Just days after the Washington Post ran a data analysis showing the Chicago's murder rate isn't as bad as it seems (though still bad), the Daily Beast slices and dices the numbers to compare the per-capita murder rates of single neighborhoods to those of entire countries atop the world homicide rate list.
Two local comedians retold their experience last Sunday of being in an audience of over 2,000 men who were recruited by comedian Steve Harvey for a daylong taping of his talk show, the theme being "What Men Really Think." Harvey referred to women as "meat" and "traps"; one of the warm-up comics made a comment onstage that the room was getting too "rapey," and the event turned into a group of women onstage getting catcalled and harassed by the audience.
Jerry Seinfeld made the first Chicago appearance with Steve Harvey (meh) of his web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," grabbing coffee and pastrami sandwiches (and unheard-of table service) at Manny's Deli.
It took Chicago a few years to build it, but this weekend you can celebrate The Bloomingdale Trail and the associated 606 park system. Details for the festival abound at the 606 website. There will be food, art installations, a ribbon cutting and dance lessons just to kick things off.
Are you a maker of industrial 3D objects or would you like to be? If so, and if you live on the north side, then you're likely to be thrilled by the opening of the Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center. Their grand opening is Monday, and they'll be expanding to fully serve people who work with wood, metal, casting, and digital fabrication. I got a sneak peek a few weeks ago and it seems very promising.
A resident of Trump Tower dishes on the culture of living in a high-end building where the security is tight, the dishwashers are loud, there's no party room, and the parking garage is a punishing eight minutes away from your apartment.
Do you remember last year, when a fan convention named Chi-Fi was cancelled due to accusations that hotel staff was rude to the fans attending the conference? Well, the conference took place this last weekend at the Palmer House Hilton. But, it appears that this first-time event wasn't very successful, at least not in the eyes of fans who paid to attend the convention. h/t to Darlene of Do Bats Eat Cats?
Twenty years ago, the City began dismantling the Henry Horner Homes and other CHA public housing projects. The Chicago Reporter looks at the legacy of that decision and what the near West Side is like now..
The gentrification debate has been going on in Pilsen "for probably 50 years, according to 25th Ward aldermanic candidate Roberto "Beto" Montano. Don't know about that, but we've been covering it since 2004.
The Chicago Community Trust celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and it's honoring the occasion by organizing another On The Table event on May 12. Thousands of Chicagoans will come together to talk about ways we can make our communities stronger, safer and more dynamic through collaboration and philanthropy. Consider hosting a meetup yourself -- I am.
Chicago ranks fifth in North America and 16th in the world in The Economist's Safe Cities Index. The white paper notes that there's a 27 point difference between how safe the city is and how safe it's perceived as being -- a bigger gap than any other city in the world.
While some parts of the city have become less segregated and others have become more so, the predominantly black South and West sides have remained almost exactly the same. Daniel Kay Hertz looks at why.
City Lab's look at Pilsen's economic outlook is worth reading, though it might be dangerous to generalize the fortunes of the Southwest Side based on its most prosperous neighborhood (assuming you even include Pilsen in the Southwest Side).
Data analyst Brandon Harris dug through the City of Chicago Data Portal to find the "dirtiest" restaurants in Chicago -- dirty being defined by number of failed health inspections, which commenters have pointed out often include "failed" visits from before a restaurant is even open. So, you know, caveat emptor.
Among those briefly evacuated overnight from a Rosemont hotel due to a deliberate chlorine gas leak were the attendees of Midwest FurFest, a convention celebrating anthropomorphic animals. Police are investigating.
The cold and the snow are true signs that winter is approaching. And with the start of winter comes the holidays and the beginning of the holiday craft show season. The DIY Trunk Show returns this year with more than 130 craft, art and handmade vendors, food sold by Wishbone, free beer donated by Lagunitas and Brooklyn Brewery, live music and several djs from CHIRP Radio. So grab your list and get a jump start on gift buying tomorrow at the Broadway Armory (5917 N. Broadway) from 10 am to 5 pm.
In "Freshman Year Sucks--and That's OK," University of Chicago junior Eleanor Hyun explains how expectations and the "immense pressure in TV and movies to have college be the best social experience of one's life" made her first year on campus a difficult one.
Politicians lined up to congratulate Jackie Robinson West on their Little League World Series trip. But none of them were there when one of the players was revealed to be homeless. Scott Smith examines why.
In one of the weirder altercations at Lollapalooza this past weekend, Ben Lenet was minding his own when he was attacked and bitten by a stranger. Police suspect the biter might have been high on PCP or bath salts. Lenet posted photos on Reddit in hopes that the man who bit him comes forward. So far, Lenet says, he hasn't developed any taste for brains.
"It makes no difference that a crime has its roots in 'another neighborhood,' and to suggest otherwise is to embrace an attitude that thwarts progress against violent crime." Bill Savage on Chicago's violent crime denial.
The RedEye's Ernest Wilkins, writer and policy advocate at The Center for Popular Democracy Josie Duffy, Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux, and author Kiese Laymon participated in a roundtable on Chicago's violence at Gawker.
Much to our dismay, the Taste of Chicago has cancelled their event for the entirety of Saturday due to inclement weather, including the sure-to-be-phenomenal concert at 4pm, featuring Chicago favorite Jeff Tweedy and legendary Lucinda Williams.
The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for slavery reparations by way of introducing us to Clyde Ross, a Mississippi-born son of share croppers who settled in North Lawndale, and Chicago's ongoing problems of segregation. You may want to save this one for weekend reading.
North of Howard resident and former CeaseFire interrupter "thechiraqi" shared some honest feelings on EveryBlock about how life is for young men in his part of town, whether they're part of a gang or not.
Chicago wants to offer city-owned vacant lots to homeowners and nonprofits in Englewood for $1. It's been done in Gary, and Chicago is hoping this would put some of over 5,000 current vacant lots to use.
The Field Museum gathered 10,000 artifacts from the Philippines between 1907 and 1910. Now the Museum is inviting Filipino-Americans around the web to be "co-curators" and help identify these objects through the site 10,000 Kwentos.
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.
"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.
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."
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.
"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 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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.email@example.com to sign up to volunteer.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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]
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.
"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.
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!!!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-partpedway tour could probably use some updating, too.)
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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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."
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's a potential lead: According to Crain's2008 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?
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.
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. Sogood.
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.
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."