It turns out housing prices in the Lincoln Square neighborhood (on Chicago’s Northwest Side) haven’t been on the two-year roller coaster ride suggested by Chicago’s October issue. Because of a problem with our data, the magazine’s annual real-estate charts reported an artificially large jump in prices in Lincoln Square in October 2006; as a result, the October 2007 charts indicated a dramatic (and false) decline...

Read more
I'm finally in Paris! We've rented an apartment in the Marais, which is home to lots of boutiques, nightlife spots, and restaurants. Things are great, except that I've contracted a cold. In French, it's called a "rhume." In my world, it's a big bummer. Oh well. A tip I've picked up this trip: To get your bearings in Paris, everyone tells you to rent one of the bateaux mouches (fly boats) and see the city by water. I say, rent a bike instead. We rented bikes at a shop in Belleville for 2 Euros an hour and cruised across the city in an afternoon. The best part is... Read more

It's almost Paris Fashion Week (the kick-off is in five days), and I'll be blogging here every day from the shows. If you don't follow the fashion calendar (and trust me, I won't hold it against you), Milan is happening at this moment. Before that was London, and before that, New York. Since I wasn't in New York...

Read more

Should we find out the baby’s gender? That’s the question of the moment. Babu’s sex organs would be visible on an ultrasound, which is to say that Babu could officially become little Babbo or Babette—if we are interested in such information. Here, the pros and cons of finding out:

Why we should wait:

  • We’re looking forward to the “surprise.”
  • We could be bummed out by what we find out. (We both want a boy.)...
  • Read more

The club-hopping cognoscenti have their own language—slang that, at one time, only a true nightlife enthusiast would use and/or understand, but that has begun, at least in part, to creep into the everyday vernacular (to wit, the “-ster” variations: scenester, hipster, clubster). Don’t be left sounding like your elderly grandma. Do learn the lingo; then post your own additions below for consideration in future updates...

Read more

We're traveling with a pair of vegetarians. I love them, I do. But sometimes it gets a little frustrating to do a complete menu analysis before going into a bistro. (We've gotten more than a few blank stares in both Italy and France while asking servers to point out vegetarian dishes.) A day or so ago, in Nice, we were hanging around the harbor and looking for a place to lunch. They stumbled upon a falafel place and got very excited...

Read more

Sarah and I have had baby names picked out since before we were even married. I think she brought it up on our third date. We haven’t told anyone what they are, but they are classic, timeless Jewish names that call to mind centuries of history and heroics and pay homage to various beloved family members. Trouble is, everyone else in America suddenly started picking these names. In short, the names have become the one thing you don’t your name to be: trendy.

The good news is in five months the names we’ve chosen will most likely be so in that they’re out again, while all those MacKenzies and Jaydens and Madisons will someday be adults named MacKenzie, Jayden, and Madison...

Read more

Arrrrguably the best weekend kickoff
It’s about as close to the Caribbean as you can get on the Great Lakes. Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather on the Last Spirited Sail, a two-hour lake tour aboard the schooner Red Witch, Friday the 21st. For the adventuresome: The best pirate costume wins a bottle of Champagne. Not into playing dress up? Sample the French fusion eats and Caribbean drinks, and daydream your way into the weekend. Board at 8 p.m. in Burnham Harbor (1559 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 773-354-1563), slip J-23. Tickets are $60; reservations required: cook-au-vin.com.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

• Bawdy comedienne Margaret Cho goes burlesque...

Read more