Dan Polydoris made custom action figures for classic Activision videogames as a present for himself on his birthday. [via]
Dan Polydoris made custom action figures for classic Activision videogames as a present for himself on his birthday. [via]
Well, he never went away, but his media news is finally in a form other than a Facebook post once again.
On the first day of school yesterday, Tribune photographer Brian Cassella visited every school closed by CPS and took photos.
GB contributor JH Palmer tells the deeply personal story of her alcoholic mother's attempted suicide at The Toast.
Chicagoist has a firsthand account of the guy who cut off his nipple at the Gathering of the Juggalos. NSFW, obviously.
Chaz Ebert announced today the launch of a new Twitter account, @ebertvoices, that will tweet RogerEbert.com news, so as to separate that stuff from @ebertchicago and give Chaz room to "innovate" with the account as Roger requested.
Seriously Badass Women introduces you to some really impressive ladies, most of whom (so far) are from Chicago.
The Open Key is a tumblr of cartoons "loosely based on things overheard on the Chicago [police] scanner."
Laid off Sun-Times photojournalist Rob Hart was "replaced with a reporter with an iPhone, so he is documenting his new life with an iPhone, but with the eye of a photojournalist trained in storytelling." Add it to your tumblr feed.
If you like Grub Street Chicago, pay a visit today -- it and Grub Street's other city blogs closed today, and will redirect to a newly nationally focused main site. Writer Michael Gebert reflects on his time with the site.
Today was the last day for several of the A.V. Club's veteran writers, including Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson and and Genevieve Koski. They're joining recently departed writers Keith Phipps and Scott Tobias to launch an as-of-yet unnamed new media company focusing on film.
The Awkward Phase, a blog of stories of youthful awkwardness written by GB staffer Tyler Gillespie and Claire Meyer, was a runner-up in Chronicle Books' Great Tumblr Book Search. It's open to submissions.
Chris Ware is now on Tumblr, sharing bits and pieces and unfinished pages. Awesome.
1,001 Chicago Afternoons picks up where Ben Hecht left off, collecting 1,001 stories of life in Chicago.
Obit of the Day is one of Chicago's longest running blogs, and it's as good as ever.
Lunchbreath illustrates the latest Mantone color forecast.
Aaron Swartz, one of Chicago's old-school bloggers (in his early teens) who coauthored RSS 1.0 standards, helped create Reddit and founded Demand Progress, committed suicide yesterday. He was 26. Cory Doctorow wrote a touching remembrance. UPDATE: A site collecting memories of Aaron has been set up, and is of course open-source.
"Chicago is the split knuckle, the calloused palm," writes Wyl Villacres in Thought Catalog. "Chicago is a broken tooth. This is what makes Chicago great."
Smokin' Jay Cutler, a site "dedicated to the most apathetic looking athlete in the history of sports. "
Couples need love, too -- hence the recently launched Get Lusty, a locally produced online mag for two.
Joshua Adams writes about how Chief Keef symbolizes his love-hate relationship with Chicago.
Mitch O'Connell collected a hundred weird and innuendo-filled panels from comic books.
The Sun-Times is publishing a weblog about the Drew Peterson trial -- by Peterson's lawyer, Joseph "The Shark" Lopez. Michael Miner notes that it's not the first time Lopez has blogged one of his own trials.
The elevated train system is outdated, and Rails to Car Trails has a plan to update the El for the 21st century: replace those rails with asphalt for a road system in the sky!
Lakeviewing.com is a new arts and entertainment blog showcasing all the fun and interesting things to do in Lakeview. It's a partnership between the Lakeview and Lakeview East chambers of commerce, Brown Line Media and Gapers Block. Check it out!
Connect Near North is a new site covering, you guessed it, the Near North Side.
ChicagoNow blogger Mary Tyler Mom penned a touching farewell to Children's Memorial Hospital, which closes this weekend. Saturday is Move Day, which you should probably learn about if you're heading to Lincoln Park that day.
Starting between 5 and 6am, up to 200 critically ill patients will be moved via ambulance to the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, which will require the closure of Fullerton from Lincoln Avenue to Lake Shore Drive for 10 to 18 hours.
The Daily Breakdown is a new blog from
WBEZ's Global desk the Medill School of Journalism in partnership with WBEZ, bringing you one international story to read per day.
Crowd-sourced website CTA Station Watch ramped up recently in order to help document all of the work now underway on the north end of the CTA's Red Line improvement project. Check out photos and posts from various stations slated for work this summer, or contribute tidbits of your own.
"If I only have the physical than these interactions must be representative of something inherent in me, something others see but I am unable to recognize or know." GB staffer Britt Julious writes about race and romance and more at This Recording.
Chicagood is a new online magazine covering the good things happening around the city.
Rogers Park News is a new site for Rogers Parkers to keep tabs on their neighborhood.
Dammit if he ain't right.
After watching Ben Joravsky shoot back at Frank Sennett and Dan Sinker over his Bulls game live-tweeting, Ernest Wilkins thinks Chicago's online media need to start a fight. He makes some good points, but I can't take that dandy clotheshorse seriously.
Curbed has been pitting neighborhoods against each other for its first ever Curbed Cup, and it's down to the final four. Vote now on Hyde Park vs. Uptown; West Lakeview and Lincoln Square face off soon.
Not really coming as too much of a shock, given that their founder already set off east some time ago, Pitchfork will move its editorial offices to NYC in the near future. Sadly, that means Chicago will also lose singer/songwriter Elia Einhorn, of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir fame. (More.)
Speaking of Logan Square blogs, Peopling Places covers the neighborhood from an urban planning perspective.
Never The Same is a collection of "conversations about art transforming politics and community in Chicago and beyond."
Jim Romenesko has resigned from the Poynter Institute and his journalism news aggregator blog after the revelation that of his posts over the years lacked attribution, a charge that some critics have called a punctuation problem. Romenesko's own site launches in 2012 (previously).
Local site Escape Into Life collects beautiful works of art and literature in one place.
Matador Records has a keen blog piece gushing about the emergence of awesome indie record stores while others are sadly closing. They give some love to Chicago-area stores Saki (Chicago-Logan Square), Cyklopx (Forest Park), and to Permanent Records' expansion out west from Chicago.
Lunchbreath offers 18 ways to express your individuality.
Stumped coming up with a Halloween costume for your pet? The A.V. Club has some suggestions.
A Chicago-based member of the vaunted "Anthroblogging" community (e.g. Effortless Anthropologie) is accused of running a personal shopping service as a scam, although she says she just dropped the ball.
Whet Moser imagines what 9/11 would have been like if today's social media existed back then.
Teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson has launched Rookie, an online magazine aimed at teen girls. Inspired by the defunct Sassy, Gevinson originally teamed with famed editor Jane Pratt on the project, but parted ways over issues of ownership. NYMag talked with her about it.
Drop the latest issue of the Library of Inspiration into your Instapaper.
"I've loved baseball ever since Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series in 1919," says Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II. Michael Rottman analyzes what that quip about the Black Sox scandal says about the character at The Morning News.
Jim Romenesko, the Evanston-based journalism blogger, is "semi-retiring" from the Poynter Institute and launching his own, eponymous website (and, sadly, closing the Obscure Store). Here's the point of view from Poynter.
A blogger named Chris is visiting every landmark in Chicago by the end of this year.
Manero, a new lifestyle blog from Urban Daddy and Heineken, aims to be your guide to the Latino side of Chicago. A few words in Spanish here and there might add some flair, but Gozamos has been around for a year doing the same thing without a tinge of condescendencia.
BlogLocal suggests 10 blogs that'll help you get a sense of Chicago. (We're not on the list, but what're you gonna do? They're from Pittsburgh.)
Aaron Swartz, one of Chicagoland's earliest bloggers (now living in Cambridge, MA), was indicted today for allegedly stealing more than 4 million documents from MIT and the JSTOR journal article archive. Here's the indictment [PDF]. Demand Progress, the political action committee he founded, has released a statement that notes MIT asked the government not to prosecute. More on BoingBoing, Kottke and Reddit.
Grid Chicago is a new blog by frequent GB contributor John Greenfield and transportation planner Steven Vance, covering "sustainable transportation in Chicago and Illinois." They recently answered the question of what happens when a bike lane disappears.
Our own Dan Kelly has launched a new site, The Steppes of Chicago, exploring lesser-known bits of the city's history and architecture.
GB alum Craighton Berman has been sketching for Core77 for awhile, but they just gave him his own channel devoted to "sketchnotes," visualizing information in a combination of drawings and text. His first big project was covering the IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference last month.
Dorchester Projects explores the history of art collaboration in two buildings at Dorchester and 69th.
Man Up Chicago promise to give Chicagoland men (and women) a leg up on what's what.
Sepia's bartender Logan Lavachek came across her grandmother's "Bar Aid," a cocktail recipe gadget from the '60s. She's working her way through its recipes and updating the ingredients; you can follow along on her blog, or sample her experiments at the bar. [via]
Today's Chicago Woman is producing an interview series for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in that context managing editor Cassandra Gaddo takes a hard look at why Charlie Sheen's tour is part of the problem.
Perhaps your boring workspace could double as a gallery, like Matt Maldre's.
Surprisingly few Chicago-related submissions to Dear Blank, Please Blank, but the ones there are pretty great.
Joseph Askins is riding the Red Line with a video camera, profiling each station for YoChicago. First off is Sox-35th.
The Active Transportation Alliance has started a new Twitter feed just perfect for cyclists who want to know what to expect on the lakefront paths. Follow @activetransLFT for the latest information, or send them your own observations to help out others.
The blog Learning from North Lawndale hasn't been updated since October, but it still has some interesting background on the neighborhood.
Dmitry Samarov tells his own blizzard story from behind the wheel of a cab.
If the SNOMG!s and the apocalypse-style banter from the local weather reports have you shaking your head and wishing there was a more even-handed source for weather, then perhaps The Chicago Forecaster is what you're waiting for.
A DePaul journalism class is focusing their reporting on stories of the Red Line.
Sixty Inches from Center is a new arts publication and, sometime in the future, a collective art project.
Roger Ebert recently started tweeting about items on Amazon, using an affiliate code (disclosure: GB uses an affiliate code on Amazon links, too.) Some of his followers were upset, and marketing news site Clickz interviewed him about it.
The Freakonomics blog written by UofC economics professor Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner will soon be leaving NYTimes.com to become its own entity. Watch for it at Freakonomics.com sometime in February.
If you've been thinking about starting a business, lawyer Coco Soodek's Profit & Laws blog might help you decide what type of business to form. And her new book, Birth to Buyout, gives you pointers on every step of the life cycle of your business.
Our own Jim Allenspach has cataloged 100 of them, and there are many more.
From the folks behind Chicago Art Magazine comes TINCmag, an online magazine about Chicago's technology industry.
It only leads to harder stuff. One day you're on Team Edward, the next you're talking end of days with some Cthulu-head in a dark alley.
Carlo Garcia is about two-thirds of the way through a year of doing something philanthropic every day. (Thanks, Gian!)
Chef's hats have 100 pleats to signify the number of ways a chef knows how to cook an egg. One Hundred Eggs shares a few of those ways, along with sumptuous food photography.
Claire Zulkey rounds up some examples of the riveting tweets we'll miss while Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and other celebs go silent on Twitter to raise money for Alicia Keys' (admittedly wholly worthwhile) nonprofit.
Media critic Robert Feder is leaving Chicago Public Media's Vocalo blogs. Destination unknown, though rumor is an announcement is due in a week.
Carrie Goldman's adopted daughter Katie got made fun of by some boys at school because she loves Star Wars. The Star Wars and geek community at large reached out in support, and a couple thousand comments later, Katie story has gone galactic.
Mark Addison Smith keeps an ear open for interesting things people say, then illustrates them.
Fuck Yeah, Chicago!, a tumblr from Chicago magazine. Not to be confused with Fuck Yeah Chicago!!, the older, independent tumblr from a bunch of random Chicagoans. That one has two exclamation points and a mysterious extra k in its URL. (Nor with FUCK YEAH CHICAGO, which hasn't been updated since July 2009. Nor Fuck Yes, Chicago, which I just created.) UPDATE: I forgot to mention that you can also get this exceedingly popular phrase on a t-shirt.
LaundryMagazine aims to "re-engage the fashion community in independent and art-centered design."
The Chicago Egotist is an anonymous blog commenting on the city's advertising world.
Former GB staffer Brian Leli meditates on Bush's claim that Kanye West's comments after Katrina were the lowest moment in his presidency.
Last year, a group of people snuck into and explored the tops of several Streeterville and River North skyscrapers, and taking lots of photos of the city at night. They returned for more this summer. [via]
The Neighborhood Writing Alliance recently launched a new blog full of "discussion prompts; news and ideas about literary arts, social justice, current events, and more." If you like what you see, check out their kick off party one week from today at Intuit.
If you're still trying to figure out what to do for Halloween, ChicagoHorror.com might be of service.
Photographer Ian Merritt has launched Shiny Side, a site devoted to automotive photojournalism. Car porn, basically.
Ernest Wilkins thinks Chicago men should dress better. So he's declared next month the November of Dressing Nicely.
Clark and Kim are a few months into their mission to travel the world. Follow along at To Uncertainty & Beyond!
1537 News fills you in on what's going on in Hyde Park (60615) and Kenwood (60637).
Patrick McDonough captures the horror of a serious accident near 6300 W. Belmont this weekend. His crew from the Department of Water Management were first responders.
Kiyoshi Martinez wrote a satirical article on The Wacky Deli about Mark Zuckerberg threatening to shut down Facebook if The Social Network is a hit. As a result, links to The Wacky Deli were blocked as "abusive" for a couple days.
Hyde Park Cats is a blog dedicated to finding homes for stray, feral and needy cats.
Chicagoan Jennifer Fastwolf wasn't thrilled to find herself on People of Public Transit, a blog poking fun at people on trains and buses. Rather than take the photo down and/or apologize, the site's owners changed every photo on the site to hers for the weekend (screenshot).
NPR started a conversation about what it takes to be rich by referring to a now-deleted blog post by U of C law professor Todd Henderson in which he said his family was "just getting by despite seeming to be rich."
Manly Vintage is trying to "cultivate and promote the idea that style is not emasculating, that men can and do enjoy good taste, and good design is appropriate for all men, everywhere."
The Waffleizer blog, written by former GB contributor Daniel Shumski, came to an end last week with a post about the one thing he promised never to make with his waffle iron: the thing it was intended for.
Chicagoist's editor, Marcus Gilmer, himself a Katrina refugee, talks with New Orleans transplants in Chicago about the hurricane and its aftermath, five years later.
Former GB writer Brian Leli has launched Noun/Verb, a blog "devoted to artists and their actions." For which we have an adverb/adjective combo: really cool.
The second addition of the New News Survey of Chicago's online news ecosystem is now online.
"Bitty, sweet puppies can turn into massive, drooly, jowly dogs. But that doesn't mean there's no such thing as puppies."
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.
The Taste of Chicago gets dinged for boring food and draws a sometimes violent crowd -- does that mean it should be canceled? Trib Nation wants to know.
You know what, let's just make it Latino online press day. If you're looking for indie Latino news and events, check out my list after the jump.
Adentro de Pilsen
Arte y Vida
Hispanically Speaking News
The South Chicagoan
Am I missing some? Email me:
Chicago blog Strange Closets takes a close look at the charming and beautiful all around us. Similar to Apartment Therapy, but 100% local, the blog features shopping, interior design, and architecture you'll love looking at.
Emo Philips tells BoingBoing about the case of an Italian comedian who's ripped off jokes from countless other, more famous comedians.
My Brain is Made of Things Made of Gold combines to two biggest stories in Chicago right now into one iconic image.
Not long after Gapers Block was founded, Blogging.LA co-founders Sean Bonner and (former Chicagoan) Jason DeFillippo launched the cityblog network Metblogs. It looked this past weekend like the network might shut down at the end of the month, but an eleventh-hour salvation may just come through. If that's the case, does that mean Chicago.Metblogs will return from the dead?
John Conroy and Rob Wildeboer are blogging for Vocalo about the John Burge police torture trial.
The Red Eye Puzzler (GB alum Sandy Weisz) asks you to fill in the blanks on the questions "I like my women like my candy, ___" and "I like my men like I like my pizza, ____."
Two new hyperlocal news outlets launched this week: Adentro de Pilsen in print and online, and Austin Talks online only. Both are products of the Community News Matters grant that also funds GB's feature story program.
Apartment Therapy is looking for some guys who have a room in need of a do-over. Lucky for you, Chicago is one of their five selected metro areas (but sorry, ladies, this project is for boys only). Apply by May 24.
A certain facebook page with the apparent purpose of talking smack about Evanston high schoolers is now "a police matter." The comments [NSFW] are particularly interesting because they include a post from NBC 5 reporter Natalie Martinez requesting interview subjects.
Sound engineer Jeremy Lemos is on tour with Pavement, and is blogging about it for the Reader.
"These Crocs ads on the El platforms are really awful and creepy. Unless someone does this to them. Then, comedy gold."
The Museum of Science and Industry's new logo garnered a thorough review on Brand New.
WindyCitizen has started a video channel to collect the best Chicago-related videos in one place.
John Cusack is guest blogging on BoingBoing, and leads off with a post about the halftime show at Super Bowl XX.
Vocalo blogger Amy Krouse Rosenthal is taking a break this week, so she's having Lisa Coughlin fill in. Lisa's first request is for a Show & Tell. If you're not too busy crafting a response to when/where you'd take your time machine, you can send her your thoughts and photos.
Is it OK for a blogger to review a restaurant based on one meal? Is anyone else surprised this question is still being asked?
Newly launched Gozamos puts "a spotlight on Chicago community and culture" from a Latino perspective.
This morning NBCChicago.com launched Ward Room, a new political blog featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jack Higgins and author and occasional GB contributor Ted McClelland.
Hersteria is a relatively new local blog digging up the best (aka, the worst) from vintage marriage and sex ed manuals.
Over on WindyCitizen, there's an excellent excellent discussion of the shortcomings (and successes) of ChicagoNow a year after launch, based off Michael Doyle's post-departure post.
35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon would like to think so. Check out his entry about his commitment to art on Studio Chicago's blog.
Ever wonder what cashiers do when nobody's there buying groceries or whatever? Sarah Adams used her downtime at Binny's to sketch. (Until she quit, that is.)
Artist Sara Schnadt has started a blog collecting random detritus relating to her work in performance art, installations and technology.
Tim Jahn's "Beyond the Pedway" video interview series
has moved to is being syndicated at Crain's Chicago Business' Enterprise City blog -- and kicks it off by talking with The Local Tourist. (Clarification: Beyond the Pedway will remain available on its own site.)
Selections from Hack, the blog by artist and cab driver Dmitry Samarov, are now being offered through the Reader. For more information about Samarov and his work, visit his profile from the 2009 GB/Wall Blank Chicago Week.
WBEZ traffic reporter Sarah Jindra and CLTV photographer Jordan Arseneau just launched INSPIREmeChicago.com, a site focusing on good news around the city.
Yesterday Apartment Therapy's House Tours section featured FofGB George and Sara Aye's beautiful Logan Square home. You might remember George shot amazing photos from Pitchfork in Transmission in years past, and the couple run the company Hubwear, among other projects.
Are you a blogger? Do you enjoy sliding around with metal blades on your feet? Then Blogger Industry Night is for you! Gapers Block is co-sponsoring the event with Explore Chicago, the Printers Ball and the Chicago Publishers Gallery. Join other Chicagoland bloggers on the ice at the Millennium Park Ice Rink from 7 to 11pm Feb. 5, and warm up in the Park Grill with complimentary apps and a cash bar. More info and RSVP on Facebook. (We're also co-sponsoring a Flickr meet-up on Feb. 6!)
Not that anybody should be surprised by anything he says, but Bill O'Reilly's latest head-scratching proclamation (via Huffington Post) may have South Siders a little miffed.
Obama's first State of the Union Address will have some major competition tomorrow: Steve Jobs will present what is assumed to be Apple's new tablet computer. Threadless co-founder Jacob DeHart has an interesting theory that the announcement may be even bigger than that.
Always-opinioned local blogger Mike Doyle takes on the CTA union (who are fighting against personnel cuts) and explains why they deserve no one's sympathy. How strong are his feelings? He posted them in text AND video form.
Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante's blog is a mix work for the paper and personal shots. Definitely worth checking out.
More of the city's neighborhoods get hyperlocal online newspapers of their own, as Center Square Ledger began coverage of North Center, Lincoln Square and Ravenswood Manor this week.
Dan Sinker bought the 1972 book 2010: Living in the Future from a public library 25 years ago. The moment has finally arrived to find out how different the world is.
Paul Carr, author of Bringing Nothing to the Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore, took advantage of his status as a TechCrunch contributor to write a stream-of-consciousness rant against O'Hare Airport and assorted technologies.
GB alumnus Sandy Weisz just launched a puzzle blog on ChicagoNow/RedEye. Does your mother know the answer to his first puzzle?
...And other Chicago sports-based poetry from the Chi Town Project.
When Becca's iPhone was snatched from her hands on the Green Line, she posted about the incident on her blog and quickly realized she wasn't alone. According to a few of the comments and an employee she spoke to at the Oak Park AT&T store, iPhone theft on the Green Line may be a growing trend. As always, stay alert.
L. Stolpman shows you how over at Chicagoist.
Chicago Current, the new public affairs site (and print magazine) created out of the ashes of Chi-Town Daily News, is now live.
Organic in Chicago is a site devoted to organic eating and living in the city.
Division and Rush debuts a new serialized comic featuring "Stu Peterman," a gentleman who teaches how to commit murder and get away with it.
Local author Kate Harding reminds us all why Roman Polanski has been "in exile" for 32 years.
When reading Cosmo's guide to the meaning of men's smiles, it's helpful to have a man around to demonstrate.
Five Tunes is a local blog that asks musicians to share five songs they're currently digging.
Past performance is the best indicator of future behavior, says Steve Rhodes. (Share your own thoughts in Mechanics.)
Former Chicago Public Radio reporter Jay Field hasn't been able to find work in the industry, so he's now driving a cab. Read about his experiences at Recession Taxi.
Breaking news: Chi-Town Daily News laid off its entire staff yesterday
and is closing shop. We're working working on the story; expect more details soon. UPDATE: Editor-in-Chief Geoff Dougherty tells me "All is not as it seems!" and that "closing shop" is not accurate. UPDATE @: Here's a statement from Dougherty about the evolution of the site into a new venture. UPDATE 3: Read our full story in A/C.
Thriftista is, by its own admission, "yet another blog on living well for less." But rather than slumming it, the site finds deals on higher-end stuff, too.
Sex sells, right? That might explain the unexpected image Transmission staffer Liz McLean Knight noticed on an iGo brochure bearing her likeness.
If you're interested in Bollywood movies but don't know where to start, let The Bollywood Ticket be your guide. Written in Chicago with an American perspective, it's a good entree into the sprawling Hindi cinema.
Apparently robberies including mugging were only up 1.1 percent through July, but it sure seems like violent crime is up more than that this summer, doesn't it? Anecdotal evidence sure points that way.
Stuck with a lemon of a condo? Underwater with your mortgage? You might want to keep an eye on Chicago Housing Bubble, a blog that feels your pain.
You'd think someone would notice the unfortunate juxtaposition of two ads and make a change -- not replace one innuendo with another.
The crazy-popular Hopleaf finally gets the green-light on adding
some much-needed space a sister restaurant next door. Now how long before THAT spot gets filled wall to wall? (via Edgewater Community Buzz)
Local writer and editor Robert Burnham writes Tales from the Commute, slices of life on the Metra rails.
If you're a Cute Chicago Boy, watch out! You might just end up on the interweb.
But from all the buzz, you'd think it is. Never too early to prep, folks; even though the main BlogHer Conference is sold out (there is a waitlist), BlogHer Business (happening this Thursday) still has space.
The Parking Ticket Geek suggests some ways you can remove last year's city sticker from your windshield.
Old Time Chicago is a new site hoping to become a valuable resource for fans of old time music in the Chicago area. Site owner Paul Lucas has put out the call for submissions: events, music reviews, links, musician contact info, whatever. More info at the Old Town School's Website.
So New York City-based news-gossipy website Gawker recently launched a contest of sorts to find America's best news city. NYC nailed the top spot in their informal poll (what a - yawn - surprise), but Chicago tied for second thanks to a characteristic "vote early and often" push by local weblog the Windy Citizen.
The city's official fireworks started a bit earlier than planned, and were allegedly free of the violence that accompanied last year's show -- but eye witness reports and details on several blogs indicate otherwise.
A quick photo on the highway led to Kyoshi Martinez getting a full-on DeLorean experience thanks to a member of the DeLorean Midwest Connection car club.
Students from Nettlehorst Elementary will be marching in this weekend's Pride Parade, which goes right past the East Lakeview school. Some bloggers and commenters on the Tribune's story aren't so happy about it.
Speaking of journalism and how to pay for it, if you're interested in that sort of thing you should come to the Chicago Media Future Conference this Saturday afternoon, featuring panelists from Chicago Tribune, EbonyJet, EveryBlock, Gapers Block and more.
The Community Media Workshop released a special report (PDF) today on Chicagoland's top independent and niche news organizations as well as the future of journalism, etc., and ranked the top 20 most influential news websites. Top three were Chi-Town Daily News, Windy City Media Group and yours truly, Gapers Block. Read more on Chicagosphere.
Big Happy Funhouse turns up photos of spokesmodels from the 1968 Chicago Auto Show.
Speaking of old news, Chicagoist went digging through LexisNexis and found a 100-year-old story about the controversy over pasteurizing milk.
As ChicagoNow celebrates its birth, Chicagoist is getting ready to turn five. Listen to a podcast about our friendly competitor's beginnings. (In case you're wondering, our 6th anniversary party will be held Labor Day Weekend, about six months after our actual birthday. Stay tuned.)
The funsherpa blog was launched last month with the mission of "Uncovering what interesting people are interested in." The most recent post is an interview with artist Jay Ryan, who also happens to be the designer of the GB 4th Anniversary Poster.
Chicago's Circle Interchange makes an appearance in part 2 of The Infrastructurist's collection of freeway interchanges (part one). Don't know the Circle? Read about it and other local road jargon here.
The Uptown Chicago History blog highlights the grandeur and class that once pervaded in that neighborhood.
WGN's Ana Belaval shares some thoughts on motherhood for Mother's Day: "The girl doesn't call me Mami or Mama. She knows who I am, she just doesn't call me anything. Well, sometimes she calls me Daddy."
You may not know this, but Tribune "expires" the majority of its web content after a couple months. Fortunately, they're fixing this.
Jessa Crispin, the founder of Bookslut, is leaving the Chicago, headed for Berlin. Her longtime assistant, Caroline Eick, is taking over as managing editor; Crispin plans to resume posting on the blog once she's settled and, according to her, stops crying.
CrabbyGolightly "takes a dim view of celebrity, media and power." With an emphasis on the celebrity.
Ironically, one of the casualties of the last round of Tribune layoffs was the writer of the paper's "Recession Diaries" blog (google cache). He wasn't allowed to post one last item to that blog, so he ran it on TrueSlant.
Buried in this post about pro sports trademarks are obscure logos for the Bears and White Sox.
A good Samaritan drove all the way from the Iron City to give some Windy Citizens some help.
The Beachwood Reporter and ChicagoTalks.org won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for their joint investigative reporting on how City Council routinely violates the Open Meetings Act. Congrats!
A Marina City resident noticed that a construction barge working on the Riverwalk rehab project was leaking oil, and took the opportunity to do some homework regarding the campaign contributions of the companies involved. Interesting read.
Couldn't make it to the International Housewares Show last month? No worries, Craig Berman and Tobias Lunchbreath have drawn you some pictures.
On April 1, Carol Blymire, the author of the foodblog Alinea at Home, posted a video of herself with Chef Grant Achatz, claiming he'd hired her to work at the restaurant. It was an elaborate and successful April Fools joke, and she explained how it came to be over the weekend.
Tame the Bear aims to be an entertaining look at our current economic woes, as well as a forum for cost-saving tips.
Earlier this week, Time.com published a profile of Arianna Huffington wherein she explains Huffington Post Chicago's borrowing? aggregating? of content from local Chicago blogs thusly: "This was a problem with an intern." OK... Check out these posts at The Reader for some context. [via]
Every time I swear I have a handle on the local craft scene, I end up realizing that I know so very little about what is going on and who is making it happen. Thankfully, Christine Renee of Re-Conceived.com and maker of the Zombie Escape Plan has created Chicago Crafty, where she'll put up links to all the local makers, shows, boutiques that sell locally-made goods, art exhibits, calls for action, opportunities, networks, and oh my word! so much more. It's only been up a short time and it's chock-full of fantastic info already.
In Isreal's Negev Desert is the Tze'elim Military Base, and on that military base is the city of Chicago, "so named because its bullet-ridden fake walls apparently recall the punctured real walls of Al Capone's Chicago."
Customer: "No. Will this case protect my computer from damaging all my stuff?"
Me: "It is padded..."
Customer: "Good, because it's cheaper than the anti-virus software."
Lust & Bust is a new site exploring the heights and lows of the dating scene. Share your own disaster stories (and good times, too).
Just because you lack land in Chicago, doesn't mean you can't have a garden. Green Roof Growers have some great information on helping you get started.
Beachwood Reporter offers an account of just how dysfunctional a utility can be.
This will probably be more interesting in a few months, but hey, I like seeing what's going on outside Wrigley anyway. [Thanks, Gabe!]
"Ticket brokers calling your business arrangement shady is like the mob saying your methods of payment collection are a little severe."
The Tribune has relaunched its "Chicago's Best Blogs" project as a standalone website, collecting recent posts from dozens of blogs (including GB) on a variety of topics. Definitely worth a perusal.
The folks behind Fine Diving Chicago take found furniture and other objects and refurbish them, sometimes giving them a completely new life.
Uptown Update, the highly popular blog that has become a thorn in the side of Ald. Helen Shiller, particularly over the fate of the Wilson Yard Project, has been brought into that case by the attorney for the yard's developer, Peter Holsten. The attorney is subpoening records from Google about the ownership of that blog and another (apparently defunct blog) called "What The Helen".
We've been asking for poetry for Blagojevich to read at his next press conference over in Fuel. "Gov Blago Shakespeare" points us to his own fine collection.
Crafter and graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck created an amazing graphic representation of the key concepts in President Obama's speech today.
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.
Poor Little Rich Girls aims to help young women in the city live a chic but budget-friendly lifestyle.
If you haven't explored Google Book Search, you owe it to yourself to find the time. Lynn Becker has an excellent starting point for you. [via]
Chicago Carless follows up on his story breaking the CTA's homeless ridership crackdown with a late-night ride with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Chances are, someone is. And after looking at this blog, you may never feel at ease riding the CTA again.
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.
"Other commuters, who probably did not even witness the arm-whapping, must have noticed me rejecting the seat, done some quick urban calculus, and come up with the answer of Maybe That Lady Knows Something We Don't."
GB contributor Mike Doyle has compiled YouTube videos of the spontaneous countdown in Grant Park as the news was announced that Obama had won.
Our friends at Coudal Partners are taking Election Day off. Perhaps you should show this to your boss.
Poll-watching site FiveThirtyEight finally made it to Illinois in its "Road to 270" series profiling voting trends in each state.
"The Squirrel," a blog by an anonymous Chicago restaurant worker, is one of the more entertaining reads I've come across in awhile.
Garage sale season may be just about over, but it's always estate sale season. Don't forget to look in the Back Garage.
Sun-Times writer Mark Konkol and former Q101 DJ Todd "Fook" Fooks have launched a podcast.
If you're not blogging yet and still want to try, there's a class this weekend that's right up your alley.
Apparently Roger Ebert's creationism post was written by him, not a hacker -- but his intention in posting it remains unclear in his responses to comments regarding it. Perhaps Ebert is learning that satire doesn't translate online without context. UPDATE: Ebert finally did explain the article, and affirmed that it was satire.
In 2007, Carol Blymire decided she would try cooking every recipe in the French Laundry Cookbook and blog the experience. The project proved wildly popular, and now she's set her sites* on Grant Achatz's forthcoming cookbook. (You can preorder Alinea from Amazon for just $31.50.) Chicago MenuPages Blog interviews Blymire about Alinea at Home. *Pun intended.
Re: The Auditors keeps tabs on the big four auditing firms. Limited interest to non-accountants, but very interesting to those in the industry.
Looking for a blog on Illinois (and national) politics? This list from MidwestBusiness.com is a good place to start.
Rogers Park has a vibrant blogger community -- which clearly has some infighting going on. At the risk of fanning the flames, here are the anonymously delivered the RoPa Awards, for the "Five Dumbest Rogers Park Moronic Idiot Blog Posts of 2008." (In everyone's defense, the year's not over yet.)
I love finding blogs about Chicago's less in-the-news neighborhoods: check out beverlymorganpark.net.
Need some new wall candy? The website Vintagraph hosts images and sells affordable prints of old WPA, health and safety campaigns and vacation promotions from the early 20th Century, including some simply cute ads for the Brookfield Zoo and celebrations in Downers Grove.
Just One Bad Century is celebrating the centennial of the Cubs' last World Series win by comparing players from the 1908 team with today's boys in blue, position by position.
I don't usually dig videoblogs, but this site from the Wheezy Waiter is a good time. The videos are humorous and original, and made me laugh out loud. Worth spending some time on. [via chicagobloggers.com]
The Expired Meter is passing around a petition to get the City to reverse its decision to start booting cars after two unpaid tickets instead of three.
Does the little smudge in the sky in this photo look like a UFO to you? Read a report by the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena on the infamous 2006 sighting here [PDF].
312 Dining Diva wonders what's happened to Daily Candy Chicago lately. (Staffing changes maybe?)
The Huffington Post's Chicago channel
has launched. UPDATE: I've been informed that the site isn't officially launching till Thursday; what's out there for everyone to see is an unprotected, unfinished build. Avert your eyes! Or something.
The Windy Citizen launched a new blog on Thursday to cover Bensenvile's plight in the O'Hare expansion. Particularly interesting is a google map highlighting the places discussed on the blog.
Life in Perpetual Beta is a new video interview series talking with people working on the web, including a bunch of names you already know: Fried, Coudal, Skinnycorp...
Jason and Jennifer La Fleur bought a turn-of-the-century bungalow in Oak Park and began renovating with all green building materials, including soy foam insulation and toxin-free paint. Their DIY spirit and commitment to green have already earned them spots on the Today Show and This Old House -- follow along (and steal their ideas) at their blog, Humphrey House.
An online brouhaha is brewing in Hyde Park, where Hyde Park Progress takes aim at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club's focus, while the Hyde Park Urbanist questions the Hyde Park Progress' sources. Did we mention the words "Hyde Park" enough in this blurb?
Chicago Carless goes REALLY carless this time, detailing his extensive walking jaunts around the city. Made us tired just reading about it.
Plenty of good advice in this Ask MetaFilter thread about early morning construction.
The Anti-Advertising Agency offers some relief (or at least time savings) from marketers trying to get a free plug on your blog.
The Expired Meter is a blog devoted solely to Chicago parking tickets. And yes, there's plenty to say on the topic.
Blogger Suttonhoo makes a visit to an historic replica Viking ship in Geneva and discovers a whole lot more lurking in the woods.
The Trib's new Head Candy blog should help Friday quittin' time roll around a little faster.
Casette from my Ex is a site that collects stories related to mix tapes from old relationships -- and also the option of listening to said tapes. Chicagoans Damon Locks, Jamie Hayes and Julie Shapiro have contributed so far.
Plenty, apparently, particularly when it comes to redeveloping HP's Harper Court, as Hyde Park Progress points out.
Mike from Chicago Carless got an unexpected treat on a recent Great Chicago Places and Spaces tour: a visit to the secret observation deck atop the Intercontinental Hotel.
Only two days remain in the Dance Movie Blogathon! Learn yourself all about David Bowie's footwork in Labyrinth, Kevin Bacon's prototypical Angry Young Dancer ("I'm so angry I'm dancing up against backlit silo walls") -- and so very much more. [via]
The Methods Reporter has transformed into the Windy Citizen, an "open source newspaper and internet newsroom."
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!)
AREA Chicago is launching a new blog, Report Back, which is "dedicated to documenting events and people's impressions of them throughout Chicago." It's a bare bones site at the moment, but they'd like to change that with reader submissions.
Volunteers with the WPB's Community Open Houses asked the people of Wicker Park/Bucktown what they wanted to see in their neighborhood. Their responses were collected in a series of photographs on Flickr: here, here and here. A quick survey indicates a big push for a more bike-friendly area. Oh, and a toy store. Don't feel left out of the process, though, you can submit your thoughts too. [Via]
Did you know the Sun-Times has a blog dedicated entirely to Oprah? It's true. It's called The 'O' Blog. And today, they liveblogged an episode in which Oprah spoke to a pregnant man (he was born a female).
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.
ClusterFlock casts a sideways look at the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal on this fine St. Paddy's Day.
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.
The NYT is looking into whether nasty blog comments contributed to the suicide late last month of Paul Tilley, 40, the creative director of DDB Chicago.
Apparently it's in the air: Chicagoist is holding its first-ever Commenter Trivial Pursuit Throwdown tonight at Sheffield's -- and we'd already announced that the GB Get-Together on Friday would be a boardgame night. Beer and trivia, always a good combo.
37signals was profiled in the latest issue of Wired, and were described variously as "brash" "arrogant" "demigods." Jason Fried posted a response to some of the "myths" described in the story.
The Morning News will soon hold its fourth annual Tournament of Books, and Coudal Partners has opened the betting window. Think you know which book will come out tops? Lay $10 on the line and you could win big -- plus, you'll be helping to buy books for children. Everybody wins!
Waxy.org is investigating the online activities of Steve Kazmierczak, the NIU gunman. UPDATE: Jessica Baty, Kazmierczak's girlfriend, was interviewed by WGN.
Chicago magazine's Arts and Culture blog has prepared a tournament-style bracket that puts good singles locations head-to-head. The first round was yesterday; today, places like the Pitchfork potty line and Intelligentsia battle it out.
GB's own AmyC and other Rogers Parkers ran into an unusual "voting irregularity" on Tuesday -- her polling place was stocked with allegedly "invisible ink" pens. Unfortunately, the inevitable snarky blog commentary makes the situation sound like it was the voters' fault for believing the state-appointed judges and ward committeeman.
The 100th annual Chicago Auto Show opens Friday, so we here's a couple things to get you ready: Jalopnik's newness cheat sheet, Showlopnik, the derivatively named intern blog, and the 8th annual Auto Show Shutdown. After the jump, links to car blogs' CAS category archives.
District299, Alexander Russo's excellent blog on Chicago Public Schools, recently made the move to Catalyst Chicago's website.
Chicago Magazine's February issue features "171 Best Chicago Websites," a nice round-up for your reading pleasure. It's
still not wasn't online, though, so Time Out took the initiative and created a linklist for you. Then Chicago Metroblogging created an OPML file of the list -- along with all the ones mentioned in Time Out's recent blog feature package -- that you can dump into your favorite feed reader. UPDATE: The Chicago Mag feature went online late today.
Claire Zulkey (who got the profile treatment in Time Out this week) interviews Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis about "Sound Opinions," music crit and the Chicago hip hop scene, among other things.
Back in 2000, Sun-Times reporter Howard Wolinsky was among the first to have his DNA sequenced for genealogical reasons. The results sent him on a journey through family history, which he's writing about (and other genealogy topics) at Gen-erocity.
Over at The Outfit, Kevin Guilfoile provides a good deal of new info on the Hans Peterson/Dr. David Cornbleet murder case.
YoChicago wants to hear about the city's ugliest townhomes. There's a t-shirt in it for you.
Chicago News-Star picks the top 10 local news stories of 2007. Number 10: the rise of the neighborhood blogs.
Will Okun, the Chicago school teacher who won a trip to Africa with the NYT's Nick Kristof, has a complex and honest piece about who he believes in the Aaron Harrison shooting. Short answer: the cops.
Apartment Therapy: Chicago is hosting a House Tour and after-party this Friday; join them for a tour of five live/work spaces in Fulton Market. Don't forget to RSVP!
Perhaps you've heard about Kindle, Amazon's new "wireless reading device?" One of the things you can do with it is read blogs, including a bunch of Chicago-related ones (although not us yet, dammit). Click "more" to see a list.
• Windy City Gridiron
• Metroblogging Chicago
• Apartment Therapy Chicago
• South Side Sox
• Bleed Cubby Blue
Blogs cost $0.99 to $1.99 for a
n annual monthly subscription. According to BoingBoing Gadgets, you can browse the web for free -- which means you can still read GB on it, just not via RSS.
You receive an email which contains a link. You forward the link to someone else. You get sued. A lawsuit filed this week in Kane County is seeking $850,000 in damages from Schaumburg resident Joan Burke. Her crime? Sending a email which contained a link to the blog Let's Stop Eastwood-Stein.
Weblog software maker TypePad rounds up some quality Chicago blogs that use their service.
Not quite the expose on Santiago Calatrava (also known for his work on the Milwaukee Art Museum), but Creative Review, a design magazine based in the UK, showcases the design work of Third Eye Design who did the collateral for The Chicago Spire. Even if you don't like the Spire itself, the accompanying literature praises our fair city.
It's a New Day in Cook County was established as a "forum for public comment and debate about unlawful patronage" in county government by Julia Nowicki, a former judge now monitoring Cook County hiring practices and compliance with the Shakman Decree. The Shakman Monitor over the City of Chicago's hiring, however, has yet to start a blog.
Frank Warren, the man behind the PostSecret weblog and books, will be doing two book-signings in Chicago today in support of his new book, A Lifetime of Secrets. At 12:30pm he'll be at the DePaul University Bookstore, 1 E. Jackson, with a multimedia presentation. Then at 7:30pm, he'll be at the UIC location of Barbara's Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted.
Dmitry Samarov blogs about his experiences as a Chi-town cabbie over at HACK. He even draws his passengers. The Sun-Times recently profiled this Soviet immigrant turned driver, including some fun quotes about getting propositioned.
Are you stuck in a condo conundrum? An apartment abyss? Home hell? You've got a friend in the blogger behind I Hate My Developer. From assessment fees to her slowly gentrifying Woodlawn neighborhood, Lyletta Robinson blogs it all with an optimistic outlook.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who was a little disturbed by the smiling butt ads for the Washlet that showed up all over the Reader website for months.
The Marshfield Tattler follows the goings on in a little corner of Back of the Yards. Nice to see someone telling that neighborhood's stories.
GB alumni and fellow teammate Luke Seemann recounts a hit-and-run during the team's weekly Saturday morning ride up to Highland Park and back on his excellent Chicago Bike Racing. Clearly an attack on the riders who were paying attention to the rules of the road, the culprit turned himself in and is now facing felony charges in court. Luke has further details on Thomas Lynch.
If you're into creative competition and don't have much to do on Friday afternoons, you'll want to check out the new
Photoshop Layer Tennis!
Author Kevin Guilfoile has been writing about the case of Dr. David Cornbleet, the dermatologist who was killed in his Loop office. Until now, nobody seemed to have a recent photo of Hans Peterson, the man who confessed to the murder and who took refuge in the French Territory of St. Martin, where he has avoided extradition. Guilfoile believes he's found one.
Movie trailer watchers and late night WBEZ listeners familiar with Ken Nordine may want to check out his website Word Jazz, which includes a blog with unusual poems starting with "Maybe the moment" and a podcast of his late night stylings.
The 38th Signal, "established 2007 in Angola", is parody of local web iconoclasts 37Signals. Includes "Wireframing with the blood of your enemies", "Phone tells you that someone has called", and "Screens around the house".
Local food blog Eatchicago closes up shop after 3+ years of service. Farewell, Eatchicago! I'll always remember you for your great post about Chicago's authentic Mexican food.
Dictionary editor and local blogger Erin McKean was the guest columnist for William Safire's "On Language" column in the NYTimes last weekend.
In East Garfield Park, at Maypole and California, a community garden is taking shape in a formerly vacant lot.
...which means you've either added another one to the column, or you've removed the old one and have a sticky smear on your windshield. Here's a sure-fire method for removing the old sticker and the glue.
Mimi Smartypants comes up with the best response to a religious tract pusher I've heard in awhile (last item).
Here's an examination of suburban naming trends in Chicagoland.
People who miss The Show with Ze Frank should check out the Wheezy Waiter, a video blog by Craig, the lead singer of Driftless Pony Club. It's not exactly the same, but hopefully it'll help with your jones. [via]
Our good friends at Chicagoist are celebrating their third anniversary tonight at the Subterranean. If you're looking for a way to escape the heat after work, you could do worse.
The CTA may suck in a lot of ways, but at least there's one employee willing to retrieve the walkman you dropped on the tracks.
Outside.in is already an interesting place to check for posts about Chicago, but here's another neat tool they recently added: blogger maps. Now you can check out which places we and other local blogs have been writing about.
The Knight News Challenge has been kind to Chicago. Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism received a grant to create scholarships for programmer-journalists -- such as Adrian Holovaty, creator of ChicagoCrime.org, who also received a grant and has left the Washington Post to start EveryBlock. Geoff Dougherty of (recently redesigned) ChiTown Daily News also received a grant to continue his citizen journalism project. UPDATE: Also, Daniel Sinker, co-editor and publisher of Punk Planet, received a Knight Fellowship at Stanford (thanks, Mark).
Now you can stay on top of Chicago's finest gyros, lakefront, and Western Avenue signage and art at William Swislow's Interesting Ideas blog. You can spend hours here.
Interesting rumors are popping up about Google purchasing local RSS feed company Feedburner for about $100 million in order to move into the RSS ad market. GigaOm isn't so sure the deal makes sense.
Thinking about parenthood? The recently Chicago Moms Blog should help give you a realistic look at life after kids.
City bookworms have another web destination in Literago, which intends to serve as "a portal to news and information about literary goings-on in and around Chicago."
How do you combine office romance, food and blogging? Why, Olive and Mason of course. They're back reviewing restaurants after a year's hiatus. Check out what they've been up to and listen to their theme song. (Via Action-Squad)
Spice up your RSS reader with a few tasty area blogs. Try Jack Vinson's knowledge management blog, the NSFW, homoerotic Things They Say About Him, A Deaf Mom Shares Her World, and more to be found at Chicago Bloggers.
Over at Chicagoist, Benjy ponders whether the city would add another star to the flag if we win the 2016 Olympics. An interesting and relevant question considering the meanings of the other stars.
He's giving us a lot of credit for staying power by saying we'll need to update our logo in nine years if it happens, but for the record: we'll change if the flag does.
Photobooth-o-philes, get excited! You'll soon be able to take a zany picture of yourself and your close friends at Quimby's.
In recent years the blog The View From The Ground has published news and analysis about the crisis of Chicago, public housing, police abuse, and economic abandonment through the intimate lens of the Stateway Gardens CHA development while it was being torn down during the CHA's Plan for Transformation. The blog is co-sponsoring a conference at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School to explore the issues brought up in their work around Stateway Gardens. More information posted on Slowdown. The free conference takes place on April 21-20 and space is limited so get in touch and register through the website.
The fine frugal folks at Make Love, Not Debt tell of how they used their savvy powers of negotiation to watch the new "This American Life" television show for cheap. Find out how they added Showtime to their cable plan for just $2 a month.
Today I stumbled across Camp Jinx, a video blog that's the recreational side of local family-run video production company Picture Show. Of course, since the blog is run by video professionals, you're not just going to find home movies on Camp Jinx. You'll also find, for example, video of the dad interviewing stars at the Golden Globes, and The Wrens performing live in a family member's apartment between Chicago gigs. It's too bad that all families can't be as cool as the Leonard family, but at least they're willing to share the experience.
Chicago Parent magazine has redesigned its website, which now includes a whole bunch of blogs covering a variety of aspects of parenting, from feminist childrearing to being a working mom to just being a dad.
Artist and friend of GB Phineas Jones caught pneumonia over the holidays, and ended up with fluid in one of his lungs. As you'd expect, he has some big medical bills, but he's uninsured, so he's selling art on his site, No Commercial Potential, to cover the costs of "lung reclamation." Help him out and get some beautiful art in the bargain.
Through the magic of archive.org, WindyBits takes a look at early version of Chicago media Websites, including the Tribune and Sun-Times, the Reader, Crain's Chicago Business, and even Gapers Block.
Yeah, you read that right-- Official Blog Site of the Chicago Police Department. Hosted on TypePad, loaded up with kudos, cautionary tales, and a welcome from the Superintendent. Accepting (moderated) comments on some posts. Tagline: "What You Want to Know... From Those in the Know." It really is 2007, isn't it?
Awhile back, I was talking to Tom Sherman about how there ought to be a site that covers the Chicago tech scene. Like Tech Social, but with news, too. A month later, he launches Windy Bits. Way to go, Tom.
(NOTE: not safe for work, but funny as heck) How does one define true happiness? For some guys, it's the feeling of mammaries resting on their head. One of those guys might just work in the Tribune Tower. Behold; photographic evidence that true bliss is possible.
Floyd Webb was interviewed in the Reader last summer about his current project: a documentary on Chicago martial artist John Keehan (aka Count Dante: The Deadliest Man Alive). With half a year's research, a bizarre tale of kung-fu, pet lions, comic book ads, death matches, and Mafia hitmen got weirder. Mr. Webb dutifully reports on his descent into 70s martial arts madness at his blog.
With so many blogs out there, it usually takes good writing or a great design to catch my eye. The Minivan Mafia should win an award for its great name, and the graphic.... priceless. Nice job, Jenn.
Chicago Magazine did a profile of several of the city's newsblog type things, including GB, Chicagoist, Metroblogging, The Beachwood Reporter and CTA Tattler. Fun to see your favorite editors in pixel form!
A few new weblogs on Chicagobloggers.com worth noting: Chicagolais, a weblog about newly arrived Frenchman in Chicago; Aldertrack, a weblog tracking the upcoming local election; $50 Suit, a shopping blog about looking great for little money downtown; and a blog about deaf parents raising children in Chicago.
The 2006 Weblog Awards nominees have been announced, and there are two local sites among them: Glorious Noise for Best Music Blog and The Becker-Posner Blog for Best Law Blog. You can vote for them and/or any others once a day from now until the 15th. (Thanks, Jake.)
Chicago author Sara Paretsky has a challenging piece on the great Chicago Crime Writers blog about the abuses women suffer in incarceration. One telling quote: "It costs anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 a year to keep a person behind bars. Conservatively, that's about $6 billion a year we're spending to lock up—and, apparently, abuse—these women, most of whom are non-violent offenders."
The Trib has an article about online sites where victims of street harassment can vent and call out their attackers. A small sidebar to the piece
fails to mentions the Chicago version of the original NYC site, called HollaBack Chicago. There, you can read and submit experiences with unwelcome advances, leerings, gropings, and the like, and even send in pictures if you happen to snap one.
The Metblogs network is getting into the holiday spirit by having its local bureaus list "seven gifts their cities share with the world." The first Chicago entry is improvisational comedy; initial entries for other cities run the gamut, from Flickr to the Montreal Protocol.
A few new blogs on chicagobloggers.com worth mentioning: an entertaining real estate blog by "Real Estate Ninja" explains how underpriced the new $300 realtor parking pass is (i.e., two weeks of tickets), a fruitcake blog, mousebacon shows us the craziest house in Chicago, and very well-written blog Bella Rossa caught my attention with this post title: "Gabriel Garcia Marquez Shoots Reese Witherspoon, and I Can't Walk in These Heels." All worth your time.
Since college kids don't have enough online personae to manage, what with MySpace pages, Facebook profiles and Xanga blogs, UIC is exploring the possibility of a school-wide implementation of LiveJournal. The goal? Building community via an informal mode of student, faculty and staff interaction.
I read recently that, in the future, search engines will be able to reveal people's whereabouts at a given time, simply by the electronic footprints they've left. For now, though, that information is mostly captured voluntarily, making it largely the provenance of blogs. So it is that, if ever asked where screenwriter John August was when he started a play in late 2006, you can boldly answer "Chicago" -- qualified, as he notes for posterity, "technically, Evanston." [via]
The "Going Public" column in the Red Eye today talks to Yvonne Doll, a part-time cell phone photo snapper whose passion for photography has translated into a new web site Sleepyurbanite.com. For three months she has been taking pictures of slumping CTA riders who use their commute to catch up on sleep — whichever way they can. Droolers, beware!
Inside Chicago is a relatively new, really well done videoblog following host Ellen Fox's adventures around the city -- think "Wild Chicago" but less goofy. This site also runs the STOP Police! podcast, in which Darren Stephens covers highlights from the week's police blotter.
The aptly named Illinois Pancakes blog has a simple goal: eat and review the pancakes of Illinois.
There are thousands of blogs started every day, sure. Few of them, however, are written by Germany gentry in exile in Chicago. No telling what The Barony will be about, but who can turn down a promised "transformation from unclean prolatarian ingnoramity to cultural aristocracy"? Certainly not I.
Apartment Therapy is running a fall colors interior design contest; the winners receive a CB2 shop card for up to $2500. Go check out the Midwest entries, which are also running as they come in on Chicago.ApartmentTherapy.
Regardless of whether your reaction to Lily Allen's show last night was hurrah or ho-hum, chances are good you had a better time than Tyler Too Much Awesome, who passed out, and not thanks to over-imbibing. Not only was he mortified by causing a commotion, his mother didn't offer much comfort after the fact. Quoth Mrs. Much Awesome, "Well, it was your fault so it's understandable why you feel embarrassed." Gee, thanks, mom.
Coudal points to a post about suburban "mash game" names and localizes it: "Fox, lake, river, heights, grove, villa(ge), park, oak, lawn, lake, brook, hills, fields, forest, elk. Choose two or three at random, and chances are you've named a real Chicago suburb.
A newcomer to the Chicago blog/webzine scene, Jargon Chicago looks like it might have some staying power. Check it out.
Speaking of "green thumb" options, newly launched blog Vegan Dinner is going the Julie Meets Julia route. Kinda: local couple Ian ("straight edge") and Kit ("strong, silent") are on a quest to try 365 new meals (vegan) in 365 days (one year). The recipes are accompanied by photos and organized by preparation time (20, 40, 60 minutes). I smell a book deal.
On Friday, Thrown for a Loop was hoping for an easy flight home. Because of bad weather at O'Hare, that didn't happen. Alas, nor did the alternatives...
The short answer is "a little of this, a little of that." The long answer, though, offers an eclectic greatest hits. Which is to say, a nice way to waste some time at work this morning.
Don't be surprised if one of the Gawker editors picks up and leaves New York: Jim Romenesko's Evanston condo is for sale.
Notable blogs from recent submissions on Chicagobloggers.com: totally awesome George Michael fansite, which is absolutely a delightful guilty pleasure; filled with random delights, seriouslywtf.net had me laughing out loud with Hulk Hogan humor and stories of misleading showers; and "things we hate" which is short and witty and worth a brief visit.
Taking another step away from scissors, glue, and late night photocopying sessions, our city's very own Punk Planet has redesigned and expanded its website. Of particular note is the addition of user blogs.
Kudos to local gal Hipster Pit for speaking truth to power / sticking it to The Man / subverting the dominant paradigm: in response to a Forbes.com feature on marrying a woman with a career (gone, but not forgotten), Ms. Pit composed a satire of the slideshow that accompanied the article we'll remember fondly as "Justifications for Being a Single Misogynist" (Gawker gives you a CliffsNotes version of the original). [Update: The text is back online, now with an officially published rebuttal.]
Vox, a new blogging service from SixApart, just released a Chicago skyline skin, which you can see on my silly little test blog. Obviously done from memory, since the east-facing view of the Loop prominently features the CNE building (which can't be seen from the other side of the Loop) and only a few recognizable buildings (Sears Tower, Hancock, Prudential and Aon). At least they tried. (If you'd like a Vox invite, let me know -- we've got four to give away.)
The city's recent appointment of Melissa Turner as Chicago's fashion czarina brought a challenge from treehugger: become the green fashion capital of the U.S. Designers, will you embrace the challenge?
I haven't bothered with Time Out Chicago's website much after it launched, since it hid almost everything behind a subscription wall. But sometime a few months ago, they made most of the content public and launched a blog. Worth taking a look.
Friend of GB, scooterist, designer and vegan guide making extraordinaire, PJ Chmiel hits the open road on his scooter on a tour he calls the 2006 R.A.M.B.L.E. Ambitious in scope, it should be quite a ride. Follow along when he kicks off tomorrow.
Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell gets her new blog started off with a bang. No, "Hi, I'm Mary and this is my new blog" post. Nope. She delves right in with an entry titled Why I Write About Race. I have a feelings she's going to get a lot of people talking about, reading about, and maybe even writing about race.
So that Colonel Sanders/Ed Burke separated-at-birth thing we linked to on Consumerist yesterday? Done by friend of GB and Schadenfreude member Justin Kaufmann. We should have recognized his handiwork.
The art of Chicago art studios in the 1950s, courtesy of the illustration blog Today's Inspiration.
So I've got a love for all things crafty and that's no secret. But most of your eyes glaze over if I go on too long about wool or knitting. And I don't blame you. However, even if you have no interest in the land of craft, you'll love Franklin's
alter-ego roommate Dolores over at The-Panopticon. This sheep makes me snort on a regular basis. Without further ado, I introduce you to Dolores.
songs:illinois is an excellent little mp3 blog run by Craig Bonell in Oak Park. There's definitely a folk/ acoustic/ singer-songwriter focus but what excites me personally is that I've only heard of maybe one artist on the homepage. A nice deviation from Pitchfork and the like, dig in and discover some new tunes.
The Reader has launched its first blog, the Daily Harold, by longtime staffwriter Harold Henderson. Henderson claims to be "the World's First Blogger," conveniently leaving out of the Wikipedia definition the part about a blog being on the Web. Good luck with that.
While I'm not entirely convinced the promotion of personal blogs by complete strangers is an epidemic problem in real life -- seems more confined to willy-nilly "friend" requests on MySpace at this point -- in today's Sun-Times, Andy Ihnatko offers an amusing checklist for smacking that would-be internet superstar down.
Former Allister bandmember, now fulltime proud parent Eric in Aurora has turned his love of rockin' into a pretty darn interesting music blog called Can You See the Sunset from the Southside. He also has started podcasting on a sister site, Can You Hear the Podcast from the Southside. Podcast number three is fresh for your listening.
The Community Media Workshop here in Chicago is holding a conference tomorrow and Thursday called "Making Media Connections". As they put it: "Join community leaders, nonprofit communicators and board members, mainstream and independent journalists, publishers, media experts and the general public to discuss getting our communities' important stories told." GB staffer and ChicagoBloggers curator, Brian Sobolak and myself will be joining Steve Rhodes of The Beachwood Reporter on Thursday from 1:45-245pm on Thursday, the only day left for registration at the door. We'll be discussing "Emerging Online News Outlets" but there are plenty of other events and discussions going on to pique your interest.
I doubt any of our readers are currently enrolled in Libertyville/Vernon Hills public schools, but you'll still be slightly alarmed to hear that School District 128 is now holding its students responsible for anything posted on MySpace or elsewhere on the Internet. Expect a lot of teenagers suddenly going anonymous in response.
Coudal Partners has a great game on right now: take a band name and a book title and mash'em together. What do you get? Check out the stand-outs so far and submit your own to bryan
Drunken Bee on the perils of shopping Division Street. (How many thieving transvestites on the prowl for Fred Perry are you going to encounter on Michigan Avenue?)
The good news: Threadless is about to relaunch their site.
The bad news: As they were making the new site live, "the robots attacked," killing all of members' blog posts from December 2005 forward.
If you lost posts but have any of them bookmarked, you can submit the URLs here for recovery.
Since it's likely we won't be able to see the sunset tonight, you might want to head to this weblog and get your fix.
Did you know they're printing Guinness World Records on Pringles now? Matt Maldre of Spudart got a tube, and among the world records was an odd looking print-out that included the phrase "printed fun on every one." He realized it was a diagnostic display intended to show the density of ink being sprayed by the chip printer.
I'm a crafty gal. But running a small business means I now spend more time reading articles put out by the Small Business Administration than I do reading knitting blogs. And I miss it. Thankfully ex-GB'er Brenda Janish has created a re-blog that I'm delighted by. re:knit culls feeds of many of the knitting blogs I read when I had the time.
So you know that teacher we told you about who wrote scathing commentary about Fenger High School on his blog, then leaked it on purpose? He wrote an email to Dawn Turner Trice, who'd written a column about him last week. The upshot: the blog was a misunderstood cry for help.
Cleveland blog goodhodges runs a statistical analysis of Pitchfork reviews and finds that, big surprise, they tend to review albums they like. The follow-up breakdown of scores is interesting, too. [via] This all brings to mind Pitchformula, a UofC student's thesis analyzing reviews and writing songs that would garner the highest ratings, which we told you about awhile back.
I didn't actually hate mine, but I wouldn't say I was in love with him after we found out about all the corners that were cut. The Woodlawn Wonder has been writing since August of last year after she became a member of her condo board. If you're thinking of buying a condo, or if you have a condo and are questioning your developer there are 9 months of posts that might help answer your questions or spur you to action. The links list alone is a worth a visit.
Apparently all those scare stories on the news didn't sink in with one Chicago teacher. He wrote all sorts of trash talk about his school, Fenger High, on his now-deleted blog (sample posts were temporarily republished here, still viewable in the Google cache). When its existence was leaked, the shite hit the fan, both among the student body and the teachers. More lively discussion on MetaFilter.
Theresa at The Local Tourist was mugged and brutally beaten walking down Diversey Avenue late at night two weekends ago; her assailant beat and kicked her repeatedly in the head, and may have planned on doing much more. You can follow her recovery on her blog; she has advice on what to do if you get mugged or attacked here.
EPpy nominations were kind to the Tribune this year; they include Maureen Ryan'sThe Watcher, ChicagoSports.com and the paper's multimedia special on "the Mercury Menace." The Crain's site was also nominated. The EPpy Awards annually honor new media forays by old media and will be handed out next month in Vegas.
Let's all cross fingers that we can ditch the anoraks, coats, jackets, blazers, sweaters and various other forms of outerwear for at least a few months. It's 78 degrees, and that's cause for celebration. Still, the anonymous female blogger behind Make Love, Not Debt is struggling to find a black shirt that'll meet her Chicago springtime needs (and there are several of them). Ladies, if you've got recommendations, be nice and pass 'em on.
Kos, of Daily Kos was in town yesterday signing books and Roni went to see what he had to say, and ask him about his view of feminists and civil rights. His basic theory is that any Democrat is better than any Republican. Roni points out why party affiliation isn't the main point.
We're not the only ones who've done a bit of reno recently. Nope, Flavorpill's experimenting with beta taste. It's added a blog to its excellent weekly newsletter, which, incidentally, reminds you to head to Hyde Park this afternoon for a dose of Žižek.
While we were redesigning yesterday, another site was launching: introducing Apartment Therapy : Chicago, a new local channel of the popular interior design blog.
EatChicago has redesigned. SharkForum is a group blog featuring some big shots from the Chicago arts and music scene, including Redmoon's Jim Lasko, New City's Ray Pride and Nicholas Tremulis. And holy crap! Sour Bob is back!
Eric Zorn of the Trib is doing a pretty decent job of live-blogging the primaries, if you want a wide-view. (And the turnout is SO LOW! They speculated at my precinct that 15% came out to vote, a lot of suburban items have less than a few hundred votes. Amazing.)
Nifty new-ish blog: To Whom It May Concern, a blog of letters written but never sent. Great humor.
The succinctly named Live Music Blog is the web baby of northside Chicagoan Justin Ward. A venue (ha!) for his widely varying tastes in music, the blog is one part podcast, one part news thread and one part discussion group. The topics range from guesstimates on upcoming festival lineups, to music you should be listening to, to the news of a newly re-re-named local venue. (First titled the "World Music Center", then "Tweeter Center" now you can call it the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater. Whatever you call it, you still have to drive out to Tinley Park.) [Thanks, Dan!]
Steve Rhodes, former media critic and investigative reporter for Chicago Magazine, has launched the Beachwood Reporter, a blog covering Chicago media and whatever else crosses his mind. The site is apparently named after a certain Wicker Park bar.
A few new and notable blogs on chicagobloggers.com: Today's Chicago Blues, a well-done blog covering the blues scene in Chicago. The author will also be publishing a book about the topic with friend of GB Lake Claremont Press. Also, Overheard in Chicago, a new blog attempting to do what New York's already done. Still interesting.
A day after the Tribune's snide editorial about the "indefinite" future of blogs, columnist Eric Zorn demurs, calling the paper itself "a veritable Blogoslovakia" with a growing presence online. Mind you, Zorn could have gone farther: he fails mention that the Tribune has taken to printing web log content among its editorials, and he's gracious enough not to point out that you just can't get more tired than Al Gore/Internet jokes.
The monthly Blogger Meet-up hosted by Columbia College's Barbara Iverson tonight features Matthew J. Sag, a law professor and author of the paper "God in the Machine: A New Structural Analysis of Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine." He'll be talking about how copyright and fair use come into play in blogging. Head to the second-floor "Mini Auditorium" at 33 E. Congress at 6:45pm to join in the free discussion.
Back by semi-popular demand, next Thursday I'm hosting the second annual Chicago Gay Bloggers Bash, a shindig for Chicago's LGBT bloggers and their friends, families, and fans, straight and gay alike, to meet, greet, booze and cruise. It's totally casual, not unlike our monthly GB Get-Togethers (this Friday with no fries, chips!) and all GB readers are welcome to show up at Crew Bar + Grill. See my site or Slowdown for the deets.
Audio blog The Square Tracks is an interesting mix of self-produced stuff and shared mp3s. The most recent post is a set of field recordings made around the city, including a number of street performers you're likely to recognize.
Last night, Gapers Block met Chicagoist and Coudal Partners for a little friendly competition down at Lucky Strike: eight frames later (we ran out of lane time), GB emerged victorious! Here are photos from us, Coudal and Chicagoist.
Barbara Iverson of Columbia College has organized a group for local bloggers on Meetup, the second meeting of which is set for Wednesday night; this month's topic is search engines and audience building. The event takes place at 6:15pm -- register to get more details.
New York's Apartment Therapy is expanding: they're launching a Chicago version of the site (along with one in San Francisco; they already have one in LA) to talk about local architecture and interior design. They're looking for an editor with both blogging and ID experience. And hey, it's a paid position! (Thanks, Aaron, and congratulations!)
Luke Seemann's Internet Tendency on "Things I would do if I were an alderman and wanted to make my neighborhood suck."
It's Bloggies time again — a time when weblogs plead with their readers to nominate them for an award that means little more than bragging rights among bloggers. But hey, we're not above that: it'd be great if you'd put our name in the running for a couple categories. May we suggest Best Group Weblog, Best Writing of a Weblog, Best Topical Weblog and, for Rearview, perhaps Best Photography of a Weblog?
For hours of link following fun, check out Eric Zorn's list of bloggers' takes on the year's most significant local news.
The Sun-Times has finally caught up to the other major dailies and launched a blog: columnist Debra Pickett maintains the paper's everyman ethos with remarkably average posts. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see which paper catches up to the Defender and adds a podcast.
Check out SHARKFORUM, a newish news and culture blog. Contributing editors include poet Simone Muench, Wesley Kimler, Dave Roth, Lynne Warren (MCA curator), James Beckman (co-founder of Ante), Mark Staff Brandl (corresponding editor for New York's Art in America), Jay Bonansinga (novelist and visiting professor at Northwestern University), Nancy Bockoven, Paul K, Ray Pride, and Norbert Marszalek.
The Tribune mentions today that there's a new Chicago news site, but this one has a familiar name: The Chicago Daily News, a news site run by a former Tribune reporter. The original Daily News ran through 1978, at which point the trademark lapsed on the name. The new Daily News is soliciting stories and photos from its readers, which will hopefully allow it to cover stories that aren't normally in the papers. Good luck, Chicago Daily News, and welcome.
It's interesting to find blogs by more than one person connected to Chicago's opera scene. Erin Wall, a soprano based in Chicago, writes at Canadienne (figures I'd discover it just as she goes on hiatus), and Brian Dickie, general director of Chicago Opera Theater, has his own blog, too.
There was a big fight over at Chicagoist yesterday in the comments of their post on Alderman Natarus' plan to get rid of street performers in the Loop again. Mostly, it was one guy against the hordes.
If hearing your favorite local webloggers isn't enough, find some to watch at Chicago Videobloggers.
To supplement your entertainment planning needs, American Express' In:Chicago card has launched a blog: mmmChicago.com.
Autumn may be leaving us, but the web makes it possible to hang on a little while longer with, well, some photographs of fall fruit. Over the past couple weeks, Thrown for a Loop has been "appleblogging." He finished yesterday with the Cameo variety, one he claims is hard to top. Makes a person wanna dash to the produce market while there's still time.
If you're a real Harry Potter fan, you know that there's just a few hours until GOF (that's Goblet of Fire, for those who don't know) opens at midnight tonight. If you're a fan, you also know all about Mugglenet.com. The site was founded by 18-year old Emerson, who lives in Indiana "near Chicago", who's helped out by his brother, and a team of Potterfans around the world (including one in Buffalo Grove). They have a virtual treasure trove of interviews, film clips, stills, and one very important countdown clock. Get your wands at the ready.
It's best not to mess with Mimi Smartypants. Or, at least, best not to mess with yourself while in her Red Line car. She's seen this kind of thing before, and she's not gonna put up with anymore nasty shenanigans.
Music site Coolfer introduced Damian Kulash of Chicago's OK Go as a guest blogger over the weekend. Kulash will be reporting from the road as his band finishes its current tour; today, he takes on DRM. OK Go will play a local show on Friday, with a 7pm signing at the Tower Records on Clark. Fans or the merely curious can email Kulash: damian at coolfer.com.
Chicago-area blogger Mandy Stadtmiller (aka: Bloggy McBlogalot), has accepted a position as a features reporter at the New York Post, starting in mid-December. Previously, Mandy penned (or typed them using a word processor) articles for The Washington Post, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The Des Moines Register and did PR work for Northwestern University. Did I mention she is funny as hell? Read her.
Barrington resident Megan Kearney is traveling around the world, and documenting it on her site, Me-Go.net. So far, she's covered Asia from Japan to Thailand; I can't wait to see where she heads next. You can follow along through her blog, photos and sketchbook.
Do you have a podcast? If so, ChicagoPodcasters.org wants to hear from you. The site is looking for "podcasters in the Chicago area to interview and submit stories from the people in their lives." Now if someone could just put together a directory of local podcasts... for now, this will have to do.
While we wait for the Sox to start their next playoff series, FlowFeel provides a diversion by breaking down and linking up all those "more refreshing" Old Style ads. (Grab mp3s of the radio commercials here.)
If I didn't know any better, I'd almost say it was a meme: within moments of one another Metblogs and Chicagoist each posted love letters titled with the "I (heart) U" formulation. The objects of their affection could hardly be more different -- Washington Mutual and Queens of the Stone Age -- but, on a dreary day like today, there are worse questions to ponder than "Whom do you (heart)?"
AKMA made a protective cover for his new iPod nano out of one of those plastic folders that come with business cards. Chic and functional!
Introducing the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog. It may have a cumbersome name, but the idea behind it is an exciting one. Promising to feature posts from "Chicago friends, faculty, and alumni," the site aims to take conversations outside the classroom and into the world.
As Matt points us to a great post made by Christine Cupaiuolo on Ms. Musings, I notice that she's packed up her bags. While she'll no longer be writing for Ms. magazine (a damned shame if you ask me) she will be continuing her writing at Pop Politics. It's always sad to hear that a professional weblogger has lost a job, but I'm glad that Christine has decided to stick around Chicago and keep writing. Her voice is strong and will carry on.
I don't know who Archie Gait is, or whether that's even his real name, but he deserves credit both for his site's enthusiastic voice and for its humorously straight to the point subtitle: "A blog dedicated to dispelling the myth that Morse Ave. is some sort of hellhole."
We weren't the only Chicago-based blog to make Forbes' Best of the Web list: Bookslut's blog is among the top literary blogs, Jim Romenesko is their pick as the best media blog, and both AsianMack Super Filter and LiveMusicBlog make their list of music blogs.
Chicago.Photobloggers has redesigned, and it's lovely. In addition to having actual photos on the site, they're looking for contributors to write articles about photography and photoblogging. More info here.
The RedEye ran a story about blogs today. I'm not sure why it was called "Porn on the Blog," since it's not about sexblogs at all -- I keep mentally rhyming it with "corn on the cob," so maybe that's it. Anyway, the reporter goes to a "porn superstore" with Leigh Anne Wilson of the Honeysuckle Shop and One Good Thing, and also talks with Wendy McClure and Justin Kaufmann. UPDATE: Eric Zorn reprinted a Tribune profile of Wilson from last year.
It's hard to believe that The CTA Tattler, the very funny and entertaining blog of all things CTA-related, is only one year old, but it's true. And tonight the Tattler celebrates its anniversary at Rock Bottom Brewery. Details on Slowdown. Happy birthday, Tattler!
Ron Slattery, GB contributor and tour guide of the Big Happy Funhouse, got written up in a New York Times article about photoblogs today. (If you don't have an NYT subscription, suffer through the 30-second ad on this link.)
Community Media Workshop is hosting a large conference today and tomorrow entitled "Making Media Connections". You can still register (follow the link prior) and there are various prices for the different sessions. GB co-founder and editor-in-chief Andrew Huff will be on a panel with Eric Zorn and Barbara Iverson called "Blogging and how it's transforming the media landscape". Now if this isn't all geeky enough for you, read Andrew's post, Eric's post and Barbara's post. Once that's done and it all makes complete sense to you, give yourself a pat on the back and then write a post about it.
Online News Squared is a newly public blog from Tribune Interactive, covering the field of online news. (They say it's been around since late 2003, but the archives only go back to April '04.) UPDATE: Author Scott Anderson explains that the blog started on Blogger, and he never imported them to Movable Type. So there you go.
Stephen Dubner, who co-authored Freakonomics with U of C economist Stephen Levitt, examines a bit of Chicago sports history in the Freakonomics Blog: did the 1919 White Sox get their nickname, the "Black Sox," due to their throwing of the World Series or for their notoriously dirty uniforms?
Yesterday we noted the newly launched chicagocrime.org. Those who looked at the site closely might have read that its developer stated a wish to remain anonymous. That's evidently no longer the case. Adrian Holovaty has spoken up to claim credit, and, accordingly, you can now read his account of the site's aims, as well as get in touch to make suggestions.
If you follow U of C professor Daniel Drezner's blog, you'll know he drafted a tag team of substitutes to fill in while he was away on holiday. Drezner offered a "farewell warning" that the pair were of a different ideological stripe than that to which readers were accustomed, and, in his absence, commenters kept things plenty lively. David Greenberg, one of Drezner's fill-ins, describes the experience in the New York Times and concludes he's just "not cut out for blogging."
Beep is a new weblog published by the Daily Herald in collaboration with Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism as part of "a larger effort by the Daily Herald to attract non-graying readers." They're also building a directory of suburban blogs (within the Herald's distribution range), which is kind of nice.
The folks behind House In Progress have launched HouseBlogs.net, an aggregator of, well, exactly what it sounds like. A very cool feature is this map of house bloggers worldwide, including a half-dozen in Illinois, mostly in Chicagoland.
We're sorry to report the recent closing of the Honeysuckle Shop, a Wrigleyville lady-friendly sex toy and lingerie shop run by a husband-and-wife team. Leigh Anne Wilson, the public face of the shop and proprietress of the popular blog One Good Thing, shuttered their store after a bout with pneumonia. The Honeysuckle Shop remains alive online as well as in Wilson's garage. (Thanks, Marie)
I have a friend who can identify a car by sound -- the purr of the engine, the growl of the muffler. He'd no doubt enjoy Chicago Car News, a relatively new blog about automobiles. (And did you know the author of Autoblog is local?)
The Tribune has a substantial feature on The Becker-Posner Blog, a weblog written by Nobel Prize-winning professor Gary S. Becker and US Appellate Judge Richard A. Posner. Trib columnist Eric Zorn, however, takes the pair down a notch on his blog: "Don't swan in like an opera singer deigning to lend his talents to a lurid minstrel show."
As odd as it seems, Chicago blogger Brandy Agerbeck seems to be the first person to create a blog specifically about her hedgehog. It's named Numo, not Ron Jeremy. It loves playing with toilet paper rolls. And she won't let my cats come visit.
LizWatch may have moved on to other topics without ridding the world of Liz Armstrong, but now there's another snarky, anonymous blog with a wider focus on the city's predominant free weekly: The Reader Sucks. In their first post this week, they passed on Crain's reporting that the Reader's circulation dropped for the sixth consecutive year.
A new blog has been making the rounds lately, appropriately entitled LizWatch: "There are far too many hours in the day and I have far too much time. This is a pathetic and bitter blog that takes the time to read and critique what is in my opinion the worst journalism in Chicago: Chicago Antisocial." Unfortunately, the Reader still doesn't offer free archives of their content online, so you'll just have to pick up last week's issue to see what all the fuss is about.
In their usual practice of sucking the fun out of everything, University of Chicago professors are jumping on the blogging bandwagon. While not necessarily kept for professional reasons, most keep students in mind when posting to their sites. Because reading up on my prof's inner thoughts is totally what I wanted to do in my down time.
As the caretaker to two cats, I'm quite alright when you write about cats on your site. Last night though, it broke my heart a little (as it has in recent months with fellow friends with felines) to read about the passing of Douglas P. King, the friend, feline and companion to Chicago designer Patric King (infamous in recent months for the Gawker Empire's spread). Start here and read back and forth.
"It's morning again in America!" That's the slogan of the new ReaganReview, a new conservative weblog run by teens 18 and under -- well, other than the state senator and state representative who contribute columns.
Pop-theatre critical darlings The House Theatre of Chicago have started their own blog, where artistic director Nate Allen and company hope to interact with the company's fans. Among the revelations so far: 1930's Chicago, as depicted in the online comic book we told you about last year, will be the setting for the final installment of the Valentine Trilogy next year. Meanwhile the middle piece of the triptych, Curse of the Crying Heart, runs through March 12.
Thursday, February 24 at Roscoe's is the first-ever Gay Chicago Bloggers Bash, co-hosted by me, GB staffer Kris Vire, and Aaron Bailey of 601am and Chicagoist. Expect it to be a casual gathering not unlike our monthly GB Get-Togethers. All are welcome: GLBT or straight, blogger or non-blogger. Details, as usual, in Slowdown.
If you're a writer you're probably familiar with mediabistro, a website filled with articles on writing as a career and job links that, as a Chicagoan, I've rarely found useful. Today the site launched five new weblogs, including MBToolbox, a "resource blog for journalists and writers." The blog's editor? Chicago's own Claire Zulkey. Suddenly my faith in mediabistro is renewed.
And you thought we were the only ones who read the Sun-Times (and Tribune) so you don't have to. Introducing Sun-Times Watch, a daily blog where "Kit Kinzie" and "Will Wabash" dish on the tabloid's foibles. How soon before Trib Watch debuts? Oh, wait.
Chicago film-maker and stage performer Richard Bluestein has apparently freaked out the fathers of podcasting, Adam Curry and Dave Winer, with his podcast featuring a character he created: Madge Weinstein, "saucy, outspoken breast cancer survivor and opinionated lesbian activist." Richard's crime? His podcasts were scripted, and Adam and Dave thought they were real.
To that end, they recorded a podcast in which they tried to puzzle out what to do about the situation. The majority of the reaction they've received from the podcast community, as The Register reports, ranges from incredulity that they could have been deceived by a guy in a dress to outright hostility at the idea that the founders of podcasting want to somehow regulate or label content. Nice work, Richard! It's not every day a Chicagoan fools Adam Curry.
BigHappyFunhouse has started a weekly contest. Each Friday, he'll put up a special photo, and your job is to write a story to go with it and send it to ron
Always on the cutting edge, the McHenry county daily paper, The Northwest Herald, writes an article about blogging. It does have some interesting statistics on blogging (92% are under 30), and then this great picture of a guy at a computer.
Chicago blogger and friend of GB Wendy McClure's forthcoming book I'm Not the New Me, based partly on her web journal, has a brand new promo site of its own. And she got blurbed by Jennifer Weiner! The book arrives April 26.
Shure Electronics, based in Niles, has an odd little webloggy thing on their site: their artist relations guys in Chicago and Nashville keep diaries of the bands and musicians they meet. It's a weird mix of fanboyism and product name-dropping.
Friend of GB Alicia Frantz is creating a care package for her brother, who is currently stationed in Iraq. In keeping with her orientation toward audio, she's sending him a bunch of minidisks, including one containing messages from random people back home. She's soliciting contributions: record a short message in .mp3, .aiff or .wav format and either email it to her or tell her where online she can grab it at aliciafrantz
Chicago Blogmap, one of two online collections of Chicago area blogger links that categorizes its entries by stops on the CTA train lines (the other one being Chicago Bloggers), has moved to its own domain, chicagoblogmap.com, after being hosted at Paul Goyette's site for well over a year. Adjust your bookmarks.
BlogChicago is a new site started by a journalist and a couple copy editors. The content is currently made up mostly of music and movie reviews, as well as an "e-poll" asking random questions to local media and celebrities. However, the site also offers a Forum in which to discuss topics of the day.
It's interesting to watch old media dip their feet in the blogging pool, and how each one goes at it. The Trib's Eric Zorn has been at it with his Notebook awhile now, and his colleague Maureen Ryan now has a TV blog (and someday the Tribune will give them permalinks). Jack Mabley, the 89-year-old editor emeritus of the Daily Herald, has his own blogspot, though it's been quiet in recent weeks. And Chicago Public Radio has gotten into the act with a "Pledge Blog" with their current pledge drive.
Our pals over at Chicagoist are hiring. Well, maybe hiring is the wrong word, since I'm pretty sure they (like us) are an all-volunteer army. At any rate, if fine arts, food and restaurants, or GLBT happenings are your forte, then Chicagoist would like to hear from you.
Daniel Drezner, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, examines political blogs and asks, "Can blogs affect politics in regimes where there is no thriving independent media sector?"
Not Chicago news, but fans of Movable Type (the software used to power this very site!) will want to check out this profile of MT and Six Apart in today's Wall Street Journal, if only to see the stipple portraits of Ben and Mena Trott.
You may be familiar with Andy Ihnatko's work as technology columnist for the Sun-Times, but you probably weren't aware that he has a weblog. Or a Flickr account, where he has a photo of Studs Terkel in a neck brace with Molly Ivins.
Chris Karr is on a mission of sorts. He's set some rules for himself:
1. Carry a digital camera as often as possible.
2. Every day until October 31, take at least one photo.
3. No seeking out sites for the primary purpose of photographing them. Interesting things from daily life only.
4. Let viewers come up with their own stories to go with the photos.
The result: Chicago Photo Weblog.
We were saddened a couple of weeks ago, when we read that Aaron of Uppity-Negro had died. But we're glad to read that Aaron's mother Jessie, and his sister Val, will be keeping his blog alive by updating on occasion. Their first post shows promise and I think Aaron would be proud.
Del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager that allows you to categorize and share your bookmarks, while subscribing to other peoples' lists. There is, of course, a Chicago page, that lists all bookmarks tagged with "Chicago."
The Chicagobloggers blog map is finally taking submissions again, after a too-long hiatus. Check in there for the blog nearest you, or add your own to the map. (Thanks, Michael!)
Like the Democrats, the Republicans invited a handful of bloggers to come cover their convention. Our local representative is Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics; the full list is right here. You could also read the Tribune's "blogs" by Ellen Warren, Charlie Madigan and Mike Tackett.
Law blogs are a peculiar breed. Some interesting Illinois ones for your perusal:
Patently Obvious, a great patent law blog
The Illinois Trial Practice Weblog
The Illinois Personal Injury Weblog
Law Dawg Blawg, by the law librarians of SIU
the [non]billable hour, in downstate Highland
(Interested in more? Check Blawg.org.)
Six Northwestern graduate journalism students put together goskokie, which is supposed to be a community-driven website for Skokie residents that offers Skokie news. (Sort of a GB North.) Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated in nearly a month, and this (in addition to Dan Gillmor praising the site in a blog posting yesterday) prompted the reporters over at The Register to have a bit of fun and surmise that Skokie has disappeared.
West Chicago-based Kirk Johnson of American Amnesia is one of the few dozen bloggers covering the Democratic Convention this week. He tells The Wall Street Journal that his coverage will be different from that of the 13,000 traditional journalists: "News viewers have to cut through a lot of lard before getting to the guts of an issue, which gets old pretty fast." He's accepting contributions to help pay the way.
Perhaps inspired by Gothamist's expansion into other cities, the guys behind Blogging.LA have started Metroblogging. Naturally, Chicago.Metroblogging is one of the first cities to launch. (Looks like we need to get moving on NY Block and Gapers.LA, just to keep up.)
Having had many unhappy experiences in suburbs and pseudo-suburbs of this fine city and others, and loving this fine city so very much, I'm inclined to never move to a suburb. However, Flea tells us a story (June 26th entry) which makes me understand the draw of the suburbs a wee bit more than I do now. It's all about the kids.
Our own NH and JC were robbed at gunpoint last night. Read the play-by-play at Absenter.org.
Boystown-based blogger palochi proposes a new activity for all you WiFi-enabled tipplers out there: Wardrinking. "Instead of driving around in your car looking for open wireless connections (i.e., wardriving), you go to bars and see if there's an unprotected hotspot you can use." Intriguing. [via Bradlands, who may be moving to CHI from STL this summer.]
Gothamist introduces Chicagoist, "a website about Chicago and everything that happens in it. That means news and events, restaurants and bars, happenings and goings-on."
Skokie has gotten a community weblog all of their own. Go Skokie is aims to "create a community driven Web site for Skokie that offers 'news for the people by the people.'" The site was created by a team at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
One Good Thing writer and Honeysuckle shop owner, Leigh Anne Wilson gets quite a nice write-up in Friday's Chicago Tribune. The geeky journalism student in me is jealous that I didn't get to write the lede. It's perfect.
The Chicago Tribune finally gets around to covering last month's Gapers' Block/SPEC Chicago reading at Uncle Fun in today's Q section. The paper version includes pictures of Mimi Smartypants, Shasta MacNasty and other "digital beatniks" (seriously).
The Rise of the Chicago Blogs continues: the Colorado Springs Independent writes up Mimi Smartypants for her book based on her site and Wendy McClure for her book deal based on hers. They don't know what the headline means either.
Some of you have entertained the thought of attending culinary school. Perhaps as a patissier? If you'd rather live vicariously, then take a peek and read what it's like at Pastry School, written by Meg, who's currently attending here in Chicago.
The Daily Herald ran a mini-series on weblogs in yesterday and today's papers. In the first, Sour Bob beats groupies away with a stick; in the second, the reporter blogs about his love for Mimi Smartypants. (Disclosure: GB's editor was interviewed for both stories. His quote in today's article was taken out of context.)
Centerstage, the original events listings site (but don't tell Metromix), has started a blog. Hopefully they'll fix their comments, so we can respond to their call to "tell us more about [the city], in detail, with links."
It was not a good weekend to be a pedestrian. One of the weekend's three car-related homicides killed Chin Up Chin Up bassist Chris Saathoff (Friendster profile here). Blogger Mimi Smartypants was there. (Coincidentally, the Tribune's Transportation section on Sunday looked at what's being done to make cars less dangerous for pedestrians. Not enough, obviously. Cars kill more than 43,000 people a year in the U.S., and about 12 percent are innocent bystanders, the equivalent of one Sept. 11 every seven months.)
After a long hiatus, local blogger and former GB staffer Alex Valera has restarted her blog, injust-spring. Welcome back!
...To Get an Ulcer is a relatively new weblog described as "A glimpse into the mind of an Chicago inner-city high school teacher". It's captivating reading.
Especially, our librarian, Alice. The owners of House in Progress were trying to track down info about their street. They asked Alice, and she answered them. Librarians don't know everything, they just know how to find it.
The Bloggies, the longest-running weblog awards presentation (not that that's much of a boast), have announced the nominees, and there are two from Chicago in the running. Bookslut, a recent emigre from Austin, is nominated for Best Topical Weblog, and Sabrina Faire is up for Best Tagline. Go vote!
Alas, Gapers' Block was not nominated. Oh well, maybe next year.
Mysterious and venerable Chicago blogger Mimi Smartypants has a book out soon. Weirdly, it's only being published in the UK.
Jorn Barger, creator of Robot Wisdom, one of the first weblogs -- in fact, he coined the term -- has been missing for two months. Barger moved to a small New Mexico town from Chicago last year, but hasn't been heard from online since October 1, and his housemate hasn't seen him since, either. Eric Wagoner is starting a search. UPDATE: Apparently his disappearance was the result of a domestic dispute. No need to panic, stop searching under bushes.
Jessa Crispin, creator of the literary weblog and e-zine Bookslut, is on the cover of the Chicago Reader this week talking about her blog and her experience with incurring the wrath of writer Dale Peck. Jessa recently moved to Chicago from Austin, and we're thrilled to have her. This is also the Reader's Fall Books issue so run out and grab a copy.
IIT's Shlomo Argamon helped write the algorithm behind the Gender Genie, this week's blog meme. Enter a passage of text and the Genie predicts the author's gender. I entered several days of Merge, the Proprietors page and the current installments of Detour, Airbags and Fuel, and the results were unanimous: Gapers Block is a boy!
This week is the third Wednesday of the month which means it must be International Blog Meetup Day! Come meet some of your fellow bloggers this month at Southport Lanes located at 3325 N. Southport, Chicago, IL 60657 starting at 7pm. Let us know you're coming via RSVP at Meetup.com. Hope to see you there.
Sadly we report the demise of The Making of a Restaurant, a weblog by Sandor Weisz and Luke Seemann. On a happier note, we'd like to officially welcome Luke to the staff here at Gapers' Block! (Not that we had anything to do with them shutting down MoaR.)
Former Reader and McSweeney's writer Neal Pollack returns to town to promote his latest book, "Never Mind the Pollacks." Thursday, Oct. 16, there will be a free reading at Quimby's (1854 W. North) at 7:30, followed by a 9:30 show at the Subterranean (2011 W. North) with his band, The Neal Pollack Invasion ($8). Friday at 12:30 he'll read at Borders (150 N. State), then at 9 open for comedy troupe Schadenfreude at the Athenaeum (2936 N. Southport; $20).
Coudal Partners and 37signals still have a couple spots left open for their Bloggingworks workshop next Friday, Oct. 3. Tell your boss -- no, tell the CEO -- this is one workshop your company can't afford to pass up.
Mimi Smartypants is having a baby! (Well, not really: she's adopting a baby from China.)
Of interest to bloggers in Chicago and elsewhere, a columnist in Canada's Globe and Mail writes today about his discovery of the "blog phenomenon," which he writes, "is perhaps the strangest side of the Internet. It's stranger even than all the porn."
Ruthie shows us evidence (scroll down a little) of how to make your finger turn into a small penis. Make sure you credit her the next time you work that into your party repertoire. It's a sure bet to impress the folks.
Localfeeds is a new blog aggregate service that incorporates GeoURL; any site that offers an XML/RSS feed and has GeoURL coordinates is picked up once an hour and collected on one page. The service is still fledgling (~500 blogs tracked), but Chicago's page is a promising start.
Normally Bonne Marie Burns writes poetically about all things knitty. But occasionally she writes eloquently about her life as a television news camera operator. Today she writes about her experience filming live during Chicago's first multiple workplace shooting since February of 2001.
The press just keeps on coming for Chicago bloggers. Wendy of Pound, Erin Shea of Lose the Buddha and Paul McAleer of Big Fat Blog all got mentioned in a New York Times article about diet/weight issue blogs. Our Toledo correspondent tells us that Ms. Shea will be appearing on Tuesday's Good Morning America.
The Making of a Restaurant and KIPlog's FOODBlog got some press in a St. Petersburg Times article about food weblogs. (As Paul from KIPlog noted, "poor Jes once again doesn't get a direct link because of her 'in-your-face title.'"
Hey, women bloggers got some props in the Chicago Tribune, yesterday.
Pass this one on to your boss: 37Signals and Coudal Partners are teaming up to offer BloggingWorks, a one-day workshop on "how your business can harness the power of weblogs to improve efficiency and communication."
The American Sentimentalist takes a long, loving look at a job that has faded away in most neighborhoods, but not his: the Knife Sharpening Man.
In what may become a daily read for me, the misleading-at-first-but-makes-sense-after "North Avenue Traffic Report" (currently in a I-just-moved-no-internet hiatus), a site by one Ira Cox, details his adventures on his fixed gear bike (a man after my own heart), and escapades dumpster diving around the city. It's shocking to see the sort of stuff he finds... Via the indomitable Kiplog.
Former Chicago web logger, soon to be ex-patriate traveling around the world, Paul Nendick gives us as his final good-bye gift, his round-up of favorite Chicago restaurants. Some obvious choices -- and some hidden gems ready to be jumped on. Good luck Paul!
Stumbled across this, a Chicago Acting weblog, interesting links even if you're not an actor, written and maintained by David Lawrence.
As the capping event of the Digital Genres Conference (disclaimer: I am the conference organizer) uber-blogger and web-guru David Weinberger will be giving a talk on 'Why Weblogs Matter' 8pm May 31 (next Saturday) at the Julia Friedman gallery in the west loop. After which they'll be a huge party with lots of complimentary booze and the ranks of the conference goers will be swelled with artists, bloggers and other suspicious bohemian types. Come for the Heidegger, stay for the Heileman's! All are welcome.
Ian Clarks weighs in on my Malaysian Invasion (at the bottom) as his in-vogue drink a few weeks back, but more interestingly, his twist to the recipe (sub Lingonberry juice for Cranberry) becomes the Scandinavian Invasion. A drink that sounds pretty damn tasty.
University of Chicago professors discover blogs as a way to temporarily step off their pedestals and talk to the little people.
Hmmm, Gawker stalker is now stalking Chicago? "I saw Josh Hamilton at the 10:00 Saturday night performance of Wigfield (starring Strangers With Candy's Amy Sedaris, Steven Colbert and Paul Dinello) in Chicago. He was very cute, despite having two very dark front teeth." Hamilton, of course, is starring in Richard Greenberg's play The Violet Hour at Steppenwolf.
Our very own Dave Elfving as well as our friend Alicia Frantz appeared on NPR's Morning Edition. The online version is here. Dave's audio entries are here. There used to be much more but he's taken most of them down and left you with a selection of "The best of". Alicia's sounds are at Audible Frequency. Don't be fooled by the props that I got, I'm still, I'm still Chicago from the block.