Here comes the cop
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is engaged.
McCarthy told the Chicago Sun-Times he proposed to Chicago personal injury attorney Kristin Barnette at the Hancock Building’s Signature Room last week.
McCarthy admitted that he has gone through some tough times since coming to Chicago, stating, “I’ve gone through some extreme life changes in the past few years: coming to Chicago, going through a long separation and subsequent divorce process which ended a 28-year marriage — and having a heart attack.”
“At the end of the day, this is a chance for a new beginning,” McCarthy explained. “Kristin is really smart, witty and really takes good care of me.”
“She saved my life when I was having a heart attack,” the police superintendent added. “I didn’t know what was wrong and was hesitant to go to a hospital — and she handed me an aspirin and practically threw me in a cab.”
Barnette is the niece of 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman Randy Barnette, who is married to Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th). The Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed described McCarthy’s fiancé as a “no nonsense” kind of person.
Fire on the water
The city’s inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival, which is inspired by the fire that destroyed much of Chicago in 1871, is scheduled for Saturday.
The main attraction is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will feature fireworks launched from three sculptures of Victorian-style houses and flaming buoys floating on the Chicago River between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. A corresponding street fest in the area is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
“[The show is] a celebration of Chicago's creative spirit and resilience,” said Jim Lasko, executive artistic director of Redmoon Theater, which planned the show. “At a time when the story dominating every news headline about Chicago appears to be about violence, we are focusing on stories of grit that are just as true and real and important.”
Today was the last day of business for Hot Doug’s, the Avondale hot dog stand with a cult-like following.
Prior to his final day in business, Hot Doug’s owner Doug Sohn – who has personally manned the counter at his restaurant five-and-a-half hours a day, six days a week for the past 14 years – talked to Sarah Collins of the Chicago Sun-Times about what he’s learned about the city’s residents over that time.
“[Chicago] has this stereotype of this blue collar, Ditka kind of feeling. And yeah, maybe it did 40 or 50 years ago. That’s not the case anymore,” Sohn said. “You have this incredibly varied, multicultural microcosm of America in a lot of ways.”
As for what he’ll be doing with his free time, “Hot Doug” himself said, “I’ve been keeping lists of restaurants and chefs who’ve come in who now all owe me lunch. I’ll be cashing in for the next year. I’ll be exploring during the daytime during the week all the things I haven’t been able to for the last 14 years.”