steinberg

Neil Steinberg biography

Neil Steinberg began writing for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1984, and joined the staff in 1987 as a feature writer.

He became a columnist in …

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Steinberg: Ebola is here, and we’re all gonna die (but not from Ebola)

Is it too early for the Ebola post-mortem? I don’t think so. While there are still a few weeks of frenzy left in the mania, you gathered here in this quiet corner of the media have my permission to exhale a collective sigh of relief.

Steinberg: Chef Gale Gand gets to bake 200 pastries in her own honor

Gale Gand is sweet. Which is fitting, as she is a pastry chef. Though she is also a food star, not only now — Oct. 15 is officially Gale Gand Day in Chicago — but for the past 20 years.

Steinberg: Ebola ‘quite likely’ will hit Chicago, Cook Co.

Richard Preston’s “The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story” has sat on my shelf for the past 20 years. And though I haven’t cracked it since reading it last in 1994, I knew exactly what I would find when I opened the book again Friday.

  • Steinberg: High court’s decision a big win for gay rights

    In the lifetime, we went from a time when the police thought nothing of harassing gays for daring to gather in a bar — New York’s Stonewall riot took place in 1969 — to Monday, when the United States Supreme Court declined to hear five pending same-sex marriage cases, essentially upholding the legality of such marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

  • Chicagoans burn as fire festival fizzles

    Where was Mrs. O’Leary’s cow when Chicago really needed her? OK, historians agree that it wasn’t Cate O’Leary’s cow knocking over a lantern in the barn at 137 DeKoven Street that touched off the Great Chicago Fire on Oct. 8, 1871, leveling much of the …Read More

  • Steinberg: Peddling the protective effect of more bikes on the road

    A friend is feeling unwell, and I recommended she nurse herself back to health with the rich gingery soup from Ajida, a Japanese grill on Wells Street. As she isn’t able to go out, I gallantly offered to convey the miso udon to her, of …Read More

  • Steinberg: Beheadings horrify, but we could get used to it

    News this week told of a fired nursing home employee in Oklahoma who threatened to come back and behead his former co-workers, inspired no doubt by the atrocity that happened days earlier and 20 miles away. Is this going to be a trend? You could argue it already is.

    Steinberg: Simone de Beauvoir’s thoughts on race echo today

    Every night, lately, I go to bed with a French woman. My wife doesn’t mind, because the French woman is dead.

    Steinberg: Blink and you may miss O’Hare as ‘world’s busiest airport’

    “Busiest airport in the world,” the mayor said Wednesday. “O’Hare International Airport has regained its status as the world’s busiest airport for flight operations,” the Department of Aviation announced. Which is odd, because just last week, CNN reported that Atlanta’s Hartsfield is busiest for the 16th year in a row, with 94.4 million passengers passing through in 2013.

    Steinberg: It’s Rosh Hashana; maybe 5775 won’t be as bad as 5774

    Happy 5775, for those of you who celebrate Jewish New Year, if “happy” is the proper word to describe this particular, anxious moment in Jewish life. (“Really, the Jews are anxious?” quips the potato-nosed wisenheimer in my head. “As opposed to their usual tranquil state?”) Shhh, I say. I’m trying to be serious here.

    Steinberg: Hopes, fears lurk in coffee can

    The Sun-Times newsroom has packed its bags and moved to the 10th floor of what I still consider the Apparel Center but is actually now called . . . checking . . . River North Point. Well, mostly they’ve packed up. A handful of us office-dwellers linger on 9, transformed into a depopulated junkscape of massed office chairs, bundled wires, stacked gray dividers and various discarded books, tape dispensers, and, I noticed with keen interest, one unopened can of Stewarts coffee.

    Steinberg: Robert Falls crafts ‘heartless monster’ in ‘Don Giovanni’

    Don Giovanni is not your average hero. Serial seducer, rapist and occasional murderer, he gets by on his looks, his money and a relentless, serpentine charm. Nor is Robert Falls your average director. Provocateur, trickster, his plays have a sharp contemporary edge and lots of good old-fashioned violence and sex.

    Steinberg: Cardinal George has steered church, self through strife

    When the Rev. Francis George, archbishop of Portland, Oregon, learned that Pope John Paul II had named him as the successor to Chicago’s much-beloved Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the unassuming priest asked in surprise, “Are you sure the Holy Father has considered all the options?” He had.

    Steinberg: A hidden link between rail safety, Lord Byron

    Metra tries not to kill its customers. It really does. Say what you will about our commuter rail service: its jaw-dropping top-level mismanagement, creaky equipment and seasonal surprise at finding itself once again in a cold climate. But when it comes to sparing the hectic, harried, charmless lives of the commuters who travel its length, Metra is outstanding.

    Steinberg: Bad news about women has positive effect, author says

    The pervasive bad news about women in the world — kidnappings, rape and other violence — can be seen in a different light: as good, in that it represents events historically left in the shadows now being dragged out into the light to wither.

    Steinberg: U of I prof not the problem; it’s all those like him

    Kudos to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees for yanking back its invitation to would-be professor Steven Salaita, whose Twitter rants during the Gaza war said, in essence, that all Israelis living in the West Bank — different place, but close enough — should die, and that Israel’s existence justifies anti-Semitism.

    Steinberg: No more water peeing on our heads at Union Station

    The ideas the Metropolitan Planning Council is exploring for Union Station are widening commuter platforms, more off-street parking for buses, plus tether ball and yoga in the Great Hall. They want Union Station to be a “destination, rather than just a place people pass through.” Have these guys been to Union Station? How many ideas for its improvement did they receive? Because I have a few.