Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


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.

Celebrities, Michigan Avenue magazine, Uncategorized , , , , ,

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; 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.


Tinseltown takes notice of Chicago

Chicago is tired of being used.

Sure, Hollywood loves to set projects in Chicago, which is understandable. They fall in love with the place. It’s not bad looking, after all, and our extreme weather certainly looks dramatic onscreen. They can’t resist our better-than-fiction brand of colorful corruption, our mob nicknames.

It seems to be the only city they can think of where “normal” people might live. We do not correct them on this.


The business of being Bethenny Frankel

For the summer 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser

Bethenny Frankel has achieved the impossible: She gives reality TV a good name. The Bravo star conquered the cruelest medium by using it to publicize her brand and now is embarking on the next episode of her career with her first novel and her own talk show. All this, and she still has her dignity, too.

Being “real” is rare enough in reality television, but Bethenny combines her big-city brashness with an irresistible combination of approachability, humor, and resilience—the kind that you can only get in Chicago.


The original power couple: The Lincolns

Chicago, which has long been the center of the universe, has its share of power couples. The Obamas. The Burkes. The Crowns. Mike and Molly, who may be fictional, but who have nonetheless conquered Monday nights for CBS.

They are all impressive. All to be toadied to.

But the top spot? The prom king and queen of Chicago?

Don’t even bother fixing the ballot box, because the titles are taken. Permanently.

Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln have never been hotter.


Chicago in living color

For the March 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine

By Paige Wiser

When Chicagoans are thinking about winter ending, there are two things we refuse to believe:

1.) There is technically a season called “spring” – yes, even here; and 2.) It’s time to give the black clothes a rest.

The weather itself is not likely to give you any clues, but the time has come to retire your stark noir winter wardrobe. Relegate them to storage, along with the “parking dibs” chairs that have been staking out your shoveled spot.