Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sound OFF: Stop Being (A)Pathetic

(Note: This Sound OFF, by Philin Phlash, originally appeared in the Dec. 21 Pipeline. Many thanks The Wormhole coffee shop for sponsoring Sound OFF, as well as ALL current and former Pipeline advertising sponsors who make the work and many hours of time invested into each issue possible. It may not take a community to write an e-newsletter, but it does take a community of readers and small businesses to support its existence. We thank all of you!!! Note: All pics by Phlash except for the Daley Trib cover. The yellow bucket trash program was started by Phlash in his West side neighborhood. The neighbors there know Phlash not as a photographer, but "the yellow bucket guy.")

Sound OFF: Stop Being (a)Pathetic

By Philin Phlash

Dear Alisa, my editor-in-chief, (and all the other apathetic naysayers who tell me you are tired of my RAHM button and hearing about the upcoming election),

To the people who ask, "Why do you care so much? Who cares who the next mayor is?", I just want to inform you that this a very important time in Chicago's history. We are stepping from the Daley era into a new era. I don't want to see the accomplishments of Mayor Daley, who was a force to be reckoned with, who made our city beautiful, world class, and made me proud to be a Chicagoan, go down the tubes.

The new man who steps into Daley's shoes must be a strong leader. He must have a plan. He must show us how much he cares about this city, because his face and name are the face and name that will identify Chicago to the world. We are a worldly city and we need someone who thinks in a worldly way.

You must care. This is your world too. If you don't care, why do you live here? I want everybody, including you, Alisa, to look at all the candidates and see what they're about. This is an important election on Feb. 22. If you snooze, you lose. Get involved. Wake up. Stop being apathetic. Care about your city and your fellow man. Do you know the difference between apathetic and pathetic? It's just one letter. Stop being (a)pathetic. Take time to care.

That's all I got to say.

-Philin Phlash

(For a video version of Phlash's sound off, click here.)

(For pictures from Rahm's mayoral announcement, click here.)

Three Timely Sales of Note

Well, there's more (always more!) than three sales of note this weekend, but... I want to get back to respite and the $0.79 book I got last night at the Michigan Ave. Border's going-out-of-business sale. It's one of the trashy, chick lit page turners that makes you miss a train stop. Good thing I'm just on the couch interrupted only by email that I shouldn't be checking since I'm trying to be on break, and the black hole of Facebook.

The next pipeline issue or two will include a new real estate columnist, maybe the first cool landlord spotlight, Best of 2010 in Pictures, lots of January events, a few new places, one of which I profiled around this time last year and is already under new ownership, and more. Always more. Bleh. That's my problem. 2011 goal: Less is More.

Friends say to me, "You can't give up the pipeline!" And while it could be perceived as "failing," I would look at it more like "changing directions." I love to write. I can't stop writing. Taking picture is fun! But in my free time I will have to figure out what I want to do that is most enjoyable. There are days when the pipeline feels more like a burden than something fun, i.e. when I could be sitting on a couch watching Sunday night TV with a friend, but instead I am alone and working on the pipeline. Or when I am on the street and I just want to say no to 'stranger danger' but I see a cute girl and her dog and feel the need to photograph and interview her, and then sign her up for the email. Six months later the girl writes to me and says she is so glad she got signed up for the pipeline b/c now she knows so much about the neighborhood. So, that kind of stuff makes it worthwhile on days when I feel like I should give up.

The pipeline, which began in April of 2009, is now bigger than just my whiny, self absorbed self. There's Phlash, who takes amazing pictures and has an interesting spin on life, Pat, a great copy editor and theater critic, and Dika, who does a good job with CAPS meetings and crime. These three said peeps are an amazing help, and I could not do the pipeline without their contributions. In 2011 I will have to do a better job of delegating and working as a "team leader," even though I am more of an autonomous soul.

So, enough bitching, wearing my fear of the future on my sleeve.


Ignore what was listed in the latest pipeline. Bucktown Fitness Club is offering a $400 Yearly Special, through Dec. 31, aka tomorrow! That's $75 off! I've written many blurbs on BFC, a Pipeline advertiser, and won't reinvent the wheel. BFC has no contracts, or initiation fees, and the club's owner will give you plenty of free workout advice to help you get in better shape. BFC has been in the neighborhood 20 years!

Goorins Bros., 1533 N. Milw., is offering 50% off select styles through Jan. 15.

And, cut and pasted from Clever Alice email, "It's time for a new look for the new year. Clever Alice is offering our clients 20% off any item in the store starting today through Sunday. We have new arrivals from Prairie Underground, Mike Gonzalez, Sandra Baquero, and LinQ. Find last minute New Year's Eve dresses, work attire, and casual everyday wear, all of which is on sale! Mention this email (or Streets of Wicker blog where I lovingly cut n' paste other people's emails) for the discount to be applied to purchase.

Holiday Hours
Wednesday: 11-7
Thursday: 11-7
Friday: 10-5
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: 12-5

Pictured here are photos lifted from the Clever Alice email, and the GB flier.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Neighborhood NYE 2011 Scene for Da Scenesters

Last night, while at Walgreen's, I saw a box of Wheat Thins, and thought that if I had a NYE party, I would call it "There Will Be Wheat Thins!"

But I'm not having a party. That would require having more than three friends here in Chicago and mopping my floor, which I might do anyway, just for the fun of it, because it will be easier than shopping for clothes for my new job, which I really need to do, or working on the next pipeline, or any number of things I could do during what I've always perceived to be the best week ever, when everything kind of shuts down between Christmas and NYE.

Those who have to go to jobs during this week pretend to be working hard at them, and those who have time off just enjoy the peace and quiet as I've been doing. It's been a fun and busy year, though I'm glad it's coming to a close. Next year should and will be better. On that note...

... 13 is usually an unlucky number, but here's 13 Things You Could do In the Neighborhood for NYE. For links, visit The Week Ahead in the latest pipeline. Additionally, the New Insiders Guide to the Neighborhood is also doing a good job of listing a lot of events and such, so check that out too.


Fri. Dec. 31, Anytime After 5PM
$65: Prix Fix Four Course Meal
1616 N. Damen (Feast Restaurant)

Fri. Dec. 31, 6 PM, 9:30PM Seatings
Celebration & Farewell:
2039 W. North (Spring Restaurant)

Fri. Dec. 31, 7 to 10PM
No Cover!: Free NYE Buffet
1547 N. Milw. (Pint)

Fri Dec. 31, 8PM-1AM
$50: BYOB, with Heavy Appetizers, Champagne Toast
2325 W. North (Naveen's Cuisine)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8PM -1AM
$85: Sangria, Beer, Cocktails, etc.
1560 N. Milw. (People Lounge)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8PM-2AM
$85: Open Bar, Party Favors, Balloon Drop
1942 W. Division (Division Ale House)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8PM-2AM
$100: Open Bar, Buffet, DJs Free Valet, Etc.
1824 W. Division (Moonshine)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8PM-2AM
$75: Djs, Dancing, Buffet
1904 W. North (Lokal)

Fri. Dec. 31. 8PM-2AM
$65: Pizza Buffet, Appetizers, Champagne
1925 W. Cortland (Lottie's Pub)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8PM-4AM
$20-$100: Dead Man's Hand Burlesque Show
1565 N. Milw. (Flat Iron Bar)

Fri. Dec. 31, 8:30PM-1:30AM
$145: All You Can Eat/Drink/Dance
1531 N. Damen (Big Star)

Fri. Dec. 31, 9PM-Midnight
$20 Cover: New Years Eve Bash
1927 W. North (Piece Pizzeria)

Fri. Dec. 31, 9:30PM-1:30AM
$60: DJs, Party Favors, Champagne
1560 N. Milw (Rodan Lounge)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happiness, When It Sticks...

... is a rare and precious thing.

The past week or so has smacked of happiness, whether it be visiting a college friend and her family to celebrate the holiday, or deciding that I really needed a week-long break from The Pipeline, or celebrating the new gig on the horizon, or reconnecting with old friends who will pick you up from the airport, which, as you tell the stranger on the plane next to you, "never happens."

And all of it feels sort of miraculous, like an actual pretty good year has come to a fine close. How do you measure it? In money earned, or in relationships strengthened? Mahatma Gandhi was once asked if he'd rather have 300 rupees or 300 friends. He chose the friends. I'm feeling suddenly wealthy right now. If you're reading this, thanks.

I can get a straight job, I've done it before
Never mind I'm working hard, it's who I'm working for

Someone hit the big score, they figured it out
that we're going to do it anyway
even if it doesn't pay
- from 'Everything is Free'

Happiness, When It Sticks... Year 2010 Soundtrack

Nina Simone, 'Ain't Got No'...

Akron/Family, Last Year...

Incedibad, 'On a boat'...

Gillian Welch, 'Everything is Free,'

Past defining year songs and albums:

Jeff Buckley, Hallelujah,'

Flaming Lips, 'Do you realize'

Tracy Chapman, Fast Car

The Sadies, Anna Leigh

Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Yep, we're taking a break. Here's our final issue of '10. Back on Jan. 4, 2010.


A Modest Appeal

We were rejected this past week by a site that everyone keeps telling us to join, or at least we have to revise how we go about explaining our "project."

The thing that is frustrating, and this came up with a grant back in 2009, is that we have very little overhead. Our biggest expense is TIME. And by time, we mean hours spent on the streets taking pictures, editing them, attending plays, putting together a weekly event calendar as we've done for the past 85-plus weeks, etc.

We know the Pipeline isn't quality journalism. The Chicago Reader and Mother Jones are quality journalism.

I've written 3,000 plus word feature stories like this one, about a company that takes children on field trips to retailers, and went to a small town to learn more about Ronald Reagan's roots, as well as had my byline on many dozens of 'serious pieces,' but at the end of the day, I'm really enjoying working on the pipeline, even if it means I might write one tiny paragraph about something that, in a perfect world, would be worthy of five paragraphs.

Who has time for five paragraphs? To read them, and to write them? Who is going to pay me if I write five paragraphs?

Alas, we're just trying to raise $1,800 to fund the cost of the software to continue sending out the pipeline in 2011, along with other expenses like ink toner, paper (we print copies upon request and if a reader we featured does not have access to the 'Net), and RAM memory.

We are hoping readers, a single business sponsor, or perhaps a merchant association, can help us to fund the cost of our software, toner, and memory cards in exchange for our eternal gratitude- or at least through the end of 2011- and visibility in the Pipeline through a 'Thank You' in every issue. The goal of the Pipeline is to provide a fresh, original snapshot of the week past, and the week ahead, with a core focus on community news and local, independently owned businesses.

Funding Goal

Project Description
Rather than create, we'd like to maintain a pipeline of funding to help keep our local, neighborhood e-newsletter running in 2011.

I started the e-newsletter in April of 2009, and send the weekly email to over 2,500 readers using a software which costs $250 every four months ($1,000/yr). We try to print copies when we can, but at an average length of 18 printed pages per email, printing/toner is very costly. Our toner costs $50 per month.

Another expense which just came up is increasing my Mac's RAM. With over 3,000 photos, we are out of memory! The Kickstarter campaign is to support our general costs of 'powering' the actual pipeline, enabling print copies for readers upon request, and RAM to store our images.

Project Rewards
We'd love to offer giveaways from some of our existing small business supporters, i.e. a special book from Lake Claremont Press about Historic bars of Chicago, a free month of working out at Bucktown Fitness Club, a print from Jackson Junge Gallery, or even a 2010 Pipeline Reader Appreciation Music Mix CD with any $10 donation.


This is where I host the latest weekly issue of The Wicker Park Bucktown Pipeline.

Happy Holidays from Monique Meloche

(NOTE: Apologies for just hosting a holiday card and its accompanying photo, but we've got to put this double issue to bed ASAP, b/c I have lunch plans and a dizzying amount of stuff to do. In 2011 I resolve to not let the Pipeline take over my life.)

As 2010 draws to a close, we are so thankful for your continued support of our artists and programming. It's been a busy year with big developments for all of us – settling into our new space, continuing our fantastic on the wall series, seeing our artists solo shows from Berlin to Milan to Atlanta, Austin, Miami and more! Be sure to check out our news section ( to see what our artists are up to!

If you're in Chicago between now and January 8th, we hope you'll stop by the gallery to see our current exhibition New Work, featuring work by gallery artists.

Abraham Ritchie recently wrote a great review of the show for ArtSlant. Check it out here:

We are looking forward to an exciting 2011 schedule including solo shows by Kendell Carter, Rinus van de Velde, and Karen Reimer. On January 15, we open our annual Winter Experiment. This year, we have invited four artists new to the gallery to present an installation of their choice. Each week-long installation will culminate with a Saturday afternoon "conversation" that will be free and open to the public. Each artist will be paired with another art world participant to start the discussion but audience members are encouraged to join in. Chicago contemporary art podcast Bad At Sports will be onsite covering the talks with treats and hot drinks provided by Letizia's Natural Bakery to complete the cozy afternoon of collaborative thought. Please join us!

Schedule and participants listed below:

Saturday January 15, 1pm: Ebony G. Patterson & Tumelo Mosaka

Saturday January 22, 1pm: Dan Gunn & Michelle Grabner
Saturday January 29, 1pm: Ben Fain & Shannon Stratton

Saturday February 5, 1pm: Anna Shteynshleyger & Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg

Also note that the gallery will be open by appointment only from December 23, 2010 until January 3, 2011. Please call or email if you have an art emergency - otherwise see you in the new year!

Happy holidays and warm wishes,

Monique and Whitney

2154 W. Division

Chicago IL 60622

Tues-Sat 11am-6pm
Dec 23-Jan 3 by appointment

on view thru Jan 8: New Work: Justin Cooper, Robert Davis/Michael Langlois, Jason Middlebrook, Karen Reimer, Joel Ross, Carrie Schneider

on the wall: As if by Carla Arocha - St├ęphane Schraenen

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What if I love the park, but don't want to "check in?"

Friends of the Parks WILL OBTAIN SUPPORT FROM REI - if You Do the following - See Note Below Help Support one of Chicago's Finest Organizations. Support Friends of the Parks -
Thanks - Doug Wood -

REI has selected Friends of the Parks to be a charity to participate in The Facebook Deals feature that will allow customers at all Illinois stores (Lincoln Park, Northbrook, Oakbrook and Schaumburg) to "check in" with your mobile device such as an internet-enabled phone and prompt a $50 donation by REI to Friends of the Parks!

Lincoln Park REI Store - 1466 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60642

Northbrook REI Store - 888 Willow Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062

Oakbrook Terrace REI Store - 17W160 22nd St, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Schaumburg REI Store - 1209 East Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Maria Dmyterko Stone
Director of Neighborhood Parks and Community Relations
Friends of the Parks
17 N. State Street, Suite 1450
Chicago, IL 60602
312-857-2757 x17

Talent Call: Geek Girl Burlesque

For Immediate Release:
Press Contact: Kelly Williams, Marketing & PR Coordinator, 773.598.4549,
Audience Contact: Gorilla Tango Theatre @ 773.598.4549,
Kill Date: February 1, 2011

Chicago, IL (January 2011): Mamma Mia! As BOOBS AND GOOMBAS: A SUPER MARIO BURLESQUE continues to gain popularity and play to sell-out crowds, Gorilla Tango Theatre and MsPixy have announced that they will not only extend the current hit into January (Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm beginning January 7, 2011 -, advanced purchase HIGHLY recommended) -- they will also continue their Burlesque partnership with the second installment in what they have dubbed "Geek Girl Burlesque."

"This was intended as a long-term partnership from the start," says Boobs and Goombas writer/director MsPixy, "Super Mario is just one of a long list of ideas in the Geek Girl idea bank."

The next Geek Girl Burlesque will indulge the fans of the Fantasy Genre, subverting subjects from Middle Earth to Earthsea. In FELLOWSHIP OF THE BOOBS: AN LOTR, WoW, D&D, RPG BURLESQUE, a party of Four Buxom Warriors will pursue a Quest of Great Magnitude-- encountering a mix of salacious satire and seductive striptease along the way.

Auditions for FELLOWSHIP OF THE BOOBS will be held on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 and Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647).

"We're looking for a variety of body types for this show," says MsPixy, whose cast for BOOBS AND GOOMBAS was a mix of experienced ecdysiasts and first-time burlesque performers, "we're casting for tall, broad-chested women, short curvy girls, slender-hipped willowy ladies, and petite sprightly types."

Performers cast in the next Geek Girl escapade will be playing a variety of characters from Dwarves to Nymphs and Warriors to Elves. "Of course," winks MsPixy, "we won't know until we cast the role whether she's a wood elf, half elf, dark elf, or high elf-- but we do know you'll want to see what happens once she's trapped in the web of a giant, sexy spider."

To purchase tickets for the extended run of the smash hit BOOBS AND GOOMBAS: A SUPER MARIO BURLESUQE, visit or call 773-598-4549.

To schedule an audition for FELLOWSHIP OF THE BOOBS: AN LOTR, WoW, D&D, RPG BURLESQUE, email a headshot and resume to Please note that performers must be female and over the age of 21 to audition.

Produced by Gorilla Tango Theatre. For more information, please contact Kelly Williams, 773-598-4549 or
Gorilla Tango Theatre (GTT) is a year-round theatrical venue where audiences of all ages can consistently go to see a wide variety of talented artists. GTT exists to provide artists with an opportunity to produce their work in professional environment. GTT was created by Second City- and IO-Chicago-trained Dan Abbate and boasts an 80-seat performance space. GTT Chicago is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GTT is steps away from the Western Blue Line stop and the #49 Western, #73 Armitage and #56 Milwaukee buses. Street parking is readily available. With shows for all ages, all GTT performances are on a rating system, similar to the one used in movie theatres. GTT offers a variety of affordable beer and wine for purchase. Consult the website for rating information, tickets, and details.
1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 #773.598.4549


Gorilla Tango January 2011 Listings

(NOTE: We are NOT responsible for updating this information. Readers wishing to always be in the know on GTT should visit its site.)

January 2011 Calendar Listings:

BOOBS AND GOOMBAS: A SUPER MARIO BURLESQUE - Extended AGAIN By Popular Demand! (Continuing)
Oh-a-no! Mario and Luigi have become so perpetually frustrated by their endless pursuit of the Princess that everything they see has started to look like a beautiful, sexy woman-- even their most dangerous enemies! This sexy burlesque romp is a send-up of the famous Mario Bros. video games. Join us to discover whether the world's most adventurous plumbers will finally rescue the Princess and consummate years of amorous toil, or be seduced along the way by their alluring enemies. Don't forget to bring a few "coins" (or dollars) for tips... If the cast collects enough coins along the way, the audience will unlock the alternate ending!!!
Ages 18 and over only.
Produced by GTT.
Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm, January 7 - 29, 2011. Tickets are $15.

Open Mic Tuesdays (New Listing)
Tuesday is a notoriously bad TV night… so get off the couch and come over to GTT to watch an ever changing line up of comedians test out their material.
Produced by GTT.
Tuesdays at 8pm, January 4 - 25, 2011. This is a free show.

$1,000 GTT Improv Thing
Voting, America’s favorite pastime, returns to GTT… Improv competition style. Come vote for your favorite improv group as they attempt to win $1,000, a Nintendo Wii, a performance slot in the Chicago Improv Festival, and a 7 pound, 16 inch hot dog from! Be there, or be un-American.
Produced by GTT.
Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30pm January 7 - 28, 2011; grand finale on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6pm. Tickets are $10.
Confessions Of A Chubby Tomboy
In this one-person stand up comedy, character monologues, and music filled show, Stacey Smith will hilariously discuss her trials and tribulations of being an awkward, overweight tomboy blooming into a stage that... somewhat resembles womanhood.
Produced by Jonald Reyes.
Friday, January 7, 2011 at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

The Deli
A Satire Of Life
A stage production of a different kind! Long time Chicago comedian and radio personality is bringing stage comedy to a new level. Joe Sipari has just began production of "The Deli - A satire of life." Set in a Chicago Deli, best described as Super Bad meets Raging Bull, The Deli promises to be the break out stage comedy of 2011. Think Second City fused with Zanies and some spice thrown in!
Produced by Joseph Sipari.
Saturdays at 8pm, January 8 - 22, 2011; Saturdays at 9:30pm, February 5 - March 5, 2011. Tickets are $15.

That New Show
"That New Show" features Gorilla Tango's two new improv teams and a featured visiting group performing a free show each week.
Produced by Travis Tack and GTT.
Tuesdays at 9:30pm January 11 - February 22, 2011. This is a free show.

PORQUE NO COMES is a semi-falsified, autobiographical, one-man performance by Lupe Sanchez as himself. This is a comedic story about a Latino boy growing up in a white suburb, and his spiritual journey to find understanding for the occurrences in his life while discovering his identity.
Produced by Lupe Sanchez.
Friday, January 14, 2011 at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

The Last Word
It's Open Mic Night at the Sinclaire Lounge, where regulars Grace, Libby and Trish have gathered to bid a fond farewell to their late hostess, Mandy Sinclaire. The ladies are in for a performance of epic proportions when Mandy herself attends, and she is not happy. The Last Word marks the world premiere of the winning production from Gorilla's Tango Theatre's own $600 Actor/Writer Competition.
Produced by GTT.
Mondays at 8pm, January 17 – 31, 2011. Tickets are $12.

The Saga of Sablewood Manor
The winners of GTT's $600 Actor/ Writer Thing bring their original show about a fivesome of feisty oldsters brewing up wacky schemes to keeps their beloved retirement home from closing
to Gorilla Tango Theatre's stage!
Produced by GTT .
Mondays at 9:30pm, January 17 - 31, 2011. Tickets are $12.

On the Possibility of Romancing a Stone
A woman embarks on an epic love affair with a boulder. Another woman observes the entire affair from a distance, every day becoming more obsessed with what she's watching. On the Possibility... is an absurd drama that explores questions of intimacy, loneliness, desire, and, well, the possibility of romancing a stone. By: Martin Zimmerman
Produced by Gretchen Wright.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8pm; Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 8pm; Friday, January 21, 2011 at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

An evening of stand up comedy featuring husband and wife comic team, Steve Himmelman and Hollie Himmelman.
Produced by Himmelmania Productions.
Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 6pm. Tickets are $12.

Secret Stash
As the first official independent production of Cold Basement Dramatics, SECRET STASH presents six original ten minute plays surrounding our mission statement: "The things we hide from ourselves and others." Featuring work from several of Chicago's finest up and coming playwrights, actors and directors. What secrets will be revealed? One way to find out. Don't miss your chance to see six great plays all for the price of one ticket!
Produced by Jack M. Bourgeois.
Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 7:30pm; Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7:30pm; Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10.

Big Hot Dog Variety Show
Hold on to your buns! Gorilla Tango Novelty Meats, LLC makers of 7lb, 16'' Big Hot Dog and Big Bratwurst are thrilled to present a Variety Show of proportions nearly as epic as the encased meats for which they are famous. The Big Hot Dog Variety Show is a quirky, frantically-paced program, featuring acts which take a modern approach to classic vaudeville, circus, and burlesque performances. Every show ticket includes an entry into a raffle to win a big wiener of your very own!
Produced by Chrysteena Lairamore.
Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 9:30pm. Tickets are $10.

The SufferJets Present: Rachael’s Birthday!
If you HATE women, you'll LOVE this show! The SufferJets, an all lady improv/sketch troupe, offer up their scathing take on the world, pop-culture, and old person sex. They've been tweeted about by the likes of Perez Hilton and their mothers... and now it's one of their birthdays and YOU are invited! Congrats.
Produced by The SufferJets.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10.

All performances take place at:
Gorilla Tango Theatre
1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Visit or call 773-598-4549 for tickets and more information.
Audience contact: 773-598-4549,

Gorilla Tango Theatre Chicago is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GTT is steps away from the Western stop on the O’Hare Blue Line and the #49 Western, #73 Armitage and #56 Milwaukee buses. Street parking is readily available. GTT offers a variety of affordable ($3-$8) beer and wine for purchase.

More images by Phlash

All photos, below, by Philin Phlash

Images by Phlash

All images, below, are by Philin Phlash. It's 10:20PM. Miles to go. No time for captions. These are the ones that struck me. It's a pleasure to photo edit Phlash.

Phlash on Apathy

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Things to Do in the Neighborhood this Weekend

Ahoy! It's the Good Ship Weekend, awaiting exploration...

Sat. Dec. 18, Noon-6PM, Sun. Dec. 19, 3PM
Shopping: Kevin Lahvic Gallery Christmas Show
1579 N. Milw. Studio 222 (Kevin's Studio)

Sat. Dec. 18, 10AM-4PM;
Sun. Dec. 19, Noon-4PM
Holiday Cookie Sale
1121 N. Leavitt (Holy Trinity Cathedral)

Sat. Dec. 18, 1-3PM
Ice Cream Tasting: New Nice Cream Co. Flavors
2014 W. Wabansia (Olivia's Market)

Sat. Dec. 18, 2-5PM
Wine Tasting: Maverick Wines
1861 N. Milw. (Red & White Wine Shop)

Sat. Dec. 18, 7:30PM, Sun. Dec. 19, 3PM
Theater: Pirates of Penzance
1543 W. Division (Chopin Theatre)

Sat. Dec. 18, 8PM, Sun, Dec. 19, 3PM
Theater: Bus Stop
1333 N. Milw. 2nd Floor (Den Theatre)

Sat. Dec. 18, 10PM to 1AM
Nightlife: Beats and Blogs: A Musical Hotspot!!!
2011 W. North (Subterranean Lounge)

Sun. Dec. 19, 10AM to 2PM
Logan Square Indoor Farmer's Market
2135 N. Milw. (Congress Theater)

Sun. Dec. 19, 11AM-2PM
Community:First Ward Satellite Hours w/Ald. Proco Joe Moreno
1360 N. Ashland (K-Mart)

Sun. Dec. 19, 3 to 6PM
Fun: Yo-Yo Club Meet-up
2212 W. Armitage (Cat and Mouse Game Store)

Sun. Dec. 19, 4 to 6PM
Fashion: Meet Cynthia Rowley
1653 N. Damen (Cynthia Rowley store)

Sun. Dec. 19. 7:30-9PM
Faith: Longest Night Meditations
2112 W. LeMoyne (Wicker Park Lutheran Church)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Aw, Jeez, Another Loss for Chicago

A citywide tribute to longtime WGN radio commentator and former third baseman Ron Santo, the voice of the Cubs through the radio waves, took place this past Friday outside of Wrigley Field.

Santo was with us even when he lost his legs, his voice coming through clear as we sat in our cars and listened to this man, a Golden Glover, a voice of hope for diabetics, for the people and fans and ball players who he made smile with his unfiltered enthusiasm and frustrations couched in Aw, Jeezes. And now he is gone, and we are left here to carry on without Ron Santo, number 10, who brought the Cubs into our hearts, whose memory will encircle the field which he'd always declared his true Hall of Fame. The funeral procession which I snapped with tears in my eyes was attended by thousands of fans like myself, whose first introduction to the Cubs came by way of Ron Santo's voice, rooting his favorite team on.

He circled his earthly Hall of Fame one final time on Friday before departing to Heaven, the Eternal Hall of Fame.
R.I.P., Ron Santo, you were the best.

Words and Images By Philin Phlash

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Dec. 14 Pipeline with One Addition!

Well, there's usually a lot of stuff I don't have time to include, but I'd meant to add an opening (the Don, Charlie & Tom Show) taking place at the Tom Robinson Gallery this Friday, Dec. 17, 5 to 9PM, as well.

Click here for our Dec. 14 'Winter Wonderland Issue.'

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pre NYE 'Putting on the Ritz' at Karen Marie Salon

Headed out for NYE? Until 8 PM on Dec. 31st, and for $65, staffers at Karen Marie Salon, 1859 N. Milw. will glitz you up with makeup application, blow dry, style, and a pre-Midnight champagne toast.

Click on flier to enlarge.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eight Things to Do in Wicker Park Bucktown this Weekend

Most of these happenings were mentioned in the Dec. 7 Pipeline, but here it is again for anyone looking for stuff to do. Apologies to any events I've left out. Feel free to add yours as a comment.

Sat. Dec. 10, Sun. Dec. 11, Noon to 5PM
12th Annual Bucktown Holiday Art Show
2200 N. Oakley (Holstein Park)

Sat. Dec. 11, Noon to 5PM
Holiday Art Show:
St. Nick's Top Picks 2010
1431 N. Milw. (Eyeporium Gallery)

Sat. Dec. 11, Noon to 7 PM
Clever Crafters' Handmade Art Fair
1459 N. Milw. (Lenny & Me)

Sat. Dec. 11, 4 to 7PM
Trunk Show:
Jensen-Conroy Jewelry, Moire Conroy capsule line
2154 W. Division (moniquemeloche)

Sat. Dec. 11, 6 to 1PM
Art Opening:
Soft Served: A Soft Sculpture Group Show
1800 N. Milw. (OhNo!Doom Gallery)

Sun. Dec. 12, 10AM to 2PM
Community: Logan Square Indoor
Farmer's Market

2135 N. Milw. (Congress Theater)

Sun. Dec. 12 Noon to 4PM
Family Fun: Holiday Expo
2215 W. North Ave. (Wicker Park Art Center)

Sun. Dec. 12 7PM
A Festival of Lessons and Carols
1502 N. Hoyne (Wicker Park Lutheran Church)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NYC Takeover Tonight at Congress

The NYC Takeover, featuring stand-up comics Jon Fisch, Ted Alexandro, and Todd Barry, takes place tonight at Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milw.

If you'd like free tickets, email with your first and last name, with a subject header of "comedy congress," or call 773-276-1235.

Pick up your tickets at Will-Call. Doors open at 6:30PM.

Many thanks also to Congress Theater for being an advertiser and sponsor of the Random Tidbits ETC. In this week's issue, Dec. 7, we featured Tidbits from at least a few local shops, art galleries, and an independent press, as well as linked to over 50 local businesses, including our blogroll. If you like The Pipeline, please consider coming to this comedy show, one) because it's free if you RSVP and will be funny! and two) because when you support our advertisers, they usually continue to support the pipeline too.

All four of the regular staffers who contribute to the Pipeline get paid for their efforts. We don't believe that the future should be 'Everything is Free' and throwing out a tip jar, or waiting until we get 1,000 page views so that the four of us can split $10.

Most bloggers are paid in page views, yet on a 'hyper local level' with just a few thousand readers, if we went about it the 'traditional' way, we'd be getting paid about $30 per week, based on 3,000 views, for about 60 hours of collective work. Section sponsors enable us to partner with indie businesses who are also community-minded, and they pay to promote their offerings, as well as to make the rest of the time invested into producing each issue more like $3 an hour vs. $0.50/hr.

Either way you spin it, we're pretty insane for keeping this thing up for the past 85 or so weeks, and tonight, we're just looking forward to laughing and forgetting that the pipeline exists. Join us!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coalfire Pizza: The Best Pizza OUTSIDE of Wicker Park

Phlash popped by Coalfire Pizza, 1321 W. Grand, and declared it "the best pizza outside of Wicker Park!"

Here are a few pics.

He wrote a few captions-- read them on Photobucket. I've been up almost the entire night working on the next issue, have to go to the DMV because my ineptitude has launched what could only be described as the world's longest and most complicated car sale, address edits from Pat when they come in, send the pipeline out, and then go to work.

Pizza sounds good right about now though!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rahm Opens North Side Campaign Office...

.... And Phlash was there! See pics.
Is anyone surprised Phlash was on the scene in the snow and cold this past Saturday? Dika was off at December on Damen and I was doing something but I can't remember what. Today I'm doing my first Sound OFF, about Phlash's Rahm button. I don't know if he sleeps with the button on too. Just kidding. I'll leave Phlash alone moving forward. This is a request from him. Be nice... or leave.

Sound OFF, Part 3: Indie Trucker Calls it Quits, Goes Corporate

By Philin Phlash

A few weeks ago, I sounded off about the viaduct at Ashland and Cortland and the lack of proper signage. The reason I am concerned is because I see this problem happening all over the city.

This past September I encountered Aurelio Melchor, an independent truck driver who was passing through a viaduct on the west side, at Congress and Maple, along the south side of the 290 Eisenhower Expressway. It was early Saturday morning, and Aurelio had spent the past five hours standing by his crushed semitrailer and damaged load of tomatoes. Due to road construction, Aurelio had had to take a detour around 3AM. The bridge was not lit, and the sign showing 11-4 was not even on the bridge at all. The sign was at least 50 yards away on the other side of the bridge, crooked and not facing forward as Aurelio headed west to go under the bridge. His trailer got stuck. It broke in half.

Let's get these bridges clearly lit and the signs illuminated and ON the bridges. Does anyone at the IL Dept. of Transportation care about these truckers and the lives that are being affected? After I dropped the photos of Aurelio and the bridge off at Pipeline HQ and went to go pick up my son, Marty, from school, Alisa called Aurelio to learn more about how this incident affected his life. His words are as follows.

" I lost all my expenses, didn't make any money on it, lost the entire load, about $1200. I was six hours into my trip, headed to drop off the fresh packed tomatoes in downtown Chicago. I had to wait for the wreckers to come and then I drove six hours back to Ohio without my trailer. Insurance paid for a new trailer, but my insurance went way up. I'm 44 years old, been driving a truck since the age of 17. This was the first time I got stuck under a bridge. I live in Florida, but my pop lives in Ohio. He has Cancer, and is doing nine weeks of chemo treatments. I'd gone up to Ohio to visit pop and decided to work a bit to make some extra money, so that's how I got the Ohio-to-Chicago tomato job.

All the lights under that bridge were off, all the wires were cut off. It was such a dark bridge. After the bridge I had to call it quits as an independent. I left Ohio and my pop three weeks earlier than I'd wanted to leave, and now I work for US Sugar Corp. I've had my own tractor and trailer and been an independent trucker for 20 years. I just can't afford to keep my truck running. I was barely making it, going paycheck to paycheck. It's bad out there for all truckers, but independents have the hardest time keeping a truck going with insurance and taxes and permits. That was the end for me. The red flag went up, and I figured I will stop before something worse happens. Insurance checked into trying to get the money back from the city for the lost tomatoes, but there's been no word back. Usually the yellow signs are on the bridge. This sign was on a street pole, and it was bent because a car had wrecked the pole, according to a police officer, and the city never fixed the sign. Now, when I go under any bridge, I get a bit claustrophobic.

You can use my first and last name and my phone number if you think anyone can help me out. Sorry I was so mean when I picked up. I thought you were a telemarketer."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chicago’s Only Diaper Bank Strives for 100,000 Diapers in December

Diapers are the most requested item at shelters. Food stamps and WiC do not cover diapers either. Read more on 'Why Diapers?" here.

Bundle of Joy Diaper Bank Provides Low-Income Families with the Most Essential and Basic: Diapers

Chicago, IL (December, 2010) - Imagine not being able to provide your baby with clean diapers. Having no choice but to use the same diaper all day, spilling any solid contents into the toilet and putting it back on your baby. There are thousands of parents faced with this dilemma everyday in Chicago because diapers are an expensive luxury that they cannot afford. Luckily, a couple from Lincoln Park has decided to tackle this problem head on by founding Bundle of Joy. Following a model that has been successful in other cities across the nation, Bundle of Joy is a diaper bank that collects disposable diapers from various businesses, civic organizations, schools, church groups, and mom’s groups and distributes them to families in need through local food pantries and childcare centers. Beginning December 1, Bundle of Joy is taking on its greatest challenge to date with the 100,000 Diapers Campaign.

In the month of December, Bundle of Joy will be coordinating a campaign with the ambitious goal of collecting and distributing 100,000 diapers to families in need in Chicago. Donations will be accepted online and at many locations throughout the city. 100% of the proceeds raised will go toward the purchase of diapers, providing low-income children with the diapers they need for their health and well-being. For more information about Bundle of Joy, to locate a drop box near you, or to donate please visit

About Bundle of Joy:

Founded in 2010, Bundle of Joy relies 100% on the support and devotion of its volunteers. Programs such as Link (food stamps) or WIC cannot be used to purchase diapers and when you don’t have laundry in your home cloth diapers are not an option. Most subsidized childcare centers require parents to provide diapers for their children. In fact, diapers are among the most requested items at food pantries but also the most rarely donated. Bundle of Joy is filling the void in Chicago by collecting diaper donations and distributing them to these families through food pantries and childcare centers.

Sat. Dec. 11: St. Nick's Top Picks 2010

Find out what's happening this Sat. at the Eyeporium Gallery.

Sat. Dec. 11: The Clever Crafter Handmade Art Fair

Click to enlarge.

Ruben discusses a Sweater Dress and More

This past week we got up close with Ruben of the Claudia Kleiner Malabar Boutique.

Pipeline: 2011 Plans, Advertiser and Reader Feedback

(Note: I am posting this here to prevent 'scroll fatigue' in the actual Pipeline. Our Editorial Policy can be read here.)

Whether it's attending a community health fair and reporting on it like we did this past Friday, or waiting for a parade to pass by on a cold Sunday morning, or scouring the neighborhood and local craft fairs to find gift ideas that we think are unique and fun, or following up on businesses-yet-to-be-opened, or editing the work of contributing writers, or paring down a few hundred photos we personally snap each week, and then another few hundred from Philin Phlash, we are constantly trying to improve The Wicker Park Bucktown Pipeline , which is a weekly, independently produced e-newsletter, focusing on the Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown. We highlight community news, real estate, art, independently owned businesses, and lots of unclassified "Tidbits."

In recent months, with the addition of Philin Phlash to our team, we've added original (albeit out-of-the-neighborhood) "tidbits" like images shot by Phlash at a downtown Rahm rally and during Snow Days at Navy Pier.We really are having a lot of fun [update: well, now that we've added, as of Jan. 10, 2011, an additional 40-hous of NON-Pipeline work to our weekly schedule, "fun" is up for's more like OCD masochism and 5AM mornings before work, thus we are being much more selective with the news that we include due to time constraints] and many of you tell us, "It shows


I've worked as both a staff newspaper reporter, and as a freelancer, as well as a sales rep in various industries. (Scroll on down & find me in the brown hat raising a pint at Pint, circa 2008). Phlash is a true newspaperman, a former publisher of a local rag, the Wicker Park Voice, with a hardcore nose for news and a unique take on the world that he brings with him every Tuesday morning when he visits Pipeline HQ and shares the photos he snapped from the previous week. (Find Phlash with a dubious expression in front of my 'It's OK to be you poster." The poster was intended for my niece but it was too expensive to mail and I think I need this reinforcement on my wall too.) Nandika Doobay is the youngest of our crew, having recently graduated from a city college with a minor in journalism. Nandika is rocking the CAPS meetings and contributes occasional articles, like her upcoming December on Damen adventure that we're looking forward to featuring in tomorrow's issue. (Find Nandika in front of the Pipeline Scarecrow which she helped to design for the WPC Scarecrow Extravaganza) Pat J. Daily is our trusted copy editor and occasional theater reviewer. Pat formerly worked at the Chicago Reader, still freelances for the Reader, and is used to slashing up my words, and, at my urging, deleting most of them. Pat's sharp eyes catch all sort of mistakes, often at odd hours since we're always scrambling to get the latest issue to Pat. (Find Pat in front of a can of Tecate at Big Star).

The addition of Phlash, who, by his own reckoning, is "hopefully adding some balls to your girly newsletter, Alisa!" also means more work. But we suspect it's time well spent. Even strangers I don't know are writing in to say that they're enjoying Phlash's "Sound OFF" columns. So, yes, now we have balls too.

We are excited about 2011, which will include more design improvements and a functional and searchable web site. It is our hope that the pipeline will continue to be the kind of publication where you can expect reliable, fresh, professionally written and edited, weekly original content. When we stop having fun, we'll stop doing it, though it seems like there's an unlikely chance of that since each time we 'walk the streets' we find new inspiration.

Following is a bit of feedback, received from readers and advertisers. We've removed names and identifying details for privacy. If you are interested in partnering with us, and perhaps becoming an executive/corporate umbrella sponsor to contribute to The Wicker Park Bucktown Pipeline's growth in 2011, we'd love to meet with you and see if there's a way we can fuel each other's continued development. We are proud to say we are in this thing for the long haul. We are so happy so many of you have been with us since the beginning, aka our first issue in April of 2009! We're looking forward to a bright future made even brighter by being together with you in 2011. It's not just "our" pipeline, but yours too, so keep the ideas coming, along with your news tips and suggestions. We can be reached at

We try to answer most pertinent emails, though we receive a large amount of email and cannot respond to every message or request. Just check the next pipeline to see if we've included your news. Most of the time we try our best to do so, and even if we don't reply to you, we often add your news to our listings or elsewhere in the newsletter. We hope that you check out the pipeline to read it first and consider it to be yet another 'free way' to get the word out in the blogosphere second, if you catch our drift. We're really trying to infuse meaning into what we do, and we want to make the time we cannot afford to continue investing into this thing feel like hours and days well spent. If you feel your news is urgent, go ahead and add that lil 'red flag' thingamajig to your message, or if you have my number, send a text message. Unlike many folks, I do not have 'Net on my phone, nor do I necessarily want it on my phone, and when I sit down at the computer it is usually to scan email and get crackin' on the next pipeline.

Happy Holidays! See you on the streets!

and Pat


Hi Alisa,
The new look is terrific. Your creation just keeps getting better and I look forward to it each week. You are probably not aware but my wife and I bought a XXXX company in XXXX last June and now reside in XXXX. We still have our properties in Wicker Park and the many friends we made there over the past XX years. The Pipeline helps us maintain the connection. I am receiving it at my old email address. Please update to and keep up the great work. I hope it has become financially rewarding to you! With your creativity and drive you deserve the success.
Best wishes,

Thanks for the mail. I'm reading your newspaper. It’s a really cool idea and i bet everyone must love it.
Hope you are doing great and keep up the good work.

Also, been meaning to tell you that after following Pipeline for a good while now, the weekly edition has evolved into a really informative and entertaining news source. The design & edit flow is casual and the range of photos of folks from all walks of the neighborhood is truly awesome. It is a lot of fun to see so many people smiling! Well done!

I've been reading the Miner column on LEN and the comments. Saw you come up therein, and detected the burnout feeling. I hope you power though. Your newsletter is great, and I always enjoy reading and browsing it ...
All best,

Infinite thanks - excellent article.

Hey Aly:
Add me back please. I've missed your Pipeline.

I get a lot of email, and I barely read any of it, but I always read The Pipeline. Thank you!

Just a short "Thank You" for all the work you do in putting together the Pipeline.
Your column is well written and informative. I really look forward to reading it to learn what is going on in Wicker Park.

Thank you for making the PIPELINE a source of communication for the Wicker Park / Bucktown area. This online news source has made me aware of people and places in our community that were not familiar to me. Recently, I was in one of the Chase branches in the area and the teller recognized me from an article which you had written about our store. Thank you again for your dedication and I hope you continue providing the residents and business people of Wicker Park/Bucktown with information on which they can depend.

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that I thoroughly enjoy The Pipeline. Keep up the good work!


"We had 30 new sign ups last month. It could have been our mailer, but you are the only local place that we choose to advertise. And I told you that I will continue to advertise with you as long as you do the Pipeline. You know more about the neighborhood than I do, and I've been here 20 years!"-- A local gym owner, upon renewing for the seventh time

"We had a lot of people come to our show. I am guessing some of them heard about it from The Pipeline. Keep up the good work. We really appreciate what you're doing in helping us get the word out on a local level" -- A local gallery

"Yes, we'd love to renew again. Send me an invoice." -- A local shop

"Wow, I love the facelift! Do you need any new sponsors?" -- A soon-to-be advertiser