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Category Archives: history

Peace Be Upon Them

Another piece from my stint as a church reviewer with the Chicago Journal. I visited the center and wrote this a week or so after the attacks. My Islam knowledge came from the Internet and a book about salat. Find this and other church reviews/religious essays in my book Hilaretic. Downtown Islamic Center 218 S. […]


Reprinting a couple of pieces of mine from the months after September 11. künstwerk Review of the here is new york photo exhibit February 4–March 30, 2002 In the shaky days after Sept. 11, German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen was roundly misquoted as describing the WTC attacks as the greatest work of art ever. Not so. […]

“X-Offender” by Blondie: A Researched Rumination by Dan Kelly

Recently, Liz Mason of Quimby’s asked me to do a reading at a performance by the Blue Ribbon Glee Club, an adorable punk rock singing ensemble she belongs to,  whom you must see the next time they perform. Pure joy. The band sang three songs, and two other writers and I delivered essays inspired by […]


I won’t say where, but I recently encountered one of the coolest security guards in the world. I was visiting a lovely Art Deco edifice a while back, and I wanted to take a few pix of the sedately ornate lobby, which featured the inevitable slim, half-naked figures that decorated the era’s most fashionable elevator […]

Cryyyyyyyyying, OOoooooverrrrrr Yooouuuuuuuuu!

The surprise that Obama would choke up (“show emotion,” as ABC’s site refers to it) while thanking his staffers reminds me of the older relatives who think of me as one of those “new fathers”—that is, a guy who’s deeply involved in raising his kids. They mean it admiringly, but it’s funny that in 2012 […]

Save the Portage Theater!

My Gapers Block article about the Portage Theater is now up. Read it, and please attend the zoning board meeting today at 9 a.m.! Share this:

This Could Be YOU!

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Where West Side Story Meets Dawn of the Dead

Note: I’m currently working on a Gapers Block piece about the Portage Theater and efforts to prevent its purchase by the Chicago Tabernacle Church. Some passages and sentiments may carry over to that article, but the GB article will be more history-heavy. Just FYI. Monday night I attended the Save the Portage Theater rally. Appropriately, […]

Save the Portage Theater!

Attend the public meeting tonight, Monday, March 26,  at 7 p.m. at the Portage Theater, 4050 N Milwaukee. More information at 45th Ward alderman John Arena’s website. Share this:

Visiting Parker

Today we made the journey to Manlius, and Princeton, IL, to see a few of the remaining works of former Louis Sullivan draftsman Parker N. Berry. The folks in both towns couldn’t have treated us better. My faith in humanity was reinforced by the graciousness and industry of the members of the Manlius Historical Society […]