Sunday, May 27, 2012

Johnnie's & Russell's Great Eats In Elmwood Park

      Just north of North Ave. on tree shaded Thatcher on the western edge of Elmwood Park Il. is a great old style family restaurant Russell's BBQ. They offer a full range of barbeque; beef & pork, sandwiches or plates of ribs. They also offer other items and have a pretty good kids menu. It's a lovely woody spot with great food and atmosphere including outdoor seating in the back and these great neon signs. The next time your in the area stop in and sample from their wide array of tasty treats. Here is a clip of their great neon signage from our ChiTownView station and a couple of photos of these cartoon wooden wall hangings on the inside.

Russell's is not far away from another great spot for a quick bite to eat named Johnnie's. Their specialty is also beef but they are an Italian beef stand with some excellent lemon ice as well. ChiTownView
has also posted a clip of this place as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Movie Capitol of The World, Chicago? Essanay & Selig Studios

Published on May 19, 2012 by
When Charlie Chaplin came to Chicago in 1914 it was to become a movie star and Chicago was home to two film giants that made the windy city the movie capitol of the world. In this clip we visit the former sites of these two cinematic pioneers; Essanay studios and Selig Polyscope. Together they gave us the first feature films, serials, cowboy films and in 1907 a color Wizard of Oz.

Essanay Studios: 1343-45 West Argyle

Essanay Studios had a list of stars who got their starts at this studio that boarders a cemetery on west Argyle in Chicago's north side. Besides Chaplin Eassanay's other stars included; Gloria Swanson, Francis X. Bushman and Wallace Beery. Bronco Billy was the first western serial and Gilbert M. Anderson the first cowboy hero. From the outside the tall gates in the center of the block give it the look of a studio and then you see the entryway with the Indian heads a little further west. The site is now home to St. Augistine College and was at one time the home of Chicago's WTTW the public TV station.

The picture of Chaplin that begins the clip was taken from St Boniface cemetery just to the south. It's a beautiful spot with many 19th century monuments. Also in this area just a couple of blocks north is a gorgeous old movie theater building the Calo. It now houses a resale shop. We have posted videos of both spots.

Here is a link to an interesting article that gives more background.

There is also this great podcast.

Selig Polyscope Studios:

A little bit south and west from Essanay was the studios of Chicago's other early film pioneer Colonel (self proclaimed) William Selig. Mr. Selig a traveling magician was fascinated by films but unimpressed with what Mr. Edison was doing made his own camera's and projectors. In 1910 Selig released the first Wizard of Oz film (in color). Some of their other films included The Adventures of Kathlyn one of the first cliffhanger serials and a recreation of Teddy Roosevelt's African safari.

The studios took up the entire block at the southeast corner of Western & Irving Pk. Mr. Selig sold the block in 1920 for $400,000. All that remains is the lower half of what is now an apartment building, at 3900 Claremont, shown in this clip.

Here is a link to more information and another podcast.

Eventually both studios were victims of Chicago's brutal winters as by the late teens they had relocated to Hollywood.

The music for this clip is "Batty McFaddin" by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"

And we have also posted one of Chaplin's Essanay films "Burlesque of Carmen on MindsiMedia.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Belle Shore Apartment Hotel, Historic Egytpian Revival Chicago Building

I just missed the El at the Bryn Mawr station and started looking for something interesting to fill the ten minutes or so. I looked down Bryn Mawr towards Winthrop and my eye was grabbed by the sight of a vintage building clad in green tile. A short trip down the street put me in front of the Belle Shore Apt. Hotel.

This Egyptian themed structure was built in 1929 by Max Malter who named it for his wife. It is covered in green and tan terra cotta and has been designated Chicago Historic building.

If you like the Egyptpian look there is another building on Chicago's north side the Rebbie Moving &Storage building.

Listening to Distant Land by Madlib

On Icebox Radio / Pandora One - Listen to Pandora with No Ads, Higher Quality Audio, and More

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Round About Hollywood, 1931 Color Short Film

 Uploaded by MindsiMedia 5/11/12

Anybody interested in how Hollywood looked during the early 1930's will want to check out this little seven minute color film. Among the sites presented; The Hollywood Hotel, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Building, the H'wood Hotel and a trip down H'wood Blvd. The Brown Derby, Henry's the Valentino Monument and of course no trip to the film capitol of the world would be complete, we have a world premiere at Grunam's. In this case it is for Dirigible starring Gloria Swanson & Edward G. Robinson. Both of whom are shown arriving.

Frank Lloyd Wright In River Forest

     For the past couple of years we have posted videos of the Frank lloyd Wright designs in Oak Park Il. Oak Park is the western suburb of Chicago where made his home for a good deal of his life and there almost two dozen structures in the village that he designed. This spring we have started expanding our collection to include all the of his work still standing in the Chicago area.
     On Cinco De Mayo we visited River Forest which is Oak Park's neighbor to the west. River Forest is home to six Wright designs and one home he remodeled.We have posted all of them on ChiTownView / YouTube and are posting a couple here to give to you a look. We have all the videos collected on a playlist called Frank Lloyd Wright In Chicago