Well, Dear Reader, we’ve made it. A day late, maybe, but no dollars short on this tour of the Chicagoland.
That’s a funny term: “Chicagoland.” I remember when I first moved here, I heard it used on the radio by a dj and thought is sounded ridiculous. “The Chicagoland.” Dude, it’s a city; it’s got a name. It’s not a land. But, regional dialects prevail and I now use the Chicagoland like a native. It refers to the “metro area,” which varies depending on who you talk to, but basically means all of Cook County, (where Chicago is located), as well as the “collar counties,” usually encompassing, but not limited to, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
On a side note, another regionalization I didn’t like but ended up adopting is the Southern California habit of referring to a numbered highway as “The such-and-such.” As in, “I’ll take the four-oh-five to the five over to the ninety-three.” That’s not something someone from Northern California would say. In fact, I noticed when I went north on school breaks or after I graduated and moved back to the Bay Area, I automatically dropped the “the” when referring to highways. Sadly, here in Illinois they refer to it the way they do in Southern California so I’m afraid I’ve adopted the habit pretty much full time: “Take the Ninety-Four to the Dan Ryan and over the Skyway.” That’s something else odd here: they name the highways, which isn’t in and of itself odd, but they don’t use the names on a map so when listening to the traffic report, it’s next to impossible to decipher what the heck they’re saying unless you know which name goes with which highway. “We’re seeing a gaper’s delay on Ronald Reagan due to an earlier collision but it frees up by the time you get to the Tri-State. And in other news, the Dan Ryan construction project is done and clear sailing until you get to the Spaghetti Bowl, and on up until the Edens split. Then it’s fine up to Lake Cook, but the Kennedy is backed up all the way to the O’Hare Oasis.” Huh?
But I’m not here to talk about language, Dear Reader; I’m here to talk about zoos! Chicago has a wealth of them, because there are TWO! I’ve been reviewing Brookfield at my main blog this month in “The A to Z of the Zoo,” but I also wanted to mention the sister zoo, Lincoln Park. Admission, (though not parking), is free, and it’s smack in the middle of Lincoln Park. That’s an easy cab ride, bus jaunt, or adventurous walk from downtown. In addition to zoo stuff, they also have the Farm at the Zoo, which lets urbanfolk see what a real working farm looks like. Across the street is the Lincoln Park Conservatory, as well as the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Also, for you locals, we have one of the largest regional organic farmers’ markets that operates year-round, the Green City Market. If you’re at all interested in food politics, check them out; in addition to a bustling market they have an active political activist arm as well.
So I’m sad to say that the A to Z Challenge is over for 2016, but be sure to check back on May 9th for the A to Z Reflections Post Day, and the Linky List is open from May 9 to May 13. Keep an eye on the main A to Z Blog Challenge page for more info and updates, and of course come back here on the 9th for my reflections on my various posts. Also, if you’ve visited me and I haven’t responded or visited back, please forgive me; I’ve had a nasty cold and do plan to catch up to everyone over the coming days, I promise!
Thank you for joining us for the A-Z Blog Challenge. If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave us a link so I can come visit you too. If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:
The theme at Noony’s blog, Explore the Worlds of A. Catherine Noon, is The A To Z of the Zoo. Join her as she explores Brookfield Zoo and finds animals, birds, and insects from A to Z.
Noony’s theme on Knoontime Knitting – One Writer’s Journey Into 3-D craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.
The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year. Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports. Join the conversation!
The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from Noon & Wilder; the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland. Check it out!
Our friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and we’ll add you!):
- Darla M. Sands, Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
- Kari Trenten, The Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration
Write on, and Happy Blogging!