Vespers for Scott Andringa

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports I started at Medill one year ago. I was part of a group of recent college graduates, published journalists looking to accelerate their work, and people going through a mid-career shift made up the 30-or-so magazine specialization students. While most of us were near the beginning of our adult […]

The other lender of last resort

Pawn Shop Storefront

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports COVID-19 has caused a role reversal in pawnshop borrowers. During the first four weeks of Illinois’ stay-at-home order, some pawnshops in lower-income areas of Chicago saw fewer new loans taken out and old loans being paid back early. Pawnshops in wealthier parts of the city, however, faced a rush […]

The man in the skyscraper church

Sky Chapel

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports “An unexpected raise! #blessed,” the Rev. Dr. Myron McCoy, 64, told his congregation during a recent service. “You don’t want one?” he teased.  From the tallest church in the world, he delivers messages of inclusivity and diversity every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The pastor’s journey to the 23-story Chicago Temple […]

The giant of Michigan Avenue

Hancock Skyline

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports Imagine waking up on the 80th floor, going down to work on the 35th floor, grabbing lunch on the second floor, stopping by the grocery store or dry cleaner on the 44th floor and eating dinner on the 95th floor before going back home to the 80th floor. Residents […]

Patrick Brower builds a community around comics

Inside Challengers Comics and Conversation

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports Two sleeves of superhero tattoos make Patrick Brower, 51, look like a comic book. Twelve years ago, he and co-owner Dal Bush, 41, opened Challengers Comics and Conversation in Bucktown. Then last November, they opened a second store in River North. They also curate a selection for Chicago Board […]