Street Smart Chicago

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Ricketts Family
Their deal to buy the Cubs was finalized and now waits MLB and goat approval. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What I wish for you this week is that you won’t be satisfied with mediocre truths; that you’ll be a fussy perfectionist focused on cutting out waste, fraud and delusion; that you’ll be itchy to know more about the unacknowledged games that are being played. Frustration, I hope, will be your holy fuel. Unsweetened lemonade, I trust, will be your rejuvenating drink. These are blessings, Aries, not curses! I pray that you’ll pick one of your scabs until it bleeds so the healing process can start over—the right way this time. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Button: Busy Beaver Button Co. gets busier

Bucktown, Events, Green, News etc. No Comments »
Photo: Ray Pride

Photo: Ray Pride

On an overcast, humid, Chicago late-summer Saturday afternoon along Armitage Avenue, it’s closing in on a hundred degrees. I arrive a few hours after the cupcakes and champagne and ribbon-cutting with 35th Ward alderman Rey Colon, but the door to the new storefront location of the Busy Beaver Button Co. is in motion. Pale middle-aged men in camo shorts wander the corner, shirtless and smoking. On the other side of the street, a shoe shop offers “Lady’s Shoes.” On the corner, half a sign on an empty storefront advertises a “queria.” The fresh wooden front of Busy Beaver isn’t treated or varnished yet, smelling nicely of lumberyard. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Fall Flat: Finding roommates made easy at Easy Bar

Wicker Park No Comments »

small for rentIn Wicker Park’s casual, dimly lit Easy Bar, thirty people make their way around the front space by the bar, ready to find their perfect match. Some wear nametags lined with red to indicate they’re looking while others wear blue nametags to show they’re in need… of a roommate, that is.

This gathering is one of the monthly meetings for the Flatmate Meetup brought to Chicago a year ago by David Kadavy. Kadavy came up with the idea for the Flatmate Meetup in 2006 when he moved from San Jose to San Francisco.

“I sent out tons of emails,” Kadavy recalls. “I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.” Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Rod Blagojevich
A judge approved the former governor’s plan to pay parts of his legal bills with campaign funds. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Maybe you weren’t listened to very attentively as a child. Perhaps you were dressed in clothes you didn’t like, hugged only three times a year and fed food you were allergic to. I suppose it’s even possible that your parents were psychotic drug dealers who kept you chained to a radiator in their squalid basement. If that’s the case, Aries, I would understand if you had an urge to devote the next three decades to bewailing your bitter past and scheming up ways to wreak revenge on the cruel world. But if you have ever been curious about whether there might be better ways to allocate your time and energy, I have good news. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you now have it in your power to overcome your toughest memories and set out on a course to become almost as secure as if those bad things had never happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 John Hughes
The local filmmaker passed away at 59 and received glowing tributes from fans and critics alike. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I started producing some good work within ten years of launching my writing career, but I didn’t hit my stride until the eighteenth year. From what I hear, many other skills require a long training period as well. According to an Aikido adept I know, for example, a practitioner may require thirty years to master the moves and spirit of that martial art. And as for the ability to carry on a successful intimate relationship: It usually takes a lifetime. I hope this line of thinking helps you get a more practical perspective on the specific prowess you’re trying to develop, Aries. Keep in mind that it probably wouldn’t be worth learning if you could become a wizard in a flash. There’s no rush. Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come already. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Witty Words

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Got your own catchphrase? Now you can claim it, share it and sell it, with the help of a new Chicago-based business, CoinThatPhrase.com. Created by entrepreneur Noel Burkman, CoinThatPhrase combines original quotes from users with classic phrases from movies and pop culture. For a small fee, users can add their own witticisms to the site’s database. “It’s really about exploring content ownership,” Burkman says. “A database people can come to and monetize it.” Members can then purchase print products and merchandise—such as t-shirts, coffee mugs and dog tags—with phrases on them, and whoever coined the phrase gets a share of the profit. Users can rate quotes and participate in contests, too. The site, which officially launched mid-July, has been in the works for a while. Burkman says he first got the idea when watching “Band of Brothers” on HBO and wondering where the phrase “band of brothers” originated. “I realized there was no database of phrases and words,” he says. “People should really be able to put their own stuff out there.” This was before social networking really took off, he says, so he “wrote up a business plan and sat on it.” Now almost a month old, CoinThatPhrase is approaching 300 members and has more than 8,000 phrases. Burkman hopes to continue building the database and add images, designs and pictures. “We really see it expanding into a number of verticals.”

Race Review: Elvis is Alive 5K (August 6, 2009)

Loop, Running No Comments »

With the surging popularity of the sport of running, it’s inevitable that events will fill in every niche imaginable. Ergo, a run for the inner (or outer) Elvis in all of us. With an evening start, do-it-yourself timing, a low entry fee and a substantial number of participants in some variant of costume, runners came out for a party and made one. Sure, the 2,000 or so of us crammed the lakefront path at times, but whenever you got cranky about getting cut off, here comes another Elvis, in her sideburns and jumpsuit, to make you laugh. Even the boats in the lake got in the spirit, serenading runners with acoustic renditions of the King’s tunes. At the finish line, the usual assortment of runners’ replenishments, plus Mr. Presley’s favorite, peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. Then beer and a stellar impersonator, Joe Elvis, putting on a concert in the twilight, with the city gleaming behind him. Before long, everybody was dancin to the jailhouse rock. (Brian Hieggelke)

The Fleet Feet Sports Elvis is Alive 5K takes place each August.