How Immersive Art Shows Work
Bloomberg Business has the scoop on how the burgeoning market for immersive art shows works. “The only challenge on the horizon is too much competition.”
What Theaster Gates’ Serpentine Pavilion Reveals About Contemporary Architecture
To the greatest extent possible, Theaster Gates’ Black Chapel was built without any materials produced by slave labor, reports Fast Company. “In 2022, it’s a shocking truth that many of the materials used in modern construction—from concrete to steel to lumber—are produced with forced or child labor. A recent report suggests that slavery is entrenched in the supply chains of common construction materials, and the construction industry is responsible for up to eighteen-percent of the 25 million people enduring forced labor.”
AIA Names Kimberly Dowdell President
“The American Institute of Architects has appointed Kimberly Dowdell as president of the organization, making her the first Black female architect to lead the institution,” reports Dezeen. “Dowdell, who works as a principal at HOK in Chicago, was chosen in a recent round of elections to serve as First vice president for 2023. She will then become president for 2024… Dowdell will become the hundredth president of the organization.” Dowdell said, “As the 295th living Black woman to earn an architectural license in the US, I am keen to help young women and people of color.”
City Pools Not A Priority During Record Heatwave
“Chicago’s forty-nine outdoor pools will be closed and will not open for ‘at least’ another two weeks.” “Park District officials acknowledged to WTTW News that it had not been able to hire enough lifeguards to allow… outdoor pools to open as scheduled on June 24, blaming a ‘national shortage’ and ‘several other factors.’ Beaches opened as scheduled on May 27… The city’s pools are set to open on July 5, after the Independence Day holiday weekend… However, it is unclear whether the district will be able to hire enough staff.” Advertising and $500 signing bonuses didn’t bring a rush of applications. “Lifeguards are paid $15.88 an hour, just slightly more than the city’s minimum wage of $15 per hour.” (Commented Philadelphia immigration historian Carly Goodman of the pools that are also closed in New York City, “Do we feel like a society planning for any kind of future for the majority of us?”)
From Associated Press (via WGN-TV): A national lifeguard shortage made worse by the pandemic has prompted communities to cut back on pools and hours. “In other spots around the United States, swimming areas go without attendants.That’s left some Americans with fewer or riskier options, even as a significant part of the nation endures a second heat wave in as many weeks. Public health experts say the risk of drowning decreases significantly when lifeguards are present… The American Lifeguard Association estimates the shortage affects one-third of U.S. pools. Bernard J. Fisher II, director of health and safety at the association, expects that to grow to half of all pools by August, when many teenage lifeguards return to school. ‘It is a disaster,’ Fisher said.”
Shapack Proposes 2,200 Apartments Near Casino
“One of the Fulton Market District’s most prolific developers wants to build more than 2,200 apartments and a hotel on a series of sites between the former meatpacking corridor and the land that could soon be home to a Bally’s casino, a massive bet that booming demand for rental units downtown isn’t slowing down,” reports Crain’s.
Skyrocketing Rent Driving Inflation
“One of the biggest drivers of inflation… according to the most recent Consumer Price Index report, has not elicited even a peep from the political class: the soaring cost of housing,” reports Alexander Sammon at the American Prospect. “According to the breakdown of services, the cost of shelter is now far outpacing airline tickets, as well other services combined, as a primary driver of inflation… As the Council of Economic Advisers reported, increase in rents was responsible for almost forty percent of the core CPI number in May… At least thirty-five percent of Americans are renters, and anyone who has moved recently or whose landlord has reset the price is feeling the squeeze. According to a recent report from Redfin, the national median asking rent was $2,002 in May, the first time it has ever eclipsed the $2,000 mark.” While in Los Angeles, the cost in California’s drive for “affordable housing” has risen past a million dollars per apartment. “A key driver of the increases is labor and material prices, which have soared because of inflation, supply-chain problems and worker shortages during the pandemic.”
Congress Theater Redevelopment Approved
The Permit Review Committee has approved the Congress Theater redevelopment, reports Urbanize Chicago. “Baum Revision has taken over as the developer, replacing the previous developer who couldn’t finance the project… The property fronts the street with ground floor retail and two levels of residential space. Storefronts will be renovated and made to match the original storefront layouts. Sixteen affordable apartments will be included in the Milwaukee Avenue building including studio, one-bed, and two-bedroom units. No parking will be included within the development.”
Aldi Abruptly Abandons Auburn Gresham
“Aldi on 7627 South Ashland Avenue closed June 12 but one resident said neighbors did not know about it until they showed up to see the building boarded up and a ‘closed’ banner on the side of the building,” reports Block Club Chicago. “‘Our decision was based on several factors, including repeated burglaries and declining sales,’ a spokesperson said in a statement. ‘Out of concern for our employees and customers, keeping this store open was no longer a sustainable option. All of our employees have been given the option to continue working at one of our other locations in the immediate area.'”
Abbott Laboratories Opens Willis Tower Offices
Abbott Laboratories plans to open offices in the Willis Tower, reports the Tribune. “The leased space will accommodate as many as 450 workers, and is expected to open in the second half of 2023.”
Speed Camera Tickets Cited As City Budget Necessity
“A rare statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot in advance of today’s delayed meeting of the City Council’s Finance Committee, urging members to vote against a proposal to roll back a law allowing the city to hit drivers snapped going 6mph over the speed limit with $35 tickets,” posts Heather Cherone of WTTW. “That will blow a $45 million hole in the city’s budget, Lightfoot warns, and put children, pedestrians and bikers at risk. ‘I urge all residents to call their alderman and tell them to vote no. It’s a matter of life and death—people need to slow down.'”
Did Latino Immigrants Save the American City?
Governing talks with author A. K. Sandoval-Strausz about the overlooked impact of Latino immigrants on the rebirth of American cities, including Chicago.
DINING & DRINKING
Parachute Jettisons Bing Bread
Eater Chicago breaks down why foodie fave bing bread is too costly to serve at Parachute: “The first option for restaurateurs in this position is to find a way to make the dish less expensive to produce. If they can’t pay people less, they look to cut corners on the method or ingredients, while hoping customers won’t notice the difference in quality… [owners] Kim and Clark weren’t willing to do that… The next option is to raise prices. With food costs up by fifteen percent, on top of the added labor costs, the restaurant would have to charge $19 for bing bread, plus the twenty-percent service charge, bringing the price to $22.80, in order to generate the same four-and-a-half percent profit they earned before the pandemic. And to be on par with the restaurant’s overall ten-percent margin, the dish would have to be priced at $23.40 ($28 total with the service fee). ‘It’s hard to just charge what you need to charge when every restaurant is basing their prices on subminimum wages.'”
Mondelez Buying Clif Bar For Nearly $3 Billion
“Chicago-based snack food giant Mondelez International, makers of Oreo and Ritz, has agreed to acquire Clif Bar & Company, the California-based maker of Clif, Clif Kid and Luna brand energy bars,” reports the Trib. “The deal was valued at $2.9 billion.”
Kellogg Breaking Into Three Bites, Moving Corporate HQ To Chicago
“Kellogg Co., the maker of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Eggo, will be be moving their corporate headquarters to Chicago,” reports AP (via WGN-TV). “It will move its corporate headquarters from Battle Creek, Michigan, to Chicago, but it will maintain dual headquarters in both cities for its snack company, which makes up about eighty percent of current sales… The company also announced it will be splitting into three companies focused on cereals, snacks and plant-based foods.”
Prosecutors Subpoena Parlor Pizza Records
“Cook County prosecutors are investigating Parlor Pizza Bar’s tax payments. Last month, authorities issued a subpoena for records related to the… restaurant chain’s payment of city restaurant taxes,” reports the Trib. “The subpoena required the department to include a schedule of each year’s month-by-month sales submitted by each location ‘for each and every year the businesses have been operating in the city of Chicago.'”
Millennium Hall Opens
Millennium Hall, a family-friendly restaurant collaboration between Vandalay Brands and Lakefront Hospitality located in the former Park Grill restaurant space, is now open.”Millennium Hall is a multi-concept food destination,” Mark Ramirez, director of operations says in a release, “that will have offerings from our existing portfolio of restaurants including Napolita Pizzeria in Wilmette, Double Clutch Brewing in Evanston, and Casa Bonita in Libertyville.” “The interior of Napolita at Millennium Hall showcases a stunning metallic mirrored ceiling reminiscent of Cloud Gate, as well as a video screen similar to the Crown Fountain, which will display images of the city and the happenings of the ice rink.” Food offerings include Napolita Pizzeria and Wine Bar, serving Neapolitan pizza, pasta dishes, brewery bites and draft beer, craft cocktails and an extensive wine list. The redesigned Double Clutch Plaza on Michigan below Cloud Gate will serve food and drink from Casa Bonita. Millennium Hall is open for lunch and dinner, Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, and Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm. Outdoor seating is available throughout the season, and indoor seating all year round. Details here.
Asian Carp Is Soylent Bream: Savory Name Sought To Market Invasive Species
How about Soylent Bream for invasive Asian carp? “’We’re trying to make the name more attractive, so people will be more inclined to purchase them and have them for table fare, have them for dinner,’ said John Rogner, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources,” reports WTTW. “‘It’s healthier than tilapia. Tilapia is omega 6 instead of omega 3, so you get a lot less benefits of health from tilapia,’ says Dirk Fucik, the purveyor of the popular North Side seafood spot Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop… Fucik spent a recent Saturday grilling up… carp cuisine in the parking lot of his store, from carp Cuban burgers, to carp tacos, to regular old smoked carp. But despite the accoutrements, the Asian carp is not yet a bestseller… A typical carp is a bottom feeder—a smelly, gooey fish that isn’t appetizing to anyone. Asian carp, however, feed on plankton and are not like other carp.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Buy Your Own Theater Seventy-Five Miles From The Loop
“Vickers Theatre, a Harbor Country mainstay of the arts, is for sale,” reports Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s. “Since the mid-1990s, the theater in Three Oaks, 75 miles from the Loop, has been a pillar of the arts scene in the hub of second homes.”
Kwame Amoaku Headed To New York
Former Chicago Film Office head Kwame Amoaku announces the next stage of his career on his Facebook account: “Thursday is my last day in Chicago. My heart will never leave…Chi till I die. I’m moving to NYC for an exciting opportunity. I will miss you all so much. Thank you for three decades of love and support. Southside fo life.”
Jeff Bezos’ Next Monopoly: The Press?
“With his vast investment in The Washington Post’s digital publishing technology, the Amazon founder could soon control the backbone of most large American newspapers,” reports Dan Froomkin at Washington Monthly. “The dilemma we face is that one of the best answers to the news industry’s technology woes is in the hands of a man who has repeatedly proved that he cannot be trusted.”
Masks Optional On Broadway During Tourist-Heavy Month Of July
The Broadway League announced that the owners and operators of all forty-one Broadway theaters in New York City will be mask-optional for the month of July, but audience members will be encouraged to wear masks in theaters.
ARTS & CULTURE
Pritzker Pavilion Increases Security
Chicago is imposing new security requirements on concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion, reports Fox 32. Attendees will no longer be able to enter on Michigan Avenue. Security checkpoints will open ninety minutes before events at Randolph, Monroe and Millennium Garage.
American Airlines Dumping Toledo, Islip, Ithaca Routes
American Airlines will eliminate service from Chicago to Toledo, Islip and Ithaca following the Labor Day holiday weekend, citing a “regional pilot shortage,” reports WGN-TV.
Rahm Lauded As “Train Geek” In Japan
A page from Joe Biden’s political rolling stock? “Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, is trying a more diplomatic tack by eschewing the standard armored BMW and choosing to take trains and subways as he traverses the country,” reports Bloomberg. “’In the U.S. he is seen as a tough guy but in Japan he is seen as folksy and compassionate,’ said Kazuhiro Maeshima, a professor in American politics in Tokyo. ‘When you type “Rahm Emanuel” in Japanese on Google, you can see “Emanuel tetsuota” in the results. That is a success,’ he added, referring to the Japanese word for ‘rail fan’ or ‘train geek.'”
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