Category USA

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 […]

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 […]