#922: Victoria (Maybe Veronica)

May 2nd, 2018 § permalink

“You and me got the right idea,” she said, gesturing with her cup of coffee at mine.

I don’t know why our coffees set us apart from any of the other readers, phone flippers, gabbers, joggers, dog walkers, socialistas strolling with equally beautiful and fashionable friends, fat guys sitting like lumps looking at the water or any of the other people who had come to spend the first warm day of the year on the Riverwalk downtown, but it seemed to be enough of a link for her.

Victoria, or maybe her name was Veronica, became my friend in that very special way only a warm day by the water can offer. She told me about her work at a downtown hotel where she had been for 18 years and was the only one willing to dress as Santa, the Easter Bunny and sundry holiday elves.

“Everyone else is too dignified,” she said, pronouncing the last word with disdain.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#921: Beyond the Vines

April 30th, 2018 § permalink

The goose wasn’t having it.

He or she was standing atop her brick-and-ivy home, honking like a backward truck to chase the group of 30 onlookers away. Maybe defending eggs, maybe trying to catch some privacy, he or she strode the top of the wall like a feathered, Canadian Colossus of Rhodes defying God and historic cemetery tour groups.

The guide continued his speech, disregarding the honking Helios.

“Back about 12 years ago, a man named Dennis Mascari approached the cemetery with a rather novel idea. His basic premise was: Cubs fans are crazy.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#920: Dormammu! I Have Come to Arbitrate!

April 27th, 2018 § permalink

Like a blogging Ghostbuster, I tend not to cross the streams.

While I’m proud of my professional life as editor of a legal trade magazine, aside from a few nods to working in news, I try not to mention work here or blog there. But a story I edited this week — and the impending cinematic thunderkick of “Avengers: Infinity War” dropping today — is too good to pass up.

Reporter David Thomas talked to lawyers to ask how much deep legal muck a real-life superhero would be in. » Read the rest of this entry «

#919: Duet

April 25th, 2018 § permalink

I had seen the old man with the detergent bottle foot before, but the woman was new. » Read the rest of this entry «

#918: A Word to the Millionaires

April 23rd, 2018 § permalink

Never mind how I got it, but I have a bit of Tribune Tower.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#917: Along the Water

April 20th, 2018 § permalink

I shuffled along, hands in pockets of a dark three-quarter length coat and hat pulled Andy Cappishly over my eyes. My pace was in between, slowly catching up to the white white-haired couple holding hands as they sauntered along but getting lapped by two Latino high school students in their charter sweatshirts jogging and gossiping about some guy who “makes me feel, like, a certain way, I don’t know” before bursting into nervous, happy laughter. » Read the rest of this entry «

#916: The Order

April 18th, 2018 § permalink

She likes punk, industrial, new wave, goth, the macabre. Long black streams of mesh trail from the ceiling in her Pilsen artists loft. She has a framed photo of designer Alexander McQueen posing with a skull on the desk and a pair of brass knuckles suspended over the kitchenette sink.

She’s done seven clothing lines of entirely black. She works in vinyl and lace, mesh and satin, safety pins and fishnet — all black, down to the thread used on inside stitching. The eighth line branched out from all black all the time. Three of the new pieces are as white as a desert-bleached rib cage.

She smiles and laughs all the time.

“Why do I have to be this angry person covered in skull tattoos to wear black?” she said. » Read the rest of this entry «

#915: Wind and the Lovely

April 16th, 2018 § permalink

The beautiful were out in the cold.

Rooftop bar along Michigan Avenue. Friends from out of town justified the expense of small-plate food that was actually filling and craft cocktails that needed a bank loan to pay off. Reservations at 9, seat by a window looking out over parks and museums and a lapping lake that extends so far it weaves into the starless night sky.

Or would have, if we could see a damn thing. » Read the rest of this entry «

#914: Change and the Pilsen Night

April 13th, 2018 § permalink

There still aren’t stars.

I know they exist, that they’re out there burning away in a deep black eternity, the smallest still on a scale grander than I have capacity to comprehend. But on a street corner in Pilsen, they’re drowned out, washed away by overhead lamps, security lights and the glow of a late-night gym full of sweaty people in activewear.

But that’s OK. » Read the rest of this entry «

#913: The Piñata Quiz – Know Your Not-Quite-Intellectual-Property-Violating Candy Monsters

April 11th, 2018 § permalink

The candy was sweet and delightful — wads of tamarind wrapped in corn husks, bars of nothing but sweetened toasted coconut, spiced fruit fluids the consistency of cold butter scooped into a plastic spoon then tied off in Saran wrap and tossed, spoon and all, in the bin. Crumbly sugar-and-peanut marzipan, lollypops spiced piping hot, bins of chocolate more familiar to my Anglo eyes.

And rows and rows of piñatas that, while not quite crossing the line into full-on copyright infringement, definitely broke the spirit of the law with “Mouse Boy” and “Bat Hero.” » Read the rest of this entry «

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