At the Ref Desk (6/17/17): Quick - look up the hours for today!!! (A popular question during the summer.) [more...]
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+1 for RibFest Website

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 6/10/13 (9:18am)

Yeah, I went to the Ribfest and had a great time. Beyond the event itself what impressed me the most was the website. Great professional job! (And responsive to boot.)

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Jesse Jackson & Me

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 6/7/12 (10:50pm)

I ran into Jesse Jackson while in Milwaukee. I've run into him a couple of times before. One memorable occasion was in West Berlin during the Eighties. He had made a speech to thousands of Berliners at the Gedanknis Kirche (i.e. the center of town) finishing with the line, 'we defeated the 3rd Reich in Germany and we'll defeat the 4th Reich in South Africa'. The Berliners cheered. Then he added that he'd be at a party in Dahlem later that evening.

Party in Dahlem! With Jesse Jackson! The moment we heard that, we headed straight to the location -- a lefty social center for students. Unfortunately what Jackson forgot to mention -- probably because he didn't know -- was that they were charging at the door! Charging at the door? Impossible! So instead of going in, we waited. Finally a car arrived and Jesse Jackson got out. "Jesse," I said, running over to him, "I'm from Chicago and they won't let me in!"

He turned to me. "You're from Chicago", he asked. "Come with me!"

We walked arm-in-arm into the place. I headed straight to the liquor table. I filled up my glass and then sauntered back to the entrance to wave to my companions who were still outside. I motioned to the doorman to let them in. Having just walked in arm-in-arm with Jesse Jackson, the doorman assumed that I had a certain elevated degree of mojo -- so he let my friends in.

I reminded Jesse of this episode when I saw him in Milwaukee. He was in good spirits and laughed.

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TechCocktail Chicago

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 4/19/12 (9:07pm)

Hard to find room at the bar!

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I came upon of slew of emails I had written while at NYU in the mid-to-late 90's. I hadn't seen them for years. Here's one from 1997. In it, I'm telling the Grad Adviser from NYU's History Dept. that I'm dumping him in favor of the far more attractive "Multimedia" Program at NYU's 'Interactive Telecommunications Program" (ITP):

Dear Mr. W*:

You were assigned as my adviser, so I guess you're the one to whom I should address this message.

[read more...]

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All Work, No Play - Happy New Year, World!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/30/11 (5:44pm)

Not much fun at the moment. Working on a big web design project (with a deadline).

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Concert in Evanston with Stew

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/2/11 (4:39pm)

Old pal from the Wonderful Guise, Stew and his band had a concert at the Space in Evanston. I got there a little late because I had reference at DePaul but we got together after the thing and hanged out at Bar Louis till they kicked us out.

UPDATE (2/1/2012): Here's his interview with NPR.

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Yes, Virginia, Deep Dish Pizza is Real Pizza

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 10/22/11 (1:44am)

Here we go again. Everyone's talking about the following comment by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia:

[Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza is] ... "very tasty ... but it should not be called ‘pizza.’ It should be called ‘a tomato pie.’ Real pizza is Neapolitan. It is thin. It is chewy and crispy, OK?”

Here's the third report I've come across, this time in the Chicago Sun-Times.

This is a complete myth based on ignorance of what qualifies as 'pizza' in Italy. It's not just thin crust! Naturally that's what you get if you only go to sit-down pizzerias but there are also places, particularly in Rome or Naples, called 'Pizza Rustica' which are walk-in carry-out places where you can order elaborate thick-crush pizzas that put our Deep Dish variety practically to shame. These are the forerunner of Deep Dish! It's there for anyone to go and see.

Another example is 'Pizza Bianca' which is a staple of good Italian breakfasts -- served up practically at every Cafe/Bar in the country: a totally plain very thick crust which is filled with cheese and other delicious things and then toasted and served crispy hot along with your cup of cappuccino. Again, a harbinger of Deep Dish.

So I'm sorry, but this really is a sort of idiot test: if someone doesn't like Deep Dish or claims it's not Italian, bingo, they win the Bozo Award!

UPDATE: Here, eat this....

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Give Me a Chicago Butt - Or No Butt at All!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 7/19/11 (10:55am)

You know, when we look up the dress of a 26-foot statue in the middle of downtown, we have every right to expect the butt we see there to scream, 'Chicago' from cheek to cheek.

So if they ever do this again, I suggest they use Mrs. O'Leary maybe or Oprah Winfrey -- clad of course in nothing but a bra and girdle. That way they'll have someone with connections to Chicago (finally) while still appealing to boys in 5th grade.

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