Street Smart Chicago

Newcity Resto launches with Resto 100

Food & Drink No Comments »

We’ve just launched Newcity Resto ( to coincide with the publication of Resto 100: Chicago’s Essential Restaurants, and all future content related to the subject of eating will be posted there. An exploration of Chicago’s dining and food culture, we’ll hope it will whet your appetite in more ways than one.

Nonfiction Review: Man of Torment

Lit No Comments »


It is somehow continually surprising to discover how many of America’s essential writers were eccentrics, outsiders: in exile, even at home. Herman Melville was forgotten in his lifetime. Richard Wright found refuge from the rage of his youth in existentialism.

Even John Cheever, whom so many readers encountered in the gentile visage emblazoned on the back of his Pulitzer Prize-winning collected stories, was a lonely, equivocal visitor in the suburban world to which his name has since become synonymous.

The 1991 publication of Cheever’s ribald, deeply sad and erotically bisexual journals punched open a new personal dimension to this persona. Now we have an even wider, clearer window into Cheever’s life: this fabulous, enormously enjoyable biography by Blake Bailey, the author of a previous book about another troubled, hard-drinking mythologizer of suburbia, Richard Yates. Read the rest of this entry »

Feathered Friends: Pillow Fight Day visits the Art Institute

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

pillowThe Art Institute of Chicago has no idea what is about to hit it—a massive pillow fight, to be exact. Unbeknownst to most of the museum’s staff, the Chicago Pillow Fight Club has organized an event in honor of International Pillow Fight Day in front of their building.

Chicago’s Second Annual Pillow Fight could easily be quashed by the Art Institute’s security guards, but not if the event’s participants have anything to say about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Plaza of Protest: No time for games downtown

Loop, News etc., Politics No Comments »

No Games Chicago defines itself as a diverse group of citizens who have come together to oppose the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the protest today at Federal Plaza proves it.

Buttoned-up types in suits shout with others in layered skirts paired with high-heeled boots. A PTA President speaks just before Illinois’ first death-row exonerate Perry Cobb takes the makeshift stage and just after Green Party candidate Matt Reichel, a contender for Rahm Emanuel’s seat, does. All kinds of conscientious objectors spice up the scene, weaving through protestors, peddling their pro-Socialist pamphlets and anti-War on Terror packets. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Pole-arized

Events, News etc. No Comments »

One hundred years ago Robert Peary and Matthew Hanson discovered the North Pole. Without the aid of current technology, their team embarked on a journey into the unknown. “It was really like stepping off of the edge of the world,” says Annie Aggens, Director of Polar Expeditions for Polar Explorers, a Wilmette-based Arctic Expedition Company. On Monday, teams that are currently on expeditions to the North Pole celebrated that first journey. “The expeditions are based on the concept of following in Peary’s footsteps,” says Aggens. Another team, who is joined by Peary’s great-grandson, was already at the North Pole. They commemorated the event by reading from Peary’s journal. On Monday, the travelers were enduring temperatures around negative twenty degrees, but the wind gusts weren’t too strong and the sun had finally risen to the point where the travelers were beginning to feel some warmth for the first time during the trip, a nice day on the North Pole, a fine day for a celebration.

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Jerry Angelo

The man of the hour—the Bears general manager found a way to acquire Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your role model for the coming week is George Garratt, a British guy who legally changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. Like him, I hope you will be extravagant as you re-imagine your self-image… and be playful as you take serious actions that permanently change things… and mess with the status quo in experimental ways that aren’t dangerous but make you feel ecstatic to be alive. Read the rest of this entry »

The Island of Dr. Tweet: Twit-wits of the world unite at CAD

Events, News etc. 1 Comment »

moxiebird1Like many top-secret missions, this one hit a few bumps: some recruits failed to show up, a large corporation had frozen their accounts and the press was, of course, following them closely. But for Lauri Apple and Seth Gershberg, co-founders of the live-networking experiment known as Twitter Island, such snags could not stop them from their objective: To watch strangers “tweet” at each other from within the same room.

“I have friends who live down the street who don’t call me, but will tweet or Google-chat me to tell me how lonely they are,” says Apple before the project begins. “What is driving these choices we’re making, and are we cognizant of the emotions that result from these choices? With Twitter Island, we’re telling people they don’t have a choice to talk to each other-they have to use technology.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tip of the Week: Jon Ginoli

Bucktown, Lit, Literary Venues No Comments »


Jon Ginoli founded Pansy Division in early-nineties San Francisco out of frustration more than anything else, to confront typical gay stereotypes and show that there are no boundaries, no limitations, in music. The pop-punk band—which consisted of all openly gay members—released its first record in 1993 on Lookout!, and by 1994 had some mainstream success with second album “Deflowered.” (The group opened for Green Day on the “Dookie” tour.) Unknowingly, Pansy Division had helped spearhead the Queercore movement, with a little help from some good-spirited, filth-laced lyrics. Ginoli’s written a memoir chronicling his experiences in the band—a band that’s still making records—called “Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division,” and as far as rock ‘n’ roll autobiographies go, it’s a terrifically fun read. You get your typical rock band stuff-the band fights, the label battles, the sex and dope-but with Ginoli’s bent, it seems to have, hmm, more purpose? (Tom Lynch)

Jon Ginoli reads from “Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division” April 8 at Quimby’s, 1854 W. North, (773)342-0910, at 7pm. Free.

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Tim Tuten
The Hideout co-owner—who worked tirelessly to get Obama elected—was hired to work for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in D.C. Read the rest of this entry »