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Mason Johnson

Local writer Don De Grazia poignantly explains how Malort is a metaphor for life at the Underground Wonder Bar.

Documentary Being Made About Chicago’s Worst Liquor, Jeppson’s Malort, Due Out This Summer

Jeppson’s Malort is a Chicago liquor known mostly for its painfully bitter, awful taste. Its taste starts off innocent enough, a little citrusy with a hint of honey, but then the wormwood punches you right in the face. Malort’s even spawned a ritual in which locals convince out-of-towners to down a shot in the hopes of seeing their “malort face” — an expression of horror and pain.

04/07/2014

Read the poem in full in the about section of the video's YouTube page.

Youth Poetry Team Obliterates Mayor ‘Wreck-It Rahm’ In Viral YouTube Video

Mayor Emanuel’s loudest opponent isn’t a local politician or the Chicago Teacher Union’s Karen Lewis. That honor goes to the teens in the slam poetry group TEAM Englewood, whose latest poem verbally eviscerates the Mayor.

03/14/2014

(Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Here’s Why Your Heating Bill Has Been So High (It’s Not Just The Cold)

Has your heating bill gone way up the last few months? Especially compared to last year? There’s a reason for that. Actually, there are many reasons, and not all of them have to do with the terrible cold that’s caught Chicago in a mercilessly frigid headlock.

02/13/2014

(Photo Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Chicagoan Asks Kickstarter To Fund His $8 Project: ‘Graphing The Deliciousness Of A Chicken Burrito!’

Kickstarter is usually the tool artists use to fund their dream projects, asking strangers on the internet to give a little bit of cash to help their big ideas come to fruition. Individuals have used Kickstarter to fund movies, graphic novels, photography books… and now, a Chipotle burrito.

02/10/2014

Will Guzzardi (Photo Credit: Christopher Dilts)

State Rep. Candidate Turns To Reddit For Q&A, Claims State Rep. Toni Berrios ‘Simply Hasn’t Been On Our Side’

Will Guzzardi, a Democrat running for Illinois State Representative, turned to the popular website Reddit on Thursday to have a direct discussion with voters.

01/30/2014

Taser & Sharpie (Photo Credit: romprescue.com / Puppy Bowl X)

Puppy Bowl X To Feature Two Chicago Puppies

The Bears may not have made it anywhere near the Super Bowl, but there are at least two Chicagoans you’ll be able to cheer for on February 2nd: Sharpie and Taser, two puppies from ROMP Italian Greyhound Rescue. The pups will be appearing in Puppy Bowl X…

01/24/2014

The Ghost Burger from Kuma’s Corner. (Credit: Kuma’s Corner)

Chicago Burger Makes Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential Burgers of All Time’ List

There was a time when burgers were judged solely by taste. Well, according to Time magazine, you can now judge them by influence. Chicago has made Time’s recent Most Influential Burgers list with a burger that, in true Chicago fashion, caused quite a bit of a stir.

01/15/2014

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With Ventra Back On The Rails, Transition To The New Fare Payment System Could Soon Resume

According to the Chicago Transit Authority, there could be a new transition schedule for the Ventra fare payment system as early as next month. This comes after the CTA set three performance standards for Cubic Transportation Systems — the company behind Ventra — back in November. As of January 1st, the CTA says Cubic has met these standards.

01/13/2014

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Newsmakers)

Craigslist Ad Sells ‘Dibs’ Chairs Collected From Chicago Parking Spots

One Chicagoan has done exactly what many have been dying to do. This person has been going from neighborhood to neighborhood and taking dibs chairs — chairs saving parking spots for people — from saved spots.

01/08/2014

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

CTA Auctioning Off Bus Stop Signs, Rail Ties And Even Two Entire ‘L’ Train Cars

If you have the cash to outbid the competition, you can soon purchase your very own Chicago L train. No word yet on whether it comes with angry passengers complaining about Ventra.

12/12/2013

A view of a family decorating a Christmas Tree.  (Photo Credit: Carlos Javier Ortiz)

Photographer Seeks Funds For Book Chronicling Youth Violence In Chicago

To some, youth violence in Chicago is nothing more than statistics taking up time on their nightly newscast. Carlos Javier Ortiz — in his upcoming book titled We All We Got … — hopes to show you more than a bunch of numbers. He hopes to show you the victims, families and communities plagued by violence, and he hopes you’ll see just how human they really are.

12/06/2013

(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Celebrate The 80th Anniversary Of The Repeal Of Prohibition In Chicago

On December 5th of 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment and honest citizens secretly drinking hootch in their basements and at speakeasies could finally, legally have a drink or two to relax without worrying about the fuzz. Here’s how to celebrate.

12/05/2013

State Fair fried Twinkie (Photo Credit: Mason Johnson)

New Restaurant Serves Chicagoans Fried Twinkies, What More Do You Need?

State Fair popped up on the edge of Logan Square and Avondale a few months ago. Opened by Robert Rosado (who also owns Azucar, a great tapas restaurant off the Logan Square Blue Line), the idea seems to be to serve something not widely found in Chicago — fair food — but with a little more quality than you’d expect. Also, there’s fried Twinkies.

12/04/2013

(Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Jon Stewart Responds To Mayor Emanuel’s Response To Jon Stewart’s Rant Against Chicago Pizza (Is This Getting Out Of Hand?)

A rant about pizza was all it took to seemingly split the country in two — or so some jokes would have you believe.Jon Stewart, apparently not one to let others beat a joke into the ground, had a response for Mayor Emanuel’s gift of Chicago pizza on his Twitter account last night…

11/15/2013

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Jon Stewart, How Could You? ‘The Daily Show’ Insults Chicago Pizza

John Stewart, angered by Chicago’s response to the decision to declare One World Trade Center the tallest building in the U.S. over Willis Tower, said some unsavory things about Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza.

11/14/2013

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

May The Force Be With You: ‘Star Wars’ Auditions Happening In Chicago

Chicago may not be the galaxy far, far away, but it’s apparently close enough for Disney and LucasFilm. Disney and LucasFilm are hosting an open casting call at the Park West Theatre for Star Wars: Episode VII. This may possibly be your chance to be a Jedi!

11/08/2013

(Credit: the Onion)

The Onion Foolishly Puts Faith In Short-Lived Internet Fad, Plans To End Print Editions (Ha! Good Luck, Chumps)

The very serious and influential news publication known as The Onion has made its first, and possibly last, mistake – it’s decided to end the distribution of its print edition in the awesome city of Chicago (and probably some other lame cities, too).

11/08/2013

Jim Mullen with his Wife Athena and his daughter Maggie.

Paralyzed On Duty, Chicago Cop Now Seeks Funds For Homemade Apple Sauce Company

Jim Mullen claims to make the planet’s greatest apple sauce. Are you ready to help him prove this to the world? 17 years ago, former Chicago cop Jim Mullen was shot while on the job in Rogers Park. The bullet entered his cheek and spine, instantly paralyzing him, making him dependent on a respirator to breath…

10/25/2013

Absolut Chicago in all of its glory... (Photo Credit: Mason Johnson)

Review: Absolut Chicago Vodka Doesn’t Really Taste Like Chicago, Which Is Probably A Good Thing

A Chicago vodka? What’s it taste like… A dirty L car? Deep dish pizza? Italian beef? The bricks & mortar of a 2-flat? Actually, and thankfully, it doesn’t taste like any of these things.

10/18/2013

(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Absolut Creates Chicago-Themed Vodka

Absolut is one of the largest alcohol brands in the world, mostly producing vodka. Based in Sweden, Absolut is so enamored with the City of the Big Shoulders that they’ve created a vodka based on it.

10/14/2013

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