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. 


Saturday, July 20

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Prez 39 Disses Graffiti Blasters

Chicago blogger Kathy Moseley is fascinated by the mystery of Wicker Park scrawler "Jimmy Carter," whose work is carefully curated at her Flickr account. Has the Georgian ex-president taken to tagging, or is there another explanation? All that's left to say is, Jimmy Carter says, "Yes."

Takin' it to the Streets

Tomorrow's immigration rally has been moved from Daley Plaza to Hutchinson Field in Grant Park because of expected overflow crowds. Meanwhile Cook could become the first County in America to become a sanctuary for all immigrants regardless of legal status.

Coolest. Bike. Ever.

Even if riding bikes downtown on a Friday isn't your thing, Chicago's Critical Mass is also a dance party, delightful freakshow, a showcase for taking bikes out of the trash and doing really cool things with them. Like this beauty from one of Chicago's more innovative bike designers.

What a Wonderful World

The people--by way of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism--have spoken, announcing today the Seven Wonders of Illinois. Chicagoland's official wonders: Wrigley Field and the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette. Envious as usual from their diminutive position of faded Midwestern preeminence, this newswriter in St. Louis wants you to think that Missouri is wonderful too. Truth be told, I'm more of a Colossus of Rhodes guy myself anyway.

Crain's Overseas

Crain's Chicago Business' full Doing Business in India feature is now online. It's a pretty interesting look at how Chicago-based businesses are moving into India, such as how McDonald's is finding success in a country where cows are sacred, and how John Deere is changing the way road construction is done.

Rejoice Sports Fans

Chicago sports fans really had something to cheer about this weekend. The Cubs, the Bulls and the Fire all defeated the defending champions of their respective leagues. Unfortunately the Cubs victory is tinged with sadness; the last game of their series was canceled due to the Cardinal family's loss of pitcher Josh Hancock in a car crash.

Writing On the Walls

Shawn Hazen moved to Chicago about a year ago, and almost immediately began taking pictures of the city's vibrant type. [via]

Third Grade Architectural Modeling

Elementary students at the Lab School have been building their favorite pieces of the Chicago skyline in Joyce Carrasco's class for more than a decade. Check out examples from the class of 2004-2005. Dibs on the Morton Salt building! [via]

Get Out the Map

Now that it's finally nice, our hearts turn to vacation! Check out Ask Metafilter for some great ideas on where to go when you want to escape Chicago. Ideas include cheap hotels in Milwaukee, Taliesin and dunes up the yin-yang.

Hillside Landfill, Source of Odor, Is Closing

If you've ever driven the Eisenhower expressway, and found yourself saying, "what's that smell?" right between CarMax on the south and a Holiday Inn on the north, you've sniffed methane gas from the Hilliside Landfill. The Attorney General forced its closing back in January. A new owner is now getting it done. Check their progress on

Enjoying the Hoopla

The Bulls won their first playoff series since "the Jordan era" on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Miami Heat. Up next: Detroit.

Major Teacher Purge

Following last year's teacher firing, Chicago Public Schools gave notice to more than 775 probationary teachers on Friday.

Rush Onwards!

Best wishes to Chicago Rush head coach Mike Hohensee, who was hit by a car Friday afternoon and released from the hospital yesterday. Our defending Arena Football League Champion Rush are set to play Jon Bon Jovi's Philadelphia Soul Monday night (7pm, ESPN2) at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

"Put Traction Issue Up to Straphangers"

The Tribune has an interesting list of Chicago transit facts (with an inexplicably capitalized headline).

Give Away Your Glasses, Save the Earth

Recycling is good, but reusing is better. As part of Earth Month Chicago, area eyewear vendors are participating in a program--from today till next Sunday (6 May)--that collects donated eyeglasses for families in developing countries. So if you have some old specs you don't really need anymore, do a good deed and drop them off at your local LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Sears, or Target Optical.

No Tinkers. No Evers. No Chance.

Talk about talking smack! The St. Louis Post-Dispatch rewrites a famous baseball poem to articulate why the Cubs will NEVER win the World Series.

Carol Moseley Braun Attacked

Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun was mugged last night.

Get French! Urm, Fresh!

The Nettelhorst French Market opens this Saturday, April 28th, from 8am to 2pm. Go for farm-grown fruits and veggies, flowers so fresh they'll last way into next week, yummy pastries and breads, handmade crafts and other assorted goodies. It's at 3252 N. Broadway (at Melrose) and runs every Saturday through the first week in November.

The Canyonization of Evanston Continues

While everyone is still abuzz about the Calatrava Spire (it just won approval for a zoning change, btw), developers have quietly pushed a plan for a 49-story condo tower in downtown Evanston that would become the tallest building ever in Chicago's suburbs. If you've visited Evanston lately, you know that it's gotten pretty tall in recent years, but this one would be twice as tall as what's there now.

Contemporary Art on the South Side

The Renaissance Society, the University of Chicago's contemporary art advocate and gallery, is hosting its next opening on Sunday. If you've never visited, the Katharina Grosse show should be a fine introduction to the gallery, which has exhibited everyone from Picasso to Bourgeois. If that's not your thing, you may want to check out the Hyde Park Art Center's 24-hour Creative Move TOO.

Nesting Time

This week's Reader is the "Nest Issue," taking a look at people who've transformed their rental apartments into thoroughly personalized spaces -- included GB friends Brandy Agerbeck and Derek Erdman.

Flora y Fauna

In today's Sun-Times, we learn about how to protect trees from the coming cicada swarms. Also, rats as big as cats!

Circus Circus

Local circus freak Ken Harck just made another acquisition. This time it's a rare Ringling Bros. poster.

Profiling or Prevention?

An Asian-American student at northwest suburban Cary-Grove High School was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct over what he wrote in a homework essay that was apparently very violent but not aimed at anyone or anything in specific. The kid is a straight-A student with no known history of violence, so the question -- which will no doubt be argued in court -- is whether he was really a threat or if this is an overreaction in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Two Tales of One Raid

Interesting exercise in alternative media coverage of the Federal raid at 26th & Albany: Indymedia. Second City Cop 1, 2.

Dine Out for Life

Tonight is a great opportunity to treat yourself to a good meal and also donate to a worthy cause--at the same time! Dining out for Life, held at numerous restaurants around the city and suburbs (click here for a list of this year's participants), is an event where a portion of your meal cost will be donated to AIDSCare Chicago, a local service organization.

Corn Oil vs. Eggs

The year's first volley of the epic human vs. seagull battle has been launched.

"My Happening, & It Freaks Me Out."

Wonder how Roger Ebert's appearance at the Overlooked Film Festival went? Mark Caro has a report.

Transmission Feature: Some Sea and Cake

Today in Transmission, check out our interview with Chicago's Sam Prekop, frontman of the fabulous Sea and Cake as he dishes about the band and their new album, Everybody. [Also, won't you make some stickers or buttons for us?]

Boom Boom Boom Boom

Amsterdam-based troupe Boom Chicago is headlining at the 10th Annual Chicago Improv Festival tonight. Friends and fans of Quimby's may be interested to hear that store founder Steven Svymbersky, who left Chicago 10 years ago to work with the troupe, will be with them, and plans to spend all day Saturday at Quimby's. Stop by and say howdy! He'd love to see all his old pals and gals.

van der Rohed Trip?

Now you can get inside Mies' masterpiece, Farnsworth House, with the help of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Join the CAF for a seven-hour tour of Farnsworth House, located near Plano, Illinois, and other landmark buildings. Find out more about the tour as well as how you can reserve your spot.

Brett's Cafe Closing

This is the last weekend for brunch and breadbaskets at Brett's Cafe Americain, a Roscoe Village standby for more than a decade. Owner Brett Knobel sold the place and is moving to Mexico, where she plans to open an Indian-style hotel. Rumor has it Orange will be opening its third location in the spot.

I am Shocked. Shocked!

Yeah, Prior's out for the season.

Best Olympics T-Shirt Yet

Whet Moser shares a 2016 t-shirt design I think in some circles would sell at least as well as the official one.

Workers Unite! and Learn History!

There are many places and opportunities to celebrate May Day (the worker holiday that most people in the world celebrate instead of the US's Labor Day) this year and GB's Slowdown calendar will keep you in the loop! On Friday you can get some history lessons with the folk's organizing a free conference on anarchism and a film festival at Loyola, the conference continues through the weekend but the downtown walking tour starts friday at 330. Then on May 1st you can join up with the immigrant rights demonstration that promises to be huge (especially after last night's raid's in Little Village) and on May 2 there is another walking tour and celebration at the Hull House.

Art and the City

A Danish Art organization recently published a catalog of activist art projects that happened in Chicago between 2000-05 called "Trashing The Neoliberal City." The projects span from the 2001 Department of Space and Land Reclamation to the 2004 ASK ME!, the Pilot TV efforts of 2004 and the 2005 CHAos hoax on the Chicago Housing Authority. Download the free PDF here or check the event details for tonight's release party at Mess Hall as part of Version 07 on Slowdown.

Top Dog

They haven't got much attention from the local press, nor did they have a winning record in their first season, but the Chicago Hounds can at least claim one thing: Greg Puhalski was named UHL Coach of the Year.

Jordan Speculation

Here's one from the utterly unconfirmed & completely irresponsible gossip department: nice alleged pic of Michael Jordan dancing w/ cigar and some friends in Cabo San Lucas. Bonus speculation: what if Jordan was picked by the 76ers?

Iowa Bishop?

There's been an arrest in the case "the Bishop", where someone mailed pipe bombs to financial companies in Chicago and Kansas City from a suburban post office. Prosecutors identified the suspect as John P. Tomkins, 42, of Dubuque, Iowa, an employee of an Iowa manufacturing company.

Traveller's Journey Ending

As reported previously on GB, the fantastic guidebook & travel gear store The Savvy Traveller is losing its lease. This week, signs have appeared in the shop's window that say they're closing up at the end of this month. They're currently selling off their entire stock at deep discounts; today you can get 40% off your purchases, and if you wait until Friday, everything in the store is 50% off. This is your final chance to stop by the corner of Jackson & Michigan to stock up on all your travelling needs, so please stop by, do some shopping and wish them bon voyage!

ChronicBabe 2.0

ChronicBabe, the locally-produced website for women with chronic health conditions, just launched a redesign. New features include a chronic conditions resource center and an online store. Additionally, if you sign up for Goodie Bags, the site's electronic newsletter, you get a free ebook copy of How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit.

Eat, Love, Blog

How do you combine office romance, food and blogging? Why, Olive and Mason of course. They're back reviewing restaurants after a year's hiatus. Check out what they've been up to and listen to their theme song. (Via Action-Squad)

Bikes, Pillows, And Black Rocks

This Friday packs an unusual wallop of good fun: a monthly urban pillowfight (warning: myspace) is planned; Chicago Critical Mass heats up with its April ride, and then end it all with a beer and some friends at the Gapersblock get-together at Black Rock.

Birthday Wishes for Two Chicago Institutions

Happy 65th to a certain mayor of a certain Midwestern town on the shores of a certain lake. And today also marks the 23rd anniversary of the first broadcast of WTTW's nightly newsmagazine, Chicago Tonight. On the inaugural episode, legendary broadcaster John Callaway sat down with Mayor Harold Washington.

Mmmm, Free PB&J

...and we're not talking Skippy. It seems like everyone's suddenly into the IKEA-tastic pop trio Peter Bjorn and John (and I'm no exception; the whistling bit from "Young Folks" is totally my current ringtone). If you don't have tickets to one of their two sold-out shows at the Empty Bottle May 8, or to Lollapalooza, where they'll be on the bill as well, the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. has announced a free in-store by the soft-rock Swedesters that afternoon.

Uh, Do You Happen to Have an Extinguisher in That Utility Belt, Batman?

Looks like there's a fire taking place at the old Post Office, where the latest installment of the Batman series, The Dark Knight, is being filmed. Note that I didn't say, "Holy ________!" at any point.

Get Out of the Ballpark!

And onto this new web site: Out of the Ballpark is "the everything that's close to Wrigley Field guide" that boasts info on dining "beyond peanuts," a handy shopping guide for folks who aren't looking just for jerseys and ballcaps, maps and travel guides and more. Great for out-of-towners and locals alike.

Watch It Happen

The Reader has posted the video documenting the point-blank shooting of an unarmed man by an out-of-uniform police officer mentioned in its current cover story.

Ebert Not Hiding From Camera

Roger Ebert will be attending his ninth annual Overlooked Film Festival, and in today's Sun-Times he's written a new column explaining that he's not going to be hiding his illness when he steps back into the public eye this week.

Olympic Arts

With all of the hubbub about the Olympics, there's an argument that sports shouldn't get all of the attention. In a city currently alive with Version>07, and soon to have Artropolis going too, art should also be at the forefront. Tribune art critics provide a few conceptions of how art could work with the Olympics.

Track That Bus!

Starting this summer, the CTA has announced that it will expand its GPS-enabled bus tracking system to all North side buses that come into contact with the three-track operations on the Red, Brown and Purple lines.

What LaSalle Bank's Sale Really Means To Us

The $21 billion sale of LaSalle Bank to Bank of America is a relatively small part of one of the largest financial mergers ever by LaSalle's soon-to-be-former parent company. Global implications, yadda yadda. I'm more concerned with speculating how the deal will affect our civic life: will BoA close some superfluous branches, thereby freeing up some storefronts for businesses that are actually useful and enjoyable? Seriously, Chicago is drowning in bank branches. And what's the fate of the LaSalle Bank Cinema, or the only-christened-last-May LaSalle Bank Theatre? "Bank of America Theatre"? Gross.

Very Bloggy Up North recently surveyed itself to determine the bloggiest neighborhoods in the country -- and Rogers Park came in at #5. Nice shout-out for the 24/7 North of Howard Watchers.

Dour Tower

Things are looking grim over at the Trib. One hundred jobs are expected to be cut, and an employee buyout will probably take place today.

3Walls Announces New Gallery For Chicago Artists

For the last several years Three Walls has been an international artist residency program based in Chicago. Today they announce ThreeWallsSOLO, a new space (at 119 N Peoria, Unit 2A) dedicated solely to local artists. They are interested in supporting difficult and challenging projects, and what's best -- they offer a peer jury review and a materials stipend. The space will open in September, so check out the Fresh News sidebar for submission information.

Giant Pizza Bridge

The AP's reporting that the Skyway was in danger of "turning into a gigantic, Windy City-style, deep-dish pizza" yesterday. You may want to watch out for other structure-to-food transformations throughout the day.


This "dusk-to-dawn cultural and artistic spectacle" is all about hyping the life and leisure available in the Loop neighborhood. The seriously random schedule of events includes museum talks, light shows, walking tours and a whole lot more. (Beware the music on the Looptopia site, btw.)

City of the Future

When it comes to being recognized by obscure financial rags, we're #1. Chicago won "City of the Future" designation from Foreign Direct Investment, a "specialty magazine published by the Financial Times group for C-level executives and their professional advisors."

Recycle Your Cell Phone, Save the Earth

You know you shouldn't just throw old cell phones in the trash, right? As part of Earth Month Chicago, area police stations are participating in a program--from today till next Sunday (29 April)--that collects used cell phones. The Verizon Hopeline Project will reprogram the phones for use as emergency phones by seniors and victims of domestic violence. So do a good deed: take that old phone to your local police station.

Around the World in Chicago

If you've traveled around the world "crossing every meridian of longitude in the same direction" and are interested in meeting others like you, you're in luck. Chicago has its own chapter of the Circumnavigators Club. Oh, and your travel doesn't have to be in the same trip.

No. 10 in Renewable Energy

That's where we rank in SustainLane Government's recent survey of major cities. The Chicago Center for Green Technology thinks we should be number 1.

Triumphs in Dildonic Architecture

The city's planning board just endorsed a proposal for the Chicago Spire, which will be erected (chuckle) in Streeterville and top off at 2,000 feet. When completed, Chicago will once more have the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Ha! Take THAT future Freedom Tower and the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan. But wait! Gradually, even the Spire will be dwarfed by up-and-coming stud, the Burj Dubai! Hope this doesn't affect anyone's performance.

Who Copied Who?

Interesting reading about yesterday; in early March I learned about the Sun-Times' plans for something very similar:, which was top secret at the time. Wonder which came first?

The Crying of Lot 25

US patent number 6,618,593, which covers location based match-making technology (mobile social networking) was sold for $2.6 million in a live auction at the Union League Club of Chicago yesterday. It was one of the biggest bids recorded for intellectual property during a live auction.

Globes are the New Cows

This summer, 122 globes will be installed on Chicago's lakefront for an art project called Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet. The five-foot-tall spheres have been decorated with artistic representations of ways to conserve energy, from wind power (represented by pinwheels) to recycling (represented by junk mail). The Sun-Times reports that the globes will appear on June 1, and will stay out until October 2, when they will be removed and auctioned off to benefit environmental education in Chicago Public Schools.

Safety Alert: Decoy Mannequins Rigged to Explode

Youths up to no good in Streamwood, as alerted via the Chicago Police Department Weblog.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

The Chicago Spire took another step towards reality by moving through a "critical" stage of the zoning process.

Decemberists for Free

Attention, chimbley sweeps and barrow boys: The Decemberists are giving a free concert in Grant Park on July July July-y-y-y 18. Hear their wistful tales of woe and revenge backed up by the Grant Park Orchestra as part of the Metro's 25th Anniversary happenings.

The Only Mayor of Rosemont

Donald E. Stephens, Rosemont's only mayor, died in office after 51 years of service. He saw the transformation of "a collection of septic fields and houses of prostitution" into a convention destination.

No, Sorry, You Can't Have Royko's Old Office

The Trib just launched, a site that allows ordinary folks--just like you, good citizen--to contribute stories and photos about the city and 'burbs. Choicer bits will be selected for a weekly print edition. Just remember to read the user agreement before you sign up since "we need to retain the rights to the materials you send us."

1 Down, 59 to Go

Intelligentsia's Black Cat espresso is number five on Esquire's list of "60 Things Worth Shortening Your Life For." We also have a place to try number 35, "duck fat potatoes." [via]

Frank Kruesi Resigns

Kruesi out, Huberman in.

Al Capone! Bang Bang!

The city's charming gangster past is further commemorated in RuneSoft's Chicago 1930 game, which now offers any interested parties (with Macs) a demo that "impresses with very detailed and varying backdrops offering dark courtyards and dubious brothels as well as monumental buildings of large towns."

Transmission Feature, and a Bonus

Today in Transmission we warm you up with not two, not three, but four reviews of Chicago blues. It's not what you think, however. You may just have to read more to find out (hint hint). Also, today we launch a new semi-regular Transmission blog feature, Bands You Missed detailing the life (and death) of a local band. Check it.

An Expensive Hat

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 for wearing an unsanctioned hat during an NFL event. I wonder how much additional advertising this fine will provide for the brand in question.

What Version?

Cool kids will converge at Version>07. This year's festival begins this weekend and runs through May 6, 2007. There's all kinds of cool-kid arty stuff happening. Check it out.

Help Women & Children First

Women & Children First has been a fixture in Chicago's literary and independent business community for almost 30 years, but that could change very soon without your help. We've been tracking the stories on the GB Book Club blog.

Electric Avenue

If you've had your eye on a Zap Electric Car, it seems you're among friends. Today, Zap announced a $79 million deal with Northbrook-based Electric Vehicle Company. According to Zap, it's the largest order for a consumer fleet of electric cars in history. (Thanks, Jeff)

Too Late, Slowpokes

If you were planning on running in the Chicago Marathon this year, I hope you signed up already: direct registration closed today, a bit earlier than usual. There are still limited spaces available through the Chicago Area Runners Association and a number of other organizations; check the list on this page. (Thanks, jaymce!)

But I've Got All These Hats!

The results of yesterday's aldermanic run-off election are in! We'll be saying goodbye to four incumbents, including Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman, Ted Matlak, Shirley Coleman and Madeleine Haithcock. The Sun-Times credits heavy union support for several victories.

You Ramp You!

The fine folks at Hungry Mag are ga-ga for wild leeks, a.k.a. ramps, calling them "kind of like the agricultural version of crystal meth." Find out all about 'em, how to get 'em, and what to do with 'em.

They're the Wirtz

As readers of Sports in Five know, the Blackhawks' season is over, finishing 13th in their division. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the man every Hawks fan blames: Bill Wirtz.

O'Hare: Not Just for the Jet Set

Check out WBEZ's fascinating story about Chicago's asylum seekers, which focuses on one of the dozen Tibetans who have sought asylum at O'Hare over the last year.

Knight Time in Chicago

You may have heard rumors of strange police cars roaming the city...might they be GPD? In any case the Dark Knight crew is filming in a few locations around town, like the old post office in the loop. Thanks Heather! Update: more pictures of the "Gotham National Something" building are popping up. Thanks David!

Coffee on a Mission

Those wondering what will fill the java void left by Filter's eminent demise (you know, besides the several other coffeeshops in Wicker Park) can rest easy: Blend is ready to be your new fix-provider. YoChicago sheds some light on the "faith, hope and love" idealism on the shop's website -- safe to say you won't be meeting many one-night-stands there. (Thanks, Trish!)

Dame Jane of the Jungle

Respected primatologist Jane Goodall stopped by the ape house at Lincoln Park Zoo this week. Interestingly, Ms. Goodall has groupies in both the ape and the homo sapien sets.

Free Ice Cream

It's that time of year again: Ben & Jerry's has free cone day! Their site isn't letting you use their finder very well but Google Maps has you covered.

Small Birds, Collected

Diane Sudyka, best known for her concert posters and other printmaking, has been spending time at the Field Museum preparing bird specimens. The work has inspired her to draw birds to fill her own Tiny Aviary. (Thanks, Jennifer!)

Earth Month Chicago Debuts

Someone at the City of Chicago decided one day to celebrate the earth is not enough, so Chicago's first Earth Month begins today and runs through 20 May, to "raise awareness of the simple things all of us can do to improve the environment." Key events include the Green Business Conference, the Green Festival, and a host of recycling drives. Some events are listed in Slowdown; click here for a complete calendar.

Sun-Times Scooping Shooter Identity?

As authorities struggle to identify the person (or people) responsible for 33 dead at Virginia Tech, the media continues to refer to an exclusive report by Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times that quotes a source as saying that at least one shooter was "a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa. The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said." UPDATE: Sneed was close, but not quite right.

Richard Nickel's Photographs on the Radio

Yesterday, All Things Considered ran Edward Lifson's fine examination of the architectural preservation photography book Richard Nickel's Chicago. Bonus: the song that plays at the end of the piece is from the Rachel's album Music for Egon Schiele, which was composed for a Chicago theater production.

Looking for Lunch?

GrubHub, the food delivery search site, has redesigned. BusinessPOV interviewed the founders about it.

I Hear Chicago Speak

Every once in awhile, the Tribune publishes something that forcefully reminds me why I still subscribe. If you read nothing else this week, read "I hear Chicago speak," written by local artist Tony Fitzpatrick, which appeared in yesterday's paper.

Adrian Runs Free

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, the organization charged with returning "Adrian" the Quizno's coyote to the wild, blogged about his release. The photos are heartwarming. (Thanks, Dubi!)

West Suburban Blue Blood Accents?

In a classic "why the suburbs are better than the city" story from the Wheaton News Leader, all the old faves are resurrected: parking, taxes, stargazing. Cool. Then they go after the accent. "The Chicago accent itself is cringe-worthy. Out here, the speech is a little less blue collar, a little more blue blood."

Transportation Dream Come True

After years of feet dragging, it looks like the CTA, Metra and Pace will finally create a unified fare card.

Takin' It to the Streets

Fred Kent, president of the Project for Public Spaces, visited Chicago last month, met with city officials and gave an interesting presentation on the subject of "placemaking" in cities. The presentation, called Streets as Places, and following panel discussion are being aired intermittently on CANTV. The slides themselves are available online, as is a brief video detailing his visit.

Library of Congress Covers Chicago

Spend some time poring over Chicago archives over at The Library of Congress website. Includes an 1897 film called "Cattle driven to slaughter" by Thomas A. Edison, 55,000 images from the Chicago Daily News from 1902 - 1933, and an archive called, "Chicago Anarchists on Trial: Evidence from the Haymarket Affair, 1886-1887."

Jackie Robinson Day

April 15th, the 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color-barrier, has been designated Jackie Robinson Day by Major League Baseball. In tribute to Robinson, the White Sox Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Alex Cintron, (first-base coach) Harold Baines, and (third-base coach) Razor Shines will wear Robinson's # 42. Cubs Derrek Lee, Cliff Floyd, Jacque Jones, Daryle Ward, (hitting coach) Gerald Perry, and (bullpen coach) Lester Strode will do the same.

One Step Closer to the Olympics

Chicago has been picked over Los Angeles by the US Olympic Committee as their preference for hosting the 2016 Olympics. Now we have to persuade the International Olympic Committee that we are worthy. We've got a while to make our case, though; the final decision won't be made until October 2009.

NAU Open

The uber-hot outdoor clothing company Nau, which focuses on sustainable and ethical clothing and a new business model as well, is now open in Chicago. Not to mention the fact that their clothes don't look like the neo-hippie earth tones of typical outdoor equipment manufacturers — this stuff can be worn to a club after you're done climbing that rock face. The Chicago retail store (one of four across the country) opened this morning. Where are they? 2118 North Halsted.

Steel vs. Feather

I think our Vice President is a little confused. Instead of shooting at birds, he targets his friend's faces and uses his plane to take out our fine feathered friends. Not sure why this is a headline, but apparently it's a slow news day in Chicago.

Local Art For Cheap!

The Sun-Times' "Neighborhood" column profiled the owner of Sacred Art, Sarah Chazin. Her shop sells affordable art by undiscovered artists. Find out more about her shop and check out a list of more stores that sell pocket-friendly collectibles.

Something for Everyone

No matter what your leaning you have good reason to be active this week. There are plenty of charitable events taking place like the Sudan Freedom Walk, the AIDS/Lifecycle Charity Ride fund raiser and the ongoing Restaurants Against Hunger. For those that are a bit more...skeptical, or even just inquisitive, The Illinois Humanities Council presents The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, a panel on the non-profit "industrial complex" this coming Thursday; details in slowdown.

Watch Out For Dick Cheney

He's in town. Schedule here.

Olympic Decision Pending

The decision of the US Olympic Committee comes down tomorrow, and I don't know about you, but I like Chicago's chances over LA a whole lot better now that Mitt Romney has thrown his support behind us.

Vallas On the Move...

Paul Vallas, former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and candidate for the governorship of Illinois, is leaving his post as the CEO of the Philadelphia school system this year. Vallas plans to return to Chicago, but the rumor mill is suggesting that his stay at home will be temporary and that the New Orleans Public Schools will make a play to lure him to Cajun Country.

Chicago in Videogames

Over on Ask.MetaFilter, there's a thread compiling videogames that are set, in whole or in part, in Chicago. The list includes "Duelin' Firemen," in which a jet and the Space Shuttle crash into the Sears Tower. (Fortunately, it was never released.)

Dollar Store on the Radio

The Third Coast Audio Festival has teamed up with the Dollar Store for this year's Shortdocs series: create a two- to three-minute audio story about one of three items found at a dollar store and send it in by Aug. 30. (I'm working on one for that sweet mug.)

Transmission Feature: Low and Loney, Dear

You could stay inside all day tomorrow and avoid spilling salt, black cats, and walking under ladders. Or you could head out to the Metro and check out Low and Loney, Dear. In the Transmission feature this week, we've given you a whole earful of reasons why these two groups' new albums are worth hearing, and why their live show will be worth the risk of venturing out on Friday the 13th.

Cue the Barry White

In preparation for mating season, officials at the Shedd Aquarium rolled out the sexy rocks of sweet penguin love for their Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins. It's a lot like Happy Feet, except the penguins will be knocking flippers instead of dancing.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Novelist, essayist, playwright, artist, activist, and, yes, City News Bureau of Chicago reporter, In These Times contributor and University of Chicago graduate, Kurt Vonnegut, has died. "So it goes."

Lollapalooza Lineup Confirmed!

The Lollapalooza lineup as reported by the Onion A/V Club earlier today is confirmed in print in an inside-back-cover ad in "tomorrow's" issue of Time Out Chicago. If you didn't buy your advance tickets, now is the time.

Mowing And Biking -- With Flamingos!

Given the inclement weather, I find it helps to think about mowing the lawn and biking to get me through the day. Fortunately, someone in Wisconsin has found a way to do both.

Treat Your Reader

Spice up your RSS reader with a few tasty area blogs. Try Jack Vinson's knowledge management blog, the NSFW, homoerotic Things They Say About Him, A Deaf Mom Shares Her World, and more to be found at Chicago Bloggers.

Ebert vs. Black

Roger Ebert wrote a letter in 2004 in support of union workers at Sun-Times should they decide to go on strike, and got a chastising letter back from former Hollinger chairman Conrad Black. Ebert's reply pulls no punches. (Thanks, AZ!)

Cubs as Commodity

Take a gander at the queue for buying "a shrine, a team and a great place to watch baseball."

Casting a Wider Net

Chicago Sportscast already produces some of the best podcasts on our local sports teams (including one by our own Bears in Five columnists), but they're not satisfied. So they're launching networks in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, D.C., Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Auditions are already taking place; if you know a sports nut in one of those towns, put'em in touch.

Book Club: The Year of Pleasures

Don't let the fact that Oprah picked one of Elizabeth Berg's many pieces for her cult-like book club scare you. The Year of Pleasures is actually quite good and you'd be doing yourself a disservice to judge it beforehand. For a little taste, head over to the Book Club page for an introduction to our next selection, then join us at the Book Cellar on May 14 to discuss this story of woman's promise to the husband she lost.

A Very Small Museum

Michael Horvich is more than a supernumerary, he's the curator of Michael's Museum. Unfortunately, the physical museum is currently not open to the public, presumably due to high demand because of a recent Tribune article. For now, enjoy the photographs and lists.

You Got Your Indie Rock on My Sticker!....

...You got your button in my hip hop! We've announced details for our first ever Gapers Block: Transmission button and sticker design contest! The nitty gritty details are over here.

Help Wanted at Coudal

From FoGB Jim Coudal: "We need some help with Swap Meat, Jewelboxing and some other projects this summer. We need an intern. We pay interns and we expect a lot from them. If you're the one, [email] with the phrase "C'est Moi" in the subject line, and send us something to prove it."

Get Our Your Purple and Red

What musical shall replace the horrible middle-aged vacuum left by the departure of "Menopause: The Musical"? Never fear! Because "Hats: A New Musical For the Rest of Your Life" is here. This Red Hat-sanctioned show opens at the Royal George on 4/20. And you know it's gonna be good, because some of the show was written by the chick who penned the Bette Midler hit "The Rose."

The Coolest Republican Since Honest Abe

These people want to give the Nobel Peace Prize to George Ryan. Headline quote kudos to local rocker John Greenfield's Illinois First! rock band, who wrote a little song about the former governor.

You've Got Reusable Bags

Chicago-based eco-friendly ecommerce company Reusable Bags is featured on AOL today.

Koran Shenanigans

A local woman is publishing a new English translation of the Koran, which, surprisingly, has caused absolutely no controversy in the Muslim community. And if you believe that... Additional note: It seems the Russians think the Olsen twins are somehow involved.

Five Six-pointed Stars?

Over at Chicagoist, Benjy ponders whether the city would add another star to the flag if we win the 2016 Olympics. An interesting and relevant question considering the meanings of the other stars.
He's giving us a lot of credit for staying power by saying we'll need to update our logo in nine years if it happens, but for the record: we'll change if the flag does.

It's Easy Being Green

Chicago's Green Festival is rapidly approaching. Stop by McCormick Place April 21 through 22 and see more than 300 exhibits in eco-fashion, natural home and health products, organic dining, and more. All patrons attending the festival who donate 10 non-perishable food items to the Greater Chicago Food Depository will receive a poster by artist, Scott Saw. Ramen noodles will not be accepted--way too much sodium.


Were you stuck at your mom's house picking Easter grass out of your chocolate bunnies? Scraping charoset from grandma's china? Sounds like you could have used some Craig's List Casual Encounters. Check out these definitely NSFW Easter- and Passover-themed ads?

Myron Goldsmith's Modernism

The Arts Club of Chicago, which apparently doesn't have a website, is hosting an excellent retrospective of Myron Goldsmith's architectural and teaching career. Go before the show closes on April 13, if for no other reason than to see the model of the unrealized Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge in person. While you're at it, the club has an interesting history that's worth reviewing.

Tomato Picker Victory Over McDonald's

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) who have been so active in their organizing throughout Chicago this spring (see Friday and Saturday slowdown's for more info) has had a huge victory. McDonalds USA, based in Oak Brook IL, has agreed to work with the CIW and its produce suppliers to improve the wages and conditions for the tomato workers. The CIW has had a victory but still needs you to join them at their events this weekend to celebrate and move forward.

Get Schooled

If you are interested in education research, you may want to check out the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, which is in town this week. Events are open to the public, but you'll need to pay the hefty registration fee.

Sunday Parkways Forum Discussion

This is a real-life flesh n' blood forum discussion about the proposed Sunday Parkways — a community effort to give communities safe spaces to interact with neighbors. Inspired by Columbia and Mexico, in essence they are traffic-free times on weekends and holidays for pedestrians and cyclists to interact on selected streets. This Wednesday, April 11th from 6:30 to 7:30pm at Richmond Hall in St. Sylvester Church, 2156 N. Richmond St.

Beyond the Concert Hall

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking great strides to expand its audience and influence, notably including a retooled nationally syndicated radio program and a performance and educational video series.

Book Club with Rick Kogan

Don't forget -- tonight is the GB Book Club meeting where we'll discuss A Chicago Tavern, a history of the famous Billy Goat. All of our meetings are special, but tonight's will be even moreso as author Rick Kogan joins us for what will surely be a lively and enlightening discussion. 7:30pm at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave. Hope to see you there!


Last Thursday, the Max Weinberg's band on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" performed an "improvised" song about the coyote who wandered into the Loop Quizno's. [via]

Story Time

Keep an eye on Same Title Different Story, a new podcast which gives several different Chicago artists a title, and asks them to create their own version of the "story" it belongs too.

Odd CraigsList Prostitution Bust

So wait, the 17-year-old daughter ran the prostitution ring!?

Easter Egg Roll

On Saturday, like some ill-conceived SNL skit come to life, poor Cardinal Francis George took a tumble after slipping in holy water while blessing Easter baskets. He has a minor hip fracture, but he's doing fine.

Chicago History Roundup

From the establishment of the Hull House Theater to the World's Columbian Exposition, the Sun Times lists their take on "The 50 Greatest Chicago Moments."

Give Til It Hurts For a Good Cause

Got any blood you're not using? Donate it on May 5 at Sacred Art, 2040 W. Roscoe, 11 am - 5 pm, for the store's second-annual blood drive. Donors will get discounts and free gifts at other Roscoe Village stores during the drive. Contact Sarah at 773-404-8790 or sacredartstore-at-gmail-dot-com to make an appointment and give the gift of life, y'all.

Hook Up Some Answers to Lonely Questions

Here's a list of unanswered Chicago-oriented questions from Yahoo! Answers. If the question was asked more than 5 hours ago and still doesn't have an answer, it'll be dere.

More Cause for Vomit

No more need for a flask! Six Flags is now able to serve you a mixed drink along side your post-Hurricane Harbor nachos and churros. This was, of course, the missing piece of the "family friendly environment" Six Flags has been striving to create. [via]

Church and City

Opinions flared over the holidays last year when city officials opposed the showing of a movie trailer for The Nativity Story at Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. Those same emotions will likely again be stirred after installation of a 19 foot cross was green-lighted for Easter.


The WLUW Record Fair & Other Delights is next weekend, and there are still a couple booths available should you want to unload some of your music -- or posters, crafts, clothes, whatever. Get on it now!

Northwestern University, Qatar Campus

Northwestern is in negotiations to open a campus in Qatar, where coursework would focus on Journalism and Communications and students would have to meet Northwestern's general admission (and tuition) requirements. The programs may negotiate internship opportunities with Al-Jazeera, which is headquartered in Qatar.

"Wordplay" Star Chicago Resident

Tyler Hinman, the 22-year-old three-time National Crossword Puzzle champ and star of the doc "Wordplay," is a bond trader here in Chicago. The Sun-Times has a nice little profile of him today, along with a sad-sack remark about how women aren't turned on by his crytographic acumen. Wise up, ladies!

Not Enough Star Power to Go Around?

Greg Kot reported today that the Intonation Festival has cancelled their plans for a two-day festival over Labor Day weekend, and will focus instead on organizing smaller shows throughout the year. However, that extra money in your wallet will find a home with all the other festivals going on this summer.

Remember: You Can't Really Dust for Vomit

Tickets are on sale for clever art collective Lucky Pierre's latest project: Rock & Roll: Impatience. Early reports promise the audience will be be shaken all night long.

Congrats, Ira!

Speaking of public radio (which we were, see below), we've got to give a shout out to Ira Glass and the crew at This American Life for their Peabody Award win. The lauded episode, "Habeas Schmabeas" explored life for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and what it meant for prisoners there to be denied the right of habeas corpus. You can download the episode on TAL's site or snag it off TiVo Podcasts.

Public Hearings Next Week On Red Line Extension

The CTA will be holding two southside meetings to discuss the possibility of extending the Red Line from its existing south terminal at 95th Street to a new terminal at 130th Street. For more information contact, DCP: 773-928-2500 or LVEJO: 773-762-6991 and here are more details about the April 10 and 11 meetings.

A WBEZ Four-Way

Instead of mindlessly kvetching about the CTA construction on the North Side, four intrepid WBEZ reporters did an experiment as to which mode of transport is the fastest: car, bike, Metra or CTA. Not surprisingly, the car won, but the bike came in second. Read or download the full story.

Darryl Stingley is Dead

Chicago native and community leader Darryl Stingley, who was paralyzed in an NFL football game in 1978 and went on to live a productive, inspiring life from his wheelchair, has died.

Transmission Feature: New Jazz

Today, brace yourself against the wind and get ready for some noteworthy new albums from some big names, new names, and old names in jazz just a click away in Transmission. We've got reviews of new releases from Atavistic, Concord Records, and one self-release by the band themselves. Check them out, and brighten up your day, one note at a time.

Odes to Lou & Ozzie

It might only be two games into the baseball season, but it's never too early to sing odes to managers Ozzie Guillen and Lou Piniella.


Photobooth-o-philes, get excited! You'll soon be able to take a zany picture of yourself and your close friends at Quimby's.

A Fresh New Sun

The Chicago Sun-Times relaunched their new redesigned paper today. has the details. Steve Rhodes at the Beachwood Reporter has some thoughts on it.

The Fresh Prince Said it Best

Your timbers may be shiverin' this week, but summer, summer, summertime, is just around the corner. Early tix are available for the Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza, and both Players Sports and Chicago Sport and Social have registration up already for most summer leagues. So practice folding up that winter coat.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game or China

As it turns out, Crain's has a pretty decent photo gallery. The most recent set documents the White Sox opener, while previous features range from McDonald's in China to Delhi, India.

Learn to Talk to Buddhists

Ever feel like the cat's got your tongue whenever Buddhists (with their "ancient, complex, trendy" religion) are around? Apparently you're not alone! Evangelical Christians are organizing workshops on how to "talk" to Buddhists in conjunction with the Dalai Lama's US Tour. The nearest workshop looks to be in Wheaton. The Dalai Lama will be in Chicago on May 6th, check slowdown for details. [Note: The Sun-Times wants you to know that while in Chicago the Dalai Lama will be staying in a hotel suite with 3 bathrooms]

Third Cop Fight Taped

There's a third cop fight caught on tape, and the cop doing the fighting in this one is allegedly the brother of Anthony Abbate, the cop who beat up the bartender last month. This time the victim is a visiting police officer from Washington, D.C. And Mayor Daley would really like it if the police would behave themselves.

Still Time To Join Studs and Others at State of Southside Conference

In recent years the blog The View From The Ground has published news and analysis about the crisis of Chicago, public housing, police abuse, and economic abandonment through the intimate lens of the Stateway Gardens CHA development while it was being torn down during the CHA's Plan for Transformation. The blog is co-sponsoring a conference at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School to explore the issues brought up in their work around Stateway Gardens. More information posted on Slowdown. The free conference takes place on April 21-20 and space is limited so get in touch and register through the website.

He Loves The Subs

So, a coyote walked into a Quiznos. No, there's no punchline. A coyote really did walk into a Quiznos downtown and just hung out in front of the soda cooler until animal control officials showed up and took him to Barrington. He didn't order anything or bite anyone. The end.

Tourists That Rock

Rochester, NY radio talk show host and writer Bob Lonsberry found himself with some unexpected time in Chicago due to an airline screw-up. His blog features a glowing, joyful account of a nice afternoon spent in our city's embrace.

Dance Floor Disaster

Lacey Hindman knows another way work parties can turn into excruciating pain.

Getting You Ready for the Big Weekend

Still haven't figured out what to do for Passover or Easter? Christine Blumer has you covered with this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Time Out for Teacher

Bruce Lupori, a teacher at an Evergreen Park elementary school, put a bag over a kid's head in some wacked-out attempt at humor. The student wasn't hurt and no charges will be filed, but Lupori is on paid administration leave.

SAIC Obama Jesus

There's quite a stir over the Barack Obama as Jesus sculpture over at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Only time will tell if the controversy rises to Mayor Harold Washington in Lingerie or Step on the Flag levels.

Chi-City Rap Rock

Check out Screen Magazine's feature on Chicago native Casey Suchan's well received documentary Rock the Bells. Then check out the film itself Tuesday night. Details in Slowdown.

Bike to Work Week!

Gather your colleagues for some heart-healthy, Earth-friendly Bike to Work fun. From June 9-15, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is sponsoring events, supplying safe biking info, and staffing bike commuter stations in the city and suburbs. Ready to be your office's captain? Register your office ASAP.

Man Watches Movies For 40 Years!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Roger Ebert being named the film critic of the Sun-Times. He reflects on the date, and his current medical condition, at his Sun-Times website.

Really Old School Beats

It's not every day that we get to report on a concert consisting of the oldest song in recorded history (Tribune link, includes video of the performance).

Police Superintendent Resigns

Breaking news over at City Hall: Chicago Police Supt. Cline resigns. See what Second City Cop readers think about it over here.

The Trib Sells to Zell

The anticipated sale of the Tribune is official, and local real estate tycoon Sam Zell has bought it. In an interesting twist, Zell announced that he will sell the Cubs, leading immediately to speculation on who might buy them. Solid perspective from the Beachwood Reporter, of course.

Bar Raised Higher for Obama

The latest in wacky Jesus statuary news: First his supporters had him battling Big Sister; now he's appearing as the Son 'o God at the Art Institute.

Hope Springs Eternal

What else can you say on Opening Day? For those of you looking for some diversions this afternoon, the White Sox are playing Cleveland on the South Side & the Cubs are playing in Cincinnati. Both games are at 1PM. Neither team is going to go 162-0 this season, but for a few more hours it remains a mathematical possibility.

Show Your Support

Free Hot Doug!

Use the Force (to Pick a Stamp Design)

R2D2 is roaming the city, and it wants you to visit the "Jedi Shipping and Mailing Master" to vote for your favorite Star Wars stamps.

Chicago International Documentary Festival

There's no question that the documentary is enjoying a surge in popularity, and if you're looking for more films, browse the schedule for the Chicago International Documentary Festival. There are films from all over the world (that's the international part), but if you're interested in local stories there are also documentaries about the Illinois Parole Board, Maxwell St., and Public Housing. Look closely at the schedule as in many cases the directors will appear at the screenings.

Control Freaks Everywhere

Improv Everywhere, the New York-based group known for their clever and sometimes misinterpreted antics, were recently featured on an episode of the new television version of This American Life (a reprise of their first TAL appearance from two years ago), but in the midst of their heightened fame comes tragedy; a now-defunct 80s jazz group of the same name sent Improv Everywhere a cease-and-desist letter for use of their name after a band member saw the episode. Effective immediately, Improv Everywhere is known as Humor in Public Places (HIPP), but their name may be the least of their problems. UPDATE: Now that April Fool's Day is over, Improv Everywhere has their name back. Those pranksters!

The Last Lamb and Veal Slaughterhouse in Chicago

Now that Easter and Passover are almost here, the New York Times offers two features on Chiappetti Lamb and Veal. NOTE: The first link is a TimesSelect article, so if you aren't enrolled in the program, you can either sign up or start a free trial. If you are a student or faculty member with a .edu email address, you can get a full account for free right now.



GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15