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The Chicagoist 2006 Wrap-Up

By Scott Smith in News on Dec 29, 2006 9:41PM

2006_12_flashback2.jpgChicagoist is not immune to the nostalgia that strikes all media entities at the end of the year, as evidenced by the orgy of posts this week that looked back at significant happenings in food, booze, theatre, art, music, movies and photography.

The desire to pontificate on this year's newsworthy events in Chicago is a powerful one, but we're saving ourselves for tomorrow night. Chicagoist co-editors Rachelle Bowden and Scott Smith will be guests on The Nick Digilio Show on WGN Radio 720 AM around 10:30 p.m. UPDATE: We'll be on at 10:00 p.m. in the evening where they'll be discussing their thoughts on the best, worst and most interesting things to happen to Chicago in 2006.

For a more "Web 2.0" look back at the year, we combed through the posts that garnered the most comments and recommendations from you, our readers.

The most recommended post, by far, was FBI Stop Raping My Wife, a brief post Rachelle did about Farhad Khoieebbasi, the silent but stalwart man who stands outside of public buildings in Chicago, next to a series of signs. Through anonymous e-mails and comments from alleged family members, we learned that Mr. Khoieebbasi is involved in some kind of marital dispute.

Another story that got a lot of props from our readers was Bell’s In The Distance from our man behind the bar, Chuck Sudo, who broke the story of Bell's pulling its product from the Chicagoland area. Along with drink, food is always a popular topic here at Chicagoist and many of you recommended our stories on LTHForum’s GNR map; Sunflower Market, the new organic grocery store and the perfect bar to watch your favorite sports team.

But life isn’t always good times and good food. Moments of sadness and crisis figured heavily into your top clicks, like our live blogging of coverage of the Ogilvie shooting, the young kid who was left at the Taste of Chicago, the Blue Line fire, the poor little puppies who might have no home and … the loss of Vespas in Chicago.

On a lighter note, celebrities and personalities also garnered lots of clicks this year as our interviews with the local Google engineers and the Green Party candidate for governor saw lots of traffic as well as the Roger Ebert photo project and a certain smart-assed writer’s tiff with Richard Marx.

It’s been a long year for us, full of good food, strife, celebrity, enigmatic men in overcoats and where to get a cheap ‘do. But through it all, we’ve tried to keep you informed about the news, food, sports, culture and entertainment stories that have people talking around the city. After all, this site isn’t just about us discussing what’s in the news, it’s about you as well. And Lordy, you had plenty to say in the comments.

If you’re a frequent reader of Chicagoist, it will be no surprise to you that some of our most commented posts revolved around three issues: Macy’s, the Cubs vs. the Sox and Wicker Park gentrification.

Alicia’s post on a Wicker Park teardown is practically the template for any comments fight, from its accusations of yuppiedom to its defense of nativism and back again to one commenter telling another to engage in an act of self-coitus.

Of course, the only other thing guaranteed to get Chicagoist commenters riled up is the Cubs and the Sox. Whether it was Ozzie Guillen calling Jay Mariotti a cigarette or the Crosstown Classic turning into the Festival of Fisticuffs, you had plenty to say on who was at fault.

Politics also lights some fires and this was displayed in sharp relief when a WGN poll showed that most Chicagoans think Daley is doing a good job. Chicagoist commenters respectfully and not-so-respectfully disagreed and lovemaking was once again suggested. Life in the 46th Ward and the role of big business also had the comment server lit up like Christmas.

But despite all the enmity seen over the year, commenters on Chicagoist did find some common ground around those evergreen issues of where to find the best burrito, the suckage of American Idol, the glory of the Empire Carpet guy and how angry everyone (still) is at Macy’s. These are the touching memories we will take into 2007. By the time we finish draining a few bottles of cheap champagne, there’ll be nothing but love. And a hangover. A love hangover, if you will. With more comments from our readers as the only cure.

Thanks to all of you who make Chicagoist a daily stop on the Internets, and especially to those of you who comment so frequently (you know who you are). We couldn’t do it without you.