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Richard Barancik, Architect Of Mid-Century Chicago, Was Ninety-Eight
“Richard Barancik, a prolific, wide-ranging designer of bowling centers, private homes and Wieboldt’s stores before he settled into churning out architecture plans for Gold Coast high-rises and other projects, died July 14,” reports Crain’s. Barancik “was the last-known surviving member among nearly 350 ‘Monuments Men’ who recovered art looted in Europe during World War II and shot to prominence with George Clooney’s 2014 film.”
Plans For Development Atop Lakeview’s Former Dinkel’s Bakery
Plans for a mixed-use development at 3327 North Lincoln Avenue, near the Paulina Brown Line station, have been shown, reports Chicago YIMBY. ‘The project will replace four existing buildings including the former home of beloved Dinkel’s Bakery.” Plans show the incorporation of the facade’s classic blade neon sign.
DINING & DRINKING
Ohio Street Motel Gets Jewish Deli
Schneider Deli will be a permanent home for chef and owner Jake Schneider’s operation. “Housed in the iconic Ohio Street Motel at the corner of LaSalle and Ohio, the deli should open in early August with sandwiches made with their own corned beef and Dr. Brown’s floats,” reports Eater Chicago. The “restaurant space sports a famously small counter with room for twenty-one” and “will serve breakfast as well as lunch… Schneider Deli will cut its meats to order behind the counter—a component that excites Schneider, who says he wants to create a bustling atmosphere that’s ‘not hectic, but controlled chaos.'”
Sol Cafe Closes After A Decade In Rogers Park
“Sol Café, a Far North Side coffee shop that sought to end a ‘café desert'” has closed after ten years, reports Block Club. “The cafe has been a stalwart business in a Howard Street corridor that has been battered by the pandemic and issues of crime and violence.”
Tavern On Rush Owner Opening Across From Former Tavern On Rush Space And Could Call It “Tavern On Rush”
“Less than a year after Phil Stefani closed his storied Tavern on Rush, the restaurant owner has signed a lease just across the street from the Gold Coast building his steakhouse occupied for more than twenty-five years,” reports Crain’s. “Stefani is set to open a restaurant at the base of the Thompson Chicago hotel, taking over the space occupied by Nico Osteria at the corner of Rush and Bellevue. Stefani said he does not know yet if he will resurrect the Tavern on Rush name.”
Lincoln Square Boasts Small Cheval
“Small Cheval is opening a new location in Lincoln Square near Welles Park,” reports Block Club. There are already seven local Small Cheval locations.
Papa Hemingway Words And Drinks At The Whistler
Book Club at the Whistler, a monthly series looking at lit through cocktails and music, continues with a Hemingway night. Rum drinks are planned, including several inspired by his writing and his own contributions to the cocktail world will be served, crafted by bartender Ethan Reynolds, including takes on the Hemingway Daiquiri and “Death in the Afternoon,” as well as “White Hills, Green Hills”: El Dorado 12-Year, Smith And Cross, Meletti Amaro, Blueberry Syrup, Creme de Cacao, Amaro Sfumato, topped with salted-honey cream and dusted with matcha ($15); “Six-Toed Cat”: Clove syrup, lime juice, lemon wedges, egg white, Angostura bitters, Mexican Sprite ($12). Thursday, July 27, 6pm. More here.
Pan-Asian Kite Room To Fly At River North’s Godfrey Hotel
Fall of this year is the season for Kite Room: “Chicago-based international real estate and hospitality investment leader Oxford Capital Group, LLC, through its wholly owned subsidiary Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC, and New York-based operator Soirée Hospitality Group will open the new restaurant concept inside The Godfrey Hotel Chicago at 127 West Huron. From the team behind Chicago’s popular Bar Goa, the gastropub and cocktail lounge as well as the acclaimed Indian restaurant ROOH, Kite Room will showcase ingredients and flavors from different countries across Asia with a rotating quarterly pan-Asian menu.” The Godfrey Hotel Instagram is here.
Brit Chippies Drown
“Plenty of people will tell you the East Neuk of Fife in Scotland is the best place in the world to eat fish and chips. So what happens when its chippies–and chippies across the U.K.–start to close?” queries The Guardian in a 6,100-word report, which chronicles the making and makers of the national dish. (Brexit costs and energy upheavals are among the prime factors.)
FILM & TELEVISION
Cinespace Is A “Ghost Town”
“Productions like ‘Chicago Med,’ ‘Chicago PD’ and ‘The Chi’ have stopped filming until the strike is resolved,” reports Block Club. “Cinespace, where many of the Dick Wolf Chicago TV series are filmed, is… a ‘ghost town’ and workers like the mechanics’ union are having to find employment elsewhere.” Block Club relies on an anonymous source to characterize the conflict: “There is some tension over a perceived lack of solidarity between actors/writers and tradespeople, especially as the latter lose out on work and productions hire smaller crews in the aftermath.”
The strike’s affecting New York, of course, the Times reports: “Tens of thousands of behind-the-scenes workers, in solidarity with striking actors and writers, are bracing for what could be a monthslong standoff with the studios.”
Negotiations weren’t going well from the start, reports Variety: in the opening negotiating session in June, SAG-AFTRA president “Fran Drescher was adamant that streaming had changed the business model so much that the contract would have to be rewritten top-to-bottom. For negotiators who are used to making minor adjustments to language that has accreted over decades, it was a shock. There were snickers about being ‘scolded’ by the actor who became famous as the star of… ‘The Nanny.'” In the detailed report, AMPTP president Carol Lombardini became exasperated and “asked the union representatives to ‘be civilized’ about the disruption across the industry that would be caused by a work stoppage.” Union reps “were outraged at the suggestion that going on strike was somehow a low blow rather than federally protected legal right for organized labor.”
“Netflix would love this to drag on for five more years,” an analyst quipped, “adding the studio will ‘not be the first’ to cave to demands given its strong presence overseas, broad breadth of content, and profitable balance sheet. Broadcasters and movie studios, on the other hand, are in ‘big, big trouble.'”
La Grange Theatre To Expand
The La Grange Theatre “plans to expand by three auditoriums, which means it would demolish part of the building to the north,” reports Patch. “Downers Grove-based Classic Cinemas, which runs the theater, would raze a part of the next-door building… Two of the new theaters would consist of seventy-three seats each and another would have thirty-nine seats.”
Open Books Granted $100,000 For North Lawndale Pay-What-You-Can Shop
“After getting a $100,000 grant, Open Books is moving its headquarters from the West Loop to North Lawndale,” reports Block Club. “Impact Grants Chicago awarded the $100,000… The all-volunteer women’s collective gives the grants annually to nonprofits from the pooled resources of its members… The move to North Lawndale will expand book access on the West Side in predominantly Black and Brown areas such as Austin, Little Village, Englewood, Gage Park and Back of the Yards.” The eventual site will offer “educational opportunities for children and… a pay-what-you-want bookstore and community space.”
Rogue San Diego Neighbors “Cleared Out” Books In Pride Display; Action Backfires
The Rancho Peñasquitos branch of the San Diego Public Library last month got an email from two neighbors. They informed the library “that they had gotten nearly all of the books in the Pride display checked out and would not return them unless the library permanently removed what they considered ‘inappropriate content,'” reports The New York Times. “Stacks of Amazon boxes containing new copies of the books the protesters checked out started to arrive at the library after The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the protest. Roughly 180 people, mostly San Diegans, gave more than $15,000 to the library system, which after a city match will provide over $30,000 toward more LGBTQ-themed materials and programming, including an expansion of the system’s already popular drag queen story hours.”
Florida Judge Rules Against DeSantis Anti-Drag Laws
“Librarians who feared fines for hosting drag queen story hours and Pride parade organizers who worried about citations for including drag performers can breathe easier,” reports AP, “now that a judge has ruled that his injunction blocking Florida’s anti-drag law extends to all Florida venues.” A pair of orders issued by U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell “makes clear that drag performances in themselves are not lewd or lascivious behavior.”
Memo Reveals Reasons For Smithsonian Cancellation Of Asian American Lit Fest
“Less than a month before the Smithsonian’s Asian American Literature Festival was to begin, staffers prepared what they considered to be a routine memo discussing programs involving ‘potentially sensitive issues,'” reports the Washington Post. “Among the matters cited in the memo [were] a panel about book bans, and two events featuring queer, trans and nonbinary writers. Hours later, the acting director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center, Yao-Fen You, informed organizers that she had decided to cancel the entire festival because of ‘unforeseen circumstances.’ In the days following, the Smithsonian offered little explanation beyond some concerns with the draft status of the program and the audiovisual setup.”
Alden Global Capital Dumps Editor Of San Diego Paper They Just Bought
“San Diego Union-Tribune executive editor Jeff Light announced Thursday he was leaving the newspaper, a week after Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong sold the news outlet to vulture capital firm Alden Global Capital,” reports Joe Bel Bruno at the Intersect. San Diego’s NBC 7 reports: “Alden Global Capital—which has been variously called a ‘vulture hedge fund’ and ‘the grim reaper of American newspapers’ in coverage of it and its subsidiaries—wasted no time in its first week moving to shed staff via buyout offers, and some of the publications’ most seasoned journalistic voices have exercised that option.”
Hearst Fires Magazine Workers Across The Board
“We must build deeper connections with consumers, accelerate growth in digital advertising, and create monetizable customer experiences,” memo the bosses at Hearst, which includes Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, according a report by Business Insider. “Change can be difficult, but it is necessary.” Hearst Magazines Media Union: “We were notified that Hearst Magazines has laid off forty-one of our unit members. Due to ‘company restructuring,’ we are losing talented people whose creativity and institutional knowledge is immeasurable. These are immensely skilled writers, editors, and producers who collectively have decades of experience in journalism.”
The Times On Dick Biondi
Took a few weeks, but the New York Times has a sturdy obituary of Chicago-based deejay Dick Biondi: “Dick Biondi, an exuberant, fast-talking Top 40 radio personality, nicknamed ‘the Screamer,’ who in the early 1960s became one of Chicago’s most popular disc jockeys and, thanks to the strength of his station’s signal, was heard well beyond the city, died on June 26 in Chicago. He was ninety.”
“Ghetto House” Pioneer And DJ Deeon Boyd Was Fifty-Six
Artist, producer, DJ, and label owner DJ Deeon Boyd died last week. “Known as a ‘ghetto house’ pioneer, Boyd got his start on the Chicago House scene in the early nineties with hits like ‘Let Me Bang’ and ‘Da Bomb,'” reports Block Club.
Hubbard Street Dance Looks To The Future
Hubbard Street Dance is making changes, notates Dance magazine. A priority for artistic director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell in her first two years “has been reconnecting with audiences. Before [her] directorship, a handful of highly entertaining programs were keeping the bills paid, like ‘The Art of Falling’ (2014), a collaboration with The Second City, and ‘Decadance/Chicago’ (2018), an evening-length assortment of Ohad Naharin works. But a critical mass of working-class Chicagoans failed to keep up with the company’s evolution toward a predominantly European aesthetic… Audience numbers had dropped off well before the pandemic, leaving some in the administration to question if they could continue to support a home season at the 1,500-seat Harris Theater for Music and Dance…Perhaps the most symbolic loss was the sale of the company’s building at 1147 West Jackson, its home since 1998. ‘It needed $3 million in roof fixes alone,’ says executive director David McDermott. ‘From an investment perspective, it didn’t make sense.’ … A top priority for Fisher-Harrell was to turn her gaze westward and engage more American choreographers, particularly choreographers of color. ‘I’m building a repertoire… There are things in the past that I want to revisit… like taking out your old albums. There are going to be those reaches back. But as I reach back, I still want to build.'”
Broadway Strike Averted
“The Broadway League and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees say a tentative agreement has been reached among the two parties and Disney Theatrical, averting a strike that IATSE members were in the process of voting to authorize,” reports the Gothamist.
Cirque Du Soleil Sees “Gen Z” As Gen $$$
“Cirque du Soleil is hoping that it can expand its audience, perhaps with perfume that smells like a trapeze artist or a couch that embodies the spirit of clowning,” reports the New York Times. “The circus has to make money to keep its clowns clowning.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Lawyers Believe Northwestern Hazing Scandals Could Be “Worst” In College Sports History
“Attorneys Parker Stinar and Patrick Salvi Jr. said they have heard from Northwestern athletes who describe abuse that is far worse in women’s sports than in the football program formerly run by fired head coach Pat Fitzgerald,” reports Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. Some ticketholders want refunds, reports the Trib. “Some fans are expressing anger over the alleged mistreatment of football players and others in an uproar over the head coach’s dismissal.”
Yet Another College President Is Out, This Time Under Conservative Pressure After Hiring Of A Black Journalism Prof
“After a week of turmoil over the botched hiring of a Black journalist to revive the Texas A&M University journalism department, M. Katherine Banks has resigned as the university’s president,” reports The Texas Tribune. “The fallout over [Dr. Kathleen] McElroy’s hiring, which has garnered national media attention, marks the culmination of Banks’ two-year tenure, which was often met with pushback from faculty and students who consistently raised concerns with the direction she was taking the university and the way in which her administration was communicating its vision.”
American Strike Wave Largest Since 1970s
“More than 650,000 American workers are threatening to go on strike this summer, or have already done so, in an avalanche of union activity not seen in the U.S. in decades,” chronicles Bloomberg. “The actors and writers strikes in Hollywood are already a once-in-a-generation event. Unions for UPS and Detroit’s Big Three automakers are poised to join them in coming weeks if contract negotiations fall through. One Bank of America Corp. analyst put the odds of a UAW strike at more than ninety-percent. ‘This will be the biggest moment of striking, really, since the 1970s,’ said labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein.”
UPS Strike Still Likely
“Barely a week before the contract for more than 325,000 United Parcel Service workers expires, union and company negotiators have yet to reach an agreement to avert a strike,” reports The New York Times. “UPS and the union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have resolved a variety of thorny issues, including heat safety and forced overtime. But they remain stalemated on pay for part-time workers, who account for more than half the union’s workers at UPS. A strike, which could come as soon as August 1, could have significant consequences for the company, the e-commerce industry and the supply chain.”
Florida Legislates “Step Backward” In Teaching Race
“The Florida State Board of Education approved new rules for how Black history will be taught in public schools that critics are decrying as a ‘step backward,'” reports the Washington Post. “The updated standards say students should learn that enslaved people ‘developed skills’ that ‘could be applied for their personal benefit,’ and that in teaching about mob violence against Black residents instructors should note ‘acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.'” MSNBC Daily opinion editor Jarvis DeBerry: “I’m left speechless at the implication that Africans would have been forever unskilled if not for white folks, that they were empty cups into whom white folks poured skills.” (Historian Kevin M. Kruse looks at the entire document here.) Rev. Cornell William Brooks posts: “JUST SAY IT. If DeSantis whitewashed the lynching of Italians in the 1900s, you wouldn’t call it ‘conservative.’ If he sugarcoated the Holocaust, you wouldn’t call it ‘controversial.’ What he’s doing to Black people is neither controversial nor conservative, it is RACIST.”
“To suggest that enslaved people somehow benefited from slavery is not only misleading, it is false,” Vice-President Harris declared in a Florida appearance (video). “This is revisionist history.” The presidential aspirant is not backing down: “‘They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life,’ DeSantis said on Friday in response to reporters’ questions while standing in front of a nearly all-white crowd of supporters… DeSantis issued a statement Friday saying, ‘Democrats like Kamala Harris have to lie about Florida’s educational standards to cover for their agenda of indoctrinating students and pushing sexual topics onto children.’ His campaign did not respond to an email on Saturday requesting comment.”
Paramount Deep-Sixes Ron DeSantis Guantanamo Bay Doc
“Showtime slated ‘The Guantanamo Candidate,’ a thirty-minute-long episode of its VICE documentary series, for May 28,” reports Max Tani at Semafor. “The episode opens with a shot of the outside the U.S. prison complex at the southern tip of Cuba, where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis served as a lawyer from March 2006 to January 2007.” With gloomy predictions for the future of streaming, “the Paramount-owned cable channel ditched the DeSantis episode over fears of the political consequences. One person briefed on the decision [said] that the company’s Washington lobbyist… raised concerns about the piece.” The piece has not been broadcast, but the Daily Beast has a transcript here (registration required).
Third Teen Worker Dies As Child Labor Laws Relaxed
“A sixteen-year-old boy’s death in Mississippi comes weeks after two other minors died on the job in Missouri and Wisconsin,” reports HuffPost. The company said that “it appears that the child ‘should not have been hired’ and that his age and identity were misrepresented on his hiring paperwork with an outside staffing company.”
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