My father was born and raised in Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago. He graduated from Lake Forest College. You said you lived in Lake Forest at some point, right, Jack?

When we visited the Chicago area during my childhood, we stayed in Evanston, also a northern suburb but closer to Chicago, where my grandmother was living with my aunt and her family.

My favorite memory of Chicago was driving into the city, parking, and riding the L as though we were at an amusement park. I definitely prefer the elevated transit system of Chicago over the NY subways that provide no views of the city.

My father always took me for lunch at the iconic Marshall Fields. It was there I had my first chocolate mousse and thought it was heaven in a crystal goblet!

Evanston, or a nearby town, had an annual ethnic food festival that we attended at least twice. Booth after booth of food from all over the world!

One of my daily disappointments in Florida, particularly my college town, is the bland, unimaginative, homogeneous food, which mostly comes from chains or Bar-B-Q joints and seafood restaurants, none of which are appealing to this vegetarian! Better food, particularly Cuban, can be found in larger cities but good Italian restaurants are almost impossible to find here.

We didn’t make it north this year and my stomach is nostalgic for the Italian food of New Jersey and New York!!

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