Category: City Life

In the spirit of Independence Day, in this nation of immigrants, here's one immigrant's story

Obviously, immigration is all over the news these days. As we celebrate Independence Day, it’s good to remember that all of us, either directly or through our ancestors, came from somewhere else. Even the Native Americans came from Siberia. Here’s one immigrant’s story. Violetta Muzychenko was born in 1950 in the Soviet Union. Specifically, she... Read more »

Cancer patient says cannabis oil treatment has prolonged her life

The days when marijuana was used just to get people high are long gone. As has gone on throughout human history for thousands of years, people around the world are finding that the green, spike-leafed cannabis plant can have beneficial effects for people afflicted with various diseases. Violetta Muzychenko, of the Chicago suburb Grayslake, Ill.,... Read more »

Scores of Chicagoans protest hate graffiti in Lincoln Square on Sunday

On Aug. 27, scores of Chicagoans rallied and marched in Lincoln Square to protest against hate graffiti scrawled across the neighborhood the previous day. On a muggy and overcast afternoon, the crowd gathered at Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., for a preliminary rally before marching to a nearby park. Emily Friend is a... Read more »

Visitors to Chicago's Millennium Park discuss Donald Trump

Back in August of 2016, in the heat of the unprecedented presidential election campaign, I went to Chicago’s downtown Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., to ask people their views on the candidates. Of course, on Nov. 8, in one of the biggest political upsets in American history, Donald Trump was elected president, via the... Read more »

Dead Inside (short fiction)

She was wearing a black-leather mini skirt halfway up her thighs. And her thighs were to-die-for. “Officer, I’d seen this creep in here before,” the witness was telling him. She was seated at the bar stool next to him, not two feet away. “I saw him last Friday night. A young kid – 19, 20.... Read more »

Chicagoans (and visitors) share thoughts on Trump, Clinton and 2016 presidential race

The 2016 U.S. presidential race has been unprecedented, in many ways. For example, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has never held elective office before. The Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is the first woman ever nominated for president of the United States by a major political party. And that, of course, is just scratching the surface... Read more »

Chicago piano master Erwin Helfer releases new CD, plans concert at Old Town School

Chicago has been indispensable to the development of America’s blues music, and this town has had no better practitioner of blues piano than 80-year old master pianist Erwin Helfer. A long-time resident of the city’s North Side, Helfer has been performing professionally since the 1960s. An inveterate bicyclist (“that’s the way I get around,” he... Read more »

Chicagoans remember victims of Orlando massacre in Boystown vigil Monday night

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history, a large crowd gathered on the evening of June 13 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., to remember the scores killed and injured. “I had to be here,” said Ro Lebedow, a 76-year old real estate agent from the city’s Bucktown... Read more »

City strangers (poem)

    Skin in the city. Flesh flashes at you from the sidewalk, from the store.   Sexy strangers in the city, a passing parade of beauty.   The city shimmers and shakes, struts down the sidewalk, shines like the sun.   The city shimmers and shines, and its sunlight is bright, but its strangers... Read more »

Paris comes to Ravenswood with opening of French school on Wilson Avenue

On the first morning of September, hundreds of youngsters, from the age of 2½ all the way up to 18, converged on a new school building at 1929 W. Wilson Ave., ready to spend the day, and the rest of the school year, learning and speaking the language of Victor Hugo, Edith Piaf, and Maurice... Read more »