Team Players

We all read with great humility about the Chicago Reader selecting the Chicago Cultural Center as ‘Best Free Shows’ in Chicago [March 26]. Peter Margasak generously complimented our ‘music team’ but left out one very important person, Helen Vasey, who tirelessly coordinates all our classical, opera and vocal music programming. We certainly understand since Peter Margasak doesn’t cover that particular music scene but wanted to make sure that she is recognized for all the great work she does here at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Chicago Cultural Center’s “Music Team”

Michael Orlove, Carlos Tortolero and Brian Keigher

A Better Best Book?

Re: Best Book About Chicago, Ever, in Best of Chicago 2009, March 26

Firstly, anyone who thinks The Jungle is “unconvincing” should be forced into a time machine and required to work a 12-14 hour shift there. Secondly, hello, Nelson Algren is 100 years old this year. Chicago: City on the Make. How does he not even win the dismissive mention he’s accustomed to? Thirdly, Devil in the White City, written by a Wall Street Journal reporter, makes it seem like the Reader only gets read by the squares in Lakeview who just moved here from Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and have only heard of that book. Viva Nelson Algren.

Frankie Machine

The editors reply:

Frankie, you may enjoy this week’s cover story.

Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek. The ONLY book about Chicago.


It stands to reason a newspaper would have a nonfiction slant, but how could you overlook The Adventures of Augie March? It’s the Moby Dick (or make that Huck Finn) of Chicago novels.

Jack Seaver

Taco Tip

Re: Best Cheap Mexican Restaurant, in Best of Chicago 2009, March 26

If you are looking for a place that has enough vegetarian selections to satisfy those so inclined in your crowd; let me put in my 2 cents for Taqueria Taco Bueno on Cermak west of Damen. In addition to the usual avocado and beans and rice, they have really good huitlacoche and flor de calabasa, not to mention really good hongos. Add nopales, grilled onions, potatoes, fried eggs, rajas con queso etc as fillings, you have a smorgasbord of options. There are other taquerias in the neighborhood, but for my money this is the best place for vegetarians.


Pondering Poi Dog

Re: Best Rock or Pop Act in Best of Chicago 2009, March 26

Dear people in the great city of Chicago: Please get out more. Love, A ton of amazing bands you’re missing out on