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Showing posts from November, 2014

SpinOff 2014 Celebrates Contemporary Dance

Last night, November 15, I attended The Sun King, a one-act contemporary ballet performed by Elements Contemporary Ballet, featuring live music by Baroque Band, a period-instrument orchestra.  The setting for The Sun King is 17th century France, the court of Louis XIV.  I traveled to France a few years ago and visited the palace and gardens of Versailles, the home of Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette.  For me, this performance provided depth to a previous experience and brought back some pleasant memories.

The Sun King took place on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage.  Being November, the glass doors were closed and served as a backdrop with attendees sitting where the chorus sits when performing with an orchestra.  This was a completely new perspective compared to attending concerts in the summertime.  Before it became dark outside, I could see the seating bowl, the lawn behind it, and even the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The skyline featuring all the lit buildings was bea…

Catch a Doubleheader at Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum

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I have been a sports fan since I was in fifth grade (at least).  When I heard that the Chicago Sports Museum had opened this spring, I knew I had to go there to celebrate my birthday this year.

The Chicago Sports Museum is located at Water Tower Place, Level 7, 835 North Michigan Avenue.  At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a cow complete with holes and black-framed glasses, in tribute to Harry Caray, a baseball broadcaster, known for his use of the expression “Holy Cow!” and for wearing black-framed glasses.  During his career, Harry Caray announced for four Major League Baseball teams, working for the St. Louis Cardinals and then the Oakland Athletics before coming to Chicago.  He worked White Sox games for 11 years and then announced for the Cubs for 16 seasons, until his death in February 1998.

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Visit the Elks National Memorial

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I had walked past the Elks National Memorial for almost a year, admiring the elks flanking the gated entrance and wondering what was inside.  Finally, as part of my birthday week celebration (yes, week!), I decided to take a tour.

Located in Chicago at 2750 North Lakeview Avenue, the Elks National Memorial is open from 12 noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, from April 15 through November 15.  Admission is free. During a docent-led tour, I learned the history of the building and toured the Rotunda and Grand Reception Hall.

In 1920, the Elks organization decided to create a memorial to pay tribute to members who fought and died during World War I.  They chose New York architect Egerton Swarthout’s design due to its beautifully distinctive yet practical style.  New York’s Hegeman-Harris Company was selected as the builder.  Dedication took place on July 14, 1926.The beautiful marble throughout the Rotunda captured my attention immediately.  I was also drawn to the gilded bronze s…