Art Institute Employee Organizers Ask Museum To Recognize Union
“Backed by majority support from employees, organizers at the Art Institute of Chicago announced they are asking the museum to voluntarily recognize the first labor union at the iconic cultural institution,” reports the Trib. “Union organizers began collecting signature cards from about 640 employees at the Art Institute and [SAIC] last month, and after gaining a ‘solid majority,’ delivered letters to leadership at the museum and school requesting recognition without a formal vote.” This would be the first major museum union in Chicago.
A Hundred Miles Of Upgraded Bike Lanes In City’s Biggest Expansion Ever
“More bike lanes are coming to the city over the next two years, providing critical infrastructure at a time more Chicagoans are choosing biking as a mode of transit,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The Chicago Department of Transportation said the city is leading the biggest bike lane expansion its history, helped by investments from Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital plan. In total, $17 million will support installing and improving bike lanes all across the city, with 50 miles of lanes planned for 2021 and 2022.” More details here.
DINING & DRINKING
Goddess And Grocer Launches “Boobies For A Cause Cupcakes” At All Locations
To raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October, The Goddess and Grocer has created “Boobies For A Cause Cupcakes” [pictured], which will be at the Bucktown, River North, Gold Coast and O’Hare Terminal 5 locations. The cupcakes are $4 for a two-pack of “mini-boobies” in a variety of tones to celebrate all women; $1 from each sale will be donated to the Lynn Sage Foundation.
Rossi’s In River North Requires Proof Of Vaccination
Eater reports that Rossi’s, one of downtown’s last dive bars, is requiring proof of vaccination.
NYC To Pass Comprehensive Law Improving Conditions For Delivery Workers
“The New York City Council is on track to pass a groundbreaking package of legislation on Thursday that will set minimum pay and improve working conditions for couriers employed by app-based food delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats,” reports the New York Times. The bills, supported by outgoing mayor de Blasio, “are the latest and most broad example of the city’s continuing effort to regulate the multimillion-dollar industry… The legislation would prevent the food delivery apps and courier services from charging workers fees to receive their pay; make the apps disclose their gratuity policies; prohibit food delivery apps from charging delivery workers for insulated food bags, which can cost up to $50; and require restaurant owners to make bathrooms available to delivery workers. Delivery workers would also be able to set parameters on the trips they take without fear of retribution.”
Frank & Mary’s In Avondale Will Go On
“Identified only by its brick facade, glass block windows, and hanging Old Style sign, Frank and Mary’s once was a beloved lunch spot for workers along the Avondale corridor,” writes Dave Hoekstra. “Clients included folks from the Hammond Organ Company, Advanced Transportation, and Air King, where workers were spinning out fans at Belmont and Rockwell.” The recent death of Mary Stark, at 77, has accelerated Frank’s retirement. “Frank, 72, will work his last shift on October 1. Frank and Mary went together like salt and pepper. Mary was the queen of the tavern’s small kitchen. Frank worked the bar. Mary was known for her German plum tarts, pot roast, and especially her meatloaf (without tomato sauce) with a side of chicken cacciatore. I once told her the hearty food reminded me of the great Busy Bee diner in Wicker Park. She smiled and nodded because those meals were way before molecular gastronomy dinners… Frank commutes to Frank and Mary’s from his home in northwest suburban Itasca. Frank and Mary’s kids were not interested and/or were unable to take over the business. But a good neighborhood bar always creates meaningful friendships.” One of those friends? Tony Mata. “Frank and Mary’s is in good hands. Mata has a pure heart and an empathetic business sense. He embraced the history of the 1947 rail car that became the Silver Palm and he will embrace the legacy of Frank and Mary’s. Mata has been a regular at Frank and Mary’s since 2012 when he moved into the neighborhood.”
How Chef Michael Lachowicz Adjusted To Cooking For An Ongoing Pandemic
Eater Chicago details Michael Lachowicz of Aboyer and Georges Trois adjusting his cooking for the pandemic era. “As the pandemic forced him to evolve in the kitchen, Lachowicz also had to reassess his marketing strategy. The classically trained chef had been reluctant to embrace social media. He preferred to allow his cooking do the talking. But since he hired a social media expert to run the Georges Trois Group’s accounts, he decided the effort was worth the expense and has been preaching the value of Instagram with the zeal of the newly converted. ‘Social media management is a job and a skill,’ he says. ‘To manage yourself is like representing yourself in court during a murder trial. Young people are who we need to reach, and they’re on Instagram. All my bad behavior was stemming from fear.'”
S.Pellegrino Presents Chicago Culinary Series Honoring James Beard Awards
S.Pellegrino’s destination dining program returns with an expanded culinary series in celebration of The James Beard Awards. This edition will pair Chicago-area James Beard-recognized chefs and acclaimed restaurant partners across the country, trading quintessential dishes for one week only. The special menu offerings will be available at each participating restaurant for in-person dining, takeout or delivery, as available at each restaurant. Available September 24-October 1: Chef Erick Williams of Virtue (Chicago) x Chef Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta (Phoenix); Chef Jason Hammel of Lula Café x Chef Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat (D.C.). Guests can book reservations or order takeout or delivery by visiting partner restaurant websites. The signature dishes that are part of the culinary exchange will be available to order off the menu during each restaurant’s scheduled weeklong swap. (Each special menu item will also include a complementary bottle of S.Pellegrino.)
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Critics Film Festival Returns To Music Box
The Chicago Critics Film Festival announced its first titles for the return of in-person screenings at the Music Box, November 12-14. Presented by the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Critics Fest returns in November to preview some of the year’s most anticipated new films, including Chicago premieres and special guests. Attractions include Jane Campion’s Netflix-produced “The Power of the Dog,” screened in 4K video; Sean Baker’s man-on-the-margins seriocomedy “Red Rocket”; and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, “The Lost Daughter,” starring Olivia Colman, which was gonged for best screenplay at this year’s Venice Film Festival. More here.
SwanbergVision On Mondays At The Davis Theater
Filmmaker, VHS video store-majordomo and programmer Joe Swanberg takes over Monday nights at the Davis Theater this fall and winter, “showing brand new films before their commercial release, with directors present for Q&As as often as possible,” he relays. “I will also be showing some of my favorite [new films from the past year-and-a-half], films that faced an uphill battle being released during the pandemic and should have received more attention.” The attraction for September 27 is “Mandibles”: “Incredibly funny film about two losers who find a giant fly in the trunk of a car and decide they can make money by training it. A real crowd-pleaser that should be enjoyed in a theater with other people; in a normal year it could have been huge.” October 4 is a showcase of a yet-to-be-named Taiwanese horror movie that is an adaptation of “a popular horror video game set in 1962 during Taiwan’s White Terror period.” Mailing list for further features here.
Chicago International Film Festival And Dark Matter Coffee Launch Director’s Cut Line
The Chicago International Film Festival and Dark Matter Coffee celebrate the fifty-seventh edition of the longest-running competitive festival in North America (October 13-24) with The Director’s Cut line, which includes a cold brew, a chocolate bar and a custom coffee blend with a flavor profile that suggests classic movie theater concessions. “A washed Catuai from Guatemala creates a sweet, chocolatey base with dried fruit notes,” the festival relays. “To add a touch of acidity, the Catuai is blended with honey-processed Bourbon & Pacas. These Salvadoran beans add a rich, citrusy pop, like a freshly poured fountain drink. Director’s Cut Coffee is available in whole bean bags as well as coffee cold cans. The custom blend suggests Raisinets, cola and the caramel of Milk Duds.”
Louise Erdrich 2021 Voice Of The Heartland Award Winner
The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and Midwest Independent Booksellers Association have honored Louise Erdrich, “one of the most important voices in American arts and letters and one of our own in the bookselling community, with the 2021 Voice of the Heartland award. This award is given in recognition of individuals and organizations who uphold the value of independent bookselling and have made a significant contribution to bookselling in the Midwest. As an author and bookseller, Erdrich is uniquely suited to win this award.” More here.
Eric Zorn Goes Substack With The Picayune Sentinel
Former longtime Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has started his newsletter at Substack: “The Picayune Sentinel.”
Gannett Accused Of Not Paying Journalists Overtime
The NewsGuild, a labor union that represents thousands of journalists, is investigating the workplace culture of US newspaper conglomerate Gannett, starting with the issue of unpaid overtime work, reports CNN.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller Signs Off As Full-Time Reporter
After thirty-eight years, reports Rob Feder, WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller is stepping back.
Stephin Merritt Touring City Winery Boîtes
Ahead of four Magnetic Fields dates in November at City Winery in Chicago, performance-phobic musical auteur Stephin Merritt talks songwriting at Cool Hunting. He stopped writing when the pandemic began: “I gave up. I started doing a lot more photography… I write songs in bars because A: I need a little alcohol to turn off the editor, and B: I respond to the music I’m hearing,” he says. “I like to eavesdrop, I try not to watch the television, I listen to the lyrics of the songs… I always, unless I’m quite sick, have music involuntarily running through my head. Right now, I have The Monkees ‘Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow‘ involuntarily running through my head, which I didn’t even realize until I wondered what I was hearing… It’s not a superpower. It’s a mental illness…. It’s really, really irritating.”
R. Kelly Attorneys: It’s Just A “Playboy Lifestyle”
“He told everyone he has multiple girlfriends, and asked each and every one of them their age,” attorney Deveraux Cannick said. “He said, ‘This is my lifestyle and you can step into it or not,’” report Jason Meisner and Megan Crepeau at the Trib. “Pacing the floor of the courtroom and occasionally raising his voice to a shout, Cannick repeatedly accused the government of allowing witnesses to come in and lie to win the big prize—a conviction of Kelly. ‘Getting a conviction of R. Kelly is a big deal… They gotta try to bring home the bacon.'”
Strawdog Theatre Announces Thirty-Fourth Anniversary
Strawdog Theatre Company welcomes audiences for its thirty-fourth season, “Aftermath,” featuring two live productions and an online production for Halloween. The season opener is “Monster,” a Halloween comedy-horror series written and performed by the Strawdog ensemble. New episodes stream each week on YouTube throughout October. This winter, Strawdog returns to live performances with its annual holiday family offering, “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.” The season will conclude next spring with Karissa Murrell Myers’ world premiere, “On The Greenbelt.” More here.
Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo World-Premieres “It Starts Now” At NYC’s Joyce Theatre
“It Starts Now” is choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s first solo production after a decade of choreographic commissions. Writes Cerrudo [Newcity Players Hall Of Fame], “After spending many years with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, I began a new chapter and started working on a new production. Over the last three years, my team and I have worked vigorously throughout our residency, both at George Mason University and Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, to create and share this special work with everyone… After dedicated efforts to making this all happen and the anticipation of having live dance performances in theaters again, the time is finally here! I am delighted to share with you that I will be presenting my work, ‘It Starts Now,’ premiering at the Joyce Theater on September 28.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
What Does Dan Savage Believe Now?
A telling profile of sex columnist Dan Savage at Slate looks back at his decades of sex-positive advocacy as well as how his views have changed across the years.
Early To Bed Sex Shop Marks Two Decades Of Busyness
Block Club Chicago profiles Early To Bed and its pandemic surge: “Early To Bed opened in September 2001 as the first woman-owned sex shop in Chicago in a time when the industry was controlled by and catered to straight men. Billing itself as a ‘feminist, sex-positive sex shop for everyone,’ Early To Bed has weathered multiple storms… to become one of the city’s preeminent sex shops. ‘The first thirteen years of business were by the skin of my teeth,’ owner Searah Deysach said. ‘Because I started the business from a place of passion, I was able to weather some of the storms.'”
Northwestern Receives Largest Contribution Ever, Nearly Half-A-Billion Dollars
Billionaires Patrick and Shirley Ryan have given nearly half-a-billion dollars to Northwestern University, reports the Trib. (Ryan was the founder and is now-retired chairman and CEO of Aon Corporation.) “The $480 million gift is part of the school’s ‘We Will’ campaign that has raised more than $6 billion from more than 170,000 donors,” according to a release. “This is an extraordinary moment for Northwestern,” NU president Morton Schapiro said in a statement. “Thousands of our alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends came together to support the astonishing trajectory of Northwestern and increase our impact on the world.” The Ryans’ donation will support biomedical, economics and business research at Northwestern. The Feinberg School of Medicine will be affected, “including the Ryan Family Digital Health Fund, a new institute for neuroscience and the Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care. Additionally, the gift will benefit the Kellogg School of Management and help redevelop Ryan Field.”
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