Category: Chicago

January 12, 2017

 This January morning, I behold Nelson Algren’s “secondhand sea.” Heaving its mighty shoulders, the Lake roars in retaliation at the insult,  hurling bitter cold waves with a force that would knock a slender wordsmith flat on his back. “Take that, Algren!” This is a first-rate sea.  Many, in their derisive bravado, have found themselves engulfed,... Read more »

Falling In Love

Brad, you darling old economist or physicist or philosopher or whatever they made of you; you made of yourself over there in Hyde Park, I want to extend a belated thank you. I’d look you up: Google you and send you a proper thank you card, but- I do not remember your last name. I... Read more »

Open Letter to Sara Paretsky

Open Letter to Sara Paretsky
Anticipating their son and grandson’s upcoming visit, they sought out the purveyor of tickets for a Chicago River Cruise. On line recommendations were highest for the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Chicago’s First Lady. By now, two month residents, they had become seasoned commuters, habitues of public transportation. They walked across the street to the sidewalk shelter... Read more »

On The Lake and On The National Register

The lake that day was the color of verdigris, startlingly blue-green with an iridescent sheen. She was transfixed, amazed at the unbroken lake view, as they traveled south on Lakeshore Drive.  Making the turn onto South Shore Drive, they skirted a marina, masts bobbing with the gentle surf. On the opposite side of the road... Read more »


It felt like the last day of the school year. Students and educators show up for an hour to be officially released from the familiar routine, assured finally that deadlines have been met, data recorded, obligations satisfied. It was that sense of walking out into a depressurized zone that she recalled as they left the... Read more »

Heading South on the World Wide Web

Chicago is a really big place. They were “goin’ to Chicago”, but all that meant to them in their initial dream state was Michigan Avenue and the Loop. Meanwhile, the task before them was daunting: fixing up and marketing a 6500 square-foot historically significant home that had been enthusiastically lived in- certainly for the thirty-five... Read more »

If Not Now, When?

The final flaming kiss that summer presses upon her beloved prairie in early September ratcheted the wedding day thermometer up to 95 degrees. But the steaming weather didn’t temper the occasion’s joyful loveliness. The setting, a pavilion overlooking the Fox River, was sublime. Dressed up, perhaps more appropriately for early Fall in the Northwest, they... Read more »

Not For The Weather

So why, then? They are asked that question often. A couple who had devoted their entire lives together restoring enormous houses and filling them with extended families of rather remarkable complexity and number removed themselves from the epi-center of their startled progeny’s universe and struck off on their solitary quest. They patched up and painted... Read more »