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.  […]

  One of our hotels in Japan served breakfast bento, which was perfect for me as I adore both breakfast and eating a variety of foods.  Since I have no business claiming to be an authority on Japan, I thought it would be fun to share a variety of bite-sized tips which might be useful […]

As a young woman I thought a typical marriage was this: the wife thanklessly plows through endless chores while her husband, planted in front of a television, yells at a sports game as piles of empty beer cans rise up around him.  I never wanted to be married. HOB and I met at a bookstore […]

I was feeling self-congratulatory on the train to Osaka.  All of our other plans had fallen through because of the typhoon but we had a train pass and hotels in Osaka were cheap so we made a last-minute decision to head there from Nara.  I’d never visited a place without a binder full of research […]