pretty is as pretty does

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.

the reuben sandwich from manny’s cafeteria and delicatessen

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.

handle with caution

One of my favorite Chicago haunts is the Garfield Park Conservatory on Central Park just north of Lake Street. It has an Aroid House, which is a large room containing all sorts of aroids, spiky plants belonging to the Araceae family.

Plant size and form vary considerably.

Bunny Ears Cactus. Notice the tiny white clusters of glochids.

Yellow Tower.

Aeonium.

Golden Barrel Cactus.

And Queen Victoria Agave.

Admire with ease, but handle with caution.