founder of FRTCRT and Domestic Workwear, gets crafty at:
Rebuilding Exchange The new Rebuilding Exchange showroom at 1740 W. Webster is superlovely. What’s more, they have a series of evening and weekend DIY workshops that are really wide-ranging, appropriate for homeowners and rent-based hobbyists alike. I’ve learned about canning and preserving produce, and Pedal to the People had a lovely li’l jam on the basics of bike repair. But being a garment-trades kid, my fave so far has been the radically named Radical Mending class. Worm composting, lamp rewiring, tweaking your steam-heat system, landscaping, energy-efficient remodeling . . . Word on the street is there’s gonna be a DIY yard-gremlin-making night. Everything is done with an eye to reuse and sustainability.
Rasa Gierstikas, emcee at the monthly open mike the Shit Show, finds her cultural center at:
Ruth Page Center for the Arts I had the pleasure of experiencing a reading from Shaw Chicago at Ruth Page earlier this year. The venue may seem old enough to be haunted, but the actors were all professionals and the Ruth Page staff was very welcoming. It turns out this venue is not a one-trick pony. Along with the George Bernard Shaw readings, Ruth Page hosts a variety of dance classes for adults (Cuban salsa, Pilates, yoga, jazz) and children (hip-hop, tap, ballet, jazz, creative movement). If you are not the dancing type, you can always sign up for their adult French lessons.
author of Hack: Stories From a Chicago Cab, meets the literary world via:
Other People I recently started listening to the Other People podcast (otherpeoplepod.com). Brad Listi interviews writers of every type—from Lesley Arfin, who wrote for the HBO show Girls, to literary lightning rod David Shields, to Bernie Glassman, who pioneered the American Zen movement. Each episode starts with the charmingly dour and inward-looking Listi telling us whatever’s on his mind, whether it be a struggle with his own writing or an account of a recent hike in the Hollywood Hills or some other random thing that’s troubling him. The show has been described as a literary version of WTF With Marc Maron, but I think Listi is onto his own thing and does a great job of introducing novices like me to the various types who populate the world of letters.