371 episodes

Ask questions, vote and discover answers about Chicago, the region and its people. From WBEZ.

Curious City WBEZ

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 497 Ratings

Ask questions, vote and discover answers about Chicago, the region and its people. From WBEZ.

    Do Speed Humps Work?

    Do Speed Humps Work?

    Every driver in Chicago has probably encountered a speed hump (yep, they are officially known as humps, not bumps) at some point while traversing the city. It’s probably safe to say that no one particularly enjoys going over one, but these barriers meant to slow drivers and make streets safer certainly annoy some more than others. And one listener wants to know if they’re even effective. Reporter Andrew Meriwether investigates.

    • 16 min
    What's Up With All Those Billboard Ads For Lawyers?

    What's Up With All Those Billboard Ads For Lawyers?

    Lawyer selfies line the interstate between Illinois and Indiana. Curious City took a road trip and counted almost a hundred in one stretch of I-90/94. Audio producer Steven Jackson investigates why there’s so many of these billboards here, especially for personal injury attorneys. He shares insights from lawyers, marketers, and historians. Features a guest cameo by Lyndon B. Johnson.

    • 16 min
    Chicago Movie Locations

    Chicago Movie Locations

    Chicago has served as the backdrop for blockbuster films like “The Blues Brothers,” “The Dark Knight,” and “The Break-Up.” But just when did Chicago, sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood of the Midwest,” first become a go-to location for film and TV producers? The answer goes all the way back to the silent film era of the early 1900s when the Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. produced thousands of films from 1907 to 1917 and William Foster debuted “The Railroad Porter” in 1913. Productions shot on location in Chicago ebbed and flowed in the years that followed as Hollywood became a film and television hub. But as of September 2021, a record 15 TV shows were filming here. And with so many things being filmed here, we get asked a lot of questions about what makes certain locations popular for movie shoots? Matt Sigur tracks down some answers for us.

    • 24 min
    The Making Of Polish Chicago

    The Making Of Polish Chicago

    We all know Chicago has a strong Polish community. But how did it get that way? And just how Polish is this city, really? Reporter Jesse Dukes finds the answers.

    • 26 min
    A Split Pea Dilemma And The Chicago-Style Hot Dog

    A Split Pea Dilemma And The Chicago-Style Hot Dog

    A listener noticed that diner after diner seemed to serve split pea soup every Wednesday. So is he really onto something? Reporter Linda Lutton investigates this legume mystery. Plus, we break down the origins of the Chicago-style hot dog.

    • 14 min
    The Halloween Episode: Munger Road

    The Halloween Episode: Munger Road

    On this week’s episode Curious City investigates the origins of the Munger Road haunting. Like any good ghost story, there are several versions of the Munger Road tale, but the ghost story goes something like this: A school bus full of kids was crossing over the train tracks and it stalled. Before the driver could get the bus off the tracks, a train came along and hit the bus. No one bus survived the accident. The legend says the ghosts of the children are still there, and claims that if you drive your car onto the tracks and put it in neutral and sprinkle some baby powder on your car bumper, allegedly, the children are going to push your car off the tracks to safety. And small handprints will appear in the baby powder.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
497 Ratings

497 Ratings

pence is not xtian ,

Lots of history on this podcast!

It’s funny when you listen to the Snowflakes on some other podcasts, say for instance from the station around 89 on AM, you can’t take their rigid Cancel Culture Ideology! Never any history on those Woke podcasts. Just weak Socialist theory how the guv’mint does everything for you.

Stay here to learn some history and have some fun.

fredo mac ,

Informative But Irritating

I love discovering information about Chicago—the unique history, the stories behind local traditions, trends and how they started, etc, but the hosts are extremely irritating. So much so that I think about unfollowing every time I listen, and I would I I could find something similar.

The hosts are simultaneously condescending, , pseudo-intellectual, elitist, and insulting. It’s like listening to your 12-year old tell you how ignorant you are. I suppose that is to be expected, considering the producers. I would explain, but I don’t need to. A few listens will demonstrate. The recent Halloween episode describing a suburban haunted road myth is a good example.

Lauren92lofggbvvgh ,

Great info about our great city!

I love the stories this pod covers and shares with its audience! I do wish there were fewer repeated stories and fewer corporate sponsors/ads, but it's overall good info that I keep coming back for.

Top Podcasts In Arts

You Might Also Like

More by WBEZ