Archive for August 2016

Shopping for athleisure shoes

My main exercise is walking, and these days the walk is often back and forth between home and the Loop or the Near North Side. Even though I count those walks as aerobic exercise, the activities they take me to call for something nicer than shorts, T-shirt, and lace-up athletic shoes. The sandals and thin-soled... Read more »

Alternative approaches to Dickens

Students of literature know that Charles Dickens wrote his novels to appear in segments. The Pickwick Papers, released in 19 monthly installments in 1836-37, was the book that popularized serial publication and propelled Dickens to fame. Serialization withered away when production of whole books became cheap and easy. Now, almost two centuries after Pickwick, interest... Read more »

City life needs to be balanced with retreats to nature

Returning home Sunday from kayaking with friends about an hour and a half south of Chicago, I thought about needing to get out to nature more. In warm weather I go outside at every opportunity, but a stroll through Grant Park or along the lakefront, as nice as that can be, isn’t what I meant.... Read more »

I’m not an old lady yet — am I?

When strangers give me a smile or a friendly greeting, I’m generally happy to return it. But I was taken aback by the greeting of a 40ish man on a downtown sidewalk: “Hey, old lady, how ya doin?” “Did you just call me old?” was my incredulous reply. And then he seemed taken aback. “You... Read more »

Their first vote for president — and my 12th

My niece Alex and some of her classmates will be turning 18 this fall and voting for the first time. I asked Alex to solicit comments from her friends about being first-time voters in this unusual presidential election. High school seniors, they live in the affluent Indianapolis suburb of Zionsville, where 62 percent of voters... Read more »