The Best for Less, by Jan Parr with Christine Houde, Ronit Rose, Gretchen Wahl, and Cassie Walker
How to get great deals on quality merchandise and avoid being seduced by oh-so-low prices-places, insider tips, little-known mailing lists

The Shape of Things to Come, by Jonathan Black
It missed its eponymous moment by four years, its budget has multiplied, and its aesthetics are the subject of ongoing debate. But Millennium Park will change the way future generations see Chicago. Its creation is a tale of big money, big egos, and one enormous, shiny jellybean.

A Guy Thing, by Cassie Walker
She grew up in her blues-legend father’s suburban home, and went to a fine high school. But the sounds of hip-hop drowned out the call of college. Now her blazing-fast rap style and a much-anticipated new record says it loud and clear: RaShawna Guy is not just her daddy’s little girl.

The Store in the Middle, by Bryan Smith
The new Dominick’s at Division and Clybourn, sitting atop a racial and socioeconomic fault line, offers a glimpse into the challenges of a changing neighborhood.

Rediscovering Chinatown, by Dennis Ray Wheaton and Ericka Mellon
An old neighborhood’s new story: the expansion, the commerce, and the best restaurants




Small-town expat Brett Neveu debuts a new play; MCA’s latest triumph; five Chicago-area chicks and their lit; fast chat with singer Heather Headley; sex in the city; more

Style Sheet, by Stacy Wallace-Albert
Chill out and stay warm with hot chocolate in simple loving cups, take a cashmere-covered hot-water bottle to bed, and dress your pooch in a soft, smart-looking sweater.

Real Lives | The Truffle Queen, by Marcia Froelke Coburn
Katrina Markoff has built a booming boutique business out of her haut-chocolate specialties-sensory revelations for hip connoisseurs.

How We Spend | A Hitch in the Plans, by Clare La Plante
Chicagoans spend more than the national average on wedding receptions, but it’s possible to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

Business | The Ties That Bind?, by Robert Reed
The boards of some of Chicago’s biggest corporations share many of the same names and all call to mind an insular, elitist club. Is that lack of diversity good for shareholders-or even for business?

Sports | The ‘Dagger’, by Jeff Ruby
Despite a sensational athletic career at New Trier, Matt Lottich was thought to lack the stuff to excel at big-time college hoops. But as his rueful opponents have come to learn, he’s not called “Dagger” for nothing.

Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
A Gold Coast pioneer, a quirky house quashed, a lakefront sales survey-plus condo news from Glenview, Fort Sheridan, and the South Loop

Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
A new Wicker Park bar specializes in tequila of the sipping kind; Narcisse ups the food quotient; Ontourage joins the fray.

The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
Dinner and a movie still reigns as the classic date combination-and here are a few pairings guaranteed to start your appetite.

On the Town


Prime Time
During February: Conversion to Modernism: The Early Work of Man Ray pays tribute to photos, still lifes, and “imaginary landscapes” currently at the Terra Museum.

Food & Drink

The city’s definitive guide| This month: New listings include Allen’s and Roy’s; re-reviews of Morton’s and North Pond; more

Short Takes
South Loop| Saiko clinches South Wabash as the new mecca for multi-culti dining.
Budget Beat| Spoon sets a mean Thai table in Lincoln Square.
Street Beat| The adult version of Candyland.
Recreational Dining| Groove on burgers and fries in the Park Grill; then do the boogie-woogie on the ice-skating rink in front of it.
Opening| Vermillion introduces the world to Indian-Latin fusion.