Oversized snapping turtles and fleet foxes, oh my!

The Daily Reader

May 24, 2023

Of course I immediately fell for Chonkosaurus, the stupendously-sized snapping turtle who emerged in the Chicago River earlier this month.

Then I fawned over the family of foxes that’s taken up residence in Millennium Park in the past week. I’ve taken joy in knowing how many Chicagoans have embraced these creatures and claimed them as our own. We often face news that irritates, enrages, saddens, frustrates, or sidelines us, so when an animal makes an appearance in a part of the city no one expects, and then a significant portion of Chicagoans rally around the sighting, well, that makes me more fond of this place.

These new turtle and fox sightings reminded me of Jeff Nichols’s August 2019 Reader story tracing Chicago’s history of unusual and unexpected animal appearances. The gator that briefly resided in Humboldt Park that summer had already left town by the time the Reader ran Nichols’s story, but four years later I still find people who talk about “Chance the Snapper” like he never left. Which makes me wonder: how often did locals reflect on the elephants who wandered through Chicago’s north side for several miles in 1889?

Anyway, Nichols cataloged quite the animal history, so start reading it if you haven’t yet. And I hope that’s another reminder that you can dig up plenty of fun stories in the Reader archives; it’s easier to find such a story than, say, the next wild animal that will capture the city’s heart.


 “Turkey Trouble in Sun City,” by Aimee Levitt (Texas Monthly)
 “‘Fox and Friends’ staged Naperville interview criticizing Mayor Brandon Johnson,” by Jim Daley (The TRiiBE)
South African Popular Music by Lior Phillips (Bloomsbury)


 Tri Nohbi, I Guess Not
 Khanate, To Be Cruel
 Mandy, Indiana, i’ve seen a way

😎 Leor’s “Memorial Day weekend 2023” playlist

Hip-hop artist Kari Faux found musical joy in Chicago while making Real B*tches Don’t Die

by Cristalle Bowen | Read more 

Producer Thelonious Martin keeps hip-hop’s old wisdom alive
His sample-based tracks maintain a connection to the genre’s earliest roots, and now he’s passing along what he knows to the next generation.

by Alejandro Hernandez Read more

The Bollweevils are the rare pop-punk band aging gracefully

by Leor Galil Read more

Elijah Montez and Kaitlyn Murphy of Daydream Review decamp for the west coast
Plus: Lincoln Hall hosts zine makers and indie rockers at the second annual Hallogallo Fest, the in-house label at Signal Records celebrates its first two releases, and more.

by J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil Read more

Summertime Chi starts here.

Next Thursday, we’re taking over Metro/SmartBar for a party of epic proportions. Check out the incredible lineup above, and get your tickets below! 


Issue of
May 18 – 31 2023
Vol. 52, No. 16

View/Download Issue [PDF]

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