| Dec 3, 2013
| 6:19 PM
The visits were two weeks apart. First, I toured the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. And then, on a family trip to San Francisco last week, I visited Alcatraz, which is now a national park.
One of the two old pens is hopelessly decrepit,...
| Oct 7, 2013
| 4:32 PM
In the world run thoroughly by corrupt agents that is 1920s America and HBO's Boardwalk Empire, there is little distinguishing between “good guys” and “bad guys,” which leaves us generally rooting for those among bad who go about...
| Oct 10, 2013
| 4:32 PM
Earlier this year, we encouraged readers of the Cars.com Advice section to avail themselves of some of this nation's countless car-themed oddities and attractions that are just off the interstates and off the beaten path. One of those was the......
| Dec 21, 2012
| 2:43 PM
Last Sunday, our church honored the peace candle of Advent; but the events in Newtown nine days ago make us wonder whether we'll ever experience such peace.
There is little comfort we can offer those families that will replace their sorrow and the...
| Jun 18, 2013
| 5:44 PM
Some 15 years ago, Andrew Carroll heard the story: During the Civil War, Edwin Booth, brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, saved the life of Lincoln's son Robert at a New Jersey train station.
Intrigued, Carroll started digging. He not only...
| Nov 20, 2012
| 10:36 AM
Warren Harding died here" doesn't quite have the tourist draw of "Washington slept here," but for the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, the distinction of being the only hotel where a president of the United States drew his last breath is enough to put it...
| Sep 12, 2013
| 5:14 PM
Leaves already are changing color north of Chicago, so it's time to plan your fall leaf-hunting getaway. We've come up with some of the most scenic autumn areas within roughly 180 miles of Chicago, so it can be a day trip, or you can make a weekend of it....
| Feb 23, 2013
| 3:16 PM
As it says here, on page 64 of the glossily fascinating coffee-table book "Variety: An Illustrated History of the World From the Most Important Magazine in Hollywood," Al Capone, interviewed in his Chicago home, told Variety he was approached often to...
| Jun 21, 2013
| 1:29 PM
Stand on any corner. Close your eyes. Listen. So urges journalist and historian St. Sukie de la Croix in the introduction to his book, "Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall." You'll hear, he writes, the "rat-tat-tat-tat of Al...
| May 29, 2013
| 2:18 PM
What do you think of when you think of Chicago?
What's the worst question you've ever been asked in an interview?
Jon Stewart asked me if Al Capone really had a scar. I think he was joking, though.
What's your guilty...
| Apr 2, 2013
| 2:11 PM
Mike Piazza, who looked so good in pinstripes during his half-hour as a member of the then-Florida Marlins, will put on similarly fashionable stripes when he takes the stage May 3 in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s...
| Aug 1, 2013
Who is an author you'd like to meet, dead or alive?
Dead: Raymond Chandler. Alive: Elmore Leonard. In the grand tradition of hardboiled American literature, they link generations.
What's the worst question you've ever been asked in an interview?...