Q&A With a ChicagoNow Blogger: Joe Grace Talking About All My Favorite Things

I was so happy to have the chance to interview Joe Grace of ChicagoNow’s Going for Gusto as part of Q&A With a ChicagoNow Blogger. After reading Joe’s blog, I was excited to talk to him about a few of my favorite things: kids, food, movies, writing, and Chicago. Check out what Joe has to say.
I see you’re about to have a baby. Congratulations!!!  Well, technically, your wife is about to have a baby, you’re there for the assist. Kind of like Scottie Pippen. As someone who has been done this a time or three, my question is: What are you most excited about?
I’m excited about everything. I can’t wait to become a daddy. I set up one of the toys this weekend and it might have been the singularly greatest thing I have ever done. Or at least someone might think that by how I excited I was when I finished it. The first time anything happens (first walk, first word, first poop) will literally be the greatest thing to happen in all of humankind. I’m sure it will be commonplace soon enough (maybe after the third poop), but I’m looking forward to all the new firsts in my life.
I saw your best restaurants list for 2013, I loved its diversity. As you are a foodie, are you more of a eat out kind of person or do you cook too? What is your favorite cuisine? Do you have a go to meal you make all the time?
 I am an eat-out person. I’m not quite a foodie, though, as I love trying the new Taco Bell invention as much I love trying out a hot, new restaurant in Chicago. I’m more a buffet foodie, than a serious foodie. I cook some, but not often. When cooking at home, I mostly just make pasta. And by pasta, I mean I cook noodles, put butter on them and sprinkle some cheese. When eating out, I like all kinds, but my favorites typically are Japanese and Thai. My current favorite restaurant in Slurping Turtle. Oh, I can’t wait to go there again.
Since you are also into movies? It looks like you like all kinds, but what is your favorite genre? Based on most of your posts it looks like you’re a RomCom guy, Am I right? No? Just kidding.  Also, do have any suggestions for good comedies this summer? Please don’t say Dumb and Dumber To… Ok, you can say it.
 I love movies, but I find it hard to get to the theaters the past few years so I’m a little behind on newer movies. I like all types except for horror. I don’t want to pay to be scared. There are plenty of things in real life that scare me for free. And my guilty pleasure is a good RomCom. I might be the only person in the world who enjoyed Wimbledon. As far as comedies this summer, I recommend Tammy and The Interview.
How did you get started at ChicagoNow? What inspires you to write? 
I got started at ChicagoNow when I quit my job at the Kane County Chronicle and was looking for somewhere else to write. I’ve been writing columns for newspapers almost non-stop since I was a junior in high school, and I thought ChicagoNow would be a good way for me to explore new ways of creating content. What inspires me to write is people enjoying what I write.
Sometimes, I find myself in a writing funk. Since, we are both writers, want to share your writing process with me, unless of course it is a secret?
I’m currently in the middle of the biggest writing funk I’ve ever been in. I just have not had the desire to write as of late. As for my writing process, I first look for an idea, which usually means cruising the web and seeing what looks interesting, and once I have an idea I just start writing until I fall into a way to write about that topic that I think will be unique and interesting. It’s a fairly trial and error type process. No secret at all.
Back in March I ran a series called the Heart of Chicago, what is the Heart of Chicago for you?
 What I love most about Chicago is all of the variety, in people, in neighborhoods, in restaurants, in events. While I’m back in the suburbs now, I loved the two years I lived in Chicago and loved getting the chance to explore the city and am looking forward to exploring it more on trips back in. Growing up in southern Indiana, I never thought I could have been comfortable in such a big city, but Chicago really grew on me.
For more of Joe’s thoughts on movies, food, Chicago or life, check out Going for Gusto or go to the Going for Gusto Facebook page. Thanks Joe for this great opportunity!

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