| Apr 7, 2011
We spoke with several veterans of dinner parties for strangers to get their etiquette tips. Here's what they had to say:
Don't be fashionably late. Saya Hillman, owner of Mac 'n Cheese Productions, said it can be even more intimidating to walk into a...
| Mar 31, 2011
I've always loved Robert Frost's line about home being the place where, "when you have to go there, they have to take you in." Perhaps I'm putting an overly optimistic reading on it, but the idea that even on our coldest, darkest nights, there is always a...
| Apr 1, 2011
| 12:45 PM
My friend Brett is a typical big city lawyer in many ways: a sharp dresser, an even sharper mind and plenty of expensive lunches on his firm's dime. Also like most big city lawyers, at those lunches, you won't see him tipping back anything finished with...
| Dec 9, 2010
Fall is the harvest season, right? That's especially true when it comes to cookbooks, which every year arrive in a seasonal flood that puts apples and pears to shame. By some counts, as many as three-fourths of all cookbooks in the United States are...
| Sep 17, 2010
| 2:04 PM
PARK(ing) Day is an annual global event where artists, activists and anyone in general collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARKing" spaces: temporary public parks.
The project began in 2005 when a San Francisco art and...
| Sep 10, 2010
Signs of heart disease — generally thought to be a disease of middle age — can be seen even in children, cardiologists now know. But risk factors in children and young adults run the risk of being undetected and untreated, largely because of...
| Apr 12, 2011
| 7:30 AM
At one time, the end of middle age signaled the start of retirement and old age. No longer, says Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank focused on employment and social purpose, particularly as they apply to the...
| Jun 7, 2011
| 10:09 AM
With summer on the horizon, many people happily think of vacation planning. We went to the Senior Resource Fair sponsored by the Senior Citizens' Center of Oak Park and River Forest to ask this question:
'What are your vacation plans for this summer?'...
| Sep 26, 2010
The Lucky Ones
One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 288 pp., $26.
American history is a far bumpier ride than it used to be in the good old days. Mae Ngai is far more interested in the...
| Oct 3, 2010
The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad
Walter R. Borneman
Random House: 408 pp., $28
When the Union Pacific and Central Pacific joined rails on May 10, 1869, it was celebrated as the completion of America's first...
| Sep 12, 2010
Fall, it seems, starts earlier every year. Certainly, that's true of publishing: Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" — arguably the big book of the season — has been a topic of discussion since mid-August, while other anticipated titles (Tom...
| Feb 1, 2011
Full disclosure: Comedian Patton Oswalt, author of a new book of personal essays and other flights of whimsy called "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland," once invited me to his birthday party at the Lot, the former Warner Bros. studio in West Hollywood.