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The New Block 37

By The Beachwood Block 37 Affairs Desk

"Block 37 wants to open by Thanksgiving."

And we've got the exclusive list of stores, offices and attractions you can expect to see.

1. The Invisible CTA Superstation. Watch - or don't - as invisible CTA train cars whisk invisible travelers to O'Hare on important invisible trips.

2. The Block 37 Haunted House. Stocked to the brim with decades of failed plans for Block 37.

3. Walmart Outlet Store. Staffed by a single worker - Ald. Anthony Beale - whose (on-the-clock) hours are kept to 39 a week.

4. Twitterville. A Twitter cafe run by AT&T.

5. For Reals. The latest from nightclub impresario Billy Dec. Samantha Ronson will spin records the last Friday of every month and Paris Hilton will bore you in person every other week.

6. Chicago 2016. A simulated version of the Olympics we didn't get. Watch the shotput event while an animatronic Mayor Daley picks your pocket.

7. Kurtisville. Watch Bill Kurtis find the Internet. Sponsored by AT&T.

8. The ComEdy Store. ComEd hires stand-up comics to entertain as you stare at the substation on the block hoping to be there on the day it blows.

9. The Willis Towerette. Backed by city subsidies, the London insurance giant moves in and rechristens the block's office space "Little Willie."

10. The Currency Exchange Exchange. Using blueprints originally drawn up for a food court, the Block 37 complex will now feature a currency exchange court for all your check-cashing needs. Pawn shops nearby.

11. The Foreclosure Mart. Like the Merchandise Mart, but stocked with goods banks have acquired through office and home foreclosures.

12. Retro Block 37. A collection of B-movie houses, junk jewelry stores and divey bars and burger joints like the ones that actually made money before someone decided the block needed to be urban renewaled.


Your suggestions welcome.


1. Beachwood reader Mark suggests:

Chicago State, Loop Campus: Another in a growing collection of satellite facilities the school doesn't even know it needs.

Pumpkin Patch: Selling one new Smashing Pumpkins song every week until Billy Corgan finally decides to replace himself in the band.

Chicago Children's Museum: Plans put on hold until the mayor is sure there's not another piece of parkland that can be ripped up to accommodate it instead.

Marshall Field's: With Carson's long since gone, Macy's needs a Gimbel's to keep it on its retail toes. Who better to play the role than the beloved local icon the company bought out? Frango war!

Skating rink: Because this just seems like a perfect place for one.

Chicago News Cooperative Headquarters: If there's one thing the NY Times can really teach Chicagoans, it's how to severely cripple your company's financial future by taking on massive debt to build a shiny new brick-and-mortar shrine to your crumbling print enterprise.

Michael Jackson Museum: In your face, Gary!

Chicago Public Stocks and Detention Center: Why should convicted Illinois pols get to serve out their inevitable jail terms in cushy country club facilities far from the voters they fleeced? Put 'em in the front window on State Street and watch tomato sales at the nearby farmers' markets skyrocket.

Chicago Cubs Gift Shop: What better tenant to anchor this star-crossed, long-time loser of a development than a franchise that hasn't won in over a century? Opening weekend sale: we'll pay you to take a Milton Bradley jersey off our hands.

TIF Museum: Funded by the newly created Block 37 TIF district.


Posted on November 4, 2009

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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