Ah, Christmas movies.
Dec. 19, 2013
Another sad chapter in the book of Detroit is playing out today: the Motor City is sizing up masterpieces in its city-owned art museum for a possible sale.
Detroit has hired auction house Christie's Fine Art Auctioneer to find out the works' value, and detailed appraisal released Wednesday shows the works are worth between $454 million and $867 million if sold. Thankfully, this only covers museum pieces owned by the city itself, about five percent of the total collection.
A final report is expected today, showing the value of individual pieces.
The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum has one of the nation's most important collections with works by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, frescoes by Diego Rivera, and much more. Museums are the only way most of us will ever see pieces like this in real life.
And compounding the shame, if the works are sold, it may not even turn on a single street light, feed one person, or buy an extra police patrol in Detroit. Instead, the profit would likely be used to pay down a portion of the city's billion-dollar debt.
All of this is the context in which the above Detroit Institute of Arts commercial must be viewed.
Dec. 17, 2013
Here's a 16mm gem from the Chicago Film Archives: an hour-long look at Chicago between 1941 and 1960, shot over a 19-year-span by the late Chicago amateur filmmaker and attorney Marion Kudlick.
It's a pretty easy hour to watch, especially when you see 1940s Chicago—normally seen these days in black and white—in color. North Michigan Avenue makes an early appearance and the Historic Water Tower and Pumping Station were still tall enough then to dominate the view.
Michigan Avenue looking south from near Adams pops up at the video's 2:30 mark. The streetwall is virtually unchanged since then.
And in a shot that looks from the roof or upper floors of the Congress Hotel looking east, we get a rare color look at intersection of Congress and Michigan before it was widened to accommodate car traffic headed to (and from) the Eisenhower Expressway. You'll see it was a beautiful pedestrian plaza with a gentle rise of steps leading to the bronze Bowman and the Spearman sculptures. Too bad it was all ripped up in the name of progress.
Kudlick also takes his camera to the neighborhoods and suburbs.
Dec. 13, 2013
“When you have a population of street-based youth in a wealthy area, there’s going to be conflict and tension," said Jacqueline Boyd, a co-founder of Project Fierce Chicago, a new organization aimed at creating a long-term homeless living facility for LGBTQ youth.
Boyd's criticisms stemmed around the Lakeview neighborhood specifically, an area both known for its large and affluent LGBTQ population and its recent spate of derisive attitudes towards the actions and presence of LGBTQ youth in the neighborhood (especially those of color).
While the majority of LGBTQ services are in the Lakeview area, there is a dearth of resources on the South and West Sides of the city. Especially relevant is the more than 15,000 homeless youth in Chicago.
Dec. 12, 2013
Dec. 11, 2013
Dec. 9, 2013
When reflecting on a past relationship, one song can bring back a tidal wave of memories.
You go to a party with someone new; and just as his hand reaches for yours, the turntable clicks to a song that your first love used to play for you on lazy Sundays.
You have a record that you used to enjoy, but now resent; every chord reminds you of her.
You're picking up milk at the grocery store when you hear a song that you danced to at a wedding once, and that stab of recognition is enough to make your lungs gasp for air.
"You're the reason why I'll move to the city/You're why I'll need to leave." - Sharon Van Etten
When I met you, I was all of 18. I liked Coldplay and Damien Rice. You introduced me to Bob Dylan, Spoon, and Nick Drake. To the tune and timbre of your records, I fell in love.
We cooked pasta to Andrew Bird. We fell asleep to Iron & Wine. We sang in the car to The Avett Brothers.
Dec. 9, 2013