The Chicago Dispatch

When this blog really got going, most of the energy came from a desire to answer questions I had about Chicago, and sometimes cities more generally. Over the last several years, I’ve taught myself (and been taught) a fair amount about finding data, manipulating it, and making maps to help get those answers.

But obviously there are a lot of questions one might have that aren’t best answered through data and maps, and I often find my thoughts bumping up against the borders of what this blog can do. So, on nights and weekends over the last several months, I’ve been putting together a different project: The Chicago Dispatch.

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The Dispatch will publish interviews, as well as essays, photography, poems, and other work each month. The goal is to make a place for work that might not otherwise get published anywhere, and that answers, in various ways, questions I have about Chicago—and, hopefully, that other people have too.

Please check it out! There are two months’ of material up, including stuff about an under-appreciated planned manufacturing district on the South Side, the economics of a pawn shop, what it’s like to go to a top-ranked public high school in Englewood, and more. You can also follow along for updates at @thechidispatch on Twitter.

I haven’t really done anything like this before, so please send your comments and constructive criticism my way! I want to make this something worthwhile for people, and I fully expect to do a lot of adjustments along the way.

And finally, thanks to everyone who helped me along the way—and a big thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute or be interviewed already. There are too many people to mention all by name, but you know who you are.

9 thoughts on “The Chicago Dispatch

  1. So, so excited about this, can’t wait to see how it toddles and grows and vibrates and learns new dialects and ripples.

  2. Great idea – I was only a quick visitor to Chicago, am planning a return visit next year, and found it an absolutely fascinating city! Would love to read and learn more about it – thanks for the RSS feed, too, Ogro

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