Dynamic Range turns 50
We launched our weekly series Dynamic Range last November as a way to highlight overlooked gems from the Chicago Amplified archive. It was based on an untested hunch: There had to be good stuff in there, we thought -- wrongly overlooked, buried in hours of audio, at risk of getting lost in the bowels of the internet.
It turns out, I think, that we were right. Going through the archives and the new submissions from our partners every week, I’ve been consistently impressed by how much good stuff is in there, and by how many gems are truly buried in our archives.
Last week’s post was the 50th episode of Dynamic Range. So in honor of that mini milestone, here are the Top 10 Dynamic Range posts of the past year. Or, ok, a mostly subjective list of my 10 favorite posts from the past year:
3. The short, sad life of State Street’s pedestrian mall - The 17 years that State Street spent closed to car traffic are widely considered a planning disaster. But as more cities opt for new pedestrian malls, the question remains: How did Chicago get it so terribly wrong?
4. Sam Steward, secret sexual historian - In a time when gay men lived in fear and in the closet, Chicago professor and tattoo artist Sam Steward kept meticulous records of hundreds of sexual encounters, including those he had with the likes of Rudolph Valentino, Lord Alfred Douglas, and Rock Hudson.
7. Poet Garin Cycholl traces Chicago’s western boundaries - Garin Cycholl began his poetic examinations of Illinois geography with the state’s rural southern quarters. Now he tries to delineate Chicago’s borders using an unexpected social and historical landmark: the old Cook County Hospital.
8. Exposing the world’s most famous burlesque dancer – Burlesque pioneer Gypsy Rose Lee made a name for herself during the Depression, but she isn’t just a dusty historical figure to the shimmiers and shakers of today. Universally adored by modern burlesque dancers, Lee was the inspiration for the Broadway musical Gypsy and was once saluted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt this way: “May your bare ass always be shining!”
10. Lessons for Chicago from Colombian transit - Mayor Emanuel has vowed to bring bus rapid transit to Chicago as part of his ambitious transition plan. Bogota, Colombia is one of only two cities in the world with gold standard BRT. Here, Bogota’s former mayor shares the secrets that made his city’s transit system a success.
Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Flickr Photos in this post by The Goat Is Bad, Sarah Stierch, Josh Koonce, and Paul Goyette. Photo of Palmer Mansion courtesy of WikiCommons.