“Staggering into autumn like split-lipped boxers,
we call ourselves triumphant –
arms raised high,
shoes soggy in the gutter after
We begin to pray,
begin to say grace at meals with friends –
heartfelt devotions to the goddess of harvest,
to whatever great spirit can keep us
warm and safe as the sun retreats.
We owe Her our dreams.”—Anne Holub, “We Owe Chicago” - Gapers Block Book Club | Chicago
“What I remember most about John from the days when we both read regularly at Funny Ha-Ha was his laugh. He had the most wonderful laugh, the kind of booming, unapologetic guffaw that stands out in a crowd. When you’re reading a humorous piece, laughter is what you feed on. It isn’t just nice, it’s essential, as life-giving as oxygen, even, and when I was reading at Funny Ha-Ha I took enormous comfort in knowing that John would be there near the front of the stage, laughing that big, glorious laugh whether my piece merited it or not.
I have been deeply nostalgic for those early days of Funny Ha Ha as of late. It wasn’t just a reading series: It was a community of writers who were all young and hardworking and talented and bright and full of energy and ambition. We were all going places, and it was apparent that John in particular was headed for big things. But I don’t suspect anyone could have envisioned just how far he would go, including John himself.”—My ugly inner battle: How jealousy poisoned my friendship with John Green - Salon.com
Most older U.S. cities have a signature kind of building. In Brooklyn it’s the brownstone, one standing shoulder-to-shoulder to the next. In Philadelphia, newcomers and visitors are struck by the distinctive row houses. What about Chicago? Here, it’s the modest Two-Flat. Chris Bentley reported on the history of the Two-Flat for WBEZ’s Curious City. On this installment of the Barber Shop Show, we heard his report. We also talked about the future of the two flat: a 100 year old staple of Chicago architecture. Host Richard Steele was joined by Chris, along with: • Geoff Smith of DePaul’s Institute of Housing Studies • Jennifer Masengarb, of the Chicago Architecture Foundation • Bryan Hudson, an architect based in Chicago. 1/3 of his clients own old two-flats, and he knows about the variety of uses these buildings serve their owners (and how that has changed over the years). • Dennis Rodkin, residential real estate reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business
The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 91.1FM, 90.7FM, and 89.5FM. You can also stream live at vocalo.org. The show also broadcasts on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ.
“The South Side has seen plenty of loss in the last year. Twenty out of the 49 Chicago Public Schools were closed in this part of the city. It also sees a higher proportion of gun deaths and shootings. Many of these neighborhoods are starved for economic resources as well. These facts are all interrelated and help to explain why a family like Jaheim Benton’s would be homeless.
The politicians who shared in Jackie Robinson West’s win don’t want to acknowledge their part in preventing any of the above.
In the same way that electing one black man President doesn’t make racism go away, sending one South Side baseball team to the Little League World Series doesn’t alleviate the problems of poverty, violence and homelessness in the neighborhoods of Chicago. But it definitely shows what happens when you provide the right tools to combat them.”—Hard work, Jackie Robinson West and politicians | Our Man In Chicago
“We write up a report. It’s the server’s responsibility to take notes on each diner’s experience: You have a strong love for Sancerre, for example, so the next time you come in, we’ll swap out a Muscadet pairing for the wine we know you like. I’m well aware this all must seem a little creepy. Stalkerish. But if I can enhance your experience, I’m going to do it. It’s my job.”—The Secrets of the Best Service in Chicago - Hungry Crowd | Food & Wine (via jasmined)
The Guardian is asking readers to suggest Chicago books for a list they’ll publish next week. The most recent book in the piece is Saul Bellow’s “The Adventures of Augie March”, which was published in 1953, so let loose with the recommendations, please.