Unfettered, unmetered, and, most importantly, free access to the unbelievable archives of the New Yorker—it’s a dream for lovers of longreads. Taking a spin around the digital stacks of this standard bearer of literary journalism can be a daunting task considering quality often runs hand in hand with word count. We combed through to find the Chicago stories hidden within the now open archives (which cover stories published since 2007); while the magazine’s famous Saul Steinberg map of Manhattan suggests a certain east coast bias, we had no problems finding exemplary profiles and stories about our own city.
Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.
“A Man of Taste” by D.T. Max
A 2008 profile of Alinea’s Grant Achatz about his recovery from tongue cancer and rediscovery of taste.
“The Urban Wild” by Amy Waldman
Fascinating profile of local architectural superstar Jeanne Gang from earlier this year, showcasing her affinity for nature via her plan for a new aquarium.
“Mr. Ayers’s Neighborhood” by David Remnick
The New Yorker editor catches up with the controversial former Weatherman right after he became an election talking point in 2008.
“Rough Rider” by Connie Bruck
A look at Sam Zell’s plans for the Tribune company right after his multibillion dollar acquisition.
“Class Warrior” by Carlo Rotella
Arne Duncan’s ambitions to overhaul the school system are chronicled by a long-time writer and academic.
“The Daley Show” by Evan Osnos
An examination of Chicago’s political dynasty in 2010, which cites Mike Royko’s great quote that Richard M. Daley had “all the charisma of a plate of corned beef and cabbage.”
“Crime Fiction” by Nicholas Schmidle
The New Yorker staff writer delves into a murder conviction stemming from a case in the early 1990s, suggesting justice may not have been served.
“The Morest” by A.J. Liebling
One of Liebling’s suave dissections of the sweet science, in this case a 1962 Chicago fight between Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson.
“The Real-Estate Artist” by John Colapinto
A profile from earlier this year of the work of local urban-renewal revolutionary and artist Theaster Gates, a self-described “hustler.”
“Adaptation” by Eric Kleinberg
The sociologist looks at how cities can adapt to and overcome natural disasters, citing the Chicago heat wave of 1995.
BONUS: “Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg” by Malcolm Gladwell
This 1999 profile of the city’s gregarious and socially connected Commissioner of Cultural Affairs was partially reprinted in Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. (This is posted on the writer’s own site, not the New Yorker archive)