Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Baffler's back again! (This time for real)

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 05:14 PM

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Over the weekend I got to swing it on the flippity-flop with The Baffler founder Tom Frank and John Summers, the brand-new editor and publisher of the beloved culture-crit journal. The two were in town to go through some old files and, in Summers's case, box up and ship them to Cambridge, Mass., where he lives. Yes, that's right: Chicago will no longer be able to claim The Baffler (est. 1988) as its own, though Summers says the publication isn't about to abandon its roots any time soon. "Chicago has been vital to The Baffler's sensibility, which won't change much," he says, adding that Eugenia Williamson—a native and U. of C. alum who "won't soon forget her Chicago ties"—is a contributing editor. Other fancy writers from around these parts are probable contributors as well.

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Show us your ... violin collection

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 03:00 PM

Each week we ask you to show us something. This week it's Peter Seman's VIOLIN COLLECTION. Got something to show us? showus@chicagoreader.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."

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This week on the B Side

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 02:29 PM

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.

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Take a sip: Mike Ryan's Teacup River

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 12:21 PM

Mike Ryans Teacup River

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.

At first.

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:

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Art Institute of Chicago snags Getty grant

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 11:50 AM

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.

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Sarz Maxwell, psychiatrist

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 11:30 AM

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.

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Mayor Emanuel hopes Illinois legalizes gay marriage

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 11:06 AM

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)

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Holiday Weekend Sales

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 10:58 AM

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.

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Headline Club will introduce an Anne Keegan award

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 08:30 AM

Abdon Pallasch was learning journalism at Medill back in the 80s, and one of his professors gave him a story to read that the Tribune had carried on page one in 1975. It was an odd story for the Tribune to display so prominently, because Richie Kaczmarek, the subject of it, had been the night foreman at Schwartz's packinghouse, and there was nothing exceptional about either his life or death, except that at 44 he'd died of a heart attack unfairly young.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hooray for abysmal labor conditions—we're getting Walmarted

Posted By on 06.29.11 at 04:24 PM

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  • Image by mjb84 via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
As part of its "conquer Chicago" campaign, Walmart's announced that it's opening a store by Wrigley Field. Supporters of the store, who either don't care about Walmart's well-documented discriminatory, unstable, and unfair labor practices, or who are paid by the company to pose as community supporters, say on the Internet that the new store will be a tremendous boon to Lakeview and its residents (of which I am one). After all, cheap crap for everyone! (Except for those of us who won't ever shop there!)

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