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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best, According to Some Locals You May Have Heard Of

Posted By on 12.29.10 at 10:15 AM

Tavi Gevinson, Bathsheba Nemerovski
  • Tavi Gevinson, Bathsheba Nemerovski
Oak Park's very own Tavi Gevinson, the petite underage blogger of Style Rookie, and Sparrow stylist and fashion icon-about-town Bathsheba Nemerovski share their thoughts on who deserves top honors in local shopping and fashion in the Huffington Post.

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Morning Art: Bingyi

Posted By on 12.29.10 at 08:51 AM

Cascade, a painting by Bingyi, on display through 12/11/11 at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood, 773-702-0200.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thomas Edison Shoots State Street

Posted By on 12.28.10 at 02:30 PM

As a River North worker bee, I can't imagine I was alone during the holiday crush when I was trying to get to the Grand bus and just reminding myself that people actually do have the legal right to walk three across on a sidewalk. Today I saw an 1894 Thomas Edison clip of Wabash and State and realized I have no right to complain about the density of pedestrian traffic.

Edison (or someone from his company) also shot my alma mater's gridiron greats, back when we were more interested in destroying midwestern sports powerhouses than the world. It's a great glimpse into the prehistory of football, which looked like rugby as played by steampunk stormtroopers.

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I Sing Dress Thee, America

Posted By on 12.28.10 at 12:27 PM

“We were honored that he approached us to do something together,” says Percy Steinhart, owner of Stubbs and Wootton*. “We do a lot of crests,” Steinhart adds. “And [Kanye] loves crests."

Bizarre, awesome story in the New York Post about Kanye West's new fashion assistant. In short: descendant of Henry Clay and Cassius Clay (the abolitionist, not the boxer) goes to Andover and Yale, designs an "equestrian-themed fashion line" in college, attends class with a Hermes bag that costs more than anything I'll ever own, becomes a passionate Lady Gaga fan ("We can credit her with a neo-neo-gothic lexicon for the modern age"), gets noticed by Kanye because of his slippers—Kanye does love crests—and finds himself dyeing jeans for everyone's favorite egotist.

The new oligarchy makes my brain hurt, so I give Kanye credit for employing them in the service of weirdness one patrilineal descendant of old money at a time (via @NPRSonari).

* "Handcrafted in Europe and unconsciously self-conscious, Stubbs & Wootton slippers have attained a cultlike following among the nouveau preppy set."

Illinois's New Hair Braiding Law

Posted By on 12.28.10 at 11:44 AM

WBEZ reports that a new hair-brading law, passed earlier this year, is going into effect; it simplifies the lengthy and expensive process hair braiders have previously had to go through in order to practice.

The new law has actually been in the works for a long time, through a tough fight that hinged on whether hair braiding is cosmetology and what sort of regulations should be required from whom. In 2006, Tasneem Paghdiwala* wrote a long, fascinating cover story on the issue.

* Now Tasneem Raja, Bay Citizen Web producer.

Morning Art: Debra Yepa-Pappan

Posted By on 12.28.10 at 09:12 AM

Live Long and Prosper (Spock was a Half-Breed), by Debra Yepa-Pappan, part of Intrigue and Novelty, a group show on display through 2/6 at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central, Evanston, 847-475-1030.

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Big Sale at Tula, Eskell on Gilt

Posted By on 12.28.10 at 08:42 AM

The silk Amelia top, on for $99 (originally $245)
  • The silk Amelia top, on for $99 (originally $245)
Got some breathing room on your credit card after the holidays? The Eskell sale on the sample sale site Gilt (free membership required) ends tonight at 11 PM. Silk dresses by the local duo are on sale for $109 to $149, pants for $99 to $109, and silk tops for $89-$99, but quantities are limited. And Tula kicks off a big sale: save up to 75 percent on winter and holiday items, including jewelry.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Tamalli Space Charros Blast Off at the End of January

Posted By on 12.27.10 at 01:12 PM

  • Aztlan Cardinal
  • Tamalespaceship

Opponents of the food truck ordinance have finally come out of the woodwork, and while their main arguments seem to ignore the predicate that mobile food vendors are already legal, new trucks keep popping up.

Case in point: Chicago's Best Theoretical Food Truck is no longer theory. Over the holiday I heard from Aztlan Cardinal of Tamalli Space Charros, saying their "Tamalespaceship" had passed its health inspection and they'd received their mobile food vendor's license. Armed with a handful of arts grants, they'll spend the next few weeks getting their 1978 Chevy flight ready, and hope to be slinging tamales and stridentist performance art by the end of next month. Former Mixteco/Rustico jefe Raul Arreola, however, is now cheffing full-time at Scott Harris's Fat Rosie's Taco & Tequila Bar in Saint Charles. He'll still serve as the Charros' chef consultant. Sample menu after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Morning Art: Jabari Zuberi

Posted By on 12.27.10 at 09:07 AM

Derrion's Mom, a photo by Jabari Zuberi, part of Rose Land, a show of his work on display through 12/31 at the University of Illinois at Chicago African-American Cultural Center, Addams Hall, 830 S. Halsted, #207, 312-996-9549.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Do the Right Thing

Posted By on 12.24.10 at 09:44 AM


I'd started taking the El for the first time in 1989, via Metra from Beverly up to summer school at Northwestern, when billboards for Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing began popping up along my route. "It's the hottest day of the summer," they read. "You can do something. You can do nothing. Or you can Do the Right Thing."

Seeing the film was a revelation for my 13-year-old self. The Bed-Stuy milieu bore a certain resemblance to the neighborhoods around the magnet schools I'd attended in West Pullman and Morgan Park. But Brooklyn seemed different than Chicago too. Instead of going home to islands of relative homogeneity at the end of the day to talk smack on other groups amid the safety of our own ethnicity, it seemed that the New Yorkers were in each others' face 24/7, and an explosion was inevitable.

Spike tore off the cover for me, revealing an exhilarating undercurrent of righteous rage. The fiery climax presaged in miniature, or detractors would argue helped inspire, the L.A. Riots three years later. In the epilogue, Malcolm X gets the last word, with a warning we'd do well to heed today:

"I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence."

When I'm asked my favorite film, this is still the one I pick.

Spike Lee speaks and signs copies of his photo memoir Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing, written with Jason Matloff, today, Dec. 24, 4-6 p.m. at Barbara's Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted St.

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