Trendy vs. tried and true

Game of Thrones sure is in our faces as its final season begins. Whether it’s the greatest television show of all times, I couldn’t judge. I haven’t seen a single episode. I never was good at keeping up with what TV shows are in. ER was several seasons along before I became a fan. Neither... Read more »

No apologies for learning about Navajos through Hillerman mysteries

Last week the Art Institute announced it was postponing an exhibit on Mimbres pottery of the ancient Southwest because it wanted more input from Native people. As I read about that appropriate action, my thoughts soon turned from art to literature and the late author Tony Hillerman. Far from being accused of cultural appropriation as... Read more »

Sweat, at the Goodman, reconnects me with my roots

Bewilderment with Trump voters is a staple of the conversations my friends and I have. Who are these people? How can they think that Trump cares about them? How can they stay with him? Why can’t they see? I was as likely as anyone to shrug my shoulders when someone asked, “Who are these people?,”... Read more »
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On “helping” students with college application essays

Many Americans had never heard of college admission consultants before William Rick Singer was accused of cheating to get the kids of wealthy clients into elite universities. It’s in recent years that the business of advising college-bound students has mushroomed, with the number of independent consultants quadrupling since 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported. They help... Read more »

Dressing warmly next winter

This winter of record-breaking lows put our cold-weather dressing skills to the test. We all know the drill: layers, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, insulated boots with good tread. I usually follow it pretty well but still felt cold here and there on exceptionally frigid days.   • If I didn’t wear a scarf over... Read more »

Focus on the Bauhaus: an exhibit and a film

If you pay any attention to Chicago architecture, you’ve probably heard of the Bauhaus in connection with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, its last director, who came to Chicago in 1933 when the school closed under pressure from the Nazis. For someone who associated the Bauhaus with Mies and modern architecture, the current exhibit at the... Read more »
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How not to be overwhelmed in a museum

Illinois residents’ annual winter bonanza of free admission to Chicago’s major museums ended in late February. I took advantage of it quite a bit, both for the obvious reason of not paying and because winter is my preferred time to be in museums. But no need for regrets, those of you who didn’t: there are... Read more »

South Looper looking for a winter hangout

The biggest lack in my condo building is a community room, and the lack is especially felt when we’ve had it up to here with winter. There’s no where to go inside the building when you’re climbing your own walls. On days without plans, I’ve been putting on winter gear and venturing outside to hunt... Read more »

Michelle Obama, the American Dream, and black millennials

I’d like to hear a conversation between Michelle Obama and Reniqua Allen. Who’s Reniqua Allen?, you ask. She’s the author of the recently published book It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America. Coincidentally, on the day I finished reading Obama’s memoir Becoming, I noticed an essay by... Read more »
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How much penance for youthful follies?

As the long-ago misbehavior of public figures like Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been exposed, maybe you’ve been recalling regrettable incidents from your own past. I have. Among them are a couple of misdeeds for which I wish I could apologize to two gay men. I can’t remember their last names anymore, and even if... Read more »