Cost Of Owning A Home Rises Above Cost Of Renting
“A new report shows that having a mortgage is far more expensive than having a lease, a disparity that is helping to cool a red-hot housing market,” reports the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Mortgage rates reached the highest level in more than thirteen years for the second straight week,” with some lenders quoting rates above six percent.
CPS Says No New High School In Chinatown
Chicago Public Schools has scrapped plans for a new, $120 million high school in Chinatown, reports the Sun-Times. “The project looked uncertain to win Board of Education approval and has faced criticism, even among advocates, for its lack of details leading up to the vote, incomplete community engagement and potential negative effects on neighboring schools. The new building was also planned for Chicago Housing Authority land at 24th and State that used to be home to the former Harold L. Ickes Homes housing project.”
DINING & DRINKING
Bridgeport Restaurant Closing After Seventy-Five Years
“A Bridgeport staple near the home of the White Sox is closing [ on June 30], ending its long history serving diner classics and its famed corned beef sandwich on the South Side,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The diner has been in the neighborhood at least seventy-five years, co-owner Irais Rodriguez said. It has long been known for its steak and eggs, melts and the 35th Street Special Sandwich: sliced corned beef and sauerkraut topped with Swiss cheese.”
Chicagoan Cheesemonger Champion
“As she sliced a cheese wheel and speed-wrapped blocks in front of 800 screaming fans, Cara Condon forgot she hates crowds. The 2022 Cheesemonger Invitational’s buzzing audience couldn’t bother the Chicago cheesemonger. It was almost like she was behind the glass,” reports the Trib. “When it comes to cheese, I open up,” she said. “I blossom.”
Velvet Taco Features Dr. Pepper Baby Back Rib Taco
Velvet Taco has partnered with Dr. Pepper to create a scratch-made weekly taco feature for the Fourth of July, made with baby back pork ribs and Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. The taco features napa slaw, cherry jalapeno salsa, crispy jalapeños and corn tortilla, available for $5.95 at Velvet Taco Chicago locations from June 29-July 5.
Teamsters Strike At Liquor Distributor Continues
“Delivery drivers for the wholesale alcohol distributor Breakthru Beverage remained on the picket line,” reports the Trib, as their strike continued into its second week. “Between a hundred and 120 delivery drivers are on strike… Breakthru drivers make alcohol deliveries to restaurants, bars, grocery stores and other retailers… [One driver] said he typically works eleven- to twelve-hour days, delivering anywhere between 350 to 600 cases of alcohol.”
Inside The Push To Diversify Publishing
At the New York Times magazine, Marcela Valdes publishes the result of a year of reporting: “I heard lots of stories about micro (and not at all micro) aggressions experienced by BIPOC professionals. But in this piece, I focused on the ways bias has affected publishing’s business decisions. There have been at least two big efforts to diversify publishing: one during the 1960s and another during the 1990s. Why didn’t those efforts lead to lasting change? What can the industry learn from them now that it’s in the middle of a third effort? These are the questions the piece tries to answer. It’s important to recognize that these are not just social justice issues, not favors to anyone. Making your audience bigger, providing customers with products that they care about: this is Business 101.”
Time Out London Publishes Final Print Edition After Fifty-Four Years
“Time Out distributes its last London print copies on Thursday. The final edition leads on a ‘London Rising’ theme and features a send-off column from London mayor Sadiq Khan,” reports PressGazette. “Khan describes Time Out as ‘my passport out of Tooting,’ recounting that as a sixth-former, ‘I’d go to WHSmith on the other side of Streatham High Road and go through Time Out with a pen and paper because I couldn’t afford to buy it.'”
“We’re Not Done With Alt-Weeklies”
Poynter surveys the state of the venerable medium in Baltimore, Des Moines and Minneapolis. “The Association of Alternative Newsmedia had 135 members in 2009… This year, it has eighty-eight alts listed… Like with newspapers, the pandemic sped up an approaching crisis of business and audience for some of the free weekly publications rooted in covering and reflecting countercultures, entertainment, local government and media. But, like with [the] launch of [as many as fifty] online local newsrooms in the last two years, some alts are finding new ground in old traditions.”
Venezuelan Violinist Gabriela Lara Named First CSO Fellow
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has announced the winner of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program. Venezuelan violinist Gabriela Lara will become the first CSO Fellow at the beginning of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s season in September. The fellowship program, developed with support from music director Riccardo Muti, the CSO Members’ Committee and Chicago Federation of Musicians, will welcome musicians from populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in American symphony orchestras, including, but not limited to, those who identify as Black, Latino or Indigenous. As a CSO Fellow, Lara will gain experience rehearsing and performing with the CSO, with the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and receive training and mentorship from CSO musicians to better equip her to win auditions in U.S. orchestras. Lara will also receive compensation to perform a minimum of twenty subscription weeks with the CSO, as well as financial support to attend auditions, and will have access to up to ten one-hour private lessons with a CSO musician annually. More here.
Factory Theater Announces Twenty-Eighth Season And New Positions
The Factory Theater has announced its twenty-eighth anniversary season of world premieres, including Angelina Martinez’s “HOA,” September 9–October 22, Shannon O’Neill’s “The Kelly Girls,” February 17–April 1, 2023 and Len Foote and Scott OKen’s “Lane Call,” June 9–July 22, 2023, as well as the late-night variety series “Factory After Dark.” Phil Claudnic is the company’s new managing director, and Timothy C. Amos and Shannon O’Neill assume the positions of co-artistic directors with Brittney Brown as casting director and Ashley Yates as marketing director. Morgan Gire, Becca Holloway and Chase Wheaton-Werle join The Factory Theater as ensemble members and Eric Frederickson, Ellie Humphrys, Kirk Jackson, Vic Kuligoski, Manuel Ortiz, Josh Razavi, Bradford Stevens and Amber Washington are named artistic associates. Tickets and more here.
Congo Square Theatre Announces Season
African American ensemble theater company Congo Square Theatre Company has announced an expanded 2022-23 season. The company will present a downtown remount of its production, “What to Send Up When It Goes Down,” in addition to the world premiere of “How Blood Go,” while continuing digital programming and maintaining educational and community engagement initiatives. “From melodrama to sketch comedy, interactive healing rituals to expert led industry workshops, Congo Square further entrenches its unique position as a haven for artists of color to unapologetically tell Black stories,” the group says in a release. “The 2022-2023 season will be a season of more,” adds Congo Square artistic director Ericka Ratcliff. “More in-person productions, more engagement with our communities, and more opportunities for vital Black stories to be shared. We are honored to continue the Congo Square tradition of producing transformative works and will continue to provide a safe space for theater makers of all ages to engage with stories that reflect the myriad of Black identities.” More here.
James Rado, Last Surviving Co-Creator Of “Hair,” Was Ninety
“James Rado, who jolted Broadway into the Age of Aquarius as a co-creator of ‘Hair,’ the show, billed as an ‘American tribal love-rock musical,’ that transfigured musical theater tradition with radical ’60s iconoclasm and rock ’n’ roll has died,” reports the New York Times. “So much of the power of ‘Hair’ resided in its seeming raw spontaneity, yet Mr. Rado (pronounced RAY-doe) labored over it for years with his collaborator Gerome Ragni to perfect that affect. Contrary to theatrical lore, he and Mr. Ragni were not out-of-work actors who wrote ‘Hair’ to generate roles they could themselves play, but rather New York stage regulars with growing résumés.” Wealthy young Chicago businessman Michael Butler with political ambitions joined forces with producer Joseph Papp after the initial off-Broadway run of “Hair.” “I thought it was an Indian show, and I had always been very concerned about Indian problems,” Butler said in a 2007 interview with the New York Sun. “When he went to a preview and discovered it was, instead, an antiwar musical, ‘I thought this would be a great thing to take to Illinois and have my constituency see.’ Papp wasn’t interested in sending the show to Illinois, but later he called Mr. Butler and asked if he wanted to do a coproduction, which went up at the Cheetah, a discotheque on Broadway.” “Hair” ran from October 22, 1969–October 24, 1970 at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago.
ARTS & CULTURE
Griffin Moving Citadel To Miami; Effect On Chicago Culture Yet To Be Seen
Hedge-fund manager “Ken Griffin, the richest Illinoisan, is taking his family, his billions of dollars and his companies and leaving Chicago,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. Only a few days before the primary in which the candidate he has favored with millions in contributions is expected to lose, Griffin sent a memo to his workers, favoring Miami as a “vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American Dream.” “The move is expected to take several years. The firms have more than 1,000 employees in Chicago and while some are expected to remain, how many is unknown.” Griffin “has said in other forums that rising crime has made it harder to attract top talent to Citadel, resulting in the firms adding to their head counts in other cities while trimming it in Chicago.” The billionaire has been “Chicago’s leading philanthropist, donating about $500 million to local causes with plans to give more, but he’s also been noted for his heavy spending on politicians. He has dumped $50 million into the campaign of Richard Irvin, running in the Republican primary for governor but faring poorly in a recent Sun-Times/WBEZ poll.” “Illinois GOP voters will vote on Tuesday on some or all members of a slate of Republican candidates Griffin has funded up to $50 million,” Rick Pearson notes at the Trib. “Considering the timing and political optics, it points to a potentially early concession speech. Irvin is in a hotly contested six-way race for the nomination and facing strong opposition from state Senator Darren Bailey of Xenia.”
Adds Robert Channick at the Tribune: “Worth a reported $27 billion, he has long been a civic force in Chicago, donating more than $1 billion to organizations such as the Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Science and Industry, which announced it would be renamed in honor of Griffin in 2019.” But Griffin “has also been a sharp critic of the city… In an appearance before the Economic Club of Chicago in October, Griffin cited increased crime and violence on the city streets as one of several reasons why Citadel, which has $51 billion in assets under management, was considering a move to greener corporate pastures.” Greg Hinz at Crain’s: Griffin, “who heads Citadel, the huge hedge fund based in Chicago, announced that he has moved his family to Miami and that the corporate headquarters of Citadel and its related securities unit will be following along.” (Griffin is also a big supporter of and second-largest contributor to Florida governor and presumed presidential aspirant Ron DeSantis, at $5 million in 2021.)
Chicago’s Brief To Supreme Court Before Concealed-Carry Regulation Struck Down
“The Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law enacted more than a century ago that places restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home—an opinion marking the widest expansion of gun rights in a decade,” reports CNN. (From Samuel Alito’s combative concurrence to the ruling: “And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.” From Breyer’s three-justice dissent: “‘The Court purports to answer [the] question [of how much the 2d Amendment cuts into democratic decision-making] without discussing the nature or severity of the [staggering and growing] problem’ of gun violence.”)
Writes Crain’s of Chicago’s input: Advocates on both sides were “eagerly awaiting the court’s decision in Bruen and what it might mean for concealed-carry rights generally and state and local restrictions on carrying weapons in sensitive places, such as schools and other government buildings. This is where the city of Chicago comes in. The city corporation counsel’s office took the lead in writing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Chicago and eleven other cities in support of the New York rule. The city’s brief sought to make nuanced points about Chicago’s experience with gun regulation and violence. Chicago’s enforcement of state and local firearms regulations produce results and take hundreds of criminals and thousands of firearms off the streets each year, the brief said… Matters would be even worse if the court relaxes concealed-carry requirements, the city argued.”
Chicago Loop Alliance Announces Sundays On State
Chicago Loop Alliance has announced the full list of artists and events for Sundays on State. Now in its second year, the award-winning event series closes much of State Street in the Loop to vehicle traffic on select Sundays. Free and open to the public, this year’s events will fill an expanded footprint on State Street from Monroe to Lake on July 24, August 7 and 21, and September 4. Learn more and register here.
Chicago Is A Drag Returns To Andersonville
“The Cheetah Gym lot in Andersonville will play home to the third edition of Chicago is a Drag, the Midwest’s first drag fest” on June 24, reports Time Out Chicago. “The festival is organized by A Queer Pride, the queer event collective of local performers Abhijeet, Bambi Banks-Couleé, JForPay and Kitty Banks. The original event, held in 2019, emerged out of programming for another popular Pride event in Andersonville, Backlot Bash.” Says Abhijeet, “There was nothing in Chicago that highlighted the drag artists of Chicago by themselves, as themselves.”
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