High-Rising Near Morgan Green Line?
Sterling Bay is pitching a thirty-three story Fulton Market apartment high-rise near the Morgan Green Line Stop, Block Club Chicago reports. “It would be Sterling Bay’s first residential development in the West Loop… Sterling Bay filed a zoning application to build a transit-oriented high-rise with 320 apartments, ninety parking spaces and 2,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. The proposed tower would replace the former drive-thru South Central Bank building just south of Federales restaurant.”
DINING & DRINKING
Michelin Adds Three New Stars In Chicago
Three fresh Michelin stars have been awarded, reports Eater Chicago. The list of twenty-four notables adds three restaurants: Fulton Market’s Ever (two stars), the Near South Side’s Bar and the Dining Room at Moody Tongue (two stars), and West Town’s Porto (one star). “Restaurants that have remained closed through the pandemic won’t have their stars removed. In Chicago, Entente (one star) in River North and Acadia (two stars) in the South Loop kept their status.”
Just Keep Ribbin’
The Windy City Smokeout, which describes itself as the festival with “the nation’s best in country music, BBQ and beer,” will be held in July, with 12,500 people expected per day, reports Block Club Chicago. Attendees have to be vaccinated or prove they’re negative for the virus.
FILM & TV
True/False Gets Out Of The Woods And Into A 118-Acre Park
Co-founder David Wilson of the Midwest’s stellar True/False Film Fest nonfiction showcase tells The Pitch Kansas City about the final preparations for this year’s hybrid edition, running May 5-9 on the ground in Columbia, Missouri’s Stephens Lake Park and “teleported.” “We had a breakthrough around June of last year when we realized all we can do is imagine what it would look like if we did a fest tomorrow,” Wilson tells Pitch. “It gave us the ability to start making plans, like this could look like this, or this would look like this. We knew we can’t be indoors, so if it’s not indoors where can it take place and how many people can come? At some point we identified Stephens Lake Park here in Columbia, a 118-acre park which has rolling hills and a lake, and we wondered if we could fit multiple venues into this park. There’s a local music festival that takes place there every year, so we knew that was possible. Where we ended up was with the four venues scattered throughout the park, and coming up with a safe, masked, distanced fest that still contained the essence of True/False… We have this bedrock where we serve these communities. One is our local community, another is the international documentary community. We started thinking about how what we’re doing works for this audience, or how it works for this other audience, and what people might need from a festival right now.”
Suiting Up “Ironheart” in Chicago
Variety reports that Marvel-Disney Plus’ Chicago-set “Ironheart” has landed a head writer, poet-screenwriter-playwright-educator Chinaka Hodge, whose credits include the Apple reboot of “Amazing Stories,” TNT’s “Snowpiercer” series and as a founding member of the hip-hop collective The Getback. The lead character is, in the comics, “a fifteen-year-old MIT student who reverse engineers Iron Man’s armor in order to create armor of her own. Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Stark, eventually took notice and gave her his encouragement to pursue the life of a superhero. ‘Ironheart’ is one of multiple Marvel-Disney Plus shows that will focus on women of color.”
Tor surveys independent booksellers: “It’s a heartbreaking paradox: more people than ever have been reading, and publishers reported record profits in 2020, but bookstores have struggled to make ends meet. To survive, owners and staff have had to come up with new answers to the old question: What makes a great bookstore? But also: when things that seemed central to the bookselling experience, like browsing and hand-selling, become impossible, what’s left?” Writer Charlie Jane Anders quotes Rebecca George, co-owner of Chicago’s Volumes Bookcafe and Bookstore: ” I’ve learned there is no limit to the loyalty people feel towards their local bookstore. It’s an endless love. They’ll adapt just as fast as you do, and vice versa.”
Tribune’s John Kass Has Beef With Plants He Won’t Eat
Content provider John Kass has a 900-word argy-bargy with himself ,”fake news,” picking up dogshit and vegan “beef” in his column. “Two Tribune editors whom I had trusted up until about five minutes ago said if I was going to write about beefless beefs, the proper journalistic thing to do was to try them myself. And then, only then, could I write about the experience,” Kass writes, without having tried the vegan offering. “To irritate me further, the formerly trusted drove to Buona, purchased the fake beef and the real beef, and sent a photo. ‘Can you tell the difference?’ Fake news [sic]. And the other editor I trusted once—but no longer—said our newspaper has standards and that I must practice sound journalism and taste them first. My answer? Let me rephrase that—my printable answer—no. I’m the son of a butcher. I just grilled a real porterhouse steak the other night, rare, and topped it with blue cheese butter. I eat real beef, not fake beef, and I don’t care what beef does or doesn’t do to the climate, and I find… this anti-beef business highly political and controlling, like having to wear a mask outdoors while scooping up the leavings of [my dog to] avoid wide-eyed staredowns. And yeah, they’re coming for your burger.” John Greenfield, at his Kass Watch twitter feed, observes, “It’s weird he’s mocking people for trying to eat healthier while bragging about eating steaks with blue cheese butter. Fake Italian beef is actually a good metaphor for Kass, since he spent decades posing as a rough-and-tumble Chicagoan and telling us how to run our city, while he was living in the affluent, 98% white suburb Western Springs.” Reader writer Leor Galil tweets that Kass didn’t even rise to the “beef”: “It must be so hard to be you, a person paid an absurd amount of money to write about food you refuse to try.” Kass concludes, “Sorry, but without truth, is there journalism?”
Fests, United Center, Conventions Allowed As Mayor Loosens Restrictions
The pandemic appears no longer to be a concern as Mayor Lightfoot announces the broad expansion of public activities permitted in the city. “Festivals Are Back, United Center Can Reopen As Chicago Loosens Coronavirus Restrictions,” headlines Block Club Chicago. “Chicago is loosening its Phase 4 regulations effective immediately, allowing events like festivals, fans at the United Center and conventions.” Restrictions remain: “People will still need to keep six feet apart and wear face coverings. Officials are also encouraging people to get fully vaccinated to stop the pandemic and fully resume normal life.” Among the new rules: “Restaurants and bars can increase capacity to the lesser of fifty percent or a hundred people; larger indoor venues for seated spectator events — including the United Center, theaters and concert venues — can operate at twenty-five percent capacity; smaller indoor venues can operate at the lesser of fifty percent capacity or fifty people. Large indoor venues can now operate at the lesser of twenty-five percent or 250 people. Meetings, conferences and conventions are allowed within those rules. Festivals and general admission outdoor spectator events can operate with fifteen people per 1,000 square feet.” Fran Spielman notes that redevelopment of Navy Pier was one of the first projects Lightfoot worked on as a young attorney: “The mayor was Richard M. Daley. The governor was Jim Thompson.” Kelly Bauer of Block Club records the end of the press conference: “Lightfoot: ‘All right, Chicago, let’s reopen.’ Band plays. Lightfoot: ‘Life is always good with a jazz band, a brass band in it.'”
Genesis will kick off its first U.S. tour in fourteen years with a show at the United Center on November 15 as Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford announce “The Last Domino? Tour,” reports AP, via the Sun-Times.
Vivid Seats Goes Public
Chicago-based Vivid Seats, an online marketplace for ticket sales for concerts, sports, theater is going public, reports Built in Chicago. The company will “become a publicly traded company through an acquisition by businessman Todd Boehly’s Special Purpose Acquisition Company, Horizon Acquisition Corp. The deal is expected to provide Vivid Seats with $769 million in gross proceeds, and bring Vivid Seats and Horizon’s combined market cap to about $1.95 billion at closing… Vivid Seats has grown to become one of the more well-known Chicago-based companies, with a platform that supports over 12 million customers and 3,400 sellers.”
“Live Shows Are About To Come Roaring Back To Full Houses”
Chris Jones at the Trib: “Assuming the theater community puts its focus on its audience, both new and returning, and gives them both what they want and need as they recover from this hellish era, live shows are about to come roaring back to full houses. Comedian Dave Chappelle sold 13,000 tickets for his July 2 concert. The Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny had 45,000 people in his waiting room, all trying to buy tickets at once. Get the drift, Chicago entertainment peeps? People are ready. In New York, Broadway shows are returning in the fall… the vast majority very much fancy their chances in a booming fall, especially since New York has announced a huge investment designed to help the tourism sector recover. A large number of visitors is crucial to the arts, so we can only wish that Chicago and the state of Illinois soon will announce a similar recovery effort.”
ARTS & CULTURE
NASCAR on LSD?
While the proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Point du Sable remains in the air, NASCAR has designs on the lakefront stretch as a motorway, reports Phil Rosenthal at the Trib. “The racing organization is exploring the idea of a Chicago street race with a June virtual racing event serving as a dry run, although NASCAR stopped short of publicly confirming it. A real-life race would be in 2022 at the earliest, but Sports Business Journal said NASCAR ‘is still in the early to middle stages of putting the project together and it’s possible the project could get delayed.’ First up is a June 2 virtual iRacing event set on a simulated Chicago street circuit.”
Chicago on State Returns This Summer
“Chicago’s most iconic street, State Street, will close to traffic from Lake to Madison on Sundays this summer and transform into an open street full of surprises beginning July 11,” the Chicago Loop Alliance says in a release. “Come together with neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond for this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, retail, bars, restaurants, and local attractions. Experience everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop, like never before!”