Back To The Field Museum – First Time After The Lockdown

On Saturday, I went to see the new Field Museum exhibit dedicated to Jane Goodall (and I took Igor and mom there as well). I was not sure till the last moment whether e should proceed with the plan: the forecast was rain and thunderstorm for the whole day. I went to clinic escort in the morning, and I meant to ask Igor to bring mom to the Loop by the time I will be done. But I was not sure about the rain. Miraculously, we managed almost to escape the worst of it, and I was really glad we did it! 

Mom said she does not remember anything about Jane Goodall. It was sad because her books were translated into Russian when I was a teen, and I remember both mom and I reading them and discussing them. I still remember the names of all of the apes, and I was delighted to see them “in person”. Mom said she would look her up in Russian, and I hope she will. I loved this exhibit a lot; also, I got a chance to show both Igor and mom the Apsaalooke Women and Warriors exhibit, which I got a chance to see right before the lockdown.

Here are some pictures from the Jane Goodall exhibit:

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A Visit To Shedd Aquarium

On Saturday, we all went to Aquarium. 

For many years, I had a family Aquarium membership, but when the kids were grown up and gone, I witched to the individual one, occasionally bargaining for a pair of extra free tickets. When I realized in May that the Aquarium is reopening and that now it would be much easier for Anna’s family to visit, I decided to upgrade the membership back to the Family level. My individual membership expiration date was September 30, and I was sure it wouldn’t be a problem to upgrade earlier.

It turned out that it was a big problem! There was no way to pro-rate the membership. There were only two options: either to pay the full year of upgraded memberships right away, only for it to expire on September 30, or to wait till September 30 and upgrade then. I could not even “annul” the current membership because “two memberships at the same time are not allowed.” An additional complication was that they already took my money before realizing that they can’t do what I asked them to do :).

I was on the calls with them four times until I finally decided to take the September 30 upgrade. Also, they gave me two complimentary adult tickets and ticketed Nadia as a Chicago resident 🙂

That way, on Saturday, we all went to Aquarium pretty much for free:).

It was so-so-so good to be in Aquarium after such a long break!

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A Fabulous Weekend

It was a wonderful weekend. I feel like I am getting more things done here, and I am not sure why.

No, I didn’t resolve all the issues in my apartment. I still need to fix my ceiling lights/fans, and I am still waiting for the rest of my furniture for the dining room. Also, I need to change my driver’s license and mom’s State ID for new addresses. And I didn’t go to the local library yet and didn’t find a new doctor for my mom or me. 

The list is endless, but still, I had a fabulous time this weekend. Of course, it helped that we now have summer Fridays, so the weekend started at 2 PM on Friday. Here is what I did this weekend (in addition to the regular errands list)

  • I biked to Northwestern twice. The first time, I messed up a couple of times, and the second time was a charm.
  • I went to do my nails. I didn’t like the place that much, so I will continue to explore what else is around, but at least I have my mani-pedi, which were overdue.
  • I went escorting for the first time since February
  • After escorting, I took my mom to the Art Institute to see the Monet exhibit and a couple of other exhibits which will close within the next week
  •  I biked to the Glenwood Sunday Market (and bought tons of awesome stuff). I was not sure from their website whether they allow bikes on the market, and put a new bike lock in my backpack. But fortunately, they allow the bikes in, which helped to plan my purchases realistically :). I liked his market so much better than the Evanston market! I think I will be going there most of Sundays.
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  • I made sorrel soup (perfect for the hot weather)
  • Also, I made a rhubarb tart
  • I had mom and one of my friends over for coffee
  • And I went to the beach and even dipped myself into the cold water of Lake Michigan (I will show the pictures in a separate post).

And with all that, I even caught up on some work, these boring parts with paperwork, which you tend to push away beyond all the deadlines.

It feels so much as the life I want to ive!

The Art Institute Is Open Again!

The Art Institute reopened two weeks ago, but it was only today that i got a chance to visit it.

I can’t even describe how happy I was to stroll through my most favorite rooms!

Also, I knew that there was one more new exhibit open, and I wanted to check it out.

It was a Bisa Butler exhibit. I never heard about her, and I was stunned when i entered the exhibit. The Art Institute website says:

Although Butler’s finished works are exclusively fabric, her methods remain interdisciplinary: photographs inform her compositions and figural choices, she layers fabrics as a painter might layer glazes, and she uses thread to draw, adding detail and texture.

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A Field Trip To The Art Institute

(It is a very long post, but I want to record my memories of that day)

On Thursday. we had the best-ever field trip to the Art Institute. The best in almost four years that I volunteer at the Open Door Shelter!

When I came to cook dinner the first time after “the start of everything,” we discussed what we can do outside the shelter, and I said that we could do the Art Institute and see the new Monet Exhibit. I also suggested a couple of other things, but this one was embraced immediately.

Remembering all out previous Art Institute outings, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm but held a pinch of skepticism. It happened before that when it is time to go, the youth forget, or just do not want to get out of the house, or whatever. I remember all delays in departure, losing people on the way there and back.

This time around, being late was not an option. I was not even sure how to secure our place in line for a Monet exhibit for the future date. A week after our conversation in the ODS, which was a week before our Art Institute outing, I went there during my lunch break, trying to see more of the exhibit and finding out what my options are for next Thursday.

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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

About Better Things

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:

PPE Donation Chicago History Museum

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.

El Greco Exhibit in the Art Institute

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.

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Apsáalooke Women and Warriors at the Field Museum

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.

Here are some photos from the exhibit:

A cradleboard
Faces of Apsaalooke women
Continue reading “Apsáalooke Women and Warriors at the Field Museum”

Visiting Aquarium with my Girls

Better later than never:). We visited the Shedd with Anna and Nadia when they were last time in town, on September 21. And back then I said: I need to write a thank you letter to the Aquarium! And I meant to write a blog post, but never did. So here is it.

Shedd is one of my most favorite places, but out of all my children, only Anna shares my love. And when we were deciding where to go with Nadia, we both voted for this destination. 

I used to have a family membership to Shedd when I had kids at home, but now I have an individual one. Still, they gave me a free guest pass, including the show. 

We were all wondering, how Nadia will react to her first Aquarium visit (she saw the whales in the ocean when they were in Australia), and belugas and whales indeed enchanted her. 

The thing I wanted to mention is how much more toddler-friendly Aquarium has become since my kids were kids. The whole Polar Play Zone is designed just for kid’s play and exploration. And we were extremely grateful for the cafe staff. When we picked our food, we were asked multiple times whether we know that this kids’ dish is cold. When Nadia spilled her milk, four people rushed to our table, all reassuring that everything is alright, one mopping the floor, another wiping the table, yet another putting the “wet floor” sign, and another staff bringing a new mild carton (we thanked, but didn’t take:)) And while cleaning they were asking how are we enjoying the visit, aside of this spilled milk :). I thought it was so-so nice of them!