Table of Contents

Features

Best Places to Work,
We searched far and wide for the Chicago area employers who were treating their workers best. We found ad agencies, insurers, law firms, software developers, a restauranteur, and more-in all, 25 companies where employees are happy all the livelong workday.

The Toughest Game in Town, by Steve Rhodes
McCormick Place once reigned as the premier convention hall in the country. But stiffening competition has threatened to topple the monolith-and driven officials to start yet another building.

Material Girl, by Rachel Shteir
Sally Rand’s fan dance became the signature event of the 1933-34 World’s Fair-transforming a diminutive dame from the Missouri Ozarks into Chicago’s first modern sex symbol.

Mondo Condos!, by Dennis Rodkin
From the Loop to Libertyville, the condo boom is changing the way Chicagoans live-but is it for the better? An overview of this housing phenomenon, plus our annual survey of home prices in 277 Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs

At Home: Objects of Desire, by Christine Newman
At Harvey Art & Antiques in Evanston, the owner lives and works in a gallery devoted to divine inventions and eccentricity at its best.

Departments

Letters

Contributors

Arena
Saxophone prodigy Frank Catalano; a celebratory memoir by arts educator Ronne Hartfield; the city’s best and brightest stage actors; Michelle Obama talks; a new cable sports network is created for Chicago; Victoria Lautman interviews journalist Susan Orlean; more. Plus: Style Sheet, Sales Check, and The Shopper

How We Spend, by Clare La Plante
When it comes to puppy love, Chicagoans like their dogs big. Plus: Bicycle stats; commuter facts; and is joblessness next to studliness

Books | O, Dear, by Mara Tapp
Since reinventing her Book Club, Oprah has focused on classics. Will masterpieces of dysfunction turn out to be especially therapeutic for adults?

Crime | Vanishing Point, by Cassie Walker
After Nancie Walker, a Bronzeville businesswoman, disappeared last year, her family and friends discovered a system ill prepared to track down missing adults.

Reporter | A Soldier’s Story, by Jeff Ruby
A Chicago son returns from Operation Iraqui Freedom armed with insights on his year in the desert; a candid Q&A with a U.S. Army captain

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
Rock star Billy Corgan paid $7 million for a Highland Park mansion-enough to earn him the top spot on Chicago’s annual list of the area’s most expensive house sales. Plus: New condo projects in Evanston, Bronzville, and the West Loop

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
Our reporter cases Vintage Wine Bar and chills with the Effen guys.

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
Chicago produces junk food as well as anyone-or so we thought. Here are the results of our taste tests of local potato chips, beers, ice cream, and more.

On the Town

Events

Calendar
During October: Pilobolus Dance Theatre alights for two days at the Chicago Theatre to dance four works, one of which was commissioned for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

Dining Out | Four Play, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Introducing four new hot spots packed with tapas and bistro cooking-all of which have evolved, overnight, from summer flings into long-term relationships

Restaurants
The city’s definitive guide| This month: Four new updated listings, including Green Zebra and SushiSamba Rio
Dish: The ten hottest restaurants right now; Q&A with a great chef; big openings; sad closings; the ultimate candy bar challenge; and more

Short Takes
Budget Beat| Flo
Opening| Prairie Grass Cafe
Invention| Trio Atelier
Street Beat| Where to get a good slice
Trattoria| Cucina di Donatella

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