Author Archives: The Wife of Bath

Thanks for the sunrises, COVID-19

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 […]

Our Ladies of the Kennedy Expressway: Chicago’s Polish cathedral style

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 […]

Chicago-style Americana: hot dog stands (and one majestic bowling alley)

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 […]

2020: a Chicago year in review

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 […]

Louis Sullivan saved Chicago

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 […]

Staycation with the garage murals of Evanston

We are taking a vacation, which is really a staycation. This, of course, we’ve done before, but not the kind of staycation where we can’t go to performances or crowded places, public transportation is scary and a global pandemic is peaking in the Midwest. Oh, and after a golden, balmy fall, the weather turned chilly […]

There are no lava lamps inside St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

The bus to the church took us to the farthest western border of Chicago, meandering through a maze of dead mall parking lots and past a concrete replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It felt like we were traveling, well, as close to traveling as feasible without a car, during a pandemic. I had […]

The mystery of the giant corn painting at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago

Elsie Hernandez, the founder and president of the Haitian American Museum of Chicago, wants you to know some crucial facts about Haiti: The French, in typical colonialist fashion, plundered the resources of Haiti using the labor of enslaved Africans to make themselves rich. The enslaved people of Haiti defeated the French, and by liberating themselves, […]

Chad falls in with a biker gang at Chicago’s Leather Archives & Museum

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 […]

The mid-century modern intelligence quotient

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 […]