Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Real Creampuff*: John Wellborn Root's House

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 07:33 PM

The self-designed house of Burnham partner John Wellborn Root, at 1308 North Astor in the Gold Coast, is for sale. It's pretty, but my salary wouldn't quite cover the property taxes—I blame Mike Madigan.

Fun fact about John Wellborn Root: his father hired Fredrick Law Olmstead's sons to design (Atlanta's) Grant Park.

*Yes, I read real-estate magazines when I was a kid, because they were the only thing on the rack in the local Tastee-Freeze. From what I gather "creampuff" was either a real-estate regionalism or has fallen out of fashion. Or, now that I'm an adult who came of age during the Real Estate Bubble Surcharge Madness, I actually have less reason to read home listings than when I was 10.

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Blago: QED

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 07:09 PM

Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross watches Blago's Celebrity Apprentice star turn so I don't have to:

He just walks around as clueless as clueless can be with his goofy grin on. Ignorance must truly be bliss because this guy seemingly has no skills whatsoever and is caught up in a huge political scandal, yet walks around like he just ate up a huge bowl of sunshine. I wonder what the voters of Illinois — especially the ones that voted for him — think when they see how incompetent he is.

If they're clever, they probably think that's kind of how he got elected in the first place (via Archpundit).

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Get Rid of a Gown, Plant a Tree

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 06:03 PM

  • whitexchange.com

Whether you're selling your wedding dress to raise some cash, make space in the closet, or exorcise some bad mojo, now you can make the world a little greener by it: through April, consign your gown through WhiteXchange and the company will donate a dollar to the Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion campaign, which plants trees in a deforested area of Brazil.

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RapidShare Runs From Its Roots

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 04:32 PM

RapidShare, a cyberlocker service that allows users to anonymously upload files to its servers and share download links with anyone they want, has announced that it's going to start cracking down on users sharing copyrighted material. It's a predictable strategy for a company that's spent most of its existence a hair's breadth away from being sued into a million little pieces by record labels.

For those of you unfamiliar with the finer points of stealing music, cyberlockers like RapidShare, Megaupload, and MediaFire are the easiest way to do it. They don't get as much media shine as P2P services because they haven't been involved in a high-profile RIAA suit, but savvy downloaders know that Limewire is old news. Type the name of any semipopular band or album into Google and odds are that the autocomplete function will offer that name and the word "RapidShare" as one of the first options. Those options are ranked by popularity, which means that a significant percentage of the people Googling that band or record are doing so in order to grab the music off RapidShare for free.

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Men Who Beat Women

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 04:11 PM

And my host also reminds me that it’s naïve for me to find it hard to believe that, for example, there were 59 DV deaths in Wisconsin last year.

This post by Mother Jones's Mac McClelland about rising domestic violence rates reminded me of one of the best Reader features I've ever read, a 1992 piece by Kitry Krause, in which she actually sits down with wife-beaters and talks to them about why they did and do it. It's horrifying and compelling, and well worth reading.

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The Conundrum of the Quorum

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 12:55 PM

The City Council may gather for a special session this Wednesday thanks to aldermen Joe Moore (49th), Willie Cochran (20th), and Ricardo Munoz (22nd)—but the meeting could also turn out to be a complete bust and political embarrassment.

The trio wants the council to take a vote on Mayor Daley’s plan to restructure the city’s street-sweeping system, a move he can legally make without approval from aldermen. Under Daley's plan, starting April 1—the day after the special session—street sweepers will patrol the city according to a new grid system that the mayor claims will cut costs. Gone will be the days when each ward has its own street sweeper overseen by the ward’s alderman and Streets & San superintendent. Moore, Cochran, and Munoz argue the change will hurt the quality of street sweeping, and they want the City Council to have a say in the matter.

But the vote could be kicked to the curb.

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Diana Sudyka on Curious Cardigans

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 12:24 PM

Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer Press have launched an interview series called Curious Cardigans, a video offshoot of the Show & Tell Show. In this episode, they talk with my favorite local illustrator/gig poster artist/taxidermist, Diana Sudyka (wife of the brilliant rock poster artist/illustrator Jay Ryan*). Both of them, incidentally, have posters that would make nice presents for the bicyclist in your life (Ryan; Sudyka).

Curious Cardigans <3 Diana Sudyka from mas / menos on Vimeo.

* Whose poster for the recent Ex/Shellac show at Lincoln Hall is AWESOME.

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Stone Beer Week in Chicago

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 11:38 AM

California's Stone Brewing Company kicks off its arrival in Chicago this week with nine days of events. Beginning Thursday, bars across the city devote tap space to Stone beers, which include the company's seven year-round releases as well as specialties like Old Guardian Barley Wine and the Vertical Epic series. An exhaustive (and exhausting) list of the goings-on is here. From the more than 30 events, we've picked out some good bets.

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Morning Art: Paul Lorenz

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 08:44 AM

September 15, #1, a painting by Paul Lorenz, part of After France, a show of his work on display through 5/1 at Homey Gallery, 3656 N. Lincoln, 773-248-0050.

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Music Without Borders Lineup Announced

Posted By on 03.30.10 at 07:40 AM

Monajat Yulchieva
  • Monajat Yulchieva
The Department of Cultural Affairs has just announced the schedule for the fifth installment of its excellent Music Without Borders series. There are eight double bills this year totaling 15 acts (plus special guests), the largest number of performers in the history of the series. I can't help but scratch my head at the sight of former Johnny Carson bandleader Doc Severinsen on the June 24 bill, but I'm terribly excited to hear brilliant Uzbek singer Monajat Yulchieva, funky Beninese legends Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, and rough-and-ready Afro-Colombian dance machine Las Alegres Ambulancias, all making Chicago debuts. The full lineup is after the jump.

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