• Happy Birthday Wrigley Field

    April 23, 2014, Washington, DC: There’s something about ballparks. Their charm and nostalgia is unrivaled by virtually all other types of gathering spaces. Today on the 100th anniversary of the opening of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, I’m especially appreciative of those old ballparks still standing in the heart of our cities, now wedged tightly into urban

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  • The Lifecycle of Place

    May 30, 2013, Washington, DC: Have you ever lived in a city or town that is no longer alive? Are there places you remember from childhood or somewhere along the way that have simply ceased to exist? Can a place die and fade away completely or will always experience rebirth, in some form? I don’t

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  • Miles From Monday: Public Hotel

    “It occurs to me that I’ve spent my entire adulthood trying to integrate my travel life with my “real” life, hoping I might bridge that unbridgeable ocean between home and away. Why else would I model my apartment after far-flung hotels, if not to persuade my ideal self to come back and live with me?”

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  • Home, Simplicity & Frank Lloyd Wright

    “As we live and as we are, Simplicity – with a capital “S” – is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to

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  • Grateful

    “I come from a long line of women who open their handbags and take out swatches of upholstery material, colored squares of bathroom tile, seven shades of yellow paint samples, and strips of flowered wallpaper. We love the concept of four walls.” -Frances Mayes November 26, 2012, Washington, DC: This passage from Frances Mayes’ “Under

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  • These Places in Winter

    January 5, 2012, Washington, DC: Our relationships with the places we love change in winter. The light shifts, and so does how we see them. In the cold of early January, these places we love settle down, grow quiet and more isolated. After the holiday high of full houses and delighted residents, we see our

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  • My Top Ten Places of 2011

    December 31, 2011, Washington, DC: There was much to celebrate in 2011, and extensive celebrations meant extensive travel with family and friends. Read on for a personal top ten list revealing my favorite places to be a part of in 2011. 10. Charlottesville, VA: The list starts and ends with wedding travel, the primary reason

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  • Oh, Won’t You Stay?

    October 4, 2011, Washington, DC: We could stay there in Chicago, I think. We could help the grandparents unpack. Attend the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago the weekend after next. We could stay to witness the growth of the city’s bike sharing program, to spend time with our cousin as her schedule lightens up.

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  • Map of Mornings: Lincoln Park

    October 2, 2011, Chicago, IL: I slipped out early this morning into my old neighborhood. From the Lincoln Park Zoo by Lake Michigan, I walked west on Armitage, with occasional detours down its side streets, including one that was once my own. A friendly row of bikes lined the sidewalk as I rounded the corner

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  • The Enormity of a City

    October 1, 2011, Chicago, IL: The enormity of this town is striking if you’ve been gone for awhile, from every perspective and from every angle. From above, you’re a monster looking down upon miniature cars, on people the size of ants. From below, sleek buildings loom large on narrow lots, rising seemingly higher than in any

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  • Sweet Home Chicago

    September 30, 2011, Washington, DC: I’m heading back to Chicago today, back to one of my former hometowns. Like the photo taken in my old Chicago apartment pictured above, my recollections of this city are bright and welcoming and familiar and textured. The Chicago I know includes that one-of-a-kind second story apartment off Armitage St.

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  • Rooting for the Home Team

    July 2, 2011, Washington, DC: One of the wonderful things about living on Capitol Hill, especially in the summer, is the neighborhood’s proximity to the Washington Nationals ballpark. And one of the wonderful things about the Nationals, (a blessing in disguise) is that they are not the Yankees or the Red Sox. Here on the

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