It was the mid 90’s and I was on a train in Chicago. This was a novel experience, since I had only recently arrived from a much smaller town. Seated across from me was husky, bearded man, heavily accessorized with leather straps. No, wait, not just one man; the train was full of men with […]

We’re still in a quarantine in Chicago but restrictions have loosened up a bit—Quarantine Lite™ I guess you’d call it. I’ve ventured on a few train and bus rides and yesterday I was able to visit my family (from a safe distance) for the first time in four months. On top of that, I got […]

  Before traveling to a new place, I like to study the cultural heritage practices of the people who live there—you know, like ceremonies marking the start of harvest season or maybe puppetry performed to ancient poetry.  Now that I’m in a quarantine with no opportunity to travel in the foreseeable future, I thought this […]

In 2014 someone tried to steal my apartment building. Her name was Tanya, a petite and nonthreatening-looking woman who had briefly owned a unit in the building that was foreclosed on in the 90’s.  One day she showed up in our lobby with a locksmith and he was already mid-way through changing our door and […]

We’ve been in a quarantine lock-down for six weeks in Chicago.  While all my friends seem to be spending their time cleaning and organizing their homes, crafting, learning new languages and growing sourdough starters, it turns out that in quarantine I am still a slob.  So rather than magically transforming into a more productive person, […]

I don’t own a car and I haven’t been on public transportation in over a month.  So I walk. I love walking and I especially love walking with HOB, though of course during this time of pandemic-avoidance walking comes with terms and conditions; no access to parks or the lakefront, we are advised to wear […]

Post WWI in Chicago, this was the dream: move out from crowded downtown apartment buildings to far flung neighborhoods, into bungalows. There are bungalow districts all over Chicago.  I live near the West Ridge Bungalow District and these photos are from the blocks around Talman and Arthur streets. (Pro tip #1: if you happen to […]

It was considered a skyscraper; a skyscraper college for Catholic women. And what did a Catholic women’s college need? Nuns, of course, to administer the college and teach the students. The nuns, like they so often have been, were ingenious heroines of Mundelien College. But before you hear about the nuns, you need to know […]

On Thursday morning I was at an operations meeting at work, walking through a couple of weeks of programs with my colleagues—all the performances, films, community meetings, lectures, rentals, youth projects, exhibition load-ins and everything else that makes the museum vital and necessary. By Friday night, all of that was cancelled. The museums are shut […]

So what do you do when you’re about to visit South Korea and the CDC puts out a AVOID NON ESSENTIAL TRAVEL red alert?  Well obviously you put on your good citizen pants and cancel your trip. Back in 2009, HOB and I came down with the swine flu at the peak of the pandemic.  […]