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Book On Groundbreaking Gallerist Hudson Forthcoming This Spring
Chicago-based Soberscove Press will publish “Hello We Were Talking about Hudson,” edited by Steve Lafreniere, on April 30. The book is a collection of interviews and writings about Hudson (1950–2014), the legendary “artists’ dealer” active in Chicago from 1984–88, and in New York City from 1988–2014. “Feature operated ahead of its time, notably presenting the early work of such significant artists as Tom Friedman, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, Charles Ray, and Kay Rosen, and groundbreaking queer exhibitions by Tom of Finland and G.B. Jones.”
“By sidestepping the art world’s expectations, he challenged the operating principles of other commercial galleries, privileging uncertainty, idealism, plurality, and generosity above the business of art. Comprising thirty-five interviews with Hudson’s artists, collectors, colleagues, and friends, the book is an intimate portrait of a complex man and the vehicle through which he focused his convictions.” The interviewees include Lynne Warren, Tony Tasset, Peter Taub, Darinka Novitovic Chase, Steve Lafreniere, Billy Miller, David Sedaris, G.B. Jones, Sam Gordon, Lily van der Stokker and Judy Linn; with remembrances by Hilton Als, Richard Kern, Richard Prince, Gary Indiana, Mike McGonigal and others. More Soberscove here.
River North 21c Museum Hotel For Sale
The 21c Museum Hotel in River North, which features an art gallery, “has hit the market as the hospitality sector continues its recovery from the pandemic,” reports Crain’s. “The Ontario Street property is going up for sale amid a deep freeze on downtown hotel deals.”
Winning Snowplow Names: CTRL-SALT-DELETE, Skilling It, Casimir Plowaski, Ernie Snowbanks, Mies van der Snow, Bad, Bad Leroy Plow
The city announced the winners of the second annual “You Name A Snowplow” contest, reports the Trib.
Fulton Market Gets More Apartments Instead Of Planned Life Sciences Building
“After years of anticipation and… input from neighbors, a proposal to build a sixteen-story life sciences building in Fulton Market is being scrapped so the developer can build two towers with more than 700 apartments,” reports Block Club. “The project at 400 North Elizabeth was supposed to break ground this summer and include over 500,000 square feet of laboratory, office and research space, 123 underground parking spaces, a fitness center and a ground-level cafe.”
Historic Structures Will Be Demolished At Wells And Superior
“Two historic structures [will] meet the wrecking ball at the southwest corner of North Wells and West Superior,” reports Urbanize. “The demolition will begin in March and be completed in June. Planned by Topography Hospitality and KF Partners LLC, the structures are set to be replaced by a five-story new development… The three-story brick and wood framed structure at 720 North Wells was built in 1867, before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but is green rated on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey with no protections from demolition. The Italianate structure at 207 West Superior is estimated to be from the 1880s.”
How Chicago Expressways Preserved Segregation
“As the Kennedy construction project gears up to start its second phase this spring, here’s a look back at the massive effort behind its creation, as well as the decisions that went into building the Dan Ryan and Eisenhower,” reports the Sun-Times. “Building a vast roadway system with massive exchanges around the edge of downtown,” New York architect and urban scholar Adam Susaneck says, “was about depoliticizing the city center to quell these populations by eliminating them, to some extent. The result was the poorer people … got pushed out.”
Demand For Office Space Still Slack In Chicago
“Demand for Chicago office space kept falling in 2023, a sign that a true recovery for downtown could be years away,” reports the Tribune. The drop-off comes even as some cities like New York City “saw demand nearly return to 2019 levels, while… markets on the West Coast remain stuck in the doldrums far behind Chicago, according to a new study.”
DINING & DRINKING
Chicago’s Largest Restaurant Opens This Month
“Hospitality team The Group is bringing its newest and most impressive dining concept, La Grande Boucherie, to River North this February,” the company relays. “A cross between a steakhouse and Parisian brasserie, La Grande Boucherie will be Chicago’s largest restaurant at 10,120 square feet, featuring the best of French gastronomy and historic architecture dating back to World War II.” The restaurant “marks the brand’s first location outside of New York City. Boucherie has built a devoted following of locals and visitors since the opening of its first West Village location in 2016, and today La Grande Boucherie alone is hosting over 10,000 guests a week.” More here.
Red River Dicks In Lincoln Park Will Be First Black-Owned Country Western Bar In Midwest
G.O.O.D Pineapple hospitality group will open Red River Dick’s this summer in Lincoln Park, in the former Sedgwick’s Bar & Grill space. Inspired by the stories of eighteenth-century African American cowboy, Nat Love, AKA “Red River Dick,” the modern country bar and BBQ restaurant will be rooted in American history, cuisine and music. “Historically known as Nat Love, but reputationally known as Red River Dick, Nat Love is considered the first notorious American Cowboy. A former slave following the Civil War, Love’s exploits have made him one of the famous heroes of the Old West.”
Says Eldridge Williams, co-founder, operating partner and creative director of G.O.O.D Pineapple, “Like The Delta, we have tapped into our Black roots to unearth a concept that encapsulates Black excellence with inspiration from a Black icon that you’ll rarely read about in textbooks. Red River Dicks will be a traditionally rooted, modern American country bar and BBQ restaurant with a rich Nashville-meets-Aztec aesthetic. It will not be corny, nor ordinary. It won’t be honkytonk, or your mama’s square-dancing club.”
SmallBar Pauses Employees During Renovation
“Footman Hospitality—which owns Bangers & Lace, Quality Time, Spilt Milk and Emporium—took over SmallBar [in Avondale] last week,” reports Block Club. “Renovations to the patio, inside bar and other repairs are slated for the next few weeks… Employees were given the option to stay on after renovations are complete, owner Jason Freiman said. Freiman and his team have met with most of the staff to discuss employment opportunities at the company’s other businesses on a temporary or permanent basis… ‘Several SmallBar staff will stay on when the bar reopens, some have already taken other employment opportunities and some have decided to move out of Chicago,’ Freiman said.”
McDonald’s Tours Custom 1970 Plymouth “Burgercuda”
“Spotting the vehicle, driven by the Hamburglar, may just win you free burgers for a year,” relays Hypebeast. “The notorious burger thief has set out on a coast-to-coast spree, and spotting him and his Burgercuda comes with rewards… Notably, the Burgercuda is decked out in the Hamburglar’s signature black-and-white stripes, red accents and features a variety of burger-themed modifications.” More here.
McDonald’s Boss Promises “Affordability”
McDonald’s’ CEO “admitted the burger giant’s sales have taken a hit as jacked-up menu prices have turned off core customers—and signaled the chain plans to focus on ‘affordability’ this year. The Chicago-based fast-food behemoth—which has lately taken heat over a Big Mac combo meal priced at nearly $18—said its global same-store sales in the latest quarter had grown just 3.4 percent, falling short of the 4.7 percent growth Wall Street had expected,” writes The New York Post. The company also blamed its failure to meet stock market expectations “on conflict in the Middle East that has slammed franchisees oversea.”
Girl Scout Cookies Upped A Buck
“Every box of cookies sold by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is priced at $6 apiece, a dollar higher than last year,” reports the Sun-Times. “That’s also a buck higher than some far west suburban areas and other parts of northern Illinois, but still cheaper than New York.” Says the director of marketing and brand for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, “People understand that this is a fundraiser, and it’s generating dollars for girls to have great experiences. They’re willing to pay the additional dollar to provide the experience for these girls.”
George Stephanopoulos And David Axelrod Will Discuss History Of “The Situation Room”
Chicago Humanities will present George Stephanopoulos on May 18 to talk about the history and drama behind the “Situation Room,” joined by fellow 1990s-era politico David Axelrod. More here.
Criminal Charges For Students Behind Daily Northwestern Parody
Publishers of the Daily Northwestern notified police about a parody issue, reports The Intercept. “The students, charged under an obscure anti-KKK law, face a year in jail.” The parody, published October 25, headlined on its front page, “Northwestern complicit in genocide of Palestinians.” “Following the investigation, local prosecutors brought charges against two students for theft of advertising services. The little-known statute appears to only exist in Illinois and California, where it was originally passed to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from distributing recruitment materials in newspapers. The statute makes it illegal to insert an ‘unauthorized advertisement in a newspaper or periodical.’ The students, both of whom are Black, now face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.”
Writes the Daily Northwestern: “Neither Students Publishing Company nor The Daily has the authority to bring or dismiss criminal charges against any person—that decision lies with the state’s attorney’s office. However, the editorial board hopes that if SPC notifies the office that it no longer has an interest in seeing the students prosecuted, the prosecutor will likely drop the charges.”
New York Times Will Use AI In The Newsroom
The New York Times “is hiring engineers and editors for a new team that will experiment with uses for generative AI but says journalists will still write, edit and report the news,” reports the Verge.
Carlos Kalmar Sues Cleveland Institute Of Music
“After a Title IX investigation into his conduct became public last year, conductor Carlos Kalmar is suing the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he served as director of orchestral studies before ‘enter[ing] into a leave of absence’ in September, for between $5 million and $260 million in damages,” reports Van Magazine.
All-Chicago Casting Set For Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad,” Susan V. Booth’s First Goodman Production As Director
Susan V. Booth begins rehearsals for her first mainstage production to direct as Goodman Theatre Artistic Director, “The Penelopiad,” by Margaret Atwood, starring Jennifer Morrison. Portraying Penelope’s twelve faithful maids are Aja Alcazar, Demetra Dee, Maya Lou Hlava, Noelle Kayser, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Helen Joo Lee, Tyler Meredith, Ericka Ratcliff, Andrea San Miguel, Laura Savage, Allison Sill and Hannah Whitley. The retelling of “The Iliad” from the perspective of Odysseus’ wife features choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter; the design team includes Neil Patel (sets); Kara Harmon (costumes); Xavier Pierce (lighting); Willow James (sound); Samuel Davis (music composition); Jeremy Ramey (music direction); and Neena Arndt (dramaturg) “The Penelopiad” runs March 2-31 in the 856-seat Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25-$90; subject to change) are available here.
National Executive Director Search For Congo Square Theatre Begins March 1 As Charlique C. Rolle Steps Down
The board of directors of African American ensemble theater company Congo Square Theatre will launch a national search to replace Charlique C. Rolle, Congo Square executive director [Newcity Players 50], who leaves the company on March 1. Rolle, who has served as Congo Square’s executive director for four years, will focus instead on her own artistic pursuits. More here.
Travails Of The American Stage: Now It’s Boston
Some “Boston-area theater companies are facing [a battle for survival] as they launch into the second half of the 2023-24 season,” reports the Boston Globe (MSN link). “If COVID-19 was an earthquake, what theaters are now trying to cope with is an ongoing series of nerve-wracking aftershocks. ‘We’re going to see other companies going under,’ said Christopher V. Edwards, artistic director of Boston-based Actors’ Shakespeare Project, which is wrestling with its own challenge of declining audiences… Boston’s theater crisis mirrors what is happening in other culture centers across the country.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Mayor Johnson Appoints Engineering CEO To McPier Board
“The mayor picked a trade unionist and business owner to replace Samir Mayekar, whom former Mayor Lightfoot placed on the board in her final days in office,” reports Crain’s. “Johnson tapped Sam Kukadia, CEO of Material Solutions Laboratory and an active member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, to serve on the board, which owns and operates McCormick Place and oversees operations at Navy Pier.”
Choose Chicago Releases 2024 Chicago Visitors Guide
Choose Chicago, the city’s official destination marketing organization, has released the 2024 Chicago Visitors Guide, with sixty-four pages outlining attractions, amenities and activities in Chicago throughout the year. Visitors Guide is available on the Choose Chicago website and free printed copies are available upon request. Digital copy here.
Alden-Linked Entity Top Buyer In Cook County Delinquent Tax Sale
“An entity with ties to Alden Global Capital,” owner of the Chicago Tribune and many other newspapers, “was a top buyer of delinquent property taxes in an annual Cook County treasurer’s auction, buying about $1.75 million worth of unpaid taxes on more than 600 properties,” reports Crain’s.
Wells Fargo Abandons Plan For Two Of Its Additional Chicago Locations
“Wells Fargo has withdrawn applications to open two new branches in Chicago,” reports Crain’s. “The new branches were to be part of the California bank’s stated intention to open at least thirty new locations in the Chicago area.”
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