Friday, June 8, 2012

Festival Time

I mentioned proximity in an earlier blog.  Such is the theme of this posting also.

A lot of people asked me about where I was going on Sabbatical.  Oftentimes sabbaticals involve rather extensive (and expensive) jaunts to far away places for study or pilgrimage or respite.

My response to the question of travel was twofold: some limited travel, yes. I did not apply for grant money, nor was I interested in doing so. Secondly: why travel to study or find inspiration when we have a world class city at our doorstep?

Many of us take Chicago for granted. Or we simply don’t like it because it’s congested (it is) or dirty (it’s not -try visiting San Francisco).  And Chi-town consists of a LOT more than Navy Pier, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field (what’s that other ballpark?)

This weekend, Colleen and I are going to take advantage of two of my favorite Chicago cultural traditions, Blues Fest and Printer’s Row Literary Fest.  They both take place in the Loop area. The Blues Fest is at Grant Park, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon-ish to 9 p.m. and the Lit Fest runs Saturday and Sunday during the day hours and is just southwest of Grant Park , near the Harold Washington Library area called, of course, Printer’s Row.

To enjoy Blues Fest: There are four stage venues scattered around Grant Park.  It’s free. Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket.  Sit. Enjoy.  Move on when you want to hear a different style of blues: guitar based, brass driven, Mississippi style, etc. You don’t need to know a lot about the blues or musicians, you just need to know how to sit and listen and enjoy. 

Lit Fest: There are vendor tents, lecture/speaking venues and food along several blocks in the Printers Row area (Dearborn and Polk). Browse the book deals.  Sign up for an event—I’m taking in a talk by Rebecca Skloot, author of the excellent “The Immortal Life and Henrietta Lacks.”  Or just pop in on some of the other sessions with authors and publishers.  Be a Bibliophile!

Ahh... books and music all in one place. Must be Nirvana!

See you downtown… it’s closer than you think.

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