Civilization to Cincinnati

(Photo: Upcoming–my weekend trip to Cincinnati.  Wagon train not included.)

Ohio?  Why, oh why, oh why-oh?  Because Yours Truly needs a break from his breakneck work and blogging schedule, and new friend Jamie needs to go check on things at the Cincinnati abode he ditched eight weeks ago for a new life in Chicago.

In fact, in my five years as a Chicagoan, I actually haven’t ventured all that far into the Midwestern hinterland.  Aside from a few trips to Milwaukee and Galena (gateway to Dubuque), I’ve spent the bulk of my time here at home exploring Windy City civilization.

That’s a shame, because I tend to like smaller cities, especially ones that don’t get much love from outsiders.  (Well, OK, there was that one time in 2006 when I accidentally pissed off the entire city of Cleveland, but in my defense I didn’t know the Internet had gotten to Northern Ohio yet.)

Biggest case in point, when former-Looper Devyn took my to meet his parents in Sacramento, I instantly fell for the place, much to the amusement of a slew of native Californians.  So I’m pretty sure I’ll love Jamie’s town.  (For the Skyline chili if for nothing else.)

I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about it next week, along with the post I meant to publish today.  Too much wine with my one-person taco bar this evening has me in an unexpectedly yawning mood.  Today’s delayed post is about an evening walk I took through the Loop this week to try and figure out why we downtown residents are so devoted to the place.  More time to ponder won’t make that answer come any easier.

Also next week, look for my Gapers Block review of Wicker Park’s oft-maligned Francesca’s Forno (“The best I can say is I’m full…”)  There’s a reason for everything I suppose.  I’ll try to find the reason for this place by next Tuesday.

And one more thing.  After 18 months, I finally got a chance this week to sit down with 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and talk about the neighborhood we live in and love: downtown Chicago.  Find my write-up from the 90-minute City Hall interview under my Huffington Post Chicago byline and here in the pages of CHICAGO CARLESS.  We may not always agree, but Reilly definitely still gets my vote, and I’ll tell you more next week.

That is, as long as the wagon train makes it out of Fort Dearborn and back without incident.  Growing up in New York, we always thought states beyond the Appalachians were a myth.  So as long as I don’t fall off the edge of the earth this weekend, I suppose I’ll be in good stead.

As for the edge of civilization, you know where I think that border lies.  Keep the home fires burning, folks.  I’ll try to make it back alive.

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