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5/7/21 | 16/52

The weather has been wet and generally springish leading to unmowed grass and a rise in tall dandelions overrunning the greenery. I'm certain this will relate to future itchy eyes and sneezing in the coming weeks. It will also lead to summer. I guess you need to turn on the stove to make the macaroni right? It's Friday. I hope you are going to make the most of this beautiful day.

the lord loves the electric

The People's Palace

Things are starting to re-open and according to local news anchors we are back and going full steam ahead and after July 4th we will never speak of the pandemic again. As someone who is fully vaxxed I'm still slowly trying to adjust. Do I wear my mask in the car with my friend who is also fully vaxxed? What if I'm walking outside by myself? I don't want people to think I'm not about safety. I think that will continue for some time and eventually we'll all get into a proper groove or there'll be something new and the world will change again.

The date I have circled on my calendar is June 2nd. That's when the Chicago Cultural Center re-opens with it's grand renovation/restortation. I can't wait! I didn't realize how much I missed it but every time I’m downtown I end up near the building, peeking in the windows and doors, hoping that it happens to be open. I didn't know they were redoing the glass dome. It's going to be stunning.

I'm not the only one. There are plenty of couples excited to have quick Saturday weddings, docents ready to give tours, art ready to be hung and lovingly looked at. The cultural center is for the culture. It's the old library. It's for the people. When it's open people are use it and use it well.

I've been stopping there for as long as I can remember. They always have fantastic art shows. It's a perfect place to meet people downtown. It's close to the brown, orange, green and red lines as well as the south shore and the metra. You can get there from the pedway via direct elevator. I've seen stage performances in back theaters I didn't even know existed. I've learned about architecture and all about different parts of Chicago. It's free and that makes it perfect for a brief visit. Stop in before hoping on the brown line. No need to try and see it all in one shot. Just enjoy a little bit every time so you don't get overstated and numb.

I also love it because they have great bathrooms. Bathrooms that are clean and cared for. You can always add that to your visit if you don't want to stop at a coffee shop or you're not going to a museum. With so many restrictions many places have just found it easier to lock the bathrooms up. For now the Randolph Station's facilities are still open but that won't lead you to check out any art while you're there.

Sometimes I would just go and walk around the building. Everyone loves the dome but I stick mainly to the north side. The echoey rooms with huge windows looking out on the city. Sometimes I'd be the only person in them, quietly photographing the floors and the architectural ornamentation. I even love the elevator with its woven metal doors. More than once I've had the doors open to waiting passengers while I was trying to get my phone's camera to open so I could capture their brilliance.

The first person who took me to the Cultural Center was my Mom. It was a regular stop for her when she came to Chicago. When I go there I like to think of her and the times we spent looking at paintings and photographs and sculptures. We would see and appreciate different things. Some we would agree on. Other times our tastes differed. Sometimes we would see things separately and excitedly tell the other to make sure to check out the current show. One unquestionable belief we both held was, "the cultural center is great!"

This Sunday be sure to take some extra time to tell your Mother about the things she did right, the helpful things. Be patient and listen to the stories. Smile at the memories. If it's safe, hug with purpose and intention. Hug a little longer for when you have to remember it because you can't hug anymore. And if you have to remember, do your best to remember moments, jokes, funny sayings. Remember smiles and kind words.

If you've never been before and you plan to visit the Cultural Center let me know. I'll meet you there after June 2nd and we can see it together. I'd love to spend time sharing this Chicago treasure with you.

Friend of the Week

Benny is handsome friend who came to us via Dylan. It's been inspiring watching Dylan return to his pre-injury level of amazing skateboarding. I think he's even gotten better!

If you would like your friend to be a friend of the week simply email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.
Thank you so much for choosing to spend these moments together. When the summer sun shows up be sure to apply sunscreen. If you ever miss a week you can always check out the archive link on the Serial Dispatch instagram.

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