A Great Setting for a Novel – The “Gold Coast” in Chicago


In two paragraphs Daniel Amory has captured the essence of the “Gold Coast” area in Chicago, and is why I chose this setting for my second novel, Facing East. Driving south along the Outer Drive with views of Lake Michigan to your left, and the lovely buildings on Lake Shore Drive to your right, you are viewing one of my lasting childhood memories. Sitting on the back seat of my parent’s car, listening to them sing, Sunny Side of the Street, I imagined the people who lived in these expensive properties. In my new novel, Katherine White, has moved from Chapel Hill to her 10th floor Gold Coast apartment in hopes of creating a new life. Seattle and Italy also play a part in her quest. Enjoy the great descriptions of a perfect setting for a novel provided by Daniel Amory – Minor Snobs


 Greystone townhouses, Gold Coast, Chicago, Illinois.

 “Shortly before school started, I moved into a studio apartment on a quiet street near the bustle of the downtown in one of the most self-conscious bends of the world. The “Gold Coast” was a neighborhood that stretched five blocks along the lake in a sliver of land just south of Lincoln Park and north of River North. The streets were like fine necklaces and strung together were the brownstone houses and tall condominiums and tiny mansions like pearls, and when the day broke and the sun faded away, their lights burned like jewels shining gaudily in the night.

The world’s most elegant bazaar, Michigan Avenue, jutted out from its eastern tip near The Drake Hotel and the timeless blue-green waters of Lake Michigan pressed its shores. The fractious make-up of the people that inhabited it, the flat squareness of its parks and the hint of the lake at the ends of its tree-lined streets squeezed together a domesticated cesspool of age and wealth and standing. It was a place one could readily dress up for an expensive dinner at one of the fashionable restaurants or have a drink miles high in the lounge of the looming John Hancock Building and five minutes later be out walking on the beach with pants cuffed and feet in the cool water at the lake’s edge.”

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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1 Response to A Great Setting for a Novel – The “Gold Coast” in Chicago

  1. johnvic8 says:

    I’ve not spent any time in Chicago except for my trip to Evanston lo those many years ago, so you are opening a new world here..

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