WBEZ | vintage http://www.wbez.org/tags/vintage Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Set in Chicago, early 1960s doc seeks a fairer urban America http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/set-chicago-early-1960s-doc-seeks-fairer-urban-america-108979 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lee_train.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Here is a glimpse of Chicago from 1961, courtesy of <em>The City of Necessity</em>, a film co-produced more than 50 years ago by a contingent of local religious organizations.</p><p>The 22-minute film was a bid to show the benefits of living in cities, using Chicago as an example. There are shots of Chicago&#39;s early midcentury skyline, a parade down State Street (Streets and San&#39;s space-age float at the 5:53 mark is worthy of pausing and replaying) and good footage of old buildings being demolished.</p><p>But the documentary&#39;s framers are also pushing for a more humane and inclusive city.</p><p>&quot;The promise of the city is not always fulfilled,&quot; narrator George Ralph intones. &quot;Often one becomes a statistic in an unemployment office.&quot;</p><p>The cameras venture out into white, black and Latino neighborhoods--and the level of poverty and dilapidation is alarming by today&#39;s standards. Race and class are noted in the documentary.</p><p>&quot;We have no ghetto, and we have no Negro ghetto,&quot; Mayor Richard J. Daley is heard saying.</p><p>Then the film provides footage to the contrary.</p><p>We see Chicago nightlife at 16:30. The montage of peep shows, tattoo parlors and the &quot;Girls Girls Girls&quot; sign set to a burlesque-grade rock and roll score is the best part of the documentary.&nbsp;</p><p>After its release,<em> the City of Necessity</em> won a Golden Gate award at the San Francisco Film Festival. A copy of the film is the U.S.. National Archives.</p></p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 05:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/set-chicago-early-1960s-doc-seeks-fairer-urban-america-108979 The city that was: Short film shows 1970s Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/city-was-short-film-shows-1970s-chicago-108796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lee_vid_cap.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HKE9lONXy4s?list=UUU9YRLuykPOIHcMHwqKLs8A" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Here&#39;s a fun look at Chicago in the 1970s: a 16mm film depicting a day in the life of our fair city.</p><p><em>Chicago Breakdown</em> by Gary Brown looks as if it was made around 1976, judging by a glimpse of an Bicentennial license plate on one of the cars. You&#39;ll also see legendary radio jock Larry Lujack at WCFL-AM, where he was on air from 1972 to 1976.</p><p><em>Breakdown</em>&nbsp;begins a little slow with sunrise shots and a quiet country music score, but things pick up. I like when a worker, concluding a night shift, climbs into his Cadillac Coupe De Ville and shifts into gear as the Ohio Players&#39; Love Rollercoaster comes on the car radio.</p><p>The 14 minute film features good aerial footage of the John Hancock Building and Lake Point Tower. The sped-up point of view footage taken from inside an &#39;L&#39; car and along Lake Shore Drive and timed to match the musical &quot;breakdown&quot; hinted at in the title is also nice. We also see Wrigley Field fan yelling to get Cubs outfielder Jose Cardenal&#39;s autograph and darkened interior of the University of Chicago. A <em>Playboy</em> magazine shoot is briefly shown, so a word of caution there for sensitive readers.</p><p>The movie comes courtesy of the <a href="http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/">Chicago Film Archives</a>,</p></p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 01:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/city-was-short-film-shows-1970s-chicago-108796 Best selfies on Facebook: Water Reclamation District photos http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/best-selfies-facebook-water-reclamation-district-photos-108684 <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/541053_423591327732094_1704436682_n.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 841px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">We rarely see the Wrigley Building as it is shown in the above photo from 1922.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Looking eastward down the Chicago River, we see the Wrigley&#39;s south tower is complete while the future landmark&#39;s north tower is about two years from being built. And in the decades to come, virtually every structure surrounding the Wrigley Building in this picture would be cleared away and replaced with something bigger and better, thus transforming the waterside industrial district into one of the most beautiful urban riverfronts in America.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">So who took the photo? Was it the Wrigley Company, looking to show off its building? Maybe a passing photographer? Neither. The photograph was commissioned by the Chicago Sanitary District, the predecessor to today&#39;s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The government agency is responsible for handling the county&#39;s wastewater and storm runoff. That would include the Chicago River, which the agency famously reversed in 1900.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The MWRD posts historic photographs of its work about once a week on its<a href="https://www.facebook.com/MetropolitanWaterReclamationDistrict"> Facebook page.</a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here&#39;s a 1916 photo of the Jackson St. bridge over the Chicago River, looking south. The district built the bridge in 1915. The span is still there, but Postwar skyscrapers dominate the vista now:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6308_467003593390867_783281850_n.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 373px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The district was installing a sewer line on Halsted Street, near 31st &mdash; you can see the material to the right &mdash; in this 1923 photograph. The photographer also captured the long-gone Milda Theater at 3142 S. Halsted. The 900-seat house closed in the 1950s and the building lived on as office space until it was demolished for a police station in 2004:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/60756_417304868360740_534784175_n.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The well-received 2011 book&nbsp;<em>Lost Panoramas: When Chicago Changed its River and the Land Beyond&nbsp;</em>showcased stunning photography commissioned by the district between the 1890s and 1930s. The photos show the wilderness and natural vistas outside of Chicago that were altered by the engineers and armies of workers who built the complex system of canals and infrastructure that reversed the flow of the Chicago River.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And a similar transformation was happening in Chicago also, as the photograph of the Wrigley Building shows: A new Chicago rising from the old; the past yielding to what is to come.</div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/best-selfies-facebook-water-reclamation-district-photos-108684 Early 1960s look at bustling Gary, Indiana http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-08/early-1960s-look-bustling-gary-indiana-108458 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 10.20.02 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="415" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PISaDmq73LQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p>We&#39;ve viewed and thought of Gary, Indiana as an urban ruin for so long, we&#39;ve forgotten what the city once was.</p><p>I found the above video on YouTube yesterday. It shows what the steel town looked like around 1960: a vibrant city of more than 100,000 souls. Broadway &mdash; Gary&#39;s main drag &mdash; bustles with commerce and even a parade in the video. We see a new, modern school, the Marquette Park bathhouse, designed by Chicago architects Maher &amp; Sons and more.</p><p>The video was posted on YouTube by Anthony Diaz, director of imaging for the Mid-American Heritage Preservation Foundation, a non-profit group in Whiting, Indiana that digitally restores old film depicting Northwest Indiana. More good stuff <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/mahpfoundation?feature=watch">to watch here.</a></p></p> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-08/early-1960s-look-bustling-gary-indiana-108458 Mods vs. Rockers Rally continues rivalry between bike cultures http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/mods-vs-rockers-rally-continues-rivalry-between-bike-cultures-107711 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/MODROCK_JC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the summer of 1964, the English seaside resort town of Brighton was the battleground for two rival motorcycle gangs: the Mods and the Rockers. Almost five decades later, Rockers Larry Fletcher and Martin Cimek continues the infamous &lsquo;<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/18/newsid_2511000/2511245.stm" target="_blank">Battle of Brighton</a>&rsquo; by hosting the 9th annual Mods vs. Rockers Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Rally in Chicago.</p><p>The relationship between the two factions has changed since they met on the south shore of England.</p><p>On Thursday, the Rockers parked their Triumph and Ducati motorbikes next to the Mod&rsquo;s Vespa and Lambretta scooters outside the Isle of Man clothing shop and gallery on <a href="https://plus.google.com/115886323617505592406/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">North Lincoln Avenue</a>. They gathered for an art show featuring work by German photographer Horst Fredricks on the two subcultures.</p><p>&ldquo;This year we kind of hit the homerun by bringing the music and culture to the motorcycle show, and it is something we&rsquo;ve been trying to do for years,&rdquo; Cimek said.</p><p>Fletcher and Cimek make up the Steel Toe Press, an event company dedicated to keeping the vintage motorbikes community in high gear. They have organized motorcycle shows since 2005, but this is the first year where they will expand the Mods vs. Rockers Rally to include the culture surrounding these machines. This weekend&rsquo;s event will include hot rod exhibitions, motorcycle stunt shows, a vintage fashion contest and a Rockabilly concert featuring performers such as Reverend Horton Heat and Lee Rocker.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of these bikes that are invited to these events are simply machines you don&rsquo;t get to see anymore, and I think everybody is fascinated by that aspect of it,&rdquo; Cimek said. &ldquo;They are beautiful and influenced by a lot of different things that happened throughout different eras that we&rsquo;ve seen throughout pop culture.&rdquo;</p><p>Fletcher and Cimek have both loved bikes since they were kids, revelling in the daredevilry of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxgm5uM64hc" target="_blank">Evel Knievel</a> and aspiring to be Steve McQueen escaping Nazi soldiers on his Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycle in<em> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zwW7iWinrk" target="_blank">The Great Escape</a></em>. A trip to England in the mid-&rsquo;90s inspired Fletcher to start the Ace Cafe in Chicago, copying a North London motorcycle cafe of the same name.</p><p>&ldquo;In 1994, I went to a Rocker&rsquo;s reunion in London. It was at the Chelsea Bridge,&rdquo; Fletcher said. &ldquo;That was how I was first exposed to real Rocker culture &lsquo;cause they still have a strong Rocker culture in the U.K. When I was there, I thought this was really cool and I would like to recreate this in the U.S.&rdquo;</p><p>The cafe closed 18 months later, but Fletcher continues to organize motorcycle events which has attracted as many as 4,000 attendees. Cimek expects this weekend&rsquo;s event to top 5,000 motorcycle enthusiasts.</p><p>Fletcher estimates that the number of Rockers outnumber Mods four to one at previous events, but this weekend&rsquo;s rally might challenge their status quo.</p><p>&ldquo;We have Mods coming from Canada, from Ireland,&rdquo; Fletcher said. &ldquo;We have a big contingent of Mods coming from Texas. &nbsp;So we&rsquo;ve already been warned that the rumble might be on.&rdquo;</p><p>Cimek says the Rockers and the Mods do not ride together, but they have learned to tolerate each other in recent years.</p><p>&ldquo;We still don&rsquo;t understand how they can feel macho and ride with their knees together,&rdquo; Fletcher said.</p><p>The Mods vs. Rockers Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Rally will be held at the Aragon Entertainment Center on 1106 W. Lawrence Ave on June 15.&nbsp;</p><p>For more information, visit <a href="http://modsvsrockerschicago.com/" target="_blank">modsvsrockerschicago.com</a>.</p><p><em>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/jclee89" target="_blank">@jclee89</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/mods-vs-rockers-rally-continues-rivalry-between-bike-cultures-107711 Be awesome, write letters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/be-awesome-write-letters-105400 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/letters.jpg" style="float: right; " title="Pretty, vintage-inspired stationary from the Chicago-based company 16 Sparrows. Papergoods are sold online [www.presentandcorrect.com] or at local retailers Greer [1657 North Wells] and The Boring Store [1331 N. Milwaukee]. (16sparrows.com)" />Last fall, I saw a little indie film called <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872818/" target="_blank">Liberal Arts</a>&nbsp;</em>in which the main character (Josh Radnor of&nbsp;<em>How I Met Your Mother</em>) and his college-age love interest (Elizabeth Olsen of <em>Martha Marcy May Marlene</em>) write letters to each other during their months apart. The young coed sends him mixes of her favorite classical composers, and he responds with handwritten words of wisdom from the authors of his favorite books. The whole scenario was almost too precious to be taken seriously, yet somehow affected me deeply as a hopeless romantic in a post-modern world.&nbsp;</p><p>Letter writing is a lost art (case in point: these wickedly-worded <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/12/this-was-like-dating-a-priest-famous-authors-breakup-letters/266308/#slide6" target="_blank">breakup letters</a>&nbsp;from literary greats) but still fully capable of a revival in the new millenillium.&nbsp;Hipsters are buying vinyl records instead of CDs, typewriters instead of computers and vintage finds from the Salvation Army over knock-offs from Forever 21. So why not go back to good old-fashioned letter writing as a means of creating more meaningful, artistic and uniquely personal connections with others?</p><p>The <a href="http://16sparrows.typepad.com/letterwritersalliance/" target="_blank">Letter Writers Alliance</a>&nbsp;began as a way to unite &quot;isolated epistle enthiasists&quot; on a local level, and has since evolved into a worldwide organization that strives to preserve letter writing as an irreplaceable art form. Founded in 2007 by Chicago-based &quot;paper nerds&quot; <a href="http://www.16sparrows.com/about/faq.html" target="_blank">Kathy Zadrozny and Donovan Beeson</a>, the Alliance now includes over 2,700 members and offers a wide range of free printable downloads, exclusive member products and vintage postal items. Lifetime memberships are only $5 to start, and well worth the mere 66 cents for <a href="http://16sparrows.com/LWA/membership.html" target="_blank">first-class delivery</a> of a member card, badge, postcard and welcome letter.</p><p>Zadrozny and Beeson also run the online papergoods shop&nbsp;<a href="http://www.16sparrows.com" target="_blank">16 Sparrows</a>, which provides a multitude of cute and quirky cards for the unconventional letter-writer. Their devotion to &quot;smart-ass pretty things&quot; runs the gamut from vintage telegram stationary to velociraptor thank you notes, but their&nbsp;<a href="http://16sparrows.com/LWA/PS-Pigeon-Post.html" target="_blank">Pigeon Post</a>&nbsp;invention is by far the most fun (and bizarrely awesome) of all. In fact, this idea exists on a whole other plane of awesome that words simply cannot do justice, but I will try.&nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Pigeon-Mailbox.jpg" style="float: left; " title="How to properly send a Pigeon Post. (16sparrows.com)" /></p><p>Each $30 &quot;carrier pigeon&quot; kit includes one 13 oz. plastic pigeon that fits perfectly inside a Global Priority Mail Box, three pigeon post message forms, three mailing label pouches, instructions on how to mail and postage stamps for one mailing. Refills of message forms and mailing pouches are only $10 each, so you can keep your pigeon a&#39;traveling on.&nbsp;</p><p>If this isn&#39;t the ultimate way to &quot;<a href="http://www.putabirdonit.com" target="_blank">put a bird on it</a>,&quot; then I don&#39;t know what is.&nbsp;</p><p>In a culture that relies on impersonal emails and <a href="http://www.iemoji.com" target="_blank">emoji</a>-loaded texts as our most common forms of communication, try making someone&#39;s day with a few extra words (or better yet, a thoughtful essay) of kindness and gratitude. The gifts that I value the most in life are not necessarily the most expensive or the most showy, but rather those thoughful little gems that cost relatively nothing and were made especially for me: handwritten letters, birthday cards, paintings, collages, mixtapes, short stories, picture frames, comic books starring me and my friends in <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/the-atomic-county/65-57667/">funny superhero outfits</a>, etc.&nbsp;</p><p>Thank you notes in particular have become woefully undervalued these days, especially with the rapid-fire convenience of social media literally right at our fingertips. However, if you want to land your <a href="http://instagram.com/p/P2tr3YL8E6/" target="_blank">dream job</a>,&nbsp;show someone that you care without blowing your entire paycheck or simply avoid the blackhole of <a href="http://www.16sparrows.com/shop/L_corporate-holiday.html" target="_blank">corporate holiday&nbsp;</a>greed, a heartfelt letter of appreciation will go a long way. Maybe not as far as a <a href="http://www.empireonline.com/features/greatest-harry-potter-characters/" target="_blank">Hogwarts owl</a> or carrier pigeon, but it&#39;s the thought that counts.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>,&nbsp;add her on<a href="http://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett"> Facebook</a>&nbsp;or send her a pigeon post if you feel so inclined.</em></p></p> Fri, 08 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/be-awesome-write-letters-105400 Nostalgia trip: 1970s video shows one L of a ride down the Dan Ryan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-01/nostalgia-trip-1970s-video-shows-one-l-ride-down-dan-ryan-104812 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 10.25.37 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NmHmRBPI1rs" width="420"></iframe></p><p>If you are of a certain age--and, boy, I am--the early 1970s video of a Dan Ryan Line el train making a 95th Street-to-downtown run is a real trip...back in time.</p><p>Completed in 1969, the line was only a few years old when this video was made; the sleeker new trains glided down the median of the still new Dan Ryan Expressway, stopping at modernist stations designed by Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill. Back then, the old Lake/Dan Ryan Line went north, passed through downtown, connected to older Lake Street el and traveled west to Oak Park. Today, the Ryan trains compose the south end of the Red Line, while the firner west leg is now part of the Green Line.</p><p>As the train travels north in the video, some long-gone landmarks and structures can be seen, such as the lip-shaped Magikist carpet cleaners sign kissing the sky near 85th. As the train pulls into the 47th Street station at 6:45, the now-demolished massive Robert Taylor Homes are visible on the right. At 35th, the camera pans to the left and gets a good view of old Comiskey Park.</p><p>Placing a high capacity rail line in an expressway median was revolutionary in the 1950s and 1960s. It lessened the cost of land clearance for mass transit and created a train system that didn&#39;t darken roadways, as do the city&#39;s overhead lines. It was efficient people-moving, but bad urban planning. The platforms are isolated, surrounded by expressway concrete and speeding cars rather than vibrant street life. The station entrances sit in the middle of blocks-wide deadzones for pedestrians, due to the width of the expressway. A planned redo of the 95th Street terminal could rectify some issues at the station--retail and food vendors could be added. That&#39;s just one spot along the line. But it&#39;s better than none.</p><p>The video above comes courtesy of YouTube, posted by a rail fan who goes by the name &quot;msibnsf,&quot; who has loads of other vintage and contemporary <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/msibnsf?feature=watch">CTA and train footage.</a></p></p> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-01/nostalgia-trip-1970s-video-shows-one-l-ride-down-dan-ryan-104812 Photographer captures the rockabilly lifestyle http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/photographer-captures-rockabilly-lifestyle <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//rockabilly.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jennifergreenburg.com/jennifergreenburg.com/index.html">Jennifer Greenburg </a>knows her pompadours and poodle skirts. The photographer traveled the country documenting the style-and lifestyle-of rockabillies for her book, &quot;The Rockabillies&quot;. And while she says her aesthetic sensibilities first drew her to this stylish bunch, she learned what beliefs and ideas brought this group of people together. She talked to Alison Cuddy about the subjects of her book earlier this year at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nightanddayvintage.com/">Night and Day Vintage</a>, a frequent haunt for those looking for the rockabilly style. <br /><br />Jennifer Greenburg currently has work up as part of <a target="_blank" href="http://johallaprojects.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/the-daley-show/">&quot;The Daley Show&quot;</a>, presented by Chicago Urban Art Society and Johalla Project. That show runs through January 8.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p><object width="500" height="533" id="soundslider" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"><param value="http://audio.wbez.org/files/20100311_Rockabillies/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=533" name="movie" /><param value="always" name="allowScriptAccess" /><param value="high" name="quality" /><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /><param value="false" name="menu" /><param value="#FFFFFF" name="bgcolor" /><embed width="500" height="533" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" menu="false" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" quality="high" src="http://audio.wbez.org/files/20100311_Rockabillies/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=533"></embed></object></p> Wed, 22 Dec 2010 15:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/photographer-captures-rockabilly-lifestyle