Time for another Chicago to-do list

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about having been to only two of the places on Chicago magazine’s 2018 best of Chicago list. I score better with the self-made list I blogged about in May 2016. Now that I’ve gone to a Chicago Sky game (August 19), all but one of the things on... Read more »

Love pizza? Check out pizza museum

How many different types of pizza have you eaten? According to Kendall Bruns, there are 16 styles of pizza, and Chicagoans can sample all but one of them right here. The 40-year-old Chicagoan will rattle off restaurants serving coal-fired or Neapolitan or whatever pizza style you favor. But don’t expect him to tell you his... Read more »

What does it mean to know a city?

Best of Chicago features — like that in the August Chicago magazine — make me feel I don’t get out enough. Of the 57 places highlighted, I’ve been to two and heard of three others. More than 90 percent of this year’s Chicago bests are off my radar. How is it possible that I’ve lived... Read more »
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An indelicate topic: Is cat poop a health risk to humans?

The headline on Advocate Health Care’s daily health email — “Is poop everywhere?” — made me chuckle. I live with a cat that has inflammatory bowel disease. I had just finished walking around with a solution of Nature’s Miracle, a sponge, and a scrub brush when the email arrived. I wrote about Lizzy a couple of... Read more »

Living on the Wabash Arts Corridor

The year I moved to the South Loop, 2013, Wabash Avenue from Roosevelt north about half a mile — the very area where I live — was slated to become an arts corridor. Before then the only tourists likely to go to South Wabash were headed to Buddy Guy’s Legends. An excess of parking lots... Read more »

Searching for the next read: three literary mysteries disappoint

A rap against mystery fiction — indeed, against any so-called genre fiction — is that it follows conventional formulas and is lacking the depth that would qualify it as literature. Although I don’t see a clear line separating all genre fiction from literary fiction, I have closed many a mystery novel feeling that the plot... Read more »
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A struggle to restore a dead smartphone

This is a technology horror story with blame to go around. For the nearly two weeks I was without a working phone, I must have spent half of that time trying to figure out what had happened to my Moto G4 Play and to bring it back to life. The ordeal started on July 4. Sitting... Read more »

Did red yeast rice lower my cholesterol?

I suspect that most Americans’ attitude toward Chinese herbal remedies is similar to mine: We won’t pooh-pooh curatives backed by centuries of testimonials, but we wouldn’t turn to them first for treatment of a serious condition. At least that was what I thought before my total cholesterol dropped 23 points in a year, and the only change... Read more »

Fortunate are those who find a purpose

My brother just retired after 35 years as sports editor of the Herald-News in Joliet. The outpouring of thanks, congratulations, and good wishes from a sports-crazy community must be immensely gratifying to him. Of course I am very happy for him. But also a bit envious. He found his purpose and pursued it for 35... Read more »
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Ours isn’t the democracy I thought it was

Among the many reasons to bemoan the Trump presidency is that it’s eroded faith in our system of government. Ours isn’t the democracy I thought it was. From high school civics class on through five decades, I held to belief in the separation of powers — that our federal government has three equal branches keeping... Read more »