Chicago Reader print issue cover of October 13, 2022 (Vol. 52, No. 1): Now Playing! Chicago's history in movie ads cover story by Yolanda Perdomo with cover photo by Yijun Pan, plus: Mental Health & Police, Snakesploitation, and Pdlasie Club
On the cover: Photo of Adam Carston and his collections by Yijun Pan. Credit: Yijun Pan

“Good things come to those who wait,” the adage goes.

Back in the summer of 2009, I found myself in Chicago as an alternative journalism fellow at Medill, and I quickly fell in love with the city, its people, culture, and greasy spoons (if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough, I can still taste the chili at Ramova Grill). Around the same time, I also started a one-sided love affair with the Reader.

Armed with the vim and vigor only a self-assured freelancer can possess, I transformed some of my big city exploits into would-be Best of Chicago blurbs I pitched to the then-editor. The entries encompassed topics such as “Best non-Latin neighborhood display of copyright infringement” and “Best place to get coffee and potentially pick up a foreign STI along the way.” I never heard back.

A few years later, my upward masthead journey landed me at the alt-weekly in Santa Fe, where I started as arts and culture editor, and was later promoted to deputy editor. Admiring from afar the quality content the Reader was producing, and with my unrequited relationship still going strong, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the managing editor position—a big leap for me at the time, that I felt I was ready for. I was interviewed, but ultimately it wasn’t my turn, and the position was filled by someone more qualified. My dream job at my dream outlet, all while living in my dream apartment (atop Cafe Jumping Bean in Pilsen) would have to wait.

Chicago Reader editor in chief Enrique Limón stands next to a yellow Reader newspaper box, with a pale yellow backdrop.
Enrique Limón Credit: Sarah Joyce/GlitterGuts

A stint as managing editor and later editor in chief at the alternative publication in Salt Lake City as well as helming the launch of an international news startup followed. All the while, I kept thinking of the one that got away. 

That all changed this month.

Shaping the Reader’s latest incarnation as a full-fledged nonprofit newsroom is not a responsibility I take lightly. The storied publication and its talented staff continue to be a force, and it’s my pleasure to usher in what its next 50 years in the community will look like.

The road might have been long, but trust me when I say the prize is oh so sweet. Cheers to what lies ahead! (Oh, and if anyone has leads on that apartment, please let me know.)

From Vol. 52, No. 1

Indie rock, immortalized

Local filmmaker Dan Stewart spent the summer shooting Local Band, a feature film dedicated to Chicago’s DIY music scene.

A new kind of recipe book

From Abby Pucker and community venture Gertie comes (A)Part, Chicago’s combination foodie guide, city map, and cultural experiment.

Tough calls

When the police bring too many risks with them, where can you turn in a crisis?