Stories by Nick Blumberg

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: North Center

A colorful banner welcomes visitors to North Center (WTTW News)

Chicago’s North Center neighborhood is a community where many city dwellers raise a family with lots of schools, parks, and public space. Many residents and community leaders have worked for years to create a community feel and, to address infrastructure needs to improve transportation safety.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Pride Parade Returns in Northalsted

(WTTW News)

For the first time in three years, Northalsted and the surrounding neighborhood will host the city’s Pride Parade.

Richard Irvin’s Ex-Wife Hired by Development Firm Receiving Millions in Aurora City Incentives

Web of Politically-Connected Companies Involved in $128M Hospital Redevelopment

The former site of Copley Hospital in Aurora will include senior living residences, as depicted in this rendering, along with a medical facility and school administrative building. (Courtesy of Fox Valley Developers)

The ex-wife of Aurora Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin works with a development team that stands to receive up to $15 million in Aurora city incentives, with the potential for millions more to redevelop the former Copley Hospital site.

Developers That Donated to Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Irvin’s Mayoral Campaign Received Tens of Millions in Aurora Incentives

Developers involved with Pacifica Square in Aurora, which opened in 2021, donated $25,000 to campaigns connected to Mayor Richard Irvin. (Paris Schutz / WTTW News)

A WTTW News review of public records has also found that Aurora taxpayers are on the hook for tens of millions in tax incentives to two other development companies that have donated thousands to Richard Irvin and political funds connected to him.

Police Officers, Guards Will Be Added Along CTA Train and Bus Lines Amid Uptick in Violent Crime

This file photo shows a southbound CTA Red Line train in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Amid a double-digit uptick in violent crime along Chicago Transit Authority train and bus lines this year, city officials say they’ll be adding additional officers and security guards on trains and buses around the city.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Niles

(WTTW News)

Niles, a northwest Chicago suburb. It’s well known for its landmark replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it’s also a community thinking about how to revamp one of its anchor businesses for the future. There are efforts to redevelop Golf Mill mall, a nearby park, and plans to improve infrastructure and pedestrian safety.

New DuSable Museum Exhibit Tells Stories of Those Killed During Civil Rights Movement


More than 150 names of people killed during the civil rights movement are on display in a special exhibit at the DuSable Museum. Their lives were cut short due to race-related killings more than 50 years ago, but the lessons learned from their deaths live on.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Washington Park

Washington Park is nestled between Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Englewood. It’s home to the DuSable Museum of African American History and to the former Schultz Baking Company. (WTTW News)

Washington Park is nestled between Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Englewood. It’s home to the DuSable Museum of African American History and to the former Schultz Baking Company. Now closed, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and there are plans to turn it into a data center.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Ravenswood

The Ravenswood community is neighbored by North Center and Lincoln Square, and there’s much disagreement over where the three neighborhoods’ borders end and begin. (WTTW News)

Eight miles north from the Loop, manufacturing buildings, Victorian homes and small businesses line Ravenswood’s streets. The community is neighbored by North Center and Lincoln Square, and there’s much disagreement over where the three neighborhoods’ borders end and begin.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Humboldt Park

Paseo Boricua has been the heart and soul of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community for decades. But the area has been impacted in recent years by gentrification and displacement of some longtime residents, as rents rise and luxury buildings sprout up on its borders. 

Chicagoans Log 640K Rides During 2nd Test of Scooters in City

A woman rides a scooter in Chicago during the city’s first pilot program in 2019. (WTTW News)

New data shows Chicagoans took approximately 640,000 rides on electric scooters during a four-month second trial run. That represents a significant decline from the initial test of the scooters in Chicago between June and July 2019.

As Lakefront Trail Reopens, Edgewater Eyes City’s Next Phase

A cyclist rides along the lakefront trail on its official reopening day, Monday, June 22, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s lakefront trail officially reopened Monday after the city closed it down in March in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We visit the lakefront and see how the Edgewater community is gearing up for phase four.

Chicago Showdown, Round Two: Musical Artists

Muddy Waters

This toddlin’ town isn’t just the subject of some iconic songs, it’s also the home of artists who helped innovate and shape modern American music. We’re passionate about our faves, and we want to hear from you. Which of these acts deserves to be crowned champion?

Lightfoot Says Chicago Won’t Be ‘Bullied’ as ICE Ramps Up Immigration Enforcement

New York Times reports specialized ICE Agents being sent to Chicago, sanctuary cities

In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, California. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull, File)

President Donald Trump will deploy specialized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tactical units to nearly a dozen so-called sanctuary cities, including Chicago, according to The New York Times.  

Deep Frydays: Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Before they say goodbye for the summer, Nick and Erica have a frying finale befitting our fair city: a teeny-wiener version of the Chicago-style hot dog.

Deep Frydays: Potato Chip-Crusted Polish Sausage

What do Polish sausage, potato chips and Plochman’s mustard have in common? They all come together to make a delicious snack.

Deep Frydays: Fry the Rainbow

Like the city itself, the Rainbow Cone is a painterly masterpiece of colors and tastes, each separate and distinct, which together somehow become more than the sum of their parts. 

Deep Frydays: Fine, We’re Doing Malort

Earlier this month, we took you on a tour of a distillery that produces Malort, the Chicago-born liquor that inspires devotion – and disgust. This week, we pour out a hefty helping of the stuff and stick it in the fryer.

Deep Frydays: Take a Pizza My Heart

In honor of the Fourth of July, we deep-fry what is perhaps Chicago’s greatest culinary contribution to America – and the globe: deep-dish pizza.

Deep Frydays: Brownie Disaster

For our new summer series, we take some of Chicago’s favorite foods and, like the name says, we deep-fry them and deal with the big questions. Today’s sacrifice to the gods of hot oil: brownie batter.

Deep Frydays’ Maiden Voyage: Giardiniera Mix

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.

The Race for Illinois Governor 2018: Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner is sworn in as governor of Illinois on Jan. 12, 2015.

Those who know Gov. Bruce Rauner best describe him as stubborn – and smart. An intimate look at what shaped Rauner, and what that’s meant for Illinois as he tries for a second term.

2016 Voters’ Guide to the General Election

This WTTW guide is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 election. Learn more.

Illinois Comptroller

The Illinois Comptroller is an Executive Branch office of state government charged with maintaining the fiscal accounts of the state of Illinois and ordering the Illinois Treasurer to make payments into and out of those accounts. 

Cook County State’s Attorney

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutes crimes committed in Cook County, serves as legal counsel for Cook County government agencies, and serves as legal counsel for all Cook County public officials. Learn about the candidates.