That's real, my non-travel travel piece for Hemispheres magazine titled "6 Chicago Landmarks That Embody Its Unique Spirit" (with photography by Lucy Hewett) is quite live, it explores the architectural history of, as well as my personal history with, the Chicago Water Tower, 875 North Michigan, The Rookery, The B-Line, Promontory Point and Nichols Bridge and you can totally read it here. You can also read some excerpt below. Cool? Word.
"The great author Nelson Algren wrote of Chicago that 'once you’ve come to be part of this particular patch, you’ll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.'
"In the 25 years since I came here from New York City, I’ve attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, worked in the fields of HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and child abuse prevention, written eight books, and built a family. In that time, I’ve found this city to be as real as any place I’ve known, and I’ve duly come to love it. Even when Chicago falls backward, the city is constantly seeking a way to refresh, rediscover, and rebuild itself.
"This spirit is perhaps most evident in the city’s great buildings. This summer, as the pandemic lingered and the streets remained unsettled, I visited a few of these architectural marvels, hoping to reaffirm my connection with my adopted hometown. Algren also wrote that Chicagoans 'all had hustler’s blood,” and as I wandered around, I was thrilled to discover that remains true.'"