Street Smart Chicago

The Air Down There: The 2009 Air Sex World Championships reach Chicago

Events, Logan Square, Love & Sex No Comments »

Amongst slightly creaky hardwood floors and below rotating fans from protruding circles on the ceiling, an audience gathers in the Logan Square Auditorium with beers in hand to view a sexy spectacle. The 2009 Air Sex World Championships are about to take place, and viewers prepare for a sight that many of them have never seen before-think an air-guitar contest, but different.

The competition starts. Seven contestants, all ready and willing to show their best O-faces on stage in front of a crowd of strangers to songs of their choosing. First: Long John Silver. He moves slowly and sweetly, but is just as short as he is sweet. Second comes Vaughn Quee-Quee, who seduces an imaginary woman three times his size. He begins by tossing his aviators to the floor and ends with a peace sign to the audience. “I’ve been practicing my whole life for this,” he tells the us as he leaves the stage. Jade is third, and he climbs his way into his woman and starts swimming, telling the audience later that his song of choice had been “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid,” even though the DJ had played something else by accident. “The uterus is the origin of our existence, and sometimes you just wanna get back in it,” he says of his swimming. Crunchy McVibe, feigning inebriation, undresses all the way to his boxers. Curvy Shaft starts with a cigarette and relaxes as his partner does all the work. Pair of Jugs, the first female contestant, makes do with a small member and awkwardly gyrates to the theme song from “Full House.” Dr. Leonard McCoy wraps up the first round with a perfectly choreographed routine in a green one-piece jumpsuit.

After a round of finalists, Crunchy McVibe is deemed winner by the audience. Apparently, being fake-drunk helps. (Micah McCrary)

411: A Black Hole No Longer

-Neighborhood/Suburb, Logan Square, News etc., Northwest Side No Comments »

The newly formed Northwest Chicago Historical Society is currently looking for volunteers to help build their organization. A volunteer meeting will be held at the Chicago Public Library – Logan Square Branch, 3030 W. Fullerton, on May 14 at 7:30. The Northwest Chicago Historical Society-which is an extension of the Jefferson Park Historical Society-is hoping to have their organization up and running by early 2010. The group is open to any and all volunteers interested in preserving the history of the city’s Northwest Side. “At this point, we don’t know what people are going to want to volunteer for,” Dan Pogorzelski, one of the group’s organizers, says. Some of the specific areas that they would like assistance in include event planning, newsletter production and ad sales. The organization was founded in order to highlight the Northwest Side’s amazing history through preserving photos and stories before they are forgotten. “To quote one of my professors, ‘Anywhere west of the Chicago River is a black hole of Chicago history,'” Pogorzelski says. “Which makes it even more imperative to collect these stories and histories. The Northwest Chicago Historical Society will also host a meeting on May 27 at the Jefferson Park Library, 5363 W. Lawrence, and June 6 at the Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church, 5051 W. Gunnison.

Not for Squares: Everyone loves Logan Square

Events, Logan Square, News etc. No Comments »

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

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

Sex School: The Burlington offers everything you’ve ever wanted to know

Events, Logan Square, Love & Sex No Comments »

strike-a-poseWhere can you find six women in one room who would happily don a strap-on and take on a guy? Or a bar full of men who shout out the maximum distance they’ve managed to shoot a load?

Logan Square bar The Burlington is home to the monthly Sunday Night Sex Show, where creators and hosts Allen Makere and Robyn Pennacchia infuse your mind, libido and sense of humor with any and all things sex-related. Read the rest of this entry »

¡Viva La Ciclovia!: Sunday Parkways throws a bash on the boulevards

Bicycling, Events, Garfield Park, Little Village, Logan Square No Comments »

Sunday morning and Humboldt Boulevard, usually dominated by speeding metal boxes, is filled instead with smiling faces: tots on trikes, parents with strollers, joggers, bladers and every kind of bicyclist. It’s like a more family-friendly Critical Mass, minus the pissed-off motorists. Are we in some alternate universe?

No, says a green-skinned alien who’s waving to folks as they roll past a temporary skate park that’s been set up for the occasion, hip-hop on the sound system. He’s actually 50-ish Rafael Boria, in costume to promote his son’s skateboard company, but he refuses to break character. “Coming from planet Yuron, I am pleased to see you Earthlings have created this inviting environment,” he monotones.

It’s Sunday Parkways, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s scheme to turn roadways into temporary car-free space for healthy recreation, inspired by Bogota, Colombia’s Ciclovia (“Cycle Way” in Spanish) which draws up to two million residents every week to play on a seventy-mile street network.

The bike federation is staging two three-and-a-half-mile pilots of the program along Chicago’s boulevard system this month: last week’s North Side route which winds from Logan Square’s Centennial Monument to Garfield Park; and another test on October 26, from Garfield Park to 24th and California in Little Village. The federation organized and paid for these events but hopes to persuade Mayor Daley, an outspoken cycling advocate, to fund and expand Sunday Parkways next year.

Just south of the eagle-topped monument in Logan Square, Armitage Baptist Church has set up a makeshift café, handing out free java to fuel the cyclists. A few blocks down the route an “activity station” at Palmer Square Park hosts aerobics, yoga and fencing demos. “This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors,” says Gloria Alcala, watching with her daughters Viviana, 9, and Valeria, 7, who have balloon animals tied to the front of their two-wheelers.

Marcus and Juvy Radford push their daughter Zoe, 2, past the Humboldt Park boathouse, where salsa dancing, a steel drum concert and capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines combat with music and dance, take place. “I think we should have this more often—and later in the day,” says the drowsy mom. A Henry Rollins lookalike pedals by, carrying a female friend in the front cargo hold of his Dutch work bike.

At the south end of the route in Garfield Park, at a live taping of the local TV show “Chic-A-Go-Go,” hostess Miss Mia and her puppet sidekick Ratso are leading a crowd of kids and their parents in line dances like the Cuban Shuffle, the Soulja Boy and the Cha-Cha Slide. They’re swarmed by a flock of Canada geese and Park says, “We’re trying to get geese to dance with us.”

At 1pm, just before rain sets in, city workers start moving traffic cones and barricades to open the streets to motorized traffic. “Oh, they’re letting the cars back in,” says a hipster. “Yeah,” replies a senior. “That sucks.” (John Greenfield)

411: Brews and Bikes

Bicycling, Events, Logan Square No Comments »

After two years in the works, New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat is rolling into town on fat tires—and has packed plenty of its signature Fat Tire beer for all. Read the rest of this entry »

Bohemian Rhapsody: University of Chicago profs study the migration of hipsters and other urban phenomena

Andersonville, Bridgeport, Bucktown, City Life, Edgewater, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Irving Park, Kenwood, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Little Village, Logan Square, News etc., North Center, Pilsen, Roscoe Village, South Shore, Ukrainian Village, Uptown, Washington Park, Wicker Park, Wrigleyville No Comments »

By Sean Redmond

Entering Wicker Park by the Blue Line, you emerge into the intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee to a long-familiar sight. There’s the Double Door across the street, Flash Taco and, until just recently, the façade of Filter, Wicker Park’s former hipster coffeehouse extraordinaire. These staples, like many along these primary roadways, fade into the background with repeated visits; yes, you know you can find Reckless Records and American Apparel and the venues and art galleries in the surrounding area, but getting where you want to go requires little thought once you’re situated enough to put your eyes to the sidewalk and your feet into autopilot. But then one day, you get off the train and, surprise, the boarded-up shell of Filter is replaced with an expansive Bank of America, and your mind jolts back into motion. Suddenly, a wave of thoughts bursts forth: “Man, there are a lot of banks in the area,”or “Wicker Park really is getting commercialized,” or  “Maybe I need to start spending more time in Logan Square.”
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