The A+ Team
by Dennis Rodkin and Amy Rainey
We crunched data on more than 1,740 Chicago-area public elementary and middle schools to name the 115 best. We also compiled a list of 25 topflight private schools.

Been Up So Long, Looks Like Down Too Me
by Dennis Rodkin
Slower sales, flattening prices? It’s not as bleak as it sounds. Our annual housing-prices survey reveals a new state of Chicago real estate: reality.

The Strange Case Of The Dentist And The Pimps
by Bryan Smith
Gary Kimmel had it all: thriving dental practice, beautiful family, deluxe condo, snazzy cars. Then the FBI made some startling allegations.

Vital Signs
by Jennifer Wehunt
Inspired by the glitz of Broadway, one immigrant illuminated Chicago’s own theatre scene. Three generations later, his great-grandson sheds some light on the brilliant history of the White Way Sign company, from birth to bulbs.

Treasure Hunter
by Marcia Froelke Coburn
At Architectural Artifacts, his rambling store in Ravenswood, Stuart Grannen runs a bohemian business selling antiques, fragments of buildings, and weird stuff.

At Home: Re-Wright
by Christine Newman
When an Oak Park couple bought the 100-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright house they had long coveted, the Chicago architect John Vinci helped right the wrongs.


Alejandro Cerrudo dazzled Europe. Now the young choreographer struts his stuff in the U.S.; operatic diva Deborah Voigt returns to Chicago a lean, mean singing machine; Nate Berkus tricks out an Avondale condo; green architecture sprouts in a neighborhood near you; new releases from Califone, Barack Obama, and Wee Hairy Beasties; crafting the perfect wine list, more! Plus: Sales Check and Style Sheet

by Dirk Johnson
Jay Mariotti is not well liked by the sports figures he rips in his Sun-Times column or by his peers in the media. But to Mariotti, brash is beautiful.

by Dennis Rodkin
When Matt and Sarah Adess bought a Wicker Park condo, they never expected that their new home would be more nightmare than dream come true.

Show Business
by Kevin McKeough
The feverish minds behind the revived Annoyance Theatre talk about their new show, their inspirations, and how to be sophomoric in context.

by Jeff S. Rasley
Monsters of the Midway? Not quite. A former player recalls the bittersweet revival of varsity football at the University of Chicago.

Four | One | One
LaSalle Bank CEO Norman Bobins presents the view from his office window; how dying can be a killer . . . to the pocketbook. Plus: The perfect Oktoberfest meal

Deal Estate
by Dennis Rodkin
Our annual review of the year’s most expensive properties reveals what it costs to top the charts in Chicago. Plus: Condo news from around the city

by Sarah Preston
Besides being Kanye West’s manager, John Monopoly can add “club owner” to his résumé with the opening of the members-only Boutique.


The Closer
by Jeff Ruby
Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull isn?t the only furry friend who’s run into trouble on the sidelines. The Closer reveals more members of his ornery order.


Chicago Guide®
During October: Redmoon Theatre, which consistently redefines the concept of a spectacle, often by using unexpected Chicago locations to make its creative point, is at it again. This time the group transforms the West Side’s Columbus Park into a Twilight Orchard of large-scale pageantry and interactive performances. During Orchard’s weeklong run, audiences are invited to stroll leisurely through its “garden of the imagination,” evenings from 6:30 to 9:30.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions

Food & Drink

Dining Out
by Dennis Ray Wheaton
A pair of odd-duck restaurants have charm and eccentricity to burn-and hey, the food’s pretty good, too.

The definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants
This month: Five new and updated listings, including Shallots Bistro and Kevin.
Dish: The hottest restaurants right now; gossip; Chefs on the Grill: Rick Tramonto talks drugs, divorce, and foie gras in Mike Nagrant’s podcast column.