1. The Best of Chicago

Best artisanal beer hall? Best new hotel? Best alternative to Ikea? It’s all here. Chicago magazine rounds up an idiosyncratic list of the city’s highlights.

2. Where Are They Now? Catching Up with Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

The Chicago legend works now works high up in the Wrigley Building—a long way from the Dallas kid who “didn’t care for sports.” Sports Illustrated checks in with the icon.

3. In Chicago, the Pilsen Neighborhood Reflects Mexican Flavors

Thalia Hall, live-work spaces, and a bar’s “art lab” mark the latest changes to an area that’s seen many over its history. The Washington Post discovers the South Side hotspot.

4. What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence in Chicago

What a death toll doesn’t tell us, when a mass shooting isn’t a mass shooting, and more reflections on how we process the news. NPR’s CodeSwitch talks to locals and experts.

5. The Ugly Beauty of Urban Exploration

Some of Chicago’s best photographers vivdly capture the decay of abandoned Rust Belt buildings. But what’s the meaning of what they’re shooting? The Chicago Reader reflects on the art of ruin.

6. Blood in the Streets: A Conversation About Gun Violence in Chicago

A roundtable discussion on what’s going on, and what to do next. Gawker convenes residents and natives to talk it out.

7. On the South Side, as in Detroit, Rumbings of Something Different

Photographer David Schalliol describes the conflicts and contradictions of depicting struggling urban neighborhoods. BagNews takes an annotated visual tour of the cities.

8. Millennium Park Built ‘the Chicago Way’

It’s the city’s architectural crown jewel. It’s also emblematic of waste and corruption. The Tribune looks at how the sausage was made.

9. Despite Recent Shootings, Chicago Nowhere Near U.S. ‘Murder Capital’

Flint, Detroit, New Orleans, and the nation’s capital regularly top the list. The Pew Research Center puts things in context.

10. For the Cubs, 2015 May Be the Year (Seriously)

The vaunted and ongoing rebuilding process is starting to come into focus, with a raft of young talent due to reach the majors. Chicago analyzes the latest moves.