Advice To Feds: Don’t Demolish Historic Early Twentieth-Century Skyscrapers
In last Thursday evening’s public hearing, reports Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s, commenters urged the federal government not to “waste” historical buildings on State Street. “Four early twentieth-century buildings the federal government wants to demolish because of security concerns should be saved and rehabbed,” commenters said. Tearing down the sixteen-story Century and twenty-two-story Consumers Building towers and two of their neighbors on State Street “would be a waste of money, natural resources and the city’s architectural heritage.” Urbanize Chicago: “As the GSA seeks to demolish the buildings, they must go through multiple federal processes before any kind of work can begin. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider the anticipated environmental impacts of proposed federal actions as part of their decision-making process and to provide appropriate public involvement. Occurring simultaneously, the GSA is also going through the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) process to accommodate historic preservation concerns with the needs of the federal undertaking through consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).”
Mobster Joey “The Clown” Lombardo’s 1970s Abode On Airbnb
“The top-floor apartment of a West Town three-flat with red wallpaper, drapes and carpet—and much more—can be yours for $350 a night,” reports Crain’s. “The longtime home of late Chicago Outfit leader Joey ‘The Clown’ Lombardo is now available as an overnight rental, with all its striped wallpaper and other 1970s decor [including] a bookcase filled with the mobster’s old shoes.” The alleged Chicago Outfit criminal died in 2019.
Pilsen’s St. Adalbert Gets Permit To Remove Statue
“A permit has been issued to remove a beloved statue from St. Adalbert Catholic Church,” reports the Sun-Times. ” Preservationists and former parishioners fear the building’s fate is sealed. ‘Once the statue comes out, the wrecking ball comes in,’ said Ward Miller, president of Preservation Chicago.”
DINING & DRINKING
Last Hours At The Englewood Whole Foods
The Sun-Times was there: “Shoppers fill their carts during final days at Englewood Whole Foods: ‘Devastating’ for the community, customers say.”
Farm-To-Table Farmhouse Closing In Evanston
“Farmhouse Evanston, the suburban farm-to-table restaurant and sister spot to River North’s now-shuttered Farmhouse Chicago, will permanently close in November after nine years in business,” reports Eater Chicago. “The team will hold its last service, the restaurant’s annual all-day Thanksgiving buffet, on Thursday, November 24.”
Green City Market Sets Winter Market In Avondale
Green City Market is opening an indoor farmers’ market in Avondale, beginning December 3. Green City Market Avondale will be open select Saturdays, December through March, and will provide a marketplace for more than twenty local, sustainable farmers and food vendors throughout the winter season. More here.
“City That Never Sleeps” Taking Nap?
Chicago’s not the only city where nightlife is languishing, reports NY1. “Restaurants and bars are bringing in big business as New Yorkers return to dining and nightlife. But many say, after a certain time, venues and streets are quieter—as though the city that never sleeps is taking a nap… Some venues say instead of staying out later, patrons are coming out in higher numbers earlier in the evening. The Office of Nightlife… recognizes the obstacles venues face including inflation, online dating and quality of life issues like crime and homelessness.”
Jonathon Sawyer And Fifty/50 Open Live-Fire Kindling Downtown Cookout & Cocktails
A James Beard award-winning chef will run a restaurant at 233 South Wacker, reports Eater Chicago. Jonathon Sawyer “is teaming up with Fifty/50 Restaurant Group inside the Willis Tower. Sawyer—who, earlier this year left the Four Seasons Hotel’s Adorn Restaurant & Bar—will specialize in using live fire and global flavors at Kindling Downtown Cookout & Cocktails.”
Post-Brexit, Top Brit Eating Houses Double Prices
Prices have risen at restaurants worldwide, especially high-end ones, and not just Chicago, reports the Guardian. “The price of a meal at the UK’s best restaurants has more than doubled since Brexit from $120 a head to more than $240.” The editor of a major dining guide says that “this phenomenon is not restricted to London. The most expensive formula price in our UK guide this year is $500, for Ynyshir in Wales.” He added, citing Heston Blumenthal’s famed restaurant in Berkshire: “These days, it’s pretty hard to come out of the Fat Duck for less than $1,200 for two.”
Where Have Billions Of Bering Sea Snow Crabs Gone?
Not every missing ingredient in Midwestern stores and restaurants is due to supply chain issues. SAVEUR goes looking for billions of missing Bering Sea snow crabs. “The plight of the species sends a climate change warning that can’t be ignored. Crabbers, suppliers, and restaurants are bracing for the economic blow.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Movie Houses Opening (And Reopening) In Chicago Area
While Drafthouse hasn’t set an opening date for its Wrigleyville location, social media has seen reports of interviews with potential employees. Meanwhile, Landmark will open a renovated location in Glenview this Friday, November 18. The Landmark at the Glen in Glen Town Center will feature the common amenities, including rockers and electric recliners, an expanded concessions area and a bar.
Michigan Library To Close After Voters Reject Funding Again
“A library in Michigan will close after voters rejected its funding for the second time because library staff refused to remove LGBTQ books,” reports the Detroit Free Press. “A tax levy to fund the Patmos Library for the next ten years failed in Jamestown Charter Township’s August primary, meaning it lost eighty-four-percent of its funding for operations.” The issue was on the ballot again and it failed again. “Just 5,500 residents out of around 10,000 in the township… southwest of Grand Rapids voted on the millage, and 55.8 percent voted ‘no.’ Without taxpayer funds, the library will close.”
Maureen O’Donnell Exits Sun-Times Obit Beat
Sun-Times veteran Maureen O’Donnell leaves the daily reporting beat behind, including her many magnificent deadline obituaries. Here’s O’Donnell’s closing column: “I’ve written about too many people who died, leaving their dreams unrealized. I might contribute to the Sun-Times from time to time, but right now I’m planning to retire and travel… I’ve spent most of my life in Chicago or on its fringes. I love her Cleopatran, infinite variety. And being an obituary writer gave me the luxury of being a student of her history and learning something every day. It’s been a privilege to hear your stories and share them. They have given me a hint of what it would be like to live in a different place and time. They have taught me about the power of the human spirit to overcome. They’ve made me feel I’ve carried on the Irish tradition of being a seanchaí—a storyteller. Or, in the words of a gamer I once interviewed, ‘You’re a psychopomp!’ I loved being likened to mythological figures who help guide souls to the afterlife.”
Publisher Of Sham “Newspapers” Says He’s Left Illinois For Good
“Conservative activist behind faux newspapers is done living in Illinois,” reports Crain’s. “Dan Proft, the radio host and critic of Dem politicians, confirms he has not bought or rented another home here since selling his Lake Point Tower condo. ‘Nor will I.'”
Former Tribune Editor Bob Vanderberg Was Seventy-Four
Bob Vanderberg was a longtime editor and writer for the Chicago Tribune who wrote three books about the White Sox, reports the Trib. “Vanderberg was known for many things during nearly thirty-seven years at the Chicago Tribune. A kind, generous and funny colleague who could light up a room despite his soft-spoken demeanor. A talented writer and strong, well-organized editor. A spot-on Harry Caray impersonator. A high school sports expert. And a Chicago White Sox fan and historian.”
The Daily Tweet
“Twitter’s potential collapse could wipe out vast swathes of recent human history,” headlines MIT Technology Review. “What happens when the world’s knowledge is held in a quasi-public square owned by a private company that could soon go out of business?” … “’If Twitter was to “go in the morning,” let’s say, all of this—all of the firsthand evidence of atrocities or potential war crimes, and all of this potential evidence—would simply disappear,’ says Ciaran O’Connor, senior analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a global think tank. Information gathered using open-source intelligence, known as OSINT, has been used to support prosecutions for war crimes and acts as a record of events long after the human memory fades. Part of what makes Twitter’s potential collapse uniquely challenging is that the ‘digital public square’ has been built on the servers of a private company, says O’Connor’s colleague Elise Thomas, senior OSINT analyst with the ISD. It’s a problem we’ll have to deal with many times over the coming decades, she says: ‘This is perhaps the first really big test of that.’ Twitter’s ubiquity, its adoption by nearly a quarter-of-a-billion users in the last sixteen years, and its status as a de facto public archive, has made it a gold mine of information, says Thomas. ‘In one sense, this actually represents an enormous opportunity for future historians—we’ve never had the capacity to capture this much data about any previous era in history…’ But that enormous scale presents a huge storage problem for organizations.”
Workplace Allegations About Yeezy
“More than a dozen Yeezy staffers describe Kanye West’s company as both a creative haven and a cult-like place where you could get intimidated and humiliated—and fired for liking Drake,” reports Rolling Stone. One Yeezy employee tells the publication that, “while reviewing apparel featuring hoods and masks, Kanye West casually said ‘skinheads and Nazis were his greatest inspiration.’ … One former senior Adidas executive with Yeezy [says] comments like these were something they had heard before from West. (Recent reports from CNN and NBC alleged that Yeezy staffers heard West praise Hitler and use antisemitic language. At least two employees allegedly received settlements from West, including one over workplace complaints.)”
1893 Chicago World’s Fair “The Nutcracker” Returns
The Joffrey Ballet’s reimagined classic, “The Nutcracker” by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, set in Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893, returns to the Lyric Opera House in twenty-five performances, December 3–27. Wheeldon’s American telling relocates Marie and her immigrant family to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and opens as young Marie and her mother, a sculptor creating the Fair’s iconic Statue of the Republic, host a festive Christmas Eve celebration. After a surprise visit from the creator of the Fair, the mysterious Great Impresario, Marie embarks on a whirlwind adventure with the Nutcracker Prince through a dreamlike World’s Fair. A ballet in two acts set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, “The Nutcracker”features set and costume designer Julian Crouch, author Brian Selznick, puppeteer Basil Twist, lighting designer Natasha Katz and projection designer Ben Pearcy. The production was adapted in 2021 by Wheeldon to fit the larger Lyric Opera stage. Tickets and more here.
For the third year in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, scenes from the production will be projected by Art on theMart. The digital art projection, designed by local production studio The Mill with music arranged by Joffrey assistant conductor and company pianist Michael Moricz, will be displayed on theMART’s two-and-a-half acre river façade, twice nightly from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells and Franklin, November 19–December 30.
Goodman Front-Of-House Stalwart Desmond Gray Passes
“Desmond Gray worked at the Goodman Theater since 2015 as a member of our front-of-house team and was recently promoted to Events Coordinator,” the theater reports. Gray was also “a rising star on off-Loop stages, including multiple years as the soldier in The House Theater’s ‘The Nutcracker’ and on ‘Chicago P.D.’ and ‘Chicago Med.’ You probably remember him at the front desk, coming to the Goodman—always had a smile, very friendly and just a genuine favorite of our audiences. Everyone loved him. News of his passing has rocked our staff; he will be missed beyond measure.” Update: Memorial service will be held Saturday November 19, 10:30am, at J.W. James AME church, 911 South 6th Ave in Maywood, Illinois. There will be a repast immediately after the service at the church.
Whale, Failed: Playbill Sheds Twitter
Playbill, with 412,000 followers, will no longer post on Twitter, nor will its employees. ““Our team at Playbill and I did not come to this decision lightly,” shares Playbill CEO and Chairman Philip S. Birsh. “As a news outlet and publisher, leaving any platform that allows us to share our coverage of Broadway is a large risk. However, it became clear to us that whatever risk this represented, it became clearer that our principles outweighed all other considerations. While we know that no social media platform is perfect or without its moderation issues, to stay on a platform that is doing little to deter hate speech and misinformation is dangerous for us as a brand and as members of our community. In the past few weeks, instances of racial slurs and harassment have substantially increased; things have gotten worse, not better. We want our followers to feel safe interacting with each other, and with us. We want to be comfortable with the platforms we utilize.” Playbill remains on “Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Our participation on those three social media platforms are subject to ongoing review.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Landmarks Illinois Grants Pullman Tech Workshop
Landmarks Illinois has awarded a grant through the Timuel D. Black, Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side to Pullman Tech Workshop, a nonprofit providing historic trades training to people living in and around that neighborhood. Pullman Tech Workshop will use the $2,500 matching grant from Landmarks Illinois to help with rehabilitation efforts at the former Schlitz Brewery Stable Building. Built in 1906, the two-story brick building was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Frommann & Jebsen and is today a Chicago Landmark. PTW is renting the building with the intention to own it through an upcoming donation.
Landmarks Illinois grant funds will specifically go toward the cleanup and renovation of two spaces in the building: a former office and storage space to be used as the Material Library and a former brewery testing lab to be used as the Preservation Technology Lab. “The historic preservation field is facing a worker shortage,” Bonnie McDonald, president and CEO of Landmarks Illinois says in a release. “Pullman Tech Workshop is helping close this gap through its historic trades workforce development program, which creates career opportunities for people on the South Side.”
Marie Lynn Miranda Named Chancellor Of UIC Chicago
“Marie Lynn Miranda, the former provost of the University of Notre Dame and a leader in the drive to make higher education more inclusive, has been named chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago and a vice president of the University of Illinois System,” UIC relays. Miranda “served as provost at Notre Dame through 2021 and remains a member of the faculty in its Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. As provost, she led the private university’s academic response to the pandemic; helped drive efforts to increase faculty and student diversity, resulting in the most diverse first-year class in school history in 2021; started a transformational leaders program to provide resources to students from under-served backgrounds; and led a bottom-up strategic planning process that engaged more than 600 members of the faculty.”
Phil Stefani Pot Shop Likely First Licensee Of 185 To Open
“Green Rose, in the former Carson’s Ribs, joins a crowded River North neighborhood for marijuana retailers,” reports Crain’s. The “marijuana shop co-owned by Chicago restaurateur Phil Stefani, looks like it will be the first of the 185 newly licensed retail dispensaries to open its doors.”
Private Equity Pricing Farmers Out Of Farmland
There’s a crisis in farmland: There’s not enough of it, and private equity smells profit. “The supply of land is limited. About forty-percent of farmland in the United States is rented, most of it owned by landlords who are not actively involved in farming. And the amount of land available for purchase is extremely scant, with less than one percent of farmland sold on the open market annually,” reports the New York Times. The booming housing market “has bolstered the value of farmland, particularly in areas close to growing city centers.” Other “economic forces—high prices for commodity crops like corn, soybeans and wheat; a [strong] housing market; and a slew of government subsidies—have converged to create a ‘perfect storm’ for farmland values, said Jason Henderson, a dean at the College of Agriculture at Purdue University and a former official at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.”
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