Credit: Claire Remett

Beth Rooney, photographer, turns on the red light for:

Chicago Poetry Bordello Poetry readings with visual interest are a rare but wonderful thing. The Chicago Poetry Bordello, whose next show is Tuesday, October 30, at the Chopin Theatre, combines stunning spectacle with powerful and sometimes hilarious poetry. For $10 ($5 if you wear Victorian dress) you enter the era of the Everleigh Club, complete with burlesque dancers, fortune-tellers, musicians, tarot readers and, of course, poetry whores.

For $5 you can buy a bordello token, pick a poet, and pay him or her for a private reading. Lest you think these are not serious poets, all are accomplished and widely published. October’s show will feature musical guests the White City Rippers and Jeff Levin on piano. Nina D’Angier will be crafting silhouettes, and Vivien Venus will be the beautiful burlesque dancer. This will be the Bordello’s first masquerade ball, so throw on a mask and pay a visit to the darker, seedier past. Oh, and bring cash—you’ll need it for the bar.

Credit: Steve Silverman

Lee Diamond, Big Shoulders Realty’s Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours leader, slows rides for:

North Park Village and Peterson Park One of my favorite spots to visit in Chicago is North Park Village and Peterson Park in the community area of North Park on Chicago’s northwest side. North Park Village and Peterson Park occupy 155 acres of land of what used to be the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. It is now a campus for city programs and social services, senior living facilities, a park, a recycling center, and a nature center. I love going here with my son and walking through the nature center where there are numerous mini-ecosystems, including an oak savanna, a marsh, prairie, and loads and loads of deer, critters, and amazing trees, plants, and wildflowers. The architecture of the original tuberculosis sanitarium by William Otis and Edwin Clark and later works by Jarvis Hunt and H.T. Liebert are wonderful, and best of all it is all free to enjoy.

Liese Ricketts, photo maven with the Chicago Photography Collective, widens her aperture for:

Vivian Maier Vivian Maier, Vivian Maier. If you haven’t read the name before, now you’ve read it three times. And, if you are a photo aficionado, don’t forget it.

Maier was a nanny in Chicago who, on her day off, quietly walked around the city and took photos. She shot thousands of negatives with her trusty Rolleiflex, a good deal of her work made in Chicago during the 1950s and ’60s. She died a few years ago and, after her death, her work was “discovered” when a public storage facility sold off her things. Fortunately, John Maloof, a buyer with an eye, recognized the value of the images. She is now considered one of the most important American street photographers, with a very riveting story to boot.

Her work is currently being shown at the Chicago History Museum in a rather unorthodox art exhibit up for the next year (free days every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until 10/11). Her work is also on exhibit at the Thomas Masters Gallery, 245 W. North, through 10/19.