#817: Tour de Chicago – LGBTQ Landmarks

July 17th, 2017 § permalink

For those of you who missed Friday’s story, the missus and I are backpacking through France following the Tour de France for our honeymoon. If everything went according to plan, we’re currently in a little town called Le Puy-en-Velay.

Since I don’t want to miss a moment of this, I loaded up the site before we left with Le Tour de Chicago, four bike routes through famous sites in the city’s history. I’m not posting these as thought exercises — get out there and explore this city.

We rode through Chicago’s newspaper history on Friday, and later this week will learn about lakefront encroachment and something I’m just calling “A Warhellride to the Goddess.”

Today’s bike tour is going to go through some of the spots connected to Chicago’s gay and lesbian community » 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 «

#606: A Most Difficult Chicago Trivia Quiz – The Answers

March 11th, 2016 § permalink

On Wednesday, I put out an incredibly difficult Chicago trivia quiz.

The purpose, aside from the fact I’ve been all coughing and bronchial and wanted a story I could write from my sickbed, was to get people to explore certain sites I like, including this one, Atlas Obscura, the Chicago Collections Consortium, the Chicago History Museum, Mysterious Chicago and Curious City.

So I made the quiz goldanged impossible. (And Curious City, that thing we talked about? It’s handled.)

From the Fool Killer submarine to park bats to Iroquois Theater Assistant Chief Usher Archie Guerin, here are the answers you didn’t get to the 1,001 Chicago Afternoons Really Difficult Trivia Quiz. » Read the rest of this entry «

#605: A Most Difficult Chicago Trivia Quiz

March 9th, 2016 § permalink

You might know the Iroquois Theater Fire happened in 1903, but do you know the name of the assistant chief usher called to testify after?

Sure, you know that the first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction was at the U of C campus, but do you know what sport the room was originally made for? » Read the rest of this entry «

#581: The Podcast Cometh

January 13th, 2016 § permalink

Listen… » Read the rest of this entry «

#572: Speed Dater X

December 23rd, 2015 § permalink

He sat down across from the woman with the impossibly dark hair. He smiled first, or maybe she did. Introductions, handshakes, more smiles and then he asked about the tattoo on her arm.

It was the name of her dead father, so to lighten the mood he asked a funny joke question.

“The question was, ‘Have you ever been arrested?’ And she said yes, so I instantly think — because I’m having fun and I’ve had a couple drinks — oh, it was probably like for underage drinking or something like that. I’m like, ‘Oh, for what?’ And she’s like, ‘Ahhhhh,’ I’m like ‘Were you convicted?’ And that’s when she launched into it.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#569: The 1,001 Chicago Afternoons Holiday Gift Guide

December 16th, 2015 § permalink

Although Hanukkah is over, there is actually another gift-giving holiday in December.

Followers of the sect known as Christianity celebrate a special day called “Christ-mas” in which trees are slaughtered, cookies are left for fat, flying elvish deer-herders and Irishmen receive massive amounts of birds.

In case you want to purchase a gift for this regional folk festival, here are some ideas that will support a few of the people and organizations I’ve written about in the 150 stories that have appeared on this site so far in 2015. » Read the rest of this entry «

#508: The Evidence of Leather

July 27th, 2015 § permalink

The painter was dying, and his lover struggled to find a home for his art.

“In the late 1980s when Dom [Orejudos] was getting sick with AIDS, Chuck [Renslow] was looking for a place, a museum to house his extensive art collection. Not only the murals in the auditorium, but he had hundreds and hundreds of oil paintings and pencil drawings,” said LA&M Executive Director Rick Storer. “And Chuck was not able to find a museum that would take them first, or would say ‘We can take them, but we can never put them on exhibit because of the subject matter.’”

The subject matter was key, Storer said as we sat in swivel chairs in the volunteer orientation area of the Leather Archives & Museum in a quiet residential slip of Rogers Park. Art museums wouldn’t take sadomasochistic gay erotica. » Read the rest of this entry «

#474: Level Up

May 8th, 2015 § permalink

It’s easy to wax poetic at a graduation. That’s sort of what a graduation is, a chance to don medieval dresses and impractical hats and wax poetic about the last four or so years. » Read the rest of this entry «

#402: The Job Hunt

November 21st, 2014 § permalink

Two ticket takers on the Metra stood in the divot where the stairs lead down to the still-closed outer door. They had been talking for about 10 minutes about a co-worker who died two years before retirement.

One was older, fatter, black and patient. The other was younger, taller, wiry and white. The younger one looked around with fight in his eyes, as if every person, ticket, metal wall and announcement voice was making him angrier.

They were leaning back on the partition walls, facing each other.

“What would you do if you didn’t have to do anything?” the older one asked. » Read the rest of this entry «

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