Kitchens are cooking up a recipe for mental illness


By Olivia Lee Medill Reports It’s Saturday evening, and the tables are set. Servers are dressed in their finest suits. Chef Ryan McCaskey, owner of Acadia, a two-star Michelin restaurant, and his staff have spent all day prepping for tonight’s service. Every little detail has been planned out. Guests are greeted with a welcome drink, […]

No more undercover food critics

Social Influence

By Olivia Lee Medill Reports It’s 2006 and Jeff Ruby, food critic for Chicago magazine, is being interviewed by the History Channel. In attempts to keep an undercover profile, like most food critics do, Ruby shaves his beard for the first time in 10 years and dyes his natural red hair jet black. To make […]

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 […]

We, Not Me: An introduction to democratic socialism

By Joshua Skinner Medill Reports Socialism might simultaneously be the most feared and loved ideology in the world. The mere mention of the word conjures up visions of utopia and the most horrific crimes of the 20th century. When Americans hear the word “socialism,” it’s just as likely to convey images of famine and genocide […]

J.B. Smoove: Actor, comedian, basketball fanatic


By Keith Giagnorio Medill Reports You can learn a lot about J.B. Smoove from watching him portray Leon Black on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the hit HBO comedy series he stars in alongside Larry David. Both Smoove and the fictional Leon share the same high energy, quick-witted, and simply hilarious personality. Both are incredibly engaging and […]

Taxes make Chicago real estate hard to sell

By Jackson Elliott Medill Reports Chicago’s high real estate prices and the lack of buyers might indicate a housing market bubble, one real estate agent said. Anthony Zammit, a 17-year industry veteran and the CEO of Lofty Real Estate, said that the slow market might be a sign of over-inflated real estate prices, especially given […]