Category Archives: Chicago

Wilde Restaurant in Lakeview, Chicago

For a restaurant named after Oscar Wilde, the decor didn’t seem witty nor elegant. I think it is inspired by Irish pub design – lots of dark oak wood paneling. Very dark. Very cozy. Very loud. The interior seems very out of place compared to the restaurants in the neighborhood which have a more minimalist design – but that might be a good thing.

We put our name on the wait list and made our way to the back bar where we sipped Coke and talked about our day. An empty table sat nearby all the way in the back – a booth – I assumed it was probably reserved. We looked through the menu and they have a nice collection of entrees, some inspired by Irish pub food (bangers/mash). Ron decided to have the New York Strip and I was probably going to have one of the chicken dishes.

I think Wilde is an indicator of the encroachment of straight couples fleeing the higher rents/mortgages in Lincoln Park. I often call this the tyranny of the double-wide stroller (the SUV of the sidewalks). For being named after one of the pre-eminent men of letters of the English language and one of the most witty and flamboyant and first out/proud gay men of Western culture, Wilde is a very straight restaurant. Is that good? Bad? I dunno – just a bit surprising. Then again if I want fagged up eateries Ping Pong is just a few blocks up.

30 minutes into our supposed 20 minute wait, a couple comes in to wait next to us at the bar. A tubby waiter asks them if they are waiting for a table and they reply yes. He escorts them to the empty table next to us that I’d assumed was reserved. They sit down and are enjoying glasses of wine in due time. Ron and I grab our coats and leave, explaining to the hostess on the way out that there must be some miscommunication between the waitstaff and them.

Now we know that I can turn into a total twunt when I am 1) hungry and 2) cold. Ron was as well – plus he’d been having New York strip fantasies for half and hour now. We walked up to Jack’s on Halsted and walked right in, were seated immediately and quickly chomping on bread, butter and some yummy crab cakes. I had the filet. Ron had the NY strip. We left satisfied.

Sorry, Wilde. You didn’t get us this time around. Probably some edges to iron out – but you were packed last night so it looks like you won’t be hurting for our business. Wilde will be a great restaurant for folks wanting a Irish-pub atmosphere in a cozy setting – just get a reservation or go on a weekday. If the wait is too long and you must have steak, walk up to Jack’s on Halsted (and Belmont) and waltz right in.

Chicago Police Department Steeped in Blood

Videotapes of angry officers savagely beating civilians and charges that a murder plot was hatched within an elite special operations unit have Chicago’s troubled police department reeling again. The biggest shock came Wednesday when federal prosecutors charged special operations officer Jerome Finnigan with planning the murder of another member of the unit to keep him from talking to the government. The biggest shock came Wednesday when federal prosecutors charged special operations officer Jerome Finnigan with planning the murder of another member of the unit to keep him from talking to the government.

Come on cops: purge the ranks. Your brotherhood is rank. This ain’t LA. Ditch the thugs. They’ll find jobs: I hear Blackwater is hiring.

Chicago Priest Gave Church Money to Married Louisville Male Stripper

I love it when a story spans my hometown area and my current bilocation:

Sorvillo — who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $200,000 from St. Margaret Mary parish on the North Side — gave cars, plane tickets and thousands of dollars in cash to James Sosnicki, a married Louisville man who stripped frequently at gay clubs in Chicago, law enforcement sources said. Reached in Louisville, Sosnicki told the Chicago Sun-Times he paid Sorvillo back — and said their relationship was never sexualWhile searching the rectory at St. Margaret Mary, investigators found naked photos of a dark-haired man who turned out to be Sosnicki, according to law enforcement sources. One showed Sosnicki sleeping naked in the rectory bed. Investigators also found a poster advertising the 2004 “International Mr. Leather” competition — featuring Sosnicki as one of the models.

Post Parade Report Out

Woman in van during Chicago Gay Pride parade 2007.

The parade was fun. It actually seemed to start on time this year, though there were several long gaps where nothing was coming down the street causing the crowds to gradually enroach from the sidewalk to the street. Several dozen pics on Ron’s camera that is at his place so I’ll try to get those up on Flickr in the next day or so. Overcast gave way to sunlight and I got a sunburn and a nice pattern of my tank top burned into my shoulders.

As always, Dykes on Bikes remains the perrenial favorite. And as always, PFLAG, the veterans and the teachers always moves my heart. The loudest screaming was as a peace activism group went by with huge banners demanding a stop to the war and impeachment. Much agreement with that.

We got to the gym late and missed seeing all the guys pumping themselves up for the floats. That’s always fun. And so today is the slowest day of the year at the gym as everyone is hung over or still tweaking from a long weekend of revels. We came down Halsted after dinner just to gawk at the crowds and blocks-long lines for all the bars. By then the streets had been swept and it was like the parade was a distant memory.

The next big holiday (aside from the 4th) is the Market Days street festival which is like the parade but inside a concentration camp – it doesn’t move. It is the one time a year I get to eat funnel cakes so I am looking forward to it.

I couldn’t sleep readily last night (we’d had a long post-parade nap) and I just sat up thinking about Cheney’s claim that he is separate from pretty much the entire government and I wonder what he is hiding and that I probably obsess too much about this stuff but it is like you can’t believe it when you turn on the television each day and another step towards authoritarian control has installed itself maybe not for immediate use but another step that will be very difficult to take back.

Much up in the air with work. This server move seems endless and has continual setbacks. June has been a very molasses-esque month. It feels like everything technical has been twice as hard to do. Maybe it is the humidity that makes it feel so slow and labored.

Until I get our pics up you can browse the Flickr pics of Timothy, EMR, Cargo Cult Science, Gerald, Cynical Idealist, Evan, and Troy.

Chicago’s Looptopia Withered Into the Night

Chicagoist reports on the all-night city event Chicago had last week and some strange planning:

Billed as the first all-night event of its kind in America, how on earth did the organizers not plan for an all-night event? How do you advertise that the North Garden of the Art Institute and Millenium Park will be open all night and then start turning people away? How is it possible that we actually heard someone over a bullhorn tell people at the corner of Randolph and Wabash to “Go home!! Disperse!!??”” It seemed counterintuitive to have an all-night celebration of the Loop and not have the Brown Line running all night — especially when you already have a dissatisfied CTA clientele. To have what seemed like poor publicity, yet not have venues big enough to hold the crowds that came to see the exhibits and performances.

Others have noted that since this is the first time the event has taken place that it’ll be better next year. But isn’t this just like the 4th of July events with throngs downtown needing to be managed better? It does seem weird that the all-night event really wasn’t all-night.

More:

It baffles me that there were NO food vendors at this event. They should have at least had an entire block closed off and dedicated to food vendors like most street festivals in Chicago. I was eager to eat fried things of all sorts so I’d really hate myself the next day.

And:

The one thing that made me really, really mad about looptopia is thinking about how the STUPID DOWNTOWN NOISE ORDINANCE kept the event from being the amazing party it could’ve been. i know what this is all about: all the new high-rise dwellers in the loop have been complaining non-stop about events like lollapalooza, and the noise it generates. i don’t understand how people can buy a condo in the center of the US’s third largest city (?) and expect to get crickets at 3am. i don’t care how much you paid for your luxury condos – suck it up and realize that urban living means living in a urban environment, noise and all.