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The best the Web has to offer Chicago: hyperlocal news, where they towed your car, who delivers to your home, all about your house (and your neighbor's), and much more
ART & CULTURE
Former Chicago gallery owner Paul Kline holds forth at ArtLetter.com on the museums, galleries, and artists that make up Chicago's art scene.
Prolific local art podcasters (and bloggers), the writers of BadAtSports.com focus on the professional art world, especially in Chicago.
ChicagoArt.net, a repository of Chicago gallery news and press releases since 2000, allows those who sign up to customize e-mail alerts for individual galleries of their choice.
Edward Lifson—well known to Chicagoans as the former host of Chicago Public Radio's Hello Beautiful!—blogs at EdwardLifson.com on modern architecture, design, and anything else that catches his eye in Chicago.
ChicagoGalleryNews.com tells visitors what's going on at individual galleries and sorts them into geographical clusters for planning an afternoon of gallery-hopping. Openings are announced on a calendar page.
Run by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, ChicagoArtistsResource.org fashions itself as a one-stop shop for all things the working Chicago artist needs.
Local writer Claire Zulkey posts a thorough interview or a clever essay almost every day at Zulkey.com. Her archive of past writing could consume your whole morning, if you're not careful.
Chicago-focused but national in scope, SharkForum.org presents short opinion pieces on arts-and-culture topics by a passel of artists who can also write. The site is usually updated with new posts five times a week or so.
WearDuringOrangeAlert.Blogspot.com, a snappily designed and frequently updated music and art blog—steers readers to little-known bands, writers, and musicians and often features extensive interviews of the artists. Because the bloggers are from the Chicago area, many of their subjects have a local connection.
At Chipublib.org, you can find out about upcoming lectures, search the catalog, use proprietary research databases (if you've got a library card), and browse historical information. And don't miss the selection of 3,000-plus digital audio books available at Overdrive.Chipub lib.org for downloading and listening. All you need is a library card, a Windows PC, and software from the library's site (free).
Literago.org keeps a calendar of local literary events and a blog (labeled "Bulletins") on reading, writing, and writers. Essays and write-ups of events appear less frequently but present a clear and well-written perspective.
Since 2002, Chicago-based BookSlut.com has been the URL where book lovers go to get busy. The site offers Q&As of major and minor authors, book reviews, blogs, and columns, and hosts a monthly reading series.
Bringing the world-renowned Chicago Manual of Style into the 21st century, ChicagoManualOfStyle.org has a subscription service and a free ongoing Q&A with the über-editors in Hyde Park.
At ChicagoBusiness.com, Crain's Chicago Business's site, full-time online reporters break business news, the week's print edition is free (the archives are fee-based), and multimedia features enhance the print content.
Representing more than 32,000 Chicago Latino professionals, ChicagoLatinoNetwork.com publicizes activities of the organization, which holds parties, networking and cultural events, and job fairs. A new blog allows frank discussion of issues facing local Latinos.
FreshwaterVenture.com profiles Chicago's tech start-ups and the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who are working to build the Silicon Prairie.
MidwestBusiness.com (formerly ePrairie.com) runs Q&As of local execs, weekly columns by biz consultants and profs, and boozy photos of Chicago's tech community cutting loose at industry soirees. Use it as a regional tech news aggregator and for its business events listings.
DriveChicago.com lists new and used cars for sale in the Chicago area, sorted by proximity to your ZIP Code. Vehicle reviews from local columnists and ways to link up with fellow car nuts give the site a couple of advantages over its competitors.
Chicago-based Cars.com's search tool includes not only new and used cars at dealerships but also private-party sales nearby. KickingTires, the site's blog, gets updates on new cars, safety, and other automotive issues multiple times daily.
At CivicFed.org, the 113-year-old nonpartisan Chicago Civic Federation provides budget analyses covering city and county agencies, research papers explaining dense financial issues, position papers spelling out opinions, and more. An invaluable and free online resource for policy wonks.
Online arm of the well-known statewide philanthropy center, DonorsForum.org offers Philanthropy 101-type training for grant makers and grant applicants, in addition to reports, links, and access to resources from its real-world library.
Grassroots organizations need grassroots publicity. The Columbia College-based Community Media Workshop at NewsTips.org trains area nonprofits in how to court the media and hosts networking events that bring these two groups together. The site also offers a free e-mail and snail-mail newsletter to more than 1,200 journalists.
Seekers of a good laugh should know TheBastion.org, the news site that covers Chicago comedy with posts, news, and videos, as well as a long list of links to Chicago comics, venues, and groups.
TheBastion.org editor and comedian Elizabeth McQuern keeps a personal blog at Bellarossa.Blogspot.com. She posts comedy videos and engagingly written bloggy musings about life.