Perched at the edge of the world, Catey Sullivan took a walk in Tierra del Fuego in 2006. She slipped, fell into a crevasse, and shattered her ankle. She lay there overnight, until her fellow travelers came looking for her. Somehow she didn’t swear off travel forever, and with this issue she embarks on a new (presumably safer) adventure, writing a travel column and a weekly e-newsletter, both titled The Escape Artist. “It’s all Midwest travel, within a day’s drive,” says Sullivan, who also writes about theatre for Chicago. The columns will present easy, accessible trips, and the newsletter will feature travel tips, updates, and deals.
In writing about the Chicagoans working for Obama in “Midwest Wing” in Reporter, ASHLEY PARKER—a Washingtonian—got an education in Chicago’s indigenous foods. At a fundraiser for Congressman Mike Quigley, she found out that Chicago hot dogs must not have ketchup. She also studied the Giordano’s website, with its pictures of deep-dish pies blanketing the homepage. “It was late in the afternoon, and I was salivating over it,” Parker says. She had some pizza shipped to her in D.C. It was research. “It just looked so good,” she says.
Since Chicago last surveyed the pizza landscape in 1998, a lot has changed. “People are crazy about Neapolitan pizza in the same way they had this zeal for deep-dish back then,” says JEFF RUBY, the writer of Piece Offerings. Ruby and Penny Pollack—coauthors of the 2005 book Everybody Loves Pizza—visited more than 100 places, compared notes, and chose 25 top pies that run the style gamut.
Ruby, who ate dozens of hamburgers for this past September’s cover story, found that pizza, in its versatility, had an advantage over burgers. “Weeks after the eating and writing was done, I was still eating pizza,” he says. “I never got sick of it.”
“Harry was this comet streaking across the sky”—that’s what ROBERT SHAROFF remembers hearing from some of Harry Weese’s partners. Sharoff nurtured the inkling of a story on the groundbreaking Chicago architect for years, interviewing Weese’s widow, Kitty, and collecting notes. He built his inkling into a full story in Reconstructing Harry Weese, telling how Weese’s architectural achievements dovetailed with his unhinged personality, producing a life that lacked a dignified, valedictory old age. “He was this strange, legendary figure,” Sharoff says. “Amazing buildings, at the pinnacle of his profession, then he had this terrible collapse—a crash and burn at the end.”
To get amateur models to let their guard down for photographs, ERIKA DUFOUR uses props, movement, and even an off-kilter familiarity, which sparked the made-up nicknames she swapped with one of the single Chicagoans she photographed for Double Take. “My name was Pants, and I called him Moe. He called Amy the prop stylist Bubbles.” The portraits were shot with predominant black-and-white tones, interrupted with splashes of color. Dufour got a glimpse of everyone’s personality. “In my mind I started pairing people off,” she says. Some of them might not have needed her help, though—at least one single chatted up another at the photo shoot.
Photography: (Sullivan) courtesy of Catey Sullivan, (Parker) courtesy of Ashley Parker, (Dufour) courtesy of Erika Dufour