Central Camera Reopens
Wabash Street’s Central Camera, 122 years old, reopens after its 2020 fire and looting, reports Block Club Chicago. “Chicagoans rallied around Central Camera’s staff, donating nearly $230,000 to a GoFundMe campaign [that helped] rebuild the shop and its inventory.”
Looking At Loos In T. O.
Canada’s Spacing magazine is running a series looking at the difficulties with establishing and maintaining public washrooms in that metropolis in “Why We Can’t Go.” Chicago’s discussions continue.
“When You Go You Know” Is New Choose Chicago Slogan
As tourism rebounds, the city has unveiled its latest slogan, “When You Go You Know,” which includes the word “Go” in bright yellow. Posts Axios’ Monica Eng: “Chicago’s got a new tourism slogan and campaign. It’s actually pretty good but I am afraid the pee jokes are going to start flowing.”
Mies Crown Hall Prize Notes Outstanding Entries
The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) at the IIT College of Architecture has selected thirty-eight MCHAP entries as Outstanding. “The jury found commonality in the typologies and focus among these built works, more specifically meaningfully connect to the surrounding communities by employing regional means and methods to build; exhibiting immense respect for their context, climate, and environment; celebrating cultural values in their highest form; and addressing significant problems, with excellence–coupled with an understanding of the way architecture can impact a population and benefit people in their living, working and learning environments,” MCHAP relays in a release. “The winner of the MCHAP.emerge prize will be announced on September 21, 2022 and the MCHAP main prize winner will be announced in April 2023.” The honorees include Studio Gang for the Beloit College Powerhouse and John Ronan Architects for Independence Library and Apartments. The complete list is here.
What Causes Gentrification?
“The real villains in the tale of gentrification,” writes staffer Jerusalem Demsas at the Atlantic, “are not twenty-something new entrants to mixed-income neighborhoods, but NIMBY homeowners in the wealthiest ones. Yet acknowledgment of the pivotal role that they play is often missing. They fade into the background even as their interests are defended by nearly every institution and elected official. This group has steadfastly refused to allow new housing in their communities—not just low-income units but the type of ‘luxury apartments’ marketed to the young and upwardly mobile. Cities are fundamentally engines of economic growth. They are agglomerations of workers and industries that have discovered that they are more productive together than they are apart.”
Sneaking Into Abandoned Buildings Trickier Now
“Photographer Eric Holubow says social media—and technology in general—has made sneaking into abandoned buildings much trickier,” reports Chicago magazine. “Holubow’s hobby is Urban Exploration—UrbEx for short—which involves penetrating and photographing long-empty churches, hospitals, schools, and factories. UrbEx is best practiced in the older cities of the East and the Midwest, which are lousy with ruins. Sunday mornings are prime UrbEx time, because anyone who might call security or the cops” is sleeping in or at church, among other activities.
Tribune Tower Time Capsules Recovered
“The details of Chicago’s storied history just became a bit clearer, thanks to a trio of time capsules found in the iconic Tribune Tower building,” reports the Sun-Times. “From a century-old baseball to Chicago Tribune copies to cartoons, the time capsules—from the years 1919, 1924 and 1947—held more than one-hundred treasures from the city’s past. The building—former home of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, now luxury residences—underwent a major three-year renovation during which crews stumbled upon three different time capsules… For Chicago History Museum Director of Exhibitions Paul Durica, opening the time capsules brought the serenity of looking upon past times while sparking new, slightly existential questions about time, values and society.”
Private Airplanes Still Use Leaded Fuel
“Leaded gasoline was banned decades ago from America’s roadways. Yet some small airplanes still use the highly toxic substance. Children living near… general aviation airports around the U.S. have seen the lead levels in their blood rise as a result,” reports Quartz. “Piston aircraft are now the largest source of airborne lead in the US, emitting 468 tons annually, according to the… Environmental Protection Agency.” The FAA “is aiming to find an unleaded avgas substitute by 2030. But it’s been on a quest (pdf) to develop a replacement fuel on and off for three decades, with little to show for it.”
Flooding Halts Abbott Infant Formula Production
“Less than two weeks after restarting formula production at its Michigan facility, Abbott has again had to halt manufacturing there amid flooding,” reports the Tribune. “Storms in southwestern Michigan Monday night overwhelmed the stormwater system in Sturgis, Michigan, causing flooding in the city and parts of the plant, Abbott said in a statement.”
DINING & DRINKING
In The Kitchen At Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
WGN-TV takes a whiff in a video report from the kitchen at Lou Malnati’s.
Retiring New York Food Critic Reflects On Declining Trade
“During my time on the job, the restaurant and dining world, which once occupied its own eccentric corner of the culture conversation, moved to the very center of things, then simply became part of the mainstream. Thanks to the chaotic wonders of the digital age, diners are more confident and informed than ever, and thanks to writers like Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain, they don’t see restaurants as stilted, ritual forms of entertainment the way their grandparents did but as windows into cultures from around the globe. Instead of prattling on about the glories of Continental cooking, diners can wax on about vegan or Oaxacan or Jamaican cuisines and will spend hours expounding, over a glass of orange wine, on where to find the finest birria taco in Queens.” Adam Platt is moving aside after twenty-two years as food critic at New York magazine, and has some reflections on the dining game. “The COVID crisis sped up… changes and shot them forward a decade or two, and it did the same for the role of the all-knowing, Anton Ego–style restaurant critic, which has long been marked as something of an endangered species and now, finally, seems poised for extinction. Once upon a time, we ambled from one establishment to another, scribbling notes under the table, dictating dining tastes and trends to a much smaller, more accepting public. These days, the most effective critics are part carnival barker, madly yelling into the TikTok-addled maelstrom of public opinion; part social anthropologist; and part reporter, covering an industry that’s more central to the economic and spiritual well-being of the city than ever before.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Illinois Breaks Record For Film Revenue With $630 Million In Economic Impact
Film production revenue in 2021 hit a record high of $630 million, breaking pre-pandemic levels in 2019 by $70 million. “Film production revenues are the costs associated with film, television, streaming, and digital media, which have steadily increased over the past ten years. Additionally, film permits issued by the City of Chicago have also reached pre-pandemic levels,” the state announces. “Illinois has always played a special role in the zeitgeist of American culture and as a state we’re proud to be on full display during what has become a golden age of film and television,” said Governor Pritzker. “The fact that we have surpassed pre-pandemic levels speaks to the strength of our high-quality filming facilities, locations and initiatives like the Production Film Tax credit.” “In addition to film revenues statistics, which are collected by the state as part of the Illinois Film Production Tax Credit, the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) recorded gains in the number of permits administered. Additionally, in 2021 Chicago Film Office launched a ‘Chicago Made’ initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry—including a workforce development program and public awareness campaign based on recommendations from the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.”
How Independent Bookstores Like Los Amigos Books In Berwyn Are Growing
“With help from a grant and stimulus checks she and her husband received during the pandemic, Laura Romani launched Los Amigos Books, initially online last year and now with a small store in Berwyn. It focuses on children’s stories in English and Spanish,” reports the Sun-Times. “Stores like Romani’s helped contribute to a year of growth and greater diversity for the American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent bookstore owners. The association now has 2,010 members at 2,547 locations—up more than 300 since the spring of 2021.”
Lyric Single Tickets Now On Sale
Single tickets are now on sale today for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2022-23 Season, which features productions of classic operas, rarely performed masterworks of operatic comedy and drama, two Lyric world premieres set in Chicago, and two grand-scale productions of classic Broadway musicals. Tickets here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Pritzker And Lightfoot Push Chicago As Convention Site To DNC Today
“On Friday during a face to face with Democratic party officials, Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot will pitch Chicago as host of the 2024 Democratic National Convention,” reports WGN-TV. “The convention will take place in 2024 but an exact date is still to be determined. Chicago formally launched a bid for the DNC early last month with this video narrated by Common. Officials said the Chicago Host Committee is prepared to raise millions for the convention and the city will highlight its convention venues, restaurants and 45,000 hotel rooms in the central business district.”
Trib Surveys Black Small Business Juneteenth Activities
“Across Chicago, Black small business owners are gearing up to mark Juneteenth with celebratory food and drink, events and acts of service,” reports the Tribune. “The holiday commemorates the day on June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to tell enslaved Black Americans they were free—more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Black Americans in some parts of the U.S. have long celebrated Juneteenth; Texas was the first state to officially recognize the holiday, in 1980. But last year was the first that Juneteenth was recognized both as a federal holiday and as an official state holiday in Illinois.” Brown Sugar Bakery, Nobody’s Darling and Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery are the businesses that get a look.
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