Axios Chicago

Picture of the Chicago skyline.

Happy Tuesday. Welcome to Beer Can Appreciation Day, a time to admire those metal vessels for their engineering and beauty β€” before you crush them and throw them into a recycling bin.

☁️ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow tonight and high of 34°.

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Today's newsletter is 885 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: The future of Soldier Field

Rendering of of a domed football stadium

Rendering courtesy of Landmark Chicago Interests, LLC

With mayoral debates and forums kicking into high gear, we keep hearing: "What should the city do to keep the Bears?"

Why it matters: The organization has consistently signaled they want to build a stadium in Arlington Heights, even after the city proposed billions in perks to keep the team at Soldier Field.

Between the lines: The team's hiring of CEO Kevin Warren β€” who led the Vikings' construction of U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016 β€” seems to cement the reality that they're leaving.

  • Maybe the more salient question for candidates should be, "What would you do with Soldier Field?"

State of play: This month, Landmark Preservation released a video depicting a sparkling redevelopment of the district-run stadium.

  • But could that be a reality? Justin caught up with the company's CEO, Bob Dunn, to find out.

Justin: How does your Soldier Field redevelopment plan stack up against the better stadiums in the NFL?

Dunn: "I've been working on sports and NFL stadium development for over 25 years, and I truly believe that there is no comparable location β€” in the heart of one of the world's most exciting cities β€” in this country. A redeveloped Soldier Field wouldn't just make the best of the current venue; it can become the very best stadium in the world with the right vision."

  • "By keeping about 70% of the current stadium, the redevelopment could cost $1 [billion] to $1.5 billion less than building a new stadium from the ground up."

Justin: In the teaser video, I noticed you didn't use the word "Bears" or even "football." Why?

Dunn: "Soldier Field is an iconic public asset that will be with us whether the Bears continue to play there or not. I think we can agree that the stadium is currently deficient in many ways, but our video shows how it is truly possible to give players and fans the superior experience that they expect, while preserving the stadium's iconic character."

Keep reading

2. Beating the Midwest winter blues

Illustration of a cloud in the shape of a brain raining on an open umbrella

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Despite the rare sun yesterday, this January has brought us a super-long stretch of gloomy days. And we're kinda sick of it.

Why it matters: Midwest winters with cold temperatures and short days make all of us more vulnerable to the wintertime blues, Axios' Alissa Widman Neese reports.

How it works: SAD symptoms can range from feeling run down or tired to experiencing mood changes and social withdrawal.

  • It's not clear what causes the condition, but researchers believe the daylight changes can alter our brain chemicals and rob us of sunlight-derived vitamin D, per the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • Women are affected more often than men.

Yes, but: Some lifestyle changes can help make these symptoms more manageable, Samar McCutcheon, a psychiatrist with Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, tells Axios. They include:

πŸ›Œ Maintain a daily routine, including a set bedtime.

🧘 Exercise both your brain and body through activities like meditation and yoga.

🍷 Avoid alcohol and drugs.

πŸ’‘ Try light therapy for 30 minutes daily.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ Increase social activity.

3. Map of the day: Eggs-orbitant prices

Data: Instacart; Map: Axios Visuals

Eggs have become the latest food to skyrocket due to inflation β€” exacerbated by a devastating Avian flu outbreak β€” as prices for a dozen have nearly doubled around the country.

The latest survey of Instacart prices in December puts the average price in Illinois at $4.82.

  • That's similar to states like Wisconsin and Michigan, but slightly higher than Iowa and Indiana.

Yes but: It could be worse; we could live in Hawaii ($9.73), Florida ($6.36) or California ($6.05).

Go deeper

4. Tips and hot links

Illustration of the Chicago Cloud Gate bean sculpture rotating and reflecting the Axios logo.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸš” Chicago police plan to increase patrols for Sunday's Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown after the mass shootings in California. (NBC5)

πŸ‘©β€βš–οΈ Former state Senator Darren Bailey has filed a new lawsuit against the state's assault weapon ban. (ABC7)

πŸͺ§ UIC faculty have settled with the university, ending their four-day strike. (TribuneπŸ”’)

New jobs to check out

⚽️ Get the ball rolling. Check out these openings from our Job Board.

  1. Media Director, Programmatic at Starcom.
  2. Vice President of PACE at Esperanza Health Centers.
  3. Governance and Controls Advisor at CIBC US.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

5. Readers: Chicago's best grilled cheese

Photo of a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

Grilled cheese from Gayle V's Best Ever Grilled Cheese. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Last week we tried to perk up a dreary January by presenting our favorite grilled cheese sandwiches β€” preferably served with a hot bowl of tomato soup.

As usual, our lactose-indulgent readers served many cheesy opinions of their own:

Leslie M.: "The incredibly rich 5 cheese masterpiece at Lady Gregory's in Andersonville. Gruyere, white Cheddar, mozzarella and brie with fried shallots and candied bacon on parmesan-crusted sourdough."

Monica H.: "Chef Debbie's grilled cheese at the Peckish Pig paired with an in-house brew will cure what ails you, especially on a dreary winter afternoon."

McKinley S.: "Grilled cheese rec: Carver 47 in Kenwood. Don't skimp on the red pepper jelly they offer with it β€” a delightful combo of spicy and sweet."

More reader picks

6. Where in the world is ... Justin?

Photo of a man in front of a round glass building.

Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Do you know where Justin is this week? Here's a hint:

  • It beckons travelers based on its looks
  • A sunken treasure trove of so many books
  • Hidden away next to our gothic past
  • A contemporary addition, hopefully not the last

πŸ“« Reply to this email with the correct answer and you'll be entered into a drawing to win some Axios swag!

Edited by Alexa Mencia and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Keely Bastow.

Our picks:

πŸ€” Monica has been reading the late Lin Brehmer's old Lin's Bin essays where he answered listeners' questions. She was struck by this one addressing "What really matters?"

🎧 Justin loves this video of local DJ Tvvin spinning up on a rooftop in Fulton Market. Great jams and great views. Justin thinks the city should buy this video for tourism purposes.

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