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Chicago magazine

Chicago magazine June/July 2020

Since 1970, readers have turned to Chicago magazine for expertise on Chicago’s dining, shopping, and entertainment scenes, as well as for award-winning reporting on the key people and issues in the city. Get your digital subscription to Chicago magazine today.

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United States
Chicagoland Publishing Company
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
party of two

I’VE BEEN GOING TO MORE THAN A HUNDRED EVENTS A YEAR for nearly half my life — early on as a nightlife columnist for the Sun-Times, and now at Chicago as the host or sponsor of fundraisers and openings. So the past few months have been unusually quiet for me, and to add to the strangeness, I started dating someone just as the threat of COVID-19 unfolded. Suddenly, as the shelter-in-place order went into effect, we were each other’s sole direct human contact. Even so, we managed to inject some levity into a difficult and otherwise monotonous time. One night, as we cooked dinner, I cranked up the Pandora while we danced around the kitchen, and it literally changed the rhythm of our week. Other times we turned our evenings at…

1 min.
the death of a scapegoat

As the city’s first transportation commissioner, John LaPlante was known for keeping his head down, operating independently, and making innovative improvements to Chicago’s roads and walkways, like straightening Lake Shore Drive’s S curve to make it safer. But in April 1992, when a tunnel breach flooded the Loop, resulting in an estimated $2 billion in damages, Mayor Richard M. Daley needed a fall guy, and LaPlante was it. His firing wasn’t entirely warranted, as Dennis Rodkin pointed out in his July 1992 Chicago article “The Scapegoat.” The story of the unplugged leak and the firing of LaPlante tells a more complex tale about the Daley administration and the way the city works. Interviews with people in and around city government suggest that while LaPlante was not blameless, he was working hard…

1 min.
women in high places

Lilithcat via Chicagomag.com In a city that is 30 percent Latinx, it’s quite a shame that Chicago can only name two Latinas on this list of 50. There are not enough Latinas in positions of power and influence, and that needs to change. Delia Ramirez via Facebook Congresswoman Robin Kelly is not included? She defeated 14 primary candidates in the 2013 special election to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat — and without “machine” support. Then she won plum House committee assignments. Sheeesh! John Presta via Chicagomag.com There is a glaring oversight: Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. Her briefings about COVID-19 should have been played on national news. Lauren McDonnell via Facebook THE STORY OF ANOTHER EPIDEMIC I remember this era in Chicago so vividly [“They Were Warriors,” April]. God bless ACT UP. @TheTedAllen via…

1 min.
best chicago dog pics

@boujeebotts Robbie Botts, a Logan Square–based photographer, was searching for time killers when he saw our contest. Three dogs later, Botts had his shot. That gatekeeping mustard strung over the top? “I wanted to depict how stubborn Chicagoans are about there not being ketchup anywhere near a hot dog.” WE ALSO LOVED … @clairesmyth1 @chefmikea @taraisarockstar @katierash NEXT CONTEST Post your best shot of grilling out on Instagram by July 15. Follow us at @chicagomag, tag us, and include #bestchicagolife to be considered. The winner will be featured in the September issue and will receive a free one-year subscription to the magazine.…

1 min.
talking points

1 Barack Obama already kicked off commencement season. In June, Mayor Lightfoot will address Northwestern and Queen Oprah will impart her wisdom to CPS seniors, completing a trifecta of powerful Chicagoans, past and present. 2 Sammy Sosa is getting the ESPN 30 for 30 treatment, but it’s no victory lap. The documentary, which airs June 14, focuses on his 1998 home run race with Mark McGwire, but also on why those dingers … don’t really count. 3 Tribune Publishing employees (including at Chicago) will be holding their breath June 30. That’s when shareholder Alden Global Capital can increase its 33 percent stake, making the Trib even more vulnerable to the fund’s tendency to slash. 4 Essential workers, you say? Some of those folks make minimum wage. Here’s a small win: In Chicago, that…

4 min.
work hard, zoom hard

ON MARCH 11, NINE DAYS BEFORE GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER ISSUED HIS STAY-AT-home order, ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan ordered all 200 of his employees to leave the company’s River North headquarters and begin working remotely. Yagan had been following news of the coronavirus’s spread — the day before, the number of cases in Illinois had jumped from 11 to 19, and then that morning, the first positive test of a worker in a major downtown office building was reported — and he realized “we had to consider obligations much larger than just us.” Even for a company whose gimmick is offering members free shipping from more than a hundred retailers, suddenly conducting business remotely, with little warning, took some major adjusting. Though ShopRunner had let employees work from home when they needed…