Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Shops and Restaurants Coming to Roosevelt Collection

Looks like the Roosevelt Collection developers are working hard to create destination shopping in the South Loop. All the elements were there for years: location, the movie theaters, the new landscaping, but now it looks like it is all coming together.

What would you like to see come to the Roosevelt Collection or the South Loop in general? I must say that I am especially excited about Porkchop opening this summer. One of our favorite restaurants outside the South Loop.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

“What’s Up Doc?” final film screened in screwball comedy series April 12, 2014

When: Saturday, April 12, 2014 4:00 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street

I can’t think of a better film to end our screwball comedy series than with What’s Up Doc? This modern comedy classic directed by Peter Bogdanovitch is a homage to the screwball comedies from the 1930s and 40s. It owes much of its plot and structure to Howard Hawks’s Bringing Up Baby, but it more than stands on its own merits.

Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, in their first screen pairing, play Judy Maxwell and Howard Bannister respectively. Judy is a free spirit and college dropout who seems to create trouble wherever she goes. Howard is a Ph.D. and musicologist from the Iowa Conservatory of Music, engaged to Eunice Burns (Madeline Kahn) who is a bit controlling, to put it mildly. The trouble all begins in San Francisco when four identical overnight bags get mixed up. Of course Judy and Howard’s bags are part of the mix up and their lives become entangled from there on in.

Streisand and O’Neal were at the top of their box office appeal in 1972, and Bogdanovitch exploits this. Like screwball comedies past, there are inside jokes, and allusions to other films, all with great good humor. Apart from the stars, Bogdanovitch assembled some of the best character actors available, including Kenneth Mars, Austin Pendleton, Sorrell Brooks, John Hillerman, Graham Jarvis, and Mabel Alberston to name a few. Kahn, in her movie debut, all but steals the picture. As the constantly unhinged Eunice Burns, Kahn is pitch-perfect. Annoying to both O’Neal and Streisand’s characters, she is never annoying to the audience. When I first saw the film in theaters, audiences howled with laughter every time Kahn was on the screen.

As a screwball comedy, What’s Up Doc? is so good that if released in the late 1930s or early 40s, audiences would have responded to it the way they did My Man Godfrey, The Awful Truth, and The Lady Eve.

Backstory: This was Peter Bogdanovich’s homage to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s, as well as a tribute to directors Howard Hawks, Leo McCarey, and Preston Sturges.

Trivia: Madeline Kahn was nominated as Most Promising Newcomer, female by the Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes). The Writers Guild of American (WGA), USA awarded What’s Up Doc? Best Comedy Written for the Screen (Buck Henry, David Newman, Robert Benton). The film’s first 2 weekends broke the Radio City Music Hall house record that had stood since 1933.

Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand talk under the table.

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats.

Join the Chicago Film club, join the discussion
The Chicago Film Club is for classic movie fans. Once a month we screen a classic film and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here.To purchase your ticket in advance, click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Overflow Coffee Bar Celebrates 3 Years in the South Loop

Overflow Coffee Bar, located at 1550 S. State St. in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, will be
celebrating their third anniversary in business on March 29, 2014. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., they will be serving free cake (while it lasts), with raffles throughout the day. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a special coffee tasting and networking celebration.

Let them eat cake
Overflow Coffee Bar is an independent coffee shop owned by husband and wife team, Amanda and Brandon Neeley. Besides serving up some of best coffee anywhere, the Neeleys also serve soups, sandwiches and sweets. They will be debuting some new food items—including some gluten-free—in the spring and they’re adding outdoor seating that will be pet friendly.

Free cake while it lasts!

Catering services
Besides their in-house food and beverage service, Overflow is available to cater your small or big business meeting or special event. Their catering services also include delivery. For more information call 312.772.235.

Get your fruit and vegetables here
Also starting this spring, Overflow will be participating in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program featuring fruits and vegetables from Nichols Farm & Orchard in Marengo, IL. You can get more information on the program at Overflow, during normal business hours.

Anniversary Celebration Details
March 29, 2014
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free cake (while it lasts) and raffle prizes
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Coffee Tasting, Speed Networking, and Impact Sharing, featuring Marc J. Lane, adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law and Tim Taylor, owner of Ipsento, an award-winning roaster and coffee shop in Bucktown (he is Overflow’s roaster). There is a charge for this event. Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.

Join them on social media
You can find Overflow Coffee Bar on Facebook and Twitter. Hashtag for this event is #Overflow3Years.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Emily Dickinson Performance at Glessner House Museum March 30, 2014

Betsey Means as Emily Dickinson
Glessner House Museum, located at 1800 S. Prairie Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, will host a performance entitled “I Dwell in Possibility – An Intimate Afternoon with Emily Dickinson” on Sunday March 30, 2014 at 2:00pm.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is regarded as one of the greatest American poets, in spite of living a mostly introverted and reclusive life. She wrote poetry of tremendous power, questioning the nature of immortality and death, and her work has remained in print continuously since her death. The performance is adapted and performed by Betsey Means of WomanLore and is directed by Eileen Vorbach.

Glessner House Museum is a National Historic Landmark and the last surviving work by architect H. H. Richardson in Chicago. Completed in 1887, the museum is recognized nationwide for its groundbreaking architecture as well as its important collection of arts and crafts decorative arts.

Admission is $20 per person. Prepaid reservations are required and may be made by calling 312-326-1480. The museum is easily accessible by taking the #3 or #4 bus on Michigan Avenue to 18th Street, and then walking two blocks east.

Friday, March 7, 2014

“The Lady Eve” 5th film in Screwball Comedy series screened March 11, 2014

When: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street

The Lady Eve (1941) Father and daughter con artists (Charles Coburn and Barbara Stanwyck) travel on transatlantic cruise ships swindling rich passengers in card games. When the two spot a big fish Charles Poncefort Pike (Henry Fonda), heir to Pike Ale—“The ale that won for Yale”—they decide to take him for all he’s worth. But when the daughter falls in love with their mark, things get complicated and hilarious. Preston Sturges directed his first big-budget hit with with amazing results. A critical and financial success, the New York Times declared The Lady Eve the best picture of 1941, above Citizen Kane! Once you see this film you’ll understand why they came to that amazing conclusion.

This was Preston Sturges’s third film as both writer and director and his first big-budget production, with A-list movie stars. After the critical and financial successes of The Great McGinty and Christmas in July, both released in 1940, Paramount gave Sturges free rein to craft The Lady Eve. For his leads, Sturges got Stanwyck and Fonda. From all accounts, both stars enjoyed working with each other and with Sturges. Sturges wrote The Lady Eve with Stanwyck in mind after he saw her performance in Remember the Night the year before. Sturges was so impressed with her characterization in that film that he knew she would be ideal as Eve.

Fonda, who had four films in release in 1940, including The Grapes of Wrath, was happy to star in a comedy. As Charles Pike, Fonda showed his lighter side, being especially deft at physical comedy. Fonda’s numerous pratfalls are one of the film’s major delights. Bosley Crowther in theNew York Times said, “No one could possibly have suspected the dry and somewhat ponderous comic talent which is exhibited by Henry Fonda as the rich young man.” As Eve, Stanwyck is one part of a trio of card sharks mixing it up with rich swells, like Pike, traveling by ocean liner. Along with her father, “Colonel” Harrington (Charles Coburn) and their “butler” Gerald (Melvin Cooper), Eve sees Pike as an easy mark.


A publicity shot during the filming of The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve is filled with a host of great character actors, most of which became part of the “Sturges Stock Company.” This stock company included William Demarest, Eric Blore, and Robert Grieg. The latter two appeared in Sturges’s Sullivan’s Travels, also released in 1941.

When the movie was opened, Crowther, declared Sturges, “the most refreshing new force to hit the American motion pictures in the past five years.” He went on to say that a “more charming or distinguished gem of nonsense has not occurred since It Happened One Night.”

The Lady Eve is not only one of the best screwball comedies, but one of the best American films ever made.

Henry Fonda said Barbara Stanwyck was his favorite leading lady.

Backstory: Preston Sturges wrote the screenplay for Remember the Night with Carole Lombard in mind. He was disappointed that Paramount didn't secure her services, but when he saw Stanwyck in the lead, he was impressed. Stanwyck told Sturges that no one writes comedies for her. Sturges said he would write one for her; that screenplay was The Lady Eve.

Join the Chicago Film club, join the discussion
The Chicago Film Club is for classic movie fans. Once a month we screen a classic film and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click hereTickets are $5 general admission; $3 for students and seniors.To purchase your ticket in advance, click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lecture On Glessner Trip To Florida And Cuba 1889

Glessner House Museum, located at 1800 S. Prairie Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, will host a lecture entitled “Glessner Travelogue 1889 – Florida and Cuba” on Thursday March 13, 2014 at 7:00pm.

Exactly 125 years ago, the Glessner family escaped the Chicago winter and embarked on a month long journey to Florida and Cuba. In this lecture by Executive Director and Curator William Tyre, attendees will retrace their steps using Frances Glessner’s detailed and often humorous account of the trip, accompanied by period photographs and illustrations.

This map of Cuba is from 1863.

Glessner House Museum is a National Historic Landmark and the last surviving work by architect H. H. Richardson in Chicago. Completed in 1887, the museum is recognized nationwide for its groundbreaking architecture as well as its important collection of arts and crafts decorative arts.

Admission is $10 per person. Reservations may be made by calling 312-326-1480. The museum is easily accessible by taking the #3 or #4 bus on Michigan Avenue to 18th Street, and then walking two blocks east.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

South Loop Sidewalk Stewards

Whether summer or winter, sidewalk maintenance and beautification is a big part of being a good neighbor. Starting in 2014, the Greater South Loop Association will celebrate neighbors that go above and beyond to make the public right-of-way safe, clean, welcoming and attractive – thus, the South Loop Sidewalk Stewards!

Winter awards will be given for consistent and thorough snow and ice management of the public right-of-way: including sidewalks, parking areas, ADA ramps, bike lanes, Divvy stations, etc.

Recognize this spot? Not a likely Sidewalk Steward Award nominee!

Awards for the rest of the year will be given for landscaping quality, litter and debris removal, public art, and supporting an active, walkable neighborhood.

How it works:
Nominate a South Loop Sidewalk Steward by sharing photos (or video) of laudable sidewalk upkeep via the GSLA Facebook page or on their Twitter feed, then send a quick e-mail to GSLA Board member Josh Ellis with some supporting information. Be sure to note the address, date, and business name (if applicable) of your nominee – anything to help build the case. Be sure to include your name as well.
Nominations for Winter 2013-2014 are due by April 1, 2014.
Nominations for Summer 2014 are due by October 1, 2014.

  • A public online vote will be held and the results will be taken into account by the judging panel.
  • That evidence, in addition to site visits and general knowledge, will be used by a panel of judges to determine winners in 3 categories –residential, commercial, and institutional (i.e. church, park, school, etc.). The judging panel will be announced soon.
  • Winners will be announced at the May 17, 2014 GSLA Community Updates meeting and November 15, 2014 GSLA State of the South Loop meeting.
  • Self-nominations will be accepted, but nominations of your neighbors and neighborhood businesses are encouraged.
  • Use of environmentally sustainable practices is also encouraged – not too much salt, use native plants, water conservation, etc. Wonder what we call sustainable? We go by the Lawn to Lake standards, a program of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Want to know more about native plants? The City of Chicago has a list you can use.
  • This is meant to reward GOOD behavior. We all know that some folks in the neighborhood do a pretty pitiful job of maintaining the public right-of-way. We get it. But we want to acknowledge and celebrate those that do things right.

Questions? Contact GSLA Board member Josh Ellis, joshua.nb.ellis@gmail.com . Additionally, GSLA is actively seeking a sponsor for the South Loop Sidewalk Stewards – please contact GSLA Board member Josh Ellis if interested.

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