Community Blog

New Bean on Uptown’s “Avenue of the Bean”

Emerald City Coffeehouse recently expanded from its original location alongside the entrance to the Sheridan Road “L” Stop to a second store at 1224 West Wilson which is a luxuriously large space that was left vacant when the Magnolia Restaurant closed in 2015. The new space with its low-key lighting, eclectic décor and friendly and helpful baristas is a genuine throwback to congenial coffeehouses of yore in ultra-hip communities such as Greenwich Village, North Beach in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston/Cambridge.

Atmosphere conducive to study, quiet conversation, performance, creativity and first dates is essential for a coffeehouse to thrive, and Emerald City has it all under the good-natured guidance of owner Brian Osborne. He is a Texas-transplant who has been in the coffee-serving business since 2001. He went to work for Emerald City in 2006, and in 2014 he bought the place. His idea was always for a community center, and with his expansion to 2,000-square-feet that is exactly what he is doing. The schedule of cultural events is what makes his operation unique among a cluster of decent coffee shops on Wilson Avenue.

Every Thursday is Open Mike from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Emerald City which is an evening for comedy and other arts. The third Friday of the month is a Variety Show from 8:00 to- 10:00 p.m. which features poetry, story-telling and recently a tap dancer. The fourth Friday is reserved for “Loose Chicks Chicago’’ from 8:00 to- 10:00 p.m. which is story-telling by courageous women. The second Wednesday is Board Game Night from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Trivia Night begins March 10. Recent spontaneous music events include performance by a Haitian band and on another occasion a piano recital. Plans are underway for a bi-monthly chess tournament. Brian is currently discussing with Chicago comic Kellye Howard for a regular evening each month just for her. There is no admission or cover charge for Emerald City events, and patrons are encouraged to bring their own wine.

Emerald City’s coffee is smooth, rich and robust, and is available in medium- or dark-roast. There’s a lineup of the usual concoctions that we expect at coffee palaces plus several new inventions such as a “Monk’s Eye” which is coffee with steamed milk and a float of double espresso. Many items are made in-house: muffins, coffee cakes, scones, sandwiches like chicken bacon; caprese; veggie melt; chicken pesto; classic BLT and grilled cheese. Breakfast egg tacos ($2.26) are portable, healthy and the best bargain in town. They also have a frequent-customer punch card program; the eighth beverage is free.

They are open weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., weekends 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Hours are extended for events. Contact Emerald City by phone at  773-944-0227 or visit their website at EmeraldCityChicago.Com.

– Walter Vatter, BPN Cub Reporter

Profiles Theater – Priscilla: Queen of the Desert Extended, Coming Soon: For The Love Of

PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert EXTENDED!

Categories: Company News,Plays

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical is the heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends, Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. They hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they ever could have ever dreamed of.

With a dazzling array of John Nasca costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favorites including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” Hot Stuff,” “Go West,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “I Love the Nightlife,” this wildly funny and touching musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Based on the smash-hit movie of the same name, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert enjoyed a 16-month run on Broadway.

The performance is at The Broadway, part of the Pride Arts Center, at 4139 N Broadway.

Honey West, Jordan Phelps, and Luke Meierdiercks lead a cast of 16 all-stars, and Music Director Robert Ollis will lead a band of 5! David Zak and Derek Van Barham co-direct, with choreography by Jon Martinez.

TICKETING INFORMATION!

Regular performances are on Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30

and Sunday at 3:30 to March 12. There are Wednesday performances on February 1, 8, and 15.

10% of our seats are $10 access tickets for actors, students artists, seniors and others who cannot afford the general admission price. Reserved center seat tickets are $40 and site seat general admission tickets are $30.

Purchase tickets HERE!

COMING SOON!!!  For The Love Of  – Press Opening March 20th

When Joy, a driftless young woman, gets on the Brooklyn Scallywags and meets the star, Lizzie Lightning, she and her long-term partner Michelle find their lives turned upside down. For the Love Of asks how much you’re willing to sacrifice – or lose – in order to follow your heart.

This world premiere play by Gina Femia, a Brooklyn born and based playwright whose work has been presented in more than 30 festivals locally, nationally and internationally, will open March 16under the direction of Rachel Edwards Harvith. Press opening is March 20, 2017.

Pride Films and Plays Artistic Director Nelson Rodriguez says, “In an era when women’s rights and autonomy are threatened, I am thrilled for PFP to present For the Love Of. Femia’s superb writing, diverse all-female cast of characters, and representation of contemporary queer women is anchored by Joy’s journey of realizing she has the authority, confidence, and passion to find fulfillment in herself. This play is one hell of ride in which we see that love and roller derby are both contact sports.”

FAQs about Criminal Complaints

Why do I need to sign complaints to have someone arrested? Whenever someone is arrested for committing a crime there must be a complainant that signs the criminal complaint. This complaint will explain what crime was committed, when and where the crime was committed and is signed by either the victim or a witness. In some cases a police officer will be the complainant, but there are cases in which the victim and/or witness needs to sign the criminal complaint in order to arrest and charge the offender.
    What if I don’t sign a complaint? In cases where a citizen is the complainant without a signed complaint the police can not make an arrest and must usually release the offender without charging.
    What if I don’t show up to court? Even after the complainant signs the criminal complaint to have the offender arrested they must appear in court. If a complainant fails to show up in court the charges against the offender will be dropped.
    What if I’m afraid to go to court? The 19th District has a group of citizen volunteers who are Court Advocates and will support victims. They will accompany victims to court that might otherwise not go because they are intimidated or fearful. In some cases an officer from the 19th District CAPS office will accompany the victim and Court Advocates.

Dining Out in Chicago: Discussion

A discussion panel featuring Dining out in Chicago: A Breezy History from Beaubien’s Tavern to Tasting Menus will be held at the Uptown Branch, Chicago Public Library on Saturday, February 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Chicago historian and urbanologist Max Grinnell will take patrons on a tour-du-table utilizing rare photographs, historic photographs, visual ephemera and his own sage observations.

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The Grace of Silence: Memoir

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Celebrate African American History Month with a discussion of The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris, former co-host of NPR’s All things Considered. The memoir became a profoundly personal and bracing journey into her family’s past. Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore the reasons for the “things left unsaid” by her father and mother when she was growing up. This helped her to come to terms with her own identity.

A limited number of copies of The Grace of Silence are available for check-out at the Uptown Branch’s Circulation Desk.

BPN Spotlight: Uptown Branch, Chicago Public Library

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Our local library opened June 6, 1993. It was built in the Prairie Style of architecture. The red brick building which is located at 929 West Buena serves Uptown as a hub for community, learning, and storytelling. Under the enthusiastic leadership of Branch Manager and Librarian Mary Clark, her colleagues Laura Jenkins, Children’s Librarian and Adult Services Librarian Denise Reiter; a range of programs and services are available.

Among programs for adults is a Reading Group that meets to discuss the current One Book One Chicago selection. On Feb. 4 historian and urbanologist Max Grinnell will lead a discussion of Dining Out in Chicago: A Breezy History from Beaubien’s Tavern to Tasting Menus with rare photographs and collectibles such as original menus and sage observations of restaurant experiences.

Mary Clark describes the childrens activities at the library as “fabulous.” Each week the library holds events for children and families. The Book Babies program is for infants up to one year and includes telling stories by singing, playing, laughing and familiar gestures. Toddler Story Time is designed to inspire literacy in children with stories, rhymes and songs. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to socialize after all events. During four afternoons each week, a certified teacher is present to assist schoolchildren with homework assignments.

Truman College students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program visit for a tour of the library, get help with their library card application, and receive a free tote bag. A similar library orientation is provided for those who are learning English with Refugee One which is a program that helps to empower refugees. On occasion a representative from an outside agency is present to help with questions about Medicaid eligibility and also to help navigate enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.

Along with the activities mentioned above — and there are more, varying from month to month — Uptown Branch library houses approximately 40,000 fiction, nonfiction and reference books ( in Spanish and Russian) along with a wide range of periodicals. It offers easy access to Chicago Public Library’s Online Catalog and welcomes “hold” requests for popular titles. For example when Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was published last year the library received more than 400 hold requests from neighborhood readers.

HOURS of operation are Monday and Wednesday from noon to 6:00 p.m.Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. There are no Sunday hours. The phone number is 312-744-8400 and the email address is uptown@chipublib.org. — Walter Vatter, Cub Reporter for BPN