Category: Chicago

Chicago Eternal: beautiful photography and a source for Chicago bios

As a Chicago Greeter, I’m always on the lookout for sources of information about the city. My friend Molly recently gave me a newly published one: the coffee-table book Chicago Eternal, featuring graves at 31 Chicago-area cemeteries (32, if you count the Couch mausoleum in Lincoln Park). Assuming that most of the people important in... Read more »

Deciding about offensiveness: sometimes editors get it wrong

You may have heard that the new executive editor of The Reader survived just one issue. Mark Konkol was fired because the cover cartoon on the February 15 issue showed gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker sitting on a black lawn jockey statue as an FBI agent listens in on his phone conversation. The accompanying headline,... Read more »

Help the homeless through these charities

I was walking in River North early Sunday morning when a man who looked to be 30something approached to ask where to get the South Shore train. After I gave him the bad news that he was about a mile away, he said, “Thanks for talking to me. You’re the first person who did. People... Read more »

The risky business of walking

I fear it’s only a matter of time before I’m in a traffic accident. As a pedestrian. Since reading recently about a rise in pedestrian fatalities locally and nationally, I’ve been noticing hazards more when I step outside in downtown Chicago. At intersections, especially those with left-turn arrows for drivers, assuming a walk sign means... Read more »

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 »

Hedy Weiss has the right to criticize

If I had read Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss’s review of Pass Over before hell broke loose in the theater community over it, I probably would not have pronounced it bigoted. Weiss may have missed the mark in some of her unfavorable comments about the current Steppenwolf production, but critics miss the mark at times. Much... Read more »

Noticing on my own needs attention

When I think of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis, the Pyramids, Stonehenge, Notre Dame in Paris, the Grand Canyon, and other famous places come to mind. There are only a couple dozen World Heritage Sites in the United States, and only one, Cahokia Mounds, in Illinois. So, I was amazed to read in the... Read more »

10 observations about new Writers Museum

The May 16 opening of the marvelous American Writers Museum, the only one of its kind in the country, has been well publicized. So, instead of an superfluous announcement of its existence, here are 10 random observations from my first visit: • It appears that a decent effort was made to include nonwhites and women.... Read more »

After the march

After the march
What an exhilarating day Saturday was. After 10½ weeks of postelection shock, sadness, and despair, the Women’s March on Chicago left me feeling hopeful again. Grant Park was so jammed my five friends and I, perched on Columbus Drive just north of Congress, never figured out where the speakers’ platform was. I couldn’t hear every... Read more »

Practicing talking to strangers

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the difficulty of finding meaningful personal interaction every day — one of the three essentials, along with exercise and mental stimulation, that a speaker prescribed for a happy retirement. Not long after that I heard about a book, When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know... Read more »