Chicagosphere

May 2009 Archives

Can You Blog in Exactly 72 Words?

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

seventytwowordsSeventy-two words seems a random and abrupt limit to apply to a blog post. Maybe not to Ruibo Qian, the Uptown blogger known as King Princess, and Hugh Adam, blogging as Simian Sam. Qian alone founded the seventy two words fiction blog to tell entire stories within that very limit. Now Adam writes, too, and so do sixty-eight other authors including poet Tao Lin. They think there's a book in it. Literally.

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In Focus: Seeking Chicago Video Bloggers

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

flip-minoThe greatest thing to happen to my personal blog this year was the inspiration I got from my hit-and-run ex to purchase a Flip Mino camcorder. The sub-$200, super-sub-compact wonder fits in my pocket with room to spare for my iPhone and takes an hour of digital video.

Some say video blogging, or vlogging (God, please never give me reason to use that uber-cute diminutive in a sentence again), is yet another excuse for bloggers to syndicate boredom across the Internet. True, anything can be done badly. Especially blogging.

Wise bloggers, however, use their webcams and mini-camcorders as an extension of their own personalities--the same way they use their blogs--to cut to the chase and let the world know what's important to them, and why. Some use humor, others use pathos. But when they do it right, video bloggers leave you knowing a little more about their worldviews, and happier for having been taken on the journey.

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Uptown Update: Why Mum's Not the Word on Wilson Yard

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

uptownupdateI get a kick out of Uptown Update, the popular community news blog for the North Side's Uptown neighborhood. It's always entertaining. But not always for the right reasons.

For the past couple of years, its claim to fame--along with Buena Park Neighbors and the Uptown Neighborhood Council--has been vituperative opposition to Holsten Corp.'s $150 million Wilson Yard redevelopment project on the site of a former CTA rail yard on Broadway between Montrose and Sunnyside. Potential development plans for the rail yard (whose story is well summarized on railfan site Chicago-L.org) were vetted with 46th Ward residents beginning in the late 1990s, leading up to the creation of a Wilson Yard Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district by city ordinance in 2001.

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Chicagoist: Chicagosphere, CTA Tattler "Most Notable" New ChicagoNow Blogs

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

chicagoistlogoToday, popular Windy City news & features blog Chicagoist called Chicagosphere and CTA Tattler the two most notable non-Tribune blogs to debut on the newly launched ChicagoNow. Congratulations to my colleague, Tattler scribe Kevin O'Neil, and thanks to Chicagoist poobah, Marcus Gilmer.

While we're on the subject, check this Chicagoist post for a brief-but-nifty photo essay in and around the new Wit Hotel, now open for business at the corner of State and Lake--and directly adjacent to which our favorite lesbian burlesque performer, Ms. Bea Haven, danced an impromtu strip tease (YouTube link) last week.

And the -ist crowd throught we'd never write about them...

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Modern Wing Windiness

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

nicholsbridgewayOver the Memorial Day break, I scoured the Chicagosphere for evidence that a balanced opinion of the the Art Institute of Chicago's newly opened Modern Wing might exist somewhere on a website written in a ZIP Code beginning with 606. Fat chance. Given the vociferous praise currently being heaped on starchitect Renzo Piano's new museum wing and connecting Nichols Bridgeway to Millennium Park, you'd think local bloggers were on James Cuno's payroll.

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Marina City Online: Life Inside the Corncobs

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

stevedahlman Steven Dahlman is a professional pain in the ass. It's a skill that serves him well as the scribe of Marina City Online, the de facto community news site of downtown Chicago's famous twin condo towers.

As a four-year resident of the 60-story corncobs, myself, I can vouch for the seemingly unending--yet highly entertaining--drama and silliness that often ensues here. It's a state of affairs the condo board would rather not publicize.

"That pesky board has repeatedly tried to silence my website," says Dahlman. "But that just inspired me to come out with both barrels blazing. Marina City is a fascinating place--and Chicago would be amazed at what goes on here."

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Misbehavin' with Ms. Bea Haven

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

msbeahavenJ.T. Newman is an unlikely ecdysiast. Wednesday, over sidewalk cocktails at downtown Chicago's Emerald Loop, she shared with me her journey from future office lackey to the blogosphere's "dyke darling" of burlesque, Ms. Bea Haven.

"Seven years ago, I was a performance poet," she shouts over the non-stop whistle of the Hotel Monaco valet, across the street. "I was also 31, had a terrible body image, and wasn't happy about that fact."

Originally, the Evanston native thought she would grow up to be a secretary--or a cheerleader. "My mother tells me now, 'One out of two isn't bad'," Newman says with a smirk.

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