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More from Open House Chicago

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After The Arts Club and lunch, Melody and I went to 333 N. Michigan. We were actually heading further, but the sign for the Open House beckoned us and I knew the building had exquisite Art Deco touches, like their stunning elevator doors. On the 4th floor the Tavern Club was open to the public. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed with the interior of this old social club that used to count Carl Sandburg and Frank Lloyd Wright at its members. I confess I’m a history buff who’s got one foot stuck in the past, where wood paneling and gas lights are the norm. While I didn’t get the interior I had hoped for, the view from the club of the river and Michigan Avenue below was stunning.

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From the Tavern Club at 333 N. Michigan

On the way out of 333, in the elevator, I asked a man what his favorite sight was and he said the 17th Christian Science Church, so we went there next. Designed by Harry Reese, the modern church was dedicated in the 1960s. When we walked into the church, the amazing organ was playing.

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Silent Sunday

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SilentSunday

More from the Gold Coast at Halloween

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Halloween on Chicago’s Gold Coast

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Here are some photos from a walk around the Gold Coast of Chicago as Halloween approaches.

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People are really getting into the spirit.

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Alert

Right now China is having a huge government meeting which happens every five years. You may have heard on the news that Pres. Xi wants to raise himself up to the level of Mao or Deng Xiao Peng. He may not appoint a successor for 2022, which is the norm.

I just saw this alert on a listserv.

China just sent a warning to foreign students:

“To all international students – The 18th Congress will be held next week. Over these few weeks the immigration bureau will be strict when dealing with foreigners. The police will conduct checks in major cities, including Nanjing Take your ID (Passport and Student ID) at all times. Foreigners are prohibited from traveling to Beijing and Shanghai during this period. International students must obtain permission from their school and respective immigration bureau before traveling to these destinations. Foreigners are not allowed to organize or gather in large numbers during this period, and this applies to religious and social settings. Students who are working illegally should be extra cautious during this period. The immigration bureau will be conducting checks in each district. Any violation during this sensitive but important period for China will result in automatic deportation. The school will not be able to help.”

I think this is overkill and shows paranoia.

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Image 390

Hmm. What to search for for this prompt. I suppose I’ll go to Flickr Commons and search “girl posed.”

I did and here’s a few photos I found.

For more inspired nostalgia, click here.

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From the National Library of Wales, circa 1885

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Library of Congress, 1939, taken near Union Station, Washington DC

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She could use more fabric ~ Library of Congress, 1910

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Norway, 1890, Library of Congress

Wings

bulgakova_wings_movieReleased in 1966 Wings, a story of a Russian female heroic fighter pilot long after she’s been able to fly sounded like an intriguing film. As a Criterion Collection film I had not sky-high, but high hopes. It’s the story of an unmarried woman who’s isolated from those around her. Though she’s a mother (of a daughter who doesn’t know she’s adopted), a high school principal who’s dedicated to her school and students, and the lover of a museum director, the main character is emotionally distant from everyone around her.

Her life isn’t bad, but she’s very isolated. She talks with her lover about her estrangement with her daughter and she talks in passing with people at work about a boy who got in trouble and has now run away, but the conversation is superficial.

While I gave the movie a chance and wouldn’t call it bad, because the heroine was so removed from everyone else and we never saw the main problems like the boy’s flight from his dormitory, I never got caught up in the story. So the artistry escaped me.

I can’t recommend Wings, but perhaps I’ve missed something.

Breaking into Film

One honest answer to the eternal question, “How do I break into Hollywood?”

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter I

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Ink painting

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Iglesia

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Ice

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that begin with the Letter I.

On Tuesday when I first considered participating I thought I wouldn’t have any Letter I photos to post. Turns out I was wrong.

If you want to see more Letter I photos, go here.

Sisters of the Gion

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While Memoirs of a Geisha painted a romantic portrait of geisha living in a Japanese Cinderella story, Sisters of Gion gives viewers a realistic view. Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, who’s fond of creating films about vulnerable women, the Sisters of Gion we see are the older, trusting Umekichi and the more perceptive, jaded O-Mocha. Umekichi’s patron has gone flat broke. He has to sell his store and his family has to move back to his wife’s hometown in disgrace. The wife isn’t the least bit happy about the shame that accompanies this fall.

The patron, Furusawa-san, accepts Umekichi’s offer to put him up. O-Mocha is incredulous and miffed. Doesn’t Umekichi realize that they’re just barely scrimping by? How can they take in a penniless former merchant? Quiet Umekichi ignores her younger sister, occasionally saying something about tradition or being good to people.

O-Mocha is the practical sister. She realizes that her sister needs a new patron, pronto and to get one she’ll need to be seen in an exquisite kimono at a top level party. O-Mocha gets her sister the needed invitation and figures out how to hustle an assistant in a kimono shop to help her sister. Later when the shop assistant is found out, O-Mocha cozies up to the shop owner who she wants to be her patron.

O-Mocha sees the geisha life for what it is — a way for men to have young playthings. It’s not a path she appears to have chosen, but she’s determined not to be a victim in the system, if that’s a possibility in a male dominated society.

The film was absorbing and often beautiful. I admired O-Mocha’s spunk and wished her sister would take some of her advice. It’s a classic, I’d love to see again.

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