Kat is a qualitative social scientist living in Chicago with her husband and plants.
She once had a $50.45 library fine.
Despite not speaking Spanish nor having ever taken an econ class, she is an expert on Chilean economics.
Did you know that the official term for people who make hooked rugs is hookers?
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I spent over two hours in the Preston Bradley center with Reverend Jean Darling, David Karcher , and Virginia Polk, which provided more material than I could possibly cover in one readable blog entry. Below are some of the things that I ran out of space to cover.
Reverend Preston Bradley was quite a character. My favorite story was that he was suspended from Moody Bible college for being seen leaving a movie theater and smoking a cigar. He, in fact, left quite a few organizations because he was “too” liberal, he started as a Presbyterian minister but was accused of heresy because he wouldn’t accept that unbaptized infants were going to hell. After leaving the Presbyterians and the Moody Bible College, he started his own church which merged with the existing People’s Church in 1912.
This is the small green door (David Karcher kindly providing size comparison). It leads to the roof over the auditorium, probably for repair purposes. This also quite nicely demonstrates the cause of the half-floors. The auditorium is a full three stories high (out of six mind you) and the bottom bit takes up over a story itself. Therefore, the balcony ends up aligned halfway through the second floor and the very top of the dome halfway through the third.
You can see the oasis on the left side along with maybe a building? Here’s what it looks like unedited; the oasis is still slightly visible if you really squint. This is on the East side (to your left when you walk in).
Moving on, here’s a shot of the heating/cooling system. It was high-tech for it’s time because it heated outside air which was then ventilated throughout the building via fan. Starbucks cup not original as far as I understand.
I have a few more things to show but I can’t bear to deal with any more photo editing tonight.
Yep, that’s me making chain mail because who *doesn’t* have a chain mail craft store in their neighborhood?
In my ten years in Chicago, I’ve lived in five apartments in three neighborhoods, but it’s my most recent neighborhood, Edgewater, where I’ve found my Chicago.
Edgewater is brilliant for so many reasons.
I live two blocks from the lake/beach – one of Chicago’s best features. There’s a plethora of places to go and things to see. Within a mile of my house is two Ethiopian restaurants, seven or so coffee shops, uncountable amount of pho places, a beautiful brand-new library, two soda-fountainy type places, and tons of random art. We might currently not really have any real food stores at the moment, but if you need Kinder hippos, aloe leaves, nuoc cham, or veladoras, we’ve got you covered. There’s a wide variety of people and they’re friendly, smiling and talking to their neighbors. Despite the people and places, it’s still quiet(ish), neighborhoody, with trees and green space, and not the hustle-and-bustle that other places might have.
In short, I love it. So when I learned about 48 Ward* Love Local, a month of discounts at local places, I was super excited. I was even MORE excited when I learned that if you participated in at least five deals and either shared on social media or sent your receipts in, you could win lunch with the alderman.** I have become obsessed with winning that lunch; I’m not exactly sure why. Possibly since it looks like I have a fairly good chance of winning looking at social media. Possibly because the whole concept of aldermen is weird. I’ve already been to my five places, including Cookies and Carnitas (above), but there’s a few more on our household list, and a lot of pictures to share.
I also just realized that this sounds like some sort of crappy sponsored post or something. It’s not, I just get excited about really weird things.
*technically wards and neighborhoods don’t match up, but whatever. I love my ward too and my local neighborhoods!
**aldermen are both like the mayor and the senator of your neighborhood. Chicago is weird. And awesome. I’ve met my alderman, Harry Osterman, several times and could go and talk to him at his office whenever, so it’s even weirder that I’ve become obsessed.
A couple of days ago, XOJane published an article called “It Happened to Me: There Are No Black People in My Yoga Classes and I’m Uncomfortable With It.” If you happen to be one of the three people who haven’t read it, it is actually even stupider than you would expect from the title.
Reading it, however, brought back old college memories for me, specifically of my senior seminar, Working Through Whiteness. Yep, not only did I take a class called Working Through Whiteness, I was required to take a class called Working Through Whiteness. And buy a book called Working Through Whiteness, which the internet informs me cost thirty-two bucks. This is the sort of thing that is responsible for people making fun of liberal arts colleges.
Everything else I had a choice, French or German, bio or chem, even queer versus feminist theory for my major, but Working Through Whiteness? That was the one immovable boulder in my college career. Three hours a week for twelve weeks, a group of mainly super-rich girls and one guy and I sat around talking about… well I took the class and I still have no fucking idea whatever it was we actually talked about. There were a few rules, though, of whiteness club.
- Never talk about our class privilege ever, even though nearly everyone was not just rich, but my family has multiple houses rich. Just pretend you know what it might be like to be poor or at least lower-middle class.
- Never talk about anything practical. The minute we get towards discussing anything that might leave the realm of theory, flee immediately.
- Never wonder what they would have done if any of the women and gender studies majors was, you know, not white. This rule was so strong that it just occurred to me this morning, ten years later. What would they have done? Given her an A+ and a pass to study hall?
While I don’t know what we talked about, at least much, I do remember how we talked. We talked exactly like that stupid yoga article. How we now realized that we were white and got stuff that “people of color”* didn’t get. How uncomfortable that made us. I remember some crying. I think we even talked about the tyranny of white thinness on African American women.
I thought it was stupid then, I think it’s stupid now, but that’s how someone who should know better can write an article like that and be surprised when it turns out to be a bad idea.
*actual term we were supposed to use. Something about solidarity of racial minorities against white people. It always uncomfortably reminded me of the term colored people but those type of thoughts break rule 2.