Archive for October, 2016

While exploring the King William Historic District (very cool) of San Antonio over the weekend, I enjoyed looking at the great old homes all decked out for Halloween, but particularly liked these little guys in their witch attire…

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I am currently on a little business trip that brought me to Austin and San Antonio, Texas. I had been wanting to visit San Antonio for a while now, so I am taking this opportunity to extend my trip and stay through the weekend for some touring around and some rest and relaxation.

I am sure I will be finding all sorts of new places and things to report on soon – so watch this space.

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litLiteracy is something that we mostly take for granted, but it is so important to support early literacy for our children so they get the start they need. Fine folks everywhere, like those at the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation, are committed to supporting literacy activities aimed at the advancement of young minds.

About the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation:

“The mission of the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation is to advance healthy development of young minds through literacy programs that encourage early reading, imagination, and physical activity. The Literacy Foundation is a Charitable 501(c)(3) Non-Profit guided by the needs and involvement of the communities of which it serves. The Foundation is supported entirely by fundraising efforts and donations.”

Learn more about the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation here.

Tonight, the World Series comes to Wrigley Field for game three. Here is a shot of the outfield foul pole I took from outside the park this past weekend. Go Cubbies!

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hal1The fine folks at Cost Plus World Market are always doing cool things and it is one of my favorite places to poke around for fun items, especially around holiday. Well, they really know how to do Halloween and have so really cool things in their Halloween Shop.

About the Halloween Shop of World Market:

“Discover unique Halloween decor, gifts, treats and food that will keep you and your guests goulishly-satisfied for All Hallows’ Eve. Howling at the moon never looked or felt so good!”

World Market’s Hanging Reaper Skeletons Set (above right) is particularly creeping me out:

“Featuring spooky skeleton hands and faces and long raffia hair, our hanging grim reapers in orange, purple and green will give your Halloween visitors something to fear.”

Check out the Halloween Shop of World Market here.

See all the general coolness of World Market here.

I am just back from my long weekend in Chicago and have a few pictures to share. This, believe it or not, was the view from my room at the Buckingham Club Hotel located on the 40th floor of a South Loop office tower. It was a great hotel and an awesome view. I put a filter on this photo that makes it look like one of those early 20th century linen postcards.

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hamI love live theater and have posted many times before about the pleasures of this classic entertainment form. One of the great things about Chicago is no matter when I visit, there are always many options to enjoy a night (or afternoon) out at a show.

Chicago plays host to many pre-Broadway tryouts, and is often the first stop when hit shows expand beyond Broadway. Case in point, the cultural phenomenon that is the Tony award-winning musical Hamilton just opened in Chicago with the first national company and has pretty much sold out a year in advance.

Seeing Hamilton was the primary draw for this trip – and it was worth the wait. Hamilton is everything I hoped (and expected) it would be and more and it was fun to see it early in its Chicago run with a SRO crowd who were all excited to be in the room.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Broadway sit-down and touring shows, Chicago is home to great local theater companies. Three of my favorites are Steppenwolf, Lookingglass and The Goodman. Every time I plan a trip to Chicago I check to see if I can fit a performance at any or all of these companies, and I have never regretted it.

On this trip I checked out the world premiere of David Rabe’s Visiting Edna at Steppenwolf; the new play Life Sucks by Aaron Posner at the Lookingglass Theatre Company (whose theater is inside the iconic Water Tower Water Works in the heart of The Magnificent Mile); and the classic musical Wonderful Town at The Goodman (which ended its run on Sunday).

There is so much to see and do in Chicago, so theater may not be on the top of your list with all the world class museums, restaurants and shopping. But do yourself a favor and try to see a show while you are in town – you’ll be supporting the arts and be entertained at the same time.

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The Chicago Cubs start their epic World Series quest tonight in Cleveland. Meanwhile, the city was prepping for the Cubs World Series run over the weekend while I was there – as exemplified by this billboard for Maker’s Mark I spotted near Wrigley. (By the way, I endorse both the Cubs and Maker’s Mark.)

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606Cities are trying to find new ways to use old and neglected spaces to bring recreation areas and parks to congested areas. In recent years New York’s High Line has reclaimed an abandoned rail line to create a super cool park, and Boston has turned the area formerly shadowed by an elevated expressway (now underground) into the gorgeous Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Now Chicago has joined this trend and created The 606, a new recreational trail on an abandoned rail line North West of downtown and it is a huge success. The 606 includes space for biking, walking and running, while adding greenery and public are to a swath of the city that needed more open space.

About : “The 606 takes Chicago’s legacy of great parks to new heights. The 606 has the elevated Bloomingdale Trail as its centerpiece, connected to six neighborhood parks at ground level, a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming, and other amenities. Set above city streets, it’s a new way to explore Chicago on trails for biking, running and strolling. The 606 also connects parks, people, and communities; what once physically separated four neighborhoods now will knit them together and attract visitors from throughout Chicago and beyond. Imagine block after block of uninterrupted trails. Kids will learn to ride their bikes here, commuters will find a new shortcut to work, and neighbors will make new friends. The 606 will change what it means to go to the park.”

Visit The 606 online here.