Chicago Architecture Center Constructs City In A Snow Globe
The Chicago Architecture Center will have its first holiday exhibition, “City In A Snow Globe,” opening November 17 in its Skyscraper Gallery. It’s designed by Chicago architecture firm UrbanLab and consists of five individual scale models of winter scenes. They include Polar Bear Plunge accommodations, monumental snowmen, winterized displays at Buckingham Fountain and other ways to inhabit the Lakefront in Chicago winter. Accompanying the holiday exhibition will be a display on the first floor featuring more than two dozen snow globes from local designers and architecture firms. Each participating firm was asked to design around the theme of embracing Chicago winters. More here.
Blackstone Hotel Back On Market
“The owners of the landmark Michigan Avenue inn are hunting for a buyer again after a failed attempt last year, hoping the recent rebound in leisure travel will help their cause,” reports Crain’s.
Humboldt Park’s Pioneer Arcade Gets Preliminary Recommendation For Landmark Status
Posts the Department of Planning and Development on Twitter: “Humboldt Park’s iconic Pioneer Arcade, located at 1535-45 North Pulaski Road, received a preliminary recommendation for landmark status today from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. The building, which dates to 1925, was originally constructed as a bowling and billiards hall.”
Developers Face Challenges Turning LaSalle Street Residential
“Mayor Lightfoot’s plan to turn the Loop into a neighborhood involves some tough math,” writes Danny Ecker at Crain’s. The plan to reinvent “the struggling business hub hurt by the pandemic as a mixed-use neighborhood hinges on convincing real estate developers that they can make money converting outmoded office buildings along LaSalle Street into apartments.”
Airbnb To Reveal Some Onerous Fees To Consumers In Advance
“Cleaning fees and checkout requirements, often hidden until checkout, have been a source of frustration for users. The company said it was changing its policy to include them earlier in a search,” reports the New York Times. “Airbnb will give users the option of viewing the total price of their stays before taxes, including what guests have increasingly described as out-of-control cleaning fees, the company announced… Some have complained of having a listing’s price balloon during the checkout process because of the fees.”
DINING & DRINKING
Metric Converts To Avondale
“After ten years of sourcing, roasting and serving you from our Fulton Street Roastery, we are excited to expand to our new and much larger facility in Avondale,” Metric advises its newsletter subscribers. “This project, which we are tentatively calling ‘Metric Kedzie,’ is a giant leap of faith given that we are managing this project on very little, with the hopes that we can deliver a beautiful but humble space to elevate our process to make amazing coffee in Chicago. Metric has been able to achieve our goal in our current space, but after dealing with the challenges of such a small warehouse, a move to a much bigger space was inevitable. What we can fully promise is that our new space will have around 2,500 square feet of retail and kitchen space, a small adjacent to-go only cafe and around 6,000 square feet of production space and an additional 1,000 square feet of seasonal patio space.” More here.
Hop Butcher Opens North Center Taproom
“Hop Butcher For The World will open its first taproom in the former Half Acre Brewing in North Center this week,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Hop Butcher owners Jeremiah Zimmer and Jude La Rose bought the building and equipment from Half Acre in 2021.” The owners “spent more than a year lining up permits and renovating the property.”
Delivery-Only Top This Macaroni & Cheese From Erick Williams And Damarr Brown
Virtue chef and owner Erick Williams and sous chef Damarr Brown announced a delivery-only launch of their new Top This Macaroni & Cheese on Instagram, “unveiling eight macaroni and cheese selections with playful toppings ranging from seasoned breadcrumbs to shrimp (fried, blackened, or Buffalo-style) to teriyaki pork belly to ham-and-peas—all served out of a ghost kitchen near Wintrust Arena,” reports Eater Chicago.
Controversy Grows On Safeway (Mariano’s)-Albertsons (Jewel-Osco) Merger Billions
“Wealthy investors will reap billions if Kroger takes over Albertsons. Workers and shoppers may be less happy,” headlines NBC News. “Wealthy investors in Safeway’s parent, Albertsons Companies… were slated to reap a $4 billion cash dividend in connection with a proposed $25 billion takeover of Albertsons by rival Kroger.” But “a Washington state commissioner temporarily stopped the dividend payout until the court could hear arguments for and against it scheduled for November 10… The biggest beneficiary of the deal and the proposed dividend will be Cerberus Capital Management, a private-equity firm with $60 billion in assets that bought into Albertsons in 2006 and plans to exit the investment if the buyout goes through. Co-founded by Stephen A. Feinberg, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, Cerberus holds twenty-nine-percent of Albertsons stock… Based on that stake and the amount of the dividend, Cerberus stands to receive roughly $1 billion of the dividend payout.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Longtime WGN Meteorologist Roger Triemstra Was Ninety-Two
“Roger Triemstra was a trusted radio and TV broadcaster, delivering more than fifty forecasts and updates of Chicago weather each week for thirty-three years on WGN television and radio,” reports the Sun-Times.
Former MoviePass Execs Indicted For Fraud
“Two former leaders of MoviePass have been indicted on securities fraud charges for allegedly deceiving investors about the company’s business model and sustainability,” reports Variety.
Online Savage Love Moves Exclusively To Savage’s Site
Dan Savage writes in his current column: “After November 14 my website… will become the exclusive online home. My column will still appear in print in some publications, but you will no longer be able to read the column online anywhere [else].”
Chicago Latino Theater Alliance Names Jorge Valdivia Executive Director
The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance has appointed Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director. Valdivia comes to CLATA from the National Museum of Mexican Art, where he served as the director of performing arts, leading the museum’s year-round calendar of events of performing arts, literature and film. Valdivia also curated the Sor Juana Arts Festival, the multidisciplinary arts festival that is now in seven cities. Valdivia will assume his leadership role in January, joining the organization’s mission to elevate the city’s local Latino/a/e theater community to a more prominent level and increase Latino representation in Chicago theater.
Filament Theatre Marks Fifteen Years
Filament Theatre in Portage Park, recognized as a pioneer in “anti-adultist” theater-making, marks its fifteenth anniversary of creating work for, by and with young audiences. Among highlights of its current season are “institutional direction by dynamic new leadership; the offering of $15 theater tickets for all its anniversary season productions, including the world premiere of the youth-curated, choose-your-own-adventure production, ‘Think Fast, Jordan Chase!’ and the launch of a radical space sharing collaboration with Filament’s Northwest Side neighbor, The Gift Theatre.”
“During this milestone anniversary season, Filament Theatre reflects on its groundbreaking history under the artistic directorship of our departing founder, artistic director Julie Ritchey, while looking ahead to the future of the organization with the promotions of longtime leaders Molly Bunder and Rejinal Simon to co-artistic director positions,” Filament managing director Krissi Ann McEachern says in a release. “Julie, a visionary in the field of Theater for Young Audiences, is also a longtime advocate for using Filament’s space for community care, leading to a new partnership with The Gift, our acclaimed Northwest side neighbors, as they pursue construction on a future permanent new home. We can’t wait to welcome them in the new year and, with this arrangement, truly offer theater-making for all ages.” More here.
The Utopian Theatre Asylum Announces New Leadership
TUTA Theatre, an award-winning Chicago company has announced Aziza Macklin, Aileen Wen McGroddy and Jacqueline Stone as the company’s co-artistic directors who will plan, program and lead the company’s twentieth season. Stone, artistic director for the last ten years, will be joined by Macklin and McGroddy, who have served as company members in past years. All three will lead the organization to create and oversee artistic programming, educational offerings and community engagement. A continued focus on bringing TUTA’s work outside of Chicago will remain, with each of the three leaders based in different areas of the United States (Chicago, New York City and Denver). More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Advance NASCAR Tickets Go For As Much As $4,300
“Want a reserved seat when NASCAR hosts two days of races along Chicago’s lakefront streets next summer?” asks the Sun-Times. “It’ll cost you at least $465 for two-day reserved tickets when they go on sale Thursday, nearly $4,300 for the priciest option… Two-day general admission tickets will go on sale later and start at $269. The course covers 2.2 miles and is expected to tie up part of Grant Park for two weeks for preparation and related events—a prospect that has some alderpersons grumbling.”
Arts In Crisis Across Europe
Headlines about arts funding from around the northern hemisphere suggest things could be worse in the States: The English National Opera loses all regular state funding and sets a move to Manchester. Says the BBC: “The prestigious company will lose its £12.6 million core annual grant from Arts Council England, instead getting £17 million over three years as part of a plan to relocate.” Scottish culture is lacking funds, also reported by the BBC: “The sector now faces a ‘perfect storm’ as it struggles to recover from the pandemic, compounded by the cost of living crisis, and following on from longer-term budget pressures. Our view is that this means there is an increased urgency for the Scottish government to accelerate consideration and implementation of an innovative approach to the funding of the culture sector.” Italy’s new culture minister under the new, far-right government: “Before being named culture minister on October 22, Gennaro Sangiuliano was the director of Italy’s state-owned news channel TG2, produced by the national public broadcasting company, RAI. He resigned from RAI—where he had worked since 2003, rising through the ranks—upon joining Georgia Meloni’s far-right government… During his time at the media company, many left-leaning media outlets leveled charges of biased and partisan programming at TG2, which was seen by critics as Sangiuliano’s efforts to normalize right-wing discourse.”
National funding has been cut to many London arts organizations: “Major cultural institutions across London are facing extreme budget cuts as funding from Arts Council England moves to suburban areas and smaller cities around the country at the behest of the government. From 2023, regional arts organizations in seventy-eight municipalities outside London will see a ninety-five-percent increase in funding, with $36.7 million extracted from monies typically allotted to the capital city’s cultural institutions, and an extra $50 million set to be disbursed annually to the regional organizations for the next three years… “We’ve just simply had to make some invidious choices about where we fund the most,” a bureaucrat said at a press conference. The influential Donmar Warehouse was defunded: “Adam Kenwright, chair of the Donmar Warehouse commented: ‘The Donmar’s impact is wide, its voice powerful and the stories it tells are essential, making today’s decision a disappointing day not just for the Donmar, but for future generations of theater-makers. Since 2000 the Donmar has been supported by government to deliver high-quality work on and off the stage that is accessible to the widest possible audiences. As we look ahead to our future, excellence and access will remain at the core of our mission. We will find a way to continue to deliver for audiences, the sector and our communities.'”
British arts venues also face an cost-of-living crisis unprecedented in this century: “Those institutions which made it–sometimes barely–through the pandemic are now contending with huge leaps in fuel prices, increased staffing costs, reluctant audiences and the logistical and cost hangovers of Brexit.”
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