Jul. 22, 2011
Jul. 22, 2011
Back in high school I was a film photography enthusiast. I loved the weight of a camera in my hand, the deliberate click of the shutter, the way taking photos made any walk a potential art project. I sat in my closet in the dark to practice spooling film and pored over contact sheets. I loved taking and developing pictures and the way being a photographer made me feel, which was artistic and cool. But then the age of digital photography came about, and pictures became something you just snapped in a hurry at a bar at college to prove to other people how much fun you were having with your cute friends.
Then I married my husband, who was as interested in digital photography the way I was in film photography. I bought him a nice SLR camera for Christmas a few years ago and eventually grew even more passive about photos. I stopped bothering to take a camera on vacation or to weddings because what was the point? My point-and-shoot pictures always looked bad and I didn't know how to use a nice camera. Last year though, Steve upgraded his camera and the camera I gave him went unused.
Jul. 21, 2011
The Green City Market Chefs' BBQ Benefit will be held Friday night in Lincoln Park but I won't be there and I'm distraught.
Why won't I be there? Because I'm chicken. It's hot out there. Like Louisiana hot.
Why am I distraught? Because the BBQ is one of the best food events in the world. And I've been to a few great events. I've even cooked at a some of them. This is the kind of event worth traveling across the world for one night. It's that level of culinary event.
It explores the broadest sense of BBQ that you've never seen before, in the fine restaurants, competitions, much less backyard BBQ.
Nearly 100 restaurants and chefs serve some of the most inventive BBQ food - off grills and smokers - in a park.
And about 50 different wines, 20 beers, and at least 10 specialty cocktails will be served. This year a new website, Green City Cocktails, has been set up to share seasonal market cocktail recipes. Sadly I'll also miss the plant-and-grow wildflower coasters they're giving away too.
Jul. 21, 2011
While filming at the Pitchfork Music Festival with Superchunk's Jon Wurster we spent a lot of time in Flatstock, the rock poster show. Wurster's long career as a rock drummer made browsing screen prints a walk down memory lane. He shared stories about posters for The Mountain Goats, Superchunk and A.C. Newman. Chicago poster artists Dan MacAdam and Dan Grzeca explain a little bit of their craft to Wurster and Dan Kuhlken of California and Mike King of Oregon help him reminisce.
First up: site-specific work from the side project, whose theater is so minute that any other venue must seem palatial. That, in any case, is my reading of their decision to kick off a festival of site-specific one-acts this Saturday in the office of Alderman Joe Moore.
side project (lower-case theirs) is celebrating its tenth anniversary and its ties to the 'hood it calls Jarvis Square (Jarvis at Greenview in what I'd style mid-Rogers Park). Alderman Moore's office isn't the only unusual venue for this series, called Cut to the Quick: On Location; neighborhood bars and restaurants, and even a local body shop, are turning themselves into theaters for its brief duration. It starts this Saturday at the Alderman's office at 12:30 (with a piece about lawyers' ethics and other oxymorons), and continues through August 17 in various locales. Tickets are $10.
If the goings-on in Washington mean you've had your fill of politicans, perhaps you'd prefer to consider the comforting topic of terrorism in other countries.
As Kris Vire reported recently, Theater Wit is introducing a monthly pass which enables theatergoers to attend as many shows in the complex as many times as they want. The idea was copied (or at least is in force) from Seattle's ACT (A contemporary theater); but what's interesting is the model Theater Wit did NOT copy, which is ACT's decision to make all performances pay-what-you-can. Provided only that patrons buy their tickets on the day of performance, they can pay a nickel for a $50 ticket. So people who are willing to trade off certainty for affordability will, presumably, be enticed into the theater.
So here's my question: why doesn't Theater Wit (or any other theater in Chicago, for that matter) adopt THAT policy of ACT: pay what you can, for any show, forever? Responses strongly encouraged.
1. The latest from Second City is Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting), and they say, "As all Chicagoans know, our daily trials range from a summer with no sun to dodging car doors while using the bicycle lane to the latest zombie uprising, we remain cautiously optimistic that the sky’s the limit – unless, of course, there’s a blizzard, tsunami, or hail storm." They might want to add heat.
2. Jonathan Abarbanel has a through look at opera in Chicago today.
So you have two choices: in, or out. Being an air-conditioning girl myself, I'm planning to see Collaboraction's 1001 when it re-opens at the Flatiron Building next week (in fact, the Dueling Critics will debate the re-mount); but if you can't wait, it's at Theatre on the Lake this weekend. A word of warning--about the venue, not the show--ToL isn't air-conditioned and if there's any set at all (not always a given with Collaboraction) it prevents the lake breeze from getting through. Last weekend's ToL was a study in suffering for one's art, as the actors mopped their taped-on microphones constantly lest they short out from sweat, meanwhile struggling to give performances both nuanced and high-energy. (Not merely struggling: succeeding.) The audience was luckier: ToL provides us with fans.
Another in-or-out choice: you can go to the Cubs game, or you can watch the Sox on tv.