Floral Artworks Cascade From Tiffany Glass In Driehaus’ “Glass to Garden: Tiffany Inspired Floral Designs”
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum has announced dates for “Glass to Garden: Tiffany Inspired Floral Designs,” an exhibition showcasing newly commissioned floral design installations from four local floral designers in dialogue with work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Cronin, the founder and creative director of Asrai Garden, known as one of the judges on HBO Max’s competition show, “Full Bloom”—who has selected and worked closely with each of the florists to create these works inspired by the Tiffany pieces they in turn chose. “Glass to Garden” will be on view at the Driehaus Museum, 40 East Erie, November 30-January 7, 2024. More here.
Museum Of Illusions Chicago Rematerializes
After undergoing extensive renovations, Museum of Illusions Chicago reopens its doors Saturday, November 4. “As the sole ‘edutainment’ attraction in the Chicagoland region,” MOI says in a release, the museum “offers a unique blend of education and entertainment through immersive illusions—featuring more than thirty-percent additional space with over twenty new exhibits. Visitors can expect a host of fresh illusions, exhibits and installations, while cherished classics such as the Vortex Tunnel and Ames Room continue to be integral parts of the museum experience.” More here.
Frozen Winterscape Of Winter WNDRland Returns
“WNDR Museum, Chicago’s original immersive art and technology experience, invites guests to lose themselves in an icy winterscape” at “Winter WNDRland: Iced In,” Friday, November 24-January 15, 2024 at its flagship Chicago location, in addition to its locations in San Diego and Seattle, they advise. “Celebrating the expansive chill of the winter season, this year’s iteration of Winter WNDRland will transform some of WNDR Museum’s fan-favorite exhibits including ‘Masterpiece’ and ‘Lake Shore Drive’ with a shimmering blanket of snow and ice, enveloping guests in the enchanting embrace of the cold. Offering a stark contrast to the warmth and coziness often associated with the holidays, ‘Winter WNDRland’ invites visitors to explore the untouched beauty of the frozen landscape and see the world from a different perspective.” More here.
Yes, Buy A Pair Of Frank Lloyd Wright Homes In Michigan For $4.5 Million
Two neighboring Frank Lloyd Wright homes are available in Michigan: “Nestled in the prestigious five-home Galesburg Country Homes community, The Acres, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a beautiful seventy-acre setting with mature trees and rolling hills, in the same region as Wright’s Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, are two iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian homes, the Samuel & Dorothy Eppstein and the Eric & Pat Pratt Houses. Both the Eppstein and Pratt houses are stunning representations of Wright’s Usonian vision and beautiful examples of mid-century architecture. Each home was constructed by the original homeowners, under the supervision of Wright himself. Contrary to many of Wright’s Usonian homes, these two still have their original footprints. From a technical perspective, both houses have been lifted to the twenty-first century.” More here and here.
Former Apparel Mart For Sale
“The former Apparel Mart at 350 North Orleans is for sale after private-equity giant Blackstone Group failed to pay off a $310 million loan on the building that matured in July,” reports Crain’s. “Blackstone effectively threw in the towel on 350 North Orleans… when it told its lender ahead of the loan’s July 7 maturity date that it would not be able to pay it off… The mortgage was transferred over the summer to special servicer Wells Fargo, which is overseeing it on behalf of CMBS bondholders.” Says Blackstone in a statement, “The property is experiencing the well-known headwinds facing U.S. traditional office buildings lacking first-class modern amenities and this location in the River North submarket has been particularly challenging, which is why we effectively wrote this investment down to zero last year.” (Blackstone is “the world’s largest alternative asset manager.“)
Joey “The Clown” Lombardo’s Fully Furnished West Town Apartment For Rent
“The third-floor West Town apartment where notorious mobster Joey ‘The Clown’ Lombardo and his family lived for decades is now for rent, still furnished with their knickknack cabinets, flocked wallpaper, books and shoes,” reports Crain’s. “The apartment, in an Ohio Street three-flat that was owned by the family of Lombardo’s wife, Marion, for about a century, has been available on Airbnb as a short-term rental since last November, but will now be offered for lease at $2,900 a month.”
Studio Gang Awarded $2.8 Million To Improve Denver’s Civic Center Park
“Studio Gang has been selected to lead the revitalization of Denver’s downtown Civic Center plaza, which will include improvements to a central amphitheater and promenade,” reports Dezeen. “The public space, which was the city’s first National Historic Landmark, is located at the heart of Denver and comprises two parks as well as cultural and government buildings. It has held festivals, cultural events and First Amendment rallies for over a hundred years. Studio Gang was awarded a $2.8 million design contract to implement Phase 1 of The Civic Center Next 100 project, an initiative that will see improvements across the entirety of the roughly 600,000 square-foot site.”
Fourteen-Story Hotel Latest Project For Burgeoning Fulton Market
“A joint venture wants to build a 130-room hotel on a small lot in the heart of the Fulton Market District, more evidence that higher interest rates and economic fears aren’t slowing down developers’ voracious appetite for projects in the former meatpacking corridor,” charts Crain’s. “New York-based developer Cogswell Realty and Elmhurst-based investor Erol Stapleton are proposing the fourteen-story project at 1016-1020 West Lake… The hotel would be developed on a parking lot at the northeast corner of Lake and Carpenter, which a Stapleton-led venture bought earlier this year for nearly $6.6 million.”
Long-Dilapidated Milwaukee Sears Locale Could Become Upscale “Sears Market”
“A Milwaukee shopping center, once a retail mecca in the city, could see new life in the years to come as a mixed-use development,” reports WTMJ 4. A Milwaukee developer “first became involved with the property in 2019 and originally planned to redevelop it as the Ikon Hotel. After initial work on the property, the plan lost steam in recent years and was then reimagined… Plans for the new Sears Market as developers are calling it, include apartments, office space, a gallery, and even a brewery… $3.8 million in public money has already been spent acquiring the property, cleaning up the site, and coming up with new architectural plans. $5 million more in public loans is available to the developer if certain conditions are met.”
Ten Foundations Take On AI
A group of ten leading philanthropies has announced an initiative to ensure that AI advances the public interest, relays the Ford Foundation. “Participating foundations are committed to leveraging and aligning grantmaking toward progress on these urgent issues. These institutions are collectively contributing more than $200 million in funding toward public interest efforts to mitigate AI harms and promote responsible use and innovation.” Dangers are seen: “AI systems are also creating significant and tangible harms—often with a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities—and pose serious threats to civil rights, human rights, worker rights, and national and international security. Moreover, while developments in AI have the potential to contribute to economic prosperity, sustained, broadly shared progress requires engaged action from communities, workers, government, and the public.” The philanthropies include: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Democracy Fund; the Ford Foundation; Heising-Simons Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Kapor Foundation; Mozilla Foundation; Omidyar Network; Open Society Foundations; and Wallace Global Fund.
DINING & DRINKING
What’s Up With The $26.5 Million The City Gave Yellow Banana-Save A Lot?
“Ohio-based grocer Yellow Banana vowed to improve conditions and revamp South and West side stores, which hasn’t happened,” reports Block Club. “Nearly a year after Yellow Banana received $26.5 million in city funds to renovate six neglected South and West Side stores, some neighbors, local officials and community organizers say the company is falling short of its promises.”
Rogers Park Cambodian Restaurant Khmai Fine Dining On Hiatus
“Khmai Fine Dining, the lauded Cambodian restaurant, hailed as one of the fifteen Best New Restaurants in America in 2022, will close in November, leaving its Rogers Park home for a new location, according to chef and owner-chef Mona Sang,” reports Eater Chicago. The restaurant was a surprise hit near the Evanston border on West Howard. “The story of how Sang and her mother, Sarom Sieng—both refugees—arrived in America buoyed the restaurant’s mission of teaching Chicagoans about Khmer food; Khmai is a rare local specialist in traditional Cambodian cuisine. Sang’s efforts would earn a nod from the James Beard Foundation.”
Journeyman’s In Valparaiso Opens $40 Million “Whiskey Playground”
After recognition with major industry honors including “Whiskey of the Year” and “Craft Distiller of the Year” by the American Spirits Council of Tasters Awards in June of 2023, family-owned distillery Journeyman has opened the doors on its new $40-million-dollar campus, The American Factory, in Valparaiso, they advise. “As a former 1860s manufacturing facility, the historic multi-acre property includes Sea of Monsters craft brewery, Union Hall, a full service, chef-driven restaurant helmed by executive chef Amanda Salas (One Sixtyblue, Rockit Bar & Grill, Smoke Daddy, Recess), and indoor and outdoor event venues. The American Factory is the second distillery location for Journeyman—the first being their headquarters in Three Oaks, Michigan, where the company was founded by husband-and-wife duo Bill and Johanna Welter.”
FILM & TELEVISION
“Chicago Is A Film Town,” Says Chicago International Children’s Film Fest
“As the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival celebrates its fortieth year, festival program director Deidre Searcy wants people to know it offers something for everyone,” reports the Reader. “The festival runs from November 3-19 and is the first competitive children’s film festival in the United States. It includes a wide array of films designated by age groups—ranging from My First Movies (ages 2-5) to New Dimensions (18-plus)—steadily introducing topics designed to spark intellectual curiosity and discussion among viewers.” Says Searcy, “I hope that as families start to connect with the various festivals, that they see the value. Chicago is a film town: films are produced here, filmmakers come from here, actors come from here, and you’ve got this long history.”
Crusade To Regulate Little Libraries Comes To Council
“A measure to regulate where Chicagoans can build public bookcases such as Little Free Libraries was expected to face a City Council vote Wednesday, almost a month after it was delayed,” reports Block Club. The ordinance from Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) “would require a public way use permit to build a free library on city-owned property. Little Free Libraries are often placed on city parkways outside their owners’ homes.” He also “stipulates only ‘organizations, not-for-profit entities and licensed businesses’ would be eligible to receive the necessary permit to build a bookcase on city land. Private individuals would not be allowed to build such structures on public property at all.” This would not affect “libraries on private property, like a front yard… Owners of the libraries who receive a public way permit will be required to ‘paint, plainly mark, or otherwise affix the permit number and the permit holder’s name, address and telephone number on the outside of each public bookcase.'”
LITE FM All-Holiday For Twenty-Third Year
iHeartMedia Chicago’s 93.9 LITE FM will broadcast around-the-clock holiday music by today’s biggest artists along with classic Christmas hits beginning today at 4pm. “93.9 LITE FM and holiday music are the perfect ingredients for a holiday celebration,” says Matt Scarano, president of iHeartMedia Chicago Region. “We are excited to be an integral part of our listeners’ holiday celebrations every year with around-the-clock holiday music on Chicago’s official Holiday Station, 93.9 LITE FM.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Loop Alliance Launches Holidays In The Loop Guide
“Chicago Loop Alliance annually compiles a detailed guide of recommended experiences including restaurants, hotels, Loop deals and Santa in the Loop. The most popular seasonal attractions and downtown businesses are featured in printed pocket guides distributed throughout the city and suburbs; three State Street CTA kiosks; and a regularly updated online Holidays in the Loop guide.” View the full Holidays in the Loop guide here.
Aunt Martha’s Health And Wellness Latest Scott Beneficiary, With $9 Million
“Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, which serves over 105,000 children and adults each year, learned last month that they had ‘garnered the attention of [MacKenzie] Scott and her team,'” reports the Sun-Times. “This week the nonprofit received a $9 million award from the Chicago Community Trust from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving fund.”
Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck Described As “Financial Lifestyle”
“The number of Americans who say they are stretched too thin has shown no signs of improvement amid high prices and higher interest rates,” reports CNBC. “As of September, sixty-two percent of adults said they are living paycheck to paycheck,” according to a new LendingClub report. Says the report, “Living paycheck to paycheck remains the main financial lifestyle among U.S. consumers.”
Labor Gains From UAW Contracts
“Laying out a tentative contract agreement to end a six-week wave of walkouts at Ford Motor, the United Automobile Workers president made an unusual pitch to other labor unions,” reports the New York Times. UAW leader said, “If we’re going to truly take on the billionaire class and rebuild the economy so that it starts to work for the benefit of the many and not the few, then it’s important that we not only strike, but that we strike together.” Says the Times, “Fain’s invitation highlights the sweeping ambition of the union’s strategy during the recent strike, the first to target all three Detroit automakers simultaneously. Labor experts said the proposals that union negotiators agreed to with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis… had produced gains that could in fact reverberate well beyond the workers that the union represented.”
Universal Basic Income Working, Even In Red States
Durham, North Carolina’s mayor pro tempore, Mark-Anthony Middleton, helps oversee the city’s basic income program, reports Insider. “We’re going to have to pay for these people one way or another, either in incarceration, benefits, homeless shelters, whatever it is,” he told the outlet. “It seems to me that spending more money up front makes more sense than housing folks, monitoring and feeding them, and taking care of their healthcare in prison.” Writes Insider, “A few dozen cities across the country have begun basic-income programs, and the early results have been overwhelmingly positive. In Denver, more than 800 of the city’s most vulnerable residents received monthly stipends of up to $1,000. So far the program has reduced homelessness, increased employment, and bolstered the mental-health outcomes of participants. A similar program in Stockton, California had similar effects—the unemployment rate among the 125 participants was nearly halved.” Pilot programs in “liberal strongholds such as Los Angeles and Baltimore to more centrist and conservative cities like Columbia, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Gainesville, Florida” are trying the concept. “In city after city and [group after group]—old, young, single parents, ex-convicts—universal basic income has improved health outcomes, raised employment, and bolstered childcare opportunities.”
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