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Portable Gray Launches Issue With Salt Shed Party And Picnic As Part Of Go Skateboarding Day
“Portable Gray Issue 10: The Family Issue” will launch with a party and picnic at The Salt Shed as part of their Go Skateboarding Day festival. “SHRED THE SHED: A Salt Shed Skate-Park Pop-Up” will feature a live podcast from Bad at Sports, DJ sets from Raven Wright and Bobby Burg at a skatepark designed by Chicago sculptor Juan Angel Chavez. More here.
Could Sterling Bay Tap Teachers Pensions Fund To Shore Up Lincoln Yards?
“Sterling Bay is trying to strike a deal with the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund to bail out Lincoln Yards, a move that could help jump-start the stalled North Side megadevelopment, inflict hefty losses on the original backers of the ambitious $6 billion project and offer the developer a lifeline amid a financial storm that threatens its control over major pieces of its high-profile local portfolio,” reports Danny Ecker at Crain’s.
“With the real estate firm under growing pressure to raise money to recapitalize the fifty-three-acre mixed-use campus planned along the Chicago River between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, the pension fund’s investment committee voted during a [previously undisclosed] May 23 meeting to investigate an opportunity to become Sterling Bay’s primary financial partner on the development… The pitch to the $12.1 billion fund, as laid out during the meeting by Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor: Buy into Lincoln Yards at between $100 and $150 per square foot—potentially a more-than-$300 million commitment—to replace the project’s existing financial backers at steep discounts and help inject life into a stagnant project that could generate billions of dollars in new tax revenue for the city over the next couple decades.”
Asks design writer Lynn Becker, “It’s built only one structure on the vast Lincoln Yards site. [Its] Prudential I & II, 311 West Monroe, etc. are overleveraged and the banks are coming to call. Is powerhouse Sterling Bay about to power down?”
Chicago Boasts Highest Hotel Occupancy Ever On Swiftie/James Beard Weekend
Choose Chicago’s got the figures: June 2-4 set an all-time record for total hotel rooms occupied, with an estimated $39 million in total hotel revenue. Bloomberg: “An average of 44,383 hotel rooms were occupied each night on Friday and Saturday in the city, an all-time high… Occupancy rates hit 96.8 percent on average as fans flocked from other parts of the U.S. to attend one of the singer’s three concerts in Chicago.” Taylor Swift’s entire U. S. “Eras” tour is expected to reap almost $5 billion.
Plan Commission Approves 18th And Peoria Development Plan
“The Chicago Plan Commission has approved and adopted the 18th and Peoria Development Framework Plan, spanning 6.3 acres in Pilsen,” reports Urbanize. “The development plan calls for a first phase of three six-to-seven story mixed-use buildings along West 18th which would hold ground floor commercial space with apartments above. Moving north, the second phase would [go] to a smaller scale with two five-story mid-rise residential buildings. Moving further north, phase three would build townhomes, six-flats and three-flats to match the character of South Newberry. The final phase, located along the BNSF railway and West 16th, would include two nine-story residential buildings with interior parking on the first two floors.”
Chicago Science Fest Is Coming
The International Museum of Surgical Science is partnering with the Illinois Science Council to host Chicago Science Fest, a full afternoon of science immersion with talks by local scientists, hands-on demonstrations throughout the Museum, access to all the Museum’s exhibits, and a social hour where attendees can talk to practicing scientists. Science Fest is designed for non-scientific audiences, high school age and up. Topics at the 2023 Science Fest include: “Climate Change in Urban Environments”; “AI & Astrophysics”; “Forensic Science in Anthropology,” “Species Conservation in Birds” and “Why Human Brains Remember Some Images and Forget Others.” Saturday, June 17, 1-7pm at the Museum. Until June 14, tickets are $42 for adults, or $32 for students, $25 for those under 13. Tickets here.
Openlands Group Giving Mile Of Lakeshore By Fort Sheridan To County
“A pending agreement will transfer the seventy-seven-acre Openlands Lakeshore Preserve in Highland Park, which includes a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline, to the Lake County Forest Preserve District. The property, known for its bluff and ravines, will become an addition to the existing Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve,” reports the Daily Herald.
Edith Farnsworth House Revs Modernism Road Rally
The Edith Farnsworth House in Plano is a historic house museum set on sixty acres adjacent to the Fox River. As a cornerstone of Midcentury Modern architecture history, Edith Farnsworth House provides exhibitions, programs, and events throughout the year, including a biennial “Modernism Road Rally” held in a different Chicagoland community with a high concentration of mid-twentieth century modernist architecture. The 2023 Modernism Road Rally will be held in the adjacent communities of Flossmoor and Olympia Fields, on Saturday, June 24, 10am-4pm, with an optional afterparty. On Sunday afternoon, June 25, from 1-3pm, a “Modernism Sculpture Walk” will be held at the Nate sculpture park, located on the campus of Governors State University in nearby University Park. The Road Rally homes tour is $75 per person, the Afterparty is $35 per person, and the Sculpture Walk is $20 per person. Tickets for all three events must be purchased in advance here.
DINING & DRINKING
Night Of Beard Gala Was Closing Of Bucktown’s Michelin-Starred Claudia
Trevor Teich’s Michelin-starred Claudia, “his quirky fine dining restaurant in Bucktown that debuted in fall 2021 after years of near misses in trying to find a space,” is closed, reports Eater Chicago. “Teich says the building’s owner… informed him on Monday that he had decided to immediately close the restaurant. Teich, who had tickets to the James Beard Foundation Gala on Monday night, never made it to the party… An emotional Teich called the decision to close heartbreaking and surprising. It wasn’t his choice. He reflected on the grind of living the pop-up life prior to opening his restaurant and the state of fine dining in Chicago: ‘Do we only want to be known for deep dish?'” To Nick Kindelsperger at the Trib: “I have no idea what I’m going to do next. But I’m not done cooking. I’m not going to give up.”
The Point Reopening In Wicker Park While Landlord Still Hopes To Evict The Bar
“A concert at The Point is scheduled for Friday. Police shut down the bar in February 2022 after two high-profile shootings outside. The owner said he’s since ‘enhanced’ security measures—but didn’t give specifics,” reports Block Club.
Château Carbide Driven By Absinthe Twenty-Four Stories Up
The summer style of Pendry Chicago’s rooftop cocktail lounge, Château Carbide, is in a menu of absinthe-driven drinks, with personal drip fountain table service and innovative botanical craft cocktails. “The team has also reimagined their menu of upscale chef-driven bites, with a weekend French flatbread service and a collection of decadent small plates from executive chef Jeff Vucko,” the Château relays. “Absinthe enthusiasts can choose to enjoy their chosen spirit with personal drip fountain table service, where eye-catching glass fountains slowly dispense water over sugar cubes balanced atop the spirit for optimal dilution and enjoyment. The menu includes botanical-driven drinks, like the Bonjour, a vodka-based sipper with blueberry, curaçao, vanilla and absinthe, topped with soda; the Frappe Carbide, a drink crafted using absinthe, raspberry, lychee, Fever-Tree yuzu-lime soda and egg white; or the non-alcoholic Evening in the Garden, made with elderflower, local honey, soda, and finished with yuzu oil, designed to be enjoyed as is or spiked with absinthe. The bar also serves a selection of rosé and French wines.” More here.
Tasting Menu Brass Heart Closes
“Brass Heart, the tiny twenty-seat restaurant which, through an ingenious tasting menu, brought an ambitious culinary voice to the North Side, has closed after nearly five years,” reports Eater Chicago. “The Uptown restaurant, which featured the work of ex-Schwa chef Norman Fenton for nearly three years, has closed at 4662 North Broadway. Fenton addressed the closure on Instagram. ‘It’s been a ride… Sad to see the doors close, but as the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens.'”
Former Broadway Grill & Chicken Now Birrieria Zaragoza
Birrieria Zaragoza has opened its second location, this time in Uptown, next to the Green Mill and near Fiesta Mexicana and Carmela’s Taqueria, reports Block Club. “Broadway Grill & Chicken’s owner was a business partner of Birrieria founder John Zaragoza. When the Broadway Grill owner decided to retire after over twenty years, he asked Zaragoza if he was interested in taking over the Uptown storefront.”
West Loop Rooftop Opens From Atomic Hospitality
Atomic Hospitality has opened Tetto Chicago on the rooftop at 406 North Sangamon. “Drawing inspiration from the lively rooftop bars of Italy, Tetto (or ‘roof’ in Italian) will feature a unique Italian-inspired cocktail program, lush decor and breathtaking city views.” Tetto’s cocktail program, curated by Atomic beverage manager Alec Pignotti, includes the Olio Acido (Sour Olive) made with Three Olives Vodka, Lemon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil; and the Frutta Piccante made with Gran Centenario Blanco Tequila, Habanero, Grapefruit, Lime, Calabrian Chiles and Honey. Pignotti has also designed versions of staples like the negroni and spritz, along with a collection of Italian amari, beers, wines and cocktails. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
How “Peak TV” Became Piqued Streaming
At Vulture, a 6,000-word history by writers Josef Adalian and Lane Brown captures the craven creation and the “horror show” collapse of the “binge” industrial model of making television: “how it all went awry, why those who make TV are so angry, and what comes next.” A taut passage: “The entire industry,” says the director Steven Soderbergh, who has been navigating structural changes in Hollywood since 1989’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “has moved from a world of Newtonian economics into a world of quantum economics, where two things that seem to be in opposition can be true at the same time: You can have a massive hit on your platform, but it’s not actually doing anything to increase your platform’s revenue. It’s absolutely conceivable that the streaming subscription model is the crypto of the entertainment business.”
A Dispatch From The Writers Strike Frontlines
“We’re all getting squeezed by short orders and longer shoots in television, and by not getting full theatrical compensation if our movies are made for the streamers,” posts writer Steven DeKnight (“Daredevil,” “Spartacus”). “We have unprecedented support across the board from sister unions. We are demolishing the AMPTP in the PR war. We shouldn’t be willing to accept scraps—and these are indeed scraps from companies making untold billions off of our hard work. This is a rare moment in union solidarity. If we stand together, we can institute a seismic shift. Or we can rubber stamp the deal and wash, rinse, and repeat in three years.”
Vic Mensa Bringing Books Behind Bars
“The Books Before Bars program, an initiative funded through Vic Mensa’s cannabis line, 93 Boyz, continues his lifelong mission to ‘bring truth to the people,'” reports Block Club. “People with incarcerated loved ones can contact 93 Boyz here and have a collection of books chosen by Mensa delivered to prison facilities in Illinois. Books on the list range from ‘The Autobiography of Gucci Mane’ by the Atlanta rapper to ‘Sister Outsider,’ a collection of essays and poems by Audre Lorde. Mensa buys the books in bulk from the Black-woman-owned bookstore Semicolon.”
Republican Mission To Defund Libraries
“Claiming to protect children, Republicans are going after libraries and librarians,” reports In These Times. “‘Defund the Library’ could be the GOP’s new slogan, succinctly encompassing a free-market agenda to destroy public funding of institutions that enlighten and educate, all under the disingenuous banner of ‘protecting children.'”
Griffin Poetry Prize To Roger Reeves
The 2023 winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize is “Best Barbarian,” by former Chicagoan Roger Reeves [Newcity Lit 50 2016]. Reeves received $97,000 in prize money. The Canada-based prize, writes the CBC, “stands as the world’s largest international prize for a single book of poetry written in, or translated into English.” Reeves told the Canadian Press after the Toronto ceremony, “This is for my people. For my people, and for my people over the centuries, people that have fought, that have bled, that have worked, and people that have danced, that have enjoyed… I think the first thing that I would say is this is always for our people: for our people that had helped us get here.”
Debt-Laden Daily Telegraph And Spectator For Sale
Debt is crushing periodicals in the U. K., too, even profitable ones. The conservative “Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and The Spectator magazine are set to be put up for sale due to debts owed by their parent group,” reports the BBC. “Analysts estimate the titles to be worth around $622 million… For the last few years the Telegraph’s billionaire owners have consistently denied rumours that their newspapers could be sold. Twin brothers Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay bought Telegraph Media Group for $828 million in 2004 from the company Hollinger, following the dismissal of its chairman Conrad Black,” disgraced former holder of the Chicago Sun-Times. (The first version of the Daily Telegraph was founded in 1855.)
Fox News Says Carlson Can’t Tweet Show From His Shed
“Fox News Wednesday notified Tucker Carlson’s lawyers that the former prime-time anchor violated his contract with the network when he launched his own Twitter show on Tuesday,” reports Axios. “Carlson has been leveraging allies, such as former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, to put pressure on the network to let him out of his contract.”
Block Party Lineup Announced
The eighteenth annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party has announced its musical lineup for Saturday, July 29 and Sunday July 30. The list and more here.
Chicago House Music Festival And Conference Sets Slate
Chicago House Music Festival and Conference will present DJs and panel discussions, highlighting key industry topics and the various sounds and styles of House Music, “the genre born in Chicago that has gone on to revolutionize dance music internationally,” the city relays. Presented in conjunction with the Taste of Chicago pop-up in Humboldt Park on June 24, the House festival brings a full day of DJs to the mainstage, including DJ Roy Davis Jr., DJ Psycho-B, NoshaLuv, DJ Emmaculate, and DJ V from Chicago, with more to be announced. Local House DJs will spin at Maxwell Street Market (800 South Desplaines), Sunday, June 25, noon-2pm. The conference is at the Cultural Center, Friday, June 23, 5-10pm; the festival is Saturday, June 24, 11am-9pm at the Humboldt Park Boathouse Lawn.
Muddy Waters MOJO Museum Gets Million-Dollar Boost
“The South Side residence Muddy Waters called home is getting more than a million dollars to help with plans to make it a museum,” reports CBS 2. “The Muddy Waters MOJO Museum got a $1.1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place program.” The “transformational support” will be used to “restore the basement level of the house… for future programming.” “It’s the space where Waters would practice, jam and socialize with other musicians and it’s considered the heart and soul of the structure.”
Taylor Swift Ambassador For Public Transit
The CTA was jammed, car to car, with concertgoers headed to the Taylor Swift “Eras” shows last weekend, in bright multicolored finery of many descriptions, in buoyant packs and bunches and coveys. “The CTA reported its Roosevelt station saw 34,000 additional riders, and the inner Lake Shore-Michigan express saw an additional 9,000 rides,” reports CBS 2. “More than 43,000 riders were added compared to a typical weekend.”
Steep Theatre Names Marisa Macella Executive Director
Steep Theatre has named Marisa Macella as its executive director, records American Theatre. “Macella succeeds Kate Piatt-Eckert, who stepped down as executive director in November 2022 after nine years with the company. Macella will join artistic director Peter Moore as Steep establishes its permanent artistic home after purchasing a new building in April 2022.”
Sunday’s Tony Awards Could Be “Weird”
“As if coaxing people back to the theater wasn’t difficult enough—weekly Broadway ticket grosses are still millions of dollars short of pre-pandemic levels—the ceremony has had to adjust to labor strife of a magnitude that will affect what viewers see Sunday night,” writes Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks. The strike by the Writers Guild of America “means that the writers who normally would contribute to the telecast with monologues, interstitial remarks and jokes have been sidelined… The WGA announced that it would not picket the ceremony… The proviso, though, was that there would be no material scripted for the event. Even the traditional red carpet before the festivities is to be a quasi-silent affair: photos only, no interviews with stars.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Cultivate Fest Celebrates Cannabis Culture
Turnstyle Productions and Riot Fest have announced the first annual Cultivate Festival, a three-day celebration of cannabis culture that features a line-up of rock, hip-hop, reggae and punk, including Crumb, The Record Company, GZA, Graveyard, Julian Marley, Pharcyde, Fishbone and Earthless. The event will also feature food trucks, cannabis education and a shuttle to local dispensaries. August 25-27 at The Nursery, the venue adjacent to the Green Line stop at 1800 West Lake. More here.
Restarting Student Loan Payments Isn’t Going To Be Pretty
“By the end of this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not forty-three million student loan borrowers will see between $10,000 and $20,000 taken off their debt load. But regardless of the Court’s opinion, by the fall, anyone with a remaining loan balance will need to make monthly payments again, for the first time in three-and-a-half years,” reports David Dayen at the American Prospect. “At the onset of the pandemic, student loan payments were paused, a maneuver that has been extended eight times. But the debt ceiling deal passed last week requires the Biden administration to restart payments on August 30. The Biden administration says they were planning to do so anyway, but the statutory resumption robs them of any flexibility in advance of the Court’s ruling… Millions of young people who have voted for Democrats in record numbers in the past two elections will endure what will feel like a new financial obligation of hundreds of dollars per month. And if the history of the student loan program is any guide, the process will overflow with errors, mistakes, and frustration.”
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