New neighborhood musician moves into The Shoreham

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

Detroit native Phillip-Michael Scales has earned the title of Lakeshore East’s Musician in Residence and is moving into the neighborhood. Scales intends to bring his own personal flavor to his performances, which he describes as “bluesy and soulful” to special Lakeshore East events hosted by Megallan.

Phillip-Michael Scales performs at Sonic Lunch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, summer 2017. Photo courtesy of Phillip-Michael Scalestured

Scales’ catchy interpretations of popular songs, paired with his bright smile, won the crowd this fall in the Lakeshore East Legend Contest at the 11th annual Magellan Rewards Festival, landing him the prize of living rent-free for one year in the Shoreham.

Scales said he looks forward to playing music for a living. “It’ll be great to have a place to call home full-time,” Scales explained. “[To] just be able to dedicate what I would put towards rent to more music and more creativity.”

In addition to performing in New Eastside, he hopes to offer instruction and encouragement to budding musicians in the neighborhood. According to an email from Magellan Community Relations Director Vanessa Casciano, “Phillip-Michael will be performing mostly at our Lakeshore East Magellan Property Managed buildings, but he will be a part of the Drunken Bean and all Lakeshore East Park events.”

Fellow musician Molly Coleman, who met Scales at the exhibit at the Superior Artist in residence contest last spring, believes Scales deserves his role because of his professionalism.

“He is humble and grounded,” Coleman wrote in an email. “He takes what he does seriously and he does it with style and poise. He’s got that charm going for him, for sure.”

Bright Horizon’s Fall Fest gives to charity

By Miriam Finder Annenberg | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

New Eastside’s Bright Horizons preschool kicked off a partnership with the Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home in West Town on October 21 during Bright Horizon’s Fall Fest.

The festival invited families from the neighborhood to the field in Lake Shore East Park for face painting, pumpkin decorating, and games, with all proceeds aiding in the creation of a Bright Space at the Recovery Home, scheduled to open in December.

Bright Spaces are part of Bright Horizon’s mission of supporting childhood education and development. The warm, inviting spaces, situated at a local non-profit,, feature reading spaces and arts-and-crafts areas for children.

Jennifer Smith, Assistant Director of Bright Horizons at Lakeshore East, called the project an exciting partnership that she and school director Amber Rue looked forward to initiating. 

Children line up for face painting in the Lake Shore East Park. Photo by Miriam Finder.

The Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home opened last year with the goal of keeping families intact while mothers deal with mental health and substance abuse issues. Mothers live in the center with their children as they undergo onsite sobriety and mental health treatment, while also developing parenting skills and occupational training.

Bright Horizons gathered proceeds through ticket sales, used for games and activities at Fall Fest.

“Jennifer and I got together and thought it would be wonderful to have a space that fostered loving relationships,” says Katrina Ivory, Parent Educator at the Recovery Home. “We’re all hoping it all pulls together in mid-December.”

Once completed, the Bright Space will give residents a place to come together and relax, play, and bond.

“It’s just really one of those collaborations where it…encourages children’s growth,” Rue says. “The right people are in place.”

Moving forward, Rue said Bright Horizons plans to continue the partnership with Maryville Mom’s Recovery Home, possibly by offering a cooking class or bringing families from the two organizations together for an art night.

 

Helping the homeless

Residents give food, job training to Chicago’s homeless

By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI)—founded by longtime New Eastside resident Jacqueline Hayes—is a local, not-for-profit organization that provides meals, job resources, health services and more to Chicago’s homeless and underprivileged.

It started in 1999, when Hayes was a real estate broker who often encountered homeless people sleeping on the stoops of properties she was showing. “I noticed it was a problem,” Hayes said, “and I had to do something about it.” Over the past 17 years, CHI has amassed a consortium of helping hands to not only address hunger, but also to connect guests with resources and social services that allow them to work toward a better life. “We aim to get five to six people a year off the street and into jobs,” Hayes said.

CHI Founder Jacqueline Hayes (far right) and regular volunteer Susan Gold (third from left) host dinner guests at Catholic Charities, 721 N. Lasal-le St. Photo by Angela Gagnon

The process starts with nourishment. Every Wednesday night, CHI serves a hot meal to about 130 guests in the dining hall at Catholic Charities, 721 N. LaSalle St., but the popular weekly dinners include more than just food. Guests are treated with dignity and respect from the moment they enter the dining hall. Some guests are part of the Weekly Jobs Club, which provides valuable job training skills and assists with difficult transitions back into the workforce.

A guest speaker from a partner program begins the night by sharing resources relating to finding shelter, medical care or job training. Guests can peruse a resource table in the dining hall that provides more information about the speaker’s topics. They can also visit the health services table where local medical staff are on hand to administer care. When it’s time for dinner, table numbers are called and guests line up to receive their meals. Local corporations, restaurants, hotels, businesses and individuals sponsor the meals and provide the food. CHI also puts together about 60 bagged meals to distribute to those they cannot accommodate in the dining hall.

New Eastside resident, kitchen runner and board member Susan Gold has been an integral part of these dinners for the past 14 years. “CHI has grown tremendously from just a meal,” Gold said. “The guests are really taken care of and you become close to the people who come there to eat.”

Terry Coyner, a fairly recent New East side resident, attended her first Wednesday night dinner as a volunteer in late September. Coyner connected after passing so many homeless people on the streets. “I was really happy to see that I could just sign up to volunteer and start helping within a few days,” she said.

Her duty on that first evening was to give each guest a small gift at the end of the night—a cup of pudding and a spoon. “I saw so much gratitude from the guests who come for dinner, but the experience is also rewarding to those who help,” Coyner said. In the eyes of the guests, volunteers are more than just a helping hand. Longtime guest Rochelle Baker spoke fondly about the people she’s met at CHI and the experiences she wouldn’t have had without the help of the organization. “You just feel like you matter,” she said. “Like somebody cares.”

The CHI dinners are beneficial to the volunteers as well as the guests. “Volunteering with us is a very addictive experience,” Hayes said. “You feel like you’re doing good. It’s very rewarding.”

Currently, CHI is looking for tutors for their adult learning program, which runs weekly from 3–4 p.m. To volunteer in this capacity or to find out more about opportunities to help, contact Executive Director Doug Fraser (dfraser@chicagohelpinitiative.org) or visit their website at

CAPS meeting focuses on alley safety and using 911

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

November 11, 2017

Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, or CAPS, meetings covering the New Eastside in the city’s 1st District returned to their alternating location schedule this month. With dozens of residents in attendance from both sides of the district, CAPS liaison Nicole Bryson reported on crime in the district, and addressed citizens’ concerns at a 400 E Randolph St. meeting on Nov 9.

“Crime is down in all of the beats,” said Bryson, “And we don’t have any active theft patterns in the 1st District currently.” At the last beat meeting on Oct. 18, Bryson had alerted residents to high levels of theft in the area, mostly concerning retail shoplifting and robberies from restaurants and bars.

At this month’s meeting, the first issue raised was one that residents said they have brought to the city’s attention several times – parking during festivals. One resident said she was concerned that during festivals held in Millennium Park, especially Chicago Gourmet, buses and other large vehicles park on Randolph Street between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, leaving little room for vehicles to pass through. Residents were concerned that police, ambulances, and fire trucks would not be able to navigate the street in the event of an emergency.

According to the resident reporting the issue, there were no traffic control persons on site, and a call to 311 did not result in any clearing of the street.

Bryson agreed that a festival of that size should have some sort of traffic control, “That’s probably something that we need to implement going forward.” Bryson urged residents to call 911 not 311 with such concerns in the future. 311 should be used for events that aren’t ongoing, said Bryson.

As other residents voiced new concerns, Bryson said she would also look into graffiti on newspaper boxes in front of the AON building, and the timing of cross walk signals and traffic lights for crossings Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue.

While a variety of topics were discussed throughout the hour long gathering of police and residents, one main concern focused on alley way safety.

According to a group of residents who live near the intersection of South State Street and East Van Buren Street, near the DePaul Center, an alleyway near their building has recently been crowded by a group of people who are not residents of the building. Residents say they have witnessed incidents of the individuals exposing themselves, making violent threats, and using drugs.

According to Bryson, the police had been alerted to this group, who Bryson said police believe are the same group of people that previously to gathered in the area of Pritzker Park. She added that the department would “put some special attention in that area” going forward.

In September, the Chicago Police Department Narcotics Division released a report, distributed by CAPS, that detailed a recent Narcotics Enforcement Mission in the Pritzker Park Area. According to the report, ten individuals were arrested in Pritzker Park and charged with distribution or possession of a controlled substance, and as of September, the department is still looking for five more suspects.

The Narcotics division said most of the individuals arrested were members of the Black Disciples or Gangster Disciples street gang, and that the department seized cash and narcotics at the scene.The operation, carried out by the Narcotics Division and 1st district officers, was spurred by residents complaining about public violence and narcotic sales near the park.

At the CAPS meeting, residents were happy to hear that the CPD were already aware of this issue. “We’re actively trying to do something,” said one resident, who said she had met with her building’s security team. “We just want the police to know and continue to help us out.”

Bryson again encouraged residents to call 911 anytime they see suspicious persons or activity in the alleyway.

“If they aren’t walking or driving through or bringing the trash, people shouldn’t be in the alleys,” said Bryson, “If they are, you can call and report it every time.”

For further safety on the issue, Bryson and Bailey distributed a handout of CAPS Alley Safety Tips, signed off by Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The handout says that while alleys should primarily be used for off street parking and garbage pick up, “unfortunately, alleys can also provide cover for burglars and other criminals.” One resident at the meeting pointed out that the alley near the DePaul center is covered, shielding the group from harsh weather conditions.

In the CAPS handout, residents are encouraged to abide by the following safety tips:

  • Secure your back door and gate.

Burglars often enter through a less-visible back door, so “locks and visibility of entrances are your best defense against crime.” CAPS also recommends using deadbolts.

  • Secure your garage.

According to CAPS, garages offer an opportunity for theft and a place to hide. Residents should consider using an automatic garage door opener that will help make coming home safer, and using light or motion sensing lighting devices near their garage.

  • Light your alley and backyard.

Residents should “deny criminals the cover of darkness” by making sure the rear of the property is well lit. One way to do this is to immediately report any city installed lights that are out or not working properly.

  • Place your address in the back of your property.

This helps police if a criminal uses your property as access to an alley. It’s important to remember that your address should be on your home, door, or gate, not only on on garbage cans or other moveable objects.

  • Don’t use alleys as alternatives to streets.

Using more heavily traveled streets is safer, especially if traveling alone and at night.

  • Keep your alley clean.

Accumulated trash can send a signal to criminals that no one cares about the neighborhood, and may not report a crime.

Throughout the meeting, Bryson continuously repeated one safety tip: call 911.

“Taxpayers of the city of Chicago, stop calling 311,” said Bryson. “You pay for 911, use your city services.”

The officer said that even if officers don’t respond to a 911 call, the calls for service are recorded and an event is logged into the system.

“It doesn’t have to be life threatening, because not every area in Chicago has life threatening issues. If it is a current issue that’s happening now, call us,” said Bryson.

Bryson said the 311 line should be used for concerns of things that have happened in the past, not current issues, and that residents shouldn’t be worried about taking emergency services away from another crime, adding that calls are prioritized as they come in.

“We’re busy and overwhelmed but call us anyway.” said Bryson “We respond to every inch of this city.”

At the meeting several residents also commented on seeing an increased number of patrolmen in the area, a concern brought up in September, and commended the CPD for their increased effort.

Doorperson of the Month – James Hatter 400 E. South Water St.

 

By Taylor Hartz, Staff Writer

November 2, 2017

As residents file into The Shoreham in Lakeshore East, they all stop to say hello to James Hatter. They fist bump, exchange nicknames and even deliver boxes of homemade baked goods to their trusted doorman.

 

“They feed me too much around here,” jokes Hatter, accepting a box of donuts and cupcakes from one resident on a sunny Friday morning. According to Hatter, the people who live in The Shoreham are the best part of the job. “The residents kind of grow into your family,” said Hatter. “You see them and their families every day, sometimes more than you see your own family.”

 

Of course, the location doesn’t hurt either. Hatter said he loves spending time in the Lake Shore East Park, and is grateful he got to watch the park be built up into a beautiful community center. “I would say this is probably the best neighborhood in Chicago,” said Hatter. “Working here I’ve got one of the greatest seats in all the buildings.”

 

Hatter, who has been at the Shoreham “since the doors opened,” has been working as a doorman for more than 17 years. He started his career greeting guests at the AC Hotel by Marriott Chicago Downtown, but prefers working in an apartment building where he sees the same people every day and really gets to know them. “It’s great working here with so many different people,” said Hatter. “It’s made me a better person, and a better family person.”

 

Hatter, a Chicago native, lives on the South Side but was raised in Chicago’s western suburb of Austin. He has worked downtown since he was a teenager, and his mother, siblings and two daughters live in greater Chicago.

 

While he loves the opportunity to get to know the Lakeshore East community, Hatter said his position has also allowed him to learn a great deal about countries and cultures outside of Chicago. Hatter said he loves learning about the backgrounds of Shoreham residents, and all the different places they come from. “If I’m not able to travel everywhere, I get to at least hear the stories,” said Hatter. “It feels like I’ve been all over the world.”

 

Giselle dances an enchanting, haunting love story

By Taylor Hartz

October 19, 2017

The Joffrey Ballet opened its 2017-2018 season on Wednesday evening with a performance of Lola de Ávila’s Giselle at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Joffrey Ballet’s Giselle. Photo: Cherly Mann

Giselle is a gripping performance of love and heartbreak that is enchanting, romantic, and later, haunting.

The ballet follows the tale of a young peasant woman named Giselle, living in a charming village in the medieval ages. Light on her feet in a powder blue dress, ballerina Victoria Jaiani, of Tbilisi, Georgia, appears as a carefree young woman head over heels for a strong, affectionate character of Duke Albrecht danced by Temur Suluashvili.

With an orchestra that alternates between fast tempo, upbeat numbers for cheery ensemble dances, to dark, dramatic notes as the story turns dark, it is easy to follow the story of Giselle and her lover with Adolphe Adam’s music, conducted by Scott Speck.

Viewers watch Giselle’s world crumble when a trumpeted announcement brings new characters to the stage. The audience learns with Giselle that Albrecht is betrothed to a foreign royal visitor, and it is nearly painful to watch Jaiani’s portrayal of anguish and madness as she dies of grief.

The ballet’s first act ends with Giselle’s collapse on the stage, as a communal mourning of her loss takes place amongst the villagers. Jaiani is as graceful as she is expressive, portraying her character’s heartbreak and despair through her emotional facial movements and dramatic body language.

The Joffrey Ballet’s Giselle. Photo: Cheryl Mann

When the curtain rises on the second act the cheery, autumnal village has been replaced by an eerie wooded scene. Smoke rises off the stage and rolls toward the audience as Albrecht lays in mourning at Giselle’s gravesite.

The true beauty of this ballet reveals itself when a veiled ballerina in a white gown passes quickly through the background. Then, a chorus of ballerinas, looking at once morbid and bridal in black to white ombre costumes, gather on stage for a series of perfectly in sync numbers that brought the audience to applause in the middle of scenes.

At first, Giselle’s gravesite sits undisturbed in the background of the scene, perpetuating the somber, mysterious setting. Giselle soon rises from her grave in a stark white dress that contrasts sharply against the twilight background, setting her apart from the other ghosts.

The audience soon learns that the ghostly women are deceased maidens in the vengeful Wilis army, who dance to death any man who crosses their path. When Giselle joins them, she regains her strength and love fueled passion when she protects Albrecht from the dead army.

While their love story is a beautiful sight to see unfold on stage, the costumes and scenery in the second act – designed by Peter Farmer – are entrancing. Giselle, together with the female ensemble, move so seamlessly across the stage that they begin to look like one enchanting mass of white veils. The only distraction from the beautiful sight is the footwork of the ballerinas, so impressive that audible gasps could be heard throughout the theater.

The show opened with recognition of Creative Director Ashley Wheater, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with the Joffrey Ballet. Giselle runs through Oct. 29 at the Auditorium Theater. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.joffrey.org/giselle

Apple unveils new Riverwalk store

By Taylor Hartz

October 19, 2017

The mystery surrounding Apple’s new Michigan Avenue store was unmasked Thursday, with a preview of the tech-mogul’s new Chicago location.  

Staffed with 250 employees, the store will officially open at 5p.m. on Friday, replacing the North Michigan Avenue store that opened in 2003. The former retail spot, which was Apple’s first U.S. Flagship store, closed Wednesday.

“It’s an honor to unveil our newest greatest project here in Chicago,” said Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts, giving a guided tour Thursday.

Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail for Apple, gives a tour of the new Michigan Avenue store.

Ahrendts said she hopes that the new store will not only serve as a retail and trouble-shooting center, but as a community gathering spot.

“We really wanted to create the town square for Chicago and for the Midwest,” said Ahrendts.

With floor to ceiling windows, the new space includes a retail floor where new Apple employees called Creative Pros will give demonstrations on apple products and technology tools, and a new upper-level genius gallery to view courses and workshops that take place in the open-concept “forum”.

Outside, the store connects Pioneer Plaza to the Riverwalk with a two staircases that run down either side of the store. According to Ahrendts, Apple executives met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office to discuss ways the store could help draw more foot traffic to the Riverwalk.

“Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city,” said Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive in a statement. “It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”

Compared to the previous store on Michigan Avenue, the new store will have up to five times as many employees on deck to help customers learn more about their technology.

Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail for Apple, gives a tour of the new Michigan Avenue store.

“The role of retail for Apple is human connection because that’s what you don’t get on the app and don’t get online,” said Ahrendts.

To help foster that human connection, Apple has a calendar full of plans to bring community members together in the “forum” to socialize, network and teach one another in hands-on workshops.

As a part of Apple’s in-store programming series Today at Apple, the new store will host a city-focused Chicago series.

Oct. 23 through Nov. 17, local artists, authors, and entrepreneurs will host a series of tech-based workshops.

The first event on Oct. 23 will be led by 1871 Chicago’s Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship, based in merchandise mart, and will focus on using technology to accelerate a startup.

Other events will include poetry slams and an art collaborative with Black Monks of Mississippi.  

According to Today at Apple Director Hasehm Bajwa, the courses are meant to “inspire people to do more with the things they’re passionate about.”

Today at Apple Director Hashem Bajwa discusses The Chicago Series during a preview of the new Michigan Avenue store.

Taking on a Chicago focus, the courses are also meant to give attendees a chance to network with one another, fostering creative connections within the community.

“We wanted to make sure we were in fusing local knowledge to create his programs,” said Bajwa. “This is in Chicago, of Chicago.”

Bajwa said the local program is launching here because “Chicago is such a thriving city there’s so many new and interesting immersing creative pockets across the city. We wanted to celebrate that and fuel it,” but he hopes more locally designed programs will soon develop in other cities.

The store will also host “Teacher Tuesdays” every week, where employees will show local educators new ways to use technology in classrooms. 

Apple users can also get lessons in new technology, including Augmented Reality, or AR. Announced in an Apple Keynote this summer, the company is exploring ways to use AR to improve gaming, bring children’s books to life, and even help users shop for furniture by visualizing pieces in their own home right on their phone.

According to Apple, all devices at the store will be equipped with AR, and employees will be available to walk users through the new technology. 

The new Apple Store at 401 N. Michigan Ave. will open at 5p.m. on Oct. 20.

For a full list of Chicago Series events, visit 

www.apple.com/today/collection/chicago/

 

Grant Park gets a makeover

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

Visitors to Grant Park can expect to see major changes in the next year, with the team at the Grant Park Conservancy setting goals for a better looking green space.

The non-profit group has launched a few initiatives that will improve the appearance of Grant Park with repainted fences, new landscaping and artistic advertisements.

Earlier this year, the GPC teamed up with Bailey Nurseries, Inc., in Newport, Minn. In an effort to make Grant Park greener, the nursery will donate large scale landscaping projects to Grant Park on an annual basis beginning this year.

In October, the company gave Grant Park hundreds of trees, bushes and flowers, along with all the materials necessary to plant the new greenery. According to GPC President Bob O’Neill, the conservancy is currently putting out bids for contractors to manage the new landscaping.

“A lot of times with volunteer projects, people walk away from projects and the plants die,” said O’Neill, “A project of this size means having a contract plan for taking care of the landscaping.”

This is the first year the GPC is working with Bailey, “It’s all very new, we’re still building the relationship with them,” said O’Neil.

The conservancy teamed up with the Minnesota nursery after it donated landscaping to the Lincoln Park Zoo for this year’s Chicago Ale Fest. O’Neill said the nursery then found their way to them through word of mouth.

According to O’Neill, the conservancy wants the partnership to be a serious longterm project. Moving forward, Bailey will donate more plants and planting materials every year to improve a different area of the park. This year, he hopes to start by filling flower beds in the skate park area.

In exchange for their donations, O’Neill said the nursery hopes to promote their products at future festivals in Grant Park, but assured it will be done tastefully.  The nursery will decorate festivals with donated flowers and plants that will have small “Bailey Nurseries” labels on the potting. “They’re very good at being subtle about it,” said O’Neill.

Tasteful advertising in Grant Park is a must for the Grant Park Conservancy.

The group this summer launched another initiative to beautify the park through its advertisements, by teaming up with local artists to make commercial advertisements and park notices more aesthetically pleasing.

“Every ad can be art and advertising” said O’Neill, who said the GPC hopes to make ads in the underpass that connects the park to lake more artistic.

In October, O’Neill said the conservancy was negotiating with the park’s concession  management team. The president said he understands that private advertising is needed in the parks, but doesn’t think it needs to be an eyesore.

“If we’re going to have advertising, which raises revenue, then we need to make it creative and artistic.”

In recent years, cell phone companies have advertised in the underpasses, and the conservancy hopes to work with these companies to negotiate contracts for 2018 advertising campaigns that are more artistic.

“It’s a good thing to raise private revenue because then property taxes don’t have to go to park improvement, but it has to be done in an artistic, green way,” said O’Neill.

The conservancy is also working with Park Concessions Management, headquartered in Grant Park, to improve the appearance of park related ads and notices.

This includes signage for food and drink options, along with ads for outdoor wifi and cell phone charging stations that are being put up in parks. Such signs are popping up on the Oak Street and North Avenue beaches, in Grant Park, by DuSable Harbor, and in several other areas that have cafes and concession stands.

“The idea is to make them effective adverts but more importantly to make them aesthetically pleasing to avoid over-corporatizing the parks,” said O’Neill. The conservancy has already made moves to show the management group artist renderings, has brought artists in to give presentations, and have more upcoming meetings on the calendar.

One local artist, Abdel Morched, has delivered a presentation to show off ideas for more creative ad campaigns. Morched is the owner of “Color and Chill” –  a company that markets advanced coloring books with complex geometric designs. According to O’Neil, Morched works primarily in graphic design that he creates on a tablet and transfers to printed work.

Artist Rich Alapack has also teamed up with the conservancy to focus on more 3-D art. Alapack is currently working on a tile mural in the West Loop, and previously designed the “We All Live Here” project at Ogden International School of Chicago. Alapack’s collaboration with community members is what stood out to the conservancy.

“We’re looking at involving not only more artists but members of the community,” said O’Neill. “Alapack doesn’t do projects without involving people, that’s what he stands for.”

O’Neill said the artist’s idea for Grant Park involves the skate park area. Alapack is looking to create an installation, potentially used for advertising in the skate park, that will be made entirely of skateboard decks and wheels.

The group is also working with artists to explore even more creative avenues for advertising, including LED lighting and projections onto trees, especially during festivals.

As the conservancy works to beautify the park grounds, they aren’t forgetting the entryways and street views.

Members of the conservancy have led a volunteer effort to paint all the peeling fences along both sides of Columbus Drive from Balbo Drive to Roosevelt Road. With four sides of fencing around each tree on the sidewalk for several blocks, O’Neill said repainting the wrought iron is “A huge ongoing project.”

Members of the conservancy, supplying all the paint, brushes and scrapers, have been recruiting companies to volunteer their time and is actively seeking more volunteers. The project is expected to take three years.

Dog house days are over

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

October 18, 2017

Following years of complaints, the unsightly “dog house covers” on inactive pedestrian tunnel entrances are being removed from the Magnificent Mile.

In an Oct. 4th report, Ald. Reilly (42nd) announced that the wooden covers on the intersection  of Michigan and Oak, an area with high foot traffic, will be replaced with concrete slabs.

Ald. Reilly said he is funding the improvements through an allocation of aldermanic menu funds, but did not disclose the amount.

In his report, the alderman said that he was “extremely pleased” to announce the Gold Coast infrastructure improvement, which will not only improve appearances, but add increased sidewalk space. He said he is working with Chicago Department of Transportation to cover them in a “more innovative and aesthetically pleasing way.”

CDOT is starting to install the concrete covers on the southeast side of Oak and Michigan in the city’s 2nd Ward, and then will move to the northwest corner in the 42nd Ward.

Ald. Hopkins (2nd) also committed menu funds to the project, paying for the southeast replacement.

The project is expected to take several weeks.

 

There’s a new dinosaur in town

By Taylor Hartz

October 18, 2017

Since her arrival at the Field Museum in 2000, SUE the dinosaur has drawn in more than 16 million visitors to see her 67-million-year-old set of bones. The T-Rex  skeleton has stood proudly in the museum’s main hall for 17 years, as the largest, most complete and best preserved of its kind.

But soon, SUE will be retired as the main attraction in Stanley Field Hall, and moved upstairs to a more permanent exhibit. A fiberglass model of a newer, bigger dinosaur will take her place.

In 2018, the museum will welcome a composite of fiberglass and fossil specimens from Argentina that form a model of the largest dinosaur known to man – the 122 foot Patagotitan mayorum, or “titanosaur.”

The model will be nearly twice the size of SUE, and will allow visitors to get much closer. No velvet ropes will keep visitors away from the titanosaur, they will be able to walk around it, under it, and even touch it. 

While it may seem like the new dinosaur is stealing the spotlight from SUE, Kate Golembiewski, public relations and scientific communication specialist for the museum, said SUE will be getting some much needed updates and will be a more impressive sight in her new location.

The museum will be building a new environment for SUE in the Evolving Planet Exhibition, where they will recreate a T.rex habitat. Scientists will also be adding bones to the skeleton that have been discovered since her 2000 arrival in Chicago, making her even larger.

Golembiewski said that over the years, many visitors to the museum have commented that SUE wasn’t as big as they expected.

“She’s the biggest T.rex in the world, it’s just a huge room,” said Golembiewski of the 800 square foot hall where SUE has been on display.

“You didn’t really get a sense of what a gigantic specimen she is, she was dwarfed by that room,” Golembiewski said.

“We’re giving her a place where she’ll really shine.”

Despite making a new home for SUE, visitors to the museum this summer expressed disappointment that SUE would be leaving her familiar spot.

Carrying two stuffed dinosaurs from the museum for a grandson back home in New Mexico, Lena Ernst said she would prefer to see the real skeleton on display, and that a fiberglass model won’t be the same.

“If we come all the way out here to see one of the biggest museums, we expect to see actual relics,” said Ernst.

On a road trip from California to Tennessee, the Bolger family chose a stop in Chicago to see SUE over a stop at the Grand Canyon. Their three little boys learned about SUE in a book about dinosaurs, and wanted to see the T.rex in person.

Emmett Bolger, 4, plays with a T.rex toy outside the Field Museum, where his family came from California to see SUE.

The family had just one day in Chicago, their first time in the city, and spent over seven hours at the Field Museum. SUE was the highlight.

“It was my favorite thing in the whole museum,” said 7-year-old Gideon Bolger, “It was actually the whole reason we came to this museum.

As four-year-old Emmett Bolger played with his small green T. rex toy from the museum, the middle brother, Ephraim Bolger, said he was excited to finally see SUE, but he expected it to be a bit bigger, noting that she wasn’t longer than a charter bus.

According to Golembiewski, the new titanosaur model will be longer than two accordion style CTA buses combined.

“This is going to be the largest and the most engaging cast we’ve had,” said Golembiewski “It’s a first for us.”

The Chicago cast will have its head held high, said Golembiewski, and guests can take selfies with its head, which will reach up to eye level at the 30 foot balcony.

The new model is expected to go up in 2018, and SUE will come down from her post early in the year. Golembiewski said it will take about a year to add her bones and create her new habitat – but she won’t be out of sight for long. Though there may be a few days that SUE isn’t on display, visitors can expect to see her during the transition, and even catch a glimpse of the scientists working to add to her skeleton, and replicate a T.rex habitat.

1 2 3