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Deanna Grows in Her Garden City

‘Once you’ve lived somewhere long enough, its landscape begins to change with you. Its landmarks–at one time foreign, empty, meaningless–begin to sprout hints of growth as you plant memories like seeds. Soon, a living breathing history of your time there begins to reveal itself.’

Belated Blogroll Valentine

I thought the wake of Valentine’s Day would be a good time to tell you why I love some of the fine sites that I include in my blogroll.

When the Flashing Lights Start, Pull Over

When the Wisconsin police attempt to stop you for driving without a license, it’s usually a good idea not to take them on a high-speed chase back to Illinois down I-94. Unfortunately, my friend, Gay O.J., didn’t have a good idea when those flashing lights started.

RIP Studs Terkel

Rest in peace, acclaimed Windy City author-activist-broadcast personality and media luminary Studs Terkel, who died today in his North Side home at the age of 96. A fellow former New Yorker, like me Studs never drove a car and once he got to Chicago never left, by dint of simple, deep love of this place and the people in it.

Back to Back of the Yards

‘My earliest memory (or so I have been told) is being two years old year old and not so ceremoniously introduced to my new Lithuanian toddler neighbor in a sandbox. She began yammering at me in baby Lithuanian. I responded in baby English. We seemed to understand each other just fine. That’s life for you, on the southwest side of Chicago.’ — Rich Murray

Gordon & Max Bike the Drive

Here’s a guest post from Gordon Mayer, vice-president of Chicago’s Community Media Workshop. Gordon and his son Max participated in the early morning Bike the Drive cycling event on Lake Shore Drive. Here’s their story.

Jasmine Takes the Bus

Here’s a guest post from local Chicago blogger, Jasmine Davila. She always takes the bus–and tells it like it is about the interesting people you find on board in Chicago.

Story and Legend

Last night during the 2008 Studs Terkel Awards at the Chicago Cultural Center, one of the winners, Sylvia Rivera, the general manager of bilingual public radio station Radio Arte, shared this comment from the stage: ‘You write the story of your life. You create your own legend.’ In two sentences, Rivera described my dilemma.

What Is a Chicagoan?

Lately I’ve been wondering about my place in the world. Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me that keeps bringing that question up. New York has long history of considering itself the center of the universe. Take a New Yorker out of Gotham and he’s bound to feel disoriented.

Meeting Ron Huberman

Saturday morning, I was honored to be included in CTA Tattler’s invitation-only meeting with CTA President Ron Huberman–and met a couple of local transit heroes, as well.