Hundreds Prepare to Moon the Trump Tower in Chicago

Photo via S#!TSHOW on Facebook

Over 900 people have RSVP’ed to a Facebook event called “Chicago Moons the Trump Tower,” with thousands more expressing interest.The event is organized by Chicago-based comedy group S#!TSHOW, which regularly posts satirical and irreverent political videos to their Facebook page, like this coverage of Trump’s inauguration:

Bailey Davis, an organizer of the event, explained “Certain things get people on their feet. Not everybody is going to watch 60 Minutes because they think it’s boring. If you ridicule [Trump] or make him feel like he’s the loser, that’s how he blows up. That’s what makes The Donald implode.”

The mass mooning (“Operation Kiss Our Asses, Release Your Taxes!”) is being done in protest of Trump’s refusal to release his federal tax returns, which, The New York Times has speculated, he may not have paid in 18 years. The event will take place this Sunday at 3:30 PM CST.

In the wake of mass media attention for their mooning, S#!TSHOW has launched a fundraiser for injured veterans to coincide with the event:

Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali Launch 2016 EAT (RED) Culinary Tour

Mario Batali, Courtesy EAT (RED)


If you could eat well and save lives at once, you could hardly say no, could you?

To that end, this year’s edition of the highly anticipated EAT (RED) kicks off June 2 in New York, with the (RED) Supper at Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place, hosted by those ubiquitous, globe-trotting celeb chefs Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain. Other participating a-list culinary talent for the night will include Dominique Ansel, Frank Falcinelli, Nancy Silverton, Tom Douglas, Vinny Dotolo, Angela Dimayuga, Kristen Kish and Kevin Gillespie.

The overall goal? To raise money for the ongoing (RED) #86AIDS effort, by means of 27 days of edible nirvana. Indeed, the “tour” continues through the 28th, with special dinner, lunch, brunch, happy hour or cocktail events and offerings by many of the world’s hottest epicurean gods and goddesses at their exalted, signature restaurants.

Bourdain_CNN1[1] Eat Red

Anthony Bourdain (Courtesy CNN)

To name but a few: Enrique Olivera at Mexico City’s Eno, Stephanie Izard at Chicago’s Little Goat Diner, Jason Wass at London’s Polpetto, April Bloomfield at NYC’s Spotted Pig, Thomas Keller at the Las Vegas and Beverly Hills Bouchon Bakery locations, Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, Jose Andres at DC’s Jaleo, as well as Batali and Lidia Bastianich’s own B&BHG Vegas restaurants at the Venetian/Palazzo, including B&B, OTTO Enoteca & Pizzeria and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse—with scores of delectable options to choose from in two dozen cities across four continents.

“Anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen knows that the sum of our efforts always far exceeds what we can do individually,” says Batali. “EAT (RED) is an opportunity for all of our restaurants to collectively contribute to a tremendously worthy cause while doing what we do best: making delicious food.”

LeftBank_GnocciGnocchi at Left Bank NYC, Courtesy EAT (RED)

The (RED) charity, of course, was founded by Bono in 2006, with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as its primary recipient. EAT (RED) debuted in 2014, and has become one of its most high-profile annual events. N.B. Plan to reserve in advance. It’s a hot ticket.

What We Want From Art

Claude Monet, White Frost Sunrise, 1889

I’ve always loved art. When I was a child, my parents dragged me to museums across the country; at first, I was resentful, but then it became a regular habit in my life, like eating at least once a day, or sleeping when the clock allows. So while I was in Chicago last weekend, nothing stood against the opportunity to return to the Art Institute. I would go to bed early and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to spend a lifetime among Japanese fan designs, a collection on Dionysus, the cautionary images of Ivan Albright, Monet’s haystacks and Mondrian’s lines forming squares.

Meandering in and out of rooms at the Art Institute, my eyes jumped from painting to painting. I was transfixed by the essence of certain pieces—not so much the content, but what it meant. Something about the museum calmed me; I lived in this blurred region of my brain where I wasn’t perfectly conscious of my consciousness, submerged in the experience of experiencing.

For a long time, I didn’t know why I loved art, or why I craved it. I tracked some of the appeal to escapism. Growing up in a town that I learned to hate, I constantly sought a new place to go, either in body or imagination. Art let me dive into a time and place different from my own. I could visit the bawdy brothels and dance halls frequented by Toulouse-Lautrec, or go back to the Byzantine era and meet Justinian’s wife, Theodora. Adventure lay in every piece of glass tucked inside a mosaic or brushstroke on a canvas. I so desperately wanted to fly away to faraway worlds, to discover new spaces and faces; art let me do that.

But in the past few years, art has become almost the opposite of escapism for me. When I moved to New York City, I started writing about dance and theater regularly, attending a show every few weeks. After a year, I stopped, and for about three months I rarely made my way to auditoriums or black boxes. And I was sad, always sad. I felt like something was missing, and when I decided to review again, it was like I had found myself in every performance, every line of a play or arch of a dance move.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.18.54 PM

Piet Mondrian, Composition C, 1935

I finally realized why art means so much to me after visiting the Art Institute. It seems obvious now, but I’ll share my personal revelation anyway:

Art says what I can’t. The irony of my life is that I’m a writer, but I’m very bad at expressing myself. In conversation, and especially with people I don’t know well, I get nervous. If I don’t know how to speak their language yet, I don’t speak a language at all, falling into exasperated tongue-ties as I try to say something—anything—of meaning. On an unintimidating page, however, I can’t always capture the moment perfectly, just as I want it.

But language can only convey so much. I don’t know how to talk about when the auburn leaves whirled from the concrete, spiraling upward to the sky, and how stunning they were, but also how they made me sad because they reminded me that everything is ephemeral and the world will never be the same as it was in that second. Monet could have shown that, the leaves swirling. He could have made them hopeful and tragic at the same time, playing with light until the scene was just right and everyone could see what I saw.

This is the power of art, and why it’s so important to me. Both the visual and performing arts know what to say, and how to say it, usually without saying anything at all. They defy the manmade confines of language to really look at the world, as it is, and express a thousand feelings in one simple gesture. Art speaks for me when I’m at a loss for words.

I think that’s why artists create, too. It’s funny, looking at changes in art and the historical events that might drive them. For example, the return to order after World War I: painters wanted to make sense of the chaos they had witnessed, some at the front, others at home. Maybe they didn’t know how to talk about the destruction—mangled bodies and ruined lives—but it’s all there, in the classicist allusions, in the stark, lucid lines. We can read books like Mrs. Dalloway to gage the effects of World War I, and that’s all right, but really it’s much more productive to look at a few of these tableaus. It’s all there, hidden in the subtext of the superficial.

This is what we want from art: an immediate method of communication that doesn’t have to obey the cold regulations of language. Something visceral. Something ugly and beautiful. Something improper. Something cruel and comforting. Something like the thoughts we can’t express—the “us” below the surface.

Chicago Athletic Association Reemerges as Luxury Hotel

Restored ballroom

Travelers heading to the windy city (and local Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to stay starting May 27, when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel.

Travelers heading to the windy city (and Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to play starting May 27 when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel. The restoration, which involved a collaboration among design firm Roman and WilliamsHartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Geolo Capital, and Agman partners, took two years to complete.

The historic building and its gorgeous architectural details were brought to life in 1890 as a place for the storied families of Chicago — think names like Wrigley and Spalding — to socialize and enjoy sport. Roman and Williams preserved the details, which included bas-relief woodcarving fireplaces, 19th-century stained glass windows, and marble staircases, as part of their restorative process.

Beyond the guest rooms and suites, the luxury hotel will boast 17,000 square feet of event space, a rooftop bar, retail space in Madison Hall, and multiple restaurants, including a Shake Shack.

Chicago Athletic Association

A room at the restored hotel

A suite at the restored hotel

Chicago Athletic Association exterior

Images courtesy of Commune Hotels and Resorts

Art to See Right Now in Chicago

Rawhide, a collection of canvases and works on paper by Albert Oehlen, is currently on display at Corbett vs. Dempsey. Collaging images of all nature, the silhouette of a cow is emphasized differently in each piece. Up through July 11th. 1120 N. Ashland Ave, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL, 60622


Charles Ray: Sculpture, 1997-2014, a collection of sculptures will be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago from May 15 through October 4, 2015. Charles Ray is known for using aluminum and stainless steel to create futuristic, yet simplistic works. 111 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL.

Charles Ray. Hand Holding Egg, 2007. © Charles Ray, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for a look at works by Alexander Calder, with examples of the artist’s mobiles, stabiles, and paper works created from the 1920s through the 1970s. This exhibit will be on view through August 9, 2015. 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Chat-Mobile, 1966, Alexander Calder. Courtesy MCA Chicago.

CH Distillery – Mix with Gin


564 W Randolph St
Chicago IL 60661
(312) 707-8780

If your buddies always appreciate you turning them on to an exciting new bar, take them to the slick West Loop lounge CH Distillery, a liquor distillery with its own cocktail bar attached—or is it the other way around? Any way you look at it, it’s ideal for your next after-work outing, so swing by and fill up a roomy booth, or better yet, belly up to the bar. There, you’ll get to see the magic happening at every stage of the process, from the creation of the artisanal spirit to its rightful place in your cocktail. A tasting flight of CH’s signature gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum will get you started, giving you and your friends an idea of which base spirit you prefer. Time your visit right and one of the knowledgeable bartenders will then give you a tour of the fully-functioning micro-distillery, which happens to be conveniently located directly behind the bar. You’ll be fascinated by the Heisenberg-like setup of kettles, coils, and gauges that produce the heavenly elixirs used in house cocktails such as the Eastern Express (gin with cucumber, simple syrup, and lemon) and Czech Mate (cinnamon-infused vodka with grapefruit juice and honey syrup). The menu’s small but ample, with corned duck on rye, coconut curry cashews, and house-made cheeses and charcuterie perfect for sharing with your crew. Between bites, encourage your bartender to experiment with new concoctions, as your early-evening outing shades into a late-night adventure.

– See more at Love This City

Next Restaurant – Your Next Date


953 W Fulton Market
Chicago IL 60607
(312) 226-0858

Want to impress your significant other for an important anniversary milestone? Book tickets (that’s right, “tickets”) to Next, the innovative West Loop eatery owned by culinary great Grant Achatz. Get ready to set aside three to four hours, because dining at Next is not your average dinner experience. It’s theatrical and sexy and theme-oriented, from the moment your sharable amuse-bouche arrives, through to the last drops of freshly roasted coffee. To really get a feel for how Next works, splurge on tickets for each season, so you can be that dynamic dining duo your friends will envy. Maybe you’ll be whisked to romantic Paris circa 1906, with modernized takes on filet of sole and pressed duck. Or maybe you’ll have fun with your food during a “childhood” theme night, where you indulge in “liquid” peanut butter and jelly or a deconstructed hamburger. You’ll love the interactive aspects of the meals here, as your menus and utensils will more than likely be edible. Oooh and ahhh over the chef’s inspirations, knowing you’ll have conversation fodder aplenty every time a new course arrives. Do yourself a big favor and order the beverage pairings, because they’re guaranteed to take your celebration to an entirely different level. And that’s a good thing. – See more at:

– See more at Love This City

Jelly Fish Chicago


1009 N Rush St Chicago IL 60611
(312) 660-3111

Gather the girls for that long overdue night out on the Gold Coast and make your way to Jellyfish, an ultra-chic pan-Asian spot where the sushi always comes with a trendy scene. It’s the perfect place to get girls’ night out off to a great start, as the pace goes from low key to high energy over the course of a meal. Ask for a table that puts you front and center in the lounge, so your fashionable friends can show off their freshest Saturday night looks, and you can break out that glittery little frock that was never appropriate when dining with your husband’s boss. The best way to navigate Jellyfish’s menu is to order a bunch of small plates and share. Start with creative apps like jellyfish salad, crispy lobster spring rolls, and spicy crab mini tacos. With those flavors still dancing on your taste buds, it’s time for some of the freshest sushi in the city, with choice cuts of salmon, tuna, and mackerel—along with more exotic bites like sea urchin and octopus for those with an adventurous side. The groovy music just might compel you to order a round of sparkling, Asian-inspired cocktails like the Lyons Mane, a smooth blend of tequila, blood orange liqueur, and lemongrass that calls for a toast to good friends and good times. The sound is at just the right level so you can catch up on the latest gossip without screaming out the naughtiest bits.

– See more at Love This City

Little Goat Diner

Little Goat Diner

820 W Randolph St Chicago IL 60607
(312) 888-3455


On a typical trip to the West Loop, it’s all about kicking it with your friends and savoring the many sophisticated restaurants and late-night lounges. But when it’s time for a family day out, there’s pretty much only one standout spot in the neighborhood: Little Goat. Your adventurous young eaters are certain to love everything about this cheery, contemporary diner by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard. Kids always get excited for breakfast, and at Little Goat they can indulge in Izard’s quirky interpretations all day long. You’ll love how easy it is to order, and how thoughtful the restaurant is toward families. The kids will actually hope there’s a wait, because they’ll have their choice of coloring books and board games to keep them occupied while your table is prepared. Once everyone’s seated, peruse a menu that’s as cheeky as it is tasty. A.M. indulgences are categorized as “cereal killers,” and it’s a rare child that won’t be tempted by an order of Fat Elvis Waffles, with banana, bacon maple syrup, and peanut butter-butter. Parents and other grown-ups can pair savory entrees like pulled pork or Sloppy Goat sammies with a round of Fool’s Russians, which combine vodka, fresh lemon juice, and house-made cucumber syrup—the perfect antidote to a hectic day. If you need a brief escape from the madness, let your spouse help the kids with their dark chocolate chip crunch pancakes while you slip away to an adjacent bar full of like-minded parents, also taking advantage of a sociable beer or glass of wine.

– See more at Love This City