Before They Were Famous
by Michael Austin and Jennifer Wehunt
We open up the yearbooks, talk to the classmates, and reveal what Jenny McCarthy, Donald Rumsfeld, Donovan McNabb, Lara Flynn Boyle, David Hasselhoff, and a host of other Chicago high-school students were really like when they were still just the promising kids-or in some cases nerds-next door.

What Ever Happened To The Deerfield Class Of ’89?
by David Bernstein
The community was wealthy, comfortable, and ethnically homogeneous, and the high-school graduates, now in their mid-30s, have found their places in the real world. A classmate catches up with his peers to check out what has happened and how they have changed.

A New Order
by Jay Pridmore
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the city’s most significant architecture firms, recently forced out top designer Adrian Smith. Was that a symptom of troubled times-or merely a sign that SOM was reinventing itself for the 21st century?

Two Soldiers
by Bryan Smith
Kris Walker and George Obourn Jr. were best friends who joined the army together after high school. In a span of hours, both were killed in Iraq-a coincidence that bound them in death and deepened a connection between two heartbroken families.

Are We There Yet?
by Karin Horgan Sullivan
Finding the right cold-weather trip poses special problems. We profile five families with specific needs and locate nearby destinations to help them keep cabin fever at bay.




Erin McKean defines “dob o’ goody”; getting personal with graft buster Patrick Collins; what makes Chicago’s most popular news bloggers tick?; Victoria Lautman chats with author Alice Hoffman; Nymphenburg takes up residence in River West; inside Max King Cap’s mind, where the wild ideas are; a home accessories store we love  Plus: A must-read primer for any guy stumped by Valentine’s Day, and style that will heat up your hearth on a cold night

by Jennifer Tanaka
Does a bigger dinner plate cause people to eat more? In a Q & A, Cornell University food psychologist Brian Wansink talks about his new book, Mindless Eating, which uncovers the hidden factors that may be making us fat.

by Gwenda Blair
They met, fell in love, and conceived twin girls through in vitro fertilization. Or did they? Michael Wilford insists that he was only a sperm donor to Christin Harris, who gave birth in 2003. Now Harris is suing for child support in a textbook legal battle over paternal responsibility in the age of laboratory babies.

Four | One | One
We’d like to thank . . . local trophy manufacturer R. S. Owens & Company for giving us an inside look at how every actor’s favorite golden boy, Oscar, gets made.  Plus: The price of love, and how to shoot a 3-pointer, Ben Gordon–style

Deal Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
On the Gold Coast, a pair of conjoined houses hit the market at the same time, while a decked-out “spec” house in Hinsdale sets a sales record.  Plus: Condo news from Edgewater, Lemont, and the Near South Side-and a new study underscores the financial advantages of building with brick.

by Sarah Preston
Cheers, Lake View. Pops for Champagne uncorks its new River North location, and we’re there for the first pour.  Plus: A sneak peek at Pharmacy


The Closer
by Jeff Ruby
Sorry, ladies. Men are taking back Valentine’s Day, and it’s not pretty. The Closer reveals its pro-guy wish list, from vanity wine to potty putters. 


Chicago Guide®
During February:
Some things just go out of style. Other things, however, are classics. At the Auditorium Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet presents reconstructions of what three very different, startlingly original 20th-century dances looked like when they were premièred: Les Présages, a full-length symphonic ballet; Apollo, a coolly abstract vision of the young god; and The Green Table, the most powerful antiwar ballet ever choreographed.  Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

Dining Out
by Dennis Ray Wheaton
At the rate Latino spots are cropping up, it’s only a matter of time before the Chicago River runs red with salsa.

The definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants
This Month: A new spot in a hallowed Evanston restaurant space; new and updated listings  Dish: The hottest restaurants right now; gossip; Chefs on the Grill: two fishmongers reveal the truth about farm-raised salmon.