‘Breakfast at Ina’s’ at Chicago Film Festival

Chicago Magazine, October 2015 — Ina Pinkney can’t leave her house in Buena Park without being recognized. “There isn’t a time when somebody doesn’t say, ‘I miss your restaurant,’ ” she says. “Grocery store, Staples, the Apple Store—I mean, just anywhere I go.” As the owner of a bakery and three popular eateries over a span of 33 years, Pinkney became known simply as “Ina” to the countless customers she greeted each morning. Read the story.

Photo by Chris Strong


September 2015 blog posts

Circuit Des Yeux at the Hideout
Thee Oh Sees, the Blind Shake and Make-Overs at the Empty Bottle
Earth, Disappears and Holy Sons at Bohemian National Cemetery
Ultimate Painting, CoCoComa and the Runnies at the Empty Bottle
Eleventh Dream Day at Andersonville City Made Fest
Hailu Mergia at the Promontory
Mahmoud Ahmed and Aziz Sahmaoui at Millennium Park
World Music Fest: Ragamala, Tanya Tagaq and Zedashe
Low at Thalia Hall
Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Bluebird
Great Chicago Fire Fest #2


Q&A with Mary Zimmerman on ‘Treasure Island’

Make It Better magazine, October 2014 — “Treasure Island” is one of those stories that has seeped into our culture. The way we picture pirates – those eye patches, peg legs, parrots and treasure maps – can be traced back to Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1888 novel. The book has been turned into dozens of plays, movies and cartoons, and now it’s getting the Mary Zimmerman treatment at Lookingglass Theatre. Read the interview.

Photo by Liz Lauren


Urban Flooding in Illinois

Illinois Issues magazine, September 10, 2015 — Heavier rainfalls and sprawling development have left outdated sewers struggling to keep water out of streets, businesses and homes. Big rainstorms are hitting Illinois more often. In many cities and towns, the sewers can’t always handle heavy downpours. Without anywhere to go, the water fills streets, yards and basements. The result? At least $2.3 billion in damage from 2007 to 2014. That’s the total that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources calculated in a report this summer, tallying up insurance payouts for flooding damage in the state’s urban areas. And the report warned that the problem could get worse. Read more at the Illinois Issues website — including audio of my interview with Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn about the story.

Photo: Center for Neighborhood Technology


‘Rosenwald’ documentary

Chicago Magazine website, September 10, 2015 — In the era of Jim Crow segregation, photos of a Jewish millionaire from Chicago hung on the walls of schoolhouses across the South. The African-American children in these classrooms sometimes asked: Who is that man? “We were told it was the man who built the school,” educator Frank Brinkley recalls in the new documentary Rosenwald. Read more at the Chicago Magazine website.

Photo: Chicago Tribune Archives