Monday, July 21, 2014

Shalane Flanagan and Andy Wacker win Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago

Perhaps you got a chance to see Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago winners Andy Wacker and Shalane Flanagan run by your neighborhood on Sunday. If not, here’s short look at what the race was like when the runners ran south on Michigan Ave. in the South Loop.

Don’t forget to check out the guy who screams into the camera toward the end. What was he thinking?

Friday, July 18, 2014

GSLA Movie in Daniel Webster Park July 29, 2014: “The Croods”

The Greater South Loop Association would like you to join them for a free movie in Daniel Webster Park, located at 1401 S. Indiana Ave. on July 29, 2013. In cooperation with the Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Park and the city’s Night out in the Parks initiative, the GSLA is presenting the family-friendly animated blockbuster, The Croods. The movie starts at dusk.

The Croods features the adventures (and misadventures) of a caveman family, struggling to survive in the harsh environment of the Stone Age. The animated movie features the voice talent of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, and Cloris Leachman as Gran.

Released in the United States on March 22, 2013, The Croods was one of the biggest box office hits of the year and the fourth highest-grossing animated movie of year, behind Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and Monsters University. Worldwide, The Croods made $587,204,688. A sequel is scheduled for November 3, 2017.

Join the GSLA, along with your friends and neighbors for a great night of family fun under the stars. Movie starts at dusk, but come early to claim your spot. The Chicago Park District will provide popcorn free. Additional movie treats will be available for purchase at the park.

The GSLA is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt neighborhood organization. It is comprised of an alliance of South Loop residents and businesses. The overarching mission of the GSLA is to maintain, improve, and promote the South Loop as a vibrant and diverse, inclusive community.

For more information visit the GSLA Web site.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

South Loop Food Pantry looks for volunteers

Clients in line at food pantry
South Loop Community Church Food Pantry, 1347 S. State St., is looking for volunteers to help with their food pantry and clothes closet ministries. The church will be holding a brief introduction meeting on volunteer opportunities, Wednesday July 16, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

In operation for over two years, the food pantry serves between 85 and 100 walk-ins every week. If you’re looking for a way to serve or give back to your community, volunteering at the food pantry might be for you. The food pantry needs volunteers on Saturday mornings, when food distribution takes place, as well as during the week to help with accepting food deliveries and restocking shelves.

Food distribution is every Saturday, 9-11 a.m. Three times a month, the pantry also offers fresh produce. The clothes closet distributes clothes and accessories for men, women, and children twice a month. The clothes closet operates the second and third Saturdays of every month during the food distribution. After food pantry clients get their food, they can look at clothing.

Click here to download flyer.

The food pantry has partnered with local businesses, like Overflow Coffee Bar, Marianos, Pret A Manger, and Urban Re-Mix, and community organizations like Greater South Loop Association (GSLA). The GSLA contributed $1000 to the help the pantry buy turkeys last year for Thanksgiving baskets.

For more information, visit the church’s Web site or contact them via e-mail at or call the church office at 312.566.9076.

For a look at how the food pantry operates, check out this post from local South Loop blogger Bonnie McGrath.

If you would like to promote this volunteer event in your building or office, click here to download flyer.

Full disclosure: The writer of this blog is a regular volunteer at the South Loop Community Church Food Pantry. It’s been a rewarding experience serving folks in need from our  neighborhood.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith to screen July 8, 2014 at Daystar Center

When: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street

Yes, a Hitchcock Screwball Comedy
In 1940, Alfred Hitchcock’s third American film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, was a screwball comedy. Yes, that’s right a screwball comedy. And it starred Carole Lombard, who had recently been proclaimed the “Screwball Girl” in a Life magazine profile. Few classic movie fans are familiar with this Hitchcock comedy, even though it was a critical and commercial hit, making its debut at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Typically screwball
The plot is typical for a screwball comedy. Ann (Lombard) and David (Robert Montgomery) Smith, discover that through a technicality their marriage isn’t legal. After David admits to his wife that if he had it to do all over again, he wouldn’t get married, Ann decides that she doesn’t want to be married either. What follows is a series of events in which each spouse tries to make the other jealous. Ann starts dating David’s law partner Jeff Custer (Gene Raymond) and David takes a room at his club and starts to hang out with a philandering Chuck Bensen (Jack Carson), which leads to some of the film’s funniest moments.

Carole Lombard and Alfred Hitchcock look at the script
His kind of actress
Alfred Hitchcock loved Carole Lombard. She was his type of actress: beautiful, smart, earthy, and blonde. The Hitchcock family rented Lombard’s house after she and Clark Gable were married in 1939. The Hitchcock’s and the Gable’s became fast friends and it was inevitable that the director and actress would work together. Unfortunately, Lombard would make one movie after Mr. and Mrs. Smith, dying tragically in a plane crash the next year, after a successful war bond drive during World War II.

Award-winning script writer
The script written by Oscar winner, Norman Krasna (Hands Across the TableBachelor MotherIt Started with EvePrincess O’Rourke) is quite good and Lombard and Montgomery have great on-screen chemistry and deliver good performances. Raymond is perfect as Montgomery’s strait-laced college chum and partner. The film is peppered with some great character actors like Carson, Lucile Watson, Charles Halton, Esther Dale, and Betty Compson.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith proved that Hitchcock, the master of suspense, could be successful in any genre he put his mind to.

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.

Lombard and Anne Shirley in Vigil in the Night

Backstory: Mr. and Mrs. Smith opened on February 20, 1941 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Hitchcock and Lombard had hoped to get Cary Grant to costar, but he was not available. Some Hitchcock critics say that Mr. and Mrs. Smith was a critical and financial flop. This is not true. Audiences were delighted to see Lombard in a comedy after starring in two heavy dramas (Vigil in Night and They Knew What They Wanted). Hitchcock’s first three American films were all solid commercial successes.

Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup Viewing Moves to Soldier Field: Will You Be Watching?

If you’re looking to watch the World Cup with your friends and fellow Chicagoans, before to head to Soldier Field today. You can watch the match projected on the north end zone screen. Gates open at 1 p.m. for a match (Germany vs. Algeria) that starts at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

The hype around the World Cup is that soccer is gaining acceptance in the United States. Do you think this is true? Will you be watching the World Cup at Soldier Field or anywhere else?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

29th Annual Hunger Walk June 21, 2014

Event Day—Soldier Field Chicago
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Registration: 7 a.m.
Step-Off: 8:30 a.m.

On Saturday, June 21, thousands of men, women and children will gather on Chicago’s lakefront to raise funds and awareness for the fight to end hunger in Cook County. The Hunger Walk is a fun opportunity for all types of businesses, organizations and individuals to help ensure their neighbors get the food they need.

The 5K, 3.1 mile Hunger Walk benefits pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County that are members of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network.

Volunteers at the South Loop Community Church Food Pantry just before opening
Support a local food pantry
The South Loop Community Church. 1347 S. State St., operates a food pantry every Saturday from 9-11 a.m. If you’d like to walk in support of SLCC Food Pantry, click here for a form with their agency name and number already entered. For every walker the food pantry gets $12 that they can use to purchase food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. For a blank form, click here.

For more information on the Greater Chicago Food Depository, please visit their Web site.

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