Hi everyone! Last month, I talked about one of Chicago's best literary events, Come Home Chicago, founded by Columbia's own Matt Martin and Don De Grazia. Tonight marks the one year anniversary of the series, but also, because of the ever-stronger press of development in the city, the last time the wonderful Underground Wonderbar will be able to host. For this reason, Matt Martin, who is not only a good friend and fellow writer, but looks good in a blue Patagonia fleece, to guest blog. Here are his words. Enjoy!
It is with bittersweet timing that we celebrate the One Year Anniversary of the “High Energy Blowout” Come Home Chicago, while hitting the three week mark, until the wrecking ball meets 10 E. Walton. The bar, which I have worked at for 17 years, where Don De Grazia and I have been able to house our show, will meet its current incarnation’s ultimate demise when the bar closes its doors December 6th. Although Lonie is currently raising money to move The Wonderbar to a new location (Go to: Undergroundwonderbar.com for details), it it still with the heaviest heart that the doors on 10 E will close.
For seventeen years I have been fortunate enough to work there and call that gritty, smoky, wonderful place home. It is also with heavy heart that we will no longer be able to do Come Home Chicago in that venerable establishment. We will look for somewhere else to do it, but there was something about the narrow walls, the pitch-black walls and candlelight, the positioning of the stage, the homey feel that the bar gave that leant so well to the show. To be able to have such huge talent on such a small stage is what made our show that much more of an event. It felt like people were getting an intimate sneak peek into the world of a Chicago writer, or Chicago band or legendary Chicago comedian or actor.
At the last show we were lucky to have Alex Kotlowitz, Steve McMichael, and Dave Pasquesi. We were lucky enough to have Jessie Morrison, owner of this blog, read with her blend of honesty and comedy. It was amazing. This time around we have Irvine Welsh, Elizabeth Brackett, Max “The Urbanologist” Grinnell, The Retar Crew, an amazing cast of “Rookies of the Week”, as well as the ever-popular Malort Girls.
So, even though the bar is closing, and we are carefully attempting a balancing act of jubilant and sorrowful, we are still going to have a great show. If you are reading this, then please come on down to 10 E Walton, Chicago, @ 5 PM to see another amazing show.