Amazon Lockers Relocated, For Now
Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez tweets of the errant Amazon Hub lockers bolted onto sidewalks in Brands Park and the Forest Glen Playlot: “The locker has been removed and there will be no further installations of Amazon lockers on any parks until there is a review of the process. I am still waiting to receive the contractual agreement between Amazon and the Chicago Parks District.” Reports Block Club Chicago: “Amazon removed some of its controversial delivery lockers installed atop public sidewalks in city parks… after neighbors and local politicians complained, and [Amazon] pledged to review similar installations in parks.” While some lockers have been in place for months, there are still “plans in the works to install dozens of the blue lockers around the city… ‘We value the community’s feedback and are taking action to respond to these concerns,'” Av Zammit, an Amazon spokesperson told Block Club.
Feminine Idols Displayed On Bus Shelters In Chicago, New York And Boston
From August 25 to November 21, “a cast of goddesses, queens and other powerful women from across history and mythology are landing on 300 bus shelters in New York, Chicago and Boston,” reports Hilarie M. Sheets at the New York Times. “Co-opting the space of luxury perfume and fashion ads, 10 colossal photographic representations of feminine idols, conjured by a single name — Cleopatra, Aphrodite, Godiva, Sheba — gracefully bare themselves… Martine Gutierrez, the shape-shifting artist and performer who plays all the parts, is behind ‘ANTI-ICON,’ a Public Art Fund project.” “These are all figures known for their beauty as well as their perseverance and ability to overcome obstacles,” Katerina Stathopoulou, the show’s curator, told Sheets. The figures are “reinterpreted by Gutierrez, who has seen these figures reproduced countless times and is testing whether she is ‘allowed’ to represent them. ‘My first question was, “Am I a woman? What does being a woman mean?”‘ said Gutierrez, who identifies as a nonbinary transwoman. ‘It’s probably something I’ll never stop asking myself.'”
Chicago’s Got An Ugly Buildings Tour
“Welcome to the world of ‘ugly buildings’ in Chicago. Your guide is Mike McMains, who worked for years in commercial real estate.” Moving out of that business, McMains is offering an “ugly buildings” walking tour of River North, reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “’The thing that is so refreshing is that it isn’t a chore,’ said McMains, who developed tours for the Chicago Architecture Center as a volunteer docent. He said he doesn’t ridicule who made bad buildings, except maybe in one instance. ‘This isn’t a mean tour.’ … ‘Architecture — the term is not elitist. I’m trying to humanize the conversation and do it in a fun way.’” More at McMains’ “Tours With Mike” website.
Hyatt $2.7 Billion Apple Leisure Group Purchase Will Double Its International Resorts
Chicago-based hotel company Hyatt is buying resort company Apple Leisure Group for $2.7 billion, reports the Trib, betting that luxury leisure travel will continue to recover from the pandemic. ““We are very bullish on leisure travel. It’s proven its resiliency and durability,’ Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said during a webcast with investors… Apple Leisure Group’s resort management company, AMResorts… expects to have more than 33,000 rooms at 102 hotels by the end of the year, under brands including Secrets, Dreams, Breathless and Zoetry.”
DINING & DRINKING
Team Behind Sportsman’s Club And Loan Wolf Opening West Loop Bar
Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner are expected to open Nights and Weekends at 1009 West Lake next month, reports Block Club Chicago. “They are partnering with Anthony Mitchell, of Revel Room and La Sirena Clandestina, who will oversee the beverage program. The 4,500-square-foot tavern will include a sixty-seat central bar, with custom booths and high-top tables around the perimeter.” “Riffs” and cocktail classics are in the offing.
Colectivo Bargaining: Labor Organizers Foresee Results
“Five months after initial results showed a tie in Wisconsin-based Colectivo Coffee’s election on whether or not to unionize, the chain is closer to determining an official outcome,” reports Eater Chicago. “Preliminary returns in April showed a tie with seven challenged ballots remaining. Despite management’s efforts to exclude these ballots, [the] National Labor Relations Board has decided that those uncounted ballots will be opened and counted… Should union organizers’ plans come to fruition, Colectivo would become the largest unionized workforce at a coffee chain in the U.S. Without the seven uncounted votes, the election was deadlocked at 99-99.”
From Cooking At Schwa To COO of Snakes & Lattes
Eater Chicago charts the path of chef Aaron McKay from cooking at Schwa to running the Canadian Snakes & Lattes chain of board game cafes after cooking at the Chicago Board Games Cafe. “You could go the Dave & Busters route of, ‘You’re here anyway so you’ll eat whatever we provide,’ but I think that is insulting to the customer,” McKay tells Eater. “Cards Against Humanity heavily promoted the 14,000-square-foot space ahead of its opening, making it one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2020. The Bucktown space included a game store, two escape rooms, and a vault of 400 to 500 titles for guests to pick from… guides helped customers pick the perfect game and taught them the rules… The restaurant opened in Bucktown in February 2020… The spot got progressively busier, bringing in crowds looking to learn and play new games while enjoying dinner and cocktails. Then the COVID-19 outbreak shut down indoor dining…”
FILM & TELEVISION
Carrie Coon On “Ghostbusters”‘ Chicago Origins
Carrie Coon talks about her career with the Guardian, including Chicago links to the upcoming “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” “I’m so proud to be part of it. It feels surreal because I grew up watching the original. Many of the original cast were Chicago guys – Bill Murray and Harold Ramis came up on the Chicago improv scene – and that’s my stomping ground, so it’s special to continue that connection. The kids, Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace, do most of the cool stuff but I see some action, too. Most of the special effects are practical, rather than green screen. There was real smoke and red lights everywhere. It was a treat to do some physical acting.”
CFA Restoration of “The First Degree” Gets Film Center World Premiere
Chicago Film Archives has slated the world premiere of a new scan of recently rediscovered 1923 silent film “The First Degree,” on September 29 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. In celebration of National Silent Movie Day, CFA will present the previously “lost” “rural melodrama” in partnership with the Film Center in a screening featuring live musical accompaniment from Chicago’s Quasar Wut-Wut, who will perform an original score. More on the CFA restoration here.
City Lists Nearly 600 “Chicago In Tune” Attractions
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced more details for the “Chicago in Tune” music festival, including thirty-six more city-supported “Chicago Presents” neighborhood events and Blues Community Concerts in the Bronzeville and Austin neighborhoods, on historic Record Row and in music clubs across the city. Chicago In Tune (August 19–September 19) is a new, citywide festival celebrating Chicago’s music scene and the 2021 Year of Chicago Music. This month of music will bring together iconic neighborhood venues, presenting organizations and musicians from across the city to celebrate all music genres and forms — with almost 600 free and ticketed shows at more than fifty-five venues. “You can try to define, categorize or pigeonhole it, but at the end of the day, there is no singular sound that encompasses Chicago’s music scene,” Mayor Lightfoot says on the Chicago in Tune webpage. “This wide variety of music not only reverberates through and breathes life into every corner of our city, but it is highlighted and celebrated during incredible events like Chicago in Tune. I want to thank every musician, venue owner and music industry leader for participating in this timeless festival, remaining resilient in the face of this pandemic.” DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly: “Chicago is the city that knows how to strike a chord.”
Shattered Globe Theatre Extends Application Deadline For Global Playwright Series
Shattered Globe Theatre has extended the application deadline for its Global Playwright Series (GPS) through August 31. “GPS is a new play development program specifically aimed at BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse and disabled writers and those who fall within intersections of these identities. The program aims to connect SGT with new playwrights who want to collaborate, lead the development of their play and have it fully produced by Shattered Globe.” Two selected playwrights will be announced this fall and each will receive initial compensation of $500. From there, SGT will discuss how each playwright wants to lead the process of developing their play and Shattered Globe will provide resources to achieve that goal. Details here.
Broadway, West End Not Quite Back
CNBC reports ticket sales, even for the likes of “Hamilton” and “Wicked,” are sluggish on Broadway. “Both on and off Broadway, live-event venue producers attribute the sluggish ticket sales to industry volatility caused by the delta variant. Michael Rosenberg, managing director of the McCarter Theatre… in Princeton, New Jersey and former managing director of La Jolla Playhouse in California, said it is to be expected that theatergoers will be hesitant, but that is not a reason to stop the show… ‘When shows are reopening, people are making their buying decisions much more closely to the performance date than we’re used to seeing,’ said Rosenberg. ‘People are going to be a little more cautious about [buying tickets] eight weeks, nine weeks, ten weeks out.'”
ARTS & CULTURE
Can Pandemic Accessibility Of The Arts Be Sustained?
At Fast Company, Amy Globus sees the pandemic as a wake-up call for the transformation of arts organizations. As the world hopes to reopen, “arts organizations face a choice: Will reopening return them to the old normal’s status quo, or will they commit [to] merging tech and digital experiences as a… lifeline to audiences who previously weren’t able to access them? … The arts industry faced an undeniably steep challenge—the effects of which were felt most keenly by working artists. But amid the wreckage… well-designed digital offerings not only kept their content accessible to their core audience but also expanded their reach and impact exponentially. Virtual experiences became a desperately needed window on the world, and to stave off isolation, everyone… had to become technologically literate in a very short amount of time. So while brick-and-mortar doors stayed shut through lockdown, virtual doors flung wide open… Going forward, it shouldn’t be about pitting digital and in-person experiences against each other. Smart organizations will have a foot in each stream. We’ll forevermore need to think about virtual and in-person experiences as two halves of a whole.”
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