Here's a sneak peek at what's coming up in this week's Time Out Chicago, on newsstands tomorrow:
Dating isn't easier at any age—the challenges just change. According to our single writers, dating in your twenties means reconciling selfishness with wanting someone to sleep next to at night; dating in your thirties, at least for women, means dealing with a scarcity of dateable men (i.e., neither married nor deadbeat); and for middle-aged gay men, dating in Boystown means...welll, you really should just leave Boystown.
Actually, I take back my statement about dating not getting easier. It does become a lot simpler and more fun when you're a senior citizen living in a retirement home. So...just hang in there for a while?
Here's another week of free things to do in the city. Lots on books and art—and a Grammy Awards viewing party—offer plenty of ways to stay busy this week.
Get showered in napkins, scream at Madonna's Eva Peron or just whistle along to Wicked at this culty, reverent and usually bustling Broadway tribute night.
"Reconsidering an Icon."
9:30am-5pm, Chicago Architecture Foundation
This year's Chicago Architectural Club Chicago Prize Competition invited designers to propose solutions to the dilemma facing Bertrand Goldberg's old Prentice Women’s Hospital, which is threatened with demolition. The three winning entries appear alongside proposals from 11 emerging local architecture studios.
In tonight’s pilot for TNT’s new series Monday Mornings, based on Sanjay Gupta’s novel of the same name, there’s a doctor whose colleagues dub 007—because he treats his patients as if he has a license to kill. I wondered if, in his own experience as a neurosurgeon, Gupta had ever encountered a 007. “When I was training,” he told me last month for the Time Out Interview, “an attending, when he was particularly upset with a resident, he’d call that resident 007. It’s a harsh thing, because you’re training to heal people and help people, and then this guy’s essentially calling you a paid assassin. It stuck with me.” Another outtake from my phone conversation with CNN’s medical correspondent:
You’ve reported on high-profile health-related issues around the world: the Iraq War, tsunamis, hurricanes. What does visiting other countries in crisis situations illuminate for you about health and medicine in the U.S. as compared to other parts of the world?
As a journalist who reports on these things all over the world, the health and medical stories are universally understood. If you’re covering a war in the Middle East, people may not understand the geopolitics of what’s happening between Israel and Lebanon, but they do understand when bombs have gone off and people have been injured and now they’re trying to get those people care. It illuminates what’s happening in a place in a way that I don’t think anything else can. As far as health care overall, when I was in Haiti after the earthquake—you know, I go to places that are some of the most resource-deprived places in the world. Before the earthquake, fewer than 50 percent of the people had access to clean water in Haiti. You see why clean water has to be the starting point in these places. You cannot think about establishing new drug formularies and getting in CAT scan machines and radio surgery until you can figure out distribution of clean water.
Monday Mornings premieres tonight on TNT at 9pm.
When I spoke with Lawrence Wright about his much-buzzed-about new book on Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, I asked him if he has been hassled by the notoriously litigious Church. (His book doesn't paint a very flattering picture of the organization, see.) "So far it's just been innumerable threatening legal letters with lawyers," he told me. "But I haven't been attacked or followed, that I know of, nor do I even think that much about that sort of thing."
Right on cue, the Church of Scientology issued a statement last month discrediting the book and its author. Knopf, Wright's publisher, responded with a statement of its own: "Given the arc and scope of Wright’s narrative, and the readership it is likely to draw, it is unsurprising that the Church has chosen to vilify Wright, as well as reach out to media organizations in an effort to influence their coverage of his book.”
Wright says he didn't want to write an exposé exactly but wanted to understand what happens to people when they decide to join the Church or choose to get out. Here's more from my conversation with the award-winning journalist.
While the Bears are on vacation, the team's home turf is being put to good use. Soldier Field has been converted into an ice hockey rink for the upcoming Office Max Hockey City Classic on February 17. The college double-header will feature Notre Dame vs. Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. The outdoor hockey matchups are the first to be held at the stadium.
Prior to gameday, people can hit the ice in two public skates on February 2 and February 18. One caveat: You'll have to cop at ticket from one of the eight participating Office Max locations. These open skates are presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District. Other highlights at the winter festival include youth clinics, high school matches and tonight's Skate with the Greats fund-raiser. Fans can go for a whirl or chat with Blackhawks greats including Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Reid Simpson and Brian Noonan. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
If you haven't made plans for Super Bowl Sunday, check out some options below. Bars around town (and a casino in Indiana) are variously offering drink specials, raffles, buffets, big screens and huge screens. And if you're planning to spend Sunday morning in the comfort of your own home (or a friend's), scroll to the bottom for a few tasty take-out deals.
Quay Restaurant and Bar
During the game, Quay has a Super Bowl Platter, including lamb spare ribs, pork-belly sliders, and a mini Philly cheese steak sandwich for $19.95 and Goose Island Flights available for $15. At half time there will be a raffle to take $50 off of someone's bill and at the end of the game, a raffle for $100 off.
Wash your 50-cent wings down with the contents of a $15 Miller Lite bucket or $5 Jim Bean cocktails. Or go really big and order a game-day package to feed between 6 to 12 people. ($35–$125)
Horseshoe Hammond Casino
The Horseshoe Hammond Casino will be having a viewing party starting at 3:30pm. Anyone can enter The Venue (What? That's what it's called) to watch the game, but you can choose from two packages to guarantee yourself seating. For $15 you save yourself a seat along with an all-you-can-eat buffet. For $75 you can have the seat, buffet, and enjoy the open bar. The game will be watched on a 60-foot HD screen. You can purchase tickets at the casino or at ticketmaster.com. There will also be a Big Game Super Square Contest offering a chance to win $5,000.
The Irish American Heritage Center
In the Fifth Province Pub at the Irish American Heritage Center will be having a serving food from Harrington's Catering at their Super Bowl party. Domestic drafts, wine, and soda will also be available with the buffet. Tickets are $35 and get you a bonus raffle ticket along with your vittles.
Untitled has a Super Bowl package that includes an open buffet and bar for $50. Buffet items include oxtail chili, crispy duck wings, pork-belly nachos, and bbq beef sliders. The beverages include Capital Supper Club Lager, red and white wines, and a special concoction called Big Game Punch. Reservations are required, and a cash bar follows at 9pm.
The Smoke Daddy
Smoke Daddy has a Gridiron Party Package which serves fifteen people and includes appetizers, sides and build-your-own sliders ($199). It comes with plates and serving utensils, and you can add sodas for $1 per can.
Chicago q has a special to-go menu for Sunday; the smoked, dry-rubbed wings and bacon-cheddar hush puppies are both $16.75 a dozen. Kobe brisket, pulled pork and ribs are also on the menu. Chicago q will also be broadcasting the game; if you purchase a signature bourbon flight ($18-$75) on Sunday, you'll receive a complimentary football-shaped truffle.
And finally, here is a link to our step-by-step photos of how to build a really, really cool snack stadium. It's part of an advertiser-sponsored guide, but it's also too brilliant to be missed.
The series finale of 30 Rock airs tonight. Yes, Tina Fey's sit-com takes place in New York, but the show definitely has roots in Chicago. After all, Fey spent many years here performing and studying at Second City and iO (which she talks about in her book, Bossypants), and so did Fey's character, Liz Lemon. The show has made a ton of favorable Chicago shout-outs over the years, so we're hoping for at least one more in tonight's finale. But first, let's take a look at some of our favorite Chicago mentions throughout 30 Rock's run:
1. Liz Lemon does jury duty in Chicago
Midway through the series, we learn that Liz Lemon kept her voter registration/address info in Chicago because she didn't want to be taken off the mailing list for Chicago Pizza Explosion. When she comes to Chicago to serve on a jury, she gets out of it thanks to her Princess Leia outfit. The same gimmick doesn't quite work when she tries it in New York.
You knew it was only a matter of days, hours really, until the temperature returned to normal (aka freezing). That doesn't mean you have to suffer through it for the next four months. Here are three easy ways to warm up this week.
- Take a schvitz at the just-opened Red Square spa, the former home to Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths. Or, if you're up for an adventure, head west to Chicago Sweat Lodge. This sauna is for guys only; sorry ladies. You can always go to the Korean King Spa instead.
- Sign up for a hot yoga class. Our skeptical art director got hooked on CorePower.
- Or let someone else do the work for you and treat yourself to a warming spa service, such as a hot-rock massage or a body wrap at Eshe Day Spa.
You can thank us later.
Today on Craigslist, one of the strangest "rooms & shares" ads I've ever seen popped up: a 29-year-old lesbian masseuse in Logan Square seeking a roommate for "a very unique living arrangement." And by unique she means sharing an apartment with two potbellied pigs "who will be an unavoidable part of your life."
"They are intelligent, sweet, and adorable, but they also behave like pigs and so anyone who lives here must understand how to interact with them properly. That I can teach you, but it requires a certain degree of confidence around animals. Franklin, the oldest, will bully you—they are herd animals and while I am ultimately alpha, he feels the need to climb the hierarchy. If you live here, logically you are in his herd, therefore he will challenge you every so often to establish who is where in the hierarchy. He can also be very sweet and cuddle with you on the couch while you watch your favorite show. The other one is an absolute sweetheart and will probably never challenge you."
So after Porky has established his dominance over you in the domestic power structure, you two can lay around rubbing snouts and watching Girls. To misquote Tarantino, that's one charming motherfuckin' pig! And the apartment, she says, is no pigsty.
"This is a great arrangement for someone who appreciates a clean environment. Despite stereotypes, the pigs are actually very clean and I take full responsibility for any messes they create."
You have to be cool with Pig Lady's pets, yet she isn't okay with you bringing a cat or dog into the situation. ('Cause a dog is a filthy animal?) Also, she doesn't ingest pork. But if you dig on swine, she adds, that's cool; you just can't eat her pigs.
There are plenty of free things to do this week that will save you a pretty penny.
Off the Record: Brokeback
If you’re going to name a song “Colossus of Roads,” it better be epic. Douglas McCombs and his confederates come up with the goods on the closer of Brokeback and the Black Rock, Brokeback’s latest for Thrill Jockey. Its grand melody begs you to look up, the better to see the towering beat kept by bassist Pete Croke and drummer James Elkington. McCombs and fellow guitarist Chris Hansen take detours off the tune’s main route that are so stirring you might book a road trip just to find matching scenery. The LP’s seven preceding pieces are shorter, but no less evocative.