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What the Hell Is This Place?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Everyone's a sucker at a new kind of traveling circus—the Instagram trap

Posted By on 07.30.18 at 06:00 AM

Orange Is the New Black star Dascha Polanco at Refinery 29's 29Rooms - JEFF SHEAR/GETTY IMAGES
  • Jeff Shear/Getty Images
  • Orange Is the New Black star Dascha Polanco at Refinery 29's 29Rooms

Look closely and you could see exhaustion etched on the smiling faces of those frolicking inside a bubblelike room advertised as the World's Largest Indoor Confetti Dome.

It was a sweltering July afternoon, and there was no hint of air-conditioning in this warehouse along a quiet stretch of Elston that was temporarily housing the pop-up exhibition Happy Place. That didn't stop a college-age couple from taking turns tossing bucketfuls of colorful shreds of paper in the air. A nearby attendant hit a button and hot oxygen blew out of holes in the floor, swirling the confetti all around them.

The visual effect was striking: it was as if they were figures encased in a real-life human snow globe. That's probably why the pair were so eager to snap photos of each other. The tall, thin blond boy didn't even hesitate to put his iPhone back into his pocket during confetti gathering, using it instead as a makeshift scoop so he could keep recording every conceivable moment. And then suddenly the air stopped flowing, the confetti fell to the floor, and the pair walked wordlessly to the next room.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Exxxotica Chicago, the ‘comic con of porn,’ is secretly more conservative than a Trump rally

Posted By on 07.11.16 at 06:48 PM

Many of the dancers at Exxxotica were dressed up as comic-book or anime characters. - SUNSHINE TUCKER
  • Sunshine Tucker
  • Many of the dancers at Exxxotica were dressed up as comic-book or anime characters.

A slender woman in a leather catsuit posed gracefully on a crowded convention show floor—her whip gripped in an outstretched hand as if ready to strike. She smirked as a trio of men holding smartphones snapped a quick photo of her.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Rock 'n' Roll Hardee's hosts the finale of Springfield punk party Dumb Fest

Posted By on 06.13.16 at 04:00 PM

Nobunny headlined a free show at Rock 'n' Roll Hardee's in Springfield on the final day of Dumb Fest 4. - SEAN NEUMANN
  • Sean Neumann
  • Nobunny headlined a free show at Rock 'n' Roll Hardee's in Springfield on the final day of Dumb Fest 4.

Carol Neal laughs at the spectacle in the parking lot of the Hardee's restaurant that her daughter Denice Hubbs manages in Springfield, Illinois.

The lot outside the fast-food franchise doesn't usually hold anything except a few customers' cars parked here and there. But today, roughly 150 punks from around town and across the country have gathered outside—some skateboarding, others perched atop vehicles to get a better view of the second-ever DIY punk show at what has already become known as "Rock 'n' Roll Hardee's."

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Radio Advertising Inc., producing those 'brought to you by' ads since the 1960s

Posted By on 01.30.15 at 08:00 AM

Radio Advertising Inc.
  • Paige Wynne
  • Radio Advertising Inc.

Along Peterson Avenue on the city's northwest side sits a succession of relatively pristine, albeit aging, examples of garden-variety midcentury modern architecture. Among these mostly commercial properties, 3312 W. Peterson is unique: a building displaying 1960s design elements still occupied by a business straight out of the mid-20th century.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chicago's own One World Trade Center is all but forgotten

Posted By on 11.09.14 at 10:00 AM

YAH_Whatthehell-OneWorldTrade-magnum.jpg
  • Andrea Bauer
  • A plaque on the Merchandise Mart is a vestige of a failed campaign to rename the iconic Chicago building.

More than 13 years after terrorist attacks destroyed New York City's twin towers, One World Trade Center opened for business on November 3. The 104-story building, America's tallest, welcomed its first tenants, employees of the publishing giant Condé Nast. While history was being made in lower Manhattan this week, Chicago's own One World Trade Center has all but been forgotten.

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