WBEZ | Rosemont http://www.wbez.org/tags/rosemont Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Comic Con not just about comics anymore http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-comic-con-not-just-about-comics-anymore-108362 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ComicCon 130809 AY.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-7e37b6c1-6389-5601-b093-dcb6943238d5">Comic book fans will be going to Chicago Comic Con at Rosemont Friday through Sunday, but the show is no longer just about comics.</p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://www.wizardworld.com/home-ch.html">headlining guests</a> include Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto and former NBA player Dennis Rodman. Some local artists say the shift towards pop culture in general is taking away a platform to promote their work, especially for independent creators.The more established Chicago Comic Con is also in direct competition with the <a href="http://www.c2e2.com/Home/">Chicago Comic &amp; Entertainment Expo (C2E2)</a> which has been coming to McCormick Place every spring since 2010.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago artist <a href="http://www.jillthompsonart.com/bio.html">Jill Thompson</a> has shown her work at Chicago Comic Con and many other conventions around the world, though she is not going to this one. She says the event used to be a way for comic creators to talk to publishers and meet fans, but that is no longer emphasized.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Comic creators who have been going to conventions for over 20 years, like myself, finally got to the point where they don&rsquo;t feel like they are very welcome, or it&rsquo;s something that they can look forward to actually do, when it used to be something that you did as part of your job,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;You sold artwork and made business connections, and kind of got pushed out of it all. And it&rsquo;s kind of disheartening.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She points out that when fans approach comic creators at conventions, they can see upcoming work or leave with a product the artist worked on, whereas meeting a celebrity often involves paying for just a picture or autograph.</p><p dir="ltr">Thompson says although she still travels to some conventions, she also relies on social media to talk to fans and show upcoming work. She says she looks forward to convention organizers finding a happy medium between pop culture and comic book programs.</p><p dir="ltr">However, others, like local artist <a href="http://timseeleyart.blogspot.com/">Tim Seeley</a>, say Chicago Comic Con&rsquo;s move away from its roots is not as much of a problem.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the place you go to see the guy who played Napoleon Dynamite, and the guy who hosts a reality TV show, but it&rsquo;s still a comic book show at its heart,&rdquo; Seeley says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little bit more focused on what I would call the normal people, instead of the hardcore comic book fans.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Seeley does say he&rsquo;s been hearing a lot of concerns about how much the event costs now. A four-week pass, if purchased at the door, will set you back $100, and Seeley says this is the first time many acquaintances have called him wondering if he can get them discounted tickets as a guest.</p><p dir="ltr">He points out that C2E2 tries to brand itself differently from the Chicago Comic Con, and most agree. Artist <a href="http://www.wizardworld.com/russelllissau.html">Russell Lissau</a> says he sees a lot of the same people at both conventions, but Chicago Comic Con is still his favorite, precisely because the big publishers like Marvel and DC don&rsquo;t come.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Chicago Comic Con is much more of an independent show where the writers and artists are on their own, celebrating their own work without the publishers&rsquo; involvement,&rdquo; Lissau says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a way to meet your favorite creators without having to wait an hour at the Marvel booth or the DC booth to do it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Blogger Lauren Rapciak, who writes <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/geek-girl-chicago/">Geek Girl Chicago</a>, says she prefers C2E2 because it&rsquo;s run by fans and thus more welcoming. But, she says, although Chicago Comic Con has shifted from its roots as a comic convention, it will undoubtedly remain successful.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going for comic content, you will be disappointed,&rdquo; Rapciak says. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going for television, or to see great costumes, or to buy merchandise, you can still have a good time. But it is no longer just a comic con.&rdquo;</p><p>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></p></p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 09:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-comic-con-not-just-about-comics-anymore-108362 Multi-million dollar retail experiment opens by O’Hare http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/multi-million-dollar-retail-experiment-opens-o%E2%80%99hare-108245 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/shopping_130801_ay.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">A retail experiment opens Thursday in Rosemont near Chicago&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>Most outlets are in remote areas, but the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is next to the Kennedy Expressway, the airport, and not too far from downtown Chicago.</p><p>Retail consultant Neil Stern says mall developers nationwide will be watching this experiment.</p><p>&ldquo;Not only is this the most well connected outlet mall in Chicago, it might be the most well-connected outlet mall in the country,&rdquo; Stern says.</p><p>Unlike traditional outlet malls, this one is indoors, features art installations from a <a href="http://theartsinitiative.com/">group of 11 artists</a>, and services for travelers. For example, flyers can print boarding passes and check bags directly to their flight from the mall.</p><p>But these amenities come at a price: more than $200 million.</p><p>Stern says the experiment comes at a time when <a href="http://business.time.com/2011/08/12/as-regular-malls-struggle-outlet-malls-are-booming/">outlet malls are growing quicker than traditional malls</a>. He adds that if it pays off, we could see similar developments around the country.</p><p>Developers say this outlet is meant to function differently than other outlets. Retailers and manufacturers used to build outlets either to get rid of merchandise they can&rsquo;t sell, or separate the customers who will pay a premium for cutting edge products and those will travel to buy for the same brand at a lower price, says Jean-Pierre Dubé, a marketing professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. That&rsquo;s why outlets aren&rsquo;t particularly close to major cities.</p><p>Stern says manufacturers now have a different reason to sell at outlets -- they want direct access to their customers for greater profits. He points to companies like Coach, Apple and Tiffany, businesses that rely on selling directly to customers and as a result, became some of the most successful retailers.</p><p>Arthur Weiner, chairman of Fashion Outlets of Chicago developer AWE Talisman, agrees. He says the artwork and other services not found at other outlet malls give businesses a greater opportunity to show brand pride. He also sees this as the outlet to change all outlets.</p><p>&ldquo;The product that was being presented in America was a very stale product, outdated, underdeveloped, didn&rsquo;t have the ingredients that consumers wanted,&rdquo; Weiner says. &ldquo;When we were presented with the opportunity for this piece of exquisite dirt, we saw the vehicle for the change that we thought was necessary for outlet shopping.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></em></p></p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/multi-million-dollar-retail-experiment-opens-o%E2%80%99hare-108245 Cubs may have leverage with the lure to Rosemont-it worked for others http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/cubs-may-have-leverage-lure-rosemont-it-worked-others-106200 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wrigley_0.jpg" title="(AP/File)" /></p><p>Rosemont Cubbies.</p><p>It doesn&#39;t roll off the tongue very well.&nbsp;</p><p>But it has to be a consideration as Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens is&nbsp;making a generous offer to the Cubs and its owner, Tom Ricketts, to acquire 25 acres of land.</p><p>The team should at the very least feign interest. Because it may bolster ongoing negotiations for Wrigley Field and the rooftop owners.</p><p>It is all politics. And all the fans can do is sit back and watch it unfold. It would not be the first time a Chicago team has tried and to some extent succeeded in using the suburbs and other locations to move.</p><p>Thirty-eight years ago, Bears owner, George Halas &ndash; unhappy with Soldier Field &ndash;&nbsp;allegedly had serious talks with Arlington Heights to move the team to the northwest suburbs.</p><p>The location near Arlington Park race track was more than appealing. With a train station and Route 53 at the doorstep, it was an idle location.&nbsp; A couple of obstacles killed the effort (high bond rate was one).</p><p>There was also the famous rant from Mayor Richard J. Daley, telling Halas the name Chicago would not be allowed for the Bears if they left the city.</p><p>It would be curious if the name topic has come up at City Hall about the Cubs. Would Mayor Rahm Emanuel make that same demand on if the Cubs took their bat and ball and move to Rosemont?</p><p>Papa Halas would threaten to move to South Bend, Ind., and Evanston before inking a long term leasing deal for Soldier Field.</p><p>As the years went by, the team was still not satisfied with their deal or the condition of the stadium. The public didn&rsquo;t see the huge cracks in the foundation and the other problems of the lake front venue. Picking up with where his grandfather left off, Bears owner President Michael McCaskey had a land option in Roselle and tried again in Arlington Heights.</p><p>Other locations included Hoffman Estates, Warrenville and near O&rsquo;Hare Airport. The zinger by Mayor Richard M. Daley was a good one: &ldquo;They can go to Alaska.&rdquo; Not having political allies thwarted those threats for the Bears. &nbsp;The team was rescued by Bears President Ted Phillips after he was able to hammer out a deal with the Chicago political forces that had eluded McCaskey, finally Soldier Field was renovated and reopened in 2003.</p><p>The team may well have earned political capital when they back-stepped from seeking city financing for Wrigley renovations.</p><p>However, their political fight is with&nbsp;44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney &mdash; and wrangling with the rooftop owners is now the main event. Tunney suggested on Wednesday to get rid of Wrigley&rsquo;s scoreboard was one of the lamest ideas to date.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>On the South Side of Chicago, the White Sox threat to move to various locations was legendary, Milwaukee, Seattle and Addison. The one location that was minutes from actual coming to fruition was the move to Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida. &nbsp;Many of us were hunkered down in the press box on June 30, 1988, waiting for the Illinois legislature to vote. The deadline was midnight, at 12:03 a.m., Gov. Jim Thompson strong armed enough votes to keep the Sox in Chicago and get a new stadium.</p><p>There is no doubt the man that can come to the rescue for the Cubs is Mayor Rahm Emanuel, he could play the same role as Thompson did for the Sox.</p><p>Meanwhile, the Cubs should use the threat of a move to shake the reality of the situation to the city and the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Do the Cubs need the city and the nearly one hundred year old stadium to retain popularity? Or would a move to the &lsquo;burbs with a new stadium near a hub of expressways and public transportation with the opportunity to make millions more dollars in revenue be intoxicating to the Ricketts and the Cubs? &nbsp;</p><p>The team&rsquo;s deadline for a deal is coming soon-Opening Day-April 1<sup>st</sup> no fooling.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame</a></p></p> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/cubs-may-have-leverage-lure-rosemont-it-worked-others-106200 Chicago's Rosemont Corridor http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/chicagos-rosemont-corridor-105151 <p><p>You can find a little bit of Chicago in the strangest places.</p><p>In 1945 the federal government transferred 1,080 acres of land near Mannheim and Higgins to the City of Chicago. The site was to be used for a new commercial airfield, the future O&rsquo;Hare.</p><p>Though Chicago held title to the airport land, the site itself was a few miles beyond the city limits. That fact might cause legal complications--could&nbsp;the Chicago police even issue parking tickets?&nbsp;Early in 1956, the city council opened hearings on annexing unincorporated land between the city and the airport.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Foster%20corridor.JPG" title="Foster Avenue--Chicago's 'Rosemont Corridor'" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Part of the plan was to annex forest preserve&nbsp;acreage along the Des Plaines River. The Cook County Board was controlled by Chicago Democrats, so that would be easily done.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">At the same time, the city was going to annex a 66-foot-wide strip of Higgins Road. This narrow corridor would stretch from the&nbsp;existing Chicago border (Canfield Avenue) to the airport land (Mannheim Road). Chicago would then have a physical link with O&rsquo;Hare.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Meanwhile,&nbsp;out on the prairie, the homesteaders in Park Ridge and Des Plaines were alarmed. Those city slickers were invading their territory. What would happen to their peaceful country&nbsp;lives?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Now both Park Ridge and Des Plaines began their own annexations, trying to block Chicago&rsquo;s land grab. The newly-incorporated village of Rosemont followed suit. To help things along, Leyden Township officials volunteered to co-ordinate the new suburban&nbsp;borders.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago&nbsp;wasn&rsquo;t about to let a few little hamlets interfere with the greater good of his city. Daley&nbsp;met behind closed doors with officials from the rebellious suburbs on March 28<sup>th</sup>. When the meeting ended,&nbsp;the mayor&nbsp;announced that the matter was settled, and the Chicago annexation would go forward.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">By virtue of that strip along Higgins&mdash;which was only 33-feet wide in some places&mdash;O&rsquo;Hare was now connected to the City of Chicago. But the solution was only temporary. In 1959, in a different case, the Illinois Supreme Court questioned the legality of such &ldquo;shoestring&rdquo; annexations.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Otto Avenue looking toward Rosemont.JPG" title="Otto Avenue in Chicago, view toward Rosemont border" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Daley didn&rsquo;t wait for the court to take up the Higgins annexation.&nbsp; He reached a deal with Rosemont to swop the Higgins strip for a 185-foot wide strip along Foster Avenue, on Rosemont&rsquo;s southern border. Now the matter really was settled.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Today there&rsquo;s nothing to identify the little corridor along Foster as part of Chicago, except for a few city street lights. The old suburban street signs are still in place. And in a final bit of irony, the Rosemont land to the north has undergone massive redevelopment, while the Chicago land is occupied by single-story industrial buildings.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 07:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/chicagos-rosemont-corridor-105151