Street Smart Chicago

Free Will Astrology: Week of May 5, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Silence is not silence, but a limit of hearing,” writes Jane Hirshfield in her poem “Everything Has Two Endings.” This observation is apropos for you right now. There are potentially important messages you’re not registering and catalytic influences you can’t detect. But their apparent absence is due to a blank spot in your awareness, or maybe a willful ignorance left over from the old days. Now here’s the good news: You are primed to expand your listening field. You have an enhanced ability to open certain doors of perception that have been closed. If you capitalize on this opportunity, silence will give way to revelation. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Beautiful: Teen Dream

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By David Alvarado (click to enlarge) Life_is_comic_18_updated

Dime Stories: Dick Tracy’s Chicago Crimestoppers

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Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

In the mid-sixties, the Sunday funnies were a portal to another world. They were really great then. My favorite strip was Dick Tracy, for all kinds of reasons. For one, it took place in Chicago and Tracy was square of jaw and heroic. He dealt out justice with a Calvinist zeal that was shockingly violent for a newspaper. It was also impeccably rendered. Whenever people ask me who my favorite artists are, Chester Gould is at the top of a very small list. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of April 28, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The oracle I’m about to present may be controversial. It contains advice that most astrologers would never dare to offer an Aries. But I believe you are more receptive than usual to this challenge and I am also convinced that you especially need it right now. Are you ready to be pushed further than I have ever pushed you? Study this quote from novelist Mark Z. Danielewski: “Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati.” Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of April 21, 2016

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “The writer should never be ashamed of staring,” said Aries writer Flannery O’Connor. “There is nothing that does not require his attention.” This is also true for all of you Aries folks, not just the writers among you. And the coming weeks will be an especially important time for you to cultivate a piercing gaze that sees deeply and shrewdly. You will thrive to the degree that you notice details you might normally miss or regard as unimportant. What you believe and what you think won’t be as important as what you perceive. Trust your eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Beautiful: Teen Dream

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By David Alvarado (click to enlarge)

Life_is_comic_17_updated

Dime Stories: Guardian Peregrines at St. Mary’s

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Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

There is no faster animal on earth than a Peregrine falcon. They can drop at 200 miles per hour and have been clocked even faster. Often they hunt by turning themselves into a missile from great heights and hitting their prey with their breastbone. I saw this occur right outside of Daley Center once. I happened to be looking up just in time to see this explosion of pigeon feathers about a hundred feet up; like a flutter of paper in a mad house. The luckless pigeon fell to the  ground and the Peregrine landed a few moments later, spreading her wings over her kill and feasting. Daley Center was full of people who just knew to walk around the feeding raptor and stayed about ten feet away in all directions. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of April 14, 2016

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free,” said novelist Ralph Ellison. Would you consider making that a paramount theme in the coming weeks? Will you keep it in the forefront of your mind, and be vigilant for juicy clues that might show up in the experiences headed your way? In suggesting that you do, I’m not guaranteeing that you will gather numerous extravagant insights about your true identity and thereby achieve a blissful eruption of total liberation. But I suspect that at the very least you will understand previously hidden mysteries about your primal nature. And as they come into focus, you will indeed be led in the direction of cathartic emancipation. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of April 7, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is regarded as one of the greats, in the same league as Picasso and Kandinsky. Even in his eighties, he was still creating marvels that one critic said seemed “to come from the springtime of the world.” As unique as his work was, he was happy to acknowledge the fact that he thrived on the influence of other artists. And yet he also treasured the primal power of his innocence. He trusted his childlike wonder. “You study, you learn, but you guard the original naiveté,” he said. “It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.” These are good, sweet thoughts for you to keep in mind right now, Aries.
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A Lot You Got to Holler, Episode 4: Architecture Is Hilarious

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Humor in Architecture

Architecture requires massive amounts of money, time, and effort to come together. It’s serious business. Most of the time. But here in Chicago there are a handful of designers that work humor into their architecture whenever they can, as a way to satirize the practice of architecture and the cultures that surround it, or as a way to invite new people into the conversation. For A Lot You Got to Holler’s fourth episode, we’re joined by Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer of Design with Company, as well as Ania Jaworska and artist/musician/designer Beverly Fresh. Free with each download: Design with Company’s theme park ride of Midwestern folkways, Ania Jaworska’s peerless knowledge of Polish interior design folk tales, and Beverly Fresh’s proposal for the Graham Foundation bookstore that’s truly, truly ahead of its time. Special thanks to recording studio engineer Tim Joyce and Nick Cage’s pores.

 

Guests: Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer of Design with Company, Ania Jaworksa and Beverly Fresh

Producer: Tim Joyce