Chapter 13 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> Chicago is famous for many kinds of music, but the blues may be the first genre that comes to mind when people think of music… Continue reading When the Blues Cured the Blues
Chapter 12 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> Around 1915, some musicians from New Orleans and San Francisco arrived in Chicago, where they started playing something called jazz. Did they bring that word… Continue reading ‘What kind of noise is that!’ When Jazz Became Jazz
Chapter 11 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> The next three chapters are a bit of a detour, exploring the origins of jazz and blues (the musical genres as well as the words… Continue reading A Tribune Reporter Discovers Jazz and Blues
Scroll down or click these links for appendixes on CHICAGO MORTALITY TRENDS and WEATHER RECORDS; and SOURCE NOTES. THIS MONTH—JULY 2020—WAS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHICAGO’S MOST NOTORIOUS HEAT WAVE, which killed an estimated 700 people during a scorching week in 1995. While that tragedy is well documented, a similar catastrophe from earlier in the… Continue reading Another Deadly Chicago Heat Wave: 1916
Crain’s Chicago Business, April 4, 2017 — Can a flag improve your life? If your city just happens to have a municipal flag with a cool, eye-catching design that everyone seems to like, will that somehow make your city a better place to live? … Read the rest of my op-ed at Crain’s Chicago Business.
Medium.com, April 4, 2017 — Wallace Rice covered the floor of his living room with colorful rectangles. He’d spent six weeks combining shapes and symbols, trying to find just the right image to represent the city where he lived. He’d come up with hundreds of possibilities for a city flag design, and now he displayed his… Continue reading The Story of Chicago’s Four-Star City Flag
Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2017 — Too many of Chicago’s cops weren’t doing their jobs. Slouching in unkempt uniforms, they drank whiskey in saloons when they should have been walking their beats. And they ignored crimes happening right in front of their eyes. These were the findings of an investigation in 1904 called the Piper Report. “Chicago’s police… Continue reading Chicago police were condemned in 1904 for drinking, slouching, ignoring crime
Letter from Chicago: Misery engulfed Clinton supporters as outcome became clear London Evening Standard, November 9, 2016 — In this overwhelmingly Democratic city, many of the people who’d gathered in downtown bars to watch election results grew sullen and angry as the night went on. “How is it close?” asked Rachael Smith, a DePaul University student wearing… Continue reading Election Night 2016
WBEZ’s Curious City, August 26, 2016 — My story answers the question: “What happened to the people displaced by the Eisenhower Expressway?” Read and explore the interactive story (with web design by Logan Jaffe) and listen to the podcast and radio version.
Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2016 — In 1904, Chicago got an early taste of how the competing interests of security and privacy would start to play out for law enforcement and the telecom industry — in an episode with echoes of today’s dispute between Apple and the FBI, over information that might be gleaned about the… Continue reading Long before iPhones, cops battled phone use in fight against gambling