Category: Chicago events

The 1967 Chicago Blizzard: The day I walked down the middle of 111th Street all alone

January 25, 1967, Blizzard Day: I was home from college waiting for second semester to start in a few days, kicking back, spending time with my mom and friends back home when it started snowing, and didn’t stop until 111th St was impassable except by the occasional brave soul who early on figured they could get... Read more »

Is Hamilton Really That Good? A skeptic's review

I had questions about Hamilton: Is it worth all the hype? A hip-hop musical about a founding father? Is it just hysteria setting me up for disappointment? I went to see it with fear in my heart. Would I respond to it as just another over-hyped attempt at art; would I rebel, like I did over the... Read more »

Cubs' Love: We needed this

This Cubs’ love is contagious. Evidence abounds. From my friend Greg: A Portuguese ship was spotted flying the W flag. His son, new at a job in a new city, was applauded when he entered the break room the day after the Game 6 win, and sent home by his boss (a Cleveland fan) to... Read more »
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How to Understand Cubs' Love: The World Series Wall at Wrigley

Cubs’ Love goes beyond baseball. It’s not about goats and lovable losers and long droughts. It’s about connection. You can see it for yourself on the brick walls at Wrigley Field where people have been recording in chalk exactly what it means. It hints at why people all over the world are reveling in the Cubs... Read more »

The Cubs' new story: Goodbye goat, hello hope

There’s a new story in town in Chicago. No more torment of poor Steve Bartman. No more warnings about goats. No more victimhood narratives to explain our lovable losers’ lack of achievement. As all of us younger than 108 have grown up with these stories, we are still tender. All season, despite the distinct whiff of... Read more »

Mission accomplished: How Linda Lenz made the Chicago Public Schools better

I’d like to introduce you to Linda Lenz. I met her in college. She was little older and had it thoroughly together – a leader, a scholar, a gentle soul. I wanted to be like her. And look where she went from there: newspaper reporter specializing in education; sometime panelist on Chicago Tonight; then 26... Read more »
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Ron Magers is leaving me…I mean us

They are dropping like flies, the people I count on: First my doctor, then my minister, and Jon Stewart, then my other doctor (Note to David Letterman: you could have made this list if not for your unfortunate proclivities), retiring and leaving me in the lurch. Oh, I get it – you’ve made your 30... Read more »

The Road Less Traveled led me straight to Old Town, corporate America, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was the summer of 1966, after my first year of college. I tried to talk my mother into letting me work at the neighborhood drive-in bringing people their hot dogs, but that wasn’t going well. So I took the other path. I took the YMCA up on their offer to join an internship program... Read more »

Andrew Shaw: The gay slur and why he said it

Good day, Andrew Shaw, and welcome to your reprieve from being named the Steve Bartman of 2016. Last night, your Blackhawk teammates saved you by coming up with a double-overtime victory while you served your suspension. Now, all of you can go forward equally responsible for what happens next in this post-championship season. In this... Read more »
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Gay marriage ruling: An invitation to compassion

The winds of change are blowing. The ruling from the (supremely divided) Supreme Court frees the rest of the population who happen to be gay and happen to be in love to go ahead and get married if they’d like. It’s a bad time for doom-sayers who predict the ruin of the country – collapsing... Read more »