Monday, October 20, 2008

The latest additions

There are topics I can discuss at length: the advantages and disadvantages of various egg substitutes for vegan baking (this knowledge coexists with the fact that recently I had two roast beef sandwiches at the Rax restaurant in Joliet, by the way); obscure and failed sitcoms of the early 1990s (knowing what shows Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston were on before Friends, for instance); groups, splinter groups, and internecine debates of the early women's liberation movement...But the furniture stores and other buildngs of Vliet Street in the Hillside neighborhood of Milwaukee? I don't have much to say. So for no reason these photos illustrate this post about my latest additions to the blogroll/links list.

I've moved some links to different categories, but never mind that. And, in the more political blogs, deleted a few that became password-protected, or were too much of an inside joke.

In the top, Chicagoland categories, I'm now adding photo sites and photo blogs. Please enjoy the fine work of Christa Lohman (chloeloe), Chris Brunn, Chuck Janda, Noah Vaughn (Rubbish), and Nick Suydam (Sights and Sounds). I've been so distracted by finding blogs for many other cities, I haven't looked for more Chicagoland blogs in a while except from people I already know. I'd love to find blogs about specific neighborhoods, but many of the neighborhood blogs I find (certainly for Uptown and Rogers Park) aren't necessarily coming from viewpoints I endorse...

I added the website of Chicago writer Lee Sandlin, who I had the pleasure of meeting over a long lunch in Lincoln Square a few weeks ago (thank you again, though I was quite embarrassed that one glass of wine made me forget how Cairo, Illinois is pronounced). And two blogs from Jessica of Elgin. She found some photos from my brief Elgin trip on Flickr, invited them to a Flickr group, then featured some on Life in Elgin, which was nice. She also has a personal site, We Love Thrift Stores.

Most of the adds are to the "City life/built environment (beyond Chicago)" section, mostly from a manic day or two of looking for blogs on many cities and areas I'm interested in, not all of which I've visited this year. If they feature abandoned buildings, if there's a historic preservation bent, if they discuss transit and infrastructure, and/or there's a real enthusiasm for their city, and I don't see anything that frightens me, and they seem to be fairly active, I'll probably add them.

I'm mostly sticking to the Midwest, Rust Belt, Great Lakes, Third Coast region (by the way, Ted McClelland's recent book The Third Coast is HIGHLY recommended; I hope to interview him about it if I can). I love New York City, and San Francisco, and Seattle, and Portland, and Austin (well, I've only been there once), and I'd enjoy reading about them, but frankly I don't think those cities need much publicity. I'm much more interested in people seeking to improve and promote overlooked and "uncool" cities.

Newer stuff: Detroit (Faded Detroit, and the hugely popular Sweet Juniper). Indianapolis (The Urbanophile, Urban Indy). Columbus (All Eyes and Ears). Cincinnati (Building Cincinnati, and I added Cincinnati, As I See It, but that ones's completely vanished). Youngstown (Defend Youngstown, I Will Shout Youngstown). Pittsburgh (Cleveburgh Diaspora). Louisville (Broken Sidewalk). Buffalo (Greater Buffalo Blog). St. Louis (Mississippi River Valley Girl, Vanishing STL). Twin Cities (Twin City Sidewalks, Uptown Mpls Blog, and the extremely entertaining, fairly new Mall of America blog, by "wolf," who is "a guy who goes to MOA...a lot...").

And two that feature people from many different cities: The Where Blog, and Rust Belt Bloggers (I noticed I got a mention on the latter, so I've joined in the community). I haven't yet found Omaha blogs that fit my criteria, or any from my home state of Iowa, sadly; if anyone knows if there's good built environment/urbanism/city life blogs from there, please let me know! I may start looking for Denver and Phoenix blogs as well (even if those cities are a little too "popular" for my criteria, heh).

I added Chicago Steel Heritage Project to Organizations, Chicago History in Postcards to Even more Chicago stuff (formerly Random Chicagoland fun) and a bunch more to the non-Chicago/non-blog built environment section: Braddock Pennsylvania; Forgotten Ohio; Forgotten Buffalo; Preserve Minneapolis; Omaha (Historic Omaha, Landmarks Inc) and Denver (DenverInfill, Historic Denver), and more architectural foundations (Michigan and Denver). I've become quite fascinated with roadside America, Route 66, Lincoln Highway, etc. recently and that'll probably be the next batch of additions...

My blogroll categories are organized roughly by how much those topics turn up on City of Destiny. City life and Chicago and buildings the most, books, food and shopping somewhat less, politics the certainly doesn't mean I consider those the least important. I'm sort of a wuss who tries to avoid conflict and controversy here.

The only political blog I've added is Rustbelt Intellectual. I added Healing Self-Injury to the mental health section, just because. Nothing new in the body image or adoption categories right now. In the latter, Marley at The Daily Bastardette has done a fine job covering the fiasco of Nebraska's Safe Haven was definitely on my mind on my recent Omaha visit (another teen was abandoned that day, I believe). If you've never been exposed to views on what's wrong with "safe haven" laws, I highly encourage checking her blog out.

That's it for now...I hope to have a zany-adventure post up soon to compensate for my long absence. The photos keep piling anyone following me on Flickr knows, I've been to Omaha and Denver on my first-ever Amtrak trip recently, plenty to say about that... (And yes, that trip happened after the date on this post--don't ask!)


The Urbanophile said...

Katherine, thanks for the link. I appreciate it. I should tell you that split my time between Chicago and Indy, so am local to Chicago too.

Great blog, by the way.

Katherine said...

Thanks! I had found your blog some months before I added it, so I know it covers a lot more than Indianapolis (one of the cities I hope to have at least a 1-day Megabus trip to before too long)

Anonymous said...

Love for the very first photo. Where was that taken?

Jennifer Anniston did the Ferris Bueller TV show pre-Friends. I did remember that tidbit.

Katherine said...

didi, I think I have them mapped on Flickr in my Milwaukee set, I know it's Vliet St. a little west of where the old Pabst brewery is. Those buildings in the first shot were what made me want to come back to that street, I shot the Sloane's sign with a friend on an earlier trip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention!

Ted said...

Hi Katherine:

Thanks for mentioning "The Third Coast." I can see you're a connoisseur of offbeat Midwest adventures, too. I just started my own website to complement the book, and promote our Northern Culture. It's at

Ted McClelland

Ted said...

Also, sure you can interview me.