During the 1990’s through the early 2000’s, splashy museums and concert halls were popping up everywhere. Not that I’m a hater of this trend—after all, I enjoy Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, built during the height of the building-as-spectacle orgy. Sometimes, though, these can seem kind of dated. And if something seems […]

These days I’m less excited about traveling for sights and more interested in experiencing uniquely specific culture. In Reykjavik, its corrugated iron houses are just this special sort of thing I love. These houses started out as wood and then they were covered with sheets of corrugated iron. I’m sure you’ve gone out on a […]

If you’re an Icelandic person right now, here’s how you spend your Saturday; get the whole family dressed in hiking gear topped with wool Icelandic sweaters, and head up a mountain to look at the volcano. When we got here, everyone we met said “When are you going to see the volcano?” and at first […]

My laptop apparently has kicked the bucket, after considerately surviving one whole night on our first trip since covid times. Can I blog from my phone? Hmmm….if you can believe it, this is the first time I’ve traveled abroad with my smartphone, never having signed up for an international calling plan before. While I don’t […]

Oh hey, we’re in Reykjavik! And once again we are wearing dorky matching backpacks!!! First of all, nobody freak out. We are VACCINATED. The generous citizens of Iceland are letting in vaccinated tourists, so we jumped. Normally I laboriously plan our trips, but I didn’t do any of that this time. I never thought much […]

Anyone can love a beach in the summer. Deep winter is my favorite beach time, and this winter, while I was forced to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, I loved it best at dawn. Instead of packing my lunch and catching a train to work, I left my apartment in the dark […]

I admit it is weird; I’m all crazy for church architecture and I travel great distances to see it, but until recently I didn’t know about the Chicago Polish cathedral style. Perhaps I overlooked it because these churches are located in my unofficial no man’s land—west of the Kennedy Expressway. There are many adorable neighborhoods […]

I’ve got some posts planned about architecture, but like a lot of Americans right now, I’m in an anxiety-induced holding pattern, just getting through the final two days of the Cheetolini administration. Like maybe he’ll pardon a few more war criminals, but hopefully now that he’s cut off of twitter he can’t goad his Nazi-wannabe […]

At this time of year, I’d normally be writing a post called Funniest travel moments of 2020. Yeah, so 2020 wasn’t funny and we didn’t travel. I did my best to document it, though, since (hopefully) I’ll never live through another year like it. Most of my documentation is of signs, since that’s how I […]

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, architects rushed to rebuild the city, blanketing downtown in that hideous Beaux-Arts style, egged on by the derrière garde World’s Fair aesthetic also known as The White City. (Fun fact: Louis Sullivan had a building in the Chicago World’s Fair—it was fabulous, brightly colored and original…and it pissed […]