mojosmom: (Gautreau)
Is everyone ready for the holidays?

I had pretty much all my shopping done, other than random, impulsive stocking-stuffer type purchases, or at least I thought I had! I have friends with whom I exchange gifts, and waaaaaay back in November I was at World Market and saw some nice mugs with initials. I decided to buy these but a couple of the initials I needed were on a high shelf, so one of the sales people got them down for me. "Give me two Ds and a C", I said. And I put them in the cart, paid for my purchases, which were nicely wrapped in tissue paper, went home, and shoved the bag in a closet. Fast forward to Thursday, when I decided to wrap presents. And discovered that I had two Cs and a D. I went back to World Market, and, of course, they no longer had anymore Ds. However, they say they'll get more in and will call me, and one of the people who has that initial won't be with us the day we do the exchange, so I have time. But I do wish I'd checked sooner!

Both my sisters arrive tonight, and we are making plans. We'll go to friends on Tuesday for the traditional gourmet mac-and-cheese, vespers at First Unitarian on Christmas Eve followed by our traditional latke dinner, and dinner with other friends on the 26th.

There have been a slew of parties this year - last Saturday I had two in one day, an afternoon open house and an evening dinner.

I've been to a couple of really good music performances lately. I mentioned in my last that I was going to hear Judas Maccabeus, and it was a rousing good performance! I've also been to Bel Canto, the opera commissioned by Lyric Opera based on Ann Patchett's novel. Really excellent, particularly when you consider that neither the composer, Jimmy Lopez, nor the librettist, Pulitzer Prize playwright Nilo Cruz, had ever written an opera before! Thankfully, they eliminated Patchett's ridiculous epilogue, which was a real clunker. The singers were splendid, particularly countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as César and mezzo J'nai Bridges as Carmen. Loved the set and lighting as well.

Then I went to a recital with Patricia Barber and Renée Fleming, Fleming singing mostly Barber's music, arranged as art songs, with sometimes Barber and sometimes Craig Terry and sometimes both accompanying on the piano. Barber's quartet also played, and we did get to hear her sing, though not enough for my taste! They sang together as well, notably a bunch of Christmas songs. The only real failure was Fleming's singing of You Gotta Go Home. But it was a grand and successful experiment in joining jazz music and classical singing.

As part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the S.C. Johnson Company sponsored trips up to Racine for tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Administration Building and the Research Tower (recently opened for tours). They provided buses from the Chicago Cultural Center up to Racine and back. On most weekends, you also get to see Wingspread, designed by Wright for Hibbert Johnson and his family, and now a conference center. It's all free! So I did that last weekend, and it was a great treat. Kudos to the Johnsons for hiring Wright in the first place, and for appreciating what they have and sharing it.
mojosmom: (Default)
How did it get to be September already? Gosh, the summer has simply flown. The Chicago Jazz Fest starts tonight (well, actually, last night with the Jazz Club Tour), and I'm planning to hit tomorrow night's concert, as well as the day and evening events on Saturday and Sunday. Rain is predicted, so I will take my umbrella - to ward off sun and rain as required.

This being Chicago, there's been a lot of jazz this summer, and last Thursday I went to hear trumpeter Corey Wilkes (and friends) at Millennium Park. Went back there on Saturday for the grand finale performance of Chicago Dancing, which I hadn't planned to do until my younger sister said that a friend of hers was having a dance performed there by River North Dance. Also performing were the Joffrey, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Ballet West.

Earlier that day, a friend and I went to Graceland Cemetery for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "Women of Influence" tour. It was very interesting, and even though I knew about most of the women the docent talked about, I learned new things about them, and met some new ones. Walking tours are free to members; now that I have all this free time, I just might have to join. I'd definitely get my money's worth.

Friday evening there was a reception at the Chicago Public Library for the "One Book, Many Interpretations: Second Edition" exhibit, wherein bookbinders were invited to bind copies of the books that have been chosen for the "One Book, One Chicago" program over the last five years. They haven't put the catalogue online yet, though I understand that they are planning to do so. When and if that happens, I'll have to link to it, because there were some stunning pieces. In fact, they were giving out copies of all the books (labeled "This book has been placed here for you to Read, Enjoy and Pass It On . . .") and I picked up Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" solely on the strength of the bindings people had done for it, which were quite intriguing. I hadn't liked the one other novel of his I'd read ("American Gods"), so likely would not have considered reading this one otherwise. I also picked up the newest selection, "The Adventures of Augie March", by Saul Bellow.

On Tuesday, I went to the Art Institute to see the show, "Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945".
The Motherland Calls!

Fascinating story of how this exhibit came about. Back in 1997, when renovations were going on in the Prints and Drawings Department, a couple of dozen wrapped parcels were found on the back of a shelf in a closet. They contained propaganda posters that had been created during the war by the Soviet news agency, TASS. The exhibition includes these restored posters, as well as some from earlier in Soviet history, some U.S. and British posters using some of the same images, and other Allied propaganda posters. After victory, came false hopes:
"Peace - we won it together"

Went from there to my bank, where I refinanced my mortgage (something I should have done a long time ago, but better late than never).

And in a move that got me much thanks from my fellow Teatro Vista board members, yesterday I made chocolate chip scones and took them to our board meeting. I do so like baking, but you can't bake just a couple of cookies or one cupcake!
mojosmom: (Default)
How did it get to be September already? Gosh, the summer has simply flown. The Chicago Jazz Fest starts tonight (well, actually, last night with the Jazz Club Tour), and I'm planning to hit tomorrow night's concert, as well as the day and evening events on Saturday and Sunday. Rain is predicted, so I will take my umbrella - to ward off sun and rain as required.

This being Chicago, there's been a lot of jazz this summer, and last Thursday I went to hear trumpeter Corey Wilkes (and friends) at Millennium Park. Went back there on Saturday for the grand finale performance of Chicago Dancing, which I hadn't planned to do until my younger sister said that a friend of hers was having a dance performed there by River North Dance. Also performing were the Joffrey, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Ballet West.

Earlier that day, a friend and I went to Graceland Cemetery for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "Women of Influence" tour. It was very interesting, and even though I knew about most of the women the docent talked about, I learned new things about them, and met some new ones. Walking tours are free to members; now that I have all this free time, I just might have to join. I'd definitely get my money's worth.

Friday evening there was a reception at the Chicago Public Library for the "One Book, Many Interpretations: Second Edition" exhibit, wherein bookbinders were invited to bind copies of the books that have been chosen for the "One Book, One Chicago" program over the last five years. They haven't put the catalogue online yet, though I understand that they are planning to do so. When and if that happens, I'll have to link to it, because there were some stunning pieces. In fact, they were giving out copies of all the books (labeled "This book has been placed here for you to Read, Enjoy and Pass It On . . .") and I picked up Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" solely on the strength of the bindings people had done for it, which were quite intriguing. I hadn't liked the one other novel of his I'd read ("American Gods"), so likely would not have considered reading this one otherwise. I also picked up the newest selection, "The Adventures of Augie March", by Saul Bellow.

On Tuesday, I went to the Art Institute to see the show, "Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945".
The Motherland Calls!

Fascinating story of how this exhibit came about. Back in 1997, when renovations were going on in the Prints and Drawings Department, a couple of dozen wrapped parcels were found on the back of a shelf in a closet. They contained propaganda posters that had been created during the war by the Soviet news agency, TASS. The exhibition includes these restored posters, as well as some from earlier in Soviet history, some U.S. and British posters using some of the same images, and other Allied propaganda posters. After victory, came false hopes:
"Peace - we won it together"

Went from there to my bank, where I refinanced my mortgage (something I should have done a long time ago, but better late than never).

And in a move that got me much thanks from my fellow Teatro Vista board members, yesterday I made chocolate chip scones and took them to our board meeting. I do so like baking, but you can't bake just a couple of cookies or one cupcake!
mojosmom: (cat)
Today is the first day of my retirement.

I highly recommend retiring (or otherwise leaving your job) for finding out what people think of you. I was taken out to lunch twice in two days, and colleagues kept stopping by my office yesterday telling me they were going to miss me and thanking me for my help and my work. After my last case in court, the judge led a round of applause for me. To my utter astonishment, the former State's Attorney (now an Appellate Court justice) showed up at my going-away party Wednesday night, when there was no political percentage in his doing so. The party was delightful in all respects. We went to a local casual restaurant which has a patio, and, as the weather was glorious, that is where we hung out. Scads of people showed up, from my office as well as the prosecutor's office, and also a number of people with whom I used to work (one of whom brought me a bottle of champagne).

Last night, a friend invited me to a wine-tasting at her church (it was a fund-raiser for one of their summer youth programs). They had quite the variety! About 15 different winemakers, from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, were represented, with several varietals each. (I did not sample all of them!) Ordinarily, I'd have taken the bus home, but as there were a few of us from the neighborhood, we decided to share a cab. And thank goodness. About ten minutes after I got home, we were hit by a major thunderstorm. It was coming down in sheets, and in some areas they got hail so thick it looked like snow on the ground. Sadly, one of those areas was the neighborhood where the Garfield Park Conservatory is; the buildings were badly damaged, and they have had to close indefinitely.

This morning, I woke up about 6:30 and promptly turned over and went back to sleep. ;-))

It was supposed to be horribly hot today. Instead, it was extremely overcast, and threatening rain again. I debated going to an outdoor jazz concert at the local shopping center. In the event, I did go, and we got in well over an hour's worth of music (two hours were scheduled) before it started to rain a bit. Since you don't want to be playing electrified instruments in the rain, however slight, the concert ended, and I went and had a light lunch.

The rain stopped shortly thereafter, but it was still overcast, and when I got home I encountered my downstairs neighbor who was mulling over whether she should go to Taste of Chicago. I hope she did go, because it's cleared up quite nicely now, and the sun is out. The cat and I hung out on the porch while dinner was in the oven. Dinner, by the way, was excellent. I did a pork tenderloin with cardamon, mint and dried apricots, and had a green salad with it. Yum.

Here's an utter travesty. I will be taking a course on British women mystery writers, and we were supposed to read Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night, one of my favorite books ever. Today, I got an email from the instructor with a syllabus change. Seems that Gaudy Night is out of print! (And so are the two Ngaio Marsh books we were going to read.) I'm appalled.
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
But I'm not hysterical.

When I came home from work, I changed into something cooler and more comfortable than my work clothes, and walked over to Nichols Park for a jazz concert by Darrell "Sax Preacher" Wilson:

Future jazz fan

Great concert!  He does, indeed, preach, but he's not heavy-handed about it, more along an ecumenical, respect nature, and appreciate the Creator (whatever that word may mean to you) way. 

It ended at about 8:00, so I needed dinner.  I was going to give Chant, a local Thai restaurant, a second chance.  The first time I went there I wasn't impressed, but it was more the service than the food than was unimpressive, and I figured that might be because it had recently opened.  In any event, I walked in and walked right out again. The noise level was ridiculous.  Instead, I went to the Calypso Café and had Cuban black bean soup and fried green tomatoes, washed down with a glass of pinot grigio.  Where I made my  mistake, and what caused the 'I"m wet!" subject line, was having the second glass of wine.  I'd notice a couple of lightning flashes earlier, and, as I started to sip that second glass, I realized that it was absolutely pouring out! By the time I'd finished the wine and paid the check, it had eased up a little, but was still raining.  But I was only a couple of blocks from home, and I'm not made of sugar!  Besides, it was a welcome respite from the heat.  So I walked home in the rain and here I am, unmelted, to tell you about it.
mojosmom: (photos)
Corey Wilkes

I had a hard time choosing, but I picked this one because I really liked the way the image of Corey and the image of the painting echoed each other - the colors, the shapes, the movement, etc.

mojosmom: (Music)
Thursday evening was the first in what will (I hope) become a regular series at the Chicago Cultural Center: Chicago under the Dome. Preston Bradley Hall is often used for concerts, but these events have some cabaret seating in addition to the regular rows of chairs, and beer and wine! This concert was Jim Gailloreto's Jazz String Quintet, with Patricia Barber sitting in on a few numbers. She was the big draw, of course, and the room was full.

Also full, on Friday night, was Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, for the Stars of Lyric Opera concert, which has become a yearly event and is always packed. I got there around two hours before the concert began, and got a decent enough spot on the lawn. There is a seating area, which opened right about the time I got there, and people were already lined up all around the lawn to get seats. The first half featured singers from the Ryan Opera Center, the artist development program run by Lyric. The big guns (Deborah Voight, Vladimir Galouzine and James Morris) were in the second half. Morris had my favorite piece of the night: a very shiver-making "Credo" from Verdi's Otello.

There was at least one diehard Wagnerite in the crowd:
Wagnerite

Today I had a couple of meetings. An Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers board meeting in the morning, followed by a member tea of a new chapter of the AAUW (American Association of University Women) that I have been sucked into. That was at a very hotsy-totsy place, the Women's Athletic Association, which is situated in a landmark building on Michigan Avenue that may have the last elevators in Chicago that actually have elevator operators!
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)
On Sunday, I went to the memorial service for Leon Despres (I wrote about his passing here. It was held at KAM Isaiah Israel, which I had forgotten was designed by Despres' father-in-law, the well-known Chicago architect, Alfred S. Alschuler. Among the eulogists were Abner Mikva, who represented Hyde Park in the state legislature and Congress, and was later a Justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C (and who, but for bad timing and Republican presidents, would likely have been named to the U.S. Supreme Court); Don Rose, political consultant extraordinaire; and Despres' law partner, Tom Geoghegan, a labor lawyer and author. They talked about Despres' work as a labor lawyer, thorn in the side of the establishment, civil libertarian and civil rights activist, a man who made Hyde Park the kind of neighborhood that attracted the likes of Barack Obama. Someone said he made it possible for us to have "the first president of the United States whose home abuts a reform synagogue"! (Slight error - it's actually across the street.)

The most moving eulogy, however, came from a woman who was a close family friend, and who eloquently described the seventy-five year love affair between Leon and his wife, Marian. They met as teen-agers, married in their early '20s, and were together until her death at age 97. It's true that one could hardly think of one without the other.

I'd parked a few blocks away from the synagogue, figuring (rightly) that the place would be crowded, and so stopped on the way back to take a few photographs of another neighborhood architectural gem, Frank Lloyd Wright's Heller House:
Heller House

In the evening, I went to the Checkerboard to hear Dee Alexander, who was having a CD release party. The joint was jumpin'! I couldn't park in the lot, which is unusual. Probably partly due to the crowd at the Checkerboard, but also because Dixie Kitchen is closing so a lot of folks are going for one last johnnycake. I stayed later than I intended, but that was okay, because she was great, so was the band, and I had a lot of fun. They announced the date for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. It will be September 26. I'm looking forward to that, as always.

Last Italian class of the session was yesterday. She's just doing a six-week review over the summer, and I've decided to take a break so that I can enjoy the summer (if we ever get any warm weather!)

Got the results of my medical tests. Mammogram was normal, and while my bad cholesterol is a bit high, the doctor says it's just a matter of watching my diet, and besides, I've got plenty of the good cholesterol. So that's all good.
mojosmom: (Default)
Pillar of Dirt, by Jennifer Mannebach

I love this piece. (The images on the glass are actually the same tones; the lighting makes them appear different.) It's from an exhibit currently at Flatfile Galleries of work by Jennifer Mannebach, and is made of fabric, glass, masking tape, and powdered graphite. These pieces are based on photographs the artist took in Rome. This piece, in particular, struck me, as it translated the heaviness of the original stones into something almost ethereal. And, looking at ruins that now seem to be floating away, we are reminded of the ephemeral nature of the material world.

I wish I had the bank account to support my artistic tastes!

I was at Flatfile for an "interdisciplinary visual sound installation", with jazz musician Kahil El'Zabar and his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, and artist Lucy Slivinksi. Her work was very interesting, too, lighted sculptures of recycled materials creating rather a forest effect in the gallery. And I'm always happy to hear Kahil El'Zabar!

More photos here.

Before heading to Flatfile, I went to the opening reception at Woman Made Gallery, one of the places I support and for which I do occasional volunteer work. As usual with their group shows, there was some good stuff, some average stuff, and some rather heavy-handed, didactic political stuff.
mojosmom: (Default)
The President on science:


Thursday evening I went to a program sponsored by the Friends of the Blackstone Branch Library (my local branch). We went to Special Collections at the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library to see three exhibits they have up: "Our Lincoln: Bicentennial Icons from the Barton Collection of Lincolniana", "Integrating the Life of the Mind: African-Americans at the University of Chicago, 1870-1940", and "East European Jews in the German-Jewish Imagination from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica". I think Special Collections librarians must be among my favorite people. They have such interesting stuff under their control, and they just love to share it!

Last night, there was a fantastic jazz concert at Symphony Center. The first half was Maggie Brown and some of Chicago's top jazz musicians doing a program Songs of My Father: A Tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr.. He, of course, was one of Chicago's most famous jazz musicians, composers, educators. His children follow in his footsteps, though, sadly, Oscar Brown III was killed in an auto accident some years ago.

After the intermission, We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (for which Oscar Brown, Jr., wrote the lyrics). Originally recorded in 1960, with Abbey Lincoln on vocals and a host of other greats, it was banned in South Africa (such an honor!). DeeDee Bridgewater sang for us, and two of the original recording artists, Julian Priester on trombone and Raymond Mantilla on percussion, were part of the group. Max's daughter, Maxine, was in the audience, and participated in a pre-concert discussion of the piece.

When I was driving home from work, I noticed that the police were at the every ramp to Lake Shore Drive, getting ready to shut it down for the President's motorcade. I didn't want to get stuck on the bus, so I grabbed the train.

Weekend

Feb. 10th, 2009 09:02 pm
mojosmom: (Default)
My best-laid plans of sleeping late this weekend went agley on Friday. I was having lunch with one of the guys at the offce. He'd been sick lately (pneumonia), and, being a guy, came back to work too soon, relapsed, and still was feeling a bit punk. When I said, "I hope you're going to have a real rest this weekend", he responded, "No, I have Bond Court." So, rolling my eyes and muttering about people who should take better care of themselves, I swapped Bond Court weekends with him. That meant I got up at my usual time instead of snuggling with the cats.

Saturday )

Sunday )

My day

Aug. 10th, 2008 10:41 pm
mojosmom: (Flower)
It was my weekend for bond court (this comes around few months), so I was up early. Well, normal for a weekday, but way early for a Sunday! We were through before 9:00, though, and I stopped at a nearby farmers market on the way home. I bought some lovely slender asparagus which I had for dinner, with steak and new potatoes, very fresh raspberries and a bunch of cream-colored spray roses.

Coming back on the expressway, I decided to get off and go to the Garfield Park Conservatory. It's one of my favorite places to while away a bit of time, and I like to go there every couple of months to see what's changing with the seasons. The Monet garden was in full bloom:
Monet garden

and was being enjoyed by all varieties of life:
Gathering nectar while we may

Tonight I went over to the Checkerboard Lounge for a couple of sets of Maggie Brown and her group. Always a pleasure.
mojosmom: (Default)
In case you've missed me (and even if you didn't), I've been in Milwaukee for a few days, at a conference of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. (I tried to read everyone's posts from while I was gone, but if anything major's happened, let me know! I might have missed stuff. You guys are the writing-est bunch!)

The conference was excellent, despite the fact that, as usual, a couple of the speakers abused and over-used PowerPoint. Although I was familiar with a lot of what was discussed, I got a lot of new ideas and learned some fascinating stuff about sniffer dogs. A former boss of mine was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Friday's luncheon - and well-deserved, too. The meeting was at the historic Pfister Hotel; however, I did not stay there as by the time I called for a reservation (more than two months beforehand!), there were no conference-rate rooms left, and I did not think my office would want to pay $450 a night! So I was at the Hotel Metro just down the street, which was very lovely, with helpful and accommodating staff, and the most delightful roof garden:
Rooftop garden - Hotel Metro

There were, of course, some social events, though I noted on my evaluation that these should be held at conversation-friendly, smoke-free venues. There was a reception at a local trendy bar, and some jerk was smoking a cigar that permeated the entire place. Fortunately, it was a lovely night, and we took our drinks outside. But we shoudn't have to.

The big President's Reception was held at the Milwaukee Art Museum, in the pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava:
Windhover Hall

Totally fantastic building! And the setting, right on the lakefront, is gorgeous. We were able to go through some of the exhibit space, but I went back the next day to see more. And, specifically, to see the closing and opening of the brise soleil. They open it in the morning, close it in the evening, but at noon they close and open it (weather permitting) to the sound of music. So I took a whole series of images which you can see here, if you like.

There was a lot going on in downtown Milwaukee, including a jazz concert in Cathedral Park, part of their "Jazz in the Park" series. I had figured on going to the concert and then finding a restaurant (a lot of them have outdoor dining areas, which I like), but they were selling food and drink at the event, so I had a bratwurst, which is required food when you are in Milwaukee.

The Historic Third Ward was also having its annual "Summer Sizzle Jazz Festival" on Friday and Saturday, so I went there Friday after the reception, and again on Saturday afternoon, rather than leaving after revisiting the Museum that morning. There's a ten block area which is on the National Register of Historic Places, mostly former warehouses, factories, etc., that have been rehabbed and are now used as offices, retail, and residential property. There's a nice public market, similar to, but smaller than, Cleveland's West Side Market. Lots of street food going; I had seafood gumbo and roasted sweet corn.

I used to spend a lot of time in Milwaukee, because Mark and I had a sailboat that we kept up there. But mostly we were on the boat, and really didn't do much in the city. There seem, nevertheless, to have been a lot of changes since then (sheesh, over ten years ago!), and a lot going on. It's an easy trip from here, so another weekend visit is very likely in the cards for me.

When I got home, my latest impulsive indulgence was waiting for me:
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I did go to see Helvetica on Thursday. Fascinating little film, and nice to know that a documentary about a typeface can sell out! It was interesting to hear the different attitudes towards the ubiquity of the font, and learn how it was created. Funny how something considered brilliant and innovative when it first appeared now gets little respect in some quarters.

The weekend has been fabulous. We have had simply glorious weather, sunny, low to mid-70s, perfect for hanging outdoors. And since there were two neighborhood festivals this weekend, that was a very good thing!

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival )

57th Street Children's Book Fair )
mojosmom: (Default)
Thursday night I hooked up with some other people from Casa Italiana and went to the Art Institute to see the panels from Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise from the Baptistry in Florence. Well, three of the panels and some of the frieze. It's a fascinating exhibit, because it shows a lot of the conservation and restoration work that's been done. Then there was a lecture by Andrew Butterfield which was quite interesting, as he talked about how Ghiberti used innovative techniques in the design and creation of the panels.

Friday, I headed for Indiana. I got to Anderson in the early afternoon, having stopped for a bite to eat at a local IHOP (International House of Pancakes). (~whispers~ I had a senior meal). This whole trip was because someone had mentioned an exhibit at the Anderson Fine Arts Center, "Kimono and Green Tea". I didn't want to drive three and a half hours for just that, so decided to combine it with a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art - of which, more later. The Center itself is worth seeing, as it is in a former Carnegie library building that has been restored to it's former beaux arts glory: Anderson Fine Arts Center The exhibit itself was good, but I'd have liked the labeling to be a bit more informative. I think it would have been good to give things their proper names as well as an English descriptive (i.e. say juban as well as "underkimono"). There was also an exhibit by a woman named Judith Hanes, a local artist who does some very interesting mixed media work.

After this, I headed to Indianapolis and the Stone Soup Inn, the bed-and-breakfast where I was staying. It's a beautifully restored turn-of-the-(20th)century home. Lots of books lying about! Had I known, I wouldn't have brought two library books, which would have been a good thing, as I apparently left one there! (I've emailed them, and am hoping they have found it.) I asked the innkeeper for a restaurant recommendation, and he said there were quite a few good restaurants along Massachusetts Ave. So I headed there, and discovered that there was a gallery walk going on. Also a lot of very interesting architecture. I visited a variety of stores and galleries, and then had dinner at a place called Aesop's Table, quite nice.

On Saturday, I walked over to the Morris-Butler Museum, just a couple of blocks from the B&B: Morris-Butler Museum
An Italianate home built in 1864-65, it was lived in by two local families, neither particularly famous for anything, just average folks with money. ;-)) It's basically set up to show the way people of that class lived a century ago. At the same time, they have an exhibit up of objects from Frank Lloyd Wright's SAMARA (a house he designed in West Lafayette, and, typically, also designed the furniture and textiles) juxtaposed with objects with the same function from around the time Morris-Butler house was built (which was a couple of years before FLW was born). Clever idea!

Then I headed to the IMA. I thought for a bit that I wasn't going to get there! As I neared the Museum, there were huge crowds, and barriers, and traffic management-type cops. It turned out there was a huge outdoor art fair happening on the IMA grounds! Fortunately, I was able to bat my eyelashes and get into the IMA's parking garage ("I just want to see the Museum!"), rather than paying the "Penrod parking $25".

This is a great museum. When I checked to see if there was anything I wanted to see going on, I found exhibit after exhibit. Dior, German Expressionist Prints, Greek & Roman jewelry, prints by Nelson Mandela (well, prints based on his drawings), Piranesi's Views of Rome, Hats of Africa all kinds of stuff! Their Asian and African galleries in particular were quite good, and they also have a fine collection of contemporary glasswork. My one disappointment was that the Book Bodies exhibit (artists' books) was in the Library, which was closed due to the special event mentioned above, and as the library is also closed on Sundays, I couldn't just go back today, so I missed that. As you know, I'm very interested in "process", so I was thrilled to see a small exhibit called "Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion", showing, through a variety of photographic techiques, how images were created and copied in his workshop. Then there was their Star Studio, demonstrating, in real time, the restoration of a Renaissance painting. How a conservator can concentrate on the delicate work with a bunch of museum-goers staring at him is beyond me, but he seemed unfazed.

I am totally enamored of the Museum's escalators. They are framed by wooden strips, very Japanese-looking, creating these great geometric images. I took lots of photos. Call it my "Escalator Series". This is, I think, my favorite: Escalator 6

I returned, a bit exhausted, to the Inn, finished up the book I was reading, and then went off to dinner at an Italian restaurant (salad was soggy with dressing - I complained and they comped it - but the spaghetti and fruit tart were excellent), and then to a local tavern, the Chatterbox, to hear some jazz. The vocalist was Mary Moss; she did some jazz standards, some r&b, all good. Everyone had a good time. Only thing was, the Chatterbox is a smoking establishment. It didn't seem like a lot of people were actually smoking, but, jeez, did my clothes stink! Shoved them all in a plastic bag, and they are headed to the dry cleaner's tomorrow!

(All my Indianapolis photos here if you're interested!)

Leisurely drive home today, and spent a couple of hours loading pics into iPhoto. Went off to Millennium Park for the Chicago Symphony "let's try to get people to subscribe by doing a free event" concert - Mozart's Overture to The Magic Flute, Ellington's Suite from The River (with Savion Glover, hoofer), and Moussorgsky/Ravel's Pictures at an Exhibition.

Nice weekend. This coming week I'll be out of the office all but one day, as I'm coaching again at the Mandel Legal Clinic's Intensive Trial Advocacy Seminar. Which is basically mornings off, as it's five minutes from my house and we start at 11:30 a.m.!
mojosmom: (Chicago)
[Odd - I thought I'd posted this yesterday, but apparently I didn't! So, edited appropriately.]

Saturday and Sunday were spent mostly at the Chicago Jazz Festival
and related activities. A couple of hours Saturday afternoon, and a fair bit of the concert Saturday night. Then back on Sunday afternoon for a few hours. Ate good food both days, and bought a pair of earrings at the art fair. I didn't stay for the Sunday night concert, as I'd decided to go to the sets at the Checkerboard. I didn't stay too late, only until about 11:00. While there, I signed up to volunteer at the inaugural Hyde Park Jazz Festival. They've cornered some pretty amazing venues, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House.

Monday, I puttered around. Did laundry, paid bills, uploaded photos from Saturday & Sunday to Flickr (and actually organized them), straightened up a bit. Then I went to the bookstores (O'Gara & Wilson's, and Powell's), ostensibly to find a copy of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. I did find that, and three other books as well. Bad me.
I also went by Hollywood Video. After reading this post on LibraryThing, I thought I'd check out the guy's previous film. If I like it, I think I'll get in touch with him.
mojosmom: (Default)
Gorgeous weather this weekend! I fiddled around the house in the a.m., inspired to do a bit of cleaning and straightening up. One of the joys of living in a university community (well, this one, anyway) is the Music Department. There are scads of actually rather decent student musical groups, and Saturday night the Motet Choir was doing a concert of Jewish music at Rockefeller Chapel: Rockefeller Chapel- exterior2 Mostly sacred music (including some pieces that Shulamit Ran wrote for her sons' bar mitzvahs), but a couple of pieces that seemed to be included on the basis of the composer being Jewish, including an odd (but beautifully melodic) piece by Shostakovich, all about a girl, her flute and the communal farm's herd.

Sunday afternoon was even nicer, so I went for a walk in the park down the street. Lots of other folks were taking advantage of the weather, too: Chessmen After dinner I went to the Checkerboard Lounge to hear Maggie Brown:
Maggie B. in black and white 2 She graciously said it would be okay if I took photos; in fact, she gave me her e-mail address and asked me to send them on to her. So, of course, I will.

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