Automatic for the People was never my favorite R.E.M. album. Later, the inescapable ubiquity of "Man on the Moon," and "Everybody Hurts" on radio tarnished the thing for me. Between the movie tie-in and the overly joyful "Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight," it began to feel trite and commercially exposed. At least in comparison to the music I was … Continue reading Etude (Record Review): R.E.M., Automatic for the People
(Google Street View gets the photo credit on this one.) The Innertown Pub was the go-to neighborhood dive bar for those of us who lived near Division Street, it's watershed spanned portions Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village. While Empty Bottle, Gold Star and Rainbo felt like scenes, Innertown was an extension of home; the kind … Continue reading What About the Pierogi Lady? What About the Muffin Lady? What About the Tamale Guys?
There was a grandmother who looked like what the Monty Python troupe called a "pepper pot." Thick, wearing patterned clothing, some kind of kerchief tied over her hair. Most likely in her 60s, but she looked older; an old biddy. Some of those years had been war years, and war years count extra. People of … Continue reading Why I Don’t Read Memoirs
There was a day in 1995 that, in the course of making a pie, I realized that what I really needed was something for dinner. So I pivoted. In the refrigerator were eggs, milk, spinach, ham, cheese, and nothing else. The next few steps seemed pretty obvious and within a few minutes my creation was … Continue reading On the Invention of Quiche—Now I’ll Never See “Horace and Pete” by Louis C.K.