Archive for July 2017

Giving Grant Park sculptures a closer look

A few posts ago, I wrote about trying to pay more attention, especially to things in my own backyard. In that spirit, and because it’s the Year of Public Art in Chicago, I took a walk through Grant Park to notice the sculptures I usually pass by. Armed with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs... Read more »

Irony in Jane Austen bank note

Irony in Jane Austen bank note
When my friend Molly, another Jane Austen lover, informed me that our beloved author would be on the UK’s new £10 note, I replied that I wish I could spend one. Thinking more creatively, Molly said she would like to frame one. The design of the note was unveiled by the Bank of England this... Read more »

Significance in Brooks column about class “signifiers”

Last week New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about how the upper class perpetuates privilege for its children through “cultural signifiers . . . that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class.” A firestorm of comments erupted on Twitter and in Times responses, with many bashing Brooks and... Read more »
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“You’re not really an adult until your parents are gone”

My mom is 90 today. My dad turned 97 yesterday. There’s an adage that you’re not really an adult until your parents are gone, which would make me both not grown up and already retired. It’s not unusual in this day and age for 40- and 50-year-olds to have parents living. Two-thirds of 50-year-olds in... Read more »

Separating fiction from fact in historical stories

A woman to whom I was giving a Chicago Greeter tour was complaining about inaccuracies in the movie Lincoln. The House of Representatives vote on the 13th Amendment wasn’t organized by state as portrayed, and there weren’t two Connecticut representatives who voted no. “Those would have been easy to check,” she said. “I made me... Read more »