Mayor To Return Columbus Statuary
“Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she fully expects the Columbus statue in Grant Park to come back after she took it down, wants a safety plan to prevent redux of previous battle with police and anti-Columbus protesters,” posts the Trib’s Gregory Pratt. “‘I’m not gonna do anything that puts our officers in harm’s way. I will probably be forever haunted by the experience of the vigilantes, who attacked our officers in Grant Park that summer,'” records the Sun-Times. “The mayor describes the weapons of the vigilantes she intends to protect against: ‘Came armed with—not signs, but frozen water bottles, firecrackers and other things that severely wounded many of the police officers [who] were there.'” Reports Block Club: “Number one, what’s important is to make sure that we’re really respectful of, I think, legacy projects that people across the city care deeply about, and particularly those that have been the subject of controversy… I’ll say, the Columbus statue in Grant Park, in particular, making sure that if that statue comes back—which I fully expect that it will—that we have a safety plan in place.” The Italian American Heritage Society of Chicago posts: “How R you going to tell US what symbols R right for our culture? Chicago Italians don’t want Columbus anymore. We either condemn the murderous actions of the man or, at the other extreme, just don’t want the trouble he’s causing. You don’t understand our culture.”
Curbed Applauds Lee Bey As Architecture Critic
“Historian, photographer, and critic Lee Bey will have a monthly column in the Sun-Times Sunday edition beginning in April. Ever since Blair Kamin announced his resignation from the Chicago Tribune early last year, the third-largest city in the country has been without an architecture critic in a major local publication,” applauds Curbed. “The collapse of local news has been unkind to architecture critics. At their best, critics serve as voices that make design accessible and engaging. They help explain the political structures and planning policies that shape streets and neighborhoods. In the process, they have the power to shape public opinion and the future of cities. Without them, real-estate development and city planning become dangerously opaque and muddled by marketing jargon and flashy or misleading top-down narratives. Bey is a lifelong Chicagoan who brings to the role decades of insider knowledge about architecture from the perspective of community groups, architecture firms, and local government.”
Chicago Architecture Center Announces Board Of Trustees
The Chicago Architecture Center, “a national leader in architecture and design education that offers tours, exhibitions and programs for all ages and levels of design expertise,” has announced eight new members to its board of trustees. The new members are: Stephen Cruise, Cathy Odelbo, Edna Uribe, Bill Williams, Weifang Zhou, Kate Van Zeyl, Kathleen Carpenter and Mindy Viamontes. The new members join twenty-seven elected and one appointed ex-officio board member. More here.
Could McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center Become An Athletic Destination?
“The mayor’s new working group appointed to review our Museum Campus should seriously consider transforming McCormick Place Lakeside Center into a year-round, state-of-the-art, municipal athletic-recreation facility that would serve residents from all over the city and attract visitors from all over the world,” advocates founder and director of Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange Barbara Koenen in a contribution to the Trib. “Chicago lacks such a state-of-the-art athletic facility, but with more than 600,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, a large veranda and a massive flat roof, a Lakeside Athletic Center would be the largest indoor sports facility in the country and on the scenic shore of Lake Michigan.”
Veteran Chicago Office Tower Developer Greg Van Schaack Retiring
“Veteran Chicago developer and Hines Interests executive Greg Van Schaack is retiring after a thirty-six-year run reshaping parts of the city’s skyline with office towers,” reports Crain’s. “The senior managing director in the Chicago office of Houston-based Hines said in a statement that he will leave his post April 1.”
How Automobile Makers Invented “Jaywalking”
Clive Thompson writes about the creation of “jaywalking”: “This is the story of how, in the 1920s, the auto industry chased people off the streets of America — by waging a brilliant psychological campaign. They convinced the public that if you got run over by a car, it was your fault. Pedestrians were to blame. People didn’t belong in the streets; cars did. It’s one of the most remarkable (and successful) projects to shift public opinion… The car companies managed to effect a 180-degree turnaround. That’s because before the car came along, the public held precisely the opposite view: People belonged in the streets, and automobiles were interlopers…”
DINING & DRINKING
Michelin Guide Announces Seven Chicago Bib Gourmand Restaurants
“The Michelin Guide announced seven additions to its Chicago Bib Gourmand list, its annual selection of ‘good value’ restaurants where it’s possible to have a two-course meal plus wine or dessert for about $40 per person,” reports Eater Chicago. Michelin will announce forty-eight more entries next week. The added eateries are Apolonia; Bloom Plant Based Kitchen; Dear Margaret; Lardon; Sochi Saigonese Kitchen; Superkhana International and Tortello.
Miller Ousts Goose Island And Revolution At White Sox Park
“In a deal that rekindles a decades long sponsorship, the South Siders have struck a new marketing agreement with Chicago-based Molson Coors as the team’s official domestic beer, craft beer and hard seltzer partner,” reports Crain’s. “The multiyear contract renews a business tie that the Sox and Molson Coors (previously Miller Brewing and MillerCoors) held for thirty years until they split up before the 2017 season. Under the new deal, Miller and other brands under the Molson Coors umbrella, including Leinenkugel’s and hard seltzer brand Vizzy, will have prominent signage and branded areas throughout” the park. “The craft beer-focused section beneath the ballpark’s right field bleachers will be rebranded as the Leinenkugel’s Craft Lodge, while a social media area along the main concourse—formerly dubbed the Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap Room—will be renamed the Vizzy View Bar.”
Workers At Seventh Chicago-Area Starbucks Move To Unionize
“Workers at a seventh Starbucks in the Chicago area announced their plans to unionize,” reports WTTW, “the second area location in less than a week. The Bucktown coffee shop, located at Armitage and Hoyne, joins four others in the city—Hyde Park, Logan Square, Edgewater and downtown—and one each in west suburban La Grange and northwest suburban Cary. All seven are seeking representation from the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, an SEIU affiliate.”
McDonald’s CEO Pay Doubles To $20 Million
“McDonald’s CEO Christopher Kempczinski last year doubled his compensation, to $20 million,” reports Crain’s, “as the company reported record operating income and he dealt with an uproar over texts he sent to Mayor Lori Lightfoot about fatal shootings in Chicago, one in a McDonald’s drive-thru.”
Does The Trib Still Post Negative Restaurant Reviews?
“People often ask if I enjoy writing negative restaurant reviews, and the answer is almost always no. Who wants to eat bad food on purpose?” posts the Trib’s Nick Kindelsperger after a few turns at Gordon Ramsay’s beefy boîte. “But what about taking a whack at a restaurant from one of the world’s most recognizable celebrity chefs, who decided to open the second location of a ten-year-old Las Vegas concept? Also, did you hear that the hot dog on the menu has ketchup on it?” But Kindelsperger goes on: “The beef at Gordon Ramsay Burger is good. Instead of an onslaught of grease, each bite displays a deeply savory base that’s balanced by a slight mineral tang. The seven-ounce patties are made from a mix of chuck, brisket and short rib, and while the kitchen declined to tell me where exactly the meat comes from, I was assured it’s from ‘some of the best farms out of the Midwest.'”
Wicker Park’s @North Bar Closing
“@North Bar is closing after more than eight years of holding comedy shows and live events in Wicker Park,” reports Block Club. “Owner Jim Weber announced this weekend the bar at 1637 West North is closing. It had become a popular destination for comedy performances of all kinds, hosting touring and local comedians and open mics multiple times a week… Weber said @North is closing because the building has been sold. He said he’s tried to get in touch with the new owners to negotiate a deal for the space, but he hasn’t heard back.”
Ukrainian Village Dive High Dive Reopens
A rare story of a pandemic-shuttered local bar reopening after months of being dark: While half of its former footprint has been supplanted by Dante’s Tavern, which serves pizza and slices near Chicago and Damen, a refreshed High Dive, known for tater tots and an extensive beer selection, has quietly reopened its bar and kitchen, lighting its bright red neon when open. “When’s the last time you’ve had a decent chicken wing?” the neighborhood saloon teases on Instagram.
Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti Delivers Opening Keynote At National Black Writers Conference
The 2022 National Black Writers Conference opens with a keynote featuring Dr. Haki Madhubuti in conversation with Dr. Keith Gilyard, moderated by Dr. Joanne Gabbin. The group will share personal accounts of their achievements and reflect on the struggles Black writers have faced over the years. They will also share their perspectives on what lies ahead for Black literature, offer their perspectives on institution building, and reflect on the world of publishing. Online tickets for the Wednesday, March 30 event here.
Republicans Rush To Make It Illegal To Record Police
“A resident of Gary, Indiana, spent two days in jail after filming a viral video of a local cop arresting a woman at a gas station in 2020. But just weeks later, prosecutors dropped the charges of resisting law enforcement against him, and the officer who arrested him was suspended, investigated, and eventually fired,” reports VICE. “While the local police chief publicly said his officers should know they’ll be filmed on the job, not everyone understands that the courts have repeatedly upheld civilians’ First Amendment right to record the cops, with few exceptions. Over the last few months, Republicans in several states have introduced legislation—and in some cases, passed it—that could ultimately punish people for recording or publishing images or video of the police.”
Over 500 Condé Nast Workers Forming Union
More Perfect Union reports that more than 500 Condé Nast workers, at publications including Pitchfork, Vogue and GQ are forming a union “demanding better pay, job security, staff diversity and workplace transparency.”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association Sets Season
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced programming for the CSO and Symphony Center Presents season, in the Orchestra’s 132nd season. Music director Riccardo Muti, whose tenure concludes in 2023, marks the thirteenth year of artistic partnership with the CSO. “His musical legacy with the Orchestra and his commitment to the community are focal points in programming throughout next season,” the CSO relays in a release. “Of special note are the world premiere of a CSO commission by Jessie Montgomery, the sixth Mead Composer-in-Residence appointed by Muti, and appearances by Hilary Hahn, in her second year as CSO artist-in-residence, who will perform twice with the CSO, as well as in a recital on the SCP Chamber Music series.” More programs listed here.
Discover Symphony Announces Scholarship Awards
Discover Symphony, the next generation of the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, champions community and accessibility through the transformative nature of live classical music and the orchestral experience. In its twenty-fifth year of offering scholarships to area high school seniors, the Symphony awarded two $1,000 scholarships to students committed to the role of music in the community and continuing musical studies at the college level. Recipients Cole Moorhead (saxophone) and Mia Wimbiscus (cello) were selected through professionally judged live auditions and other criteria from a group of seven area graduating high school senior instrumentalists. More here.
Rosa Escareño Joins Teatro Vista Board Of Directors
Rosa Escareño, interim general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, has joined the board of directors of Teatro Vista, Chicago’s only Equity-affiliated Latinx theater company. “The entire Teatro Vista ensemble is thrilled to welcome Rosa Escareño to our Board of Directors,” board president Adela Cepeda says in a release. “Rosa brings fifteen years of executive level experience and thirty years of government and public service to our board. We are energized by her vision and her dedication, and excited to have her guidance as Teatro Vista continues to embark on an exciting new future. She is a vital addition to our current Board members, who remain so dedicated to Teatro Vista’s art and values.” More on Teatro Vista here.
Court Theatre Announces Season
Court Theatre has announced its sixty-eighth season, which will feature “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring, directed by resident artist Ron OJ Parson; “The Island” by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent; Caryl Churchill’s “Fen,” directed by Vanessa Stalling; and “The Gospel at Colonus” a reimagining of the story of Oedipus, with music by Bob Telson, production by Mark J.P. Hood and Charles Newell. Details here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Governor Pritzker Assails Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law
“We cannot stand idly by as Republican governors wage incessant attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone deserves a state where you can be your authentic self. As long as I’m governor, the state of Illinois will see you, support you, and welcome you with open arms,” tweeted the Governor from his personal account.
Video Game Designer Gives DePaul’s College Of Computing And Digital Media Its Largest Contribution
“A well-known video game designer and his wife have given DePaul University its largest donation in the school’s history to advance the university’s College of Computing and Digital Media,” reports the Trib. “Eugene Jarvis and his wife, Sasha Gerritson, a DePaul alumna and trustee, donated the funds that will create a student center for ‘innovation and collaboration,’ an endowed scholarship and a research collaboration with the Ruff Institute of Global Homelessness, the university said in a news release.”
Ken Griffin Contributes $40 Million To Jeanne Gang-Designed American Museum Of Natural History
“A $40 million gift from Citadel’s Ken Griffin is helping the American Museum of Natural History complete a 230,000-square-foot center,” reports Bloomberg. “Griffin’s name will be placed in the four-story atrium of the building, which is designed by architect Jeanne Gang.” Griffin, who is worth over $30 billion, “has spread his fortune across cultural institutions in New York, including donations of $40 million to the Museum of Modern Art and $25 million to the Shed… He also gave $125 million in 2019 to the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, where Citadel is based. It’s now named the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science & Industry.”
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