The Bleader | Blog + Reader, the Chicago Reader's blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Learn to make a matzo ball that will get you drunk

Posted By on 11.29.16 at 02:46 PM

"It was not a fun developmental process," Best Intentions bartender and co-owner Christopher Marty says of his experiments with matzo. Pito Rodriguez, a bartender at Sable Kitchen & Bar, had challenged him to create a cocktail with the unleavened bread traditionally eaten at Passover. "He just chose the first Jewish thing he could think of, I imagine," Marty says. "He's trolling me, obviously."

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Black politicians call for investment in poverty-stricken areas to end gun violence, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 11.29.16 at 06:00 AM

A woman sits on the curb as police investigate an August scene where gunfire at a birthday party left a man dead and a woman injured. - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES VIA AP
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times via AP
  • A woman sits on the curb as police investigate an August scene where gunfire at a birthday party left a man dead and a woman injured.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

  • Weather: A beautiful day in the 50s

It will be beautiful and warm Tuesday, with a high of 57 and a low of 41. It will be mostly sunny all day, with virtually no chance of rain. [AccuWeather]

  • Politicians call for investment in poverty-stricken communities after death of Congressman Danny Davis's grandson

Dozens of black politicians united at City Hall Monday "to demand that at least 10 percent of city, county, state and federal funds be spent in neighborhoods where at least 20 percent of the population has lived below the poverty line for the past 30 years," according to the Sun-Times. The call for action comes because of the recent fatal shooting of Javon Wilson, U.S. rep Danny Davis's 15-year-old grandson, over gym shoes. Poverty is driving the bloodshed in the city's poorest areas, and investing more money in those communities would reduce the violence, according to Davis. [Sun-Times]

  • Video of woman going on racist rant at Lakeview Michaels goes viral

Video of a white woman going on a racist rant, including calling an African-American cashier an "animal," at a Lakeview Michaels craft store has gone viral. Although another customer was able to catch about ten minutes of the incident on video, it reportedly lasted for about 45 minutes. "But the manager was so calm," Jessie Grady told DNAinfo Chicago. "Her tone never changed." "We regret that our customers and team members were affected by this unfortunate incident and are grateful for the leadership of our store team in working to resolve it without further escalation," the craft-store chain said in a statement. [DNAinfo Chicago]

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Monday, November 28, 2016

A John Waters Christmas, BrewLights, and more things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 11.28.16 at 03:56 PM

A John Waters Christmas comes to Thalia Hall on Tue 11/29. - GETTY IMAGES
  • Getty Images
  • A John Waters Christmas comes to Thalia Hall on Tue 11/29.

Bounce back from the weekend of family time by going out into the world. There's plenty to do this weekend, here's some of what we recommend:

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CPD top cop takes strongest possible action against officer who fatally shot Kajuan Raye, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 11.28.16 at 10:31 AM

Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks to reporters earlier this year. - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
  • Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks to reporters earlier this year.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, November 28, 2016.

  • Weather: Warmer but rainy

It will be a bit warmer Monday, with a high of 52 and a low of 44. It's very likely going to rain during parts of the day and evening. [AccuWeather]

  • CPD superintendent Johnson removes cop who killed Kajuan Raye

Kajuan Raye, 19, was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in West Englewood November 23. The cop said that Raye pointed a gun at him, but no gun has been found and Raye was shot in the back, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson has taken the strongest action possible by relieving the cop of his powers instead of putting him on 30 days of administrative leave while the Independent Police Review Authority investigates the shooting. "Based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired," Johnson said in a statement. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts rumored to be Trump's pick for deputy commerce secretary

Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts is likely to be named deputy commerce secretary by president-elect Donald Trump, according to Politico. The Ricketts family supported Trump financially during the general election, but also donated to an anti-Trump super PAC before he won the GOP nomination. [Politico]

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Behind the scenes of Grace with the Disciples d'Escoffier

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 05:18 PM

The kitchen staff remained laser-focused throughout the seven-course meal. - GLENN MCMANUS
  • Glenn McManus
  • The kitchen staff remained laser-focused throughout the seven-course meal.

Over the summer a friend sat me down and had me watch the documentary For Grace. She had just visited Grace, the three-Michelin-star restaurant in the West Loop that's featured in the film, to shoot a video with owner and head chef Curtis Duffy for Escoffier Culinary School's online program and was in awe of the food, the restaurant, and the man behind it all. As someone who's more likely to be found eating pizza at a dive bar than sitting for a multicourse meal at the most expensive restaurant in Chicago, watching the movie was the closest I ever thought I'd get to this experience. But when Duffy was chosen as an inductee into the Disciples d'Escoffier, I joined in on the celebration and got a look at Grace firsthand.

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Activists disrupt Black Friday shopping on Chicago’s Mag Mile

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 03:53 PM

Black Friday demonstrators called for resisting Donald Trump, Rahm Emanuel's resignation, and an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. - JOSHUA MELLIN
  • Joshua Mellin
  • Black Friday demonstrators called for resisting Donald Trump, Rahm Emanuel's resignation, and an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council.

What a difference a year makes.

Last November, just days after footage of Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting was made public, hundreds of activists marched and disrupted Black Friday shopping on the Magnificent Mile. They cried out demanding justice for McDonald, for police accountability, and for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign. Retailers saw sales dip 25 to 50 percent below their projections.

Although the crowds were smaller this year, the chants were just as fervent. A couple hundred protesters rallied at the Water Tower before marching in the streets. Many of them demanded an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council, which was outlined in a City Council ordinance that 35th Ward alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa proposed in July.

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Playing dress-up with a ballerina and fashion blogger

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 03:14 PM

click image ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

Dani McGowan, the 18-year-old ballet dancer behind the fashion blog Mermaid Waves, often looks like a living doll. She says she was treated like one from childhood, with her mother dressing her in multiple outfits a day. "I was raised to be interested in fashion," she says. "When I was old enough to pick out my own clothes, I could be seen at the grocery store rocking a tutu and my favorite Barbie water shoes." These days, in her role as a trend spotter, McGowan "fields a lot of fashion-emergency texts. I feel like helping people feel confident in what they are wearing is my calling," she says. "If you can put it on, you can pull it off!"

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Caroling at Cloud Gate, ZooLights, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 01:03 PM

A rotating lineup of choirs carol at Cloud Gate starting Fri 11/25. - COURTESY CITY OF CHICAGO
  • Courtesy City of Chicago
  • A rotating lineup of choirs carol at Cloud Gate starting Fri 11/25.

Once you're done picking at your Thanksgiving leftovers, get out this weekend. Here's some of what we recommend:

Fri 11/25:
The Wild Onion Night Market returns to Cole's (2338 N. Milwaukee) for Black Friday offering art, jewelry, clothes, crafts from more than 20 local vendors—including Lost & Found Chicago, Terminal Cross Stitch, and the Tiny Vegan—plus live music. 4 PM-midnight

11/25-12/16:
Every week of Caroling at Cloud Gate (Michigan and Randolph) features a different choir including the I.A. Music Program, Chicago Children's Choir, and more. Fri 6 PM

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Twenty-five years later, filmmaker Julie Dash reflects on Daughters of the Dust

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 11:00 AM

Daughters of the Dust
  • Daughters of the Dust
Beyoncé's album Lemonade, released in April, includes imagery of African-American women in flowing white dresses that recalls a landmark film made 25 years ago—Daughters of the Dust (1991), written and directed by Julie Dash, is a vivid tone poem focused on a family of Gullah women living on the Sea Islands in South Carolina in the year 1902 and contemplating a move to the American mainland. For those who've seen Daughters of the Dust and Lemonade, the parallels are noticeable.

"My phone blew up the night Lemonade came on and my Web site shut down," Dash told Vanity Fair in August. "Someone called me and said Daughters of the Dust is trending on Twitter. And I said, 'No, it must be something else,' and they said, 'No, it’s trending!'"

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Chicago’s hip-hop scene throws a benefit for Standing Rock protesters opposing the North Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted By on 11.25.16 at 07:00 AM

SamIAm the MC will perform at Saturday's benefit for the water protectors opposing the North Dakota Access Pipeline. - FROM THE ARTIST'S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • From the artist's Facebook page
  • SamIAm the MC will perform at Saturday's benefit for the water protectors opposing the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

On Sunday night the Morton County Sheriff's Department escalated its conflict with Standing Rock Reservation protesters opposed to the North Dakota Access Pipeline by spraying crowds with water cannons in 26-degree weather. Since April, when protesters established the Oceti Sakowin Camp in support of the Standing Rock Sioux (whose reservation straddles the North and South Dakota borders), resistance to the NDAPL has steadily grown—now more than 1,000 protesters live in the encampment, hoping to stop the imminent construction of an oil pipeline that the Sioux say will threaten their water supply and thus their health and home. If you're looking for a primer on the situation, start with Smithsonian magazine's September article and follow its links down the rabbit hole. If you're looking for ways to help protestors, you've got lots of options—including going to Subterranean on Saturday for a hip-hop benefit show called Chicago Stands With Standing Rock.

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