Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

by Christopher Brinckerhoff

"Sidewalks II: Reflections on Chicago" author and photographer Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood pause for a smile. Kogan will speak in Kankakee Library about the work. Later this month the library will host a discussion about another one of his books, "America's Mom: The Life, Lessons, and Legacy of Ann Landers." Photo by Chris Walker.

The Kankakee Public Library will have an unusual patron in-house this evening. And some might only be able to recognize him by his distinct voice, which floats on an octave so low it generates gentle rumbles on eardrums.

Chicago Tribune senior staff writer and WGN radio host Rick Kogan will be on-hand Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. to talk about his latest collaborative effort with former Chicago Tribune photographer Charles Osgood, “Sidewalks II: Reflections on Chicago.” This is the second collection of their well-known Sunday paper columns about intriguing people and places around the Windy City, and Kogan agreed to the engagement, in part, because he loves libraries.

Copies of the book, which will be officially released Nov. 13, will be available to purchase for the first time at the event. They will be offered at a discounted price, $30 instead of $40, and Kogan will be signing books after speaking about the work.

The Sidewalks column stories are primarily about the little things, everyday characters and peculiar locations that form the cultural textures of Chicago.

“The thing about Sidewalks is the stories are not stories that deserve front-page news,” Kogan said. “I just think that they’re stories that deserve to be told because they do address the sort of fabric of this area.”

The event is the third of six in the Kankakee Public Library’s current author and artist series. The library’s assistant director Allison Beasley said people will turn out for the event because they know Kogan and Osgood’s work, but they will be pleasantly surprised to learn how interesting and relevant the Sidewalks books are to any city in America.

“It’s certainly about Chicago and Chicago’s people, but I think it’s about human nature,” Beasley said. “It’s about the interesting kind of quirky side to people.”

Osgood, former Chicago Tribune photographer, will not attend. He said one of his favorite stories in “Sidewalks II” was “Honor Flight,” which was about an event where World War II veterans were flown from Midway Airport to Washington, DC for the day to tour monuments and other significant spots as a way to show gratitude for their service. A crowd gave them a warm reception upon their return.

“It was one of the more interesting situations I’ve been in because I had never heard of this thing before, but a lot of people have,” Osgood said. “So you have people of all ages from all walks of life that are standing cheering the Marines or the former servicemen as they get off the plane.”

“Sidewalks II” is the first offering by Sidewalks Book Company, which Kogan and Osgood formed this year. Kogan said if “Sidewalks II” is successful, their next release might be a collection of images from newspaper photographers, which he called “the most anonymous artists in contemporary America.”

The vibrant front cover of "Sidewalks II: Reflections of Chicago" by Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood is the first offering by the publishing company they began this year for the purpose, Sidewalks Book Company. Graphic courtesy of Sidewalks Book Company.

An exhibition including more than 60 large reproductions of Osgood’s Sidewalks photographs and Kogan’s stories opens Nov. 19 at the Chicago Tourism Center Gallery downtown.

The next featured author or artist at the Kankakee Public Library will be Chicago filmmaker Andrew Surprenant in January, known for his work producing the documentary “The Atom Smashers,” which aired on PBS in 2008.

Copyright 2009

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by Christopher Brinckerhoff

Chicago – The annual commemoration of the famous Bughouse Square Debates takes place today in the city’s oldest public park, Washington Square Park. The space, across the street from the Newberry Library which sponsors the event, was left to the city by developer Eramus Bushnell in the 1840s.

Bushnell’s will allegedly said anyone who wanted to make a speech at the park at any time would be allowed to do so. From the late 19th century to the mid 20th century the space attracted public speakers on all kinds of subjects, from the eccentric to the revolutionary.

This year’s Bughouse Square Debates Master of Ceremonies, Tribune senior writer and Sidewalks columnist, Rick Kogan spoke with us this week about the legacy of the event.

We’ll be there to cover the 2009 offering, so please check back here for more.

Video by Albert Corvera and Christopher Brinckerhoff.

Video by Albert Corvera and Christopher Brinckerhoff.

Copyright 2009

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by Jason Verhagen

Artist Ricky Allman’s “Apocalyzer,” (2007) an acrylic and ink on canvas, will be featured in the Hyde Park Art Center’s upcoming exhibit, “Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture.” Image courtesy of Front Forty Press.

Artist Ricky Allman’s “Apocalyzer,” (2007) an acrylic and ink on canvas, will be featured in the Hyde Park Art Center’s upcoming exhibit, “Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture.” Image courtesy of Front Forty Press.

Chicago – When scientists and scholars talk about black holes, asteroids and global warming it might be easy to ignore. But when artists depict the apocalypse people could be more likely to see the light. That’s what curators of the “Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture” exhibit opening at the Hyde Park Art Center July 19 are counting on.

Utah born artist Ricky Allman contributes “Apocalyzer” to the exhibit. He grew up as a Mormon fully believing in and expecting the end of the world to happen any day.

“Many of my works are inspired by religious extremists who are striving and working for the end,” explains Allman. “One group’s utopia is another’s dystopia,” claims Allman, who confesses it is undeniably fascinating to contemplate huge cataclysmic changes altering everything we know.

Photographer and founder Douglas Fogelson of Front Forty Press, the exhibit curators and publishers of the companion book, explains that he and his collaborators spent over two years putting this labor of love together. Fogelson began to notice certain signs of the times and trends in art and music that corresponded with current events including war and climate change.

Fogelson saw that in certain art shows apocalyptic imagery was becoming more prevalent, and at the same time, in the world of music doom-laden bands were making a ripple in the scene.

San Francisco artist Andrew Schoultz is influenced by the effects of globalism and capitalism, and filters themes of man vs. nature in his work that tells stories of everyday life in America. Using graffiti art, underground comics and early 1900s clipart, to name a few forms, Schoultz aims to inform the general public through his murals, illustrations and photographs.

“Running with Chaos, Nature, War & Power,” (2007) an acrylic and collage on wood panel by Andrew Schoultz will also be featured at the “Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture” exhibit. The show runs from the middle of July through early fall. Image courtesy of Front Forty Press.

“Running with Chaos, Nature, War & Power,” (2007) an acrylic and collage on wood panel by Andrew Schoultz will also be featured at the “Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture” exhibit. The show runs from the middle of July through early fall. Image courtesy of Front Forty Press.

In addition to the explanations of scientists and scholars, theologians also offer answers. For years, preachers, apocalyptic thinkers, false prophets and madmen have been predicting the end of the world.

On the spiritual flipside Fogelson explains, “Rapture is often part and parcel of art, but specifically rapturous works are of themselves evoking a certain kind of peak feeling.”

Staying true to their mission statement HPAC features this peculiar exhibit with opposing viewpoints of destruction and ecstasy represented in visual and musical art.

The exhibit will feature works by over 25 artists from all around the globe, and a handful of Chicago artists: Illustrator Mark McGinnis, Cuban born Chicago painter Eduardo de Soignie and Art Institute of Chicago Alum Carrie Schneider, among others.

The exhibit runs from July 19 to Sept. 20. For more information visit the HPAC website.

Copyright 2009

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by Christopher Brinckerhoff


Does this front cover of a local poetry publication look like a duck head? When you turn it to the right, does it appear to be a bunny? This is the fifth CRAM booklet produced by CJ Laity of ChicagoPoetry.com. Laity distributed them at the 10th Annual Poetry Fest at Harold Washington Library last Saturday.


Author Michelle Brinckerhoff’s poem about sexual violence is included in “CRAM 5.” Michelle read another poem at the 10th Annual Poetry Fest. Over 50 poets and 150 people attended the event.

Copyright 2009

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by Christopher Brinckerhoff and Irving Uriostegui

Which south loop college has smarter students: Columbia, Roosevelt or DePaul? Though DePaul had the highest incoming freshman GPA average in 2007, according to school officials, students said GPA doesn’t convey smarts.

The limited scope of this survey is not the final word on south loop college student intelligenc. Rather, it is a glimpse of school pride and reputation.

The average high school GPA of incoming freshmen in fall 2007 was 3.0 at Roosevelt University, 3.1 at Columbia College and 3.5 at DePaul University, on a four-point scale.

What makes up a student’s smarts? Is it knowledge, experience or charisma? The college students said it’s a combination of all three.

Appearing in the video, in alphabetical order: Davis deVane, Lisa Forkin, Emily Jungles, Abby Lodzinski, Brittany Reed, Stephanie Serine, Kelly Thames.

Copyright 2008

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by Albert Corvera and Christopher Brinckerhoff

Buckingham Fountain is Grant Park’s watery centerfold. The famous structure streams water in the middle of many annual festivals including Bluesfest and Taste of Chicago. This is the spout.

Tourists are drawn not only to the festivals themselves, but also to Grant Park. Rainbows of flowers, lush green bushes, and perky trees quarter the spaces. These are the sprouts. Maintaining lakefront sprouts is a full time job.

Foreman for a private contractor for the city, Willie Riley, said his crew began working on the lakefront’s foliage at 5 a.m. on June 24, and was putting in a 12 plus hour day to prepare for the 2008 Taste of Chicago.

“We are here to help beautify the city by putting in flowers and shrubs and fertilizing the plants,” Riley said.

Their job was part of the Mayor Daley program, according to Riley. They plant and prune flowers, put mulch down, and pull up weeds. Working outside during the summer with a good group of guys has its moments.

“The guys I work with are a pretty nice group of guys,” Riley said. “We all pitch in together as a team and try to do things together to make sure everything’s done. We take pride in what we do.”

Riley and his men are hired scouts, but there is another type of scout to consider. As summer quickly rolls along, tourists become part of Chicago’s cityscape. Teenagers Toni and Sergio Pinon from Tallahassee Florida made their first trip to the windy city this year. Popping ears in a skyscraper elevator topped Toni’ list of Chicago experiences.

“We went to Buckingham, the Sears Tower, and the Hancock,” Toni said. “The most fun was the elevator ride on the Hancock.”

Chicago’s fast paced lifestyle put the kids’ approximately 200,000 hometown population in perspective with Chicago’s 3 million people.

“Chicago is very, very busy,” Sergio said. “It’s really a lot crazier [than Tallahassee]. It’s fun. I’m starting to get used to it.”

Copyright 2008

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