Street Smart Chicago

Lollapalooza Green Street 2015: Farmers Market

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Photo: Lollapalooza

Photo: Lollapalooza

Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green Street

Lolla Farmers Market, located north of Green Street, features small-batch food businesses from the Chicago area. Read the rest of this entry »

Lollapalooza Green Street 2015: Lolla Cares

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Photo: Lollapalooza

Photo: Lollapalooza

Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green Street

Lolla Cares organizations, located in Green Street North and South, support surrounding and international communities with causes ranging from health advocacy to sustainable living to fighting poverty at home and abroad. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: Dime Stories is a Book and I’m Going to Lollapalooza!

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Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

If anyone would have told me four years ago that I’d have lasted at this job for four years, I’d have not believed them. This is the longest I’ve ever held a job. I think because I don’t think of it as work is the secret of the longevity. I can think up and relay the craziest shit imaginable and I get paid for it. I wish Newcity had been around when I was fourteen or fifteen when I used to get knocked around by various religious orders in school for espousing these very thoughts.

Really, no shit, I used to get slapped silly for uttering the thoughts I get paid for sharing now. The Christian Brothers would play volleyball with your head if you uttered the language I’ve used in “Dime Stories.” They were nasty, unpleasant motherfuckers who I do not miss. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 30, 2015

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I am very much in love with no one in particular,” says actor Ezra Miller. His statement would make sense coming out of your mouth right about now. So would this one: “I am very much in love with almost everyone I encounter.” Or this one: “I am very much in love with the wind and moon and hills and rain and rivers.” Is this going to be a problem? How will you deal with your overwhelming urge to overflow? Will you break people’s hearts and provoke uproars everywhere you go, or will you rouse delight and bestow blessings? As long as you take yourself lightly, I foresee delight and blessings. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 23, 2015

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Latin motto “Carpe diem” shouldn’t be translated as “Seize the day!” says author Nicholson Baker. It’s not a battle cry exhorting you to “freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it.” The proper translation, according to Baker, is “Pluck the day.” In other words, “you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as if it were a wildflower, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things—so that the day’s stem undergoes increasing tension and draws to a tightness, and then snaps softly away at its weakest point, and the flower is released in your hand.” Keep that in mind, Aries. I understand you are often tempted to seize rather than pluck, but these days plucking is the preferable approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: Steve Jesus, the Magic Lark and the Ghost of Jerry Garcia

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The Magic Lark 300By Tony Fitzpatrick

My pal Steve Jesus was in town for the weekend’s Grateful Dead end of days. He was happily sad at the prospect of a final Dead show. He was determined to experience the holy trinity of mind-altering Grateful Dead substances : X, acid and ‘shrooms, in that order. He also, thanks to Tinder, got to experience some slap and tickle twenty-first-century style. He hooked up with a lass who wasn’t looking for Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now. Steve was happy to oblige. All in all, his weekend was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Jerry Garcia would have been proud.

Steve is one of my oldest and best friends. Years ago, when I was on the radio, he was my producer. He has since gone on to work for a large tech outfit in San Francisco. He is a proud member of five or six dispensaries in San Fran and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things cannabis.

There were all manner of Deadheads in town over the weekend and at first I thought they would be of the sixty-plus-year-old vintage. To my surprise there were plenty of kids who were not even alive before Jerry Garcia died. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 16, 2015

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By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Stop Making Sense” was originally the name of the film and music soundtrack produced by the Talking Heads in the 1980s, and now it is the central theme of your horoscope. I think your brain would benefit from a thorough washing. That’s why I invite you to scour it clean of all the dust and cobwebs and muck that have accumulated there since its last scrub a few months back. One of the best ways to launch this healing purge is, of course, to flood all the neural pathways with a firehose-surge of absurdity, jokes and silliness. As the wise physician of the soul, Dr. Seuss, said, “I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.” Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology: Week of July 9, 2015

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): How can you fulfill your potential as an Aries? What strategies will help you become the best Aries you can possibly be? Now is an excellent time to meditate on these riddles. One of my Aries readers, Mickki Langston, has some stellar tips to inspire you: 1. One of your greatest assets is your relentless sense of purpose. Treasure it. Stay connected to it. Draw on it daily. 2. Love what you love with pure conviction, because there is no escaping it. 3. Other people may believe in you, but only sometimes. That’s why you should unfailingly believe in yourself. 4. It’s your duty and your destiny to continually learn more about how to be a leader. 5. Don’t be confused by other people’s confusion. 6. Your best friend is the Fool, who will guide you to laughter and humility when you need it most, which is pretty much all of the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Detroit?

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Illustration by Detroit's own Stephen Schudlich

Illustration by Detroit’s own Stephen Schudlich

Chicago’s smaller cousin to the northeast has been suffering a fair bit these recent years, becoming something of a punching bag for out-of-town media, politicians and comedians. But from its depths, something special is underway. Detroit is reimagining itself, and starting to live up to its “renaissance city” moniker. We started taking notice of this during the great recession, when artists from all over the world started moving to Detroit, lured by its bargain real estate and urban grit. Like Berlin a half generation or so ago, it’s becoming a creative mecca, and with that seeing new life in its culture, a rethinking of its design and built environment, and new vigor in its entrepreneurial spirit. The future of Detroit seems unbound from its one-industry past. To coin an overused ad slogan from its automotive legacy, this ain’t your father’s Detroit.

In the spirit of our annual summer road-trip editions, several of our writers and editors—some Motor City expats, others Chicago through and through—visited and explored. At the same time, we connected with writers, artists and designers with boots on the ground, who added a native’s insight. What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than with a deep meditation on one great American city? And in doing so, gain some insight into our own city, and ourselves?  Read the rest of this entry »

For the Love of Detroit: Reimagining A City By and For Those Who Stayed

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buffalo st neighborhood.jpb

Photo: David Kukier

By David Kukier

My earliest memories take place on Detroit’s west side, in the 1980s still a patchwork of working- and middle-class neighborhoods anchored by churches, bars and multigenerational businesses. I would return as a resident in 2003 to a vastly different landscape: holdouts, areas sustained by the sheer tenacity of residents and a strange sense of freedom created by so much disinvestment and mismanagement.

In the real estate boom of 2006, Detroit’s core neighborhoods would suddenly enjoy a renaissance of those drawn back to urban life and a market buoyed by rising demand. And I would move again, from a century-old hodgepodge of artists, eccentrics and a fellow tenant who once welcomed my arrival by vaguely threatening me with a knife while trimming roses, cautioning me to ignore the cocaine-induced violence that his apartment played host to on Saturdays. I settled in the low-rent district of a shabby but workable immigrant enclave, where the process would repeat itself again a decade later, the standard Craigslist banner screaming, “Tired of outrageous Midtown rents? Move here!”

Recession slightly slowed development downtown and along the Woodward corridor, but its effect in the neighborhoods was devastating. Suddenly anyone still working at all could afford to flee failing schools and the constant specter of crime for the relative peace of the suburbs. Mortgage scams imploded and neighborhoods I drove through daily started to disappear as owners and tenants walked, and scrappers, firebugs and the elements moved through. Read the rest of this entry »