Life of a West Loop chef

09/12/2012

Stephanie Izard. Graham Elliot. Grant Achatz. You don’t even need to add the word “chef” before their names to recognize them as Chicago’s kitchen royalty. Here’s one more name that even hardcore foodies haven’t heard of: Aaron Kolitz. I predict he will be a top chef someday.
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Chicago-area existing home sales skyrocket

The Home Front

09/05/2012

The residential housing market in the Chicago area is in rebound mode as real estate brokers report strong existing home and condominium sales in normally slow summer months, experts say.
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South Loop meets Bermuda Triangle

08/29/2012

It seems like there is a new and improved "Bermuda Triangle" in the heart of the South Loop. A new trio of places at 14th and Michigan to drink, eat, meet people, hear the news, enhance your emotions and have a good time.
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Downtown condo resale market rebounding

The Home Front

08/29/2012

While the new-construction condominium market in downtown Chicago has slowed to a crawl, there appears to be a rebound underway in the resale-condo market, experts say.
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Take control of South Loop high schools

06/27/2012

My daughter may be the only high school graduate from the heart of the South Loop whose high school diploma is from Wendell Phillips Academy, our South Loop “neighborhood” high school, which is in Bronzeville at 244 E. Pershing Road. She didn’t actually go to Phillips. None of the kids in the neighborhood do. She was a special education student who went to high school in Lincoln Park. But Chicago Public Schools’ tradition is to list the neighborhood school — the school the student presumably would have gone to had they not been in a special education program — on their diplomas.
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Legislature's decisions have local impact

05/16/2012

The last weeks of the state legislative session hold dire consequences for our neighborhoods. As usual, more decisions are being made in backroom deals than by meaningful debate and votes in public. Legislative decisions that will affect us include university budgets, pensions, and Medicaid cutbacks in addition to shredding the social safety net, closing mental health facilities, cutting funding for the homeless and shutting prisons.
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Columnist vs. the vegetables

05/09/2012

There’s a grungy alley on Green just south of Randolph. If the wind is right, the aroma wafting from the kitchen of Girl & The Goat is pure heaven. I avoided that spot last month. For 30 days, I lived as a vegan. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was feeling particularly puffy. During a checkup, my internist suggested a diet change after reviewing my elevated blood pressure reading. My neighbor Stella Guererro had just started the vegan challenge as a cleansing experience, so I decided to give it a shot.
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Voters support Rahm for now

04/18/2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has support of at least 57 percent of residents as of the latest poll by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most citizens are also satisfied with city services, including the police department despite the rise in the murder rate. They are, unsurprisingly, dissatisfied with the public schools and support the proposed longer school day as a possible remedy.
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'L' of a controversy in the South Loop

03/28/2012

Since when did proximity to ‘L’ stations become the latest civil right? All everyone is talking about in the South Loop these days is the new proposed and soon to be begun new Green Line stop at Cermak, just east of State. Everyone has an opinion. And even if you don’t care if the stop goes there or not because, perhaps, you already have a stop (or stops) in your life like I do at Roosevelt and State — or you don’t mind walking a few blocks in one direction or another to the nearest stop — you are bound to offend and alienate one neighbor or another if you weigh in.
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Back to the barks

03/21/2012

My first visit this year to Mary Bartelme Park’s dog play area came last month. As we entered, my wife Mary looked at me with concern and asked, “You OK? Is it too soon?”
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