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Pump Room

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Top Pump Room Articles

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  • No one cares more

    When I got my reviewer's copy of Bill Walsh's new book, Yes I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk (St. Martin's Griffin, 256 pages, $14.99), the book fell open to this passage: "You're free to talk back to your usage guides....
  • I blame the Renaissance

    It never fails. You try to point out that some supposed rule has no validity or make some empirical observation about actual English usage, and immediately comes the God-is-dead-and-everything-is-permitted outcry. It happened today in a Facebook comment...
  • Restaurant review: Koco's, the quintessential neighborhood pub

    Restaurant review: Koco's, the quintessential neighborhood pub
    Sociologists looking for the quintessential neighborhood pub would be smart to park themselves at Koco's. This family-owned tavern in Lauraville not only serves up good local fare — excellent crab cakes and juicy wings — it is also embedded...
  • In the Heart of Chicago, a hub of restaurants and history

    In the Heart of Chicago, a hub of restaurants and history
    The street appears frozen in time. If you stood at 24th Street and stared south down Oakley Avenue, the view probably doesn't look that different from 30 years ago. This is the heart of the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. On this stretch of Oakley there'...
  • Mini-review: County Barbeque

    Mini-review: County Barbeque
    Mini-review: County Barbeque 1352 W. Taylor St. 312-929-2528 Rating: !! (out of 4) Give it some time If you've ever smoked a perfect rack of ribs on your own grill, it's easy to understand how a thousand barbecue joints have been launched. The beauty of...
  • Sighting: Bulls were on parade for New Year's Eve

    Sighting: Bulls were on parade for New Year's Eve
    Rather than spend New Year’s Eve at a private party or on the couch watching the ball drop on TV, some celebrities braved the Chicago-in-January weather and hit the town to ring in 2014. The Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Bears’ Alshon Jeffery,...
  • Kelsey Grammer films 'Transformers 4' in Chicago

    Kelsey Grammer films 'Transformers 4' in Chicago
    Whatever the 100 or so extras were frantically running away from during “Transformers 4” filming Sunday at Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) in Millennium Park, Kelsey Grammer, who plays a villain in the film, was nonchalantly walking...
  • Gold Coast cocktail bars

    Gold Coast cocktail bars
    Whether you prefer yours shaken or stirred, there's no shortage of cocktail spots to provide your fancy-drink fix. First, order up at The Barrelhouse Flat (2624 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-857-0421), a sexy two-floor lounge where progressive bartenders push the...
  • Bath: England at its elegant and frivolous best

    Bath: England at its elegant and frivolous best
    Two hundred and 50 years ago, Bath was the Hollywood of Britain. Today, this former trendsetter of Georgian England invites you to take a 90-minute train ride from London and sample its aristocratic charms. The entire city, built of the creamy...
  • Sighting: Robin Thicke, Paula Patton at Chicago Cut

    Sighting: Robin Thicke, Paula Patton at Chicago Cut
    Robin Thicke had company when he came to Chicago over the weekend to perform at V103's 25th anniversary concert at the Allstate Arena. The "Blurred Lines" singer -- who seems to perform or make a promotional appearance here every other month -- was...
  • Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield reunite in Chicago supermarket

    Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield reunite in Chicago supermarket
    Chicago once again played host to a Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield reunion Saturday, just like it did when the two former boxing rivals appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2009. But rather than reunite in front of a live studio audience, they smiled and...
  • A city tour of LGBT history

    A city tour of LGBT history
    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...