Obama proposes Social Security cuts. Amid ongoing debt talks wherein the Democrats are seeking to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the default of Federal debt, "entitlement reform" has been a hot topic. This morning, Obama has taken the unusual step of proposing even larger spending cuts than Republicans have asked for, mystifying many. Has the Grand Bargain arrived?
If you're a Chicagoan or have even a passing interest in Chicago's 'L', Chicago "L".org is an amazingly comprehensive resource for anything you might want to know about the Second City's rapid transit system. Highlights include historic route maps, details on rolling stock past and present, and more than you could ever want to know about every station. [more inside]
Ben Hecht, arguably one of the greatest screenwriters in Hollywood history, started his career in the (sometimes literally) cutthroat world of Jazz Age journalism at the Chicago Daily News. Throughout 1921 he wrote a series of remarkable vignettes collectively titled the Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago: stories of drifters, fops, and artists from Michigan Avenue to Chinatown, but most of all a fond portrait of the city itself. Collected in book form and gorgeously illustrated, the Thousand and One Afternoons are in the public domain and readily available online. Each story is four or five short pages in length, and goes great with coffee.
The north Chicago house featured in the movie Home Alone is for sale. Asking price? 2.4 million dollars.
"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
Ultra Local Geography documents the everyday architecture of Chicago with detailed drawings and neighborhood historical research. [more inside]
Lynn Haludren, better known as the Empire Carpet Man, died yesterday at the age of 89. [more inside]
Long before he wrote DVD reviews for The New York Times, Dave Kehr spent 11 years at the Chicago Reader perfecting the 100-word capsule review into a vehicle for his succinct, astute writing on a wide variety of films. All of them can be read for free at the Chicago Reader's website. Additionally, his long-overlooked long reviews have just been collected and published. [more inside]
Little Village Elementary Academy on Chicago's West Side has prohibited students from bringing packed lunches from home, unless they have a medical excuse. Despite stricter nutritional standards implemented by the Chicago Public Schools last year to help curb childhood obesity, some parents are not happy. (Tangentially, I watched this clip about the school food in France and got sort of jealous.)
"This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch..."
Popular Chicago Brewery Goose Island has been bought by Anheuser-Busch. Moreover, brewmaster Greg Hall has resigned and will be replaced by Brett Porter, former head brewer of Deschutes Brewery.
Revealing the man behind @MayorEmanuel. The Atlantic talks to Dan Sinker, who just outed himself as the voice of the brilliant @MayorEmanuel twitter feed (RIP).
"In Chicago, we think such racial segregation is normal, but it's not." Why segregation isn't an issue in the mayoral contest in one of the most segregated cities in the US. [more inside]
There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children. Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery.
Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 24, will co-host the revival of At the Movies with Christy Lemire. [previously] [more inside]
"It's a stretch of pavement both enriched and torn apart by class and ethnic divisions. When you go over a bridge or under a viaduct on this street you've left one country for another. It's the American melting pot at full boil." Halsted Street USA. (1995, 56 minutes, Color)
This morning, firefighters responded to a reported fire in an abandoned laundry building on Chicago's South Side. There was a major collapse of the rear wall which caused the roof truss to fail. A "mayday" transmission (8 minutes in) prompted a 3-11 alarm response to rescue at least four firefighters were trapped in the rubble. Two firefighters, Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum, were killed. 14 other firefighters were injured, 4 critically. Many of the injured were hurt while frantically searching for their comrades. [more inside]
It's crazy how a simple mirror filter can transform a video into something else. (via.) [more inside]
Curt Teich (1877-1974) was a printer who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1896. Curt Teich & Company, opened in 1898 in Chicago, was the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards. Teich is best known for its "Greetings From" postcards with their big letters, vivid colors, and bold style. Flickr user amhpics has archived nearly 2000 Teich linen postcards in his set Vintage Curt Teich linen postcards 1930s-1950s. [more inside]
"When we started Windy City, it was a means to an end, because there wasn't a distributor in Chicago that wanted to touch craft beer," Mr. Ebel says. "We went around to bars and they said, 'Great beer. How many free cases can you give me?' We just had to walk out of those accounts, set a price, and stick to it. And nobody asks us that anymore." Pay-to-play contreversy in the Chicago beer scene, with appearances from a who's who of Midwest beermeisters: Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing Co., Deb Carey of New Glarus Brewing Co., the Ebel Brothers of Two Brothers Brewing Co., and Josh Hall of Goose Island Brewing Company
The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
Out My Window (trailer) is the new web documentary from the Highrise project, one of the world's first interactive 360° documentaries. Delivered entirely on the web, it explores the state of our urban planet told by people who look out on the world from highrise windows. With more than 90 minutes of material, Out My Window features 49 stories from 13 cities, told in 13 languages.
Security alerts have been declared at Airports in the US, UK and Middle East after the discovery of suspicious packages originating in Yemen. The packages, modified toner cartridges, have been described as "definitely not a complete bomb" but being "potentially sinister".
Typographic Maps. "These unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type."
A photo studio roams the earth. I Am Chicago records the colorful denizens of Chicago's many neighborhoods, precisely as they are found. (via Gapers Block) [more inside]
Richard M. Daley announces he will not run for re-election as mayor of Chicago in 2011. In the past half-century, Chicago has had only 13 years when a Daley was not mayor. Is this fallout from RMD's botched, and, many say, ill advised, Olympic bid? Or just the fact that the city is more strapped for cash than ever? Should be interesting.
"Why TB you ask. The house I grew up in, from 1961 to the 1974, faced the grounds of the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. There was a fence around the property and it was patrolled by security guards daily. That was all I knew." Via.
Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
On August 28th 1990, between 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. a devastating tornado ripped a 16.4 mile-long path through portions of Kendall and Will counties in northern Illinois. At its strongest, the tornado was rated F5, the highest rating a tornado can be given. A total of 29 people were killed and 350 more were injured. [more inside]
Raising Chicago: An Illustrated History. Lilli Carré takes a look at an unusual civic project: 'Mid-19th-century Chicago was an emerging titan of agribusiness, a burgeoning transit hub, a potential star of the Midwest—and a disease-infested swamp in danger of being reclaimed by Lake Michigan. By 1855, with roads knee deep in sludge, city hall faced a massive undertaking: hoisting Chicago out of the muck by raising the streets and structures as much as 14 feet.' More about the raising of Chicago. (via)
(Previously) Feel like running away? Do you like museums? Are you interested in science and writing? The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is interested in you. As a roommate. For a month. 24/7. Sleep in the Silver Streak! Get your geek on in the Smart Home! Watch movies in your Omnimax theater! Surf the web in Networld! Oh, yeah. And earn $10,000 for your time. So you can blow it all in the gift shop :)
Excercise a little abstract for you? Unable to see the point of going to the gym? Try ZombieFit and get in shape for the end of the world.
Last Wednesday, a series of thunderstorms rolled through downtown Chicago. At least once, the John Hancock Building, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and the
Willis Sears Tower got struck simultaneously (vimeo). [more inside]
It took a few decades, but today a federal jury has found former Chicago police commander Jon Burge guilty on all counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in covering up his knowledge of and participation in the systematic torture of suspects in the 1980s. (Previously.) [more inside]
Fred Anderson was a monster on the tenor sax. Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and his "home court," the Velvet Lounge, remains a place for Chicago creative musicians to find welcoming audience. Fred died June 24 in Chicago. A wake will take place from 5 to 6 PM this Tuesday (June 29) at Leak and Sons Funeral Chapel, 7838 S. Cottage Grove, followed immediately by Anderson’s Going Home service. [more inside]
Sit back and enjoy the many Italian recipes Great Chicago Italian Recipes.com has to offer. This site will provide you with a culinary adventure into the world of Italian food and wine. Choose from poultry, beef, vegetables, pasta, and sooo much more. Looking to finish off that perfect meal? Try Adriana's Italian Gourmet Cookies. [more inside]
If Giovanni Ribisi’s character isn’t listed as “Pointlessly Gleeful Cunt” in the credits I will be so disappointed
Spike of Templar, AZ (Previously, Previously) tends to go on rants on twitter, now you can follow them.
Working With Studs is a radio documentary about Studs Terkel. You will like it. Good production and tech notes, courtesy of Transom.org
"[The customers] come in here, by my grabbing them and touching them and screaming at them they become human beings."
Jerry's Deli (starts at 1:02) by Tom Palazzolo, 1976. A short documentary on deli owner Jerry Meyers, who's been screaming abuse at his loyal customers for 30 years. (Clipstream/Java video. Click on lower right corner of the video to enlarge. Or here's a Youtube with out-of-synch audio.) [more inside]
50 Aldermen/50 Artists. Chicago gallery Johalla Projects enlisted local artists to meet with the members of the city council and create a portrait of the person they found. "The goal is just to get people involved," says co-curator Jeremy Scheuch. "I think a lot of aldermen were (initially) afraid of what this might be about." More photos here.
A cosmically selective process: you enter a white cab in Chicago. After the usual pleasantries, the driver asks you if you'd like to hear a song...
Producer/engineer Iain Burgess played a vital role in defining the Chicago punk sound in the 80's with his work with Naked Raygun, Big Black, and the Effigies. Burgess passed away on Thursday from a pulmonary embolism, a complication of the pancreatic and liver cancers he'd recently been diagnosed with. Although British, he is best known for his years in Chicago, where he helped create a distinctive large sound with a live-centered recording style and served as a mentor to Steve Albini. He also worked with Didjits, Ministry, Mega City Four, the Cows, Pegboy, Shellac, Jawbox and many others.
The tunnel musicians of Chicago can be heard amid the roar of trains.... I recently spent three nights walking through the tunnels for a closer listen. These are the sounds, and the people I heard. [more inside]