Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne (center) sits with teammate Epiphanny Prince at pre-season game. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Lately, I’ve been following the Chicago Sky’s business operation as the women’s basketball team gears up for its eighth season, which opens the last week of May.
It’s been interesting to poke around inside a major league team that’s still in relative infancy. Sure, readers (and editors) care more about the Bulls, but it’s easy to forget that the NBA wasn’t always a behemoth. Continue reading →
Elena Delle Donne at Wrigley Field. Photo: Chicago Sky
Elena Delle Donne, the first-round 2013 draft pick for the Chicago Sky (the city’s WNBA team), and the second overall draft, is 23, with a slender six-foot-five frame. A star basketball player at the University of Delaware, the recent grad had been in Chicago for less than a week when, last Monday, she threw out the ceremonial pitch at Wrigley Field.
Before the pitch, Delle Donne hung out by the home dugout with her older brother Gene, visiting from Delaware. Wearing a Cubs cap and jersey with her Sky number, 11, she tucked her fingers in the pockets of her jeans and waited. Baseball, she says, is not her sport. “There’s always a few nerves,” she said, eyeing the pitcher’s mound. “Mainly, I don’t want to look stupid.” Continue reading →
When Paul Krugman, the Nobel-laureate economist and New York Times columnist, recommends a music act, I take note. So I was happy last Thursday for the chance to see one of The Krug-Man’s recent picks, Brooklyn-based Lucius, play a sold-out room at Schubas.
The group’s Tiny Desk Concert for NPR, recorded in January, makes a good introduction: Continue reading →
Over the past week or two, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about deodorant.
You’d think it would be a touchy subject. But friends and strangers haven’t been shy with their opinions when I mentioned that I was writing a story about North Coast Organics, a Chicago-based company that hopes to have the first widely-distributed USDA Organic deodorant on retail shelves.
“My boyfriend’s been looking for a good natural deodorant,” a woman volunteered at a party on Sunday. “They all suck though.”
I heard that lament a lot. According an industry analyst I talked to, the crowd that’s already switched to natural shampoo and soap is taking a second look at the list of ingredients in their deodorant. They want to go natural, but is there an option that doesn’t suck?
The people I talked to who use North Coast say there is. And none of them were shy talking about it.
Belatedly, I’m excited to write that I’ve been contributing reporting to Grid magazine, a new weekly business magazine distributed with Chicago copies of the Sunday Sun-Times.
The magazine launched at the beginning of February, helmed by a very smart, capable editorial team. A few of them I’m lucky to have worked with in the past. This crew knows what they’re doing, and their first four issues have been smartly designed and tightly edited.
I’m going to be writing a regular business travel column, which features a new traveler’s tips about a favorite city each time. (Get in touch if you want to participate.)
Last week’s issue also featured an in-depth sports-biz story that I spent a few months reporting. It details the sponsorship deals that Nike cuts with with high school basketball teams in Chicago Public Schools. Continue reading →
At last, Kevin Bacon has a TV show. It’s taken a while, since his contract must stipulate that he can never be directed to smile (the better for us all, if you’ve ever seen that gaunt-lipped grimace). But the man can act, even with the borderline absurd material he’s sometimes handed in his new Fox series, The Following.
Here’s the premise of this grim criminal drama, which is interesting enough to get me rooting for it: Continue reading →
Here’s one thing to recommend the work of Maya Deren, an experimental filmmaker active in the 40s and 50s: you can watch her complete oeuvre in less time than it takes to get through The Godfather: Part II.
A fixture in Greenwich Village of the 40s, Deren mixed with the avant-garde luminaries of the time. Marcel Duchamp, Anaïs Nin, and John Cage appear in her short films, which make amorphous, allegorical explorations of dream life and the body. Continue reading →
This past Saturday morning, I headed over to my good friend Patty Huber Morrissey’s house for her annual Vision Board Party.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, Patty makes a vision board every year, collaging images that inspire or motivate her in some way. Dedicated organizer that she is (Patty heads up Groupon’s non-profit wing, Groupon Grassroots), every January she invites over a dozen or so of her highly self-actualized, socially conscious friends for a vision-board-construction party. I’m not sure how a guy like me gets an invite each year, but I’ve enjoyed going to the past few.
Once the crowd got settled in her living room with coffee and mimosas, we made a round of introductions. There were at least three life coaches of different stripes at the party this year; you could practically improve yourself just by breathing the air. Continue reading →