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Peoria Art Guild Former Executive Director Gary Jameson Passes
Gary Jameson, former director of the Peoria Art Guild, was director of the Art Guild during the 1980s. Known for his blacksmith skills, Jameson’s artistic and creative talents ranged from utilitarian wares and objects to abstract sculptures. As his family remembered him, he “was passionate about social justice and an advocate known for his generosity, friendship, sharp wit and wry humor.” There will be a memorial service at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Peoria, Saturday, May 20, 10am.
Bertrand Goldberg Hyde Park “Glass Treehouse” On Market
“Before he designed Marina City, River City and other icons of Chicago modernism, architect Bertrand Goldberg designed twelve individual houses,” reports Crain’s. “This one, in Hyde Park, was the eighth and the biggest departure from traditional styles. ‘It’s a glass treehouse,’ says Bobbie Sweitzer, who has owned the Blackstone Avenue house since 2000 with her husband, Stephen Small.”
Feds Commence Demo Of Three-Story Building Between Century And Consumers Buildings
“Sandwiched between the historic Century and Consumers buildings, which were granted preliminary landmark status by the city last week, the smaller building had deteriorated so badly that the General Services Administration, which manages government-owned buildings, said the facade was in danger of collapsing on its own,” reports the Tribune.
CTA Thinks It’s No Longer “Hemorrhaging” Employees
“At the monthly meeting of the Chicago Transit Board, President Dorval Carter expressed optimism that the agency has stopped the ‘hemorrhaging’ of employees it experienced during the pandemic and has started to fill the hundreds of vacancies on the bus and rail side,” reports WBEZ. “Bus and rail jobs are getting filled, but current employees keep leaving, according to new data released last week by the Chicago Transit Authority.”
Closing Downtown Greyhound Station Would Hurt Low-Income Chicagoans
“Chicago’s downtown Greyhound bus station is at risk of closing, and that could have repercussions for low-income travelers and the city’s status as a transportation hub,” reports the Tribune. “Real estate services firm CBRE was hired to sell the bus station earlier in 2023, leading [a] DePaul report to deem the station at risk of closure. The station was sold to Twenty Lake Holdings, a real estate investment and management firm, after Greyhound was acquired by a new parent company in 2021 that did not purchase much of Greyhound’s real estate as part of the sale, according to the report.”
Molson Coors To Cut Half Its Local Office Space
“Molson Coors is poised to join the herd of companies shedding big chunks of unneeded office space,” reports Crain’s. “The beer company is in advanced talks to lease around 70,000 square feet in BMO Tower, the fifty-two-story high-rise that opened last year at 320 South Canal… The new space would be far smaller than the roughly 167,000 square feet Molson Coors leases today in the nearby sixteen-story office building at 250 South Wacker.”
“Extraordinary” Hoosier Development Stalls
“The largest economic development deal in Indiana history has stalled, amounting to one building, a few dozen parked cars, an abandoned garage and more than a hundred acres of weeds,” reports Axios Indianapolis. “In 2018, Infosys, an information-technology company, announced plans to invest $245 million [with $100 million in state and local incentives] to construct a massive campus including 786,000 square feet of offices… where an Indianapolis International Airport terminal once stood. Infosys said it would hire 3,000 workers by the end of 2023.” Wrote an Infosys spokesperson, “We are transitioning from the pandemic and are in the process of associating people to offices.”
DINING & DRINKING
Moon’s Sandwich Shop Turns Ninety
“Walk into Moon’s Sandwich Shop on any given morning, and you’ll be greeted by the delightful symphony that can only be heard in classic American diners: bacon sputtering and onions caramelizing on the flat top grill, bread popping out of multiple toasters, stainless steel spoons stirring sugar and cream into white ceramic cups filled with coffee, the drip, drip, drip of the Bunn-O-Matic coffee maker,” writes Amy Bizzarri at the Sun-Times. “Since 1933, this old-fashioned diner has cooked up the staples of stick-to-your-bones American cuisine that promises to fuel a hard-working day in Chicago (or cure a hangover).” More savor at the link.
Sideshow Gelato Opens In Lincoln Square
A circus- and magic-themed gelato shop under chef and founder Jay Bliznick will open May 17, reports Block Club. Sideshow Gelato, 4819 North Western, will have a multi-day grand opening beginning May 17. “The shop will feature three stages for performers, with acts [devised] around magic and sideshow performances.” The shop’s backers include Penn Jillette; Bliznick is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
Ben & Jerry’s Supports Vermont Unionization
“Global ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s said it supports a plan to unionize by the workers at a retail shop in Burlington, Vermont, where the brand, known as much for its social activism as its products, was founded,” reports AP. The company said in a statement that it shares “the goal of advancing justice, both inside and outside our company.”
Fioretta Steakhouse Turns Up Heat
Fioretta, an Italian American steakhouse in the mid-century style is an “impeccably designed restaurant that reflects the aesthetic of a new-age Copacabana, drenched in elegance from its stunning bar and main dining room to its lavish private dining and rooftop lounge spaces.” Fioretta is DineAmic’s second restaurant opening in the last five months (VIOLI opened in Oak Brook last November), and its newest Fulton Market location since the opening of LYRA in January of 2022, with continued growth on the horizon from co-founders David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff. 318 North Sangamon. Reservations and more here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Landfill Awaits Last Of Netflix DVDs
“Sending movies through the mail, in recognizable red-and-white envelopes, helped Netflix become a behemoth in Hollywood,” reports the New York Times. The last discs will be mailed September 29; the service claims it has circulated 5.2 billion red envelopes.
Poetry Foundation Hosts Eileen Myles, Renee Gladman, Simone White
Three poets with new books speak in Chicago: “In Renee Gladman’s ‘Plans for Sentences,’ Eileen Myles’s a ‘Working Life,’ and Simone White’s ‘or, on being the other woman,’ longings and plans laid bare accumulate in staccato bursts of life, almost self-generatively. Hovering between genres, these three new books vibrate with willful misdirection, fierce unknowing, and flummoxed dualities. How can the work of writing set life in motion?” asks the Poetry Foundation, announcing a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream. April 20, 7pm. Tickets here.
Lydia Davis Collection Won’t Be On Amazon
“Garlanded short story author Lydia Davis will release her new collection solely in bookshops and select independent online outlets to coincide with Bookshop Day,” reports the Guardian. Davis: “I am all the more pleased, now, that Canongate, with its long history of independence and its high standards, will be publishing ‘Our Strangers’ and doing so in a way that puts my book on the shelves of booksellers who are so much more likely to care about it.”
Times Opinion Columnist Chastises Chicago
“Maybe there’s a lesson in this, simple and old-fashioned as it may seem. When bad guys walk free and brave cops have to fear for their jobs for doing their jobs, crime tends to go up,” veteran conservative pundit Bret Stephens declares from the New York Times Opinion page. “Homicides are, in fact, down in Chicago,” Stephens allows, “but they remain at some of the highest rates since the 1990s, and overall crime spiked by forty-one percent between 2021 and 2022. Last weekend alone, mass hooliganism overwhelmed Chicago’s downtown while eleven people were killed and twenty-six wounded in shootings… A similar dynamic is playing out in other big cities… Police morale is abysmal. One way in which this fact registers is in high levels of voluntary resignations and early retirements.” Stephens warns of “The growing sense of impunity among the criminally inclined… Lax enforcement when it comes to petty criminality has led to big-time criminality. And the consequence of supposedly ‘victimless’ crimes like shoplifting has created a palpable sense of disorder, menace and fear—each conducive to the anything-goes atmosphere in which crime invariably flourishes.” His solution? Something unspecified about “a critical mass of voters [that] recovers the simple combination of common sense and political will.”
Neil Steinberg talks to Ray Hartshorne, a partner at Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and Fulton Market pioneer. “Crime is not the main problem facing Chicago, which, like most cities, has more systemic woes, like people not going into offices to work,” writes Steinberg. Hartshorne: “What do we do with the Loop? … It’s disintegrating before our eyes. Companies are moving out. Restaurateurs won’t go there.” But “the fundamentals of Chicago are so good. It’s a great place to live. We have confidence Chicago is still viable.”
Elastic Arts Sets Fifth Benefit On Twenty-Fifth Anniversary
Elastic Arts will celebrate twenty-five years of being a Chicago home for “outside-the-box artistic expression” on May 13, with a full evening of performances, including an intimate solo set from Jeff Parker alongside other performances. Most of the founders will be in attendance along with a special presentation diving into the past. The 2023 Elastic Achievement Award will be presented to the legend Mars Williams. Early-bird tickets are on sale now for $50 and include all of the above while directly supporting Elastic Arts. Saturday, May 13. More here.
Is This The End Of The Music Business? Again?
“A century of recorded music has culminated in the infinite archive of streaming platforms. But is it really better for listeners?,” tunes Ethan Iverson in a canned history at the Nation. “Burning CDs was just the beginning of that era’s complete system failure. Binary code had invaded our society via the Internet, and soon file sharing was everywhere, followed by the streaming services… No one outside of the inner corporate circles really knows how the economics of the streaming world works. It pays, but what does it pay, and to whom? Reasonably high-profile artists in many genres have not been shy about posting their meager Spotify royalty checks to social media. Many of those artists then encourage listeners to buy their music on Bandcamp as a moral choice. That’s when you know the old model is truly dead: ‘Buy my music as a moral choice.’ The music business as we knew it lasted about a century, from 1903 to 2003.”
Chicago Opera Theater Charts Fiftieth Season
Chicago Opera Theater will “reflect on its first fifty years with a season of six works, all Chicago premieres, and featuring the company’s signature combination of vital new works, reimagined classics and underperformed gems.” The slate: “Soldier Songs,” a one-man heavy metal-classical fusion song cycle by David T. Little, performed by Nathan Gunn, October 5; “The Nose,” Chicago premiere of the satirical Russian work in a new production by Francesca Zambello, December 8 and 10; “Book of Mountains and Seas,” presented in partnership with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, an opera based on Chinese mythology, January 27-28, 2024; “Platée,” a gem of the French Baroque, March 8 and 10, 2024; “The Weight of Light,” by composer Gillian Rae Perry and librettist Marcus Amaker, April 27, 2024; “Before It All Goes Dark,” the world premiere tour by legendary opera duo Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, May 25-26, 2024. More here.
Factory Theater Adds Artistic Associates
Factory Theater has added artistic associates Brittany Ellis, Shelby Burgus and Ben Veatch. More here.
Brit Theater Operator Adds Staff Bodycams To Face Hooligan Audiences
Trafalgar Entertainment, one of Britain’s largest theater operators, “is fitting senior staff in its venues with bodycams and has revealed an increasing reliance on security staff to evict unruly audience members, as it attempts to tackle a rise in antisocial behavior,” reports The Stage.
Drabinsky Defamation Case Against Actors’ Equity Thrown Out
Garth Drabinsky, the producer of “Paradise Square,” sued after the union placed him on the “Do Not Work” list, “alleging thousands in owed payments, wages and health contributions, and a hostile work environment,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. A judge has dismissed the case with prejudice.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Missouri Adds Online Tip Line To Report Trans Neighbors
“The government in Missouri is encouraging people to report medical professionals providing gender-affirming care to patients, as the state seeks to crackdown on transgender healthcare,” reports PinkNews. “Complete this form to submit a complaint or concern about gender transition intervention you have experienced or observed in Missouri,” reads Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s form.
Fifty Mayors Asked About Crime, Gun Violence
“Leaders for communities of all sizes are desperate to restore the broad, steady declines in violence that preceded COVID-19,” reports Politico. “What’s happening is an experimentation with anti-crime methods that respect the protests that erupted across the nation after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020. How mayors address the issue of public safety will decide their political fate, whether their cities prosper or stagnate, and to what degree their residents can live without fear for their lives or their family.”
If Millionaires Are The Only Measure, Chicago’s The Fourth-Wealthiest City
“Chicago is home to 124,000 millionaires, making it the fourth-wealthiest city in the United States and the eleventh-richest city globally, according to investment migration firm Henley & Partners,” reports Crain’s. “Chicago follows New York City, the Bay Area and Los Angeles in number of high-net-worth individuals in the U.S.”
Florida Man Goes After Mouse
Presumptive presidential aspirant and Florida governor Ron DeSantis took time off from his book tour promoting his first memoir to again attack Disney, a primary engine of the state’s economy. “In what has taken on the trappings of a grudge match, DeSantis punched Disney anew,” writes Brooks Barnes, announcing “legislation that would override the company’s recent effort to sidestep state oversight of its theme parks. DeSantis also suggested a variety of potential punitive actions against Disney—the state’s largest private employer and corporate taxpayer—including reappraising the value of Walt Disney World for property tax levies and developing land near the entrances to the resort. ‘Maybe create a state park, maybe try to do more amusement parks—someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison.'” Meanwhile, even as other high-value donors express doubts about DeSantis’ chances, former Illinoisan Ken Griffin says he’s still all in for the governor’s candidacy.
Florida Legislators Move To Remove “Living Wage”
“Escalating the Florida Legislature’s attacks this year on working Floridians, Republicans now want to prevent local governments from requiring that companies they contract with pay their employees a living wage that exceeds Florida’s current minimum wage of $11 per hour,” reports Orlando Weekly.
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