B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

After 36 years, Neo leaves a changing Lincoln Park

Smoke Break in the Neo Alley
Smoke Break in the Neo Alley.

Sasha Geffen interviews Callin Fortis about the closing of Neo.

When Callin Fortis took over Neo in 1982, Lincoln Park had no Gaps, no pet boutiques, and no day cares. It was a nightlife hub, with cheap rents and 4 AM bars and 24-hour diners—”like New York,” says Fortis. His own nightclub, one of the last of its generation in the area, is now sandwiched between a preschool and an Urban Outfitters in an alley on Clark Street, just south of Fullerton Avenue, less than a mile west of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Neo had been open for just two years when Fortis moved in, and at the end of July, it will close its doors after 36 years in operation. The preschool that occupies the storefront of the same building will move into the space that has served as a late-night hangout for Chicago’s misfits since 1979. “The neighborhood has changed dramatically,” says Fortis over the phone from Miami, where he now lives. “Lincoln Park was still residential, but it was much hipper than it is now. It was still filled with art and cool stuff. Now, it’s not. Urban Outfitters is still there. That’s probably the coolest thing there is.”

Fortis and the owner of the building where Neo is housed, John Crombie, recently failed to come to an agreement on a new lease for the space, forcing the club to relocate. Currently, no new venue has been pinned down, although Fortis says he’s had offers come in from across the city, and that he’s eyeing a space in Wicker Park.

(click here to continue reading After 36 years, Neo leaves a changing Lincoln Park | Bleader | Chicago Reader.)

NEO - shutting down

I never claimed Neo as one of my spots, but I have been inside a few times, and always enjoyed myself.

Neo’s Neon

Written by Seth Anderson

July 28th, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Trump Is The Face of the Base of The Base Culture

Autumnal Waste
Autumnal Waste

This paragraph by Paul Krugman made me laugh:

Joe Weisenthal asked me why Donald Trump is riding so high in the polls; as he said, my answer was subtle and nuanced.

But seriously, why is anyone surprised? Year after year the GOP base has been fed fantasies about death panels, senior figures have flirted with birtherism and routinely peddled conspiracy theories whenever good news arrives about health reform or the economy, a centrist president has been portrayed as a socialist who hates America, sitting governors have deferred to craziness over military exercises. Oh, and the unemployed have been blamed for their own plight, food stamp recipients and the disabled portrayed as malingerers. Then along comes Trump, who embodies the base’s values, its intellectual outlook, its deep lack of empathy for the unfortunate. And up goes the cry: “Don’t base voters realize that he’s not a serious figure?”

(click here to continue reading The Face of the Base – The New York Times.)

Donald Trump is the bloviating embodiment of the Tea Party, and all those who supported it for their own nefarious ends. I’m laughing, I just hope I won’t be crying in November, 2016…

Written by Seth Anderson

July 28th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Is This What You Wanted was uploaded to Flickr

Blue Line El Train as seen from the 606 bridge over Milwaukee Ave

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/wyBLca

I took Is This What You Wanted on July 21, 2015 at 08:49PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 27, 2015 at 06:08PM

Written by eggplant

July 27th, 2015 at 11:52 am

How Do You Think It Feels was uploaded to Flickr

S Wentworth Ave, Chicago

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/wxCkp5

I took How Do You Think It Feels on July 22, 2015 at 06:04PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 27, 2015 at 03:44PM

Written by eggplant

July 27th, 2015 at 11:51 am

Would You Believe was uploaded to Flickr

1000 N Morgan, Fulton Market, West Loop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/w9CGi3

I took Would You Believe on July 19, 2015 at 11:56AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 24, 2015 at 08:14PM

Written by eggplant

July 24th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Re Beautiful was uploaded to Flickr

Near Diversey, I think. Full text reads “You Are Beautiful”, but I didn’t have the right lens to capture it all…

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/vtTsrA

I took Re Beautiful on July 18, 2015 at 05:02PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 24, 2015 at 05:07PM

Written by eggplant

July 24th, 2015 at 10:50 am

What Are You Waiting For? was uploaded to Flickr

Entrance to Oak Street Beach

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/wp9EDG

I took What Are You Waiting For? on July 22, 2015 at 11:20PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 24, 2015 at 05:46AM

Written by eggplant

July 24th, 2015 at 9:34 am

Don’t You Worry About A Thing was uploaded to Flickr

Lakeview somewhere

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http://flic.kr/p/woSVh4

I took Don’t You Worry About A Thing on July 18, 2015 at 05:02PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 23, 2015 at 08:18PM

Written by eggplant

July 23rd, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Hearing Those Voices On The Wind was uploaded to Flickr

Chicago – where the winters are mild enough to wear shorts…

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/w6YYn2

I took Hearing Those Voices On The Wind on December 12, 2010 at 12:32PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 17, 2015 at 12:39AM

Written by eggplant

July 16th, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Death of Your Party was uploaded to Flickr

swimming pool, Chicago

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/w1C9iY

I took Death of Your Party on November 13, 2010 at 03:39PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 15, 2015 at 07:05PM

Written by eggplant

July 15th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

All That Shines Is Not Truth was uploaded to Flickr

River West, Chicago

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/v4V9ux

I took All That Shines Is Not Truth on October 06, 2010 at 07:10PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 14, 2015 at 10:27PM

Written by eggplant

July 14th, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Barges, River Thames was uploaded to Flickr

added Lith Slenium/Gold tone in Photoshop

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/vHtxpb

I took Barges, River Thames on August 06, 2010 at 09:19AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 14, 2015 at 04:43PM

Written by eggplant

July 14th, 2015 at 10:11 am

Taking The Easy Way Out was uploaded to Flickr

Lake Michigan

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/uMvgbJ

I took Taking The Easy Way Out on April 25, 2010 at 03:47PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 08, 2015 at 06:49AM

Written by eggplant

July 7th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

Chicago to Tax Streaming Providers

Netflix Streaming July 2015

Wow, 9% is rather a large increase to my Netflix bill. I wonder if databases like Hoover’s  will be affected? Seems like they might. 

Chicagoans who pay to stream movies and music from services like Netflix and Spotify will now need to fork over an additional 9 percent for the privilege, as will Chicago businesses that pay to use everything from real estate to court databases online, under a decision the city quietly made recently to expand its taxing power.

The added costs are the result of a ruling by the city Finance Department that extends the reach of ordinances governing two types of taxes — the city amusement tax and the city personal property lease transaction tax — to cover many products streamed to businesses and residents alike.

According to the Finance Department changes, the 9 percent amusement tax, which has mostly been tacked onto tickets to concerts and sporting events, also now applies to paid subscriptions for streamed digital music and to streamed rental movies or TV shows, and “for the privilege of participating in games, on-line or otherwise,” if the person paying to receive the data is in Chicago.

 …

The personal property lease transaction tax expansion also applies to professional services, like electronic property databases real estate agents use, court case databases lawyers rely on and various financial information networks.

 

(click here to continue reading City extends taxing power to online movies, music, more – Chicago Tribune.)

Could I get around this by using a VPN? 

Written by Seth Anderson

July 2nd, 2015 at 11:10 am

Posted in Business,Chicago-esque

Tagged with , ,

Amtrak Plans Long Overdue Union Station Makeover

Reign In Your Instincts
Reign In Your Instincts…

I’m pleased to note that Union Station is getting a rehab, a long over-due rehab, opening up hidden rooms and so forth. Can’t wait – Union Station is such an iconic Chicago building, yet it has been seemingly neglected for a while, probably due to the inexplicable animosity the GOP has towards Amtrak and passenger trains in general.

John Hilkevitch reports:

Amtrak is betting millions of dollars to transform Union Station into an entertainment and tourist destination, complete with restaurants and outdoor cafes, retail, a hotel and even a grocery store, Getting Around has learned.

Amtrak wants to open up thousands of square feet of space long closed to the public, literally throwing open the doors to the 90-year-old building in a bid to return the landmark station to its heyday in the 1940s and ’50s.

Hidden deep inside Union Station are palatial rooms with 33-foot-high ceilings and assorted alcoves that have been mothballed for decades. During the golden age of passenger rail, those spaces were filled with ritzy restaurants, coffee shops (including the fabled Harvey House), a dance hall, tailoring shops specializing in custom suits, law offices and more.

Behind locked doors is the former Women’s Waiting Room, adorned with murals dating to the station’s opening in 1925, a period when female passengers would take refuge from the rough-and-tumble of traveling alone and freshen up during a stopover in Chicago by using pay showers.

Other hidden spaces, tucked behind the station’s marble walls and ornamental iron bars that cover part of the building’s facade, collect dust. Some of Union Station’s doors fronting Canal Street, potential portals to outdoor cafes, haven’t been cracked open in years, officials said.

Sanders said a well-known high-end grocery chain has expressed interest in opening a food emporium at Union Station. Sanders also said he envisions a hotel on the station’s second floor, with the hotel entrance and marquee on Adams Street between Canal and Clinton streets. He’s already dreaming about reinstalling canopies that once gracefully draped the entrances to Union Station, he said.

(click here to continue reading Amtrak plans Union Station makeover – Chicago Tribune.)

Ready to Take That Night Train To Memphis
Ready to Take That Night Train To Memphis

Either Whole Foods or Mariano’s, I’d guess, even though both have stores nearby on Halsted. 

Got the Wine Country Blues
Got the Wine Country Blues

And I should pop over, and snap a few photos of the staircase in its current worn condition, just for posterity.

In the meantime, the Canal Street entrances will be closed for more than two months starting around July 15, when work is scheduled to begin to replace both sets of the worn marble steps connecting the Great Hall to the station’s main entrance on Canal, where CTA buses stop. The combination deli and bar under the steps has closed in preparation for the work.

The friction from countless pairs of shoes over the years has effectively sanded down the marble, creating indentations on the treads of the steps, which display the most wear and tear near the brass railings.

The grand staircases are famous in their own right, having been filmed and photographed repeatedly in images seen around the world. There’s a dramatic scene in the 1987 film “The Untouchables” where Kevin Costner, playing mob crime fighter Eliot Ness, exchanges gunfire with Al Capone’s gang while a runaway baby carriage rolls bump by bump down the marble stairs.

New marble for the steps was recently cut out of the same quarries near Rome where 100 years ago the marble for the original Union Station steps was mined, Sanders said.

300 S Jackson - Ilford Delta 100
300 S Jackson – Ilford Delta 100

Written by Seth Anderson

June 29th, 2015 at 7:47 am