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Laura P. Neary

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Check Out The Old Town School of Folk Music’s Record Sale

Check Out The Old Town School of Folk Music’s Record Sale

Do you feel a nostalgic rush while thumbing through stacks of records, carefully searching for your newest musical treasure? Then this two-day event is for you! The Old Town School of Folk Music is hosting a vast record sale in partnership with Music Direct (1811 W Bryn Mawr) on Saturday, May 4th, and Sunday, May 5th, from 10 am - 5 pm. Dive into thousands of LPs, 78s, and other media for sale, including CDs and more. The event also features music equipment from Music Direct to help complete your audio-related collection. In addition to the fun of searching for your latest groove, Saturday patrons can enjoy live music from 1-3 pm by Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen of Dolly Varden. Proceeds from the sale benefit the further development of the [Old Town School Resource Center’s](https://www.oldtownschool.org/resourcecenter/) robust library of over 17,000 books, recordings, and videos. The Resource Center aims to enhance its sheet music collection and books about music and music history. The Old Town School of Folk Music has inspired and educated people of all ages in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts since 1957.

Creepy Meets Tiki At Electric Funeral Bar In Bridgeport

Creepy Meets Tiki At Electric Funeral Bar In Bridgeport

Electric Funeral bar at 3529 S Halsted St. carves a unique niche for itself with heavy metal, punk, and goth themes, standing out in a neighborhood dominated by sports bars and taverns. Named after a Black Sabbath song, Electric Funeral’s eclectic decor is worthy of the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. The dark walls, dim lighting, and red draped curtains create an oddly inviting atmosphere. An Ouija board hangs above the bar, accompanied by other quirky novelties like a “Funeral No Parking” sign. True to their claim, Electric Funeral puts the “fun” in funeral. The menu is whimsical and includes tropical cocktails such as: * Electric Funeral: A signature cocktail featuring coconut rum, blue curaçao, orange juice, lime juice, vegan foam, topped with a dehydrated orange and chilled with a skull-shaped ice cube. * The Morgue-arita: A frozen drink made with blanco tequila and sangria. * The Last Responder: A margarita with blanco tequila, spicy ginger syrup, pineapple and lime juices, a Tajín rim, and a candied ginger skewer. * The bar also serves other canned cocktails, seltzers, ciders, and wine, and will make mocktails upon request. * Though food is not available onsite, patrons are encouraged to BYO from nearby establishments, such as Ramova Grill across the street. Belly up to the bar and enjoy the dark, dive-y, and delightful atmosphere at [Electric Funeral](https://www.instagram.com/electricfuneralbar/reels/?locale=us&hl=am-et). Story by [Laura P. Neary](https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurapneary/)

Development Spotlight: The Stockyards Bank Building

Development Spotlight: The Stockyards Bank Building

Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is reviewing proposals to creatively revive the historic Stockyards Bank building at 4150 S. Halsted St and the complementing property at 821 W. Exchange Ave. The Chicago landmark has remained vacant in the Canaryville/New City neighborhood since closing its doors in 1973. The city stepped in in 2000 to save the building from demolition, but the site had remained quiet since 2020 when city officials and developers stabilized the structure. The building is now primed to reclaim the esteem it knew during Chicago’s reign at the helm of the meatpacking industry. Abraham Epstein designed the building in 1925 to house two banks that had merged in 1924: the Stock Yards National Bank and the Stock Yards Trust and Savings Bank. Epstein modeled the bank as an homage to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. Today, the Stockyards Bank building offers 35,000 square feet to reconcept. That does not include the optional Exchange property, which offers an additional 42,000 square feet of open space to be reimagined. (Note: The Exchange property is not for sale independent of the Stockyards Bank site.) Redevelopment proposals must respect the building’s historical acclaim and strive to restore the structure to comply with the building’s landmark status, preserving significant and historical elements, including interior and exterior features. Historical features include all exterior elevations, such as rooflines, and the entire first and second-floor interiors. According to the city’s directed [real estate listing](https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/sites/land-sales/Stockyards_Bank_Directed_Listing.pdf), “A design vision for this site will restore and adaptively reuse the historic Stockyards Bank building while utilizing the vacant parcel to the south to complement the use of the bank building. Reactivation of these spaces will offer additional employment opportunities, catalyze additional development in the area, and strengthen the urban fabric of the historic Canaryville neighborhood.” Price is an important consideration in addition to the ideal plan. The current target price is 1.9 million, which includes both parcels and the building. What can the public expect next? The DPD states, “The City will contact applicants whose submissions best meet the criteria established by the City to provide further information and participate in a public engagement process to solicit feedback from local residents and stakeholders.” The Stockyards Bank development marks the second major reactivation for the 11 Ward with the recent revival of the [Ramova Theatre](https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/block-builder/home.html). For more information, check back with Stories from the 78, or monitor [Chi Block Builder](https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/block-builder/home.html).

Discover The Duck Inn: Bridgeport’s Cozy Culinary Haven

Discover The Duck Inn: Bridgeport’s Cozy Culinary Haven

For more than ten years, The Duck Inn in Bridgeport has welcomed locals and visitors with its enticing and accessible menu that offers an upscale twist on dishes comparable to any fancy downtown Chicago restaurant. The atmosphere is casual, yet warm, with the Mid-century retro decor creating a cozy vibe. Make your way past the bustling bar area and candlelit dining room, featuring a semi-open kitchen, to reach the beautifully inviting back patio – an unexpected oasis of greenery. This family-friendly gastro-tavern is helmed by Executive Chef and owner Kevin Hickey. A neighborhood native, Hickey has crafted a “working class fine dining” menu, as noted by the Michelin Guide. He can regularly be seen in his restaurant, ensuring a personal touch. Hickey has also given back to the community by sharing his expertise and guiding the menus of other local establishments, including the new Ramova Grill. At The Duck Inn, it’s no surprise that duck is the star of the diverse menu. Options include rotisserie duck with duck fat potatoes, duck wings with Japanese barbecue sauce, a Chicago-style duck fat hot dog, and duck fat French fries. One of the best menu items, however, is a no-frills Italian beef sandwich paired with a delicious au jus and topped with sweet or hot peppers. The Duck Inn also offers delectable weekly specials and an ever-evolving menu. Pop in on a Tuesday night for an unforgettable slow-roasted prime rib dinner. Or visit on a Wednesday (weather permitting) for a rotating menu of wood-fired crispy yet pillowy Neapolitan-style pizzas topped with eclectic ingredients like smoked salmon and tallegio cream. You can elevate your pizza by adding black truffles. In addition to a robust Sunday brunch menu, you can also bring your own vinyl to play on their vintage console, adding to the retro atmosphere and sensory experience. The Duck Inn has amassed many accolades and achievements during its tenure, and with every bite, it’s easy to see why. [The Duck Inn](https://theduckinnchicago.com/) is located at 2701 S. Eleanor St. in Bridgeport Chicago.

Life and Death In Ancient Pompeii At Museum Of Science And Industry

Life and Death In Ancient Pompeii At Museum Of Science And Industry

On the afternoon of August 24, 79 AD, residents in the bustling city of Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum experienced a horrific sight - Mt. Vesuvius erupting and spewing lava, gas, ash, and rock 20 miles into the sky. You may be familiar with the legendary destruction of Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago, but what was day-to-day life like in this ancient city? Now through January 15, you can experience everyday life in Pompeii at the Museum of Science and Industry’s *Pompeii: The Exhibition*, a curation of over 150 artifacts from a civilization once lost to time. Encompassing two galleries, this media-rich installation brings to life the destruction and subsequent preservation of a marvelous ancient metropolis. A trading center rich in industry and culture, you can now view ornate sculptures, jewelry, gladiator armor, and other unique archeological finds, including opinionated political graffiti adorning public spaces juxtaposed with elaborate frescoes (wall paintings) and mosaics. Arguably, some of the most haunting artifacts on display are plaster casts of Mt. Vesuvius’ victims, showcasing the fragility of life in any century. Don’t miss your chance to experience what nature destroyed and preserved. For more information about *Pompeii: The Exhibition* and to purchase tickets, visit [msichicago.org](http://msichicago.org/). Story by [Laura P. Neary](https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurapneary/).

Preserving Courage: The Story of the Stockyards Fire Memorial

Preserving Courage: The Story of the Stockyards Fire Memorial

Nestled in the shadow of the hulking Union Stockyard gate on Exchange Ave., west of Halsted St., sits another reminder of the Stockyards’ storied past - the Chicago Stockyards Fire Memorial. On December 22, 1910, a fire in the Nelson Morris & Co. meatpacking business on 44th St. and Loomis St. started in the basement of one of the packing houses and quickly spread. The building’s naturally greasy conditions, coupled with frozen fire hydrants hampered efforts to extinguish the blaze. Twenty-one firefighters were overpowered and perished in the blaze when the building exploded, causing one of the warehouse’s six-story tall walls to collapse suddenly, raining down tons of debris on top of the firefighters. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the Stockyards fire sadly yielded one of the highest numbers of firefighter fatalities in American history. However, a group of dedicated firefighters would not let their fallen brothers’ memory fade. The Chicago Stockyards Fire Memorial was constructed in 2004 because the group fundraised and lobbied for eight years to have the memorial developed. They worked with local artist and sculptor Tom Scarff to see the memorial to fruition. Inspired by the heroic and tragic events of that day, he crafted the work of art in two hours. The memorial depicts three figures: A firefighter with a bugle pointing toward the falling wall, one fireman with an axe held high to protect himself, and a third figure armed with a hose directing it toward the fire, unaware of the collapsing wall above him. The memorial honors more than the 1910 Stockyard fire victims; it serves to honor all of Chicago’s fallen firefighters. The names of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice are etched on the base of the memorial. For a thorough retelling of the tragic events of the fire, [watch this segment](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woG2VPcgORA) from WTTW.