The Columbia Chronicle

Steampunk goggles made by Tim Harrison

Gear up for steampunk

March 31, 2014

Professor Marius Mandragore fancies himself a modern-day Viking. A professor of occult studies who has a degree in philosophy and history from Oxford, the soft-spoken actor has a penchant for embroider...

Art & design by E.N. Rodriguez

Unearthing an underground empire: A city divided

March 17, 2014

Click here to read Part I of Unearthing an Underground Empire.When drugs infiltrated Chicago’s gangs in the late 1980s, they brought prosperity to gang leaders. Moving pounds of crack-cocaine and raking in tho...

Mozart’s inheritance: Discovering the science behind child prodigies

By Opinions Editor

March 10, 2014

At 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night, most 11-year-olds are already in bed after an afternoon of soccer practice, homework and TV. Yerin Yang, however, is arched over the polished ebony surface of a Steinway piano in Palatine, Ill., intently studying a 50-page Chopin concerto and practicing for the chance to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Barefoot in her teacher’s softly lit studio, Yang moves her small hands acro...

Robert Scott Harrison's sculptures

Ice carver vs. robot

March 3, 2014

In a studio the size of a small warehouse, the sound of whirring freezers echoes off of walls lined with chisels, saws and ironing plates as Danny “Hollywood” Rebholz prepares to turn a formless bloc...

Some like it hot

By Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

February 10, 2014

I am ze greatest guitarist in ze world,” said a jovial Joshua Zirko, owner of Caravan Guitars, 4754 N. Rockwell St., in a phony French accent. His modestly sized audience laughed, as if the joke had been told before and would be told again many times. The name of a jazz standard was called out and met with the loud sound of flipping pages. The musicians began to play enchanting tunes like no other. Sitting in Caravan on a...

Scratching the surface of illicit tattooing

Illegal inking: Scratching the surface of illegal tattooing

January 27, 2014

"She told me to do whatever I felt like I wanted to do, which is a really awesome gift to your tattooist."Leaning over a client with the tattoo gun buzzing in his hand, Madsen Minax prepared to freehand a piece...

Unearthing an underground empire: Cut off the head and the body will fall

By Managing Editor

December 9, 2013

"Mourning when they kill three of ours is getting six of theirs.”From the backseat of a car creeping down a bleak alley in North Lawndale, Edward Robinson, a leader of the Conservative Vice Lords, glares through the windshield, his eyes fixated on the dead end where three of his fellow Vice Lords were shot and killed by a rival gang just two weeks prior. The car slows to a halt as Robinson, stoic yet vulnerable, climbs out...

Punk Flock: Uncovering Chicago’s subculture of eccentric nomads

September 3, 2013

At 18 years old, D.J. Pommerville was eating pizza out of the trash, sneaking onto cross-country rail cars and getting drunk under highway bridges. Now, he's 33 and still dumpster diving. The only thing that's changed is he gets asked for his autograph. Pommerville is known as the crust lord, the figurative leader of a community of young panhandling travelers called crusties.Every summer, packs of crusties—mostly white, reb...

Obama in Chicago to vote

By James Foster

October 27, 2012

President Barack Obama flew into Chicago Thursday afternoon to vote at this home polling station. The Obama campaign is focusing major efforts on getting people to the polls early this election cycle. Early voting in Illinois started October 22 and will continue until Nov. 3 at locations throughout the city.[kml_flashembed publishmethod="dynamic" fversion="10.1.8276" useexpressinstall="true" movie="

The eternal 9 to 5: Inside Chicago’s haunted businesses

By Alex Stedman

October 22, 2012

A ghost is not your average co-worker.While many people complain about irritable or uncooperative office mates, a ghostly presence on the premises leads to another crop of issues.Whether it’s dealing with scared employees or  reassuring customers spooked by spiritual distractions, some of Chicago’s most haunted establishments face an unearthly challenge.Naomi Blumberg is a curator at the Chicago History Museum who us...

35th Chicago Marathon breaks records, sprains heels

By Emily Ornberg

October 15, 2012

The Chicago Marathon celebrated its 35th anniversary Oct. 7 with 200,000 safety pins, 45,000 participants, 1.7 million spectators and 1.1 million cups of Gatorade.[kml_flashembed publishmethod="dynamic" fversion="10.1.8276" useexpressinstall="true" movie="" width="550" height="440" targetclass="flashmovie"][/kml_flashembed]The race started in Grant Par...

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By Alex Stedman

September 14, 2012

At a glance, the Henrichs are a typical American family. Rami Henrich even describes her family as bland. Since meeting in 1974, Rami and her husband, Tom, raised two children, now ages 34 and 22. On a Monday afternoon, Rami, a psychotherapist, has several phones ringing in the family’s Evanston home and scrambles to sort out the situation. Tom, who is more relaxed, ignores the ringing. Together, they make a balanced couple. The...

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