Axios Chicago

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🪧 Happy Wednesday! On this day in 1943, one of the first documented civil rights "sit-ins" took place at Jack Spratt's Coffee House on 47th Street in Kenwood.

Situational awareness: Tonight is our big Axios Office Hours at The Hideout! Tickets still available here.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Chicago member Dina Merrell!

Today's newsletter is 910 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Assessing Johnson's first year

Mayor Brandon Johnson has had some hits, some misses and some mixed results. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Today marks Mayor Brandon Johnson's first full year in office, which has garnered mixed reviews.

The big picture: The mayor rode in on a wave of progressive promises, many of which he's kept while handling an ongoing and unprecedented migrant crisis.

  • But Johnson has struggled with key relationships in Springfield, the business community and the City Council, as well as among some voters.

What's happening: We've compiled some of his hits, misses and mixed results from the past year.

Hits: Johnson secured City Council approval for several key policies including:

Yes, but: Even with all that success, it hasn't been smooth sailing in City Council.

  • Johnson has faced complaints from alders on key decisions, including how to spend COVID funding, managing shelter locations and even his failure to punish his floor leader after allegations of physical intimidation during a sanctuary city debate.

Some misses include:

As for the mixed results…

What we're watching: The mayor must navigate several tricky situations in coming months, including:

2. MSI unveils new name

The signage for the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry will be officially unveiled this weekend. Photo: Courtesy of Griffin Museum of Science and Industry.

Nearly five years after donating $125 million to the Museum of Science and Industry, Ken Griffin will get his name affixed to the South Side museum.

Why it matters: The hedge fund founder and billionaire's gift was the largest in the museum's history. It is supporting a new exhibit housing the SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft, renovation of the Henry Crown Space Center and an exhibit exploring the human body.

Driving the news: Griffin gave the money in 2019, a few years before relocating his company Citadel, but the new exterior signage as the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry will be unveiled Sunday.

Between the lines: Griffin left Chicago after complaining about crime and helping lead the successful campaign against Gov. JB Pritzker's plan to tax wealthy residents more.

  • He moved to Florida, where there is no income tax.

Catch up quick: When the museum announced the gift and rebranding in 2019, it was met with some sneers online, the Tribune reported, but others chimed in to remind naysayers that many of the city's iconic institutions carry the name of a wealthy benefactor, including The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

Flashback: The Museum of Science and Industry opened in 1933 in a building from the 1893 Columbian Exposition. It was founded by Sears leader and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald.

What's next: There will be free admission Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online.

3. Tips and hot links: DePaul Fest canceled

A banner on the quad of DePaul University in Lincoln Park. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

⛺️ DePaul University canceled its outdoor festival this weekend due to the ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment in the quad. The administration says it's adjusting all year-end activities due to the "current campus environment." (ABC7)

📚 A new survey of 2,100 Chicagoans gives CPS a "C" and says kids aren't learning enough in schools. (Sun-Times)

🦅 Millions of birds are expected to fly over Illinois tonight as part of the annual spring migration. (NBC 5)

4. Taste test: "New" Rainbow cone flavors not new

New Cosmic Birthday, Minty City and Orange Dream cone creations at Rainbow Cone. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

You might have heard that Chicago's iconic Original Rainbow Cone has just released new flavors, but that's not quite true.

  • The chain is, however, using existing flavors for new "creations," made with stacked ice cream slices.

Dig in: The new treats include Cosmic Birthday, Minty City, Orange Dream and Chocolate Obsession ($6.29 with tax), layering flavors that include orange, chocolate, birthday cake, mint, Oreo and more.

The verdict: Our favorite was the layered mint and chocolate.

  • Orange tasted like a delicious dreamsicle.
  • Cosmic Birthday recalled childhood parties.
  • Chocolate and Oreo tasted like you'd expect.

Yes, but: None of them beat the strange but incredibly satisfying original Rainbow cone stack of orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House, strawberry, and chocolate.

Photo of ice cream in a cup
An upside-down Rainbow Cone with all the strange, delicious flavors. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Sponsored event listings

Future events

📆 Start planning your days ahead.

Reception and Tour of Chicago's Iconic Chess Records with Amy Bizzarri on May 26: Join Amy Bizzarri, author of the Best Hits on the Blues Highway, for an afternoon reception and private tour of iconic Chess Records benefiting Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. $60.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

5. Where's Justin? Streeterville

Photo of a man standing next to a statue
Justin waits to eat breakfast at Yolk while reading the place immortalizing Captain George "Cap" Wellington Streeter. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

🏆 77% of you guessed correctly that Justin was in Streeterville.

He's standing at the site of the Captain Streeter statue on McClurg Street in front of the Yolk restaurant.

The intrigue: Streeter was a captain whose boat got stuck on a Lake Michigan sandbar, and instead of trying to find a way out, he just declared it "United States District of Lake Michigan'' and refused to follow any laws.

  • The area was filled in with debris after the Chicago Fire and became a shanty town, run by Streeter. The city fought him for decades up until his death in 1921.

The bottom line: That's why the posh lakefront neighborhood is named after him.

Thanks to all who played! You can play all of our past "Where's Axios?" games here.

Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Aurora Martínez.

🦮 Carrie may submit an application for her dog to be PetSmart's new Chief Toy Tester. There's a possible $10K on the table! I sense Stage Mom taking over…

👩‍⚖️ Monica will be working on her Axios stories from the Daley Center while she waits to be called for jury duty. She may or may not be wearing a Princess Leia costume.

🍻 Justin is ready for tonight at The Hideout! Sarah Spain, Greg Pratt, cicada tastings? Best Wednesday night ever!

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