From the Vault: Chicago gang produces musical

From the Vault: Chicago gang produces musical

Here’s an ad that ran in the Herald’s June 14, 1967 issue.   But weren’t the Blackstone Rangers a gang? In the summer of 1967, the Rangers, one of Chicago’s most powerful gangs, had made peace—and they were producing a musical. Directed by nationally famous activist and singer Oscar Brown, the Rangers starred in “Opportunity(…)

Obama Watch– kissing rock

Obama Watch– kissing rock

How do you measure love? Hyde Parker (and President of the United States) Barack Obama doesn’t need a expert to answer that question. He can head over to 53rd and Dorchester, where his love for his wife Michelle Obama can be measured in pounds. The “Obama Kissing Rock” monument weighs in at 3,000 pounds (1.5(…)

Film Review: “Fruitvale Station”

Film Review: “Fruitvale Station”

The story is pretty familiar to anyone who paid attention to the news four years ago, especially if you were in California at the time. On January 1, 2009, after a night of celebrating the new year in San Francisco, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer(…)

Neighborhood Snapshot– The Video (lottery?) Connection

Neighborhood Snapshot– The Video (lottery?) Connection

The Video Connection, 1208 E 53rd St., once advertized in the Herald as having the “perfect antidote to Chicago’s long frosty winter months” with “cinema masterpieces” such as “Citizen Kane,” the Star Wars Trilogy and Michael Jordan’s “Playground”. But Hyde Park’s video connection no longer stocks videos. The large blue wall where the movies were(…)

From the Vault– Ugly is Sin

From the Vault– Ugly is Sin

“Sling a dead cat” into your room, suggests the Hyde Park Herald’s July 24, 1885 issue. We used to be a much more “literary” paper. I put that in quotes because I mean it in the most judgmental way possible. At first, the piece “How to look ugly,” published with the poetry and serial novels(…)

My corncob pipe

My corncob pipe

We got this letter from Hyde Parker Ken Xavier Zehir and thought we’d pass it along.   “I first started smoking when I was seven years of age. It was a Newport cigarette, and I nearly choked to death. I mean I coughed my fool head off! At 16, to look adult, I smoked my(…)

Pig lungs and sheep hearts and brains: oh my!

Pig lungs and sheep hearts and brains: oh my!

Pig lungs were inflated and deflated with a foot pump. Sheep hearts, brains and eyes were on display—and kids got to poke at them (using plastic gloves of course).   The free Globs, Goo and Guts! event at the Blackstone Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., gave participants “a great opportunity to have some hands-on(…)

CAT Film Festival celebrates cats on film

CAT Film Festival celebrates cats on film

By Brian Belak It’s arguably the most important development of the last decade, though probably not for furthering the development of society, but for stunting it. It is the cute cat video, the great time-waster of the Internet, holding millions of users hostage on Youtube as they choose one more meow over whatever work they(…)

Sojourn in Sicily Part 2: Getting There

Sojourn in Sicily Part 2: Getting There

We arrive at O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 3, at 11:30 a.m. for our 3:25 p.m. flight on Air Berlin. I know it’s absurdly early, but I’m always afraid things are going to go wrong at the airport. They don’t exactly … but check-in takes a very long time. I ask to switch seats to the(…)

Chaka Khan Visits DuSable

Chaka Khan Visits DuSable

By Yasmine Laasraoui Photos by Yasmine Laasraoui The DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E 56th Place, held a private reception on Saturday in honor of Hyde Park native and ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan. The reception took place at the lower level of the museum. When I arrived, I was told that(…)