Do you believe it’s November? Where has the summer, where has this whole year, gone? Such a short time ago it was January it seems and now it’s fast approaching again. Halloween, and the Autumn harvest time are now behind us, and the cold weather is staring us in the face. Fear not, my friends! This is a glorious time to be alive, in Chicago, with friends, family and loved ones, enjoying all the wonderful events and activities of the season.
Let’s start by visiting one of Chicago’s lesser known architectural wonders, shall we? The Harold Washington Library Center, the main branch of the library, opened in 1991. Lust look at the impressive lobby with its marble floors and intricate designs! While there are a wide range of exhibits and even a 385-seat theater, we’re here to visit the Winter Garden, where we’ll take in the stunningly beautiful glass dome, rising 53 feet above us, and another exquisitely designed, polished marble floor. Don’t forget it’s a library; on the way out, let’s check out a book or two. 400 S. State St., Chicago, https://www.chipublib.org/locations/34
Did you know that both Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert got their start in comedy at Second City? Hey, let’s stop by 1616 N. Wells St., Chicago, for a performance, and stay on for the hour-long, free, improve session afterwards. This will be good, really really good. If laughter is the best medicine, we’ll stay healthy for a long time after this! Every night except Friday. www.secondcity.com 312-337–3992.
National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, (the Pilsen neighborhood) is the largest Latino museum in the country (and the only Latino one accredited by the American Alliance of Museums) is FREE and open to all Tuesday through Sunday, from 10AM to 5PM (10:00 – 17:00) Let’s have a look, shall we? These galleries display impressive works of contemporary, traditional, and Mesoamerican art, taking us on a trip back in time over 3,000 years. Holy cow! Quite poignantly, considering today’s headlines, we see vivid exhibits that trace immigration woes and political struggles. The 8,000-piece permanent collection includes pre-Cuauhtemoc artifacts, textiles, folk art, paintings, prints, and drawings. www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org 312-738–1503.
Chicago’s skyline is always impressive, wonderful to gawk at while floating down the Chicago River, and many operators offer boat rides to take in the lovely sights. The best of these, however, are the 90-minute Architectural Boat Tours led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. While we ride along, our very knowledgeable volunteer guide will give us the story of more than 50 historically important buildings that border the river, explaining the different elements that propelled Chicago into the very big, very beautiful metropolis it is today. Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr. Officially, that’s 112 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, We’ll find our way by looking for the blue awning marking the stairway entrance. https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf 312.922.3432
Finally, dear friends and readers, Christmas is almost here, and I’m sure that, like me, you’re already thinking about gifts for deserving friends and family, putting up the tree and decorations, and turning on the beautiful, twinkling lights for the first time. Not yet. Thanksgiving is first, and for me, at least, the most important celebration of the entire year. There are so many amazing people we’ve met, friends we’ve made, and new exciting things we’ve done, that it is well worth taking time, a lot of time, to reflect on the year, on our lives, and especially upon all the good things we have to live for. I will be with my family, and the families of a few close friends and loved ones, on Thanksgiving Day and a few days after. All are special, valuable, and so important in my life. I give thanks and feel grateful each and every day, so on this day, in particular, I try to let them all know. Please, let me encourage you to do the same.
Enjoy the turkey, potatoes and gravy, sweet potato, that-dish-from-your-aunt that she brings every year, and you don’t really care for, but you always eat some because you love her, and finish it all with some apple pie and a cup of coffee. Then smile again, and be thankful. Thank you, all who make this magazine possible, and especially you, dear readers, for your support and continued good will. I’ll see you again next month.