I’ll write about the past weekend later. You have been warned.
You’ve been warned.
Sagawau Canyon, Cook County’s only canyon A while ago I noticed how much open space there is in the southwest suburbs near J. and, after a trip to the Hal Tyrell Trailside Museum, realized that much of it runs alongside … Continue reading →
Small notebook96 blank pages (8 perforated sheets)Made with bamboo paper (80 GSM)ISBN 978-1-936077-03-84-pack for $5.99 at Blick Art (downtown Chicago)2% of sales from WRITERSBLOK goes to helping kids to learn to read and writeDistributed by KIKKERLAND DESIGN, INC. (www.kikkerland.com) Writing … Continue reading →
Hodge I’d tell you to make an effort to see Le Nozze di Figaro at Lyric Opera, but it’s too late. You’ve missed it. After a fine dinner at Lyric’s relatively new restaurant, JT and I attended the March 24 … Continue reading →
As I’d written before, the building at 57th Street and Lake Park Avenue evoked my thoughts of portals to another dimension. This, and the actual story behind the building, reveals how disconnected I feel and am from where I live (perhaps I came here through a portal?).
On a February visit to Istria Cafe, I’d noticed that the stark tower that had first snagged my attention had been painted a garish combination of purple and yellow that clashes with the deep red brick work and that the steel security door and window covers had been removed. The building was back in business. The next week a sign over the front entry proclaimed it to be “the Pepperland.” How Beatles-esque, I thought, but, perhaps still distracted by the lonely sound of train whistles in the night, my mind was still on portals and alternative universes.
I looked up the Pepperland online to see if there were any information or news about the building and its reopening. Indeed there was, along with the building’s most recent history as a party house near a campus renowned for its supposed lack of social life (a popular campus t-shirt: “Where fun comes to die”). Who knew the University of Chicago has a Frisbee team? Certainly not an old, reclusive nerd like me.
So, it turns out that, despite the grim look the building presents to the street (not unlike the grim fortress facade that Glessner House presents to the Prairie District), the Pepperland’s design is conducive to neighborly conviviality, a concept purportedly out of step with the University of Chicago’s popular (or un-) reputation where the life of the mind kills the life of the body.
Perhaps the Pepperland is still a portal to another dimension, just not the one I had imagined — less Alice Through the Looking Glass and more University of Michigan.
I imagine this kind of thing makes even an accomplished author wince just a little.
Desk attendant at the Flamingo:
Every now and then I used to get a resident come down and ask for a [phone] book, but not anymore.