The Best of Chicago,
Our annual roundup of the outstanding people, places, and things in the city and suburbs-including a hot Hinsdale shopping strip; our dining experts’ picks for the tastiest sushi, pub grub, and other foods; hometown recollections from Artbabe‘s Jessica Abel; and a few favorites from Ozzie Guillen and other folks in the know

Latina Class, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
The city’s Latinas are moving up professionally in both the public and private sectors, and they’re showing other women how to make it to the next level in their careers. Four who are leading the way had advantages that were thought to be rare in a traditionally male-dominated culture-the backing of strong mothers and an ambition to succeed in the mainstream.

House of Muse, by Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin
The Fine Arts Building on South Michigan Avenue remains what it has been for more than a century: a haven of creativity for artists, instrument makers, musicians, and dancers. For its owners, holding the old place together over the past 25 years has been a labor of love.

At Home: High Society, by Christine Newman
After a recent update by the interior designer Arlene Semel and the architect Laurence Booth, this David Adler penthouse on the Gold Coast is more elegant than ever. It has all the panache of a Parisian salon.




Wedding gown designer Carla Hwang; the new Millennium Park bike station; a local table-tennis champ; Chicago actors and their “cop quotient”; Adrian Smith’s newest skyscraper; Elvis impersonators; an inside tour of the late-night club scene; more. Plus: Style Sheet, Sales Check, and The Shopper

How We Spend | Up in Smoke, by Clare La Plante
Chicago’s ranking as a smoking town; ways and costs of kicking the habit. Plus: the logic of paying off those credit cards. And the Hamptons versus New Buffalo: Can you guess which is cheaper?

Adult Ed | Electoral College, by Carrie Sager
In November, civic-minded Chicagoans will head to the polls to help select the next President. Here are eight classes-including an examination of U.S. legal traditions, a lineup of political movies, and a look at the Lincoln-Douglas debates-that should help local voters make a wise choice.

Sports | Making Contact, by Ira Berkow
In 1957, Jim Woods made the improbable leap from Lane Tech High School to the Chicago Cubs, though his career soon fizzled. The author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter who once played against Woods, finally finds the answer to his questions, “Where have you gone, Jim Woods?”

Business | Fade to White, by Robert Reed
The number of Chicago area banks owned by African Americans has dwindled to a scant few in recent years. Given continuing concerns over discrimination, should the decline of black-owned banks raise red flags?

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
“Queer Eye”‘s Ted Allen sells his pad; FTD’s former CEO puts down roots in Wayne; and a Lake Forest manse undergoes a $600,000 renovation-on paper. Plus condo news from Arlington Heights, the Loop, and the Near West Side.

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
Nightlifers will have to travel a little farther now that Iggy’s a longtime late-night dining hot spot has moved to Wicker Park. Fans of the original location will still find it hip, but has Iggy’s lost its edge? Also, enjoy a nip high above the hubbubs of the Magnificent Mile at NoMI’s Garden.

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
From those homeless parakeets in Hyde Park to the highflying falcons downtown, Chicago seems to be teeming with wildlife. In fact, a quick look around proves what some have said all along: It’s a jungle out there.

On the Town


During August: The American Craft Exposition, a high-quality juried show, comes to Evanston.
Marquee: A heads-up on coming attractions

Food & Drink

Dining Out | Stars and Stripes, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Green Zebra and Les Deux Autres are two of the season’s best new ventures: The former is Shawn McClain’s West Town veggie haven; the latter, a smart French concept in the old Les Deux Gros space.

On Wine, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Introducing two homey white wines for summer

The city’s definitive guide| This month: Six new updated listings, including Le Francais and Pili.Pili
Dish: The ten hottest restaurants right now; Q&A with a great chef; news and more

Short Takes
Budget Beat| To Pho, an unpretentious Loop dinner option
Brand New| Take a spoonful of Sweets & Savories before it gets discovered.
Pretheatre| Rhapsody and Wave, two overlooked spots for just before the opening curtain
Street Beat| Our critic’s New Maxwell Street Market recommendations
Urban Asian| Tsuki and Matsuyama both bring interesting twists to Japanese food.