Stories by Erica Gunderson

Deep Frydays’ Maiden Voyage: Giardiniera Mix

| Nick Blumberg

How do you deep-fry giardiniera? We find out in the first installment of our weekly summer series Deep Frydays, where we go deep on an iconic Chicago food and then sacrifice it to sizzling oil.

Ask Geoffrey: Lincoln Park Statue in Mexico City?

How did a Lincoln Park statue wind up standing in cities all over the world? Geoffrey Baer goes south of the border for the answer. 

Chicago Nonprofit Wants to Make Credit Work for Everyone

(JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay)

The nonprofit Working Credit says understanding how credit ratings work and building your own credit rating is much easier than you might think – and even more important than you might know.

Ask Geoffrey: A Long-Lost State Street Hot Spot

A viewer’s photo of her mother at a glamorous restaurant in 1940s Chicago left her wondering where the photo was taken. And we finally address an elephant in the room at Marshall Field’s.

In ‘A Shoppers’ Paradise,’ the Story of How Women Shaped Chicago’s Loop

How did fights over high hats and hoopskirts shape Chicago’s downtown as a shopping destination? We talk with the author of a new book about women and consumer culture at the turn of the century.

Zero-Waste Advocate Shares Strategies for Reducing Trash

Chicago sustainability advocate Stephanie Katsaros

In many ways, modern American life is set up for convenience and speed – and that can generate a lot of garbage. What you can do at home to reduce your waste output.

Ask Geoffrey: What’s ‘Heinemann Studio’ Building in Back of the Yards?

When walking through Chicago’s older neighborhoods, you can often find hints about the history of the buildings just by looking up. Geoffrey Baer looks back – and up – at some architectural gems.

Teens Ditch Fast Fashion, Food for Fair Trade

(Courtesy Chicago Fair Trade)

Young Chicagoans have joined the fair trade movement – and they want you to get on board, too.

Are Marriage and Non-Monogamy a Match?

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

What’s it like to date around while staying married? A Chicago writer shares her experiences diving into the world of consensual non-monogamy.

Ask Geoffrey: What’s the History of the Chicago Huskies?

The Chicago Huskies (Credit: Japanese American Service Committee)

A youth basketball league from the 1940s and ‘50s is a reminder of Japanese American internment during World War II. Geoffrey Baer has that story and more in this edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Age and the American Presidency: How Old is ‘Too Old’?

President Donald Trump listens in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington on Monday, March 25, 2019, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks. Trump signed an official proclamation formally recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

The Constitution says anyone under 35 is too young to be president, but are candidates in their 70s too old? What science can tell us about aging and job performance.

‘Hesburgh’ Studies Life, Work of Notre Dame’s Iconic ‘Father Ted’

A new documentary examines the legacy of legendary Notre Dame President Father Ted Hesburgh. We speak with the film’s director and producer.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to Immel State Bank?

Geoffrey Baer deposits some knowledge about buildings left behind by the banking panics of the Great Depression.

New Research Downplays Importance of Counting Calories for Weight Loss

(Matt Madd / Flickr)

The idea of the calorie was developed nearly 200 years ago and has proven to be a poor measuring tool for the speed-driven American diet. 

New Book ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ Explores 1970s Music Year by Year

The Sun Ra Arkestra in 2008 (Martijn van Exel / Flickr)

Through a collection of cultural observations, critical analysis and hormone-tinged memories, John Corbett’s new book makes the case that the 1970s was a musical decade unlike any other.

Ask Geoffrey: Was There an Egg Factory in Bronzeville?

(Courtesy of the Glessner House Museum)

A viewer says her uncle used to swipe eggs from a factory in Bronzeville in the 1940s or ‘50s. Chicago history eggs-pert Geoffrey Baer has the surprising answer to that and other questions in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

ReptileFest Slithers into its 25th Year This Weekend

Scales in spades: See more than 200 species this weekend at ReptileFest. (Pexels / Pixabay)

We get up close and personal with some cold-blooded creatures ahead of the nation’s largest educational reptile show.

Ask Geoffrey: A Ballpark in Logan Square?

A semi-pro baseball team once bested the big leagues on the Northwest Side. Geoffrey Baer takes a swing at local baseball history and its “outlaw clubs.”

Chicago Couple Opens Lakeside Resort in Wisconsin’s Northwoods

Chicagoans Darren and Genevieve Coady opened Coadys’ Point of View in Wisconsin last year. (Courtesy Genevieve Coady)

A dispatch from Wisconsin’s Northwoods, where Darren and Genevieve Coady hopes to reel in other Chicagoans who want an old-fashioned vacation experience.

Zero-Waste Advocate Shares Strategies for Reducing Trash

Chicago sustainability advocate Stephanie Katsaros

In many ways, modern American life is set up for convenience and speed – and that can generate a lot of garbage. What you can do at home to reduce your waste output.

Ask Geoffrey: How Many Streets Are Named for Chicago Mayors?

More than 2,800 streets make up Chicago’s famous grid, and city planners and developers drew the streets’ names from all sorts of people and places – including some of our own politicians.

New Film ‘The Public’ Explores How Libraries Can Help the Homeless

Filmmaker and actor Emilio Estevez appears on “Chicago Tonight” to discuss his film “The Public.”

In his new film “The Public,” writer, director and actor Emilio Estevez examines the intersection of homelessness and public spaces. Estevez joins us to discuss the film along with Chicago-based artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith and author Ryan Dowd.

City Beefs Up Pothole-Patching Crews Following Wild Winter

A volatile winter has left the city’s streets cratered with potholes. What the city is doing to patch them up.

A New Champ is Crowned at the CPS Spelling Bee

Aaron Chang, 13, of Audubon Elementary won the 2019 CPS spelling bee on March 14, 2019.

Fifty-one students faced off Thursday in the annual citywide spelling competition, and a new champion was named to represent Chicago Public Schools in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “Chicago Tonight” stopped by for a look.

Chicago Girls Learn the Ropes of Double Dutch

(Credit: Leslie Adkins)

Memories of jumping rope as a child lures a Chicago woman back to the sport as an adult – and inspires her to start teaching double Dutch to a new generation through her organization Black Girls Jump.