New York had Broadway. LA had Hollywood. Chicago had magic.
Opening the archives of an insurgent TV show.
The sacrifices it takes to win on Wall Street
Chicago’s Last Commercial Fishery
It took them more than a hundred years to dig it out. Now they’re filling it back up.
It’s night, and the first floor of the building is dark and deserted. But as you make your way up the stairs, the pounding of Native American drums begins to echo through the hallways and the faint smell of turpentine enters the air. On the third floor the drums get louder, the turpentine scent stronger. […]
Notes From the Underground Economy
The Santa Fe rail yards, abandoned warehouses, and dusty streets near Ashland and the South Branch of the Chicago River seem empty, but just past dawn on this early Sunday morning Santa-Fe Grapes, 2733 S. Ashland, is bustling with customers. “Come on in and taste the grapes.” Paul Alleruzzo gestures to a stocky, gray-haired man […]
Robert Rudd and Sammy Cooper are standing in the lobby of the Embassy Apartments. Behind them is a large art-deco mirror with a relief of a woman in a flowing white dress that stretches to form the bottom and sides of the mirror. In front of them is a small office with a switchboard. The […]
“You want a live chicken?” asked the short Oriental woman, gesturing to two curious young men on Chicago Avenue. “C’mon in here, I get you live chicken.” She opened the screen door of the small, windowless shop, revealing a stream of water, hay, and chicken feed running across the cement floor. “You look inside the […]
Traffic is deadlocked at the intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway, and as a driver struggles to negotiate a right turn he is suddenly greeted by a short man who, thrusting himself into the middle of the now moving traffic, raises his right arm high above his head, and then pushes his left forward in […]
In 1915, Michael Figliulo, who now lives in Streamwood, was hired to work as a motorcycle stuntman in Chicago for Mack Sennett, the legendary creator of the Keystone Kops movies. At that time Sennett’s studio was headquartered in Hollywood, but because the young western town could not duplicate Chicago’s urban backdrops, many of his action […]