Rental For Amazon Lockers Dropped Into Public Parks: $137,600 for 102 Locations
Block Club Chicago has the latest on the sweet, sweet rental Amazon is paying the Park District to place lockers in the public way: $137,600 a year for 102 lockers: “The Park District is set to make $89,900-$137,600 in its first full year of allowing retail giant Amazon to install controversial delivery lockers in more than a hundred public parks — and critics say the amount doesn’t justify the intrusion. Block Club obtained the Park District’s contract with Amazon through a public records request after several lockers were installed on sidewalks, partially blocking them, in parks earlier this month. The contract shows Amazon pays the Park District $50 a month for each of the smallest of the steel lockers, which are 6 feet wide. The contract calls for $125-a-month payments for the largest lockers, which are 15 feet wide.” More here.
Winners Of City’s INVEST South/West Initiative Announced
Galleria 89 is the winner of the South Chicago site for the City of Chicago’s $750 million INVEST South/West initiative. This initiative has been a priority for Mayor Lightfoot’s office to boost economic development in historically disinvested neighborhoods of the South and West sides of Chicago, “with an emphasis on building equity and ushering in an emerging class of local minority and female developers and business owners.” The proposal for Galleria 89 is here.
DINING & DRINKING
City’s Oldest Hot Dog Stand Is Run By Four Generations Of Black Women
“The oldest hot dog stand in Chicago dates back to 1938. That’s not, however, what makes Dave’s Red Hots special,” writes Louisa Chu at the Trib of the women of the oldest hot dog stand in Chicago, Dave’s Red Hots in Lawndale. “’I don’t see it as just a hot dog place. This restaurant is owned by Lawndale. It’s not owned by me and my mother,’ said Eugenia ‘Gina’ Fountain. She runs Dave’s with her mother, Shirley Fountain. Their late family patriarch bought the business from the original owners fifty years ago. ‘This is genuinely a community restaurant.'” “A lot of people tend to shy away from natural casings, as opposed to skinless products or whatever,” Gina Fountain tells Chu. “But that’s what we’ve had before me, before my dad and everybody else. That’s been our zhuzh forever.”
Ninety-Two Year Old Newark Nook Side Street Bar Ready To Sell
How Guthries Tavern and California Clipper Hope To Come Back To Life
Time Out Chicago reports on the reopening plans of two neighborhood joints, California Clipper and Guthries. Humboldt Park’s California Clipper’s closure led “Kristina Magro (Lone Wolf Tavern, Prairie School) and Ben Fasman (Estereo, Danny’s Tavern) to make a pitch to become the Clipper’s latest stewards [and will be] operated by the Orbit Group—which was formed by Fasman and Magro with chef Matt Troost (Three Aces)… ‘We can all probably name dozens of neighborhood bars that have shut down in the past five or ten years,’ says Fasman, who will serve as the Clipper’s general manager. “They are dropping like flies, and we have a rare opportunity to preserve this corner [of California Avenue].” Further north, in Wrigleyville, “Commonwealth Tavern owner Matt Baldino had similar feelings about the need to preserve Guthries Tavern… Baldino saw a path forward for the business, deciding to purchase it earlier this year with the goal of reopening it later this summer.” More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Late August Movies At Millennium Park
The Chicago Film Office, part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will present two free movies in Millennium Park to wind up August on its forty-foot LED screen. Guests can sit at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or picnic on the Great Lawn while watching “The Wiz” (Tuesday, August 24, 6pm) and “The Dark Knight” Tuesday, August 31, 6pm). DCASE programming is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority.
Reeling 2021 Announces Its Full Slate
Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival has announced its full slate of programming for the event that opens September 23 at the Music Box and runs September 24-30 at the Landmark Century, as well as virtually from September 27-October 7. In its thirty-ninth year, Reeling is the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. The slate includes forty-two shows, with thirty-three feature films and nine short film programs, including work from more than fifteen countries including Israel, Turkey, Iran, Australia, Italy, Romania and Chile. “Cinema is supposed to be communal and after more than a year of social distancing and isolation it’s never been more important to experience independent film with one another,” Reeling founder and executive director of Chicago Filmmakers Brenda Webb says in a release. “Filmmakers interpret the world around them and bring us new perspectives and new ideas with stories of love and loss, bravery and struggle, humor and revelation — the tapestry of the human experience. Reeling’s thirty-ninth slate of films celebrates and embraces this crucial piece of our shared existence.”
The Sun-Times Remembers Legendary Chicago Investigative Reporter Bill Recktenwald
Mitchell Armentrout at The Sun-Times remembers indefatigable ace Chicago journalist Bill Recktenwald, who was 79. His career is recounted at length, including his role in the legendary Sun-Times “Mirage” investigation. “William Recktenwald could be anyone. The renowned investigative journalist most famously fooled corrupt Chicago city inspectors into thinking he was a naive rookie bar owner. Then, he talked his way into a job as a guard at a downstate Illinois prison to reveal its deplorable conditions. ‘He was a natural at going undercover,’ said reporter Pam Zekman, one of Recktenwald’s longtime investigative cohorts. ‘He had an ability to adapt to any kind of situation. He had a low-key way of dealing with people to win their confidence.’ But ‘Reck”s role as a mentor to young reporters was no disguise. Throughout four award-winning decades in newsrooms, he also had an affinity for helping journalists looking to get a foot in the door.” Much more here. The Southern Illinoisan: “‘Get a hold of some victims!’ Reck yelled out during one of my first-year journalism classes in 2011, his curled fists gripping the air with such excitement. The lesson was on how to better approach crime stories and elevate crime statistics by seeking out first-person accounts. It was a simple directive, but boy, his words stuck with me as I navigated my journalism career after college. I’ve knocked on doors in a low-income public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana, an epicenter at the time for environmental harm and lead poisoning, and on the doors of mothers and fathers who lost their sons and daughters to gun violence.” Bob Goldsborough at the Tribune quotes retired Tribune reporter Jerry Crimmins: “He was an amazing reporter and investigator, yet very humble. He never acted as if he was somebody special, although he was. He did incredible work in his investigations, yet he was quiet and unassuming, even seeming a bit worried all the time. I believe this is why he was so good as an undercover investigator. He could be everyman.” Writes Goldsborough, “Recktenwald’s early jobs included selling shoes, working the cash register at a liquor store, selling groceries and driving nails into prefabricated boxes… Recktenwald also showed an aptitude for investigations, and in 1962, he took a job as an undercover investigator for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. In 1966, Recktenwald joined the Better Government Association as an investigator. Partnering with Chicago’s newspapers… Recktenwald worked to uncover fraud, although he was not above a bit of whimsy at times. During a 1968 vote-fraud investigation with the Chicago Daily News, Recktenwald went undercover as a Skid Row wino and registered to vote at a succession of flophouses…. The names he used, which all soon showed up on official voter lists, drew on literary figures real and fictional, including James Joyce, Jay Gatsby and Henry David Thoreau.”
Journalist Danny Fenster Remains In Custody In Myanmar
An online vigil for the safe return of journalist Danny Fenster continues at Facebook: “Day 91. It’s just about 9:30pm EST on August 22 (roughly 8am Myanmar time, August 23). Danny is supposed to have his sixth hearing today. I am asking you, his village; friends, family, neighbors, community and strangers to keep the light of hope burning bright. Say a prayer, chant a mantra, light a candle, put some good vibes into the universe or simply keep the Fenster family in your thoughts as we all patiently wait to bring Danny home.” Sam Weller’s June piece from the Reader on Fenster’s imprisonment by the country’s military dictatorship is here.
Eric Wagner Of Chicago Doom Band Trouble Dies From COVID
Eric Wagner, 62, the original singer of doom metal band Trouble, has died after a battle with COVID pneumonia, reports Blabbermouth. His son, Luke Wagner, wrote on social media: “Hey all this is Luke Wagner his oldest son. Eric Wagner has passed away.” “Also mourning Wagner’s death is his former The Skull bandmate Chuck Robinson, who wrote on Facebook: ‘This morning I awoke to the worst news… We are all truly devastated… My dear friend, band mate and brother Eric Wagner has passed. Goodnight Tempter… We love you.’ It was less than a week ago that Wagner’s bandmates went public with the fact that he [had contracted] the novel coronavirus.”
Lead Singer Of Riot Fest Replacement For Sunday Headliner Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Contracts COVID
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has tested positive for COVID-19, reports Metal Hammer. In a message to the Astronomicon convention in Ann Arbor: “I should be okay… I’m vaccinated, so I’m not worried. But I certainly wouldn’t want to spread it to anyone else.” Taylor had a message last year to those who doubted the seriousness of the pandemic, via Australian radio station Triple M Triple: “My country’s loaded with these dumbasses that think it is some sort of political standpoint or some sort of partisan garbage, and I’m just like, ‘Are you serious?’ Just because you haven’t had anyone in your life affected by it doesn’t mean that it’s not a real thing. I once had to wear a full head mask for eight hours while doing Slipknot press. Eight hours straight – didn’t take it off, but these people are going to bitch and moan about wearing it for ten minutes at the market? Get over yourselves.’” No word on the health of Riot Fest’s other last-minute addition, Morrissey, whose late career is known largely for chronic cancellations. (Pixies have also dropped out of Riot Fest, as well as their tour plans for the remainder of 2021.)
Evanston’s Music In The Grove Cancelled Over Health Concerns
The Music Institute of Chicago has postponed its September Music in the Grove event that was to be an indoor-outdoor block party and celebration of ninety years of music-making and teaching. “The Music Institute of Chicago has made the difficult decision to postpone Music in the Grove, the ninetieth anniversary celebration scheduled for Nichols Concert Hall and on Grove Street,” the group writes on their site. “Our top priority is the health and well-being of MIC families, faculty and staff, volunteers, exhibitors and members of the community at large. We feel that this is not the right time to host a large event.”
Artemisia Theatre Postpones Artemisia Fall Fest Until 2022
Woman-dedicated Artemisia Theatre has postponed Artemisia Fall Fest until 2022. “It has been a challenging year and a half for all of us due to the pandemic. Many loved ones have been lost. Others have fallen ill,” artistic director Julie Proudfoot says in a release. “Now we face a variant of COVID-19 that challenges our safety at indoor events, despite vaccination. Artemisia has always put the safety of our talent and audience first and 2021 is no exception. It is our hope to make an exciting and safe return to live theater in 2022.” Artemisia Fall Fest, the company’s annual staged reading showcase of new plays by women writers, had been scheduled for October at Raven Theatre. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Graham Foundation Announces More Grants To Organizations
The Graham Foundation has made its second award round of the year, with $471,500 to organizations around the world. The forty-five projects include exhibitions, publications, digital initiatives, and other public presentations led by organizations based in cities such as Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New Orleans and Chicago, where the foundation is based. These organizations support the work of eminent and emerging architects, artists, designers, critics, curators, scholars, and others, to explore new possibilities for the field and engage practitioners and publics worldwide. The new grantees join a global network of individuals and organizations that the Graham Foundation has supported over the past sixty-five years. In that time, the Foundation has awarded more than $41 million in direct support to over 4,800 projects by individuals and organizations. Chicago-area grantees include the University of Illinois at Chicago—College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts for American Framing: US Pavilion, 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale; Design Trust Chicago for the Chicago Design Database Network; the Association of Architecture Organizations for the 2021 Design Matters Conference; Lampo for the Lampo Folio; and MAS Context for “Radical Logic: On the Work of Ensamble Studio.” The complete list is here.
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