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Category: Photo

Urbana temporary statuary—gotta catch them all?

Are we still doing that? Is that still a thing? Oh, good. 

Urbana Public Arts acquires artworks, sometimes on a temporary basis. Turns out, five of them are expiring between now and the end of 2016, so there's a limited amount of time to see them in the wild...before they are gone... forever. 

Also, four of them are Pokestops and one is a Gym, so you're going there anyway, right? Maybe it'll be the place you finally find a MewToo! (apparently some guy keeps finding them on campus, why not you?) 

Here's a list of the statues that will expire before the end of November, so get up, get out, and remember to look around you while you're hunting. If you want a few more hints, there's a .pdf map to download

Image blatantly stolen from said .pdf map, copyright UPA. 


Maize is serving watermelon water

And it's delicious.

This sweet, refreshing beverage is available in medium or large, and for about $2, is the perfect affordable foil to spicy food on a hot day.

Maize is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; call in your order at (217) 355-6400. 

Photo by Jessica Hammie. 


Apparently, the Pocket Prairie is now off-limits from 6 p.m.-6 a.m.

Do you know what the Pocket Prairie is? If not, you should. It is one of the best hidden-gems-of-sort in Champaign-Urbana.

I'm not sure who is to blame here, but if you've been messing with the Pocket Prairie and not respecting the Prairie Monk's work, we're gonna have problems.

This sign, above, posted last night. Typically you're able to go in there, but apparently that is no longer. At least, at the moment.


You can explore C-U in Pokemon Go and it’s awesome

If you were a child growing up in the early 2000's like me, you were probably infatuated with Pokemon, the game that we all played on our Gameboys for a solid 4-5 years of childhood. Now, Pokemon is back, with a new augmented reality game for phones called Pokemon Go

The game can be played on smartphones, but is much more exciting than that - it uses real locations, your phone's rear-facing camera and a GPS to simulate the game some of us know and love, seemingly integrating the real world with the fictional world of Pokemon.

Part of the object of the game is to visit "Pokestops" to pick up items, which are scattered across C-U. Most of these are either businesses, landmarks, or public art installations, which require the player to be within about 50 feet to access them.

As you can see in these pictures (standing on Neil St. in Downtown, looking up the street and towards West Side Park), C-U is just littered with these waypoints, making Pokemon Go officially the coolest (and nerdiest?) way to get to know your surroundings while also working towards arbitrary digital goals. 















The app is available on Android and iOS phones, and can be found here. Make sure to not step out into traffic on University Ave trying to catch a Pokemon, though. It is just a game after all.


These “then and now” photos of C-U spots are pure gold

Cary Frye from the Champaign-Urbana History Group might as well be referred to the gift that keeps on giving because of the arsenal of gems at his disposal.

Most recently, this album of photos — amongst a few other random posts — does a "then and now" treatment. For anyone who loves taking a trip back in time, here is your ticket. There are plenty of them, take a look at the album for yourself. There aren't a ton of dates listed, but obviously — one is old, and one is new(er).

I've included some here to take a look at. The caption from the post can be seen below, but this location of 1st and Green has undergone many changes over the years. At one point Derald's existed for a brief stint between Noe's and Maize.

Ye Olde Donut Shop location, NW corner of First and Green.Old photo 1960-1970 (date with photo), BBQ place in 2009 and Mexican restaurant in 2016.

The old Sears building, which is now occupied by various businesses — bookended by the Orpheum and Big Grove. Ordered then, and now of course.

The old train depot in Downtown Champaign, then and now:

The Red Lion on 4th and Green, then and now — which has undergone a few variations over the years. Station!


This photo of Chef Ra is worth celebrating today on the 4th of July

Remember, friends: freedom means different things to different people. Challenging the status quo and being unafraid of fear are worth celebrating.

My friend Jessica, who is from Champaign but has sort of blown up in the international DJ scene in the past couple of years as J.Phlip, dug this photo up and posted it to Facebook, so I wanted to share.

Chef Ra is a local legend, sure — but what is often forgotten is that he was an activist for more than just legalization, which is happening all around us as we move along.

I always saw him as an activist for freedom from fear. I am not sure if he saw himself as that or not, and because I barely knew him, I can't make that call. But my experiences with him were always enlightening and forever memorable. He had words of wisdom. He had great stories to tell. 

Happy 4th, y'all. Be safe, and if the mood should strike, burn one with some friends this evening, and don't drive a car.

The fireworks are way, way better with a sip than without, if that's your thing.


Miga hosting brunch on Sundays with mimosa pitchers

Alright - there are a lot of options for brunch in Champaign, and specifically in Downtown Champaign, but one you may not think of is Miga on Main St.

By the looks of these pictures, their brunch is pretty killer. Featured here are Chashu Benedict and an Omelette Bowl, both of which look divine. I'm hungry now, damn it.

Miga's brunch runs on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and in addition to this delicious food, they offer $3 mimosas or a $15 mimosa pitcher (because everything is better in a pitcher/large quantities) so you can start your Sunday off the right way.

Check out the photos below, and consider stopping by Miga for your next brunch escapade in Champaign-Urbana. 


Pekara offering summer specials

Pekara has a bunch of summer specials, including sandwiches, salads, and drinks. Check 'em out:


MONDAY – Reuben - House sliced corned beef, swiss cheese 1000 island dressing, sauerkraut on toasted Deli Rye.

TUESDAY – Molletes – Beans, pulled pork, pico de gallo, queso Chihuahua and salsa open faced on a warm ciabatta hoagie.

WEDNESDAY – Asian Meatball Hoagie – House made pork meatballs in a tangy BBQ sauce, topped with julienned carrots and green onions on a toasted ciabatta hoagie.

THURSDAY – Buffalo Chicken Panini – Grilled buffalo chicken with bleu cheese on Paesano Sourdough. 

FRIDAY – French Philly – Hot house sliced roast beef melted provolone, lettuce, tomato with an herb mayo on a toasted baguette.

SATURDAY – Midwest Gobbler – Hot house sliced, free range turkey breast, romaine lettuce, crispy bacon, thinly sliced pears with a poppy seed ranch on a toasted baguette.

SUNDAY– Batta Bing – House sliced ham, salami, prosciutto, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini with olive oil and balsamic on a toasted ciabatta hoagie.


MONDAY – Farmer’s Salad – Romaine, cucumbers, tomato, red bell peppers with an avocado vinaigrette.

TUESDAY – Cobb Mexicano – Romaine, hard boiled eggs, pico de gallo, corn, queso Chihuahua and crispy tortilla strips with a creamy chili lime dressing.

WEDNESDAY – Italiano -  Spinach, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a pesto vinaigrette.

THURSDAY – BLT -  cherry tomato, bacon and cucumbers tossed in a poppy seed ranch with focaccia toast spikes.

FRIDAY – Spinach, market asparagus, goat cheese, shaved carrot and crispy prosciutto tossed in a sesame ginger vinaigrette.

SATURDAY – Grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, tossed in a lemon dill vinaigrette over grilled potato garlic sourdough, topped with feta and green onion.

SUNDAY – Spinach, blueberries, walnuts, Anjou pears, bleu cheese tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette.

Daily Drink Specials

Monday:   $2.50 12oz Mocha
Tuesday:    $2.50 12oz Caramel Macchiato
Wednesday:   $2.50 16oz Iced Latte
Thursday:   $2.00 16oz Cold Brew
Friday:     FREE Flavor Shot

Images courtesy of Pekara.


Check out Pizzeria Antica’s new Funghi pizza

A while back, I took a trip to Pizzeria Antica for the first time, and it was pretty impressive. Today, the Downtown Champaign establishment (located just around the corner from Quality) has announced their new Funghi pizza, which, contrary to popular belief, is not just a giant mushroom in the middle of a pizza pie, as I first pictured in my mind when I read the name of the pizza.

What it is, however, is a combination of fresh mozzarella, ricotta pastaio, crimini mushrooms and pancetta that is topped off with white truffle oil and salt.

Gaze upon it longingly above, and then stop in and get yourself one.