Did you miss me?

Hi, everyone! If you’re one of those people (and I suspect there might, literally, be one) who has been  anxiously checking their email these past few months, yearning for a new post from Dispatches From the Northwest Side, I’m happy to report that I’m back, with some good news and some bad news. The bad... Read more »

Should pregnant women wear crop tops?

A few weeks ago, I went on a pilgrimage to that new holy site of shopping, the Rosemont outlet malls. There, I dropped my hard-earned dollars at Bloomingdales on a brown leather moto jacket and a leopard-print pair of elastic-bottomed dress pants. When I got home and tried everything on, I was shocked to discover... Read more »

Confessions of a Saint Patrick's Day Queen

On the night of the 2005 Northwest Side Irish Parade, I sat on a trolley with my best friend as it splashed through the slushy streets of Chicago. We were wearing plastic tiaras and green beauty pageant sashes, drinking Coors Light, and howling along to a Wolfe Tones CD, which skipped every time we hit... Read more »

8 things Jimmy Fallon should know before doing the Polar Plunge

It’s official: Jimmy Fallon has accepted Mayor Emanuel’s challenge to do the Chicago Polar Plunge! This annual event, which this year has raised over $700,000 to benefit Special Olympics, is now in its 14th year and has become a Chicago institution. I have been a fan of Fallon’s for a long time, and while I’m... Read more »

In Defense of Late Sleepers

Like so many other American college kids, I went to Europe for the first time when I was 20 years old. My older sister was a travel writer for Let’s Go who spoke three languages, but I was still a Midwestern rube who barely knew how to go through airport security without asking for help.... Read more »

My Top Ten Most Embarrassing iTunes Purchases

A few weeks ago, I received the wonderful news that my first novel, The Carnival at Bray, is being published by Elephant Rock Books in the fall.  In the novel, the main character is a teenager growing up in the early 90’s who falls in love with music after her uncle takes her to see... Read more »

Willis Tower ruling makes Chicago feel like a second city

As I’m sure you know by now, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (yes, such a council exists) was recently called upon to decide whether the spire [read: antenna] on the new One World Trade Tower made it the newest tall building in the United States. Apparently, the people who serve on the... Read more »

Kuma's "Ghost" burger is an insult to Catholics and those with taste buds

As you may have heard, Kuma’s new burger, “The Ghost”, is causing controversy among Catholics, because it’s topped with spicy ghost chile aioli, braised goat meat, a red wine reduction and a real (though unconsecrated) Communion wafer. I’m a Catholic, and I love Kuma’s (except, obviously, on Fridays during Lent), so I have mixed feelings... Read more »

20 signs you're from the northwest side of Chicago

1. You’ve worn a Bears jersey to a wake. 2. When you invite people over to your house for a couple drinks, you usually substitute “garage” for “house.” 3. You’ve been to Teaser’s on Christmas Day. 4. You aren’t prejudiced against people based on their race or ethnicity, just the parish they came from. 5.... Read more »

Is Miley Cyrus a pigtailed drone, put here to distract us from our invasion of Syria?

Last Sunday, my friend texted me with the following message: I feel like I’m witnessing the black hole of civilization and Miley is leading the charge. Then she texted me the video of the now-infamous VMA performance. As I watched, I was reminded of the scene in Girls where Marnie goes into Booth Jonathan’s weird... Read more »