SoooOOoooOOOOOO Chicago: BRIDGEPORT

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

 

I smell hipsters. (And coffee).

Perhaps best known as the home base of the Daly dynasty (you know, the American Pharaohs), Bridgeport is a small and eclectic neighborhood on the near South Side (though it’s only an 8 minute drive from Hyde Park, it takes about an hour to get there via public transit. Trust me. I know). For one reason or another, its residents fiercely defend the distinctiveness of the neighborhood. The local Assembly of God has gone as far as to make their own custom “Bridgeportopoly” which you can buy or win as a prize at Bernice’s Tavern (see below). » Read the rest of this entry «

The Best Non-Required Reading of the Summer (2011 Edition)

August 9th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Jen Egan. Swoon.

It’s August: the wet armpit of a globally warmed world. Not to mention the economy is (once again) exploding and London is burning. It’s a good time to curl up in the A/C and get reading. We know that you’re jumping out of your skin to get going with all that lovely theory that’s headed your way. But before you feast your brain on Lacanian incomprehensibility, here are a few suggestions for the last few weeks of a scorching summer. (What to read…after the jump) » Read the rest of this entry «

Wednesday Wisdom from Calvin & Hobbes

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

April Showers.

 

one "fact"

time to play outside

SOooOoooOOOOOOoOO Chicago: A totally cliche night in LINCOLN SQUARE

February 14th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

Worth the hike

Lincoln Square feels like a cheerful little Chicago suburb.  That’s kind of what it is.  There’s no doubt that it’s pretty f’n far from everything, but a long escape from Hyde Park never hurt anyone. Lincoln Square used to be home to a big German immigrant population.  A few brauhauses still dot the neighborhood, and you’ll find one of the city’s largest Christkindl markets there in December.  In all,

Here’s a pretty generic evening to increase the happiness in your life.

A movie at The Davis Theatre: Shows before 6 PM are a paltry $5.50, and though the screens might cut off part of the frame (picture quality was sacrificed in exchange for more capacity a few years back), the seats are warmly worn and the crowd is friendly.

Dinner at The Grafton: A pub just down the street, The Grafton caters to local clientele and serves basic pub fare.  The selection of whiskey and the warm, dark ambience are perfect for the “relentless” part of winter.  You know, when it’s still cold and windy and rainy, and all you want is for the days to get longer.

Drinks at Huttenbar: It’s a German part of town.  Go grab a pilsnerbier and be merry.  Just be sure to only use one hand when you’re drinking.  Germans apparently don’t like it when you grasp a mug with two hands.  Don’t ask how I know this.  I just.  Do.

Getting There: Take the brown line forever.  (Just kidding, get off at Damen or Western on the Brown.  It can take as little as 45 minutes to get up there if you time the transfer from Millennium or the Bus the right way).  Keep in mind that your tour directors (mentors) are always able to talk about things up north to do to keep you sane…

Rejected MAPH Thesis Topics (from the archive)

January 27th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Frustrated about finding an advisor?  I can relate.  Here were just some of my own Rejected MAPH Thesis Proposals:

Hey Max

“The Big Guy: God in the Bible” – Speaking from an objective historical perspective, little attention has been paid to one of the central characters in the Bible: God.  In this thesis, I aim to address how God works in the Bible, specifically in the Old and New Testaments, and discern several implications for the course of ancient and modern history.  If space allows, I will consider the broader effects of Biblical literature on the evolution of warfare from the era of the Pentateuch till the long 1960′s.

“Hamlet: Damn, that’s a Good Play” – Have you ever read Hamlet?  I know! OMG.  SO GOOD.  In this graduated thesis, I will propose, like, so many reasons why it’s such a great play.  I mean, when everyone dies at the end?  WTF! (Not)LOLzz. » Read the rest of this entry «

SOOooOOOOoOOoooOO Chicago: A Totally Cliche Outing in Logan Square

January 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Get there before he does.

It’s no secret anymore.  Or maybe it never was a secret.  In any case, everyone knows about Logan Square now.  But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get out there for a night on the town before every beardo in Chicago takes his be-tighted date to Longman and Eagle (which, btw, got a MICHELIN F*CKING STAR) for ironic PBR’s.  Sure, the Red Eye just did a huge profile of this exploding neighborhood.  I still insist: you don’t need to head south to Humboldt Park yet to have a totally, like, authentic Chicago outing.  Here’s what you can do in Logan Square that they didn’t talk about:

“Work from Home” – Or from New Wave Coffee, whichever you’re closer to.  New Wave has a hugely open space and is the rough equivalent of the neighborhood’s lower-key version of Wicker Park’s Filter.  If you want a smaller venue, Cafe Mustache opened more recently and is getting great reviews from totally legit Yelpers…

“I’m like, kind of an aspiring audiophile” – Retro tech is obviously now mainstream (the music industry grew in only one category last year: vinyl sales).  So head over to Saki to and take some Instagrams of yourself buying the new Black Keys pressing, you hipster. » Read the rest of this entry «

Winter Breaks

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

So you are finally done with all your papers and want a cheap way to reward yourself before heading home, or you planned your winter travel badly and have a week to kill before you go home. Either way, it is a great opportunity to bundle up and see some of Chicago’s winter sights.

Ice skating

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

See the full list after the jump. . . » Read the rest of this entry «

Tying a Bowtie

October 9th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

That tricky last step…

An essential element for any dandy’s wardrobe: the bow tie.  Once you own one, of course, you should probably know how to tie it.

And, if you feel uncertain about whether you have to be a total jerk to wear one (really, I think the matter is up for debate when it comes down to it), here’s reassurance from a reliable source when it comes to sartorial matters.  You’ll see it’s really the best accessory for the man of action.

Good luck, men.

To Swim or Not To Swim (But Really….Go Swim).

August 20th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

MAPH Beach

The View from Above MAPH Beach

Hilary makes an excellent point about swimming in the Lake.  Namely, go swim in the freaking Lake.  As I mentioned in a previous post, unlike the Great Cities of the Eastern Megalopolis, it is extremely unlikely that you will find a dead body when you swim in Lake Michigan.  The unofficial “MAPH Beach”–so dubbed by last year’s coach of the unofficial-but-very-radical MAPH Swimming, Diving, and Sunbathing Team, Chris Burwell–is located on the north side of  Promontory Point, down along the rocks.  There are several very easy entrances into the water, but if you have tough feet and are, I dunno, trying to impress people you’ve just met, you can just jump in anywhere.  I hate to sound like your mom-grandma-older auntie-or whatever but DON’T dive.  At least not the first time.  On calm days, you can wade out for about 50-75 yards from the shore in waist or chest-deep water.  Very nice!

MAPH beach is not, strictly speaking, a beach, and if you crave sand for some strange reason, there are the 57th Street and 63rd Street Beaches.  The upside to MAPH Beach is that it is almost always uncrowded (except for, like, Sunday afternoons).  There is no lifeguard, but again, unless you’re afraid of drowning while standing up, you should be, probably, good to go.  As for more “scenester” beaches, check out the North Ave Beach.  There’s a bar shaped like a boat (Castaways), 800 trillion intense volleyball courts, and lots of bros.  So if you’re into that kind of thing, do it.  It’s very crowded on weekends, but you might say that just makes for “good people watching.” (The Lake, e. coli, and you….after the jump) » Read the rest of this entry «

The Best Non-Required Reading of the Summer

August 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

We know that you are all excitedly awaiting the arrival of the MAPH Core Syllabus.  As soon as it becomes available, we will send it to you via the listservs, and you can get going.

BUT.  While you’re still working on your tan and watching the new season of Jersey Shore (WHO else is obsessed, stand up), here are some recommended-non-required-absolutely-optional-but-if-you-take-my-word-for-it-you-won’t-be-disappointed books to keep you busy before Core starts.

Now…these skew toward my own interests in the contemporary short story, and especially the smaller scales of domestic/everyday/ordinary life.  If you’re interested in expansive historical novels….um…I’m not your guy….at least not on this list.  Plus, it’s still summer.  Who has the attention span for an entire freaking novel (let alone, you know, a blog post).

And, if you’re interested

Phil is actually (for whatever godforsaken, masochistic, misguided, probably-phd-application-related) reason reading Middlemarch.

Amelia just finished Life is a Miracle–a long essay by Wendel Berry.  She will next read something…a little…less serious.

Hilary and Maren are in a book club together and they are currently reading Royal Seduction and Duchess by Night

Anyway:

If your life is on fire, this is the book for you

1) Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

While Wells Tower spends the next year working on his first novel as a New York Public Library fellow, you can catch up on his monster of a debut.  In this collection, Tower focuses on the life and death of desire in exurban America.

I also recommend listening to the audio of Tower reading the title story.  Mainly, it’s just hilarious and horrible.  It is the tone of his dialogue that makes the works most compelling.  To hear Tower’s subtle North Carolina lilt adds another layer of…something.

Tower always jokes in interviews that he is a “relatively happy person,” but the despair and violence at the level of ordinary life in these stories captures the creeping sense of not-rightness that unfortunately seems to characterize of lot of our sentminents about “where America is right now.”  Dollar for dollar, I think Tower’s collection provides the most accurate picture of where American short fiction needs to go. » Read the rest of this entry «