Where to Get Stuff Fixed, by Magda Krance
Things fall apart. Or stop working, come loose, get dinged, rip, or simply lose their luster. Luckily, scores of Chicago businesses specialize in making the old and the nicked-from apparel to appliances to watches and wood-seem new again. A guide to the best.

The Church vs. the Neighbors, by Marcia Froelk Coburn
There goes the neighborhood, insist Near North residents and activist groups to the expansion plans proposed by the Fourth Presbyterian Church. The move will fund a community center near Cabrini-Green, but it could lead to snarled traffic and blighted views around the historic church.

The Lincoln Crusade, by Geoffrey Johnson
For more than 20 years, a dedicated group of individuals struggled to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a reality. When some observers suggested that Governor George Ryan wanted to turn the project into a patronage dump, the Sun-Times columnist Steve Neal fought one of his last battles.

Harry Schmidt’s War, by Bryan Smith
In the fog of war high over Afghanistan, an Illinois National Guard pilot dropped a bomb that killed four Canadian soldiers engaged in live-fire exercises. Since then he has been vilified and stripped of his wings. Now he’s telling his side of the story.

At Home: The Block Club, by Christine Newman
Wilkinson Blender Architecture redid these three 100-year-old houses on the same street for young families with 21st-century lives.




Meet Michael Koehler, woodworker extraordinaire; foodies stampede Grant Achatz’s new restaurant before it opens; a Chicago journalist pens a new Lou Gehrig biography; the ceramist Ruth Duckworth gets a career-spanning retrospective; two rare-violin dealers collide; the choreographer Lar Lubovitch makes his hometown debut; three young art buyers dish on their collections. Plus: Style Sheet, The Shopper and Sales Check

How We Spend, by Clare La Plante
When finished eating, restaurant diners reach a tipping point. How does Chicago compare with other cities in dishing out gratuities? Plus: Are they trying to clean up this town? A look a spending on household supplies suggests so.

Business | The Bigger Store, by Robert Reed
In recent years, Sears’ CEO Alan Lacy has made bold moves to try to turn the ailing retailer around. But after his company’s merger with Kmart, will Lacy be the right guy to transform the Big Store into a worthy rival of Wal-Mart and Target?

Reporter | Playing Lardball, by James Ylisela Jr.
Despite efforts of reformers, Cook County government remains larded with patronage jobs jealously guarded by clout-wielding bureaucrats. Identifying the problem is easy. Fixing it has proved maddeningly difficult.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
In a new feature, three real-estate agents tour a house and then give their best offers-this month, in west Lincoln Park. Plus: Other house and condo news from Ravenswood Manor, Skokie, Lake View, and the Gold Coast.

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
The city’s young and single set is migrating to a monthly bash at the Field Museum. Plus: Maybe you’ve seen the Afrodisiacs disco down, but have you seen them more into the eighties-channeling Spazmatics?


The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
What we’ve learned from stampeding cows, crashing blimps, 8,000 gallons of exploding gasoline, and other bizarre Chicago catastrophes.

On the Town


During April: The PAC/Edge Festival, made up of the city’s avant-garde, features artists who persistently explore the boundaries of their art. A perfect example? Goat Island, who are known for their long gestation periods between shows.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

Dining Out | Haute and Mighty, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Le Francaise and Ambria, two of Chicago’s most hallowed restaurants, add exciting new chapters to their already long stories.

The city’s definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants| This month: Five new and updated listings, including Ben Pao, Katsu, and Oceanique
Dish: The ten hottest restaurants right now; a recipe from a pastry goddess; openings, closings, and more