Celebrating Chicago: Northerly Island

Today’s 175 Days to Love Chicago brings us to Northerly Island, which the site tells us is ninety-one acre peninsula (I wish it was an isthmus — that word is just so much cooler), as a northern end cap to the lakefront area from Jackson Park on the south side. I love riding my bike through the area’s wildflowers, which were in bloom a couple of weeks ago. I’ve also been to a couple of concerts at the Charter One Pavilion and my biggest piece of advice for that is to have bug spray (we did).  Or to be wealthy enough to own a yacht from which you can hear all the concerts from Lake Michigan anyway. Continue reading

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Celebrating Chicago: Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

Today’s entry for the 175 Days to Love Chicago brings us Lincoln Park‘s Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool.  It is an “officially designated National Historic Landmark,” which was designed by landscape architect Alfred Caldwell in the prairie style (huh, so yesterday was FLW, seeing some patterns here). The site was completed in 1938 and in 2001, the Chicago Park District partnered with Friends of Lincoln Park (now the Lincoln Park Conservancy) to restore the site to its former glory with modern twists. The rehabilitation efforts “included replacing non-native, invasive trees and shrubs with appropriate bird-friendly native varieties including thousands of prairie, woodland, and aquatic plants. The project also included the careful restoration of all of the site’s historic elements and the addition of accessible paths” (yay for the Americans with Disabilities Act). Continue reading

Celebrating Chicago: From Afar & Contributors

I missed posting yesterday due to my weekend visit to Indiana, where I saw old friends and was able to see how South Bend has been changing since I left nearly four years ago.  It was good to get away for a weekend, though I am that much further behind on my housecleaning than ever!  I drove out after work on Friday, returning this afternoon; enjoying a bit of the weather and wondering what we did before the iZoom and iPass lanes.  So in a way, I was celebrating Chicago from afar, enjoying the things I never do in the city — go to the mall, drive a car (I rented all weekend as I no longer own a car), and see a newly released movie (Rock of Ages — we had so much fun singing along but were grateful that we only paid non-Chicago matinee prices as we did find Tom Cruise to be highly annoying after about six seconds of his first appearance).  So I missed yesterday’s Taste of Randolph entry.  I really don’t have much to say about that as really, isn’t there at least one food festival in Chicago every weekend all summer? I work two blocks from Taste of Chicago and avoid it due to the teenagers, suburban moms with strollers the size of Mini Coopers (those women are even more annoying at Macy’s during the holidays but that’s another rant for another day), and overpriced food.  So I’ll focus on today’s 175 Days to Love Chicago entry: Wright’s Roots, an exhibit at Expo 72 located at 72 E Randolph, and running through September 30.

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Celebrating Chicago: An Exaltation of Place

Today’s entry for the 175 Days to Love Chicago celebrates the Grant Park Chorus, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. To kick off this season, the Chorus will give two performances (tonight at 6:30 p.m. and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park) of An Exhalation of Place, which is inspired by Chicago history.  According to the the Chicago Tribune article Grant Park premiere brings newsy note to chorus’ golden anniversary celebration (dated June12, 2012) the chorus will actually be singing headlines at its performances.  The article also says that this is one of two pieces commissioned specifically to celebrate the golden anniversary.  I also learned about the Grant Park Orchestra, which was founded in 1943.  Looks there might have to be 70 year celebration for that group next year.

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Day One for Me

Today is Day One for Me in launching this blog for my summer school class. Of my disparate interests, I love knitting/crocheting, reading, history, and volunteering in various communities.  I constantly wonder at how individuals and society as a whole define community, and how that gives texture to our lives.  One interesting lens through which to consider community is through the City of Chicago‘s Office of Tourism‘s 175 Days to Love Chicago project to celebrate the 175 years since Chicago’s founding.  The Office provides scads of information on cultural, historical, and just plain fun events across cost, class, and interest spectrum for locals and visitors alike, which is unique for many tourism offices. Continue reading