Plus, Chicago books to read in 2024.
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Hey Chicago by City Cast

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Tuesday, January 9  
38° F  


30° F

With a couple of inches of snow expected, dibs are coming out. But how do you feel about the tradition? And what’s the weirdest dibs you’ve ever seen? Tell us, and keep scrolling for a quick guide to Chicago dibs.

What Chicago's Talking About

Will One of Chicago’s Biggest Employers Leave?

United Airlines is investing in thousands of corporate jobs and building a flight training center in Denver, refueling old fears that the airline will relocate its headquarters. [Crain’s 🔒]

Free Museum Days in 2024

Bookmark this link: Here’s a list of Chicagoland museums and zoos offering free admission days all year long. [WTTW]

Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White pose with their Golden Globes Sunday in Beverly Hills

Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White pose with their Golden Globes in Beverly Hills Sunday. (Kevin Mazur / Getty)

‘The Bear’ Golden Globe Wins

The hit FX show took home three Golden Globes Sunday including for best TV musical or comedy series. Stars Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White also picked up awards for best actress and actor in the same category. [Eater]

Your Guide to Chicago Dibs

An ironing board is used to save a parking spot in Chicago in 2021

An ironing board is used to save a parking spot in Chicago in 2021. (Scott Olson / Getty)

For decades, Chicagoans have gone to extreme lengths to save their parking spots. Here’s what to know about “dibs” ahead of the first snowstorm of the season.

What Are Dibs?

After residents shovel their cars out from under snow, they leave different objects — like traffic cones, chairs, and even religious icons — to call “dibs” on their spots while they go to work or run errands.

Cars covered in snow in Chicago during the 1967 blizzard

A severe blizzard hit Chicago in 1967. (Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty)

How Did Dibs Begin?

When the January 1967 blizzard left the city covered in 23 inches of snow, the Tribune reported Chicago motorists began reserving their spots with folding chairs, carpenters' horses, and other stuff. More than 30 years later, a Tribune columnist is credited with coining the term.

Why Are Dibs Controversial?

Calling dibs is illegal, according to city code. That’s why some residents call 311 to complain about the practice, saying it makes parking more of a hassle in the winter, especially when someone tries to dibs half a block. Meanwhile, people who take the time to shovel get upset when someone else moves their dibs to park in the now-clean spot.

What Else Should You Know?

The Chicago tradition is divisive, which is why some have called for dibs etiquette to be established and others are rocking swag from Transit Tees’ dibs collection.

Wherever you stand on dibs, tell us! We’ll share your answer here.

The Most-Anticipated Chicago Books of 2024

A Little Free Library in Pilsen in 2023

A Little Free Library in Pilsen in 2023. (Trent Sprague / Tribune / Getty)

Who else is trying to read more this year? Add these Chicago books coming out in 2024 to your reading list.

‘The Mayor of Maxwell Street’

📘 Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, a wealthy Black debutante and a speakeasy manager team up to investigate a shadowy figure.

🖊️ Avery Cunningham

🗓️ Jan. 30

‘O Body’

📘 This Chicago-born poet discusses the male body, fatherhood, patriarchy, and his new home in Bloomington in a new collection.

🖊️ Dan “Sully” Sullivan”

🗓️ Feb. 6

‘The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson’

📘 Dropped off at a Chicago orphanage as a child and sold to a traveling circus, 94-year-old Cecily Larson must now explain her past to her family after a surprise DNA test.

🖊️ Ellen Baker

🗓️ Feb. 20

‘The House That Madigan Built’

📘 Read about how the state’s most powerful Democrat rose to and fell from power in this comprehensive book by a longtime Tribune journalist.

🖊️ Ray Long

🗓️ March 26

Vintage copies of Jet magazine are displayed in the offices of Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago in 2014

Vintage copies of Jet magazine are displayed in the offices of Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago in 2014. (Scott Olson / Getty)

‘We Are the Culture: Black Chicago's Influence on Everything’

📘 The Johnson Publishing Company, “Soul Train,” and basketball legend Michael Jordan are just a few of Black Chicago’s contributions to the world, according to a local journalist’s new book.

🖊️ Arionne Nettles

🗓️ April 16

‘To Washington Park, With Love’

📘 This photography book capturing Chicago's Washington Park will transport you back to the summer of 1987.

🖊️ Rose Blouin

🗓️ July 9

📚 Plus, more books!
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More Chicago Events

Today on City Cast Chicago

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in Springfield 2021

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in Springfield 2021. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service / Getty)

What is a Bribe?

City Cast Chicago executive producer Simone Alicea and producer Michelle Navarro discuss how a U.S. Supreme Court case could affect corruption trials locally, dibs protocols, and Chicago board games.

👀 Looking at you, NW Indiana

Chicago Theatre Week tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today! See musicals, improv, and more for $30 or less. Or if you want to see free shows year-round, consider becoming a Saint.

—Sidney Madden

P.S. Vote us for the Chicago Reader’s best local podcast and newsletter!

Thanks to editor Simone Alicea!

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