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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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VIDEO: "Make The Rich Pay"

A few years ago I did a post about a play that I wrote/ adapted from a play by Michael Gold called, "Strike!: A Mass Recitation".

Lately I've been digitizing all sorts of audio cassette tapes and VHS video tapes in an effort to reduce clutter and get more organized. One of the things was a recording of the play– "Make The Rich Pay!". This is a video of a performance at the Wicker Park Field House in Chicago on Friday, February 21, 1992. Here it is: 

Make The Rich Pay from Daniel X. O'Neil on Vimeo.

It's kind of hard to follow. It might help to read along with the script here.

Strength, Victory

Witness at the End of an Empire

On Election Night, Tuesday, February 2, 2010, I was at the W Hotel City Center. US Senate candidate David Hoffman (keep in touch!) was there in a ballroom with friends and supporters. He lost the election, but it was a very strong showing.

Across the sleek modern carpet on the second floor ("Plateau Level", in Wspeak), there was another event. This one was held by supporters of Todd Stroger, the current Cook County Board President. He lost that night, mightily. Unless some crazy shit happens, it was the end of a remarkable run of county control for the Strogers.

You might call it "The Tale of Two Great Rooms":

Hoffman had the smaller room– Great Room II– on the right. Stroger on the left. The X's are the elevators that provided succor in post-speech retreat for Stroger.

Here are some notes on the Stroger room:

The room was pretty bare, save for the media row and clumps of people talking amongst themselves as Stroger spoke.

Stroger characterized the defeat as a "bump in the road". I'm not sure if anyone in the room agreed with this highly optimistic take on the results, except for the guy who said, "Todd for Mayor!". Stroger responded by saying, "thank you for that sentiment".

Stroger defended his leadership of the County and said he was proud that there were few layoffs, as opposed to other government bodies. He further stated that "I know county government better than anyone... in this room". I'm not sure if this was correct or not.

He congratulated the Democratic primary winner Toni Preckwinkle, and said that he would take the opportunity to tell her "how the county works" in the coming months. I'd like to be a fly on the wall at that session.

People very much liked the mini-burgers:

Lonely Burgers

Board member Bridget Gainer was there in the room, standing by the door. I do not know why she was there.

Here's Stroger giving his lonely speech. This image is by David Schalliol, the genius photographer who was covering the event for WBEZ.

Finally, Stroger was hustled out of the ballroom immediately. I love photographer crush scenes.

Todd Stroger in Photographer Crush, After Conceding Defeat from Daniel X. O'Neil on Vimeo.

Unintentionally Related EveryBlock Data Types

-- Crime: Harassment by electronic means
-- News item: Tearful Cohen drops out of lieutenant governor's race

Best viewed large: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juggernautco/4353080442/sizes/o/


A 2nd Cork & Kerry Near Cellular Field

Screen shot 2010-02-11 at 10.16.14 PMA new restaurant, Cork And Kerry On 33rd, received a liquor license yesterday from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection of the City of Chicago. Their new address is 3258 S Princeton Av.

This is the second location of an Irish joint in Beverly. 

The legal name of the establishment is "Chicago Pizza Department Corp." Not exactly sure why.

Apparently George Wendt loves the place.

Go ahead and follow them on Twitter.

UPDATE: I failed to mention that this is the old Jimbo's Lounge space (thanks, Blagica!)

Screen shot 2010-02-11 at 10.14.50 PM

Two New Restaurants on Taylor Street: Vintage Lounge and Cafe 1.61

Here's a liquor license application for a place called "Vintage Lounge" at 1447 - 49 W. Taylor Street in Chicago's University Village/ Little Italy neighborhood (didn't Tri-Taylor used to be thing?).

In looking around for info on this place, I really couldn't find any. There are lots of Vintage Lounges around the country (Boston, Houston, Orlando) but a quick take on Vintage Lounge Web sites shows that they're all different (i.e. not a part of a chain or franchise).

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 9.14.37 PM
Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 9.13.46 PM
Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 9.13.25 PM

The Orlando Vintage Lounge can't seem to make up it's mind if the V stands for Vintage or Vixen.

There's also a new liquor license for a place called Cafe 1.61 at 1251-1259 W Taylor St.

I couldn't find anything about this place either-- save for a logo:

Screen shot 2010-02-10 at 9.24.40 AM
If you know anything about either of these joints, by all means, let us know! (In fact, why not post an Announcement over at EveryBlock?).

UPDATE, 8/4/2010:

Here's a better look at the logo for Vintage Lounge. Thanks, Steve!

North Park Nature Center, February 7, 2010

The North Park Nature Center at Pulaski and Peterson is a shining jewel of the Chicago Park District.

See the complete set here.

We love to go there, but we hadn't been there in a long time. Yesterday afternoon, as we hovered, cooped in our weekend electronics stances, we decided to get out there.

It's always such an active place-- there were a lot of changes and a lot going on!


-- Football tossing in the parking lot (it was Super Bowl Sunday, after all).

-- Multiple deer (there seems to be a population explosion on that front)

-- Deer tracks over frozen pond snow

-- The first panorama I've done there in some time. (moar: www.poetryandtechnology.com/north_park_nature_center.html)

-- Habitat restoration project going on just west of the panorama.

See the complete set here.

Misplaced Outrage in Illinois: Scott Lee Cohen Belongs to You

I urge anyone who is outraged at the election of Scott Lee Cohen to read Steve Rhodes (Go Cohen!) and John Kass (The Pawnbroker and the hooker). They're both taking more than a little glee in rubbing the noses of Democratic voters in their own soiled ballots this week.

Rhodes quoting Cohen, then adding an essential note:

"I understand it looks bad, and that's why I tried so hard to put it out the day I announced I was running . . . I have answered every question that was asked of me by the media."

Unlike, say, Alexi Giannoulias. But somehow he and his problems are not a disgrace to the ticket.

In his tale of comparison, Kass reminds us about the back story of a business partner of US Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias:

In 2002, Laws was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison. The circuit's Outfit protector, Michael "Jaws" Giorango, was convicted of promoting a nationwide prostitution ring and sentenced to six months federal time.

Even before his last prison stay, Giorango had reinvented himself as a real estate investor.

He'd already been purchasing office buildings and renting space to politicians. His tenants included U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; now-retired state Sen. Carol Ronen, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Harry Osterman, D-Chicago. He also received $11 million in loans from the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank. The loans to Jaws were approved by Alexi Giannoulias.

To the Illinoisans who are outraged about Scott Lee Cohen, I say embrace your own. Scott Lee Cohen belongs to us, the great voters of Illinois. All the Ballot Builders and IVI-IPOs of the world couldn't drag us away from electing Scott Lee Cohen. Practically every union the in the state endorsed (but apparently didn't work hard enough for) Arthur Turner. But we loved Scott Lee Cohen more.

If this is somehow a disaster, I'm not sure, as Kass and Rhodes point out, why Alexi– he of the albatross– is not. So you can keep your phony (see what I did there, Salinger?) Facebook group demanding he step aside.

Either make your peace with Scott Lee Cohen, or apply your outrage to the whole slate. If you can't do that, then go back to keeping your mouth shut, February 1-style.


Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


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Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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