Cover Story

Easy Riders
by Geoffrey Johnson with Jennifer Wehunt
Whatever your passion—architecture or antiques, pro sports or history, outdoor adventures or romantic wineries—the Midwest offers nearby destinations to satisfy even budget-conscious travelers.


Education 2009

Charting a New Course
by Dennis Rodkin
Privately managed charter schools represent a new approach to public education—and now an Obama presidency could boost their status. This special report looks at how they work and profiles six local successes. 

What Arne Learned
interview by Jennifer Tanaka
President Obama’s new secretary of education takes the lessons of Chicago public schools to the big stage.

What Bill Ayers Wants
by Debra Pickett
Quiet during the election, the sixties radical now speaks out as an advocate for public-school reform.


The Green Awards
edited by Nora O’Donnell and Cassie Walker
Your nominations in hand, we canvassed the Chicago area for our most earth-friendly individuals. Meet our 2009 class of honorees, six people who are more than green—they’re good.


PAGE TWO Political musical chairs in Illinois; fear the tape ARTS & CULTURE A dazzling fashion show marks a milestone at the School of the Art Institute; The Blip goes to Barneys; the puzzling resilience of Loop theatre; a brilliant new museum opens in Skokie; our numbers wunderkind, Nate Silver, predicts booms and busts for the Cubs and the Sox; the Eccentric Soul Revue; food fight! Plus: A new novella uncovers unpublished works by Nelson Algren. SERVICE DESK Make this year’s spring cleaning good for your health and the planet. Plus: Big cities’ cost of living, compared STYLE Road trips call for comfort and fashion, so pack up the car with these fun and flirty items handpicked by our style team. Plus: Mongo Home version 2.0 and Sales Check

by Bridget Maiellaro
A joyful luncheon honors the Chicagoans of the Year for 2008.

Three promising newcomers; one damn good cookbook; eight extreme Bloody Marys; and the ten hottest restaurants in Chicago

by Sarah Preston
The kegger goes upscale in River North; plus, five April hot spots

by Robert Krughoff
Don’t screw the pooch. Check out our list of 23 of the best Chicago-area veterinarians.

Deal Estate®
by Dennis Rodkin
Two disappointing upscale sales and a survey of the housing market’s ups and downs
Plus: Condo news

The Closer
by Jeff Ruby
You can bet on anything, including ground­hogs, shopping, and weather.

Chicago Guide®
Potter power at the MSI; glam rock at ATC; end-times jazz at the Old Town School

Mixteco proves its mettle in Lake View; Le Titi de Paris gets back on track.

In Every Issue