Street Smart Chicago

House Call

News etc., Pride No Comments »

Here’s a list of Illinois state representatives in the Chicago area, their contact numbers and office addresses. Read the rest of this entry »

Knit Together, Right Now: World Wide Knit in Public storms the Cultural Center

Events, Loop No Comments »

moxie1Today seems to be a day for birthday-suit-wearing bike riders (World Naked Bike Ride) and the undead (Chicago Zombie March) but, also, crafters dedicated to public displays of knitting, as the World Wide Knit In Public-Chicago commences. Thanks to Mother Nature, the knitters have to move their festivities from Millennium Park to the Chicago Cultural Center. “Rain will not stop knitters,” says Natalia Uribe Wilson, an organizer. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Milk It

Lit, News etc., Politics No Comments »

harveymilkTwo letters hand-written by Harvey Milk will be sold July 28 in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Fine Books and Manuscripts auction. The letters, written in the 1950s, highlight issues still key today-gay marriage and military service. Milk wrote the letters to Patrick Mormon, with whom he became friends while in the Navy. He was quiet about his homosexuality and political involvement at the time, but wrote honestly and frankly to Mormon. “These are the earliest [letters] I could find, and they are incredibly revealing,” says Mary Williams of the Books and Manuscripts Department at Hindman. “They aren’t in any collection anywhere.” The first regards Milk’s discharge from the Navy after serving during the Korean War. Rumors later circulated that he was dishonorably discharged due to reports of homosexuality. “Don’t say or do anything. I’ve been turned in,” Milk wrote. In the second letter, he discusses hopes to marry an unnamed man (possibly Joe Campbell) while on leave. “If things work out as I want I may be a happily married man by the end of this year. ‘Gay marriage,’ that is,” he said. The letters were bequeathed by Patrick Mormon to the current owner, who requested anonymity, Williams says. The estimated price is $1,000 to $2,000 but they are expected to sell for much more at the auction. The auction will also be online, and the letters will be on display July 26 and 27 at the Hindman facility, 1338 West Lake.

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc., Politics No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Juan Johnson
The Chicago man was awarded $21 million in compensatory damages following his 1989 wrongful conviction and 2004 acquittal of murder, the largest settlement of its kind in Chicago history. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Reality TV personality Spencer Pratt used to be skeptical about the power of prayer. But his wife Heidi, herself a devout believer, urged him to keep his mind open. Then, as an experiment, Spencer asked God to help him and Heidi get a double date with teen pop star Miley Cyrus and her boyfriend, despite the fact that neither of them even knew Cyrus. Apparently God heard and responded, because not too long after that, the hoped-for double date did indeed come to pass. I’m telling you this, Aries, because I think you’re entering a phase when you, like Pratt, will have extra luck in making idiosyncratic wishes come true. If I were you, though, I’d focus on more profound idiosyncratic wishes than the kind Pratt pined for. Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Boxin’ It: For Chicagoans, a team has been assembled

City Life, News etc., Politics No Comments »

dsc00595Within the next six months, the entire City of Chicago is transitioning from metered to Pay Box Parking. Fortunately, Chicagoans are not being expected to weather such a transition alone. As in the pages of comic books and in the plot lines of action movies, a team has been assembled.

We are called the Pay Box Team and we are here, there and everywhere a new Pay Box is being installed. You may have seen us, clad in oversized neon sweatshirts, explaining this new parking process. “Just add your money-quarters, dollar coins or credit card,” we advise. “Print your receipt and then place that receipt on the driver’s side dash.”

More importantly, however, we have seen you. Pay Boxin’ it (that’s our insider’s term) has unexpectedly facilitated a neighborhood-by-neighborhood meet-and-greet with the citizens of Chicago. Each day has been a pleasure, an adventure, or, at the very least, an interesting conversation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Air Down There: The 2009 Air Sex World Championships reach Chicago

Events, Logan Square, Love & Sex No Comments »

Amongst slightly creaky hardwood floors and below rotating fans from protruding circles on the ceiling, an audience gathers in the Logan Square Auditorium with beers in hand to view a sexy spectacle. The 2009 Air Sex World Championships are about to take place, and viewers prepare for a sight that many of them have never seen before-think an air-guitar contest, but different.

The competition starts. Seven contestants, all ready and willing to show their best O-faces on stage in front of a crowd of strangers to songs of their choosing. First: Long John Silver. He moves slowly and sweetly, but is just as short as he is sweet. Second comes Vaughn Quee-Quee, who seduces an imaginary woman three times his size. He begins by tossing his aviators to the floor and ends with a peace sign to the audience. “I’ve been practicing my whole life for this,” he tells the us as he leaves the stage. Jade is third, and he climbs his way into his woman and starts swimming, telling the audience later that his song of choice had been “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid,” even though the DJ had played something else by accident. “The uterus is the origin of our existence, and sometimes you just wanna get back in it,” he says of his swimming. Crunchy McVibe, feigning inebriation, undresses all the way to his boxers. Curvy Shaft starts with a cigarette and relaxes as his partner does all the work. Pair of Jugs, the first female contestant, makes do with a small member and awkwardly gyrates to the theme song from “Full House.” Dr. Leonard McCoy wraps up the first round with a perfectly choreographed routine in a green one-piece jumpsuit.

After a round of finalists, Crunchy McVibe is deemed winner by the audience. Apparently, being fake-drunk helps. (Micah McCrary)

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

 1 Rod Blagojevich
Appeared on stage during the “Rod Blagojevich Superstar!” show at The Second City and was greeted with cheers and applause. Huh? Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you secretly afraid of feeling secure? Do you equate stability with being bored and lazy? Do you suspect that your restless pioneer spirit makes you unfit for the slow, meticulous work of building sturdy foundations? If so, there’s hope for you to change—especially if you make a big effort in the coming weeks. The moment is ripe for you to learn more about the arts of energizing comfort and stimulating calm and exciting peace. To jump-start the process, go get a massage. As you’re being stroked by nurturing hands, brainstorm about the additions and adjustments you’d like to make in your five-year master plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Race Review: 13.1 Chicago Marathon (June 7, 2009)

Running, South Shore No Comments »

chicagophoto093Distance runners are a masochistic lot. Who in his or her right mind willfully rises at 5am on a Sunday morning in order to go out and run a baker’s dozen miles with a few thousand others? But even the most intrepid ultra-marathonner’s tolerance for pain has limits, and being greeted at such an early hour by a cheesy announcer cheerfully hyping the presence of the Blues Brothers at the starting line is very very close to any runner’s threshold.

Not surprisingly, this race, the inaugural 13.1 Chicago Marathon, is being produced by out-of-towners who’ve apparently yet to succumb to Jake and Elwood overexposure. The Chicago half-marathon universe is going through a big shakeup this year, with a doubling of the number of major races from two to four, signaled by the arrival of two national companies who make a  business out of producing long-distance races in various markets around the country. The Chicago Distance Classic, run each August, was sold and this year becomes the Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. And late last summer, the owners of the 13.1 series, Dallas-based US Road Sports and Entertainment Group, acquired the venerable Chicago Half Marathon just weeks before its running in September. Read the rest of this entry »