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Curious City

Chicago Public Media

Ask questions, vote and discover answers about Chicago, the region and its people. From WBEZ.

Location:

Chicago, IL

Genres:

Podcasts

Description:

Ask questions, vote and discover answers about Chicago, the region and its people. From WBEZ.

Language:

English


Episodes
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What Happened To Chicago’s Native American Neighborhood?

5/23/2024
Chicago has enclaves for numerous communities throughout its 77 neighborhoods. In the mid-20th century, Uptown was the nucleus for Native Americans who relocated to the city. Learn how Uptown became a cultural hub and what happened to that enclave.

Duration:00:19:06

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Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery: History, Hauntings, and Preservation

5/16/2024
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian is rumored to be haunted with alleged sightings of a woman in white. But there’s more to this place than spooky stories. Learn about the early settlers who called this place home and why a historian worries the ghost stories are overshadowing the history here.

Duration:00:17:41

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The Curious Case Of The Swami Vivekananda Way Street Sign

5/9/2024
Kids in India learn about Swami Vivekananda like kids in the U.S. learn about Abraham Lincoln. So how is it that he has his own honorary Chicago street sign? Find out about the monk who introduced Hinduism to the West, his deep ties to the city, and...what exactly happened to that sign.

Duration:00:23:18

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Is This Your Card? A Brief History Of Chicago-style Magic

5/2/2024
Chicago-style magic is close up, funny and usually performed at a bar or restaurant. We learn about its history and talk to several magicians who are part of the tradition.

Duration:00:23:14

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The Mayor, The Prince, and the Gift That Invaded Japan’s Biggest Lake

4/25/2024
In October 1960, Prince Akihito of Japan visited Chicago for 21 hours. Chicago’s mayor presented the prince with a diplomatic gift: 18 bluegill. What happened next would change the underwater world of Japan forever.

Duration:00:15:06

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Who’s A Good Boy: A Look At Chicago’s Top Dog Breeds

4/18/2024
Pit bulls are the number one dog breed in Chicago. We take a trip to the animal shelter to find out why, and we follow one pup as he attempts to find a forever home.

Duration:00:17:40

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What's That Dead Zone In The 19th Ward?

4/11/2024
There’s a hole in the map of Chicago. It turns out, it’s a cemetery. But there are many other cemeteries in Chicago that don’t show up as holes on the map, so what’s up with this one? We take you to the 19th Ward and explore the history of this dead zone.

Duration:00:13:32

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What Happened To The Crows?

4/4/2024
A listener thought she’d noticed a change in Chicago’s crow population. And she was right. More than twenty years ago, the crow population of Illinois was at an all-time high. But just a few years later, half of the birds were dead. The crows were hit by a deadly virus. And it’s one that humans are susceptible to as well. So where was this virus coming from? Reporter Claire Caulfield finds the answer.

Duration:00:16:56

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From Desegregation To Teen Angst: Inside CPS’s Selective Enrollment System

3/28/2024
What began as a method of desegregation and a way to stem white flight has now become a source of both pride and pain for kids and families around the city. We’ll look at the history and future of Chicago’s selective enrollment high schools.

Duration:00:20:03

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Apple Slices: A Nostalgic Piece Of Chicago Pastry History

3/21/2024
Apple slices were a favorite Chicago pastry decades ago. Not many bakeries sell them today, but the dessert still has avid fans who hold on to its nostalgic flavor.

Duration:00:15:18

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Sign Stealing: A Petty Piece Of Chicago Political History

3/14/2024
Stealing political signs has been a thing since candidates started printing signs. The tactic was widely used by the Chicago political machine, and its origins trace back to the late 1800s when saloons and politicians worked closely together.

Duration:00:19:27

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Two For Women’s History Month

3/7/2024
The juvenile justice system we know today was created by Cook County women. We take a look back at how the program came to be. Then later, ever notice how so few of Chicago’s monuments are of women? We’ll find out why and talk to the folks working to change that.

Duration:00:20:45

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The Windy Kitty: How Chicago Became A Haven For Feral Cats

2/29/2024
Chicago is home to thousands of feral cats. But who’s looking after them? We look at the pros and cons of keeping feral cat colonies.

Duration:00:17:40

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For Street Artist Joos, All The City's A Gallery

2/22/2024
Around Chicago, there are ribbons of paint on utility boxes that look like little doodles. But there’s much more to these paint splotches. The street artist and graffiti writer behind this and much larger work says painting has been a lifesaver.

Duration:00:24:43

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Chicago's Key Role In The Creation Of Black History Month

2/15/2024
This week, hear about historian Carter G. Woodson’s important Chicago ties, and how he came up with the idea for a “Negro History Week,” which later turned into the Black History Month we celebrate today.

Duration:00:15:28

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What Was The American Negro Exposition Of 1940?

2/8/2024
Fed up with how Black Americans were portrayed at world’s fairs, Black organizers created the “first real Negro World’s Fair” in Chicago in 1940. As Arionne Nettles reports, this exposition paved the way for Black institutions. Nettles’ debut book, "We Are The Culture: Black Chicago’s Influence on Everything," is out on April 16, 2024.

Duration:00:16:54

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Chicago Is Where Black Cinema Took Root

2/1/2024
In 1913 Chicagoan William Foster became the first Black director to make a film with an all Black cast. Yet most people have never heard of him. Join Arionne Nettles as she tells Foster's story, the story of Black filmmaking in Chicago, when our city was the pre-Hollywood movie capital of the world. It's the first of 3 Curious City podcasts in a row celebrating Black History Month 2024!

Duration:00:20:06

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What’s The Impact Of Storefront Churches On A Community?

1/25/2024
Storefront churches have been around since the early 1900s when African-Americans migrated up north from the South. Many are in operation in South and West side neighborhoods like Austin. We talk to residents about the impact these churches have on the community.

Duration:00:15:40

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Bumper-to-Bumper With Some Questions About Chicago Traffic

1/18/2024
There’s never a shortage of complaints about Chicago traffic, but experts swear it could be worse. We investigate the science behind lane closures and red lights, and then take a look at the chaos of creating a traffic report.

Duration:00:19:04

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What It’s Like To Drive A Snow Plow

1/11/2024
There’s a lot that goes into keeping the city streets clear of ice and snow. A snowplow driver shows us the ropes. And did you know Chicago used to ship out its plowed snow? We’ll revisit a story one joyful Floridian will never forget.

Duration:00:18:47