Category: Chicago

The extroverts are coming

The extroverts are coming
There was a loud thud in the middle of the night. The groggy watchman lumbered up the steps to the top of the castle tower. He heard another thud and a roar of laughter down below. The watchman saw hundreds of kayaks crossing the Chicago River. A dozen of these plastic boats were now harbored... Read more »

House of Fire Restaurant

House of Fire Restaurant
By: Alicia Leitzen & Chris O’Brien Note – There’s a podcast version of this restaurant profile. You can download/listen on Noteworthy, a storytelling show from Long Overdue. House of Fire is available for delivery on multiple platforms including GrubHub and Doordash. Chris To be clear, I love fast food. I have nothing but nostalgia toward... Read more »

Stella's Diner: A place to call home

Stella's Diner: A place to call home
“Do you have a favorite memory of Gus?” “Oh God, so many come to mind,” Maria replied. Maria Mavraganes is Gus’ younger sister and the current Owner/Manager of Stella’s Diner here in Lakeview East. The story of Stella’s Diner begins all the way back in the 1950s with Gus and Maria’s parents. The two immigrated... Read more »
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Chefs for Change: Thanksgiving Edition

Chefs for Change: Thanksgiving Edition
If someone were to build the perfect way to feed a community, I think it’d look a lot like a farmer’s market. Douglas Callegario would be there with freshly baked breads. All Grass Farms would have a table with eggs, milk, tons of fresh produce. You’d pickup what you needed and then meet with Leyla and Ahmet... Read more »

Empanada Mama & The Pie Man: Believing that we will beat this

Empanada Mama & The Pie Man: Believing that we will beat this
Empanada Mama & The Pie Man. A small storefront in Lakeview East run by two guys who opened their doors six months into a Global Pandemic. Where does that type of courage come from? Chasing a dream regardless of the current circumstance. On Facebook, the two describe their mission like this: We’re just two guys (Oreste... Read more »

Just a city guy working a farm shift

Just a city guy working a farm shift
Ever have that moment when you wake up, open the laptop, click on Zoom and think to yourself, “Yep. I’m ready to work on a farm.” Now, don’t get me wrong, this forced work-from-home arrangement started out great. No commute. Optional pants. But I feel like I signed a deal with the devil. He sold me... Read more »
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Inkling in Lakeview and why we need the little shops

Inkling in Lakeview and why we need the little shops
There’s a Mariano’s on Broadway. It’s not a villain, it’s a grocery store. We love having one down the street. But there’s a domino effect when a giant grocery store moves in, especially on a street like Broadway. The great little shops have a hard time keeping up. The first one to close its doors was a little... Read more »

Wait, where did June go?

Wait, where did June go?
In the Midwest, our calendar starts off with an endurance test. January and February combine to be 59 days of grind it out. Just get through it. During this time, we’re naturally looking ahead at the calendar. Crossing days off. March traditionally brings us the first round of excitement. St. Patty’s Day. March Madness. Spring break.... Read more »

Chicago, Argentina (part 1)

Chicago, Argentina (part 1)
I love getting a new idea. I love the magic of that initial spark. I’ll be walking Crash, taking a shower, sitting at my laptop, and something will just click. Oh! What if I wrote about this!  It’s hard for me to say, “I came up with the idea,” because the idea came up to me. At... Read more »
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Chicago Public Library replaces overdue fines with subtle guilt trips

Chicago Public Library replaces overdue fines with subtle guilt trips
A few weeks ago, the Chicago Public Library announced they were getting rid of overdue fees. The initiative came from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office as a way to remove barriers for all Chicagoans to use their local CPL branch. Overall, I think the idea makes a lot of sense. The same $10 overdue fee carries a different... Read more »