mojosmom: (Default)
The Chicago Public Library hosted an author reading with Audrey Niffenegger on Thursday to promote her new book, The Night Bookmobile, a graphic novel about a woman who encounters a mysterious bookmobile containing everything she's ever read in life. Audrey had used photographs to create the images, but technical glitches prevented her from showing them. Instead, she read the short story on which the Guardian serial, which became the book, was based. This is actually the first installment of a larger work to be called The Library.

I stopped on the way home from work on Friday to pick up a pizza, and ran into a woman I know from the Friends of the Library. She was posting signs for a multi-family yard sale, so I went over there Saturday morning and picked up a couple of things. One person was selling two of the exact same Lenox silverplate/crystal cake slicers, obviously multiple wedding gifts, and both obviously unused. I expect one could fill several warehouses with things people thought they wanted, received and then never used.

I went over to the farmers' market then, and dashed around buying what I needed before the skies opened. It kept getting darker and darker, and just as I hopped in the car to head home, the rains came. While I was there, I stopped at the Blackstone Bicycle Works to drop off a donation. They had a fire and lost a lot of the bikes they were working on. A real shame, but they are working hard to come back from it.

In the afternoon, I went to Navy Pier for the Italian Expo. It was quite a bit smaller than the last time I attended, which was a couple of years ago, with far fewer merchants from Italy. A lot of good food, though, and distributors/retailers of Italian food. I picked up a lot of tourist literature, and watched a fashion show with several local designers, some good, some not so good (just as on Project Runway, a couple of designers were overly enamored with visible zippers and man panties). I very much liked the work of one designer who was influenced by Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, and another who did painted and dyed silk:
Beauty!

Yesterday was the annual 57th Street Children's Book Fair, and I went over for a couple of hours to help staff the Friends of the Library table. We were right near the stage where the Hyde Park School of Dance was performing. There was also a woman doing amazing things with hula hoops:
Hula hoops!
I couldn't manage one for more than a minute or so when I was a kid!

I had wanted to go to Millennium Park for the Chicago Symphony concert, but I was feeling headachey, and figured I would not enjoy it. So I bagged it. Naturally, the headache went away when it was too late to head down there. Too bad, but I still have my subscription!
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: (Birthday cake)
Birthday first (today):

I slept late! Of course, it helps that it was a Sunday, and I didn't sleep too late - the cats insisted on being fed. So I fed them and then myself. I'd bought some lovely fresh organic eggs at the farmers' market yesterday, and fried up a couple of them, over easy, had that and some raspberries - also from the farmers' market.

Read the Sunday paper in a leisurely fashion, talked to my sisters, both of whom called to wish me "Happy Birthday!", and then went over to the Smart Museum for a jazz concert. It was supposed to be held in their sculpture garden, but neither the audience nor performers would have been happy with two hours in 90º+ heat, so they moved it inside.

I stopped by Borders afterward and bought a pop-up book I'd had my eye on, and then came home and fixed a birthday dinner: boneless lamb steak, salad and sweet corn (again from the farmers' market). I have some green tea ice cream that I'm going to have later.

I have also been absolutely swilling iced tea all weekend. Best thing for the heat.

Yesterday, I went to the farmers' market (obviously!), but didn't stay long as I was meeting friends for lunch. We had tickets to a staged reading of Tanya Saracho's play-in-progress, El Nogalar, part of the Goodman Theatre's Latino Theatre Festival. It's based on Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, but is set in current day Mexico, and is excellent! It's going to have a full production as part of Goodman's next season, a co-production with Teatro Vista. TV had a cocktail party after the play for donors, potential donors, etc. in the Goodman's VIP lounge, which was nicely attended.
mojosmom: (Default)
at least momentarily. I received a new modem from Earthlink today. I still cannot connect directly, but have to use a round about way. I have the number for a "senior technician", but naturally they aren't available 24/7 and I called after they closed, so I'll try again tomorrow evening.

In the interim, I'll play catch-up here.

First up: the neighborhood in the news. NBC Nightly News visited our local farmers' market last Saturday. The story is here (you have to watch an ad first). I'm not in it (one of my sisters says that's because I didn't look "gritty and inner city enough"), despite the fact that a camera was pointing at me as I ate pork with mango salsa!
Pork chop with peach salsa

Later that day, I went to Kittenpalooza, an event during which cute little kittens are displayed in order to get suckersnice people to adopt. I did not succumb, but did ooh and ahh. I mean, how cute is this?
Yay!  I get to play!

Saturday evening, I went to see the Jules Dassin film, La Loi, with Gina Lollobrigida, Yves Montand, Marcello Mastroianni and Melina Mercouri. It's a rather over-the-top soap opera, but with that cast, who cares?

On Sunday I dropped a bunch of clothes and tchotchkes off at the Brown Elephant, and came back with a few things, as always. There's a new resale shop a couple of doors down, everything $3 except for t-shirts, which are $1. I found a pristine white linen Liz Claiborne blouse with French cuffs and a sage green sleeveless linen blouse. Helluva deal. Then I went over to my friend Kate's, whose garden was one of many on a neighborhood garden tour. But we mostly sat inside and drank iced tea or seltzer water, and ate cheese and cookies, and chatted.

Other than that, it's been a fairly quiet week. I had to pull an iron out of the fire for an idiot probation officer. She was shocked, shocked! when I pointed out to her that someone who was locked up in the jail couldn't just pick up the phone and call a treatment center whenever he felt like it. (I think she must be new.)

As usual, I celebrated Bastille Day by watching Casablanca and having a French meal. It was going to be escargots Bourguinonne, but it's been hellishly hot here* so I didn't feel much like bubbling butter and hot ovens, and had a salade Niçoise instead.


*I keep telling myself, "it's only in the 90s, not like the East coast with triple digits!"
mojosmom: (Default)
I've been having internet connection issues. My connection kept failing, and since Sunday afternoon I haven't been able to connect at all. I've been spending way too much time on the phone with my internet provider and this could crash again at any moment.

On top of which, a while back my work started blocking my access to LJ, among other sites that I used to be able to get to, so I couldn't do anything from work.

Which is why my posting and commenting have been intermittent!

Other than that, though, the holiday weekend was great! I went to our local farmers' market Saturday morning, and was there longer than expected. Chef Paul Kahan, who runs a couple of restaurants in town, made a completely awesome chicken dish that used espelette pepper, which I had never heard of. Nicely spicy, and he accompanied it with a kale salad (also fantastic) and grilled red scallions and fennel.
Chicken, grilled veggies & kale salad
And NBC Nightly News was filming at the market. I'm not sure when the segment will be on, however.

Saturday night, I went to see Coco Before Chanel. I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't entirely accurate. But then, much of what she said about her life wasn't, so why should this be?

I'm going to publish this before things crash again, and try to update more later.
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I started the day by going to an estate sale. Two books, a DVD, three CDs, a decorative plate, a crocheted pillowcase, a mug and some coasters later, and after having dropped that stuff at home, I headed off to my first farmers' market of the season. (It actually opened last week, but I was doing to many other things to get there.) I didn't actually buy a lot of produce, just some salad greens, a couple of tomatoes and some asparagus, since I'm going to be leaving town mid-week, but I did get some cupcakes from the Brown Sugar Bakery and a lovely veal chop from Mint Creek Farm. I know their lamb is good, so I decided to try their veal.

You know, between Saturday morning at the grocery store, and Saturday morning at the farmers' market, who needs to fix lunch? Chef Courtney Nzeribe was fixing lamb sliders with rhubarb-onion sauce:
Lamb sliders with rhubarb-onion sauce

and Stephanie Izard (the Top Chef winner) and her sous-chefs from Art Smith's Common Threads program were passing out high-class sloppy joes:
High-class sloppy joe

After the farmers' market, I went grocery shopping and there were the usual people handing out samples (pizza and chicken bratwurst today), and of course they always have samples of various fruits, and bread to dunk in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and cheeses, and salsas, etc.

The morning was rather overcast, but the sun seems to be trying to come out. I think I'm going to put my winter clothes away, and get my spring/summer things out!
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I wandered over to 61st St. Farmers' Market today, because I wanted to see the chef demo (seared flank steak with a Dijon/caper/white wine sauce). There was a vaguely familiar-looking young woman watching the demo, and I realized that it was Stephanie Izard, winner of the fourth season of Top Chef. Later, a former United States Senator showed up (she lives in the neighborhood).

Then I drove by 57th Street Books to pick up Audrey Niffenegger's new book, since I wasn't able to get to either of the two readings she did this week. While I was there, I picked up Granta's Chicago issue, and found a book about J.M.W. Turner by Peter Ackroyd on the sale rack.

Now I am taking a break from putting my summer clothes away and taking my fall/winter things out. I am also doing a ruthless closet clean-out and am planning to take a bunch of stuff up to the Brown Elephant tomorrow.

I've done a lot of theatre this week. Last Sunday was the first play in the Court Theatre's season, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Excellently done, with a riveting performance by James T. Alfred as Levee. A.C. Smith, one of my favorite local actors, was also in it. I spent a good deal of time coveting the shoes worn by Dussie Mae, high-heeled purple suede with black patent leather trim. (Similar to these or these.)

Wednesday and Thursday were plays at the Goodman Theatre. One of the people I go with works for the FAA, and travels a lot, so we had to exchange our regular tickets and the only thing that worked for everyone was to go two nights in a row. First up was Animal Crackers, based on the stage/screen Marx Brothers hit. Very funny, if just a teeny bit too long. Thursday we saw Stoop Stories, a one woman show written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith. She revisits the Harlem of her youth, and becomes several characters, from a concentration camp survivor telling of his meeting with Billie Holiday to a poet/junkie, from a Puerto Rican punk to an old man down in the Village to hear Nina Simone. It was a very impressive performance; Orlandersmith is a marvelous storyteller.
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I had the day off yesterday, and a lovely day it was, too. I did some chores around the house in the morning (my stove is sparkling!), and shortly after noon decided that it was much too nice a day to stay inside. I had a couple of small errands to run, so went to the bank, and then over to the shopping center, thinking I'd get lunch at the small café there. As I headed to the courtyard, I heard music. There was a jazz trio playing!
Jazz band

I got my sandwich, and sat outside in the sun listening to music. A very nice surprise, indeed, and I told the guys that afterwards. Apparently, the shopping center will be doing this regularly. It's just too bad I don't always have Fridays off!

On the way home, I noticed a sign in the window of the barber shop (excuse me, "barber studio") near my house, advertising Summer Jam Sessions! The next one is July 15th; I shall have to check it out. This seems a rather cool place; there are always guys in there playing chess.

-------------------

The Fourth

As usual, I went down to watch the neighborhood parade go by. It's always the same: bagpipers at the front, the usual politicians in costume and neighborhood groups, kids on bikes,
Kids on bikes
dogs and horses, etc. Also as usual, it was fun.

I then went over to the 61st Street Farmers' Market, where there was grilling going on. I had lamb sausage with onions and bell peppers, and then I had hand-churned ice cream with fresh berries:
Hand-churned ice cream

There was good stuff available. I came home with some nice flowers, a cucumber, baby lettuce mix, and black raspberries. Not blackberries. Black raspberries. I've never seen those before. The guy let me taste them first; they are a bit tarter than red raspberries. They also stain. I just ate a bunch with my fingers and noticed that the tips turned dark purple! My tongue, too. So be careful. Probably not a good idea to wear white while eating them.

After I got home and got everything stashed away, and the flowers in a vase on the hall table, I headed out the door to go to a local park for more festivities. But it was raining a bit, so I stayed inside, putting my head out the back door every so often to see if there was any improvement. Shortly, there was, and I threw a folding umbrella in my bag and went off to listen to music and have some more fun. There was a Madeline Ring Toss:
Tossing a ring
and you could make a mummy or spill milk, or learn origami, or spit watermelon seeds, or see a magic show.

Everyone, young
Kid dancing
and old
Eugenie and Gendu
was dancing to the music and having a good time.

Umbrellas were in use occasionally, but it was pretty much just drizzle off and on, until towards the end of the blues set, at which point I headed home for dinner.
mojosmom: (Default)
The weather has been absolutely beautiful this weekend, particularly yesterday. I went to the 61st Street Farmers' Market mid-morning, rather than earlier, because Mary Mastricola, the chef-owner of La Petite Folie, one of the nicest restaurants in the area, was doing a demo. She talked about food sanitation, knife work, and how to make a nice dinner without turning on the oven (very useful in a Chicago summer). She made a couple of salads, a tomato and hard-boiled-egg sandwich, and wild mushroom and asparagus over polenta (the polenta was already made). We got to sample:
Cooking demo
And this was after I'd had a crêpe with strawberry-raspberry preserves.

There was also a drummer entertaining the crowd, with a little help from some friends:
Baba Eli & friends

I almost bought a bike, too. The guy from Blackstone Bicycle Works said they had a Huffy one-speed for sale, but it was too big for me; even with the seat adjusted all the way down, my toes barely could touch the pavement.

In the afternoon, I went to the South Shore Cultural Center to hear some opera. This was originally the South Shore Country Club, which we used to pass by when I lived in the neighborhood, but couldn't go in, as it was highly restricted. Despite the fact that club membership dwindled in the '60s as the neighborhood changed, they still refused to open the club to blacks and Jews, and the property was sold to the Chicago Park District. The buildings were threatened with demolition, but most have been saved and renovated. It's beautifully set, right on the lakefront. The Washburne Culinary Institute now calls it home, and they have a restaurant, The Parrot Cage, there. It's also a very popular place for weddings and similar events; in fact, the Obamas were married there.
Main entrance

The concert yesterday was held in the Paul Robeson Theatre, formerly the ballroom:
Packed house
and was put on by a new organization, the South Shore Opera Company. This was their second free concert here (unfortunately, I missed the first), and the place was packed. They actually had to delay the start as so many people were coming, there was a traffic jam! (I, wisely, took the bus.) The singers are all professionals (a couple are alums of Lyric Opera's Ryan Center), and it was altogether a good time. During the intermission, I took lots of pictures.

Instead of going home after the concert, I went to the Hyde Park Art Center, where there was a block party going on. There were games, art, hot dogs, face painting, karaoke, and even Spiderman showed up:
Spiderman!

Today, I read a lot, and then went down to the Siskel Film Center to see Terence Davies' Of Time and the City, a documentary about growing up in post-WWII Liverpool. Good film.
mojosmom: (Default)
and ignored the weather report and the skies. I had thought about going downtown to the Turkish Festival today, but, when I finished my early morning farmers' market/yard sale/dry cleaning errands, it was gray and cloudy and sprinkly, and the forecast was for rain. So I didn't. Naturally, it didn't rain and the sun came out, but too late for me to change my mind. Ah, well. Instead, I planted some herbs that I bought at the local farmers' market this morning, and then sat outside and read. Always a pleasure! Did laundry, too.

I also hung up my latest present to myself:
Uchikake
I'm in the habit of browsing Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya, but never really thought about ordering anything from them, considering shipping costs and a bit of hesitation about ordering from abroad. Then I fell in love with this wedding kimono. I did a bit of sleuthing (mainly checking their feedback on eBay, but also found some other, favorable mentions), so decided to risk it. I ordered it Thursday of last week and it arrived on Tuesday! I now have a lovely garment hanging on the wall and the cats have a new box to sit in.

While I was at the farmers' market, I bought the first strawberries of the season, just picked this morning, and are they ever good! The guy threw in some asparagus as a "bonus", which I will have for dinner tonight. I also got a green tomato, for frying. (Speaking of fried green tomatoes, my favorite restaurant for them, Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop (also a fave of Barack Obama's) is closing their Hyde Park location, due to machinations of the University of Chicago. The owner has another restaurant in the area and will add some of the favorite dishes of Dixie Kitchen to that menu, but it won't be the same. She's looking for another space, but isn't having a lot of luck.)

There's a community garden near the farmers' market, and I had the urge to wander about and take a bunch of pictures. In the course of so doing, I discovered a new use for old books:
Dirty books
(This garden likely won't be here next year, also due to machinations of the U of C.)

It is yard sale season, and I went to a couple this morning. Got some books, and a spiffy knee-length sleeveless black linen dress with white stitching at the hem and waist and a black ribbon tie that had never been worn. The tags were still on it!

Despite the above grumpiness about the University, there is a free concert at Mandel Hall this evening, Behold, the Sea!. The University Chorus and Motet Choir, along with the University Symphony Orchestra, are doing Ralph Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 1, A Sea Symphony, and Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes from his opera, Peter Grimes.
mojosmom: (catkind)
I did the most bizarre trial this week. A double jury. Two guys were charged with burglary to a motor vehicle, but could not be tried together as they had conflicting defenses. (You know, "I didn't do it, he did".) But there was a civilian witness from out of state, so the prosecution asked for a double jury. This means that a separate jury sits as to each defendant. They are both in the courtroom when there is testimony that relates to both defendants, but when there is testimony relating to only one defendant, or during cross-examination by one defendant's counsel, the other defendant's jury leaves. There are also, obviously, separate opening statements and closing arguments. This leads to much to-ing and fro-ing (or, as one juror was overheard to say, a "Chinese fire drill").

These sorts of trials are quite common in Cook County (they've even had triple and quadruple juries - I don't know where they put them!), but not where I am. So there was much improvisation. I tried to find an admonishment/instruction to jurors in this situation, but there's none in Illinois. I finally found some language in a federal case out of the 10th Circuit and put one together, which the judge did give the jurors.

I don't, however, think that my judge will be inclined to do this again, as he said to another judge: "A bit of judicial advice; don't do a double jury!"

I lost, as expected, as did the other defendant. But my jury was out for five hours, as opposed to one-and-a-half for the other guy's. One of our misdemeanor assistants second-chaired the case with me. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have had a second chair on a case like this, but since opportunities to do a double jury are rare, I thought I'd give someone else a chance to sit in. I hadn't tried a case with her before, and I'm very favorably impressed. Her skills need work, as she's a relatively new lawyer, but she is eager to learn and a hard worker.

Unfortunately, because my jury didn't come back until 9:00 Thursday night, I missed the rescheduled going away party for my coworker (the one I mentioned had been cancelled due to a hostage situation a couple of weeks ago). I've called her, though, and we're going to have lunch next week.

Last night, I went to an ora felice (happy hour) at Casa Italiana. It was geared towards people networking for their businesses, not something I need to do, but I don't pass up the opportunity for wine, noshes, and practicing my Italian! One of the people who came was a woman who had been in class with me a couple of years ago. She had stopped taking classes because she was hired on by a big architectural firm to work on a major renovation project of a historic downtown hotel. Now that that's over, she has gone out on her own. Her husband, also an architect, will join her in this endeavor, but not for maybe a year. She was saying that she wants to do work mostly in hospitality (restaurants, hotels and the like), but when I said that was too bad because the only project I had was my tiny second bathroom, she and her husband were both interested, especially when I said that I want to bring it back to period, because he works a lot with older homes (my building is 1910). I expect, too, that when you are just starting out, no project that brings in money is too small! So I will be calling her, and may finally get this project off the ground.

On the way home, I stopped at a new produce store a couple of blocks from me (very new - they opened on Wednesday). It's called Open Produce, and is focused on sustainability, a laudable goal. Their stock is not huge, but it's varied, and they have a sheet of paper on the door for customers to write down suggestions for what they'd like to see. The prices are pretty reasonable, the staff is friendly (if still a bit green - oooh! pun!), and they are open until 11:00 p.m. almost every day.

This morning, I took my car in for an oil change, and as it was a gorgeous day, rather than wait in the dealer's boring waiting room, I decided to go up to the Green City Market. Never got there. Two blocks up, I discovered another farmers' market, so shopped there instead. I got some lovely tomatoes, golden raspberries, fingerling potatoes, and, in a sure sign of fall, butternut squash and chestnuts. Also some flowers - dahlias and tuberoses.
mojosmom: (Default)
First the grumbles.

I went to the library today to pick up to books that they had on hold for me, and couldn't get them because the book I left at my sister's is overdue. You may remember that I couldn't renew it because there was a hold on it. The librarian did his darndest to override the hold, but couldn't. But he did say he'll hold my books until I get the book back or the other person's hold is fulfilled with another copy.

Then this afternoon I got an email from American Express informing me that Delta had changed my Charleston itinerary yet again! I think this must be the fourth or fifth time. And yet again, they changed it so that on my return flight, I had about 20 minutes to change planes in Atlanta on my way home. So I called Amex, and they called Delta and got me back on the flight they had changed me from! Why they changed me out of it in the first place, I don't know, but at least I should be able to make my connection. I do hope this is the last change!

Now the smiles.

While I was at the library, I did find a book on their sale rack. They let you buy those even if you do have a book overdue. ;-))

Then I headed to the local farmers' market. As I went down the street that takes me there, I noticed someone having a yard sale. And then another. And another. It seems the whole block was having them! If it had been just one, I probably wouldn't have stopped, but as it was, how could I resist? Three books and a small throw rug later, I resumed my trip to the market. I bought some plum tomatoes, zucchini and some lovely-looking pears (they'll need to sit a day or two before I can eat them, though), and sampled a variety of peaches and jams and bakery stuff. There's a little café just around the corner, Backstory Café, which a neighbor of mine had recommended, so I stopped in for a cup of tea and a chocolate croissant. It's got a really nice ambience. It's small, but the design is very warm and welcoming. AND they have books! Powell's, a local used bookstore, keeps a shelf stocked. You can read them in the café (but please be careful not to spill coffee on them!) or buy them. Yes, I did, why do you ask?

I'm now keeping an eye on the sky, which is very overcast, but there's no rain in the forecast. So I expect I will grab my chair, and head to Millennium Park to listen to opera this evening.
mojosmom: (Music)
Yesterday afternoon, I went to hear Chicago Opera Theatre's performance of John Adams' A Flowering Tree, which is based on an Indian folk tale involving a poor girl who has the ability to transform into a flowering tree. The Storyteller, who narrates, is actually the largest role, and much of the "opera" is really dance with a sung narration. After having seen Nixon in China (also at COT) and Dr. Atomic at Lyric, I've become quite a fan of Adams' work, and I would definitely recommend this one.

The Harris Theatre, where COT performs, is at Millennium Park, so, as the weather was really gorgeous, I went to the Park Grille for an early dinner - any excuse to eat outside! Then I walked over to the Pritzker Pavilion and listened to various ensembles from the Northwestern School of Music for about 45 minutes. (It occurred to me that I did the very same thing last year!)

The reason I didn't stay for the whole concert is that I wanted to get home, feed the cats and then go to a jazz club. The Checkerboard Lounge does jazz on Sunday nights, sponsored by the Hyde Park Jazz Society, and I like going there as it's only a few blocks away. I don't go as often as I'd like, though, primarily because I work on Mondays! Not today, however, so I enjoyed Margaret Murphy (Note: you'll get music when you click the link) singing standards. A lot of jazz musicians come to listen to their colleagues, so she brought a couple up on stage to join her and the ensemble. She's very good!

Music on another day:

On Wednesday, I went to a free concert at the Cultural Center, a jazz artist named Manata Roberts. She and the ensemble played parts of her work in progress, Coin coin, based on the life of her ancestress, Marie Therese "Coin Coin." Powerful stuff.

In Non-musical events:

Saturday was pretty quiet. I went to a new farmers' market that began last week on 61st Street. As I can never get to the one a couple of blocks away (it's on Thursdays, and of course that means I'm at work), and parking at Green City is getting prohibitive, it was nice that there's a neighborhood one on Saturday. It's not huge, but I was able to get lettuces and scallions and asparagus, with plenty of other things available that I didn't need. The lamb purveyor I like was there, and I bought some kebobs which are presently marinating in olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and bay leaves, and the cheese guy had this awesome tart of St. André triple-crème layered with apricots, almonds and honey.

After that, I wandered by a rummage sale given by Meadville-Lombard Theological Seminary. It had been advertised in the local paper as a benefit for "Doctors without Boarders"!! They had books:
Pile of books
but I didn't see any I wanted. I did see a great pair of boots, but the back zipper on one was busted and it would cost more than I want to pay to get them fixed, so I let them lay.

The rest of Saturday was just doing stuff around the house.

On Thursday, I went to an author event at our local library. Former journalist, and current author and bookstore owner, Kenan Heise, wrote a book called Chicago Afternoons with Leon: 99 1/2 years old and looking forward, conversations with former alderman Leon Despres, lawyer, thorn in the side of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, social activist and gadfly. Here's why I like Leon: he was asked about the plan to bring the Olympics to Chicago in 2016, specifically, the plan to build a stadium in a local park. Said Leon, who is now 100: "If they build a stadium in Washington Park, I'm boycotting the Olympics!"
Leon Despres (l.) and Kenan Heise (r.)
Naturally, I bought the book.

Oh, and more Croc_Sandwich photos.

June 2017

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