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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #61
nomarandlee
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City ignores him but Capone is still big

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070127/...capone_chicago

City ignores him but Capone is still big

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer Sat Jan 27, 2:57 PM ET


CHICAGO - Al Capone refuses to be rubbed out

Chicago officials shun any association with "Scarface," whose Prohibition-era exploits made his name synonymous with the city.

"Anything that glorifies violence we are not interested in," said Dorothy Coyle, director of the city's office on tourism.

But 60 years after his death, they still can't run his memory out of town and visitors from all over the world are very much interested.

They drive by Capone's house. They leave flowers, coins and cigars at his grave. They take pictures of places associated with him — never mind that everything from hotels where he ran his criminal empire to the garage where his henchmen carried out the St. Valentine's Day massacre is long gone.

"That era, the mobsters, gunfights ... I'm just fascinated by it all," Nancy Spranger, of Fenton, Mich., said before boarding an Untouchable Tours bus — decorated with fake bullet holes — to see sites tied to Chicago's gangland past.

Much of the mobster's history is left to the imagination because Chicago officials have made little effort to preserve or promote sites tied to his legacy. In the 1980s, they gunned down an effort to designate Capone's house on the South Side a national historic landmark.

Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago, understands why the city wouldn't want reminders of Capone, but says the city loses a piece of itself with each demolition of one those sites destroys.

"Destroying history is the most shameful legacy of all," Fine said. "You can't erase it, so you might as well embrace it."

Laurence Bergreen found Chicago officials far from receptive when he was researching his 1994 book "Capone: The Man and the Era."

"They rebuffed me (and said) 'Why don't you write about the symphony, architecture, Mayor Daley?'" he recalled.

John Binder, author of "The Chicago Outfit," has a conspiracy theory: that the lingering influence of organized crime even today in Chicago has the city dead set against anything that smacks of mobsters.

"It's not that they want you to forget about the past, they want you to forget about the present," he said a few days before a deputy U.S. marshal was arrested on charges that he fed information about an informant to the mob.

It's clear that many people still are drawn to the city's mobster past.

Capone is the subject of 50,000 hits a month on the Chicago History Museum's Web site, five times the number of inquiries about the Great Chicago Fire and "by far the number one hit on our Web site," said museum curator John Russick.

Untouchable Tours owner Don Fielding said he's been able to stay in business for 18 years — longer than Capone was around, he'll remind you — because "people like the idea of somebody getting away with something."

Capone surely did — for a while — raking in tens of millions of dollars as head of a vast bootlegging, prostitution and gambling operation. He was widely suspected in a number of murders but never charged.

Finally, with the help of federal Prohibition Bureau agent Eliot Ness, head of a special unit dubbed "The Untouchables," Capone was brought down by income tax evasion charges.

Convicted after a trial in which his men tried to bribe jurors, Capone spent seven years in federal prison. He died in 1947, his mind ravaged by syphilis.

"He's kind of been elevated to this status as the quintessential example of (the) American gangster," Russick said.

Countless films, TV shows and books have cemented that image.

"You hear somebody say 'This guy's a regular Al Capone,' you don't need to say another word about the guy," said Robert Schoenberg, author of the book "Mr. Capone."

"He's infected the national consciousness," Schoenberg said.

Make that the international consciousness.

Tourists from Europe and Asia especially love to see and hear about the places where his torpedoes pumped his enemies full of lead, tour guides say.

"European tourists who watch a lot of American gangster show reruns, they are fascinated," said guide Michael LaRusso Reis. "The French and the Italians love to go to Union Station in Chicago where they filmed the baby carriage scene" for the 1987 movie "The Untouchables."

And sometimes, those tourists get a little under-the-table assistance.

"Some (city) employees have gangster tours brochures, and when supervisors aren't looking they will slip them to European tourists," LaRusso Reis said.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #62
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...5821076.column

Quiet on the set? Not in this town
Terry Armour

Published January 28, 2007

It's already shaping up to be a pretty busy 2007 for Chicago's film industry. After Vince Vaughn and company wrap shooting of "Fred Claus" here on Friday, the city gets a break before Universal Pictures brings "The Express" to the Windy City in April for three months of filming. It's the life story of Ernie Davis, the first black college football player to win the Heisman Trophy. Once "The Express" is done, Warner Brothers will be in Chicago for 13 weeks for its next "Batman" project, starring Christian Bale.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #63
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^Batman. I'm happy
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #64
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The Capone thing is funny.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #65
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Why can't the 35th Street Bridge look more like Frank Gehry's BP Bridge?
Bridging the gap between utility and art

By Blair Kamin
Tribune architecture critic
Published January 29, 2007


Those idyllic aerial shots of Chicago's lakefront brought to you by organizers of the city's Olympic bid are dazzling, seductive and, in at least one significant respect, profoundly misleading.

Getting to the lakefront can be terrifying, forcing pedestrians to confront as many as 10 lanes of speeding cars or, worse, all those lanes of roaring traffic plus the equally daunting barrier of the Illinois Central railroad tracks.

So it is tantalizing to view proposals for improving access to (and along) the lakefront that have popped up in recent days. The Olympic village plan, unveiled last Tuesday and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago, calls for two pedestrian bridges across South Lake Shore Drive. Architect Santiago Calatrava's design for the 2,000-foot Chicago Spire, made public in early December, suggests two spans east of Lake Shore Drive to upgrade the chaotic downtown stretch of the lakefront bike path.

And last Thursday, the Chicago Architectural Club announced that three little-known New York designers had won its juried competition for a pedestrian link between Buckingham Fountain and the lakefront. Their provocative plan: Weave a series of rippling, landscaped pathways over a lowered stretch of the lakefront highway. While pedestrians ambled to the lake above, dramatic openings would bring shafts of natural light to cars racing below, "Blade Runner"-style, in a noir vision that seems right out of L.A.

Just one problem with all this: All bridges and underpasses are not created equal.

The difference between the ramrod-straight, rusting, rickety pedestrian bridges across South Lake Shore Drive and Frank Gehry's snaking, stainless steel-clad, sense-enlivening BP Bridge in Millennium Park is the difference between spirit-crushing utility and life-affirming art. That spectrum of possibilities is worth remembering.

The plans to improve lakefront access turn out to be all over the map.

Let's start with Skidmore's bridges, which are part of a brilliant urban design move to build the Olympic village on a deck above the truck parking lots south of McCormick Place. It's brilliant because it extends the Chicago tradition of creatively using the air rights above land in financially profitable and (sometimes) socially productive ways. Millennium Park, with its eye-popping public sculptures built over commuter railroad tracks, is the best example.

While the Olympic village is simply a concept, it is nonetheless deeply troubling. A row of almost-identical curving slabs -- they would house athletes during the Games and become condominiums afterward -- would march along the shoreline for nearly a mile. It looks like Brasilia-by-the-Lake. There's scant variety in the massing and expression of these midrises. The plan's bridges aren't much better.

Renderings show two of them leading across Lake Shore Drive to a shoreline park for athletes. Perhaps these depictions are simply meant to be placeholders. As pictured, though, they lower expectations for this piece of civic infrastructure, resembling expressway overpasses that were ordered out of a catalog . They're simply a way to get from Point A to Point B -- passageways, not places.

One of the bridges would be torn down after the Games, an astonishing act of shortsightedness given that this stretch of the south lakefront doesn't come close to meeting the standards of Chicago's 1973 Lakefront Protection Ordinance. It calls for bridges and underpasses to be placed at intervals of one-quarter mile. Any bridge that would improve lakefront access shouldn't be discarded like a disposable camera.

While Skidmore's bridge concepts are visually underwhelming, one of Calatrava's is grotesquely overwhelmingly -- his scheme for a towering, cable-stayed swing bridge that would rise east of the Lake Shore Drive bridge. His span appears perfectly in scale with the twisting, record-shattering Chicago Spire and dwarfs the Lake Shore Drive bridge's Art Deco towers. (His other proposed bridge, a low-slung span across Ogden Slip east of the drive, is suggested in the drawing.)

Makes perfect sense

Nonetheless, if you slither beneath Lake Shore Drive and venture east to the garbage-strewn, weed-infested outcropping where plans call for DuSable Park to be built in the next few years, you can see that the broad outlines of Calatrava's urban design plan for the Chicago Spire make eminent sense.

The two bridges would let pedestrians and cyclists move easily between the planned park and Navy Pier on the north and Grant Park on the south. Instead of being jammed into the crowded lower deck of the Lake Shore Drive bridge, people would be able to whirl through a new shoreline park, with spectacular waterfront views.

The Spire's developer, Dublin-based Garrett Kelleher, deserves credit for broadening his urban design vision beyond the skyscraper's site west of Lake Shore Drive. Now the question is: To what extent will he help pay for these infrastructure improvements -- which, one hopes, will reappear in less aggressive form.

Between the poles of Calatrava's over-the-top icon and Skidmore's banal bridges is the winning entry in the architecture club's competition, by a team from the New York firm of di Domenico + Partners: team leader Richard Alomar, a landscape architect; and two architects, Kenji Suzuki and Yonghyun Yu.

Like many winners of so-called ideas competitions (the club's contest had no official backing from the City of Chicago), this one is at once mind-opening and wildly impractical. But its underlying concept should help shape public debate over how to improve access to the shoreline public space known as Queen's Landing.

Queen's Landing got its name in 1959 when a red carpet was rolled across Lake Shore Drive, enabling the visiting Queen Elizabeth II to cross decorously from her yacht to Buckingham Fountain. In 2005, though, city traffic managers abruptly shut the dangerous Lake Shore Drive crosswalk between the fountain and Queen's Landing, forcing pedestrians to hike to other street-level crossings.

The winning plan imagines two rocks dropping in the waters of Buckingham Fountain and Lake Michigan. The rocks spawn "ripples" that join in the curving landforms that spring over Lake Shore Drive, which would be depressed by 5 feet. The moundlike landforms, which would rise 7 feet above the fountain's main level, would make for easy pedestrian passage over Lake Shore Drive. The plan also braids a loose weave of diagonal landforms over the highway, allowing for angled pedestrian movement and for sunlight to drop to the cars below.

Obvious shortcomings

The plan's practical shortcomings are obvious: Its designers don't know how these landforms would be supported. Nor have they calculated where the downward slope of the highway would begin or how long it would take to build this project. There is also this sticky issue: The landform mounds would partially block views of the fountain as one looked westward.

Even so, there is much to like here: The design respects the Beaux-Arts symmetry of Grant Park but is bracingly contemporary. It elevates the experience of pedestrians but doesn't consign drivers to tunnel hell. It's strongly urban but appropriately takes its cues from nature.

Most important, the plan shows a third way for civic infrastructure -- between preening, overwrought icons and visually undernourished bridges and underpasses. It sends its message with simple but strong landscape architecture.

Given the glacial pace at which Chicago's existing plans for lakefront bridges are moving forward, no one should expect this design to be built anytime soon. But it does advance the debate, and one day, perhaps, its ideas could bear fruit.

----------

[email protected]


http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...chi-living-hed
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #66
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I LOVE CHICAGO! MISS YA LOTS. JUST GOT DONE LISTENING TO SOME KANYE AND PIFFING OUT.. MADE ME THINK OF YA.... Lots of ny love.... ok random post done...
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #67
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Perhaps it's true...I am one of them.

So many sports titles have spoiled Chicago fans

Mike Imrem
By Mike Imrem
Daily Herald Sports Columnist
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

MIAMI BEACH — For a couple months now, a discussion has flared over why these Bears haven’t been embraced the way the 1985 Bears were.

Theories include a lack of personality on the 2006 team, its lack of dominance, a lack of quality competition in the NFC ...

Here’s my latest explanation: Over the past two decades, Chicago has gone from City of Losers to City of Champions.

Quit snickering. Chicago sports are a success story, not only compared to 21 seasons ago but compared to most of the country.


If the Bears beat the Colts down here Sunday in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago will boast eight world championships in 16 years.

That’s an average of one title every other year in the four major sports … without a parade, party or particle of help from the Cubs or Blackhawks.

OK, so Michael Jordan’s Bulls were responsible for six of the championships. What are we supposed to do, discount those?

I’m counting the Bulls, as well as the Sox’ victory in the World Series two years ago, and preemptively the Bears’ victory next week.

That ain’t too shabby, folks. Even if the Colts beat the Bears, Chicago’s record is pretty good.

The Bears’ victory in Super Bowl XX ended a local championship drought of more than two decades.

Now another Bears title would give Chicago nine world championships in 21 years.

To be honest, Chicago fans were wimps in 1985-86, acting as if the Bears did them a favor by winning the Super Bowl.

Today the impression is those same fans, or their offspring, are more greedy than grateful. They believe their teams — Bears, White Sox, Cubs, Bulls and Hawks — are obligated to provide them with championships.

Instead of losing being considered a birthright, winning is now.

People have seen what a champion looks like. The ’85 Bears showed them. The Bulls did six times. The Sox did just two years ago.

Winning inspires more demands and less patience. Teams that won are expected to win again. The perpetually abysmal Cubs and Hawks are expected to finally win.

Rex Grossman can’t expect a series of awful games to be overlooked. Brian Urlacher is supposed to bring it every day the way Jordan did. Lovie Smith has to accomplish as much as Mike Ditka did.

Simply put, Chicago teams and athletes are operating in a context different than 21 years ago.

The evolution from Losers to Champions happened so subtly we hardly noticed. Everything else is blamed on the media so let’s blame them — OK, us — for obscuring the local sports boom.

So much of what newspaper columnists like me write is angst and so much of talk radio is anger.

No amount of success is enough. Every victory comes with ifs, ands or buts. Win this year and immediately the question becomes whether you can repeat next year.

Compare that to the bad old days when expectations were low. During my first 40 years on the planet, the 1961 Hawks and the 1963 Bears were the only champions.

Baseball underachieved. The NBA was a rumor and then a disappointment. The fight song was “wait ’til next year.”

Times, teams, media, fans and most of all expectations changed. Every year now, next year is supposed to be this year.

In 1985 championships were novelties for Chicago sports fans, and today they’re necessities.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:05 PM   #68
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EDIT: I moved my post to "OTHER" Downtown Chicago Stuff......
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant View Post
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...5821076.column

Quiet on the set? Not in this town
Terry Armour

Published January 28, 2007

It's already shaping up to be a pretty busy 2007 for Chicago's film industry. After Vince Vaughn and company wrap shooting of "Fred Claus" here on Friday, the city gets a break before Universal Pictures brings "The Express" to the Windy City in April for three months of filming. It's the life story of Ernie Davis, the first black college football player to win the Heisman Trophy. Once "The Express" is done, Warner Brothers will be in Chicago for 13 weeks for its next "Batman" project, starring Christian Bale.
i read that 'Rory's First Kiss' will be batmans code name while filming here
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:04 AM   #70
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I HATE CTA!! I keep fighting myself about getting in the car again. I dont want to add to congestion but Im sick of being late for EVERYTHING. Im sick of excuses. Im sick of filthy stations and trains. Why are there fifty f*cking slow zones between Howard and Fullerton? Im sick of incompetent employees! I hate that I have to add a 20 minute safety just to hope to be on time. How many more damn trains will derail? Im sick of Daley not doing a damn thing to fix this mess! FIRE KRUESI NOW!! Im completely pro-transit but I'll be damned if I continue to waste my life on the CTA. I'll be back to ride when they get their shit together!!

I think I'll drive to work on Monday.

*mini-rant over*

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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:57 AM   #71
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I totally totally agree. I mean, I'm just as nostalgic as the next Chicagoan, but there's a limit... They really need to do SOMETHING to improve the system. Tear it down... modernize it... DO SOMETHING!!

This is the only real reason I want the Olympics in Chicago. I really hope it would cause them to do some serious improvements and finally give Chicago the world class transit system it deserves.

That being said, the purple line is generally very efficient.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChgoLvr83 View Post
I HATE CTA!! I keep fighting myself about getting in the car again. I dont want to add to congestion but Im sick of being late for EVERYTHING. Im sick of excuses. Im sick of filthy stations and trains. Why are there fifty f*cking slow zones between Howard and Fullerton? Im sick of incompetent employees! I hate that I have to add a 20 minute safety just to hope to be on time. How many more damn trains will derail? Im sick of Daley not doing a damn thing to fix this mess! FIRE KRUESI NOW!! Im completely pro-transit but I'll be damned if I continue to waste my life on the CTA. I'll be back to ride when they get their shit together!!

I think I'll drive to work on Monday.

*mini-rant over*

AMEN. I agree 100%.

Been taking the CTA for around 5.5 years to work everyday, and in the past year it's almost as if the whole system is just crumbling around us. It now takes me around 20 minutes longer to get to work than it EVER did before. We use to get upset when trains derailed, or the rush hour service was messed up for some reason. On Friday when the purple line service was out for the evening cause of a derailment, everyone at work just started laughing about it right away. Of course we were pissed, but it's almost funny now how absolutely rediculous the CTA has gotten. I, sadly, am working with 5 other people at work to get a carpool set up for us all since we can't deal with the trains anymore.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #73
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Greetings people of chicago (my fav city in the US of A)
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Old February 12th, 2007, 06:39 AM   #74
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Greetings people of chicago (my fav city in the US of A)
Greetings to you matey.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #75
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Ahh... great weather today! I like the snow and the cold, its just the dangerously cold that I'm not a fan of...
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Old February 16th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #76
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1130 S MICHIGAN GLASS

Not sure where to post this, but here will do I guess...

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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #77
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago

An interesting excerpt I found in Wikipedia:

Over one third of the population of Chicago is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods of the city (from Rogers Park in the north to Hyde Park in the south). Encompassing roughly 55 square miles (of 229 sq/miles of city) and 1.2 million people with a population density of 21,205 people per square mile. This makes Chicago's lakefront the most densely populated area in the United States outside of New York City. [13]
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:06 AM   #78
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I was looking for the population density of our lakeshore. Nice find.
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 12:26 AM   #79
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http://www.suntimes.com/business/fed...eder22.article

NBC filling in blanks for Chicago game show

February 22, 2007
BY ROBERT FEDER
Sun-Times Columnist

If all the pieces can be put together, Chicago's NBC Tower is the top choice of Merv Griffin's production team to become the home for a new syndicated game show. Negotiations are said to be "progressing nicely" to produce "Let's Play Crosswords" from facilities at 454 N. Columbus Dr.

NBC confirmed this week that it has picked up the show for five of its stations, including WMAQ-Channel 5 here. The company also plans to launch an online version of the show for its station Web sites.

Starting this fall, the show is expected to air back-to-back half-hours from 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays, replacing the canceled soap opera "Passions."

Larry Wert, president and general manager of Channel 5, said he is optimistic about a deal to originate the show from his studios, which also are home to syndicated talkers Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos.

NBC, which also acknowledged that principals are "continuing to explore an opportunity to produce the series" at Channel 5, would handle advertising sales as well.

Griffin also created "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune," the two most successful syndicated series in prime-access television.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #80
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I hope you Chicagoans will love the snow!!! The south side won't get much, but Lake County is under a blizzard warning, and up here in Milwaukee we're going to get most likely 12 inches plus.
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