Credit: Amber Huff

One night in the not-too-distant past, the stars aligned over the Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and a baby was born. That baby grew up to be the visual artist, music enthusiast, writer, funny lady, and all around amazing human we know as our listings coordinator and interim culture editor Salem Collo-Julin. Raised in Smith Park and Elmhurst, Salem has lived in Philadelphia, but spent most of her life in various Chicago neighborhoods, so each of her favorite local spots (a short list includes Buckingham Fountain, Skylark, the former Checkerboard Lounge and Velvet Lounge sites, and a spot on Lake Shore Drive where she narrowly avoided an accident) are connected with special memories. Salem brings her love for Chicago to the Reader, where in addition to her editorial and listings duties, she writes a weekly column of event recommendations that’s so informative and fun we no longer make any plans without consulting it first. “The Reader has been a presence in my life for my entire life, and it’s a thrill to help bring everything I love about my hometown to the entire world,” she says. “My friends tell me that I’ve found the perfect job for me and I have to agree with them.” When she’s not out and about herself, Salem enjoys hanging out with her large network of family members, her chosen family, her dog Ray Ray, and her new rescue kitty Bosco. If there was a movie about her life, Salem would like to play herself, “à la Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story,” but she says that since she’s still relatively unknown in Hollywood, the directors would probably try to get Demi Lovato. Either way, the rest of the Reader staff would be at the front of the line on opening night.

Twitter: @hollo | IG: @hollohulo

By Salem Collo-Julin