Aileen Cruz | I’m a Chicago-based writer and journalist. I grew up in the Detroit suburbs and spent most of my time there following around my big brother. Childhood was about road trips, playing until dark, reading Stephen King and writing in journals. When my brother left for the University of Michigan, I followed him there, too. I took up English and communication and found my way into advertising.

For the early part of my career, I worked at a few agencies. It exposed me to TV production and travel, and an endless stream of interesting and creative people. I developed scripts, assembled commercials and immersed myself in pop culture. But what I always wanted was to write full time, so I quit my job and went back to school. I went to Medill and focused on journalism. I wrote for Medill’s news service and interned at The Independent in London. Eventually I became a freelance journalist, contributing regularly to Chicago Tribune’s dining and entertainment website, Metromix, and stringing for the local papers.

Now I live in Evanston with my husband and our two girls. I’m a writer, journalist and photographer. Along with words, I love to seek out the visual aspects of a story — I try to capture this on my blog. You’ll also find personal essays, profiles, and posts on family and city life.

Copyright Courtesy | All original writing/photography on leeniespace is copyrighted and owned by me (unless noted). If you’d like to share, please include a link back to the original post or credit to Aileen Cruz for leeniespace. Thanks.

Contact | leeniespace(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. Sean says

    Love this blog. And I’m not a blog person. So there. You rock.

  2. Hi, Cecilia,
    Thank you for stopping by. And, yes, so much good food in this town, I have trouble picking. I’ve just discovered thekitchensgarden and am so happy to have found it. Going there now to leave you a note.

  3. Good morning Aileen. Thank you so much for your visit to my wee blog. Your pages look gorgeous. Most of all I am so happy to find someone writing about the dining scene is Chicago.. I never know where to go when i visit the Big City!.. c

  4. Carolyn says

    What a great thing! I actually had some time to sit alone and read this evening. Your writings are lovely and make me miss Chicago more than ever. ❤️

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