Street Smart Chicago

Lollapalooza Green Street 2015: Farmers Market

Events, Green No Comments »
Photo: Lollapalooza

Photo: Lollapalooza

Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green Street

Lolla Farmers Market, located north of Green Street, features small-batch food businesses from the Chicago area. Read the rest of this entry »

Lollapalooza Green Street 2015: Lolla Cares

Events, Green No Comments »
Photo: Lollapalooza

Photo: Lollapalooza

Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green Street

Lolla Cares organizations, located in Green Street North and South, support surrounding and international communities with causes ranging from health advocacy to sustainable living to fighting poverty at home and abroad. Read the rest of this entry »

Race Review: Chicago Full Moon Run (July 29, 2015)

-Neighborhood/Suburb, News etc., Running No Comments »
Runners prepare for the Full Moon Run/Photo: Zach Freeman

Runners prepare for the Full Moon Run/Photo: Zach Freeman

Breakdown: Standing at the makeshift starting line at the edge of Norwood Park last night—a day before the true full moon, race directors readily acknowledged—preparing for the kickoff of the fourth annual Chicago Full Moon Run, I marveled at the peaceful suburban neighborhood streets around me (had I really just parked my car for free only a block from the race?). Only I wasn’t in the suburbs. I was in the far northwest corner of Chicago, where parking is plentiful and you can run a foot race on the streets as long as you have a few volunteers directing traffic.

And that’s the way this race runs. Coupled with a mile race (billed as the “1 Mile Lunar Orbit”), this neighborhood event managed to draw in almost 200 participants this year with its cheap entry fee and charity mission (proceeds going to “benefit the battle against Multiple Sclerosis”). The 5K course is a double loop around Norwood Park and the surrounding neighborhoods, a quick, flat course through tree-lined streets on a perfectly-temperatured evening that led to a lot of quick running. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: Dime Stories is a Book and I’m Going to Lollapalooza!

Dime Stories No Comments »
Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

If anyone would have told me four years ago that I’d have lasted at this job for four years, I’d have not believed them. This is the longest I’ve ever held a job. I think because I don’t think of it as work is the secret of the longevity. I can think up and relay the craziest shit imaginable and I get paid for it. I wish Newcity had been around when I was fourteen or fifteen when I used to get knocked around by various religious orders in school for espousing these very thoughts.

Really, no shit, I used to get slapped silly for uttering the thoughts I get paid for sharing now. The Christian Brothers would play volleyball with your head if you uttered the language I’ve used in “Dime Stories.” They were nasty, unpleasant motherfuckers who I do not miss. Read the rest of this entry »

Checkerboard City: The Case of the Missing People Spots

Andersonville, Architecture, Checkerboard City, Green No Comments »
Brian Bonanno, in baseball cap, and contractors reinstall the Farragut People Spot. Photo: John Greenfield

Brian Bonanno, in ballcap, and contractors reinstall the Farragut People Spot./Photo: John Greenfield

By John Greenfield

As the Tribune’s Blair Kamin recently pointed out, it’s embarrassing that San Francisco will soon have more than eighty “parklets”—parking-lane space repurposed as picturesque seating areas—while our much-larger city only has a handful of them. Dubbed “People Spots” by the Chicago Department of Transportation, which runs the program, eight of these have been put in on business districts in Grand Boulevard, Kenwood, Lakeview and Andersonville.

The beauty of parklets is that they take asphalt that’s usually reserved for warehousing private automobiles and transform it into attractive, planter-enclosed public space where neighbors and shoppers can congregate. The People Spot nicknamed “The Wave” at Addison and Southport in Lakeview is practically public art—its undulating, freeform seating units are both comfy and reminiscent of whale skeletons.

A study by Metropolitan Planning Council found that, since People Spots encourage people to linger on Chicago’s retail strips, they’re a shot in the arm for local businesses. Eighty percent of merchants surveyed felt nearby parklets helped attract customers to their establishments. Seventy-three percent of parklet users said that, if they weren’t eating, chatting, texting or relaxing in the spaces, they’d probably be at home. Thirty-four percent of them said they made spontaneous food or beverage purchases as a result of the inviting hangout space. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 30, 2015

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I am very much in love with no one in particular,” says actor Ezra Miller. His statement would make sense coming out of your mouth right about now. So would this one: “I am very much in love with almost everyone I encounter.” Or this one: “I am very much in love with the wind and moon and hills and rain and rivers.” Is this going to be a problem? How will you deal with your overwhelming urge to overflow? Will you break people’s hearts and provoke uproars everywhere you go, or will you rouse delight and bestow blessings? As long as you take yourself lightly, I foresee delight and blessings. Read the rest of this entry »

Race Review: WIPEOUTRUN (July 25, 2015)

News etc., Running, Sports No Comments »
Participants finish the WIPEOUTRUN on the Happy Endings slide/Photo: Zach Freeman

Participants finish the WIPEOUTRUN on the Happy Endings slide/Photo: Zach Freeman

Breakdown: Since 2008, the reality series “Wipeout” has been a mainstay for ABC, with the network airing 148 episodes of the obstacle-course-challenge show over seven seasons. Despite recent rumblings that season eight has been cancelled due to low viewership (neither confirmed nor denied by ABC), the brand, pairing with what was formerly ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge) Race, has taken to the streets with a nationwide race series called WIPEOUTRUN.

Setting up shop in the parking lots surrounding U.S. Cellular Field for the Chicago leg of this tour, thousands of participants paraded through a course consisting of giant inflatable obstacles with names like “Big Balls,” “Sweeper” and “Foam of Fury.” And though many of these certainly have the right to be called obstacles, there are also a number that are just entertaining water park rides—from the inner-tube-driven Tumble Tubes to the epic finale slide christened Happy Endings.

Though billed as a 5K, the course, which wound its way around a series of cones and fences, registered as only slightly longer than two miles by my measure. Still, lines at various obstacles extended completion time to at least a forty-five minute experience. Individual costumes and team themes provided an extra level of entertainment on the course, along with pounding music and the fun of watching other participants… wipe out. Read the rest of this entry »

Race Review: BTN Big 10K (July 25, 2015)

Running, Sports No Comments »

Big Ten fans at the starting line/Photo: Zach Freeman

Breakdown: For six hours Saturday morning, the area between Soldier Field and McCormick Place was swarming with more than 13,000 Big Ten fans—alumni, students, parents and supporters—all with a common purpose, despite their varying school allegiances: to run 6.2 miles (or at least 3.1). This is the fourth year for the BTN Big 10K (which also features a 5K distance) and, back in its original location near Soldier Field, it continues to draw large crowds and put on a large post-race party (christened the “Fan Fest” and featuring bags, games and food).

This is a large race by any measure and race organizers have dealt with this by breaking the field out into waves and releasing packs of runners every three minutes, allowing for a more open course. Having the course follow the far less scenic route west of Lake Shore Drive allowed for comfortable running despite the large numbers. The familiar slip ‘n’ slide of years past appeared around mile five and though it didn’t have many takers, its appeal on a hot, humid July morning can’t be overstated. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 23, 2015

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Latin motto “Carpe diem” shouldn’t be translated as “Seize the day!” says author Nicholson Baker. It’s not a battle cry exhorting you to “freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it.” The proper translation, according to Baker, is “Pluck the day.” In other words, “you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as if it were a wildflower, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things—so that the day’s stem undergoes increasing tension and draws to a tightness, and then snaps softly away at its weakest point, and the flower is released in your hand.” Keep that in mind, Aries. I understand you are often tempted to seize rather than pluck, but these days plucking is the preferable approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: Steve Jesus, the Magic Lark and the Ghost of Jerry Garcia

Dime Stories No Comments »

The Magic Lark 300By Tony Fitzpatrick

My pal Steve Jesus was in town for the weekend’s Grateful Dead end of days. He was happily sad at the prospect of a final Dead show. He was determined to experience the holy trinity of mind-altering Grateful Dead substances : X, acid and ‘shrooms, in that order. He also, thanks to Tinder, got to experience some slap and tickle twenty-first-century style. He hooked up with a lass who wasn’t looking for Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now. Steve was happy to oblige. All in all, his weekend was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Jerry Garcia would have been proud.

Steve is one of my oldest and best friends. Years ago, when I was on the radio, he was my producer. He has since gone on to work for a large tech outfit in San Francisco. He is a proud member of five or six dispensaries in San Fran and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things cannabis.

There were all manner of Deadheads in town over the weekend and at first I thought they would be of the sixty-plus-year-old vintage. To my surprise there were plenty of kids who were not even alive before Jerry Garcia died. Read the rest of this entry »