Cultural Activities

The Illinois indoor mask mandate will expire on February 28, and it looks like the city of Chicago will follow suit. Masks will still be required in the hospitals and such, in schools (if the legal battles will get to some resolution), and on public transport (thank goodness!!!)

I will monitor the situation, and I guess I will act as I feel comfortable. What makes me really happy is that pretty much all festivals and celebrations are returning. I still need to copy the schedule to my calendar, but I already know that summer will be busy in a good way!

That being said, there were a lot of cultural activities in the past two weeks, as much as I could fit with the amount of work I had!

I finally went to see a movie in the Siskel center with Igor (they are running so many interesting programs, and I can’t find time for any!) We went to see a 1971 movie from the “Bad Romance” series “The new leaf.’ Nothing special, but it was very entertaining. 

Then, there was a Hairspray production in the CIBC Theater. I tried to do a Broadway in Chicago subscription this year, and I am still unsure whether I like it and will do it in the future, but I am attending several performances this season. 

Official photo
Official photo

I liked it; not as much as “Paradise Square”, but it is a very good production. I almost forgot that this musical talks very seriously about racial issues and that presenting it during Black History Month was very appropriate. To be honest, most likely, I didn’t pay much attention to that part when I first saw it about fifteen years ago. Now it sounded very different. It reminds me that when I saw American movies back in Russia, I was not getting much of the context, which I understand now. Maybe I was not precisely in a suburbian bubble back then, but I didn’t understand the magnitude of the racial issues. 

Then, last Friday, it was “Casablanca” as a part of the “CSO at the Movies” series. I already had tickets for that show, and I planned to go with a friend. When Boris decided to come almost last minute, I told him he had to go, too, and got another ticket. I didn’t see a movie before; indeed, it’s a different world, with different moral and social norms. And yes, being in the Orchestra Hall is always great.

Finally, on Saturday, the Art Institute had the first in-person event since March 2020. It was a lecture about the newly reopened Ancient Egypt collection. We went to see the collection as well; probably not the best day – everybody went there after the lecture :). Every piece on display is a masterpiece, a classic I saw multiple times in books about Ancient Egypt. Sometimes, I hope to go to Egypt “off the tourist paths,” as my former Egyptian coworker once told me. I want to see a lot of Egypt, the same way as we saw a lot of Greece in Athens. 

I love how they added both Arabic and hieroglyphic translation of the exhibit name

As a result of yesterday’s activities, today is the day when Boris and I sit at our desks and work on multiple non-work but still professional projects. But it’s also good 🙂

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