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Ida’s Devastation Takes a Heavy Toll on the Most Vulnerable

The magnitude of Ida’s devastation across the northeastern U.S. became clearer Thursday, as the impacts of climate change revealed and exacerbated existing societal inequities. At least 46 people were reported dead as of Friday morning from Maryland to Connecticut, with the vast majority of those drowning in their homes or cars under the — in many places — unprecedented deluge of rain.

Climate change caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels is making extreme precipitation events worse and more frequent. The storm dropped 3-4 inches per hour from eastern Pennsylvania to southwest Connecticut — rates so extreme they

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As comfort food takes over, will we ever want white tablecloth dining again?

The pandemic ushered in a new level of dining, from revamped drive-through options to family packs of comfort food to home-cooked meals. So did it kill off fine dining? Experts say the white tablecloth experience is not dead yet — but it has been forced to evolve.

With the three-martini lunch crowd still on hiatus and international jet-setting gourmands mostly unable to travel, many higher-end establishments have had to reconfigure their offerings. Facing higher costs for everything from lobster to labor, restaurants have pulled back on their hours, stopping lunch service and remaining closed on both Monday and Tuesday.

Some

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Wicker Park Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant Takes Aim at Mundane Plant-Based Options

It’s a pandemic pivot fairy tale in Wicker Park for Rodolfo Cuadros, the owner and chef of Amaru, a popular Latin restaurant that opened in 2019 in neighboring Bucktown. As COVID-19 suspended indoor dining, Cuadros and other restaurant owners last year searched for new ways to generate more money. He would partially convert Amaru into a ghost kitchen for a new restaurant, Bloom Vegetarian Kitchen, cooking up a meat-free menu with global flavors.

“Our goal was to encourage families to try different and healthier foods,” Cuadros says.

Bloom became a pandemic hit and catered to folks with allergies. As meat

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