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Stories by Erica Gunderson

Ask Geoffrey: How Do You Make the Popular Downscope Cocktail?

For decades, a cocktail called the Downscope was served up at Skipper’s Marina on the Calumet River. Its recipe was a closely guarded secret, until now. Geoffrey Baer tells us what's up with the Downscope in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Bigoted Comments Are Protected Free Speech’

Hear what viewers had to say about our discussion of whether or not hate crimes are on the rise.

More Than Words: American Writers Museum Opens This Week

A new chapter in Chicago’s cultural offerings begins this week.

Hop Dreams: Lagunitas Looks to Global Future for Craft Beer

Brew news with Lagunitas Brewing Company founder Tony Magee.

Ask Geoffrey: A ‘Pipe Dream’ of the 1893 World’s Fair

Geoffrey Baer explores an eccentric architect’s wacky proposal for the World’s Fair.

Looking for a New Hobby? Just Axe

A Portage Park range takes a whack at bringing axe-throwing to Chicago.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Teaching Math Successfully is Hard'

Viewers summed up their thoughts about math after our talk with "Beyond Infinity" author Eugenia Cheng.

Ask Geoffrey: Who’s Holding Up This Southeast Side Building?

Since about 1915, a 7-foot-tall stone man has been shouldering a heavy burden on the corner of a Southeast Side building — more than hundred years without a break! But there’s some debate as to exactly who he is.

West Side Factory Aims to Beat the Pants Off Apparel Industry

Dearborn Denim and Apparel (Chicago Tonight)

We visit a small company in Garfield Park that is hoping to revive the Chicago apparel industry with a combination of American materials and immigrant know-how. 

Viewer Feedback: ‘Rauner is to Illinois What Trump is to the Country’

Viewers respond to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s statements on the state of Illinois’ finances.

Chicago Teens Ponder Big Questions in Graphic Novel ‘No Small Plans’

In a new graphic novel from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, teens – past, present and future – traipse through Chicago neighborhoods to ponder some big questions, such as: What makes a community?

Ask Geoffrey: Is North-South Divide Between Baseball Fans Real?

(Credit from left: SecretName101 / Wikimedia Commons; Geoff Livingston / Flickr)

Many believe there is a fault line that divides Chicago, pitting brother against brother in a long-standing crosstown rivalry. But a viewer wonders if that historic boundary is a myth.

Viewer Feedback: ‘I Want No Part of Being Annexed To Chicago’

Author Ted McClelland’s idea of annexing suburbs to Chicago to boost the city’s population had viewers talking.

Cavalia’s Epic ‘Odysseo’ Gallops onto Chicago’s Lakefront

A big show is brewing under the big top, with a cast and crew of more than 200 – plus 65 horses. We go behind the scenes of “Odysseo.” 

Get Your Garden Set for Spring Planting

After a mild winter, spring is springing in Chicago and it’s time to get back into the garden. The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan is joining us for a new season of growing in the Chicago Tonight garden. 

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to Chicago Burger Chain Wimpy’s?

A viewer wonders what became of a Chicago burger chain that borrowed its name from a cartoon moocher. Geoffrey Baer serves up some hamburger history in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Viewer Feedback: ‘Keyboarding Over Cursive? Why Not Both?’

Viewers wrote in with their thoughts on teaching cursive in schools. 

ReptileFest a Chance to Meet Slimy, Slithery Creatures

ReptileFest is back! We welcome some scaly, slinky and slithery friends to our set. 

Cavalia’s Epic ‘Odysseo’ Gallops onto Chicago’s Lakefront

Dominick Gavel (Courtesy of Cavalia)

A big show is brewing under the big top, with a cast and crew of more than 200 – plus 65 horses. We go behind the scenes of “Odysseo.” 

Viewer Feedback: ‘There Are No Plans’

Does President Donald Trump have a plan for Chicago violence? We hear from viewers.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Chicago State is a Proven, Repeated Failure’

Viewers reflect on Chicago State University’s crisis, WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore’s report on the Chicago Housing Authority, and the ethics of zoos.

New Nonprofit Gives Needy Kids Clothes They Can Be Proud Of

“Our model is that quality equals dignity. We want kids on the other end who are receiving these coats or shoes or pants to feel proud to wear them,” said Cradles to Crayons Executive Director Bernard Cherkasov. 

Preservation Chicago Sounds the Alarm Over ‘Flamingo’ Sculpture

Alexander Calder, “Flamingo” (vincent desjardins / Flickr)

This week, a significant work by artist Alexander Calder was dismantled from the lobby of the Willis Tower and is being moved into storage. Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago says a second major Calder work may also be in danger of disappearing.

Ask Geoffrey: What’s With the Out-of-Order Presidents?

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

Geoffrey Baer investigates why the Loop’s streets honoring presidents don’t honor the order of their terms in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Viewer Feedback: ‘These Politicians Will be OK’

Viewers weigh in on Lincoln Park Zoo’s urban wildlife monitoring program, a judge's order to pay Illinois legislators' salaries and state Rep. Will Guzzardi’s proposal to bar financially troubled schools from opening new charter schools.