My Writing

For four years I reported on the South Side of Chicago as a writer and editor for the South Side Weekly.  My work for the Weekly has spanned a broad range of subjects including housing and development, local politics, religion, visual arts, and music. Since then I have written opinion articles and reported pieces for various other publications on a wide variety of subjects.

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The Terrors of a Mark Zuckerberg Presidency

An article for The Nation exploring the disastrous consequences a Mark Zuckerberg presidency would have for security and privacy, including interviews with professors  and former employees of Facebook.

A Crisis of Coverage

A feature for the South Side Weekly examining the shortcomings of a star-studded New York Times panel on Chicago's rising gun violence and the generally dismal state of local and national journalism about the city's violence.

Redeveloping the State Street Corridor

An investigative feature on the extended failure of the Chicago Housing Authority to rebuild public housing on the South Side after demolishing its high-rises in the early 2000s.

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Paper Chasing

An essay about the vanity of personal libraries book collecting, as well as the rise of the Kindle and the unique pleasures of physical books. This article was highlighted by the Paris Review and Arts & Letters Daily.

Prisoners of Hope

A feature-length piece on the labors of the famous Faith Community of St. Sabina and its pastor Michael Pfleger, who have fought a losing battle in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood against violence and unemployment. 

What Must Be Done

An investigative feature on the shrinking Nation of Islam's continued presence in one South Side neighborhood, as vigilantes and as proprietors of a discipline-based private school teaching Farrakhan's doctrine.

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Community Centers in Kenya and Costa Rica

I wrote about the architecture of a school in a Kenyan shanty and a gathering-place in rural Costa Rica, both built on very low budgets and with innovative variations on local architectural vernacular.  

A Hole in the World

A feature-length article on the epidemic of youth homelessness on the South Side, for which I got to know a number of homeless teens at a neighborhood shelter and shadowed a city census of the homeless.

Pure Madness

A personal essay about the three months I spent abroad in Rome and my discovery of the controversial, influential Italian poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017.

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Marc Fliedner's Campaign for Brooklyn DA

I wrote for the Village Voice about a progressive challenger in the 2017 DA race, focusing on his millennial-centric outreach strategy and his struggles reaching voters of color.

I Smell A Rat

A feature article on Chicago's long, uniquely difficult fight against a growing population of rats. The article includes a data analysis of thousands of  311 calls and an interview with a veteran rat catcher.

The Dormant Architectural Legacy of Columbus, Indiana

An article on an architecture biennial seeking to restore the reputation of a small Indiana town hope to a stunning variety of twentieth-century modernist masterpieces.