Michiko Itatani Work At Jean Albano Gallery
Michiko Itatani’s work, recently highlighted in the solo exhibition, “Celestial Stage” at Wrightwood 659, is now available at Jean Albano Gallery, who has announced representation of the artist.
DINING & DRINKING
Greektown Restaurant Week Is Coming
Greektown Chicago brings back Greektown Restaurant Week March 1-7, featuring offers and dishes from restaurants throughout the neighborhood. The directory of Greektown restaurants is here. More here.
Food & Wine Cover-Stories Loaf Lounge Chocolate Cake From “The Bear”
“The show of the summer last year was FX on Hulu’s ‘The Bear.’ Drawing loose inspiration from Mr. Beef in Chicago, the series drew praise from cooks for its all-too-accurate portrayal of the restaurant industry, as well as for featuring food that actually looks delicious,” writes Food & Wine in a cover-story spread. “In particular, ‘The Bear’’s famous layered chocolate cake has become an object of obsession, with fans rushing to replicate the recipe or seek out a slice for themselves…. Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader, the show’s real-life pastry consultant and creator of the show’s signature chocolate cake, took time to develop her recipe. ‘As a pastry chef, I make chocolate cake all the time,’ she says. ‘So I had a version, and it just evolved over the course of my time in restaurants.'”
Carton Of Eggs Costs More Than Pound Of Ground Beef
“The price of a dozen eggs in the U.S. exceeded the cost of a pound of ground beef,” reports Bloomberg. “A global bird flu that has wiped out about 100 million poultry and high production costs have pushed the price of a carton of twelve eggs to a record $4.82 in January, up from less than $2 a year earlier. Meanwhile the price of a pound of ground chuck has fallen to $4.64 from a 2022 peak of $5.12 last August.”
Andersonville Restaurant Week Is Here
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce hosts its seventh annual Restaurant Week, a ten-day long salute to Andersonville’s dining scene, from February 24–March 5. Local eateries will offer prix fixe menus for $24, $36 or $48. Restaurant Week is not a ticketed event and reservations, where accepted, are welcome and encouraged. Vegetarian, vegan and carry out options are available. A current list of participating restaurants is here.
SNAP Dragons: Republicans Coming For Food Assistance
“Top House Republicans are exploring significant changes to the nation’s food stamps program, including benefit cuts and stricter work requirements,” reports the Washington Post, “as part of a campaign to slash all kinds of government spending…. Roughly 41 million people… receive monthly food aid and find themselves scrounging in the face of high bills… Anti-poverty experts have long described the money as critical, yet insufficient at times, in subsidizing families’ food needs over the course of a month. But Democrats’ efforts to expand SNAP aid have been met with steep and intensifying Republican opposition.”
Don Bucio’s Taqueria By Rodolfo Cuadros Opens
James Beard-nominated chef Rodolfo Cuadros will open Don Bucio’s Taqueria in Logan Square on February 25. The Mexican restaurant “builds on the legacies of Amaru and Bloom Plant Based Kitchen. Don Bucio’s deviates from traditional Mexican restaurants by promising not to use animal products throughout the menu. Cuadros has partnered with Gustavo Ocampo to open the restaurant. Ocampo will serve as executive chef, whose earlier work includes his Baja Taco, which is served at and acted as the inspiration for Bloom.” “Gustavo is our secret weapon,” says Cuadros in a release, “he brings us the food he grew up with and he’s really the driving force and idea behind the restaurant.”
National Injunction Against Starbucks Firing Organizers
“A federal judge in Michigan issued an injunction banning Starbucks from firing U.S. workers because they seek to form a union or engage in other collective activities,” reports the New York Times. “The move is the first nationwide judicial mandate related to the labor campaign that has led to the unionization of more than 275 company-owned Starbucks stores in little more than a year. Starbucks said it would appeal… The injunction would allow the National Labor Relations Board to come before the judge and seek more rapid reinstatement of workers who it believed had been terminated for union organizing. Normally, the process could take months or even years.”
Drive-Thru Garrett’s Popcorn For Humboldt Park?
Chicago Cityscape caught sight of a proposal for a Garrett’s Popcorn Shop drive-through in Humboldt Park at Grand and Kostner, on the agenda to be heard at last Friday’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.
Welcome To The Dahlhouse
Salman Rushdie is among many authors weighing in against the rewriting of the books of the late author Roald Dahl by the Roald Dahl Story Company (wholly owned by Netflix). Writes Rushdie on Twitter: “Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.” He responds to a reply: “He was a self confessed antisemite, with pronounced racist leanings, and he joined in the attack on me back in 1989… but thanks for telling me off for defending his work from the bowdlerizing Sensitivity Police.” The CEO of PEN America, which fights for freedom of expression, posts a long reply, in part: “At PEN America, we are alarmed at news of ‘hundreds of changes’ to venerated works by Roald Dahl in a purported effort to scrub the books of that which might offend someone. Amidst fierce battles against book bans and strictures on what can be taught and read, selective editing to make works of literature conform to particular sensibilities could represent a dangerous new weapon. Those who might cheer specific edits to Dahl’s work should consider how the power to rewrite books might be used in the hands of those who do not share their values and sensibilities… The problem with taking license to re-edit classic works is that there is no limiting principle. You start out wanting to replace a word here and a word there, and end up inserting entirely new ideas (as has been done to Dahl’s work)… Literature is meant to be surprising and provocative. That’s part of its potency. By setting out to remove any reference that might cause offense you dilute the power of storytelling.”
The RDSC, which began the mass bowdlerization before the Netflix purchase, writes, “When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details, including a book’s cover and page layout… Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence and sharp-edged spirit of the original text.”
What’s At Stake With Perceived Journalistic “Objectivity” Today?
“The implication that anyone advocating for their own humanity and survival is not valuable journalistically suggests that the only people capable of producing journalism… are those whose identities never bring them under attack by oppressive systems and policymakers,” writes Danielle Tcholakian at Jezebel. “The PR response [to last week’s memos from the executive editor and opinion page editor of the New York Times] took a classic stance favored by institutional journalism: the high-handed separation of journalists from ‘advocates.'”
Cubs Selling Tickets Directly For August 11 Springsteen Date
Tickets for a second Bruce Springsteen show at Wrigley Field on August 11 will go on sale today, February 21, at 10am, bypassing Ticketmaster and its highly convoluted purchase system, instead going through the Cubs website here.
Inside The Salt Shed’s First Indoor Show
The venue impresses, reports Block Club Chicago. “Inside the venue on Saturday night, thousands of fans milled about the massive music space, which included merch shops, multiple bars and food trucks on the patio… Attendees were spread out across the venue’s multiple admission areas, which include a premium balcony, stadium-style seating in the grandstand and general admission on the floor of the venue.”
Abusive Audiences Press British Musicals To Tone Down Ads; Broadway Ads Change Direction
“Popular musicals will be told to avoid phrases such as ‘best party in town’ and ‘dancing in the aisles’ after growing reports of rowdy and abusive behaviour from audiences,” reports the Guardian. That nation’s largest theater operator, Ambassador Theatre Group, says: “We’re taking a multidisciplinary approach to tackling challenging audience behaviour, covering all points of the customer journey, including how we market shows. We want everyone to fully enjoy the experience of a show and we work closely with producers to create appropriate marketing material.” From Broadway News: “Great advertising does not create success. Great shows do. But advertising can expand success from a limited audience and make it larger… Today’s advertising needs to understand today’s market.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
World’s Oldest Benedictine Nun Was 109
“The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago is now without their stalwart sister for the first time in ninety-one years,” reports Block Club Chicago. Vivian Ivantic, “who was the oldest Benedictine nun in the world, died February 11 at age 109,” says the West Ridge-based Catholic order.
Rebecca Blank, Sixty-Seven, Led U Wisconsin
“Rebecca Blank, an economist who served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has died, less than a year after announcing that she had an aggressive form of cancer,” reports NBC 5. “She announced her cancer diagnosis last July, just weeks after leaving Wisconsin… Blank’s illness forced her to step aside… from a new job as president of Northwestern University… ‘I do not have the words to express to you how disappointed and sad I am to be telling you this,’ Blank said. ‘I was excited to be joining you at Northwestern, a world-class institution that is near and dear to my heart.'”
Avian Flu Spreads Between Mammals In The Wild
Bird flu is spreading beyond the food chain, reports El Pais English: “More than 630 sea lions have died from bird flu in Peru. A study of the deadly outbreak suggests the virus may have learned to spread from mammal to mammal, sparking concerns of a new pandemic among humans. Researchers are not ruling out a terrifying hypothesis: that the virus may have learned to spread from mammal to mammal, as it apparently did on a Spanish mink farm.”
Florida Governor Demands State Universities Identify Trans Students; Six Have Complied
“Ron DeSantis told all public universities in Florida to hand over medical data on services performed related to gender dysphoria,” reports Insider (via Yahoo). “Insider has confirmed six of the twelve universities have complied… Students across the state are planning a walkout to protest the governor’s request.”
Suspended Florida University Professor Accused Of “Indoctrinating Students”
“Sam Joeckel has been an English professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University for twenty-one years. On Wednesday, after a class where he discusses racial justice, he says the dean and the provost were waiting for him,” reports WPBF Palm Beach. “‘The dean handed me an envelope and told me that my contract renewal is delayed pending an investigation into the material I use… I was told that the concern is that I’m indoctrinating students.'” If the syllabus isn’t approved, his contract will be ended. “Joeckel says he fears the review is due to the weight of outside politics. Governor DeSantis is proposing changes in diversity and equity programs in public universities. While PBAU is private, Dr. Joeckel says he has never veered off track in his teachings.”
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