WBEZ | summer http://www.wbez.org/tags/summer Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The sweetness of summer http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/what-are-other-parts-summer-107896 <p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5899319161_5d68093fc4_z.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 620px;" title="(Flickr/angela larose)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Summer was easy in childhood. For one, everything could be contained to one block. I spent many summers at my grandparents&rsquo; home in the Austin neighborhood while my parents worked during the day. As I got older, I began to spend more and more time inside, not because there was little to do outside, but because the containment of the block was no longer satisfactory. But as a child, it was easy to acquire as much of the goodness of summer in one block as it was to spend time moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and activity to activity. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">I&rsquo;m thinking about the women who put up snow cone stands. I can&rsquo;t remember how much they cost (probably not a lot). What I do remember is how sticky and messy they were and how that seemed unique to summer as well. Summer is a time of cold, meltable treats. A sweet relief comes in the form of sticky fingers and a messiness that was more or less acceptable. As an adult, I still face that: the sloppiness of summer, the ways in which we are subject to the heat in all of its glory and frustration. We wait all winter and spring for the heat and then, when it arrives, we forget everything else that comes with it. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">I&rsquo;m thinking about barbecues as well. We are nearing the Fourth of July. Although Summer has technically just started, in our minds, it truly hits around Memorial Day. That is when the laziness of extra-long days feels acceptable. Barbecues are a means of indulgence in a manner that feels in opposition to the indulgence of winter holidays. For one, in summer, it feels easy to &ldquo;keep going.&rdquo; Once I stop eating during a holiday dinner, my relatives rarely question my actions. But in the summer, another plate can be found just waiting. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">Summer is a time of being young. And if that is out of grasp, it is a time of feeling young, too. When I think about my favorite songs of summer, I remember my favorite films nd television shows about youth. These films might not have taken place in summer, but they successfully invoked the best feelings of being young, and so songs like Space&rsquo;s &ldquo;Female of the Species&rdquo; (as heard in <em>My Mad Fat Diary</em>) or Supergrass&rsquo; &ldquo;Alright&rdquo; (as heard in <em>Clueless</em>), feel especially right for the right now. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">And waiting too feels inherent to the spirit of the season. I sometimes forget that fall is quietly waiting. And so I too wait &ndash; in lines, in stores, at parties, for transportation &ndash; all for the chance to experience the things that were taken from us the other nine months of the year. What are those things? Maybe the sticky sweetness (like mentioned above) of gelato. A Sunday evening is sometimes spent waiting for a scoop or three of Black Dog Gelato, but it all feels worth it. Treats are available throughout the year, but warmth trumps deliciousness.</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-477fc8db-8b7e-0048-fee8-32ce6a739736">Maybe too I&rsquo;ll wait for a party or performance in a way that seems unfeasible in the winter. </span></p><p><span>&ldquo;I do NOT wait in lines,&rdquo; I used to say to friends, not because I thought I deserved better treatment, but because the cold was too much to bear for a good time. </span></p><p><span>But in the summer evenings, when the breeze is just right, I can wait in line longer than expected, all for the sort of magic that only brews when the days and nights are equally enjoyable.&nbsp;</span></p><p><em>Britt Julious blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-06/what-are-other-parts-summer-107896 30 things to do in Chicago this summer http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/30-things-do-chicago-summer-107847 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chicago%20summer.jpg" title="File: Chicago summer skyline. (Flickr/Jenn Tatum)" /></p><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><div><div>Summertime arrived slightly&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/chicago-weather-rain-thun_n_3044634.html" target="_blank">later than expected </a>in Chicago this year; but thankfully for those yearning to don shorts and sundresses, the wait is now over. With the June solstice came a mass unveiling of open patios, 80 degree weather (finally!) and a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VkiiNdwTo4" target="_blank">big Blackhawks win</a> to get the season started on a celebratory note.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>So, how do we make the most of the blessed June-September sunshine we have left? Here is a list of 30 delightful Chicago adventures to keep the fun meter running all summer long:</p><p><strong>1. Get on a boat.</strong></p><p>Take some inspiration from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7yfISlGLNU" target="_blank">The Lonely Island</a>&nbsp;and tell your friends &quot;I&#39;m on a boat&quot; for real. Rent or charter a <a href="http://www.chicagosailing.com" target="_blank">sailboat</a>, fall in love with Chicago all over again on the architecture boat tour, or catch a water taxi to Chinatown after work (only $6!)&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Bike to the breweries.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>A guide for daylong cycling trips to brewpubs outside of the city limits&mdash;including Three Floyds Brewpub in Munster, Ind. and Lake Bluff Brewing Company in the northern suburb of Lake Bluff&mdash;can be found <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/cycling-beer-three-floyds-flossmoor-lake-bluff-day-trips/Content?oid=9657166" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p><strong>3. Visit some famous houses.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Take a suburban roadtrip to the gorgeous home and studio of architect <a href="http://gowright.org/home-and-studio.html" target="_blank">Frank Lloyd Wright</a> (Oak Park), Cameron&#39;s glass house and garage from <a href="http://gawker.com/5724865/for-sale-camerons-house-from-ferris-buellers-day-off" target="_blank">Ferris Bueller&#39;s Day Off</a>&nbsp;(Highland Park) and Kevin McAllister&#39;s iconic residence in <a href="http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/05/05/own-a-piece-of-movie-history-home-alone-house-for-sale/" target="_blank">Home Alone</a>&nbsp;(Winnetka).&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. Kayak on the river.</strong></p><p>Search for available dates and times on the <a href="http://www.kayakchicago.com" target="_blank">Kayak Chicago</a> website from now until September. You also can go wind-surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or even<a href="http://www.jetskischicago.com"> jet-skiing</a> if you feel so inclined. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Challenge a friend to rock climbing.</strong></p><p>Race to the top of the city&#39;s best indoor climbing walls, including the Lakeview Athletic Club and&nbsp;<a href="http://ffc.com/climbingwall/old-town/" target="_blank">The Ledge</a> at Fitness Formula Club in Old Town. Also, big news: the first-ever Chicago gym completely devoted to rock climbing, <a href="http://www.firstascentclimbing.com" target="_blank">First Ascent</a>, is set to open in the South Loop this fall.</p><p><strong>6. See the Chicago </strong><strong>Symphony Orchestra</strong><strong> at Ravinia.</strong></p><p>Pavillion seats are only $25 for the <a href="http://www.ravinia.org/CSOResidency.aspx" target="_blank">world&#39;s greatest orchestra </a>with Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Leon Fleisher and more. Lawn seats are $10 or free to children and students through college.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Taste the rainbow cone.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>If you haven&#39;t tried the &quot;Original Rainbow Cone&quot; at the historic <a href="http://rainbowcone.com" target="_blank">Rainbow Cone</a> ice cream shop (est. 1926), then you are doing summer wrong.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Join Chicago SummerDance.</strong></p><p>The largest <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_summerdance.html" target="_blank">annual outdoor dancing series</a>&nbsp;in the United States has returned for a 17th year of jumping, jiving and bringing joy to dancers of all ages. The July schedule for this June-September program includes daytime lessons and nights of live music and dancing in the styles of salsa, ballroom, country two-step and more.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. Watch a movie in the park.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The 195-film lineup for the 13th Annual&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/stories/2019-2013-chicago-movies-in-the-parks-schedule" target="_blank">Chicago Movies in the Park</a>&nbsp;gets an A+ this year. I suggest bringing a blanket, wine and excellent cinephile company to see<em>&nbsp;Jurassic Park&nbsp;</em>(Wicker Park) on July 25 or <em>It Happened One Night</em>&nbsp;(Belmont Harbor) on July 29.</p><p><strong>10. Play ball.</strong></p><p>Kickball, softball and whirlyball are all the rage this summer. Join a league through the <a href="http://www.chicagosportandsocialclub.com/leagues/kickball" target="_blank">Chicago Sport and Social Club</a>, or get some friends/co-workers together for a friendly game of loser-buys-the-winner-beers.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>11. Ride in a rickshaw.</strong></p><p>A pedicab is a fun, breezy and oft-neglected form of <a href="http://www.chicago-rickshaw.com" target="_blank">totally green transportation </a>in Chicago. So why not throw caution to the wind and careen down Michigan Avenue like it&#39;s 1899?&nbsp;</p><p><strong>12. Stargaze at the Adler Planetarium.</strong></p><p>Clear summer nights are optimal for a romantic (or just super nerdy) evening at <a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/programs-events/" target="_blank">Adler After Dark</a>. Astronomy nuts should also bring their picnic baskets and telescopes to Cantigny Park in Wheaton for the Adler&#39;s <a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/events/perseid-meteor-shower-party" target="_blank">Persoid Meteor Shower Party</a> on August 11.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>13. Plant in a community garden.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Looking for an opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in your neighborhood? For those with green thumbs, a list of over 50 active community gardens can be found <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/facilities/community-gardens/" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>14. Dine on a rooftop.</strong></p><p>My favorites: The Twisted Spoke in Noble Square, J. Parker in Lincoln Park, Drumbar in Streeterville, NoMI Lounge on the Near North Side and the ROOF of The Wit downtown.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>15. Cuddle up at the lakefront for fireworks.</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.navypier.com/things2do/fireworks.html" target="_blank">Navy Pier fireworks</a> go off every Wednesday and Saturday night until August 31; but you don&#39;t have to shuffle through a sea of tourists to get a good view. Stretch out on a blanket by the lakeshore and watch the show from across the water instead.</p><p><strong>16. Swing dance the night away.</strong></p><p>Put on your vintage skirts and suspenders, turn up the Big Band records and head down to Fizz (Mondays), The Green Mill (Thursdays) or Honky Tonk (Sundays) for <a href="http://windyhop.net/venues.php" target="_blank">unforgettable summer nights</a> of swing dancing, live music, contests and more.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>17. Practice yoga in the park.</strong></p><p>Find your center every Saturday at 8 a.m. with <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park4.html" target="_blank">Yoga in Millenium Park</a>, part of a free workout series from the City of Chicago that lasts until September.&nbsp;Other Great Lawn group classes include Tai-Chi at 7 a.m., Pilates at 9 a.m., and Zumba at 10 a.m.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>18. Explore Jane Addams Hull House.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The West Side home of writer and humanitarian <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_learn/_aboutjane/aboutjane.html" target="_blank">Jane Addams</a> is spectacularly well-preserved, and inspiring for Chicago history buffs, educators and budding feminists alike. Tours of the museum are free to the public, so you should feel no guiilt in springing for a <a href="http://www.greekislands.net" target="_blank">fancy three-course meal</a> in nearby Greektown after you&#39;ve had your educational fill.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>19. Go to a game.</strong></p><p>While the Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs and White Sox may be the most popular teams in Chicago sports, they are certainly not the only ones. Check out the <a href="http://www.chicago-fire.com" target="_blank">Chicago Fire</a>&nbsp;(men&#39;s soccer), the <a href="http://www.wnba.com/sky/index_main.html" target="_blank">Chicago Sky</a> (WNBA), or the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.windycityrollers.com" target="_blank">Windy City Rollers </a>(women&#39;s roller derby) for a rollicking good time at just a fraction of the cost.</p><p><strong>20. Enjoy a free event at the Chicago Cultural Center.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>In addition to an <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenter-aprilprograms.html" target="_blank">ongoing roster</a> of lunchtime music concerts (Mondays and Wednesdays) and international film screenings (Wednesdays and Saturdays), the CCC will host Jackalope&#39;s production of&nbsp;<em>The Casuals</em> at The Storefront Theater from July 11 to 28.</p><p><strong>21. Gather at a neighborhood arts festival.</strong></p><p>Check out the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (June 28-30), Square Roots (July 12-14), Wicker Park Fest (July 28-31) and Northalsted Market Days (August 10-11).</p><p><strong>22. Relax at the Osaka Japanese Gardens.</strong></p><p>This <a href="http://www.hydepark.org/parks/osaka2.htm" target="_blank">hidden gem</a> of Hyde Park is right up there with the Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago&#39;s Botanic Gardens in terms of sheer beauty, history and summertime enchantment.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>23. Host a farmer&#39;s market dinner.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Bring back goods from your local farmer&#39;s market (the fresher, the better!) and create a <a href="http://lulacafe.com/gallery/farm-dinner" target="_blank">Lula Cafe-style</a>&nbsp;farm dinner&nbsp;right in your kitchen by preparing a lavish meal for family and friends.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>24. Sunbathe in Lincoln Park.</strong></p><p>Read a book on the lawn of the prettiest park in all of Chicago, then walk on over to the Lincoln Park Zoo and see over 1,200 exotic animals for free.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>25. Locate an awesome patio and BYOB.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Try landing an outdoor table at Tango Sur in Lakeview, Cafe Sushi in Old Town or 90 Miles Cuban Cafe in Logan Square to enjoy good eats, prime people-watching and as many <a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/t/2/15/Chicago/BYOB-restaurants" target="_blank">tag-a-long beers</a> as your heart desires.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>26. Take a class.</strong></p><p>Do you have some extra time this summer to learn something new? If so, you&#39;re in luck: Chicago has cooking, guitar, pottery, beer-brewing, gardening and improv <a href="https://dabble.co" target="_blank">classes galore</a>.</p><p><strong>27. Have a beach picnic party.</strong></p><p>Take in the scenic views (and avoid the obnoxious Castaways crowd) at Hartigan Park and Beach in Rogers Park, 57th Street Beach in Hyde Park or Kathy Osterman Beach in Edgewater.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>28. Experience the Chicago Jazz Festival.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>This year&#39;s fest will take up three stages in Millenium Park, meaning that the sound will be <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-01/entertainment/chi-chicago-jazz-festival-lineup-20130430_1_chicago-community-trust-young-chicago-jazz-festival-young-jazz-lions" target="_blank">much better</a> than in years past, and the sets even more intimate.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>29. Stroll through Hyde Park.</strong></p><p>Spend a day walking around the beautiful University of Chicago campus. Then stop for cultural enlightenment at the Hyde Park Art Center, followed by life-changing Mexicana Milkshakes at Medici on 57th. You will not regret these decisions.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>30. Find a pool.</strong></p><p>Not everyone is lucky enough to have a swimming pool on the roof of their apartment; but fear not, urban-dwellers: the Chicago Parks District has 26 indoor pools and 50 outdoor pools open for the summer. Check their <a href="http://www.google.com/#output=search&amp;sclient=psy-ab&amp;q=community+pools+chicago&amp;oq=community+pools+chicago&amp;gs_l=hp.3..0j0i22i30l3.9076.11998.0.12364.23.20.0.3.3.0.179.2065.12j8.20.0...0.0...1c.1.18.psy-ab.gvyg35d7pCc&amp;pbx=1&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&amp;bvm=bv.48340889,d.aWc&amp;fp=ef126818abddee8&amp;biw=1016&amp;bih=605" target="_blank">website</a> to find a fun and friendly pool for open swims, family swims or lap swims near you.&nbsp;</p><p>Got any Chicago summer staples to add to this list?</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/30-things-do-chicago-summer-107847 Morning Shift: Get your summer book bag ready http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-21/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready-107794 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Reading Books Train-Flickr-mootown.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Literary critic Donna Seaman is always excited to share new book ideas. Summer is officially upon us on Friday so she discusses some titles that you can take on road trips or to the beach. What are you excited to read this summer?</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Get your summer book bag ready" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-21/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready-107794 Morning Shift: School's out for summer, may be time to make some cash http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-20/morning-shift-schools-out-summer-may-be-time-make <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Crown Fountain 2-Flickr-QUOI Media.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week Chicago area schools are heading out for the summer. Parents and students explain what&#39;s on their agenda. What are you planning to do with more free time during the day? And as the Hawks wrap Game 4, what sports superstitions to you follow?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-schools-out-for-summer-may-be-time-t.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-schools-out-for-summer-may-be-time-t" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Schools out for summer, may be time to make some $" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 08:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-20/morning-shift-schools-out-summer-may-be-time-make There's no summer like a Chicago summer http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-05/theres-no-summer-chicago-summer-107354 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6975584668_994e798822_z.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="(Flickr/karlnorling)" /></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Chicago in the summer...&rdquo; I began in a conversation with a friend since junior high school.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">&ldquo;Oh, there&rsquo;s nothing better,&rdquo; she finished.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">What do people mean when they say Chicago is the greatest city in the summer? Well, they mean a couple of things, I suppose. If we truly consider the weather, Chicago summers are usually unbearable. The stickiness is never pleasant. By mid-July, the weather rules with an iron fist. It becomes difficult to imagine a Chicago outside of these temperatures. Where is the cold? Where is the chill? Where is the bite?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">But in the beginning, a Chicago summer is nothing short of heavenly. Chicago truly only has two seasons: hot and cold. To live here is to know this. Chicago exists in a binary and to escape the months of cold feels like a triumph over the adversity of snow and ice. &ldquo;I made it! I finally made it,&rdquo; you think. The winter is an obstacle of the spirit. It too is great in the beginning, but slowly breaks down its inhabitants. Pleasure exists for fleeting moments.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">What I&rsquo;ve realized now after 25 years as a Chicagoan is that our summers force something fierce of us. The summer gives Chicagoans a chance to do something they rarely get a chance to throughout the rest of the bitterly cold year: see each other. When the temperatures first rise and you take a long walk home, what you will typically find is people, bodies, movement, and chatter. This all seems standard, but to experience it again in the warmth is to be acquainted with an old friend. &ldquo;I had forgotten what this could be like,&rdquo; you think. Heat keeps one present in their surroundings. In the beginning, it can be perfect. There is the sky, the grass, the dirt, the air. But heat can be both pleasurable and unnerving. Not every Chicago is as beautiful and right and perfect. Last year I <a href="http://britticisms.tumblr.com/post/26574946999/notes-on-summer" target="_blank">wrote</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">The fire hydrant was open, but few people were around. I ran through the gushing, powerful stream of water for a quick respite from the heat. It reminded me of the long days I spent in the Austin neighborhood as a child. Back then, my grandparents filled a kiddie pool with water in their backyard and the other neighborhood kids joined. One day, we were asked to not play outside anymore. A few weeks later, my grandmother took to the ground as gunshots went off down the block. A cul-de-sac came soon after to deter loitering on the street corner. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t understand,&rdquo; I remember telling my mother. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s complicated,&rdquo; she responded.</span></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">I try to remember this. The summer is not perfect. Violence goes up. The presence of people supports the presence of the issues people hold deep within themselves.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">I like to take long walks, those nice, three-hour-long walks that produce a kind of sweatiness only of the summer. It is the kind that comes from the heaviness of the sun, a heaviness born only in the season. The power of the bright rays as you keep going and going is heady. Time slips by; the sun steals your afternoon. The feeling is good and pure.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ea8f125-d7a4-5797-7efb-2a089c6076a2">Space is a luxury of the winter. There is always a place to go to and from and quickly. But the leisurely qualities of summer means more loitering. To loiter then is to see the streets for what they&rsquo;ve become. To see the people around you throughout the summer time is to know that the city is as diverse, multifaceted, and rich in character as we&rsquo;ve known deep down.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 12:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-05/theres-no-summer-chicago-summer-107354 Long Hot Summer: Getting kids off the corners—and back to church http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-getting-kids-corners%E2%80%94and-back-church-100596 <p><p><em>Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues. This year, </em>Afternoon Shift <em>hopes to move beyond the headlines in hopes of better understanding the violence&mdash;it roots and possible remedy&mdash;through frank, forward-thinking, holistic conversations in a series we&rsquo;re calling, </em>Long Hot Summer.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stop%20the%20violence%20flickr.jpg" title="(flickr/Zol87)" /></div><p>Author and <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> columnist <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/fountain/index.html" target="_blank">John Fountain</a> has been writing about violence in Chicago since he was a cub reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> in 1989&mdash;though he&rsquo;d been living the beat long before that. Fountain grew up on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side, in K-Town. There, he was exposed to poverty and its symptoms: drugs, broken homes, gang violence and crime. But he knew he wanted to make a difference. Part of that, he says, was his Pentecostal upbringing; Fountain&rsquo;s grandfather was the pastor of the True Vine church. Fountain went on to become a deacon in the church and maintains that faith holds the answer to so many problems.</p><p>&ldquo;When the church moves beyond its doors, it can do incredibly powerful things,&rdquo; Fountain said.</p><p>It did for Fountain: A father at 17, a college dropout at 19, a welfare case soon after, Fountain nearly lost all hope. But faith, he wrote in his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586480847?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=truvin-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1586480847" target="_blank">memoir</a>, was his own true vine.&nbsp;</p><p>Fountain says the faith community remains a vital part of the black community. &ldquo;In some ways,&rdquo; he explained, &ldquo;it is an overweight, cumbersome, sleeping giant that needs to get fit&hellip;and return to the business of doing good work.&rdquo;</p><p>Fountain shared his thoughts on <em>Afternoon Shift&rsquo;s</em> most recent <em>Long Hot Summer</em> conversation. Also joining the conversation was Father Chuck Dahm, who has been at <a href="http://stpiusvparish.org/" target="_blank">St. Pius</a> in Pilsen for more than 25 years, and <a href="http://lawndalechurch.org/thafirehouse.html" target="_blank">Pastor Phil Jackson</a>, aka the &ldquo;hip hop pastor,&rdquo; who organizes various youth-centered programs in the Lawndale community.</p></p> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-getting-kids-corners%E2%80%94and-back-church-100596 Best places for a quick—even 'Odd'—weekend getaway http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/best-places-quick%E2%80%94even-odd%E2%80%94weekend-getaway-100310 <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/dragon.jpg" title="Coin-Operated Fire-Breathing Dragon of Vandalia(Flickr/Selbe B)" /></div><p>Now that summer has officially begun, <em>Afternoon Shift</em> thought it was high time to plan a few weekend getaways. Tough economic times have kept many people cooped up at home the last few years&mdash;but no more! The majority of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, according to a <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-60-percent-of-americans-plan-to-take-summer-vacations-this-year-159184135.html" target="_blank">recent consumer survey</a>. And the majority of said travelers plan to get away <a href="http://www.kptm.com/story/18787635/road-trips-top-travelers-summer-vacation-plans" target="_blank">by car</a>!</p><p>So the <em>Afternoon Shift</em> decided to plot out some easy escapes. I figure less than 10 hours of drive time is ideal because once you hit double digits, you double the likelihood of a backseat brawl. I don&rsquo;t have a ton of research to back that up--but I can tell you that when my family road tripped to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the summer of &lsquo;93, stopping at every ballpark along the road to Cooperstown, I considered hurling myself across the Canadian border as we trekked from the old Tiger Stadium to the Montreal Expos spaceship dome. Around hour 11, I was desperately seeking asylum from the middle seat between a pair of thieving, card-shark brothers. &nbsp;</p><p>Host Steve Edwards exchanged ideas for some easy getaways with former <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> contributor and travel writer <a href="http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/catalog/showBook.cfm?ISBN=1569764662#" target="_blank">Jerome Pohlen</a> and <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/" target="_blank"><em>Time Out Chicago</em></a> associate features editor Marissa Conrad. And we ask listeners&mdash;and the <em>Afternoon Shift</em> team to share their picks too. Where do you like to go to get away in the summer? <strong>Call 312-923-9239</strong>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=203732441956662625361.0004c2fe83194814da29d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=44.559163,-89.912109&amp;spn=12.52395,27.246094&amp;z=5&amp;iwloc=0004c2ff9c87553d9131b&amp;output=embed" width="620"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=203732441956662625361.0004c2fe83194814da29d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=44.559163,-89.912109&amp;spn=12.52395,27.246094&amp;z=5&amp;iwloc=0004c2ff9c87553d9131b&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">WBEZ Summer Getaways</a> in a larger map</small></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Host Steve Edwards Picks: 5 Towns Worth Visiting</strong><br /><strong>Frankfort, Illinois</strong><br />This historic community in the south suburbs sits along the Old Plan Road Bike Path and is home to a weekly Sunday farmer&#39;s market, movies on the town green and numerous outdoor festivals.</p><p><strong>Buchanan, Michigan</strong><br />Some call Buchanan &ldquo;the next Three Oaks, Michigan&rdquo; which, depending on how you look at it, could be a great thing or impetus to visit now before it&rsquo;s overrun by Chicago-expats. Either way, you&rsquo;ll find great architecture, a quaint downtown district (on the National Register of Historic Places) and a perfect perch from which to explore the outdoors.</p><p><strong>Historic Pullman District &ndash; Chicago, Illinois</strong><br />OK, it&rsquo;s technically not a small town anymore, but the feeling is all the same. To stroll the streets of the community created by George Pullman for the workers in his adjacent factory is to walk into another era. It&rsquo;s living history that&rsquo;s often overlooked. Mark your calendars now for the historic house tour in October.</p><p><strong>Valparaiso, Indiana</strong><br />Located along the Lincoln Highway, the town square is still the central business district and the historic heart of the community that&rsquo;s home to Popcorn Fest, Valparaiso University and the county seat of Porter County, Indiana.</p><p><strong>Woodstock, Illinois</strong><br />Woodstock has been featured in several major motion pictures, including Groundhog Day and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, thanks to its remarkable town square and towering Opera House. Well worth a visit for its farmer&#39;s market and its traditional City Band Concerts on the Square.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Jerome Pohlen, author </strong>of <strong><a href="http://www.ipgbook.com/oddball-illinois-products-9781613740323.php" target="_blank"><em>Oddball Illinois: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places</em></a> Top 10</strong>:</p><p>1. Coin-Operated, Fire-Breathing Dragon, Vandalia<br />2. <a href="http://www.midwayvillage.com/wordpress/" target="_blank">World&#39;s Largest Sock Monkey</a>, Rockford<br />3. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/27354" target="_blank">Friendship Shoe Fence</a>, Cornell<br />4. <a href="http://www.horrorbles.com/" target="_blank">Horrorbles</a>, Berwyn<br />5. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/402" target="_blank">World&#39;s Largest Abe Lincoln Statue</a>, Ashmore<br />6. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/18808" target="_blank">General Santa Ana&#39;s Wooden Legs</a>, Springfield and Decatur<br />7. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11386" target="_blank">Mini Solar System/Maxi Model</a>, Peoria et al<br />8. Rosario&#39;s Italian Sausage, Chicago<br />9. <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/carbondales-best-kept-secret-boo-rochman-memorial-317874.html" target="_blank">Boo Rochman Memorial Park</a>, Carbondale<br />10. <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g36392-d646324-r128462619-R_Place_Family_Eatery-Morris_Illinois.html" target="_blank">Truck Stop Marionettes</a>, Morris</p><p><strong>Wisconsin native and <em>Time Out Chicago</em> associate feature&#39;s editor Marissa Conrad&#39;s Picks</strong>:</p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Wisconsin%20Dells%20flickr.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 213px;" title="Noah's Ark at Wisconsin Dells (Flickr/Dave Reid)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wisdells.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Wisconsin Dells</strong></a><br />Conrad says she ABSOLUTELY loves the Dells and could talk about it for hours. Web producer and New Yorker <strong>Kate Dries</strong> plans to brave the Dells&#39; rapids this summer, mostly just to say she&#39;s done it and, she says, &quot;because [I&#39;m] 12 and like water parks.&quot; Dries also loves state fairs and <strong>Minneapolis</strong>--she wholeheartedly recommends stopping at <a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/29/330049/restaurant/Twin-Cities/Dinkytown/Als-Breakfast-Minneapolis" target="_blank">Al&#39;s Breakfast</a>.</p><p><strong>Indianapolis</strong><br />A lot of cool stuff going on right now, including a zoo exhibit where over 500 exotic birds are flying around you...they&#39;ll land on your arm and walk across your head!</p><p><a href="http://www.americanclubresort.com/index.html" target="_blank">Kohler, Wisconsin</a><br />Conrad says it&#39;s a great resort spa destination for couples.</p><p><strong>Nashville, Tennessee</strong><br />Conrad hopes to head south to check out Nashville&#39;s booming foodie scene recently profiled by the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/06/20/dining/20120620-NASHVILLE.html?ref=dining" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a></p><p><strong>Darwin, Minnesota</strong><br />Home of the <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128" target="_blank">world&#39;s largest ball of twine</a>, it&#39;s this tiny town of 247 and they are all so proud of the ball of twine! There&#39;s the Twine Ball Restaurant, Twine Ball Inn, etc. But it&#39;s also super close to the Mall of America and Twin Cities, so it&#39;s legit to make a whole weekend out of it.</p><p><strong>Green Bay, Wisconsin</strong><br />Conrad was wary to share this pick--obviously! But, she says, Lambeau Field and the Packers Hall of Fame are worth a visit.</p><p><strong>Milwaukee, Wisconsin</strong><br />Conrad recommends the classic <a href="http://www.factorytour.com/tours/miller-brewing.cfm" target="_blank">Miller Brewing Factory</a> tour or the <a href="http://mam.org/" target="_blank">Milwaukee Art Museum</a>.</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/Milwaukee%20Art%20Museum.jpg" title="Milwaukee Art Museum (Flickr/clarkmaxwell)" /></div><p>Milwaukee&#39;s also tops producer <strong>Carrie Shepherd&#39;s list:</strong> I think Milwaukee is a quick, great escape from the city. I&rsquo;m more of an urban rat than a nature seeker so I don&rsquo;t head north for the hikes and canoeing like other Chicagoans. I like that Milwaukee has city amenities, but is really manageable. You can rent a car, be there in under 2 hours and there&rsquo;s ample parking. The Milwaukee Museum of Art is architecturally beautiful and sits right on Lake Michigan. There&rsquo;s also great eating in the city, far beyond your stereotypical brat and beer fare&hellip;two things I tend to avoid. Well, more the former. Before my last visit, Milwaukeeans recommended a visit to the <a href="http://www.historicthirdward.org/" target="_blank">Historic Third Ward</a>, an area of revamped old warehouses with cool bars and boutiques (on my last visit, I actually got some good stuff at a shop owned by a Chicago expat). <a href="http://www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org/main.html" target="_blank">The Milwaukee Public Market </a>is in that area, too, with a huge selection of foods from every corner of the globe.<br /><br />Not everyone is big on Milwaukee. <strong>Producer and Wisconsite Eilee Heikenen-Weiss</strong> prefers the cheese state&#39;s more rustic locales: Topping Eilee&#39;s list is <a href="http://www.devilslakewisconsin.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Devil&#39;s Lake</strong></a>. It has tons of hiking, rock climbing, camping, boating (no motors, tho). Easy access to Wisconsin Dells attractions without having to stay in the Dells, which is horrible. And, she says, if there&#39;s no on-site camping available, stay at one of the nearby inns. Lots of cute ones outside the Dells. Eilee recommends checking out <a href="http://www.flickr.com//photos/skilletcreek/sets/72157629822990369/show/" target="_blank">Dr. Evrmor&rsquo;s Art Park</a>, the <a href="http://circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org/" target="_blank">Circus World Museum</a>, the <a href="http://www.savingcranes.org/" target="_blank">International Crane Foundation </a>and picking fruit at local farms while you&#39;re there. And, she says, <strong>Dodgeville, Wisconsin</strong> is worth a stop too: <a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/govdodge/" target="_blank">Great camping</a>, visit the land of trolls at <a href="http://www.trollway.com/" target="_blank">Mount Horeb</a>, hit up a nearby <a href="http://friendsofmazobeach.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">nude beach</a> and <a href="http://www.pecksfarmmarketeast.com/seasons-attractions" target="_blank">Peck&rsquo;s Farm Market</a>, especially, Eilee says, &quot;for the petting zoo...climbing goats.&quot; &nbsp;</p><p>Producer Joe DeCeault likes to hit the bike trails around <a href="http://www.dupageforest.com/preserve.aspx?id=4224" target="_blank"><strong>Argonne National Laboratory.</strong></a></p><p>And <strong>web producer Andrew Gill</strong> recommends stops in <a href="http://www.newglarusvillage.com/" target="_blank"><strong>New Glarus, Wisconsin</strong></a> and <a href="http://www.3floyds.com/" target="_blank">Three Floyds Brewery</a> in Munster, Indiana.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/best-places-quick%E2%80%94even-odd%E2%80%94weekend-getaway-100310 Letting your kids run wild and angering suburban parents while doing it http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/letting-your-kids-run-wild-and-angering-suburban-parents-while-doing <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2150090909_90ef5bb927_z_0.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="Let this guy roam free, says Noelle Krimm. (Flickr/Dav Yaginuma)" />Google &quot;mommy wars&quot; and you&#39;ll get about 18.5 million results. Google &quot;mommy wars playground&quot; and you&#39;ll get about 1.9 million -- significantly less to fuss about, but still plenty of topics to fuel the fire of a long hot summer surrounded by other parents and their progeny.</p><p>So Neo-Futurist and mom Noelle Krimm brings some advice to parents who aren&#39;t quite sure where they fit in amongst other parents. Mainly, for Krimm, &quot;In what world is a wet, muddy or cold child a particularly terrible thing? Evanston.&quot;Read an excerpt below or listen above.</p><p><em>In a couple weeks I&#39;ll be launching my new blog on </em>ChicagoNow<em>, because every suburban mom has to have a blog; it&#39;s requisite. It&#39;s entitled &quot;The Amazing Affordable Adventures of Mama, Bunny and Pip.&quot; It&#39;s a local adventure blog; it&#39;s the tale of our adventures, me and my daughter Bunny -- not her real name -- and my son Pip -- really not his real name -- and the affordable fun we find together now that it&#39;s just the three of us.</em></p><p><em>So I&#39;m here to report to you about what to do with your kids -- or someone else&#39;s kids, any kids, get permission first -- during the upcoming, dreaded, interminable months of summer. Because I&#39;m an expert. </em></p><p><em>Except I&#39;m really not.</em></p><p><em>I was raised in a medium-sized town in Florida in the 1970s. This makes me decidedly ill-equipped to raise children in suburban Chicago-land in 2012. I don&#39;t understand it. I don&#39;t understand the other parents. I don&#39;t understand their customs and their funny way of talking. I&#39;m a stranger in a strange land.</em></p><p><em>I think this is partially due to the fact that this is the feeling of parenthood in general, for me. There is some common misconception that when you issue forth a pink, squalling human from your nether regions, you somehow know what the hell to do with it in the moments and years and decades to follow.</em></p><p><em>You don&#39;t. Not at all.&nbsp;</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your&nbsp;</em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 02 Jun 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/letting-your-kids-run-wild-and-angering-suburban-parents-while-doing Songs of the summer: Musicians' picks http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-31/songs-summer-musicians-picks-91313 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-31/istock_000016377524small_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>This week on The Record, we're looking at <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/139847525/hating-is-bad" target="_blank">some of the songs</a> that captured our attention (or held us hostage) this summer, and asking what they tell us about our standards, our anxieties and the places we want our music to take us when it's hot out.</em></p><p><em>In the past week and a half we've asked a handful of musicians from across the country to tell us what's been their summer jam this year — a track they've found unavoidable or one they themselves have worn out, a song they listened to all summer long or one that soundtracked a single perfect summer moment.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15340491/jason-moran" target="_blank">Jason Moran</a><br> New York City<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Jn3pcc178" target="_blank">"Turn Me Away" by Erykah Badu</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>I wish I had a new song that has really been rocking this summer, and I really hoped <em>Watch the Throne</em> would supply it. Nevertheless, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=36898288" target="_blank">Erykah Badu</a>'s song "Turn Me Away" has been on repeat during most of my car trips with my twin three-year-old boys. My boys love the song because of the simple three note melody that she repeats incessantly. It almost sounds like a children's song, and combine that with an unbelievable groove, it's got all the making of a summer jam. I'm truly wearing it out, even though I've had the recording for a long while. Thank you, Erykah.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15029554/john-vanderslice" target="_blank">John Vanderslice</a><br> San Francisco<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPDk8Nb2XrE" target="_blank">"Owl's Head Park" by Eleanor Friedberger</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>My song is a wonderful song about buying used bicycle parts on Coney Island. The song is filled with details small and large: our narrator poses for a photo in front of a white Lamborghini, watches TV in a restaurant, gets lost coming home and enters some strange confused vortex (otherwise known as <a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/OwlsHeadPark/highlights/151" target="_blank">Brooklyn's Owl's Head Park</a>). I first heard it while I was looking for reclaimed wood at Builder's Resources, an amazing recycling place in San Francisco. It was sunny and I was a little dazed from the heat, going from aisle to aisle, and slowly I tried to piece together the story of the song. It was pretty tremendous. I've heard it 100 times since then!</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Arone Dyer (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/131761815/buke-and-gass" target="_blank">Buke and Gass</a>)<br> Brooklyn<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrTyD7rjBpw" target="_blank">"Just Can't Get Enough" by The Black Eyed Peas</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>I've had the need to replace several items in my wardrobe in the last four months, and for this I go to a couple guaranteed hunting spots: Downtown Brooklyn's Goodwill and Unique. In these places I'm forced to listen to something I'm not typically keen on: Pop Music. It can, at times, be a stretch for me to appreciate noticeable Auto-Tune or predictable chorus melodies, but this particular song kept catching my attention, especially during the second half of the song where the rhythm takes a turn towards the dance-y vibe. Suddenly I, and all those browsing around me, are unselfconsciously bouncing our shoulders and bending our knees to the more attractive beat.</p><p>I like it because it's fun, and I like fun! Fully! I hadn't thought about it until now, but that song has come to be quite present in my popularly cultured Brooklyn summer: I hear it from cars as I pass them in the hot, heavy traffic, in pharmacies, bodegas, grocery stores and at the beach. Pop music gets around. I was clueless of the author until today, as it jumped from the kitchen at my favorite Mexican restaurant during lunch, and my waitress became detective.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Max Bloom (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/134534065/yuck" target="_blank">Yuck</a>)<br> London<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9-NOIalUYU" target="_blank">"When You Sleep" by My Bloody Valentine</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>I wanted to say Pulp because I've been seeing them a lot this summer, but it wouldn't be fair because this summer isn't technically over yet. It will be soon though; it's already dark and raining. This song really reminds me of summer just because it is quite a "hazy" song ... I'm aware that makes no sense. It just reminds me of being really hot which is rare in London, because it gets so hot for about a week and then becomes freezing cold, then I start listening to death metal. It also reminds me of the fact that My Bloody Valentine are the best band ever.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Angaleena Presley (<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/08/11/139421156/countrys-new-guard-gets-back-to-basics" target="_blank">Pistol Annies</a>)<br> Nashville<br> <a href="http://stephaniechapman.com/index.htm?id=15099" target="_blank">"Long Hot Summer" by Stephanie Chapman</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>This is currently the summer song I cannot stop listening to. Stephanie is one of my fellow Nashville singer-songwriters. This tune is the most descriptive, beautiful and heartbreaking picture of summer ever painted in a song.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>William Cashion (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/126609595/future-islands" target="_blank">Future Islands</a>)<br> Baltimore<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wavpWRK6IX8" target="_blank">"We No Speak No Americano" by Yoalnda Be Cool &amp; DCup</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>I first heard this song in early spring at the Blue Moon Saloon in Shepherdstown, W. Va., on tour, and it's been my main jam all summer long. Everyone digs it — I find myself playing it backstage, we bump it in the van, turn it up first thing in the morning. Really gets me movin'. Not to mention the music video is tops.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Samuel T. Herring (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/126609595/future-islands" target="_blank">Future Islands</a>)<br> Baltimore<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDX0I_14OY0" target="_blank">"Arm Around You" by Arthur Russell</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>This is an awesome summer jam, but is also a great song for all times. You can feel the sunshine in this one, and the lyrical build is a perfect example of a slow-building summer romance. "Touch the other side of your face ... " William wins again though, that Yolanda Be Cool &amp; DCup track is the mega winner.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Victor Vazquez (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/136617651/das-racist" target="_blank">Das Racist</a>)<br> Brooklyn<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMH9ivKyRog" target="_blank">"Maybach Music 2" by Rick Ross feat. T-Pain, Kanye West and Lil Wayne</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>I was listening to "Maybach Music" while apple picking up in Connecticut in August. The sunlight was just so. She moved her head and her hair moved. Her shirt was very soft and she smelled good. There was grass all over the ground and some clouds in the sky. A bird sang somewhere.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/03/19/134661427/moombahton-born-in-d-c-bred-worldwide" target="_blank">Dave Nada</a><br> Washington, D.C.<br> <a href="http://soundcloud.com/longjawns/long-jawns-x-billy-the-gent-1" target="_blank">"Vibrate" by Billy The Gent, Long Jawns</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>This is by far the best moombahton summer jam. "Vibrate" is a monstrous dance record, with it's gnarly dubstep synths, dirty south hip-hop samples and bass-pounding dem bow rhythm. I've been touring non-stop this summer and this track destroys every audience, from festivals to block parties to sweaty intimate nightclubs. I get goosebumps every time I'm about to drop it in a set. "Vibrate" will always remind me of summer 2011.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr><p>Chaz Bundick (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/126162267/toro-y-moi" target="_blank">Toro Y Moi</a>)<br> South Carolina<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5w21_Vphbg" target="_blank">"Racks" by YC</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>This song is catchy as hell and is a total club banger. I don't go to da club but I'd spin this if I was DJing. I really like this track 'cause it's so summery. It reminds me of hanging out with friends and staying out late. I like to blare it out of my car 'cause its such a ridiculous don't. I like how rappers now can make songs about anything.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-31/songs-summer-musicians-picks-91313 The time of tomatoes & pa amb tomàquet http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-08-29/time-tomatoes-pa-amb-tom%C3%A0quet-91186 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatogoldmedal small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatogoldmedal small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>The Chicago Botanic Garden just held its annual <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/chef/tomato">Heirloom Tomato Weekend</a>, showing visitors how to grow and use the jewel-like treasures through chef demos and tastings, garden tours, a farmers market, and expert-led talks that ranged from seed saving to canning to even shopping for all things tomato.</p><p>The esteemed tomato panel let me hold the two-pound Gold Medal you see above, which was grown at at the Garden and destined for seed saving. They kept a close eye on me - wisely.</p><p>By the time I made it through the tomato trail to the market, the vendors at the <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/greenyouthfarm/">Green Youth Farm</a> &amp; <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/windycityharvest/">Windy City Harvest</a> table had already sold out of their most beautiful tomatoes, also grown on the grounds.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatoheirloombasket small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>They offered to sell me the remaining half dozen or so very ugly - even by heirloom standards - Cherokee Purples for $1. Sold.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatocherokeebeauty small.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 166px;" title=""><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatocherokeecracks small.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 166px;" title=""></p><p>I figured I should have enough to make my first pa amb tomàquet of the year.</p><p>“Bread with tomato” is the Catalonian national dish - if you can call it a dish. In its simplest form, it’s bread rubbed with tomato. It doesn’t seem like much, but the first time I had it - in Roses, Spain on a night off from El Bulli - it was the perfume of tomato captured in a hearty, satisfying bite.</p><p>When I got home from the Garden a few of the tomatoes had already burst their delicate skins. On a couple of others, I discovered fuzzy white mold in their cracks - those were immediately sent to compost. One remained intact. I sliced it open. It was perfect.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatocherokeehalved small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>There are as many recipes for pa amb tomàquet as there must be for peanut butter and jelly. I make it by slicing crusty bread into fairly thin slices then toast them until the edges and surface are barely golden. I do rub with garlic - a point of contention - but lightly and on one side only. Then comes the tomato: rub the garlicky side with ripe tomato until there’s nothing left but tissue thin skin. Rub to the maximum tomato absorption capacity of the bread. You’re then supposed to drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt. I like to drag an olive oil soaked anchovy filet over the surface of the still blood red tomatoed bread, then lay the anchovy across. Over the little oily fish, I shave fine curls of Manchego cheese, edible rind and all, to finish. I should warn you that this is the bacon-double-cheeseburger of the pa amb tomàquet world. For your first time, taste it in its most elemental form. Even with my variations, the tomato should reign.</p><p>Now comes the hardest part: the wait. If you need to leave the room, then do it. Leave the house if necessary. Ideally you’ll bide your time over a chilled glass of wine chatting with friends - almost forgetting the wait. Wait until summer’s heat and slowed time meld the flavors together. How long depends on too many factors to say: the texture of your bread, its drink of tomato - 10 minutes? Fifteen? You’ll know not from your first slice, but your second. You’ll devour your first. By your next you’ll vow to wait just a little bit longer next time, for the time of tomatoes.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tomatopaamb small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p></p> Mon, 29 Aug 2011 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-08-29/time-tomatoes-pa-amb-tom%C3%A0quet-91186