Flowers are my church, I’ve decided. Don’t mistake me, I like non-flowering plants a lot, but flowers? Their beauty inspires.
A week ago I mentioned to one of my Chicago friends that the camellia trees in the backyard of my old house in Jackson, Mississippi, should be blooming by now. Yesterday I found these beauties at Garfield Park Conservatory.
Pretty is as pretty does.
Grief, I’ve found, is like an ocean. A cold one. It lashes at your ankles to remind you that it’s painful. Sometimes it feels like waves. You’d like to contain it, but you can’t. It’s a darn ocean.
One of my dearest friends passed away yesterday, and holy bananas, my grief is pretty raw. Her passing wasn’t unexpected and I thought I was prepared, but how can anyone be, really.
As a hospice care professional told me many years ago, dying is an active process. And so is grief.
Not often that I pay $17 for a Reuben, but I gladly forked over a twenty and change because… Manny’s. Legendarily known for their corned beef (I’m sure the turkey pastrami is also great), Manny’s serves up all sorts of sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides.
It is a true cafeteria experience. Grab a tray and your spot in line.
And then let’s dissect this sandwich. Corned beef piled high on rye bread with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. (Thousand Island dressing is available on the side.)
Many side options but I decided to kick it old school with a perfectly fried latke.
Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory is a gem of a visit. Poinsettias in varying shades of pink.
Giant Swiss Cheese Plants.
A fruit-heavy papaya tree.
And an assortment of model trains (and more poinsettias).
Places I enjoy greatly–coffee shops of any size. Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea on Lake Street in Oak Park is bright and airy.
And the cappuccino was perfect.
In Chicago’s North Center neighborhood you’ll find a little bit of Sverige (Sweden). The Sweden Shop on W. Foster is one of my favorite go-tos for gifts and Swedish candies.
Swedes are pretty serious about fika, as evidenced by this wall of colorful mugs.
You can also score different Scandinavian fabrics if sewing is your thing. God Jul (merry Christmas) to all.
If Florida is home or Gainesville is within drive, I would get to the Harn Museum of Art right quick, as some Southerners say. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited yesterday. What I found was room after room of exceptional art.
Joseph Konopka’s 1986 acrylic on canvas painting, View from 6th Avenue Between 38th and 39th Streets.
Deborah Butterfield’s Rory sculpture from 1992. Butterfield fashioned this mare using steel, scrap metal and other industrial materials.
Patrick Grigsby creates a photo-like image by puncturing cotton paper sheets painted black.
Like Maurice Prendergast? The Harn Museum offers this 1914 oil painting, Idyllic Landscape.
Photography? This museum has that too.
A tapestry that unravels, forming fiber-based drawings? The Harn has got you.
Pre-WWII art–this 1935 painting is by Francis Criss.
Even works by internationally renown artists like Kehinde Wiley.
Admission is free (yes, free). Happy museuming, all.