Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lost in Translation: Joy Yee's Noodles

It was the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and my cousins and I decided to venture down to Chinatown. Without knowing exactly where we wanted to go, we wandered and almost entered a restaurant through the back door. Thankfully we found the proper entrance to the "China Place Street", which is essentially a walking street similar to what you would find in European cities.

Anyway, we ended up at Joy Yee's Noodles, which was bustling with people eating and also getting bubble teas and other unique drinks. After awkwardly figuring out how and where to sit, we were given a massive menu. Ok, so massive is an understatement. This menu was quite impressive as it had over 500 dishes (and most with pictures). It also had a ridiculously extensive drink menu and when I say drinks I don't mean of the alcoholic variety (bubble teas, yogurts, fruits, etc.).

After spending about 30 minutes looking through the menu, we decided on a wide variety of things to try. To be honest, I had a hard time focusing on the menu due to its volume of contet, so if you try this place out, make sure you're ready to focus and not be indecisive.

In terms of the food everything was solid. The highlight was a curry dish served with soft shell crab and chicken over white rice. The service was quick and good, but if you're looking to be waited on, this isn't the place. The decor was nice, simple and basic. If you like asian simplicity, design and soap operas, you will like the look and feel of the restaurant.

All in all, we had a nice time and were happy with the decision. Most likely will be heading back sometime in the near future.

Potential in the Near South Side

The Chicago Tribune has an article about some new loft developments just south of McCormick Place.  If you've ever looked into buying (or making an investment) in the South Loop, you've probably realized some of the points made by the article.  And as most of us know, the golden ticket is the possibility of the the 2016 Olympics.  This is especially the case for this area in the neighborhood:
"The proposed Olympic Village is planned on the Michael Reese Hospital site, so there's a lot of opportunity as far as neighborhood planning."  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Interesting Post from the Chicago Tribune about the Olympic Bid

Read this and take it for what it's worth. It sounds like some of the 2016 Bid Officials have been given pretty prominent roles in Obama's inaugural committee. Interesting:
President-elect Barack Obama's ties to the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid were
reinforced even more this week. Four of the five co-chairs of Obama's
inaugural committee announced Wednesday have roles in the Chicago bid. Two
are on Chicago 2016's 13-member board of directors: Patrick Ryan, the bid
committee chairman; and John Rogers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recent Pizzeria Openings

A couple weeks ago we mentioned that Lou Malnati's and Homemade Pizza Co. were working on opening restaurants in the South Loop.

Well in case anyone wants some pie, both places are now open.

David Barton Gym to Focus On South Loop Location

The Chicago Tribune reports that the David Barton Gym has decided to pull out of the much maligned Block 37 development. Instead, the Gym will focus on it's expansion at the Roosevelt Collection.

By the way, the construction teams at Roosevelt Collection are still had hard work. I recently went by the development and one of the wings looks to be almost fully enclosed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh Snap - Chicagoist disses NYT

So on Wednesday I posted this story from the venerable New York Times talking about Chicago's recent blossoming. Well today I just read a great post by the Chicagoist taking issue with the article:

Have you ever heard a song by a band and totally been turned on to that band, rushing out to buy their record, listening to it, and then excitedly telling your friend all about your "discovery", saying, "Hey, have you ever heard of this band called The Rolling Stones??? They ROCK!" only to have your heart crushed when your friend tells you that band's old news? We hate to be "that friend," but...

Yesterday, the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny looked at the "renaissance" of Chicago in his cheekily titled article, "A New Wind Is Blowing in Chicago." One doesn't necessarily envision Zeleny and his colleagues (Maureen Dowd, perhaps?) sitting around a computer looking at pictures of Chicago with wonder and saying, "They have...buildings! And...parks!" but judging from the article it feels like they haven't actually stepped foot in Chicago in quite a while. It's all O'Hare, Obama, and Oprah to these people, isn't it?

Funny and maybe a little true...but to be honest, the Chicagoist is playing into the "inferiority complex" that most Chicagoans tend to have. We'll always be the second city, whatever that really means...

Reese Hospital a Possibility for Olympic Village Again

About 2 or 3 months ago, word got out that the negotiation to turn Michael Reese Hospital into the 2016 Olympic Village had stalled. The reason was said to be due to demolition and environmental clean-up costs which had significantly changed. This in turn, through the whole negotiation off supposedly.

Well according to the Sun Times, the negotiation is back on and Pat Ryan is on the case (Chairman of the Olympic Bid, Former President of Aon, and Big Bad Chicago Businessman). If it doesn't work out, I'm sure he can foot the bill, he definitely has the money.

Another interesting thing coming from this article is that Ryan expects to show off the city's final Olympic plan in Mid-December.

Maybe they incorporated Sloopin's Grand Plan? Doubtful though.

Transcript of Obama Video at EOC Annual Olympic Convention

As Part of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid presentation to the European Olympic Committee's Annual convention, President-Elect Obama had an 85 second video addressing convention. Here is a transcript from the video...pretty good stuff for Chicago:

``Mr. (IOC) President, members of the International Olympic Committee, ladies and gentlemen.

``While I am unable to be there in person, I wanted to take this opportunity to speak with you because I deeply believe in the Olympic movement and have long supported hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in my home city of Chicago.

``Over the past two years, I have spoken often about my belief that while we may come from different places and backgrounds, there are certain shared values that unite us, values at the heart of the Olympic movement: friendship, excellence and mutual respect.

``In the coming years, my administration will bring a fresh perspective on America's role and responsibilities around the world. But if we are to truly meet our shared challenges, we must all work together. By uniting the world in a peaceful celebration of human achievement, the Olympic Games reminds us that this is possible.

``The United States would be honored to have the opportunity to host the Games and serve the Olympic movement. As President-elect, I see the Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity for our nation to reach out, welcome the world to our shores and strengthen our friendships across the globe.

``Thank you very much.''

Obama Loves Corned Beef!

And so do I, especially from Manny's in the South Loop at 1141 S. Jefferson.

The President Elect hit up Manny's, which was referred to as a "Chicago Institution", for Lunch today. Money Quote:
Asked about a federal bailout for the auto industry, Obama responded: "I got the corned beef."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2016 Candidate Cities Invade Turkey

It's the first Olympic Committee meeting since Obama has been elected and that seems to be the talk of the convention. This week, the EOC or European Olympic Committee convenes for there annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. All four 2016 finalists will be present and giving presentation about their bids.

The most interesting development seems to be from Rio, who has adopted Obama's candidacy message of change. They also have stolen his "Yes, we can" rally call:
Chicago's rivals are adjusting to the Obama factor. Rio is even using his "Yes, we can" and time-for-change slogan as an example of why the Olympics should go to Brazil and South America for the first time.
Kinda funny...Hillary and McCain also tried to play off of and steal some of Obama's "marketing" thunder but it didn't work for them. Maybe it will work for Rio.

More Talk About New Green Line El Stations in the South Loop

About a month ago on Sloopin, we talked about the possibility of two locations for new Green Line El stops in the South Loop.

Well today, one of the urban planners came back with their first thoughts. He cited the North, Damen and Milwaukee intersection and El stop as an example of what he envisioned for this area. I don't see how it would be like that, but regardless there is definitely potential for both of these stops (either 18th street and/or Cermack).

Here is a picture of the area proposed (yellow is residential, orange is hotels and gray is retail):

I sure hope they're taking the 2016 Olympic Bid into consideration while planning. I know the Olympic Bid could speed up the process for these projects to get the green light, but still it seems like development down here could be a big opportunity for the bid. I'm pretty sure they're smart enough to consider this, but I've seen our fabulous government do some pretty stupid things before.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicago's Blossoming?

I'll be honest, this article in the New York Times doesn't have much to do with the South Loop (however it does briefly talk about the 2016 Olympic Bid), but it has some good information about Chicago's recent "blossoming".

It also talks about Obama replacing Oprah:
One sign that the Obama brand is replacing the Oprah brand? The talk show tycoon is not mentioned in the city’s new tourism campaign, which invites visitors to “Experience the city the Obamas enjoy.” Ms. Winfrey’s studio is not mentioned along the list of stops, which range from Mr. Bayless’s restaurants to a bookstore in the Obamas’ Hyde Park neighborhood to Promontory Point along Lake Michigan. And souvenirs are on sale across town, with Obama shirts, hats and knickknacks arriving just in time for holiday shopping.

What's a Cuban Sandwich?

I've never had one, but judging from this review in the Chicago Reader, it sounds like the shiznit.

Cafetico has only been open for 4 months...has anyone been there? How is it?

Two South Loop High Rises Get the Axe

Not a huge surprise given the market and financial issues right now, but today Crains Chicago reports that developer Warren Barr has decided to not move forward with two high rises at 830 S. Michigan and 1000 S. Michigan.

830 S. Michigan would have been the tallest building in the South Loop standing at 80 stories and 855 feet.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Yoga Joint Invades the South Loop

I can barely touch my knees, so as you can imagine, yoga ain't my thing. But if it's yours, CorePower Yoga just opened it's first Illinois studio in the South Loop at 555 W. Roosevelt (in the same building as Best Buy). Judging by their pictures online, the studio looks pretty sweet, especially if you enjoy becoming limber and looking at our beautiful skyline:

For a more detailed summary on what makes CorePower Yoga different then other studios check out this review in the Chicago Examiner.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hangover Cure: Bongo Room

After a long night of drinking and debauchery, some friends of Sloopin decided to hit up Bongo Room (1152 S. Wabash) for brunch.  All I can say is that Bongo Room evidently is the cure for a hangover.  One of Sloopin's friends was ridiculously hung over prior to Bongo Room.  An hour and a half later, she came back a new person.  Their eggs must be magic. 

Restaurant Review: Room 21

This past Friday we went to Jerry Kleiner's latest dinning creation, Room 21.  The restaurant is located on Wabash, just south of 21st street (2110 S. Wabash).  For those who don't know Jerry Kleiner, his restaurants tend to have extravagant, eclectic and over the top decor.  If you're into his restaurants, then you will love Room 21.  

Out of all the Kleiner restaurants I've been to (Opera, Gioco, Marche, Red Light, Carnivale) this is probably the most interesting in terms of design and history.  According to Kleiner, Room 21's building used to be Al Capone's largest liquor warehouse and speakeasy.  When renovating the building, they accidentally stumbled onto a secret passage and found a door leading to 21st street that said "Room 21".  He tells the story better then I do:  

If you made it to the end of the video, you saw the private dinning room that overlooks the kitchen.  This was by far the coolest thing about the restaurant (and to be honest probably the coolest thing I've ever seen at a restaurant).  However, they did tell us that it takes a lot of coin to eat in the private dinning room.  A minimum of $1000 on the weekends and $500 on the weekdays.

In my eyes, the building and history kind of overshadow the food.  Although everything we had was really good, nothing was amazing.  However, with most Kleiner dinning experiences the food is only part of the package.

Besides the large dinning area, their is a large bar/lounge and a nice outdoor patio.  I'm also a big fan of Eric Clapton and they must have played 3 or 4 Clapton songs, so in my mind the music was great.  The service was prompt, but our waiter was kind of spacey and wasn't the best.  However, after dinner we asked the manager for the "tour" and he spent about 5 minutes telling us about the history of the building and so on, which we all appreciated.

So all in all, Room 21 is a very cool and interesting place and Sloopin would highly recommend it.  If you go, don't forget to ask the manager for the tour of the building, you won't regret it.

November 4th Revisited

It's been 12 days, but I was just thinking about the Obama rally and the spectacle it was to behold.  The whole thing was so surreal.  The craziest thing was the crowd after the rally. Everyone was peaceful, happy and plainly just enjoying the moment:

Dance Party at The Congress Theater

So I've never been to the Congress Theater or been to a Girl Talk concert, but judging by what I've read and watched in this video it looks like it would have been fun:

However, I did have a co-worker that went to the show and he said it was horrible.

Backdraft Filmed in The South Loop

A friend of mine recently went to The Chicago Firehouse  and mentioned that he really enjoyed the historic building and the great food.  I haven't been there in awhile, so I decided to look at their website again and learned something new.  According to the website, the movie Backdraft was filmed in the building

This isn't important information to know, but regardless an interesting fact for those who like these types of things. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some South Loop Construction Updates

Here are a couple updates on various improvement projects around the South loop. Of the most interest to me is the Roosevelt Metra Station.

If anyone has been to this station you would know that it's something. Part of me likes that you feel like you're going to fall through the floor, but in all honesty this thing is probably pretty dangerous. There are holes in the roof and the walkways leading to the actual station sway and move. Anyway, looks like it's going to be gone in early 2009.

It also talks about improvements on wabash and the solidarity drive underpass by the Shedd Aquariam and Field Museum.

Baseball or Golf?

Which would be better for the 2016 Olympics? They both are lobbying for inclussion in the 2016 Olympics and according this article on According to the article Chicago might help Baseball get a leg up:

It is believed that holding the 2016 Games in either Tokyo or Chicago, where professional baseball stadiums are available, would help lure MLB to participate.
Although it would be pretty cool to see a gold medal game at Wrigley Field, I think Baseball probably won't be included since logistically it seems tough to interupt the MLB season (which would be in the middle of its regular season).

On the other hand, Chicago has many great golf courses and seems to always be lauded for its support of the sport. It would be pretty fun to see Tiger compete for a gold medal towards the end of his career (he would be 40 when the games would be held).

The other sports, besides Golf and Baseball, competing to be included in the 2016 Olympics are Karate, squash, rugby, roller sports and softball.

So, what sports do you think would be best for the 2016 Olympics?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green Line in Jeporday?

According to Chicago Business that's the case. I'm pretty sure a deal will be reached but essentially AIG's financial issues have caused some contractual problems with the Green Line's lease of land, tracks and stations on the green line...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Obama Effect for Chicago 2016 According to Spain

Spanish Olympic officials today said that they doubt Obama will have an impact on the 2016 Olympic race.
"I have my doubts that Obama can have such an influence" in favour of his hometown, Secretary of State for Sport Jaime Lissavetzky told a news conference. "I think that the members of the IOC are quite apolitical, even if I don't really like that word."
First of all, I think Obama will have some impact on the decision and I think it will help Chicago. However, I don't think that Obama means Chicago has it in the bag. I merely think this is a PR statement by Spain to seem confident and not show any weaknesses.

Second, I know the Madrid Olympic bid did well in the first round of evaluations. However, I have a hard time believing that they seriously have a chance to win this. Would the IOC really want to have back to back summer Olympics in Europe (London is hosting 2012)? My guess is no.

Like I've said before, Chicago's main competition in my eyes is from Rio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Legend at Legends

How often do you get to see a Grammy award winning, rock-n-roll hall of fame inductee play an intimate show at his own club? Well the answer is every January…but just to warn you the show sells out quickly. Buddy Guy invades his own South Loop club (754 S. Wabash) for his annual performances in January.

So with that said, consider this a favor to our avid Sloopin readers…tickets go on-sale on Saturday November 29th, so mark your calendars.

In case you don’t know, here is a little taste of Buddy Guy (however Eric Clapton most likely won’t be backing him up at the shows in January):

Restaurant Review: Grace O’Malley’s

Grace O’Malley’s is an upscale Irish pub and restaurant located just south of 14th on Michigan (1416 South Michigan Ave.). The bar itself is beautiful, classy and traditional. There is approximately 5 or 6 tables in the bar area and I’ve never had a problem finding a seat (there is also seating at the bar). That is not to say it doesn’t get busy, but more often then not you can find a seat if you desire.

In the back of the building there is a more formal and traditional restaurant area which caters to people and families looking to avoid the TV and rowdier bar crowd. There are also stairs to the second level, but I’ve never been up there. Judging by pictures online it looks like it can be reserved for private parties.

Besides a couple of appetizers that you can find anywhere (Quesadillas, Buffalo wings, nachos), the menu is mainly traditional Irish food. I’m not the biggest fan of Irish food, but overall everything I’ve had was solid, but not spectacular.

On to my favorite thing about the place, the bar. They have a variety of beers, drafts and liquors, but if you’re in the mood to try out some whiskey and scotch go for the flights (three samples of different kinds). I went for The Walker (black label, gold label and green label), but let’s be honest, I barely could tell the difference.

There aren’t a lot of specials, so if you’re looking to eat or drink for cheap try out it’s sister restaurant Wabash tap (on Wabash between roosevelt and 13th street). All in all Grace O’Malley’s is solid…

Sizing Up 2016 Olympic Competitors

The Chicago Daily Herald has a nice article summing up some of the competitors for the Olympics:

Madrid was already a strong finalist for the 2012 Games and knows what it's doing. Rio de Janeiro is benefiting from the fact that the supposedly international Olympics have never been hosted in South America. Tokyo has the experience of having hosted the Games in 1964 and is in the midst of a 10-year improvement plan.

As I've said before, I think Rio is Chicago's main competitor because of the reason listed above.

Chicago Ranked 8th Most Global City

A recent report in foreign policy magazine ranks Chicago the 8th most global city in the world (according to a variety of factors, some of which are displayed in the chart below). In my mind it's pretty impressive company, especially when looking at some of the cities that are ranked above Chicago:

The Chicago Tribune editorial board also talks at more length about the potential for a higher ranking in the future. They cite Obama and the Olympics as two potential platforms to help showcase the city.

In my mind, one of the major things that hampers Chicago’s “global perception” is its anonymity. I used to work in New York and I remember people joking about the Midwest as “fly-over” country. Although they were joking, there is always some truth to jokes.

I like to think of Chicago like Barcelona in Spain, a hidden gem that is often over shadowed by other worthy European cities. It wasn’t in the news a ton, it wasn’t the biggest city in its country, but nonetheless it was a great, worldly city.

Chicago often cites Barcelona's Olympics as an example for the 2016 bid. I think this is an excellent comparison as Barcelona used its Olympics to showcase its amazing city to the world. As a kid I remember the images of the diving competition (yes, I watched diving) with the cityscape in the background. I was intrigued by this city and eventually went there when I was traveling in Europe. I’m not sure if that’s completely due to Barcelona’s Olympics, but I know it had some effect.

If Chicago is lucky enough to land the 2016 Olympics, I’m hopeful that it will expose the world to some of Chicago’s attributes that are often not mentioned. And hopefully it will also influence some young international kid to want to see Chicago one day when they get older.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Three New Restaurants Opening Soon

As you probably realize if you're out and about sloopin...there aren't a ton of "moderately" priced restaurants in the area. It's either really nice expensive restaurants, bar food or sandwiches (with a couple exceptions of course). Well here are three new "moderately" priced dining options for us Sloopers who can't afford a $45 steak at the Chicago Fire House:

Homemade Pizza Co – 1347 S. Michigan Ave.
Fresh, gourmet pizza’s that are created from scratch at their restaurant. Customers buy the pizza’s at the restaurant and then bake them at home. They also have homemade cookies and salads.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria – Corner of 10th and State Street
Voted Chicago’s favorite pizza, Lou Malnati’s is a local legend and a great addition to the South Loop. They’re known for their famous deep dish pizza, but also have a variety of other options on the menu.

U Food Grill – 823 S. State
Opening it’s second restaurant in Chicago, U Food is all about a simple message; Feel Great, Eat Smart. With that in mind, U Food has a robust and broad menu that tries to provide healthy and good tasting options. I’ve never been there, but that’s what they’re claiming.

Old Post Office to be Converted in '09

The Old Post Office Building, which sits on top of Congress Pkwy and has been vacant for years, looks like it will finally start to be redeveloped soon. The Sun Times reports that it will be split into office space, condos and a hotel.

The old pipe dream was for the huge building (2.5 million square feet) to be converted into a casino, but the city never received a license for that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lollapalooza Forever

The historic Hutchinson Field, where Mr. President Elect Barack Obama just had his election night celebration, looks like it will be hosting more historic performances (of the musical variety this time). The Chicago Tribune reports that City Officials and C3 (who puts on Lollapalooza) are in contract extension negotiations.

I'm a huge fan of this event and am happy to see this news. If I'm not mistaken, the event was scheduled for a couple more years, but the current talks are to extend it through 2018 at least. In honor of this, please enjoy the Lollapalooza headliner from 2007, Daft was rad:

And here is the view behind the robots...

Chicagoist Obama Recap and the Implications for the 2016 Olypmic Bid

Much of the article is a recap of other sources and opinions, but the following talks specifically about the crowd at the Obama rally:
What also bodes well for Chicago’s reputation is the fact that no arrests or serious incidents occurred at the rally, a testament to the city’s ability to smoothly manage a large-scale, impromptu event – or maybe, more realistically, the good behavior of its citizens.
This is a great point that is often overlooked. The world knows Chicago for Al Capone, Gangsters and violence. The country hears about our homicides (which doesn't seem to be getting any better). But Obama and the peaceful rally really helps showcase Chicago in a different way.

South Loop Review: Gyms & Fitness Clubs: Formula Fitness Club

The first gym/fitness club that I tried out was Formula Fitness Club on 1151 S. State Street. In my eyes, the location is the biggest plus for this club. It is centrally located in the South Loop and is right next to the El (red, green and orange lines). Another great thing is that they have free 2 hour parking.

In terms of amenities, all the equipment looks to be new. There looks to be enough cardio equipment to support rush hours (5-7pm on weekdays), however there were a lot of people using the treadmills. All cardio equipment has individually mounted TVs, which I liiiiiike. The free weight area also had new equipment and wasn’t overly crowded when I went.

In terms of classes, there were two areas (however the club is expanding and said they would have more rooms to accommodate classes). There was also a Pilates studio, but if this is what you’re looking for, I have no idea if it’s a good setup. One disappointing thing about the actual workout floor, was that there wasn’t much room for stretching/abs/etc. There are places, but is seems like an afterthought.

The male locker room was pretty basic (lockers, showers and a steam room), but they do have a free towel service. There is also a spa (with tanning beds) and a small retail and food area.

The price seems a little higher then some of the other places we’re looking at, but as they say, sometimes you have to pay a little more for location (for 2 people it was about $60 per person per month and not including initiation fees).

Some of the things they don’t have that I would like:

  • Racquetball Court
  • Basketball Court
  • Pool, whirlpool and Sauna
  • Running track

All in all, it’s a nice, new and well kept fitness club, with all the basic amenities that are necessary for general fitness.

Yelp Reviews - Formula Fitness Club - South Loop
South Loop Review: Gyms & Fitness Clubs: Check it

Chicago 2016 Clinched? Hopefully, but not Yet

The CTA Tattler has an interesting post today about Obama’s potential impact on the CTA. Although I agree on many fronts, I think this statement in the post is a little premature:
"My prediction is that Obama's presidency won't make much of a difference to the CTA -- except that his election cinches the city's Olympics bid. And with that bid will come some federal dollars to improve public transportation to mostly South Side venues. But those dollars would have come regardless of who is president."

I agree that if (and that’s still a big if) Chicago gets the Olympics the CTA will get federal funds to beef up the South Side portion of the CTA. However, I know Obama helps Chicago’s profile internationally, but I think Rio has a compelling story that will be challenging for Chicago (no country in South America has ever hosted the Olympics).

Sloopin came up with some ideas to beef up the South Side CTAtake a look.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

South Loop Review: Gyms & Fitness Clubs

Despite this unusually beautiful November weather we’ve recently had, it’s going to get cold. Winter will be upon us soon and that means people stop going outside and stop being active. Or at least that’s what I do in the winter.

With that said, I’m thinking about joining a gym. So over the next month or so, I’m going to try all public gyms in the South Loop. As of now, I’ve identified 5 gyms:

  • Fitness Formula Club - South Loop - website
  • Bally’s Total Fitness - River City - website
  • LA Fitness - South Loop - website
  • X-Sport - South Loop - website
  • Phenomenal Fitness - website

Two More Obama/Chicago/Olympic Stories

Here is one from ESPN and the other is a press release for the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee.

The ESPN article does a good job at giving more depth to what Obama means for sports (not only Chicago sports, but other opinions he holds broadly). Enjoy!

World Sees Chicago in a New Light

I spoke about this with some of my friends yesterday, but Phil Hersch is a much better journalist then I am, so check out his blog post on the Chicago Tribune. This mainly deals with the impact of Obama and how it will help Chicago 2016 (again, I've covered this extensively since we started). Here is one of many great point he makes about last nights rally:
"The image that can be most lasting is that of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, ecumenical gathering in Grant Park Tuesday night, when the people of Chicago created, brief as it may have been, a living tableau of the often battered Olympic ideals. The secret is out."

CTA Circle Line Hearing

According to the CTA Tattler, there will be a meeting to discuss the Circle Line project in 2009:

"An Open House presentation on the proposed Circle Line is tentatively scheduled for early 2009. No definitive dates have been set. As soon as the dates are established, CTA will notify the public."

Here is an additional link to a Sloopin post about the circle line.

Tokyo's Scared

According to numerous AP media outlets, Tokyo officials fear that Obama's victory in the election will boost Chicago's 2016 olympic bid:

"I wonder how IOC members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago," Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda told Japanese domestic media Wednesday. "Mr. Obama is popular and good at speeches, so things could get tough for Japan," senior JOC board member Tomiaki Fukuda was quoted saying.

Not a big surprise here. Obama is the biggest celebrity in the world...don't you think the Olympics would want to latch on to that? I would...


For Chicago, the USA and for that matter the world. It was a great day, beautiful weather, and the outcome we could only dream for. The best part about it was that it happened in our front yard:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mayor Daley Talks about the Benefits for Chicago with Obama Presidency

Here is a Sun-Times article talking about Mayor Daley and the benefits he sees of a Obama Presidency. He talks about Chicago and the general country, but also talks about Obama coming from an urban environment and what that means for cities. Also, as stated many many times on Sloopin and other media vehicles, Obama would significantly help Chicago's Olympics bid.

The money quote in my opinion is when Daley talks about infrastructure:

With Obama in the White House and more Democrats in Congress, Daley just might get his wish for a modern-day version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.

"He's traveled all over the country. He's seen the roads and bridges. He's seen public transportation. He's seen infrastructure. And what he has seen now [is that] America has to re-invest. We rebuilt Germany and Japan. Why can't we invest in infrastructure? Infrastructure is the key. He understands that and he'll have an agenda on that because he's been talking about it for a couple of years now," Daley said.
Although he's talking about the entire country, one potential benefactor could be the CTA. This might be a little optimistic though...

New Record for Sloopin

Thanks to everyone who has been reading Sloopin.

We set a new record for the blog yesterday, 150 impression (aka page views) on 11/3.

Thanks and tell your friends!

Crazy Tight Security

Last night I decided to check out Grant Park and see what the scene looked like. As I walked east on Roosevelt, I ran into a Israeli news team taping a segment. At that point the historic nature of the election began to set in, the world is watching.

I've been going to Lollapalooza for a couple years now and am familiar with the location and security that accompanies that. I've seen people jump the fence with ease to sneak into Hutchinson field. That's not going to happen for the Obama rally. Besides being heavily guarded by police officers, there are three or more sets of fences that I noticed.

Anyway, the other odd thing that struck me was that every light pole was numbered. I assume this is for security, but none the less it was interesting:

Should be an interesting night in the South Loop...

I'm going to be posting observations live from the event...

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Information About Tuesday's Obama Rally

See You Tuesday in Grant Park!

A New Piece of Land for the Olympic Stadium

Recently I spoke to a resident in Hyde Park who does not want the temporary Olympic stadium to be built in Jackson Park. She likes her neighborhood the way it is and doesn't want the inconvenience of the Olympics to hamper her area. Fine.

I never thought the idea was good in the first place. I mean the city is touting a compact Olympic games, so why have one of the most important venues so far away? The cities explanation was to share some of the development perks with other areas of the city (and parts of Hyde Park could definitely use some of the perks associated with huge civil development projects).

Anyway, I was trying to think of alternative places that could house such a massive structure and one stood out to me. I'm not sure what this area is called but it's bounded by Roosevelt on the North, Clark on the east, the Chicago river on the west and 18th street on the south. It's a HUGE vacant piece of property that as of now looks like an empty field of grass.

I've read that this is privately owned, but maybe there is a way for the city to sieze it or something (eminent domain anyone?). Anyway here is a map of the area I'm talking about:

Does anyone know anything about this land? I think Tony Rezko might have something to do with it, but not sure. I've also read that some foreign investor might own it.

Sloopin's Definition

Sloopnoun – (sloo–p)

Sloopinverb - (sloo-pin)


  1. An area bounded by Congress on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, 55 on the south and 90/94 on the west: I’m going down to the sloop for dinner tonight.


  1. To do some activity in the south loop or in the near south side area: Tuesday is going to be sick, I’m sloopin with Obama all night!

Chicago's Skyline Halted

No big surprise given all the current economic issues, but many of Chicago's proposed skyscrapers have either halted or not even been started. The Chicago Tribune reports:
"In the wake of the global credit crisis, Chicago's once-superheated skyline—radically transformed during the last 10 years by one of the greatest building booms in the city's history—is on the verge of being frozen in place."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Sloopin Map

Just in case anyone wonders what constitutes sloopin, here is a general map of what we consider the "sloopin" area:

It mainly focuses on the blue area (South Loop and Printer's Row) but for good measure we also consider the red area (Near South Side) and green area (?) part of sloopin.

With these parameters set, we essentially try to keep readers up to date on anything that's going on in the area. Occasionally we'll have posts on things outside of our jurisdiction, but in some way all postings should have some relation to the sloopin areas.

Map for Tuesday

As I mentioned earlier, things are going to change, but according to the tribune here is a map of the area in detail:

When I was walking around today, they already have the no parking signs up for Tuesday on Wabash and Michigan.

Consensus: McCain Bad, Obama Good

At least that's the consensus for the Chicago 2016 bid.  Here is another opinion piece (this time in the Around the Rings website) about the election and how it could effect the 2016 bid process.

Security Guards, Rioting and the Obama Rally

So I just got an email from my condo management company and it sounds like we've hired two security guards to "protect" our building on Tuesday.  Although the notion of needing protection doesn't seem warranted, I guess there is a possibility that Obama might lose and as a result angry supporters loot and burn Chicago (if that happens, I will be probably be joining these hooligans.  

Doubt this will actually happen but who knows...

With that said and in the spirit of celebration, look at this video from the recent world series celebrations, hopefully this isn't me on Tuesday:

Getting Ready for the Big Event on Tuesday

It seems like details are hard to come by and ever changing, but preparation for Obama's Tuesday night election celebration have begun on the south side of Grant Park.  The Sun Times has about 50 pictures of the location, here is one of them:

As of now, I do have a ticket and am planning on going.  I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I'm still excited.  I'll keep you posted on anything else I hear...