Chicago: The Year In Review

Including our best recommendations of the year

By The Editors
December 29, 2014 9:00 am

The Most Beautiful Photos of the Year
On everyone’s lips at the start of this year: polar vortex. The #Chiberia talk was as endless as winter itself. But one respite from wind chills in the -40s? Stunning photography. Consider it an ode to 2014 being Chicago’s coldest year in over a century.

A Tale of Two Cities

With CNN’s Chicagoland, our lives became televised drama. Not without mixed reviews, of course. But the subject matter covered was commendable, and the docuseries added another perspective to the local and national conversations about education, race and violence.

On #Chiraq
In fact, there were a lot of attempts to unpack the state of Chicago’s violence culture. Vice premiered an eight-part documentary series. Chicago Magazine dug into the truth of the city’s crime rates. Ben Austen at Wired took a look at how social media fuels Chicago’s gang wars.

A Spaceship on the Lakefront

The George Lucas museum, won we. Hurrah. Sorry, San Francisco. The news broke in June, and it’s come with its fair share of municipal opponents. But by 2018, expect the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a $300 million project that will house all of Lucas’s own archives, including a full-sized Star Wars Speeder and other phantasmal artifacts. Feast your peepers on the early renderings.

All That Menswear
And alluva sudden, we became more stylish. Among the top menswear openings: Meyvn in Logan Square, Notre in Andersonville and Alton Lane in the Gold Coast. And here at InsideHook, we collaborated on our first ever clothing collection with hometown nice guys Stock MFG Co.

Soho House Opened

Soho House Chicago swung open its members-only doors on August 11th to many a creative jetsetter. Inside: a private cinema, gym, meeting rooms, library, bars — and first-floor eateries Pizza East and Chicken Shop. Interested and have yet to apply? Get to it.

Little Leagues = Big Leagues
The Bears imploded. D. Rose returned, again. But Chicago’s sports team of the year: the little sluggers at Jackie Robinson West. We watched. We cheered. And so did the rest of the country.

A Year Well-Traveled

While hometown glossy Collective Quarterly inspired wanderlust, we did a little traveling of our own: found a bucolic getaway across the border in Indiana, ate an obscene amount of BBQ in Austin, and discovered peace and quiet with our Door County Rental Guide.

We Drank. A lot.
That year we were the greatest drinking city in America, according to GQ. Thanks GQ. We talked bourbon with Longman & Eagle. We drank at all the rooftop bars and showed you the way to the best ones. Cheers.

Farewell to Hot Doug’s

We waited. You waited. We all waited in that goddamn line at some point. George Wendt was the unhappiest camper of all. Here’s Doug placing the final order ever. Also worth another look: this exemplary obit written by dining critic Jeff Ruby.

Main Photo: Hank Cain

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