Arts & Culture » Culture Vultures

This week's Culture Vultures recommend:

Working Bikes Cooperative, YA novel The White Darkness, and Nightwood restaurant

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Working Bikes Cooperative - KEVIN WARWICK

Brian Morgan, artist represented by Jackson Junge Gallery, with work at the Winter Bike Art Show closing March 9 at Gala Gallery, is gearing up with:

Working Bikes Cooperative My spring project is already under way despite Old Man Winter's last-ditch efforts to prove he's still in charge. I love resurrecting old Chicago-made bikes. I've got a Monarch tandem from the 50s (dubbed "The Stout" due to its beerlike coloring) and a Schwinn American circa '65. When I need parts I head to Working Bikes Cooperative at 2434 S. Western. The shop is dedicated to "diverting bicycles from the waste stream in Chicago by repairing them for sale and charity."

These folks have bins upon bins of roughly sorted parts for you to dig through. Prices are cheap (I recently found some vintage pedals and an old seat for $9). You can buy a good sturdy rebuilt bike in its entirety too. They've got cruisers and road bikes, and at the moment there's even a three-wheeler just itching to be turned into a mobile food cart.

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Karin Shook, DirectorsLabChicago cofounder and artistic director, is perusing:

The White Darkness My favorite genre of late is that of young adult, partly because I have always found YA books to be both entertaining and comforting, and partly because I have two small children and subsequently little brain space left to process big words and long sentences. These days I judge books by their cover, give the blurb a quick skim, and grab the book off the shelf as I chase my toddler into the AARP tax class in the story-time room. That's how I discovered The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean. I highly recommend not reading a plot summary, as it might dilute the power of the slow and surprising unfolding of absolutely everything. Let me just say, a la Lemony Snicket, that this book contains great amounts of adventure, deceit, snow, seemingly insurmountable odds, travel to strange and unreal terrain, very few people who are who they seem to be, a creepy uncle, and a 14-year-old female heroine. Couldn't. Put. It. Down.

Nightwood's cookies - DANIEL GROZA
  • Daniel Groza
  • Nightwood's cookies

Jennifer Bridgeforth, Phoenix Art and Empowerment Space owner, curator, and founder, is chowing down at:

Nightwood On a busy night of entertaining guests at my gallery after a 2nd Fridays event, a few friends and I decided to mosey on down Halsted in search for a quick bite. A small, modern storefront beckoned with a hip crowd, an outdoor fireplace, and a small neon sign. Nightwood. We went in to investigate and found a few things we didn't expect. A menu that included hand-cut pastas and fresh foods that are locally and organically sourced, an oddly extensive wine list for a space so small, and incredible desserts. (You must try the cookie plate. Trust me. There's a homemade Nutter Butter on it!!) Outside of a few staples, the menu changes daily, and I learn something new about food whenever I'm there. For a foodie like me, that is definitely saying a lot! Try the Sunday brunch. Eclectic and good. I love finding hidden treasure, and this place is on my short list.

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