Death comes to town

The Cultural Center explores the intersections of art and death


Richard Harris deals in death. The art collector and dealer has amassed a mammoth collection of art and artifacts exploring the iconography of death and mortality. The selections are astonishing — 1,500 works stretching the length of recorded history, from a carved jade skull dating to 2000 BCE China to works by contemporary artists and photographers.
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Ready for Public Housing Museum


We were extremely glad to hear this week that the Public Housing Museum is moving forward and could possibly open as soon as this year.
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The ghost isn't here

Vitalist Theater's latest struggles at the DCA


The man sitting across the aisle is dead. I mean, he sure looks dead. He sits slack in his chair, his silver-haired head fallen and drooped slightly to the right, resting his chin on his shoulder. His eyes lay shut while gravity pulls salt-water taffy lips south from a slack mouth.
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Butcher & the Burger's Chef Al goes half hog

Hog heaven


In the basement of Butcher & the Burger, half a hog lays atop a stainless steel cooler. Chef Al Sternweiler shouts "Make a hole!" and a group of 15 follows him through the crowded narrow kitchen and downstairs. This is the first hog butchery class offered by the burger counter, a new addition to Armitage Avenue that boasts ten different patties to put between their buns.
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The faces of torture

New documentary gives victims a voice


One hundred and fifty countries from around the world practice torture, including the United States. The statement that opens Beneath the Blindfold, a powerful new documentary that screens Friday, Jan. 13 and Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, is jarring, but not surprising.
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Chicago consumer advocate Jon Yates' new book helps readers solve problems

Cutting through the tape


Everyday slights eat away at people,” said Chicago Tribune columnist Jon Yates, “Sometimes it’s easier to forget about it than fight the battle. But, when you stand up for yourself, you’re standing up for others. We’re all in this together.”

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Hot chocolate, hot spots

Touring the city’s best spots for the sweet stuff


Hot chocolate may not have reached the popularity of coffee or tea, as Thomas Jefferson once predicted, but is there any better way to warm up after a frosty outing in Chicago winter? Kids and adults everywhere will agree: There’s something about hot chocolate that seems to just hit the spot when the weather turns cold. So I took two girls to hunt down the city’s best hot cocoa, perfect for little tummies and grown-up taste buds alike.
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Chicago band Czar breaks out

A very metal Christmas


Conversations with Brian Elza, guitarist for Chicago-based metal band Czar, start with music but tangent into a myriad of other topics. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, Russian history, meats and barbequing said meats, Scottish drum and fife groups, kilts, existentialism, physics, the similarities between quiet nerdiness and obvious aggression.
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Andrew Bird takes over the Museum of Contemporary Art this month

Horns aplenty


Few musicians in the world can match Chicago-based troubadour Andrew Bird's skill set. Violinist. Guitarist. Whistler. Glockenspieler. It's a toolbox of odds and ends that, when combined, turn his records into lush soundscapes. As charming as his albums are, seeing Bird perform live is an entirely different experience.
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Bridgeport Pasty is Chicago's newest and most eco-friendly food truck

Crispy, green lunch


It's pronounced pass-tee - not paste-y - and it's a popular British fast food that can now be found on the streets of Chicago. Three years ago, while vacationing in London, Jay Sebastian and his wife, Carrie Clark, experienced the warm, flaky, "hand-held potpies" known as pasties for the first time.
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