss next steps this Saturday.
WBEZ's The Annoying Music Show got mixed up with the U of C's annual Scavenger Hunt this weekend when teams submitted songs for broadcast. Though Team Ragnarok won the challenge, Mendicant Cingulata came in first in the hunt.
I didn't realize MSN still had their City Guides, but they apparently just relaunched their Chicago edition.
Author Aleksandar Hemon tells the Wall Street Journal about a handful of places around Chicago that are meaningful to him, in connection with the release of his short story collection Love and Obstacles.
After six years of helping to create a thoroughly connected craft community in Chicago, Depart-ment is calling it quits. The organizers explain how they regret the decision to disband the show, but considering the extreme time and cost that goes into organizing the show, it's not surprising even though it is sad. Thankfully a few of the organizers are helping to keep the movement alive with Coterie Chicago. Their first show is at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival.
The Field Museum and Oriental Institute have some interesting visitors from the National Museum of Iraq. The Iraqis are taking the opportunity to brush up on contemporary archeology and conservation techniques they were unable to study at home during the Hussein regime ... and apparently during the ongoing war.
As if all the accolades for his, you know, cooking talent weren't enough, chef Paul Kahan of Blackbird gives us another reason to feel inadequate. He's named as one of People's 100 Most Beautiful 2009 ... or not. [Thanks for the update, Dan!]
EveryBlock now has an iPhone app, so you can check on crime stats of the very corner you're standing on. (And restaurants nearby, too.)
Because you probably met Mr. T. That's justice.
The Goodman is doing the unholy/impossible/fascinating: Pairing art and science. As part of the ongoing Science Chicago initiative, the Goodman will offer three free readings from Tom Stoppard, Richard Rhodes and Caryl Churchill, exploring their scientific themes. Readings take place on June 8, 15 and 22, with post-play discussions. Call for reservations: 312.443.3800.
We're the 11th best hair city in America, according to Total Beauty. (Thanks, Dee!)
Reader Ryan Flynn writes, "Here is a site I've had up for awhile now, documenting the transformation of the Cabrini-Green neighborhood in pictures, paintings, comments and news."
Natalie Slater of Bake and Destroy interviews former vegan and baker extraordinaire Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery on baking philosophy, butter alternatives, and making that perfect vegan chocolate cupcake.
Get set for Tuesdays at Butler Field with your favorite stars of the silver screen. This year's Outdoor Film Festival features have been announced, and they sure don't disappoint. Full list after the jump.
This Year's Films are Sunset Boulevard (July 14), Duck Soup (July 21), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (July 28), Born Yesterday (Aug. 4), Psycho (Aug. 11), Young Mr. Lincoln (Aug. 18) and Tootsie (Aug. 25).
Yet another survey telling us where we rank as a city in various categories. This time we're the fifth best "Walking City", whatever that means.
Chicago will soon have three retail shops for fine European city bicycles, including cargo bikes. De Fietsfabriek USA, literally "the bike factory," opens Saturday in Old Town at 1309 N. Wells, just blocks from Dutch Bike Chicago, which opened last October on Armitage. Meanwhile, Copenhagen Cyclery plans to open soon in Wicker Park. It might just be time for a slow bicycle race.
The Invisible Institute takes a look at the 61st Street Community Garden and its troubles, now that the University of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary are planning on using it as a staging area [PDF] for the construction of CTS's new building. CTS is moving to make room for the Milton Friedman Institute.
Yeah, riding the CTA train sucks sometimes (thanks to Miss Bags-On-The-Seat and you, Mr. Block-The-Door, among others). But maybe you'll run into The Nicest Train Operator In Chicago and everything won't seem so bad, even the guy yakking on his cell phone from Grand to Berwyn, for crying out loud.
Visitors to the Lincoln Park Zoo's Regenstein Center for Africa Apes may notice the lack of chimps over the next several days. That's because zoo staff is monitoring six chimps who've come down with a upper respiratory infection that also killed another chimp earlier this week.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center will be opening in Skokie on April 19. You may request tickets to the public grand opening ceremony or get a sneak peek by purchasing tickets for the Inaugural Gala on April 2.
WBEZ's blog has some pictures from the Chicago regional spelling bee held last Friday. Kira Gallancy won with the word "nominative". She will go on to compete in The Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.
Can't make it down to the Oriental Institute but want to learn more about mummies? The University of Chicago Magazine created an interactive mummy dissection that combines photographs, CT scans and interviews with researchers to examine the Institute's 2,800-year-old dummy -- without cracking the seal.
Several gay bars in Chicago are putting an end to allowing bachelorette parties, saying that comically flaunting one's impending nuptials in front of those who can't legally marry is insulting and inappropriate.
Hopefully an apartment this bad isn't even on your radar, but to make sure you don't end up spending time in a place with bedbugs, check out this map of known infestations, and lend a hand locally. (Thanks, Kaylee!)
The Trib has a historical photo essay of the Back of the Yards Free Fair, a month long celebration once held at the intersection of 47th and South Damen.
The Christian Science Monitor looks at the annual dyeing of the Chicago River from an environmental aspect, with an interesting note that at any time of year, the Illinois Department of Public Health doesn't recommend eating too many fish from its waters.
That's the new motto of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid. It replaces "stir the soul" which sounds more like a Campbell's Soup tagline. It's definitely an upgrade.
If you live in Wicker Park or West Town, you may have visited the Polish Triangle once or twice without realizing that was what it's called. You could help decide its future March 21 & 22, if you so choose.
I never visited Old Chicago Mall, but a massive mall with "rides, a concert venue and circus performers--all under a glowing 16-story dome" sounds like a little kid's dream. If you have memories of the mall or want to read other people's recollections, Paul Drabek's roller coaster website collects them.
The Chicago Park District's Committee on Programs and Recreation approved a measure to increase general admission prices to the Art Institute by 50%. If passed by the board, prices will jump from $12 to $18. Seniors and student prices will also increase from $5 to $12.
A study finds that Latinos are being pulled over more frequently by police in some parts of Chicagoland. Read more in this month's Chicago Reporter.
The Whydah, an 18th century-era slave and (later) pirate ship, has docked at the Field Museum beginning today until October 25.
Hoping to dispel whatever myths and stereotypes are out there concerning vegans (think sensible shoes, biking everywhere and some article of clothing made of hemp), PETA is sponsoring a "Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door" contest and a Hyde Park resident is carrying the banner for Chicago. You can vote for her here.
The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2009. Earlier this week at HPKCC's anniversary kick-off event, James Withrow of Hyde Park Urbanist covered the last 60 years of Hyde Park in just 15 minutes. Read it here.
When it comes to "erotic services" posts in the Housing section of Craigslist, Chicago lags far behind Vegas, LA, NYC and SF. Maybe that's why Forbes thinks we're so miserable. [via]
This week's Reader feature investigates the financial troubles threatening the eviction of Loren Billings, the 89-year-old widow who lives in and runs the Museum of Holography.
Chicagoan Virginia Call, whose family claimed she was 115 and records indicate was about 111, has died. She was also Chicago's oldest registered voter, supporting Barack Obama after a 20-year registration lapse.
With the weather expected to take a dip this weekend, what better way to heat up than with salsa. No, not this kind, this kind. The International Salsa Congress is expected to draw the top dancers in the city and beyond. And they'll have lessons as well, so it might be a useful Valentine's Day destination.
Chicago is America's third most miserable city, according to this throwaway Forbes.com story. Go ahead, be outraged.
Help is difficult to find for illegal immigrants in need of health care, unemployment or other services. And the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's deportation policies mean asking for help from the wrong person might send them back to a country they no longer know.
The Trib asked a group of canvassers from organizations like Greenpeace to a men's suit company about their jobs, the people they interact with and their futures.
If you're looking for information about the history of Chicago's LGBT community, Chicago Gay History is the place to look. The site has published everything from all of the biographies in the Chicago Gay History Project to a range of detailed information about specific topics.
Horse.com (which should probably know about these things) reports that the unique Noble Horse Stable might be closing its doors after 138 (yes, 138) years of operation. The facility, which in addition to providing downtown carriage rides also houses a horse-themed theater, is a victim of too much competition, says the owner.
Here's some inspiration for the sled-dog days of winter: a list of free days at all Chicago's museums.
Playboy is moving its operation back to Chicago, where Hugh Hefner's empire was started.
Looptopia, our two-time dusk-to-dawn cultural celebration, is being refashioned into a series of 5 mini-Looptopias each running from 4 to 11pm.
The Obama inauguration poem gets critiqued by people who should know...the fans and members of The Poetry Foundation based here in Chicago. Judging from the comments section, not everyone was enthralled by the piece.
Little Village may be getting some new "pocket parks" thanks to proposals by alternative design school Archeworks and Neighbor Space.
Tuesday's Winter Bike to Work Day encourages us to use our bicycle to get around town. To celebrate, Active Transportation Alliance serves free coffee and hot cocoa at Daley Plaza to bicycle riders from 6:30 to 9 a.m. After last week's sub-zero freeze, tomorrow may feel almost balmy.
About the only time the Southwest Side gets press is when there's a fire or a crime. The Southwest Observer aims to change that.
Poor Little Rich Girls aims to help young women in the city live a chic but budget-friendly lifestyle.
And you thought it was the relentless winter weather, skyrocketing cost-of-living and hit-or-miss public transportation that was putting you on edge here in Chicago. Nope. Turns out we're the third most caffeinated city in America. Step away from the Coca-Cola...
Remember when the Marina City Condo Association decided to ban photos of the iconic buildings without their permission? That was just the beginning of the crazy -- and it's gotten worse over the years, Chicago Journal reports. Dig deeper at the watchdog/online newspaper Marina City Online.
The Museum of Science & Industry is offering free general admission through the end of January. [via] UPDATE: Actually, apparently the coal mine is closed for maintenance. You do still have to pay for special exhibits such as the U-boat. (Thanks, Carlotta!)
No Pants 2K9, a nationwide project run by NYC-based Improv Everywhere (remember them from This American Life?), makes a stop in Chicago on January 10. If you're willing to brave the CTA in your bloomers, hop aboard.
No matter how cold the weather, the University of Chicago gargoyles remain ever vigilant.
Did you know there's a huge "mixed use mega-complex" in development for the southeast corner of Clark and Addison? Addison Park on Clark would take out all the businesses on the east side of Clark Street all the way down to The Irish Oak.
Unfortunately sometimes public indecency is a fact of life on public transportation. CTA Tattler has a good post exposing one particular lowlife and some suggestions on what to do if you become a victim.
Add one more to the list of things to look forward to in the spring. The Museum of Science and Industry scored a coup of sorts last week, beating out institutions around the world for the chance to premier "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" next April. Tickets already available online.
Empire Today has collected videos of its classic carpet commercials at EmpireCarpet.tv. Sing along!
The "unique" local political scene gets yet another national dissection. This time, it's The Atlantic. And this time it's from October, 1930. The more things change...
WGN collects webcams on one page so you can watch the city get blanketed in snow.
The latest hip urban trend? Raising chickens in your backyard. Says one owner: "They're like pets with eggs." Yeah, but most pets don't have their young eaten by the owner so, you know, not quite the same. (Here's a classic from our archives.)
It may be like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but Chicago 2016 has already made some changes to the proposed schedule of events for the summer Olympics bid.
Speaking of people helping people, Resurrection Healthcare's Homebound Elderly Program is in need of volunteers to help bring holiday cheer to homebound senior citizens in Chicago. Help out if you can.
Head down to the main post office and answer a child's "Dear Santa" letter. Sure things are bleak: The record unemployment. Our dear ole gov'na in shackles. But... 'tis better to give than to receive, right? Letters are available in the post office lobby; sift through and find one that tugs your heartstrings. More info.
GQ has named Chicago its city of the year, thanks to its politics (though not directly Obama), film (The Dark Knight), literature (yay writers!) and architecture (the on-hold Spire).
The CTA unveiled new hybrid buses today that plug into an electrical outlet at night and run on battery power for most of the day. The move is estimated to save the CTA almost $7 million annually in maintenance, labor and fuel costs by retiring aging buses.
Beware the giant dog attacking the city next spring! That's my impression of the image that won the most votes in the Chicago City Clerk's vehicle sticker contest. Congrats to Denise Ferguson, the artist, who's a senior at Corliss High School.
Tired of dodging the city tow trucks thanks to that fistful of parking tickets you've collected? The Department of Revenue is giving you a break.
Thousands of taxi drivers reportedly stayed home from work today to show support for the United Taxidrivers Community Council's proposal for a 16% fare hike to take effect January 1.
Hopefully you remembered not to park on snow routes tonight, because whether there's snow on the ground or not, Chicago's winter parking regulations go into effect at 3am Dec. 1 -- very late tonight or very early Monday morning, depending on your perspective. Hope you don't wake up to a missing car!
If you TIVOd the newest (season finale) episode of "Entourage" this past Sunday, pay attention to scene change footage between minutes eleven and twelve...what is supposed to be a quick shot of gritty New York is actually a pre-construction view of the CTA station at Belmont and Wilton. Good work, film editor.
So what were you doing when you heard the news? The Chicago Reporter wants to know your reaction when you first heard that Barack Obama had won the election as part of their upcoming "50 Days/50 Voices" project. Video, audio and essays are all welcome.
The ever-vigilant architecture critic Lee Bay looks at the rise and fall of the controversial Robert Taylor Homes on his blog. He even includes a link to video clip of Mayor Daley the Elder speaking at the grand opening.
Vote now for your favorite design for next year's Chicago vehicle sticker. It's theme is "Dog Friendly Chicago" and all the stickers were created by Chicago Public School students.
Know a University of Chicago student or alumnus? Know two or more? Print out these U of C-centric Bingo cards for them to enjoy during the holidays. Then stand back and watch the geek-tacular fun ensue.
HispanicBusiness.com take a look at the Puerto Rican community in Chicago and its staunch supporters who once again try to stave off gentrification.
The New York Times on Chicago's "moment of renaissance": "Well before Mr. Obama was elected as the nation's 44th president... Chicago was experiencing one of its most blossoming periods in food, fashion and the arts. Now, people around the country and the world are simply noticing." Um, yeah, thanks for noticing. Again.
Image Chicago magazine, a "lifestyle" publication with a heavy emphasis on clubbing and fashion, celebrates its third anniversary. You can flip through the latest issue, a dual "hers and his" type of thing, here.
Watch your pockets. A creepy guy in a mask might just stick something in them.
"Chicago Geek Girls is a network of groups devoted to supporting the work & play of women who identify as geeks."
Photographer Edward S. Curtis' 1914 silent film In the Land of the Headhunters was the first to exclusively star Native North Americans. It was recently restored and will be shown at the Field Museum on Sunday and Monday mornings. Stick around afterwards for a discussion with historians and descendants of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation, who are featured in the film. More details in Slowdown.
To celebrate the life of Studs Terkel, Steppenwolf will present a free staged reading of Terkel's book "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" this Monday, featuring Steppenwolf company members, director Joyce Piven, the Tribune's Rick Kogan, and that guy from "Friends."
See, things are already changing after Barack Obama's election victory: Mayor Daley wants to give parking ticket scofflaws a break on unpaid tickets issued before 2007. The amnesty period would run from Dec. 1 to Feb. 14.
All day long at Columbia College, there's a marathon reading of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, happening at 1104 S. Wabash. Pop in during your lunch hour or after work; the motion embedded in Kerouac's words fits beautifully with this bright fall day and the change in the air. Apple pie served at 4pm.
Could last night's historic election results affect Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid? Tokyo thinks so.
If you love pregnant seahorses, endearingly floppy manatees and cephalopods like I do, you'll be excited to learn that every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the month of November (except Wednesday, 11/26), the Shedd Aquarium will offer free general admission and discounts on inclusive packages.
After months of "Barack Obama's Chicago" in seemingly every media outlet, it's time for a change of pace. This time, Saul Bellow gets the treatment.
The Sun-Times reports that the city will be reducing the length of Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, and other city celebrations for 2009. These reductions are because of Mayor Daley's spending cuts in the 2009 budget.
Bring some quarters along with that sunscreen when you go to the beach next year. The Chicago Park District will charge for all 4,000 parking spots along Lake Michigan, specifically $1 an hour. In addition, they won't open beaches until 11 a.m. to cut down on lifeguard expenses.
Sun-Times writer Mark Konkol and former Q101 DJ Todd "Fook" Fooks have launched a podcast.
The Second Annual Chicago Latino Fashion Week kicks off next Monday with a host of spicy runway shows and post-catwalk parties to satisfy any (color) palette. Each event will feature top designers from across Latin America, including a number of locals showcasing their caliente collections.
The city's soup kitchens are gearing up for a busy winter, the Chi-Town Daily News reports.
As a South Sider, one of the fascinating outcomes of the election season has been the increase in attention this side of the city is getting. The Washington Post chips in with a four page profile of Hyde Park. [Thanks, Spencer!]
If you were watching the Today show around 7:30 this morning, you may have caught Robyn Okrant, the Chicago-based proprietor of the Living Oprah blog that has gotten a lot of media attention for her year-long experiment to live all things Oprah, being interviewed. If you missed it, we have a video for you.
Big doings at City Hall today: Not only is Mayor Daley planning on laying off more than 900 city employees (including cutting some garbage crews from two men to one) to help balance the city budget, but his hand-picked top cop Jody Weis is announcing a major shake-up in the CPD.
Cars, whether parked legally or illegally, appear to be the answer to the city's budget shortfall, according to Mayor Daley. To close the $420 million gap, he's raising the city parking tax, preparing to privitize parking meters, putting in more red-light cameras and revising his Denver Boot plan.
City Council has banned texting while driving. It'll be a $75 fine, rising to as much as $200 if you get into an accident.
"Roof Top Honey" may sound like some sort of upper-level illicit rendezvous, but it's actually the name of the sweet product harvested from beehives on the rooftops of City Hall and the Cultural Center and sold online and at The Farmstand at 66 E. Randolph St.
Chicago closes certain boulevards to car traffic this Sunday so that you can enjoy the street with your bicycles, strollers, and walking shoes. Look for activity stations with salsa dancing, yoga and basketball, plus a taping of Chicago's dance show Chic-A-Go-Go.
Study up on your two-letter words for Scrabble Night tonight at Andersonville's The Coffee Studio. It's for experts and newbies alike -- there'll be match-ups and prizes for the former, and tips and tricks for the latter. More details in Slowdown.
In an effort to engage CPS students to register to vote when they turn 18, voting began yesterday for a mock districtwide presidential election that is being touted by CEO Arne Duncan as the largest in the country. FYI, early voting for the real election begins October 13.
In an effort to cure the city's budget woes, Mayor Daley says the city may layoff 1,000 workers, possibly resulting in (among other things) reduced garbage collection.
The Third Coast International Audio Festival has just announced the winners of its 8th Annual TCF/ Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Click here to listen to excerpts from the winning audio documentaries.
Well this should make Ben Joravsky happy. Due to lack of support from the governor we all love to hate, Daley and friends have decided to shut down the central loop TIF only a year and a half after its original expiration date. So we can actually see where some of our money is going? Amazing.
Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap in Hyde Park is profiled in the fall travel section of the New York Times.
According to Chicago 2016 Commitee Chairman Patrick Ryan, the main goal of securing the Olympics is to change the city's image. Really? Are we still all Al Capone and Michael Jordan to the rest of the world?
There are few places as isolated as the Altgeld Gardens-Murray Homes CHA development, the Defender reports.
Somehow we ranked third in public-trans/walkability but only 16th in friendliness. See this and dozens of other rankings in Travel + Leisure's city survey.
Chicago native Scott Johnson barbecues for a cause: to fight cancer. He donates his winnings in national competitions to a cancer research foundation. That's nice, but his reasons for getting into barbecuing might tick a few people off: he points to "the lack of quality barbecue cuisine in his native Chicago." Ahem...
Very Small Array has produced maps based on Craigslist Missed Connections, showing the most likely place to "miss" someone in general and by sexual preference as well as age, hair color and other breakdowns.
Once again, Chicago's historic "Maxwell Street" is on the move, this time relocating from Canal Street to Desplaines Street. Even if you don't need tube socks, you should probably go see it. Something says this latest move might be its last.
I love finding blogs about Chicago's less in-the-news neighborhoods: check out beverlymorganpark.net.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation will kick off a new tour soon featuring influential women in Chicago's history. The "Women of Influence Tour" will meet at Graceland Cemetery on select Saturday mornings starting September 6, and for the meager price of $10 (or free, if you're a CAF member) you'll learn about women who fought for civil rights, conducted the Underground Railroad and broke up the plot to kill President Abraham Lincoln...and see some pretty cool tombstones.
The city of Chicago may require a $10 garbage collection fee to close a $420 million budget gap, according to the Sun Times, The Post-Tribune reported earlier this month that council members endorse the pick-up fee.
In this day and age of promoting shelter adoptions of animals, a Tribune article reveals that getting into an Ivy League school is easier than taking that tabby cat you saw at the shelter home with you.
Cyclists, beware! Cops are set to start ticketing for bicycle moving violations like riding on the sidewalk, not wearing a headlamp at night, and riding through red lights and stop signs. And you didn't think those were rules.
Tracing a Cook County politican's family tree is pretty easy: just look at his successor. For the rest of us, there's the Cook County Genology Online, which was unveiled this week. Medill Reports has the story.
For the third year in a row, Hotwire.com declares Chicago the top destination for the Labor Day weekend. And if you do choose Chicago as your vacation destination, a New Zealand travel site tells you the best way to spend 48 hours here.
Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors installed free bicycle headlights tonight to those riding dark on Milwaukee at Damen, thanks to help from the Wicker Park Bucktown SSA. A friendly Chicago bike COP was in attendance. Expect more and more events to promote bicycle safety.
Abby Mandel, founder of the 10 year-old Green City Market and a longtime food columnist for the Tribune, has died.
Chicago Magazine has an excellent article looking back at the 2005 accident/failed suicide attempt that claimed the lives of three local musicians, and its effects today.
To get an idea of what Chicago's upcoming Sunday Parkways is going to be like, look at the "giddy sort of excitement" that New York saw on Saturday. Sure, it won't be quite like the impeccable brick walkway that was Park Avenue before 1922, but it will celebrate our tree-lined Boulevard system. Perhaps Chicago's new Dutch bike shop will open just in time. In the meantime, here's a video with safety tips on bicycling in traffic (ad plays first).
SeeChicago.com just launched with a HD Video library of the city's neighborhoods. It's aimed at Realtors, but we can enjoy it too.
According to their website, Bike The Dog is "Chicago's Premier Gastronomic Cycling Challenge." They're inviting bikers of any skill level to join them on September 13th for an almost-eighteen-mile trek through the north and northwest sides, sampling the wares at nine quintessential Chicago hot dog locations. It's a pledge-based event, with raised funds benefiting the family of Stella Ackerman, a two-and-a-half-year-old living with a rare blood disorder. More info.
When it comes to construction, we're used to seeing Hispanic workers in certain roles. An article in Crain's, however, shows some Latinos in Chicago are cutting through the stereotypes and the community is rallying around young folks who wish to do the same.
The police confirm what we've already figured: murders are up 18 percent over last year.
Apparently the Tribune doesn't think booting folks for two tickets is that bad of a policy. Steve at the Beachwood Reporter has a different opinion and airs some grievances with parking and the El. Then again Da Mare is riding the Beijing subway to figure out how to fix ours. He could've saved himself a ticket and jumped on an ancient Blue Line car; one waft of the smell of piss and burnt wire-sheathing would inspire anybody.
Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Matters series takes a look at our water system, and how it gets from Lake Michigan to our faucet.
With the news of border raids, censorship and pollution dominating the Olympic experience so far, the competing athlete's stories are a little lost in the noise. Chicago has more than a few locals carrying the torch. They include a diver from the family that owns Cubby Bear and the only Mexican national team wrestler with a Polish name. The SunTimes has a round-up.
The New Republic points out a "demographic inversion" trend happening here and in some other cities.
Chicagoans beat out New Yorkers, Londoners and even Parisians in a survey of the urbanites most fond of their city, conducted by Veolia Environment, a French environmental-services company (which happens to have 1,000 employees here).
Tomorrow's Roseland Peace Festival at 115th and Halsted will marry the fun of your typical Chicago neighborhood festival with the very serious message of putting an end to gun violence. The festival, whose theme is "1 Moment Affects 1,000 Lives", will feature a Memory Wall dedicated to the victims of gun violence. More details in Slowdown.
Since the cast and crew of The Dark Knight didn't leave any of their cool equipment lying around after they filmed here, the Tribune tells you how to become a real life Batman. And looking at the total cost, no wonder Bruce Wayne was a millionaire playboy.
The city has 104 red light cameras. They plan on installing 25 more. They expect to collect more than $50 million in fines because of them. If gas prices weren't enough to make you ditch the car, this might do it.
Suddenly, “walkability” is all the rage. Nobody wants to drive their car. Everyone’s looking for alternatives to their God-given, U. S. of A. right. What, did we lose a war? Oh, right …
An online brouhaha is brewing in Hyde Park, where Hyde Park Progress takes aim at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club's focus, while the Hyde Park Urbanist questions the Hyde Park Progress' sources. Did we mention the words "Hyde Park" enough in this blurb?
Chicago Carless goes REALLY carless this time, detailing his extensive walking jaunts around the city. Made us tired just reading about it.
In the face of rising gun violence in the city, Raymond Figueroa, former alderman and judge and the owner of a Humboldt Park liquor store, is taking a stand.
The Washington Post gushes about our miles of beaches and advises tourists to start taking more advantage of them. Gee, thanks Washington Post.
Chicago-based Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority started by African-American college women, is turning 100. It's celebrating in D.C. with the "largest banquet style dinner in the history of conventions." Mattel's even commemorating the anniversary of the group with the AKA Centennial Barbie.
The Tribune's "Clout Street" blog is giving updates on Police Superintendent Jody Weis' grilling by the City Council today on the city's expanding crime/gang problem. Weis said he plans on contacting other cities to find out how they've handled it.
In a new study by DePaul's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, Uptown beats out Rogers Park, Hyde Park and the rest for the title of most diverse neighborhood in Chicago. Read the study here [PDF].
What does your neighborhood sound like? Share it with Chicago Public Radio's Soundmarks project.
Yesterday’s City Council meeting yielded a new proposal from Mayor Daley that would add cameras to six street sweeper vehicles. The cameras would snap pics of cars in locations on street sweeping days where those orange no-parking signs are posted, and feed them to the City to issue a $50 ticket. The idea is to reduce calls to police to come and write the ticket.
You can relax now: The list of "America's Best Public Restrooms" is out and, yes, Illinois has two of the top 10 spots, including one in Chicago. You can vote for the No. 1 place for No. 1 (or 2) here.
Maybe you were thinking of snagging that darling condo in Pilsen, but just in case there's extra cash in your pocket... Here's what a cool million dollars will buy you in Chicago.
For years, the southeast corner of State and Hubbard used to smell like banana Laffy Taffy. The smell is gone, sadly, so it didn't make it on this map.
As the Sun-Times asks Chicagoans for their favorite memories from the past, no doubt many would include the one-of-a-kind Maxwell Street. A new DVD looks at the history of the cultural crossroads and includes a 1964 documentary on the street, vintage recordings of some of the blues legends who plied their trade on the street and a 38-page booklet.
Professional curmudgeon and columnist Thomas Roeser absolutely trashes the Taste of Chicago experience as "a sad trampling of civility" and says that it reduces the dining experience to "ashes and banal barbarism." But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Attention all "playas": You may want to think about removing the tint from the front window of your "hooptie" (do they still call it that?). The city is considering raising the fine for having a tinted front car window from $25 to $250. Now as for that booming bass...
Evanston native and actor John Cusak swears he bleeds Cubbie blue...but he's learned to be flexible about liking the White Sox, especially after 2005. But we'll cut him some slack on being a "switch-hitter", especially since he has a connection to the Sox, cinematically speaking.
Keo the ape turns 50 today and the Lincoln Park Zoo is throwing a party for its elder statesman, one of the two oldest male zoo chimps in North America. If you have time, go over to the Regenstein Center for African Apes and show him some monkey love... um, or something like that.
The always-interesting Urban Observer (aka Lee Bey) offers serenely beautiful shots from around the city, as well as a visual tour of the underappreciated John W. Farson House (The Pleasant Home) in Oak Park.
Meet Vincent Falk. C'mon, you know him... the guy with the crazy colored suits? Hangs out in the Loop? Yeah, that guy.
A white couple from Uptown asks whether they'll be out of place or just fine in Bronzeville. The answers are interesting.
If you like to ride bikes and be naked, might we suggest an activity for this Saturday night?
The Chicago version of the activity-planning website Eventful.com kicked off today, which lets users search, set alerts for and buy tickets to thousands of local events, from concerts to street fairs to discussion groups. You can even add your own events to the listings.
An entertaining slice of urban life or a pain in the...eardrums? Either way, the "bucket boys" are a familiar sight in Chicago and North by Northwestern has an article/video on the ubiquitous street performers.
Another Belushi, Jim's son Rob, joins the line of entertainers from that famous Chicago family. But this one is going for the dramatic roles, currently rehearsing for The Lion In Winter in Glencoe's Writer's Theater.
If TIF money doesn't come to the rescue this week, an unfinished CTA station located underneath Block 37 that is designed to connect the Red and Blue train lines (and has already cost $200M to build) will be "mothballed."
After months of discussion, Michael Reese Hospital will likely close this fall, clearing the way for massive Olympic redevelopment plans.
The pipe organ and bells at Rockefeller Chapel in Hyde Park will sound again this weekend after a year-long restoration process. Forty-six of the 72 bells in the carillon had to be shipped to the Netherlands for maintenance, and the pipe organ was completely dismantled, sent to Ohio for repairs, and reassembled in Chicago.
P.J. O'Rourke previews the Field Museum's new Ancient Americas permanent exhibit for The Weekly Standard.
Plenty, apparently, particularly when it comes to redeveloping HP's Harper Court, as Hyde Park Progress points out.
The 3rd Annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival holds court on Daley Plaza (at Washington and Dearborn) all this week from 10am - 3pm daily. The festival will showcase food, merchandise and lunchtime performances from Chicago's 27 sister cities such as Shanghai, Athens and Mexico City, just to name a few.
Undergrads from the University of Chicago have launched the first archeological dig of the site of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, aka the "White City." The students are following in the footsteps of another famous U of C archeologist who's been in the news a lot lately.
Bike to Work Week runs June 7 through 13, with Chicagoland Bicycle Federation's commuter stations serving complementary coffee and snacks starting Monday, June 9. Celebrate a fun, healthy, environmentally conscious, and cost-effective way to commute by bicycling your whole way or combining with CTA, Metra and Pace. Sign your office up for the commuter challenge and compete for prizes. The week wraps up at Mayor Daley's Bike to Work Day Rally on Friday, June 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
While our trader and hedge fund manager readership already knows we're the best city to live in as a trader, now it's official -- again.
The Roman Catholic church may not recognize Santa Muerte, but her presence is growing in Chicago.
Author and radio host Studs Terkel, the quintessential Chicagoan, turns 96 today. WFMT-FM (98.7), which hosted Terkel's interview show from 1952 to 1997, will feature special programming dedicated to the author of Working, The Good War and Division Street all day long.
Received an unexplained overdue parking ticket notice in the mail? Stop scratching your head. This might explain it.
Details are still murky, but the Illinois Restaurant Association and the city are planning a gourmet version of the Taste.
The annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt kicked off over the weekend, sending hundreds of Maroon-ers out to the streets in search of (among other things) a Obama-styled haircut at the senator's very own barber shop and a disgruntled beekeeper. As of Monday afternoon no winners had been named yet. Here's the offical report and blog, though.
Kind of interesting...it appears that the Chicago Public Library is looking for someone to run a coffeeshop at the Harold Washington Branch downtown. Bravo! It can only make a neat place even better. (Now, if they added a wine bar at Sulzer, that wouldn't be a bad idea either.)
The 2008 Children's Humanities Festival has been running all week and ends this weekend. Tonight, see original stop-motion animation (about insects!) combined with the dreamy stylings of singer Mirah and the instrumentals of Spectratone International. Includes a dash of Kafka's Metamorphosis. Appropriate for high-minded hipsters and wonderment-loving children alike. Details in Slowdown.
In positive cycling news, Andersonville's annual Bike Week starts on Monday and runs May 12-18th with discounts at local retailers, bike-related art and photo exhibits, free spinning and pilates classes, and a "historic bike tour". Start planning your bike-friendly good times here.
The cheftestants become chefzillas in the wedding reception edition of this week's Top Chef recap over in Drive Thru.
New City names the 45 Chicago performers who are keeping the city on the front burner of the national music scene.
The Reader has begun to solicit nominations for their annual Best of Chicago issue. The categories range from the standard, like Best Theatre Actor and Best Pizza, to the more original, like Best Dead Architect and Best Building for Wandering Around in Before Security Asks What You're Doing There.
Chicago blues icon Buddy Guy gets the tribute treatment when he's honored during the Great Performers of Illinois Festival July 20 at Millennium Park. Grammy winner Jimmie Vaughn will headline the free (yes, FREE) concert as part of the three-day music festival.
And, more importantly, show up your siblings, by eschewing the half-wilted, unsustainably harvested bunch of red carnations you always get her, in favor of a beautiful card showcasing Chicago’s community gardens. Your $25 donation to NeighborSpace, a nonprofit urban land trust that protects many of Chicago’s urban oases, gets Mom the card and an invitation to a fall tour of city gardens. Slackers, take note: card orders must be received by Tuesday, May 6, at 10 a.m.
Urban planners project that Chicagoland will be home to approximately 2.8 million more people by the year 2040. They'll have live and work somewhere. The agency in charge of deciding how to accommodate this growth wants your input over the next year for the development of their official plan, which will start to be implemented by 2010. 2009 is also the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago.
Two sites have their sights set on Uptown: Uptown Update and the Chicago Uptown Crime Blotter. The former looks at events both positive and negative in the neighborhood (although sadly, it's mostly negative), while the latter acts as a near-realtime tracker of criminal activities, pulled from eye-witness reports and police scanner activity. (Thanks, Amy!)
Chicago is on track to become the first city to have a street sweeper-mounted camera system. As the sweeper moves down the street it will take a take a photo of any illegally-parked vehicle and a second image of the license plate, relaying both automatically to the Department of Revenue. Strictly for traffic flow purposes, you understand.
The New York Times gave props to Chicago in its Green Issue for its Green Alleys ongoing program to resurface the city’s alleyways with environmentally friendly materials such as permeable asphalt and light-reflecting concrete.
Volunteers with the WPB's Community Open Houses asked the people of Wicker Park/Bucktown what they wanted to see in their neighborhood. Their responses were collected in a series of photographs on Flickr: here, here and here. A quick survey indicates a big push for a more bike-friendly area. Oh, and a toy store. Don't feel left out of the process, though, you can submit your thoughts too. [Via]
CDOT is looking at reconfiguring the accident-prone Damen-Elston-Fullerton intersection with a new Damen-Fullerton intersection that Elston would wiggle around.
The Chicago Cultural Center will be showing the premiere of Movin' On Up, a documentary about Chicago native and music icon Curtis Mayfield Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. Never before seen footage, past performances are featured in the film and on Friday, a post-movie Q&A with director David Peck and surviving Impressions members Fred Cash and Sam Gooden follows the screening. The event is free.
Starting Tuesday, the city will be swapping its look-alike orange street cleaning signs for a rainbow of fruit flavors.
Over at Second City Cop, one of Chicago's Finest and some of his fellow officers vent about the proposed changes by new top cop Jody Weis (whom they sort of humorously refer to as "J-Fed"). Let's just say that they're not too happy.
The Trib has a quick primer on the community areas and the neighborhoods within them that highlights some lesser-known locales, such as Jackson Park Highlands and the Villa District.
Want to plan a summer block party? Neighbors Project explains how, with videos of grilling experts, tips from aldermen's offices, and photos and stories from those who've done this before.
We're No. 1... when it comes to putting off doing our federal taxes, according to Turbo Tax. Hey, figuring out how those bribes and kickbacks should be deducted takes time. Done yours yet? Didn't think so...
Former Chicago aldermanic legend Dorothy Tillman resurfaced over the weekend at a speaking engagement in Gary, Ind. to promote her new book, Hang Onto Your Hats: A Pictorial Journey of Dorothy Wright Tillman. Yes, she was wearing a hat.
Chicago's Pillow Fight Club celebrated International Pillow Fight Day today with a mass flying-featherfest in front of the Art Institute of Chicago on S. Michigan. If you didn't catch it, here are some photos. (Nice to see white stuff that isn't sleet or snow falling from the sky, isn't it?)
Despite the recent snizzle storms, spring is here, and it's time to plant stuff. Even if you lack a lawn, you can still get into the gardening spirit by "seed bombing" your nearest vacant lot. This video, shot in Pilsen by locals Fresh Cut Media, provides a concise how-to and tips on the latest trend in guerrilla gardening. Seed bombs away ...
The Field Museum's new exhibit "Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids" proposes zoological origins of the world's storied beasties. Cyclops? Just a pygmy elephant. More debunking in the Trib.
Architectural Artifacts and Urban Remains are selling salvaged pieces of art and equipment from the recently demolished Westinghouse Career Academy and the former Cook County Hospital. Dump Site ponders the ethics of selling salvaged items, but we can all breathe easily: at least these items weren't given the Lee Plaza Treatment.
If you couldn't make it to the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown today, here's some pics.
Speak up to improve access to transit, shopping and jobs. An initiative of the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development asks Clybourn Corridor residents for their thoughts in a March 26 meeting or an online questionnaire.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is celebrating 100 years of bringing botanical loveliness to Chicago with a yearlong series of special exhibits and events, many of which are free to the public. Check out the Conservatory website for more details.
The first annual Big Lebowski Festival took place this past weekend, with a screening of the 1998 film at the Portage Theater followed by (naturally) bowling at the Waveland Bowl. According to reports, people traveled from as far away as Texas to mingle with fellow fans.
In today's Tribune, local celebrities reveal their secret Chicago-related indulgences, including watching sea lions and eating soup. Scandalous!
Announcing CitizenPowered, a City-sponsored site designed to bring Chicagoans together for collaboration with each other and community organizations. Find a job, help a nonprofit or connect with your neighbors.
A few weeks ago I had dinner with an insufferable visitor from New York who complained for five LONG minutes about how she couldn't buy a CTA card with her credit card. Well, someone from the CTA must have been seated at the next table and overheard her yapping: CTA announced today that they have installed "Express Pay" transit fare machines that accept major credit cards at several stations for a trial thirty-day period; if the program goes well, they'll install more machines at 55 stations all over the city.
Dump Site covers the demolition of Cook County Hospital's former children's wing in three poignant, sad pictures.
Dwell Magazine takes a walking tour of Ukrainian Village, hitting a range of the expected and the lesser known in art and commerce.
The Methods Reporter takes a look at how far Argyle Street has come in recent years -- and how far it has to go.
Six local designers have been selected to hawk their fashions in the Chicago Fashion Incubator at the State Street Macy's store starting March 11. According to the application for the year-long Incubator program, the chosen designers will pay Macy's $200 per month for office space and showroom rental, and in return attend lectures and get mentored by Macy's "merchant team." What a deal?
American Girl Place will be canceling its run of the The American Girls Revue theater show as of September 1, citing a need to find "new entertaining experiences for our guests." As if creepy, overpriced plastic dolls and their endless accessories weren't entertaining enough.
Noted in this interview with EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty, Chicago has a business license designation of "Wrigley Field," which applies to the rooftop decks on Waveland and Sheffield.
As you're opening valentines and being all lovey-dovey today (and possibly tonight), take a moment to reflect on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which took place 79 years ago today. If you're looking for something non-VD (but still poignant) to do tonight, Chicago Hauntings will be offering a tour of the site of the famous massacre (which is now a parking lot, but whatevs).
There are still people desperate to make a bundle in the now-busted housing development boom. So desperate that they harass senior citizens to get them to sell their homes, the Chicago Reporter finds, leading to an exodus of older residents out of the city.
Wondering what Saturday's Lunar New Year Parade on Argyle St. looked like? Well, wonder no longer -- here's some photos of the festivities, taken by this GB contributrix.
As the plethora of rim-busting, tire-flattening potholes grows around the city (and we wait for them to be repaired), you can optimistically report the ones you come across by alerting the Department of Transportation at the City of Chicago website. There's one form for streets and another for alleys.
A quick reminder that Chicago's lucky enough to have more than one bustling Asian community all geared up for celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rat this weekend. On Saturday, head up to Argyle Street in Uptown for a parade and specials from area merchants including Thai and Vietnamese restaurants (read about some delicious Lunar New Year treats at Epicurious). On Sunday, head down to Chicago's Chinatown for a parade and even more festivities. Details in Slowdown.
826CHI's Moustache-a-Thon is approaching, so now you have an excuse to stop shaving in the name of philanthropy. The event benefits 826CHI's creative writing programs for city children. Registration for the event ends February 18, the opening ceremony is February 20th @ 826CHI, and "tracking parties" will be held February 27 and March 5, 12, and 19 to chart your lip hair evolution. Email 826CHI for info and to register.
Despite the blinding snowstorms and below zero temperatures of late, the famed Hyde Park parakeets are hanging tough after more than 30 years in the area. However, a University of Chicago professor who is delivering a lecture on the birds on February 20 says this winter was expecially rough and may thin out their ranks a bit.
Even though I write this from an igloo, note that registration is now open for the May 25 Bank of America Bike the Drive, the ultimate car-free bicycling event (everyone should do this at least once in their Chicago lives). You can save $5 if you register before midnight on February 10.
The Montrose Ave. sinkhole now has its own MySpace page, where it promotes its own beauty and compares itself to the Grand Canyon. If you're looking for a way to throw some love its way, you're invited to join the rally outside the Montrose L station on Tuesday afternoon, to protest the city's ruthless plan to fill it it back up.
"Rock over Chicago," as Wesley Willis used to sing. How about "winter dome over Chicago?" (Don't laugh -- Moscow's getting one.) Andrew Mason of local start-up The Point -- which applies the principles of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point to enable people to organize fund-raisers, boycotts and other campaigns for change -- estimates the collapsible weather shield would cost "$10 billion." Campaign contributors won't pay a dime until the project reaches its funding goal.
The Illinois Department of Tourism recently teamed up with the Open Doors Organization to develop the "Easy Access Guide to Chicago. Developed by locals for disabled tourists visiting our fair city, it's bound to be a boon to disabled Chicagoans as well.
Controversial psychology professor Richard Shweder likes to pose tough cultural and ethical questions as part of his effort to reshape the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism. See if you can figure out the answers when he speaks tonight, 6:30 p.m., at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of their "Starting From Scratch" lecture series.
Sun-Times Media Group announced plans this week to shutter three of its neighborhood newspapers at the end of the month. Now it looks like Oak Park-based Wednesday Journal is swooping in to save the Skyline, Lakeview Booster, and News-Star from imminent death.
For those of you that don't like to stand out in the cold, much less run through it naked (read: are normal), you can experience the grand finale of UChicago's annual winter celebration Kuviasungnerk through photos, and video. Neither one of which is remotely safe for work.
This week's Drive-Thru feature opens the culinary time capsule that is the Chicago Daily News cookbook for your reading pleasure. Published in 1930, the book offers many surprising (as in surprisingly edible) recipes and other advice. And finally, a good recipe for Mock Possum for those times that you don't have a real possum to cook.
Today's Trib has a great story about a Logan Square couple that have collection of photos of dead folk. Anthony and Andrea Vizzari's Museum of Mourning Photography & Memorial Practice is made up of more than 1,000 photos and occupies part of the Vizzaris' Logan Square apartment.
We gave you fair warning earlier this week about No Pants Day, the nationwide event where transit riders would drop their drawers for the sake of, well, being pantsless on a train. The Sun Times reported on yesterday's event, which took place on the Red Line. There's also some nice photos on the Chicago chapter's Facebook page.
The Shedd Aquarium begins "discount week" -- today through Jan. 18. General admission is free, and special exhibits like Wild Reef and the Oceanarium can be added to your ticket for a small upgrade fee. I'm totally going to see some swimmy things.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners is proposing a $4/month, $48/year tax on all phones — land, cell, cable and otherwise. The tax would also increase with inflation — at five years, your total amount paid would be over $250 a phone. Read more at NoPhoneTax.org. Update: Outside the Loop Radio will discuss the likelihood of the tax's success along with other taxes proposed at the end of 2007 on Friday's show. Look for Episode 68 on the main page around noon or listen to WLUW at 6pm.
Author and GB contributor Ted McClelland makes a case in Salon for why folks in the Sun Belt should move up to Chicago and other Great Lakes cities.
If you're familiar with the New York-based group Improv Everywhere, you know about their annual No Pants event, where dozens of straight-faced folks ride without their trousers on the subway for the amusement of bystanders. IE is taking the event nationwide this year, so if you're interested in knowing what the creepy fabric on CTA seats feels like on your bare, defenseless skin, join your comrades this Saturday afternoon at the Loyola Red Line (more details TBA).
Here's a potential lead: According to Crain's 2008 Book of Lists, Chicagoans of "mixed race" use their cell phones more than any other demographic group (putting in 1,469 minutes per month), followed by blacks (1,365), Asian/Pacific Islanders (1,171) and whites (638). Local Native Americans use their cell phones least, at 243 minutes (oh, and thank Telephia for the stats). Anyone have any theories? Well, come back with some research results for us in 2010 or thereabouts, m'kay?
Chicago's thin blue line wants shoppers and public transportation users to keep an eye out for photographers, map users, note-takers, traffic light timers, and scenario players. Happy holidays! [
Joseph Zeman, the Pigeon Man of Lincoln Square, was struck and killed by a van yesterday afternoon. Zeman's daily routine of sitting on a hydrant at the corner of Lawrence and Western, covered head to toe in pigeons, earned him a 2004 profile in the Trib. A laminated copy of the article was found with him when he died.
A sigh of relief for those irritating people concerned that too much of Chicago real estate consists of demolishing old buildings in order to replace them with state-of-the-art monstrosities: according to a New York Times article, New York is now the "Teardown Capital" of the US, bumping Chicago to the #2 spot. Huzzah!
What the heck, add one more gift to your list and donate it to the American Indian Center of Chicago for their annual Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 15. Donations of new or gently used toys and other items for children and families will be accepted at their headquarters in Uptown today and tomorrow.
The St. Lucia Festival of Lights procession will highlight the "Late-er Night Andersonville" celebration Thursday, Dec. 13, beginning at 3pm. In addition to the carole-filled walk down the Clark Street, there will be live music, tours and gift-wrapping demonstrations. There's also PDF schedule and a coupon you can print and clip for store discounts.
The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation has released their CTA Doomsday Survival Guide. They list bicycle routes for five of the bus routes that CTA says will be eliminated January 20. The guide includes instructions for using bicycle racks on buses and reminds us that bicycles are permitted on all CTA trains during non-peak hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
That's right, Road House fans. The Patrick Swayze is in town filming an A&E show, "The Beast." We spoke with a crewman at the Wicker Park unit who showed us the shooting schedule, so if you want to spot yourself some Swayze, head to Emmit's this eve. He'll be in the area.
If you don't know what's going on with the Department of Water Management, it's not their fault. They're one department that puts the notoriously dysfunctional City website to good use, filling us in on major projects, water quality reports, and a description of the flora and fauna of the Chicago River.
Rearview contributor and excellent photographer Carey Primeau launches a new photography site and portfolio. While I've seen my fair share of deserted and abandoned photography sites, Primeau really does elevate these photos to stunning. One of the more stellar sets has to be his Uptown Theater set, a building that has intrigued me for years. So good.
Looking for something to do tonight? Put your hands and mind to good use and brainstorm how to revitalize the community bulletin board space under the California El stop. The Neighbors Project is holding a launch meeting tonight from 6:30 to 8 at Lyndale and Sacramento. RSVP volunteer [at] neighborsproject [dot] org for the exact address.
One year ago Irishman Paddy Homan moved to Chicago permanently citing the beautiful lake front and according to him, the best Irish music scene in the country. Every day he uses tales and music of his native land to bring much needed joy to the hearts of his elderly clients.
Says Kit Hodges of the Neighborhood Project, "We got a little tired of the usual shouting from all sides, so we put together some rules of engagement whenever this subject comes up -- which seems to be all the time in Chicago."
I admit to having a huge soft spot in my heart for groups and organizations that work to empower groups that are traditionally underrepresented in positions of power. Since Chicago has the third largest Latino population in the country, you'd think we'd have more Latinos in positions of power. To help make that happen, the Metropolitan Leadership Institute was created to provide the skills necessary for taking charge of the business, political, or entrepreneurial worlds. Any group that can get a closed door, anything goes session with Mayor Daley is all right in my book.
Jen Rude, a lesbian who refuses to take a vow of celibacy, has been ordained by a Lutheran church in Chicago. It comes about as a test of a new resolution that gives bishops room to discipline or not, such actions. Wayne Miller, Chicago's bishop, said, "My goal is to keep people in the conversation, and I do not see this as an issue that should be dividing the church."
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park opens its 2007-2008 season today. Hours are 10:00am to 10:00pm daily, weather permitting. A park employee informed me that there are already people out on the ice, so dig out your skates and practice your moves.
Just the freedom was better than breathing they said / Any escape route they used to escape out / When things got crazy / They needed to break out.
In a move typical of urban landlord schools, the University of Chicago is dangling an organic carrot in front of the venerated Hyde Park Co-op, promising to forgive their back rent if they'll close down and make way for a chain. The co-op has been beset by organizational and management problems for several years. The move would certainly spell the death of the 75-year-old grocer, long viewed as a model cooperative enterprise.
Not quite the expose on Santiago Calatrava (also known for his work on the Milwaukee Art Museum), but Creative Review, a design magazine based in the UK, showcases the design work of Third Eye Design who did the collateral for The Chicago Spire. Even if you don't like the Spire itself, the accompanying literature praises our fair city.
The citywide Festival of Maps kicks off today with exhibits at the Field and other museums, and continues through early 2008. More than 30 Chicago-area institutions are participating, with exhibits, lectures, films, and other cartography-related events. Some of these are highlighted in Slowdown; for a complete schedule, click here.
The now annual Sadie Hawkins' Day Race & Style Ride is back again, November 10th. What is it? "Sadie Hawkins Day Race/Style Ride is an on-street, in-traffic, point-to-point bike adventure for couples or pairs... There are prizes for the fastest couple, fastest tandem team, fastest out of towners, best dressed, and more." Last year's inaugural event drew people from out of town, generated a ton of missed connections and suffice to say, there were a few couples that are still together to this day.
One of my favorite designer-artists out there, Cody Hudson, is having a solo exhibition at the MCA. Hudson brings a mix of street art, urban graphics and blends it with his own personal inspirations to create his work. The exhibition, which is titled that long title up above, begins tomorrow (Nov 3rd) and runs through December 2nd with Hudson presenting an Artist Talk on November 20th which will have him leading a tour of his exhibition.
If you didn't make it to the 11th Annual North Halsted Street Halloween Parade and are wondering about what you missed, check out some photos. Better yet, all you parade-goers out there can join Gapers Block's flickr group and post your own pics for us to see. Surprisingly, this Gaper did not see a single, in-the-flesh faux Amy Winehouse all Halloween -- not even at the heavily populated parade. Did you? UPDATE: Here's one -- thanks, Ron!
Nau, the outdoor atelier whose clothes are eco-friendly is hosting a Film & Fashion Night in the South Loop on Tuesday, November 7th from 8pm to midnight. There's going to be BMX Ballet, food and drink (first drink free or so we hear) and other festivities. Learn about sustainable economy! It's free if you download, print and bring this ticket. More details in Slowdown.
Chicago's been at or near the top of Men's Fitness magazine's fattest-cities list for several years running, but just because we're overweight doesn't necessarily mean that we're shiftless. Forbes magazine's newly released list of America's laziest cities does not include our fair city among its top 20. According to Forbes, citizens of Memphis and New Orleans watch the most TV and move the least.
It's time to rethink what constitutes the Chicagoland area, says Kiljoong Kim in the Beachwood Reporter.
Fashion Focus Chicago kicks off today and features a slew of events, including runway shows, shopping tours, free business development seminars for local designers, and fashion-oriented exhibits throughout the week. Click here for a complete schedule.
Details would like you to know that it's no longer cool to live in the city and you should all move to the suburbs. Preferably Naperville. Blogger Mike Marusin was interviewed for the story.
If you find yourself at California and 21st, look around! You're right near Little Village's own Museum of Objects Left on the Sidewalk. It's a mini museum from artist Rebecca Wolfram. Some objects left at her outdoor museum include a dead frog, shoes, coat hanger sculptures and lots of other odds and ends. Says columnist Tom McNamee, "If Wolfram tried this in, say, Kenilworth, they'd call the police on her -- and you people in Kenilworth know that's true."
Today's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will be a memorable one, as the unusually warm forecast is causing alternative preparations to be made by race officials to ensure the safety of the record 45,000 runners. Also, a number of CTA bus lines will be temporarily closed throughout the morning to accommodate the race route. Trains will be operating as usual. UPDATE: Despite precautions, one man died and 302 others were hospitalized as a result of participating in today's race.
As part of Chicago Artist's Month, local artist Hugh Musick is arrange a unique percussive performance. Head to the Clark Street Bridge tomorrow, anytime between noon and 1:00, and watch 60 drummers use hammers and mallets to bang out an Eric Roth score on the bridge itself.
Chicago: Science in the City kicked off yesterday in Daley Plaza with the unveiling of a list of the city's top-10 scientific achievements. For the next two weeks, organizations throughout the city follow up with a host of science fairs, career events, lectures and workshops, lab tours, and other activities. Click here for a complete schedule.
Did you know there's a trailer park in Chicago? Way down in Hegewisch on the East Side lies Harbour Point Estates, which also boasts some of the best fishing in the city. It's in danger of becoming a new development of single family homes and shopping.
The awesome do-gooders at The Neighbors Project are working hard to decorate the blank, blah walls around our city. But they're looking for the help of artsy types in Chicago for their New Life for Dead Spaces project. If you're interested, email at volunteer [at] neighborsproject.org.
Chicago Carless was granted "unfettered access to interview the administrative staff of the Chicago Children's Musuem" and came away with a fresh take on the controversy and a new pitch for the museum.
GB alumni and fellow teammate Luke Seemann recounts a hit-and-run during the team's weekly Saturday morning ride up to Highland Park and back on his excellent Chicago Bike Racing. Clearly an attack on the riders who were paying attention to the rules of the road, the culprit turned himself in and is now facing felony charges in court. Luke has further details on Thomas Lynch.
In the battle over the possible relocation of the Children's Museum to Grant Park rages on, there's a factor that's gone unmentioned: the money. The museum stands to receive more than $1 million in subsidies if it's on park grounds, reports Crain's.
The Navy Pier ferris wheel people are expecting their 10 millionth rider in the next couple weeks and are celebrating by offering this 2 for 1 coupon [pdf]. (Good only till 30 September.) If you have family coming to visit, or friends with kids, it's a nice opportunity to get a terrific (if brief) view at a more reasonable price.
Tickets don't go on sale till the 24th (unless you're a member, in which case they've already been on sale for a few days) but you can get a head start by browsing the program (pdf) for the Chicago Humanities Festival (this year's theme: Climate of Concern) now.
A yearlong exploration of 19th and 20th century American art, music, and literature, American Perspectives is a collaboration between AIC, the Poetry Foundation, and the CSO that includes exhibits, concerts, lectures, courses, films, and more, all focusing on how different genres influence each other. Tomorrow AIC kicks things off with live music, readings, talks, and gallery tours. For more information, click here.
Neo-Futurist Rachel Claff presents a state, a podcast audio tour of State Street that directs the listener to the sites of brass sidewalk plaques put down by the city in 1996.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Macy's takeover of Marshall Field's, join the folks with Fields Fans Chicago, who will be protesting under the famous clock at the State and Washington store location today from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
The Sun Times posted a feature about the variety of restaurants, clubs and other points of interest underneath our fair city. You may also want to check out Alice Maggio's two-part feature on the Pedway.
If you've ever been down Ravenswood near Wilson, you might have seen the rather large stickered and logoed truck with bright red, yellow and black graphics that say, "On the Fly." The Chicago Traveler has the scoop: On the Fly is a mobile bike mechanic shop. Joe Ebervein and Rich Kwaitkowski will go where you are to get you on the road again.
Looks like city-wide WiFi isn't a go anymore. Contractors don't want to foot the bill for antennae construction, attachment to city street lights and lamp poles, maintenance, and operation, and the city doesn't want to pay any fees. Considering the city's surveillance-happy tendencies, maybe it's not such a bad thing.
YoChicago magazine lays out what we've all suspected for years: Lakeview is losing its unique and quirky businesses thanks to the wave of condo development that has brought chains in to fill first-floor spaces.
The Dark Knight which has been filming in Chicago on and off for the past few months is doing something big. The Brachs Candy factory will be imploded on
August the 29th August the 30th between 10:30am and noon. The implosion will be later added digitally into the film for a building explosion. Details here. Update: Note the date and time change. New details here.
Crain's reports that retail doesn't always follow rapid development of new neighborhoods. Some spirited discussion of the article at YoChicago.
Upright Citizens Brigade, the comedy improv troupe with roots in Chicago, will be coming back home for "UCB Presents," a weekly performance at the Lakeshore Theater. Teams from the Los Angeles and New York UCB theaters will perform each Tuesday, kicking off with ASSSSCAT, UCB's signature show, on September 11. Also in the works is an UCB improv training program (because Chicago doesn't have enough of them).
In 2 weeks on the 18th and 19th, the Chicago/Calumet Underground Railroad Effort will present the 2nd annual True North Underground Railroad Festival (see slowdown). The festivities occur at Carver Park (900 block of 134th Street at Ellis) and volunteers are still needed. If you are interested contact Naomi Davis at 773.569.4464 or email email@example.com
As reader Pat says, "if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
What do they have in common? They're all in Chicago Magazine's 2007 Best Of issue.
Alex Kotlowitz penned a very troubling article in today's New York Times Magazine that documents the growing tensions between suburban Carpentersville's "native" folks and its growing Hispanic immigrant community, which accounts for an estimated 40% of its population. Kotlowitz follows the successful efforts of two city Board of Trustees (who dub themselves "The All-American Team") to make English the official language of the city, which unravels a whole mess of legal and cultural problems along the way.
Time for a look at some inscrutably long hyperlinks from cityofchicago.org: circa 4 dozen free mp3s of the 2007 SummerDance Bands, this year's annual flying & floating military device festival will feature F-22 Raptors, and 12 newly-rehabbed low-income senior residences are ready for move-ins. Oh, and they also have your car.
Seems a Chicago cop followed his nose right to a huge marijuana lab on Cicero and Armitage. Chi-Town Daily News gets the choice quotes, though: apparently there was a "foul, funky odor" and "a passerby told them the odor had been a problem for some time". One wonders how many times they just happened to be passing by. Second City Cop speculates that it's part of a trend.
Anna Fong, a local clothing designer and designer of a dress that Nadine Velazquez wore to the 2007 Alma Awards, has made it to the top 10 for the AOL Latina Fashionista award. The winner will get to design a dress to be worn by a celebrity on the red carpet and voting ends on July 31. A vote for Anna is a vote for Chicago in this international competition. You can see pictures of her fashion show on MySpace. And you'll be able to buy her belts at Macy's this fall.
Rogers Parkers will be excited to read this profile of father-and-son developers Andy and Devin McGhee and their plans for a Morse Ave. jazz club and restaurant. Read on to learn more about the $3 million green renovation project, and the McGhees' plans to preserve the area's historic legacy.
Starting on Sunday, the Stockyard Institute, AREA Chicago and other organizations will initiate "Pedagogical Factory: Exploring Strategies for an Educated City" at the Hyde Park Art Center. Throughout its run, topics will include "How We Peoples Make a People's Atlas of Chicago," "How We Grow: Self-Education and Urban Farming Gathering" and "How We Brew/Bake/Mead Etc Cottage Expo."
The September 28 celebration of the 10th anniversary of Chicago's Critical Mass ride may also be the marking of its end, as reported in the Sun Times. The large draw of participants dedicated to showing the benefits of cycling is apparently causing more problems than displaying productive transit solutions; apparently no one likes a group of loud, drunk folks on bikes (but if you've seen a Critical Mass ride, you know that hardly describes the majority of riders). Before you start crying in despair, note that no formal plans have been made to shut down the ride, which is scheduled for the last Friday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in Daley Plaza.
Chicago Daily News tells the story of Dead Man's Tree, and finds Taylor Street is largely free of mob influence.
Hollywood returns to the second city with Angelina Jolie (who?) and hometown boy Common filming in Chicago the first week of August. Get the details and other tidbits on happenings around town next month in Chicago Mag's "Blip".
Meet folkstreams.net, a project to preserve documentaries about American roots cultures. There is, of course, a Midwestern section, and at least two Chicago-related films "The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago" and "Grace Earl."
The 2007/2008 Chicago Vehicle Stickers and Residential Permit Parking passes expired on June 30th, but the City grants a 15-day grace period so that your old stickers are valid through July 15. New stickers are valid from June 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.
The Mexican Fiestas Patrias (National Holidays) committee has been denied a permit to organize the Proclamation of Independence celebration in Millennium Park. The city says it's because a Celtic celebration is scheduled, the director of the committee has a different theory. La Raza online has the story in English which includes a history of dispute between the two organizations vying to be the primary coordinator of Mexican American festivities in Chicago.
The Sun-Times has a story about the people featured in the videos at the Crown Fountain. Many have yet to see themselves spew their gargoyle water. Bonus: detailed PDF breaking down the fountain's architecture and innards, but no explanation of the cryptic fan fail error often seen on some of the glass blocks.
I love seeing the rain cloud graf when I'm out and about, but the comish of streets and san doesn't share the sentiment: "drives me nuts...he takes all my light poles and does clouds with raindrops." The quote is from a Trib article detailing Daley's idea to make parent's pay if their kids are caught writing.
Who doesn't like a random museum? The Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum features history on, well, bridges and the Chicago River. Housed where bridgetenders used to live, the museum is located at Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive. It costs just $3 and is open Thursday-Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The 11th Annual Chicago SummerDance season starts tonight with an hour of dance lessons in Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden, followed by a couple of hours of dancing . If you can't make it tonight, you can also check it out Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. And if you can't make it this week, no worries: Chicago SummerDance runs till 26 August. Click here (PDF) for a complete schedule.
You should really check out Mess Hall, the Rogers Park-based "experimental culture center." This storefront at Morse and Glenwood is a gathering spot for random events and happenings from swaps to talks to screenings and never, ever charges admission or fees.To learn more, check out the Mess Hall manifesto.
This summer, the Art Institute of Chicago joins the Museum of Contemporary Art in offering live jazz al fresco on free evenings (Thursdays and Fridays, from 5 PM). MCA continues to serve live music on its terrace Tuesdays at 5:30 PM.
Feeling sad? Feeling blah? Then you really, really, really need to hop on the Water Taxi. It's free until June 17th and leaves every 15 or so minutes during the day. Take it from Wrigley to Ogilvy. Take a camera. Take a pause. After the 17th, it's just $2 each way. Also, look into Wendella Boats' Waves and Wine tours.
If you're interested in seeing the new Niki St. Phalle exhibit in Garfield Park (more than 30 playful sculptures by the noted artist are placed amidst gardens inside and outside the Conservatory building) but the thought of long waits for the west-bound Green Line discourage you, click here for details about new express trains running between Randolph and Wabash and Garfield Park Conservatory Saturdays and Sundays.
Chicago Magazine has a nice feature dispelling a myth that has penetrated deep into our fair city. When it comes to city park space, we have the least of the "big nine", and third lowest of all 56 major cities.
Evanstonian Syd Lieberman, who's been telling stories professionally for over 25 years, has a podcast. He's taken all his recordings -- fourteen CDs' worth of stories, mostly of his own creation, mostly about his and his family's life -- and is releasing them progressively, for free, over the summer. Two live albums are already online; the currently featured track is an amazing hour-long story he did for NASA about their recent rover mission to Mars.
Word from Kartemquin Films regarding their in progress film: "Kartemquin is currently working on Typeface, a documentary about cultural preservation, rural renewal and graphic design history in the Midwest.To support these efforts, we're holding a benefit on June 15th at the Center for Book and Paper Arts here in Chicago. Toad Hollow Vineyards is providing the bubbly, MJ Catering is bringing the sweets and a number of local artists (including Jay Ryan and Dennis Ichiyama) are donating original works for the silent auction." While the much lauded Helvetica opens the same night at the Siskel, it is a weeklong engagement. So, why not support the locals? Looks good to me.
Here's a cautionary tale for those who are now re-designing the city's Olympic logo: London Olympic logo triggers debate. Some choice quotes (familiar to pretty much any experienced graphic designer): "Hideous," "I could do better with my eyes closed," "makes me embarrassed to be English," and the old stand-by: "it could have been done by a six year old."
Calling all family albums! The Tribune is seeking your bad vacation photos.
While the brand-spankin'-new Center on Halsted doesn't officially open until June 5, you can go ahead and mark your calendars with some of the events the Center is holding during Pride month, from Metropolitan Church services, GLBT career expo, and Youth Horizons Prom. Plus, take building tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and check out the rooftop garden and renewable energy features.
If you are new to Chicago, need to broaden your knowledge, or want to show friends or family around, hook up with a volunteer City of Chicago Greeter. This free service works with locals in the know to show folks around. Right now, you can choose from 'hoods on the North Side, but also Pullman, Little Italy, Hyde Park and more. You can also volunteer to be a greeter.
Crain's reports on a vanishing feature of Chicago: sidewalk newsstands.
For North Siders scared to venture south of Congress Parkway, maybe Michelle Obama's tour of Hyde Park will inspire you. Mrs. O talks about where her fam likes to sup, the location of her first kiss with Barack, and more. There's even a handy PDF and companion guide.
Ross Wolinsky interviews Ray St. Ray, the Singing Cab Driver, over at Jargon Chicago.
Coincidentally, St. Ray was interviewed in the Columbia Chronicle not three weeks a year ago. (thanks for pointing out the inaccurate dateline, Mark!)
Hey, kids! The annual International Mr. Leather competition returns to Chicago for its 29th year May 24-28. The fleshy festivities include The Leather Market at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe (open to the public), the International Mr. Bootblack Contest (they like it very much!) and the Black and Blue Ball to wrap things up on Monday. "Queer as Folk" star/comedian Hal Sparks is the headline entertainer. So lace up those boots and show 'em what you got!
An eccentric gentleman was just now Elmer's gluing these "great beautiful" posters en masse to the lightpoles of the Loop. Take a stroll down Jackson and you'll be hard pressed not to see a few of them.
Time Out Chicago's cover feature this week is a "Loop Survival Guide," and it's pretty good. The guides to dive bars and greasy spoons are of particular interest; the pedway piece isn't nearly as comprehensive as ours.
Estrogen Fest 2007: Back on the Fringe starts its 10-day lady-made extravaganza of performance/dance/theater/music/vaudeville/etc. Wednesday night at Prop Thtr., 3502 N. Elston. Watch people do stuff in the performances and panels, learn to do stuff in the workshops, and buy stuff at the craft fair (curated by DIY Trunk Show and featuring GB staffer Cinnamon Cooper). The All Est Fest Pass is $50, but you can see individual events for various prices.
Did you rock Looptopia? If so, you were one of 200,000 attendees -- more than twice the expected turnout -- at last weekend's all-night arts and culture festival. What's even more awesome is that the entire event only cost $1 million to put on and local restaurants, theatres and hotels reported big increases in business. Also: Looptopia Missed Connections
Forget the oh-so-90s blue bag-- blue carts are all the rage now. That is, if you're one of the "pilot wards" for the new program to sort recyclables into blue-colored garbage carts. The city's goal is to cover seven wards (19, 5, 8, 1, 37, 46, and 47) by August 2007. Live there? Be a Recycling Block Club Captain!
Sometimes the absurdist plays write themselves. From Thursday's Michael Sneed's column: "Trash talk show host Jerry Springer sprang from the dinner table to his feet when he saw the Rev. Pat Robertson, decked out in a green velour track suit with bodyguard in tow, exiting trendy RL eatery Tuesday."
Dognapping is on the upswing, particularly among the small, yappy cur set. Louis Auslander of the International Kennel Club of Chicago, among other dog fanciers, was interviewed in a recent Trib article, with warnings for owners of palm-sized pooches. Beware the man who wears a twitching and excitably yipping trenchcoat.
CNN and Travel + Leisure have teamed up to oh-so-scientifically poll Internet users about their favorite cities. Chicago is, of course, one of the "hottest cities" and is therefore included. Filling out the survey makes you eligible to win a vacation to America's favorite city in 2007! Just kidding; you win a trip to Australia.
Apparently Chicago ranks dead last the Humane Index. The report characterizes the Windy City as America 's "most humanely challenged" urban center.
The lineup for the Taste of Chicago musical performances has been announced. We'll all see each other at the Kenny Rogers show, I'm sure.
If you're a fan of Chicago architecture, you should definitely check out Great Chicago Places and Spaces 2007. Advance sign-up for more than 200 tours is only available online and starts today at noon.
Proving the steel-like endurance and cultural power of teen movies, the 20th anniversary re-release of Dirty Dancing will be shown tonight (and tomorrow) at 7:30pm at the AMC River East 21 (at 322 East Illinois). In addition to the visual treat of mid-career Swayze, you'll also get to see a documentary about the making of the movie, complete with cast interviews. Click here for tickets.
With all of the hubbub about the Olympics, there's an argument that sports shouldn't get all of the attention. In a city currently alive with Version>07, and soon to have Artropolis going too, art should also be at the forefront. Tribune art critics provide a few conceptions of how art could work with the Olympics.
The $21 billion sale of LaSalle Bank to Bank of America is a relatively small part of one of the largest financial mergers ever by LaSalle's soon-to-be-former parent company. Global implications, yadda yadda. I'm more concerned with speculating how the deal will affect our civic life: will BoA close some superfluous branches, thereby freeing up some storefronts for businesses that are actually useful and enjoyable? Seriously, Chicago is drowning in bank branches. And what's the fate of the LaSalle Bank Cinema, or the only-christened-last-May LaSalle Bank Theatre? "Bank of America Theatre"? Gross.
The AP's reporting that the Skyway was in danger of "turning into a gigantic, Windy City-style, deep-dish pizza" yesterday. You may want to watch out for other structure-to-food transformations throughout the day.
If you've traveled around the world "crossing every meridian of longitude in the same direction" and are interested in meeting others like you, you're in luck. Chicago has its own chapter of the Circumnavigators Club. Oh, and your travel doesn't have to be in the same trip.
Someone at the City of Chicago decided one day to celebrate the earth is not enough, so Chicago's first Earth Month begins today and runs through 20 May, to "raise awareness of the simple things all of us can do to improve the environment." Key events include the Green Business Conference, the Green Festival, and a host of recycling drives. Some events are listed in Slowdown; click here for a complete calendar.
Every once in awhile, the Tribune publishes something that forcefully reminds me why I still subscribe. If you read nothing else this week, read "I hear Chicago speak," written by local artist Tony Fitzpatrick, which appeared in yesterday's paper.
Fred Kent, president of the Project for Public Spaces, visited Chicago last month, met with city officials and gave an interesting presentation on the subject of "placemaking" in cities. The presentation, called Streets as Places, and following panel discussion are being aired intermittently on CANTV. The slides themselves are available online, as is a brief video detailing his visit.
This is a real-life flesh n' blood forum discussion about the proposed Sunday Parkways — a community effort to give communities safe spaces to interact with neighbors. Inspired by Columbia and Mexico, in essence they are traffic-free times on weekends and holidays for pedestrians and cyclists to interact on selected streets. This Wednesday, April 11th from 6:30 to 7:30pm at Richmond Hall in St. Sylvester Church, 2156 N. Richmond St.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking great strides to expand its audience and influence, notably including a retooled nationally syndicated radio program and a performance and educational video series.
Your timbers may be shiverin' this week, but summer, summer, summertime, is just around the corner. Early tix are available for the Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza, and both Players Sports and Chicago Sport and Social have registration up already for most summer leagues. So practice folding up that winter coat.
So, a coyote walked into a Quiznos. No, there's no punchline. A coyote really did walk into a Quiznos downtown and just hung out in front of the soda cooler until animal control officials showed up and took him to Barrington. He didn't order anything or bite anyone. The end.
The final installment of the Chicago Opera Theater's Claudio Monteverdi series, The Return of Ulysses, is earning strong reviews, including accolades for Rafael Viñoly's minimal set design. There are three performances remaining, so get hoppin'.
The Reader kicked off a new project focusing its attention on the city one neighborhood at a time. First up is Uptown. It seems to be the idea of the moment; we've been contemplating doing something similar, and YoChicago has been devoting days to specific neighborhood lately: today is Ravenswood Manor Day.
You may now know how to hit Chicago like a jock, but you still throw like a girl.
The Chicago Public Library just released its list of April events. There's a talk by Julia Alvarez, a series of educational seminars on home buying and financial planning, children's story time and ton more great events. Oh, and don't you have some books to return?
Chicago's postal service is the worst in the nation, according to a recent survey, and the Southwest Herald's Ray Hanania wants to hear your horror stories. You can even send them by mail, if you dare.
In connection with the current Fuel question: If you don't know what gang claims your neighborhood, you should check out the handy googlemaps on the invaluable ChicagoGangs.org. I just found out that the kids in red and black on my block are members the Almighty Black P-Stones.
Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.
According to S-T columnist Bill Zwecker, sexy bringer-backer J. Timberlake took advantage of the MCA's free day yesterday. He was spotted lunching at Puck's Cafe on the terrace after checking out the Stingel exhibit. And this is hot on the heels of J. Simpson skunking up Mich. Ave. a few weeks ago.
You're probably overwhelmed by articles about Barack Obama by now, but if you're still interested in learning about his local roots, you may want to check out the Hyde Park Herald's special Obama issue. The entire 24-page issue is Obama-centric, including a lengthy article about his wife, Michelle.
If you looked at Grant Park today (as well as other parts of downtown), you'll notice that it has been invaded by 10,000 pink flamingos. While I was hoping for an elaborate turf war between SAIC and Columbia College, in fact it's... a promotion. AirTran Airways is now flying more routes to Florida.
I could care less about sitting in a posh back room at some fancy bar, but this is one VIP pass I would gladly accept. TimeOut Chicago gives you the chance to win one year of free entrance, exclusive invitations, behind the scenes access and more to all 10 museums that make up Museums In the Park. Enter on their website before Feb 28.
With cranes and earth moving equipment working on Block 37, Chicago Magazine has a nice summary of current events. After you read up on the block, view what's going on now from the comfort of your computer.
It's only February, but the Daily Southtown has already given cause for celebration (or is that panic?): "Snowmageddon has arrived!" Bonus points awarded for their photo of kids ramping their sled off of a folding table.
Transit-Oriented Development, or TOD, for those of us on a first name basis with the New Urbanist buzz-concept, is garnering some extra attention as of late. In November, Chicago hosted the annual Rail-Volution conference, which focused on transit's role in smart urban development. The latest issue of Conscious Choice features this article on TOD. And TOD also happens to be a centerpiece of the RTA's Moving Beyond Congestion long term strategic plan for the region. What a popular dude. Definitely more so than another Todd we've come to know recently.
Former Walgreens CEO (and son of the company's founder) Charles Rudolph Walgreen, Jr. died last night. He was 100. Fun fact: Walgreen first went to the South Pole at age 67; he tried to go again at 91 and made it all the way to Chile, but the pilot refused to fly him the last leg of the journey.
The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation just completed its Chicago Region Arts Scan, a major research report surveying all non-profit arts organizations in the Chicago region in 2006. In addition to being a comprehensive directory, the report provides especially fascinating information pertaining to the growth, location, composition and funding of these organizations.
Clarence "Bernie" Hoffmann, founder of World Famous Animal Kingdom Pet Shop on Milwaukee Ave and donor of the highly belligerent Chelveston the duck on the Ray Rayner Show, has passed away at the age of 92.
Now that Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee are seriously considering feeding into Metra, a Milwaukee historian has summarized the interesting transportation history we have with our neighbors to the north.
The Aqua Teen Hunger Force advertisements that caused serious problems in Boston have been in Chicago for weeks. After all of the hubbub in Boston, most of ours were collected last night. [If you happened to snap a photo of the Chicago Ignignokts/Errs, please post it to our flickr pool for all to enjoy.]
AudioSnacks is a local company that produces audio tours for places around the world, downloadable to your mp3 player. They've got a handful for Chicago, including one narrated by Jewish hip-hop poet Kevin Coval.
If you say "Chi-caw-go" instead of "Chi-cah-go," you may be part of the Northern Cities Shift, "a series of changes in vowel pronunciation in many Midwestern cities." How 'bout dat dere?
The Green Exchange, Logan Square's proposed "green merchandise mart" has launched its website. Dedicated towards green living, the site offers building plans, an FAQ and a forum to discuss the building and issues surrounding its development. [Hat tip: Craig]
The Bleeding Heart Bakery located in the latest hotbed of development and hipness (Damen/Chicago) has just re-opened following remodeling. They say, "We want to show the city how we've grown since opening last year- we've transformed everyone's favorite organic bakery into a full café, featuring a new line of sandwiches, a full espresso bar, and a wider selection of ready-to-buy produce and dry goods." Yum.
Increasingly needed in this day and age, A Fresh Squeeze is a site dedicated to green living in Chicago. Primarily a bi-weekly email, the site also offers articles in their archives for a taste of things past.
After last year's small success in Chicago, we've heard word that the Bicycle Film Festival will be back again. Currently, founding director Brendt Barbur and co are looking for new submissions for the 2007 round of film festivals set to take place in up to 15 cities: "We are looking for films with a strong theme or character of bicycles. This includes all mediums and styles such as animation, experimental, narrative, documentary and music videos." The deadline is February the 17th so you have about a month to get going or fine-tune that piece you've been working on. Details at the site or take a look at the flyer here.
The University of Chicago is contemplating gender-neutral undergraduate housing -- an idea the Maroon editorial board endorses.
The Tribune offers a fine selection of art exhibits worth checking out in the coming months, including some out-of-the-way gems. Other informative prospective pieces include features about architecture, dance, and jazz, to name a few.
Like it's sibling in the summer, the Winter edition of Bike to Work Day coming up features hot beverages and goodies at Daley Plaza this month on the 19th (Friday) from 7 to 9am. The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation hosts activities, a raffle with prizes and the chance to congregate and meet up with your fellow cyclists.
If today's Rearview photo (courtesy of the ever excellent Archie Florcruz) bewilders you or makes you want to do the same thing, take a look at his entry explaining his photo and then head over to the Create Your Own Planets Flickr pool for info on how to do this.
The City of Chicago is once again holding their "Turn Green Into Blue" [PDF] Xmas tree recycling program. On January the 6th, you can bring your tree or a bag of recyclables to one of 23 locations from 9:00am and 2:00pm. You get your tree back in the form of mulch and you get a year's supply of blue bags for your time. Take a look at the PDF flyer for locations.
A group of Chicago cyclists (myself being one of them) have organized a ride to raise awareness of the growing number of cyclist fatalities in the Chicagoland area. Named the "Fallen Rider Memorial Ride", the ride will start at the Thompson Center at 6pm tomorrow, January the 3rd and will ride to Diversey and Pulaski at an easygoing and respectful pace. The goal? To highlight how important driving and cycling are to Chicago and how the two require attention and respect. A PDF flyer can be viewed, downloaded, printed and passed along from here.
If you're looking for a holiday laugh, check out the Tribune's reader-submitted "Scared of Santa" photo gallery. (Link pops due to window resizing.)
You must see Wendy McClure's rendering of the Francisco brown line CTA station in gingerbread. It has everything, right down to its peppermint turnstile. I wish my CTA commute could be this yummy.
After much controversy, WBEZ released its 2007 schedule last month. It's important to note that music, the focus of most of the debate, was not eliminated. The Tribune provides an opinionated but informative summary.
The Community Renewal Society is requesting nominations for their 35 Under 35 Leadership Awards. This Chicagoland-oriented award recognizes individuals under the age of 35 who are "using fresh approaches to tackle pressing social issues."
Looking for a time-waster? AOL Cityguide's Best of Chicago poll is open for voting -- go pick some winners.
The New York Times continues its slow discovery of how great Chicago is with its latest installment, the West Loop.
Following the recent sentencing of an Urbana woman who killed a cyclist while driving and downloading a ringtone to her cellphone, the parents of Matt Wilhelm the deceased, have started a coalition to lobby for a law and education to reduce distracted driving. Looks like that cellphone ban hasn't been working out too well.
Amazon just unveiled Unspun, a new ranking site where users rank such things as the best small live music venues in Chicago, best websites about the city, best coffee houses... lots here, and lots to do to clean up duplicates and typos. (It runs on Ruby on Rails, but this isn't the rumored Amazon-37signals collaboration.)
The Metblogs network is getting into the holiday spirit by having its local bureaus list "seven gifts their cities share with the world." The first Chicago entry is improvisational comedy; initial entries for other cities run the gamut, from Flickr to the Montreal Protocol.
If you're looking to leave the city for (heaven forbid) the suburbs, BusinessWeek recommends the Village of Lake Zurich as an "affordable" option. Sure, it's forty miles away, but median home price is "only" $400,000. Happy househunting!
Gay TV network here! came to town this summer on a quest for "Love & Sex." From the resulting video, we learn, among other things, that the city is leather-centric, home as it is to the Leather Archives in Rogers Park. Crew, in Uptown, gets recognized as one of the world's greatest gay sports bars (not quite the title claimed by its URL, but close...) But, lest the impression be too one-track, keep in mind that "Chicago has a lot more to offer than just one-night stands and sugar daddies." There's, like, history and stuff!
Alderman Rey Colon will be meeting with Logan Square residents tonight at 7pm at the Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie, to discuss a proposal to turn the building at 2800 N. Milwaukee into a supportive housing residence -- permanent affordable housing and social services for people who have been homeless and/or have disabilities. More info at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association's site. (Thanks, Jen!)
Remember the ugly duckling tale? Well it looks like there is a new beauty swimming in the pond of urban renewal. Though the process took over 10 years to come to fruition (ahem), The Harold Washington Housing Co-op in Humboldt Park was developed by Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and local builders. Fannie Mae Foundation thinks the new site is brightening up the neighborhood too, and have named the co-op 2006's "most impressive overall housing benefit" in the country. [via]
Officer Gleason of Metblogs notes the latest local shop window controversy. Following on a complaint from a passer-by who apparently forgot she was in Boystown, Borderline Music has obscured its display of the latest Dieux du Stade calendar, the cover of which is PG-13ish. And, goodness knows, nothing no one on North Halsted hasn't seen before.
The "underground economy" of the South Side is the subject of this great article in the Boston Globe.
Sadie Hawkins is a fictional day from a L'il Abner strip. However, it is now also a bike race organized to encourage women of all kinds who ride bikes to come out and race for fun, as well as to benefit the Chicago Women's Health Center. There's a pre-race fashion party on Friday, Nov 10th in the Fulton Markets with the race happening on Nov 11th, followed with a post-party the same day. Want to race? Want to have fun? Check out the myspace.
Rotary International lives up to their name: they have a number of scholarships where local students or business professionals can engage in long-term or short-term cultural exchanges. Local Rotary District 6450 is participating in an group study with France in May--so if you're interested in interacting with the French (with Rotary picking up most of the tab)--get your application in shortly. (Full disclosure: I participated in a Rotary exchange as did my sister, and they do a great job.)
Inside Chicago is a relatively new, really well done videoblog following host Ellen Fox's adventures around the city -- think "Wild Chicago" but less goofy. This site also runs the STOP Police! podcast, in which Darren Stephens covers highlights from the week's police blotter.
Apartment Therapy is running a fall colors interior design contest; the winners receive a CB2 shop card for up to $2500. Go check out the Midwest entries, which are also running as they come in on Chicago.ApartmentTherapy.
And, now, it seems, they are: Newcity presents the 2006 edition of its Best of Chicago.
Looks like the Chicago Bike Federation has a new website for their Drive With Care campaign. At first, I thought it was real, but then I knew that any memorial like "The Brittany" had to be too good to be true. Well done, chaps.
As we noted back in 2003, Chicago has a lot of sister cities: 25, to be exact. If you're interested in learning more about them, Crain's has an interesting story about the business side of the program, including a list of events that connect us to places like Amman, Milan, and Petach Tikva.
Ranging from parades to street art to "Gringos out of Pilsen" agitprop and spanning several years, Flickr user Pedro Juan's photoset takes the pulse of a neighborhood.
If you've ever wondered about the proper way to eat foods like thali, bo nuong and injera, a Tribune video story has you covered. Watch the video and then check out the restaurants they recommend.
Today, Chicago Science Expedition launches a two-week program of events calculated to make Chicagoans more science-literate, bringing physiologists, conservationists, and others to neighborhood Starbucks and Borders cafes to discuss their work and displaying the world's largest periodic table of elements on the south side of the Daley Center. Some highlights, which include presentations on the science of Millennium Park and the physics of the curveball, are listed in Slowdown, but click here to review the entire schedule and make plans to raise your science IQ.
In Section 1 of this week's Chicago Reader you will find a wide-ranging introduction to Chicago living: everything from how local politics works to an overview of music venues to what happens when you get arrested. GB gets name-checked in the guide's alternative media section, along with a host of other worthy sites and publications that should give you a good picture of current-day Chicago life.
The Chicago Sinfonietta will soon kick off its 20th season, and it's doing so in rather unusual fashion: asking audience members to turn on their mobile devices. As part of a concert set to feature more traditional fare like Liszt, the group will give the world premiere of David Baker's sonic metaphor for order and chaos, "Concertino for Cell Phones and Orchestra."
The Columbia Journalism Review Daily takes the city's mainstream media to task for its "uncritical coverage" of the losses of Field's and Carson's. CJR thinks the press could use a little more healthy skepticism about the evolution of State Street; instead, they say, "the coverage has been strangely uncritical, bordering even on the boosterish." What's more, in the stories about the department stores' handovers, the opposing quotes have come largely from the superannuated. Given the strong opinions proffered here in Fuel and the many younger faces at Saturday's anti-Macy's demonstration, I wonder if the dailies really weren't trying hard enough.
Speaking of Chicago Street Art, on September 7, the Higher Gliffs murals at the Metra underpass at 47th Street and Lake Park were mistakenly painted over. Among those who worked on the murals are former Art Institute Instructor Mario Gonzalez; founder of the University of Hip Hop, Lavie Raven; and youth organizer Sam Mulberry.
Fans of Marshall Field's have one last chance to demonstrate their anger with the department stores' conversion to Macy's. At 9:30am on September 9, the day of the official switch-over, FieldsFansChicago is holding a protest in front of the State Street store.
NPR's Present at the Creation provides unique insight to some Chicago-related icons. Our fair city pops up in some obvious place like Animal House, A Raisin in the Sun , and Nighthawks, but it's also there for Cracker Jacks!
Taste of Polonia has much more than just pierogis. Yes, they have Polish Elvis. Yes, they have polka. Yes, they have Funky Polak, a Polish hip-hop artist. More tribute bands than a bad suburban nightclub (ARRA or Think Floyd anyone?). And if that wasn't enough, Autograf is playing Greatest Polish Hits of the 80s. Head out to Jefferson Park to catch this totally fun street festival.
Tickets don't go on sale till the 5th (if you're a member) or the 18th (if you're not) but you can start browsing the program (pdf) for the Chicago Humanities Festival (this year's theme: Peace and War) now. So as soon as registration opens you'll be set take your pick (of events like a Joan Baez concert; presentations by documentarian Errol Morris, novelist Louise Erdrich, historian Taylor Branch, and cartoonist Garry Trudeau; conversations with Laura Kipnis, Jonathan Schell, and Scott Simon...) before the stampede.
After Labor Day, the Art Institute's schedule changes, so this is your last chance to check out the museum's collection (and live jazz) on a Friday night. (At least until AIC next changes its schedule.) AIC will continue to be open (and free) Thursday evenings.
Ride a scooter? Or love someone who does? You best be headed to Slaughterhouse this weekend, then. The 12th annual running of the Vespas (and other scooters) is this Saturday, while a pre-party gets the ball rolling tonight at Liar's Club; details in Slowdown.
We usually just let you know when the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival is actively making people laugh, but check this out: the 2007 Festival is currently accepting applications for sketch group participation.
The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest has an interesting tour for you mob aficianados: "Welcome to the Neighbor Hood," a trolley tour of gangster homes in the two suburbs. On Sept. 24 and Oct. 8, see the former homes of Sam Giancana, Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo and Paul "The Waiter" Ricca. Combine it with an "Untouchables" gangster tour and you've got yourself a day you can't refuse.
Today's Times profiles several multiracial families knitted together with the help of local adoption agency The Cradle. The organization offers counseling to would-be adopters about the cultural issues that surround parenting children of ethnic backgrounds different than their own. The goal, says one counselor, herself a white woman with black children, is "'creat[ing] color aware families, not colorblind families.'"
The city's recent appointment of Melissa Turner as Chicago's fashion czarina brought a challenge from treehugger: become the green fashion capital of the U.S. Designers, will you embrace the challenge?
How to win friends and influence clubbing this summer? Buy a boat. That's the Chicago Scene way, at least. And don't worry about the government, either: none other than police officer Daniel Lombard tells the Sunday Times the CPD and Coast Guard "'kind of turn a blind eye' to some of what goes on in the Playpen, including overfilled boats and recreational drug use, 'because, well, this is Chicago.'" Party on, Dan!
Put away those stiletto boots and that too-hot-for-August ultrasuede miniskirt: the MCA presents a water-themed First Friday. Featuring a bathing suit fashion show and "skinny dip" martinis, the event was inspired by WaterShed, an interactive sculpture designed by students at the Art Institute that flashes and emits ambient sounds when you ask it for some agua. See Slowdown for details.
TurnHere is a site that collects short video guides about cities around the world. The Chicago section features some nice clips, including trips through Bronzeville, Wicker Park, Rogers Park, Pilsen and other neighborhoods.