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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

The Admiral is a posh retirement home on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. I was invited back to liven things up at their September luncheon.  People were tentative at first—this happens sometimes—but after a while there was a line and the conversation over the drawings got pretty lively.  A big factor at parties is food, which has to be enjoyed first before you join the crowd around the caricaturist for extra pleasures like laughing over your caricature and commenting on your friends’. When you’re planning an event, remember: laughter is therapy.

Thank you, Jennifer!

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They’re on Elston in Chicago.  They’re huge. Of course, they are.  Have you ever seen a corner mom and pop car dealer, where you quickly stop by after work to pick up a little something? Fox Ford Lincoln held a promotion in a top floor show room whose ceiling was at least three stories high, high enough, for acrobats hanging from ropes and twirling in strobe lights.  It was a promotion but also a party thrown for customers who already drive a Ford or Lincoln from Fox.  Nice.

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dEARBORN1

From Prospect Heights I drove directly downtown, taking LaSalle Street to avoid the distaste of Taste of Chicago.  A movie was being shot with the Board of Trade as the backdrop, like The Untouchables except this was all about touching.  A bride was puckering up to kiss her kneeling new husband. Camera men circling around. Ah, I love this town! Traffic was barely slowed by this.  Then I noticed the bridesmaids near the columns of Northern Trust.  Ermmm, not a movie scene after all.  This was a real wedding.  I love this town!

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The party on South Dearborn was equally glamorous. My hostess, the mother of the groom,  flew in from Washington DC.  The mother of the bride flew in from Las Vegas.  The wedding will be in (where did they say?) I think, California or Hawaii.  Much of the family is from the Midwest.  So, natch, you gotta throw the bridal shower in Chicago.  That’s because you love this town!

Thank you, Lou Ann!———————————————

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dEARBORN3All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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Hammond1

Hammond2A this party in Hammond, Indiana, some natives confirmed for me that Jean Shepherd’s 1983 movie A Christmas Story (based on his book and narrated by him) was set in Hammond, Indiana, his home town. When I got home after the party, I Googled Indiana jokes. Nice try, Hoosiers, but none of those jokes could be applied to Hammond– at least not as I experienced it on Kansas Street. My host was an ophthalmologist with four smart, talented Hammond3kids, one of whom had just graduated from high school.  There was a piano and a HARP in the living room!  Sophisticated, worldly, witty people, just hanging out in Ron’s driveway, being drawn by me.  I loved the repartee!  The puns! The nuances! I love it when people get what I’m doing, which is a form of lying, and lie right back to me—to test me.  As, for example, the top punster telling me that he works for the city—cutting grass.  Ha.

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Hammonders apparently think they’re living in a suburb of Chicago.  They just hop the South Shore train to take in some art on Michigan Ave or soak Hammond5up Lincoln Park.

I loved this party on Kansas Street. The best gigs are gigs where I learn stuff and stereotypes are toppled.

Somebody needs to post more up-to-date Indiana jokes.

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SocialTableA
You know how when you throw a party at your house everybody congregates in the kitchen?Exactly. Why not throw a party that’s held IN the kitchen. Take it one step further: rent someone else’s kitchen and engage a cooking teacher. That roughly describes The Social Table at Armitage & Halsted in Chicago.
To celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday, Lilia invited twenty six friends, mostly couples, to The Social Table, where they would participate in the cooking of their dinner under the expert guidance of a chef, this one named Ian. They worked on a stainless steel table (the chopping and slicing had already been done by the staff) and when everything was cooked, they cleared the table and, well, feasted. Feasted. What else could you call such eating! I was set up at another table, where people sat for me very briefly, maybe 3 minutes each, so that I could draw their faces. Later, while the cooking heated up, I added the bodies and finished the drawings. Then I presented them in clear plastic sleeves while the main course was still in progress and the wine glasses were being refilled. All to much applause and laughter. Then, guess what, I was invited to enjoy their perfect halibut-in-roasted-red-pepper-sauce. Thank you, Lilia!
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Christening1
Christening2From Bollywood in Milwaukee it was down to the European Chalet on South Harlem at about 54th in Chicago. Quite a day.
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Glessner1
That would be Indiana Ave just south of the Prairie Ave Historic District, near the Glessner House and the Clarke House. Sigh.
Anyway, Mikel flew in from L.A., where she’s working on her MA public health, to be with her school buddies from Brown in Providence where they were undergrads. As you can imagine, the conversation in this little upscale condo was pretty upscale. Well, with some colloquialism thrown in here and there. What better way to celebrate with school pals than to have caricatures of everyone individually and then for the finale one group “shot.” It was all Mikel’s treat. Thank you, Mikel!

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