Street Smart Chicago

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your assignment is to get angry in the most unique, brilliant and constructive way possible. Merely being annoyed and muttering generic curses will definitely not be sufficient. Nor will it work for you to get consumed in knee-jerk rage or to be peeved about the same old boring targets that everyone reacts to. What the cosmos needs from you this week, Aries, is a controlled explosion of liberated, compassionate, laser-sharp fury that will fuel your ingenious drive to change everything for the better. Read the rest of this entry »

Yoga-ga: Is America’s favorite spiritual pastime sellling its soul?

Essays & Commentary, News etc. No Comments »

By Monica Westinnewcity_yoga_flat

The 2009 Illinois Yoga Asana Championship just took place, for the second year in a row, at Navy Pier. When I first heard about it, the competition troubled me. After all, isn’t yoga supposed to be about our own path to development, done at our own pace and with a sense of higher consciousness rather than egocentric comparisons with others? I asked to cover the event hoping to know why enlightened yogis would want to sit around judging each other’s asanas (postures).

The competition is also a good starting point from which to consider the explosion of yoga in America, which doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon, what its popularity might mean, and if our wholehearted inclusion of yoga in the new American lifestyle has robbed the practice of something in the process. One thing I learned while researching this article is that yoga message boards are some of the most charged and sometimes inflammatory I’ve read, and arguments about the relative purity of various practices are the easiest to find. Have we corrupted yoga so that the postures done in a 105-degree room, or in the yoga gym class we’re taking (that promises to strengthen our core and give us a tough workout more than a higher level of spirituality), are no longer yoga? What about yoga with the advertisement of a glass of wine afterward, even though strict yogis are teetotalers? Okay then, what about doggie yoga, where you hold your dog in poses that you do together? At some point, is yoga simply being used as a brand to get people to buy a new product? Read the rest of this entry »

Just for the Spell of It: The pastimes of drinking and spelling converge

Events, South Loop No Comments »

alphabetTransamoeba Gallery occupies a large room with wooden floors that looks like what’s behind the curtain of a stage: red swiveling chairs, large white cabinets and walls painted forest green with mirrors, photos, paintings, cell phones and cameras nailed, glued and screwed to the wall. On a large screen an image from a projector reads “1st Semi-Periodic United Drunken Spelling Bee of America for All,” or SPUDSBAA, as some of the competitors have come to call it.

“I’ve seen others have drunken spelling bees before,” says contest judge and event coordinator Mary Bowman on the bee’s origin. “I really like spelling and I wanted people to come. Honestly if I had it my way there wouldn’t be any drinking, but I think nobody would come without being able to drink.” 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 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

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

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

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

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 »