FWIW, I'm pretty sympathetic to Ricketts, given that he's taken over a team that, in recent history, has been both expensive (the $2m Ricketts expects to make from the not-billboard would, using 2009 numbers, pay for about 14 games of Soriano's season*) and mediocre. I'm more in favor of the strict preservationist argument (it's ugly) than the purist argument (Wrigley is a shrine etc; I think it's been all downhill since it stopped being Weeghman Park), but realistically speaking, people will get used to it. Heck, the Citgo sign above the Green Monster is iconic. I'm just surprised he's surprised.
* 116 games at $17m, per Baseball Reference
Show: Exit Through the Gift Shop "Since Exit Through the Gift Shop premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, some have suggested that the whole story, including the emergence of Mr. Brainwash, is an elaborate hoax engineered by Banksy to satirize the commodification of art. If so, it’s a brilliant one," writes J.R. Jones.
Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St., 773-509-4949, 4:30pm, 7:45pm, 10:15pm
Dinner: Bolat African Cuisine Nigerian-Ghanaian eatery serving a range of soups and stews with traditional starchy sides like fufu; after a recent renovation, there's now a full bar.
3346 N. Clark St., 773-665-1100
From 9 AM to 3 PM, Body Endeavours (1528 N. Halsted) is offering free mat classes, massage, acupuncture, and equipment sessions, as well as food and drinks. Register online and check out the full schedule of events.
Posture Perfect Pilates (1247 S. Wabash) is holding a free open house from noon to 5 PM, with food and drinks, a free mat class at 10 AM, and free cardiolates at 1 PM. Register for the classes by calling 312-675-2981 (no registration necessary for the open house).
I've been no friend of Vocalo, the ne'er-do-well Mr.Hyde to WBEZ's urbane Dr. Jekyll. It's the expensive vision, passion, and — I've invited readers to conclude — folly of Torey Malatia, CEO of the parent Chicago Public Radio.
New Jersey journalist Bob Bowdon appears at the Landmark on Friday night to introduce the 7:30 PM screening of his excellent documentary The Cartel. It's a factual and fair-minded conservative critique of the education crisis in America that takes as a case study Bowdon's home state, which is number one in the country for per-student spending but still produces dismal classroom results.
The bar for fashion success just got younger: today the Today Show profiled ten-year-old designer Cecilia Cassini. I'm impressed with any pre-teen who can sew, but one wishes her affect were a little more Tavi and a little less The Hills.
The fight over a proposed new development in Pullman on the far south side has so far been focused on whether it should include a new Walmart store, and the development’s main cheerleader in the City Council, Ninth Ward alderman Anthony Beale, has defended the inclusion of the controversial retailer by saying it's his only choice—he's reached out to other big-box firms and they’ve all turned him down. Beale has made it sound like he's in a mad dash to find a date for the high-school prom and all the pretty girls were already taken so he got stuck with Walmart.
But not everyone is buying his version of events—starting with the very retailers who supposedly spurned him.
I had to see Jackie Robinson, the man who was going to somehow wreck everything. So the next day, another kid and I started walking to the ballpark early.
We always walked to save the streetcar fare. It was five or six miles, but I felt about baseball the way Abe Lincoln felt about education.
He swung at the first pitch and they erupted as if he had knocked it over the wall. But it was only a high foul that dropped into the box seats. I remember thinking it was strange that a foul could make that many people happy.
—Mike Royko, "Jackie's Debut a Unique Day," 10/25/72
Roger Ebert says that sports isn't art, and while I don't disagree with him, sometimes its simplicity—and lack of inherent meaning—abstracts the world around us into something comprehensible* in the way that art sometimes does, or intends to (h/t @nocoastoffense, @ebertchicago).
* "Art alone can turn those thoughts of disgust at the horror or absurdity of existence into imaginary constructs which permit living to continue."
Show: Jason Collett On his latest solo album, Rat a Tat Tat (Arts & Crafts), Jason Collett continues to indulge his singer-songwriter side, something he has a hard time doing as a charter member of the indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene.
9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $15
Dinner: Que Rico is a Mexican restaurant with Argentinean and vegetarian influences that come together in, for instance, an empanada stuffed with spinach or other veggies. Berenjenas al ajo is like an Argentinean baba ghanoush-bright green eggplant chopped with a little garlic and lemon.
2814 N. Southport Ave., 773-975-7436