Congestion Strikes Fulton Market
“Big buildings are making the Fulton Market District look a lot more like downtown. Now city officials must decide whether the neighborhood needs Loop-like infrastructure to support its growth,” writes Danny Ecker at Crain’s.
Landmark Status For Promontory Point?
“Making Promontory Point a city landmark would effectively protect the lakefront site from development or demolition,” reports the Sun-Times. The limestone peninsula along Burnham Park and Hyde Park will get a hearing Thursday from the Commission of Chicago Landmarks. “The point was named one of Chicago’s ‘most endangered’ sites in 2022 by Preservation Chicago.”
Bill Kurtis-Narrated Video For A Domed Soldier Field Sounds Science-Fiction Notes
The real-estate-developer video released over the weekend about the potential multibillion-dollar redevelopment of Soldier Field suggests that a “new stadium would increase capacity from 61,500 to 70,000 seats, increase private suites from 133 to 140 and quadruple food and beverage amenities from 50,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet—all of which have become major complaints about the current stadium as the team considers a move to the suburbs,” reports Block Club. “The stadium’s iconic colonnade would remain albeit with food and beverage booths between columns. Sliding glass walls on the north end zone would open to showcase the Field Museum, Grant Park and the city skyline in the distance.” The video is here.
DINING & DRINKING
Cheese It At Salumeria Lardon
For National Cheese Lover’s Day – January 20 – Logan Square’s daytime cafe and salumeria Lardon is slicing gooey raclette sandwiches and an exclusive cheese board with selections by Midwest-based Capriole. “The team is pulling out the raclette melter and serving up melted-to-order gooey raclette sandwiches with house-cured copper and beer mustard on a toasted French baguette for lunch. An exclusive cheeseboard featuring selections by Indiana-based Capriole will also be offered. The family-owned- and-operated creamery’s goat cheeses have won awards including an American Cheese Society ‘Best in Show.'” Reserve here.
Wienermobile Craves Drivers
It’s that time of the year again: Oscar Mayer is seeking a dozen graduating college seniors to drive the immediately recognizable Wienermobile around the nation, reports CBS 2. “Selected applicants will travel more than 200,000 miles across the country–through all different places populated by people who make up the celery salt of the earth.” The gig includes brand ambassador attendance at events across the land. Ketchup with the application here.
Table, Donkey & Stick Closed After City Damages Water Line
Logan Square restaurant Table, Donkey & Stick “is closed indefinitely after city crews damaged a water line on the property,” leaving the restaurant “without running water as officials refuse to repair the damage,” reports Block Club. Closed since mid-December, the owner says the restaurant is losing $10,000 a week. “City officials say some responsibility to fix the damage falls on the owner of the building, Capital Three Partners… City spokeswoman Megan Vidis said the line was ‘fully repaired… up to the property line’ the same day it was broken and any remaining issue is ‘on the property owner’s side and is their responsibility.’ City crews can’t mend the damage until the building’s plumbing system is brought up to code, but officials didn’t specify which codes the property owner violated. The building doesn’t have any recent code infractions listed in city records.”
Pancake Making Consolidating
Chicago-based Hometown Food buys Birch Benders, reports the Sun-Times. “The acquisition expands Hometown Food’s holdings in pancake and baking mixes and could add to jobs at its headquarters here… The products include pancake and waffle mixes, baking mixes, frostings and cookies. The deal will add about $50 million in annual sales to the Hometown lineup, which generates more than $750 million in yearly revenue” for private equity firm Brynwood Partners. “Brynwood owns Hometown, whose brands include Hungry Jack, Martha White and dry baking mixes under the Pillsbury name.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Pickwick Theatre To Reveal New Tenant This Week
Written negotiations have begun: “The owners of the Pickwick Theatre are making plans to finalize an agreement with a prospective tenant who will take over Park Ridge’s iconic 900-seat movie theater,” reports Pioneer Press. “It’s in the lawyers’ hands now.” Live entertainment and “banquet facility potential” join the possibility of continuing movies at the facility.
Therapy Perk For Stressed Film Workers
Mental health support is coming to some movie productions, reports the Los Angeles Times. “Film and TV sets can be stressful and dangerous places to work. The pandemic added a raft of anxieties as cast and crews returned to work to face rigorous safety protocols such as testing, masking and social distancing. The streaming boom put more pressure on film workers as production of new shows spiked and crew worked longer hours to keep up with demand, fueling burnout and rising labor tensions. As a result, more producers are considering offering therapy services, both on set and virtually, to help film workers cope with on-the-job stress.”
New York’s Film Forum Art House Gets New Leader After Fifty Years
A major change in the national movie art house scene: “Karen Cooper, who for half a century served as the director of Film Forum, New York’s internationally known independent cinema, will leave her role at the downtown nonprofit,” reports Artforum of the $6 million-annual grossing cultural edifice. “Sonya Chung, who has a twenty-year history with the theater and who since 2020 has been its deputy director, will succeed her in the role… Cooper will remain at the theater as an advisor to Chung, centering her attention on programming and fundraising… ‘To say this is a transitional moment would be a vast understatement,’ said board chair Gray Coleman in a statement. ‘For virtually all of its history, Film Forum has been energetically and most ably guided by Karen.'” The New York Times: “She’ll continue to represent Film Forum at the Berlin and Amsterdam film festivals. She intends to maintain her schedule of watching at least 500 films per year. She’ll continue to focus on fund-raising for the nonprofit, which raises approximately $3 million of its operating budget each year.”
Book Bans Pummel School Library Purchases
“As books are banned and challenged across the country, they might have a much larger impact than the removal of a few titles: They may be changing the makeup of entire school libraries, due to the chilling effect they create,” reports Education Week, based on research on hundreds of titles purchased by more than 6,600 public school libraries across the country.
The Story Prize Finalists Include Andrea Barrett, Ling Ma, Morgan Talty
Three books are vying for The Story Prize’s $20,000 top prize: “Natural History,” by Andrea Barrett; “Bliss Montage,” by Ling Ma; and “Night of the Living Rez,” by Morgan Talty. The Story Prize, now in its nineteenth year, chose finalists from 119 submissions representing seventy-nine publishers or imprints. Founder Julie Lindsey and Larry Dark established The Story Prize in 2004 to honor short story collections. The Chisholm Foundation continues to underwrite the prize. The winner will be announced Wednesday, March 15 at a private event that will be livestreamed. The event will feature readings by and interviews with finalists Barrett, Ma, and Talty, as well as the announcement of the winner and acceptance of the $20,000 top prize. The runners-up will each receive $5,000. More here.
New Leadership For WBBM Stations
“Broadcasting company Audacy announced today that Craig Schwalb will take over as brand manager and news director of WBBM Newsradio’s Chicago-based stations WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9,” reports Chicago Business.
Conductor Marin Alsop Disdains “Tár”
Ravinia chief conductor and Chicago Symphony visiting artist Marin Alsop tells London’s The Times, which describes her as “the world’s most famous female conductor,” that she actively dislikes Todd Field’s fiction feature starring Cate Blanchett. (Alsop is name-checked early in the film by the main character.) “I was offended: I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a conductor, I was offended as a lesbian.” Alsop tells the paper that the “use of ‘pseudo-reality,'” or its setting in a real world, “is ‘slightly dangerous because people may get confused about what’s real and what’s not.'” Alsop also sees it as playing into “maestro mythology.” And, she adds, “To have an opportunity to portray a woman in that role and to make her an abuser—for me that was heartbreaking. I think all feminists should be bothered by that kind of depiction, because it’s not really about conductors, is it? It’s about women as leaders in our society… To assume that women will either behave identically to men or become hysterical, crazy, insane is to perpetuate something we’ve already seen on film so many times before.” The Times notes that, like the fictional character, Alsop was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, “is a lesbian married to an orchestral musician with whom she has a child, teaches at a prestigious American music college and runs a fellowship to support female conductors.”
Adidas Holding At Least A Half-Billion Dollars In Unsold Ye Merch
“Adidas has $530 million worth of Ye merchandise, which it hopes to unload at a steep discount. How the shoe company will manage that remains a mystery. Adidas’ employees have worried for years that the shoe giant was too reliant on the Yeezy brand,” reports the Chicago Defender. “The German sportswear giant is now trying to sell the items under its own brand to minimize potential losses.”
Theater Critic Tires Of Applause
Sit down, writes Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks. Can it, already. “At the start of each fruitless round of voting for the House speakership, someone from the ranks of each political party offered a nominating speech, a glowing summation of the sterling qualities of the nominee. A mind-numbing number of times, flowery versions of these encomiums were bestowed on two principal contenders.” After each speech, “The supporting contingents rose and clapped wildly… Our hyperventilating system of performative politics seems to dictate that everyone stay, and clap. Because clapping as a rote mechanism is a national pastime… The practice has its analogue in the venues where clapping is a cherished psychic reward. ‘If there’s nothing else, there’s applause,’ Eve Harrington, the calculating wannabe Broadway star, famously declares in… ‘All About Eve.’ ‘It’s like waves of love coming over the footlights.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
West Town Stalwart Kara Salgado Was Fifty-Five
“A longtime West Town leader is being remembered as a trailblazer and ‘the heart of the neighborhood,'” reports Block Club. Kara Salgado, who was fifty-five, “ran the West Town Chamber of Commerce for twenty years, boosting businesses along Chicago Avenue, Division Street and other commercial corridors in the neighborhood. Salgado launched popular street festivals like Do Division and West Fest and worked with business owners to open and promote shops, restaurants and art galleries.” Salgado “encouraged West Town’s growth while respecting the neighborhood’s indie culture and artistic focus… No festival promoter wanted to work in the area when Salgado tried to start West Fest in 2004… She took on the work herself… West Fest was followed by Do Division a few years later, along with other big events like the annual Dancing In The Streets festival… Salgado’s work at the chamber extended to advocating for businesses to come to West Town, like Forbidden Root brewery’s bid to open on Chicago Avenue.”
CVS Joins Walgreens In Pouring Billions Into Controlling Healthcare Market
“CVS is exploring a $10 billion-plus acquisition of Oak Street Health,” reports Crain’s. “The potential deal for Chicago-based Oak Street would be the latest in a series of big-money acquisitions by Walgreens and CVS as they elbow their way into the health care sector.”
City Council Looks At “Astronomical” Teen Vaping
“Flavored vaping products are especially popular with teens. Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has cited studies showing eighty-percent of youth tobacco users started with a flavored product,” reports the Sun-Times. Ald. Anthony Napolitano “persuaded the Committee on License and Consumer Protection to require a new city license whenever a retailer ‘derives more than twenty-percent of their gross revenue from the sale of electronic cigarette products, accessories or liquid nicotine products.'” He said, “These vape and tobacco stores can pop up anywhere they want right now—and have been—in all of these empty storefronts with no regulations… I’ve got two that opened up less than 150 feet of each other. One of ’em is selling vape and tobacco as their main product as well as gym shoes…That is beyond out of control. If we’re not doing something about it right now, we’re failing as legislators.”
Send culture news and tips to [email protected]