|Contributor since:||September 2009|
I came to Chicago for college because I liked the look of fire escapes snaking down alleyways, because I wanted to see what this Second City comedy thing was all about, because "The Blues Brothers" and "The Untouchables" made it look like the coolest city ever. And while I've never been chased down by hundreds of cop cars or involved in a slow motion shootout on the steps at Union Station, I still find Chicago to be the greatest city in the world. Architecture, food, Midwestern values and people aside, it's the arts scene that really makes Chicago come alive, be it the witty and wonderful wordplay over at The Second City and Steppenwolf, or the stirring sounds of the city's orchestra or rock bands at Schubas and Metro, or the mind-blowing flicks I've caught at the Music Box (including David Cronenberg's classic "Scanners," in which a mind does literally blow).
I've lived in Chicago on and off since 2001, and having done the entertainment reporting thing ever since, it's my honor to report on the city's movie, music and performance scenes for True/Slant. I consider it a mission from God.
Follow me at Twitter: @pietlevy. And email your story suggestions and comments at Levypeter@aol.com
I'm Known For...
Being a staff writer at Marketing News, a trade magazine published by the American Marketing Association. Great staff, fascinating topic. Previously at the Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana. I've had internships with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye and Religion News Service, and my byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, the Toronto Star and other pubs.
My Current Project
Improving my reporting and writing skills, blogging for True/Slant, making the most of life, being the best I can be.
My Greatest Achievement
Convincing my wife to marry me. But professionally speaking, there's loads. I was able to freelance for the Chicago Tribune at just 19 years old. I also did a pair of major reporting projects at The Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana; one was about the above average lung cancer rates in the state and four people afflicted with the disease, the other chronicled the career of an accomplished con artist who had never been to prison. Both won first place Indiana journalism prizes in their respective categories.
My Biggest Regret
Why bother regretting?
I Truly Respect
People making the world a better place, be it through simple kindness, philanthropy, backbreaking work or gorgeous music.
Moments I'd Like To Forget
Personally, I think writing about such moments on a Web site I'll regularly read is counterproductive to forgetting.
Blocks I've Been Around
Chicago blocks, Roman blocks, Milwaukee blocks, Dallas blocks, Washington blocks, Cambridge blocks, London blocks, Paris blocks, building blocks, Lego blocks ...
Things That Really Happened
I e-mail interviewed the high priest of the Church of Satan; Robert Duvall and I discussed the merits of Texas BBQ; I got a death threat from a con artist; I got called an F-ing Jew from Northwestern Indiana's most powerful Nazi-sympathizer; I stayed up for a 24 hour horror movie marathon; I entertained kids dressed as Santa Claus for a couple of columns; I experienced a disturbing art piece about clowns in the company of three actual clowns.
Where I'd Like To Be 10 Years From Now
Introducing my wee ones to the glory that is Giordano's deep dish spinach pizza. And doing journalism baby.
Because they asked, and because it rocks.
What I'm Currently Addicted To...
Planning, looking for fun Chicago stuff to do/write about, refreshing my favorite Web pages, love.
This Is Annoying Me...
Not having enough money to do every fun thing there is to do out there. But having free press access certainly helps.
This Is Making Me Worry...
Not being good enough.
This Is Bringing Me Joy...
Being incredibly blessed. Endless thanks to the higher powers, loving family and friends, stimulating films, intoxicating music, fortunate circumstances, dipped Italian beef sandwiches loaded with sweet peppers.
This Is Helping Me Create...
True/Slant. It's so terrific having an outlet for the things I want to know more about and write about.
This Is Making Me Think - Hard...
Why? This is making me think even harder - Pourquoi?
Can't Do Without
My wife and family, fantastic friends, faboo times and great eats. And air and water.
Freddy Mercury, Joe Mantegna, Rufus Wainwright, William Shatner, James Earl Jones, Alec Baldwin, Tommy Wiseau, Jon Lovitz, Homer Simpson, Miss Piggy
My Most Awkward Moment
Take your pick: the many times I've fallen down stairs (on multiple continents!), when I sneezed and farted at the same time in my 8th grade English class, the time I danced like a penguin in Rome's trendy Trastevere neighborhood, that really rough interview I had with Spike Lee.
My Secret Ambition
Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a secret now would it?