Chicago’s awesome storytelling show You’re Being Ridiculous is celebrating PRIDE at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre on June 20, 21, and 22 at 8 p.m. each night. The show is part of Lookout Series,an event that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form. And I’m one of them!
I’ll be reading a new story at the Thursday, June 20, edition of You’re Being Ridiculous at Steppenwolf.
Join us to hear true stories from a stellar line-up of some of Chicago’s very best writers and storytellers. Tickets can be purchased here. Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your seats today before it sells out! There’s a new group of readers every night (and YBR never disappoints), so maybe make a whole weekend of it, OK?
P.S. Right after I filed this story with my editor, I read about Mirabella Cuisine & Bar in Bon Appetit magazine. The Italian steakhouse is owned by an Ecuadoran immigrant who is carrying on the red sauce legacy of Chicago. I didn’t even know Chicago had a red sauce legacy… or that Mirabella was a hidden gem in my neighborhood that I pass almost every week on my Irving Park runs. Can’t wait to try it!
That’s my favorite thing about living in a city as big as Chicago. There’s an infinite amount of restaurants, art, people, culture, events, drag shows, book stores, et al, to discover here.
I’m jazzed (jazz-handed?) to have embroidery artwork and creative writing in the newest issue of CROWDED zine, a quarterly multimedia zine affiliated with The Crowd Theater, featuring written and visual work of Chicago artists.
The Issue #3 release party is tonight, May 11, at 8 p.m. in The Crowd Theater near Lakeview! Admission for tonight’s show is free, and you can purchase a zine there for $6. They’ll be taking cash, card, or Venmo exchanges @CrowdedZine. If you can’t make the show but would like a copy, Venmo $8 to @CrowdedZine with your address in the description and they’ll mail you your copy!
Technically, this book of essays from Rustbelt Publishing won’t be out until September 10, but you can pre-order your copy today for $20 here! I’m really excited to have my work included and can’t wait to get my hands (well, mostly my eyes) on it. Following, a description of the book from the publisher:
Chicago is famously a city of neighborhoods. Seventy-seven of them, formally; more than 200 in subjective, ever-changing fact. But what does that actually mean? The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook, the latest in Belt’s series of idiosyncratic city guides (after Cleveland and Detroit), aims to explore community history and identity in a global city through essays, poems, photo essays, and art articulating the lived experience of its residents.
Edited by Belt senior editor Martha Bayne, the book builds on 2017’s critically acclaimed Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology. What did one pizzeria mean to a boy growing up in Ashburn? How can South Shore encompass so much beauty and so much pain? What’s it like to live in the Loop? Who’s got a handle on the ever-shifting identity of West Ridge? All this and more in this lyrical, subjective, completely non-comprehensive guide to Chicago. Featuring work by Megan Stielstra, Audrey Petty, Alex V. Hernandez, Sebastián Hidalgo, Dmitry Samarov, Ed Marszewski, Lily Be, Jonathan Foiles, and many more.
My short piece is about three must-try tiki bars and restaurants in Chicago: Three Dots and a Dash in River North, Lost Lake in Logan Square, and Hala Kahiki Tiki Bar & Lounge in River Grove (worth the commute out to the ‘burbs, my Chi-town friends; this place has been tiki-ing since 1964 and claims to be the Midwest’s most authentic tiki bar).
Sober pals, don’t let the tiki-theme tempt you into not checking out these kitschy fun spots. Nonalcoholic treats abound. Example: Hala Kahiki’s zero proof Fruit Punch, a mix of passion fruit, housemade grenadine, housemade Orgeat, orange, pineapple, lemon, and lime.
Thumbing through the magazine has already garnered some travel ideas for us to conquer this summer, like taking a trek to Springfield, Illinois, to try the world-famous “hot dog on a stick” at The Cozy Dog Drive In. I guess I’m just a suck for anything corny! (Get it? Corn dog. Ha. Ha.) What are your big (or small) summer plans?
Slate Arts + Performance proudly presents CONNECT, a new-media group exhibition featuring works by the following artists:
Joshua Eby Robert Fowler Erica Gressman Joo Young Lee X. A. Li Sarah Leuchtner Jackie Mantey Sara Alexandra Pelaez Christopher Riggs Christopher Marc Ford Andrew C. S. Rui Sha
The opening reception is from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Slate Arts in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.
“Connecting requires at least two points in which a link or attachment of sorts can activate. As human beings, our livelihoods depend on how well we build and maintain connections. Relationships. Neural networks. Sound waves. Internet speed. Fibers of one’s clothing.”
I have three individual pieces in the show, a triptych entitled “Good Things And Death Come In Threes.” (Three embroidery and thread on historical imagery in 14″ x 17″ wooden and pink frames, one inch between each frame: “Red Line,” “Yellow Line,” and “Blue Line.”)
The images in “Good Things And Death Come In Threes” were sourced from the public domain of the New York Public Library’s digital archives and selected for their visual representation of tools Americans have used to send a message, themselves, or others from one place to another; interestingly, these are also tools we use to disconnect ourselves from wherever we’ve come.
The title is a nod to the folkloric connections we often make as we search for answers and try to connect our existence to something bigger than our individual selves. The finished embroidered work reminds the viewer of photography’s ability to connect us to people not of our time or place, as well as the working class inheritance of thread as a means to weave historical narrative into making a modern point. That each embroidery has similarities is a representation of how we are all connected, whether we are together or alone.
I’m excited to announce that two of my photographs were selected for publication in issue two of Honey & Lime Lit magazine, entitled “dancing into oblivion.” I love this publication’s dreamy visual aesthetic and am honored to be included (they had over 300 submissions for this issue!).
Check out both of my photographs here, and then read through the issue here. I’ll let you decide which of my images caught my eye because standing in it made feel like Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks. A girl can, ahem, dream.
I know I keep writing about how much this winter has been one relentlessly cold yuck, but the silver lining is that it’s got me jazzed for when warm weather finally hits and Justin and I can do full-day sessions of The 10 to 10. I’m so excited about it, in fact, that I recently wrote about the game (from the mind of Justin Golak TM) for Neighborhoods.com. Check out my piece titled “How a Roll of the Dice Helps Me Explore Chicago neighborhoods.”
When you walk a city’s neighborhood with no particular place to go, you end up keeping your eyes open for things to do, more than if you’d arrived at your destination with a set plan.
Out now: the March 2019 issue of Columbus Monthly magazine with a feature article I wrote for the medical guide advertising section. The piece was about the groundbreaking immunotherapy, trials, treatments, and techniques coming out of the city to help cancer patients.
I particularly enjoyed learning more about how CAR T-Cell Therapy works (it’s game changing), but my favorite part was interviewing my friend Sarah who survived breast cancer. The strength and faith on her is truly awe-inspiring.
Check it out, friends! My artwork has made its debut in the, fittingly enough, debut publication of the Chicago Writers Association’s Write City Review. It’s so exciting to see my name and work in there that I could burst. I know this isn’t a big deal, like, at all, and I’m used to seeing my journalism bylines, but having my creative writing and embroidery published is a rad new development that feels awesome and I’m totally humbled by it.