Notes & Calendar 7/19/17


A week’s worth of developing stories, odd events, and signs of the times, culled from the desks, inboxes, and wandering eyes of the editors

Farmers Markets Have Beef

As tenants of the Experimental Station, which runs the 61st Street Farmers Market (of which we are enthusiastic customers), this Obama Presidential Center drama hits even closer to home than usual: what will happen to our local farmers markets if the OPC opens up a farmers market as well, as it is currently considering? According to Sam Cholke at DNAinfo, both the Hyde Park and 61st Street farmers markets say there’s neither a large enough customer base nor enough farmers to support another weekly market in the area. The problem isn’t Obama-specific, either; Cholke co-wrote another DNAinfo article this week titled “There Are Way Too Many Farmers Markets In Chicago.” That surplus of farmers markets, according to DNAinfo, is at least due to misdirected attempts at neighborhood pride and identity; this one ignores the neighborhood identity that has already flourished. The 61st Street Farmers Market, for example, has been around for ten years and was the first to allow purchases with a LINK card. As Experimental Station executive director Connie Spreen said, “Instead of starting something that already exists, support what’s here.” The Weekly would just like the OPC to do something that won’t be cause for yet another of these concerned notes.

Remembering Johnny O

To the great sorrow of Bridgeporters, John Veliotis, best known as the namesake and proprietor of twenty-four-hour hot dog stand Johnny O’s, passed away last week at eighty-five years old. Having made his living selling hot dogs, Italian beefs, and his signature “Mother-in-Law” (a tamale served on a hot dog bun with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and chili) since he was twelve years old, Veliotis was a beloved neighborhood institution in Bridgeport. He sponsored youth sports teams and acted as a mediator between local gangs after a 2012 shooting. “It’s the only way I know how to make a living,” he told the Weekly of his profession in a 2015 interview. His expertise and camaraderie will be missed.

Go East, Green Line, Go East

In the mid-nineties, as the CTA gradually began shuttering the Green Line stations that stood east of Cottage Grove, Arthur Brazier, the influential bishop at the Apostolic Church of God, argued that demolishing the “L” in Woodlawn was the only way to bring commercial development. “How are you going to rebuild the 63rd Street business district with that monstrosity? If it comes down, we can have shopping knolls and new housing,” he wrote. (Brazier was not, perhaps, a financially disinterested party—rumor had it that he bought low-priced housing from the city hoping it would appreciate.) His pitch to the city was a success; the CTA never reopened the eastern stretch of the Green Line after a series of supposed renovations, citing diminished ridership in addition to Brazier’s point. This past week, though, a popular online petition calling for the restoration of the Green Line to Jackson Park has made nearly the same argument as Brazier did two decades ago, in reverse: the arrival of the Obama Presidential Center, together with the influx of money it is sure to carry in its wake, requires the restoration of the “L” through Woodlawn, along 63rd Street. It also argues that the construction of a new Green Line is a matter of transit justice, enabling “our South Side neighbors to move more freely to, from, and within Woodlawn.” While the petition has gained some online traction, the CTA said that, apart from the southward extension of the Red Line, it has no plans for new construction.



Re-Entry Education Summit

Kennedy-King College, U-Building, 740 W. 63rd St. Thursday, July 20, 10am–2pm.

Make acclimating to life after prison a little easier with guidance from the Kennedy-King College Re-Entry Education Summit. The summit will include workshops on record expunging and sealing as well as the CTA Second Chance Program, and its Resource Fair will connect you with a variety of community resources. (Adia Robinson)

Hustle Mommies Lead, Hustle Kids Read

63rd Street Beach, 6300 S. Lake Shore Dr. Saturday, July 22, 3:30pm–6pm. Free. Register at

This isn’t your usual bookstore or library author reading—bring a blanket, towel, or chair to 63rd Street Beach for some sun, surf, and local author Veronica Appleton, who will read her children’s book Journey to Appleville. There will be light refreshments and a raffle with great prizes. (Andrew Koski)

Inequalities in Education: Stories of Resilience

La Casa, 1815 S. Paulina St. Thursday, July 27, 7pm–8:30pm. Free.

Illinois State doctoral students of all stripes will come together at La Casa in Pilsen for a story-sharing event intended to bring the university community together. Come listen as an audience member, or, if you’re a student, take the chance to have your voice heard. (Julia Aizuss)

Increase the Peace: Reclaim the Streets Campout

St. Ann’s Church, 1840 S. Leavitt St. Friday, July 28, 5pm–Saturday, July 29, 5am. (312) 666-1323.

This summer the Resurrection Project wants to cool down “Hot Spots,” or areas with a lot of violence, by camping out overnight and promoting civic engagement. There will be free food, music, dancing, an open mic, basketball, soccer, and more. (Adia Robinson)

Black Carceral & Media Architecture + Affirmative Action & Art

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Friday, July 28, 5:30pm–8pm. Free. Register online at

Interested in an engaging “evening of research & refreshments?” If so, stop by the Arts Bank for a series of talks presented by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC). BMRC summer fellows Ashlie Sandoval, Dr. E. James West, Sonja Williams, and Douglas Williams will discuss art and architecture in Chicago’s Black communities. (Lois Biggs)


Richard Medina: Scenes from the Middle

High Hrothgar, 5120 S. University Ave., Apt. #3N. Friday, July 21, 6pm–8pm.

On view for just one night at what is presumably someone’s Hyde Park apartment every other night, this pop-up exhibition of paintings by artist/curator/filmmaker/SAIC student Richard Medina starts in its geographical location, the Midwest, and from there dives deep into “moments—scenes—of middle-ness and smallness.” (Julia Aizuss)

Third Friday: Rodrigo de la Sierra: Timoteo and His World

Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St. Friday, July 21, 7pm–10pm. Free. (773) 523-0200.

Zhou’s Third Friday evening reception this month hones in on its current exhibition on Rodrigo de la Sierra, a Mexico City–based sculptor. Formerly an architect, his modeling, wood-carving, and molds are now directed towards his childlike alter ego figure Timoteo, who “makes the very conceptual pill he administrates much easier to swallow.” (Julia Aizuss)

Second Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party

19th St. and Wolcott Ave. Saturday, July 29, 2pm–9pm. Free.

The Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary’s inaugural Poetry Block Party in Bronzeville in 2016 featured readings, breakdancing, verse scrawled in chalk on the pavement, and a catchy song about ham sandwiches. The National Museum of Mexican Art is helping stage the second annual shindig, which includes workshops, visual arts, a dance party, and free books and journals to bring home. (Joseph S. Pete)

Fiesta del Sol 2017

1400 W. Cermak Rd. Thursday, July 27th, 5pm–10pm, Friday–Sunday, July 27–30, 11am–10pm. Free.

Join the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council (PNCC) for its annual fundraising event, Fiesta del Sol. Fiesta del Sol is one of the largest festivals in the Midwest, showcasing local art, carnival rides, educational resources, and so much more for kids and parents alike. (Roderick Sawyer)


Jello Biafra

Reggies, 2105 S. State St. Thursday, July 20, 8pm–12pm. 21+. Free. (312) 949-0120.

In this free set, Jello Biafra will be playing Garage, Soul, Surf, Trash, Dementia, and Punk as a part of Reggies Trainwreck Rooftop Deck. Biafra is the former lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, one of the first American hardcore bands to rock the UK. (Adia Robinson)

Jazz in the Courtyard

Hyde Park Shopping Center, 55th St. and Lake Park Ave. Friday, July 21, 12pm–2pm, and every first Friday through September 1. Free.

Nothing says summer in Hyde Park like the annual free live jazz concerts every first Friday at the Hyde Park Shopping Center. Grab lunch from any of the many restaurants nearby, then sit outside to enjoy the sounds of the Bosman Twins on July 7, the Chris Foreman Quintet August 4, and the Chicago State University Community Jazz Band conducted by Roxanne Stevenson on September 1. (Nicole Bond)

The Corner: ft. Wil Akogu and Boys v Girls

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Monday, July 24. Doors 7pm, open mic 8pm. $5. (312) 801-2100.

At The Corner this week for its “intimate and eclectic musical experience” will be Wil Akogu and Boys v Girls. Akogu’s hip-hop flow promotes self-awareness and self-love, while Boys v Girls defies genres and brings spontaneous fun. The show begins with an open mic hosted by J Bambaii, with DJ Lisa Decibel. (Adia Robinson)

Cloud Nothings and Oozing Wound

Reggies, 2105 S. State St. Thursday, August 3, 10pm. $20, $25 day of show. 18+. (312) 949-0120.

Ditch the long lines and massive crowds of Lollapalooza for something a little more intimate: Reggies Rock Club. Cloud Nothings will be sure to bring their signature catchy hooks, as well as what Pitchfork calls “Screams, massive guitar tone, and a muscular performance.” But that’s just the half of it: catch Chicago’s own genre-bending metal darling Oozing Wound, an amalgam of thrash, sludge, and hardcore. Oozing Wound’s sardonic lyrics, whose themes range from anti-consumerism to post-apocalyptic sci-fi, feel ever more prescient in the current political era. (Andrew Koski)

Kool Moe Dee

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Thursday, August 31. 7pm doors, 8pm show. Tables $35 per seat, $20 general admission. 21+. (312) 801-2100.

Even the Promontory admits on their website that Kool Moe Dee “began to fade by the early ’90s,” but if you want to relive (or live for the first time) hip-hop’s original spats dating back to the eighties, Dee—who was one of the first rappers to win a Grammy, but is perhaps now more famous for his feud with LL Cool J—is at the Promontory next month. (Julia Aizuss)


Parallax Views: Paranoia on Film

Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. Thursday, July 20, 8pm–11pm. Free, donations encouraged. (773) 837-0145.

Alan J. Pakula’s classic thriller will not be screened at this event bearing its name, but five experimental short films “interfacing with an aesthetics of paranoia” will be, in addition to excerpts from filmmaker Ernest J. Ramon’s “Critical Paranoia” series. Ramon will be there in person for a Q&A to talk paranoia as today’s political affect of choice. (Julia Aizuss)

Lion at Beverly Arts Cinema

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Wednesday, July 26, 7:30pm. $9.50, $7.50 members. (773) 445-3838.

Lion, which was nominated for six Oscars, concerns a young Indian boy who stumbled on a train and ends up stranded in a Calcutta orphanage before he’s adopted by an Australian couple. He seeks out his biological parents in an uplifting film, perhaps made more uplifting for the BAC viewer by the Bookie’s discount: you can get a dollar off your ticket if you bring a receipt from the local bookstore. (Joseph S. Pete)

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Rebuild Foundation, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Friday, July 21, 7pm–9pm. Free. (312) 857-5561.

Coquie Hughes’ Walk a Mile in My Shoes, presented as a Black Cinema House screening, is a film about “Granny Ballers,” a team of older women who try to save a friend from eviction by winning prize money in a basketball tournament. Hughes, a Chicago-based independent filmmaker with 57,000 YouTube subscribers, will talk with the audience afterwards. (Joseph S. Pete)

Water: A Dispatch from the Bottom of the Tub

High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2233 S. Throop St. Friday, July 21, 7:30pm–9:30pm. $10.

“Ebb, flow, torrential rain,” murmurs a speaker, her face half-covered in swirling blue paint. Paper figures soak in a paper bathtub. In the background, eerie melodies tell the story of a drowning. Experience these surreal scenes and more at Water: A Dispatch from the Bottom of the Tub, a collaborative performance featuring multimedia artist Rae Red, multi-instrumentalist Hedia, and plenty of shadow puppets. (Lois Biggs)

Melanin Voices

Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St. Saturday, July 22, 4pm–6pm Free.

This poetry, performance, literature, and activism collective will be presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Park Series. Scripted vignettes of short stories, poems, and nonfiction from various Chicago artists will focus around the experiences of Black women and girls, including the voices of youth from queer, cis, and transgender perspectives. (Nicole Bond)

The Miseducation of 55th Street: an Original Sketch Comedy Revue

The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. Saturdays July 22, July 29, August 5, 7:30pm. $15, $5 students.

Since the truest things are often said in a joke, this original sketch comedy revue directed by Cody J. Spellman, will delve into some of the city’s everyday situations to examine the complexities of race, using a mix of humor, music and poetry. (Nicole Bond)

Bantu Fest

Midway Plaisance, between 59th St. and 60th St. Saturday, July 29, 10am–10pm. Free. (773) 676-7239.

This will be the third annual Bantu Festival, bringing together people from over twenty African and Caribbean nations to celebrate diversity, unity, and love. Enjoy live performances, dancing, crafts, a children’s village, and food, food, food! Chicago’s own Afrika and Maggie Brown will perform, as well as reggae band Indika from Jamaica, Alan Cave from Haiti, Lil June from Belize, and more. (Nicole Bond)

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