Colgate-Palmolive Building

Art Deco. First place, the Empire State Building. Second Place, the Colgate-Palmolve Building in Chicago. Home of Hugh Hefner’s original Playboy Club. Later, the the building became home to the corporate and working offices of Playboy Magazines and Playboy Enterprises.playboy-club

colgate-palmolive

The First Playboy Club

Palmolive Building from ralph braseth on Vimeo.

The Palmolive is one of the most distinctive and beautiful in the city. It sits in the heart of Streeterville within spitting distance of the Drake and Knickerbocker hotels just off Lake Michigan. At one point it was the tallest structure in the neighborhood and the searchlight atop the building used to attract lots of attention to the Playboy Club, the very first Playboy Club which opened up in this building in 1962. Can you imagine the parties? More on this at another time, but it wasn’t merely a sexy club with sexy bunnies, it was a status symbol for the established and the up and comers. Another story for another time as well, Chicago’s well heeled black community joined their wealthy brethren at the Playboy Club. Hugh Hefner wasn’t anywhere nearly as interested in black and white as he was green. Don’t for a second think the Playboy Club was first and foremost a capitalist venture. Hefner printed money.

I’ll try harder

The search light atop the old Playboy Club, Chicago

Over the course of 10 years I’ve probably started and stopped 20 blogs. Some were too specific. Some were just plain boring. Others, while worthwhile, I simply didn’t follow through. I believe I’ve found a subject that will inspire me to actually do some work on this site every once in a while. I’m a journalism professor by trade. I’ve been teaching and practicing¬† journalism for more than 25 years. I started out thinking I could help change the world. That changed quickly enough. I hadn’t worked in TV news six months before I figured out how screwed up it is most of the time. I become interested in crime, cops and courts. I still am. I was an agriculture reporter for two years. That was the toughest and best journalism job I ever had. Only farmers watch farm shows and those people know their business. It forced me to start double and triple checking facts. I’ve covered sports, cotton, crooks, presidents and crack addicts and all were interesting. I’m no longer interested in breaking stories. I don’t want to investigate anything. I want to express my opinion if I have something to say and I want to tell stories.¬†¬† I’m intensely interested in people. Given a choice I prefer old people, blue collar workers and poor people, but I like them all. So here’s to stories about people. I take ’em as I find ’em.