MCA exhibit offers up Midwestern sensibility in Western setting

By Jesse Wright | Staff Writer

In November, the Museum of Contemporary Art opened a new exhibition, “West by Midwest,” showing works by a collection of artists from the Midwest who migrated West in order to develop their artistic vision.

The art in the collection spans much of the middle part of the 20th century and the early parts of this century, and the media varies from sculpture and photography to painting and knitting. In total, the exhibition includes 80 pieces from artists like Billy Al Bengston, Andrea Bowers, Judy Chicago, Anna Halprin, David Hammons, Mike Kelley, Senga Nengudi, Laura Owens, Sterling Ruby and Ed Ruscha.

This exhibit represents a diverse crowd creating over a long period of time, and Charlotte Ickes, a post-doctoral student and MAC Curatorial Fellow for the exhibit, explained that viewers should avoid being reductivist in looking for common themes when visiting the collection.

“[The exhibition] can mean many different things because it’s many different artists,” she said. Not only did the artists work in different media across different times, but some were expressly political, and even that political emphasis shifted throughout the decades.

Ickes said the only real connective through-line in the exhibition is the constant attempts by each artists to do innovative work in whatever medium they’re working in.

“Those are the shared concerns you’ll see throughout the show,” she said.

Rather than emphasizing any sense of shared aesthetics or point of view of the Midwestern artists, the collective exhibition illustrates how regional artists impacted the national art scene—or at least the California scene in response to their individual concerns and aesthetics.

For a deeper dive, don’t miss a talk on Dec. 9 led by artist Barbara Kasten. Kasten will lead a walkthrough of the exhibition with Ickes and will talk about her work, as well as the work of her favorite fellow artists. This begins at 2 p.m. and it is free with museum admission.

The exhibition is on display now through Jan. 27, 2019 at the MCA. The MCA is located at 22 E. Chicago Avenue and is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.,Wednesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

 

John King, the December Doorperson of the Month for the New Eastside

By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer

 

John King is a doorman at The Tides at Lakeshore East at 350 E. South Water St. – a job he worked his way up to earn. After working for a year as an overnight janitor at 400 E. South Water St., King applied to be a doorman at The Tides and was accepted, he said. That was nine years ago.

Since then, he has dedicated his career to the Tides –dealing with movers and deliveries each day, as well as greeting every resident who comes in the door.

“It makes a difference that they have a nice greeting in the morning and a pleasant smile, and I try to do that every morning,” he said.

King, 52, said the main reason he likes is job is the people he meets, especially the children in the building. He enjoys “just seeing them and how their lives are evolving, people that have children and watching them grow up, and just meeting so many people from so many different parts of the world is exciting as well.” he said.

King said The Tides has many “very nice” long-time residents and that he likes knowing that the families there feel like they can depend on him to take care of them. He’s successful, he said, because he’s a people person.

“You have to love people, and you have to love helping people, and I think that is what makes me good at my job,” he said.

His advice for aspiring hospitality workers is simple: have patience and kindness. He said sometimes people can be temperamental and it’s important to know how to deal with that as well as understand “sometimes people react differently when they’re in a situation that is unfamiliar to them,” he said.

“You have to be able to adapt, and that takes patience, and it’s always being kind. No matter what’s going on, you have to be kind because that can temper a lot of situations, and it can really calm a situation down and get the results that you need at that moment,” King said.

King said that when he’s not at work, he serves as a Christian minister teaching people the Bible.

 

To nominate your favorite doorperson, email info@neweastsidecommunity.com with the door person’s name and why you think they should be the doorperson of the month. Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Mariano’s.

What’s new at the Christkindlmarket

By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer

Since 1996, the Christkindlmarket in Chicago has been delighting visitors with holiday food and wares with European flair. Modeled after the famous Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany, Chicago’s version hosts vendors from Illinois, Germany and even as far away as Bethlehem and Nepal. This year’s market offers a mixture of the familiar with some new additions.
Here’s what’s new this year, according to Kate Bleeker, director of expansion and market development for Christkindlmarket Chicago.

The Mugs
Christkindlmarket’s signature mugs have become a collector’s item over the years, and this year the market will offer three-packs of mugs representing each of the market’s locations—Chicago, Naperville and Milwaukee. Individual mugs are also for sale; fill one with Glühwein to warm yourself up. For kids, there’s a special “Oma” (Grandma) snowman mug.

The Vendors
More than 50 vendors from all over the world will be at the market selling handcrafted pieces, Christmas decorations, food and beverages. New this year is a pop-up booth that will rotate vendors every few days to give guests a unique experience every time they visit.

Who’s hungry?
Cheese lovers rejoice! Food vendor Brunkow Cheese will be offering an indulgent new food item—Raclette sandwiches. Raclette cheese is melted, then spread onto fresh bread and finished with the toppings of your choice. Look for it at the Baked Cheese Haus booth.

This year, Christkindlmarket Chicago is partnering with Hannah’s Bretzel. The sandwich chain will have its own “Official Sandwich of the Christkindlmarket,” and the market’s souvenir mugs will be available for purchase at all Hannah’s Bretzel Chicago locations.

For a full list of vendors and events, see Christkindlmarket.com.

Navy Pier offers fireworks, music for New Year’s bash

By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Navy Pier will put on a free fireworks show set to music.

Payal Patel, with Navy Pier’s media relations, offered a sneak peek of this year’s music selection. According to Patel, the soundtrack is put together by Navy Pier’s music program coordinator and other members of Navy Pier’s art, culture and engagement team.

Here are the 14 songs Navy Pier will use to bring the new year:

Auld Lang Syne – Mariah Carey

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Good Feeling – Flo-Rida

Move Your Feet – Junior Senior

Give Me Your Love – Sigala

Give Me Everything – Ne-Yo & Pitbull

That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars

Lights Down Low – MAX

Freedom – George Michael

Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

Shake A Tail Feather – Ray Charles

In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett

Chicago – Tony Bennett

Sweet Home Chicago – Blues Brothers

The fireworks show will take place Jan. 1, 12-12:15 a.m., free, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, 312-595-7437, navypier.org.

Unique gifts and experiences for the pickiest people on your list

By Taylor Hartz | Staff Writer

It’s December and the deadline looms for Christmas shopping. That one person remains without a gift. That person who has everything. What to do?

Get crafty with it…

On Dec. 6, stop by the Sauced Night Market from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 12 S. Michigan Ave. for a variety of arts and crafts. Pick up a hand carved cooking utensil, tray, cutting board or serving platter from Wild Cherry. All of their products are created “from urban domestic lumber,” said Tim McGuire, owner and artisan. Check out their Facebook page here.

At Prism Homegrown, owner Katie Widmar designs “modern bohemian jewelry using raw gemstones and gemstone beads” to create one-of-a-kind pieces, while the folks at The Bitter Ex Bitters Company create one-of-a-kind drinks. Ryan Rezvani, owner and co-founder, produces original bitters, which can be used to liven up desserts, coffees and cocktails. Check out their website here.

Finally, stop by Slapass creations for art to brighten up any space or closet. Matt Sczech, creates vibrant art sold on pins, prints and clothing.

Although the Made in Chicago Market has passed, it’s never too late to visit the businesses featured in the market.

Louisa Mahoney at Bettyplum Homemade Confections aims to carry on her family’s legacy of homemade holiday candies with toffee, caramels, toffee cookies and bourbon toffee truffles. Check out their website here.

Or check out Lauren Bautista’s Pi Design Prints which feature handmade drink coasters decorated with typography and patterns are a great addition to any table.

If you want to support young people, swing by Shop, Jingle and Mingle, a crafts fair featuring pieces made by teen artists in after-school and summer programs. The items include soaps and candles, canvas paintings, glass mosaics, jewelry and other fashion accessories. The fair is two evenings, Dec. 5 and Dec. 10 and runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the After School Matters Gift Shop at 66 E. Randolph St.

Or set a course for crafting…

The Chopping Block at Merchandise Mart offers a variety of cooking, baking and wine-pairing classes sure to improve anyone’s skills in the kitchen.

Choose from classes like “War and Wine,” which gives a lesson on the history of WWII and battles over European wine cellars. Learn how to master a pasta roller and serve up the perfect plate of pasta with “Pasta Boot Camp,” or discover the art of bread with “Artisanal Breads.”

The Chopping Block website is here.

 

Young Professionals Streeterville mixes services with mingling

By Jesse Wright | Staff Writer

This November saw the start of something in Streeterville when the first meeting of Young Professionals Streeterville kicked off.

The group is in part the brainchild of Mario Hollemans, an attorney, who was installed as president of the group, though he is far from the only young professional eager to kick off a networking group in Streeterville for the under-40 set.

Vice President Casey Doherty said he’s lived in the area since graduating from college in 2017. These days he is in law school and hopes the organization will give young people an opportunity to socialize and volunteer in the neighborhood.

“There is a strong young demographic in the neighborhood that wants to give back. We wanted to showcase the talents of young people and we wanted to create a vibrant community of young professionals in the neighborhood.”

Doherty said that while the group is a younger demographic, it is professionally diverse. Another member, Dr. Valerie Mayuga, is a physician who is also in charge of the group’s philanthropic efforts, and Doherty said it’s just nice to know people who share common interests and hobbies.

“It’s nice to have strong community connections,” he said.

Hollemans said he did little to plan the group; the whole organization sprung more or less fully formed by the membership who wanted to formalize something. That said, the group will hold monthly mixers to attract more members and to network—but also to do more for the neighborhood.

“There are a lot of young professionals in the neighborhood looking to give back,” said Doherty. “I think young people have always wanted to get involved and give back to their communities, and recent times have shown how important that really is.”

Anyone looking to get involved with the group can email Hollemans at ypstreeterville@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/YPStreeterville.

Waterfront penthouse makes a global splash as online tools upgrade buying experience

By Urban Real Estate

The New Eastside has become a cornerstone in the city of Chicago for luxury, elegance and community. The Chandler is no exception, bringing to life some of downtown’s most magnificent residences. Making news this month is a new listing at the coveted 450 E. Waterside address, unit 3001. This is a penthouse with a story that is attracting buyers from across the globe.

This premier 3,200-plus square foot residence has everything one could want in a dream home in the sky. Among its best assets are its permanent, unobstructed panoramic views of the Chicago River to the north, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan to the east, and the city’s skyline as far as the eye can see.

Matt Silver, partner/broker at Urban Real Estate, said, “This home’s meticulous interior design by the team at Ashworth & Associates, impressive state-of-the-art kitchen, 11-foot-high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows and with every inch customized with impeccable finishes and sweeping views makes this a show-stopper. The owners have left no detail to chance.” Silver added, “Our goal is to bring as much of our listing to life to a prospective buyer, leaving the guesswork out. We want them to love it before they even visit onsite.”

Aside from being impressive in layout and design, the three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom boasts a large foyer ready to greet guests when they walk in the door. Two car parking is included in the $2.75 million price tag. “It’s really the ultimate in city living,” Silver said.

Urban Real Estate strategically markets its properties using interactive online visual media to garner interest from prospective buyers around the world. Virtual property tours, along with guided video tours and strategic media efforts, help increase traffic and interest to a property, and often lead to offers from buyers reached via more tailored marketing methods.

Contact Matt Silver at Mattsilver@urbanre.com or call (312) 399-0017 for more information, or visit us at UrbanRealEstate.com to preview this listing. Or connect with any Urban broker who can show you just what you are missing at (312) 528-9200.

Just in time for Christmas, dino SUE gets a new home

Staff reports

SUE, the iconic T. rex who held the coveted spot on the Field Museum’s main floor until this past February, will finally be on display in a new home this holiday season.

The skeleton had been removed from Stanley Field Hall to make room for the museum’s new Titanosaur cast, Maximo, but on Dec. 21, SUE’s new suite will open, debuting a brand new habitat to museum visitors.

The biggest and most complete T. rex skeleton in the world, the skeleton that had been on display had, nevertheless, grown out of date given new scientific understanding of T. rex anatomy. So, since coming down, scientists and museum workers have been updating SUE’s skeleton to match the latest science.

One of those updates will be the addition of a set of bones across SUE’s abdomen called gastralia that helped the T. rex breathe, according to Pete Makovicky, the museum’s curator of dinosaurs.

SUE will now live in the Field Museum’s Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, in a 5,100 square-foot suite filled with interactive displays that mimic the environment an actual T. rex would have lived in.

Among those displays will be “cutting-edge animations showing how SUE would have interacted with other dinosaurs and what the landscape would have looked like,” said Jaap Hoogstraten, Director of Exhibitions, in a press release.

The move has been in the works for quite some time, said Field Museum president Richard Lariviere, in a press release.

“We’re excited to finally complete our decades-long plan to put SUE in a proper scientific context alongside our other dinosaurs and offer an experience that really shows off why SUE is widely considered the greatest dinosaur fossil in the world,” said Lariviere in a press release.

SUE’s new environment “will give visitors a glimpse of the world SUE lived in,” said Hoogstraten in a press release. The new display will also explain how SUE made it to Chicago.

“People will also get to learn about SUE’s discovery and the things scientists have learned about SUE over the last few decades—there’ll be lots of new information and experiences that we weren’t able to get across with the old display,” said Hoogstraten, in a press release.

“This is the biggest, scariest, and most impressive SUE’s ever looked,” said Lariviere, in a press release.

JELL-O’s edible slime a kids’ toy that’s also a treat

Staff reports

Slime isn’t just for fun–with JELL-O it’s also for food. Photo courtesy JELL-O.

 

Just in time for the holidays, New Eastside-based JELL-O introduced an edible slime last month, which comes in strawberry-flavored Unicorn and lime-flavored Monster varieties.

The slime is a toy as well as a snack for kids.

In recent years, slime has become a social media phenomenon, with more than 20 million slime-related posts on Instagram and thousands of “how to” slime videos on YouTube. Fans have embraced the squishy and stretchy toy as a fun and creative activity, and some studies even claim the sensation of slime improves positive feelings and relaxation. While do-it-yourself edible slime recipes are popular, there had not been an edible slime available from a national brand until now.

The edible slime launch comes on the heels of JELL-O’s summer launch of JELL-O PLAY, a new line of edible JELL-O products designed to inspire families to engage in free play and fun. The three JELL-O PLAY product lines can be molded, shaped, and built into whatever parents and kids can imagine, and are designed around themes that spark creativity, such as Ocean and Jungle. All items are available online and in national retailers, and have a suggested retail price under $5.

 

“JELL-O PLAY is all about encouraging and enabling bonding time between parents and kids,” says Michael Hartley, Senior Associate Brand Manager for JELL-O Play. “With new JELL-O PLAY Edible Slime, the entire family can have fun creating, stretching, and even eating slime.”

The colorful, edible and imaginative DIY slime experience is easy to make: simply add water to the pre-made mix to create slime that will drip, stretch, and conform to any shape families can imagine. Each canister of JELL-O PLAY Edible Slime makes two batches of slime, is 100 percent edible and washes away easily with soap and warm water.

 

JELL-O PLAY Edible Slime is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com with a suggested retail price of $9.99. The slime will be available in select retailers in December.

 

The Kraft Heinz Company is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com

Best Holiday Lights in Chicago

By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer

Millennium Park

The first official lighting of the Millennium Park tree took place on Nov. 16, and the tree will remain lit until Jan. 6. This year’s tree is a 60-foot Norway Spruce from Elmhurst, according to the city’s website, and is the city’s 105th City of Chicago Christmas Tree. Enjoy the tree’s colorful lights, then visit Millennium Park for more winter magic or Maggie Daley Park for ice skating.

Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue’s lights will stay on throughout the holiday season. Take a stroll down and do some window shopping while enjoying the festive decorations on the trees and buildings along Michigan Avenue.

The Walnut Room and windows at Macy’s

Macy’s famous Walnut Room was the first-ever restaurant opened in a department store. The seventh-floor establishment hosts a famous holiday tradition: The 45-foot Great Tree displayed in the center of the room. Visit just to see the tree, or go to the restaurant for the Holiday Great Tree Buffet, offered all day through Jan. 6. Check out Macy’s colorful holiday window displays, which create magical scenes of winter wonderlands and the North Pole, before going up to the restaurant. Visit Macy’s at 111 N. State St.

Lincoln Park Zoo

The ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo make up some of the city’s most spectacular lights displays and you can visit the animals while marveling at the colorful lights all around the zoo. Strolling through the zoo would make for a great date night or be fun for the whole family! Zoo admission is always free. Visit through Jan. 6, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 2001 N. Clark St.

Museum of Science & Industry

The museum’s Christmas Around the World Exhibit features over 50 trees representing global holiday traditions. Each tree is uniquely decorated with ornaments that reflect a different country’s customs. In the center stands the grand tree, four stories tall and bathed in a stunning display of lights. Visit between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is included with museum admission, children 11 and under $12.95, adults $21.95, Museum of Science & Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Allstate CTA Holiday Train & Bus

Chicago’s public transportation system is not immune to the spirit of the holidays. The traditional holiday train, decorated with holiday lights and candy canes, began running Nov. 23.This year, the CTA has added an extra holiday train called the “Elves’ Workshop Train.” The ‘L’ train will be decked out with festive decorations and Santa will make an appearance. A CTA Holiday Bus will also be driving around the city for a trackless transportation experience. This runs through December. See transitchicago.com/holidayfleet for a schedule.

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