Where Chicago’s 1919 race riot began

The landscape along Lake Michigan on Chicago’s South Side has utterly changed over the past century. If you’re looking for the beaches where Chicago’s race riot erupted on July 27, 1919, you won’t find them. As I was researching a history of the riot for Chicago magazine, I searched for maps, documents, and details that… Continue reading Where Chicago’s 1919 race riot began

Q&A with Steve James

Chicago magazine, March 2017 — Read my Q&A with filmmaker Steve James, part of an issue on the theme “Why We Love Chicago.” Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

‘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… Continue reading ‘Breakfast at Ina’s’ at Chicago Film Festival

Film review: ‘Hogtown’

Photo: 9:23 Films

Chicago magazine, February 2015 — Go See Hogtown, a Murder Mystery in 1919 Chicago. Our 30-second review of the immersive movie, which screens this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Read my review in Chicago magazine. Photo: 9:23 Films

The 10 best Chicago documentaries

Photo: Kartemquin Films

Chicago magazine, February 2015 — Life Itself, Steve James’s tribute to Roger Ebert, comes out on DVD February 17, a good excuse to catch up on other great Chicago documentaries. Read more in Chicago magazine. Photo: Kartemquin Films

Michael Abramson’s photos of 1970s Chicago nightclubs

Chicago magazine, October 2014 — As a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1970s, photographer Michael Abramson spent a lot of time in clubs with names like Perv’s House and Pepper’s Hideout… Read more — and see some of Abramson’s photos — in Chicago magazine. Photo by Michael Abramson

How a documentary captured Roger Ebert’s last months

Roger Ebert in his home office, 2005. Photo by Anna Knott.

Chicago magazine, July 2014 — The movie critic became the star in Steve James’s adaptation of Ebert’s Life Itself memoir—a film that celebrated Ebert’s life, and unexpectedly showed its end. Read my story in Chicago magazine. Photo by Anna Knott

11 Questions for Harold Ramis

Chicago magazine, February 24, 2014 — In 2008, before the release of Year One, Ramis talked about working with Bill Murray, filming in Chicago, and how religion shaped his “Buddish” philosophy. Read my interview in Chicago magazine. Photo: Second City

How the World Media Covers Chicago

Chicago magazine, September 24, 2013 — The international press definitely knows Chicago is a violent American city (where you can also shop and eat). Of course, some details get lost in translation… Read my story for Chicago magazine.