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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A South Loop mural wants you to stop telling women to smile

Posted By on 09.16.15 at 01:30 PM

The mural peers out over the corner of Eighth and Wabash. - TATYANA FAZLALIZADEH
  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh
  • The mural peers out over the corner of Eighth and Wabash.

Three years ago Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh started a mural project to bring attention to the street harassment of women. The series, "Stop Telling Women to Smile," features the stoic faces of those who've felt uncomfortable and unsafe while walking their city's streets. The latest addition to the series, commissioned by Columbia College, includes the faces of local women peering out over the corner of Eighth and Wabash.

"It happens everywhere," Fazlalizadeh says of catcalling and other forms of verbal harassment toward women. "When I first started traveling with ["Stop Telling Women to Smile"], I thought I would find a lot of differences, but I really didn't."

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Friday, August 14, 2015

John Hancock Center's ground floor now offers its own sort of view

Posted By on 08.14.15 at 09:00 AM

Lucent by Wolfgang Buttress in the John Hancock Center lobby - JEFFERY C. JOHNSON
  • Jeffery C. Johnson
  • Lucent by Wolfgang Buttress in the John Hancock Center lobby

No longer do John Hancock Center visitors have to trek up 94 floors to the observation deck to get an eyeful. Since May, the building's lobby has become an attraction all its own thanks to Lucent, a dazzling permanent installation by UK sculptor Wolfgang Buttress.  

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Age emporium Infiniteus Rocks and Juice is a diamond in Wicker Park's rough

Posted By on 04.11.15 at 08:00 AM

Infiniteus Rocks and Juice
  • Rebecca Frass
  • Infiniteus Rocks and Juice

Inside the unassuming storefront housing Infiniteus Rocks and Juice (1644 W. North, 773-661-1418), a five-foot-tall slab of amethyst named Helena guards the entrance. The business, which opened last summer, embraces a philosophy that views organic juicing and minerals as powerful tools in helping humans become mindful of a collective consciousness also known as “infiniteus."

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

One of the Loop's oldest, smallest buildings is now a cafe thanks to Asado Coffee

Posted By on 04.08.15 at 02:00 PM

Asado Coffee at 22 E. Jackson
  • Paige Wynne
  • Asado Coffee at 22 E. Jackson

Asado Coffee began roasting beans and serving up potent espresso last fall at its third location, 22 E. Jackson, thought to be the site of one of the Loop’s oldest and tiniest buildings. Tucked away at the end of a nine-foot-wide private alley known as Pickwick Place, the 19-by-19-foot structure was built, according to city historian Tim Samuelson, a few years after the Great Fire of 1871 destroyed a stable on the site owned by Henry Horner, the grandfather of the Illinois governor of the same name. The building was originally two floors, but a third was added in 1892 as a residence for William and Fannie Abson, who ran Abson’s Chop House at the location until 1900. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, several restaurants operated out of 22 E. Jackson, including Red Path Inn, Robinson’s, and the Pickwick. More recently, a variety of small businesses had offices in the space.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When Keith Haring painted Chicago

Posted By on 02.24.15 at 07:30 AM

  • Andrew Hickey

In the spring of 1989, at the invitation of a local teacher named Irving Zucker, artist Keith Haring came to Chicago to paint a 500-foot-long mural in Grant Park with the help of more than 400 CPS high school students. The project was a PR sensation. WTTW made a short documentary narrated by Dennis Hopper. Rolling Stone came to town to cover the project. Haring, who'd been diagnosed with AIDS in '87, would die of complications from the disease just nine months later.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This mysterious 'Who is John Galt?' billboard raises more than just one question

Posted By on 02.04.15 at 09:00 AM

  • Jeff Zoline

In a lonely gravel lot on the 6200 block of North Pulaski Road, a billboard poses a question in plain black text to all who pass: “Who is John Galt?” It seems a rather cryptic query, unless of course you’re one of Ayn Rand’s devotees, a group whose membership has included everyone from the late Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey to the Catholic churchgoing congressman Paul Ryan. But even casual Rand readers will immediately recognize this as the opening line of the author’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

At Neon Shop Fishtail, good old neon glows on

Posted By on 12.20.14 at 08:00 AM

  • Elly Tier

In his new book Good Old Neon: Signs You’re in Chicago (Lake Claremont Press), photographer Nick Freeman partly celebrates the city’s neon signs and partly eulogizes what he considers a dying art form. “The Chicago area was once ablaze with colorful neon signs vying for attention,” he writes in his foreword.
“Today these vibrant, unique artifacts have been largely replaced by charmless, rear-lit Lexan panel signs and the channel lettering of national chains.”

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Loop building's makeover includes a giant $800,000 mural

Posted By on 12.15.14 at 11:00 AM

Map mural on 300 South Wacker
  • Map mural on 300 S. Wacker

The 300 South Wacker building has never been what anyone would call a sexy skyscraper. Its most conspicuously dull feature has always been the khaki-colored concrete elevator shaft in the center third of its riverside facade.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Look at art, rent a U-Haul at Motor Gallery in the South Loop

Posted By on 11.26.14 at 07:30 AM

The one-stop shop for moving trucks and artwork.
  • Courtesy Motor Gallery
  • The one-stop shop for moving trucks and artwork.

On Chicago’s once bustling Motor Row in the South Loop, few hints of the area’s automotive past remain. The cavernous buildings that used to house dealerships and mechanics’ garages are now mostly storefronts and residential properties. For the past three years Suzanne Weaver has operated a U-Haul rental outpost on this stretch of South Michigan Avenue, and over the summer she reorganized the interior to make space for her new venture, Motor Gallery. Its inaugural group show, featuring nine Chicago artists, is up through December 7.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

In Roseland, a memorial honors slain youths

Posted By on 11.04.14 at 07:00 AM

Activist Diane Latikers memorial to young lives lost is composed of close to 400 bricks, some 500 bricks fewer, she estimates, than the toll Chicagos violence has taken on those age 24 and under.
  • Jeff Zoline
  • Activist Diane Latiker's memorial to young lives lost is composed of close to 400 bricks, some 500 bricks fewer, she estimates, than the toll Chicago's violence has taken on those age 24 and under.

In 2007, 16-year-old Julian High School student Blair Holt was shot and killed on a CTA bus; a gang member fired a shot at another gang member at the back of the bus and Holt, the son of a police officer and a firefighter, was caught in the crossfire. Holt's death shook the community—it was reported that thousands of people attended the teen's funeral—but local activist (and grandmother) Diane Latiker wasn't convinced that everyone had gotten the message about the tragic effect of Chicago's out-of-control violence.

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