With Previous Campaign Memory-Holed, Meet “What We’re Made Of”
“’What we’re made of.’ It is the right tag line for our beautiful, diverse and unique Chicago. A city of stories. A city of experiences that simply cannot be found any place else on the planet. We’re claiming and redefining our narrative here,” the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman records Mayor Lightfoot declaring. “One of the driving ideas behind this campaign is to show visitors that Chicago is so much more than what they may have heard, imagined and beyond our downtown. So yes, when visitors travel here, they absolutely should go to Navy Pier, our great destination. They should see the Bean, Millennium Park, the breathtaking skydecks at Willis Tower and the Hancock Building. But they should also want to experience what makes all of our seventy-seven neighborhoods great—from food and museums to beaches and parks.” Channel 2 reports, “Welcome displays and monitors will be posted throughout the airports encouraging visitors to check out all that Chicago has to offer like food, museums, beaches and parks. You can also expect to see… twenty-four hour vending machines at O’Hare. ‘These latest vending machines throughout O’Hare will introduce an array of healthy prepared foods and beverages. They will also sell everything from cosmetics and electronics to gourmet cupcakes and even Legos,’ Lightfoot said. ‘When you got that little kid who needs a little something while you’re in transit, Legos saved my life and probably a lot of parents along the way.'”
Two More Projects To Fulton Market
“The city’s planning agency endorsed two projects in Fulton Market backed by developers… among the busiest in the booming area west of the Loop,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “The Chicago Plan Commission approved a twenty-eight-story residential building at 1353 West Fulton, the developer of which cited a design contribution by Chicago artist Theaster Gates… The commission also approved a twenty-five-story office high-rise at 360 North Green.” The Fulton project “is an investment of Shapack Partners, which reports it has completed or planned 2.5 million square feet of Fulton Market projects. Its deals include The Hoxton and Soho House hotels… The Green Street building comes from developer Sterling Bay… Originally planned as a blockier structure for technology companies, 360 North Green has been made taller and skinnier by the architecture firm Gensler so its floors appeal to professional services firms.”
A Petition For Salvation For Our Lady Of Victory Church
A petition is in progress to ask local elected officials to work with the city to save the historic and architecturally significant Our Lady of Victory church at 5212 West Agatite in Portage Park, which saw its last Sunday mass in November 2021. The petition notes that it’s “The home of the oldest Catholic parish on the far Northwest Side; designed in the rare (for Chicago) Spanish Mission Revival style; designed in 1928 by E. Brielmaier & Sons, who were prolific in Chicago and the Midwest; the steeple is a landmark for the community, towering over the neighborhood; it is two full churches stacked on top of one another, seating almost 2000.” The petition continues, “We do not want to lose one of the final physical monuments of our history.” The petition, two-thirds of the way to its goal of 1,000 signatures, is here. The campaign website is here.
DINING & DRINKING
How Pippin’s Tavern Crossed The Road (Chicago Avenue)
A review and history of the spanking-old Pippin’s Tavern on Chicago: “The Lodge Management Group—which also owns Mother’s, the Redhead Piano Bar, and five other kitchenless bars—was forced to shutter Pippin’s (and Downtown Dogs) due to a landlord dispute. The group’s CEO, Lyn McKeaney, viewed the introduction of food sales as a means of survival, and the vacant Devon Seafood Grill space around the corner presented an opportunity for that—and to keep the Pippin’s name alive,” writes Mike Sula at the Reader. “‘I was approached by Lodge and they said they wanted to do a food-forward concept,’ says chef Amanda Barnes. ‘I was like, “Uhhhh, Pippin’s? Mother’s? Redhead? This doesn’t sound like a group I’m gonna be interested in.” I said, “If you want chicken wings and hot dogs I’m not the chef for you.”’ But they insisted they were committed to a scratch, chef-driven kitchen, and despite her misgivings Barnes submitted a sample menu. When she was offered the job after a tasting, she was persuaded by Lodge’s longevity (River Shannon is the twelfth-oldest bar in the city). ‘They definitely have the financial stability and the long-term vision to do this.'”
Portraiture’s Place Of Pride At Alpana
Eater Chicago tours Alpana Singh’s eatery. “The wall features a who’s who of entertainers through the years. Bette Midler, Gaga, and the trio of Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda in a publicity still for ‘9 to 5.’ Singh says she remembers working out to Jane Fonda tapes with her mother. There’s also Janet Jackson, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, Tina Turner, and Rihanna. Artist Frida Kahlo also is given space.” Also: “South Indian actress Rekha, an edgy superstar known for going against the grain in Bollywood. She’s depicted in a black-and-white photo while smoking a cigarette. Singh says she wanted to pay homage to her family’s heritage.”
Lardon Launches Union Under The California Blue Line
Lardon, Chicago’s neighborhood café by Meadowlark Hospitality’s Steve Lewis and chef-partner Chris Thompson, has made a splash with its handcrafted offerings. The group “prepares to bring that same thoughtful craftsmanship to their second venture by opening doors to Union, a sixty-five-seat evening-focused sister spot directly adjoining the same space that houses Lardon.” Located at 2202 North California almost directly below the Blue Line El tracks, Union will open its doors on Monday, March 21, 2022 as a beer-centered neighborhood hangout.
Hatchery Still Hatching
About a hundred businesses are currently operating out of “The Hatchery, a food and beverage incubator at 135 North Kedzie,” reports Cheyanne M. Daniels at the Sun-Times. “The 67,000-square-foot Hatchery opened in 2018. It has fifty-six private kitchens and five shared kitchens, as well as storage space and loading docks. For fledgling restaurateurs, it offers classes on entrepreneurship, technology support and help with licensing. Natalie Shmulik, the Hatchery’s chief strategy and incubation officer, said the goal is to ‘create a pathway for entrepreneurs to achieve success.’ That success can be difficult to achieve. The National Restaurant Association estimates that before the pandemic, 50,000 eating and drinking establishments were closing every year (compared to about 60,000 opening every year). ‘It’s our job to provide them with as much… candid information as possible to give them a very realistic perspective,’ Shmulik said.”
Kendall College Trust Becomes Foundation For Culinary Arts
The Kendall College Trust, an independent 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit providing need-based support to students pursuing degrees in hospitality and culinary arts, is now the Foundation for Culinary Arts. The name change reflects the non-profit’s broadened programming for economically disadvantaged students from historically underserved communities. More information on FCA and their “Yes, Chef! Culinary Camps” here.
How Starbucks Workers Are Facing Anti-Union Campaign
“Workers at more than a hundred Starbucks stores in twenty-seven states have filed union petitions for elections. In response, the company has launched a relentless anti-union effort,” reports Hannah Faris in the April cover story of In These Times. “During Buffalo’s campaign, organizers from Workers United say corporate flew in more than one-hundred ‘support managers’ from across the country, including such high-ranking corporate officials as former CEO Howard Schultz, to cafés throughout the district. They began hosting mandatory ‘listening sessions’ between managers and workers. The sessions run under a pretext of addressing grievances, but management uses them to disseminate ‘facts’ about unions.”
Battle Over Book Bans At Boil
For Art Spiegelman, the banning of “Maus” in some schools “has meant an exponential sales boost for a thirty-year-old book—the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer prize, in 1992—and a flurry of speaking engagements across the country.” “It just shows,” he tells the Guardian, “you can’t ban books unless you’re willing to burn them and you can’t burn them all unless you’re willing to burn the writers and the readers too…. This is the most Orwellian version of society I’ve ever lived in. It’s not as simple as left v right. It’s a culture war that’s totally out of control. As a first-amendment fundamentalist, I believe in the right of anyone to read anything, provided they are properly supported. If a kid wants to read ‘Mein Kampf,’ it’s better to do it in a library or school environment than to discover it on Daddy’s shelves and be traumatised.” Writes Adam Gabbatt at the Guardian, “So far in 2022 the left has forced Republicans in Indiana to abandon legislation that would have placed severe restrictions on what teachers can say in classrooms, while in New Hampshire liberal candidates won sweeping victories against conservative ‘anti-critical race theory’ candidates in school board elections. Critical race theory is an academic discipline that examines the ways in which racism operates in US laws and society, but it has become a catch-all buzzword on the right. The progressive wins are a development that looked unlikely as the right wing, often through organizations with connections to wealthy Republican donors, has introduced bill after bill in states across the country. The campaign has successfully banned books, predominantly pertaining to issues of race or sexuality, from school districts, while some states have already banned discussion of the modern-day impact of historical racism in the U.S.”
Tina Sfondeles Returns As Sun-Times Chief Political Reporter
“It’s back to the Sun-Times for Tina Sfondeles as chief political reporter following a whirlwind of reporting jobs in Washington, D.C., and public relations work in Chicago,” reports Robert Feder. Interim editor-in-chief Steve Warmbir: “With her excellent sourcing on local, state and national levels, she will only add to the Sun-Times tradition of political coverage that’s second to none,” he wrote in an email. “She’s a phenomenal addition to our great roster of first-rate political journalists here at the Sun-Times and our new colleagues at WBEZ.” “In her first run at the Sun-Times, Sfondeles rose from preps sports writer and wire reporter to chief political reporter. She resigned in 2020 to join the Washington-based political team of Business Insider, and she later covered the White House for Politico.” Sfondeles adds on Twitter, “On Monday I am proudly rejoining the Sun-Times as chief political reporter (!!!). I can’t wait to once again write about this amazing city and state and to be part of a new chapter with WBEZ!”
Politicians Come To Support Of Striking WTTW Technicians
“Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other politicians turned out in support of striking workers at WTTW-Channel 11, calling on the station to negotiate a fair contract that preserves union jobs,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “There can be no question that Chicago is a union town,” Lightfoot told picketers outside WTTW’s studios. “And as we’ve seen over and over again, there’s immense power in people coming together and working and making sure that workers’ rights are affirmed.” “Roughly two dozen members of Local 1220 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers walked off the job last Wednesday after what they said was a year of company proposals to assign their duties to nonunion labor. They also said the station has not responded to requests to resume bargaining.”
Lollapalooza Sounds 2022 Lineup
Lollapalooza returns to Chicago in July with more than 170 bands and nine stages across four days. The roster includes Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day, Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Kygo, Jane’s Addiction, Glass Animals, Billy Strings, Big Sean, The Kid Laroi, Jazmine Sullivan, Don Toliver, Charli XCX, Idles, Turnstile, Kaskade and Rezz. Featured rising performers include Remi Wolf, Fletcher, Zach Bryan, PinkPantheress, Muna, Goth Babe, Role Model, Wet Leg, Gracie Abrams, Pi’erre Bourne, Glaive and Maude Latour; Chicago artists include 100 gecs, John Summit, Beach Bunny, Horsegirl and Jackie Hayes. The full lineup is here. The event runs July 28-31 in Chicago’s Grant Park. Four-day tickets are available now here.
Contemporary Classical Ensemble Dal Niente Releases Collaboration With Jeff Parker, Murat Çolak And LJ White
Dal Niente’s “object/animal” is out Friday, a collaboration by the Chicago contemporary classical ensemble with musicians Jeff Parker, Murat Çolak And LJ White. “In every piece, some number of pre-existing pop, trance, film music, musique concrète, or other elements have been transformed into music written for contemporary classical champions Ensemble Dal Niente. Each of these composers has mined their own practices and inspirations to come up with something utterly new.” Among the pieces, “The ensemble expands to sinfonietta size for Jeff Parker’s ‘Water on Glass,’ which layers Parker’s hypnotic, percussive Korg MS-20 Monophonic Synthesizer sounds onto a series of alternately gorgeous and strange orchestral chords that vary in texture and weirdness in an otherworldly procession. A ringing melody enters halfway through the piece, played by harp, vibraphone, and piano, establishing a point of focus that is as ultimately satisfying as anything in Parker’s catalogue.” More here.
Luminarts Names 2022 Jazz Fellows
Luminarts’ 2022 Jazz Fellows will receive $10,000 each and continued support from the Foundation through professional development, performance opportunities, and additional project grant funding. The recipients are Isaiah Collier, saxophone; Andrew Egizio, trumpet; Kenthaney Redmond, flute; and Kenny Reichert, guitar. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Chicago Humanities Announces Spring Events
Chicago Humanities Festival will present a fully in-person line-up for its 2022 Spring Festival, running May 1-May 22. Headliners include attorney and educator Anita Hill, filmmaker, artist and author John Waters, comedian Sarah Cooper, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, political philosopher Francis Fukuyama, actress Selma Blair, deaf activist Nyle DiMarco, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. “Many of the spring events will take place on two key ‘Festival Days’: Saturdays, May 7 and May 14. Each day will feature multiple conversations, unique experiences, and a social gathering that will give attendees the opportunity to spend the day with the Festival, attending events from morning to night. Spring will also offer festivalgoers unique experiences and performances including bus tours of Chicago’s Southwest Side with TikTok historian Shermann ‘Dilla’ Thomas, a rare conversation and performance by singer-songwriter Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, a screening of the short film ‘A Lengthening’ and a Nineties Trivia Night which will follow a conversation with cultural critic and author of ‘The Nineties’ Chuck Klosterman.”
“We’re excited to return this spring with a full Chicago Humanities Festival experience and in-person schedule. As Chicagoans have come to expect, we’ll present a range of thoughtful conversations, exciting social experiences, and powerful performances,” Phillip Bahar, executive director of CHF says. “This year, we’ll explore the theme, ‘Public,’ by considering how our notions of public and private space have changed, asking who makes up our nation’s and the world’s publics and how their voices are heard, and questioning our relationship to the use of the public commons.” The full line-up of events is here. Member tickets are available now; general public tickets go on sale March 29 here.
Chicago Casino Candidates Down To Three
“Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has narrowed down the city’s five proposals for its first casino to three finalists: Bally’s at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center; Rivers at The 78; and Hard Rock at the proposed One Central megadevelopment, the city announced,” reports the Trib. The McCormick proposals were losers, reports the Sun-Times. “Eliminated from consideration were a separate proposal from Bally’s that had eyed the McCormick Place truck marshaling yards south of the convention center, and another that sought to overhaul the convention center’s aging, sparsely used Lakeside Center. That bid was backed by billionaire casino magnate Neil Bluhm, who remains in contention with the 78 proposal… While the mayor had previously said she wanted to pick one finalist by the end of March to recommend to state regulators who have the final say on issuing a casino license, officials now say that decision won’t be made at least until early summer” as they await community responses.
United Center Removes Vaccination, Negative Test Requirements
“The United Center announced that, as of this week, people who are attending events at the arena will no longer have to present either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test,” reports WGN-TV.
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