Cabaret Woes, “Evilly Disposed Persons,” and the Dancing Tenor’s Divorce

CHAPTER 27 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER “Chicago’s cabaret industry was in the dumps to-day,” the Chicago Daily News remarked in April 1921.1 Aldermen were talking about a huge increase in license fees for public… Continue reading Cabaret Woes, “Evilly Disposed Persons,” and the Dancing Tenor’s Divorce

A Sketch of 1920s Uptown

CHAPTER 26 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER Advertisements touted Uptown as a city unto itself. Yes, it was just one neighborhood within the far larger city of Chicago. But if you lived in “The City… Continue reading A Sketch of 1920s Uptown

Cora Orthwein’s Trial: “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”

CHAPTER 25 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER There was much shouting and commotion at Green Mill Gardens on the night of February 28, 1921. An intoxicated man angrily threw his drink into a woman’s face.… Continue reading Cora Orthwein’s Trial: “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”

Ben Hecht and a Flapper Find “Nirvana” in Uptown

CHAPTER 24 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER Sex! Jazz! Booze! Beaches! Shopping! Movie palaces! Chicago’s Uptown had it all. During the Roaring Twenties, people flocked to the neighborhood when they wanted to have fun. “If… Continue reading Ben Hecht and a Flapper Find “Nirvana” in Uptown

The 1920 “Whisky Ring” and the Snitching Golfer

CHAPTER 23 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER As prohibition became the law of the land in 1920, many Chicagoans kept on drinking. “Chicago is as wet as it ever was,” the region’s chief prohibition officer,… Continue reading The 1920 “Whisky Ring” and the Snitching Golfer

Favorite Movies of 2023

1. Killers of the Flower Moon Another masterpiece by Martin Scorsese, whose cameo in the movie’s rather meta epilogue brought tears to my eyes—both times I sat through this three-and-a-half-hour epic in the theaters. I wasn’t sure at first why exactly that moment hit me so hard. I think it was the accumulated power of… Continue reading Favorite Movies of 2023

Prohibition’s Dawn and the Great Zion Beer Grab

CHAPTER 21 of THE COOLEST SPOT IN CHICAGO: A HISTORY OF GREEN MILL GARDENS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF UPTOWN PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER On July 1, 1919, it became a crime to sell alcohol in the United States. Some of Chicago’s drinking establishments started the day by selling beers and… Continue reading Prohibition’s Dawn and the Great Zion Beer Grab