#870: The Last Year

January 1st, 2018

I’ve spent the last few days sick, limiting my Chicago exploration to the kitchen tea kettle and my adventure to whatever’s on Netflix.

As my writing output during this period has been limited to text messages about soup and several rude limericks about members of the presidential administration, I am today, Jan. 1, 2018, turning to you the readers to make this site’s last year a great one.

As we inch closer to 1,001 stories, I need suggestions for people who make amazing stories. People like:

  • Sam Smith, who is near single-handedly building an arts center out of a former drug house in Englewood.
  • Quinn Tsan and Kacie Smith, two political outsiders trying to make the state legislation that will affect our lives understandable.
  • ChiTown Bio, who are trying to build a public science lab where you or I could access lab equipment.
  • Emily Teeter, a U of C egyptologist who wonders about the 2,800-year-old singer-priestess in her care.

I’m also looking for ideas of places to explore, be they old mainstays like Calumet Fisheries, natural areas like Big Marsh or just a few different neighborhoods you might only know as a name or from police reports.

Finally, let’s find some stuff out together. I am fully and deliberately trodding on the toes of WBEZ’s Curious City here, but if you have stuff you’ve ever wanted to know about this city, maybe I can find it out.

Questions can be silly or weird:

  • What’s it really like to live in a Marina City apartment with no right angles? Answer.
  • Where are there still wood-paved streets in Chicago? Answer.
  • Who really goes to an all-night porno store? Slightly gross answer.

Or they can be more technical. Political and historical nerditry is pretty much my zone.

  • Do Justice Department statistics bear out Illinois’ reputation as the most-corrupt state? Answer.
  • What happened the day the Potawatomi were expelled from the region? Answer.
  • How do politics and vanity license plates come together? More than slightly gross answer. 

All story ideas are acceptable, but strong preference will be given to people from the South Side or other less-covered neighborhoods.

In terms of submitting, e-mail’s easiest — either by link-clickin’, sending it directly to 1001chicago@gmail.com or hitting that little envelope icon on the right side of your screen next to the social media icons. You can also message me on Facebook or @ me on Twitter. I’m on Twitter more often, so feel free to nab me there.

Speaking of that right column, you can also sign up for the mailing list there, get these stories sent right atcha rather than remembering what days they post (M/W/F). This part’s sheer self-promotion — I put a decent chunk of work into these stories, so I want people to see them.

So give it a go. Shoot me your cool people, your cool places, your niggling questions. We’ve only got 131 stories left together — let’s make them good ones.

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You are currently reading #870: The Last Year by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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