Street Smart Chicago

Lollapalooza Green Street: Lolla Cares

Events, Green No Comments »

Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green StreetGreenStreet-Lolla_Cares.4x8Lolla 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 »

Lollapalooza Green Street: Farmers Market

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Part of the Official Guide to Lollapalooza’s Green Street

GreenStreet-Farmer_Mkt.4x8

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

Simply Divine: Projecting Dante onto the Face of the Field

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Photo: Mazan Saagar

Photo: Mazan Saagar

From Rome to Paris and now Chicago, his combination of light and sound installations with classic works of poetry have offered a new interpretation of classic literature. Tonight (June 24) at the Field Museum, artist Marco Nereo Rotelli will perform his latest endeavor inspired by Dante Alighieri’s fourteenth-century epic poem, “The Divine Comedy,” during this free public event as a part of the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago’s summer event series.

Throughout the show, text and images Rotelli adapted from Dante’s “The Inferno” will project across the Field Museum’s outer walls—images so vast they will be visible from nearby streets, buildings and even aircrafts. The light will act as an illuminated manuscript to guide the audience throughout Dante’s journey. Read the rest of this entry »

Checkerboard City: Message of Camaraderie

Bicycling, Checkerboard City, Events 1 Comment »

Photo: John Greenfield

By John Greenfield

Mayor Daley’s campaign to host the 2016 Olympics in Chicago failed, but local bike messengers are realizing their dream to bring the Olympics of two-wheeled delivery to town. As the athletic action heats up in London, this weekend hundreds of couriers from around the globe will converge in our city for the 20th Annual Cycle Messenger World Championships, with a packed schedule of races, arts events and parties celebrating their unique lifestyle.

The championships take place from Thursday, August 2, to Sunday, August 5, with the main competitions happening all day Saturday and Sunday in the south parking lot of Soldier Field, 18th Street and the Lakefront Trail. Other highlights include track racing at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, a nighttime “alleycat” (messenger-style race in live traffic), a movie night with courier-themed films, an opening party featuring punk-rock legends Agent Orange and the infamous Messenger Prom. Check out the full schedule of events at chicagocmwc.com/plan.html. Read the rest of this entry »

NATO Takes Chicago, Chicago Takes NATO

Events, Politics No Comments »

This weekend’s NATO summit is inspiring a mix of welcoming promotions, confrontational protests and regular Chicagoans heading out of town. Here’s a selective listing of events, protests and promotions inspired by the gathering.

Already Happening

Chicago’s Culinary Crossroads Over two hundred restaurant locations will present tasting menus, featured items, desserts, wine selections and cocktails inspired by the NATO nations. For more information visit chicagosculinarycrossroads.org. Through May 25.

NATO Cupcakes Magnolia Bakery, 108 North State. $3. Through May 25.

 May 17

Occupy Chicago’s Day of Environment: Planet over War! Bring your bike and rally against the environmentally destructive agendas of NATO and the G8. Rally outside of the Canadian Consulate, meet at the corner of Jackson and LaSalle. 2-11pm. Free. For more information visit natoprotest.org/events. Read the rest of this entry »

Checkerboard City: To ‘L’ and Back

Checkerboard City, Events, Green, Transit No Comments »

By John Greenfield

Driving cuts you off from the outside world, but walking, biking and especially public transit encourage interaction with strangers, which can lead to some unforgettable encounters. The performance piece “EL Stories,” based on real tales from CTA commuters recorded by Waltzing Mechanics theater company, capitalizes on this.

“The Chicago ‘L’ is a shared, communal space that hundreds of thousands of people come together and inhabit every day,” says cast member Eleni Pappageorge. “When you bring that many people from that many places into one space a lot can happen. Some of the smallest, most mundane events on the train can make beautiful stories, but you wouldn’t notice them with your iPod on.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Windy Midrealm: The Society for Creative Anachronism Keeps Medieval Times Alive

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The Pennsic festival/Photo: Ron Lutz

By Caylie Sadin

“I’m just checking Twitter for updates on the tournament,” a Medieval maiden says. This maiden is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a group dedicated to researching and recreating the arts, skills and traditions of pre-seventeenth-century Europe “as it ought to have been.” In other words, they enjoy the luxuries of indoor plumbing and easy access to the Internet through smart phones hidden in corsets.

At their Twelfth Night event at the Irish American Heritage Center, Katherine von Scholsserwald (Kathryn Westburg in real life) has a whole peasant’s house laid out in one of the rooms. She uses planks to delineate the animals’ sleeping area, the cooking fire, the eating area and the bed. She has bowls made of horn and wood, spoons made of ivory and the few metal belongings a peasant would have had—metal was very expensive. She has drawings of what those houses would look like in Yorkshire circa 1200. She even has leeches, which she is going to show to attendees later in the day at her medieval medicine talk. Read the rest of this entry »

State of Freedom: Can Open Streets downtown sell City Hall on future ciclovias?

Bicycling, Events, Green, Loop, Politics No Comments »

Photo: Brett Mohr

By John Greenfield

“On State Street, that great street, I just want to say
They do things they don’t do on Broadway”
—“Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” by Fred Fisher

The question is, can Chicago do on State Street what New York City already does successfully, not on Broadway but on Park Avenue; what San Francisco does on Grant Avenue; and what Bogotá, Colombia, does on Calle 11?

After two previous attempts, the Active Transportation Alliance hopes Saturday’s car-free event on State Street will finally convince City Hall to embrace the ciclovia concept.

Born in Bogotá, the “ciclovia” (Spanish for “bike path”) concept closes streets to motorized traffic, creating safe spaces for citizens to bicycle, jog, stroll, play and mingle, encouraging healthy recreation and social interaction. Ciclovias are now popular around the world, and most of America’s bike-friendly major cities are holding successful events, but the model still hasn’t gained a foothold in Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »

9/11+10: Remembering a Day We Wish We Could Forget

Events 1 Comment »

Vera Lutter, "Ground Zero III, January 15 - 25, 2002"

9/11/01 Was a Tuesday. Anyone who’s ever worked at Newcity knows what that means: deadline day. Starting Friday on this site, you can read about that day at Newcity, and read our resulting coverage. Meanwhile, many civic and arts organizations will be commemorating the tenth anniversary of that dark day in American history this week.

Vera Lutter: Studies for Ground Zero
The Museum of Contemporary Art recently opened this exhibition of Lutter’s work to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. Lutter transformed a room in a building across the street from Ground Zero into a giant photographic lens to produce large-scale negatives of the site for this memorial display.
Open through September 12 at the MCA. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Tour de Fat fetes Beer Drinkers, Bike Riders and Beer-Drinking Bike Riders

Bicycling, Events, Green, Logan Square No Comments »

“If Tour de Fat was a drug,” an attendee to the cycling festival says on its Facebook page, “I’d say it was the same chemical compounds released in your brain and euphoric experience that we know as love.”

Those interested in the way beer, free music and bicycle riding can stimulate that particular feeling would do well to check out the upcoming Chicago leg of the Tour de Fat, which comes to Chicago this Saturday. Centered around a costumed bike parade, the festival, which is hosted by the Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company, will have an emphasis upon sustainability. The Car-for-Bike program allows one pre-chosen Chicago citizen to trade in their polluting car for an eleven-speed handcrafted bicycle for one year. Performing acts this year are appropriately eclectic, including vaudeville comedy act The Daredevil Chicken Club, psychedelic blue-grass band The Dovekins, and  self-described “circus punk marching band” Mucca Pazza. Seventies rock mainstay Free Energy headlines the stage. (Michael Gillis)

The Tour de Fat is in Chicago on July 16. Registration for the bike parade begins at 9am, with the parade itself being at 10am at Palmer Square, North Kedzie Avenue and West Palmer Square. Performances continue at Palmer Square from 11am to 4pm.