101 Things to Do
From glass blowing (2,400 degrees) to ice fishing (32 degrees or below), we’ve gone to extremes to bring you adventures and pleasures to help keep the winter blahs away. Also-a checklist of the 20 essential Chicago activities: Are you a true citizen?

Left of the Dial, by Kevin McKeough
A Highland Park couple is gambling $10 million to create the nation’s only liberal talk-radio network. They’re tossing out big names -Al Franken, Jeneane Garofalo-but skeptics abound.

What Ever Happened to Good Service, by Jonathan Black
Annoying gaffes at some fine restaurants have become all too common, turning the experience of dining out into a costly trial and an exasperating gripefest.

The Detective Wore Pearls, by Bryan Smith
Mysteriously forgotten over the years, Alice Clement was famous for her fearless exploits as the city’s first female detectives-and for her fancy hats and fancy furs, her disguises, and her jujitsu moves.

Last Dance, by Lucia Mauro
After serving as inspiration for Robert Altman’s new movie, The Company, Trinity Hamilton, of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, wants to give Hollywood a try.




The Weather Man screenwriter brings Hollywood to Chicago; catching up with legendary drummer Paul Wertico; a boutique for bridesmaids; the scoop on public potties; Urinetown‘s Greg Kotis; more

Style Sheet, by Stacy Wallace-Albert
What’s pretty in paper-origami cranes take flight; the stacked deck of Charles and Ray Eames builds a house of cards; Parisian stationery lends local color.

Real Lives | Getting Reel, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
The buck starts here-as the new head of the Illinois Film Office, Brenda Sexton plans to bring back the business that, in recent years, has been lost to other locations.

Business | The Productivity Trap, by Robert Reed
As surging productivity propels the U.S. economy, there are growing concerns over the effects on a put-upon-and stressed out-work force.

How We Spend | Marquee Value, by Clare La Plante
Chicagoans love to be entertained. But seeing a show need not bust the budget.

Books | The Quiet Man, by James McManus
J.M. Coetzee, this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in literature and part-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, rarely grants interviews. But he chatted briefly with our man via email.

Reporter | Sex Symbols, by Deborah Wilk
Fine art items from Playboy’s maverick collection are hitting this auction block at Christie’s-decades of innovative works inspired by a design visionary.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
A housing expert offers some worrisome thoughts on the market. Plus, house and condo news from the city and suburbs

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
Chilling with Ice Cube after Barbershop 2 wraps; plus, the who and what of the new Y

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
The Cubs’ dramatic season was a roller coaster for everyone-but one local columnist really went for a ride.

On the Town


Prime Time,
During December: Giants: African Dinosaurs is the first ever display to use life-size skeletons as garden sculptures. Visitors to this unusual Garfield Park Conservatory show will be quickly immersed in a prehistoric world.

Food & Drink

Dining Out | Miso en Scene, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Beyond hot: Asian-influenced Japonais and SushiSamba Rio are the biggest openings of the year.

On Wine, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
The rustic wine cuisine of Paul Kahan’s communal spot, Avec

The city’s definitive guide| This month: Two new listings, Magnolia Cafe and Platiyo; re-reviews of Marche, Trattoria No. 10, and five others

Short Takes,
Budget Beat| Edgewater’s hipster breakfast-and-lunch joint, M. Henry.
Renaissance| The world-famous Le Francais lives to sauté again.
Street Beat| Clear your head for Chicago’s spiciest dishes.
Opening| Introducing Pogue Mahone, the Board of Trade’s meaty new neighbor
Bar & Grill| The humble corn dog grows up at Darwin’s