Polish Culture

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Polish is the third most common language spoken in Chicago, behind English and Spanish, and it is said that there are more Polish people here than in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland.  I’m not sure about that last fact, as I couldn’t find verification of it, but it’s a commonly stated aphorism that I’ve heard since moving here.

One thing I find interesting is that I have met Polish-speaking people who speak no English, and who have lived here for many, many years.  There are enough Polish speakers that one can thrive here without ever needing to leave the Polish neighborhoods.

  • Every October, the Polish Film Festival is celebrated.
  • I talked about pizza earlier in the challenge; another food that’s practically religion here is the hot dog.  The first time I went with a local friend to a Chicago-style hot dog place, he boldly ordered “The Polish.”  “The Polish what?” I asked.  He looked puzzled.  “A Polish,” he finally answered.  If you, like me, prefer nouns with your meals, a “Polish” means a Polish sausage served like a hot dog.  Well, not like a hot dog.  Like a Polish.  …  I give up.  🙂
  • There is a type of restaurant here called a “Polish buffet,” that I just had to try.  It’s enough of “a thing” that there are several entries for it:
  • Pulaski is a major street here, and all the school kids are taught about Casimir Pulaski.  The city celebrates Casimir Pulaski Day, the first Monday of every March.
  • The Felician Sisters Convent, formerly the Provincialate, is only a mile or two from my house.  It was founded by a Polish nun.

There are many more tidbits of history about the Polish people here in Chicago.  I encourage you to check out the links if you’re curious.

Tomorrow, we try and find something to do with Q.  Hmm…


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

In the Navy! la la la

Wait, is that not what I meant?

Nope!

I meant Navy Pier, Chicago, baby!

What is Navy Pier, you ask?  Well, it’s not where the Navy lands, that’s for sure.  The base is north of the city in North Chicago, which oddly is not connected to Chicago in any way and is near the border with Wisconsin.  Confused yet?  It’s the Naval Station Great Lakes and home to the only boot camp for the Navy, the Recruit Training Command.  There is a Great Lakes Naval Museum you can peruse.

But, none of that is Navy Pier.  It turns out that this year is its centennial, which means there will be events and commemorations galore.  While you can click on the links to learn more, I figured I’d share some more personal insights.

Originally conceived by Daniel Burnham, the same man who helped rebuild San Francisco after the Great Earthquake in 1905, it has served many functions in its history.  Now it is a tourist destination.  I am spoiled by Pier 39 in San Francisco, I’ll be honest, but that doesn’t meant that one should leave Navy Pier out of one’s calculations when considering things to do in the city.  For one thing, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater has garnered worldwide acclaim and not only brings Shakespeare to the masses, but in particular targets young people and strives to kindle in them a love of The Bard. If you’ve got kids, the Pier is also great because of its Chicago Children’s Museum.

What I personally like at the Pier is the walk with stained glass, but I’m interested to see what things they have up their sleeve for the Centennial.  The Tall Ships are incredible to view and I’d love to take a trip on one, but my heart truly lies with the Sea Dog Speed Ferry.  It’s a Ferry, but a speed boat – so imagine a cigar boat on some serious steroids.

Yeah, baby.

They take you out on the lake and open that puppy up and you speed demons out there will get this.  The rest of you will get wet.  ~fierce grin~

I haven’t tried this yet, but I want to try the multiple person bicycle golf cart things.  They’re called quadricycles.

As you might imagine, all these attractions are not cheap, and that’s what I don’t like about Navy Pier – it’s very expensive.  Each thing seems to cost something, and all those little somethings add up to a lot of money for a couple or a family.  Definitely look around and see what appeals to you, but be aware that it will not be inexpensive and if you’re a bargain hunter, Navy Pier is not the place to go.

Remember, tomorrow is Sunday so there is no challenge post; we resume Monday with the letter, “O.”  Hmm.  What shall we pick?

Your mind went in the gutter, didn’t it?

Yeah, yeah.  I’m onto you, Dear Reader.  Until Monday, then.


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

The Largest Inland Sea

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When I still worked downtown, this was one of the views on my daily walks – Burnham Harbor.

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This is my husband, the professional photographer at Wolfshead Photography.  I have a lot of photos of him taking pictures, because that’s the state in which he’s most serene and at peace.  Behind him is a view of Chicago and, of course, the lake.

Locals call it “The Lake,” because it dominates everything on the east side of the city.  Lake Michigan is fresh water and is bordered by four states:  Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana.  It’s not that huge on its own.  The largest freshwater lake on the planet is considered to be Lake Baikal, in Russia.  However, if you were to consider all five of the Great Lakes that sit between the U.S. and Canada as one body of water, it would comprise the largest inland sea – larger, even, than Lake Baikal.

When I moved here from the West Coast, something didn’t sit right with me about the lake.  I could never quite put my finger on it.  It feels like the ocean and it’s even got little waves.  “There’s no salt,” a New Yorker friend of mine advised calmly.  “Pardon?”  “The lake.  It doesn’t smell right to you, does it?  It’s the salt.  There isn’t any, because it’s fresh water.  So it smells wrong to you.”

Huh.  Darned if she isn’t exactly right.

The prevailing current isn’t Chicago’s friend, coming down from Wisconsin and scooping out the beaches to deposit them in Indiana.  Most of the lakefront is built up and has breakwaters and other measures to prevent further soil erosion.  But once on a visit to the Michigan shore, I was stunned to find out their beaches remind me of L.A. (Los Angeles, California, USA).  Large swaths of sandy beach, gentle waves, even people out sunbathing and swimming.

But from late October to late April, the lake is a bitch goddess.  Boats and ships do not sail her waters or do so at their own peril.  There are several stories of awful shipwrecks on Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes, as well as folksongs.  One of the most famous is “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” which is about “the lake they call Gichigami,” which actually refers to Lake Superior and its name in the language of the First Nation peoples, the Anishinabe Ojibwe.  Based on a real-life tragedy, the song by Gordon Lightfoot immortalizes the men who sailed Lake Superior and tried to get one last trip in before winter shut them down.

 


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

 

 

Welcome to Koreatown

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Image used under Creative Commons license; click image to go to original URL. Retrieved 04/13/2016.

Holy cow.  I could not find any pictures of Koreatown through Creative Commons today.  I even had trouble finding general “Albany Park” pictures, so you’ll to content yourself with the, admittedly lovely, picture above.

I have lived in this town for almost twenty years and in all that time, I am a regular commuter on the Brown Line from Kimball, its terminus.  The Kimball Brown Line is on Lawrence Avenue between Kedzie and Pulaski.  What I didn’t know until fairly recently is that this is smack in the middle of Koreatown.

I’m from the west coast and for whatever reason, the ethnic villages, also known as “ethnic enclaves,” are very visible.  San Francisco Chinatown is world famous, and Japantown is a peaceful haven in a bustling city.  There are more people of Vietnamese descent in Santa Clara County than anywhere in the States, (when I lived there, over 80,000 people).

Koreatown, however, is much more subtle.  According to what I’ve read from articles via Arcadia Publishing, (and I recommend their books highly, including Korean Americans in Chicago), the stretch on Lawrence Avenue between Kedzie and Pulaski has historically been the epicenter of Koreatown here.

In recent years, many people have moved to the northern suburbs, but once I started looking I began to see a lot of the Korean presence here.  There’s a Korean American Cultural Center not far from the Brown Line, and I’ve seen people on my morning commute on their way there for English language lessons.  There are Korean Barbecue restaurants and many, many Korean-owned businesses in the neighborhood.

References

I know Wikipedia isn’t scholarly, but I found the following article helpful when I was trying to look up images of the area because it gives the geographic boundaries – plus, I learned the term “ethnic enclave.”  “Koreatown,” Wikipedia, retrieved from the following link 04/13/2016.

There is an app I used to have on my last phone, but haven’t downloaded to my current one.  If someone recognizes it from my description, please tell me in comments because I’d love to get it again.  It’s an app that determines what’s around you by your location, and gives you tips that an insider might know – which is how I found out I was in Koreatown to begin with.  I’m mentioning it here in references not because I can remember the attribution, but precisely because I can’t, and it is the reason for today’s article.  (My apologies to the app developers for my poor memory.)

A note on attributions:  I know I’m not writing for school here, even though I’m giving myself flashbacks to when I got my MBA.  But I think it’s important to credit others for things they do, and I’d be very disappointed if someone took from my work without crediting me.  Also, there’s been a lot in social media off and on over the last several years about authors getting in hot water with photographers for posting things without permission and out of license.  Since my husband is a professional photographer, that’s a hot topic in our house.  It’s for that reason, Dear Reader, that I am using footnotes and attributions.  I hope it doesn’t bring up too many bad memories of “get at least three sources for every assignment you turn in and use APA rules for all citations.”  ~shudder~  (No offense meant to the APA, of course – grin.)


 

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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

The Tallest Exoskeleton Building In the World

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Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (1) for attribution.

Chicago is a tall town.  We have something like five of the ten tallest buildings in the world, or some such.  We no longer hold the distinction of the tallest building, but our urbanscape is filled with feats of architecture and engineering, enough to make any urbanscape photographer ecstatic.

Take this monster, for instance.  It’s the tallest exoskeleton skyscraper on the planet.  What’s an exoskeleton?  Well, you’re lookin’ at it.  Those cross bars are the load-bearing joists that hold that puppy up.  As you’ll remember from high school physics, that diagonal shape can hold up a lot of mass.  And stacked like that, it can hold up a giant skyscraper.

2016-04-12 Pic 2
Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (2) for attribution.

The Powers-That-Be in Chicago didn’t trust that the Hancock would stay up, way back when it was built, so before they issued the permits they required a rough draft.  I tried to find some clear shots of it, because sadly I can’t find my own pictures of the building in question.  You can see if in the left of this image, the black “X” over the windows.  The building is located at the Chicago River and Jackson, downtown, just across from Union Station.  It’s actually the entrance to Union Station; what you’re looking at here, in terms of the street, is the roof of the station underground.

It’s a big place.  There are trains under there.  Big ones.  It’s a cool place to explore.

But, that’s not my topic for today.  The John Hancock is.  Fun facts about the building – it’s supposedly the birthplace of Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan.  Because of its metal exoskeleton, there are all sorts of legends that the building is a focal point for magical or otherworldly energies, that it’s a portal, and that it’s haunted.  ~shiver~

I actually went to a job interview in there once.  It wasn’t a good fit, and was one of the few times I’ve experienced direct racism in my life.  I found the experience enlightening because it’s what my friends who can’t pass go through and live with every day.  But that’s not the building’s fault, now is it?

One can go inside it as a tourist and venture all the way to the top where one can see several states on a clear day – Illinois, (since it’s standing in Chicago, and Chicago is in Illinois, that follows); but also Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  It’s right on the lakefront, so the views of Lake Michigan are spectacular.  It’s an anchor of the world-famous “Magnificent Mile,” the avenue of shops, eateries, and historical buildings along Michigan Avenue to which tourists come from all over the world.  And, if that’s not enough, there’s a restaurant at the very tippy-top called The Signature Room where one can dine on the 95th floor.  Many a marriage proposal have been made in this historic location.

Hmm.  That sounds like a plot bunny waiting to happen, doesn’t it, Dear Reader?

Stay tuned tomorrow where we visit Koreatown.  I know, I know; I said we’d do that today, but that’s because apparently I can’t remember the alphabet song and the fact that J comes before K in English.  Coffee.  Coffee will fix this problem.

Until tomorrow.

Notes

(1) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.

(2) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Cuisine In Chicago – the Ubiquitous Italian

The Italian Photographer Stallion

My husband is Italian American, among other things – a little German and Irish, too.  But his grandmother was born one month this side of the crossing, which means her mother made the crossing pregnant.  Think about it – the nineteen-teens, on a ship, pregnant.  Yikes.  Tough stock, my husband’s people.

And, he cooks.

Which, since my subject today is Italian food in Chicago, is quite pertinent.

One of the dominant ethnic cuisines in this city is Italian.  Taylor Street is known for it, and many of the places on Restaurant Row are Italian.  Since that’s the case, I won’t hit the most famous.  I’ll share with you two gems that are a little lesser known, but no less incredible in their fare.

The first is Mario’s Table, in the heart of the Gold Coast.  Their sommelier is a genius, for one thing, and their food is to die for.  My favorite is their tortellini.

The second is up in our neck of the woods, on the north side:  Via Veneto.  They are truly magical, from the ambiance to the food.

I have a story about Via Veneto, as it happens.  One day, my good friend D… and her husband took me to lunch there.  Her husband is a survivor of Auschwitz.  He was there from the age of sixteen to the age of nineteen.  She knows very little of his experiences, because he’s been unable to speak of them.  But that day, the spell cast by the restaurant was strong around us.

“My cousin went to Australia,” he said.

Absolute silence fell.  I could tell from the look on D…’s face that this meant something more than I understood.

Over the next fifteen minutes, I hardly took a breath because her husband shared a steady stream of facts about members of his family.  I wanted to get up and give them privacy, but was afraid if I moved, I would break the spell.  He didn’t look at me; he seemed riveted on her face.

After we went home, D… told me it was the most information he’d shared in over twenty years of marriage.

Tomorrow, join me for a foray into Koreatown!


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Haunted by the Past

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No, not that kind of past!  The ghost kind of past!

Oh.

Well, sorry, I’ve been cleaning up my office and drowning in paper, so it seemed fitting.  ANYway, let’s see.

Haunted Chicago

Chicago is famous for a lot of things.  To ghost hunters, this is one haunted town.  There are books on the subject, ghost tours, and even a Meetup group dedicated to ghost hunting.  From the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, to where Dillinger was shot, down south to Resurrection Mary and way up north to the hauntings along the lakefront across from the cemetery, this is one spooky city.

Remember, no Challenge tomorrow since it’s Sunday.  But next week, things heat up because not only is it the Challenge, but the RT Booklovers Convention in sunny Las Vegas and The Romance Studio’s companion Staying Home Party!  Stay tuned!


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

 

The Crown Jewel of the Museum Campus: The Field Museum

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One of the largest museums of its kind in the world, the Field Museum houses such an enormous collection that only a small fraction of its holdings are on view at any one time.  The rest are used by researchers or held in storage vaults under the museum and in its neighboring building across the quad.

But all that is the serious, formal stuff.  What I love about this place is far simpler:

The atrium.  The top image is of the central atrium lobby, which is vast and lit by skylights.  This view is from when we entered through the south doors; the admission lines are on the left.

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The ceiling, far overhead, has interesting light fixtures hanging just below it.  After the museum closes, they host all manner of events from weddings to corporate dinners.  It’s expensive to run a museum this big and they do an excellent job at fundraising.

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The Maori Meeting House is fascinating.  For you armchair travelers, click on the link to see the Field Museum’s profile of it and go from there to other exhibits in the museum, virtually.

The reason I like the meeting house is that it has a sense of living history to it.  If you venture inside, shoes are prohibited, so there is a front porch where patrons sit and take care of that.  It’s covered with hundreds of shell eyes that represent the ancestors, so it feels like the house is looking at you.  Even though the room its in is large and has a vaulted ceiling, so there’s a lot of echoing noise, there’s a sense of stillness and peace around the meeting house itself.

Among other things, you can walk down inside a pyramid, visit a Pawnee Earth Lodge, and one of my favorites, see actual wooden totem poles.

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There are many articles on the Field Museum and its history, for those of you curious about it.  There’s great material about the founding of the museum right on their website, here.

Tomorrow, we head back to the north side and visit one of the neighborhood’s landmark restaurants, Gulliver’s.


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Get Your Pink On – In Edgewater!

2016-04-06 Edgewater Beach Apts
Image used under Creative Commons license; accessed 04/04/2016 from Wikimedia Commons.

And now, Dear Reader, our travels take us east to the lakefront and one of the most striking of the high rises on the north side:  the Edgewater Beach Apartments.  It used to have a sister property, the Edgewater Beach Hotel, also pink, but it’s since been demolished in the wave of progress.

The interesting thing about this building, besides it’s vibrant pink hue, is its shape: it’s got several wings radiating out from the center.  Along the street level, on the side away from the lake, are several businesses.  On the side facing the lake there’s nothing but parkland, Lake Shore Drive, and the lake itself: Lake Michigan.

The Edgewater Historical Society has a lovely series of articles on the building and its history, including the Hotel itself, here.

Join us tomorrow when we travel south along the Drive to the world famous Field Museum.


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!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Proper English – Devon Avenue

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This is Boria the Brave, curled up on my latest knitting project so he can give it his mojo.

This is otherwise known as, furring on it.

But I digress.

Today, Dear Reader, is the Day for D – and with it, our travels take us to the “International Corridor,” or for locals, Devon Avenue.

And here, we must pause a moment, because Chicago’s pronunciation of things is peculiarly idiosyncratic.

Devon, of course, is a famous place in the country of England – and I’m sure, when the founders of this great city were naming streets, they meant that Devon.  DEV-uhn.  Locals, however, have their own ideas and pronounce it, “Deh-VAHN.”  If you get in a cab and ask them to take you to DEV-uhn Avenue, they’ll stare at you blankly and wonder where you mean, because they can’t drive their cab over the Atlantic to England.  Not to mention that would be one helluva fare.

Another idiosyncrasy of Devon Avenue is that between about Oakley or Western and about Kedzie, one cannot drive at speed on Devon.  This is because the folks who emigrated here don’t drive by American rules football.  I once saw two cab drivers, one going eastbound, one westbound, stop dead in the middle of the street to have a conversation.  They weren’t at a red light.  They were in the middle of the block.  They blocked traffic, both of them, for two or three blocks either direction – but by golly, they were going to have their conversation!

On another occasion, my then-roommate and I got off the bus at Western Avenue and walked westbound on Devon to California, a distance of about a half mile.

We beat the bus.

But that’s not why I brought it up – the truly magical thing about Devon Avenue is that despite the city’s heavy-handed attempts to label neighborhoods, it really is the international corridor.  Here you can find Indian and Pakistani restaurants, Russian shops, Croatian coffee bars that look like an actual bar inside complete with black light, Arabic hookah lounges, and Orthodox Jewish delis, bakeries, and stores.  You can find imported food markets and buy things from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, all over the Middle East, and even a few scattered African countries are represented.  Wandering up and down Devon you will hear languages from many places and see styles of dress that will open your eyes to the many ways people can express themselves through clothing.  It’s chaotic, noisy, and absolutely engaging.  It may just be my favorite neighborhood in the city.

I’m not alone.  If you enjoy travel, even of the armchair variety, check it out:

A Guide to Devon Avenue

The Ultimate Guide to Indian Food on Devon Avenue

Little India/Devon Avenue

Choose Chicago

Tour Devon In an Afternoon


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

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 me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of 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!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!