Missouri Cave With Osage Nation Artwork Over A Millennium Old Sold At Auction For $2.2 Million
“A Missouri cave containing Native American artwork from more than 1,000 years ago has been sold at auction, disappointing leaders of the Osage Nation who hoped to buy the land to ‘protect and preserve our most sacred site,'” reports AP via the Sun-Times. “A bidder agreed to pay $2.2 million to private owners for what’s known as ‘Picture Cave,’ along with forty-three hilly acres that surround it near the town of Warrenton, about sixty miles west of St. Louis… The cave was the site of sacred rituals and burials. It has more than 290 prehistoric glyphs—hieroglyphic symbols used to represent sounds or meanings—’making it the largest collection of indigenous people’s polychrome paintings in Missouri,’ according to the auction house.” (A St. Louis family that owned the land since 1953 used it mostly for hunting.) Carol Diaz-Granados and her husband James Duncan spent twenty years researching the cave; “Duncan is a scholar in Osage oral history, and Diaz-Granados is a research associate in the anthropology department at Washington University in St. Louis. ‘Auctioning off a sacred American Indian site truly sends the wrong message,’ Diaz-Granados said. ‘It’s like auctioning off the Sistine Chapel.'”
Landmark Morton Salt Warehouse Sign Will Be “Revitalized” For Music Venue
The roof and sign of the Morton Salt warehouse on Elston will be replaced as part of the building’s redevelopment, reports Block Club Chicago. Developers behind the $30 million project got landmark designation from the city, “which usually restricts what updates and changes can be made to protected properties,” but “preservationists say the move is allowed under the site’s landmark status.” “Morton said the roof and sign enhancements will ‘modernize’ the brand. ‘The updated logo features a fresh and friendly font, while maintaining the qualities of the original word mark, specifically the bold, all-caps type style’… ‘In addition to the word mark, the company updated its Morton Salt Girl icon as part of its brand refresh. The new Morton Salt Girl has cleaner, simplified linework to fit better with the new “Morton Salt” word mark.'”
CTA Discounted Fare Passes Boost Ridership
In response to plummeting ridership during the pandemic, transit agencies continue to discount passes, reports Streetsblog Chicago. The CTA reports that its “More Fun, Less Fare” promotional pass discounts ‘”spurred a nearly seventy-percent increase in average ridership among pass users.” The CTA has extended the promotion to November 25. “The agency says 10 million rides have been taken using the three types of unlimited-ride passes. Under the discounts, with the one-day pass, you can ride all day for the cost of one round-trip El fare ($5, down from $10 before the promotion.) The three-day pass ($15, down from $20) is intended for weekend travel or employees working flexible days. And with the seven-day pass ($20, down from $28), customers pay less than $3 per day for unlimited rides for the week and the weekend.”
City Council Approves Rezoning For Goose Island Edifices
“The Chicago City Council has approved the rezoning of land for a mixed-use development at 901 North Halsted in Goose Island,” reports Chicago Yimby. “The Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed building will be the first phase of Halsted Pointe, a major planned development by Onni Group. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2022, taking twenty-four to thirty months to complete.” Plans for the edifices and more at the link.
Manhattan’s Pandemic Sign Of Megacities Meltdown?
“New York City, the financial and business capital of the world, and until very recently a hub for tourists, may well be the canary in the coal mine that predicts a decline in the very idea of the megacity,” writes Rafia Zakaria at The Baffler. “With the Delta virus having halted return-to-office plans, the office tower vacancy rate in Manhattan is stuck at twenty percent. This means that the looming behemoths that made up the city’s iconic skyline are now a silent and sulking lot. When workers do not come into a city, a city can wither; and an examination of slow recovery of retail districts that are close to certain subway stations frequented by New York city commuters prove this. This is simply because the vast economic machinery of the city requires a constant influx of cash. Office workers, now toiling at home, used to provide that. There were lunch-break or after-work shopping sprees to nearby retailers, there were lunches at cafés and restaurants, there are the million other things that are consumed in the course of the day. Students and creatives may still be thronging to the city, but it is the absent army of white-collar office workers whose taxes and transactions keep the city running.”
Schaumburg Sears, Illinois’ Last, Set To Close
The Sears store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, the once-towering retailer’s last location in Illinois, will close in mid-November, reports the Sun-Times, as part of a corporate plan to “redevelop and reinvigorate the property… This is part of the company’s strategy to unlock the value of the real estate and pursue the highest and best use for the benefit of the local community,” Sears parent company Transformco said in an announcement. The Tribune has a timeline of the 130-year rise and fall of Sears.
Continued Crush Of West Loop High-Rise Apartments Okayed
City Council approved two projects that will bring more than 1,300 new apartments to the the West Loop, reports Block Club Chicago. Alderpersons signed off on Jamal Properties’ plan “to build two apartment towers with 1,053 residential units and commercial space at 601 West Monroe. On the eastern end of the neighborhood, the City Council also approved DAC Developments’ 288-unit apartment tower at 1227 West Washington.”
Why Do Cities Still Build High-Rises?
Dezeen listens to readers on why, twenty years after 9/11, cities persist in permitting tall buildings. “I’m almost insulted by the reminder that the high-rise virus continues to spread. Waste of energy, waste of resources, almost impossible to protect indefinitely. A physical reflection of late-capitalist, winner-takes-all approach to economics. And all priapic phalluses to boot,” writes one reader. “I have never liked or wanted to live above anything more than four-six stories,” writes another. “The higher you go it seems there is less connection to neighbors and the neighborhood. I also dislike the space left at ground level–again very disconnected.”
DINING & DRINKING
Logan Square Could Get Food Truck Lot Near Megamall Site
“Under a community-driven proposal, one Logan Square lot would become a public park with a water feature and another would be designated for paleta and empanada carts and food trucks,” reports Block Club Chicago.
DoorDash Sues NYC To Deny Customer Data To Restaurants That Make Their Fees Possible
DoorDash, the nation’s largest food delivery app, “is suing New York City over a new law that would require it to share customer data with restaurants, claiming that it is a violation of the First Amendment,” reports Eater. “New York City’s new law, approved by the City Council this summer, and which would take effect in December, is one of many recent regulations that target the exploitative nature of third-party delivery apps. ‘This law would simply allow restaurants and their customers to share a direct relationship instead of having… delivery companies be the gatekeepers and control the marketplace, often at everyone else’s expense,'” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York Hospitality Alliance.
Solazo Opens In West Elsdon Neighborhood
Pepe Barajas, who opened local favorite El Solazo in 2007 in Chicago’s West Elsdon neighborhood, will debut a new edition, Solazo, at 5600 South Pulaski on September 23 after two years of being closed for service, the restaurant relays in a release. Barajas will introduce a refreshed, upscale-casual vibe at Solazo similar to its sister property La Josie, the 2019 and 2021 Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient in the West Loop. “I’ve been wanting to re-concept El Solazo and bring La Josie’s upscale and laidback vibe to the neighborhood for a while. We unfortunately had to close immediately two years ago due to a small fire and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to collaborate with my team and bring the neighborhood what they’re starved for,” Barajas says. El Solazo became a neighborhood staple but the 2019 electrical fire and then the pandemic delayed the opening. Attractions include an agave bar program at the formerly BYOB boîte, a refreshed menu and large outdoor patio. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
ChiTown Movies In Pilsen Sustains
“’ChiTown Futbol is our core business, the one we bought,’ [Bryce] Bowman told me,” reports Michael Phillips at the Trib. “‘ChiTown Movies is the one we started because we had to. And I’m glad we did.’ This fall, in the second year of the pandemic also known as the most tediously prolonged disaster movie imaginable, business remains strong… Bowman’s own bookings kept the drive-in movies coming, in between outside rentals… ‘Fall-into-winter: That’s our prime season… For one thing, it gets darker earlier, which is great. Halloween is very big for us. We showed ‘Love Actually’ for Valentine’s Day. It sold out. In February!'”
Why Is It A Problem Getting Books Now?
New Orleans indie bookstore Tubby & Coo’s has a thread of tweets outlining the crunch in printing and distribution of books as worldwide supply chains falter or disintegrate. A sampling: “There’s a paper shortage, which is driving up costs. Demand for wood is SUPER high (you may have heard about lumber shortages)… there isn’t enough to go around, which causes delays in obtaining materials to make paper AND increases the cost… Paper mills have been cutting production for years due to lack of demand, then the pandemic hit & production was cut even more… Cardboard is more scarce because of these same reasons, which means less materials for boxes… There are dockworkers in quarantine, which means shipments from overseas are delayed. There’s been a shipping container shortage… All of this has contributed to a huge spike in costs of international shipping, & many publishers print books overseas… There’s also port congestion, COVID outbreaks in factories, the container shortage, the cardboard shortage, etc. Plus, there’s a shortage of truck drivers… Every piece of the supply chain is disrupted… This means major delays in getting books printed & shipped at both ends of the process, which affects pretty much any order.” Bloomberg reports on “supply chain hell” that could last past 2023.
Author Britteney Black Rose Kapri Wins Cannabis Dispensary License, But..
Performance poet, playwright and teaching artist Britteney Black Rose Kapri [Newcity Lit 50] gets a mixed message: “Amid a seemingly endless series of delays, Britteney Kapri finally got some good news last month,” reports the Sun-Times. “Baked, her cannabis startup, had been named the winner of a dispensary license in a sought-after region that covers Chicago. But instead of feeling joy, or even relief, Kapri fell into a state of panic as she reflected on the latest hurdle stymying the licensing process: a court order that remains intact had blocked the issuance of her permit and 184 others… Like other Black entrepreneurs from Chicago who were named license winners over the course of three recent lotteries, Kapri has been subjected to a bureaucratic nightmare while pursuing her dream of carving out a stake in the white-dominated weed industry. It’s all taken a serious toll.”
Today’s Third Hour Discovers Chicago TikTok Historian Shermann Thomas
NBC’s Today “discovers” Chicago TikTok’s Shermann Thomas, or Dilla the Historian (6figga_dilla), with an especially exuberant correspondent. The segment is here. Plus: coverage of Thomas on Block Club from May.
Cicero Independiente Bringing Politics Into The Open In Cicero
“A longtime Mafia stronghold and onetime destination for Eastern European immigrants, Cicero, Illinois, is now a Latino-majority town,” reports Poynter. “More than eighty-nine percent of residents are Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, many of them first- and second-generation Chicagoans… But while their school attendance and home ownership numbers are high, Latinos are underrepresented in Cicero’s political life. Only two of the ten local government leaders are Latino, and only one of those can vote on town issues… That power imbalance has persisted because of opacity in decision-making and lack of news coverage, Irene Romulo said… She’s a founding editor of the Cicero Independiente, a community-focused weekly that’s begun bringing the town’s politics into the open. Romulo and two young partners, Ankur Singh and April Alonso, launched the paper over coffee at a local library in 2019. The first edition of Cicero Independiente came out that summer, and it’s been punching holes in the town’s political discourse ever since.”
Northwestern Journalism Degree Is Pretty Expensive, Says WSJ
“At Northwestern University, master’s students in journalism who take out federal loans borrow far more than their undergraduate counterparts,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “News reporting has lost thousands of jobs over the past decade, with a further slide predicted. Yet, journalism schools continue to churn out heavily indebted master’s degree graduates hoping to find a footing in the cratering industry. Many students leave even the most prestigious private graduate programs, such as those at Northwestern University, Columbia University and the University of Southern California, with earnings too low to let them make progress paying off their loans, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Education Department figures released this year.”
Falls Talks To Jones On Goodman Departure
Chris Jones talks to Robert Falls about the thirty-five-year artistic director’s just-announced 2022 Goodman Theatre departure at the Trib. “Bob was there at the beginning of that extraordinary, one-off explosion of theater in Chicago,” David Mamet tells Jones. “God bless him.” “It feels right,” Falls tells Jones. “I’ve had the greatest job. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything at the theater I wanted to accomplish. And I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have been able to work at this theater, with these artists, at this time, in this city.”
Chicago Dance History Project Moves To Ruth Page Center For The Arts
Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP), which investigates, documents, and presents the individual and institutional past of Chicago dance, has announced a move into The Ruth Page Center for the Arts as an Artist-in-Residence. The AIR program is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. CDHP joins a roster of other arts organizations including DanceWorks Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Hedwig Dances, Pilates Practice Chicago and Porchlight Music Theatre. This home further positions CDHP within the community it documents and supports CDHP’s plans for innovative and collaborative programming. “We are proud to be in residence at the Ruth Page Center, one of several institutions that have provided physical anchors for dance to flourish in this city,” CDHP executive and artistic director Jenai Cutcher says in a release. “Chicago Dance History Project is now immersed in the past, present, and future of Chicago dance in every way and I look forward to all the creative possibilities this new location and partnership bring.”
A Red Orchid Theatre Announces Season
A Red Orchid Theatre has announced its twenty-ninth season, beginning with the Chicago premiere of “The Moors,” by Jen Silverman (January 6–February 27, 2022), directed by artistic director Kirsten Fitzgerald, followed by the world premiere of “Last Hermanos” by Exal Iraheta (April 21–June 12, 2022). “Isolation is a tricky thing; simultaneously distorting and clarifying priorities for many,” artistic director Kirsten Fitzgerald says in a release. “I find myself in a moment where I am actively working to reorder what is my responsibility to interrogate and how I will or will not make it the same moving forward. I know I am not alone in this investigation, and I cannot think of two better plays with which to come together and dig in.” More details and subscriptions here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Illinois Humanities Announces $1.4 Million in COVID-19 Emergency Relief And Recovery Grants For 254 Illinois Organizations
Illinois Humanities is awarding its largest grant pool in the organization’s history for pandemic relief and recovery: $1.4 million to 254 organizations in seventy-two counties. These awards will support public humanities organizations in communities where residents have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and which are often bypassed by traditional funding streams owing to size, organizational capacity or geographic location. This round of grants, which combines funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities received through the American Rescue Plan Act as well as private donations, builds upon lessons learned during 2020 funding relief efforts as outlined in the report, “On Wisdom and Vision: Humanities Organizations in Illinois During Covid-19.”
Gabrielle Lyon, executive director of Illinois Humanities says in a release, “These grants support the people, places, and spaces that document, preserve, and share our state’s histories, cultures, languages, stories, religions, philosophies and literature; during the pandemic they’ve been on the frontlines of strengthening their communities’ well-being and resilience. We are honored to be able to help them respond to and recover from the pandemic.” A total of 210 organizations with budgets of less than $2 million received General Operating grants. “Humanities organizations–which include history, cultural and ethnic centers, literature and literacy organizations, community media platforms, humanities museums, libraries and archives–play a critical role in documenting and strengthening the resilience of their communities by producing oral histories, curating local archives, creating virtual historic walking tours, producing documentary films and designing curricula.”
Grantee partners include The HUB–Arts and Cultural Center (Rushville), Metro East Literacy Project (East St. Louis), National Public Housing Museum (Chicago), Robbins Historical Society and Museum (Robbins), True Star Media (Chicago), and libraries and museums throughout Illinois. Another forty-four organizations received public humanities project grants. These projects include oral histories in suburban Chicago Latinx communities (Elgin), a far South Side consortium collecting local histories of the Calumet-region (Chicago), a youth media social justice initiative (Rock Island) and a racial justice peace festival (Belleville).
The Origins Of Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day Caravans
“For decades, people have shown their pride in Mexican identity and culture by driving in caravans, waving flags and honking through the neighborhoods shaped by Mexican immigrants,” Laura Rodríguez Presa reports at the Trib. “It’s a sense of belonging, we are making ourselves visible because we are proud of our roots. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” Ricky Flores, a Chicagoan born to immigrant Mexican parents tells the reporter. “For more than sixteen years, Flores has helped organize peaceful caravans to honor the holiday and celebrate Mexicans in Chicago by bringing together car clubs and groups… The cruising traditionally was focused in the neighborhoods. But during Donald Trump’s administration some began to drive downtown to Trump Tower, blasting Mexican music and sometimes even taking live bands… The former president’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and negative comments about Mexican immigrants fueled some to buy larger flags and play louder music, Flores said… ‘We wanted to show our pride and show that we weren’t afraid of him and other people that don’t want us and our parents here. This is our city too.'”
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]