We never tire of admiring Chicago’s stunning skyline, but just how closely are you looking? British artist Mark Lascelles Thornton highlighted Chicago’s architecture in incredible detail as part of his drawing project,
“The Happiness Machine.”
Lacelles Thornton uses a rotring pen and white paper to bring the intricacy of architectural scenes to life, from fire escape stairs to swirling clouds above the Hancock. His meticulous work is even more impressive given the massive 8 x 5 foot scale of the drawing. Continue reading
I’m often asked whether I’m able to attend so many events by getting in free (no) or being paid to attend (hell no). I do spend a great deal of time researching the intersections of interest and opportunity with regard to goings-on in my area, and people are surprised by how accessible cultural events often are. In the interest of saving you time and spurning exploration, I’ve started a series on free local events. Continue reading
Posted in arts, chicago, exploring, freebie, magnificent mile, the loop
Tagged art institute, arts, chicago, freebie, magnificent mile, the loop
If Benjamin Franklin were to return in the present day, the world would be an incomprehensibly different place – except in a few areas. For all the advancement humanity has seen in the centuries since Franklin, a celebrated disruptor himself, institutions such as education and politics look pretty much the same. Students still gather in classrooms watching teachers write on the blackboard and dutiful citizens still head to the polling booth to cast their vote.
Luckily, “a little disruption goes a long way,” as Aza Raskin asserted at Tuesday’s Disruptive Innovation: Reinventing Our World discussion. Having each launched startups in some of society’s least flexible fields, Raskin, Dan Rosenweig, and Elaine Chang imparted the challenging necessity of disruptive innovation for Chicago Ideas Week.
Chicago Ideas Week is a series featuring over 200 passionate speakers that host talks and labs throughout Chicago. Now celebrating its second year, CIW events will foster innovation, inspiration, and connection in all corners of the city through October 14. I’m thrilled to be covering Chicago Ideas Week as a live correspondent and hope you’ll enjoy following along via Twitter and the Ideasphere blog.
“Is there an exhibit entrance over here?” A retiree gestures toward a sealed building entrance, a Berghoff takeout bag slung over her wrist, silver-haired husband in tow.
I simply reply, “You’re in it.”
The corn dog has returned. It’s a staple at any summer festival, but Lollapalooza is no neighborhood street fair and Graham Elliot’s lobster corn dog topped with lemon aioli is a gourmet take on the deep-fried favorite.
For the third consecutive year, Elliot has assembled an eclectic lineup of food vendors at Lollapalooza’s Chow Town. His signature corn dog will be featured at Grahamwhich, who will join over thirty additional vendors to serve the 90,000 person crowds each day of the three-day festival this August.
Posted in chicago, eating, festivals, listening, magnificent mile, the loop
Tagged chicago, chow town, eating, festivals, listening, lollapalooza, magnificent mile, the loop
Looking for somewhere warm to pop in during your last mad shopping dash? If you’re in the Chicago Loop at lunchtime consider a stroll through City Hall. Children’s choirs from all over the city will be performing every weekday between noon and 1 pm through December 21.
City Hall’s gorgeous hundred-year-old hallways are bathed in festive lighting as they reverberate with the carols of Chicago’s young voices.
Happy holidays from the Keller Regional Gifted Center!
Chicago City Hall
121 North La Salle Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Posted in chicago, exploring, holiday, impressions, listening, the loop
Tagged caroling, chicago, childrens choir, christmas, city hall, holiday, listening, the loop
“Where anything might happen – and usually does,” the narrator of this 1930′s newsreel describes Chicago, “a city of superlatives.” The forces of energy and movement, this sense of anticipation are what attracts so many people to city living. Whether or not you’re a nerd for history, any viewer enjoys seeing their city on the screen. It’s fascinating to compare the world you know to a past, fictionalized, or futuristic version.
This clip allows us to tour places we now take for granted through the lens of the extraordinary superlatives they were at the time. The skyline seems strangely stark behind the Wrigley Building and Water Tower. Rail yards line Michigan Avenue in what has only recently become Millennium Park. The Haymarket Police Statue is on public display in a park sometime between attempted bombing attacks. We dash from the Union Stockyards to the buildings of the 1893 and 1933 World’s Fairs, admire gypsy women at a market on Maxwell Street, and then bask in the State Street’s bright lights.
Thomas Edison shot Chicago’s second movie ever in 1897 at the corner of State and Madison (a police parade film preceded it by a year). Yet on a corner that is still one of Chicago’s busiest, we see no stolid sepia-faced citizens posing stiffly. Streetcars and horses pass through a sea of bowler and boater-capped heads, while picketers brandish indistinguishable signs in the thirty-second clip. The city is a measure in motion.
With shape-shifting neighborhoods and movements that come and go, our contemporary street corner will morph someday as well, sooner than we know. Compare Edison’s intersection with the State and Madison intersection of 2009.
Cities changes every day, it’s why we’re drawn to them. Step out on the
sidewalk, inhale the energy, and examine what’s in motion around you. After
all, anything can happen.
For Further Exploration
street scene: vintage outdoor ads in chicago
Posted in chicago, exploring, film, link love, magnificent mile, river north, south loop, street scene, the loop
Tagged chicago, chicago worlds fair, exploring, link love, magnificent mile, maxwell street, millenium park, newsreel, state and madison, street scene, the loop, thomas edison, union stock yards, vintage film
What is your favorite memory?
Cherished childhood moments? First love? Incredible travels? The simple everyday moments that don’t stand out until they are gone?
This short film by social media agency Brand Nua asked 50 people in Chicago one question, “What is your favorite memory?” Their responses are as varied as those who share them, and each answer strike a chord. Director Galvea Kelly captures the poignant replies along with gorgeous downtown views.
“I think you just made my day,” one respondent exclaimed. “It’s just this flooding back of all these really great things.” So next time you’re dashing about downtown, stop and take in the sweeping views and the strangers who share your city – you could be creating your new favorite memory.
My favorite memory is summers spent camping with my family. Sunny afternoons fishing with my dad, cooking elaborate meals by campfire with my mom, running through the woods with my siblings and our imaginations, classic rock on the radio and nothing to distract us from just being together.
For Further Exploration:
Fifty People One Question – New York
Fifty People One Question – London
Posted in arts, chicago, exploring, link love, the loop
Tagged arts, chicago, chicago river, exploring, favorite memory, fifty people one question, millenium park, navy pier, the loop
Bon Iver’s spectacular sold-out show at The Chicago Theater last Sunday was a long way from the secluded Wisconsin cabin where Justin Vernon recorded his 2008 debut album alone. Vernon’s stunning vocals and instrumentation were backed by an eight-piece band whose violins, trumpets, guitars, sax, and two drums rounded out the sound in the historic hall. A welcome barrage of brass and percussion accompanied several tracks from Bon Iver’s self-titled second album as well as familiar favorites like “Creature Fear,” “Flume,” and “Blood Bank.” I could feel the salvo resounding along with Vernon’s throaty baritone through to my bones way up in the theater box…or was that just my heart racing?
The exquisite performance was moving in both sound and showmanship, and hearing one of my absolute favorite musical acts live was more even more captivating than I had imagined. Vernon fell to his knees, tearing at his guitar while blood colored lights flooded the stage during “Blood Bank.” The audience was carried on the highs of Vernon’s visceral falsetto during his soaring solo rendition of “Re: Stacks.” He was visibly elated throughout the evening, even breaking into a blues riff saying, “I’m so happy, I feel like we should play some blues right now.”
This was my first visit to The Chicago Theater, a landmark since it’s opening as a movie palace in 1921. The sound was excellent and the grandeur opulent, the design having been modeled after influences including the Paris Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, and Versailles. Vernon encouraged the crowd to join him on “The Wolves (Act I and II);” echoes of “What might have been lost,” starting faintly and building to a crescendo that filled the gorgeous space. The fantastic band even covered Björk’s “Who Is It,” and then formed a semi-circle around Vernon, clapping and stomping as he crooned “Skinny Love.” Bon Iver’s performance was a singular experience, indelible from end to end. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Bon Iver as their tour continues and enjoy some clips below.
Posted in chicago, listening, music notes, the loop
Tagged bon iver, justin vernon, landmarks, listening, music notes, the chicago theater, the loop, wisconcin