Stories by Jay Shefsky

Local Photographer Captures Magic of Culinary Creations

Michelin-Starred Restaurant Showcases Artist's Work

(Monica Kass Rogers)

In this food-loving town we have everything from hot dog stands and McDonald’s headquarters to the culinary artistry of Grant Achatz's Alinea. And they all need photography. Jay Shefsky offers a behind-the-scenes look at a very tasty photo shoot. 

Chicago's Original Sears Tower Reborn as Community Center

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand Tuesday morning to reopen the newly developed Nichols Tower at Homan Square. Jay Shefsky got a sneak peek at the tower on Monday. We bring you his report.

West Ridge Nature Preserve Offers Urban Oasis Along Western Avenue

Along a busy stretch of Western Avenue on the North Side of the city is the newly opened West Ridge Nature Preserve. The 20-acre park includes woods, wetlands, walking paths and a 4.5-acre pond. Jay Shefsky goes for a tour. 

Evanston Artist, 96, Paints for Justice, Equality and Peace

Peggy Lipschutz is passionate about painting. She is perhaps best known as a painter of social and political causes. A new exhibit at the Noyes Cultural Center showcases her decades-long career. Jay Shefsky takes a tour of the exhibit and talks with this prolific painter.

West Ridge Nature Preserve Offers Urban Oasis Along Western Avenue

Along a busy stretch of Western Avenue on the North Side of the city is the newly opened West Ridge Nature Preserve. The 20-acre park includes woods, wetlands, walking paths and a 4.5-acre pond. Jay Shefsky goes for a tour. 

Chicago's Other River: Exploring the Calumet by Kayak

Jay Shefsky goes kayaking where paddlers rarely go – the busy and industrial Calumet River. See what he discovered while tagging along with a couple of local kayakers who regularly venture into the hard working river.

Thinking Big About Sewage: Thornton Reservoir Nears Completion

| Linda Qiu

As the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District cuts the ribbon on it's new sewage reservoir, we revisit Jay Shefsky's visit in May to the bottom of the Thornton Quarry.

A Rowdy Good Time: Drag Boat Racing at Blarney Island

Boats fly by at speeds up to 150 miles per hour on an 800-foot course. There is drag boat racing every Thursday night all summer long at Blarney Island on Grass Lake. Chicago Tonight's Jay Shefsky goes to the races and takes a 94 mph ride on a race boat.

Chicago's Other River: Exploring the Calumet by Kayak

| Steffie Drucker

The Chicago River buzzes with life. There are new sections of the riverwalk downtown, kayaks on the river, water taxis – the city is embracing its river like never before. But what about that other hard working river, the Calumet, on the Southeast Side? Jay Shefsky explores the area with a couple of local kayakers.

Life After Hate

Former Skinhead Leader Reflects on Personal Transformation

| Linda Qiu

Christian Picciolini was once a neo-Nazi skinhead leader in Chicago. Today he runs an organization called Life After Hate. Jay Shefsky tells the story of Picciolini's remarkable transformation.

Extreme Biking in the City

Credit: Velogrrl

Last summer, Jay Shefsky brought us to The Garden, home of Chicago’s dirt jumps. We revisit his story of the hidden treasure found in Chicago’s woods. 

Local Man Creates Miniature Marvels

In May, Chicago Tonight profiled the work of CoRiccio Baskin who has been creating miniature replicas of everyday objects for more than 20 years. We revisit that story. 

Thinking Big About Sewage

| Linda Qiu

When it comes to treating our sewage, Chicago has a history of thinking big from reversing the flow of the Chicago River to the creation of Deep Tunnel. Jay Shefsky visited the Thornton Quarry and went to the bottom of Deep Tunnel to see where the water will flow into the new reservoir later this year. We revisit that story.    

New Lives for Old Bikes

| Steffie Drucker

Each year, Chicago-based Working Bikes collects thousands of used bikes and sends them to partner organizations in Africa and Latin America. There, bike mechanics are trained, bikes are refurbished and local residents get critical personal transportation. Jay Shefsky visited Working Bikes and helped pack a shipping container.

City Goats

| Linda Qiu

Earlier this spring, Jay Shefsky visited a Chicago family that has added goats to the chickens, ducks, and bees in their backyard farm. We revisit that story. 

Lil' Thangz

CoRiccio Baskin has been making tiny, remarkably accurate replicas of everyday objects for more than 20 years. Jay Shefsky has a profile.

Thinking Big About Sewage

| Linda Qiu

When it comes to treating our sewage, Chicago has a history of thinking big from reversing the flow of the Chicago River to the creation of Deep Tunnel. Jay Shefsky visits the Thornton Quarry and goes to the bottom of Deep Tunnel to see where the water will flow into the new reservoir later this year.    

Life After Hate

Former Skinhead Leader Reflects on Personal Transformation

| Linda Qiu

Christian Picciolini was once a neo-Nazi skinhead leader in Chicago. Today he runs an organization called Life After Hate. Jay Shefsky tells the story of Picciolini's remarkable transformation.  

City Goats

| Linda Qiu

Jay Shefsky visits a Chicago family that has added goats to the chickens, ducks, and bees in their backyard farm.  

Bison are Back

| Nick Blumberg

There are bison once again roaming Illinois prairies. It's been more than 175 years since the last wild bison died in this state, but as of October they are back, thanks to The Nature Conservancy project in western Illinois called Nachusa Grasslands. Chicago Tribune photographer Anthony Souffle has been covering the new Illinois bison and the restoration of the prairie on which they graze. When he returned recently to see their progress, Jay Shefsky tagged along.

Good Buddies

| Travis Cornejo

As baby boomers age, the rate of Alzheimer's disease climbs steadily. A program at Northwestern University pairs Alzheimer's patients in the early stages of the disease with first-year medical students to add a human dimension to their scientific and clinical studies.

Ice Ribbon Zamboni

The new Maggie Daley Park includes a quarter mile long "ice ribbon" for skaters. We find out what it takes to maintain Chicago's newest ice rink.

Rolled, Stoned and Inked

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative marks its 25th anniversary.

A Stroke at 30

| Taurean Small

At 30, Monifa Thomas was a health and medicine reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times. Not long after she passed a complete physical, Monifa had a stroke and was paralyzed on her right side and had great difficulty speaking. We revisit the story of her recovery and return to her medical beat.

Crane Chasing

www.kKoontz.com

Jay Shefsky takes a road trip to see 15,000 Sandhill Cranes in Indiana. Jay and his Field Museum guide, Josh Engel, get a surprise along the way.