Why Do Chicagoans Say “Jewels” Instead of “Jewel”?

Have you ever shopped for groceries at Jewels? If you have, you’re pronouncing the store’s name wrong. It’s Jewel — short for Jewel Tea Company, the name of the original business that was founded here in 1899. So why do so many Chicagoans add an s? It’s a linguistic phenomenon with stores, especially grocery stores. Kroger, Aldi, […]

Best Chicago comedian documenting their cancer journey on TikTok

If a TikTok from Toeknee hit your “For You” page within the last year or so, it was probably a video of actor and comedian Anthony “Toeknee” Corrado expressively dancing in his northwest-side apartment, or maybe causing mild chaos around Chicago from “acting up” and “just playin’” too much. It might’ve been a skit in […]

Best little-known neighborhood

When painter John Salhus invited me to put up an art show in his new space, Buena Vista Projects, in the East Side neighborhood, I welcomed the opportunity not only because it’s always flattering to be asked, but also for the chance to spend some time in a part of the city I don’t know […]

Best TikTok presence setting the record straight about Chicago culture for a national audience

In January 2023, @nairabills aka Chima “Naira” Ikoro posted a video asking men with loud opinions about women’s hair and makeup, “Aren’t you supposed to be building a house? You worried about the wrong stuff. . . . Men used to be artisans, used to be craftsmen—go shine a shoe, bro.” The TikTok, now liked […]