The Wit, a 27-story boutique hotel that opened Wednesday at the corner of State and Lake Streets, is a work of pre-crash architectural exuberance making its debut amid a post-crash depression. Only in the heady days before last year's stock-market meltdown would an architect have designed a hotel with the likeness of a yellow lightning bolt zigzagging across its facade. Now, a basic room goes for $199.
In a sense, though, there is something timeless -- or at least fitting -- about the Wit's design. Its raffish theatricality is in keeping with its surroundings, given that it stands across the elevated tracks from the blazing marquees and caramel popcorn smells of Chicago's theater district.
So what do we have here -- a sterling or a so-so performance?
The architecture of this eye-grabbing building is more interesting than good. But as a work of urban design, the hotel is very good, in large part because its architect, Jackie Koo, has embraced the grittiness of the "L" and State Street rather than turning her back on them.
Bruce Bartlett tells an interesting story about his own encounters with a Soviet agent:
In 1981, I was working for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and had just published a book on Reagan’s economic policies. At some point, I was asked to give a talk to some group at a restaurant on Capitol Hill. Afterwards, one of the attendees came up and asked me if he could come by my office some time to talk about the economy. I said fine and handed him my card. He handed me his and it said, Dr. Valery P. Sorokin, Counselor, USSR Embassy.
Some time later, Sorokin called my office for an appointment and I was out so I had to call him back. continued
Ex-governor Rod Blagojevich caught on tape ranting about Illinois voters:
"I (expletive) busted my ass and pissed people off and gave your grandmother a free (expletive) ride on a bus. OK? I gave your (expletive) baby a chance to have health care," Blagojevich ranted. "And what do I get for that?" he continued, "Only 13 percent of you all out there think I'm doing a good job. So (expletive) all of you."
If this viscous screed from Dan Gilbert wasn't posted on the Cavs' website, I would assume it was parody.
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
This is only the beginning of the rant. Gilbert goes on to describe LeBron's departure from the Cavs as a "shameful display of selfishness," a "cowardly betrayal," a "shocking act of disloyalty" and a "heartless and callous action." Gilbert also declares that LeBron will take the Cleveland "'curse' with him down south." And there was something about a "dreaded spell and bad karma."