About Paige Wiser
I'm a free-lance writer, editor, critic, commentator, muse -- so many talents, so little time. I also have an encyclopedic knowledge of celebrities' baby names. Does that sound braggy?
You can find my writing in Michigan Avenue magazine and its sister publications, Capitol File and L.A. Confidential. I've written cover stories on celebrities ranging from Rosie O'Donnell to Jenny McCarthy, as well as pop-culture essays that defy categorization.
I've also worked as the movie critic on ABC-7's "Windy City Live" with partner David Plummer, as a regular contributor on WGN radio, as a director of communications, as a desktop publisher, as an office temp, and in my teens I sold shoes at the Shop for Pappagallo in Woodfield Mall. Happiest I've ever been.
I have two kids, ages 13 and 11, and have served as the deputy room mom in charge of caramel fondue at a class Halloween party. Volunteering at school is not for the faint-hearted.
Over 17 years starting in the '90s, I served as intern, editor, reporter, critic, and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. Regular columns included "Planet Paige," in which I wrote about the quirkier side of the news; "Camera Obscura," which celebrated B movies; and "BioFeedback," which distilled celebrity biographies.
I earned my bachelor's degree at Notre Dame and my master's at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. I'm thinking of putting "philosopher/adventuress" on my business cards.
Tag Archives: Paige Wiser
By Paige Wiser
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?
What if Chicago doesn’t get the Obama Presidential Library?
By Paige Wiser
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.”
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.
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
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.
The Ariel Investments president and board chair goes back to school.
From the November 5, 2012 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine
By Paige Wiser
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 Corporation, The 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.
From the December 2011 issue of Michigan Avenue magazine
ROSIE THE RIVETING
By Paige Wiser
Rosie O’Donnell may prefer to wear Crocs, but there’s no denying that she cleans up well – provided she doesn’t dress herself.
Her photo shoot at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater goes well for one main reason: The photographer is fast enough to finish before Rosie has exhausted the “Fiddler on the Roof” songbook. Singing, she loves. Glamour?
“I hate it,” says Rosie.
Paige and Plummer fight to the death about whether rock ’em sock ’em robots are inherently dramatic.
Paige and Plummer, together again on “Windy City Live.” I liked “50/50” (pictured), but am not actually advising you to go see it.
David Plummer and I have been seeing lots of movies and then talking about them on “Windy City Live.” Here’s the link — let me know what you think. (There’s a reason why I hid behind a computer for the first 41 years of my life.)
But I love the show, love the people, and now have a valid excuse to self-tan.
Life is surreal enough without suddenly earning a global reputation as a screwup.
On June 8, 2011, if you had Googled me, you would have come across some of the writing I’ve done for the Chicago Sun-Times over the last 17 years.
On June 9, all the stories disappeared. They were overwhelmed by results that had some combination of the words “Glee,” “vomit,” “fired” and “ashamed.”
Not me. After I’d confessed all to my editors, I was on the brink of melting down in the newsroom into an ugly, quivering puddle of disgrace. So I’d slunk off to catch an express train home. It was somewhere around the Norwood Park station that the managing editor called me, put me on speaker phone, and announced, “Paige, you’re fired.”
You thought of Donald Trump just then, didn’t you? So did I. That’s what I mean; life is surreal.