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Coda

November 2007

10 years
ago

 

Before I Say Au Revoir James

My one regret about Au Revoir Parapluie, playing now at Chicago Shakespeare on Navy Pier, is that I didn’t get in to see it earlier in the run. The hauntingly beautiful show closes Saturday, and unfortunately, it’s sold out this year. In case its creator, James Thierree, returns to Chicago, I’ll tell you about it anyway.

Why is the show so great? First, I’ve never seen anything exactly like it. Imagine taking the stunts of Cirque de Soleil, the quirky-meets-psychedelic aesthetic of Chicago’s own Redmoon, and the ferocious dance ability of…

10 years
ago

 

A Visit from the Alabama Crew

My dad comes to Chicago once a year. He’s a born and bred Alabamian, and he says it like it is. I like to take his “frankness” as an opportunity to look at Chicago in a different light. Herein, some of his observations from his visit over Thanksgiving weekend.

Things that went over well:

  1. Jersey Boys. My whole family loved the show, even after I told them how much we paid for tickets (close to one month’s rent).
  2. The Garfield Park Conservatory
  3. H & M
  4. Cocktails at the top of the Hancock building on Thanksgiving night
  5. The Billy Goat, which my mom insists on calling “Billy Goat Hole”…

10 years
ago

 

Behind the (Curtain) Wall: the New Spertus

In Chicago, a city with major architectural chops, it’s pretty bold to say that one building “catalyzes the renewal of the Chicago school of architecture.” But, hey, the new Spertus Institute is one bold building, so its president Howard Sulkin (who said that), isn’t far off the mark.

If you want to check it out, it’s at 610 S. Michigan Ave. Doors won’t open to the public until November 30th, but everybody is already talking about it. Consider that it landed on Chicago’s list of the top 10 masterpieces before construction was even completed; when we did a companion online survey, readers voted…

10 years
ago

 

To Market, To Market

This week is the official kickoff to holiday shopping season. Chain stores on the Boul Mich? Yawn. Indie markets with booze? Yay! Here are the ones on my list; if you have a tip for others, drop me a note.

1. The Merchandise Mart’s One of a Kind Show and Sale from Dec. 6 to 9. Yes, it costs money to get in ($10), and, yes, there are an abhorrent number of people selling kitten-themed potholders. But because there are literally hundreds of indie designers who attend, you’re bound to find a few whose wares jibe with your taste…

10 years
ago

 

Simpatico with Nigella

Brit cookbook author Nigella Lawson dropped by the Ritz-Carlton yesterday for a spot of tea and conversation. (She was in town promoting her new cookbook, Nigella Express.) She’s an incredibly well-spoken and compelling person to meet in person; in fact, when it’s all said and done, it may be Nigella who’s responsible for getting me out of my pre-winter funk.

The thrust of her remarks: intellect and cooking utensils can go hand in hand. “It doesn’t lower my I.Q. when I bake a cake,” said Lawson, whose first husband died of cancer…

10 years
ago

 

A First Brush with Moviemaking!

Here at Chicago magazine, we’re trying something new. Consider it a little “experiment,” if you will. We’ve decided to take a traditional story—a profile of the supercool DJ Colette, by the music writer Mark Guarino—and turn it into a short documentary film. Five years ago, this wasn’t the business of magazines. But today, magazines have two audiences: one for the print version, and one of for the Web. And for you Web folks, every sort of storytelling device—from podcasts to short films to blogs—is fair game…

10 years
ago

 

Guest Blog: First Clinton, now Redford…

More boost for the local green scene: In town on Thursday was the granddaddy of eco-celebrity, Robert Redford. After Clinton and Greenbuild, who’s going to stop here next? George Clooney in his Tango? DiCaprio? Knut?

To Redford’s credit, he made sure his appearance was not about his new movie, Lions for Lambs, but the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which he’s been a trustee for the past 30 years. The NRDC recently opened its Midwest office in Chicago…

10 years
ago

 

Bill Clinton: The Next Gore?

The Clintons were in town yesterday, and I caught Bill speaking at GreenBuild, the monstrous “green” construction convention taking place right now in Chicago. I had never associated the ex-Prez with green stuff—in my mind, that was always Gore’s terrain—so I was curious what he had to say.

Turns out, a lot. Some of it was funny; some of it was boring. He’s an incredible speaker, but no one—not even Bill Clinton—sounds great when they have to introduce a ton of important people crammed onto a stage. At times, Clinton sounded like Bubba from Forrest Gump

10 years
ago

 

Celebrity Sightings

I’ve had not one, but two good celebrity sightings in the past week. In Chicago, I saw Gary Sinise filming an episode of CSI: New York outside the Tribune Tower. I admit it, I didn’t have to work very hard for that one, since Chicago magazine offices are inside the building. Sinise didn’t want his picture snapped directly, but one of the directors agreed that he could “walk by me” and I could “happen to snap a picture.” Um, OK…

10 years
ago

 

There Goes the ‘Hood

Kudos to Nanette Lepore. There was a lot of talk about which New York boutique would be the first to pierce Damen Avenue’s indie veil. It was supposed to be Marc by Marc Jacobs, but, Lord, they’re slow (they were supposed to open in August, then it was October, now who knows when?) Others are on the horizon, including BCBG.

But when it came down to getting the lease, stocking the store, and flinging open the doors, Lepore did it first. Her store, which opened…

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