Throwback Thursday: Chicago Never Looked So Bad
May19

Throwback Thursday: Chicago Never Looked So Bad

  Lots of TV shows use the cities they’re set in as a kind of supporting actor that adds color and depth to the production.  If it’s a situation comedy, the cities are celebrated for being wonderful places for fun and family (Full House, Laverne & Shirley).  If it’s a cop drama, the city can be moody and interesting (Dragnet, Hill Street Blues). And then there’s Lady Blue. It’s a cop drama.  But...

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Chicago Makes an Appearance During Super Bowl L
Feb08

Chicago Makes an Appearance During Super Bowl L

  The only way any of the Chicago Bears made it to last night’s Super Bowl at Levis Stadium deep in the heart of Silicon Valley (not actually in San Francisco — don’t believe the hype), is if they bought a ticket on StubHub.  But that doesn’t mean that Chicago didn’t make an appearance. Our fair city made a prominent, though anonymous, appearance in a new Toyota commercial.  Rebranded as the City of...

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Two Movies, One Architect Showing in the Loop
Dec09

Two Movies, One Architect Showing in the Loop

Architecture has the power to change the world.  But architects just aren’t Hollywood darlings the way that cops or firemen or lawyers are, so there are very few movies about people who make great buildings.  But two films about Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí are going to be screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 North State Street) this month. The first starts this Friday, December 12th, and is called Sagrada: The...

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Wallenda’s Wire Walk Watched Worldwide, Shows Off Chicago Skyscrapers
Nov02

Wallenda’s Wire Walk Watched Worldwide, Shows Off Chicago Skyscrapers

Down on the Upper West Wacker Drive tonight, it was a fairly normal Sunday night. At least if you don’t take into account the bystanders sitting in clumps all the way from Michigan Avenue to Wells.  Along the river, up in the high rises, and just about everywhere you looked, people were gathering. No, this wasn’t a re-do of the Chicago Fire Festival. If you somehow spent the last 24 hours avoiding legitimate media, social media,...

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West Loop Not Rolling Out the Red Carpet For MTV’s “The Real World” Reality TV Show
Jun17

West Loop Not Rolling Out the Red Carpet For MTV’s “The Real World” Reality TV Show

I think it was the Buggles who sang, “Skyscrapers killed the West Loop.” Folks in my neighborhood don’t much like tall buildings. They aren’t very impressed by big-time movie stars and TV shows, either. On Monday night, the executive producer of MTV’s “The Real World” gave residents a preview of the show’s 30th season venue—smack in the middle of Restaurant Row. The 20 people in attendance were less than welcoming. There’s really only...

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Video Games [Heart] Chicago

A few months ago we wrote about how driving through downtown Chicago is an option in the new video game Need For Speed 2 Shift Unleashed.  After that was published, some of you wrote in to note that Chicago was featured in other racing games like the 1999 Microsoft game Midtown Madness. Now Loop North News has a story about Chicago being featured in the new Ubisoft game Watch Dogs.  Here’s a video of the game in action: The game...

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Week Links: March 2, 2012
Mar02

Week Links: March 2, 2012

In order to declutter this publication a little bit, the “Briefly” segments that were being published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons will now be called “Week Links” and published only Friday afternoons. “What’s weak this week” was already taken. What does a British tabloid think of Chicago?  Check out this review from The Mirror, which includes things you’d expect (Cloud Gate,...

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Mythbusters [heart] Chicago
Feb07

Mythbusters [heart] Chicago

One of our readers was catching up on old episodes of Mythbusters recently when he spotted something interesting — the Chicago skyline. It turns out that in one episode, the sorta-science bunch needed a generic city background for one of its animations, and Chicago got the honor.  You can see Willis Tower, an emasculated Hancock Center, 1 Pru, Chase Tower, and the Aon Center.   There are a couple of non-Chicago buildings in...

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Slice of Life: Eyes in the Skies
Dec21

Slice of Life: Eyes in the Skies

Recently yet another Illinois politician was sentenced to prison time.  It gave me a chance to break out my camera’s longer lens and take some pictures of the TV helicopters circling The Loop. That’s WLS-TV’s “Chopper 7HD” in the photo above.  WMAQ’s “Sky5” is in the picture below.  Click on either one of them to see the picture in greater detail. WBBM-TV’s helicopter was too far...

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Wilding in the Gold Coast

I received a few e-mail messages this week from people asking why, in light of all the minutae and unimportant things I cover in this blog, I haven’t said word one about the recent attacks by gangs of thugs in Streeterville, the Gold Coast, and the Near North Side. In short, because I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said by others who I consider better, smarter, and faster than me.  I’ve been...

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