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Culture Vultures

Think you know this town? Try pitting your knowledge against Tim Samuelson's, the city's cultural historian. Samuelson's task is to bottle the essence of Chicago and share it with agencies, politicians, journalists, businesses, fellow historians, and the general public. Everyone seems to want his guidance— his phone rings off the hook. As it turns out, he makes a pretty good subject himself. NewCity's Harrison Smith does a fine job getting Samuelson to open up about his formative experiences in Chicago, from sneaking into abandoned buildings to collecting bits of bulldozed structures to eating random dinners with strangers in their homes. The article contains much more, and succeeds in stamping out a blueprint for becoming a cultural smartypants. [New City]