chicago

28 articles
Avatar_57x57

A Chicago housing project resident reports intruders breaking into her apartment through a medicine cabinet. Days later, she’s found dead.

Avatar_57x57

Inside the criminal operation illegally buying, selling and killing tigers – and selling their meat at the local butcher.

Avatar_57x57

On the “queer roots” of Disco, House, and beyond.

Avatar_57x57

When an antsy tech entrepreneur takes over a struggling newspaper.

Avatar_57x57

How Chicago is key to a business moving tons of drugs for billions of dollars.

Avatar_57x57

An unemployed banker drifts along Occupy protests, his crumbling life, and a crime scene.

"Against the bleachers’ far end, beyond the scope of the cameras, Michael was thinking again about Brussels. The bullet had rung out with plunky subtlety he knew to expect but found disappointing, still. He remembered a cathedral there and the sound he had heard inside of it. This was years ago. The sound he recalled was a cane that he’d heard falling onto the cathedral’s marble floor. The way sound survives inside a cathedral. He remembered looking across the aisle to a hairless woman with earrings dangling halfway down her neck. In the darkness of Chicago, the boy’s body called to him for a closer look, he still had his phone after all, a camera. He could hear the sirens approaching."

Avatar_57x57

How the foreclosure crisis ignited a new form of activism in Chicago’s vacant homes.

Avatar_57x57

How companies and large temp agencies benefit from—and tacitly collaborate with—an underworld of labor brokers, known as “raiteros,” who charge workers fees, pushing their pay below minimum wage.

Avatar_57x57

On the brick stackers of Chicago.

Avatar_57x57

How a Chicago drug organization did business.

Avatar_57x57

The decline and fall of Cabrini-Green, Chicago’s infamous public housing development.

Avatar_57x57

A coffee shop owner finally gets to shut down his store.

Avatar_57x57

As Playboy magazine moves to Los Angeles, the writer considers its place in the Midwest.

No other general interest magazine tried to reach readers in the wide swathe of land between New York and California. “It was a Midwestern magazine, designed for people there. If you wanted it to be hip, edgy, go toe-to-toe with GQ, you were making a mistake,” said Chris Napolitano, a former executive editor who began at Playboy in 1988.

Avatar_57x57

A look at Chicago’s DJ culture in the ’90s.

One day in 1997, Sneak promised his friend and fellow Chicago DJ Derrick Carter a new 12-inch for Carter's label Classic, then spent hours fruitlessly laboring over a basic, bustling four-four beat. Finally, Sneak gave in and smoked the J he'd had stashed for later in the day. When he came back inside, he carelessly dropped the needle onto a Teddy Pendergrass LP, heard the word "Well . . . ," and realized, "That's the sample, right there." He threaded Pendergrass's 20-year-old disco hit "You Can't Hide From Yourself" through a low-pass filter to give it the effect of going in and out of aural focus, creating one of the definitive Chicago house singles.

Avatar_57x57

A history of Soul Train’s Chi-town origins.

Avatar_57x57

A fifteen year history of the music site Pitchfork detailing its prescient take on the relationship between culture and consumption.

Avatar_57x57

On H.H. Holmes “an old hand at corpse manipulation and insurance fraud,” who built a house of death in 1890s Chicago.

Avatar_57x57

Life inside the original Playboy Mansion.

Avatar_57x57

When Chicago’s Stevens Hotel opened in 1927, it was the biggest hotel in the world. By the time it was closed, it had bankrupted and caused the suicide of a member of the Stevens’ family (which included a seven-year-old future Justice John Paul Stevens), and changed the city forever.

Avatar_57x57

A veteran reporter investigates his own beating.

Avatar_57x57

On the enduring racial segregation in Chicago and why it’s an issue no mayoral candidate is willing to touch.

Avatar_57x57

How Zion, Ill., a fundamentalist Christian settlement with a population of 6,250, created one of the most popular stations in the country during the early days of radio.

Avatar_57x57

In an elaborate FBI sting to expose corruption, four agents pose as futures traders in Chicago. The plan works–if you don’t count the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars the agents lost in the process.

Avatar_57x57

A profile of Rahm Emanuel, written during his first congressional campaign in Illinois. Emanuel was running to fill the seat vacated by Rod Blagojevich.

Avatar_57x57

Evidence of a decades-old hotel trist with a teenage intern costs a beloved Chicago columnist his job - and his identity.

Avatar_57x57

In 1995, the Chicago Reader profiled a little-known professor (and lawyer and philanthropist and author) who had decided to run for office to get back to his true passion: community organizing.