1. Chicago’s Best Pizza

The 38 best spots in the greatest pizza city on earth. Chicago magazine makes the picks.

2. Can Chicago Artists Salvage Gary, Indiana?

The city’s problems get a lot of attention, but not much funding. Theaster Gates and Jan Tichy are hoping that cultural development can help. The Reader follows them south.

3. How Nature Inspires the Buildings of Jeanne Gang

“We need, literally, green spaces in the city, because humans are animals too. We need this connection.” The Chicago architect talks to the BBC.

4. Shadow City: How Chicago Became the Country’s Alley Capital

Not all cities have extensive alleys, much less 1,900 miles worth. WBEZ traces their history.

5. Three Years After Building Skyscraper, Roosevelt University Plans Cuts

Its South Loop tower was supposed to be a showcase—and to attract millions in new tuition revenue. It hasn’t happened. The Tribune investigates its aftermath.

6. The Sudden, Historic Dominance of Jake Arrieta

The Cubs pitcher literally got his balance back and transformed from a disappointing prospect into an ace. Grantland explains his fast maturation.

7. Want to Talk to Steve Bartman? This Man Gives the Same Answer, Over and Over Again

A veteran sports agent keeps the world at bay, whether it’s reporters or a six-figure paycheck for a Super Bowl ad. The Washington Post interviews his firewall.

8. Forrest Claypool’s Biggest Challenge: Fixing Chicago’s Public Schools

“I view the role just as I viewed it when I ran the parks and the CTA. It’s a management challenge.” Chicago sits down with the troubled district’s CEO.

9. If Hell Exists, This Collection of 1989–1993 Kmart In-Store Music Is the Soundtrack

A former employee of a Naperville Kmart kept several years’ worth of cassette tapes sent by the corporate office, which sent one per month to play for 14 hours a day, seven days a week. BoingBoing finds his archive.

10. We Solve the Mystery of the Cubs’ Early Name: The Microbes

And it has to do with Chicago reversing its river. Time Out Chicago is on the case.