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Best tweeting by local arts and culture personality

Audience Choice, Culture & Nightlife 1 Comment »

Roger Ebert

The influential film critic has become more accessible recently with his abundance of blog posts on his Web site and his newfound love for this little thing called Twitter. Not only does Roger post immediate reactions to films he sees, he directs readers to other articles and writing, and has even given shout-outs to other film writers, including Newcity’s Ray Pride.

twitter.com/ebertchicago

Audience choice:
Rick Bayless

Best of Chicago 2009

Best tweeting by local news or politics personality

Audience Choice, City Life No Comments »

John Fritchey

Fritchey is a neighborhood political insider in that fine Chicago tradition, who holds the honor of winning and still occupying Rod Blagojevich’s old seat as State Representative in the 11th District. In other words, he knows people and sees things. On Twitter, he’s refreshingly candid, unlike some of his political peers who treat the new social medium as just another carefully vetted PR platform. Be advised of his Big Ten football obsession, but keep an eye out for his playful takes on politics, like this recent tweet: “Word is 2 incumbents have big petition problems. 1 is running for higher office and 1 simply seeking re-election. Ruh roh!” But even more fun is when he, um, indulges his old-school-rap notions, like this ditty: “Gotta move quick on the double, get focused like Hubble; living life on the bubble’s turned my work into rubble.” There must be something in the water up in the 11th District.

Audience choice:
Roger Ebert

Best of Chicago 2009

Best iconic Chicago personality now that Studs is gone

Audience Choice, City Life 1 Comment »

Tony Fitzpatrick

Studs Terkel was the last of a generation of Chicagoans who came of age in the fifties and sixties, and through a combination of talent, output and staying power became fixtures in our cultural consciousness. Oprah, MJ and Barack may have all come to fame in Chicago, but they’ve become global personalities now, transcending geography. Tony Fitzpatrick, one of our town’s most successful visual artists, epitomizes the city in his work and his personality. Beyond image-making, he’s an actor on stage and screen, a published poet and an occasional raconteur on the radio. But beyond all that, he’s a friendly, down-to-earth guy you might just run into and have a nice chat with at a literary event or a White Sox game.

Audience choice:
Roger Ebert

Best of Chicago 2009

Best local digital controversy

City Life No Comments »

Thumbs

Media behemoth Disney, known for obstreperous litigation and lobbying for over-extension of copyright expiration, among other legal issues, played hardball in late summer against the show recently retitled “At The Movies With Ebert And Roeper” (formerly “Ebert and Roeper”). The THUMBS (which are capitalized to qualify for trademark protection) are owned by Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel’s successors, and while Ebert was under the impression a fair price for their continued use was under negotiation, Disney summarily pulled their use from the program, leading to an unattractive public digital spat. “I did not demand the removal of the THUMBS,” the recovering critic responded. “They made a first offer… which I considered offensively low. I responded with a counter-offer. They did not reply to this, and… ordered the THUMBS removed from the show.” At press time, twiddling persists.

Best of Chicago 2007

Best of the Best: The Sun-Times’ writers

City Life No Comments »

The Sun-Times’ writers
While the editors strain to perfect the touch of giving “wood”-the pluperfect tab cover where headlines grab the eye with a combination of titillation and guts-the paper continues its tradition as Chicago’s aerie for writers. While Mike Royko and Bob Greene have both passed on-to the Tribune, and then to death and statutory infamy, respectively-the long-running doubleheader of movie man Roger Ebert and 90-year-old celeb schmoozist Irv Kupcinet should inspire the tradition to continue. Now if only Kup’s longtime legwoman Stella Foster gets the column once he retires… And Thomas Roeser and his photo were retired… and Richard Roeper… Well, he’s far better than All That Zazz ever dared to be.

Best of Chicago 2002