Curious City is a news-gathering experiment housed at Chicago Public Media - WBEZ91.5fm. You ask your questions about Chicago/the region/the people who live here, vote for your favorites, and join us in tracking down the answers.

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We’re going to investigate a question about the Chicago Fire. Let us know your favorite.

The funeral procession after the hanging of Engel, Fischer, Parsons, and Spies - four defendants from the Haymarket riots - down Milwaukee Avenue, 1887. Story soon. 

Shawn's sketch includes drops of blood down the margins and a dead person in a pool of blood. Logan's sketch includes Jenn's sketch includes drawings of Chicago's specific bat species, paired up with different environments they could be found in. 
The result (so far)

The evolution of an interactive infographic to answer where the bats of Chicagoland like to hang out. Unfortunately the dead guy in a pool of blood *likely* won’t make the final cut.

Pinball legend Roger Sharpe poses with his alter ego: Sharpshooter, star of the first Sharpe-designed pinball machine.

Prepare for the most epic 30 seconds of your day. And turn up the volume. 

Now for the million dollar questions: Have you not subscribed to the Curious City podcast yet? If not: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? 

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“The cover is a full-blown stereotype of the anarchist. Shaggy-haired, low-browed, his bearded jaw set in defiance, he is set amidst his trappings of death and destruction, including dark flags, dagger, revolver, and, of course, bombs.”

-Historian Carl Smith on the cover of The Red Flag; or the Anarchists of Chicago, published in 1886 two weeks before the Haymarket verdict. 

We’ll be showing more depictions of Chicago anarchists during the time of Haymarket - and what those influences were - as part of our #haymarketstory investigation. 

They do all tend to have mustaches, though. 

When did the state of Illinois begin its ban on Sunday car sales, and why? Asked by Juli Schatz, South Elgin

From the Curious City question archive.

Why does the state of Illinois have a huge deficit, while next door Indiana has a surplus?

From the Curious City quesiton archive

How did the Haymarket Square Massacre effect Chicago’s culture at the time? -Sabina, Naperville, IL

The Curious City question archive

"Why was the Chicago area home to all the major pinball manufacturers during the heyday of pinball?" -Kevin F Schramer, Winfield, IL

Curious City - …

Can you tell which public radio star narrates this promo video introducing Bally’s Pinball 2000? 

The classic Cooper’s Hawk scenario, recently photographed by Chicagoan Thom Clark in his backyard!

The Cooper’s Hawk is likely the most frequently seen bird of prey around town - but the bird goes by another name, too: The Chicken Hawk. 

Can’t possibly fathom why. 

After we published our story on how Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood maintained integration, we got a call from npr's Sonari Glinton, who showed us the way to an interview he did with a man named Patrick Stanton back in 2006 (the wbez online archives are admittedly mysterious…).

Stanton led a lot of the neighborhood’s integration efforts - he went around to churches, community groups and individual homes with a flip chart presentation trying to convince people that racial integration would actually help the neighborhood.

Beverly was 99.9% white with strong Irish-Catholic roots at the time. Here’s how - and why - it’s changed:

Question answered: How did Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood maintain integration while most South Side neighborhoods experienced white flight?

Erin McDuffie is from Ohio. Her husband grew up in Champaign, Ill. A mixed-race household with a toddler, they wanted to buy a house in a stable integrated South Side community. Their search led them to Beverly about three years ago. Beverly still has strong ties to its white ethnic roots, but also has a sizable number of African-Americans. Erin wondered what happened to make this South Si

de neighborhood different than Roseland or Englewood, which long ago became predominantly black. (continue reading …)

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