Tag: Illinois

"She's (still) like BUTTAH!": A review of Barbra Streisand at The United Center (8/9/16)

"She's (still) like BUTTAH!": A review of Barbra Streisand at The United Center (8/9/16)
“People, People who need people, Are the luckiest people in the world!” I was among the luckiest people in the world tonight at The United Center, the land of Bulls and Hawks, to see Barbra Streisand perform live for the second time in my life. The first time I saw her, in 2012, was as... Read more »

Steven's Restaurant Corner: The Tale of The Billy Goat Tavern at Yorktown Mall or "John Belushi must be rolling in his grave"

Steven's Restaurant Corner: The Tale of The Billy Goat Tavern at Yorktown Mall or "John Belushi must be rolling in his grave"
The Original Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Ave., like the Cubs themselves, has become an iconic Chicago munch-factory. Thanks to SNL and John Belushi, the phrases “Cheeseborger, Cheeseborger, Cheeseborger” and “No Pepsi…Coke!” have become objects of quirky pride for Chicagoans. (If you haven’t watched the classic skit, you can watch it here on the restaurant’s website!) What is... Read more »

Like walking into a dimestore strip joint: The demise of Ken's World of Video in Addison

Like walking into a dimestore strip joint: The demise of Ken's World of Video in Addison
Imagine that you’re four years old. I know this might be a fanciful proposition for some of my older readers, but I’m asking you desperately to humor me. The year is 1995, a year of great creativity, but also of dark shadows. It’s the year of the OJ Simpson Trial, the advent of eBay, and... Read more »
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"No, I can't help you": A story of Walmart and the death of Customer Service

"No, I can't help you": A story of Walmart and the death of Customer Service
“Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield  The art of customer service is not one of... Read more »

"How do you solve a problem like Sinead O'Connor?": O'Connor's hide-and-seek game in Wilmette and the dangers of unchecked celebrity nonsense

"How do you solve a problem like Sinead O'Connor?": O'Connor's hide-and-seek game in Wilmette and the dangers of unchecked celebrity nonsense
In Celebrity, as well as the rest of the word, there is a fine line between genius and madness. To be in the creative arts you truly need to be a bit of a nut. Being a performer myself, I have met some truly kooky characters over the years. Of course, I’m included in that... Read more »

The Philosophy of A Sports Fan: Give Me Victory or Give Me Victory!

The Philosophy of A Sports Fan: Give Me Victory or Give Me Victory!
Sports are one of those things that have never appealed to me, on a level that others seem to. I can appreciate the talent and dedication these people have and the standard of life that they have to maintain, but it has never interested me to sit for hours on end and watch two teams... Read more »
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Mavis Staples for President 2016: The Anti-Trump!

Mavis Staples for President 2016: The Anti-Trump!
“I think it’s time for the whole nation to start listening to something that means something…this is everybody’s land, this is not just my land, this is our land. This land belongs to everybody; if they would think like that, we’d have a better United States. You know it’s really rough what the colored entertainers... Read more »

Grimace for President! (or "Trump Visits Chicago")

Grimace for President! (or "Trump Visits Chicago")
As Trump visits Chicago this fine, crisp evening, I must sit here and ruminate on his mighty sojourn to our fair little burg. Throughout my years of talking politics (and studying politics as a part of philosophy as a whole) I have found myself to be fairly even-headed and rational. But, sadly, this election have... Read more »

My Love Letter to Ravinia (or That Time I Met Renee Fleming)

My Love Letter to Ravinia (or That Time I Met Renee Fleming)
The Ravinia Festival is the highlight of my summers, bar NONE. The place has such atmosphere and a feeling of joyful camaraderie you just don’t get anywhere else. People sometimes feel inhibited at Lyric Opera or the Chicago Symphony. But, at Ravinia, everyone’s inhibitions are released and true joy seeps out of every pore of... Read more »
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The Hypnotic Peculiarity of Snow

The Hypnotic Peculiarity of Snow
Walking home from work today, I had a musing that has been gestating for quite some time now: Walking home, while it was snowing, I looked down at the piles of freshly fallen white beneath me. It seemed to shimmer, to attract my gaze, directing me to continue my path until I reached my destination.... Read more »