ECHO Summer/Fall 2013

Page 1

PRINT Managing Editor

Illustration Editor

Advertising & Business Manager

Heidi Unkefer

Sylvia Leak

Sam Bohne

Typography Editor

Account Representatives

Features Editor

Marcus Nuccio

Christine Trevino

Ad & Marketing Christopher Abbey Gloria Kim

Miranda Cummings Femni Awesu

Odds & ENDS Editors Monika Bickham Ryan Collins Charrea Sykes Assistant Editors Gabrielle Rosas Heather Schröering Chelsea Tomala Fact-Checking Chief Kristina Budgin Production Manager Najja Parker

ART & DESIGN Art Directors Allyson Wakeman Hannah Rebernick Production Manager Michael Scott Fischer Asst. Art Directors Andrew Fortnum Flo Katzenbach Mallory Hawes Photo Editor Angela Conners

Sales Designers Zach Stemerick Heidi Unkefer Marcus Nuccio Michael Scott Fischer

Web Director Mirko Velimirovic Designers David Schmitt Kara Janachione Lily Machmouchi Samantha Raggioli Thumy Phan

ADMINISTRATION Faculty Advisers Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin Zach Dodson

PHOTOGRAPHERS Angela Conners James Foster Madeline Taussig Rena Naltas

Department Chair Nancy Day Computer Specialist Omar Castillo




Adam Glab Ali Cantarella Christopher Dazzo Heidi Unkefer Ian Tormey Kelsey Bates Ryan Higgins

Heidi Unkefer Logo Design Hannah Rebernick

ADVERTISING General Manager: Chris Richert

SUMMER/FALL 2013 ECHOMAGONLINE.COM Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution committed to access,

in all departments. Contact Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin ( for

opportunity and excellence in higher education. Columbia provides innovative degree

information. Designers, photographers, illustrators, web and app developers can enroll

programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than

in Independent Study and receive credit for Publication Design or work as freelancers.

10,000 students in 120+ undergraduate and graduate concentrations — all within a

Contact Zach Dodson ( for information.

liberal arts context. Columbia is the largest arts and media college in the nation. Columbia College Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of

Echo magazine is published twice a year by the Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department. Echo is a student-produced publication of Columbia College

the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college is accredited as a

Chicago and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of college

teacher training institution by the Illinois State Board of Education.

administrators, faculty or students.

Echo is produced in the College Magazine Workshop, which is open to students


For further information visit

ODDS 10 EXotic Eats

16 Pack uP

11 bEEr Pairings

17 hot dog!

12 tv and ME

18 trick or trEat

TaKe a biTe oN The WilD SiDe by Chelsea Tomala

gRab a gRoWleR aND Some gRub by heather Schröering

WhaT i leaRNeD FRom a ChilDhooD iN FRoNT oF The Tube by Ryan Collins

thrilling thriFt

Come FoR The aRT, STay FoR The DealS by Sam bohne

13 closE EncountErs

oDD eleVaToR behaVioRS aRe all Too FamiliaR by Christine Trevino

14 shaPE uP!

uNCoNVeNTioNal exeRCiSe oPTioNS by Sam bohne

24 27 30 34 38

Mail adMirErs

The leTTeR WRiTeRS alliaNCe PReSeRVeS The aRT oF CoRReSPoNDeNCe by Sam bohne

studio tour

aN iNSiDe looK FRom FouR loCal aRTiSTS by Christine Trevino

thE bEat goEs on

a DRum gRouP bRiNgS WeST aFRiCaN CulTuRe To ChiCago by Najja Parker

talk With your hands

The iNSighTS aND ouTlooKS oF aSl iNTeRPReTeRS by Kristina budgin

blogging big

ChiCago FaShioN’S PluS-SiZe PioNeeRS by monika bickham

hoW To PRePaRe FoR ChiCago’S SummeR FeSTiValS by Sam bohne

SeVeN FaCTS abouT ThiS ChiCago FaVoRiTe by Chelsea Tomala

FouR DiSheS ThaT hauNT uS by Sam bohne

20 thE road to cEo

hoW ThRee CReaTiVe ChiCagoaNS FouND TheiR Way To The ToP by Kristina budgin

21 caMPus looks

a FielD guiDe To CuRReNT STuDeNTS by Charrea Sykes

alt transit

SeVeN WayS To geT aRouND ToWN uNDeR youR oWN PoWeR by Kristina budgin

42 48 52 56

secret spaces

the hidden havens behind chicago’s famous stages By Angela Conners with Heather Schröering

Another way

Restorative Justice provides an alternative to incarceration By Charrea Sykes

Hidden Truths

What lies beneath LIncoln park? By Christine Trevino

Posthumous posting

On death, dying and Facebook By Heather Schröering

Ends 62 Holy Shit, I’m Old! Unforgettable highlights and lowlights of our youth By Kristina Budgin

63 The Rest is Silence Remember these iconic sounds? By Heather Schröering

64 Timeless Toys Perennial playthings in the millennial age

72 SAY WHAT? 10 words we need now

By Christine Trevino Pro advice for dressing up your finger tips By Najja Parker

Nailing It

73 Lyrical Lessons Relationship advice, good and

By Heather Schröering

bad, from ‘90s boy and girl bands By Charrea Sykes

65 Flash Forward The future lives of video game characters

74 The Art of War Veterans talk about the

Gabrielle Rosas & Ryan Collins

66 Room and Hoard Sharing living quarters in all its complexity By Chelsea Tomala

67 Tweet, Like, Pin So what are we doing on social media? By Kristina Budgin

68 R.I.P. Technology Epitaphs for dearly departed devices By Sam Bohne & Charrea Sykes

Oh Boy! The evolution of boy band style

transformative power of art By Gabrielle Rosas

75 Doing Well at Doing Good Four tips for effective charitable giving

By Kristina Budgin

76 Kick me! seven successfully funded passion projects

By Gabrielle Rosas

77 Second City Firsts Made in chicago: what, when, where and

who of famous windy city inventions By Christine Trevino & Kristina Budgin

By Monika Bickham

69 Don’t look! Chicagoans are adapting to the New CTA cars By Sam Bohne

Section Opener Illustrations by Heidi Unkefer

From the Editor Photo by Angela Conners

The word Chicago is derived from the Native American word “Chicagoua,” meaning “wild onion.” From the North Side to the South Side, and the lakeside to the West Side, Chicago is a wild city filled with eccentricities and hidden gems. This semester, the Echo staff peels back the layers of the wild onion to expose odds and ends, from alternative ways to get around, to extinct technology, to freaky foods and campus looks. Echo’s feature section runs the gamut from Facebook mourning to fat fashion. This semester’s staff spent hours researching, collaborating, writing and designing to bring these stories to life on the printed page. We started with preliminary ideas, pushed them around the table, and brainstormed with our designers. We immersed ourselves in research, sometimes risking our health in the process, and reached out to sources far and wide. We refined and shaped our stories, put them through numerous layers of editing, fact checking and copy editing, and then proofread several times. The result is the full package of creativity you now hold in your hands. Peel back the pages of Echo and explore the wild onion.

Sam Bohne Managing Editor

Echo | summer/Fall 2013 7


EXOTIC EATS Take a bite on the wild side

By Chelsea Tomala


Illustration by Ryan Higgins

New Tokyo Japanese Cuisine 3139 N. Broadway St.

You don’t have to travel far to find

exotic foods. Our “city of neighborhoods” provides plenty of culinary curiosities.


The golden ball squished when I grabbed it with my chopsticks. I popped the whole thing in my mouth and bit the fried outer layer. A mush oozed out, along with a rubbery chunk. The mixture tasted like belly-button jam and smelled like someone taking their gauges out. The regrettable taste lingered for the rest of the night. If you love weirding out your dinner companions, this is the food for you.

Echo checked out five daunting dishes. Follow in our footsteps the next time you’re feeling adventurous.



MingHin Cuisine 2168 S. Archer Ave.


ROASTED BONE MARROW WITH HERBS The Purple Pig 500 N. Michigan Ave.


It’s served in the bone, which is split to expose the marrow, and accompanied by thick, buttery toast, herbs and capers. I dug a small knife into the marrow and spread it like butter on a piece of toast. I took a bite and smiled; it was good! The flavor resembled bacon grease, but in a good way. RISK LEVEL: Low

The jellyfish is cut into strips and served as a cold salad with thin cucumber sticks and shredded carrots. It was squishy without being chewy and didn’t have much flavor; the zesty Thai sauce overwhelmed it. After a few bites, the blubbery texture started getting to me, especially after I bit into a particularly fat piece with a gooey center. RISK LEVEL: Medium

STINGRAY SHU CHEE Sticky Rice 4018 N. Western Ave.


The shu chee curry sauce was the first thing I tasted. But then I encountered hard pieces in the soft meat: clear, bone-like cartilage, which I spat out. This dish tasted like a mild whitefish with the stringy consistency of crab meat. It was actually delicious. RISK LEVEL: High

BEEr pAIrIngS grab a growler and some grub By Heather Schröering Illustrations by Michael Scott Fischer

wITH doZenS oF breweries scattered around the city and new ones opening every year, it’s safe to

say Chicago knows craft beer. Echo, with advice from Mark McDermott,’s craft beer enthusiast, suggests these combos to help this city of foodies marry these two passions.

DEEP DISH PIzzA –PIeCe BReweRY and PIZZeRIa’S golden aRM –SPITeFul BRewIng’S BITTeR BIKeR douBle IPa


LASAGNA –FInCH’S BeeR CoMPanY golden wIng Blonde ale. –loCal oPTIon’S voKuHIla




–HalF aCRe BeeR CoMPanY’S daISY CuTTeR Pale ale

–RevoluTIon BRewIng’S BoTToM uP wIT

–MeTRoPolITan BRewIng’S KRanKSHaFT

–HaMBuRgeR MaRY’S gangSTeR HoPPed-uP aMBeR ale

–gooSe ISland’S SoFIe


FALAFEL –HalF aCRe BeeR CoMPanY’S goSSaMeR golden ale

–5 RaBBIT CeRveCeRÍa’S 5 vulTuRe


–5 RaBBIT CeRveCeRÍa’S 5 gRaSS


–5 RaBBIT CeRveCeRÍa’S golden ale


CHOCOLATE CAKE –aTlaS BRewIng CoMPanY’S andRoMeda MIlK STouT –RevoluTIon BRewIng’S eugene PoRTeR


–MeTRoPolITan BRewIng’S dYnaMo

–aRguS HolSTeIneR lageR

–5 RaBBIT CeRveCeRÍa’S 5 lIZaRd

–aTlaS BRewIng CoMPanY’S old dISHeveleR BaRleY wIne

–BRadeRBRÄu u BRewIng CoMPanY’S CHICago PIlSeneR

–HaMBuRgeR MaRY’S Blonde BoMBSHell

–FInCH BeeR CoMPanY’S THReadleSS IPa

–aRguS BReweRY’S PegaSuS IPa

Echo | oddS


THrIllIng THrIFT Come for the art, stay for the deals By Sam Bohne Illustration by Marcus nuccio

a: PiLSeN ViNTage aNd THRifT 1430 w. 18 TH ST.

C: ModeRN CooPeRaTiVe 818 w. 18 TH ST.

listen to live music while scrounging

This is the place to find furniture and

eVeRy SeCoNd fRiday of the

racks for retro finds from corny

décor, from mid-century furnishings

month, the Chicago Arts District in Pilsen opens its doors for art enthusiasts to feast their eyes on an array of artwork. Thrift stores lining West 18th Street stay open late, too, providing an opportunity to build a wardrobe or furnish your apartment without breaking the bank. Check out these shops on your way home from the galleries.

kitchenware to totally ‘80s dresses.

to vintage knick-knacks. Pick up a sofa that Betty draper would covet.

b: kNee deeP ViNTage 1425 w. 18 TH ST. with a sea of shirts, Knee deep offers

d: CoMeT ViNTage 1320 w. 18 TH ST.

a Second Friday Midnight Sale from

Ready to take a blast to the past?

6 p.m. to midnight. don’t miss the

with racks of clothing from the ‘20s to

cowboy boots.

the ‘70s, Comet vintage is the perfect place to pick up anything from retro dresses to dishes.

Tv AnD mE

what I learned from a childhood in front of the tube By Ryan Collins

doug taught me that it’s oK to wear the

THe MagiC SCHooL buS taught me that

Illustrations by Thumy Phan

same clothes every day.

school is potentially fun.

aS a CHIld, I was influenced by the odd adventures of my favorite cartoons. when I watched doug eat his liver and onions, I nearly puked. as I grew older, I began to realize that my favorite ‘toons taught me valuable life lessons and gave me great common-sense tips. Here are a few that have stuck with me over the years.

RoCko’S ModeRN Life taught me to

aNiMaNiaCS taught me that it’s not

name my pets after weird adjectives.

stupid to laugh at jokes I don’t understand.

STReeT SHaRkS taught me new words like “jawsome.”

dexTeR’S Lab0RaToRy taught me that I’m allowed to be annoyed with my

aaHHHHH!! ReaL MoNSTeRS taught

older sister.

me that one man’s disgusting trash is another man’s delicacy.

THe ReN & STiMPy SHow taught me how vile and malicious our pets truly are.


CaPTaiN PLaNeT aNd THe PLaNeTeeRS taught me that cleaning up the earth is cool, especially if it’s done with magical rings that shoot fl ames.




THe aNgRy beaVeRS taught me that wild animals have first-world

answers: 1. dexter’s laboratory, 2. doug, 3. Ren and Stimpy, 4. Captain Planet


problems too.


8 3 7

1 4



Close Encounters

Odd elevator behaviors are all too familiar

By Christine Trevino Illustration by Ian Tormey

This guy’s eavesdropping on that phone call.

being sandwiched into a claustrophobic metal box with a group of strangers is just plain awkward. Here are the characters we commonly encounter:

5 Someone hastily eating

Someone pretending to text

6 Someone who pushes all the buttons

Let’s face it:


4 Someone pretending to listen to music

Elevators are generally a reception-free zone, and this gal knows it. On the bright side, she’ll definitely ignore you.

As long as he keeps the special sauces, miscellaneous spice packets and mystery meats under control, you should be fine.

Take a deep breath. This jokester will make you late. 7 Someone reading


Someone listening to music way too loud

Drowning out the world can help, though the lasting damage to his eardrums might not be worth the temporary relief it provides. 3

Someone talking on the phone

It’s easy to admire her focus and dedication, but watch out for that book’s sharp corners. 8 Someone with way too much stuff

If the elevator breaks down, this guy is prepared for a long wait.

This person has killer cell service. You’ll soon have surprising insights into his personal life.

Echo | odds


SHApe up! Unconventional exercise options By Sam Bohne Infographic by Andrew Fortnum

Want to get in shape? Take this quiz to find a class that fits.




Try Flirty Girl Fitness’ Pole

Try Zombie Survival Parkour at ZombieFit. Visit for class schedules.

Dance class. 1325 W. Randolph St.

Do you fear a zombie apocalypse?


Try sword fighting in Forteza

Will you install a pole in your bedroom?

Fitness’ FightingFit! class. 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave.

YES Have you dreamed of being a stripper?

START HERE Do you like to dance?

NO Do you long to join the circus?

NO Do you want to be your own bodyguard?

NO Try Studio L’amour’s burlesqueinfused Fitness Tease and Tone class. 939 W. Randolph #300.

NO YES YES NO Do you enjoy shaking your booty?

Try MSA & Circus Arts’ adult contortion private classes.

Are you afraid of heights?

Try Flywheel, a cycling class with a house DJ. 710 N. State St.

1934 N. Campbell Ave.

NO NO Maybe fitness just isn’t for you.

Can you walk in a straight line (when you’re sober)?

Time to practice the age old art of being a couch potato.

YES Try Yallah! Dance Studio’s Level Belly Dance class. 116-122 West Illinois #5W.



Try Beginning Tightwire class at Aloft Loft.

Try TSNY Chicago’s Flying Trapeze class. 5917 N.

2000 W. Fulton St.

Broadway St.

pACk up

How to prepare for Chicago’s summer festivals FAnnY pACk BASICS

By Sam Bohne Illustrations by Heidi unkefer

IT’S FeSTIval SeaSon, which

means it’s time to fi nd your fanny pack. Yes, the favorite accessory of ‘80s moms, tourists and Hulk Hogan is perfect for double-fisting hot dogs at the Taste of Chicago or dancing your butt off at Lollapalooza. Strap on this bad boy on and pack in these necessities to make it through the festival season like a well-prepared scout.

fLiP fLoPS waterproof, washable footware is a concert essential.

HeadbaNd/ baNdaNa Keeps the sweat out of your eyes, and doubles as a fl ag if you lose your friends.

wiPeS For sweat, mud, blood and runny eye makeup.

PoNCHo Protects you during Chicago’s unexpected summer storms.

PLaSTiC baggieS To keep anything important dry.

VaPuR waTeR boTTLeS They’re light, refillable, and roll up when empty.

SO YOur BOYFrIEnD WAnTS TO gO TO rIBFEST...BuT YOu’rE A vEgAn. ADD THESE TO YOur FAnnY pACk: eNeRgy baRS You’ve got to fill up on something while he’s gobbling BBQ pulled pork.

baCoN STRiPS adHeSiVe baNdageS For street cred.

VegaNSTeVeN aPP So you can stop for some grub on the way home.

SO YOur rOOmmATE WAnTS TO gO TO nOrTH COAST...BuT YOu HATE ElECTrOnIC DAnCE muSIC. ADD THESE TO YOur FAnnY pACk: HeadPHoNeS To block out the “womp womp” beats as you whip your hair back and forth to willow Smith.

NeoN SHuTTeR SHadeS To fi t in with the crowd, brah.

SPoTify aPP So you can listen to good music.

SO YOur BEST FrIEnD FrOm THE SuBurBS WAnTS TO gO TO lOllA...BuT YOu CAn’T HAnDlE THE HEAT. ADD THESE TO YOur FAnnY pACk: QueNCH guM To replenish electrolytes after you sweat a gallon of fluids.

wayfaReR SuNgLaSSeS To look indie and original while blocking the sun from your eyes.

LoLLaPaLooZa aPP To create your own schedule so you don’t miss your favorite band.

fake MuSTaCHe So you can fi t in with the hipster crowd.

SHaZaM aPP To identify songs by bands you’ve never heard of.

SO YOu WAnT TO gO TO pITCHFOrk...BuT YOu’rE nOT A HIpSTEr. ADD THESE TO YOur FAnnY pACk: LiST of iNdie baNdS Brush up on names like Parenthetical girls and Taco leg. If you forget, make something up and nonchalantly say, “You’ve probably never heard of them.”


Hot Dog

There are about 2,500 hot dog joints in the Chicago metropolitan area. Hot Dog Culture in American: Man Bites Dog by Bruce Kraig

Seven facts about this Chicago favorite By Chelsea Tomala

Photo Illustrations by Flo Katzenbach In the words of Dirty Harry, “Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.” A steaming weenie should be plopped in a poppy-seed bun and topped with neon green relish, tomato slices, a pickle spear, diced onions, sport peppers, a dash of celery salt and mustard. That’s how you serve a hot dog in the Windy City. In honor of July being National Hot Dog Month, here are seven frankfurter facts.

Los Angeles

Baltimore/ Washington

New York


Chicago places fourth among top hot dog consuming cities. Information Resources Inc., based on 2012 data via National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

Fans at baseball parks will consume more than 20 million hot dogs this season.

On Independence Day, Americans eat enough wieners to span the United States more than five times (150 million wieners). National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

2013 Survey from Hot Dog and Sausage Council

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, 818 hot dogs are gobbled up every second (seven billion total). 2012 Press Release from National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

Dick Portillo opened his first restaurant in 1963 in Villa Park, Ill. the same year the Oscar Mayer jingle debuted and children began singing, “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner!”

Travelers at O’Hare International Airport consume 725,000 more hot dogs than those at Los Angeles International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport combined.

Hot Dog: A Global History by Bruce Kraig Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog by Bob Schwartz

National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

Echo | odds


Trick or treat Four dishes that haunt us By Sam Bohne Photos by Chelsea Ross

These odd dishes may spook your tastebuds. Try them if you dare!

The Mother Loaf

Maple Bacon Long John

The Meatloaf Bakery, 2464 N. Clark St. A cupcake made of seasoned beef, pork, veal, onions, ketchup, herbs and seasonings, topped with Yukon mashed potatoes.

Glazed and Infused, 813 W. Fulton Market A yeast-raised treat with a maple glaze, topped with a slice of peppered maple bacon.

Echo! Pour on the gravy. Heck No! Don’t dunk it in milk.

Echo! It’ll remind you of a hearty pancake-and-bacon breakfast. Heck No! Vegetarians beware.

Chicken ‘n Waffles Pizza

Durian Fruit Freeze

Dimo’s Pizza, 3463 N. Clark St. A slice topped with crème fraiche, tiny waffles, breaded chicken, butter, mozzarella and drizzled with maple syrup.

Joy Yee’s Noodles, 2139 S. China Pl. A fragrant smoothie made from the odorous, spiky- husked durian fruit, which is native to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Echo! Dinner and breakfast in one slice! Heck No! All the calories of dinner and breakfast, too.

Echo! A healthy serving of fruit. Heck No! Hold your nose.

The road to ceo

How three creative Chicagoans found their way to the top By Kristina Budgin Illustrations by Michael Scott Fischer












8 7














Jim Snediker – Founder and CEO of Stock Manufacturing Co. “It’s never too late to try something new.” 1. BA Journalism from University of Dayton (2005) 2. Worked inside sales at Marcus Evans, providing training events for corporations 3. Worked inside-sales at Trek Freight services, LLC 4. Higher-level sales and brand management at, helping companies with social media and online marketing strategies 5. Co-founder of Left of Trend, a Chicago-based flash sale eCommerce site 6. Founder and CEO of Stock Manufacturing Co. (2012)





Millie Tadewaldt – Co-founder and CEO of CakeStyle “Try to find something that you feel lucky someone is paying you to do it.” 1. BA Communications, BS Design from University of California, Davis (2003) 2. Part-time web developer for UC Davis while in school 3. Intern at ad agency Crocker/Flanagan (now Astone/Crocker/Flanagan), an ad agency 4. Started New Media Methods, a web application development studio 5. Studied law and business and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School 6. Interned at Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale) Legal Services Center while attending law school 7. Served as a summer associate/intern at management consulting firm Bain & Company, Inc. 8. Worked as a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group 9. Managing Director at Sandbox Industries, where she now launches startups 10. Co-founder of DashMob, an insta-savings website, while still at BCG 11. Co-founder and Chairwoman of Doggyloot, a pet eCommerce site for discounted toys, chews and treats 12. Co-founder and CEO of online personal styling site, CakeStyle (2011)

Gregory Jaros – Founder and CEO of Spare To Share “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and don’t be afraid to fail.” 1. BS Computer Science from DePaul University (1986) 2. Worked as a coder for Northern Display, Inc. while at DePaul 3. Worked as a consultant at Andersen Business Consulting 4. Worked as a consultant at Technology Solutions Corporation 10 5. Founder and consultant at Diamond Technology Partners 6. MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Entrepreneurship and Marketing) 7. Worked as a traveling consultant for Diamond Technology Partners while attending University of Chicago 8. Started The Premium Connection, a cigar-of-the-month club, while at the University of Chicago 9. Chief Information Officer at PayNet Inc. 10. Founder, partial owner and CEO of Spare To Share (2011)



Big, Curly Hair

Hair In Neat Bun

Casual Clothing

Accessories Mac iPhone Vintage sunglasses Excessive jewelry Exposed tattoo Leather messenger bag 2008 Volkswagen Beetle

Job Freelancer

Personality Relaxed “Go with the flow”

Alternative Transit Seven ways to get around town under your own power

Campus looks

Buisness Attire

Accessories PC

Android Designer sunglasses Simple jewelry

A field guide to current students

Covered tattoo Oversized designer bag 2013 BMW 320D Corporate edition

By Charrea Sykes Illustrations by Ali Cantarella


Who’s going into a creative field? Who’s destined for a corporate job? Sometimes it’s pretty obvious long before graduation. Do you see yourself in one of our profiles?


Personality Stressed Punctual


Scooter (nonmotorized)

Average cost: $90 (40 CTA rides) Echo! Who doesn’t admire a unicyclist’s grace, balance and overall awesomeness? Heck No! Lack a well-defined center of gravity? You’re screwed.

Average cost: $70 (31 CTA rides) Echo! Scooters are portable and lightweight. Heck No! It’s a kid’s toy — not the most dignified form of transportation.

By Kristina Budgin Illustrations by Dave Schmitt

So, parking meter rates are up again. No big deal—you’ll ride the CTA. Then the price of a 30-day pass jumps to $100. Have you ever thought there’s something more out there—some other way to travel? Cheaper, greener ways of getting around may pay for themselves in as little as three weeks of regular commuting.

Long-board Average cost: $200 (89 CTA rides) Echo! You can get around quickly and easily without fearing for your life in downtown traffic. Heck No! Uneven sidewalks, potholes and gravel can be your demise.

Running Shoes

Rollerblades Average cost: $120 (53 CTA rides) Echo! They’ve got all the perks of walking, but it’s even faster. Heck No! Lots of things to carry? You run the risk of looking like a pack-mule on wheels.

Average cost: $120 (53 CTA rides) Echo! You’ll have nearly limitless route options and Olympian buns and thighs. Heck No! You might sweat to death, freeze to death, drown and/or get blown away en route.

Commuter/Touring Bike

Scooter (electric) Average cost: $210 (93 CTA rides) Echo! They’re more portable than mopeds, and you don’t have to worry about physical exertion. Heck No! If the battery dies, looks like you’re walking.

Average cost: $600 (267 CTA rides) Echo! Bike lanes on many busy streets make for an easier, more scenic ride to work. Heck No! A driver who doesn’t see you cuts you off. The car wins. Every time.

Echo | odds



mail admirers The letter writers Alliance preserves the art of correspondence

By Sam Bohne Photo by Angela Conners

The TAPPinG of typewriter keys filters out onto Walton

Street. Periodically, a “ping” echoes through the cozy room. Fingers press keys, hands push levers, and purple ink presses into lime green paper. Soon the paper will be pulled out, folded, placed in an envelope and sent away. The letter enthusiasts have gathered today in Humboldt Park to type and write. Some are adults who remember the typewriters of their youth; some are children encountering the old machines for the first time. This Sunday afternoon meet-up was coordinated by Kathy Zadrozny and Donovan Beeson, founders of the Letter Writers Alliance. Zadrozny and Beeson write their own letters: Zadrozny in fountain pen, and Beeson on an old typewriter. In a world of fast-paced emails and text messages, these writers unplug, crafting letters by hand to friends and Alliance members.

“We’re not anti-email, or anti-Twitter or anything like that,” Zadrozny says. “We use all those tools. That’s all they are, tools. So everything has a use, and letters definitely have a use. One of the best things about it is you send a little piece of yourself in a letter.” The duo started the Alliance in 2007 as a way to form a community around the art form of personal correspondence. Much to their surprise, the Letter Writers Alliance has grown to nearly 4,000 members across the world; about 410 live in Chicago. At the time, Zadrozny was volunteering at the Newberry Library, working with papers from the Polish Women’s Alliance. The letters helped women who had just moved to Chicago find good health care and good schools for their children, and it kept them from feeling isolated in an unfamiliar place.

“Yea, us and all our friends,” Beeson adds, finishing her thought.

“Letters bring people together,” Beeson adds. They got the idea in 2007, during a craft fair for their stationery shop, 16 Sparrows.

“And I love letters!” they both shout.

‘Nobody writes letters anymore’

So they decided to do something about it.

“[The Polish Women’s Alliance] had this community for people so they didn’t feel like they were the only ones,” Zadrozny says. “And I thought, ‘Maybe this is something we can do for letter writers.’” “[The Polish Women’s Alliance] had this community for people so they didn’t feel like they were the only ones,” Zadrozny says. “And I thought, ‘Maybe this is something we can do for letter writers.’” Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa, a member of the Letter Writers Alliance since 2009, has been composing letters since she was a child. She consistently writes to 12 people, some of whom she met through the Alliance. “I like that it’s slower and quieter. I just think it’s more fun than receiving an email,” Adami-Hasegawa says. It’s also more permanent. “There are so many people out there that just delete it. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete,” Beeson says of email, punching her finger up and down for emphasis. “It’s just too easy to get rid of email correspondence, whereas discarding a letter is more dramatic and less likely to happen by accident.” Heidi Marshall, head archivist at Columbia College Chicago, agrees. She recalls working with a collection of documents from a religious organization’s leaders and finding that a chunk of one leader’s history was lost because his email correspondence had not been saved. “Nobody thought about the fact that he had done all of his work in the 1990s on a computer, and nobody thought to take off all of the correspondence and general letter writing from that,” she says. “They, of course, wiped the computer and got rid of it.” Marshall was struck by the irony: She could read letters dating back to the 1830s, yet she couldn’t read messages that were only about a decade old. Awareness about the need to preserve electronic documents has improved since then, she says, but years worth of history have already been lost. “We’ve probably lost a generation’s worth – 20, 25 years worth,” she says. The digital trash bin is one hazard; the overload of material is another. “As someone who works with archives, the other aspect that I see is we’re going to lose information because there’s too much of it,” Zadrozny says. “There’s going to be such a glut of digital information that’s meaningless because of the way that people treat email.” And, they note, ink and paper still have more impact. “An email does not have that same gravitas,” Beeson says. “And I say this having had very important email conversations with people.” Consider the difference between a birthday card and an email birthday greeting, or a thank-you letter and a thank-you text. The effort of crafting and sending a physical message still pays off. Marshall says letter writing is a more conscious act

than sending an email message, posting on Facebook or tweeting. The act of letter writing requires the writer to clear off some physical and mental space. “You have different purposes,” she says. “You’re consciously sitting down to do this. And you have to collect your thoughts in a way you know you can’t correct.” Zadrozny finds letter writing therapeutic at times. Writing a letter forces her to stop and think about whatever the topic is, which is particularly helpful when she’s grappling with something difficult. “By the end of the letter, I kind of almost solve my own problem,” Zadrozny says. “And because I’m writing it by hand, I have to think about it – it’s just not ‘clack, clack, clack.’” So why don’t more people write letters? Obviously, it takes more time. It also costs more; letter writers pay for stationery and stamps, along with the pens or typewriters they use to compose their correspondence. And, Beeson says, messy handwriting holds some people back. But for those who invest in the process, the rewards come in the mail, one letter at a time. “We really try and stress that you just need to write letters,” Beeson says.


Echo | features 25

Studio an inside look

from four local artists


By Christine Trevino Photos by Angela Conners

Summer in the city ushers in some of the largest art fairs in the country, and exploring one of these shows is the perfect way to spend a warm, breezy day. It’s also a great opportunity to become familiar with work from some of the city’s local, dedicated and, of course, talented artists. It’s hard to be a small-business owner and, in many cases, even harder to do so in the art world, where oftentimes one-person operations require someone to quickly switch from artist to salesperson. These four Chicago-based artists are succeeding, making one-of-a-kind work in various mediums. They have participated in art shows and fairs, both big and small, including the Renegade Craft Fair, Ravenswood Art Walk, One of a Kind Show Chicago, and Art on Armitage. You can see their work online and throughout the city if you just look around. They kindly let Echo into their cool, creative spaces, and gave us a glimpse of where the artistry truly happens.

Echo | features 27

Jen Husted-Goss Illustration

Describe your style:

Quirky, cute and abstract. Tell me about your workspace:

It’s a hodgepodge of furniture and equipment. My wood desk was an antique I found on Craigslist. The orange work bench is my favorite piece of furniture in here. Some guy had it in his garage for who knows how long, probably 30 years. It’s bright orange, huge and perfect. Check out her stuff out at

Betsy Siber Jewelry

Describe your style

Colorful, vintage and simple.

Tell me about your workspace

I believe you need to work in a setting that is visually appealing to you. I love all of the colorful details in my studio, like my spray-painted yellow storage drawers and my fabric-covered pin boards. I have a working sink, proper ventilation for my soldering area, counter space at the perfect height for me and lots of other little perks. I am truly happy to sit down and work in this space. Check her stuff out at

Hiroshi Ariyama Screen prints

Describe your style

My style is not only the way I print the image, but the feeling that each of my prints evokes. The feeling that people take away from looking at my work varies, but I’m hopeful that they remind viewers of their own experience and memories of the city. Tell me about your workspace

As my business developed, I started to look for a space where I could make, experiment, store and show my artwork. In 2012, I moved into a larger combination storefront studio space where there’s enough room to do all that. Check out his stuff out at

Nino Rodriguez Graffiti Art

Describe your style

My style is a combination of Aztec-influenced art and designs and Chicago graffiti art. Tell me about your workspace

Right now, I am working out of my friend’s new art studio in the Portage Park neighborhood. I like using the space to throw paint around. I also work from the upper floor of my home, where I create my art and T-shirts. We have several rooms devoted to creating works of art, which is good for me because I like to focus and keep the noise to a minimum. Check out his stuff out at

Echo | features 29

The Beat goes on Sekou Conde, far left, and some members of Sénéké.

A drum group brings West African culture to Chicago By Najja Parker Photos by James Foster

“let’s go from the top.” Drums slide across the green and yellow tile floor toward the legs of waiting chairs. Legs hug the bottom of the djembe drums, securing them in place. Hands lift in anticipation of the break. Daada daada dada da da. Palms strike the drumheads. Thumping and thudding fills the cafeteria at Betty Shabazz International Charter School in Chicago. Practice has begun. It’s the final month of training for West African percussion ensemble Sénéké (sén-ney-kay). Sekou Conde, the group’s founder, listens for any glitches in the rhythm. Bumbum bumbum bum bum bum. “No, but you got to know how to get in and come there,” Conde calls to one of the djembe drummers. “If I could just figure it out, then I can just work on it,” she replies in frustration. Bumbum bumbum bumbum bum bum bum. She squints her eyes and studies Conde’s hands as they rise and fall. She mimics his rhythm and nails it. At the beginning of each year, Conde invites new members to learn how to drum, sing and dance their way across Chicago with the rest of the group. He began with six members in 2006; today, Sénéké has 16 members, ranging in age from five to 67. “A lot of it came from word of mouth,” Conde says. “People asked me if they could be a part of it, and it kind of went from there.”

Word of Sénéké’s dynamic, educational and interactive performances also spread. The group has performed more than 300 shows at schools, festivals and other events, exposing audiences to a style of drumming they may have never heard before. “Students need to know that there are other countries and other cultures outside of theirs,” says Catrina Conley, program manager of Discover Music: Discover Life, which develops and implements fine-arts curricula for schools. “If they can’t go there and experience it at least there is a group that can bring that to them.”

Keken keken bum ba bum bum. Traditionally, West African drumming was used for rites of passage and agriculture. Today, it recognizes those same traditions, while embracing engagement as well. “It’s bringing listening back to the human experience. It’s bringing interaction. It’s bringing active listening. It’s bringing call and response,” says Michael Taylor, a percussionist and instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music who specializes in West African djembe and dounun drums. “There’s something about djembe that’s a magnet to humans more than a lot of other percussion drums. It exercises things that are uniquely good for us as a human race.” That sense of interaction is readily apparent during Sénéké rehearsals. Each time a drummer perfects a rhythm,

someone shouts “owwwww” or “ayyeeee!” Even practices have the air of celebration. Sénéké’s lively rehearsals translate into electrifying performances. “They are phenomenal young brothers and sisters presenting the culture in a professional way. They rock,” says Vaune Blalock, whose son, Akeem, is part of the group.

“You would have to be a corpse to not feel good after hearing some djembe music.” —Michael Taylor “The music is so great.” Taylor says of the high energy, upbeat drumming style. That energy is complemented by the costumes worn by drummers and dancers: green, yellow and red garments that exude the spirit of Africa. Sénéké rehearses twice a week from 6 to 8 p.m. “You know how to turn the lights out, right?” asks the school custodian. “They’re there on that wall,” he points — his subtle way of reminding Conde that 8 p.m. is nearing. Before the drummers pack up, they do a few more run throughs. Conde wants to make sure Sénéké is ready for a performance at an upcoming food drive. Sénéké also partners with Africare and NAFAGuinee, two charities that provide food, shelter and medical assistance to people in Africa. Participating in events and partnerships like these dovetails with Sénéké’s mission of keeping African culture alive. That’s why Conde chose the name Sénéké, a word that means “cultivation” in the language of the West African Mandinka people. “When you place a seed in the ground, you have to take care of it

and make sure no weeds take over. You have to love it and make sure it gets all of the proper nutrients it needs to grow, and that’s what we strive to do,” Conde says. “We plant a lot of seeds.”

Thirteen-year-old Akeem Blalock Cotton joined the group because his mother, Vaune, wanted to connect him to his roots. “If we lose all of our traditions and concepts, we will cease to exist,” she says. The boy took to the drums and the community. “My son loves the Sénéké posse like they are his brothers, and they are,” Blalock says. That sense of family is evident in the nicknames members assign each other. Andrea “Najwii” Vinson, one of the five dancers, is known as Mama Andrea. “It’s wonderful. It’s family. We have a good time,” Vinson says. She and the other “adopted” family members join Conde’s two nephews, niece, sister and father, who are also members of the group. Conde sits in the middle of the group, listening to the final rehearsal. He taps his foot and nods his head in satisfaction. Bum ba bum bum. Keken keken. No glitches. The school custodian returns to find the lights still on and the music still going strong. Chairs slide back to their designated spots against the mural-covered walls. Drums return to their cases. The members of Sénéké form a circle and hold hands. The custodian stands outside the circle for a moment, then unclasps two hands and joins the circle. Together, they all say “asha.” Hope. Practice has ended.


Echo | features 31

talk with your hands The insights and outlooks of ASl interpreters

By Kristina Budgin Illustration by Heidi Unkefer

The walls of Grand Tots Daycare in Cedar Lake, Ind., are covered with colorful hand-drawn pictures. A rainbow of small coats and backpacks hangs from hooks in one of the spacious classrooms. Two children in plastic aprons sit at a low table, painting paper plates. After setting them on the window sill to dry, they pick up small plastic mallets and play a round of “Don’t Break the Ice” until Miss Maria and Miss Sarah call them over for story time. They select The Very Cranky Bear and sit down on the plush rug. Miss Maria reads the book, changing her voice for each of the characters and pointing to pictures on every page. The children glance at the book but mainly focus on Miss Sarah’s elaborate gestures and dramatized facial expressions. They’re watching the story that’s being read to them in American Sign Language, or ASL. The Gallaudet Research Institute estimates that ASL is the primary language of between 500,000 and two million Americans. Like other languages, ASL is part of a distinct culture that exists within a world where hearing is the norm. And straddling the line between these two cultures is a group dedicated to bridging communication and cultural gaps: ASL interpreters. ASL interpreters and educators strive to make the hearing world more accessible to and mindful of deaf individuals. They are the voice and ears of the deaf and hearing people they work with. In the process, they dispel some of the myths commonly held about them and the non-hearing world.

Myth #1: Interpreters are just translators ASL is not based on English, and words and concepts don’t all have direct translations. Moreover, according to Robert Stearns, a full-time interpreter at Advocate Illinois Masonic Center, ASL is very blunt, lacking the euphemisms common to English and other languages. As a result, Deaf culture is more direct than hearing culture.

Interpreters need to take this into account. Brianne DeKing, a full-time ASL video interpreter for Sorenson, a 24/7 video relay service, says interpreters have to do more than literally translate in order to account for the fact that what’s appropriate in a culturally Deaf context may not be acceptable in a hearing-culture situation. “Cultural mediation is very grey,” DeKing says. “There’s not always a right or wrong.” “Cultural mediation” is interpreting the mood and spirit of the communication, including tone of voice, pauses, vocabulary choices, intensity and culture-specific norms. This can be challenging for interpreters because they have to judge the emotional intensity of what’s being said and translate it into another language, Stearns says. Facial expressions are extremely important in this process, DeKing says, because they convey tone and emotion, and add clarity through grammar and punctuation. “ASL is a language in itself, and it’s not a written language,” she says. “It’s a visual language.” Those visual cues are essential to clear communication in ASL. Stearns likens them to inflection, tone and pitch in spoken language. “How you say it totally changes how people react to you,” Stearns says. Interpreters don’t just translate words, but also the meaning embedded in the culture, so they must go beyond language to embrace deaf culture, DeKing says. They make an effort to be “fully immersed in the culture with deaf people, deaf friends [and] other interpreters.” This can include choosing to study with a deaf teacher. Lynn Cachey, teacher and Lab Manager in Columbia College Chicago’s ASL Department, says deaf teachers, like her, “have a better understanding of deaf culture. Deaf teachers are able to show a different variety of different signs” based on their own life experiences. As anyone who’s miscommunicated through text messages or email knows, words alone are not enough for clear expression of ideas or intentions. “Any kind of communication can easily be misinterpreted,” DeKing says, even one as direct as ASL.

Pioneering daycare Grand Tots Daycare’s ASL program,

executive director of the nonprofit

expose them to the school environment

the only one of its kind in the six

school. “They’ve lost three years of

they’ll be in the following year. This is

surrounding states, is designed to

learning, socialization skills, all kinds

especially important for the CODAs, or

help children who are deaf or hard of

of education and learning because

Children of Deaf Adults, who, unlike the

hearing, as well as those whose parents

they’re not put in that environment.”

deaf or hard-of-hearing kids, will not have interpreters to help them adjust to

are deaf, prepare for integration into mainstream classrooms. “There’s such

The children are gradually introduced

a gap there,” says Cheryl Reynolds,

to hearing classroom settings to

a hearing environment.

Echo | features 35

“asl is a language in itself. anD it’s not a Written language, it’s a visual language. brianne DeKing

Myth #2: DeaFness Is just the aBsenCe oF hearInG Some people are born deaf, while others acquire deafness later in life. Some identify themselves as “big-D Deaf,” or culturally deaf, and take pride in shared values, traditions and behaviors. Others identify as “little-D deaf,” which simply indicates a lack of hearing, and plenty fall somewhere in between. “There’s no right or wrong, it’s just what that individual chooses to identify themselves with,” DeKing says. Regardless of where they fall on this spectrum—and whether they consider themselves Deaf or deaf—they identify as part of a culture, Stearns says. This is partly in response to a history of discrimination against deaf people (known as “audism”), which is prohibited under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. But Stearns says Deaf culture is based on more than just deafness. “I see not one Deaf club, but little pockets of Deaf communities,” he says. Stearns acknowledges the complexity of acting as a connector between this diverse culture and the equally diverse hearing world. “We say, ‘I don’t work for deaf people, I work with deaf people,’” he says. “And we’re not helpers. We don’t help deaf people. We don’t help hearing people understand deaf people. We just work with everyone.” DeKing agrees, emphasizing the interpreter’s role as the vehicle for communication. She says hearing individuals are as much her clients as the deaf individuals because the goal of interpretation is to “empower the deaf person and to give them equal access.” Myth #3: InterpretatIon Fully BrIDGes the Gap Watching DeKing interpret for Nick, a deaf college student, was nerve-wracking. The classroom swelled with noise from people talking simultaneously. Some spoke softly or quickly or changed what they were saying midsentence. How could she weed through all the noise and chaos to convey everything to Nick? “As hearing people, we take for granted the amount of information we get just by being barraged by it,” Stearns

says. Deaf people don’t have both the advantages and disadvantages of all that extra information and distraction. Because they literally can’t overhear information, they need to be actively paying attention to a visual source. Further complicating the process are dialect differences, which exist in ASL just as they do in English. A sign that means one thing in New York can mean another in Chicago, or mean nothing at all. And interpreters encounter some of the same hindrances to communication as hearing people do. For example, Stearns says, “If a deaf person is drunk, they slur their signs just like we slur our speech.” Sometimes interpreters struggle not to interject their opinions. DeKing recalls her dilemma when assisting a deaf person with a phone call and realizing that the caller was trying to perpetrate a scam. Should she speak up? When is it appropriate to step over that fine line that divides the interpreters’ Code of Ethics and personal ethics? “The hardest thing is when you really disagree with something that’s being said and you still have to just render the message completely faithfully,” Stearns says. “You have to leave your judgment, personal opinions and beliefs outside of [interpreting].” Interpreters admit that it’s sometimes difficult to not become emotionally invested in the people they work with. “You try not to cross that boundary, but it’s hard not to be emotional at times, because we are only human,” DeKing says. Myth #4: InterpretatIon Is just a joB Stearns’ work as an interpreter has altered the way he communicates with people in the hearing world. He finds himself employing “processing time”—that brief interval while the interpreter grasps what’s being said before relaying it—even when conversing with hearing people. It helps him focus on what people are trying to say and reply more thoughtfully. He also appreciates the variety of situations interpreting has exposed him to. He’s interpreted events such as concerts, budget meetings, individual education plans and college classes at all levels, ranging in subject matter from neuroscience to Chinese architecture. “I have

a lot of weird, little worldly experiences that really I would have had no business having in my early 20s because I don’t have kids, I don’t manage budgets, and I’m not a concert promoter,” Stearns says. “But somehow through this profession, you end up in these different little outlets all over the place.” Cheryl Reynolds, executive director of the nonprofit Grand Tots Daycare, is amazed by the power of her

profession to change lives, including her own. She recalls the Christmas program last year, when three of the Grand Tots children performed. “The parents were so amazed that their kids got up on stage and signed all the songs,” she says. “They didn’t [need] an interpreter because their kids did ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ through sign. That’s awesome that they get to see this.”


stearns stories “mY name is sex.”

pYsCh WarD

So [my] second sign class ever in school,

i had a deaf person come into the

ultimately, [it’s] just kind of something

my teacher’s like, “okay, we’re going

hospital while i wasn’t on duty. he was

that we have to accept: we’re not fixers,

to give you temporary sign names until

arrested for being violent. i asked him a

we’re just there to communicate. But

i get to know you and can really give

few questions, and he said, “no. i’m not

frequently, communication itself is the

you one that you deserve.” So she

mad for no reason,” and explained he

problem, even between people speaking

teaches us “nice to meet you” and then

had been trying to alert someone about

the same language.

she assigns mine. Because i had two

possible child abuse, and the person

jobs at the time, she assigned me the

he was trying to report started a fight.

name “work.”

when the police arrived, the deaf person

This is how you say work, with two fists facing the same direction. So everyone gets their sign name, and we were supposed to introduce ourselves: “hi, nice to meet you. my sign-name is this.”

was pinned on the ground, with the other man holding him and his hands down. So he couldn’t “speak.” The police thought he was violent, so they brought him in, in handcuffs.

it happens daily. we see headlines: “Police officers shoot deaf man.” he wasn’t responding to their orders to put his hands down, or put the gun down or whatever. how could he? if you’re shouting at him and he’s not facing you, he doesn’t even know you’re there. luckily, i’ve only really encountered

So i finally get to her, and i sign this:

he was in tears. he was just trying to

[gestures] “hi, nice to meet you. my

do some good. i spent about 30 minutes

sign-name is work.” She just bursts out

fighting off tears of rage, and then said,

laughing, and i was like, “what? what

“i will interpret whatever you need me

did i do?!” She was like, “you just said

to interpret to make sure your story

‘sex’ twice in that.”

is understood and clear, and we get

that once.

someone here to back you up.” we were So this is “sex.” it’s like two people

able to, but the most heart-wrenching

laying down, doing the bump-and-grind,

thing about this is that this happens all

if you will. So work, sex, meet you, sex.

the time, and there’s not an interpreter

So i was just like, oh my God, “nice to

there to clarify things and fix what’s

fuck you. my name is sex.”

messed up. And the other thing is,



meet You


Echo | features



Chicago fashion’s plus-size pioneers

By Monika Bickham

Photos by Rena Naltsas

“Meet Gabi of GabiFresh!” insists a large poster at

Bloomingdale’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. A crowd gathers around an assortment of bite-sized cupcakes and cold bottles of San Pellegrino, watching for the woman on the poster: well-dressed, curvy, with shoulder-length ombré hair and sunglasses. Moments later, she appears in the flesh, rocking a black knee-length dress and thin heels while pushing a rack of clothing from Bloomingdale’s expanding plus-size collections. A small group of women stares starry-eyed at Gabi; one even starts to fan herself. To them and Gabi Gregg’s 24,000 Twitter followers, she is legendary—part of the growing plus-size fashion blogging community knocking down fashion barriers and promoting body acceptance in “Outfit of the Day” posts. “It’s really important to have a community space and push for things,” Gregg says. “I’ve seen an impact just in the four or five years I’ve been blogging. It’s a completely different space and it’s awesome.” Gregg, who also writes a column for InStyle magazine, is one of several plus-size Chicago bloggers who represent the fashion interests of women who aren’t built like supermodels—which is most of us. The average dress size for American women is 14, and yet, larger women have few fashion choices. These bloggers advocate for those who don’t fit the fashion norm. Their avid followings are evidence of the niche they fill.


Blog: Inspirations: Gabi Gregg (, Nicolette Mason (, Natalie Perkins ( and Tiffany Tucker (

As a child, Stilwell dreamt of becoming a fashion designer. Today, the Uptown resident works in marketing and public relations, which has helped her promote her fat-loving feminist blog, In The Thick of It, which she launched in 2010. Stilwell was introduced to the world of fat fashion through an online LiveJournal community, Fatshionista, in 2004. There she witnessed countless fatshionistas uploading photos of their personal styles, and decided to start cataloguing her own style. Her blog garners 200,000 followers on Tumblr alone. “I think people, regardless of size, should be able to have options for clothing, and should not be discriminated against overall,” Stilwell says. TIFFANY TUCKER, 23

Blog: Inspirations: Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show, Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All, and Solange Knowles

The self-proclaimed “fat shopaholic” launched her blog as a productive outlet for personal hardships and to express her love of clothing. It receives 9,000 to 15,000 hits per month She describes herself as a fat acceptance advocate by default. “I feel the main purpose of my blog is to show fashion, but I think that being fat and very visible in life, because I often wear strange things, is a form of being part of fat acceptance,” Tucker says. Her quirky style is heavily influenced by the ‘90s and fictional characters. Her goal is to inspire plus-size women to be bolder and experiment with fashion through personal styling and shopping.


Blog: Inspirations: ‘30s and ‘40s pinup, Christina Hendricks

A proud southern belle now living in Lincoln Square, McCulloch describes her blog as “the voice of the modern woman.” Her style is ultra-feminine; she is rarely seen without red lipstick and pearls, and she fancies vintage pinup looks. McCulloch was inspired to start her blog in 2011 after getting compliments on the street and hearing fellow curvy women complaining about the lack of form-flattering clothes. “I think the biggest myth that concerns me is thinking plus-size is out of the ordinary, that it’s something different,” she says. “The majority of women in the United States are a size 14 and above. It’s not this little niche; it’s the majority of women.” She hopes one day to create an affordable and flattering plus-size clothing line.


Echo | features 39

Secret Spaces The hidden havens behind Chicago’s famous stages

Reggie’s Chicago, 2105 S. State St.

Photos by Angela Conners By Angela Conners with Heather Schröering

FAMOUS FACES LIKE Modest Mouse and Andrew Bird, as well as lesserknown groups like Chicago-based Outer Minds, have drawn Chicagoans to the city’s concert halls. But tucked behind the stages or in grungy basements are quiet retreats that many of us likely haven’t seen—green rooms. These clandestine hangouts, some gritty and raw, some cluttered with vintage furniture, often become historical collages where musicians leave their marks behind for the next act: a band sticker, a swoopy autograph, a silly drawing. Echo visited five of Chicago’s most notable venues to get an inside look at the hidden gems behind the stages.

Echo | features 43

Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave.

The Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St.

Echo | features 45

Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.

The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.

Echo | features 47

Another way

Restorative justice provides an alternative to incarceration By Charrea Sykes Illustrations by Kelsey Bates

Sitting on a concrete slab behind steel doors with just a small slot window, Sherrow Pinex leans against his bed and presses his knees to his chest. After five long years in prison, he finally cries. His younger brother is dead. Pinex’s brother struggled to stay out of trouble while he was in prison. “He would always tell me how much he waiting on me and I would tell him just hold on, I’m coming,” says Pinex, 23. “Don’t worry. When I get out I’m gone help fix everything.” Now he blames himself for not being there to protect his little brother. Pinex, who has since been released, is like many young people who have committed a crime and served the punishment. They do their time, are released with no new skills to help them stay out of trouble, and consequently many return to prison. According to the 2012 report, by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, “Juvenile Recidivism in Illinois: Exploring Youth Re-Arrest and Re-Incarceration” 86 percent are re-arrested within three years of their release. Other states have similar re-arrest rates, according to the report, which calls for services and programming to keep young people from reoffending. Advocates of restorative justice also argue for services and programming, but see it as a way to keep youth in school and out of prison. “Restorative justice is really the future of our justice system in the U.S. and globally,” says Lisa Rea, president and founder of Restorative Justice International. “It’s a change that is needed in a broken justice system that is good for victims, cost effective, and transforms offenders.”

The idea behind restorative justice is helping convicted youth face what they’ve done and make amends. Practices such as peer juries, victim/offender circles and a host of other programs promote change by involving communities in justice and rebuilding relationships that may have been broken as a result of the crime. Restorative justice is not a new concept. The idea that criminals must make restitution goes back thousands of years. What is relatively new is the concept that both victim and perpetrator should be involved in a dialogue about the crime in a process that is not connected to the legal system. In 2007, the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education approved a new Student Code of Conduct eliminating the punitive “zero tolerance” policies and replacing them with restorative justice practices. One of the

“Restorative justice has to have heart in order to work.” Susan Trieschmann

first schools to successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches was Christian Fenger Academy High School, located in Chicago’s Roseland community. In an effort to reduce misconduct and improve attendance, Fenger’s Culture and Climate Specialist, Robert Spicer, implemented several restorative justice practices. These include a peer jury program, in which an offender comes before a group of upperclassmen, who evaluate the crime and come up with a way to repair the harm done to the victim. Spicer also implemented victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing (holding the parents or guardians of the offender accountable and involving them in the resolution) and peace circles, which create communication between people who are in conflict and help them resolve issues as they arise. The effects have been dramatic and positive. “Since 2009, misconduct has gone down 80 percent, attendance has gone up 10 percent, and arrests have gone down from well over 275 to a little over 15 in a school year,” Spicer says. Restorative justice also worked for 17-year-old Alex Smith*, who recently returned to school after a one-year suspension for selling marijuana on school property. After getting suspended, Smith was hired at Curt’s Café in Evanston, where owner Susan Trieschmann employs and mentors at-risk youth. “She gives us a second chance when nobody else will,” Smith says. At first he was angry about his suspension, but he came to realize he was the one to blame. He is now excelling in honors courses at Evanston Township High School, competing with the gymnastics team, and babysitting on the side. “Restorative justice has to have heart in order to work. Here at the café, we don’t focus on fancy terms and lingo, we just build relationships and let it just work,”

Trieschmann says. Smith realizes that his past actions still have consequences. “My family lost a lot of respect and trust for me before and that really hasn’t changed,” he says. “But I’m not doing it for them anymore; I just want to better my life.” Pinex’s experience stands in stark contrast to these success stories. He was 18 when he was convicted of home invasion and incarcerated at East Moline Correctional Center. He will never see his younger brother again. He’ll never be able to show him a better way. He’ll leave the facility not with new skills and connections, but with a fiveyear hole in his life and a conviction on his record. “I didn’t get the chance to show society who I really was,” Pinex says. He wishes he could have had an opportunity to explain the pressures of being a young man on the South Side of Chicago, but not to use that as an excuse. He wishes he could have repaired the damage he did. “Life was hard and complicated where I grew up at,” he says. He’s not the only one who was harmed by his incarceration. His family was devastated. “Things crumbled,” Pinex says. His younger sister got pregnant at 15 and his older sister grew distant from the family after becoming a victim of domestic violence. Advocates of restorative justice argue that offenders like Pinex and their victims can be better served by less punitive responses to crime, even as they acknowledge that these approaches are not universally appropriate. But when it works, they say, restorative justice helps offenders take responsibility for their crimes and learn from them, lessening the chances that they will repeat them.


* Smith’s name was changed to protect his privacy.

Echo | features 49

What lies beneath Lincoln Park? By Christine Trevino Photos by Angela Conners

LINCOLN PARK is a bustling place. Chicagoans and

tourists flock to the neighborhood’s many attractions, crowding the sidewalks and lining the streets with their cars. But it’s even more crowded underground, where as many as 12,000 bodies lie buried, lost to history. These remains are the motivation behind Hidden Truths, a web-based project by Pamela Bannos that examines the Chicago City Cemetery, the sole burial ground for Chicagoans during the mid-1800s. The webbased project is innovative and interactive, containing large amounts of historical detail. Bannos, who teaches photography at Northwestern University, has been aggregating original city documents and conducting interviews since 2007 to bring Lincoln Park’s history to light.

“I’m interested in hidden histories and changing stories, and that’s how the perspective of an art project happens,” Bannos says. “My goal wasn’t ever to count the bodies and dig up the bones. It was always to get us to question the past.” I met Bannos on a chilly spring evening at the Couch Tomb, a large mausoleum just north of the Chicago History Museum. Today, the tomb marks the area near the south end of what was once the Chicago City Cemetery, a graveyard that made up a chunk of the oldest part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It consisted of the Catholic cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery, a potter’s field (common grave) and the general City Cemetery. Bannos has placed markers at these historical sites, as well as at the Couch Tomb and the Kennison boulder, a landmark at the north end of where the City Cemetery once was.

Echo | features 53

“ My goal wasn’t ever to count the bodies and dig up the bones. It was always to get us to question the past.” Pamela Bannos The history of this area is somewhat muddled, thanks to a combination of inadequate record keeping and the mistaken belief that original cemetery documents burned in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Those missing documents reappeared in an abandoned Chicago warehouse in the 1980s; since then, historians have been attempting to put the pieces together, and Bannos has been translating those efforts for the public. Bannos is currently working on a book. You can lose yourself in an early chapter of Chicago’s history at her website, For now, whet your appetite with these intriguing elements of the story. STATE BONES According to the Illinois 1989 Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act, all unregistered graves, artifacts, markers and human remains more than 100 years old become property of the state upon discovery. In 1998, construction began on a new parking facility near the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). Workers unearthed a number of skeletal remains, as well as an occupied iron coffin. They were all sent to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

The bones included remains of 81 people; none were complete skeletons. “I went and visited them,” Bannos says. “They’re all in Ziploc bags.” CEMETERY CHARACTERS Ira Couch (1806-1857) Couch was a businessman and owner of the Tremont House Hotel, built in 1833. He grew wealthy from his real estate ventures and often traveled with his wife and daughter. When he suddenly died during a trip to Cuba at age 50, his body was shipped back to Chicago and eventually placed in the Couch mausoleum, near what is now the Chicago History Museum. The mausoleum cost $7,000 and reportedly was so heavy it required eight horses to pull it into place. To this day, it is unclear how many bodies are buried inside. Conflicting articles and accounts suggest there could be up to 13, including Ira. However, the Couch family also has a family plot in Rosehill Cemetery, where Ira’s name is engraved on a gravestone. Why the Couch mausoleum still stands in Lincoln Park is also disputed. The Encyclopedia of Chicago claims the

Two cemeteries Creation of the in Chicago Jewish Cemetery




part of Milliman’s land is incorporated into the cemetery


Exposed bodies removed from graves City council stops selling family plots

1851 Secret burials occur People begin illegally selling plots

family refused to relocate the mausoleum, and the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Couches when the issue was brought to court. Others say it was too expensive to move and the city and family gave up trying.

land had been illegally acquired. Disagreements about the Milliman tract of land became significant in the eventual conversion of the property from cemetery to park.

PRESSURE FOR REMOVAL By the 1860s, there was a growing movement for parks in Chicago. “People were becoming more and more concerned about the city’s growing population and need for these breathing spaces,” says Julia Bachrach, park historian and preservationist for the Chicago Park District’s Division of Planning and Development. The timing was ideal. Dr. John Rauch, a physician who served as the city’s health and sanitary superintendent, had raised concern about burying people by the lake, saying it would contribute to diseases that were killing Chicagoans: cholera, dysentery, scarlet fever and smallpox. In 1866, the city passed an ordinance declaring that the dead could no longer be buried within city limits. In 1862, an attorney discovered that Jacob Milliman’s land had been illegally purchased by the city. The issue was brought to the Superior Court of Illinois. In “A History of Lincoln Park, and the Annual Report of the Commissioners,” the record states that the Superior Court’s decision was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1865. Rather than pay the children, the city decided to give them back their father’s land, but remove the bodies. More than 1,000 bodies were dug up. “This is the major disinterment,” Bannos says. The bodies were moved to newer, more modern cemeteries: Rosehill, Graceland, Cavalry Catholic and Oakwoods. “The ordinance was passed that prohibited any more burials in the city limits, so at that time, all those cemeteries were outside the city limits,” says Diane Dr. John H. Rauch (1828-1894) Lanigan of Graceland Cemetery. “As the city grew, all those cemeteries came to be in the city limits again, and that’s Rauch determined that the cemetery was contaminating the city’s water supply with disease. He published a booklet, how they are today.” The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed much of the Intramural Interments in Populous Cities, and Their Influence upon remaining City Cemetery, including markers. Improper Health and Epidemics, urging the city to stop interments “with record keeping made it even more difficult to make sense the ultimate view of converting these grounds to a public of the ravaged landscape. “All primary documents were park, which shall contribute to the health, pleasure, and assumed to have burned in the Chicago Fire,” Bannos says. credit of our city.” “They only just surfaced in the 1980s.” Jacob Milliman (1815-1849) Milliman owned a piece of land adjacent to city limits. After he died of cholera, the city bought his land. That money was wrongfully pocketed by the new guardians of the children. Years later, an attorney discovered the David Kennison (1736?-1852) Kennison arrived in Chicago in 1840 and managed Mooney’s Museum, according to the 1884 History of Chicago, Volume 1. He claimed he was born in 1736 and was the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party. He also declared involvement in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, according to the Illinois Catholic Historical Review. If this were true, he would have been 115 when he died. Chicago threw him the biggest funeral the city had ever seen. The mayor, city council, militia companies, fire department, marching bands and numerous officials attended, according to an 1852 account in the Chicago Daily Journal. Over time, the city lost track of Kennison’s remains. In 1903, Chicago historical groups Sons of the Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a plaque in honor of Kennison on a large boulder at Wisconsin Street, just east of Clark Street. It reads: “In Memory of David Kennison, the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party, who died in Chicago, February 24, 1852, aged 115 years, 3 months and 17 days, and is buried near this spot.” Bannos’s research has placed Kennison’s actual gravesite two city blocks away from the boulder. The Hidden History of Old Town places his actual age at 85 in 1852.


final City Cemetery plots are sold


City allocates cemetery land for parkland conversion

Records reveal city illegally acquired Milliman Tract Major disinterments begin

1860 People offered deals to move loved ones



Lincoln Park Commissioners assume control of land


City Cemetery closes


Cemetery conversion to park begins Burials end

Echo | features 55

posthumous postinG on death, dying and facebook

By heather Schröering Photos by madeline Taussig now 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 born

Two dAyS AfTer Greg Hoctor died in 2009, his survivors created a Facebook

page in the 18-year-old’s honor. The first post was a Daily Herald link: “Man killed in car crash.” “I still can’t believe it,” reads one of the first posts, followed by more from family and friends expressing sorrow and disbelief, grieving and sharing. Three days later, Greg’s sister Sarah posted: “Please in memory of Gregory DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I hope that you all learn a lesson from this. NO ONE EVER THINKS IT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM… BUT IT DOES.” Some people shared memories: “Remember at daycare when you used to throw rocks at me and call me fatass? Well it made me sad then, but I think it’s hilarious now. Rest in Peace. You’ll be remembered =)” Others left general farewells: “We’re gonna miss you, man. R.I.P., buddy.”


Several years later, Hoctor’s Facebook memorial page is haunted by many of the 449 friends and family members who joined it. It’s a digital grave. Over the past decade, social media platforms like Facebook have added a dimension to the way an online generation copes with death. There are more than one billion Facebook users worldwide; of those, more than two million are dead, according to, a website that invites social media users to record their last words to be blasted out to their social networks in case they die unexpectedly. Their digital ghosts linger. DEALING WITH DEATH

There are two main types of posthumous pages. Memorial pages are created by family or friends to communicate with each other after losing a loved one. Some are private, and only people in the group can post. Personal Facebook pages can also become places where survivors grieve their loss in the virtual company of other mourners. “Death has typically been an [issue] that was discussed and handled in pseudo private ways, and we’re seeing that shift in social media,” says Jed Brubaker, a researcher at the University of California, Irvine, and co-author of the study “Beyond the Grave: Facebook as a site for the expansion of death and mourning,” published this year in The Information Society. “In many ways, I’m seeing it re-sensitize people by letting them

participate in death and mourn in too. Friends visited Quade and took ways that they wouldn’t have been able her for walks, helping her through her to otherwise.” grief. “Before, you got cards saying, Brubaker says mourners often ‘I’m so sorry for your loss,’ and many apply traditional memorialization people still have to deal that way,” practices to social media. They visit Quade says. “But the lucky ones who memorial pages or groups as though have a support system online are able they are graves. This allows them to share more, and I think that takes to remain connected with other your grief and helps you spread it out.” mourners and support each other as well as share memories of the past. NO FILTER “She was vibrant until the very end, Posting about death on Facebook fighting cancer all the way,” posted has its down sides, too. “You might Chicago playwright Vicki Quade after not like some of the responses,” says her 89-year-old mother’s recent death. Christine Beattie, a counselor at Quade, who used Facebook to vent HOPE for Bereaved, a nonprofit her frustrations during her mother’s in Syracuse, N.Y. that offers free illness, found the responses from grief counseling. “We’re in a society her virtual friends uplifting. After today [in which] you can almost say her mother’s death, Quade posted an anything you want. There’s no filter album on her own Facebook timeline on feelings.” titled “She lived a long and good life.” Two years after Hoctor’s fatal car Each photograph gives a tiny crash, news broke that he was not the glimpse into her mother’s life. One one driving the car. “Man left dying sepia-toned photograph shows her friend in wrecked car, returned to at 21 as a military volunteer during party,” reads a Naperville Sun article World War II. Her brunette curls posted on Hoctor’s memorial page. frame her porcelain face as she smiles, “Wow. What a piece of shit,” posted eyes looking in the distance. In one commenter. another, she sits on a couch reaching Beattie, who has been counseling for a bundle of balloons at her 72nd the suicide group at HOPE for 33 birthday party, her face beaming, years, says dramatic deaths, like brunette curls faded to white. suicides and DUI-related accidents, “Vicki, all our love, thoughts and often generate hostile comments on prayers are with social media sites. Such comments you,” consoled a friend in a comment. “destroy” grieving family and friends, “Losing your mother is not easy.” Beattie says. On Hoctor’s site, they Sixty-three others left comments were removed, but the hurt still lingers. on Quade’s album and 95 friends “Everyone calling Kevin a scumbag “liked it.” Using social media and that he should rot in hell doesn’t to announce her mother’s death solve anything,” wrote Matthew prompted several real-life interactions, Williams in December 2011, in

Echo | features 57


response to a post about the driver of the car. “It just fuels the torment and suffering of two people I considered friends.” Even well-intended comments can misfire when they are disseminated so publicly. “You simultaneously have to talk to everyone, and you don’t know who you’re talking to, which is kind of distressing,” Brubaker says. One way to avoid distressing comments is to “unfriend” people who have died. But doing so complicates grieving, Brubaker says, because of the symbolism of permanently de-friending someone. Such an action is final because there is nobody to accept a friend request if you change your mind. “I cannot delete any of my deceased friends from my Facebook page,” Quade says. “In the past, when someone died, that was it, that was the finality, they were gone. But now with Facebook, that finality doesn’t have to be there, and maybe that’s not good. [Maybe] Facebook is a detriment to grieving in that it doesn’t allow us to close the door, but maybe we don’t have to close the door.” DEATH NOTIFICATION

Samantha O’Brien, a graduate student at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., recalls a “disorienting” Facebook moment: “I just found out about Kim Chi, does anyone know what happened?” read a post in her graduating class’ Facebook group. Moments later, a former classmate linked an article with the headline “Louisville native dies while hiking in central Kentucky” with a thumbnail photo of Kim Chi Son.

“To see something that serious [in my newsfeed] was overwhelming,” O’Brien says. Such sudden and unsettling death notices are becoming more common in the digital age, when people remain connected for years after they might otherwise fall out of touch. It’s not uncommon for people to have thousands of friends on Facebook, making unexpected death announcements inevitable. “There’s a really big contextual difference,” Brubaker says. “So rather than having these times where we would go and honor and memorialize the dead, now these moments exist, for better and for worse, inside of this kind of everyday, casual social media practice.” News about someone’s death spreads instantaneously online, even if families aren’t ready to talk about it or reveal it to everyone. When O’Brien’s classmate passed away, word spread like wildfire, generating a frenzy of posts on her high school Facebook page. Within minutes, several of her closer friends began posting warnings: “I think her family wants to keep it private, just a heads up guys…” “I felt like I invaded their privacy,” O’Brien says. “While I still wanted to know, I felt kind of guilty about it, I guess. I should respect their privacy.” BEYOND THE GRAVE

Facebook’s power to help people reconnect can be awkward after someone dies. O’Brien recalls Facebook asking her to wish her friend’s late brother a happy birthday. “It’s just a reminder that this person is actually dead,” O’Brien says. “You

can write on their Facebook wall [because] their Facebook’s still here, but they’re not.” Brubaker points out that individuals grieve differently, with people choosing when they are ready to visit the cemetery or take out an old photo album. But on Facebook, the systematic push of information encroaches in a new way on how people grieve. After Columbia College student Chris Richko’s grandmother passed away in 2011, family members who were administering her Facebook page sometimes posted status updates from her account. “If LOVE could have saved her, she would have lived forever! Today I honor my mom,” one of his aunts wrote. Richko found such posts jarring. “It brought back all of the feelings of when she died,” he says. Richko had another unsettling experience after visiting the Facebook of a girl he knew in high school. “The first couple of postings were, ‘Hey, what’s up? I miss you,’ and you couldn’t really tell that she wasn’t alive, but then I scrolled down, and people were putting R.I.P. at the end [of their posts],” Richko says. He felt sad that nobody had reached out to him over the phone or some other personal way. Richko never expected to find out about a friend’s death alone in his room at 2 a.m. while scrolling through his newsfeed. “You see that, and you feel so alone. You sort of feel betrayed by everyone,” he says. “I wanted to write, ‘I miss you, and I was thinking about you,’ but it’s pretty much pointless.

It’s better to just think about it. Facebook is more of a place for people that are alive.”

to the deceased person. It’s none of my business, but here I am reading it, and other people can read it.”



Brubaker compares Facebook to a scrapbook, pointing out that it’s a timeline for a reason. Quade agrees. “That Facebook page is really no different than an old photo album,” Quade says. “There’s no reason to burn the photo album, no reason to delete the Facebook page.” Facebook is a place that’s “designed to broadcast the thoughts and feelings of its users,” Brubaker says in his study. But the public nature of Facebook draws into question whether it’s an appropriate place to express something as personal as grief. While scrolling through his deceased friend’s timeline, Richko saw posts that were, to him, too personal and made him feel uncomfortable. “I check my Facebook every day hoping you’d write me and this shitty reality is just a dream,” says an October 2012 post to Richko’s friend’s wall. He found other posts to be disrespectful, especially given that his friend passed away from a drug overdose. “Just tokin’ back enjoying life. I’m missing the hell out of you and Amber,” reads one post Richko would prefer not to see. “What happened to going to someone’s grave and putting flowers down?” Richko asks. “[Facebook] is not an authentic way of remembering someone, because sometimes people will post ridiculous things…about something they did in the past that was illegal, and it’s just like, why are you posting that?” The lines between public and private blur in situations like these. “Reading other people’s messages, it’s hard to resist, but at the same time I kind of have this weird guilt, like I shouldn’t be reading this,” O’Brien says. “This is like a private thing that this person is trying to communicate

Facebook’s role in mourning is still evolving. Brubaker says people will adapt to its role in the process over time. “We develop new ways for interpreting and understand what these media are and what they mean,” he says. “So it’ll be interesting to see how the social statuses shift as well.” It’s possible that Facebook will be a positive force, helping survivors celebrate the life of someone who has died, much like the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos puts a

positive spin on death with gifts and feasts. Brubaker says people will begin to adjust to social media’s role in accepting death as Facebook becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives. But it’s also possible that the impersonal mode of notification will make death harder to accept because people will learn of their losses so suddenly, without context or support. Richko, for one, isn’t optimistic. “No one needs to tell you anything, you just find out through Facebook about everything nowadays,” he says. “There’s less direct connection between people. Everything is posted now.”


Echo | features 59


Holy shit, I’m Old! Unforgettable highlights and lowlights of our youth By Kristina Budgin Illustrations by Adam Glab

The Motorola razr was released in 2004. We survived

Y2K. Friends debuted in 1994. Have you ever had one of those moments when you said, “That happened when?! Holy shit, I’m old!” Bet you’re having one right now. Echo combed through the news archives for major events

in pop culture and history during our youth. From major developments in science and technology to the unpredictability and stupidity of celebrities, we found some things worth remembering and others we’d like to forget.

Pop culture


The Motion Picture Association of America creates NC-17


Sue, the world’s largest, most complete T.Rex, is unearthed

Dr. Seuss dies of cancer


The World Wide Web becomes available to the public

Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” hits No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100


The four L.A. police officers who beat black motorist Rodney King are acquitted

Chicago icon Michael Jordan retires for the first time


Federal agents raid the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas

Wonderbra makes its U.S. debut with the Push-Up Plunge Bra


The World Series is canceled for the first time since 1904

Pixar releases its feature film, Toy Story


A heat wave kills hundreds of Chicago residents

Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer-Prize winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes, is published


Dolly the sheep is successfully cloned from an adult cell

American premiere of James Cameron’s epic film Titanic


Princess Diana dies in a car crash in Paris

The FDA approves Viagra


Chicago Bears running back Walter “Sweetness” Peyton dies at 45


Y2K crisis sparks anxiety over global data systems

Dave Egger’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is published


Vermont is the first state to legalize civil unions between same-sex couples

The original Apple iPod hits stores


The Patriot Act is signed into law

Michael Jackson dangles his 9-month-old son, Prince Michael II, over his hotel balcony in Berlin


NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft finds signs of ice

Paris Hilton’s sex tape is released


Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as governor of California

The series finale of Friends airs


Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook

Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah’s couch


Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans

“I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” -Bill Clinton

tHe Rest is

silence remember these iconic sounds?

sounds, like smells, can trigger feelings of nostalgia. As technology advances, some sounds are going extinct, along with the memories they conjure. Do you remember these sounds? FoNT: QUICKSAND

By heather schröering Illustrations by Mallory hawes

VIDEOTAPES The magnetic tape rewinding between spools inside a plastic shell never moved fast enough on family movie nights, especially when the previous movie renter forgot to rewind. That high-pitched, mechanical hum tortured you while you waited impatiently for the abrupt click of the VCR. The VHS cassette revolutionized home entertainment, only to be overtaken by the DVD in the early 2000s.

FoNT: Slab serif X-high


TYPEWRITERS The metallic clicking of clunky keys hammering against the platen resonated in newsrooms, offices and households for more than 100 years until the tapping of plastic keyboards attached to computers replaced the music of the typewriter in the ‘80s.

Rotary Phone No phone number could be kept secret with the rotary phone. The length of the circular hiss and the number of clicks revealed who was on the other end of the call. The rotary phone all but vanished by the ’80s when people began to prefer the quick beep-boops of push-button models.

DIAL-UP INTERNET It began with the drone of the telephone dial tone, followed by beeps as the phone dialed. Then came the shrill, robotic noise that resembled aliens talking, helicopter propellers rotating or children screaming in a blizzard. If the router and the telephone line had a dispute, this irritating sound




could go on for minutes. Dial-up access notoriously tied up the phone lines. Then DSL and speedy broadband silenced the scratchy, unpleasant clamor of dial-up. According to the Federal Communications Commission, only 6 percent of adult Internet users in the U.S. used dial-up by 2010.

CELL PHONE KEYPADS Before the smartphone, cellular devices had buttons. Many fi rst-generation cell phone users recall the clicks, taps and ticks produced by real keypads, especially those of us who preferred the multi-tap approach to texting over T-9. One of the fi rst touch screen smartphone designs was IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator, released in 1993. According to Pew research, 46 percent of adults in the U.S. had smartphones in 2012.




Timeless Toys Perennial toys in the millennial age High-tech gadgets have pushed aside many of the low-tech toys of our childhood. But a select few are surviving and even thriving, thanks to play value that doesn’t translate into a digital format.

By Heather Schröering Illustration by Michael Scott Fischer & Samantha Raggioli


Play–Doh According to Tim Walsh, toy and game inventor and author of Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them, brothers Cleo and N. W. McVicker began selling a flour, water, salt and borax wallpaper-cleaning compound in 1927. After the invention of vinyl wallpaper, which can easily be cleaned with soap and water, the mix took on a new life as a modeling compound, evolving into a multimillion-dollar toy brand by 1960. The dough’s recipe is a closely guarded secret. Echo! Mop-top Hair Shop Play-Doh play set: Ain’t nothin’ like squeezin’, cuttin’ and stylin’ spaghetti-strand Play-Doh hair through the head of a little plastic guy.

Heck No! Homemade modeling compound. Sorry, Mom. It just doesn’t smell the same.

Echo! LEGO Mindstorms: Awesome + totally awesome = motorized humanoid LEGO robot.

Heck No! LEGO video games: Clever concept, but I just want to build stuff.

Mr. potato head

Crayons Tickle Me Pink and Robin’s Egg Blue are two beloved Crayola crayon colors invented by Edwin Binney and Harold Smith. The Pennsylvania cousins, who owned a pigment company in the late 1800s, added color to a paraffin-marking tool and marketed it to parents. Binney’s wife, Alice, coined the term “Crayola” in 1903. Today, more than 100 billion Crayola crayons have been sold around the globe. They’re cheap, portable and eminently pleasing. “The little pop the crayon makes when you separate it from the paper,” Walsh says “You can’t get that with an iPad.”

Echo! The 120-count box. No one says it better than Crayola: “From red, yellow, and blue to gold, copper and silver, too!”

Danish manufacturer Kirk Kristiansen had a hunch parents wouldn’t stop buying their children toys during the Great Depression, so he launched LEGO, a combination of the Danish words that means “play” and “well.” Among the first LEGO toys was a simple wooden duck on wheels. The company began producing plastic automatic binding bricks in the 1940s, and added locking studs in 1958. LEGO is still family-owned. “The play pattern is not given to the child, saying, ‘Here, do this,’” Walsh says. “It’s open-ended, saying, ‘Here, create whatever you want.’”

Heck No! RoseArt. This knock-off brand is inferior and waxier. It has to be Crayola.

Forty-three years before his film debut in Toy Story, Mr. Potato Head was actually a potato. The first kits contained 30 sharp-pegged accessories, from eyes to hats, allowing kids to transform “any vegetable or fruit [into] a funny face man,” according to the box. When George Lerner came up with this idea in 1949, toy companies feared it wouldn’t catch on because of fresh memories of food rationing during the Great Depression and World War II. But three years and many obstacles later, Hasbro brought Mr. Potato Head to life. He was the first toy advertised on television, which quickly spread the spud’s popularity; his bigscreen debut further added to his fame. Despite his many transformations, including appearing in plastic in 1964, Mr. Potato Head remains a favorite. Echo! Star Wars Potato Heads: With names like Luke Frywalker, Yam Solo and Spuda Fett, who wouldn’t love these guys?

Heck No! Mr. Potato Head and His Tooty Fruity Friends: Katie Carrot, Pete the Pepper, Cooky the Cucumber and Oscar Orange. There’s only one fruit there.

FLASH FORWARD The future lives of video game characters By Gabrielle Rosas & Ryan Collins Illustration by Kara Janachione

It’s the year 2100 and all our 20th and 21st Century heroes, anti-heroes and villains have moved to Chicago. Take a look at where they settled.


Leon Kennedy and Sonic the Hedgehog Neighborhood: The Loop The stoic Mr. Kennedy finally tired of fighting zombies and saving the world. Now he patrols the financial district, where he feels comfortable surrounded by hordes of the undead.­Sonic, who received a speeding ticket while on a quest for gold rings, is working as a trader. Link and Tingle Neighborhood: Boystown Hylian men seem to have an affinity for effeminate garb and phallic weaponry. Link, who needed some space from neurotic Princess Zelda, is dating a man named Sheik. Tingle plays third wheel, downing fairy shooters at Roscoe’s. Princess Peach and Lara Croft Neighborhood: Gold Coast Princess Peach married into wealth, gained control of the Mushroom Kingdom and bought a condo here with Lara Croft. But then Peach was captured by Bowser. She now awaits a misdirected Italian man in a castle far away. Ms. Croft, whose impressive collection of ancient artifacts is on display in their foyer, defends the fort. Mario Neighborhood: Wicker Park After Peach dumped him for a wealthy entrepreneur—for the fifth time— the Mushroom Kingdom’s

heroic plumber made his way to the city’s hippest ‘hood, where his wellgroomed mustache helped him fit in. But it’s his creative use of alternative transportation (who knew dinosaurs were so fuel efficient?) and his startling array of exotic plant-life that truly established his place in this neighborhood.

him feel at home, and he doesn’t need to worry about his short temper getting him in trouble. Donkey Kong, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro Neighborhood: Lincoln Park Zoo Body-slamming crates has taken a toll on Bandicoot’s mind. He now inhabits the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House, muttering something about mangos. His longtime friend, Spyro, makes daily attempts to escape his enclosure, usually setting fire to patrons in the process. Donkey Kong, who is easily swayed by material luxuries, is just in it for the free bananas and health care.

Tommy Vercetti Neighborhood: West Loop After 30 years in confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Tommy Vercetti was let loose into a foreign world of portable phones, overpriced coffee and Facebook. Chicago is a far cry from Vice City, but the political corruption makes


Echo | Ends


ROOM AND HOArd Sharing living quarters in all its complexity

By Chelsea Tomala Photo by Angela Conners What is the worst part about living Sharing your abode can lead to new with them? friends, unfortunate fall-outs and “I got a text message at 7 a.m. on a self-discoveries. Echo’s unscientific survey Saturday telling me to turn the heat of 53 young people yielded up one degree.” some surprising statistics. “Their boyfriends/girlfriends also becoming roommates.” How many roommates do you currently have?

0 – 21% (11) 1 – 36%% (19) 2 – 19%% (10) 3 – 23% (12) 4+ – 2% (1) Are you satisfied with your current living situation?”

– 85% (44) no – 15% (8) skipped – (1)


What is the best part about living with your roommates?

“There’s always someone to talk to when you come home. They become like a family away from family. They are who you count on first.” “Hearing the murmurs of people talking or making breakfast in the morning… always being around people who are as weird as you.” “He cooks and cleans.” “I don’t have any and that’s the best part because roommates are hell on earth!”

“Dirty, dirty, messy, dirty... steal your things, loud, invade your privacy, always in the bathroom/kitchen when you need it, parties, friends, smoking, being psychotic in general.” “Her hair is everywhere.” What is the worst thing you have ever done to a roommate?

“Woke them up with firecrackers and a fire extinguisher in the house.”

What’s the weirdest thing your roommate has ever done?

“Got drunk and set off all the smoke alarms.” “She would stare at me, come in very late at night (3 a.m.) and then gave me earplugs.” “He cooks and cleans.” “One time I came back into the room and there was a full standing suit of armor in the room. New decoration. No warning.” “Slept in the nude (we shared a room).” “Kept a rice cooker in her room.” Have you ever hidden something from your roommates that they probably should have known about? yes no

– 37% – 63%

“I once dipped my roommate’s If yes, please elaborate. toothbrush in the toilet just because I “Toilet paper.” was unhappy with my living situation.” “I dropped tater tots in the crack in “I witnessed my cat puke in my old between the stove and the counter. roommate’s boot, and I didn’t clean it I can’t get to them, but I can see them up because she hadn’t done the dishes decomposing.” all week.” “Bills. If she isn’t here, I won’t let her pay half. She isn’t using the services. “I refused to clean the bathroom for an I am. So I pay more and just tell her a entire semester, resorting to showering smaller amount.” at the gym in order to avoid the responsibility.” “Had really loud sex that woke them up and then yelled at them naked in the kitchen.”

Do you think you are a good roommate? yes no

– 98% – 2%

Tweet, like, pin

Facebook THE STATISTIC: 64 percent of our

So what are we doing on social media?

respondents visit Facebook multiple times a day. THE PROGNOSIS: 86 percent of our

By Kristina Budgin

respondents are genuinely disappointed

Illustrations by Dave Schmitt

on a regular basis, 75 percent need to 50%

raise their standards for what gains

A 2013 report by the Pew Internet & American Life

Project found that 67 percent of online adults (ages 18 +) used social media sites as of December 2012. According to Nielsen’s State of the Media Report for 2012, 32 percent of people ages 18 –24 used these sites in the bathroom. Inspired and slightly disturbed by statistics like these, Echo polled 91 people with an online survey to find out exactly what they are doing on social media. Here’s what we found:

their approval, and FarmVille is on the brink of virtual economic collapse.

100% 41% 86% 71% 68% 1% 42% 40% 75%

update their status check for notifications procrastinate comment on someone else’s post/status play FarmVille comment on someone else’s photos peruse other people’s profiles “Like” something



THE STATISTIC: 52 percent of


our respondents rarely or never

THE STATISTIC: 45 percent of our

use Instagram.

respondents use Twitter.

THE PROGNOSIS: 62 percent of people

THE PROGNOSIS: 43 percent might

abuse Photoshop, and 100 percent

be informative narcissists, 74 percent

like to show others what amateur

found an alternative to newspapers, and


45 percent have the ability to condense

photography looks like.

52% 62% 50% 62% 48% 69%

their thoughts, feelings and lives into


100% take pictures of food take pictures with friends or family share pictures on Facebook edit pictures take pictures of alcoholic beverages take pictures of something other than food, booze or people

140 characters or less.

43% tweet about what they’re doing 30% use #witty hashtags 74% read the newsfeed for updates 19% have a conversation 38% check a celebrity’s recent tweets


“The Office”

THE STATISTIC: 16 percent of our

THE STATISTIC: 65 percent of our

respondents use Pinterest multiple times a

respondents have used social media

day, and 63 percent of female respondents

while in the bathroom.

use the site at least a few times a month. 50%

THE PROGNOSIS: Get married, cook,

THE PROGNOSIS: 19 percent of these 50%

people make us suspicious and 5 percent

make the home pretty, make yourself look 100%

pretty… there’s either a very smart man behind Pinterest or a

simply creep us out. Social media shall not be hindered by nature’s call, and


FarmVille is having a virtual Dust Bowl.

very bored 1950s housewife. 26% 63% 67% 54% 35% 50% 54%

“pin” “re-pin” look at something food-related look at DIY arts and crafts look at anything wedding-related look at clothes and/or shoes look at home décor

24% 14% 0% 5% 39% 15% 19%

update their Facebook status tweet play FarmVille take pictures with Instagram “Like” something on Facebook use Pinterest chose the ever-mysterious “other” option

Echo | Ends


Oh BOY! The evolution of boy band style By Monika Bickham Illustrations by Kara Janachione

FROM POP SINGERS to R&B crooners and rockers,

there’s no denying popular male bands have made an indelible mark on us. I’m not just talking about their relatable lyrics and dreamy eyes; I’m talking about their attire. No matter how ridiculous, their clothing has been the stamp on their perfect pop-culture package.

1920s – 1940s: Doo-wop crooners and barbershop quartets wore two-piece suits in eye-catching colors (bow-ties and pocket squares included). Their style was as slick as their perfectly gelled tresses. 1950s: Upping the ante on their suit-savvy brethren before them, boy bands of the ‘50s made bold statements with glitter, bright colors and way too much hair gel.

1960s: The ‘60s boy bands were a buffet of pastel-colored threads, flared pants, printed shirts and skinny-legged pants, resulting in some of the most iconic styles to date.

1970s: The look of the ‘70s was polished with a touch of eccentricity. With form-fitting bellbottoms and skin-tight, button-down shirts, these heartthrobs sent fans into a frenzy. Goodbye gel and hello hairspray.

1980s: Thick gold chains, sneakers and Kangol hats were this decade’s claims to fame: hiphop inspired style mixed comfort and swank.

1990s: Nothing was off limits! *NSYNC could prance around in oversized, checkered suits one day and sport jerseys and pleather jackets the next. 2000s: Denim was still popular, but more fitted. Letterman jackets were in and skinny jeans were almost unheard of. It was still cool to be flashy, but when was it ever not?

2010s: Now boy bands mix and match the best of each decade. This decade created “swag” with skinny jeans, waistcoats and leather jackets.

Don’t look! Chicagoans are adapting to the new CTA cars

By Sam Bohne Illustrations by Chris Dazzo

After decades of sitting in two-person seats and

staring at the backs of strangers’ heads while riding the “L,” riders are adjusting to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Bombardier 5000 series rail cars, which feature inwardfacing benches and hanging straps. Many Chicagoans find riding the new cars awkward because they are forced to face the people sitting across from them. “Where do you look?” asks Michael Fisch, PhD, an assistant professor at University of Chicago who is working on a book about Japan’s public transit system and urban life. “You know these people. You travel with them every day, but you never speak to them, so you’re very intimate with them and yet, you’re totally estranged.” This, in turn, encourages people to be less social and engaged, according to Gwendolyn Purifoye, a PhD candidate at Loyola’s Department of Sociology who studies social interactions on and around mobile public places. Instead, riders focus their attention on their phones or books as a way to avoid interactions.

“It’s all about personal space,” Purifoye says. “You’re exposed to more people. You’re exposed to more body parts. You’re exposed to more faces.” Purifoye thinks the new train cars have changed some riders’ behavior. She’s seen people hang from the straps while taking photos, and stretch out on the longer bench seat for a nap. “You definitely can lie down more comfortably in that particular train style,” she says. She’s noticed that women tend to avoid sitting between two men, and that people generally divert their gaze from one another. “They don’t want people looking at them thinking they’re staring,” she says. In the end, however, Chicagoans are going to have to adjust and learn to practice “civil disattention,” says Gary Fine, PhD, an ethnographer at Northwestern University. “That means that even if you’re looking at someone, even if you’re across the car, you act as if you can’t see them,” he says.


Echo | Ends


sAy wHAt? 1 10 words we need now By christine Trevino

A.) INTErVALYIcIsM b.) tongue, that IT’S ON THE tip of your LINGUIsTIc PEEVE c.) rETAIL word you can’t quite remember. PUrsUANcE d.) PrEordEr Wait, that’s not quite the right word. sTrEss dIsordEr (Posd) Sometimes there simply isn’tE.)a term for dEsTINEsIA F.) FoUrTHMEAL exactly what you mean. Try matching G.) METEorILLoGIcAL H.) then the concepts with the words, sEMANTIc sATIATIoN check your results to find out whether

That feeling after you’ve poured your heart into an email/text message, but can’t bring yourself to hit send.


The way a word you repeat over and over stops sounding like a real word.









The sudden lull in once-raucous conversation, causing everyone to turn and stare silently.

The feeling of disgust caused when people mispronounce certain words.

chicago’s weather on a day that includes snow, sleet, rain and sun.

Being stalked by online ads for something awesome you just bought.

Using the number of songs as a measure of how long it takes to get somewhere or do something.

When you walk into a room and forget why you’re there or what you’re looking for.

they are authentic or we made them up. a. Intervalyricism | b. linguistic Peeve | c. retail Pursuance | d. Preorder stress Disorder (PosD) | e. Destinesia | f. Fourthmeal | g. Meteorillogical | h. semantic satiation | i. Jarring hush | j. Textual regret Key: 1 j. (echo), 2 h. (real), 3 g. (echo), 4 a. (echo), 5 i. (echo), 6 b. (echo), 7 c. (echo), 8 e. (real), 9 d. (echo), 10 f. (real)

nAiling it By Najja Parker Illustration by Kara Janachione

NAIl ArT Is all the rage, from catwalks to the Museum of Modern Art’s pop-up nail salon. If you want in on the trend but can’t afford to pay someone else to paint your nails, don’t despair. “A lot of it is just trial and error,” says Chicago nail artist Tacarra “Spifster” Sutton. And that’s something you can do at home. Start by taping around your nails to protect your skin or putting lotion on your cuticles so that extra polish will wipe right off. Then try Sutton’s top nail art tricks: MArbLE FINIsH: Place a few drops of two or three polish colors in a cup of water. Swirl with a toothpick. Dunk each nail for a few seconds. sPEckLEd Look: Spray hand sanitizer in a cup of water with several drops of

The meal obsessively that’s too late rehearsing your to be considered a food order before reaching the counter. midnight snack but too early to be breakfast.

Pro advice for dressing up your finger tips one color of polish. Paint your nails with a complementary color, then dip. dEsIGNs: Attach stickers or temporary tattoos to your nails and apply a topcoat. oMbrÉ EFFEcT: Apply a base coat. Using dry brush strokes, add a second color, starting from one end. Blend with a brush dipped in polish remover. TEXTUrE: Polish your nails, let them dry, then dip nails in a contrasting color and

dab with plastic wrap or anything with a raised pattern. dEcALs: Paint invisible tape with polish, cut into shapes, attach to nails and cover with a topcoat. doTs: Dip a bobby pin or a small brush handle in polish, then dab on nails. GLITZ: Attach jewels and add a topcoat.

lyRicAl lessons relationship advice—good and bad—from ‘90s boy and girl bands By charrea sykes

no scRUBs Tlc

Bye Bye Bye *NsyNc I don’t want no scrub, a scrub is a guy that

Don’t wanna be a fool for you, just another

can’t get no love from me. Hanging out the

player in your game for two. You may hate

passenger side of his best friend’s ride,

me but it ain’t no lie, baby bye, bye, bye.

trying to holler at me. BottoM line: Date people who have their own cars.

gots tA Be B2K

BottoM line: Be gentle with people’s hearts.

poison Bell BIV DeVoe I wanna be the gots ta be in your life. Gots

It’s driving me out of my mind, that’s why

ta be the one that makes you sad, gots ta be

it’s hard for me to find. Can’t get it out of

the one you never had, gots ta be the one

my head, miss her, kiss her, love her. That

that you want so damn bad. Gotta be, gotta

girl is poison. Never trust a big butt and a

be, gotta be, your everything.

smile, that girl is poison.

BottoM line: Date people who have total control over you.

BottoM line: sometimes we get obsessed with people who aren’t good for us.

neveR HAd A dReAm come tRUe s clUB 7 I never had a dream come true, till the

invisiBle mAn 98 DeGrees I wish you’d look at me that way, your

day that I found you. Even though I pretend

beautiful eyes lookin’ deep into mine.

that I’ve moved on, you’ll always be my baby.

Telling me more than any words could say.

BottoM line: sometimes you get stuck on someone.

you all I am is the invisible man.

But you don’t even know I’m alive, Baby to

BottoM line: We always want what we can’t have.

Bills, Bills, Bills DesTINy’s chIlD

i wAnt it tHAt wAy BAcKsTreeT Boys

Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my

Tell me why! Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache.

telephone bills? Do you pay my automo’

Tell me why! Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake.

bills? If you did then maybe we could

Tell me why! I never wanna here you say, I

chill. I don’t think you do. So, you and

want it that way.

me are through. BottoM line: Money can buy you love.

no moRe 3lW

BottoM line: some people want the unattainable.

wAnnABe sPIce GIrls You do or you don’t, don’t. You will or

If you wanna be my lover, you have got

you won’t, won’t. No more. No More.

to give. Taking is too easy, but that’s the

Baby I’m a do right.

way it is.

BottoM line: repeat your plea for emphasis, even though it’s hopeless.

BottoM line: Don’t be selfi sh.



The Art of War By Gabrielle Rosas

Veterans talk about the transformative power of art The back of a Humvee is a powerful place to be. It’s the

gunner’s domain, a nest of bullets, sweat and heat. Combat missions require a perpetual state of piqued alertness; the gunner must stand at the ready, a stoic figure perched atop a metal beast. It’s a powerfully lonely existence. For Greg Broseus, who fought in Iraq in 2004, life as a gunner wasn’t as lonely as his later descent into posttraumatic stress. In response, he produced a series of blackand-white self-portraits depicting his inner turmoil, as well as his struggle with severe panic attacks.

“I had a lot of emotions that I still didn’t know how to put out into the world,” says Broseus, whose photos were part of an exhibition called “Radical Vulnerability” at the National Veterans Art Museum in 2011. “There was something really powerful that actually did happen throughout the course of making those photographs.” Although some veterans, like Broseus, benefit from documenting their dark journeys through art, the process isn’t easy. “A theme we run into a lot here at the museum is how war transforms art,” says Destinee Oitzinger, Gallery Coordinator at the National Veterans Art Museum. “We get a lot of different answers.” Lyndsey Anderson, assistant manager of visitor experience at the Rubin Museum in New York, agrees. A specialist in Himalayan and Tibetan art, Anderson helped create tours related to the programs as they relate to the veterans. “It really is all about perception, and a lot of people have a very narrow perception,” says Anderson, who also served in the Iraq War. “Not every [veteran] had the same experience, so not [every veteran’s] art is going to look the same.” Echo spoke with several local war veterans about how war transformed them and their work.

Greg Broseus, 29, photography major at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago War: Iraq  |  Duty: Humvee gunner When I first got home, I was really withdrawn. I didn’t want to talk to anybody except for the people I had deployed with because I didn’t want to share certain stories. What I’m focusing on with my photography is looking at the structures which we as a society experience. I feel like there’s a huge gap between the civilian society and the military society that hasn’t existed in the past.

Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza, 32, part-time teaching artist at Bremen Community High School War: Iraq  |  Duty: Psychological operations and logistics My art now has a sense of purpose or coherence. I don’t know how much of it I can point to and say, “It’s because I went to war.” That definitely informs the content and perspective. But whatever work I make, it has to have a really strong conceptual base. I can no longer make a doodle; this doodle has to have a purpose, whether it’s a sketch for a future project or an idea for a tattoo I’ll get somewhere down the line. Everything has to lead to something.

Bill Crist, Jr., 62, public speaker at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago War: Vietnam  |  Duty: Medic, infantry, aviation It took me 30 years before I could actually start drawing anything. [After the war] I just went totally out of control, violent and everything like that, so I ended up in the psych ward for three months. And there I had an art therapist, Sally. And she was fantastic; I don’t know how she drew that stuff out of me. I never was any type of artist. But I like to pull people into my experience with me as though they’re going on patrol with me. Every time I do something, I want to make it jump off the paper and grab you by the head.

doing well At doing good Four tips for effective charitable giving By Kristina Budgin

IF yoU WANT to contribute to the greater good but you

have no time to volunteer, you might consider making a donation to a charitable organization. But how much of your money will go toward the cause and how much will be absorbed by staff salaries and other overhead costs? It’s a question many Americans should be asking. According to the 2012 Atlas of Giving Report, Americans

1. 2.

CheCK the Mission stateMent

“Look at whether [the charity’s] mission is your mission and whether they seem to be active in providing programs,” says Richard Steinberg, PhD, Professor of Economics, Philanthropic Studies and Public Affairs at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Mission statements usually can be found on the charity’s website. VolUnteer

Steinberg says volunteering provides an insider’s view on how a charity works, how it’s run and what it’s accomplishing. If volunteering is not an option, Einolf suggests talking to friends who volunteer. This approach is helpful, he says, because donors “feel like they trust a charity because someone they trust trusts the charity.”

donated almost $370 billion to nonprofits. Nearly 75 percent of that was individual donations. These donors don’t always research charities before making donations, according to Christopher Einolf, PhD, assistant professor at the DePaul University School of Public Service. Certainly you have enough time to do that.

3. 4.

researCh finanCial rePorts

All nonprofits must fi le a Form 990, an annual tax report that reveals how much money they receive and spend, including the cost of administration and staff salaries. These forms usually can be found on an organization’s website or at But, Einolf warns, “If you make a mistake on your Form 990, or even if you just outright lie, you almost certainly won’t get caught.” giVe UnrestriCteD fUnDs

These donations give the charity the freedom to use the money where it’s needed most, says George Krafcisin, a pro-bono consultant for Chicago-area nonprofits. “If you trust the people who are running the charity, then you should trust them to figure out how to best spend the money,” Einolf adds.

“THErE’s No sUcH THING As THE PErFEcT cHArITY, so doN’T LET MINor FLAws kEEP YoU FroM GIVING.” –rIcHArd sTEINbErG, Phd learn More here GUIdEsTAr:


Provides financial reports on nonprofi t organizations as


well as information on the organizations’ mission, legitimacy,

impact and programs.

Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations must register each year with the Attorney General’s office.


This site provides potential donors with access to information

on Illinois organizations’ income, expenditures, programs

Provides reports on national charities and evaluates them

and administration.

based on how they are run, how they spend their money, the truthfulness of their representations and their willingness to make basic information available to the public.



kick me! By Gabrielle rosas Photo by Angela conners home

Updates 1

Projects 7


comments 0


seVen sUCCessfUlly fUnDeD Passion ProJeCts

7 projects

$750 pledged of $750 goal



seconds to go

back This Project $1 minimum pledge

crYsTAL bAcoN like

81 people like this. Be the first of your friends.

crowdfunding has empowered some wacky and weird projects. Echo took a look at some of the recent bizarre but successful chicago-based campaigns.



launched: Jan 31, 2013 funding ends: May 16, 2013 remind me

A “sculptural tribute to the most delicious of all meats, bacon.” GoAL: $2,000 PLEdGEd: $2,786 echo! Favorite breakfast food forever memorialized. heck no! Not edible.



A soul food audio cookbook that allows you to smell, touch and, yes, even taste the ingredients in the photos.



A humongous, scary octopus creature complete with a huggable brood of developing baby octopi eggs.


GoAL: $1,100

GoAL: $800

GoAL: $12,000

PLEdGEd: $2,234

PLEdGEd: $1,132

PLEdGEd: $22, 578

echo! The smell of a fresh, tasty

echo! cuddling with a

echo! No more worries about

meal, no skill required.

cthulhu-like creature.

jamming an unwieldy mechanism

heck no! ruining the pages with

heck no! cuddling with a

into your luggage (insert more

copious amounts of drool.

cthulhu-like creature.

immature laughter).



wEddING drEss

LAkEs oF FIrE ANd bEYoNd!

A book oF dwArVEs

A chainmail wedding dress made of 10,000 aluminum rings. GoAL: $1,350

A 30-foot boat with a 25-foot mast, a water cannon and, of course, a fi rebreathing dragon at the bow.

A “field guide” to fantasy dwarves, including Dwarven cuisine and fashion.

PLEdGEd: $2,106

GoAL: $2,500

GoAL: $2,000

echo! Battle-ready wedding wear

PLEdGEd: $2,550

PLEdGEd: $5,429

in case tensions with the in-laws

echo! let the epic Viking role

echo! Diplomatic relations between

get extreme.

play commence!

humans and dwarves strengthened.

heck no! More function than fashion.

heck no! Insanely high nerd factor.

heck no! Nerdy beyond reason.

A joystick with a detachable shaft (insert immature laughter here).

heck no! Potential for sexual innuendo.

Second City Firsts Made In Chicago: The what, when, where and who of famous Windy City inventions By Christine Trevino and Kristina Budgin Infographic by Dave Schmitt Created at the request of Bertha Palmer Chicago World’s Fair The Palmer House Hotel of 1893 Home Insurance Building

Inventor (and Pizzeria Uno founder): Ike Sewell


Pizzeria Uno


DEEP DISH PIZZA Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

1893 1885






Inventors: F.W. and Louis Rueckheim

Inventor: George Ferris

Universal Fastener Co.

Architect: William Le Baron Jenney





FIRST ZIPPER 1920-1950

Unveiled at Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

1930 1891

Inventor: Whitcomb L. Judson

Inventor: Josaphine Cochrane


Buddy Guy Muddy Waters


Continental Baking Co.

Willie Dixon Inventor: James Dewar

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater Debuted Juicy Fruit in 1893

Inventor: William Wrigley

Echo | Ends





























Echo | Ends