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Stories by Erica Gunderson

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.

Familiar Names on Preservation Chicago’s 2019 Most Endangered Buildings List

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 8237 S. South Shore Driv. William J. Brinkmann, 1909 (Credit: Eric Allix Rogers)

Preservation Chicago has released its annual list of Chicago’s most threatened historic buildings – and this year, it includes two return entries and an entire category of buildings that dot Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Ask Geoffrey: Why is Chicago Divided into 50 Wards?

Chicago ward map from 1849

Just how did Chicago wind up with 50 wards and 50 aldermen? Geoffrey Baer does the math in this edition of Ask Geoffrey. And: five fast facts about Chicago mayors past.

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.

Ask Geoffrey: How Does Edens Expressway Stay Billboard-Free?

Most Chicago-area expressways are littered with billboards. How did one expressway escape the same fate? Geoffrey Baer drives by with the answer to that and other viewer questions in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Conversion of Logan Square Church into Apartments Sparks Gentrification Debate

The now-closed Church of the Advent, 2900 W. Logan Blvd., in Logan Square.

As religious congregations shrink, churches all over the city are being shuttered and converted into luxury residences. But not everyone is happy with the results. 

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)

Chicagoans Darren and Genevieve Coady are getting ready for their first summer as owners of a lakeside resort in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. 

Researchers Find Microplastics in Illinois Groundwater

(Courtesy of the University of Illinois)

We discuss the latest science headlines with Rabiah Mayas, associate director of the Science in Society program at Northwestern University.

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 their buildings just by looking up. Geoffrey Baer looks back – and up – at some architectural gems.

The Implications of Six Flags Biometrics Ruling on Silicon Valley

(NEC Corporation of America / Flickr)

What an Illinois Supreme Court ruling about biometrics privacy could mean for Google, Facebook – and everyone else.

American Auto History Shines at Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage

Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage’s 1932 Ruxton at the Geneva Concours d’Elegance. (Credit: Bill Ficht)

Travel through American automotive history with a glimpse at an extraordinary private collection of vintage cars.

New Nonprofit Gives Old Furniture – and People – Second Chances

Meet the founders of the Chicago Furniture Bank, which offers people in need an apartment’s worth of gently used furniture, including beds for each family member, for just $50.

Snow Much Fun: Cool Activities for Cold Weather

(fensterbme / Flickr)

Why should summer get all the love? We explore the wonderland of winter adventure to be had in Chicago – both indoors and out.

Unlimited Paid Time Off: Too Good to Be True?

(StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

For most of us, the idea of taking as many paid vacation days as we want sounds like a dream. But reviews of unlimited PTO from the rank and file are not all raves.

#DeleteFacebook: Is It Time to Say Farewell to Facebook?

(LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay)

After a year of security breaches, data privacy concerns and political intrusions, some Facebook users are pulling the plug. Should you?

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