Secret City
We searched high and low to uncover the unusual, the useful, the amazing, and the arcane in Chicago. Among more than 80 revelations: how to use your pennies on the tollway, the house that haunted F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Field Museum’s million-footed monster, and much more

Behind the Scenes
CITY 2000, the massive project to photograph Chicago throughout the year 2000, has gathered more than 300,000 images ranging from the momentous to the mundane. In these pages, photos from the project reveal sides of the city most people never see.




David Schwimmer’s birthday bash at Circus; the baseball card that scored more than $1.2 million on eBay; Richard Gere’s surprise at the Chicago International Film Festival; more

Style Sheet
by Stacy Wallace-Albert
Dinnerware in living color, crystal tattoos, vintage handbags made new

Stage & Screen
by Penelope Mesic
A majestic tragedy by Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson inaugurates the new Goodman Theatre.

Real Lives
by Marcia Froelke Coburn
Even after the murder of a colleague, parish priest Robert Miller perseveres to rebuild Bronzeville.

Deal Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
A converted noodle factory, Burr Ridge redux, and a purloined Prairie style


by Robert Kurson
Mob members might be smarter than ever, but they can still shoot to kill.

They Were There
From Jane Bryne to Geraldo Rivera to Hef himself, key players recall events big and small of the past 30 years.

by Joel Reese
In 1996, 13-year-old Rachel Mellon disappeared from her home in Bolingbrook. Police have closely investigated the girl’s stepfather, but the case remains unsolved.

Dining Out
by Dennis Ray Wheaton
The outrageous decibel levels of the two latest hot spots give new meaning to the expression “din-din.”

Expert Witness
by Wendy Tweedale
Want to find someplace warm? Travel writer Toni Stroud knows where to go, and how to get there.

Chicago Guides

Prime Time
December dates

Photographer Catherine Opie gets a comprehensive retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Navy Pier welcomes Dinofest.


Bobsan is the most exciting among a spate of new sushi bars around town. Grocery: Coastal juggernaut Trader Joe’s brings bargains to the ‘burbs.