Jackson and Federal Streets on Tuesday afternoon, February 1, 2011. Photo by Bill Healy.
We are going to photo-document the Chicagoland area during the 2011 blizzard. So today and tomorrow, you will see familiar neighborhoods, landmarks and landscapes covered in snow. You will see familiar commutes, roadways and sidewalks altered by the falling thunder...snow. For the full blog (already in progress), go here.
We start with a photo sent in by our co-worker Jane Verwys on 02/01/11at 2:31pm. It's the fire station at the corner of Hermitage & Byron on Chicago's North Side.
Feb. 1, 2011
WARNING: This article uses racial and ethnic epithets.
As we enter February, it's no coincidence that several mainstream theaters are offering plays featuring African-American actors and directors. "Mainstream," after all, refers to a theater which is white-managed and draws a mostly-white audience, except when the theater produces an ethnic-themed work. February being Black History Month, the time has arrived once again, and so we have plays about civil war in Liberia and civil war in the Sudan, and how a white boy and his adopted black brother grow up together.
To be sure, some mainstream theaters offer onstage diversity all year around and support the work of actors, directors and playwrights of various colors, but most still do not. It's a fact that the vast majority of Chicago mainstream theaters do not have anyone who is Black, Asian, Latino or Middle Eastern within their Upper Management structures. And it's no secret that several of our most celebrated ensemble companies took decades to add non-white actors. The color bar—to use an old term for the racial divide—remains only partially blurred, and it's a divide extending well beyond actors and managers, playwrights and directors: how many designers of color do you know? Or stage managers? Or theater critics for that matter?
Feb. 1, 2011
A story: Thundersnow to the rescue!!!! Thundersnow? Is that a real thing or did Tom Skilling make that up? No, it's real and I guess very dangerous. Thundersnow is the 3.0 of blizzards. I don't know about you, but the more I hear about thunderstorm and danger and dire and destruction and dire and thundersnow, the more I want to go outside and witness it firsthand. Thundersnow might even close Navy Pier.
And memo to local blogs and Twitter: Cool it on making fun of the mainstream media's coverage of the snow. I've read so many people making fun of the media's coverage, tweeting and blogging that 'It snows in Chicago, duh!" over and over and over. Most of those folks aren't from here. When it snows in Chicago, and I mean big snow, people expect it to be front page news. Our little AP story from Sunday night saying there was going to be a blizzard this week has seen thousands and thousands of hits, even today. People want it because snow forecasting is in Chicago's blood. Snow storms are markers for our history. My mom just told me yesterday that the first time she ever got a day off from CPS was because of the '67 blizzard. Bilandic could probably trend on Twitter for all the remarks about his mayoral snow-removing meltdown.
Feb. 1, 2011
With the Year of the Rabbit upon us this Thursday night, I figured many of you will be making the trek down to Chinatown, so here's another dessert option, which absolutely beats the industrially-made fortune cookie. First, let me just say I consider myself a huge fan of any kind of bao or Chinese bun. Initially, the love affair was limited to the ubiquitous red-tinged, steamed BBQ pork buns called char siu bao, but it's moved way beyond that savory snack package. Recently, I had a sweet dessert bun at Triple Crown in Chinatown, called lao sa bao, which translates to "flowing sand bun." There are egg yolks - and plenty of sugar involved - but I love the gritty, sweet lava that oozes from these warm buns, especially after plowing off a few steamer trays full of har gao and chow fun. Incidentally, I had another excellent version of the lao sa bao about a week ago at the new MingHin Cuisine in the Chinatown Square Mall. Totally different exterior (more flaky than squishy) and I think it actually edges out the Triple Crown version. You'll have to decide for yourself. Happy New Year!