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I am in the process of phasing this site out of existence, having run out of patience with the unprofessional conduct of the staff at Lycos. If you have linked to this site, I would recommend realigning your links, and read between the lines, as you read everything else at this location.

The site formerly at this location has been largely relocated elsewhere, as it no longer seems appropriate for this server. If you want to find its new location, you can just drop by this listing of my pages, wander around a little bit, and you should be able to find the old material. Yes, you can still find pages at a number of the old locations, such the one at the former location of New Mexico subdirectory, to say nothing of the so disappointingly G rated nasty.html, which sounds like it is should be so tremendously lurid until you remember that I am, after all, from the Midwest. The original material, however, either has been removed or is being removed, to be replaced with material that should in no way clash with Tripod's terms of service as I've been given to understand them, and which I had obviously misunderstood in the past, judging from the earlier locking and deletion of this site.

Writing a travel site on a server on which any negative commentary about a travel experience is forbidden is a challenge, some might even say an impossibility, but I'll see what I can do. Perhaps a meta-site, in which I talk about my other travel sites, might work, as I seldom insult myself, except when I've been a bad boy, a very, very bad boy who needs to be punished - but I had promised that this wouldn't be lurid and trust me, you really don't want to see me in bondage gear during eggnog season. At present, I have two main sites of travel interest, not counting the newly relocated Cowboy Wannabee Site which, having been relocated in response to a TOS complaint, won't be linked to from here: my Louisiana page and my Chicago page, on which both local photography and regional recipes are (or soon will be) offered.

Note: If you are seeking to return to your ring (not all of my Webring memberships have been realigned, yet), as you go to my global ring return page on whichever site of mine you end up at, look for return pages for my "Scriptmania" site instead of my "Tripod" site, and you'll get back to your ring.

My Jewishness will have an inevitable impact on these pages, a major one in the case of the Louisiana page. Jewish pride is an important part of what goes into setting up my sites - if you're looking for the currently fashionable Israel bashing, my blogs are not for you - so you aren't going to see recipes for trayf on these sites. There is, however, no getting around the fact that shellfish are an important part of the diet in Southern Louisiana, as pork is in the Midwest and New Mexico. What you will be seeing will be kosher, wheatfree variations on popular dishes which can't help but be transformed in the process. Almond milk may be creamy, it may be good in sauces, but you're never going to mistake it for the real milchig (dairy) thing, so seasonings have to be adjusted, and I refuse to use any sort of imitation pork or crab, feeling that that which may be reasonably mistaken for trayf is trayf. Most Jews would probably disagree with that, probably finding some very serious rabbinical support as they did so, but creating the illusion of impiety in the course of a religious observance never made much sense to me, and that's what kashrut makes of a meal.

The Chicago page will particularly differ from what is expected, because at no point will you probably ever see much coverage of the Loop, outside of Michigan Boulevard and LaSalle Street. I suppose that you might drop by one of my blogs are see me writing about a show at the Art Institute that I was especially fond of, but for the most part the Loop is an overrated destination. I won't go so far as to say "a tourist trap", outside of the appallingly bad restaurants which have often clustered south of the river (probably courtesy in part of the tourist trade, and the wealth of nonrepeat business it brings), but I will say that it serves as a depressing example of what globalized homogenization can do to a local culture, especially when the locals let themselves be given over to fatalism. Downtown Chicago, circa 2007, isn't just Everywhere USA, it's Everywhere Earth. You're not going to see much of anything on most of the streets there, except maybe for the El, that you couldn't see at home, because the developers have been allowed to run wild. All the new construction ever really was, was big, and post September 11, 2001, Chicago has been failing to keep up with the rest of the world even in that.

What you do see, and will be seeing more of, are pictures of what remains of the older, traditional, pre-globalization architecture in Chicago, along with some very simple Urban Midwestern home cooking laid out, as will be the Lousiana page, in stream-of-consciousness, hike format; "you walk down here, see that and oh, by the way, here's this place where you can get nice mock chicken legs, and here's a recipe for those that doesn't use pork" and which doesn't taste much like chicken, either, but we'll get into that later. This is going to be lower budget travel, so don't expect to see to be seeing the inside of the Drake very often, but then what is the real Chicago, anyway? Do you want to meet other tourists or do you want to meet locals?

My blogs at Deadjournal and Tumblr will, among other material, include information for those travelling to the Chicago area, the Deadjournal site focusing more on the city and the Tumblr page focusing more on the Suburbs. Good for a "huh", the last statement was? Only if one forgets that Chicago is not Los Angeles and just assumes that one would be travelling thousands of miles to see late 20th century tract housing; such is not the case. At least one of the better known suburbs actually predates Chicago. The towns you'll see are small cities with histories and identities of their own which got swallowed up by the urban sprawl of Chicago. If the latter site seems far more upbeat reading than the former, this should be seen as being neither accidental nor surprising; let us face it, when you visit Chicago proper, you're seeing a city in a deep decline that it is most unlikely to ever pull out of; you go to see what remains of its glory days of a few decades past far more than you do for what is going on there now, seeing that while it is still there to be seen. Outside of a few absurdly rich areas whose residents have never been known for their warm and welcoming ways, Chicago is an often forlorn, if still sometimes colorful place, where the lack of real opportunity shows in the local culture, as do the effects of the long, grey winters.

But I'm starting to make judgements, and Tripod can be unaccepting of these, so perhaps I would do well to end my discussion of those pages on this note. If you'd like to return to the ring you came to my sites from, you can see the navbars for the rings that this page currently or previously belonged to, and a global ring return page for my other sites can be found here. Thanks for dropping by.

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