Showing posts from August, 2014

Some Good Vibes at the Chicago Jazz Festival!

The 36th annual Chicago Jazz Festival wraps up today with performances beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Pavilion and culminating with the Sun Ra Arkestra taking stage at 8:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. I had the opportunity to enjoy the Paulinho Garcia Quintet performance on Thursday, August 28, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall.  The quintet featured Paulinho Garcia (guitar and vocals), Heitor Garcia (percussion), Geraldo de Oliveira (percussion), Dedé Sampaio (drums), and Greg Fishman (saxophone).  The music was beautiful.  However, what I really enjoyed was watching the excitement and enthusiasm on the faces of the musicians.  I could see they love what they do! A convenient stroll down the hall to the Claudia Cassidy Theater brought me to a performance by a special 10-piece version of David Boykin Expanse.  The group included Josh Abrams (bass), James Baker (piano), David Boykin (saxophone), Marcus Evans (drums),…

Music Lovers, How About Some Jazz?

This year’s Chicago Jazz Festival runs Thursday, August 28, through Sunday, August 31.  The festival takes place each year the week before Labor Day and admission is free.There are several events scheduled to celebrate the 100th anniversary of jazz icon Sun Ra’s birth (May 22, 1914).A film screening of Sun Ra:  A Joyful Noise and Mystery Mr. Ra was held at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 25, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 East Washington Street.  Both films will be shown again Tuesday, August 26.  The screenings include a discussion with Robert Mugge, director of Sun Ra:  A Joyful Noise.I attended the screening on Monday.  Mystery Mr. Ra has French subtitles when English is spoken.  However, there are no English subtitles for the French narration.  I felt like I was missing out and that I probably would have learned something interesting if I were fluent in French.  Seeing and hearing the performances on the film were still a valuable experience.  Sun Ra:  A Joy…

2014 Chicago Air and Water Show

The annual Chicago Air and Water Show took place Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at North Avenue Beach.  There’s another opportunity to see the show Sunday, same time, same place.  Admission is free!There are plenty of places to sit and take in all the action.  For those who like to get up close, go right to the lakefront and find a place on the beach or along the Lakefront Trail.  Feel free to bring blankets, chairs, and coolers (no alcoholic beverages though).  Food and nonalcoholic beverages are also available for purchase.  Those who enjoy making a day of it complete with tents, grills, and pets may want to consider finding a nice grassy area in Lincoln Park.Not close enough to hear Herb Hunter, who has been announcing the show for more than 20 years?  WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM broadcast the show live so everyone can enjoy the play-by-play of the show’s action.For show attendees parking at Millennium Garages, free shuttle rides between Millennium Park Garage and…

Stop for a Free Rush Hour Concert

Rush Hour Concerts presents free music every Tuesday night from June through August.  The 30-minute concerts start at 5:45 p.m. at St. James Cathedral located in downtown Chicago at 65 East Huron Street.  Enter through the Wabash Avenue entrance.  Refreshments are served at 5:15 p.m.The St. James Cathedral is a beautiful setting for a concert.  It has several gorgeous stained glass windows and an amazing baptismal font.  The Ayer Memorial Baptismal Font was carved in Rome from Carrara marble by British sculptor Horatia Augusta Freeman.The concerts are broadcast live on 98.7 WFMT.  This is a fun, interesting format.  The WFMT host for the evening’s broadcast was Dave Schwan.  Mr. Schwan interviewed Jennifer Woodrum and Jani Parsons, two members of Fifth House Ensemble.  Concert attendees and WFMT listeners alike learned more about the pieces to be performed: Aram Khachaturian’s Trio for violin, clarinet, and piano in G minor and Béla Bartók’s Contrasts.  In addition, Fifth House Ense…

Free Tours of Historic Clarke House and Glessner House

Having heard several references to Glessner House and the Prairie Avenue neighborhood during other tours, I recently decided it was time to visit the house and check out the neighborhood. Glessner House, 1800 South Prairie Avenue, was built in 1886 on the southwest corner of South Prairie Avenue and East 18th Street.  Architect Henry Hobson Richardson designed the home for John and Frances Glessner.Clarke House, currently located at 1827 South Indiana Avenue, in the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens, was built in 1836 for the Henry Brown Clarke family.  Clarke House is the oldest surviving Chicago home. The Glessner House Museum offers guided tours of Glessner House and Clarke House Wednesday through Sunday (Clarke House tours start at 12 noon and 2 p.m. and Glessner House tours start at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.).  Both tours start at the Glessner House Museum Visitor's Center at 1800 South Prairie Avenue.  The tours are free on Wednesdays.The tours are limited in size and filled on a f…

Bike the Lakefront Trail to the Prairie Avenue Neighborhood

These directions are for biking from the north going south.
Bike to Waldron Drive.  (Burnham Harbor is on the left.)

Cross Waldron Drive.

Take a right at the sidewalk after crossing Waldron Drive.
Bike down the sidewalk and across the road, continuing along the path that is on the other side of the road.  (There is a dark green fence on the right side of the path.  A parking ramp is further along the path on the left side.)

Follow the path to the left, through the underpass.

Cross the pedestrian/bike bridge.

Enjoy the beautiful views while biking.

Bike through the underpass, exiting near Battle of Fort Dearborn Park (on the right) in the historic Prairie Avenue neighborhood.  The park has a Divvy station and bike racks.

Taking the Prairie Avenue District Walking Tour?  Battle of Fort Dearborn Park is a great place to start!

Taking Clarke House and Glessner House tours?  Follow these steps to get to Glessner House.
Take a right on South Calumet Avenue.  South Calumet becomes East 18th Stre…

At Home in Chicago

It was October 2010. My husband and I had visited Chicago several times previously. However, this time was different. We arrived in downtown Chicago and parked in our usual parking garage (Millennium Park Garage). We took the elevator up to exit to East Randolph Street, as usual. I opened the door, felt the cool fall breeze, and saw the beauty of the Aon Center. I felt the excitement of the many people busy going about their various activities and experienced a sense of sheer exhilaration. It was at this point I realized I wanted to be in Chicago for more than just a few days—I wanted to live in Chicago!I made a promise to myself that when I moved to Chicago I would not lose the excitement I felt that day. I would not forget to be amazed, awed, and inspired by all that Chicago is and offers.Fast-forward a few years . . .My husband and I moved to Chicago just over a year ago. I still feel the exhilaration that I did that day in October 2010. Chicago is an exciting, vibrant, and dynam…