Friday, January 26, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Links Taproom hosting "Super Surly Bowl Sunday" for the Super Bowl on February 4 (Chicago, IL.)

Links Taproom hosting "Super Surly Bowl Sunday" for the Super Bowl on February 4
Surly Brewing Tap Takeover featuring the rare Barrel Aged Darkness, Barrel Aged Darkness BBQ Chicken Wings, games, giveaways, prizes, and more
 Links Taproom – an All-American craft beer and sausage focused neighborhood bar located at 1559 N Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park – will host the “Super Surly Bowl Sunday” with a Surly Brewing tap takeover featuring the rare Barrel Aged Darkness, Barrel Aged Darkness BBQ chicken wings, and more on February 4.
Links will tap seven Surly kegs (all listed below) for the event which starts when Links opens at 11:30am on Super Bowl Sunday when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles. All of the Surly beers will be priced between $6 and $10 per pour.
Links will also sell a dozen chicken wings for $15 tossed in a Surly Barrel Aged Darkness BBQ sauce.
There will also be special Surly games (like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots) prizes, and giveaways during the event. Links will show the Super Bowl on its eight flatscreen TVs with sound. There is never a cover at Links.
“Super Surly Bowl Sunday” Tap List

* 2017 Surly Barrel Aged Darkness (12% ABV super rare bourbon barrel aged Russian-style imperial stout)
* 2017 Surly Darkness (10.3 % ABV limited Russian-style imperial stout)
* Surly Gose Blanche (5.3% ABV tart sour ale with ubtle spice and clove esters of a Belgian wit that’s accented by peach, apricot, and banana notes.
* Surly Todd The Axeman (7.2% ABV American IPA)
* Surly Furious (6.6% ABV American IPA)
* Surly Hell (4.5% ABV German-style Helles lager)

Links is open from 11:30am until 2am Sunday thru Friday and from 11:30am until 3am Saturdays. The Links phone number is 773-360-7692, and its website is

City of Chicago Film Announces Groundbreaking year for 2017 for Film, TV + Media Production
Eight full-season television series were among the many film and media projects produced in Chicago last year, resulting in an estimated $423 million economic impact 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced that local film and media production have yet again reached record levels in 2017. Last year, 580 individual film and media projects recorded an all-time high combined total of 2,404 production days, resulting in an estimated $423 million in job creation and expenditures. The Film Office issued a total of 2,127 permits in support of these projects, a 10 percent increase from 2016.  Chicago has seen steady year over year increases in media production since 2011.
“With our talented residents, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordable services—not to mention our iconic skyline and the rich character and diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods, the city continues to serve as the destination for film, television and media production year after year,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It is a testament to the depth and talent associated with Chicago’s local film industry that everything from large studio productions, to small independent films to commercials find a home in Chicago.”
The rise in Chicago filming and commercial production has boosted local spending and job creation, while increasing traffic for a wide range of local businesses, hotel rooms, office and warehouse leasing, vehicle and equipment leasing, construction supplies, and local tax revenues. According to the Illinois Film Office--which awards a 30 percent tax credit to film--television and advertising productions for qualified expenditures of Illinois crew, goods and services, projects in 2017 generated an estimated $423 million in Illinois spending and employed 13,797 non-extra job hires along with $251 million in wages. Additionally, women and minority hires made up 53% of reported crew employees.
Film, television and media production continued with record level activity in 2017 with eight full-season series, plus portions of two others, filming throughout the year. NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, FOX’s Empire, and Netflix’s Easy all renewed for additional seasons.  Showtime launched two new series, Electric Dreams and The Chi, in addition to Shameless returning for several weeks of filming the seventh consecutive season. Two new comedy shows, Pop TV’s Hot Date and the Comedy Central pilot South Side both filmed here in 2017 and are expected to go to series in 2018.
Studio features Widows (New Regency) and Captive State (Amblin), and portions of the action blockbuster Rampage (Warner Bros) showed a strong return in major motion picture production, and   independent features – most locally produced – including The Pages, Hala, What They Had, Soul Sessions and Book of Leah all filmed here in their entirety and continued a five-year growing trend in the creation of home grown content for national distribution.
The locally produced independent feature The Pages featured Chicago actors in 80% of speaking roles.  It was produced by Colleen Griffen and written and directed by Joe Chappelle, both Northwestern University alums currently live in Evanston. "I love Chicago. Even though I have shot all over Chicago the last 6 years, I continue to find fresh, visually stunning locations to film,” said Chappelle. “The crews are world class, none better. When we held our local casting session, we could have cast every role with multiple Chicago actors. The city is rich in talent."
For a list of production projects in 2017 compared with 2016 by genre, see below:
2017 Project Starts
2017  Production Days
2016 Project Starts
2016 Production Days
Studio Feature
Indie Feature
Other Productions
The Chicago Film Office’s Independent Film Initiative (IFI) – an industry development program designed to retain and grow the local filmmaker community and increase the number of locally produced independent features, documentaries, shorts and web series – awarded the 2018 Filmmaker-in-Residence grant to the producing team of Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri. As part of the year-long residency, Cordelia and Kyri will be producing The T, a web-series dramedy that explores LGBTQ relationships. The residency is part of a first-of-its-kind program that provides a $10,000 cash grant and other support and resources toward the completion of a locally produced film or series.
The Film Office also launched the Independent Producers Apprenticeship – a professional development and mentorship program for emerging Chicago area independent film and media entrepreneurs. The apprenticeship program, administered by Cinema/Chicago, cultivates the next generation of independent film and media makers through hands-on experience while working on an independent production in Chicago. 
The 2017 Millennium Park Film Series screened 15 movies June-September for a total audience of approximately 103,000 attendees in the Pritzker Pavilion. New this year was a daytime family screening of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs co-presented with the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. The ChicagoMade Shorts Showcase screened films by local filmmakers prior to each feature presentation.
Chicago Film Office
The Chicago Film Office, part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, leads the City’s efforts to attract and enhance the production of feature films, television series, commercials, documentaries and all forms of local screen entertainment. For filmmakers, it is a one-stop liaison for all City of Chicago production needs, including permits, City services and logistical support.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit

Michael Glover Smith's "Mercury in Retrograde" to premiere Feb. 16, 19, 21 at Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL.)



 Retrograde Films, LLC today announces the Chicago premiere of MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, a locally made relationship drama, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., on Friday, February 16, followed by encore screenings on Monday, February 19, and Wednesday, February 21. Directed by Chicagoan Michael Glover Smith  (writer/director of Cool Apocalypse and author of Flickering Empire), MERCURY IN RETROGRADE is set in Chicago and southwest Michigan and stars acclaimed, internationally known film actors Roxane Mesquida (Fat GirlMalgre la Nuit), Najarra Townsend (ContractedMe and You and Everyone We Know) and Andrew Sensenig (Upstream Color, We are Still Here) alongside some of Chicago’s best acting talent: Alana Arenas (Steppenwolf Ensemble Member), Jack C. Newell (Open Tables) and Shane Simmons (Party Time Party Time). The film was produced by Simmons (producer of Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party) and Kevin W. Wright (for Pickle & Wink). It was shot by Henry Gamble’s Jason Chiu and edited by noted writer/director Frank V. Ross (Audrey the Trainwreck).
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE had its World Premiere at the Full Bloom Film Festival in Statesville, N.C. in September 2017, where it won the award for Best Narrative Feature. Matt Fagerholm called the film “remarkable” in a profile for Jason Coffman wrote at Daily Grindhouse that it is “Truly special…a film that no serious cinephile should miss.”
The plot concerns three couples from Chicago vacationing together for a weekend at a lakeside cabin in Michigan: Isabelle (Mesquida) and Richard (Kevin Wehby) have been dating for five years but do not cohabitate and are deeply unhappy; Jack (Newell) and Golda (Arenas) have been happily married for a decade and are trying to conceive a child; and Peggy (Townsend) and Wyatt (Simmons) are a newly formed couple who don't yet know each other well and whose future together is uncertain. Over the course of three days, hidden tensions and secrets slowly come to the surface.

Michael Glover Smith and Shane Simmons will be present for Q&A sessions following all screenings. Each Q&A will be moderated by a prominent Chicago film critic: Keeping It Reel’s David J. Fowlie (2/16),’s Matt Fagerholm (2/19) and Kicking the Seat’s Ian Simmons (2/21).  For more information, including ticket info and show times, please visit http://www. 

The film’s trailer is available online here: 004


Twitter: @filmcenter

This week:
-Jane, January 19-February 1
-La belle noiseuse, January 19, 20
-The Passion of Joan of Arc, January 19-25
-The Sacrifice, January 19, 20, 22, 24
-My Friend Dahmer, January 19-24
-Beuys, January 20, 23 + No Dress Code Required, January 21, 25 - part of Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres, January 5-February 1
-Oscar Nominations Panel featuring local critics, January 23

Spread love, not germs this Valentine's Day


Celebrate love: 8 food safety tips for Valentine's Day
from Stop Foodborne Illness

Flowers or chocolate? Dining out or staying in? These are the two biggest Valentine’s Day dilemmas! While flowers and chocolates can help make for a great night, poor dining choices can end the celebration early. Stop Foodborne Illness wants you to be aware of how preventing foodborne illness this Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic gestures you can make. Whether you’re headed to a restaurant or preparing a decadent feast at home, make sure your meal is pathogen free.

“Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate. We appreciate that it’s also a time that many of us dine out or prepare special meals for an intimate evening. We’re here to remind you how to keep your dining safe,” says Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness.

For those treating their sweetheart to a romantic night out, follow these food safety steps to keep your date safe:
  • Assess the scene. CDC recommends looking for certificates that show food-safety practices—like recent health inspection score and manager’s completion of food-safety trainings. Note whether the glasses, silverware, napkins and tablecloths are clean. Food Safety News says it is not hard to get an A in the restaurant business; if there isn’t an A on the door, walk away.
  • Say no to raw oysters. Raw oysters are a popular Valentine’s day treat however, they can be contaminated with a variety of foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, norovirus and Vibrio vulnificus. If you’re looking for an aphrodisiac fix, order Oysters Rockefeller instead!
  • Get that doggie bag in the fridge—fast. Leftovers need to be refrigerated quickly (within two hours of being served or one hour if temperatures are above 90°F) to avoid the spread of dangerous bacteria. If you’re not going straight home, leave the leftovers at the restaurant.
Cooking your other half’s favorite meal? Make sure you’re practicing food safety before, during and after for a sweet and safe dinner.
  • Wash the produce. Making a fancy multi-course meal? Don’t cut corners and serve unwashed produce, even prewashed produce. Stop Foodborne Illness recommends thoroughly washing all fresh veggies and fruits to minimize potential bacterial contamination.
  • Be cautious of food temperatures. Food left in the danger zone—above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees–facilitates bacterial growth. To avoid the spread of foodborne illness, keep hot foods hot (internal temperature of 140°F or above) and cold foods cold (40°F or below).
  • Cook food thoroughly. A food thermometer is a critical tool to ensure your romantic meal is safe for your sweetheart. If poultry is on the menu (including ground poultry), the thickest part must reach an internal temperature of 165°F or higher. Whole cuts of meat and seafood should have an internal temperature of 145°F. For ground meats other than poultry, a safe internal temperature is 160°F. Learn more about safe cooking temperatures.
  • Bake safely. Molten chocolate lava cakes, red velvet cheesecake, truffles and chocolate mousse are some of the most iconic Valentine’s Day treats but amateur and seasoned bakers should be extra careful preparing these sweets since they call for chocolate, cream and eggs. Stop Foodborne Illness recommends avoiding no-bake recipes and always baking desserts to an internal temperature of at least 160°F to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Before cuddling up on the couch, get those leftovers in the refrigerator!  Letting food sit out longer than two hours is one of the most common food safety mistakes.  Stop Foodborne Illness recommends storing leftovers in 2-inch deep, shallow containers within two hours of serving.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by promoting sound food safety policy and best practices, building public awareness, and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food , contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here:

For questions and personal assistance, please contact Stanley Rutledge, Community Coordinator, at or 773-269-6555 x7.            

Chicago Flower & Garden Show >> Chef Demos, Seminars, & Gardens Galore:🌻🌺 (Chicago, IL.)


News and Notes from the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Save the Date
Wednesday, March 14 through Sunday, March 18, 2018
Navy Pier

Buy Your Tickets Now!

Palate Pleasing Gardens

Locally grown gets REALLY local when it’s your own backyard or patio. Get tips on growing edibles by attending one or more of the show’s seminars

Gardening Live Presentations

Designing A Pollinator Garden- Create The Scene And Attract The Characters For This Flower Garden Tale's Happy Ending! By: Melinda Myers 
Create the scene and attract the characters for this flower garden tale’s happy ending!  You’ll enjoy their beauty and increased productivity in your garden and they’ll benefit from the food...
click here to read more and receive time info
Grow What You Love By: Emily Murphy  
When you take time to grow what you love, wonderful things happen. But where to begin and what to plant? Start with a handful of seasonal ingredients, the plants you...
click here to read more and receive time info
Whats Important And How To Find It: By: Mike Nowak & Peggy Malecki 
If you host a radio program that covers gardening issues, you’re going to get a lot of questions: Where can I find that plant? What do I do about that...
click here to read more and receive time info
Flower Inspiration In The White House By: Emily Murphy  
Throughout her tenure as Chief Floral Designer, Laura’s goal was to create innovative and trend-setting designs that enhanced and complemented the historic White House setting, to increase opportunities for volunteer...
click here to read more and receive time info
Full Schedule Click Here

FLOWERTALES: The First Chapters  

If every garden has a story to tell, the display gardens at this year’s Chicago Flower & Garden Show are real blockbusters.

The entrance garden, spotlighting show partner Bernie’s Book Bank, bring books to life as only an organization dedicated to reading and enrichment can, thanks to the artistry of builder Rosborough Partners.

Another garden, sponsored by Suburu and created by Pizzo and Associates, is a veritable Emerald City, with a lush and inspirational “Wizard of Oz” theme.

Perennially popular garden builder Aquascape is transforming its corner of the show floor into “Neverland”, complete with a pirate ship and fantastical water and garden elements that evoke Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys and the rest of the memorable cast of characters in “Peter Pan.”

Stay up to date on the latest gardens, by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and checking our regularly-updated website!

Planning a Wedding?

Calling all engaged couples – and their family and friends! We’re thrilled to present a wedding expo at the show on Thursday, March 15, from 4 to 8 p.m., presented with ChicagoStyle Weddings magazine. You’ll get a chance to talk to and be inspired by wedding pros of all kinds, who specialize in wedding flowers, wedding planning, photography, cakes, dresses, bridal gifts and more. Enjoy a cocktail and a beautiful floral backdrop while you’re preparing for the Big Day!

Appetite For Success

Don’t forget to save room in your schedule – and in your stomach! – for a Garden Gourmet presentation at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. We have an impressive lineup of chefs this year, including Dean Lubbat of Dinotto Pizza E Vino, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, otherwise known as “The Hearty Boys”, and Chef Matthew Cappellini of El Tapeo, among many others.

This year’s Garden Gourmet stage is set against a garden backdrop that spotlights raised beds, containers and other places perfect for growing your own food in any kind of urban, suburban or rural space, built by Briar Patch Landscaping Services.

The Best Kind of Setting for a Story: A Table Setting

There are plenty of genres in FLOWERTALES, and this year’s Tablescapes displays are no exception. Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event in Chicago, for example, is setting a table for whimsy with an “Alice In Wonderland” theme. Participating designers will infuse tabletops with plot, characters, backstory, details and, of course, setting, with book-inspired themes spanning “Harry Potter” to “The Secret Garden”, among others.

Forget Wind Chills: It’s Tulip Time!

Do you have the mid-winter blahs? This friendly reminder of spring’s early and much-appreciated arrival at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show is brought to you by a hallmark of ever show: the always-enchanting Tulip Garden. Yes, it’s back and more colorful and beautiful than ever in 2018!

Evening in Bloom

Enjoy a night on the (colorful) town at Evening in Bloom, the show’s preview benefit on Tuesday, March 13 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. This year’s event kicks off springtime in the city with a high energy fashion display, “Hort Couture”, showcasing the talent and artistry of local designers inspired by nature to create stunning runway designs. Proceeds from the evening benefit Bernie’s Book Bank and the Get Growing Foundation. Get your tickets today!
Buy Your Tickets Now

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1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite 401
Chicago, Illinois 60642

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