Everything You Think You Know About the Vikings is Wrong

Replica of a Viking wooden sailing vessel

Close your eyes and picture a Viking. Most likely, you envisioned a axe-wielding, muscle-bound man clad in filthy animal skins, wearing a metal helmet with pointed horns protruding from each side. As I learned recently at a behind-the-scenes preview of the new Vikings exhibition at Chicago’s Field Museum, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the … Read more

“The Plant” in Chicago – Blueprint for a Sustainable Future

Purple LED grow lights in the aquaponic farm

I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked at a building in Chicago and wondered about its history or wished I could see inside. Fortunately, one weekend each year, the Chicago Architecture Foundation makes that possible during Open House Chicago, a citywide architectural festival that offers free, behind-the-scenes access to more than 150 buildings … Read more

Getting My Kicks on Route 66

Polk-A-Dot Drive-in in Braidwood, Illinois

Route 66. Just hearing the name makes me nostalgic for the days when I threw my tent and sleeping bag in the back of my 1969 Dodge Dart and headed west in search of adventure. I came by my romantic notions of travel quite naturally. Not only had I spent long hours poring over photos … Read more

Treasures of Culture and Commerce in Historic Downtown Chicago

Ceiling fresco by French painter at the Chicago Palmer House

It’s fashionable to say that New York is the greatest city in the world, but this Chicago girl prefers the Second City. For the first time in many years, I had an opportunity to spend summer in the Chicagoland area, where my family still lives. As I always do whenever I’m here, I took one … Read more

From Traitor to Nobel Laureate – the Work of Jane Addams is Chronicled at Chicago’s Historic Hull House Museum

Jane Addams Hull House Museum historical landmark

Jane Addams attracted national attention when, with with her friend Ellen G. Starr, she founded Chicago’s Hull House in 1889. The facility was located on the city’s near west side, in a densely urban neighborhood populated primarily by struggling immigrants. Modeled after the settlement houses in London, the mission of Hull House was to assist … Read more