It dawned on me recently how the names and locations of the top 5 most populous cities in the United States tell the story of the nation: New York, in the east, with the English name, representing the history of our relationship with England. Los Angeles, in the west, with the Spanish name representing the… Read more America in Five Cities
Flying above Idaho, returning from Portland. I usually don’t take pictures from airplanes, but I’m a sucker for mountains, especially ones as pretty as these. They sparkled. Chicago at sunset, as lonesome and resolute as the celestial orb overlooking it. William Fitzsimmons concert. I liked the natural quadrants that formed outward from the violinist, and the colors… Read more Recent Views
Chicago Public Library is embarking on a fine amnesty drive this month. The last one seemed to work really well for everyone: The library reported receiving 101,301 overdue items, valued at about $2 million, and waived $641,820 worth of fines. The late materials ranged from items only a few weeks overdue to one book that… Read more Not Fine: On Library Amnesty
Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk. “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Though John Adams wrote this passage about Independence Day, I’d say… Read more Refer Madness: RefUSA! RefUSA!
This morning, I was catching a train at the Clinton green line stop when I go through the turnstiles to see a phalanx of reporters and cameramen gathered before a podium with the Chicago seal affixed upon it. Turns out Rahm Emanuel was due for a press conference on the L’s newly installed security cameras.… Read more A Morning Brush With Rahm