Street Smart Chicago

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

Life Is Beautiful: Teen Dream

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By David Alvarado (click to enlarge)Life_is_comic_16

Dime Stories: The Saddest Music on Western Avenue

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Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

As any good car thief or auto parts thief can tell you, Western Avenue is home to the Midnight Auto, the night-and-day marketplace for hot cars and parts (now mostly just parts) in the city of Chicago. Western is also the longest continuous street in the city. It is not like Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles; one of those stretches of road that goes from the outhouse to the penthouse and back. Western pretty much goes from the outhouse to the dog house, not so many penthouses.

Until 1870, Western was the western border of the city limits. Western used to be home to Riverview, the much storied amusement park that was torn down in 1967 to make way for a police station. In its later years, Riverview had an unseemly reputation. It was full of beatniks, sailors and kids who were to become known as hippies. Older friends of mine tell me it was a good place to buy pot, and maybe the last place one could play Skee-Ball, a poor man’s version of bowling.

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Free Will Astrology: Week of March 31, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my astrological analysis, you would benefit profoundly from taking a ride in a jet fighter plane 70,000 feet above the earth. In fact, I think you really need to experience weightlessness as you soar faster than the speed of sound. Luckily, there’s an organization, MiGFlug (migflug.com), that can provide you with this healing thrill. (I just hope you can afford the $18,000 price tag.) APRIL FOOL! I do in fact think you should treat yourself to unprecedented thrills and transcendent adventures. But I bet you can accomplish that without being quite so extravagant.

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Free Will Astrology: Week of March 24, 2016

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When Orville and Wilbur Wright were kids, their father gave them a toy helicopter powered by a rubber band. The year was 1878. Twenty-five years later, the brothers became the first humans to sail above the earth in a flying machine. They testified that the toy helicopter had been a key inspiration as they worked to develop their pioneering invention. In the spirit of the Wright Brothers’ magic seed, Aries, I invite you to revive your connection to a seminal influence from your past. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to feed a dream that was foreshadowed in you a long time ago. Read the rest of this entry »