As a guy who failed to make it as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles, returned to Chicago with no job, and now lives with his mother, Mike Preston has a lot he could complain about. But he doesn’t. “Nobody owes you anything,” he likes to say. Instead the Crystal Lake native and former social […]
Deep conversation finds a nice home in the suburbs.
Fire investigator Bill Cosgrove sees it all the time: a candle, a flame, and a finger going through it. “People are curious about fire,” he says. “Children are the most curious. You don’t really get burned when you run your finger through a flame, if you go real fast. I don’t do it because I’ve […]
Chris Carter is sitting in a restaurant on Lincoln Avenue playing with our minds. He hands a book to my friend Sue and tells her to pick a word. Any word at all. Memorize it. Think about it. Now close the book. We wait while he studies Sue’s face. The book is one of those […]
Bob Pierron has never led a particularly quiet life. A jeweler for 30 years, he also ran jewelry classes, exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, produced sculptures in wood–including an abstract series for the Woodwork Corporation of America–and made tiny masks out of silver and gold wire, which he sold out of his gallery, […]
Celebrity surgery: they’re doing it, and they want you to watch.
“Chekhov always wrote about people gazing off into the middle distance,” says Martha Webster, a Chicago actress and director. “That’s what people did with radio. They gazed off into the middle distance and used their imaginations.” In her 60s, Webster quotes the classic line from Mame: “I’m somewhere between 40 and death.” She remembers the […]
Here Comes the Bugs!
Jorianne, the coffee psychic, drops a little bit of half-and-half into Marc Silvia’s cup. She stares at it intently, moving the cup from side to side. “Do you ever dress like a woman?” she asks. “And what are you doing with your hair?” Silvia, an actor, looks surprised. Sure, he’s been known to dress up […]
Toys are not merely playthings, but a reflection of our culture and the world itself. They shape and mold the next wave of grown-ups. What, then, should we make of the gorilla invasion at F.A.O. Schwarz? That fabled toy store is a veritable ape sanctuary these days. Stuffed gorillas. Plastic ones. Gorillas puppets. Gorillas that […]
The Rough and Tumble Sport of Wheelchair Fencing
The Simpson Trial in Perspective
The Year of Microbial Mayhem
But you have to admit they know how to take a joke.
“Superman is dead. Long live Superman,” shouts a 30-ish guy, fist clenched, arm waving wildly in the cold night air. A kid of about ten calls back, “I’m glad he’s dead. He’s boring!” A pack of fans hisses at the kid. “Watch it, someone tells him. “You’re talking about the man of steel.” The fist […]