Red Line Extension Recommended For $350 Million From Feds, But It’s Not Enough
“The extension of the CTA Red Line south to 130th Street was recommended to get $350 million in President Biden’s next budget, signaling a move by the federal government to support a project that is expected to rely heavily on federal funding,” reports the Tribune. The money, “pending both congressional approval and CTA’s progression through a grant program, is a small piece of what CTA is seeking for the $3.6 billion project. The agency is looking for a much larger grant.”
Better Crash Test Dummies Sought
“Women and older people are being failed by our crash test dummies, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office,” reports Ars Technica. The GAO has published a “report on the topic and is concerned that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not done enough to fill knowledge or research gaps that would make our vehicles safer for those more-vulnerable classes of occupants. Consequently, the GAO is recommending that NHTSA create a comprehensive plan to improve that crash test dummy data.”
DINING & DRINKING
GrubHub CEO Out
“Grubhub CEO Adam DeWitt is stepping down as head of the food delivery platform after eleven years at the company,” reports Crain’s. DeWitt took charge “less than two years ago, shortly after the closing of Grubhub’s $7.3 billion merger with Just Eat Takeaway.com. He took over for founder Matt Maloney. DeWitt, who [had] also been CFO and president at Grubhub, will stay on through May 1, according to a release from Just Eat Takeaway.com.”
A Quarter-Century Of Lula Cafe
“It would become difficult to imagine anything other than Lula occupying this curved corner spot at the epicenter of Logan Square—the neighborhood itself now a mecca for indie restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, and one of the city’s best farmers’ markets,” writes Maggie Hennessy at Resy. “Lula now unfurls across three storefronts—warm, funky, and (still) effortlessly cool some twenty-four years later. All-day menus and a range of price points make it both a destination for exciting market-driven cooking and refuge for comforting breakfast or lunch, while plenty of regulars post up with a glass of wine at the bar after work. On the menu, you’ll find a hangover-defying breakfast burrito; a monthly farm dinner with dishes that never once repeat; and cheesy Pasta Yia Yia to cure what ails you. That they all coexist naturally speaks to the organic growth, intention, and lasting relationships that have shaped this bohemian bistro.”
Trekking To Westmont For Kim’s Uncle Pizza
At the Party Cut, Dennis Lee goes long on Kim’s Uncle Pizza as the “pinnacle” of Chicago thin-crust pizza. “Kim’s Uncle Pizza is the culmination of a series of bizarre twists and turns starting with a group of friends handing out free pizza, a global pandemic pivot, and reimagining a childhood pizza joint. It’s also freaking delicious.” Billy Federighi, Cecily Marie Federighi and Brad Shorten “are friends who took a circuitous path to becoming pizzeria owners. They were all successful in other careers [and] lived in apartments in the same Ukrainian Village building. After seven years of monthly pizza get-togethers making artisan-style pizzas in a hodgepodge variety of ovens (including a Weber grill insert and a hacked Whirlpool oven that got so hot that it eventually destroyed itself), they started offering free pizzas to patrons at a bar in the same building… Just before the world turned upside-down… Eat Free Pizza became the pizza portion of Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream (now closed), a… neighborhood pizzeria and chicken sandwich joint next to Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar in Bridgeport… Thin crust pizzas are faster to make, faster to bake, and easier to takeout and deliver than Sicilian pizzas. Plus, as South Siders, it was a natural fit with the neighborhood. After years of making every sort of pizza, Billy started developing a recipe for thin crust pizza that would meet the group’s high standards, as well as streamline the workflow in a kitchen that needed to keep workers safe in a pandemic.” More history at the link here and more Kim’s Uncle Pizza here.
Levy Reaches Tentative Pact With United Center Workers
“Concession workers at the United Center will soon vote after a tentative agreement was reached with Levy, avoiding a potential strike,” reports CBS 2. “Concessions workers say they want better health insurance, wages and pension benefits.”
Amy Morton And Debbie Gold Parler LeTour
Amy Morton and Debbie Gold talk about the Moroccan influences on Evanston’s LeTour, reports Louisa Chu at the Trib. Of a chicken tagine, “‘I don’t want to say this is a traditional Moroccan dish,’ said Gold, professional partner and executive chef of LeTour as well as the parent restaurant group. ‘It’s got onion, lots of ginger, cumin, turmeric and saffron. Then there’s dried apricots, the preserved lemon and the olives, so when you put it in your mouth, hopefully it’s a beautiful burst of flavors.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
DOC10 Selection “Navalny” Takes Oscar For Best Doc
DOC10 salutes its 2022 selection “Navalny,” for its Academy Award. Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny “was attending a court hearing via video link from the prison when his attorney broke the news to him,” reports AP. His reaction was not reported. Last month, Navalny “was placed in a restricted housing unit for six months. He is effectively deprived of phone calls or visits from his family.”
Chicago Artist Named 2023 Right of Return Fellow
Right of Return—the first and only national fellowship dedicated to supporting and mentoring formerly incarcerated creatives—has announced their fifth annual fellowship class. Six fellows receive $20,000 each to support projects aimed at transforming the criminal justice system. This year’s fellowship class includes Chicago-based writer Michael Fischer, whose proposed work, Well Without Water, blends personal essay with narrative journalism to situate mass incarceration within a conversation about mental health and climate change. More here.
Rebecca Makkai On Writing Routines
“The flip side of ADHD is hyperfocus. If I’m doing something I’m really into, I can do it for hours,” novelist Rebecca Makkai tells Chicago magazine. “Writing is one of those things. And then I’m like, Why are my legs asleep? I have to set an alarm so I remember to stop and go pick my kid up from school.” Makkai talked to Newcity last month: “Engaging with the modern world is an enormous privilege to me. My grandmother was a novelist in Hungary where she couldn’t publish her most political books because of the government’s hold in the 1950s. My parents had to smuggle her work out of the country, or she’d have to couch any political commentary deep in allegory, which is why it’s important that I write about the time I’m living in.”
Why The Ursula Le Guin Estate Updated Her Children’s Books
“As Ursula’s literary executor, I recently faced a similar decision [as the Roald Dahl copyright holders],” writes literary executor Theo Downes-Le Guin at LitHub. “My mother, known for her young adult and adult novels, also wrote several children’s books. A multigenerational fan base has kept her ‘Catwings‘ books in print in the U.S. since the 1980s. I was excited to move the books to a new publisher last year. As we began work on the new editions, I received an unexpected note from the editor: ‘I’m writing to propose several minor changes to the language… to remove words that now have a different connotation than when the books were originally published.’ The words in question were ‘lame,’ ‘queer,’ ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid,’ a total of seven instances across three books… I genuinely didn’t know what my mother would have decided. But she left me a clue: a note over her desk asking, ‘Is it true? Is it necessary or at least useful? Is it compassionate or at least unharmful?’ … My mother’s note tipped me toward changing her words. I found substitutes that would retain the original meaning and cadence, and stipulated to the publisher that the new editions would note that the text had been revised… I would say that kids intuit and accept better than adults that language is constantly in flux, as are human sensibilities. Not condescending to young readers also means trusting that they can glean meaning from a textual whole, not just from specific words.”
Springsteen Cancels Albany Date; Others Still Set
Following the cancellation of Columbus and Connecticut dates for unspecified illness, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band canceled their Tuesday night Albany date, reports NBC 5. Further dates, including Chicago, are not affected.
Luminarts Names Jazz Fellows
Luminarts’ 2023 Jazz Fellows will receive $10,000 each and continued support from the Foundation through professional development, performance opportunities, and additional project grant funding. The quartet of winners is; Evan Levine, bass; Alexis Lombre, piano; Gregory Jung, saxophone; Jahari Stampley, piano. More here.
Broadway In Chicago Announces Season
Broadway In Chicago has announced its season line-up, featuring Tony-winning Best Musical Revival “Company”; “Beetlejuice”; pre-Broadway engagements of the revival of “The Wiz” and “A Wonderful World”; TimeLine Theatre’s Chicago premiere production of Tony Award-winning Best Play “The Lehman Trilogy”; and the world premiere of “Boop! The Betty Boop Musical.” Renewals are available to current subscribers now. The season will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 12; six-show packages begin at $150. Details and tickets here.
The Seldoms Debut “Superbloom” For Twentieth Anniversary
Chicago-based dance company The Seldoms, celebrating two decades of multidisciplinary performances, will present the world premiere of “Superbloom,” an evening-length work combining movement, live music, animation, and costume and lighting design. Founding artistic director and choreographer Carrie Hanson describes the work for five dancers as “a multimedia performance about radical beauty, wildness and wildflowers, and the resilience and fragility of the natural world. The work aims for splendor as a mirror of the sublime beauty of the natural world and an antidote to grief felt in the Anthropocene epoch (our current geological age, in which human activity has been the dominant influence on the environment). A hyperkinetic and hyper-visual experience, ‘Superbloom’ conveys the fantastic beauty and color of a rare wildflower event and invokes the human experience of awe as a way to reconnect to the natural world.” The one-night-only performance is Thursday, June 1 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. More on The Seldoms here. Tickets go on sale March 27 here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
City Of Chicago Announces Summer Events; Grant Park Taste Moves To September
The mayor and DCASE have announced returning summertime events. Events and dates include: Taste of Chicago (Grant Park and neighborhoods): Taste neighborhood events to take place June 24 (Humboldt Park), July 15 (Pullman Park), and August 5 (Marquette Park), culminating with the downtown Taste, Friday–Sunday, September 8–10 (Grant Park). Chicago City Markets (citywide including Daley Plaza on Thursdays, Maxwell Street on Sundays TBA): May–October. Chicago Gospel Music Festival (Millennium Park): June 3. Chicago Blues Festival (Millennium Park): Thursday–Sunday, June 8–11. Chicago House Music Festival and Conference (Humboldt Park Boathouse Lawn): Saturday, June 24; House Conference at Chicago Cultural Center, June 23. Millennium Park Summer Music Series (Pritzker Pavilion): Mondays & Thursdays, June 22–August 21. Chicago SummerDance (citywide, Night Out in the Parks events, programs at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, and the SummerDance Celebration in Millennium Park): select dates July 15–September 10. SummerDance Celebration (Pritzker Pavilion and throughout Millennium Park): Sunday, August 27. Millennium Park Summer Film Series (Pritzker Pavilion): Tuesdays, July 11–August 29. Chicago Air and Water Show (North Avenue Beach and along the Lakefront): Saturday-Sunday, August 19-20; practice runs on Friday, August 18. Chicago Jazz Festival (citywide including Millennium Park): Thursday–Sunday, August 31–September 3. World Music Festival Chicago (citywide): Friday, September 22–Sunday, October 1.
Virologists “Not Losing Sleep” Over Bird Flu
“A global outbreak of influenza among wild birds, once largely a worry for egg producers and backyard farmers, is raising growing public concern as the virus has displayed a disconcerting ability to infect various mammal species,” reports Josh Nathan-Kazis at Barron’s. “The spread of the virus, known as H5N1, is setting off fears of… the possibility of a human pandemic. Experts say that the risk of such a pandemic remains remote… As for the impact on U.S. chickens and other poultry, much depends on what happens over the next few months, as wild birds that carry the virus migrate across states where chickens are farmed.”
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