Chicago Gets Curious

Have you ever wanted a radiophonic go-to source for info on legends, rumors, and lore about your city? If you live in or love Chicago, then you’re in luck.

Curious City, based at WBEZ, is a new project from AIR‘s Localore initiative. It invites listeners to ask questions about The Windy City. Upcoming episodes will have WBEZ staffers investigating queries such as, “What is it like to live on a minimum-wage job in Chicago?” “What economic impact do local colleges and universities have on the city’s economy?” “What is the average income of a street performer in Chicago per year?”

So far, my favorite stories have been about how Chicagoans speak. On a request from a listener, the Curious City team produced a story about the origin of the Chicago accent. But after hearing that story, another listener pointed out that Chicago is really home to more than just one accent–there’s also the Chicago “Blaccent” (as in, black accent). Take a listen.

If you’ve got some curiosity about Chicago, find out how your question can become a radio story over at

Episodes of Curious City are making their way onto PRX, and you can also catch them on PRX Remix.