When I got to the Clark/Lake stairs to head down to the Blue Line subway, an old woman walking in front of me set one of her two arm bags upon the suitcase she was wheeling and looked curiously at the task ahead. She studied the situation, first lowering the retractable suitcase handle and then raising it again. For a moment she considered dragging the suitcase and bag down the stairs wheel-by-wheel while carrying the other bag, and then she set all three bags down and eyed the stairs once more… Continue reading “February 28, 2011: One small step.”
The train car is full of bodies when I board downtown. I hear the voice – Doors closing – and see the conductor’s head poking out of his window at the front of the train as he scans the back for people like me, the commuters last to arrive and squirting on just before departure. I step in past the door, just barely, my big coat and back pack doing their best to lean past the threshold. There is no place for my feet to move, and I must arch my back inward so that the doors may shut behind me. They do. Continue reading “January 31, 2011: A request.”
Kalmia Traver, lead singer and sax player for Rubblebucket.
I am speaking via Skype with Kalmia Traver, lead singer and saxophone player for Rubblebucket, while she and her band drive I-80 from their hometown of Brooklyn to a gig in Cleveland. The band has a gig in Cleveland, will be in Grand Rapids the following night, and on Saturday, January 15, will be playing in Chicago at Double Door. In this discussion, Traver – who goes by Kal – discusses the origin of the music video for their song “Came Out of a Lady,” the ways in which fans describe their sound, their love of Wicker Park, and the elements that Rubblebucket brings to the musical table. Continue reading “People with Passion: Kalmia Traver of Rubblebucket”
January 12, 2011: Do Humans Dream of Breathing Sheep?
As I returned from a friend’s in Evanston and awaited my Red Line transfer at the Howard El, I wondered, Is this what Blade Runner was all about? Sure, our world is not filled with replicants (as far as we know) but isn’t everything else pretty similar? Bodies crowding streets and sidewalks, eyes rushing past the others, giant billboards telling us how wonderful our lives can be, strangers everywhere, an untrustworthy government, public spaces dirty and unkept.
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We are seated in the Gordon family backyard in Rogers Park, the home where Don Gordon, and his family, has lived for 30 years. After spending the first 25 of those years as a community activist – among other projects, he was heavily involved in the fight against the expansion of the Evanston-Rogers Park lakefront – Gordon decided to oppose incumbent Joe Moore for Alderman of the 49th ward in the 2007 election. He lost a close race, distinguishing himself from his two fellow challengers and forcing a run-off with Moore. Continue reading “People with Passion: author and activist Don Gordon”