“We had an afternoon crowd with regulars. Mr. Fitz (a firefighter) would come in at 2 o’clock, stay until 4:15 and then go home and have dinner with his wife. And then he’d be here from about 7:30 to about 10:30, and then he’d go home. That was his routine, and if you threw him off—if there was a change in his schedule—he’d be nuts. There was that one time we were closed for two weeks for construction. His wife called me on the phone. She asked me, “Celine, please tell me when you’re going to be open, I can’t handle him around the house anymore.” I told her, “we’re not open but you can send him right over.” And he he came right on over.”—38-Year Shinnick’s Pub Bartender on Preserving Chicago’s Neighborhood Tavern Culture - Eater Chicago
“Garcia has conceived some of the store’s best-sellers himself. In 2010, he commissioned a mask of Illinois’ felonious ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich, down to the disgraced politician’s meticulously styled coif. Blagojevich doesn’t have the evergreen appeal of, say, horror movie icon Michael Myers, whose white visage continues to sell several hundred units every season. But Blagojevich masks ($34.99 each) still lurk at the store, with one by the front register and another in the mask room, near Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (The latter mask, Garcia notes, is popular with public schoolteachers whenever their union is feuding with the mayor’s office.)”—Not That Kind of Ghoul — The Distance
“It is a noble act in Chicago to offer a decent lunch at a fair price, and Doug Sohn did it for 13 years. Today, he’ll sell his last $2.50 Chicago dog, turn off his duck-fat-filled deep fryer and shut the lights off at Hot Doug’s, his namesake North Side hot dog stand for the last time. Thousands have lined up in the past few weeks to eat their final dogs (lines have regularly been shut down because the estimated wait reached 10 hours). I’ll miss the sausage, but I’ll miss the man more.”—Thanks, Doug: Your legacy will live on long after the last hot dog is served - Opinion - Crain’s Chicago Business
“It’s got its characters, for sure, like the one guy who just really wants you to know that Jesus loves you, and the blind lady who really doesn’t want you to mess with her guide dog, and the guy who sells what seems to be dozens of varieties of incense by the El stop. My favorite was the woman who walked up to me on the sidewalk one morning while I was pregnant and just said, “You’re having a boy” before walking off like she’d just dropped a virtual mic. But I’ve always felt safe, even when walking the dog in the dark at night or in the dark in the morning. I think what helps is that it is a diverse neighborhood full of people who care a lot about it, full of active kids and new parents and the barflys and the old Eastern European people who hang out on the corners and lean on their scooters.”—You should move to Edgewater - Zulkey.com (via Coudal)
“Bowie did not attend the exhibit in London or in Berlin. Darling and the rest of the MCA staff have not given up hope that he’ll come to Chicago. He’s been in Chicago before: in 1980, he starred in The Elephant Man onstage and was a regular at Neo nightclub. There’s a clip of his performance in the exhibit. “It’s difficult to look good in a loincloth,” says Marsh, “but, God, he looks good in it.””—How to get ‘David Bowie Is’ to come to your town | Bleader | Chicago Reader (via jasmined)
“Q: You’re going to come out from behind the counter, go outside and get in line?
A: Oh, no. I’m not getting in line. That’s crazy talk. I’ve already enlisted Paul Kelly, whom I named the bratwurst after, who’s my friend. I was like: “By the way, you will be the guest cashier for the last customer, who will be me.” Because I’ve never done that. And he was like, “Well, you know you’ll be getting the Paul Kelly.” I was like, “Well, no, I might get something else.” And he was like, “Well, it doesn’t matter. You’ll be getting the Paul Kelly.” And I was like, “Yeah, that sounds about right. That’s fine.” So when people are like, “We’re going to strategize to see who’s going to be the last person” — don’t waste your time. I get to decide, and it’s me.”—Hot Doug’s Sohn on his restaurant’s final weeks - Crain’s dining blog - Crain’s Chicago Business
The Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl on Saturday, Oct. 11 kicks off at the new Lagunitas Brewery and travels by bus to Goose Island’s brewery and new barrel house on Fulton Street. From there we’ll head to the brand new BreakRoom Brewery and finish up at the Begyle Brewing, where we’ll learn what “community supported beer” is — and also enjoy freshly grilled food from Manbque.
“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