My Top 5 Yelp Reviews About Alton, IL

imagesI’m still kind of in a post-holidays reverie haze and in a frame of mind where I look back on years gone by, growing up in Illinois. Over the past year or so, I’ve written some Yelp reviews of places in my hometown of Alton that I know like the back of my hand. Some I love, some I don’t. I thought it might be fun to post my five favorite reviews, in no particular order, to feel a little good old fashioned Alton nostalgia.


Bubby’s & Sissy’s — 5/5 stars

Best bar in Alton. It’s always a fantastic time here on Fridays and Saturdays. Hilarious drag shows, adequate little dance floor, nice outdoor area. Best place in town to let loose and really be yourself, no matter who you are.

Except if you’re a bigot. Then please, stop being who you are. Continue reading


10 Midwestern Photos, Without Context

See here, here, or here for photos I took in New York. Apologies that not all of these are as high-res as I would like them to be.

Caveat: I obviously didn’t take picture #10 because I’m in it (as is fellow writesman Jake). That one was taken by someone or another who was in Montage Literary Arts Journal.

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The Windy City Does Not Blow


So an ex-girlfriend was telling me some time ago about a friend who came to visit her in Chicago for a concert. She lived in the Andersonville neighborhood, which is on the Far North Side, and her friend asked her, “Do you think it’s okay to park my car downtown all night?” And my ex-girlfriend was like, “No, what is wrong with you. Just leave it here, outside my apartment.” He was confused because he thought that outside her apartment, where you’d see nothing but trees and apartments, was downtown Chicago.

He was from the suburbs (aren’t we all), and he knew there is a big, shiny part of Chicago with skyscrapers and parks that have giant beans in them, but he and his friends referred to everything within the city limits as “downtown.”

I grew up in a rural town. If someone in Chicago asks where I’m from originally I have to say it’s in the badlands and corn fields past the Northwest Suburbs. And if someone farther away than that asks, I’m tempted to say Chicago, because it takes more than enough time to just explain that my name isn’t “Joshua,” that I don’t want to deal with it. However, if I do say it, I am a filthy liar.

Our beautiful city of lakefront and hot dogs (if you know what I’m saying)

Continue reading