Author Archives: The Wife of Bath

The gentle density and radical façadism of Toronto

One of the reasons I like to walk great distances through new cities is to experience the zoning and density. (You thought I was going to say I do this for snacking opportunities, didn’t you?) We weren’t in Toronto long, but we got around, and I was continually impressed by how well Toronto does density. […]

Toronto: all wonderful (except the poutine)

Actually, we didn’t try the poutine. Yeah, I am the lady who always tries the local foods but… …it just looks regurgitated. Oh, did I mention we just came back from a flash trip to Toronto? I mean, what would make sense with me about to start a new job is that that I would […]

Leaving the Garden of Eden

At work I was known as a lifer. Museum work is exciting and I was living the dream of being in the center of the multi-disciplinary art world. I sought cultural capital, and for almost 25 years, I found it. A few months ago I walked out of meeting and said to myself “You’re not […]

My Art Institute of Chicago Squishy Jesus tour

In the late 90’s I worked at the Art Institute of Chicago for a few months. I was hired to work a variety of visitor services roles but was never actually trained for them: the AIC just dropped me off in the coat check and the other staff showed me what to do. Everything we […]

Tacos in the parking lot: how we do street food in Chicago

Last fall it was our 25th anniversary and HOB asked me how I wanted to celebrate, and I was like, “Hmmmm…I think I want to eat something in a parking lot while standing over a trash can.” We ended up eating dumplings from the food court in this ginormous grocery store. Due to various annoying […]

Frank Lloyd Wright’s System Built Houses in Illinois

There was a time, from 1911 – 1916, when Frank Lloyd Wright came up with a system to make beautifully designed houses accessible for middle-class folks. The idea of a Frank Lloyd Wright home being considered “affordable housing” is kind of hilarious. These days his homes are for rich people; really rich people. Wright was […]

Be the kind of tourist that goes to Pullman

Chicago is huge and most tourists see very little of it (probably true to say this of most residents too). I work in the tourist industry and often get asked for directions to Navy Pier, Giordano’s Pizza, and—if they are feeling daring—to Wrigley Field. So it really shocked me when a few years ago a […]

The Bridgford Foods Mural is Genius

If you’ve been keeping tabs, this would be the time you’d normally expect find HOB and I travelling somewhere. But here we are—another Chicago staycation. There’s still Covid, but now on top of that I’ve had vertigo for three months and I am unable to take long distance transportation, Anyway, not here to whine but […]

The (mostly concrete) churches of Reykjavík

So when we were in Reykjavik we looked at a lot of churches, Whoa—plot twist! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? For a brief look back at Iceland’s church heritage, here’s a turf church from 1842 that we saw in the Árbær Open Air Museum. The wooden Mosfell Church in South Iceland was built […]

Cooking (and a magic refrigerator) in Reykjavik

Not to ruin my budget travel cred or anything, but I didn’t try super hard to have a cheap trip to Iceland. (And by Iceland, I mean Reykjavik, because we didn’t leave the city other than a couple of day trips.) The last minute nature of the travel, plus the Covid situation meant I tried […]