A to Z Challenge: Theme Reveal!

atoz-theme-reveal-2016

Last week I teased you, but this week’s the Big Reveal. Today you’ll learn what my Blogging From A to Z April Challenge theme will be!

So, did you figure it out?

Here were my hints…

It’s not Harry Potter…

But there are a lot of gargoyles…

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photo credit: Skyscraper via photopin

And a lot of abstract art…

Have you figured it out yet?

That’s right: I’m covering Chicago from A to Z this year!

Chicago is my hometown (or, anyway, close enough), so I’ve got a lot of fond memories of the city. And since April is the month where all the ice and snow typically melts into Spring there, meaning that Chicagoans can actually come out of their lairs and explore again, I figured it’d be a nice way to spotlight some of my favorite places throughout the city – as well as some places I’d like to explore if/when my family ever moves back to the area.

Since I actually grew up in a suburb of Chicago (Elmhurst, to be exact, for those who are familiar with the western suburbs), most of the things I already know about the city itself are on the touristy side, so I’m also excited to research more of the things that interest me as an adult – like the city’s literary scene, including authors past and present, as well as the art, music and foods that are practically synonymous with Chicago.

There will, undoubtedly, be a mention of deep-dish pizza. And Chicago-style hot dogs. And Italian beef. And, okay, I’ll stop before I give all of my blog topics away!

But I also hope to uncover some gems you didn’t even know existed in Chicago, and to go beyond the old “Windy City” moniker to get at the heart of the question: What makes Chicago so goddamn special?

Yes, that was a twist on a line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – which will also feature prominently in my A to Z. After all, I must’ve watched this hometown tribute about 30,000 times as a kid. One of my class field trips to the Art Institute even got lost looking for the “Ferris Bueller painting.” (Even then, I knew it was actually called “Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte,” and had been painted by Georges Seurat. That’s what happens when you study French in high school – at least in fancy suburbs of Chicago.)

Oh, and if you guys have any suggestions for the letter Y, please leave them in the comments – so far I’m stuck!

I hope you’ll enjoy joining me on this year’s A to Z journey. Until April 1, please amuse yourself by browsing through my previous A to Z adventures – or even buying a book – here!

20 Responses
  1. How fun. As a Chicagoan I love seeing my city celebrated and I can’t wait to see what you post.

  2. Awesome! You can correct me when I make any super glaring factual errors, Deborah. ;D

  3. George M. says:

    That’s a great idea for a challenge. I visited Chicago a few times when I was little and recently when some of my relatives lived there. It’s a fabulous city. I wished I had more time to explore everything the city has to offer. I look forward to reading your posts. Someday, I might go back to sightsee, and use your blog as inspiration.

  4. I always loved visiting the museums in Chicago. In fact, I always figured ALL cities had such excellent museums, because I was so spoiled by Chicago’s Art Institute and Field Museum, etc. It was quite a surprise when I moved to some other cities in the U.S., discovering that they didn’t have anything that came close. Who fills a museum with copies instead of real art?! (Apparently Austin, Texas…)

  5. Brendan says:

    Maybe the Yale Apartments? It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is an official Chicago landmark.

    Robert Young (Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, M.D.) won three Emmys and a Golden Globe. He was born in Chicago, but his family moved around a bit.

  6. Thanks for the suggestions, Brendan! I will have to investigate the Yale Apartments, since I’m interested in architecture. (My obvious W is Frank Lloyd Wright…)

  7. Great way to showcase, explore and pay tribute to your hometown. Best of luck for the challenge!

  8. Fida Islaih says:

    I’ve been to Chicago a many of times. I’m excited to hear about some gems I didn’t know it had.

  9. I love American cities and culture, this is a great theme! Good luck and see you in April :)
    Debbie

  10. JazzFeathers says:

    Count me in!
    I’m Italian, live in Italy, but I’ve… err… spent a lot of time in Chicago in the last six years because that’s where my trilogy of novels is set ;-)
    It’ll be fantastic reading of the city by someone who lived there.
    Can’t wait to read your posts!

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz

  11. Ooh, very cool! I will have to come check out your blog, JazzFeathers! :)

  12. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’ve heard amazing things about it—we’re actually planning, sort of, a trip in 2017, so this intro series of yours arrives with perfect timing. Will be looking forward to reading and sharing, etc. So cool you’re part of Holton’s Heroes! I’m in Damyanti’s team, so I guess that makes us co-co-host-minions? :D

    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  13. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’ve heard amazing things about it—we’re actually planning, sort of, a trip in 2017, so this intro series of yours arrives with perfect timing. Will be looking forward to reading and sharing, etc. So cool you’re part of Holton’s Heroes! I’m in Damyanti’s team, so I guess that makes us co-co-host-minions? :D

  14. Michelle says:

    I always wanted to visit Chicago! I am looking forward forward to going on a virtual tour with you. Let’s enjoy some virtual deep-dish pizza!

  15. JEN says:

    Chicago! I know nothing about Chicago, so won’t be much help there, but I hope YOU figure our ‘y’ before you get to that letter. :)

  16. Finding your blog on the theme reveal list. Delighted! I grew up in Evanston. Published a 2nd novel last April set in Chicago area-The Gold Coast- etc. If I tell you the title is Facing East, you will get it! I did a 5 day blog tour of Chicago at one point. Endless possibilities for your theme posts. Would love to now follow you if I can figure out your 3 follow buttons. I like to be notified by e-mail when a post is published. I don’t see that option. Got a suggestion. Looking forward to seeing Chicago through your eyes. See you in April.

  17. Hi Stepheny! Best bet for delivery via email is to join my mailing list (there’s a “got mail?” mailbox alllllll the way at the bottom of my site). It’ll send you a digest of all the posts once a week on Fridays.

    The other buttons are for various systems that A to Z peeps typically use, to get the RSS feed sent to Feedly, Bloglovin’ or Google+, since I wanted to make it easy for them to follow with whatever they normally use. Sorry for the confusion!

  18. […] Chicago In Laura‘s words: Chicago is my hometown (or, anyway, close enough), so I’ve got a lot of fond memories of the city. And since April is the month where all the ice and snow typically melts into Spring there, meaning that Chicagoans can actually come out of their lairs and explore again, I figured it’d be a nice way to spotlight some of my favorite places throughout the city – as well as some places I’d like to explore if/when my family ever moves back to the area. […]

  19. Seeya says:

    Hello Laura! Found your blog while going through others. I’m most definitely reading your A to Z challenge posts.