Sunday, November 30, 2008
"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
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
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
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...
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.
``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.''
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
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.
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
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.
830 S. Michigan would have been the tallest building in the South Loop standing at 80 stories and 855 feet.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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
Saturday, November 15, 2008
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.
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
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"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
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):
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…
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.
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
I like to think of
Friday, November 7, 2008
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
Opening it’s second restaurant in
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
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 Punk...it was rad:
And here is the view behind the robots...
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.
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.
"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)
Sloopin came up with some ideas to beef up the South Side CTA…take a look.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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
- Fitness Formula Club -
South Loop- website
- Bally’s Total Fitness -
- website River City
- LA Fitness - South Loop - website
- X-Sport - South Loop - website
- Phenomenal Fitness - website
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!
"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."
"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.
"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...
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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.Although he's talking about the entire country, one potential benefactor could be the CTA. This might be a little optimistic though...
"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.
We set a new record for the blog yesterday, 150 impression (aka page views) on 11/3.
Thanks and tell your friends!
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
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.
Sloop – noun – (sloo–p)
Sloopin – verb - (sloo-pin)
- An area bounded by Congress on the north,
Lake Michiganon the east, 55 on the south and 90/94 on the west: I’m going down to the sloop for dinner tonight.
- 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!
"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
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.