#774: Bertrand Goldberg vs. The Nazis

April 7th, 2017 § permalink

You know Bertrand Goldberg’s work.

You know it from the half-Jetson, half-corncob conical twin towers of Marina City on the Chicago River. You know it from the looping concrete of River City I and River City II a bit further south along the water. You know the former housing project turned apartment of the Hilliard Homes, or maybe the old Prentice Hospital. But you know the man’s odd, compelling and utterly human approach to housing.

This is the story about Chicago’s skyline was changed by Nazi Germany, a prank call and that time Bertrand Goldberg got super-drunk with his wife. » Read the rest of this entry «

#709: Vote Like a Champ in Just Six Steps

November 7th, 2016 § permalink

Voting is like improv comedy: The fact you’re unprepared is only amusing to you.

For the rest of us, those who take more than one stab at existence and who tire of any activity with a cover and two-drink minimum to watch state school theater majors laugh harder at their own jokes than the audience ever will, we like to be a little more prepared.

So in the vein of my Bare Minimum Voting Guide from the primary, a six-step plan that will get you voting like a champ in no time. * » Read the rest of this entry «

#619: The Burrowing Chinese

April 11th, 2016 § permalink

It’s a parking lot now, a fenced-in expanse with a dropping gate arm. East of Three Happiness Restaurant and north of the Nine Dragon Wall and a pagoda, the lot nestles cars under and around the Red Line Chinatown stop.

But in the 1920s, this stretch was another block of shops, grocers, drug stores and the like, with a hidden network of underground tunnels connecting them all.

Maybe. Well, actually probably not. » Read the rest of this entry «

#505: Drum Mountain

July 20th, 2015 § permalink

She tried to offer inner peace even after they deflated the Titanic.

Around her, they disassembled the south end of the fair. The tables, folded. The booth tents, retracted. The sinking cruise ship bouncy house, flattened on the ground.

Only her little table full of meditation booklets for the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association Chicago Chapter still stood south of 24th as they took down the far end of the Chinatown Summer Fair. » Read the rest of this entry «

#435: The Egg Stares

February 6th, 2015 § permalink

It’s late at night. The whisper of an air vent and the clatter of the keyboard forming these words are the only sounds.

An egg stares at me from my desk. » Read the rest of this entry «

#364: The Dinner Table

August 25th, 2014 § permalink

The potstickers and fried duck had been devoured, the umbrella drinks guzzled, the fortunes cracked and read aloud. The man with the sandy hair started to tell a story. » Read the rest of this entry «

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