The final work of the acclaimed Chicago Trilogy, this collection of nonfiction tales reveals Sandburg's ""city of the big shoulders,"" concrete and neon; uptown and downtown; State Street, Michigan Avenue; the river, the lake; the matter-of-factness and poetry of Chicago people - from Mike Royko describing his neighborhood to the observations of newspaper vendors, from Studs Terkel interviewing jazz great Dave Brubeck to dinner with Petros in Greek Town. Written with a keen eye, Blei's stories evoke a vanished Chicago, a city of gritty and colorful neighborhoods and their gritty and colorful characters. It is, as he writes, a ""love letter to a city that has meant so much to me.
Norbert Blei is a veteran of the famous City News Bureau of Chicago, winner of a Pushcart Prize in fiction, the author of seventeen books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and the editor/publisher of a small press dedicated to emerging and neglected writers, Cross+Roads Press. Among his many works are the two other books in his Chicago Trilogy, The Ghost of Sandburg's Phizzog (Ellis, 1987) and Neighborhood (Ellis, 1998), and a collection of poems, Paint Me a Picture/Make Me a Poem (Spoon River, 1987). Born and raised in Chicago, he now lives in Door County, Wisconsin.