Category: Word

Poster Children’s debut album is getting a vinyl reissue

Poster Children have announced that their 1989 debut record Flower Plower is getting a vinyl reissue in February, 2023. The album is being pressed as a double record on Lotuspool Records, with the original eight songs on black vinyl, and nine bonus tracks and demos on white vinyl. 

According to the band's Facebook post, pre-orders for the record will begin in January, and will be released around the end of February — roughly the same release date as bassist Rose Marshack's book Play Like a ManKeep an eye on the band's Facebook for more information on the pre-order.

Album cover from Poster Children's Facebook.

Top image from Brooklyn Vegan's website.


United Way is hosting Battle of the Paddle on August 24th

Four teams will compete in a ping pong tournament on Taylor Street in Downtown Champaign to raise money for United Way's Early Grade Level Success Initiative. United Way CEO Sue Grey, U of I Women's Tennis Coach Evan Clark, U of I Men's Tennis Coach Brad Dancer, and U of I Wrestling Coach Mike Poeta will lead the teams, which are made of community members representing area businesses, nonprofit organizations, school districts, and governement. 

Members of the community are invited to watch the action. There will be free samples from Heartland Coca-Cola, free CBPB Popcorn (while supply lasts), and the Kona Ice Truck will be there.

If you want to donate to the cause, you can do that here.

Top photo from United Way of Champaign County Facebook page.


The new MTD service year has begun, with a few changes

The 2022-2023 service year for MTD started August 14th, and there are some modifications to routes that were made to help alleviate the impact of an ongoing driver shortage. They are focusing their resources on their highest capacity routes, to ensure better frequency. Here are those modifications:

  • Previously, frequencies on the 22/220 Illini varied between 10 and 20 minutes. For our new Service Year, MTD is providing 15-minute frequencies during Daytime service, and 20-minute frequencies during Evening service after 7PM.
  • Previously, frequencies on the 12 Teal Daytime varied between 10 and 30 minutes, and between 30 and 50 minutes at Orchard Downs. For our new Service Year, MTD is providing 10 to 20-minute frequencies during Daytime service, and 20- 30-minute frequencies to Orchard Downs.
  • Previously, frequencies on the 13/130 Silver varied between 10 and 30 minutes, with 40-minute frequencies during Evening service. For our new Service Year, MTD is providing 15-minute frequencies during Daytime service and retaining 40-minute frequencies during Evening service after 7PM.
  • Previously, frequencies on the 10 Gold varied between 30 and 60 minutes for locations west of Lot E-14 and east of Lincoln Square, and between 10 and 20 minutes for points in between. For our new Service Year, MTD is providing consistent 30-minute frequencies for locations west of Lot E-14 and east of Lincoln Square, and retaining 10- to 20-minute frequencies for points in between.

See all of the changes, and find the full bus schedule at the MTD website.

Top photo by Anna Longworth.


Immersion Festival is happening August 18-20

Immersion Festival returns this year on August 18-20. Three days of immersive light and sound will fill downtown Urbana, as you can experience surround sound music, live projections, interactive music, and much more. 

Locations this year include NOLA's, Cohen Building, and Rose Bowl Tavern. For more details on the event, check out the Facebook event page here. The event is free. Check out the poster below.

Poster from Immersion Festival's Facebook.

Top image from Immersion Festival's Facebook.


A quick traffic guide to U of I move-in week

The week students return to campus is notoriously troublesome for Champaign-Urbana locals trying to navigate the community. Consider this a PSA that those days are just around the corner, and use this as a mini guide to maneuvering the area.

Early arrival begins for select students on August 14-15th, followed by living learning communities on August 16th. Official move in day begins with freshman and first year students on August 17-18, and returning students and the rest of campus August 19-21. 

Apart from the very earliest date (which commences at high noon), the mayhem begins by 8:30 am each day.

Those concerned about road closures and traffic increases can consult the University Housing Move-In Website. Google Maps and our other satellite navigation ally’s may not be very accurate in this chaotic window of time. However, a general rule of thumb for the above dates is to try and avoid the campus grid (1st street-Kirby-Lincoln-Green) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the peak days of August 17-20.

The hot spots of note are listed below:

  • Kirby/Florida Avenue
  • Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Stadium Drive
  • Gregory Drive
  • Green Street, especially from the I-74, I-72, and I-57 ramps

Good luck, and stay safe out there.

Top image by University of Illinois Housing.


The next Shinrin Onyoku at Japan House is August 21st

Have you attended Shinrin Onyoku or "forest bathing" at Japan House yet? They've been hosting this event on the third Sunday of the month throughout the spring and summer, and there's another opportunity on August 21st.

You can enjoy yakitori, grilled corn with miso butter, and edamame from Michael's Catering, as well as an assortment of treats from the Matcha Cafe, including mochi bites, Kakigori (shaved ice), matcha, and sake. 

Music will be provided by DJ Van Paugam of Chicago. He'll be playing "vintage Japanese 70s and 80s vinyl records in the style of City Pop: a musical genre born in Japan and tied to the economic miracle that caused a boom in almost every sector of the country's industries."

The event itself is free. If you register ahead of time, you can pre-order a bento box from Michael's Catering for $15. Music begins at 4:30 p.m.

Top photo by Anna Longworth.

Photo / Word

Shawarma Joint’s Urbana location opens this month

Shawarma Joint, the Campustown restaurant known for excellent shawarma, will open a second location in Urbana on University Avenue this month. The halal restaurant confirmed on the phone that the Urbana location's opening date is expected to be Monday, August 22nd. 

The new Shawarma Joint will have a similar set-up to the original Green Street location: fast casual meals assembled-to-order like Subway or Chipotle. The new location is large with indoor booth seating in addition to patio tables with umbrellas. Plenty of parking is available in front and on the side of the restaurant. The new Shawarma Joint is located in the same plaza as Po' Boys and Rainbow Garden near the intersection of Five Points in Urbana.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Check out my review of the Campustown Shawarma Joint's falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, tabouli salad, gyro pita meal, and a chicken shawarma bowl here.

Shawarma Joint
102 E University Ave
Suite B

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.



Espresso Royale is headed back to Daniel Street

It was a crushing blow to a lot of folks, myself included, to see the Espresso Royale at the corner of Sixth and Daniel have to close in 2019. It was demolished along with the rest of the block to make way for a new development of commercial space, apartments, and University offices. 

But Espresso fans can rejoice! There will be a new cafe opening at 604 E. Daniel Street, just east of the former location. Work is happening in the space, and it's expected to open sometime in early fall. You can expect the Espresso Royale menu you're familiar with from the other locations, and there will be some bar seating and nitro cold brew on tap.

Stay tuned for an official opening date, and be sure to read Alyssa's interview with owner Douglas McCarver about how Café Kopi kept Espresso Royale in business. 

Top photo provided by Victor Cronenberg. 


Urbana Park District is hosting Climate Action Week August 22-28

Urbana Park District has a week's worth of activities planned for their inaugural Climate Action Week, happening August 22-28 at locations throughout the area. You can visit their website for a full rundown of events for the week, but here is a taste:

August 22nd

  • Weather Station tour at Illinois State Water Survey Building #6
  • Bat Walk at Crystal Lake Park

August 23rd

  • Geothermal Power Hour at Parkland College

August 24th

  • Wednesday Workday at Crystal Lake Park
  • Lunch and Learn: Climate Change & Health Impacts, Solutions & You at Crystal Lake Park

August 25th

  • Lunch and Learn: Being Climate Conscious, Creatively on Zoom

August 26th

  • C4 Happy Hour Hike, Crystal Lake Park
  • C4 Green Drinks - Ask the Illinois State Climatologist, Riggs Beer Co.

August 27th

Climate Action Week Main Event, Lake House at Crystal Lake Park - Meet local artist Kim Curtis and contribute to her sculpture “Harvest: A Monument to Plastic Waste”

  • Live music--unplugged!--from Backyard BBQ Band (1:15 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.)
  • Guided hikes at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
  • Free snacks and refreshments in partnership with Common Ground Food Co-Op
  • Bicycle check-ups with Champaign County Bikes
  • Voter registration, hands-on activities, and more!

There are also ongoing activities throughout the week including a coat drive, stationary drive, and plastic toy swap. 

Top photo from Urbana Park District Facebook page.


Monk in Retrospect; exhibit of the art and work of David Monk, will be on display at the IMC

The silkscreens, photographs, and memorabilia of longtime environmental activist, artist, educator, radio host and prairie champion David Monk will be on view at the Independent Media Center Gallery, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana, from August 12-28. Gallery hours are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 2 to 5 p.m.

A black and white images of a row of tall prairie plants growing amongst prairie grass. © David Monk, Birdstrip, 1973.© David Monk, Birdstrip, 1973.

On Sunday, August 14th from 2 to 5 p.m. there will be a party at the IMC honoring Monk and his art. Live music will be hosted by The Prairie Dogs, with performances by gospelish blues group Ther’UP.Y, Dorothy Martirano and All-Star friends, and Night Groove.

Prints, photographs, and silkscreened clothing will be on display and available to take home.


There are a lot of cooking class opportunities coming up at Common Ground

Common Ground has been doing monthly virtual cooking classes for a while now, and August's offering is extra exciting. They are partnering with Sola Gratia Farm on August 21st from 3 to 5 p.m to create a menu that utilizes some of the yummy peak harvest season produce. With your kit, you'll be able to make roasted eggplant and cherry tomatoes, crispy seasoned chickpeas, tulsi basil tahini sauce, cucumber quinoa salad with a jalapeño vinaigrette served with a side of pita bread. All proceeds from the class will be donated to Sola Gratia. Register, then pick up your class kit on August 19th from 4 to 6 p.m. 

In other exciting news, in person cooking classes are coming back! Paul Young, who is a regular contributer to our food section, will be hosting some classes in the Flatlander Classroom. Follow the links to register. Space is limited.

  • Taste of Asia, August 30th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. You'll learn to prepare four appetizers from different Asian culinary traditions. 
  • Taste of China series, September 20th, October 11th, November 1st, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Each class will explore a variation of Chinese cuisine: Cantonese, Sichuan, and Shanghai. You can attend any or all classes in the series.

All in person classes are $60 per person, with a 10 percent off promo code for owners.

Top photo from Common Ground Facebook page.


Lanxang, the new Thai-Lao restaurant, is pretty tasty

I recently tried Lanxang, the new Thai-Lao restaurant on S Neil Street in Champaign, and was not disappointed. I ordered #19, pad khee mao with tofu, medium spicy ($12.95) and it was full of veggies and big, fat chewy noodles. Medium spicy was quite spicy — certainly spicier than other restaurants’ mediums — but still pleasurable while not overpowering the actual food. I also ordered #54, sweet rice and mango ($5.95), which was absolutely delicious. It came with a drizzle of coconut milk and cashew garnishes. At $6 it might be among the most affordable versions of this dish in C-U, and the portion size was substantial. 

I ordered this food for delivery, which was fast. The food arrived hot, and there was plenty to share with another person. 

905 S Neil
M-Sa 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Top photo by Jessica Hammie.