Which pizza reigns supreme?

By Paige Wiser

about-pizza-body-large750xx900-506-0-47The Chicago vs. New York pizza debate started raging as World War II was ending.

Whose pizza is the best in the country? The battles have been savage. Brutal. And above all, greasy.

But there’s been a shocking development in the conflict. The Chicago-New York pizza wars finally have a victor . . .

. . . and it’s San Diego.

That’s according to a survey released from TripAdvisor, which ranked San Diego’s pizza No. 1. New York was ranked No. 4. Chicago didn’t even make the Top 10.

What? How? What?

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Tipping for Dummies

By Paige Wiser

1338705_origAt the holidays, those bells ringing on every street corner aren’t celebrating the magic of the season. Those bells are pealing to appeal for a handout, whether it’s the Salvation Army or a twentysomething urchin clutching a Greenpeace binder.

How do you say no?

That’s easy, of course. You don’t have to. It’s no great inconvenience to just cross Oak Street, or crouch behind the shopping showoff with the enormous Hermes bags. Any church is understood to be a sanctuary, as is the Tom Ford flagship store.



What if Chicago doesn’t get the Obama Presidential Library?

February 2013

By Paige Wiser


The Obama Girl could be just one of the attractions at the Obama Presidential Library.

Imagine: distinguished scholars entering the stately entrance of the Obama Presidential Library at the University of Chicago, nodding respectfully at the words carved above in marble in some noble font — Fontenay Fancy, perhaps — immortalizing the legacy of our 44th head of state: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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December 2012

27da0b1400000578-3050116-taking_a_good_food_picture_for_instagram_requires_thought_planni-a-12_1430212889456Something has changed about the way we eat, Chicago, and I’m not talking about the restaurants.

Twenty years ago, the only thing elevating our food scene above gourmet popcorn was Trotter, Joho, and Roland Liccioni. Now we have no fewer than half a dozen “Top Chef” stars operating out of Chicago, and we order “crispy pig face and smokey whipped fat back” at Stephanie Izard’s The Girl and the Goat. With a straight face.

Our city has been considered to be in the vanguard of extraordinary eating for a good decade now. You’d think that local diners would have developed a bored, “been there, eaten that” attitude.

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Sinful City

Who us, wholesome? As the new book Gold Coast Madam attests, Chicagoans are not that innocent

From the 2012-13 Winter issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser


The Everleigh sisters.

To the rest of the country, Chicago – sexually speaking — is about as wholesome as it gets.

We’re better known for our colorful corruption. For fixing World Series games, say, and raffling off Senate seats. When Republican Jack Ryan finally came through with a real sex scandal, it turned out to be with his own wife, for God’s sake.

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View From the Top: Mellody Hobson

The Ariel Investments president and board chair goes back to school.

From the November 5, 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser

mellody-hobsonTime obeys Mellody Hobson. So when she was asked to chair the non-profit program After School Matters, the head of Ariel Investments found a few hours a day more than the rest of us have.

She already serves on the board of the Chicago Public Library, the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Sundance Institute, as well as being a director of the Starbucks CorporationThe Estée Lauder Companies Inc.Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc. and Groupon. But getting involved with After School Matters was an honor she couldn’t pass up.

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An embarrassment of clothes

For the spring 2012 issue of Notre Dame magazine

By Paige Wiser

One of my favorite childhood photos is a fashion shot of me at about age 3. I’m standing on our pea-green carpeting, next to a jug of fake flowers, wearing an orange-and-yellow knock-off Pucci tunic vest. I’m hesitant to make eye contact with the camera, with a wary expression on my face that says, “I look like Bea Arthur. I will never forgive you for this.”

Sure, you could blame the ’70s. But when are parents going to step up and take some responsibility? Why don’t they just admit it? “When we dress our kids, we don’t always have their best interests at heart.”


There will be blood

For the November 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser

Thanksgiving is our Valentine’s Day.

Our feelings on this day aren’t so much “grateful” as “lustful.” In Chicago, it’s a celebration of our first love:

Meat. Glorious meat.

Sure, there must be scrawny vegans here and there. Chicago is the 10th-most “vegetarian-friendly” city in the country, according to GrubHub.com; based on their name alone, it sounds like they know what they’re doing.

But if there are vegetarians here, they’ve wisely learned to keep quiet. Maybe the soy poisoning has made them too weak to speak. Maybe they’re trying to bicycle their way to California.



For the September 2012 issue of Chicago magazine

By Paige Wiser

In June, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour whisked into Chicago to host a fund-raiser for President Obama at Harpo Studios. She traveled with an entourage that included fashion heavyweights Jason Wu, Rachel Roy, Narcisco Rodriguez, Chanel Iman, Thakoon Panichgul, and Prabal Garung.

One accessory she was without: her signature security sunglasses. It could have been a sign of respect for Obama’s custom Hart Schaffner Marx suits, or for Michelle Obama’s championing of the skinny belt.


Jenny McCarthy: Our favorite bombshell is back

For the September 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser

Known for her outrageous wit, blonde good looks, and plentiful paramours, Jenny McCarthy is a hometown girl who is serious about her career and her role as a mother. In many ways Jenny McCarthy is your typical Midwest suburban mom. While chatting in preparation for this story, she was hosting a play date for her 10-year-old son, Evan, and his horde of friends. “I don’t think the frogs are here yet, guys!” she shouts.