Cusack is calling from a hotel in Los Angeles in the middle of a
daylong studio promotion for Must Love Dogs, the romantic
comedy in which he stars this month with Diane Lane and Dermot
Mulroney. He says he's had a very long day, filled with one
interview after another, with photo sessions interspersed.
"So, we're going to talk about Chicago," I say, and I can hear him
"Hit me," says Cusack.
And he's off and riding. Cusack has a home in Los Angeles, but when
you're from Chicago, you're a Chicagoan until the day you die. He
has a place downtown, and on his first day or two back, he usually
wants to see everything at once.
"I'll ride up and down the waterfront, go by Navy Pier, then all
the way down the public park toward Montrose," he says, ticking off
a multiday biking itinerary. "You can go all the way up and down
Lake Shore Drive. There are parks all over there. Then you can go
through the city and all of its different neighborhoods -
Wrigleyville and near Halsted, everywhere. You can go up toward the
South Side, toward Millennium Park, to the Shedd Aquarium and
Soldier Field, through Chinatown, and all the way back through the
city to the Loop, and then through downtown."
He could practically bike through Chicago blindfolded. "I know the
city inside and out," he says. "I don't think there's an area I
haven't been to."
Then he begins directing me: "There is a tour where you can go up
and down the river and see the architecture there - it's just out
He's talking about a boat tour called Chicago from the Lake, which
hits the highlights of Chicago architecture. But Cusack prefers the
bike to the boat. "You go past the Wrigley Building," he says of
the circa-1921 terra-cotta-clad edifice that's known as the gateway
to the Magnificent Mile, one of the greatest shopping streets on