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 Gordon Beckham

The young Sox infielder has been on fire during spring training, batting well over .300 and prompting several sportswriters to speculate on his making the big-league team this season. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are

Events, Lit, Museums, News etc. No Comments »

The Newberry Library’s latest exhibition, “Hidden Then Found: Women’s Stories from the Newberry Manuscript Collections,” is the result of happenstance. While the library’s special-collections curators were combing through Chicago Daily News reporter Robert J. Casey’s manuscripts, they had stumbled across his wife Hazel MacDonald’s work from the first half of the twentieth century. Realizing that MacDonald, as well as fellow journalists Kay Ashton-Stevens, Emily Hahn and Georgie Anne Geyer, deserve a chance in the spotlight, curators “thought it would be an interesting concept to feature their work and highlight their accomplishments,” says the exhibit’s curator Lisa Janssen. In honor of Women’s History Month, “Hidden Then Found” is a tribute to their struggles as well as their groundbreaking contributions in journalism. The exhibit, which runs through Saturday, showcases the women’s experiences through photographs, newspaper clippings and personal letters. The exhibit is part of the library’s Spotlight Series, “which highlights new materials that the Newberry Library has acquired,” Janssen says.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The 1906 earthquake that hit San Francisco also demolished downtown Santa Rosa, about 50 miles to the north. During the rebuilding process, Frank Doyle, a local businessman who referred to himself as a “champion of the future,” pushed a radical agenda. “When we construct our new downtown thoroughfare,” he said, “let’s make it wider than it has been in the past. That way it will accommodate the promising technological innovation called the automobile.” Draw inspiration from Doyle’s prescience, Aries. Read the rest of this entry »

Duck Soup

Food & Drink, Lit No Comments »

9781416556688By Michael Nagrant

He might eat foie gras on occasion, but even if you’re an animal-rights advocate, there’s no question that Mark Caro is a great human being.  The Chicago Tribune scribe and author of the new book “The Foie Gras Wars” gave a reading at Borders in Lakeview last Thursday. He opened the affair with a duck joke told by his young daughter, which engendered a bout of crying from his other daughter who was a tad jealous of her sibling’s moment in the limelight.

As the father of a 2-year-old, I’m pretty sure I would be terrified and would be shuttling off my son in a similar moment.  Instead, Caro gallantly humored his daughters, and continued to allow their occasional involvement, while he entertained with rapturous story and smartly answered questions for over an hour. Read the rest of this entry »

Sex School: The Burlington offers everything you’ve ever wanted to know

Events, Logan Square, Love & Sex No Comments »

strike-a-poseWhere can you find six women in one room who would happily don a strap-on and take on a guy? Or a bar full of men who shout out the maximum distance they’ve managed to shoot a load?

Logan Square bar The Burlington is home to the monthly Sunday Night Sex Show, where creators and hosts Allen Makere and Robyn Pennacchia infuse your mind, libido and sense of humor with any and all things sex-related. Read the rest of this entry »

Beef Bailout: Mr. Beef must be kept in place

Food & Drink, River North No Comments »

mrbeefRiver North’s Mr. Beef Deli has been serving Chicagoans beef sandwiches for thirty years. Its walls, decorated with old and new album covers, movie posters and autographed celebrity photos, testify to both its age and enduring popularity. In a much-publicized crisis, Mr. Beef is facing foreclosure. Unable to get a new line of credit “in these economic times,” the sandwich shop may be forced to shut its doors. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Bin Huntin’

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For a moment, forget about our new president’s vow to hunt and capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. What if it’s already been done? In Chicago-bred author George Matheos’ new book, “The Man Who Killed Osama,” the novel’s protagonist, Jake Darren, kills Osma Bin Laden twice. (Bin Laden is actually killed a total of four times during the course of the book.) “The basic assumption of the book is that most Americans, if not most of the world, would love to see Osama killed-many times over,” Matheos says. Matheos’ idea for the book was inspired by numerous news reports that surfaced every so often that Bin Laden might have been dead. “The intention was not to write a book about Osama per se but of the circumstances of his death,” says Matheos. “What would an average American from Chicago do if he had the opportunity to kill Osama?”

Tip of the Week: Real Pirates

Museums No Comments »


Many piqued by the Field’s latest exhibit are devotees of Disney-themed cinematic swashbuckling. These guests will not be disappointed by “Real Pirates,” which includes wax dummies, games and references aplenty to the squeaky clean facts from Gore Verbinski’s whirling dervish of a trilogy. However, these same guests may be taken aback by the Golden Age of Piracy, made golden only from pilfering the loot, ships, sailors and former slaves of the transatlantic slave trade. Read the rest of this entry »

Tip of the Week: Story Week 2009

Events, Lit, Literary Venues, South Loop No Comments »


One of the city’s top literary events of the year, Columbia College’s Story Week begins on Sunday, and as usual features the best of the bunch-students and faculty-of the school, plus some high-profile outsiders, at various events scattered throughout the city. This week kicks off with the “2nd Story: Storytellers” event at Martyrs’ on Sunday night, featuring readings by CP Chang, Molly Each, Deb R. Lewis and Doug Whippo. Saturday features a Q&A with “Blue Angel” author Francine Prose at the Harold Washington Library, plus a reading at Sheffield’s Beer Garden by local crime guy Marcus Sakey. The Nelson Algren Tribute, Tuesday at the Harold Washington, features appearances by Joe Meno, Billy Lombardo, Stephanie Kuehnert, Bayo Ojikutu and J. Adams Oaks. On Wednesday at the Spertus Museum, Rick Kogan discusses Studs Terkel in a tribute to the man, with Donna Seaman, Bill Young, Alex Kotlowitz, Don De Grazia, Drew Ferguson and Ann Hemenway. And that’s just the first half of the festival. (Tom Lynch)

Story Week 2009 runs March 15-20 at various venues. Visit for complete details.

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Barack Obama

On a historic day for the nation’s medical community, the president lifted the Bush administration’s ban on funding stem-cell research. Read the rest of this entry »