Chicago hope

Chicago hope

From her stoop in the center of a sophisticated city, my niece Erin has carved out a delightful little corner of Mayberry. She and her neighborhood gang enjoy a living-room-forts, frontyard-warter-balloon-fight, Saturday-sleepover, come-home-when-the-streetlights-turn-on kind of childhood, while all around them Chicago hums. They each have the necessary kind of scheduled activities that keep their parents [...]

Surprise! Happy birthday Kathy, my most gullible sister

Under the cover of 10,000 hogs, we pulled off the perfect surprise birthday party Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Planned with military precision by a three-generational task force -- the indomitable Grandma Peggy, Katherine and Erin -- the party required coded messages on cellphones and layer cakes, thirteen helium balloons and a tiny human carrier just [...]

Chicago is our kind of town

"Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning." - Carl Sandburg We tasted Chicago this weekend and enjoyed 24 hours of wind-blown, gnocchi-flavored, irreverent fun. We celebrated life in all of its delicious, silly, competitive, tasty, warm, witty glory so that, by [...]