Street Smart Chicago

Not for Squares: Everyone loves Logan Square

Events, Logan Square, News etc. No Comments »

moxieMention a neighborhood association benefit event and usually the first thing that comes to mind is some stuffy sit-down dinner and silent auction. This is definitely not the case when the Logan Square Neighborhood Association plans a shindig. The “I Love Logan Square” party, complete with salsa lessons and lucha libre sightings, is downright lively.

The party, which is held at Milwaukee Avenue’s Elastic Arts, allows Logan Square residents to mingle with neighbors while raising additional funding for the community. “We wanted to have an event that would introduce new people in the neighborhood to the organization,” says Bridget Murphy, a member of the LSNA who helped organize the event. “The LSNA works very holistically; we organize around affordable housing, education, immigration, keeping good jobs in the neighborhood, you name it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

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This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Mike Quigley
As of press time, the former Cook County Commissioner was to be sworn in as U.S. congressman. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Astrology and Tarot cards are my favorite divinatory tools, but I also get a lot of use out of magnetic poetry kits. These are boxes full of evocative words and symbols in the form of refrigerator magnets. Sometimes after analyzing your astrological omens, I’ll close my eyes, beam a question out into the ethers, and pluck a few magnets at random from one of my poetry kits. I just did that for you. “What are the keys to unlocking the enormous reserves of energy that are potentially available for Aries folks right now?” I asked. Here’s the message that came: “swooping orgasms & laughing tears.” (Or it could also be arranged this way: “laughing orgasms & swooping tears.”) Read the rest of this entry »

Tip of the Week: Post-It Note Reading Series

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Think of it as sort of a literary event for writers with ADD. Created several years ago by former “This American Life” producer Starlee Kine and cartoonist—and former Chicago resident—Arthur Jones, the Post-It Note series is exactly as you’d imagine, writers and illustrators presenting works on Post-It Notes, with a little help from a slide projector. The charming method of storytelling came to life years ago when Jones worked as a graphic designer at a marketing company; Kine had booked a literary event at Hideout and asked Jones—who was not a writer—to contribute a piece. The doodles Jones crafted at work out of shear boredom became his inspiration as he conjured a tale through the little sticky Notes, projected it onstage and narrated. The pair have a come a long way since, striking a deal to draw twelve animated shorts for Lexus and even performing at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival. Tonight, the day after Jones and Kine’s appearance for the “This American Life” taping at the Chicago Theatre, they bring the Post-It Note series to Hideout, where “This American Life” contributor David Wilcox and local artist Derek Erdman supply stories as well. (Tom Lynch)

The Post-It Note Reading Series takes place April 20 at Hideout, 1444 West Wabansia, at 8pm. $8.

411: Jane Gets a Makeover

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Thanks to a recent grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, UIC’s Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is undergoing some changes. Currently, only the first floor of the house where Addams lived and worked is open to the public, but after the work is completed, the second floor will be opened, doubling the museum’s available space. This will give curators the opportunity to recreate Addams’ bedroom as well as freeing space on the first floor for exhibits on other reformers whose stories, due to a lack of space, were not previously being told. “There will be a rotating exhibit which will be able to tell in-depth stories of five different reformers at any one time,” informs Lisa Yun Lee, the museum’s director. Another element that will be new to the museum will be a listening room. “We have recordings of Jane Addams and other reformers that have never been heard before. We’re also going to recreate, based on the cultural history what Hull-House sounded like in 1898.”

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Jermaine Dye
The Sox outfielder smacked his 300th career homerun in a back-to-back bid with Paul Konerko. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): One of the casualties of the recession has been grooming and primping. Many people are devoting less time and money to maintaining their appearance at peak levels. Makeup sales are down, and I’ve definitely been seeing more unkempt—or should I say raw and unadorned?—people lately. If you’ve been considering the possibility of cutting back on your own preening, Aries, now would be a good time to experiment. Why? For one thing, your natural attractiveness is especially strong these days. For another, you’re entering a phase when you’ll need people’s approval less than usual. There’s also the fact that anything you do to simplify your life will be a tonic for your mental health. Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Review: Lincoln Treasures/Chicago History Museum

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The Chicago History Museum kicks off its yearlong celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th anniversary with “Lincoln Treasures.”  For just one month, the museum is hosting one of only five surviving copies of the Gettysburg Address.  The document is on loan from the Lincoln Presidential Library, and this is the last time it will travel outside of Springfield.  Written on two thin sheets of carefully-preserved, yellowed paper-the 272 word speech that made “four score and seven years ago” an American catchphrase is inscribed in the squat, precise script of Lincoln’s own hand.  To accommodate the swelling numbers of guests interested in seeing the famed speech, the museum has extended its morning hours on Sundays.  However, guests should not linger too close; the document is closely guarded and secured beneath an invisible alarm.  The remainder of the “Lincoln Treasures” exhibit is confined and scant on biographical details, instead serving as secondary adornment to the Gettysburg Address.  However, even the supporting artifacts will make history gurus salivate: several famed busts and molds of the sixteenth president, a first printing of the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s deathbed, salvaged from the Peterson House across the street from Ford’s Theater. (Laura Hawbaker)

“Lincoln Treasures” is at the Chicago History Museum through August 16.  The Gettysburg Address is on display until May 3. 

Newcity Resto launches with Resto 100

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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

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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 »