Chicago’s most valuable natural asset is its lakefront, forever free, public, and protected by law. This lakefront is so valuable, argues the architects at Port Urbanism, that we need more of it to pay off the city’s massive debts. Or (if you ask the designers at UrbanLab) newly built islands in the lake must be drafted into relieving pressure from an overstressed storm drain system by filtering and cleaning the city’s water. Read the rest of this entry »
By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Old paint on a canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent,” said playwright Lillian Hellman. “When that happens, it is possible to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea.” Why does this happen? Because the painter changed his or her mind. Early images were replaced, painted over. I suspect that a metaphorical version of this is underway in your life. Certain choices you made in the past got supplanted by choices you made later. They disappeared from view. But now those older possibilities are re-emerging for your consideration. I’m not saying what you should do about them. I simply want to alert you to their ghostly presence so they don’t cause confusion. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the last conversations I had with the beloved Chicago writer Andrew Patner took place after running into him as I was coming out of an event. I mentioned to him that I was thinking about writing a story about how, hypothetically, I would save the Sun-Times, and he strongly encouraged me to write it. The newspaper was something dear to his heart.
I decided that it was some kind of karmic intervention that the morning after the one-year anniversary of Andrew’s unexpected death brought a surprise announcement—that Michael Ferro, the principal owner of the Sun-Times since 2011, and the man credited with turning Jenny McCarthy into a columnist, was buying a substantial stake in Tribune Publishing and taking on the role of non-executive chairman. Simultaneously, he was stepping out of his controlling role at the Sun-Times parent company, the cringingly named Wrapports. A seismic shift roiled the quicksand of local media. Read the rest of this entry »
By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Love is a fire,” declared Aries actress Joan Crawford. “But whether it’s going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” I disagree with her conclusion. There are practical steps you can take to ensure that love’s fire warms but doesn’t burn. Start with these strategies: Suffuse your libido with compassion. Imbue your romantic fervor with empathy. Instill your animal passions and instinctual longings with affectionate tenderness. If you catch your sexual urges driving you toward narcissists who are no damn good for you, firmly redirect those sexual urges toward emotionally intelligent, self-responsible beauties. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tony Fitzpatrick
Well the Iowa clown car has emptied and the good news is the only candidate who seems remotely presidential damn near ran the table. Two days ago, the pundits and talking heads on cable and network news were saying that if Bernie Sanders got twenty percent he’d be exceeding expectations. As usual the pundits have underestimated the appeal of Senator Sanders. I don’t understand why; considering the collection of dolts, dumbbells, dimwits and simpletons on the GOP side of the ballot, this should be a cakewalk if you are a sentient voter whose head does not glow in the dark. The Republicans elevated the truly loathsome Ted Cruz to the top of their ticket, though he didn’t beat Donald Trump by much—it seems the evangelical voters liked Cruz more. The real horse to watch in that race is Marco Rubio, who stealthily crept into third place in the derby of mental defectives. Read the rest of this entry »
By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Bible’s Book of Exodus tells the story of the time Moses almost met God. “Show me your glory, please,” the prophet says to his deity, who’s hiding. “You cannot see my face,” God replies, “but I will show you my back parts.” That’s good enough for Moses. He agrees. I hope that you, too, will be satisfied with a tantalizingly partial epiphany, Aries. I’m pretty sure that if you ask nicely, you can get a glimpse of a splendor that’s as meaningful to you as God was to Moses. It may only be the “back parts,” but that should still stir you and enrich you. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tony Fitzpatrick
Chicago is never more beautiful or dangerous than it is at night.
The workman-like, bustling, endless hustle of daylight becomes a fleet and sleek animal at night. Dressed in lights and stars, come-hither reds, yellows and greens—the dirty carpet sky leans back and reveals a skyline of glittering skyscrapers like gangsters dressed in diamonds. It whispers,”We’re bigger than you” and, “There are more of us than there are of you” and still, “We’ve already won.”
On occasion, I ride the Chicago Avenue bus from downtown to Damen and this ride is always a miracle of languages and sights if not smells. The CTA buses lurch along like tired old mutts ambling from one skinny tree to the next. At night you can see the five stars lit up in neon from the new bar with the old-style signage as well as the endless taco joints and pink horse of Alcala’s Western Wear. This is my favorite street in Chicago, one where you are as likely to hear Polish and Ukrainian as you do English. It is a street about business—small business—nail joints, drugstores, tattoo parlors and cut-rate furniture. Read the rest of this entry »
This issue marks Newcity’s thirtieth anniversary.
Back when we published our first issue, “30” in journalism meant the end, as in the end of a story, a typographical cue sent from writer to editor. It was a tradition dating back, it is believed, to the era of the telegraph when a similar code told the operator a message had ended. Accordingly, the number has some foreboding metaphorical qualities for a publisher, especially in these times. But I am pleased to report that while the typographic usage is now dead, print continues to thrive at Newcity.
And so this issue is not a nostalgic look back. Instead, we asked thirty writers, cultural and community leaders to envision the city thirty years hence. Read the rest of this entry »