Chicago

aka The Windy City, Second City, Chi-Town, the ChIll, The Big Onion

Primed for Television Takeover: Tanya Saracho

Annah | February 20th, 2014

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Die hard Chicago theater fans have known about Tanya Saracho’s lyrical, ball-busting work for years. As Co-Founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Luna, Saracho’s plays have been a staple Chicago’s stages with their saturated humanity, muscular theatricality, and perfectly messy grace. In more recent years, her work has been produced nationally – in New York, Oregon, Kentucky, and more. Read More

Mad Scientist Chef Turns to Mixology

Jeff | March 28th, 2011

What do you do when you’ve become one of the most recognizable chefs in the world, beaten Stage IV cancer of the mouth, have had your restaurant earn three stars from the Michelin Guide (its highest honor), and otherwise have seemingly conquered the culinary world? Read More

New Mixtape Series and Who is Arcade Fire?

Jeff | March 17th, 2011

Chicago’s DJ Duo The Hood Internet is back at it again with the fifth volume of their mixtape series, and it does not disappoint. This time around they do everything from mashing up Sleigh Bells and Usher to Cee-Lo Green and Sir Mix-a-Lot, and even throw in a little Flock of Seagulls. It’s always interesting to see how these work, but they always do. Read More

Chicago the Next Spirit Hub?

Jeff | March 16th, 2011

As a chef, what is there really left to do when you beat cancer of the mouth and then your restaurant earns the coveted three stars from the Michelin Guide? Read More

Fashion and Function Finally Marry

Jeff | March 11th, 2011

I’ve made it no secret that I have a love of cycling. Though I don’t write about it as often, I have a decent eye for fashion. Maybe I don’t write about it because mine is more utilitarian than trying to express myself through clothes, but one aspect of fashion that always bummed me out was cycling fashion. Read More

The Chicago Code: Still Not Cracked

Jeff | March 3rd, 2011

Ever since production started last year, FOX’s new cop show, The Chicago Code has been hyped throughout this fine city. In Batman Begins and especially The Dark Knight, Chicago itself became a character in the movies. Though it was transformed into Gotham City, the Chicago landmarks stood out to those of us who live here. It set the bar pretty high for anyone who tried to follow suit. And when your idea of a good cop show that showcases a city is The Wire, it’s pretty much impossible to live up to expectations.

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On Revolutions and the Web

Jeff | February 22nd, 2011

What happened in Egypt and is continuing to spread across the Middle East is nothing short of mind blowing. What I saw on television during the nightly network news broadcasts was eerily reminiscent to me of the leadup to the war in Iraq. A network anchor on some hotel room broadcasting with an empty bridge across a major river in the background. I was just waiting for the explosion. Read More

Concert questions

Jeff | February 16th, 2011

1. Of the list provided, in order, I would like to see My Morning Jacket, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and Band of Horses.

2. First and foremost, I’d like to see Fleet Foxes play acoustically. Robin Pecknold’s voice is meant for dreamy acoustic settings and it would be pretty amazing to see them live in an intimate, acoustic-only environment. Read More

More Useful Apps, But More Distractions

Jeff | December 29th, 2010

Cyclists have always embraced technology even when they are reconnecting with nature. We wear Lycra jerseys and shorts to wick away water and keep us dry on an epic century ride. We have carbon fiber bike frames to make it easier to hoist in the air and cork up traffic during Critical Mass meetings. And we have GPS units strapped to our bicycles with built-in heart monitors to play the ever-addicting number crunching game to figure out our fitness levels. Now, we also have a social media app to meet up with friends and share all of our content. Read More

On the Entertainment Value of Real vs. Scripted Emotion

Jeff | December 22nd, 2010

Usually when I turn a movie off halfway through it’s because it is complete and utter garbage or because I have something better to do. I’m more picky about the movies I will pay $10 a pop to see in the theater, but to this day the only one I’ve walked out on is Freddy Got Fingered starring Tom Green. My girlfriend would make me turn off ultraviolent torture porn like Hostel (which I wouldn’t watch anyway), but even she has a strong stomach and thoroughly enjoyed the HBO miniseries The Pacific, which featured violence so brutal that it makes the famous opening scene of the invasion at Omaha Beach in Saving Private Ryan seem tame. Read More

What Would We Do Without the Internet?

Jeff | December 21st, 2010

Strange happenings have been abuzz lately. The founder of Wikileaks has been arrested and has threatened the world with a “poison pill” of information should he or his organization be harmed. Mastercard and Visa’s websites were taken down by the 4chan group Anonymous. Gawker was hacked and millions of members’ passwords were revealed. Tumblr went down for less than 24 hours and millions of people were forced to be productive for a day. Read More

Dexter Delivers Again

Jeff | December 16th, 2010

Now that Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead and Dexter are over until next year, I find myself not knowing what to do with my time on Sunday and Monday nights (I still download Dexter the morning after). I was impressed with what I saw on The Walking Dead this season, but bummed that it lasted only six weeks. It makes me happy to see that the finale had 6 million viewers, and set records for the 18-49 demographic for basic cable. Maybe AMC will have to order more than six episodes per season now that they know they don’t have to worry about keeping an audience’s attention after the Halloween season is over. Read More

Tourist Hotspots Even the Locals Like

Jeff | December 14th, 2010

Chicago’s Daley Plaza is one of its more famous landmarks that don’t really get the dreaded “touristy” label by Chicagoans, like the Sears Willis Tower, Millenium Park, Wrigley Field and other places do. Even if you have never been to Chicago, you have probably spotted Daley Plaza in either the parade scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the epically choreographed final chase of the Blues Brothers. As much as it draws the out-of-towners, it also brings the locals: it’s the launching point for the monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride frequented by hipsters and eco freaks. And in December it plays host to the Christkindlmarket. Read More

The Genius of Kanye West

Jeff | November 18th, 2010

As of this writing Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” has yet to be officially released. But a clean version of the album leaked on Nov. 9 to mega buzz and critical raves. Knowing the Chicago native’s genius approach to self-promotion, I don’t think this is an unauthorized leak in the slightest. Read More

A Villainous hero, and a new ‘Sausage King’?

Jeff | November 18th, 2010

Chicago has had its fair share of villains over the years: Al Capone, Richard J. Daley, any Bears quarterback between Jim McMahon and Jay Cutler, but few villains are as loved as Villains Bar and Grill in the South Loop. Read More