Travel & Outdoor
Chicago magazine

Chicago magazine December 2017

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.

United States
Chicagoland Publishing Company
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the last memorial to a little girl who was loved very much

There is a curious plaque on the door to an otherwise nondescript first-floor classroom in St. Philip Lutheran School in West Ridge that says, simply, “Shirley Ellen Lee Memorial: Who Was a Student in This Classroom.” It’s the last left of the 10 memorials created after the 9-year-old girl died in an Uptown apartment fire in 1963. Her distraught father, James, a widower, sold his assets and donated the money to institutions around town, stipulating that each place a plaque in her honor. Seven weeks after the fire, he committed suicide, leaving behind only the memorials and the fervent hope that they would keep the memory of his little girl alive. Though just one plaque remains, James Lee’s efforts were memorialized forever in a Chicago Daily News story at the time, which…

1 min.
a last morsel

I want to be a queen,” she joked. When dining editor Penny Pollack and I discussed her retirement (effective with this issue) after 30 years on the culinary beat at Chicago, we both knew she deserved a proper sendoff. We started by planning a gathering for the staff. But there were so many people who had worked with Penny through the decades, and we wanted to include them all: restaurateurs, chefs, former staffers. Before long, we had a legit bash on our hands, with a DJ and RSVPs rolling in from the likes of Lettuce Entertain You chairman Rich Melman, DineAmic Group principals Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson, Bistronomic chef/owner Martial Noguier, pizza king Marc Malnati, and Check, Please! creator David Manilow. Some of them had not met Penny in person until…

1 min.
inside peek

CONTRIBUTOR Former Huffington Post reporter Kim Bellware spent the summer talking to CPS instructors for “What Teachers Know” (page 80). “No matter how gray the details got, there was never a pall cast over the interviews. I always walked away seeing how much these teachers care for their kids.” She also wrote about Metra suicides (page 23). BEHIND THE SHOOT Tonika Johnson commissioned Nanette Tucker and Fabian Lenox to create the dress and shoes she wore for her Chicagoans of the Year photo on page 76. “It was my first time on the other side of the camera,” says Johnson, a photographer. “I wanted to look colorful, and I wanted to promote Englewood artists.” ARTIFACT When assistant editor Matt Pollock visited drug addiction specialist Dan Bigg (page 73), Bigg decided to register him as a…

1 min.
talk to us

ON A REPORTER’S LONGTIME PURSUIT OF R. KELLY A truly important read [“The Lonely Crusade of Jim DeRogatis,” November]. First, Mark Caro wrote the hell out of it. Second, that you’re amplifying the meaningful work by Jim DeRogatis makes it even more worthwhile. @kurtgessler on Twitter In the wake of Weinstein and #MeToo, we’re still ignoring Jim DeRogatis. Great piece. @TheRealWBTC on Twitter Jim DeRogatis has been reporting on this for 17 years. Seven. Teen. Years. And people kept on working with R. Kelly. @MsPackyetti on Twitter ON OUR TOP 10 STEAKHOUSES You’re so seduced by trendiness [“Sharpen Your Knives,” November]. I’ve visited Maple & Ash, RPM, Prime & Provisions, and wouldn’t rank any of them higher than the standbys. Justin on Chicagomag.com Chicago Cut is still best by a ton. Great food, room, and service. @rldesmondjr on Twitter A list without…

5 min.
metra’s suicide problem

Business, politics, real estate, and city life: What you need to know this month Early in his career in the 1980s, Paul Piekarski faced the moment every train operator dreads. “I remember it vividly,” says Piekarski, who was working the Union Pacific freight line. “It was a cold January morning. A retired dentist in Broadview. He’s standing alongside the viaduct column, and I think, What’s he doing there? He gets closer, like he’s gonna board the train. And he laid on the tracks.” Piekarski urgently blew his whistle, rang the bell, and hoped the next second would end in a close call. It didn’t. Now serving as the chairman of the Illinois State Legislative Board for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Piekarski has watched for decades as the rail industry grapples…

1 min.
jesse vs. sandi

JESSE JACKSON JR., 52, former U.S. congressman, son of Rev. Jesse Jackson SANDI JACKSON, 54, former 7th Ward alderman SYMPATHY FACTOR He claims Sandi won’t sell their D.C. home, valued at more than $2 million, to cover their $1.8 million debt. Jesse initiated the divorce while she was still in prison—even though she took their kids to see him monthly during his two-year incarceration. LAWYER Brendan Hammer, whose firm sued Jesse for unpaid legal fees. Hammer assured the press their relationship remained “absolutely amicable.” Sure. Maryland-based Chandra Walker Holloway. She’s accused Jesse’s attorneys of “highly disingenuous conduct” and of generating a media circus. MORAL HIGH GROUND A wash. Let’s be real. DIRTY LAUNDRY Sandi wants the receipts: She’s demanding the names of everyone Jesse hooked up with during their marriage—and dates the hookups happened. Jesse claims that, ahem, “discoveries” he made on…