Each week we ask you to show us something. This week it's Peter Seman's VIOLIN COLLECTION. Got something to show us? email@example.com
Since its perfection 300 years ago by members of the Stradivari family, the violin hasn't evolved much in terms of design. Peter Seman, who describes himself as "president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer" of Skokie-based Seman Violins, guesses that's what leads people to tinker with the instrument's build in ways that aren't necessarily intuitive: "All of these people have been doing weird experiments to make the violin better."
Whenever I watch a Blackhawks game I find myself wondering about the person up in the box who plays the organ and electronic drums during the game. It must be a weird, knowing you're all but anonymous despite the thousands of people who can hear what you're doing. In this week's Reader Jake Austen takes us to U.S. Cellular Field and introduces us to Lori Moreland, the new organist for the White Sox, and it's pretty amazing. Did you know that the Sox maintain an open-door policy vis-a-vis their organist? If you want you can stop in and see Moreland at work the next time you're at a Sox game. That almost seems worth the cost of admission to me, but as noted above I'm possibly a little more fascinated by this than the average person.
This week in Omnivorous I wrote about Ed Hamilton, the onetime Caribbean rum runner now recognized as the world's foremost expert on sugarcane spirits. And this week, thanks to him, Chicago will see a new shipment of Lemon Hart 151, the once endangered overproof demerara rum that Hamilton now imports from Guyana (via Newfoundland). It is an essential ingredient in many classic tiki recipes, but bartenders are doing original things with it all the time.
Sable barkeep Mike Ryan says the first time he tried Lemon Hart 151 "was out of a brown paper bag in Wicker Park at 11 am with some of my then-Violet Hour coworkers a couple of years ago. Made for an interesting day." His buttery, creamy horchata-based Teacup River, named for a Guyanese children's song, is a much gentler pick-me-up.
If I woke each morning at the Hotel Palomar, this would be my breakfast. It's a good thing I don't.
Recipe after the jump:
Maybe it's not so bad to lose your director to the Getty Trust. The Art Institute of Chicago announced late Wednesday that it'll soon be getting a $400,000 grant from the Getty Foundation to build an online catalog of AIC's collection of works by Monet and Renoir. Departing AIC director James Cuno starts his new job as head of the foundation's parent organization, the J. Paul Getty Trust, in August. His predecessor there was another former AIC director, James Wood.
Heroin addicts are the pleasantest, kindest people. There's an altruism that I've never seen in any other addiction. If I'm a crack addict, and I've just bought a rock, and I see you coming down the street, I'm going to duck in an alley so I don't have to share it. But if I've just spent my last ten bucks on heroin, I'll share it with you so you can get your sick off.
When I ask people how they got addicted to heroin, they tell me, "I always knew there was something missing, and I didn't know what it was until I used my first bag." They become addicted because at some point before they use the drug, their brain stops making enough endorphins. When kids at a party use heroin, they're trying to get high. When addicts use heroin, they're trying to get normal—the way you and I feel on an average day. That's why abstinence-based treatment for heroin addiction has such miserable results, and why substitution treatment with methadone or suboxone is so effective.
Saying progress has been made and citing New York's decision to legalize gay marriage, Mayor Emanuel told CNN he hopes Illinois will follow suit. (CNN)
Transformers III is getting awful reviews, but Chicago is a star. Here’s how the film depicts a Chicago ravaged by Decepticons. (Crain’s)
Just how badly would a canceled NFL season hurt Chicago’s economy? (Sun-Times)
You'll probably be busy barbecuing and trying to avoid blowing off your fingers this weekend—but if you can't resist the shopping sirens, there are a couple sales going on. Clever Alice, 1920 N. Damen, is holding a summer sale, with items from Casting, LinQ, Nanushka, and Mike Gonzales going for 20 to 50 percent off. And Vintage Heaven returns with "United We Buy," another blowout multi-vendor vintage sale featuring Vintage Freak, Badlands, BuriedBone, and many other purveyors of the fabulously secondhand. It's on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 PM at Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee.