#944: The Ins of Court

June 22nd, 2018 § permalink

There are certain mornings that are wet, certain ones that are noir.

It’s a day when getting off a rain-blattered train stop at Washington and Wells dressed in smart if rumpled business attire seems like the only natural step, as if taking one step off the safe and well-trod will cast you into a world of intrigue, violence, the guffiniest of MacGuffins and finally learning the difference between a woman and a dame.

What better morning for hunting down a missing street? » Read the rest of this entry «

#943: The S.E.P. Field

June 20th, 2018 § permalink

I don’t know how many times I’ve ridden the ‘L’ around the Loop studying things.

It’s not a deep study nor a particularly insightful one. It’s a simple joy of trundling down the tracks and looking at buildings, staring at passersby and wondering where they’re off to, the delightful daydreaming and examination created by a cityworth of visual stimuli splayed around you at a time you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car.

But in all these views where I’ve ogled pretty architecture and daydreamed about what would happen if I, like, totally stole that guy’s briefcase and ran off giggling, I had never noticed the blank-faced building. » Read the rest of this entry «

#936: Shameless Self-Promotion Theatre, Part 4

June 4th, 2018 § permalink

It’s summer. The birds are singing, the grass is green, the president is floating a potential Blagojevich pardon either as a form of political distraction or as the word salad that erupts when someone wakes up the commander in chief too early from nap-naps and the Chicago Corruption Walking Tour is ready to go for 2018.

Buy your tickets now at Dabble.co. » Read the rest of this entry «

#925: A Walk in the Rain

May 9th, 2018 § permalink

I want to write about four men of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian or some other ethnicity that meant their words sounded like Klingon head colds.

They hid from the rain under the small alcove created by the locked glass doors of the laundromat that went away more than a year ago. Despite the building owners’ window-posted plans of a luxury bar/restaurant deal filling the space, new suitors never courted the corner lot once the poor people clothes washery was ousted.

Now it’s a glass-walled corner lot, vacant but for the Halloween costume shop that stops by in September. It not being September, the lot’s only purpose is to provide a small alcove for orange-hoodied construction workers to hide from the rain. » Read the rest of this entry «

#924: A Letter to Send

May 7th, 2018 § permalink

If Senate Bill 2562 passes, police in Illinois will be able to use drones to spy on any group of 100 or more people assembling peacefully.

Bill sponsor Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) sold the measure that would let police spy on protest rallies by arguing it would prevent mass shootings.

The bill will pass if the House approves it.

The following is an edited version of an email I sent my House representative this morning. My hope is that it inspires you to write your own letters to your own representatives about why you feel this bill should fail. To quote James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#922: Victoria (Maybe Veronica)

May 2nd, 2018 § permalink

“You and me got the right idea,” she said, gesturing with her cup of coffee at mine.

I don’t know why our coffees set us apart from any of the other readers, phone flippers, gabbers, joggers, dog walkers, socialistas strolling with equally beautiful and fashionable friends, fat guys sitting like lumps looking at the water or any of the other people who had come to spend the first warm day of the year on the Riverwalk downtown, but it seemed to be enough of a link for her.

Victoria, or maybe her name was Veronica, became my friend in that very special way only a warm day by the water can offer. She told me about her work at a downtown hotel where she had been for 18 years and was the only one willing to dress as Santa, the Easter Bunny and sundry holiday elves.

“Everyone else is too dignified,” she said, pronouncing the last word with disdain.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#920: Dormammu! I Have Come to Arbitrate!

April 27th, 2018 § permalink

Like a blogging Ghostbuster, I tend not to cross the streams.

While I’m proud of my professional life as editor of a legal trade magazine, aside from a few nods to working in news, I try not to mention work here or blog there. But a story I edited this week — and the impending cinematic thunderkick of “Avengers: Infinity War” dropping today — is too good to pass up.

Reporter David Thomas talked to lawyers to ask how much deep legal muck a real-life superhero would be in. » Read the rest of this entry «

#917: Along the Water

April 20th, 2018 § permalink

I shuffled along, hands in pockets of a dark three-quarter length coat and hat pulled Andy Cappishly over my eyes. My pace was in between, slowly catching up to the white white-haired couple holding hands as they sauntered along but getting lapped by two Latino high school students in their charter sweatshirts jogging and gossiping about some guy who “makes me feel, like, a certain way, I don’t know” before bursting into nervous, happy laughter. » Read the rest of this entry «

#915: Wind and the Lovely

April 16th, 2018 § permalink

The beautiful were out in the cold.

Rooftop bar along Michigan Avenue. Friends from out of town justified the expense of small-plate food that was actually filling and craft cocktails that needed a bank loan to pay off. Reservations at 9, seat by a window looking out over parks and museums and a lapping lake that extends so far it weaves into the starless night sky.

Or would have, if we could see a damn thing. » Read the rest of this entry «

#902: Election Endorsements (That You Actually Need)

March 16th, 2018 § permalink

In the grand tradition of newsman-as-kingmaker and the arrogant assumption typing up public meetings and getting lied at by politicians more directly than the average citizen makes the journalist a grander herald of democracy, 1,001 Chicago Afternoons announces its endorsements for the March 20 primary election. 

Voting:

1,001 Chicago Afternoons endorses voting. Because you’re a goddamn grownup.  » Read the rest of this entry «

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