I’m a Chicago-based writer and reporter. I’ve reviewed books for People, vacation spots for Outside and spent more than two years eating my way in and around the Loop for Crain’s Chicago Business, where I was chief restaurant reviewer. I started my journalism career at the Bergen Record, in Hackensack, N.J., where I wrote about business and contributed to the travel and book review sections. (I loved writing for a daily newspaper.) In Chicago, I contributed front-page stories and inside-the-book news and features to Business Week, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Reader. I have three signed entries in the Encyclopedia of Chicago History.

I grew up in a loving family in idyllic Demarest, N.J. I became an urbanite during high school, where I attended and graduated from Marymount School of New York. I began writing professionally while I was a student at Barnard College, Columbia University.

A collection of poems I wrote during college won the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry. When I talked to my advisor about careers, she paused and said, “Well, of course, you’ll be a poet. That seemed too solitary. I wanted to find and tell stories, to explore! So, I took a job at a newspaper. I’ve been writing daily ever since.

A note about this site. I’ve posted about 10 clips, from mini reviews to multipage profiles. Also “The Bicycle Poem,” which won the prize that started my career.

In the blog

I’m one of the few readers on earth who didn’t finish Erik Larson’s 2004 mega-hit, “Devil in the White City.” I had researched and written about the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago — the White City — so those chapters bored me. The serial killer chapters scared me. I couldn’t read it! Now Larson has


My sister had more time than I to tour the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, and stopped into the Cy Twombly show (through Sept. 13.) The next day, she had to go back, and wanted me to see the Twombly show, too. She even persuaded her “love art, dread museums” 10-year-old


I made a bullet list but it seemed dull. We need to talk about why we loved a book, a film, a ballet this year. Here’s my favorites.  First, Joffrey Ballet’s Frankenstein was like no other ballet I’ve ever seen. Literally, electric. Also, frightening. Mary Shelley’s story is changed and tightened, though the themes of