Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, June 24

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H.E.R.E. Workers At Congress Hotel

The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (Local 1) is still on strike, dragging out a fight with the Congress Hotel (Congress and Michigan) that started in early June. Twenty workers were arrested on Labor Day for blocking Michigan Avenue, and currently the striking workers -- many of them immigrants -- remain camped outside the entrance, encouraging walk-ups to go elsewhere, providing lists of unionized hotels. If you want to help, contact HERE.

Cubs Steal Game One

The Cubs won their first post-season road game since the 1945 World Series tonight, 4-2, over the Braves. Kerry Wood served up a virtuoso pitching performance to lead the Cubs, giving up only three hits to the most potent offense in the National League. He also provided the go-ahead double in the sixth inning. Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior pitch games 2 and 3, but the Braves have the most lethal late-game offense in the majors.

Old Chicago Funpark

Lots of people know about Riverview, but much less talked about is Old Chicago was the "world's first completely enclosed amusement park and shopping center." Opened in 1975 in Bolingbrook, it survived a scant five years before shutting down.

Baghdad Museum official at OI

Donny George Youkhanna, the General Director for Research with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities, Baghdad, will be giving giving two lectures at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The OI has been providing information about looting of museums in Iraq for some time, but to be able to hear the straight dope from someone as on the scene as Youkhanna is a rare opportunity.

George Ryan, Nobel Laureate?

Rumor has it our former governor could be off to Oslo for clearing Illinois' Death Row. (Trib login: gapers/gapers)

Bush Protest

George W. Bush will be attending a $2000/plate fundraiser today at noon at the Sheraton Hotel (301 E. North Water, across from the NBC Tower), and The Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism and several other groups plan to meet him there. Of course, they'll most likely be shunted off to a "free-speech zone" several blocks away. But it might be a good way to spend your lunch hour nonetheless.

Get Your Motor Running is, as you'd expect, all about motorcycles and riding around Chicago.

God Bless Chicago and Hot Kielbasa.

Marshall Field's is sponsoring an absolutely kick-a$$ day of music this Saturday. Marshall Field's Day of Music offers a wide range of symphonic music (including an appearance by Mr. Barenboim), soul, blues, and world music performers. To top it off: the Polkaholics are headlining Symphony Center. Download the pdf schedule and check it out.

Stadium madness

I think it's an eyesore and looks like a landing pad for space aliens, but really, no one asked me. In any case, the Bears are playing their opener at the new Soldier field tonight. Here's a bit about the history of Soldier Field, and remember, the Bear's aren't the only franchise to play there. The Chicago Fire does too. You can check out their stadium page as well.

Manuel, Hit the Showers

It was inevitable: after the Sox choked before reaching the finish line, manager Jerry Manuel was fired today. Tony Larussa (who coached the Sox back in the '80s) is rumored to be a top candidate for the job, while there have been whispers that Dusty Baker may bring Manuel onto the Cubs management team for next season.

Stealth Disco

Those crazy kids at ad agency Cramer-Krasselt know that anytime, anywhere, "the Seventies are right behind you."

Star Gazing

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal are in town for the filming of Proof, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the same name. According to this press release, you can catch them in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus next week.

The Texas Ballroom

I found myself at this amazing art/music/living space on the southside yesterday called the Texas Ballroom. I caught some amazing music there last night — it blew me away — and if you're at all interested in something fresh, grab-you-by-the-throat and with the underground flavour, you should keep an eye out for events there.

Duff Family Indictments

The Duff Family, who run the enormous Windy City family of city services (including waste management, janitorial services, and more), were indicted by the Federal Government on Thursday. The Duffs received close to $100m in city contracts, often "minority contracts," received because they install dummy presidents on their subsidiaries. One of these, Remedial Environmental Manpower, was headed by an African-American, Charles Stratton, who answered to the Duffs. The green REM trucks should be familiar to you: they're basically omnipresent in every city neighborhood.

Jane Adams

I've been intrigued with Jane Adams since I was a wee lass. I'm impressed that one woman could create such great change in a city full of people who needed her. The Hull-House Museum helped sponsor the creation of Urban Experience in Chicago, a great website that has a reference book's worth of information in its pages. And, it has teacher's resources that seem well done.

Steel Apples

Apple is giving its distinctive logo a new, metallic look. The original designer, Rob Janoff, who now works in suburban Chicago, says he showed the company a similar design back in 1976 along with the old rainbow-colored one. "It's like I already designed it."

Funky Fall Festivals

Ready to soak up a little rural flavor now that the colors are changing? October's hopping with funky festivals: the Morton Arboretum is hosting an outdoor walking theater event among other things at their Fall Color Festival, and little Morton Illinois is hosting the annual Pumpkin Chuckin' contest. But most eccentric of all has to be the Turkey Testicle Festival. As they say, let's all get nuts.

Chicago Climate Exchange

Did you know that Chicago is home to a major force in climate control? The Chicago Climate Exchange is "a voluntary cap-and-trade program for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions." Member companies and organizations make a voluntary binding commitment to use a rules-based market for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and they receive credits for reductions which can be bought and sold in order to reduce overall emissions. North American trading began this year, and eventually will be opened to the international community.

Critical Mass Sept.

It's the last Friday of September which means it's also time for the monthly Critical Mass bike ride. Hundreds of bikers will undoubtedly meet this evening at 5:30pm in front of Daley Plaza for one last ride before it starts getting too cold and only the more hardcore biker types start to show. If you've been wanting to check it out but haven't been able to, today's mild (bordering on cold) weather is perfect.

Best of Chicago.

In this week's issue of Newcity: the annual "Best of Chicago" section, where you can find the winners in such categories as best apple martini, best "corked bat" T-shirt (oh yeah, remember that?), and best photo booth.


Since you're reading this, I'm going to assume that you can read and that you like to read. Based on these assumptions, you are a perfect candidate for a Read-A-Thon to support the Blue Gargoyle Adult and Family Learning Programs.
The Blue Gargoyle Adult and Family Learning Program is located at 5655 S. University Ave. Their phone number is 773/955-4108 and their email address is

That's A Lot of Pot

Chicago police found 10,000 marijuana plants growing on public land on the southeast side yesterday, all ready to be harvested. The value of the cache was estimated at $27 million.

Stalking the wily rabbit.

Apparently, Grant Park is (still) infested with rabbits. And with 200 new elm trees ready to be planted in the park, the park's advisory board is still trying to develop a humane and effective way to prevent them from eating everything in sight. Good luck to them! [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Craigslist anew

The Chicago Craigslist is sort of revamped. Looking more like it's older and bigger siblings in SF and NY, the site also sports a new Events Calendar which is already being abused for all sorts of events spam. Speaking of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, he now has a weblog.

50 Most Common (?) Used CD's

Pitchfork has a new feature up, the 50 Most Common Used CD's. I'll count this as indigenous to Chicago, as I"ve scoured bargain bins elsewhere with different results. While it brings back memories of many hours spent at the old Dr. Wax with about half of these discs, the other half I hope are true, as I need to go and find some of the better ones on the list.

2 Stroke Buzzworthy

2 Stroke Buzz, by local scooter boy Bryan Bedell, was featured in the New York Time's "Men's Fashion of the Times" magazine this past weekend.

Two words: Squirrel Cop.

This American Life: Crimebusters and Crossed Wires, the second volume of selected stories from WBEZ's award-winning radio program This American Life, will be in stores November 11th (although public radio stations will be using the CD as a pledge premium in October, so start saving your ducats). Along with the much celebrated "Squirrel Cop" story, the double-CD collection will include the "Greatest Phone Message of All Time" story, which ranks right up there as one of the funniest and most talked about stories that TAL has broadcast. Highly recommended.

Get your war on tour

Anyone want to bring Davis Rees to Chicago? The creator of Get your war on is on tour, and willing to add additional stops. All that's needed is space and an overhead transparency projector.

No East Submission

No East Web Magazine is looking for submissions. The site will no longer adopt a "magazine" stance with quarterly issues but is being revamped for a weekly freeform 425x600px format.

Coupling Contoversy

Apparently, NBC's new show "Coupling," an Americanized version of a hit BBC show, is too racy for Salt Lake City and Terre Haute: stations in those religious towns canceled the show before it even aired. The show, which is set in Chicago, premiers tomorrow night; Channel 11 is running the original Coupling on Sundays at 10pm.

384,000 pennies

Tyree Guyton, the man behind Detroit's Heidelberg Project, has a new endeavor: to cover a house with pennies. The outsider artist plans to use the penny-covered House That Makes Sense to serve as a gallery for children's art exhibits, and a workshop.

Bloggingworks for Business

Coudal Partners and 37signals still have a couple spots left open for their Bloggingworks workshop next Friday, Oct. 3. Tell your boss -- no, tell the CEO -- this is one workshop your company can't afford to pass up.

Metrosexuals PRO and CON

Why it's on I have no idea, but two columnists have weighed in on the Metrosexual phenomenon--including hometown boy and ESPN Radio anchor Mike Greenberg. PRO...and...CON

Wireless for a Day

This Thursday, anyone with an Intel-powered, wireless-enabled notbook PC can access "public WiFi" for free as part of "One Unwired Day," a promotion of the new service/capabilities. Check out this PDF to see where you can jump on in Chicago, or use the hotspot finder to check for locations in the 'burbs and elsewhere.

City Babes

For the city-dwelling mother-to-be, Urban Baby Chicago is a comprehensive directory to resources in and around the Chicago area. Whether you're looking for an obstetrician, maternity clothes, where to buy organic baby food or baby-friendly cultural attractions, this is the site for you. Urban Baby also includes message boards so you can meet other urban mommies.

Guac Cocaine

Police caught drug smugglers yesterday who hid their cocaine in buckets of frozen guacamole -- it's unclear if the intended buyers of the 312 kilos of coke would get free tortilla chips with their order.

Rock on Chicago!

In memoriam, have fun with the Wesley Willis song generator (via Coudal.)

New Deadtech site + show

Deadtech, the Chicago art-noise-installation gallery, has launched a new site with more frequently updated content and space for collective editorship. Also, check out this month's electronic music show with Evolution Control Committee on Thursday the 25th, 8pm, 3321 W. Fullerton, $5 donation.

Rhinocerous Theater Festival

...started September 18th and runs for a bloody long time until October 26th. Which is not a bad thing. Held at various indie type venues across the city, there's quite a bit to see.

Chicago Chefs

Curious about who Chicago's great chefs are aside from Mr. Trotter or Mr. Bayless, some poking around revealed this list of Guide to Chefs of Chicago and the ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, a chef's guild of sorts.

Aesop Rocks Thursday

Off to the left coast this weekend so I'll miss the Aesop Rock show this Thursday. Lyrically he's consistently been one of the most promising things about hip hop for the past four years - sort of a cross between The Goats and Allen Ginsburg : Now it's an honor and I spell it with the 'H' I stole from heritage / Marry crutch stolen wretched refuge refuse my teaming resonance / I promise temperance storm breed with a leaning conscious / In a credence relax responsive with my sports outsource the wattage... (more from Definitive Jux)

Imaginary Year

Jeremy P. Bushnell is writing a "serialized web narrative" following the lives of a group of fictional Chicagoans over the course of a year. Imaginary Year is updated every Monday and Friday; the newest "book" begins today. Read also Bushnell's manifesto, explaining the philosophy behind the project.

Chicago bloggers' maps.

After langushing behind cities like NYC and London for months and months, Chicago finally has not one but two sites devoted to matching up bloggers by (El and Metra) train station.

She's in!

Former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun is officially running for president. (Trib login: gapers/gapers)


The movie version of the Pulitzer prize-winning play "Proof" is going to be shot on the University of Chicago campus (and other locations around Hyde Park) next month. Keep your eyes peeled for Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, or Jake Gyllenhaal running around Chicago sometime soon.

Underworld Reviewed

Underworld opened in Chicago this weekend to generally snarky reviews. My favorite has got to be from The Village Voice which begins with the words "Worst Don Delilo adaptation, ever." Personally, I'm intrigued - Kate Beckinsale in a cat suit chasing the Bobby Thomson homer or werewolves painting abandoned bombers in the desert. What more could you want?

Fish on College

UIC Prof and intellectual gadfly Stanley Fish has an op-ed piece on education in the New York Times (login: gapers/gapers). I'm not a big Fish fan, but the guy who coined the term 'boutique multiculturalism' can't be that bad.

Bald Eagle Benefit

Plum Island, near Starved Rock, is a primary nesting ground for Illinois's 3,100 bald eagles -- and it's slated for bulldozing to build vacation homes. This Saturday, between 2 and 5 PM, visit the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library and meet Deshka, a 7-year-old female bald eagle, and representatives of SOAR (Save Our Amazing Raptors) to learn how you can help preserve this habitat. If you can't make it, sign Lt. Governor Quinn's petition online.


Coudal Partners has been tracking baseball fan sentiment for The Reader for the past few weeks; find this week's Hope-O-Meter on page 6 of Section 1 -- or look at previous charts here. As the Cubs hang on and the Sox falter, next week's chart should be interesting.

Jane Goodall

Did you know that Jane Goodall is going to be at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on October 4th? While tickets are sold out, they may be adding a new event, so if you're interested, give them a call. For $11 you can "climb" through the Gombe treetops, imitate chimp calls, and see see how your strength compares to that of a chimp. Exhibit opens today and continues through January 4th.

Ground Control to Major Tom

You can listen to live transmissions of the Chicago Approach frequency (via Real Audio)used for plane arrivals and departures for the west suburban satellite airports of O'Hare. The site also includes a nifty aeronautical map of the Chicago area.

Pimps at Sea

Arrrgh! Any o' you mateys who be wantin' to seize some true booty this 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' would do well t' plunk down a few pieces o' eight for Pimps at Sea. An' if ye be likin' to play the game don't ferget to pick yer own pirate name. Arrgh! Pieces o' Eight! Ducats! Ducats!

Smoking Ban on Beaches?

As a recently turned non-smoker, a proposed smoking ban on Chicago beaches caughy my eye. The idea is two-fold: to protect public health and cut down on litter. Cigarette butts are the biggest component of litter collected on beaches, representing 42 percent of all trash. Can a ban like this be enforced in such a large city? If you'd like to participate in the annual cleanup, it's this Saturday starting at 9 am.

Walk Like a Chicagoan

Be a tourist in your own city. There's a ton of walking tours available in Chicago. Slip into some comfortable shoes and learn arcane facts about the city. The Chicago Historical Society offers neighborhood tours on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and Mondays at 1:00 p.m. for $10. The Chicago Architecture Foundation conducts walking and bus tours on the weekends and most walking tours cost between $5-15.

Arr matey!

Andlest you forget you filthy swab o' swine, best ye be speakin' like a pirate today. Avast yer scurvy landlubbers! Pour me some rum!

Bach Mass in B Minor

I ran into someone singing in Music of the Baroque's upcoming performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor, which is arguably the greatest piece of choral music ever written. She says its exhausting but the piece is coming along well. In order to really get it, you should read up a bit first before you get on over to a performance.

Chicago Music Scene dot com

Chicago Music Scene has a comprehensive music listing and calendar. Their Clubs section is large and vast and their site covers all kinds of music. Not the prettiest site but makes for fast loading.

Kid-run School

The Daily Herald has an interesting article about the Heartlight School in Palatine, an unusual education environment where "troubled kids" basically run the school, deciding what to learn about each day and dealing with discipline themselves. The school is in desparate need of donations, so if you feel generous, contribute.

It's a Small World....

The World Music Festival is on right now through September 21. Enjoy music from Greece, Argentina, Ghana, and just about everywhere else at a variety of venues around town. Most events are $15 or less and many are free.

Wright Stuff

The Wright Brothers' first flight will be recreated on the lawn of the Museum of Science & Industry this Saturday as part of its Adventures in Flight exhibition. The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn," a replica of the famous 1903 craft, will fly several times 9-11am (or until it breaks, whichever comes first).

Renegade Craft Fair

The Renegade Craft Fair will be taking place Saturday from 11-5 in Wicker Park. There are more than 70 exhibitors and some of the best creative crafters from Chicago and around the country will be showing up to sell their wares. So, if you like supporting the actual artists and not the artist's pimps, this is the place to come spend your money.

RedEye Spreads

Following the success of Red Eye (and its nemesis, Red Streak) The Tribune Co. is launching a "commuter tabloid daily" in New York, to be called amNewYork. The Red papers' success has already spawned similar papers in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, as well as smaller cities like Boise and Topeka.

Wash Your Hands

Not only are men dirtier than women, but Chicago men are dirtier than men at every large airport in North America. Don't believe me? Ask the American Society of Microbiology. Yick!

Corgan Follows Jewel's Lead

I know, you're still upset that Zwan broke up. Well, you can ask Billy Corgan, "Dude, WTF?" tonight at the Art Institute's Rubloff Auditorium, where he'll be reading his original poetry and playing a little music for the Poetry Center of Chicago. There are still a few tickets available at the door (which opens at 6pm) if you've got the $35 to spend.


It looks like the Wicker Park Rapist may been captured. Police arrested two men who allegedly worked together to attack women this summer. Although police charged Dennis Robinson and Willie Moore in just two attacks, police continue to investigate their involment in other Wicker Park sexual assaults.

Important Update: Halfway To St. Pat's

So in case you haven't heard, today is halfway to St. Patrick's Day. Many Irish pubs are having "Halfway To St. Pat's Specials" where you can get a real bargain on some good booze. A good starting point in the venerable KIPLog's Irishmap, though the Chicago Bar Project might have some places to go too. As if you didn't already have a Irish bar in your neighboorhood that's your favorite.

5-second rule

It seems appropriate that it would take a high school senior to study the validity of the 5-second rule. Jillian Clarke, a senior at the Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences, spent her summer in a program at the University of Illinois: Urbana studying how quickly e.coli would tranfer to cookies and candy, who would be more likely to eat food that fell on the floor, and just how clean the university's floors were.

Early to Bed Turns 2

Continuing the sexy theme today, here's an early warning for Saturday night: Early to Bed, Chicago's first woman-owned sex shop, is celebrating its 2nd anniversary with a party. Pop by at 5232 N. Sheridan Rd. between 7pm and 11pm for punch, cake and one-night-only sale items. Custom corset makers Sexier than Skin will be on hand to show some of their wares and take orders. Afte this event, you'll definitely be ready for the burlesque benefit the next day.

Chicago: MLB Kind of Town

A survey of 90 Major League players indicates Chicago is overwhelmingly the favorite spot to play road games. The restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and cleanliness impress, but it's the people who make it special. NYC comes in 2nd, trailing considerably behind us, though. "It's like New York, but clean and not as chaotic", says Oakland A's pitcher Tim Hudson. Take that, Big Apple!

Burlesque Benefits

It's gonna be a tassel-twirlin' weekend -- for charity, even! Friday night, it's girlie performances and hot-dog eating contests at "CRISPY TITS: We Dunt Burnt the Trailer Down," a benefit for two burlesque babes who recently lost everything in a house fire. Festivities start at 9 pm, 840 W. Washington, $5 donation to get in the door. And then this Sunday, you can help burlesque lady Ravenous Gorge care for her injured pussy (seriously, her cat needed emergency surgery, and there are vet bills). A Pussycat Benefit at El Gato Negro, 1461 W. Irving Park, also features Betsy Chainsaw, drag acts Lusty Lez and Triage Sparkle, "infamous faggot punk rockers" The Rotten Fruits, plus a kissing booth, auctions, and a chance to play Twister with Jesus. The frolicking starts at 8 pm, $8-$15 suggested donation.

Whirling Dervishes Attack!

What's a whirling dervish you say? As part of a Turkish-American festival being held in downtown Chicago this week, you can find out tonight at the Chicago Theater. The Sufi Nightwebsite has all of the details.

Fall Color Report

There's no doubt that there's a hint of fall in the air, and that has me thinking about watching the leaves change. Both Wisconsin and Michigan have weekly updates about their fall colors, as does drought-ridden Iowa. And if you're wondering why leaves change color, the forest service has an excellent site to explain why leaves change color along with fall foliage updates from around the country.

Mama Smartypants

Mimi Smartypants is having a baby! (Well, not really: she's adopting a baby from China.)

Bike 2010 Plan

Chicago is undoubtedly one of the best US cities to bike in. Mayor Daley's efforts with the coordination and handling of such an environment by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation has been solid and they are now working towards the Bike 2010 Plan. You can read the overview, attend one of the meetings, share your thoughts or read about some of the comments people have written. If you use your bike regularly or even occasionally, this is important and we're fortunate enough to have good people working for this. So make your voice heard.

Hover to Milwaukee

You know, the drive to Milwaukee is boring. Not much to look at, other than the Mars Cheese Castle and outlet malls. Wouldn't it be more fun to take a hovercraft on Lake Michigan?

50 Years of Segregation

ChronWatch, a media watchdog normally focused on the San Francisco Chronicle, is publishing a series on segregation in Chicago by UofC divinity student Robert Klein Engler. Read the first three installments here: 1, 2, 3.

Dining Discount

You like to eat? I like to eat, too. But my dinner at Butterfield 8 is going to cost me 10% less than your dinner. Why? Because I'm a member of idine and you aren't. So? So, I save 10-20% at many restaraunts around the city and no one knows I'm getting a discount.

Justice for Barry

Barry Cunnane was shot in Ravenswood on May 24. His killer is still at large. A benefit to raise reward money will be held Sunday, October 5th from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. The event will feature a bevy of Irish music, contemporary and traditional, and a raffle. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Free and Cheap Theater

Free and Cheap Theater is a list of discounts at various theaters in the city -- from student rates to industry nights. The FACT card gets you even better deals.

Yo DJ!

Hit the Decks is a new inner city youth program giving kids a creative outlet in the form of DJ lessons. On October 3, they'll be throwing a benefit at Metro/Smartbar, pitting four DJ teams against each other. Looks like a swell time.

Fade to Black

Johnny Cash is dead [Tribune: gapers/gapers]. And we are worse for it. Exactly three months after losing his longtime partner, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash succumbed from complications of diabetes at 71. "As sure as night is dark and day is light / I keep you on my mind both day and night." Amen.

Sweet Home Chicago

Read a take on Chicago by a brit, who came looking for gangsters and found out something else about our city, "New York is obsessed with being New York and LA is obsessed with - well, what isn't it obsessed with - but Chicago is America." Is Chicago really a picture of America?

Go Bug Newt

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, will be signing his book "Gettysburg, a Novel of the Civil War" at the Borders at 150 N. State St. today starting at 12:30 pm -- just in time for some lunchtime entertainment.

Elvis Under The Stars

Frankly, I can't think of a more unholy combination than an Elvis impersonator and really heavy, traditional German food. But that wouldn't stop me from going to see Elvis Under The Stars at the Black Forest Restaurant. Well-known Elvis impersonator Rick Saucedo, aka The King Of Blue Suede Soul, will be performing and you can munch on some Thuringer or Brats while enjoying Elvis tunes. Sept 13 - dinner at 6:30, show's at 8.

A Haiku

What a great resource
is Chicago Poetry
dot com
? Take a look.


WBEZ reported this morning that So-And-So's Button-O-Matic, the gumball machines distributed around town that dispense buttons designed by local artists instead of candies, has branched out to New York, with three machines installed in locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. (By comparison, there are 13 machines in Chicago.) So you can tell your hipster NYC friends that the buttons were here first!

Blood Donations

If you are wondering what you can do today, September 11, you might want to consider giving blood. While the city usually has 3 days worth of blood in storage, the supplies are dangerously low with only 1/2 day supply on hand. There are many places in the city to donate. Visit one today. :)

Asleep with the fishes

Oh, to be a kid again. This Friday the Shedd Aquarium is hosting Asleep With the Fishes, an overnight event in which kids and their parents are invited to bring sleeping bags and pillows for a night of roaming the museum to experience life on the coral reef. The cost is $50, but it includes all activities including a special marine mammals presentation, dinner, bedtime snack, continental breakfast and parking. A quick look at their website shows the event is sold-out.

Da 'Spos

As pennant fever surges, the Indianapolis Star makes an odd suggestion: MLP should move the Montreal Expos to Chicago -- they play at U.S. Cellular Field when the Sox are on the road. Meanwhile, Las Vegas bookies are worried about a Red Line World Series.

War Resistance Film

Almost six months ago 750 people were arrested during an anti-war protest that took place downtown. Jon Groot, Seth Skundrick, and Linda and Blake Beckstrom have created a documentary which encompasses thirty different personal stories. All the proceeds of Where We Stood: Chicago's Resistance to the U.S. War on Iraq will benefit the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Peace Pledge-Chicago. (Reservations are recommended.)

"Go Veggie" Cook Out

Join the "Go Veggie!" organization for a family-friendly cook out complete with "burgers", "hot dogs", games and more on Sunday, September 14th at the North Park Nature Center. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. The North Park Nature Center is located at 5801 N. Pulaski Road. For more information, visit the Go Veggie! website.

H & M Grand Opening

Midwestern fashionistas are giddy with anticipation as the first H & M clothing store in Chicago is scheduled to open this Friday, September 12th at noon. The store is located on the Magnificent Mile, 840 N. Michigan, in the old FAO Schwartz flagship store. 95 in-house designers at the H&M headquarters in Sweden, bring you runway looks at discount prices. Yeah, baby, yeah!

Depave the Drive

The Campaign for a Free and Clear Lakefront have just this small, reasonable request: to depave Lakeshore Drive. Buy hey, Hizzoner, Da Mare seems to think it's a good idea, so we should be seeing those bulldozers and jackhammers on the drive any day now, right? (Probably at 2am without warning...)

DIY Trunk Show

The DIY Trunk Show still has 14 spots available. If you're the creative type who would like to try selling your wares, email them to tell them you're interested.

Art Institute Shakeup

The Art Institute's long-time director and president, James N. Wood, has announced his retirement, just as the museum begins plans for a major new wing.

Chicago Gangs, Redux

Chicago Hoodz offers a list of city gangs, past and present, along with a gallery of gang art and "compliment cards," which were passed out by gang members in the '70s and '80s. Interesting stuff. (Many more links in the MetaFilter thread, where it was posted by local blogger macadamiaranch)

Wild Chicago: The Book

That Wild Chicago book we were just talking about? Host Will Clinger will be signing books tonight at the Barnes & Noble located at the corner of Clark and Diversey, beginning at 7:30. There will also be a group of Stitch'n'Bitchers knitting live in case you'd like to meet them.

Fab Five in Chicago

The cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, also known as the "Fab Five", are in Chicago today taping an Oprah show. Keep your eye out for the guys. Incidentally, the food & wine guy, Ted Allen, is from Rogers Park here in Chicago.

Wild Chicago Goes Paper

This is unfortunately the last season for Channel 11's wonderful Wild Chicago -- financial problems at WTTW and the hosts' interests in moving on have cut the show down in the prime of its life. However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a companion book has just been published, so you can follow along during the no-doubt endless reruns to come.

Slow Down

The number of police chases in the city dropped by more than half in June and July, to 46 from 111 in the same period last year.

Lucky Lucky

LuckyMountain is the work of one Kelly Marie Breslin. Browse through the extensive catalogue of work, which consists of amazing artwork, installations, screenprints and the coolest pillows ever. And then go buy her stuff, available at Penelope's in Wicker Park and Untitled in Lincoln Park.

We're #1!

"Illinois had more spilled shipments of hazardous materials - many of them in Chicago's suburbs - than any other state last year." Yes, yes, move to the suburbs, kiddos! Be near the hazmat spills! Mua ha ha haaa....

"It's like Chicago."

"For a city that's not supposed to have power, there's lights all over the place. It's like Chicago," said hometown boy Donald Rumsfeld on his most recent visit to Iraq. Rumsfeld also visited troops stationed in Babylon, Iraq "and said he felt at home with the Polish contingent as his home town of Chicago was heavily populated with Poles."

Panel discussion

Do you think you know a lot about the media's role in how the public reacts to government policies and regulations? If you do, the Zine Guide would like you to join a panel or be a speaker for a day-long event featuring panels, speakers, readers, and films.

Muted Tones

Muted Tones is a very cool audio and sensory arts project. Curators are invited to fill up ten minutes with audio which is then posted. This month, friend of the Block, Alicia Frantz has posted a piece called "El" which collages the audio from her rides on our beloved train system. Be sure to listen.

Gapers Block 37 (tm)

Looks like the Guv is looking to get more corporate sponsorship for things in Illinois. My suggestion: make Chicago sponsored by BankOne. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Cycle Smithy

The Cycle Smithy, the Lincoln Park bike shop, has a surprisingly good website, featuring loads of archival material about Schwinn Bicycle Co. -- including a WWII propoganda film (Quicktime 22MB) of Schwinn's Chicago factory.

Monkee Mania!

There's nothing quite like turning on WLUW 88.7 and finding not just Monkees songs, but entire Monkees episodes being broadcast. It's still going on, so check it out if you enjoy the non-Beatles. Dig!

Around the Coyote

It's that time of year again, when young men's thoughts turn to ART -- or something like it. Around the Coyote begins tomorrow, September 5th. Art exhibitions admission is $5 each day.

Help a brother out

Mr. Phineas X Jones needs your help. First look here. Pick one or two or three of the many amazing choices. Then drop him a line. Do it. NOW.

Jenny On The Block

Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere are filming their, uh, film, Shall We Dance? downtown today - right around rush hour this evening. If you're around the 333 Wacker Drive building, tell J.Lo that I ain't impressed with the rocks that she got.

Clark and Downing St., please

Soon you'll be able to ride in style, cruising the Boule Mich in a London Taxi: Yellow Cab will be running the distinctive coaches starting later this month. (Tip via Dave at Coudal)

Chicagoland Gangs

Ever wonder what the initials on the garage doors in your alley meant? Here's a list of gangs in Chicagoland and their symbols. Beware: it's based on a 1996 police handout. More up-to-date info is available at

'Reader' sparks debate in Libertyville

The unauthorized removal of copies of the Chicago Reader from the Cook Memorial Library in suburban Libertyville because of an "obscene" word in the paper's headline sparks a debate between First Amendment rights and "community standards." Read the article from the Pioneer Press.

Breakbone DanceCo

Breakbone DanceCo is a "dance exile" troupe, fighting gravity "as if it didn't exist." They're performing Logotype vs2.1 tonight through Saturday, 8pm, at Ideotech, 2000 W. Fulton. Tickets are $12 at the door. More info here.

Renee models GB Button

Renee shows off her new cuff (larger). Undoubtedly, we're honoured around these parts since she's sporting one of our buttons. On a side note: the store will be re-opening soon, with posters, buttons and stickers and such.

Shark Attack

Lake Michigan may be freshwater, but that doesn't mean there are no sharks here: the Chicago Sharks Australian Rules Football team wraps up their season this month with two games against the Milwaukee Bombers. This Saturday they're playing up in Milwaukee, and the season finale is 4:30pm on Sept. 20 at Waveland Field in Lincoln Park.

The Blog "Phenomenon"

Of interest to bloggers in Chicago and elsewhere, a columnist in Canada's Globe and Mail writes today about his discovery of the "blog phenomenon," which he writes, "is perhaps the strangest side of the Internet. It's stranger even than all the porn."

How to: Finger becomes penis

Ruthie shows us evidence (scroll down a little) of how to make your finger turn into a small penis. Make sure you credit her the next time you work that into your party repertoire. It's a sure bet to impress the folks.

Science, Art & Technology

Science, Art, and Technology, from the Art Institute of Chicago, is a website dedicated to exploring relationship between science and art within a museum setting. Originally offered as a course to Chicago Public School science teachers, the site includes sections on the chemistry and physics of light and color; art and astronomy; and conservation. You can view the original lectures online or read summaries of the lectures.

McDonalds Still Clueless

McDonalds is changing its slogan once again, from "We love to see you smile" to "I'm lovin' it!" The company stated it's positive this rebranding will help reverse the profit slides of the past two years. They've also hired Justin Timberlake as a spokeperson. AdAge's Jonah Bloom wonders if staff attitude is more pressing area to concentrate on.

Chicago Business Ethics Conference

The Integritas Institute of the John Paul II Newman Center at UIC is hosting the First Annual Chicago Business Ethics Conference (pdf). They've got some seriously big names coming too - the CEO of ABN-AMRO (aka LaSalle Bank), Coleen Rowley (the agent who broke open shoddy work at the FBI after Sept 11), and a Pritzker. The whole thing is Sept 22, and is only $75, which includes lunch and parking.

Post Chicago

Need a nice new poster by some local talent? Post Chicago is an initiative to bring poster works to the public space. At least that's what they tell us. The posters are nicely priced (read: cheap) so get on over there, support the arts, local talent and get something nice for those bare walls. Maybe you've spotted them around town?

Hideout Block Party

Summer may be unofficially over, but there's still some outdoor fun to be had! This weekend, the 7th Annual Hideout Block Party features a heapin' helpin' of great local (Andrew Bird, Waco Brothers, Kelly Hogan, various Poi Dogs) and imported (Erase Errata, Demolition Doll Rods, the Dirtbombs) musical entertainments. There's even a kids' stage with Twang Bang! Proceeds benefit Tuesday's Child, PLAY, and Alejandro Fund. Festivities occurring in and around the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago.



GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15