Page 1

07............... Letter from the Editor


12 ............... Aeropress Glenn’s Diner ............... 16 18 ............... Creative Fusion Run Faster ............... 22 26 ............... Birders Kolateks Bakery ............... 28 30 ............... Being Awake

AFTERNOON 2 Minutes 30 Seconds ............... 40 44 ............... Antiquing Thrift Store Trending ............... 46 53 ............... The Garage Suburban Food Truck ............... 54 56 ............... Yum Dum Farnsworth House ............... 60 64 ............... A Change of Scenery Saint Charles Scarecrow Festival ............... 68 70 ............... Lucid Immersion Pages and Panels ............... 72 74 ............... Dead to Alive A Street of Forty Doors............... 79 86 ............... Anomaly

EVENING Brew and Pizza ............... 92 97 ............... Raise the Macallan Pose ............... 100 102 ............... Neo-Futurist Theater Abstraction ............... 104 111 ............... Deep Dish Repurpose ............... 114 116 ............... Under the Floorboards Uber Taxi ............... 120 123 ............... Pretty Lights


Art Director Spencer Zidarich

Assistant Art Directors Kayla Koch Danielle Schlessinger

Graphic Designers Jessica Leica Jordan Grimes Emily Tobin

Photography Editor Christopher Marrs

Editor-in- Chief Sharon Sanchez

Typography Editors Matt Dunne Lauren Gallagher

Illustration Editors Taylor Haney Eric Cimino

Web Directors James Suttles Mary Chambers

Polaris magazine is published by the Columbia College Chicago Art + Design Department. Polaris is a student-produced publication of Columbia College Chicago and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of college administrators, faculty or the student body. Writers and designers must enroll in the Publication Design course. For more information, contact faculty advisor Zach Dodson at; student photographers and illustrators can work on a freelance basis. For further information visit


Faculty Advisor

Art Director

Asst. Art Director

Illustration Editor

Illustration Editor

Typography Editor




Asst. Art Director

Photo Editor

Typography Editor

Web Director


Web Director

The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who, like the author himself, are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this, only one good reader is necessary.

Henry Miller



I was excited about the notion of bringing a subterranean element to our stories. Hidden or unseen layers in the landscape of our won modern daily lives. We wanted to showcase the underexposed subcultures that are living just beneath the surface of mainstream culture.

Welcome to the very first edition of Polaris. A publication that aims to go, be, and exist between the layers of the everyday. When we first set out to define the basic framework of Polaris, we immediately knew that we wanted unique and interesting stories, a strong typographic layout and visually striking imagery whether it be photographic, illustrated, or designed. We wanted to stay away from anything that resembled the thousands of other magazines that are in the market today. Yet we wanted something that invited the reader in and encouraged them to lift the veil of the mundane to reveal an awareness of novelty.

With this in mind, we set out and discovered events, locations, activities, groups, and business owners who have carved a niche that is uncommon and remains under-recognized. What we created is a publication that is both edgy, adventurous and definitely not mainstream. Polaris is a Chicago based collective who aims to provide a visual and literary documentation of the undetected. Our intent is to reflect our surroundings by unveiling content to those eager for a shift in perspective. We hope that you take away a memorable experience from this issue and perhaps feel inspired to explore one of the many activities and locals we present to you. Don’t stop exploring...

Sharon Sanchez Editor-in-Chief



Author and Photographer Spencer Zidarich 12

THE AEROPRESS A guide for perfecting your morning cup of coffee The AeroPress is a coffee brewing tool that uniquely blends qualities of French press and espresso extraction methods. Coffee grounds are first subjected to a submersion brew in the AeroPress chamber. This stage extracts a depth of flavor that is normally specific to French press coffee. Once the grounds have been fully steeped, the chamber is turned upside down and they are subjected to a pressurized extraction. Steady, even pressure forces the mixture through a fine grade paper filter and straight into a mug. The application of pressure is meant to mimic espresso extraction while bringing out subtle, yet bright flavors in the beans. The coffee that results is a deep, complex, and strong cup of coffee that can be diluted with water or milk to create americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, and the like. I suggest using beans from Big Shoulders Coffee here in Chicago who, this summer, celebrated their first year of business at their storefront on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue. Their beans are locally roasted in-house, obtained from environmentally conscious coffee farms, and are one of the few


USDA Certified Organic coffees in the city. Their Columbia blend is a deep, rich, and complex coffee with subtle notes of a light chocolate flavor. The Columbia, which is Big Shoulders’ go-to fast drip coffee at the shop, is an incredibly versatile brew that pairs well with breakfast in the morning, desert in the evening, and everything inbetween. However, if you ever see their Ethiopia on the shelf, act quick and snatch a bag up because this dark, earthy blend doesn’t last long and it is certainly one of their best. Food for thought: If you have a coffee grinder at home, I recommend always purchasing whole beans rather than having them ground on the spot at the shop. Whole coffee beans stay fresher when stored correctly, and freshly ground beans (especially when ground within 30 minutes of brewing) will release the maximum flavors during extraction.






Ingredients: 2 tbsps of coffee, ground like sand 6 oz clean water, just short of a boil

Step-by-step: 1. Bring water to the correct temperature 2. While you are waiting, grind the coffee to the correct texture 3. Rinse the paper filter in the filter cap 4. Extend the AeroPress chamber just below the No. 4 mark 5. Pour grounds into the chamber and cover with near boiling water, make sure that the grounds are saturated 6. Screw on cap, brew upright for 30 sec. 7. Invert AeroPress and place over mug 8. Apply pressure and slowly extract the coffee over 30 sec.

Coffee sourced from: Big Shoulders Coffee 1105 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL Columbia Blend, $10

AeroPress sourced from: Star Lounge Coffee Bar 2521 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL Includes filters, $30


Author and Illustrator Kayla Koch


WE ARE CEREAL Not your average seafood place



Glenn’s Diner is one of the best seafood places in Chicago. Known for their delicious crab legs, fresh seasonal fish, and yes, famous cereal wall, Glenn’s is simply addicting. From the outside, Glenn’s may not show the magic within. With gimmicky lines like, “Best Food in the World” written enormously on their awning, as well as a neon “We Are Cereal” sign largely displayed in their front window, many may just walk by because of this alone. Whether creating this fresh and fun atmosphere within or serving incredibly fresh food, Glenns’ a place filled with good food and spunky personality. Many nights they are busy; a wait line leading out the door, so it’s easier to grab a spot on weekdays. The best part though, is that they’re open for breakfast all day. At any time you may grab a bowl of cereal and be served seconds and thirds. While other dishes can get a bit pricey, based on market price of certain seafood varieties, it’s still worth the extra penny for this hidden gem. Even if you don’t have extra pennies though, cereal and fish aren’t the only great dishes on the menu. Other foods like meatloaf or mac and cheese keep people’s wallets full and their stomachs happy too. On top of the great food and atmosphere, the wait staff goes above and beyond to be accommodating and ready to explain the dishes thoroughly. Being a BYOB diner as well, there seemed to be a bucket of ice even before we had to ask, and great recommendations right after.

Location: 1820 W Montrose Ave, Chicago IL 60613

( Montrose Brown line ) 773.506.1720 BYOB, Call for reservations

Hours: Monday - Friday: 11 AM - 10 PM Saturday: 9 AM - 10 PM Sunday: 9 AM - 9 PM

Popular Dishes: Alaskan King Crab Legs - Market Price Lobster Fettuccine - $20.95 Montrose Avenue Lobster Roll - $16.99 Jambalaya - $19.95 Cioppino - $18.95 ( Prices subject to change )

Though the restaurant still serves appetizing sea-food dishes, it is worth noting that Glenn’s changed ownership in 2012. This was due to a lawsuit settlement between founder Glenn Fohlstrom and one time parter, Larry Jones. Since the change, Glenn’s has experienced price increases, notable differences in quality, and certainly less of a draw than it once pulled.


Author and Photographer Sharon Sanchez



How one arts entrepreneur is carving out a creative niche for herself in style

Attending Columbia has been a great experience and offers some of the best arts training programs; but because it is an art school, many students tend to focus on honing their skills and getting the training on how to be great artists. Often forgetting about the importance of learning the basics of business, running or managing a business, or marketing themselves or others. Since the goal for most artists is to work for themselves, it has become increasingly more critical in ensuring their success after graduation that they learn (at least) the basics of business in their chosen field. Luckily with the AEMM program (Arts, Entertainment & Media Management) at Columbia, there are students who enhance their skills in the world of business, management, or entrepreneurship. Such known people are Jacqueline Tibbetts, a recent graduate of Columbia’s AEMM program. I have known Jacqueline since 2010 and had the opportunity to work with her during our time at the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces (DEPS), the department that manages the art galleries on campus and ShopColumbia, the artist shop. I sat down for coffee at a local Lakeview coffee shop with Jacqueline to talk about her time at Columbia as an AEMM student and how she put her degree and acumen for business to use after graduation.


Sharon Sanchez: Jackie, where did you go to college? Jacqueline Tibbetts: I graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2012; but I had originally transferred in from more of an academic college; Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. SS: What type of degree did you go to school for? JT: I have a bachelor’s degree in Arts Entrepreneurship and Business Management. SS: What made you come to Columbia College? JT: I originally came to Columbia as a dance major, but then I realized that I wanted to do business with more creative people. I always knew that I had a business side to me and from a young age have always had a sort of entrepreneurial knack. I soon realized that dance was just a passion for me so I ended up switching majors shortly after. SS: What steps did you take to create a business plan? JT: When I officially switched majors (at the end of Sophomore year). I had heard about the Entrepreneurship


program and became curious about it. It was a natural switch for me since I had already been doing some entrepreneurship projects on my own. It was where I needed to be. While taking an entrepreneurship class, I was learning about business plans and I noticed that many people were coming to me for advice. Even though I was still learning along the way, I discovered that I had a skill at seeing what businesses needed, how to put relationships with them by guiding them through creating business plans and helping them with their artist statements. I ended up creating the Artist Resource Guide, a kind of an aid to help them with their business. Afterwards, I created a workshop series based off of this guide.

portfolio center. I was there for about 2 years, my contract with the shop eventually ended once I graduated so I had to move on. SS: What type of clients do you usually work with? JT: In 2011, I had been developing my own consulting business, so my first clients were pretty much anyone I could work with. People that I really had a connection with and believed in their artwork. There was a painter, a photographer and a few bands. Most of these were for pro-bono work. I was probably making like $300 dollars per year because I was just testing it out and I was still finishing my degree. Eventually I had my first official

Time management is huge and probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve learned. Because I saw a need for info to be in one place and a forum where people could talk about it. I then collaborated with other departments in the college to bring in other resources, like the

client, which was the first contract I created. This time I charged hourly consulting fees, which ultimately helped me to test out ideas in a formal way.



SS: Please explain “Tweaked Style” and some of the process. JT: I created this company when I was in the process of switching over my majors. It was the first business plan I had created within my degree. I loved this company and had been sitting on it for a while. It had been a dream of mine and I was kind of hesitant to go into the fashion industry because of the stigma around status driven ideals. I ended up keeping it on the back burner. But recently, I am trying to feed in my consulting business with fashion designers. Styling them and tweaking their styles to fit their wardrobes and to fit their personal style is how she came up with Tweaked Style. So you don’t have to overhaul your entire wardrobe, you would just “tweak” what you have.

JT: The greatest advice I could give is stick it out. Discouragement is normal, as I have been many times. Second guessing if I am doing the right thing, am I going in the right direction, or should I get a full-time job with health insurance? (laughs) Because if I compare myself now to where I was in 2012, I see that I have progressed and am doing significantly better. I’m making more money, the processes for my business is definitely more sophisticated, and people are now seeing my value. Which

SS: What has helped you get through all of the hoops and challenges you’ve encountered in seeking to establish yourself? JT: I am always pulling from other entrepreneurs and always reading up on what other people are doing. How they spend their days, how they manage their time - time management is huge and probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve learned as I’ve started getting busier. Learning when and how to say “no” if it doesn’t align with your goals or contribute to your business’s growth. You are constantly asking yourself: “Am I on track?” and always balancing your schedule.

Also, of equal importance is to know your limitations. Watch for the patterns in your life. Things aren’t always easy. What gets you through are the days that are difficult, the fact that you’re hard at work for something that is totally your dream. I would first:

SS: Do you have any advice, recommendations, or tips for anyone just graduating, looking for work, or looking to start a business but don’t know how? You know, that first step.


is new for me, because before I would do free work just to get started. So I would stick it out, because I do think that success is around the corner; I would keep going.

1. Start with a blog. You don’t want to start a business based on tracking how many likes or followers you have. You’re going to end up waiting all day. Instead, start ahead of time. Begin with your following and your blogs. If people are interested in and like your content, it is a good way to test out your product or your service. 2. Create a sample logo. 3. Create a website.

SS: How do you approach marketing for yourself and as a brand? JT: 1. Know yourself and know your brand just as well. 2. The artist is often the brand and is usually integrated into the brand. By knowing yourself and what your limitations are, you can put these key words into your brand. 3. If you believe in yourself, your product and what you do, you will be able to market yourself in person and through social media. 4. Relationship building, networking and convincing others to believe in your brand. SS: Aside from “talking” about your brand, how else do you market yourself to different types of clients? JT: Through business cards, creating a simple logo, and website. In addition, social media is huge, pick three social media forums and do them really well.

for them and what doesn’t. Who has tested out their product or service and has seen results? I would like to be involved the fine-tuning process. I want to have my own consulting space where you can come in and see a graphic designer and a web guy for logos and marketing, and then you can see someone about creating a budget, you can see someone about events and how to plan the hottest events in Chicago. Like an assembly line but a boutique firm. A shop for fashion designers and having a pop-up shop. I have a lot of visions about how to intermix fashion styling with fashion consulting- having everything done in-house. That is my ideal dream, I would be able to hire people and have an in-house styling and consulting firm.

SS: You have a few businesses currently in the works right? Tweaked Style and your consulting business? JT: Yes, I have Tweaked Style (something a little more fun/ stylish), a social media site that offers tips on styling since 2011 and my business consulting [JM Consulting]. SS: How do you differentiate your brands from one another? JT: My brand is solely based on being their number one fan. I feed off the fact that I can translate what my clients are envisioning, what their passions are and bring them to life. Compassion is huge. Being the number one fan of my client is very important. I also want to be a coach, offering guidance, constantly thinking and advocating for them. Tweaked Style follows a similar approach in that I help my clients save money by helping them shop their closest first and enhancing their wardrobe with key pieces. It’s all about tweaking their style to fit them. Not coercing them into every brand or trend that comes out as the next hot thing. I don’t want to force them into a mold. SS: My last question is what direction do you want to take with Tweaked Style and JM Consulting? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? JT: My ideal in five years is to have all my clients in the fashion industry. I have worked with a stylist before, and I want Tweaked Style to be a springboard for some of the stylists I am currently working with. As with my consulting, I would like to work with those who are in their post-testing phase and are ready to move on to more concrete decisions about their business. In other words, once a person has worked through the initial steps of what works

For more information on Jacqueline’s services: Visit her at:



Author Spencer Zidarich Photographer Ting Shen


RUN FASTER Joshua Uhl explains what Ultramarathon running is all about Joshua Uhl is a senior photography major at Columbia College Chicago who also happens to be an Ultramarathon runner in his spare time. In this interview, Joshua reveals the inception of this out of the ordinary interest, his intense training regiments, and the ways Ultramarathon running has changed him. Spencer Zidarich: Have you always been a runner? When was the first time you started and how did you become interested in it? Joshua Uhl: I have not always been a runner. I have run on and off since high school because I figured I should do it to be healthy. But I didn’t like it, nor did I consider myself a runner. In September of 2012 I ran the Chicago Half Marathon. Meeting my goal to finish felt good but I didn’t really enjoy pavement running; it hurt my knees and felt monotonous. Then I tried trail running, and I loved it! It feels free and easy to flow down a trail on my feet, running over natural ground, dodging rocks, roots and trees. This is when I became interested in Ultramarathon running, since most Ultras are held on trails. SZ: What makes Ultramarathon running such a unique sport? JU: An Ultramarathon is classified as running any distance further than 26.2 miles. Most start at 50 kilometers [about 32 miles]. What I love about Ultras are their simplicity; the goal is not about keeping a target pace, and its not dictated by the time


on your GPS watch. It’s about paring down to the essentials and running from point A to point B. It’s about listening to your body and pushing your physical and mental limits to improve yourself inside and out. SZ: You must have to train a lot. How long do you prepare for one of these events, and what is a typical run like for you? JU: My first Ultra was ran in May of 2013, a 50k that I completed in 7 hours and 36 minutes. I only trained for about 16 weeks, and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Now, I am training for the next step up: a 50 mile race in May of 2014. This time I will be training for 8 months. I am two months into that training now. I train not for distance but time spent running. I will be running for close to 12 hours during the upcoming 50 mile and the time spent running is what will prepare me. My weekly runs are anywhere from 1-3 hours of running per day with two longer runs during the week. In a few months I will be running 16-20 hours a week which is well over 100 miles a week. It’s a mentally challenging amount of training and will be quite difficult to accomplish while working and being a full time student.


Sports and Entertainment

It’s about listening to your body and pushing your physical and mental limits to improve yourself inside and out.



SZ: I am aware that you are an avid rock climber as well. How does this play into your fitness and/or help with your training? JU: I am taking time off of climbing to train for this 50 mile. I still incorporate a climbing style upper body workout 1-2 times a week but I am not climbing much. I will be swimming once a week as well to help strengthen every part of my body for the race. SZ: Do you have a special diet you abide by while you train? JU: As my running times increase I need to eat more and more food to accommodate for the calories I’m burning. I eat a high carb, high protein diet with lots of veggies and fruits as well. I make sure to eat healthy and extremely often. When running for long periods of time I also need to eat while doing so. Gu’s and Shot Blocs are favorites of mine to bring on runs. The average 22 year old male with a moderate fitness level should have a diet of about 2,200 calories per day. My caloric intake will reach 5,000+ per day to get the energy needed at the height of training. Just getting enough food feels like a full time job. SZ: What are the gear essentials you swear by? JU: A hand held water bottle. Minimalist, high traction trail running shoes such as Inov8 or New Balance. Clothing for all weather conditions; layers help because much of my training is in the winter months. I run light and like to be as minimal as possible.

Joshua Uhl’s Top Five Locations to Trail Run 1. Ice Age Trail Wisconsin 2. Twin Sisters Trail Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 3. Flatirons Vista Boulder, Colorado 4. Jackson Falls Southern Illinois 5. Porcupine Mountains UP, Michigan

SZ: Have you set any goals for your future Ultramarathon career? JU: The goal is to complete a few more 50k and 50 mile races with the ultimate goal being a 100 mile Ultramarathon SZ: How has being an Ultramarathon runner impacted you as a person? JU: It has taught me that my limits are greater than I think. I can do more than I thought was possible. The mental strength I have gained works its way into every aspect of my life. I am searching to push my limits and be the best person I can possibly be. Training for and running Ultramarathons has taught me balance and has given me peace, both mentally and physically. However, I know that I have much more to learn.

Sports and Entertainment


Author and Illustrator Kayla Koch



Chicago Ornithological Society It is one thing to like to wake up to the sound of birds, but it is another to want to be able to tell what type of bird it is. Many Chicagoans don’t take advantage of the free and informal societies in the city, and Chicago Ornithological Society may be the greatest place to start a new hobby without terrible expenses. If you take an interest in birds or the environment (especially in the morning), COS helps some astonishing creators and places. While many may view the idea of watching, listening, and studying birds mundane, those who seek an “I-Spy” - like experience and want to be closer to nature in a city’s dense landscape can find some relief.

COS also participates and does its best to encourage young birders in the Illinois Young Birders Club. Each year, COS sponsors a young birder financially and provides a field trip led by an expert birder. Official registration for new members is encouraged with a donation dependent on senior, student, or family status. All contributions to the non-profit organization are put towards growing conservation efforts, such as a recent push to halt a Calumet shooting range after a pair of Bald Eagles were spotted nesting, toward regular expeditions.

The Chicago Ornithological Society was founded in 1912 by professional ornithologists for the purpose of uniting bird watchers in the Chicago area. In present day, the society welcomes novice and expert watchers in hopes of sharing knowledge, helpful identification tips, and conversational efforts to protect and restore necessary habitations for native and migratory birds.

Beyond birds though, field trips within the society let you explore the Chicagoland area more extensively. Regular trips take place every Wednesday to observe migratory bird patterns that take place along Chicago’s lake front. A frequent point of observation is Lincoln Park, which is considered one of the region’s best places for bird watching where nearly 350 different kinds of birds have been spotted flying week in and out. So grab a pair of binoculars, a notepad, and join a nonprofit organization looking out for the little ones.

The club maintains an informal atmosphere and has free public access to meetings typically held in the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. Topics of discussion range from nesting to migratory projects to new species identification. Additionally, the club maintains a commitment to field observation, hosting frequent field trips in the Chicagoland area hosted by knowledgeable birders in which attendance is free.

To find more information, go to



Six bird watching tips 1. Keep your eye on the bird at all times Every moment you keep your eye on the bird are precious moments. Instead of writing down everything you see, try to study it and absorb all markings, movements, habits, and details while they last! Eastern Bluebird Chestnut-sided Warbler

Short-eared Owl

Yellow Warbler

Scarlet Tanager

Black-billed Cuckoo

2. Listen for vocalizations Keep your ears alert for calls or songs of the bird’s. One of the best ways to identify a bird is by their vocalizations. Look for bill movements too if you can. 3. Estimate the size and shape The best way to determine a bird’s name is by its overall appearance. It’s key to approximate their size and shape in relation to other well known birds. This includes also noting facial markings, bill characteristics, wing bars, leg and tail color verse shape. 4. Catch movement and flight patterns If you can, observe the way the bird walks, how it holds it tail, and if it can jump from branch to branch. Question if it can glide steadily and if it creates gentle arcs in patterns.


5. Feeding habits Try to determine feeding habits. Is it clinging to a tree trunk for insects? Does it forage your lawn, or sway its bill over a pond?

Red-winged Blackbird

Neotropic Cormorant

6. Record! Take notes and study. Field guides are a great way to start becoming a bird viewing expert!

Trumpet Swan

Arts and Culture


Author & Photographer Eric Cimino



A little something for everyone, with a Polish twist

“Pretty good” can describe quite a few things we experience in our daily lives. That movie was pretty good, and so was the food on my date last night. I heard the show my friends went to last weekend was pretty good, too. Some things, though, are better than “pretty good,” and one of those awesome things is Kolatek’s Bakery and Deli, a Polish bakery and grocery store on North Harlem. Everything in the store that hasn’t been packaged is made fresh and on site. This includes cheeses, bread, soups, sandwiches, and tons more. Want some fresh raw honey? Go to Kolatek’s. Looking for gluten free bread, spelt, artisan, or sprouted grains? Take a trip to Kolatek’s. Have a taste for some exotic sweets or snacks? You guessed it: go to Kolatek’s. In my few brief visits I saw a lot of cool and interesting foods I wanted to try including but not limited to: chips, crackers, and cereals; dessert mixes; sweets and candies; teas and soups; cream sodas; and tons of meats and cheese. Because of its location in an area inhabited by a large population of Polish citizens, Kolatek’s is Polish first and English second. There was definitely more than one label I had to ask for clarification on. The staff was very willing to take the time to walk me through a


section and explain what I was looking at and how I could use it. Kolatek’s main claim to fame is the bakery. Every loaf is baked fresh every day throughout the day. The staff takes care to keep with the Kolatek’s theme of quality, organic, and fresh food by making loaves from all sorts of sprouted grains like spelt, rye, small batch sourdough, and tons more. They pride themselves on their bread and don’t bend their recipes methods to fit mass production. No matter what you have a taste for, Kolatek’s probably has it, and they love to educate customers on the finer points of bread-making right down the science behind why a sprouted grain is healthier than a dry grain of the same species. If you’re a fan of fresh bread, fresh food, and great and personable staff then you’ll definitely be a fan of Kolatek’s. I was fortunate enough to be offered samples of their amazing breads. Looking back on it I can’t pick out a favorite, but they were all more than just pretty good. Visit Kolatek’s: 2445 N Harlem Avenue, Chicago, 60707 Contact Kolatek’s: (773) 637-3772 |



Author and Photographer Spencer Zidarich


BEING AWAKE Chicago’s Financial District at sunrise

Chicago is a city that was designed on a very precise grid system with streets that stretch in perfect lines to the north, south, east, and west. In the heart of this grid lies the Financial District, where buildings and skyscrapers stretch toward the sky and people scurry in-between them. The most interesting aspect about this environment is the way that light moves through the space. The city’s grid, in conjunction with the Financial District’s architecture, creates a stage in the early hours of the day where light pours through open spaces with tremendous drama while drowning other spaces in deep shadow. In an attempt to look past the usual hustle and bustle of the district, these photographs aim to explore the interactions between space and early morning light while constructing a more pensive portrait of Chicago’s economic hub.



Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture

Author & Photographer Christopher Marrs



All-Star Cheerleading is a “real sport” Training for two minutes and thirty seconds. It may be hard to believe but thousands of athletes train all year long for this short amount of time. All-star cheerleading is becoming a more well known sport. Not to be confused with high school cheerleading or poms, this sport involves high intensity training that includes high-flying stunts, powerful tumbling, and intense strength and balance. Both male and female athletes ranging from 5-18 years of age train up to twenty hours a week. They train so that they will be to be able to show off their skills and originality in a routine that only lasts two minutes and thirty seconds. Many outsiders to the sport don’t understand the dedication and discipline that is required to succeed. Most of the athletes sacrifice their free time and family time to be at practice-training for perfection. They will pack their cheer bag the night before or in the morning before school so that they are able to go straight from school to the gym. If they are not doing homework in the car, it is likely that


they will be doing homework during short water breaks at practice, which really isn’t enough time to get any type of work done. Since all-star has yet to become a mainstream sport when people hear the word “cheerleader”, they tend to picture the typical ditsy blonde chanting aimlessly while having football players ogle over her. These kids constantly train in and outside of the gym. Being sick, having a sprained ankle, or a broken finger is NO EXCUSE for missing or not participating in practice. You tough it out because your teammates are depending on you. If one person is absent, some part of the routine is unable to be performed. Like any sport, cheerleading is basically a full time job. If athletes are not at the gym practicing they are at home constantly reviewing their routine so that once they hit the competition floor, only perfection is seen.


Sports and Entertainment




Sports and Entertainment

Author Jordan Grimes



A look into the lives of an antiquer

New iphone? nope. New antique sale down the road? Yes! This is no road show, this is real antiques handled by a passionate individual, Dotti. I had the opportunity to check out Dotti’s home, which is filled with antiques, and get some insight about her antiquing and the world of antiques that we live in. Jordan Grimes: How long have you been antiquing? Dotti: I have been Antiquing for about 45 years. JG: What got you started in this business? D: Back in the 70’s I moved from Chicago to the suburbs. I used to collect antiques 6 days a week on the side while working my day job for the bills. Once I had over 10 rooms filled with antiques I figured I should try my hand at selling my antiques. There was a radio station back in the 70’s called “Tradeo” and that was a personal broadcast opportunity I took and that really started bringing people in. I used to also just flip open the phone book and do cold calls to dealers.


JG: What can you tell me about the market? D: Well, the market is very competitive. You have dealers, antique shops, people who antique like me, and then the nternet. Flee markets today just don’t have good antiques anymore, it is all ‘new’ stuff. You might be able to find a bargain here and there but not like it used to be. JG: Yes, how has today’s technology such as eBay made an impact on the market today? D: Today there are so many ways to get information and attract people. How I utilize it is by viewing a sale online before if they have preview pictures so I can get an idea of the lot. Back when I started, this was not at all available. At this point in antiquing for me, I rely on my past experience for information. I would not call myself an expert on anything, but I can give you an idea of age when it comes to an antique. If needed, I can go research something specific on the Internet.


JG: Have you ever kept any kind of record of your antiques? D: I used to take pictures of the really interesting items I would purchase. Not nearly anymore unless the item is truly a great piece. JG: Any interesting findings or facts about antiquing? D: One rule of thumb is to not buy padded furniture. Couches, chairs, things like that. It is said that the spirits of its previous ownership are attached. I tend to stick to this rule, but small things such as foot rests seem okay. Personally, I feel that I have lived many lives over. JG: What is one of the most interesting antiques that you have bought? D: I have bought two coffins before on two separate occasions. As a matter of fact, one of them is still for sale from a lady I deal with. Its current owner now uses the other coffin I bought as decoration. It is used as a sort of flower fruit bowl. I once bought a small sawed-off shotgun many years ago. At the time I did not know what it was but I bought it anyway. When I had a dealer come through for some antiques he made the comment that it was illegal to buy/sell items such as a sawed-off shotgun. In terms of taxidermy, it is illegal to stuff eagles and hawks. I still have my hawk I purchased a while ago, it is one of the things I do not think I will sell.


Author & Photographer Christopher Marrs

THRIFT STORE TRENDING Fashion forward on a budget




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture

Author Name


Prices on a Budget


Look 1: Oversized Print Sweater - $2 Jeans - $45 Nike Solas Mocasins - $45

Look 3: Pac Sun Chinos - $40 Vintage Chainlink Scarf - $1 Bandanna - $1

Look 2: Paters Coat - $4 Arizona Button Up - $20 Levi Jeans - $45 Boots - Call It Spring Boots - $60

Look 4: Izod Sweatshirt - $2 Vest - $2 Levi Jeans - $45

Author and Designer Danielle Schlesinger

THE GARAGE An inspired take on classic Mexican street food.

The Garage, home of the Salsa Truck, based out of Chicago’s heralded West Loop neighborhood strives to bring Mexican inspired food at a sensible price. Chicago was lacking in one major department- a vibrant food truck scene. The owners of the Garage and their food truck, the “Salsa Truck”, helped contribute to the new service industry sweeping the nation. Every weekday from 11am to 5pm, the Garage offers selections from the Salsa Truck menu in addition to a variety of daily themes. Everyday the menu changes and you never know what the amazing chefs might cook up. The signature items you can expect listed on the menu consist of the Salsa Truck’s tacos, quesadillas and the many varieties of delicious salsas. On average, lunch specials are only $10 a day. Every time I come to the Garage I receive friendly service, great food, and am always eager to come back for more.

Retail Store The Garage also serves as a retail store. If you love what you are eating, take it home with you! They carry their favorite salsas, hot sauces, rubs and marinades jarred.

Vinyl As well as food, the people of the Garage and Salsa Truck love having classic vinyl on hand. You are guaranteed to hear some great tunes on each and every visit.

Cooking Lessons At night, the chefs of the Garage and the Salsa Truck offer two-hour cooking classes with dinner for up to six people. You will learn the art of salsa making, enjoy a beautiful taco dinner, and have the opportunity to take home what you make! This is a great activity to do with your foodie friends.



Author Jordan Grimes

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ Suburban food truck now in the Midwest


Like big foot, food trucks are often unseen in the suburbs. What differenciates this food truck from Yum Dum’s is that Tailgater Toby BBQ is a franchise from the South brought to the Midwest. From my astonishment of the sighting in the suburbs I had to see what the story was behind Toby. Jordan Grimes: Tell us about Tailgater Toby. Gary Larsen: Tailgater Toby is a franchise well known in the South. We offer a menu full barbecue menu including pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans, and more!

JG: What makes Tailgater Toby unique? GL: What makes Tailgating Toby unique is our food and service. Our website talks about our mission to “let no fan go hungry” and we stick to it. In 2006, Tailgater Toby created its recipes around meat and BBQ sauces that are second to none. On our website we are transparent with the offering of pictures of our factory and meat grades.

JG: What did you do before you had the food truck? GL: I was a municipal guy; I worked public service for 37 years in Batavia and a couple other towns.

JG: What is you fvorite experience you’ve had with Tailgater Toby so far? GL: My favorite experience so far has been bigger events such as Rolling Thunder, which funds veterans. This was a great experience because we got great business and exposure but more importantly it was for a good cause.

JG: What made you want to enter the food truck business? GL: I retired in 2010 and went to a franchise show in Schaumburg. From the presentations there was one affordable option that stuck out to me, food-trucking business. My wife and I enjoy cooking so we decided to take a leap into the Tailgating Toby franchise.

JG: What’s been the biggest challenge about running TailgaterToby? GL: For me it is getting established. I am the first Tailgater Toby food truck in Illinois and my goal is to become established as well as expand on our social media.


I am the first Tailgater Toby food truck in Illinois and my goal is to become established and grow.

Tailgater Toby is also available in: Mississippi Tennessee Colorado

Florida Georgia Texas

Louisiana 55

JG: Do you have options for vegetarians? GL: Unfortunately, we do not have a well-developed vegetarian menu option. What is positive from our menu is that nothing is fried. Our meats are slowly heated and side options such as chips, beans, and salad take the place of fries. JG: What’s your most popular menu option? GL: The most popular item would have to be the pulled pork and beef brisket. Tailgater Toby is a barbecue food truck and we pride ourselves on the meat we offer on the menu. We also have combination items such as the Toby Dog (pulled pork on top of the hotdog). Another popular item is the pulled pork nachos. JG: What’s next for Tailgater Toby? GL: Grow! Like I said before, I am currently the only Tailgater Toby food truck in Illinois and I plan on expanding. Once I can establish this brand, I will recruit more trucks for different territories.

Tailgater Toby also caters! As imagined, the catering is based around Barbecue. BBQ: Nacho Pies Sandwiches Hot Dogs Wraps Ribs Pizzas Baked Potatoes

Other items available: Soups Desserts Pudding & fruits Salads

Make sure to support your local food trucks on your next lunch break!


Author and Designer Lauren Gallagher

DUMPLING TRUCK An interview with Jeff Wang, Chicago’s newest food truck entrepreneur


The food truck industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years and Chicago is finally starting to catch up with its East and West Coast competition. The city now offers one of the widest selections of street food in the country. Adding to that feat is Chicago’s own Jeff Wang, the owner of Chicago’s first Chinese dumpling food truck. Lauren Gallagher: Tell us about Yum Dum. Jeff Wang: Yum Dum is Chicago’s Dumpling Truck! We are serving fresh, authentic handmade steamed dumplings crafted from family recipes, baowiches, rice bowls, rice balls, and other home style Asian fares. LG: What did you do before you had the food truck? JW: I worked in finance, your typical 9-5 job behind a computer. It wasn’t for me and I couldn’t see myself doing it for the next 40 years. LG: What made you want to enter the food truck business? JW: I wanted to do what made me happy so I quit my desk job on a whim to pursue my passion for food. I grew up around food in my parents’ Chinese restaurants so I knew I would eventually find my way back. The idea for a food truck developed during a trip to


a Taiwan night market where I found my love for street food. I wanted to bring the amazing fares that my parents grew up eating back to Chicago and a food truck seemed to best articulate my message. LG: What makes Yum Dum unique? JW: I believe what makes Yum Dum unique is our story. Our food tells a story of my childhood as well as my travels abroad. I believe food should be a unique cultural experience and want to share my culture with you. That’s exactly what our customers should expect from Yum Dum. LG: What has your favorite experience been? JW: My favorite experience so far is just keeping Yum Dum a family affair. Most of our recipes were developed from my mom’s recipes and it’s been really great spending time with her learning and perfecting these recipes. She cooks with a lot of love and that’s infectious. Right now we’re serving pop up lunches in the West Loop every Monday. She loves seeing people enjoying her food and that’s something I hope to continue once the truck is launched.

I believe what makes Yum Dum unique is our story. Our food tells a story of my childhood as well as my travels abroad.

57 LG: What’s been the biggest challenge about running Yum Dum? JW: The biggest challenge has been the actual truck build! I never knew how much work it would entail. I feel like we’ve hit every road block possible from equipment issues to funding. We’ve gone over budget multiple times already. However, I know this truck will be state of the art and well worth the wait! LG: Do you have options for vegetarians? JW: We absolutely have vegetarian options! I have a lot of friends that are vegetarians and I get a lot of joy when they taste my food and tell me it’s amazing. For a meat eater like myself, I love that I can please vegetarians as well. Some of my favorites is our Signature Salad (mixed greens, soba noodles, cucumbers, tofu, edamame, pickled daikon, sesame seeds, wonton crisps with soy ginger vinaigrette), our Classic Veggie Dumplings, and, of course, our Kimcheesy Rice Balls (cheddar jack cheese, house kimchi, and scallions topped with jalapeno sriracha mayo and cilantro).

LG: What’s your most popular menu option? JW: It’s still hard to say since our truck isn’t fully operational yet, but we’ve had the luxury of doing pop up lunches at the Garage (116 N Aberdeen) every Monday to test out items off our menu and new things that we might add in the future. So far, we sell out of our Crispy Shrimp Baowich every single time. It’s Panko breaded shrimp with our house ponzu slaw, topped with jalapeno sriracha mayo and cilantro. It’s in a Gua Bao, which is pillowy soft bread almost like an Asian taco. This is Taiwanese street food at it’s best. LG: What’s next for Yum Dum? JW: We’re preparing to launch in about 4-6 weeks, pending licensing. It’s long overdue and we’ve built up quite an eager following. We’re planning on having a launch party and doing some special events for all of our patient fans. We’re so excited to finally unveil what we’ve been working on and finally bring awesome Asian street food to the streets of Chicago. Stay tuned!












MONDAY Polaris








TRUCK $40,000 STYLED $20,000 PERMIT $100 GAS PER WEEK $90


Brand BBQ Truck

Gia Via Sweets

Beavers Donuts

The Roost Truck

Carbon始s Golden Malted

Toasty Cheese

Chicago Lunch Box Food

Author and Photographer Jessica Licea

GLASS HOUSE Cast no stones at the Farnsworth house


The Farnsworth house, better known as the glass house, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and has been called one of the most important works of 20th century architecture. Located on the banks of the Fox River, fifty-five miles west of Chicago, the Farnsworth House has been called “sculptural” for its simplicity and wonderful design. The house was made as a one bedroom because it’s sole purpose was to be a weekend home for Dr. Edith Farnsworth. Van der Rohe took the opportunity to make this house a very special work of architecture. The design of the house shows Mies van der Rohe’s minimalist expression of structure and space. It contains eight steel columns that hold a floor slab and a roof slab. Between the slabs and columns are huge expanses of glass that serve as both windows and walls. The house is raised five feet and three inches above ground by a thin white I-beam support. This was done for flood purposes. Unfortunately, the house has gone through two major restorations due to devastating flood damage.


The biggest restoration was in 1972 when new owner Peter Palumbo hired Mies van der Rohe’s grandson Dirk Lohan to restore the house back to its original state. He not only restored the house but also added the furniture he knew his grandfather had envisioned in the home. After the second restoration Palumbo decided to auction the house. After hearing that potential buyers wanted to remove the house from its current location and take it to a theme park or a personal garden the national trust for historic preservation decided to step in. After an urgent fundraising campaign, they were able to out bid the other buyers with 7.5 million dollars. The Farnsworth House is now part of the National Trust’s collection of historic sites and this amazing residence is now a house museum available for tours, rentals and exhibits.


Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture

Author and Photographer Mary Chambers

A CHANGE OF SCENERY Starved Rock State Park: a national historic landmark


Although the city of Chicago is a beautiful scene, only about an hour and 45 minutes from the downtown area lies what has been voted one of the most beautiful places in Illinois: Starved Rock State Park. It’s name derived from a Native American legend from the 1760’s. A tribal council meeting was held, and the head chief of the Illinois tribe stabbed the head chief of the Ottawa tribe. A battle began and many of the Illinois tribe members took refuge on this rock. After many days of hiding, many of the members died of starvation, and so came the name Starved Rock. The beauty of Starved Rock State Park is uncommon in the state of Illinois. After being in the city of Chicago where nature is very scarce, experiencing it in such a personal way while hiking through Starved Rock is unexplainable. While visiting you may walk along the river, through the canyons, up stairs and over bridges, all while being surrounded by the most breathtaking views. There is something to do at Starved Rock during every season, and there is also a hotel on the grounds, and cabins for rent. Whether you enjoy camping, fishing, cross country skiing, or just a casual stroll through nature, your visit at Starved Rock State Park is a guaranteed memorable time.


Tips For Your Trip 1. Dress appropriately for the current weather, and no matter what, wear comfortable shoes to walk in. 2. Before your trip, it is helpful to look into what you might find at Starved Rock. This way, you can set up your hike beforehand and decide where along the path you’d like to park your car. 3. Do not forget a camera! It is promised that you will want to take pictures to remember the beauty of what you will experience during your visit. 4. Only bring what you need. You will not want to be carrying a heavy bag up 100 stairs! 5. Starved Rock is beautiful during all four seasons of the year, but visiting during fall or spring is encouraged. During the spring when the snow is melting, 14 of the 18 canyons at Starved Rock have waterfalls. The best waterfalls are found in the St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, Ottawa and Kaskaskia canyons. 6. Enjoy every minute of your trip at Starved Rock!


Sports and Entertainment




Sports and Entertainment

Author and Photographer Taylor Haney

SCARECROW FESTIVAL We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore


Saint Charles is a suburb of Chicago. It is directly west and is about an hour outside the city limits. It is one of the biggest suburbs in the Chicagoland area. This town is known for its schools and small businesses and was voted one of the best towns in Illinois to raise a family. Not only is it known for those things, but it is also recognized for the October Saint Charles Scarecrow Festival, or Scarecrow Fest. This festival has been my personal favorite ever since I was a child. Now being a undergraduate student, I still travel home just for the sake of this festival. The bliss I get from the fall season is exaggerated from this weekend. From the smell of all the fried foods, to the smell of the straw that make up these amazing scarecrows, there are no amount of words that can describe the love I have for this festival; I’ve been going for 12 years straight now. Scarecrow fest has everything from carnival rides, to an arts and crafts show, and live entertainment. The heart and soul of the festival, though is the scarecrow contest, hosts over 150 handcrafted scarecrows. The visitors of the festival view and vote for their favorite in each of six categories. Both children and adults will find plenty to do all weekend long.


Congratulations 2013 Scarecrow Contest Winners! Mechanical Category “Minions Rule!” Kiouressis Family Kenosha, WI The six categories that scarecrows are divided by include mechanical, traditional, whimsical, children’s, family, and Saint Charles business. Mechanical scarecrows consist of scarecrows that can move and are animated. A traditional scarecrow is self-explanatory, it includes stationary, standard, but also unique scarecrows. The whimsical category includes scarecrows that do not involve the typical materials to construct a scarecrow. For example, straw would not be used as a main ingredient in your scarecrow. The children’s category is open to children 12 years of age and younger. The family category involves families that have children 12 years of age and younger. Last but not least, the Saint Charles business category is for all for-profit Saint Charles businesses. Not only is the heart of Scarecrow Fest the scarecrow contest, but the different variety of food too. From the typical hot dog and corn dog selection all the way down the spectrum to deep fried Snickers, the food at this festival is definitely unforgettable. The wonderful townspeople of Saint Charles always welcome new and returning visitors to this annual festival. It is great for families and adults of all ages to get out of your typical fall activities and become a part of a tradition. Saint Charles is my hometown, and I always enjoy seeing the streets of the downtown area filled with people from all over the Midwest. Families enjoying the weekend, teenagers causing mischief, and of course the laughter of children. This is the place to be in the month of October. You’ll never experience anything like it, because it’s unique and one of a kind, just like every single one of the scarecrows.

Traditional Category “Despicable Me.” The Goodrich/Hogan Family Geneva, IL

Whimsical Category “Rotton to the Cob.” Kelsey Rankin Geneva, IL

Children’s Category “Bee Kind. Bee Happy. Bee You.” St. Patrick’s Preschool St. Charles, IL

Family Category “Fangs the Scarecrow Vampire.” The Deja-Schultz Family Sugar Grove, IL

St. Charles Business Category “Trellis Farm.” Trellis Farm & Garden

For more information, visit

Arts and Culture


Author Lauren Gallagher

LUCID IMMERSION How to enjoy sensory overload outside of the city


Across the street from a gas station and a closed-down Applebee’s sits one of the most distinct grocery stores the suburbs of Chicago has to offer. Mitsuwa Marketplace is a Japanese grocery store, food court, video rental service, bakery, and bookstore all rolled into one. Upon entering, visitors are overwhelmed with the number of signs to look at and people weaving between aisles and kiosks. Everything is in Japanese, yet from the entrance it’s easy to find the location of the grocery store and each substore. However, the uncertainty of where to look first is overcome by the excitement of experiencing the most empirical representation of Japanese culture one can encounter without crossing over the Pacific Ocean. The supermarket appears endless at first glance. Aisles are filled with seafood, sushi-making equipment, and many are dedicated to specific kinds of noodles and tea. In the back corner is the drink selection, offering the uniquely packaged Ramune soda, canned iced coffee, and other drinks that are simply unrecognizable. The chips and snack selection is nearby, which offers an equally diverse selection, and is frequently the most popular part of the supermarket. The food court is the loudest part of the nexus. Cashiers call out orders with broken English while customers are trying to navigate


through the lines at each station. Each stall offers a different cuisine, the most popular of which is the Santouka ramen shop. Daikichi Sushi, Kayaba Japanese Cuisine, and the Re Leaf Cafe offer a great variety of food for even the pickiest eater. There are also options for Chinese and Korean food, as well as Gabutto Burger, the closest option to American food, for those who aren’t feeling too ambitious. Kinokuniya Books is quiet and calm compared to the rest of Mitsuwa. It’s much like walking into any other bookstore. In the front are an assortment of magazines, categorized like that of a Barnes and Noble. The supply of both English and Japanese versions of manga volumes fill about half of the store. The other half sells children’s books, office supplies, and Gashapon capsule toys. Accessible by the blue line and pace bus, it’s a great way to explore something new without needing to set aside an entire day. It’s perfect for grabbing lunch and exploring for a couple of hours. As far as the authenticity of foreign grocery stores go, Mitsuwa Marketplace offers a wonderfully perspicuous viewpoint of Japanese culture.


Arts and Culture

Author Matt Dunne Photographer Alli Alleman

PAGES & PANELS An interview on comic culture and how to get involved


Comic books are often thought of as an interest many people have as a child, but then eventually give up as they get older. However, comic books and the culture that surrounds them have been on a huge rise the past few years, coming from things like the success of Marvel’s line of Avengers movies and the massive attendance of conventions like San Diego Comic Con. I recently came up with a few questions for my friend and fellow comic enthusiast, Brad Parkonnen. He tells us what it’s like to work at a comic book store in downtown Chicago, the comics he’s reading right now, and gives us some advice on what to expect from your first comic convention.

MD: What are a few of the series that you are subscribed to now? BP: I’m subscribed to Daredevil, Avengers, Invincible (which is an independent book that you must read) and Rat Queens (also independent, also a must read). They’re all super cool books!

Matt Dunne: To begin, can you introduce yourself? Where do you work? Brad Parkkonen: My name is Brad Parkkonen, I’m 21 and I’m a part-time employee at Graham Crackers Comics.

MD: How is it working at Graham Cracker Comics? What do you usually encounter during your shifts? BP: Working at Graham Crackers is so much fun. I mean, its not really a place to sit around and do nothing, there is a lot of work to be done, some of it tedious. But it’s fun. Some of the people are really cool. We get a lot of people who come in and are kind of starry-eyed and amazed; “Comics exist? There’s a comic book based on Batman now!?” It’s a real thing.

MD: Around what time did you first get into comics/graphic novels? BP: I first got into comics probably about three years ago. I’ve always been a Marvel fan; I’ve loved their games and movies and shows for so long and I’ve always been a huge Hulk lover.

MD: You’ve been to comic cons both in and outside of Chicago; Do you have any advice on what someone should expect when planning for their first con? BP: Going to your first convention, expect to be... encumbered. Especially if you’re dressing up as anything.


You’ll likely want to get a bunch of cheap and sometimes even free things! Also, there are a lot of weirdos around. Expect them... but don’t let them ruin the convention for you! Its lot of fun to just be around so many people who have no shame in liking things that make them nerdy. There are a ton of really cool people there. MD: What are some of your experiences cosplaying? What do you think causes people to want to dress as their favorite characters? BP: Probably the strangest thing I’ve experience while cosplaying was getting blackout drunk... as Captain America. I was in New York and it was like... 4 am and my friends were just feeding me tons of alcohol. Super Soldiers never stop. And I think people enjoy dressing as certain characters, because it gives you an escape... it allows you to be someone you’ve always wanted to be, even if you can’t fly or shoot eyebeams. Post-convention blues is a real thing! MD: Favorite parts of being involved with the culture? BP: I just really enjoy the fanfare involved. It’s really entertaining seeing how people react to words and pictures on a page, because comics aren’t just that, they’re like so much more to the people involved, and I love thinking about that. MD: What would you change about the community if you could? BP: The thing I would change about the comic book culture... well, there are a few things that are considered stereotypes. First off, can we have artists start drawing women like people instead of boobs with legs? That would be cool. And a lot of the weird dialogue needs to be changed, like the over-the-top weird lines, the grotesque action; while it’s some peoples’ favorites parts, I just can’t stand reading comics in public places just because of those elements. MD: If someone was trying to get involved with comics and comic book culture what would you suggest for them to do first? BP: If you were to start reading comics today, I would say start with one or two characters that interest you, and then do a little reading. Before I ever read a Hulk book, I read his whole page on Marvel’s wiki! That kind of got me informed about the history so I wouldn’t be confused while reading, and it got me to read a few tie-ins and things like that.

COMIC CONS in 2014 Comic Conventions or “cons” occur all over the world every year and these are the largest ones close by if you are in the Chicagoland area. C2E2: CHICAGO COMIC AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPO: April 25-27th, 2014 McCormick Place. Chicago, Il. ANIME CENTRAL (A-CEN): May 16th-18th, 2014 Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Rosemont, IL. WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO: August 21-24, 2014 Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Rosemont, IL.

Arts and Culture


Author and Photographer Emily Tobin

DEAD TO ALIVE Taxidermy with style


What do you get with a collection of taxidermy and a few props? The most stylish animals in town!



Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture



Author and Photographer Mary Chambers

A STREET OF FORTY DOORS The Historic Alta Vista Terrace District The city of Chicago features many important buildings that have been designed by influential architects in various different styles. Located North of Wrigley Field and the Lakeview neighborhood, The Alta Vista Terrace District was designed to resemble row style houses in London. Alta Vista was one of the last real estate developments of Samuel Gross, who was an important figure in early Chicago real estate. It was built between 1900 and 1904, and later in 1971 it was designated a historic Chicago landmark. The Alta Vista Terrace District is one block long with 20 houses on each side of the street. Each single family home sits on a 20x40 ft lot that is up against its neighboring home. There are no gangways on this block. Each home slightly mirrors the house at the opposite end of the block that is in its place. They are not exact replicas of the next, however both houses in each pair have something in common with one another. Each house is so different from the next, yet strangely similar. Alta Vista Terrace creates a unity in uniqueness that is not found anywhere else in Chicago.


How to get there from the Red Line

-Take the Red Line and get off at Sheridan.

-Head West on W. Dakin St toward N. Seminary Ave. -Turn left onto W. Byron St. -Turn left onto N. Seminary Ave. -Turn right and you will arrive at 3800 N. Alta Vista Terrace.

Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture

Author and Photographer Lauren Gallagher

ANOMALY The mystery of film photography’s perseverance uncovered While the digital age has made a big impact on cameras, film photography is far from dead. For the past twenty years, a movement known as Lomography has persevered through this era of technological advancement. Lomography began in Austria in 1992, when college students discovered the vivid, saturated photographs produced by the Russian camera known as the LOMO LC-A. Charmed by the dreamlike quality of the photographs, the students continued to use the unpredictable camera.


Different sizes beyond 35mm are offered, such as 120mm, andoptions include black and white, expired, and purple monochrome.

Lomography’s goal is to capture the now. No framing the photo or setting the aperture or shutter speed beforehand. When looking at the developed photo, the photographer should remember the moment they managed to capture and the experience of capturing it. Lomography requires almost no prior experience with photography in order to participate, so those interested in partaking don’t need to worry about the technical details of taking a picture.

While Lomography seems like it’s primarily only present on the internet, it does offer a few specialty stores throughout the world, and only two in the United States. Luckily, Chicago gets the honor of hosting one of these stores. Located in the heart of Wicker Park, the Lomography Gallery Store has been in business for just over a year. The shop hosts workshops for those who want to learn how to develop their own film, as well as scavenger hunts around the city and day trips to places outside of the city. The staff is incredibly kind and helpful, especially for those who walk into the store without having any prior knowledge of Lomography.

Today, the shop offers a variety of different cameras with unique personalities. The cameras are purposely poorly built and use plastic lenses, as opposed to glass. The Holga, along with the Diana F+, the Lomo Fisheye, and the La Sardina come in an assortment of different designs and colors. Just as diverse as the cameras, the different types of film are just as intriguing.

The culture of Lomography lives by the motto, “Don’t think, just shoot.” It encourages participants to embrace the spontaneity of capturing the moment. What the camera managed to capture remains a mystery until the film is developed, and the results are often beyond anything the imagination could procure.


The Ten Golden Rules 1. Take your camera everywhere you go. 2. Use it anytime - day and night. 3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it. 4. Try the shot from the hip. 5. Approach the objects of Lomographic desire as close as possible. 6. Don’t think. 7. Be fast. 8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film. 9. Afterwards either. 10. Don’t worry about any rules.

87 Page 65: Holga CFN 120, 120mm Page 66: Holga CFN 120, 35mm Page 67: Fisheye One, 35mm

Arts and Culture




Arts and Culture



Author and Photographer Emily Tobin


Homemade beer and pizza for Chicago’s smallest kitchen Brewing your own beer from home has become simple thanks to the Brooklyn Brew Shop’s 1 gallon brewing kit. Found in Chicago at the Beer Camp shop right off the Damen Brown line, Beer Camp has all the supplies you’ll ever need from grain and hops, to bottles and jugs. With a staff that knows everything you’d ever need to know, they can guide you in making your first beer, or your tenth, on a budget. With only a few extra supplies not included in the kit, Everyday IPA, this project will cost you around $100. Top off your tasty new drink with some homemade pizza. A perfect combination for you and some friends on any Chicago night. Let’s get brewin’!



Pre-Brew: Sanitize You’ll be surprised to learn that sanitation might actually be the most important thing here. If things are not completely clean, your yeast will die. You will not drink good beer, and the next few steps will only provide you with a valuable learning experience instead of a decidedly more valuable drinking experience. • Dissolve half of your sanitizer packet with a gallon of water in a container. Save the second half for when you bottle. • Soak everything you are going to use, rinse with water, and let air dry on some paper towels. If it isn’t totally dry when you are ready to start don’t worry. • Keep the extra sanitizer in a container for now. Chances are you’ll want to re-sanitize something later. • NOTE: Follow the instructions on your sanitizer. Sanitizer brands behave differently. C-Brite should be rinsed off. StarSan does not need to be. Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Sanitizer is also no rinse. One packet makes two gallons. Use half for brewing and half for bottling. The Mash • Heat 2.5 quarts (2.4 liters) of water to 160°F (71°C). • Add grain (This is called “mashing in.” Take note of jargon. Or don’t). • Mix gently with spoon or spatula until mash has consistency of oatmeal. Add water if too dry or hot. Temperature will drop to ~150°F (66°C). • Cook for 60 minutes at 144-152°F (63-68°C). Stir every 10

minutes, and use your thermometer to take temperature readings from multiple locations. • You likely don’t need to apply heat constantly. Get it up to temperature, then turn the heat off. Monitor, stir, and adjust accordingly to keep in range. • After 60 minutes, heat to 170°F (77°C) while stirring constantly (“Mashing Out”). The Sparge • Heat additional 4 quarts (3.8 liters) of water to 170°F • Set up your “lauter tun” (a strainer over a pot). • Carefully add the hot grain mash to the strainer, collecting the liquid that passes through. • This liquid is called “wort” (pronounced “wert”). It will be your beer. • Slowly and evenly pour 170°F (77°C) water over the mash to extract the grain’s sugars. • You want to collect 5 quarts (4.75 liters) of wort. You will lose about 20% to evaporation later on, so you want to start with a bit more than you’ll end with. • Re-circulate wort through grain once. The Boil •In a pot, heat wort until it boils. •Keep boiling until you’ve hit the “hot break” (Wort will



foam- you may need to reduce heat slightly so it doesn’t boil over.) •Stir occasionally. All you want is a light boil- too hot and you lose fermentable sugars and volume. •The boil will last 60 minutes. Start your timer and add in the rest of the ingredients at the following times:

-Columbia hops at start of boil

-1/5 Cascade Hops at 15 minutes into boil

-1/5 Cascade Hops at 30 minutes into boil

-1/5 Cascade Hops at 45 minutes into boil

-1/5 Cascade Hops at 60 minutes into boil

-At 60 minutes turn off heat and add

remaining Cascade hops

•Twenty percent of the wort will have evaporated in this step leaving you with 1 gallon of wort. If your boil was a bit high, the surface area of your pot extra large, or you brewed on a really hot day, you may have less than the full amount. Don’t worry - you just reduced your beer a bit too much, but you can add more water in the next step. Fermentation • Place brew pot in an ice bath until it cools to 70°F (21°C). • Once cooled, place strainer over funnel and pour your beer into the glass fermenter. Yeast needs oxygen. The strainer helps aerate your wort and clarify your beer (as well as catch any sediment from going into the fermenter). Add tap water to bring wort up to 1 Gallon mark if level is low. • “Pitch” yeast. (Toss the whole packet in.) • Shake aggressively. You’re basically waking up the yeast and getting more air into the wort.


• Attach sanitized screw-top stopper to bottle. Slide rubber tubing no more than 1” (2.5 cm) into the stopper and place the other end in small bowl of sanitizer. You’ve just made a “blow-off tube”. It allows CO2 to escape. • Let sit for two or three days or until vigorous bubbling subsides. This is when fermentation is highest. You may notice a bubbly foam at the top of the beer. After the bubbling calms down, clean the tubing and ready your air lock. • Sanitize, then re-assemble air lock, filling up to line with sanitizer. • Insert air lock into hole in stopper. • Keep in a dark place for two weeks without disturbing other than


to show off to friends. (If beer is still bubbling, leave sitting until it stops.) • In the meantime, drink beer with self-closing swing tops, or ask for empties at a bar that has some. If you have a bottle capper and caps, you can save two six packs of nontwist off beers instead.

b. a. d. c.



Two Weeks Later: Bottling

D. Pinch tubing clamp closed.

• Thoroughly rinse bottles with water, removing any sediment.

E. Remove screw-cap stopper and place racking cane into jug, just above the sediment at the bottom (“trub”).

• Mix remaining sanitizer with water. • Fill each bottle with a little sanitizer and shake. Empty after two minutes,rinse with cold water and dry upside down. • Dissolve 3 tablespoons honey with 1/2 cup water. Pour into a sanitized pot. You will be siphoning your beer into the same pot in the next steps. - Carbonation comes from adding sugar when bottling, so if you filled your jug with less than the full gallon in the last step, use less honey when bottling. Using the full amount can result in your beer being over-carbonated. • Siphoning (It all happens pretty fast. You may want to practice on a pot of water a few times.) To see it in action first, watch the How to Bottle video at

F. Lower end of tubing not connected to racking cane into sink. Suction will force beer up and through the racking cane and tubing. Open tubing clamp, let sanitizer flow into sink until beer just starts to flow out of the tubing, then clamp shut. Open clamp on tubing, allowing beer to flow into pot with sugar solution. Tilt jug when beer level is getting low, but be careful in not sucking up the trub. • Siphon beer from pot into bottles, pinching tube clamp to stop flow after each bottle. • Close bottles.


• Store in a dark place for 2 weeks. A. Attach open tubing clamp to tubing. B. Fill tubing with sanitizer. C. Attach sanitized tubing to the short curved end of your sanitized racking cane. Attach the black tip to the other end - it will help prevent sediment from getting sucked up. It will probably be a snug fit, but you can get it on there.

After the longest two weeks of your life have passed, it is time to crack open your new beer and make some pizza.

For more instructions on how to brew, visit Food



Pizza Dough 1 package active dry or fresh yeast 1 teaspoon honey or sugar 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F) 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil

artichoke pizza

Toppings 2 cups (about 5 ounces) sliced eggplant 2 cups (about 1/2 pound) sliced fresh artichoke hearts 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing 3 cups grated mozzarella 2 cups grated fontina 1 cup sliced Roma tomatoes 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves, for garnish

The perfect pizza to top off yournew homemade beer. 1. To make the dough, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the oil and, when absorbed, scrape in the dissolved yeast. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water and knead on low speed about 5 minutes. 2. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 2 or 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. (Dough will stretch when lightly pulled.)


3. Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down on the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover with a damp towel and let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be loosely covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. 4. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 450ËšF.


5. Place a large skillet over high heat and cook the eggplant and artichoke hearts separately in 1 tablespoon olive oil, adding more oil if necessary. 6. To prepare each pizza, place a ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into a 7 or 8-inch circle, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. (Or roll out with a rolling pin.) 7. Place dough on a pizza paddle or a cutting board and brush it with olive oil. Arrange the mozzarella and fontina cheeses over the inner circle. Top with the eggplant and artichoke hearts. Add a layer of tomato slices and sprinkle over the Parmesan and thyme. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and cook until the dough is golden brown for about 8 to 10 minutes. 8. Remove carefully, cut into 6 slices, and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.

Author Sharon Sanchez


A non-aficionado’s whiskey tasting experience I had been invited by a close friend who hosts and attends events for a living and when she mentioned that a select group of “aficionados” were invited to be VIP guests with access to the brand’s ambassador, fine hors d’oeuvre and a dram (that is whiskey lingo for a small cognac-like glass) from a 12-year sherry cask (that is a drum or barrel), I thought “why not?”. To encourage brand affinity and to provide an exclusive experience for its drinkers, single malt scotch whiskey-maker The Macallan hosted free private tasting shows for whiskey enthusiasts over four nights, Oct. 8 through Oct. 11, 2013 at Venue One in Chicago’s hip West Loop. I don’t particularly enjoy whiskey other than drowning it with a mixer and some ice, but my significant other loves it. So I figured, “Hey, this should be interesting”. A night full of grimacing at every sip, completely lost as to why anyone would love the taste of gasoline with mild sherry and oak undertones, but I thought maybe after a few they would start to grow on me or at least one of us would appreciate it. Once I got to the pink line’s Morgan and Lake stop, I turned the corner of Morgan and Randolph and I immediately saw a long line of people already there, waiting and agitating for their free whiskey. This scene caught me by surprise since it was only 5:30 and yet it was reminiscent of people waiting to get into an exclusive club on a Friday night. People were pulling up in cabs and walking from the train. I had not taken this very seriously until I saw how many people were actually there.

After about five minutes of being in line, two hostesses greeted my group and asked for our registration. Once they scanned my QR code, one woman handed me a card that not only let me into the venue, but also served as a form of currency (I will explain how this worked.) Once I stepped inside, I am greeted with a waft of pure alcohol that is very reminiscent of over-zealous nights with a bottle of Jack. After I walked through the corridor, I entered a very large, open space bathed in purple, blue and red lights. I notice the edgy and sleek architecture and design of the space with exposed brick and walls with a sleek waive detail made of wood. There were servers standing around with trays, offering whiskey samples of various ages of ten, twelve, fifteen, and eighteen year-old whiskeys; with each server holding their own respective age. Once I decided which whiskey I wanted to taste, I gave the server my card. If I held on to my glass, I could sample a few more. People checked in at kiosks before the main show and used their smart-phones and a “Macallan ID” QR code to use to participate in various experiences. These included a red carpet-style photo shoot, a scent station where consumers were matched with Macallan labels and suggested food pairings based on their preferences, a trivia game about

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the brand’s distilling process, and a large oak stump etched with a time line that gave people an idea of how the age of the wood Macallan uses for its casks affects the quality of the scotch and gives the scotch its natural amber hue. I walked around the space, taking in the design and lighting, which was almost set up like a dance club. There were hostesses showing everyone how great the Macallan whiskey was on their tablets. There were also girls in black dresses, standing next to digital screens, ready to talk about the history of this whiskey. After I took a few photos, one of the hostesses came to me and asked if I would like for her to take a picture of me (and my friends) to add to their Facebook page. At the start of the cocktail hour we were given a “10 year Sherry Oak” Macallan to try. It had the aroma of cigars and perfume - an interesting smell profile. As I tasted it, the flavor was mildly fruity and also mildly burned my lips. There were different task stations to learn more about the Macallan, including an aroma station set up with the major smell components that you can find in whiskey to help train your nose and also find which Macallan you prefer. After about an hour, I saw everyone moving towards the back where there was a banquette hall space. It was a large room set up with a stage and at least fifty tables. The tables were set up to share with others and there was kiosk on every table. We were supposed to play a trivia game about…you guessed it, whiskey! Everyone took their seats as the regional brand ambassador animatedly



walked the audience through a history of the brand from a grand stage flanked by two large screens that offered visuals and video throughout. Between each chapter, servers handed everyone drams of different Macallan years as the ambassador described the aroma and flavor of the selection, then finally offered a toast. We tasted a ten, twelve, and a fifteen year old, which we were told that it is popular in Rio de Janeiro, where they mix it with Guarana (a very sweet soda made from the seeds of a Brazilian fruit.) A carafe of Guarana was placed on each table. I know that it is considered to be an act of wickedness to the whiskey gods, but I needed something to help this spirit go down a little easier. It was also suggested that adding a few drops of water would help to release some of the subtler aromas of the whiskey and take any edge off of the sharper alcohol flavors. Except, I’m was going to need a little more than just a few drops of water. At the end of the presentation, the guest who answered the most trivia questions correctly in the timeliest and most sober manner, which is difficult to do when you were already two to three drams of whiskey in, was invited up to the stage with friends to receive a very special dram of a 17-year sherry cask, complete with an ice sphere for the glass made on the spot - Whoa!

How To Taste Single Malt Scotch Whiskey: 1. Prepare. Get a good single malt scotch whiskey. To begin, try some of your friends’ favorite whiskies or go to a whiskey bar and ask for recommendations. 2. Buy a good glass. The tulip glass is the preferred style because it allows the aromas to ripen better. Some whiskey drinkers prefer tumblers or snifters. Then boom, the event was over as quickly as it began. Everyone cleared out from the presentation room and were herded out through a side door rather then the front. Which seemed a little odd to me at first, until I realized that they had to set up for the next anxious group of whiskey devotees. Although this experience was fun, it also reconfirmed my distaste for the flavor of whiskey. While I have the utmost respect for the true whiskey enthusiast and the creation of this refined spirit, it remains to be an acquired taste and I remain a whiskey novice.

3. Color. Holding the glass up to the light. Note the color, depth and clarity. Color doesn’t necessarily reveal age; it indicates how the whiskey was matured. Color differences between whiskies range from very pale gold to a very darkalmost black/red which have matured for many years in sherry casks. 4. The Legs. Legs will form on a glass when it is held at an angle and rotated to roll the whiskey inside the walls of the glass. Afterwards, hold the glass upright and watch the liquid forming the “legs” as it runs down the sides of the glass. The slower the legs the more viscous the liquid and the older it is. 5. Nose the whiskey. Pass the glass smoothly under your nose, breathing in deeply through the nose as you do. You may be able discern typical whiskey aromas and flavors such as vanilla, citrus, spice, and smoke.

A few good and moderately priced brands to try: The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Series Monkey Shoulder- Blended Malt Scotch whiskey Four Roses- Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Glenfiddich- Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Bowmor- Islay Single Malt Scotch whiskey The Famous Grouse- blended scotch whiskey

6. Taste the whiskey. Sip from the glass, letting the whiskey sit on your tongue. Try and articulate the aromas and flavors you experience. Then take note of the “mouth-feel”. This refers to the texture and the intensity of the whiskey. 7. Add a little water. (Optional). Adding a few drops of water can aid with opening up some of the more subtle flavors.

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Author and Photographer Christopher Marrs


An outsider’s perspective on Chicago Fashion Week Hair done, makeup done and an outfit that is on point. That is the only thing a spectator at Chicago Fashion Week sees. They don’t see all the work that was put into the garments or the hell the designer and hair and makeup artists went through to achieve one look. I spent an entire day with the staff, designers, and hair and makeup artists that made the October 19, 2013 Chicago Fashion Week event possible. I arrived at 11:30 am and didn’t leave until about 11:00 pm. Before this I had never experienced anything related to the fashion industry. What knowledge I had came from what I saw on television, watching shows such as Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Saying these shows glamorize what actually happens would be an understatement. For twelve hours straight these men and women were on their feet working to make an hour and a half event absolute perfection.


Once I arrived I was signaled to the back room that was about the size of a living room in an average size house. There was a long table that took up half the room allowing for very limited mobility. About 15 models and seven hair and makeup artists claustrophobically crammed into this over-capacity room waiting for some type of direction. One of the featured designers came in and briefly explained the particular look and feel she wanted her models to have and then left. About a minute in, silence passed and then all hell broke loose. Models ran from station to station to get their hair and makeup done while I stood in the corner and took everything in. Makeup was on the floor, hair was everywhere and everyone was doing something.


About 30 minutes before the show, one of the designers was scrambling back and forth. Four of her models had just called and canceled. The models that were there jumped at the opportunity to walk the runway more than once. Although she was thrilled, the designer needed a specific look to rock her neon punk clothing line. Before realizing it, I had agreed to help out and walk in the show. Me, the photographer who has never modeled before, was going to walk in a fashion show. I stripped, tried on the garment, and went off for a quick walk through of the show. Apparently models cancel all the time in the fashion industry. Many of the hair and makeup artists there said that I had been asked to walk in a show at the last minute. I suddenly came down with an instant case of nerves. There was no turning back. It was now my time to walk. The butterflies that were having a world war in my stomach became more violent with every step. Pose for the cameras. Get blinded by the flashes and awkwardly yet confidently walk away. That’s what my twenty seconds of cat-walking consisted of. Although being extremely anxiety filled, if I was asked to do it again I would say yes in a millisecond. To someone who isn’t adapted to the fashion industry, being thrown into the mix can be confusing yet thrilling at the same time. I would definitely recommend experiencing the lifestyle even if for a few hours. Aren’t you a bit curious what these men and women go through in order for you to achieve the look you have on now?


Arts and Culture

Author and Illustrator Mary Chambers


The Neo-Futurist theater group

The Neo-Futurists are an experimental theater group that have been performing in Chicago since December of 1988. The Futurists began with performing a show they called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and wrote it as an attempt to perform 30 different plays in 60 minutes. It all began at Stage Left Theater in Chicago, and it was originated by Greg Allen. In 1992 the Neo-Futurists purchased their own theater, which they call the Neo-Futurarium. It is located at Ashland and Foster in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is a one of a kind performance in both senses of the phrase. The same version of the show is never performed twice, and it is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.


As you walk into the theater, you are handed a menu and the performers explain how the show works. There is a clothesline in the theater with 30 pieces of paper labeled with the numbers 1 through 30, and each piece of paper has the name of one of their acts on the back. The menu you are given upon arrival has those 30 different shows listed on it. There is a code word for each show that they will inform you of before beginning the performance, and when that word is said the audience must shout out the number of the show they want to see.


After explaining the show, they set a timer for 60 minutes and exclaim the code word for the crowd to shout the first number. They then run wild trying to grab the props and set up that act as fast as possible. If all 30 plays are not performed in the set 60 minutes, the crowd must leave either way. The short 2 minute skits are all written by the performers themselves, and are rooted in their actual lives. There is a mix of emotions throughout the performance because there is no specific order in which these acts will be performed. Some things may leave you hysterically laughing while the next act may be a deep soulful piece that might not even make sense. But the way that the show is carried on from start to finish despite the inconsistency is what makes Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind the fantastic show that it is. Though they are known for Too Much Light..., the NeoFuturists perform a variety of other shows that are all written by the Futurists themselves. The wild ride through drama, comedy, and confusion during Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind keeps the audience hooked from start to finish as the performers run around the theater attempting to keep their promise of 30 shows in 60 minutes.

ter W Fos




How It Works 1. You will arrive at 5153 N. Ashland Ave, and line up outside: Fridays at 10:45 pm, Saturdays at 10:30 pm, and Sundays at 6:30 pm. 2. One of the Neo-Futurists will come outside and hand out a toy or token to the first 100 people in line. If you are one of those unfortunate enough to be after 100, you must leave. 3. You are then led into the NeoFuturarium and up the stairs, through the Hall of Presidents, through the kitchen, and into the box office.


my name is

Chris P. Bacon

Same Show Times, Different Show, Every Time

4. You hand in your token and are given a dice to roll. The starting price is $9, so you add the number you roll to that which means the most you can pay for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is $15. 5. They will ask your name for your name tag and write anything but your real name on it. You are then given your “menu.� 6. Find a seat in the theater and enjoy the show. Sports and Entertainment


Author and Photographer James Suttles


Studies of movement and light

Every day, Chicagoans from all walks of life scurry the streets of the city to get where they need to go. Traveling around the city can be very chaotic but at the end of each day, everyone returns home only to leave the city empty. As I look out my window and see individuals retiring back to their homes, I notice the variations of colors sitting below the opaque sky. Illuminations of satin-like gold from the street lights coat the ground of the now empty Chicago south loop only to be highlighted by the colors from flashing neon signs nearby. I then became inspired to illustrate the busyness of the city with the use of lights in this series of photographic studies.

For more info: 104

For more information and the latest updates on upcoming photographic studies, visit


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Author Kayla Koch Photographer Matthew Gamalinda


Just some dudes, their decks, and the love of pizza Matthew Gamalinda and Mark Dunning’s collaboration of Deep Dish, an online magazine, showcases talented skateboarders around the Chicagoland area. Recently expanding to New York, they set out to spark the interest of those who are addicted to skating, photography, and pizza as much as themselves. While it may just be checking out for sweet pictures, videos, and local groups just trying to hang. Kayla Koch : Tell me a little about how Deep Dish got started in Chicago. Matthew Gamalinda: Deep Dish is run [by] myself and Mark Dunning. I take pictures and he films video. We put out the first stuff on November 11th, 2012 I think? So I guess that’s technically when it started. Before that, we had little blog things, I had a Flickr and he had a Tumblr, but let’s be honest... Ain’t nobody out there that gives a sh-- about your stupid blog. So, we made Deep Dish as a way to present our stuff in a little more “professional” way. It’s weird to do an interview about it without Dunning because it’s not just my own thing so I don’t even really know what Deep Dish actually is... I kinda like to think of it as an online magazine and nothing but a magazine. It isn’t a crew or a company that’s limited to a certain group of people. It’s a documentation of some of the skateboarding that goes on.

KK: What mediums do you present? MG: We just put out video footage and photos. Dunning films with a Sony VX100 and I use a Nikon N60 with 400 or 3200 speed black and white film camera. KK: Do you encounter many disturbances or authorities interfering when Dunning and yourself ride and film? MG: Yeah all the time. The cops, security guards, and every now and then, the concerned citizen of Chicago who loves their sidewalk a little too much, but it’s no big deal. I’ve only gotten a ticket once actually. And that was bullshit. The cops writing the tickets didn’t even know what they were supposed to write on the ticket. AND they showed up with four cops in one car. How the fuck are you allowed to write me a ticket if you’re the cop who has to ride in the back seat? KK: Are there any long term goals involved for you guys? MG: Not that I’m aware of. I’m just gonna see how long we can keep it up before it all crumbles. It would be a dream if it ever amounted to something bigger. I don’t want to be parking cars for the rest of my life.

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Sports and Entertainment

Author Lauren Gallahger Illustrator Mitch Reeter

REPURPOSE Incorporating vintage video game consoles with modern music

Attending a chiptune concert is an experience unlike any other. Flashing lights with saturated neon and pastel colors obscure the faces of the audience. Visuals with custom video game sprites that reference the art style of 1980s anime fill the screen behind the band. Attendees are dressed in Harajuku-inspired clothing with keychains of their favorite video game characters clipped onto their patch and pin riddled backpacks. The venue exhorts a welcoming atmosphere to everyone in attendance, and everyone is eager to make friends and network. Popular chiptune band Anamanaguchi has played Lollapalooza, Taste of Randolph, and most recently, a sold-out show at Lincoln Hall. Their music evokes themes of nostalgia, discovery, and euphoria that can be easily felt at one of their concerts. At its core, chiptune is simply a form of electronic music that is synthesized from computer sound chips. Bands frequently use the sound chips from old video game consoles, the most popular of which is the Nintendo Gameboy. The music produced by these consoles replicate the soundtracks from old Super Mario games, emulating 8-bit and 16-bit sounds. Ultimately, chiptune transcends its video game roots. The medium gives bands the freedom to incorporate different genres, such as electronic dance music and pop-punk, allowing for a lot of versatility among chip artists. DJs frequently perform live using the Gameboy itself, often wearing a 114


headlight on their forehead to see, while multi-piece bands sync their Gameboys up with their guitars. For those looking to make their own chipmusic, beginning with a video game emulator for the computer is the easiest and most affordable option. Software like Little Sound DJ (LSDJ) can be run on a Gameboy emulator and programs like Milkytracker can be installed for free (for both Windows and Mac OS.) Websites sell modified Gameboys with upgraded hardware and custom painted cases with backlit screens, in addition to cartridges with LSDJ preloaded onto it so artists can compose on the go. Already established in New York and Philadelphia and currently growing in popularity in Los Angeles and Detroit, the chiptune scene has slowly been budding in Chicago as well. Artists tend to form collectives to create a larger sense of community in their respective cities, but Chicago has yet to join in on this trend. The enthusiasm for the craft is there, and in no time Chicagoans will soon be contributing to the repurposing of old technology so it can be enjoyed by a modern audience.

Up and Coming venoSci VenoSci consists of a driven, ambitious boy and his custom MegaMan themed gameboy. His songs begin with a single melody that slowly grows and thickens over time. His three disc discography demonstrates great growth and exploration as a chipartist over the past two years, and is already hard at work on his fourth. Featured Track: Yell (As Loud As You Can From The Rooftops Of Buildings) PK Fire PK Fire are two friends that started out as an indie pop band, but have recently begun interweaving chiptune into their songs. Their newest song (and first music video, ) Sry, opens with a slow introduction created with gameboys before transitioning to guitar, drums, and vocals. Featured Track: Sry Elock Elock delves into the EDM side of chiptune. His earlier work consists of strict chiptune compositions with happy, melodic tones. Now focusing on DJing, he still uses chiptune samples in his newer music. Featured Track: Ari On Acid

Ultimately, chiptune transcends its video game roots. 115

Arts and Culture

Author Matt Dunne


The top local bands in Chicago’s rising DIY music scene

a lot of the best concerts i’ve been to were only five dollars. More than that, they’re usually in my friends’ basement or garage. To an outsider, this may seem strange, and having a concert in your own garage certainly seems like a bit of a crazy idea when considering the amount of people that could be coming to your home or thinking of how to manage the space. However, in the DIY (Do It Yourself ) music community these types of shows are commonplace. Known better as “house shows”, these events are put on primarily to help out a band on tour as well as give local bands an inviting place to start out. Chicago is blessed to have a truly thriving underground music scene spanning multiple genres ranging from hardcore and punk to folk so its certain that there is something out there for you to enjoy. To further this welcoming notion, these shows almost always operate as safe spaces, meaning they are always all ages and free of any racism, sexism, misogyny and other generally bad behavior. This community is primarily based on accepting all types of people, and while it may not always be perfect, the people within this culture are some of the best out there to have as friends. A defining quality of the DIY music scene as a whole (in Chicago and elsewhere) is the undying level of commitment. This 116


community literally operates on its own, and that is no easy task. It requires a large amount of duties to be taken care of, such as running venues, booking shows, making merch, designing flyers, and playing in the bands. Like I mentioned earlier, these shows operate as great places for new Chicago bands to start up and get their footing. So I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite local acts so people interested in joining this community have a place to start. Many of the bands listed have music online that is free to download and also have facebook pages if you want to stay updated on when/where their shows are happening. I hope you enjoy the bands! Links to check out for more information on DIY music. DIY Chicago Facebook Group: Underground music reviews and interviews: Photography courtesy of artists’ Bandcamp page and/or Facebook

Acidic Tree Acidic Tree is a powerful and gripping punk band. With songwriting ranging from personal stories, to political responses. Acidic Tree has toured all over the US and played countless shows in Chicago, including a gig at the Metro opening for Chicago punk pioneers, Naked Raygun. They aren’t as active as they used to be, due to their drummer moving to Michigan, but they are currently in the process of writing and recording a full length record that is sure to be incredible. If you are a fan of bands like Against Me! or Jawbreaker, look no further. Newest Release: Forever Boneless Song to check out: White Houses (To Make a Killing) Bandcamp:

Forever Boneless, Acidic Tree. Currently unreleased.

Can’t Rely, Bedroom Sons. Self-Released.

Bedroom Sons Bedroom Sons is a musical project headed by Chris Dertz. Originally from the Quad Cities, Bedroom Sons’ music is a unique brand of folk, pop, punk, and indie rock inspired by bands like Weezer, Arcade Fire and Wilco. After countless hours of meticulous work, Dertz and company have finally released their first full length album, Can’t Rely. The album soars from stripped down acoustic songs to powerful instrumental epics, like the 16 minute track, “Wanting to Needing”. Bedroom Sons is an act that refuses to missed and the album is free to download, so what have you got to lose? Newest Release: Can’t Rely Song to check out: Spinning Bandcamp:

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Mountains for Clouds When it comes to excellence in technical performance, Mountains for Clouds is the first band that comes to mind. The band started as an instrumental project, but have since evolved into powerhouse math rock band with vocals by guitarist Andrew Stefano. Recently they have added Marcus Nuccio (drums) and Tim Curly (guitar) to their ranks and the result has only led to more dynamic and powerful songwriting. Live, the band is tight as on record and louder than ever; so them live if you want to get truly floored. Newest Release: Maybe it’s Already Everywhere Song to check out: Jamage Control Bandcamp:

Maybe it’s Already Everywhere, Mountains for Clouds. Count Your Lucky Stars.

Split, Kittyhawk/Cherry Cola Champions. Flannel Gurl Records.

Kittyhawk Kittyhawk features members are no strangers to the Chicago music scene. With its four members drawing from a wide variety of musical projects, the band has plentiful experience that they use into crafting a sound all their own. Kittyhawk uses a unique set-up that most notably is absent of a bass player, using a keyboard plugged into a Big Muff fuzz pedal instead. Dual male and female vocals combined with the distortion fueled keys and guitars give a real grit to the slow nature of their songs. If you like Rainer Maria or other 90s lo-fi emo, this band is for you. Kittyhawk has a lot to offer for the future, including a 4 way split with Frameworks, Prawn, and Droughts, a split with Cherry Cola Champions and a full length LP.


Newest Release: Cherry Cola Champions Split Song to check out: The Green Bandcamp:


Island of Misfit Toys From the mind of Anthony Sanders comes Island of Misfit Toys. The band is comprised of 8 others and is easily one of the most talented musical projects out now. On top of Sanders’ extremely well-written, poetic and relatable lyrics, the ensemble creates a folk/indie rock combination that includes acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and even flute. Recent releases include a split with another Chicago band, Nervous Passenger, and an acoustic EP, “Furiouser & Furiouser”. These both show the variety of sound the band has and should be an excellent sample for new listeners to try. Newest Release: Split with Nervous Passenger Song to check out: The Cockroach Song Bandcamp: Split, Island of Misfit Toys/Nervous Passenger. Skeletal Lightning.

Tainted, Atalanta. Self-Released.

Atalanta Bringing a truly aggressive and well-crafted sound to Chicago, Atalanta is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Their brand of hardcore fuses elements of doom metal, power violence, and screamo, resulting in a perfectly chaotic mesh. They play house shows in Chicago quite often and seeing them live is highly recommended as they deliver a highly emotional experience whilst played their respective instruments impressively. They have only put out their first EP “Tainted” so far, but its exciting to think about what will come in Atalanta’s future releases. Get into them now so you won’t miss it. Newest Release: Tainted Song to check out: I Lost the Keys on Purpose Bandcamp: 119

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Author and Illustrator Eric Cimino

ÜBER INDEED Is unpredictable taxi service a thing of the past?

To many people, taxi rides are a service that seems to have yet to transition into the 21st century. All of us have taken, or know somebody who’s taken, a bad taxi ride. Whether you get the dirty cab, the rude and/or dangerous driver, or maybe the guy who picks you up 40 minutes late, taking a taxi cab can be a supremely tiresome endeavor. Having had my fair share of these sorts of rides, I was eager to give Über a try. I had heard vague testimonials from personal acquaintances, but I didn’t do any other research other than rates and other logistical information. Über is a company that, simply put, wants to make your taxi experience better. To get a ride, you first install the Über App on your cell phone (Android, iPhone). Once installed, you sign up for the service and create a profile, which includes at least your name, phone number, email address, and password to your account. You have the option to add a photo of yourself so that drivers can identify you more easily, but I declined to do so. You also need to add a credit or debit card in order to make payments, which are all handled through the app. Once setup is done, you input your current location, input an end location if you wish, and request one of the four different vehicle and pricing models. After you request a ride, the app shows you in real time the location of different Über drivers near you and is filtered by the type of vehicle you chose. Also shown are an estimated arrival time, a photo of your driver along with their name, and the driver’s overall rating. 120


I had decided that I would occasionally use an Über ride instead of my normal way of getting to my destination at random times I deemed appropriate. I took at least one ride on five out of seven days of the week at various times to various destinations around the city. Every Über vehicle I rode in was some variation of Lincoln, either sedan or SUV, but there are other vehicle models that are driven. Each vehicle is personally owned by the driver. Drivers’ vehicles are inspected when they apply to drive for the company and are held to “specific standards,” according to one of my drivers, and especially the model year, according to another. “This is my car that I had to buy for this. If I came in with a car older than say, 2009, then they would have said no,” I was told by one driver named Isaac. “My wife, she also drives, and she has the same car on lease,” he added. When I asked him about some of the standards drivers are held to he said that the vehicles must maintain proper working condition of all the air and heat, seat belts, and of course obvious things like lights and signals. “Our cars are inspected weekly and if we fail three times that’s it,” he said. None of my cars had any problem with cleanliness, but one of them had a seat belt that didn’t remain fastened. Looking back on it I’m not sure if I should have reported that or not, but I didn’t make any mention of it when I reviewed the driver.

map technology relies on Google Maps, so the accuracy of both your and your driver’s location will depend greatly on your phones, providers, and current signal strength. I didn’t have any map problems, though I freely admit that I have a powerful phone and good coverage in all areas of the city. My sole negative experience with the service was my very first driver request. The driver called me to verify my location at the Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Avenue. My driver arrived seven-ish minutes later, reasonably close to the estimate the app gave me, but when he went to get out of the car another passing taxi swiped his side mirror. The driver said to cancel the request and get another one and that he had to file a police report. He wasn’t rude, but neither was he terribly helpful like the majority of my other drivers.

I also inquired about the driving experience as an employee of Über. Without fail all of my drivers said that they enjoyed the job and that compared to their other transportation service jobs that Über was very good. Afterward however, I read that some drivers have had a less than stellar experience driving for the company due to occasional conflicts between Über and the company that licenses the drivers to drive for them. Philip, my driver one Thursday afternoon on my way to the train station, had once been driving for a Near North side hotel and he speak more highly of Über, but said that conflicts between the two companies had arisen from time to time. He also explained that Über “takes pretty good care to hire good drivers,” and that drivers themselves are also subject

More than one driver said that a lot of their clients tend to be younger, seemingly tech-savvy males, minorities, and quite a lot of inebriated people. They cited benefits of Über over normal taxi cabs for some of these demographics. A few drivers were hesitant to disclose information about the types of passengers they receive. Overall Über is slightly more expensive than a normal cab ride for about the same length of trip, but most drivers feel that the benefits of the service are worth more than the price difference. I must say that I agree with them. After using the service I doubt I’ll take a standard taxi

Über is a company that, simply put, wants to make

your taxi experience better

to a similar three strike policy. None of the drivers I had were rated lower than 4.2, and my highest was 4.8, and each of them was more than willing to answer my questions about the service. (Ratings range 1.0-5.0) It was relatively common for drivers to call me and have me specify where I needed to be picked up from. Some of them said that the GPS requirement is great and helps them do their job, but a few drivers said that sometimes relying on the GPS was irritating. Über’s

again, mostly because I enjoyed talking with the drivers, but also because I tend to not make plans and I like the convenience of “on-demand” transportation. It’s probably not for everyone, and a lot of people may feel that there isn’t any benefit over a normal taxi service, which I feel is absolutely true in some cases and surely not in others. So try it sometime. The best time is probably when you need a ride from the airport. Six out of seven drivers told me they love those.



Ăœber Stats on the Fly

Number of Rides








Blocks Traveled per Trip (on average)

Average Cost per Trip



Average Driver Rating: 4.5 / 5

Author and Photographer Jessica Licea

PRETTY LIGHTS Comes to Chicago

Derek Vincent Smith is an American electronic music artist who performs under the stage name Pretty Lights. Derek puts on more then a concert, he also puts on a light show. He uses multiple projectors and lasers to create a futuristic atmosphere, which enhances the music. Although he is considered one of the masters of this technique within the industry, he isn’t the only one that puts on this kind of show. He is one of the many electric music artists making their way through the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago this year. So if you have a night off and would like to enjoy a night of fun music and pretty lights check out for more information.


Sports and Entertainment




Sports and Entertainment




Sports and Entertainment


Polaris is a Chicago-based collective who sought to document the people, places, and events that often go unnoticed in Chicago through the d...


Polaris is a Chicago-based collective who sought to document the people, places, and events that often go unnoticed in Chicago through the d...