I found this photo of Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois to be pretty great. Courtesy of their Instagram page:
Kohinoor opened recently in the former Escobar's building on Columbia and Neil Street in Champaign. If you haven't been there yet, you should go. I did yesterday, for the second time, ordering this lunch special:
47. Non-vegetarian Thali :
Combo platter serve with (yellow daal, shrimp curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken (1 pc) rice or naan, salad, dessert, crispy wafer & pickle) | $8.99
All of that, a platter of sorts. It was awesome. Heat level 1 out of 5 because that's what type of human being I am. 2 was pushing it, said my lunch companion, for what it is worth. Those who want the heat can get it.
On a cold day like this one, I found myself craving a hot and spicy noodle soup. And as my wife was shooting on location at PIXO, I stopped into under-celebrated Masijta Grill on Race St.
My server recommended the jam bong to me, which translates to nothing really, according to him. But they define it as spicy seafood soup, and that is exactly what it is.
The rich, deeply red broth is colored and flavored with peppers and is the perfect backdrop for a host of different types of seafood, including mussels, scallops, squid, and shrimp. The noodles are not thick like udon and not thin like Ramen. It's almost like spaghetti, but, you know, not exactly.
As it is a Korean joint, the meal comes with a host of fermented salads, kimchi, marinated bean sprouts, seaweed salad, and more.
I would type more, but I'm seriously having a love affair with this bowl of soup right now.
Stop in and get you a bowl. It's the sort of thing that helps keep you happy when you wake up to find that your subhuman State Rep in Congress is a Nickelback fan, and proud of it.
Starting tonight, Downtown Champaign's favorite new fried chicken spot, Watson's Shack and Rail, will be serving from their new, slightly modified, winter menu.
Some note-worthy new items include a sandwich version of their Nashville hot chicken, a new grinder with andouille sausage, fried Brussels sprouts and a pork belly slider.
To see the full menu, check out the screenshots attached, and to try it out for yourself, stop in Watson's starting tonight, where all of your wildest dreams can come true.
Officially, it is happening:
This is pretty tight. I, for one, just have a general idea of when some of these brews come out each year at Triptych. But now, you can see when your favorite brew of theirs is available beyond their taproom.
Check it out:
Earlier this year, Midtown Champaign appeared to be getting a major facelift with a new multi-use development by University Group, which was later endorsed by the City of Champaign a few months back. Now courtesy of the City of Champaign's Facebook page, they've posted one of the renderings of what the area will look like:
Here's some info from the Gazoo about the space:
The development, which will span the east side of First Street between Springfield Avenue and White Street, includes two buildings with commercial space on the bottom floor and one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, with a plaza lane adorned with terrace overhangs, plants and outdoor seating between them.
Van Buskirk confirmed the project's finalized specifics: 32,000 square feet of commercial space, 104 upper-story apartments, 103 off-street parking spaces and 19,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space. There will also be two spaces for bike parking in the plaza lane.
These things take time, and there are many, many moving parts — so this won't come until sometime in 2018, it appears. Take a look back at the $95M development proposed for Downtown Champaign while you're at it.
The Virginia Theatre in Downtown Champaign opened its doors 95 years ago today, and to celebrate, they posted this gem of a photo:
h/t to Mike Moran of Champaign Urbana History on Facebook. Photo from Virginia Theatre.
Since we're all just waiting around now for America to be great again, and since we aren't working this week really, I thought I'd share this awesome undated photo of Arrowhead Lanes right when it was first built. Not sure of the year, but bowling was definitely a different sort of sport back then, that's for damn sure.
Here's a more modern photo that I pulled from the internet, for reference:
Of course, it sits just next to Western Bowl, giving the north end of Prospect Ave. almost enough bowling alleys to define it as a bowling district. Not unlike the "Hammock District" in Springfield — The Simpsons' Springfield — anyhow. Although they define it as four shops for a true district, I'd say three alleys would suffice.
In 1999 local, state, and federal funds of $1.4+ million were used to build the TIMES Center in downtown Champaign. It was in good faith that these governmental bodies entered agreement with local service provider Community Elements (CE), to operate this building as a men’s emergency homeless shelter.
While the TIMES still operates a 20 bed "transitional” program, the (up to 50 bed) men’s emergency homeless shelter was shut down in July. CE was purchased by Rosecrance, who has 40 drug and alcohol programs in four different states, they do not operate any homeless shelters. The closing is due to a lack of will to provide homeless services, on the part of Rosecrance, more than anything else.
Shelia Ferguson, the local director for Rosecrance says that it is not possible to open an emergency shelter in the TIMES Center because there is no funding for staff or material. She said the shelter operated at a loss of $250,000 over six years. That is less than $41,000 per year. That is a very small bridge for C-U to cross.
Stop Gap Solution - CSPH has cracks
The United Way and others, calling themselves the Consortium of Services Providers for the Homeless (CSPH), is garnering donations of $28,500 for three months for four full-time staff and supplies. The only problem with their solution is that it is a three-month “pilot program” that has “multiple cooperating churches” at the core. They hope to operate from January 2, 2017 – March 31, 2017 and then put another solution in place next winter. It is valiant effort, but a piece-meal solution at best; an effort that does not challenge the assumption that Rosecrance couldn’t be persuaded to use the building for the purpose for which it was funded.
The better solution?
Champaign, Urbana, the county, townships and mental health board, need to agree to fund the staff required for the re-opening of the TIMES shelter. While the legal agreement with (CE/Rosecrance) only required five years of operating the building as a homeless shelter, there is no reason that our homeless should be denied access to a building that we paid for, if we can provide the money for the services.
- Sign the petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/find-a-way-to-reopen-times-center
- Urbana City Council; Monday 12/19; 7 p.m.
Champaign City Council 12/20 7 p.m.The Champaign City Council meeting has been delayed until January 3rd.
- Occupy the TIMES SHELTER: Sign the petition to be notified of events around this action.
Editor's Note: The top photo originally published has been changed since then, Times Center photo by Scott Wells.
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