Axios Chicago

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๐Ÿ’ธ Happy Wednesday! On this day in 1848, The Chicago Board of Trade opened.

  • Today's weather: Are you ready for a wintry mix? Snow with a high of just 39.

Today's newsletter is 912 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Preventing parking attendant assault

The pop-up on the Park Chicago app. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

The Park Chicago app is alerting users of new penalties aimed at protecting parking enforcement agents.

Why it matters: There are an increasing number of city workers who've been threatened or experienced violence on the job, says downtown Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who proposed the ordinance that passed in November.

Between the lines: While Chicago doesn't track data on assaults against city workers, Hopkins said at a November hearing that they've received "an overwhelming amount of personal narratives and anecdotal stories" from workers feeling threatened.

What they're saying: "While performing my duties, I've encountered multiple interactions with unhappy patrons and parkers," parking attendant Ashley Campbell testified at the November hearing. "While enforcing in the Lakeview area a patron was driving down Belmont and decided to throw a drink at me."

How it works: The ordinance extends protections to parking meter attendants, health inspectors, ward superintendents, Animal Care and Control, and other workers with the authority to issue citations.

  • Under state law, anyone who physically harms โ€” or threatens to physically harm โ€” another person can be charged with assault and face jail time, but Chicago police can now also add the ordinance violation to the charge in these cases.
  • That means that if the Cook County State's Attorney's Office chooses not to pursue the case, it'll still be sent to the city's Law Department, where city lawyers can seek a fine up to $1,000.
  • Police can also choose to charge someone who assaults a protected city worker solely with violating the ordinance.

Full story

2. ๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot new restaurants this spring

Tuna crudo at Gemini Grill. Photo courtesy of Ballyhoo Hospitality

Spring arrived with a fresh bouquet of restaurants offering the scents of escargot, kabobs and lots of steak.

Gemini Grill: This new Streeterville eatery, which anchors the One Chicago luxury residences at 748 N. State across from Holy Name Cathedral, is the twin to sister Ballyhoo Hospitality restaurant Gemini in Lincoln Park.

  • On the menu: Eclectic, boldly flavored fare, from bigeye tuna crudo and panzanella to a Korean fried chicken or blackened grouper sandwich.
food on table
Assorted dishes from La Serre. Photo courtesy of DineAmic Hospitality

La Serre Chicago: This new Fulton Market spot aims to capture the taste of coastal France in a greenhouse-inspired setting with a 2,000-square-foot terrace.

  • On the menu: Grilled escargot, sole meuniere, steak topped with herbs de Provence flavored butter, and seafood towers with Dijon aioli.

Avaspi: Turkish and Kurdish specialties get the Chicago treatment at this new Lakeview lounge and restaurant.

  • On the menu: Kebabs, dips, salads, mixed grill plates, calamari and kebabs.

More openings

dining room
Dining room at Avaspi. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

3. Chart of the day: Sell your house in the summer

2023 Chicago home sale premiums, by listing date
Data: Zillow; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Chicago-area homes listed in June could fetch more money, per a new Zillow report.

The big picture: May has long been the best month to list your house in the U.S. But in 2023, sellers made the highest profits in the first two weeks of June, a Zillow study shows.

  • This shift is largely due to mortgage rates, which cooled slightly in June and brought some buyers off the sidelines.

4. Tips and hot links: CSO taps new conductor

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti, performs in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017. Photo: Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images

๐ŸŽถ The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has hired conductor Klaus Mรคkelรค to succeed Ricardo Muti. Mรคkelรค will become the youngest music director in the orchestra's history when he starts in 2027. (WBEZ)

ย ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Mayor Brandon Johnson named Cristina Pacione-Zayas his chief of staff after the departure of Rich Guidice. (Tribune)

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough has been hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. She's in critical condition. (ABC 7)

๐ŸŽญ SCTV star Joe Flaherty has died at age 82. The "Freaks & Geeks" star started his career at the Second City in Chicago. (Sun-Times)

5. ๐Ÿ‘ Crossing guard appreciation

Eden Robins working as a crossing guard in Albany Park. Photo courtesy of Kyle Thiessen

When Chicago novelist Eden Robins was looking for a part-time gig with health insurance last year, she took a job as a CPS crossing guard and loved it, she writes in Slate.

Why it matters: Chicago needs crossing guards โ€” there are currently 23 open positions around the city, CPS officials tell Axios.

Zoom in: The job requires just 10 hours of work a week at a starting wage of $16, but it offers benefits to both the worker and their dependents.

What they're saying: "After my essay ran in Slate, I learned that a bunch of people โ€” particularly artists and writers โ€” have applied to be crossing guards," Robins, who wrote the celebrated novel "When Franny Stands Up," tells Axios.

  • "One of them even approached me on the street with questions about the interview. Honestly, I haven't felt like I've done this much of a public service since I sold sex toys."

What's next: Although Crossing Guard Appreciation Month ended a couple of weeks ago, nominations for CPS Crossing Guard of the Year remain open until April 15.

  • Also Robins' new novel "Remember You Will Die," which she wrote while working as a crossing guard, comes out this fall. It's available for pre-order.
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Stay booked and busy

๐Ÿ“… Upcoming events around the city.

From Day One at Venue Six10 on April 9: Building a Culture for Workers and Companies to Thrive in Times of Change. This conference is reserved for principals in business who are ready and able to effect change within their organizations, industries, teams, and communities. $99-$399.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

6. ๐Ÿฅถ 1 fan gripe to go

Fans look on during the seventh inning between the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field on Monday. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi, it's Justin.

Chicago baseball fans have braved the elements before, but today they will be tested with a forecast calling for โ€ฆ snow.

The big picture: Both Chicago teams are playing long stretches at home to start the season, forcing fans to pay for expensive tickets in less-than-ideal conditions.

The intrigue: Major League Baseball has both the Red Sox and Yankees on the road in warm weather cities to start this season.

  • But not here in Chicago.

Thought bubble: I'm all for braving the elements. It's a rite of passage in Chicago to layer up and cheer on your squad in person. But it means fewer fans show up, and ballpark vendors take a hit.

  • As ticket and concession prices surge, it feels like the league is overlooking us!

Edited by Alexa Mencia and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

๐Ÿ’ก BTW: Did you know where Justin was yesterday? He was at the 3 Arts Club Cafe in the Restoration Hardware building in the Gold Coast. The building was erected in 1914 but was turned into RH Chicago in 2015.

โ˜€๏ธ Carrie wants to know what everyone is doing for Monday's solar eclipse. Tell her if you have any fun plans!

๐Ÿ“ Monica is excited about the early opening of Green City Market this Saturday.

๐ŸŽญ Justin is sad. Flaherty was the best.

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