kungsholm puppet opera

Can you imagine Swedish fine dining and an evening of miniature puppet opera (yes, miniature puppet opera) at a restaurant off Magnificent Mile in Chicago? Imagine, my friends. It was the Kungsholm restaurant at Rush and Ontario that operated the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera from 1937 to 1971. For real.

Highly detailed puppets in miniature.

The venue even had an orchestra pit (complete with hydraulic lift) sporting 52 players. This is the conductor Tosci.

The Swedish American Museum in Andersonville currently has this episodic/operatic amazingness on display. Enjoy.

oak park river forest museum

A few blocks from my apartment building is Cicero Fire House No. 2, built in 1898 and reborn in 2017 as the Oak Park River Forest Museum.

If you’re curious about local history and those who built the cities of Oak Park and River Forest, this is a fun visit.

There is a parade of Boy Scout figures fashioned by folk artist John Hagensick.

And a painting by Edwin Reed Hemingway that was found crumpled under a house porch.

a warm cardamom roll from the swedish american museum

Chicago: So many museums. Back in May I made time to visit one of my favorites–the Swedish American Museum in the #Andersonville neighborhood. If your roots are Svensk, you should explore this neighborhood/museum. Always a fun visit.

At the admission counter, a museum volunteer explained that there was a pop-up stand on the main floor serving cardamom rolls and coffee. I knew I had to take advantage, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Slightly sweet with a zingy/spicy flavor. This roll was just out of the oven so was warm to the touch.

Elsewhere in Swede Town is the mother of garden centers–Gesthemane–decked out in turquoise and yellow (the colors of the Swedish flag). It was a lovely day.

so much chrome (milwaukee’s harley-davidson museum)

Headed north to Milwaukee for a Wisconsin State Fair creampuff (which I understand is legendarily good) and found myself here. The Harley-Davidson Museum.

So many motorcycles, so much chrome.

This 1909 Model 5-D is one of 12 twin-cylinder motorcycles built that year. And the only survivor.

This 1936 model is a wow.

This 1973 Electra Glide V-Twin is tricked out.

There’s a wall of tanks.

And memorabilia by the boatload.

Vroom vroom. This visit was beyond fun.

chicago’s historic pullman district

Love history? Chicago’s Historic Pullman District might be for you. Located 12 miles due south of downtown Chicago, Pullman is a planned industrial town from the 1880s plopped in a prairie.

Industrialist George Pullman constructed the town for his workers, and the town’s architecture is thoughtfully designed. To learn about the town’s unique history, head on over here.

the things that get left behind

Some items cause pause. Like this.

What was it like to attend a one-room schoolhouse in rural Wisconsin in the late 1890s? My great grandmother could tell me (she’s listed as a pupil in this souvenir), but she passed some 30 years ago. So I try to imagine. And then I pause some more.

This magazine cover features the Norseville School where Olga was a student.

At the time this magazine cover was created, the school had been abandoned. A thing, one of many, that got left behind.

the precise artistry of stained glass windows

As a full-time job searcher, I stopped buying non-essential things many months ago. But experiences? I budget for those. Hiked my way north and east to #Evanston to visit the Halim Museum of Time and Glass yesterday. More than 70 pieces of stained glass window art and 1,100+ time pieces.

Stained glass window making is a precise art, from what I gathered. Colors are accomplished with different types of glass, silver stains, acid etching, intricate cutting, and plating. For example, striated glass is sometimes plated with nodular glass.

Some window colors sparkle so brightly.

Evanston Illinois Halim Museum of Time and Glass Stained glass window

In some windows, as in this one, the artist hand carved a heavy slab of orange glass to create a jewel-adorned appearance.

Evanston Illinois Halim Museum of Time and Glass Stained glass window

And types of glass–how many can there be? Bunches. This stained glass window, Spirit of the Revolution by Frederick Lamb (1863-1928), incorporates the following glass types: opalescent, drapery, herringbone, striated, mottled, nodular, hammered, fractured, and acid-etched flash glass.

Evanston Illinois Halim Museum of Time and Glass Stained glass window Frederick Lamb

Admission for this museum is $19 and some change. Marvel and enjoy.