Astor Street, one of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious addresses (despite being a mere four blocks) has long been acclaimed for its architecturally significant real estate — not to mention the social status of its residents. But that aristocratic reputation belies its livability and charm. “It has such a different character than its neighbors, and it’s unusual for a Gold Coast street to have such a warm, human scale,” says Tim Samuelson, cultural historian for the City of Chicago.
More than 400 Chicagoans got their culture fix Sept. 26 at the launch of Flats Studio Chicago Artists Month, a series of pop-up galleries in Uptown. Attendees got a sneak peek at Chicago Artists Month’s inaugural exhibition — “The American Dream: (W)holy Grail,” curated by Tricia Van Eck — while sipping cocktails, noshing on bites from J&L Catering and rocking out to tunes from DJ/vocalist Carla.
Lucas Neff, star of “Raising Hope,” feels unbelievably fortunate that the hit comedy is entering its fourth season. But the Chicago native is no stranger to luck: If it weren’t for an administrative mistake at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he never would’ve considered acting in the first place. “They misplaced my application into the performing arts department,” Neff says. “So I got into acting by accident.”
Soprano Ana Maria Martinez once entertained the idea of a career in psychology. But some might argue she hasn’t entirely missed the mark. After all, with its grand passions and tortured souls, opera offers her the opportunity to explore the dizzying array of emotions and behaviors that define the human condition. This week, she begins her role as Shakespeare’s Desdemona — the Venetian beauty who defies her father and comes to a tragic end — in Verdi’s “Otello,” which opens the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 59th season.
If you’re not familiar with Mercadito’s (108 W. Kinzie) “Tacos For Strength” Campaign, here’s a quick refresher: For the past three years, the hotspot has hosted a different celebrity chef each month to craft a signature taco, ranging from Ryan Poli’s marinated grilled shrimp taco to Howard Kleinberg’s pulled pork taco. A portion of the proceeds from each culinary creation has gone to Share Our Strength, an organization that fights to end childhood hunger in America.