Category Chicago

An all true and terrifying list of crimes committed by my immigrant and refugee neighbors

The 45th president of the United States recently created a new homeland security department called VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office).  VOICE launched a hotline last week specifically for Americans to report crimes “committed by criminal aliens”.   On learning that many concerned citizens have been calling the VOICE hotline to report aliens of the flying saucer […]

The Baha’i temple reminds me of….something

The first time I visited the Baha’i Temple, about ten years ago, I said “Wow!  This building is so symmetrical” and then didn’t think much of it afterwords. I’d like to believe that my architectural frame of reference is more sophisticated these days, so I made another visit to the temple.  This time my reaction was “Wow! […]

Argyle Street Chicago: get on the train for authenticity and ass cake

I recently asked for some advice from fellow blogger Sophia Hsiao, whose gorgeous nature photography has me longing to visit Taiwan.  In response to my inquiry about Taiwanese cities to visit, Sophia recommended a few and added “Each city has its streets”.  Sophia then listed the best streets in her recommended cities. As a smart traveler, Sophia knows you can’t just show up […]

We are the change that we seek: Chicago’s New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church

From around 1910 through the 1970’s, Chicago was a destination for many African Americans from the rural South who moved here seeking better opportunities in an urban environment.  This movement, known as The Great Migration, resulted in a cultural and demographic shifting of communities. New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, located in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood, consciously […]

Our Lady of Peace, South Shore’s street art, and Minister Farrakhan doesn’t like us

Our Lady of Peace, a Roman Catholic church in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, is a neo-Renaissance class act. Completed in 1933 during the depression, the church was initially meant to be Gothic in style—the turn towards Renaissance was a money saving measure.  The finished church doesn’t seem like a compromise to me, however, because wait until […]

Walking the West Rogers Park eruv, the invisible spiritual city on Chicago’s North Side

Look closely.  See the long, black rectangle hidden in the mural below, beneath the red arms?  That’s a door to a invisible city. An invisible city, or perhaps more accurately, an enclosed spiritual zone, known as an eruv.  I’ve been  traveling through the West Rogers Park eruv for years, unaware of its existence, until a few weeks […]

In which the art of Thomas Kong swallows a bodega in Rogers Park

I’ve been walking by Kim’s Corner Food in Rogers Park on Chicago’s far North Side almost daily for 14 years. I went inside a few times to have keys copied.  The proprietor, Thomas Kong, was always kindly and soft spoken. About five years ago this sign appeared.  God is good.  You are special.  Fudge Brownies. Soon after, […]

A private tour of Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church involving many wooden beams, a fan-shaped organ, and a sobering discussion of internment camps

Earlier today an errand brought us to Ravenswood, on Chicago’s North Side, and since I’m the sort of lady who carries a copy of AIA Guide to Chicago in her backpack, HOB and I found ourselves ogling architecture in this pleasing, European-feeling community. Here’s a tip, useful for travelling at home and abroad: visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and […]

Gauler Twin Houses: Prairie School beauties on Chicago’s North side

Here’s why I’m one lucky lipstick and backpack wearing lady—-I live in Chicago and Chicago is bursting with unexpected architectural treats.  Case in point: the Gauler Twin Houses designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Built in 1908 of stucco and wood, these houses are designed for the Midwest landscape.  Walter Burley Griffin uses the strong horizontal […]

Corpus Christi Catholic Church: grand architecture, Bavarian stained glass and a chance to say WOW! like true Americans

We set out from home on a rainy Saturday morning with our dorky matching backpacks and a thermos of bean soup bound for Bronzeville.  Our first stop on Chicago Architecture Foundation’s’ Open House Chicago itinerary was Corpus Christi Catholic Church.  Normally HOB and I tried to hold back on the gape-mouthed WOW! exclamations when travelling in […]