mojosmom: (photos)

Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion
Originally uploaded by mojosmom.

Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion seen from the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge)

mojosmom: (sisters)
My sisters were in town this weekend. I picked Cathy up at Midway after work on Wednesday, and Stacey drove in on Thursday, arriving just about an hour before I got home. She brought scads of vegetables from her garden - zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers - so Cathy made us gazpacho for dinner.

I took a vacation day on Friday, and we went downtown to the Cultural Center and the Art Institute. I'd already seen the Louis Sullivan and Jazz Loft Project exhibits at the Cultural Center, but they were well worth seeing again, and we also saw the exhibit, Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster. We had lunch, and then to the Art Institute for their Sullivan exhibit, and also the Henri-Cartier Bresson show, which was immense. Then home to rest up before going out to dinner with some old family friends.

On Saturday, we headed to my local farmers' market. I needed some garlic, and we also bought a variety of fruit, a lovely bit of lamb, some flowers and Brown Sugar Bakery's awesome bread pudding, fresh from the oven. We stayed for the chef demo, and, as always, sampled the end products, both of which were vegetarian, so Stacey could enjoy them as well.

We had thought about going to Carifete, a festival of Caribbean nations, with food, vendors, a parade, etc., but skipped it in favor of resting up a bit at home. Then I ran some necessary errands while my sisters went over to the Art Center to see a show I'd already seen and didn't need to see again. Late afternoon, we went out to Oak Park to see our friend Jeanette, a founder of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She took us to a local art fair and dinner, and then we went back to her apartment, chatted and watched the video of her 90th birthday party. She was telling us about what the new owner is doing to her former residence, Frank Lloyd Wright's Davenport House. He's taking it back to the original 1901 configuration (there's apparently a bit of controversy about this), and the work is taking so long that six years after he bought the place, he still isn't living in it!

Sunday, we drove out to the boonies to see Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House:
Farnsworth House

I wouldn't want to live there all the time, but I can sure see why Edith Farnsworth spent every weekend there! And we could also hear why she finally decided to sell it. There was a bridge over the Fox River, right by the house, which, when she bought the land, was just a quiet, farmers' bridge. Then the powers-that-be decided it needed to be a big, modern road. And, boy, is it noisy! Quiet inside the house, but no more serene evenings on that terrace.

When we got back to Hyde Park, we went to the Medici for a late lunch. New t-shirts: "Support Elena Kagan - a judge of good pizza"! (She apparently frequented the Medici when she was at the Law School.)

Yesterday, I had to go to work, but the sisters walked down to the lakefront, through Jackson Park and then hit the bookstores on 57th St. Cathy made penne pasta with mushrooms, zucchini and pine nuts for dinner, along with thick slices of tomato with fresh basil. After dinner, she suggested that we go for a walk around the block, as it was a perfect evening to go walking. I put forth an amendment to the motion, that we walk over to the Istria Café and have a gelato. The motion, as amended, carried unanimously and was put into immediate effect. We came back through Harold Washington Park, where some young men were playing soccer and some older men were playing chess.

I dropped Cathy off at the airport this morning, and Stacey drove herself home later in the day. So now here I am with no one but the cats, which is okay, too! Marissa, who is normally quite shy with other people, took a mild shine to Cathy, briefly snuggling with her when she was trying to print out her boarding pass!
mojosmom: (sisters)
We went downtown on Sunday and did a bit of shopping, as Stacey wanted to go to The Body Shop and Cathy wanted to get some snow boots. She's planning to leave them here for when she visits, as she obviously doesn't have a great need for them in San Francisco! We then went to the Cultural Center for the Sixth Annual Chicago Taiko Legacy program, featuring Tsukasa Taiko as well as some guest performers. We got there early, a good thing because the place was packed and there were people standing. We also browsed the exhibitions while we were there.

One of the prosecutors in my courtroom had gone deer hunting a while back. He was successful, and brought me some venison round steaks. Cathy made an absolutely awesome venison stroganoff with them. The meat was incredibly tender. We had plenty of veggies for Stacey, though.

On Monday, we went to the Art Institute so Cathy and Stacey could see the new Modern Wing, and a couple of exhibits, the Victorian Photo Collage show (a re-visit for me) and Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago, which I very much enjoyed.

We had dinner with some old family friends at a relatively new local restaurant, Park 52. The food was quite good and we discovered that, on Mondays, wine under $50 is half-price (not that there isn't still a ridiculous mark-up).

Yesterday was a fairly lazy day. I had to take Marissa to the vet, as she has been a bit lethargic for a couple of days. She's now on antibiotics, and seems to be responding. Stacey drove me and Marissa to the vet, and then she and Cathy went off to Seminary Co-op Books while I stayed home and did a few necessary chores.

Stacey is off at the dentist right now; when she returns, she and I will head to Greektown for lunch with friends, and tonight the three of us are going to another couple's house for dinner.

I must say that I'm getting a lot of reading done, too, being off work.
mojosmom: (Default)
Stacey arrived on Thursday, about the middle of the afternoon. I had assembled the vegetarian lasagna earlier in the day and, as we were both hungry, I put it in the oven as soon as she got in. That and a salad, with chocolate mousse (courtesy of Trader Joe's) made a nice dinner.

On Friday, we went to a couple of used book stores and both of us bought a bunch. I found one book I wanted that didn't have a price marked, so Doug checked Abebooks, and immediately started making snide remarks about parasitic booksellers. Really, look at the huge variation in prices, with no reasonable explanation. (He charged me slightly less than the lowest-priced copy on Abebooks, due to condition.) Yet another reason I enjoy O'Gara's is that you encounter things like this:
Scriptorium

After the bookstores, we went and got the remainder of the groceries that I needed for my Sunday open house. Later in the evening we went to the opening of The Opportunity Shop, a transitory space for art in the neighborhood. Basically, they get a realtor to allow them to use empty store front space for a short period of time (this show is up for about a month), and a variety of artists just come in and hang their art. A good time was had by all, and then we went home for dinner.

The next day, we headed to the Cultural Center for a showing of Between the Folds, a documentary about paperfolding. This is not your grandmother's origami. The artists are doing incredibly complex and sculptural pieces. But it was also about the mathematics of paperfolding and some interesting applications of knowledge gained through folding. The film will be shown on PBS' Independent Lens series in December, so, as they say, check your local listings!

The film was followed by an origami workshop, but we skipped that to look at a couple of the art exhibits, the best of which was After the Storm, photographs by Jane Fulton Alt of the aftermath of Katrina. We also stopped briefly at the Art Institute, to visit the Museum Shop and say hello to the lions, newly decked out for the holidays:
Red & yellow-wreathed lion

Purple-wreathed lion

Sunday was my annual open house. As usual, a wonderful group of people gathered to chat, eat and drink, and everyone had a good time.

I took the day off from work today, and finally got to a couple of fabric stores to hunt up buttons. I have a vintage coat and a short jacket, both of which lost buttons and for neither of which I had spares. Having realized that I wouldn't find anything close to the buttons that came with the garments, I decided I'd just replace them all. But I'm going to save the old ones and find some other use for them.

This afternoon, I did something I've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't gotten around to. At 47th and Lake Shore Drive, there's a birding trail/butterfly sanctuary:
Prairie & high-rise

and just west of that, there's a viaduct with murals on one wall and mosaics on the other. So I took a walk, and took pictures. Murals & Mosaics.

My Sunday

Jul. 6th, 2008 08:28 pm
mojosmom: (Default)
I basically lazed about all day Saturday, other than the usual errands.

Today, however, I went out and enjoyed the day. I had decided to go see Visconti's Senso (I enjoyed it, though it's molto soap-opera-ish!) at the Siskel Film Center, and left the house early so that I could do other stuff downtown. I picked up a ticket for the Cultural Center's performance of Bizet's Djamileh next month. It's going to be at Preston Bradley Hall, under the newly restored Tiffany Dome, which I also checked out. Oh, my god, it's gorgeous!!!!!!!!!! I walked up the stairs and just gasped at my first glimpse of it. I mean, it always was beautiful, but it had an exterior cover which blocked the natural light. No more:
Oculus with Zodiacal signs

Before that, I went to Millennium Park for a tour of the Lurie Gardens. I actually almost missed it, as did a couple of other folks, because we were waiting in the place where the tours usually start. However, because of Taste of Chicago, they'd moved it. By the time we figured that out, we were really too late, but one of the docents was kind enough to give us a "mini-tour". I've been to the Gardens fairly often, but I liked doing the tour, as I learned a lot about the design of the place, and how it changes, so now I know what to look for when I go again.
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
Went to the opera last night, Verdi's Falstaff, which I enjoyed very much, not least because I saw the second and third acts from a much better seat than usual! At the first intermission, Jim said that the couple who usually sit next to them weren't there, so why didn't I move up? Sounded good to me! Their seats are in the first section on the main floor (mine is the back of the main floor, under the boxes), much closer, better acoustics and more leg room. Jim said these people aren't renewing next year, and thought I might try to get one of the seats. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like that, it would cost me 2 1/2 times what I'm currently paying, so unless I win the lottery, that ain't happening.

We had dinner beforehand and talked politics, mostly about Barack (as to be expected from a bunch of Hyde Parkers!). Duncan said (tongue in cheek) that he's voting for him in order to get the potholes on his street filled. His theory is that if Barack wins, Chicago is more likely to get the Olympics, (of course, this might be a reason to hope he doesn't win!) and since much of the Games would be on the south side, our streets will get paved and our infrastructure improved. Jamie pointed out that Hillary went to the same high school that he did, and therefore he would have a connection either way. Our local state rep also goes to the opera, and we ran into her, so there was more talk about our favorite son.

I went to pick up my ring today. They did an excellent job, and it cost less than the estimate. They cleaned the ring as well, and it looks all sparkly again.

As I was downtown anyway, I went to the Art Institute. There was what they call a "Q & Art with a curator", about the Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints, a gallery I visit pretty much every time I go to the Art Institute. They change the exhibit every three months, so there's usually something different and, if not, it still pays to re-visit. It was quite interesting. She talked a lot about the collection itself (they have 16,000 prints, which sounds like a lot but pales in relation to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts 65,000), how they put the shows together and decide the themes, and also about some of the specific prints that are in the current exhibit (which focuses on Kabuki actors). She said they are always happy to hear ideas for future exhibits, and as it happened, I had been thinking that an exhibit about the growth of the collection would be intriguing. She had mentioned that the curator who had advised Buckingham had kept a very detailed record, and that he had drawn little designs in the records, and I thought it would be fun to see those. I suggested that, and she said, "Oh, that would be a good idea!" So if you ever hear that the AIOC is doing such an exhibit, you'll know where the idea came from.

I should mention that admission is free the entire month of February, so if anyone is in Chicago, now is your chance! (The Hopper and Winslow exhibits are extra, though.) There's a guy who sells Streetwise regularly outside the AIOC, and his pitch today was, "Admission is free, so you should have a dollar to help the homeless." He's usually pretty good at coming up with riffs like that, so I hope he did okay.

I had not realized that they were also having a Member Appreciation Day, which pretty much consists of "you can get 20% off at the Museum Store instead of the usual 10%". However, I restrained myself, mostly because I wanted to get to the Cultural Center for another free cabaret performance.

I took another couple of pictures for [livejournal.com profile] croc_sandwich, and then came home.
mojosmom: (Music)
Yesterday, I went to the Cultural Center again, this time for a concert by the Baroque Band, one of Chicago's newest early music ensembles. The music was Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach, Corelli, Telemann and Pachelbel (yes, that one, you'd think he never wrote anything else!). Before the concert, I went to Millennium Park to check out the Museum of Modern Ice. What can I say? I was underwhelmed. Although some of the pieces had interesting patterns in them, the whole was rather dull and uninspiring, and the colors were garish. You can see some of the artist's work here. Then I wandered over to the skating rink, where some people were having fun!
Spinning

Tonight, I went to the Oriental Institute, where the Venere Lute Quartet and two members of the Newberry Consort were giving a concert of Renaissance music in the Khorsabad Court. Here's hoping the OI hosts more concerts there! It's a nice space, and if you get there early you can check out the mummies. ;-)) There was a wine-and-cheese reception afterwards, which I hadn't expected. I was talking to the director of the Consort (who is also a member of the Baroque Band), and he said that they are trying to a) find larger space, or b) give two concerts in Hyde Park. So that's very good to hear! He had to reschedule the seminar he gives the week before each concert because a recording in which he and his wife, soprano Ellen Hargis, participated has been nominated for a Grammy, and they are off to L.A.! So wish them luck.

It's been a very foggy day here. All flights were cancelled at Midway, and at O'Hare they were either cancelled or very late. The drive home tonight required care and attention! But the fog makes everything beautiful.

When I did get home, well, it was kitty heaven! And why? Because I got a parcel in the mail - a nice big box filled with packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Just perfect for cats! For me, an antique Japanese sewing box, which I plan to use for jewelry. I saw it on Chuu.com, one of my favorite, and most dangerous, websites, and it was quite reasonably priced, so I ordered it immediately!
Antique Japanese sewing box

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