Their situation was far from perfect even before the current events, and now it is worse than ever.
Also, all of the museums where I am a member promise to extend the membership to the duration of time they are going to stay close. I am planning to renew at my regular time and donate the unused money. And I think I will do the same with my CSO subscription and with Whenever Goodman.
That might be a very egotistical list, but I wanted to share.
I frequently visit Vanille Chicago French Market location (its under the tracks of Ogilvie transportation center). I also ordered from them several times, including my Mom’s 85th birthday cake. So there is no surprise I receive lots of promotional offers from them.
Last week, they sent an email: Monday is going to be a National Macaroon Day. Since we can’t celebrate it in the store, we offer a special – two dozen macaroons for a price of one, plus free delivery.
I ordered two sets: one went to Wisconsin, to Anna and family, and another – to my address. I sent one of my boxes to Vlad and Dylon, and the last one is mine :). I liked how they packaged the macaroons:
I didn’t open this email from the Chicago History Museum at first, because I thought it would be another invite for a virtual tour – I want to cry each time I see these invites. But when I opened it a couple of days later, it turned out it was something different:
To the Chicago History Museum community,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, supporting our community in the fight to contain the virus is more important than ever. As the local medical community let it be known that PPE (personal protective equipment) was in short supply, we realized that getting the PPE that we use at the museum everyday was needed at area hospitals.
At the Chicago History Museum, we use nitrile gloves every day to protect museum artifacts from oils and other contaminates on hands – not to mention to protect our Collections and Exhibitions staff from any potential hazardous substances that may sit on the artifacts upon acquisition (think: lead, radium, asbestos)! N95 face masks, eye protection, and polyethylene aprons are also used to protect staff during conservation treatment of artifacts.
Museums around the globe purchase PPE for these very reasons. While we are closed to the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, our supplies are best utilized by the healthcare workers on the frontlines at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19 is a responsibility we all share. Yesterday, at 11:00 am, Britta Arendt Collection Manager at the Chicago History Museum, met with Daniel J. Ruiz, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Operations at the hospital to drop off a donation of the following supplies:
63 boxes of nitrile gloves in all sizes, 6,300 pairs total
9 boxes of N95 masks, 90 masks total
100 polyethylene aprons
20 pairs of shoe covers
16 tyvek hoodies
4 tyvek coverall suits
8 pairs protective eye wear
On the same note: earlier this week, Metra sent an email informing that ” Medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic can ride free.” Having that those individuals are probably the only ones who are taking Metra these days, it’s very generous.
My mom is not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid since she only came to the US two years ago (actually, today marks two years of her arrival!). To qualify for any federal programs, you have to stay in the country as a permanent resident for five years. Fortunately, some charities help people like her, and other people who are unable to obtain insurance.
I found out about one such program when I was getting ready for MOm’s arrival. It works great for her, but we need to renew her membership annually.
A letter with renewal forms arrived about two weeks ago. I knew I had time, and in the queue of things that had to be done, I placed filling these forms into medium urgency. Who could have known that everything will change so drastically!
On Monday, I came to Mom and asked her to sign everywhere where she had to sign herself, copied all her documents I needed to copy, and filled in the rest of the forms. The only thing left was a letter from me saying that I provide her housing and other essentials. And I needed my signature to be notaries.
What can be easier than notarizing your signature?! You go to the nearest branch of your bank and walk out with the notary in five minutes. And since it was repeatedly announced that all the banks would remain open, I didn’t think much about it.
On Wednesday, I had my four-week follow up with the left eye (Yes, it’s only four weeks after my first surgery, and only two weeks after my second one – and it seems years away!) My neighbor took me to the doctor, and I told her I would need a notary. She asked whether I will be OK to go to the bank, and I said – sure! The bank is so close that I can walk!
I walked. And I saw a note on the doors: drive-through only. The nearest branch with the lobby service is in Barrington. Not super far. I worked in Barrington for the first four years in the US. But I didn’t go in that direction for at least seven years, and it was not exactly where my old office used to be. And my vision is still suboptimal – the eye doctor said she does not want to prescribe new glasses to me until both eyes will be stable.
On Friday, I was planning to see El Greco exhibit in the Art Institute, since now the museum has after-hours three days a week, including Friday. I was anxiously monitoring their website, which was saying that the museum is opened. Finally, since there was not that many people in the office, I decided to go there during the lunch break. We were told to work from home on Thursday evening, but since I left on Thursday before that announcement, I had to come on Friday to pick up some stuff.
I was approaching the museum and wondering whether it was still opened. I was; there were not that many people inside, but there were some, and I was so happy I had that chance to enjoy the exhibit. Actually, the closing was announced two hours after I left the building :), so I was lucky indeed.
Yesterday, it happened that I was listening to Mayor Lori’s announcement of the city schools closing. Five minutes into her speech, she said: “We all know that school is not only about education but also about meals.” And it was so appropriate! In the Chicago Public Schools district in many schools, over 90% of students receive free or reduced meals (breakfast and lunch). During the teachers’ strikes, schools remained open from 8 to 12, to distribute reduced and free meals. And now, when schools will be closed, they will continue to serve as food distribution centers. Parents will be able to receive three days’ worth of food at any given time over the next two weeks. And if the parents won’t be able to collect the food, they can request delivery to their homes.
I am not sure why I am writing about this, but it was such a right thing to do!
It looks like last week, I was fortunate to see three shows which will be now closed. I already wrote about the Field Museum event, and now I am going to writ about the Orchid Show.
My friend Lena (Lena- One, the one who used to live in Palatine and now lives in Ann Arbor) loves orchids, and she visits the Orchid show annually.
This year, she planned to come the first weekend it was opened (good for her and me!) I was glad, she visited (not even mentioning, it was right after my surgery number two when I needed help). I joined her and her other friend from Palatine for the first time, and we also took my Mom along.
The show was amazing! My Mom could not believe all of those were indeed orchids 🙂
On Tuesday, I attended an event in the Field Museum. That was one of many occasions, when I was not sure whether this is a right idea, having all other stuff going on (nope, not what you might think – I am just genuinely busy as usual) and I am so glad I went!
The museum just opened a new exhibit Apsáalooke Women and Warriors. On that day, museum members could view the exhibition during after-hours, till 8-30PM. Also, the museum hosted a panel with some Apsaalooke Nation people, including the curator of the exhibit. It was very interesting to learn about their philosophical concepts and beliefs, and about their art and fashions – I didn’t know about the elk teeth on women’s dresses – I thought it’s just an ornament, and didn’t know about men giving them to women, and how long it takes to make a traditional dress, and all other things.
Also, it was very interesting to observe during the after-panel Q&A, how the “historical-political” questions are still relevant.
I took these pictures almost a month ago. Our conference venue was a W hotel on Adams, and before the conference start, we decided to stop at the Union Station fo see their Christmas tree and the Polar Express. The tree was gorgeous, and for the ornaments, it had the plaques with the names of the Amtrack and Metra lines. And overall, the Great Hall was even more beautiful than ever. I decided that the pictures are too good to be abandoned even though the season is over.