Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a good weekend! Today’s Saturday Evening Interview is with Cher from “The Chicago Files.” Cher is a Canadian expat who blogs about her new life and experiences in Chicago. Not only does Cher write, she also features a lot of wonderful photography from around the city. Her latest series includes photography from American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Oak Park. Oak Park a village next to West Side Chicago. You can take a look at her latest post from the series here. Please help me welcome Cher to Life of an El Paso Woman!
ME: Why did you decide to start “The Chicago Files” blog? Please tell us more about it.
I have always been an observer of people, my surroundings and generally how we interact with one another. A few years ago, I started writing on my Facebook page about the interesting things I observed as a Canadian living in this huge, American city! My friends & family encouraged me to write a blog so they could read these ‘musings’ of mine in one place! That is how, “The Chicago Files” started!
ME: When did you first start writing and why?
I have always had a love for writing. My mother is a writer. She has written two poetry books, was a newspaper reporter and is now a freelance writer. I think reading her work has always been my inspiration. A couple of years ago, she showed me a fictional story I wrote when I was in grade 7. Surprisingly enough, it had an interesting plot with a twist at the end! I didn’t recall it until she showed it to me. I think that must be one of my first ‘writings’ if you will.
ME: Besides great writing, your blog also includes a lot of great photography. What are some of your favorite things to photograph and why?
When I started blogging, I felt I should take a photo or two of what it was I observed. That became the springboard to start taking more and more photos of Chicago’s phenomenal architecture, skyline and my favorite: the incredible sunrises we see over Lake Michigan.
ME: Since I’ve been following your blog for awhile, it seems like you’ve traveled quite a bit. What was one of your favorite travel destinations and why?
I utterly LOVE to travel! It gives me a new perspective on the world! One of my absolute favorite places on the planet is visiting the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. A remarkable ship with the most stellar history of any sea-faring vessel that ever sailed. I could spend days just wandering that historical gem!
ME: I’ve always wanted to visit Chicago but I haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet. Tell me what your idea of a good time in Chicago consists of.
Oh my goodness, you must come and visit! This city has virtually everything for everyone! One of the most popular attractions (in my opinion) is the architectural boat tour that meanders down the Chicago River. You get to see the back of many outstanding buildings which would otherwise be difficult to see. I have been on the tour at least a dozen times (probably more) and I never get bored. I also think a tour of the downtown on a double-decker bus is another great way to find out more about the city. And then, top it off with Chicago’s delicious deep-dish pizza! Oh, and walking along Lake Michigan; we have 15 miles of walkways!
ME: Besides blogging, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
I love watching historical and cultural documentaries, attending theater and exhibits at the fascinating museums we have here in Chicago!
ME: Since I’ve been blogging about music a lot lately, who are some of your favorite musicians?
Ah, my favorite musician is Phil Collins and his group, “Genesis”. It’s the only group I listen to over and over and still can’t wait to hear the songs again. I also like Peter Gabriel, Sting, Bryan Ferry, Ray Lamontagne, & a new age artist named David Arkenstone.
ME: If you had to pick a song to describe who you are, which one would it be and why?
I think it would be, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I am happy most of the time, and I always try to make others happy as well!
ME: How would you describe yourself using one word and why?
Empathetic; that’s the one word I would use to describe myself. I have always been a person who sees things from another person’s perspective. It’s a very salient part of my personality. I want to make sure people see the very best in themselves, and I use empathy to understand where they are coming from.
ME: What advice would you offer to up and coming bloggers?
Write about anything you are personally interested in, not what you think others want to read. If it doesn’t please you then it’s not coming from a natural, ‘real’ perspective. Don’t let yourself be guided by ‘numbers’; in other words, don’t worry about how many people are following your blog, like or comment on your posts. That will come in time, but be genuine. You will be amazed at how things start to flow once you have that mindset.
ME: What can we expect in your blog in the near future?
Well, as a matter of fact, I will be returning to the RMS Queen Mary in May for the 80th anniversary of her maiden voyage from Scotland (in 1936). I’ll be writing all about that great adventure! I’ll also continue with a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural series I’ve been posting about over the past month or so. And, who knows, I just might meet someone I need to write about!
ME: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to give you a huge thank you, Lisa! Thank you so much for allowing me to share some things about myself and my blog. I adore your blog as I know lots and lots of us do!