Lit Fest


June 15, 2013

At the Belmont Stakes who was high-fiving it in the Palace Malice winner’s circle right next to trainer Todd Fletcher but…..Jerry Berliant…. on Live TV. What was once a huge joke is now very sinister and gate crashing is no longer funny.

We attended several streets fairs this cold dull month.  Midsommerfest in Andersonville was awash in Gay Marriage and Adopt Dogs stalls, Division was more sophisticated but rain forced us inside to eat muffins, and those Art Fairs in Old Town, well, were The Same as the last 20 years.

The Guerilla Truck Fair on Fulton staged for NEOCON featured rented U-Haul- It and Ryder trucks with “independent” (i.e. amateur) furniture designers and artisans therein.  Morton Sinoway should really jury it next year.

Printer’s Row LitFest … you need to get there an hour before the tatterdemalion book lovers swoop down. Prices a bit higher this year but we did buy Warhol’s memoirs from the 60s, Popism. The sublime simpleton role was just an act of a clever marketing man. Of Capote’s Black and White party at the Plaza he wrote it had “the densest concentration of celebs in the history of the world”. Did not know Cecil Beaton was part of The Factory crowd.

Have you been following the messy Warhol authentication controversy? An exposé published in the New York Review of Books is yet another chapter in dubious “art world” shenanigans– what is and what is not real? If you own one you may never know since the Warhol Authentication Board flew the coop in 2011.

And how about that Trotter lawsuit filed by Bekim and Ilir Frrokaj (are they Albanian?) who paid $46,200 for a bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti then was told it was fake. Quelle idiots!

We once drank a bottle of Chateau d’Yquem 1928 sauterne and it was perfectly ghastly.

Peter Nolan’s best-selling book about the Chicago mayoral election Campaign!  (the one in 1983) was featured at the Amika Press table in Printer’s Row.  It tells the story how the white vote was split between Byrne and Daley and Harold Washington won. Soon after the Council Wars began when the “29” under the direction of the Two Eddies blocked reform legislation by the mayor.

Who died and left Bacci Connors Park to the Argo Tea company? This is no kiosk like Whispers in the Viagra Triangle but a mammoth space- consuming Bogarting affair which is plain ugly.

Memo to Field Museum: we know you’re 110 million in debt but just maybeeeeee that static attendance could be the prohibitive cost of entry. And just maybeeeeeeeee it could be the pain of parking….and maybeeeeeeee it could be the ancient exhibits everyone in the Milky Way has already seen.

Wrapports LLC unwisely let Sun Times’ Terry Savage go, she who writes one of the best financial columns in the country. If you’re smart sign up for her emailed newsletter which never disappoints with smarter than smart and not always PC advice.

We visited The Clare where retired surgeons and their wives can afford to live. In the lobby Joyce Saxon was waiting for Joey Streeto and Jane Field was about to take Buckley for a walk. You can rent now as well as buy which makes sense unless The Children Waiting in the Wings think otherwise.

Do not read the (Manchester) Guardian, even online, anymore after their complicity in the espionage of that Snowden creep. Brits should know these are the same traitorous activities as Kim Philby’s or Anthony Blunt’s and others who sold secrets to the Soviets.

Today, however, even uneducated morons can be spies. Neither Snowden nor Bradley Manning has a college degree or academic training in computer science yet both were able to navigate computer networks and smuggle classified files. Saw We Sell Secrets the Wiki leaks film a harrowing tale about misogynist psychopath Assange. Hope he’s driving the Ecuadorians crazy.

How much do nonprofit executives earn? How about half a million or better per year. Before you make that donation you should check it out at Crain’s.

Barbara Brenner founder of Breast Cancer Action passed away recently. She was among the first to question the “pinkwashing” of America, not Victoria’s Secret, but the retro pink marketing “movement”. Her group Think Before You Pink urged consumers to look out where their money was actually going before donations to cancer research.

The current exhibition of Treasures of Faith, manuscripts and books from the Newberry’s collection, but so dark it is impossible to actually see them. Recently we were told by a menacing Cerberus at the gate to remove our sweater and securely lock it away before heading upstairs. We left.

Cynthia Olsen in London saw Helen Mirren in Audience and said it was absolutely thrilling theatre. The country is shaken about the ghoulish murder in London of a British soldier by enemies residing inside the moated walls. The Barbarians are no longer at the gate – they are here.

When Rock Hudson was asked why he dropped out of psychoanalysis he said about his shrink, “He just sits back and never says a word.”


At RL’s front table painters Tom O’Gorman and Adam Umbach greeted friends and talked art. We joined them and said howdy to Cookie Cohen in a Blackhawk  jersey, Bunky Cushing, Megan McKinney and Mamie Walton. The week before we had lunch here, like a regular Michael’s, with Yolanda Lorente and Helen Schubert with tables full of ladies who lunch.Ladies Who Lunch– Isn’t that so 80s? Maybe 70s? Like “power lunching”?

Gibson’s definitely needs a dress code. On a recent visit for dinner it was shocking to see tables of loud sloppy men in T-shirts. In the old days Steve Lombardo wouldn’t have permitted that shabby deportment.

They also need to read the recently translated Galateo by Giovanni Della Casa, a 17th century handbook of polite behavior including rules for table manners. Has anyone else noticed that even the most manicured looking people grasp their cutlery like weapons? Verboten also is talking about one’s dreams or bragging about children.

 CS’ Travel & Leisure and other magazines should take a tip from Financial Times that acknowledges travel writers’ comped services thusly: “John Doe was a guest of Mars Hotel and Tsunami Airways.”  That they do not is odd.

The richest man in England is Gerald Grosvenor the 6th Duke of Westminster who allegedly uses the same hooker service as Eliot Spitzer. While we’re on it make your application to Robin Birley’s  5 Hertford Street Club the UK’s most exclusive.

The new book The Unwinding about America today claims Oprah has magical thinking, promoting the myth that positive thoughts lead to fame and fortune. George Packer also takes potshots at elitists who nag the poor to eat expensive organics but he lets Elizabeth Warren, who lied about being American Indian, off the hook.

S Spring 2013

For a huge laugh read Tatler’s “The Horror of Skiing” by Annabel Rivkin about striving nouveaus learning to “ski” at 45, a variation of the Instant- “Hey I Made It”-  Horsewoman syndrome.

Once more with feeling: Thomas Dyja’s book on Chicago which started the Shteir Wars reminds us how homogenized the city has become from the days when 620 N.Michigan, the converted fish warehouse, was the center of the art scene with Walter Kelly, Kelvyn Lilley, Susan Mongerson (now Wunderlich) and Sonia Zaks. And there was a bedraggled Woolworth’s down the street with hot dogs and chartreuse relish.



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