Hello again, and welcome to Chicago in Winter. As we uncover a huge variety of activities and partake in numerous explorations, you will learn why Chicago is so enthralling, throughout the year, even through the coldest darkest days of the year.
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
The Christmas season is upon us, when we are to take time to think about the past year, look forward to the new one that’s so quickly approaching, and appreciate the gifts we have received, symbolized in the gifts the Magi presented to the infant King, Jesus. This year, especially, so many Americans seem caught up in fear and hate that the celebrations seem strained. We are, at least I am, struggling harder to do what should come so easily and naturally. So perhaps, in this season of Christmas, we can take an afternoon to reflect upon our shared humanity, and how closely intertwined we all are to each other. The Chicago History Museum is hosting a new exhibit called, RACE; Are We So Different? The historical concepts about race have been used, for millennia, to justify mistreatment, injustice, and genocide. Now, more than ever, we need to examine the scientific understanding of human variation and how that understanding challenges human differences, racial concepts, the social impact that race has had in American history, even the very notion of “race.”
This is the “first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States” and a must-see exhibit, my friends; entry is included with General Admission, and it will run through mid-July, 2018. 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Ph: (312) 642-4600, www.chicagohistory.org
While Christmas is a time for reflection, it is also a time for celebration. Let’s meet in Daley Plaza for the 22nd annual Chriskindl Market in Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, our version has become an annual institution, with authentic music, German food (and drinks, it wouldn’t be the same without good German beer.) We’ll meet people from all over the world, browse the shops, buy a few presents, and enjoy the festivities. http://www.christkindlmarket.com/chicago
Did you know that the Walnut Room, at Macy’s, 111 N. State St, is both the oldest continuously running restaurant in America, AND the first restaurant inside a department store? We’ll soak up the ambiance, bask in the glow of the Circassian Walnut paneling that provides the name, and take in the 45 foot tall Grand Tree, all while sipping our cups of coffee or hot chocolate. Yes, what fun!
In the Andersonville neighborhood, the St. Lucia Festival of Lights, will be held this year on December 13. St. Lucia begins with a torch-lit procession down the sidewalks of Clark Street at 4:45PM, kicking off at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St. Specially chosen “Lucia Girls,” will lead the crowd, wearing long white robes and beautiful crowns of lingonberries and real candles, singing “The Lucia Song.”Everyone is welcome, so bring the kids, and join in! Afterwards, we’ll attend the Lucia celebration at the Swedish American Museum., where we’ll hear the Lucia legend, enjoy family entertainment, and indulge in Swedish holiday treats including traditional “pepparkakor” ginger snaps. Admission is $1, but we’ll bring a few cans of food to benefit Care for Real, a local food pantry, instead.
At the Museum of Science and Industry we’ll find Christmas Around the World, a genuine forest of over 50 trees, each wonderfully decorated in a style of a different country, gracefully arranged around the 4-story tall Grand Tree that reaches nearly to the top of the Rotunda’s dome. It will snow, indoors, while we are walking through, completing the magical This is becoming another annual tradition in our family, and I hope you will join us with yours. 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, www.msichicago.org
The holidays won’t be complete without a hearty meal at a small, local gathering place. The Old Irving Brewery, 4419 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, www.oldirvingbrewing.com, is close at hand, serves up some pretty good “pub fare,” and brews a variety of beers such as Guten Tag Kölsch and Mandarin Moon Pale Ale. We’ll talk and laugh, remembering the year just passed, and toast to our health and luck in the new year arriving soon.
Health and good luck to us all! Щасливого Різдва!