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Posted inNews & Politics

The Riot Stuff

To the editors: In 1968 I was just a kid in the 8th grade on the north side. When the riots occurred after Dr. King’s murder I didn’t follow the news. Twenty years later I’d forgotten all about it. You people have done a fine job not just reporting history [“The Night Chicago Burned,” August […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sunnyland Slim

At this point in his career, the gifts bestowed by Sunnyland Slim transcend music. At 81 he’s not quite the oldest working Chicago bluesman–that honor would probably go to 83-year-old Jimmy Walker–but he’s easily the most resilient, having rebounded from a series of physical setbacks in recent years that would’ve broken the spirit and energy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

My MA diploma says the degree was conferred on me “with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.” Ever since, I have been trying to figure out what rights and privileges I have pertaining thereto. I once even met one of the people who signed the diploma. When I asked him, he said, “Beats me.” […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Take it easy–but not too easy. This tip from a Tufts University expert on aging: “21 days of bed rest equals 50 to 60 years of aging in functional capacity.” “In some ways, Chicago is the most European of all American cities,” writes novelist Sara Paretsky in Savvy (September 1988). “Not a sanitized re-creation of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stage Notes: two new shows put musicians in the spotlight

The phrase “musical theater” conjures up in most people’s minds a fairly specific image: people interrupting their dialogue to break into song; lines of singing dancers strutting on for the big reprise, while a pit band churns out accompaniment. But there is, in the words of Chicago actor-composer Warren Leming, “the other musical theater”–a theater […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

“I would tell anyone to take their vacation in Yellowstone this year,” William Romme told me. “This is a natural event not to be missed.” The natural event he was talking about is the multitude of fires that have burned about 650,000 acres so far in Yellowstone National Park. Romme is a professor of biology […]

Posted inNews & Politics

To Women

I was on my way home from the Jazz Fest, the music, the crowd, the night still smoking in my head. It didn’t matter that summer was almost over; the evening seemed beyond insult. I was sitting on a bench at Clark and Belden waiting for the bus when a woman’s voice abruptly dissolved my […]