Category: Chicago

Support your local businesses: Wear a mask

            In the pro-mask versus anti-mask war, I stand somewhere in the middle. In late March, when almost no one was wearing a mask in public, I went out a couple times wearing one and got funny looks from other shoppers, who assumed I must be sick. Now you’re likely... Read more »

An open letter to hoarding shoppers

This isn’t funny anymore. At first it was mildly amusing, in the beginning when it spawned toilet-paper shortage jokes. But this is more than a month in now, and it needs to stop. I’m pissed, and I’m going to use curse words in this column—apologies to the sensitive. This behavior is getting serious and dangerous.... Read more »

Pier 1 closing stores, and my world just became a little less pretty

Say it isn’t so. News broke earlier this week that made me sadder than the announcement of Harry & Meghan’s break from the royal family. Home decor retailer Pier 1 Imports announced it is closing 450 of its stores, including it turns out, the two locations nearest to me. Those ominous, giant “Storewide Sale” signs... Read more »
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Don’t like the price Zillow puts on your home? Don’t bother suing—you’ll lose

It seems that people either love Zillow or hate it. Home buyers tend to be in the first group, and home sellers in the latter. While it can empower consumers with knowledge, it can frustrate homeowners when the “Zestimate” falls considerably below their asking price or what they believe their property is worth. Zestimates are... Read more »

To understand why things go down in Chicago like they do, read "The Jungle" & "Boss"

The past several weeks have witnessed a powerful, longtime alderman arrested on federal corruption charges; the acquittal of four Chicago cops in a conspiracy trial; and most recently, the lenient sentence handed down by a judge to the officer who shot and killed Laquan Macdonald. It’s funny but even before Patti Blagojevich chimed in, I was... Read more »

Why I don't miss working as 'holiday help'

By all reports, the roaring economy has made retail stores desperate for seasonal workers, or what used to be called “Christmas help.” This brings back memories of my own adventures working in retail during the holiday season. The first was in the 1980s, when I was an 18-year-old college freshman. I took a job at... Read more »
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Attempts to sanction bus operator for offensive ad could run afoul of First Amendment

Suburban Express, a Champaign-based bus line that serves Illinois college students, provoked outrage recently when it sent a promotional email to University of Illinois students that read: “You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.” The line, from what I’ve read, was an apparent reference to the allegedly high number of... Read more »

Keep those tops on, ladies. Federal court upholds Chicago's public nudity ordinance

A time may come when women can successfully make the case that as long as men are allowed to bare their chests in public (man-boobs and all), then in the name of gender equality women should be allowed to as well. But that time is not now, and that place is not Illinois. The U.S.... Read more »

Thank you Eric Barry, you reminded me of the good things about my city

While I was at Foster Beach the other day enjoying the waning days of summer, my thoughts drifted to, of all things and people, Eric Barry. You may have heard of him; he’s the self-styled “comedian” and writer who authored a “goodbye letter” to Chicago in Huffington Post that went viral, except not in the... Read more »
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Steve Bartman's grace and class sets an example for us all

On Monday the Chicago Cubs announced they were giving the long-suffering Steve Bartman a 2016 World Series ring, as a gesture of forgiveness and “closure” for the infamous 2003 playoff game incident. Bartman’s statement of response was characteristically gracious and conciliatory. Bartman has consistently shown himself to be a class guy who eschews bitterness and... Read more »