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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The nostalgia of architecture and the architecture of nostalgia

Posted By on 11.30.11 at 08:00 AM

Last month, former Reader staffer Whet Moser wrote about the architectural firm of Hausner & Macsai for Chicago magazine’s 312 blog. Having spent most of my life on the north side of Chicago, it was revelatory to discover how many buildings that had long fascinated me could be attributed to two architects. Specifically, the Harbor House at 3200 N. Lake Shore Drive—which anyone who has ever disembarked from Lake Shore Drive at Belmont will recognize instantly—and 1150 N. Lake Shore Drive are two buildings of which I’m particularly fond; while they share some similarities, the sensibilities of the two buildings are disparate. 1150 N. Lake Shore Drive is an elegantly curved high-rise that resembles a free-standing, sideways arch, while Harbor House is a blobby, grotesque fun house, a three-tiered apartment complex with curved squares jutting out of the front.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Raw Milk Freedom Ride

Posted By on 11.29.11 at 02:28 PM

Haven't heard much lately from the Molecular Collective, the guerrilla art group that was giving away raw milk around the city last summer. But civil disobedience in the name of unpasteurized dairy products is not dead. Earlier this month a group called the Raw Milk Freedom Riders hauled 100 gallons of unpasteurized moo juice from a Pennsylvania farm to Food and Drug Administration HQ in Silver Spring, Maryland, in defiance of the federal ban on the transportation of raw milk across state lines.

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Haberdash EDC opens

Posted By on 11.29.11 at 01:02 PM

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Men's retailer Haberdash already claims two locations in the city, and now it's expanded into another realm. Haberdash EDC (EDC stands for "every day carry") will focus on shoes and accessories as well as apothecary items and small goods like pens, flashlights, pocketknives, and other handy stuff—just in time for the holidays. It's in the Tree Studios building at 611 N. State, just steps from a Haberdash location at 607 N. State.

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Tonight in rep screenings: Bitter Rice (1949)

Posted By on 11.29.11 at 10:15 AM

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Tonight the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago begins a series of free film screenings that will take place over the next four Tuesdays at 6 PM. With the exception of the final selection, La Dolce Vita (1960), none of these titles are especially well-known in the United States. Yet all of them are from the greatest era of Italian cinema, which began roughly with the end of World War II and lasted until the mid-1970s. As a fan of Luchino Visconti, I’m most looking forward to Bellissima (1951), which plays next week, but tonight’s selection, Bitter Rice (1949), is worth seeing as well.

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Dan Tepfer's "Goldberg Variations"

Posted By on 11.29.11 at 09:00 AM

Dan Tepfer
  • Dan Tepfer
Bach's Goldberg Variations are one of those classical masterpieces on which generations of interpreters have been able to leave especially deep marks—we now refer to certain recorded versions as if they belong to the keyboardist rather than the composer, perhaps most famously in the case of pianist Glenn Gould. He made his international reputation when he recorded the work in 1955, then caused a stir by recording it again in 1981 (just before his death), with a much slower, meditative feeling.

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Tigerman, extracted

Posted By on 11.29.11 at 08:00 AM

As noted in my story from last week, the 25 essays in architect Stanley Tigerman’s book Schlepping Through Ambivalence were just published by Yale University Press—but they weren't just written. They represent nearly a half century of what Tigerman calls his “bewildering ruminations.” Among them, a string of biting rants about the lock Mies van der Rohe’s disciples had on Chicago architecture for a big chunk of the 20th century. Yale dean and starchitect Robert A.M Stern has called Tigerman "a mensch," but he's a mensch in wolf's clothing.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Call for submissions to the Reader's fifth annual photo issue

Posted By on 11.28.11 at 04:42 PM

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It's getting to be that time of the year again—that's right: it's time to take a shot at getting your work into the Reader's annual photo issue. For this year's issue, we decided to go with a theme absolutely no one is talking about: money. Submit your photos—based however loosely on the concept of money—by December 8 by e-mailing photoissue@chicagoreader.com. Finalists will be posted on the Reader's Facebook page by December 14, and voting will take place on Facebook between December 14 and 21. Winners will receive prizes and have their photos featured in the January 5 issue.

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"The Rise and Fall of Meatyballs"

Posted By on 11.28.11 at 03:00 PM

Phillip Foss in ballsier times
A footnote to last week's story on Phillip Foss and El Ideas: on Wednesday he published a lengthy jeremiad about his disillusionment with the food truck business, which at the least should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone wanting to roll a new truck out in the current prohibitive regulatory environment. Besides that, it's a naked account of the toll the food business can take on one's health, sanity, and family:

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Coming soon: Christopher Munch's Letters From the Big Man

Posted By on 11.28.11 at 02:00 PM

There’s a scene about halfway into Letters From the Big Man (opening at Facets Multimedia on Friday and playing through December 8) in which the main character, Sara (Lily Rabe) visits a logging site in the Oregon woods. She’s a hydrologist currently working for the USDA Park Service, but she used to consult for the logging company that owns the site. When she arrives she talks to the chief logger, a big, old-fashioned lumberjack type with a beard like Van Gogh’s postman. It seems like she’s only going to ask him for facts and move on—instead, she ends up crashing at the guy’s pad, sharing a bottle of whiskey and talking about painting.

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Starting today on the Bleader: Architecture Week

Posted By on 11.28.11 at 12:30 PM

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Today we start round two of our weekly online-only feature "Variations on a Theme," in which we devote digital ink to a topic that fascinates us. This week, it's architecture.

Every weekday morning and at various points throughout the week, Reader staffers and occasional guest contributors will produce a post—a personal essay, a longer-form reported story, a photo gallery, or something more off-the-wall—on a respective theme. The theme will often tie into the previous week's lead feature story, but not always. We'll be creating a unified online issue that supplements what we do in print and sustains the conversation around topics we think matter. Every entry in our "Variations on a Theme" series will be updated with links to the rest of the week's entries at the bottom of the post, and you can read an aggregated feed of the week's entries by clicking the tag at the top of each post.

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Love All Potatoes The Franklin
June 14
Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20

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