Posted inMusic

Sideman’s holiday

When Ronnie Wood appeared onstage at the Vic on November 27–elfin, his long black hair spiked straight up, wearing a gold shirt and red silk vest, grinning expansively–the perennial sideman was finally front and center. But even while leading his own band, the Rolling Stones guitarist again proved that the best results are often born […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Borrowed Car

It was just after 2 AM when Steve Archer was ripped from a deep sleep by the explosive roar of a car gunning through the alley beneath his Wicker Park bedroom window–his deepest sleep, the loudest, fastest car. He bolted out of bed, expecting to see a police chase. Struggling to open the old wooden […]

Posted inNews & Politics


For the last two years I’ve indulged every other week in a shoeshine at the barbershop in the lobby of the skyscraper where I work downtown. Walking in I say hello to Rio, the shoeshine man. “Need a shine?” he asks softly, his form thin and bent, face drowsy-looking, smoking a cigarette. “Yes, please.” I […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mr. Windex

Mr. Windex does windows. Inside and out, he washes the windshields of hundreds of taxicabs every day, joking and hollering, parading and performing as he squirts and wipes. In his brown trousers and dingy Chicago Bears T-shirt he walks confidently among the moving cabs–past them, between them, patting the hoods and yelling greetings to the […]