Category: Taking advantage of Chicago

Visit an unfamiliar museum and pretend you’re traveling

Favorites like the Impressionist paintings at the Art Institute and everything at the Chicago History Museum are always a pleasure to revisit, but as the new normal loomed, seeing unfamiliar museums allowed me to indulge the pretense of traveling. 21c Hotel Museum I had never heard of the 21c Hotel Museum until my friend JoAnn... Read more »

Why a city dweller might prefer to vacation in nature

When the Worldwide Greeter Communication Project recently asked Greeters our travel preferences, seven in ten preferred culture and cities to nature. That’s not surprising, since Greeter programs are in cities, and we Greeters volunteer to show off our cities to visitors.  I was in the 30 percent minority. Don’t get me wrong: If I didn’t... Read more »

Chicago’s “most common” contribution to architecture deserves a tour

In the dozen or so years I’ve been a Chicago Greeter, my tours have stayed near the lakefront — the Loop, the South Loop, Prairie Avenue, Andersonville, Argyle Street, Graceland Cemetery, Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s familiar territory, since I’ve lived within walking distance of the lake for nearly 30 years and rarely venture west of... Read more »
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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 »

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 »

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 »
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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 »

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 »
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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 »