Reopening

Being able to come to the city and do stuff in the city is a very important part of my feeling of being “myself.” And now, some cultural attractions started to reopen. I want to mention that I have no desire to do things just because “they are allowed,” if I won’t be doing them under normal circumstances.

When the Chicago History Museum opened, I didn’t rush there because I didn’t go there for four years :). I checked all the walking tours of CAC and didn’t find any which I would be interested so again, I didn’t go. Although I think that is was a great idea to resume walking tours in small groups.
Aquarium opened on July 3, first for Members only, and now for everybody, but with advanced reservations (and will 1/4 of capacity). I love Aquarium, but I am used to going there with somebody, to whom I could show stuff for the first time. I tried to book the members’ hours for one of the future dates, but it turned out that they won’t give me an extra quest ticket in these circumstances at Aquarium. And I didn’t feel like going alone.

The Field Museum is reopening this weekend; actually, it reopened on Friday. The first five days were for Members only, but once again, I could not find the time, which would work for me, and I didn’t want to bring mom to the city during the excessive heat. So I decided – some time next time.
And today, the Art Institute announced that they are opening on July 30! And they are doing it the best way! Like all other museums, they will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They have flexible hours, so there are still days when they are open late, and each day (with no reservations required), the first hour is members- only. Can’t wait 🙂

Also, the Chicago Symphony finally sent a message about the next season. Lyric Opera and some of the theaters have already canceled the first part of the season. But the CSO said that they are going to try having some smaller concerts, and some broadcasts. They laid out all the limitations (50 people per sitting area, entrance-exit rules, etc.) I hope that this will happen

How Is It Being In the Office

So far, went I come to the office, I am either alone, or there is one more person there. People are asking me “how is the office,” and I am saying I like being back. It’s not like I less productive at home, but when I am coming to the office, it helps me to separate work and non-work, so that it won’t be one endless workday.

Also, when I am in the city, I can meet Igor for lunch, and I can walk the streets of Chicago, which I missed a lot during these months!

There is no food in the kitchen
And the nespresso machine stopped working, so I bought another percolator for work
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Illinois Entering Phase 4

Tomorrow, Illinois is entering Phase 4 of its recovery plan. I am not sure whether the video I am posting here, will stay long enough, but I am going to give it a try.

Here

It’s a long video, but I wanted to post the whole thing because there are lots of important things in it. The most important message is very simple: although we’ve made lots of progress, the virus is still there, and there is still no vaccine. I really hope that people will behave responsibly.

Public health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike had strong words for people who refuse to wear a face covering in public. She said it is “a game of Russian roulette.” She even pronounced Russkaya ruletks in Russian!

I am hopeful. I am glad the State of Illinois has such good leadership. I hope that people will behave responsibly. This morning on WBEZ, I heard a discussion about students returning to colleges in the fall. Hopes are that there will be positive peer pressure because you can’t really police students on campus. And that’s my hope as well. During the current health crisis, the younger generation appeared to be more responsible than the older one, on average, of course. We shall see. I will be posting about our reopening, and about the health situation in the state.

Chicago Last Week

Previously, I posted some pictures which Igor took in the city on the lockdown. Back then, people were saying that the empty city looks creepy. I think, it was even more so during these days of curfew, public transportation halted and bridges up.

Here is a link to the whole photo gallery, and I will post a couple of pictures here:

Boarded off shopping plaza at northwest corner of Madison/Springfield//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Madison/Pulaski shopping district - closed store on the north side of Madison Street//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Madison Street - Protest graffiti = "My skin is not a weapon"//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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It Will Get Better

Several things happened, which made me feel more positive and reassured me that at least in the state, we could move in the right direction.

Illinois moved to phase 3 of reopening last Friday. The city was set to move to the next phase on Wednesday. And since the riots started, we were unsure whether the Mayor would proceed with the original plan.

She did. And I liked a lot how she explained her decision. She said that she traveled the city and talked with many business owners about what they think would be the right thing to do. And they all told her that the city should move on.

The Loop will still be closed, and the bridges will be up for now, but the rest of the city will start to reopen, with all precautions and reduced capacity, but still moving to phase 3. And that makes me feel really, really good. Now we need Metra to resume its services. They were shut down for the past two days, and now are cautiously reopening tomorrow.The other thing which elevated my spirits was that she said that if Trump tries to dispatch the military to the city, “she will see him in court.” And that will never happen on her watch.

Also, the governor reiterated that peaceful protests should continue because people have a right to express their frustration with injustice. I find it extremely important because if protesters were asked to stay home and not escalate the situation, it would mean that the goal of those who want to discredit the movement is achieved. I can’t even describe how I am thrilled that the fight for justice continues.

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For the Historical Records

Yesterday, I looked at the new photos which appeared in Tribune and decided that I would not repost any more. Many people who saw the Saturday pictures commented that they looked like from the war zone. But the truth is that they are nothing in comparison with Sunday. I feel like reposting the photos with guns is promotes violence and decided against it.

On Sunday, the Mayor ordered a curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM. She asked the protesters to disperse peacefully, but the CTA was stopped by then, and the bridges were up. How people could peacefully disperse, God only knows.

There was a lot of looting during curfew and lots of fires, and gunshots, and wounds, and deaths. There was no CTA, and no Pace buses and the roads were blocked.

Today, the situation remained pretty much the same. No Metra today and tomorrow, no CTA in the Loop and surrounding areas, no non-essential traffic to the Loop is allowed. There is hardly any store in the Loop that is not looted, including 120 years old iconic camera shop.

Many essential activities are canceled, including COVID testing stations, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and free meals distribution for low-income students. The Illinois National Guard was brought in to guard the Loop.

After the city center was locked, the riots moved to the South and West Side and some suburbs. Most of the businesses were getting ready to open on Wednesday when the city was scheduled to move to phase 3. Now, the situation is uncertain. The governor pulled more of the National Guard troops to enforce the order in the suburbs.

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