Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Commercial Park Holiday Party Sat. Dec 4

Overnight Parking Ban Begins Tomorrow, Dec. 1

Now that I've sold my car, I don't have to worry about getting towed, but those of you who have cars and no parking spaces, or visit other people late at night and park on area streets, should take notice of this map of affected streets, which I lifted from the latest chamber e-newsletter, converted into a jpeg file, and am hosting here for your perusal because in a perfect world none of us should have to end up at the impound on California Ave. as I have on a few occasions since I'm an idiot sometimes, or just not aware. Are they the same thing? Maybe.

THE OVERNIGHT PARKING BAN BEGINS TOMORROW, DEC. 1, at 3AM and ends at 7AM. It affects many arterial streets in our neighborhood- click on map to enlarge it--and it takes places regardless if there's snow on the ground. The overnight ban ends April 1, 2011.

Theatre Review: Lakefront Property

(The following review initially appeared in the Nov. 23 Pipeline. The Bruised Orange Theater Company's (BOTC) Lakefront Property opens again this Thursday. It's one of the best local shows I've seen in a long time. And the real critics are raving about it too! All Photos are by Cassandra Stadnicki. For hyperlinks, visit the Nov. 23 Pipeline, and scroll waaaay down.


From a glance, a man quarreling with himself on a city street would be dismissed as mentally unstable, crazy even. However, when "Pokey" fights with his longtime imaginary girlfriend, Trisha, in Lakefront Property, the heated exchange brings us closer to Pokey rather than apart. I was reminded of the film Castaway, in which isolation can drive a sane person to substitute imagination for companionship, fantasy for reality.

In Castaway, the sole survivor of a plane crash is stranded on an island, where he develops a deep attachment to a volleyball. In Bruised Orange Theater Company's production of Lakefront Property, Pokey, played by actor Jeff Harris, and Kyla, played by Stephanie Polt, aren't stranded on an island, but they forge relationships with ghosts and imaginary lovers to stave off the loneliness of being single in a big city. Pokey's biggest cheerleader is Trisha, played by actress Ann Sonneville, who coos reassuringly, "You're a young man in the middle of America with a bright, bright future." While it's clear Pokey wants to believe these words, he's keenly aware of his fantastical reality. "But you're not real!" he screams in frustration.

Luckily, Pokey possesses more comic sensibility than self-pity, and the mid-thirty-something can at least venture out to a bar by himself on a Friday night. He meets bartender Kyla, a new transplant to Chicago who coincidentally lives in the same lakefront high-rise building that he does. When Kyla's not working, she alternates between looking out the windows of her apartment, imagining the lives of the people behind the fogged up windows, and snorting cocaine by herself. Well, she's not entirely alone. Kyla's got someone not-real in her life too--an 1880's World's Fair-era ghost named Harold, played by David Bettino, who can get a bit rough when he doesn't get what he wants, which is usually Kyla.

With nearly every word coming out of the actors' mouths propelling this drama forward, I found myself rooting for Pokey and Kyla as J.C. Brooks's rendition of Wilco's I Am Trying to Break Your Heart played during their first moments together in Kyla's apartment. I almost wished it were Papa was a Rodeo by Magnetic Fields, the ultimate ships-meeting-in-the-night song, though that would be too easy, and director Mark Spence's choice of Wilco is spot on, as is playwright Clint Sheffer's decision to not write the ghost and imaginary girlfriend out of the script once Pokey and Kyla meet. Sheffer is also too smart for happy endings, and apparently only capable of crafting a brilliant one, which recalls an earlier fight scene which ended when Pokey held Trisha as she reassured him of his bright, bright future. This time around, Pokey cradles the very real and fragile Kyla while hailing down a cab. At this point it's uncertain that the future will be bright, though the togetherness shared by these two mortal souls feels like a celebration in itself, bright enough for now.

Lakefront Property was initially staged in 2003, per the BOTC blog. It ended an earlier run this past Saturday night. It returns to the renamed Wicker Park Arts Center (formerly Acme Arts Works), 2215 W. North, Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 PM, and runs Thu-Sun through Dec. 18. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online at the BOTC site, or by calling 773-336-2682. --Alisa Hauser

Um, I mean this is the latest DSPS News


Latest Doggy Style Pet Shop News


Details for December on Damen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Adam Burck 773¬384¬2672 (tel) 773¬384¬7525 (fax) adam@wickerparkbucktown.com

Wicker Park Bucktown Merchants Ring in the Holidays
North Damen Merchants Celebrate December on Damen
CHICAGO, IL (November, 2010) ¬Don't miss the 2010 installment of the December on Damen holiday shopping event on Saturday, December 4, 2010, from Noon to 6 p.m. Escape the shopping blues by exploring one of Chicago’s most unique collections of locally¬owned boutiques, restaurants and retailers. Select merchants and restaurants on North Damen will offer discounts on the perfect gift ideas for your holiday shopping list. There will also be light refreshments to power you along as you experience all the fun North Damen has to offer.

You’ll not only find great shopping, but you can experience the greenest taxi service around by hopping on one of our free bike cabs that will be connecting December on Damen to two other local holiday shopping events: Do Division Holiday and the Renegade Craft Fair at Pulaski Park. We will whisk you between all 3 events so you can get all your holiday shopping done in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

If that weren’t enough, you can have your December on Damen purchases wrapped at our free gift wrapping service at kathryn kerrigan shoes, 2031 N Damen. You’ll have your holiday gifts purchased and wrapped and then have the rest of December to play on North Damen!

WHERE: Damen Avenue from North Avenue (1600 N) to Webster (2200 N). Pedi¬cab stops:
1 Pulaski Park fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk ¬Renegade Craft Fair
2 Damen/Division intersection ¬Do Division Holiday
3 Wabansia/Damen intersection ¬December on Damen
4 Webster/Damen intersection ¬December on Damen

WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2010, Noon to 6 pm
Participating merchants include: Feast Restaurant + Bar, Goddess and Grocer, Jean Allan, Inc., kathryn kerrigan, Larkspur, P 45, Psychobaby, Radiance Fine Jewelry, REarrange, The Red Balloon Co., Bucktown Beanery, and vive la femme.
Also visit these companion events: Do Division Holiday event on Division from Leavitt to Greenview, and Renegade Craft Fair at Pulaski Park, 1419 W Blackhawk.

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is the local business association. Working together to build a healthy market place and to improve the quality of life in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. We work for a healthy economic climate of good jobs, capital creation, and honest, efficient government; while providing innovative ways to increase commerce among our Members, raise member visibility, and encourage profitable relationships within the community.
Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce 1414 N Ashland Avenue Chicago, IL 60622 773¬384¬2672; 773¬384¬7525 fax Visit our web site: www.wickerparkbucktown.com
Follow us on Twitter @ WPBCC Friend us on www.facebook.com/WPBCC

Monday, November 29, 2010

Up Close: Wisthoff Fitness Closing Storefront, Remaining Online

If you own a treadmill, stationary bike, or home gym, and purchased it from a neighborhood storefront within the past four or five years, it was likely from the Bucktown/Wicker Park outpost of Wisthoff Fitness, 2240 W. North Ave, and you probably bought it from Joe.

Tomorrow the store will close for business, and the neighborhood will lose one of the friendliest guys around. I've been popping in on Joe and Wisthoff long before there was a pipeline, and previously sold his shop a few newspaper ads which unfortunately did not bring in any business. The good news is that any of the estimated 500-plus local residents with a treadmill can still call Joe if you need it serviced, and he'd of course be able to sell you any new exercise equipment too.

About 80% of Joe's business is online, thus it did not make sense for the company to maintain the costs associated with a physical storefront.

In this video clip, Joe discusses Zsofia Otvos's paintings, which will likely soon hang in a cultural center at 1000 N. Milw. Zsofia had been using the space as an offsite gallery, with Joe managing it. I'll miss the paintings too, as will many other locals. As for the Mr. Potato Head in the window, Joe says it's earmarked for the lucky little boy of a neighboring shop.

Images from the Bucktown Bazaar

More on this in the next (redesigned! easier to read and faster to load images!) Wicker Park Bucktown Pipeline, along with links to a few of these artists and how to find them postbazaar, but a fun time was had by all at the Bucktown Bazaar in the Holstein Park field house this past weekend.

We popped by on Sunday-- where there was a pleasant and steady crowd despite Da Bears game-- and ended up having a difficult time choosing a gift for a family member because there were so many cool tables and crafters. The perfect gift was found, but I'll have to keep it on the down-low since my mother claims to read The Pipeline.

Instead of featuring the gift I think my mom, a craft fair vendor herself, will like, I'll just keep things a surprise for once, and focus on the strangers I chatted up who had bags in their hands as they were leaving, prompting the question, "What's in the bag?"

There was also a Free Origami workshop, but I was too hyper and restless to sit down and learn how to fold paper into neat designs, which probably would've been therapeutic, but I did snap pictures of other people learning the ancient art of origami, taught by master educator Gerald Marciniak.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov. 28 Edition of Holstein Happenings

(All content, below, by Friends of Holstein Park. Email friendsofholsteinpark@yahoo.com to sign up for their monthly e-newsletter)

Holstein Happenings
November 28, 2010
Winter Time.

Let the rumpus begin!
Online Registration - Monday, Nov. 29 9 AM

Online registration for ALL HOLSTEIN PARK WINTER PROGRAMS begins at 9 AM at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com (pull down the Holstein Park tab.)

This includes Moms, Pops & Tots (18-36 months), Art & ABC's and Tumbling (3-4 years), After School Program (6-12 years) and all special winter sports Programs. Registration this year is online only. THERE WILL BE NO WALK-IN REGISTRATION. So sign up fast!

Hip Hop Workshop - Friday, Dec. 10

Zephyr Dance will be conducting a hip hop workshop and performance for teens aged 11 to 15 after school Friday. Call Michelle Kreineke at 773-489-5069 or see www.zephyrdance.com for more information.
Bucktown Seniors Christmas Party - Friday, Dec. 10 at Noon

The Bucktown Seniors gather for their annual Christmas blowout at La Villa restaurant. Are you over 65 and looking for ways to stay active? Meet the Bucktown Seniors or get more information by calling Shannon at the field house at 312-742-7554.

Bucktown Holiday Art Show - Sat-Sun, Dec. 11-12 Noon - 5 PM

The Holstein Park field house will once again be filled with over 100 artists and artisans selling one of a kind and original holiday gifts at the 12th annual Bucktown Promotions Holiday Art Show.
SportsFest at McCormick Place - Sat-Sun, Dec. 18-19, 10 AM to 4 PM

Mayor Daley's Holiday SportsFest is bigger and better than ever this year. Come watch your park teams participate in a dozen different tournaments or participate yourself in 33 different activities for kids including: soccer, table tennis, rock climbing, fishing, javelin throw and more sports than you can think of. Admission is free. Come on down.
Winter Sports Camp - Mon - Fri, Dec. 20 - 31 9 AM to 5 PM

During the holiday school recess, the After School Program becomes a Winter Sports Camp with daily activities for kids ages 6-11. The fee is $134 for the two week sesson. Call Shannon at the field house for more information 312-742-7554.
Toy and Mittens Drive - Ends on Tuesday, Dec. 21

The park district staff at Holstein Park is gathering toys and mittens for less fortunate children. You can drop off your contribution at the park district office anytime up until the end of day, Tuesday, December 21. Your thoughtful contribution is much appreciated.
And Finally . . .
Treat yourself to one of the great hidden sports spectacles in Chicago this winter. Stop by the field house on Tuesdays and Thursdays to watch the Holstein Park 4-on4 adult basketball league games. It's non-stop action in a matchbox gym featuring some of the best players in the city - and some of the worst.

Holstein Happenings is a monthly newsletter from Friends of Holstein Park to keep you informed of what's happening in our park. If you would like to add more names to the Holstein Happenings mailing list, send new addresses to friendsofholsteinpark@yahoo.com.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Get Gift Ideas Flowing with Wine Today, Beer on Wednesday

Moving forward, and to cut back on the amount of time we put into The Pipeline, we might be doing less blogging here on SoW, and putting more energy into improving the look and the feel of the weekly e-newsletter.

However, there's always stuff happening, things we neglect to include due to time, and often times it's cool stuff, like a Free Wine tasting taking place later today (Sat) at one of our favorite places: Red & White Wines.

On Wednesday there will be a free beer tasting too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Week Past, the Week Ahead: Shop Local

This past week's Pipeline (Nov. 23) concluded the "What are you thankful for?" series. If we are around again next year, we look forward to asking that question again.

I hate the fact I keep writing "IF," but as the days and weeks and months go by, I find myself struggling to keep the pipeline going amid many challenges. We are determined to keep going, even if I have to pull all-nighters before going to a job that has nothing to do with the pipeline.

Here's a more positive IF.... If you have any money, spend it locally this season and year-round. Each week we either link to or feature a dozen-plus local businesses, because we want the local economy to prosper, as well as the shop owners. "Shop Local" is not just a once yearly slogan for us, but something we practice every day, in every weekly issue, and we suspect most Pipeline readers do too.

"People inspired, community driven."

Thanks for reading. Happy shopping.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Civil Unions Update

More on this in the next pipeline, but the Civil Rights Agenda is trying to make 20,000 phone calls by the end of the month. Per Jacob Meister, 68% of voters in IL support civil unions. Click to enlarge this sheet of phone numbers for 'on the fence' IL politicians. Note: Jehan Gordan is in support of CU, and, per Meister, should be crossed off the list.

More info in The State Journal-Register.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun Time Had by All At Fountain Decorating Social

[Note: All content below, by Doug Wood.]

On Sunday, November 21, 65 Friends of Wicker Park from all over Chicagoland and Mike Zarcone (Wicker Park attendant), representing the Chicago Park District, attended the 7th Annual Wicker Park Fountain Decorating Social. In addition, many other neighbors stopped by to say hello. Together they created a wonderfully fun and creative social event for all ages and have produced an Excellent Light Display for Chicagoland in Wicker Park. STOP by in the Next Few Weeks- 1425 N. Damen.

Fountain, 12 Urns, & Field House Doors Decorated- Volunteers working from 7am-5pm brought a cornucopia of food to share, cut 20 evergreen trees to obtain the boughs used in the urns, lit the fountain and urns with LED - energy conserving ‘green’ lights, prepared and then decorated the urns with crab apple boughs, greens, dried grasses and flowers from the 10,000 sq. feet of Community Gardens in the Park. In addition, large lit wreathes were installed at both of the Field House doors and the centers of the rose garden partiers were decorated with greens, berries, and red dogwood branches.

Thanks to the Volunteers and SPONSORS
WICKER PARK GARDEN CLUB - Event Designer-Producer-Promoter - Donated $1,000.
MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS donated hundreds of dollars of food and other ornaments and decorations.
The Club purchased 20 trees, 150 ft. of garland, lights, 30 bunches of red dogwood branches, eucalyptus branches, pine cones, ribbons, bows, metallic ornamental accents, tools, heavy duty electric cords, various supplies, and botanical treasures nurtured by Volunteers all summer in the Park’s Award Winning Gardens.

THE CARE OF TREES - Donated thousands of LED Energy Efficient ‘Green’ Lights.

CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT will provide the electric for the LED Energy Efficient Display and Generously donated
Mike Zarcone's TIME, Wicker Staff Member’s time, to Expertly host the Event.

By Doug Wood

Sat. Dec. 11: Private Trunk Show at monique meloche


Private Trunk Show for Jensen-Conroy Jewelry and Moire Conroy capsule line at moniquemeloche gallery in Wicker Park

Saturday, December 11th 4-7pm

Hosted by Monique Meloche and Eda Davidman.

Evening styled by NY-based stylists Moire Conroy, Preston Konrad, and Theo Alano.

CHICAGO - Wade Jensen and Moire Conroy met as classmates in 2003 at The School of the Art Institute, Chicago. They established Jensen-Conroy in spring of 2009. Both come from a textile and fine arts background, and decided to start creating together with new ideas based around knit jewelry.

The two create transitional accessories that include objects, colors, and compositions that have significance to each of them personally, using a combination of found materials, whether it is flea market finds in Paris or stones on a beach, as well as collaborating with other artists. As a result, the line is ethereal and timeless, provoking a juxtaposition of nostalgia and newness.

Jensen-Conroy jewelry has been featured in the NT Times T Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Vogue Deutsch, Vogue Japan, Style.com, Interview Magazine, Lucky, Nylon, D MAG (Argentina), not to mention worn on TV's Gossip Girl. The duo recently customized an Armani Suit with Swarovski crystals for Lady Gaga's appearance on NBC's The Today Show.

Moire Conroy, whose work has been worn around NY and Miami on gallerists and artists, as well as musicians performing on SNL, Jay Leno, and by the fashion director of the Academy Awards, is re-launching her clothing line, limited to one-of-a-kind and custom pieces made from recycled and vintage fabrics.

This coming season Jensen-Conroy will be available in 20 stores internationally, including Tomorrowland, Japan; Colette, Paris; NO.6, NY; and Mohawk General Store, LA, just to name a few.

Don’t miss this exclusive chance to view Jensen-Conroy and Moire Conroy in Chicago -- 1 night only!

RSVP to info@moniquemeloche.com

Additional information and press can be found here:






Photos of "the eye sculpture" by Philin Phlash

The installation of Oak Park-based artist Tony Tasset's "Eye" sculpture reminds me of a Margaret Atwood poem:

You fit into me/
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

Images from Northwestern vs. Illinois at Wrigley Field

It was a big day in sports history this past Saturday! Two college football rivals met on a baseball field, with only one end-zone to battle on, due to safety concerns. In the end, host Northwestern was 'trounced' by Illinois, per this SB Nation story.

All photos are by Philin Phlash.