Saturday, September 29, 2012

My NW Indiana - Farmers Market, Highland IN

After my visit with "It's Just Serendipity" in Hammond, I went to see my buddy Lou Shields perform at the Farmers Market, in Highland. I did not know there was a Saturday market there, until Lou put up a facebook post he would be there. Goes to show, there is a lot in our own back yard to enjoy. We just need to look, listen, to "stop and smell the experience".

Here are a few pictures of Lou and the market . . .

As I was taking the photographs, absorbing the sun, I began to ponder.  How can we get people to "stop and smell the experience"?  One thought I had, was for each community to get together and pick a month for themselves.  Then have each of our artists (fine art, musicians, photographers, crafters) take one Saturday of that month to sit out on the sidewalk, along side the road, in front of a shop, and just "do their thing".  As people drove by, they may slow down, smell the experience, get emotional, and want to stop to check things out.  Perhaps have a shop sponsor the artist, meaning provide them with a place to perform, to come in for a break when they need one, to keep the artists comfortable with food and drink.  This reciprocation in gratitude can go a long way in community relationships.

It was very cool how the vendors of the Highland Farmers Market thanked Lou.  It was cool that when I arrive late, Lou stayed to play me the "coffee" song, and the vendors thanked Lou once again.  Everyone was happy, took in the experience (yes, experience will always be the theme), and thanked each other for it. What a day!

Well, this is not the end. Stay on the journey with me.  Here are some vids I took of Lou at the Farmers Market.  Enjoy . . .  (oh, one of these days I will actually bring a tripod, so please forgive the movement)

My NW Indiana - It's Just Serendipity

The NW Indiana region is alive.  Unfortunately, we sometimes do not stop and look.  This was my original purpose of blogging, to bring the "unseen" to you, so that you can go see.

In one of my blogs this year, I wrote about NW Indiana, Hammond in particular, becoming the hub of art.  We are dripping with talent here.  It use to be, the surrounding suburbs of Chicago would always travel into Chicago to find what they wanted.  Whether music, theatre, clothing, or food.  Yes, there was also the "experience" that we wrapped ourselves in and enjoyed, that attracted us to Chicago.

Soon, and I do not know exactly when, but soon, people from Chicago will be coming to NW Indiana, and specifically Hammond IN, to enjoy time "away" from the city.  To enjoy music, theatre, clothing, or food.  I can feel it in the air I breath.  There is an excitement brewing!

Thanks to you, the people, friends, who read my blog, I was asked to visit another shop in Hammond.  "It's Just Serendipity", or Serendipity as I will use in this blog.  They are located on Hohman Ave, just a few blocks from downtown Hammond.  Serendipity specializes in everything old, brought to new, re-purposed in some cases, and from local people.  Everything is clean, neat, organized, and there is a little bit of everything.  This is just not a shop to browse.  There is a feeling of "home" here.

Let me take you through some photos to get you familiar with Serendipity.  I am not sure my photos will do them justice, however, if it gets you to go inside, then I have done my job.

As you walk in the door (photo above), there are some chairs and vintage glassware.  Here you will find business cards of all the local shops.  This is why I like the city of Hammond, the businesses in Hammond.  They support each other.  It is not just Serendipity that does this.  I see this at the Towle Theater, Paul Henry's, Blue Room Cafe.  It is all around.  I will venture to say, you can walk into any shop in Hammond and ask where to find something, and the shop will have the answer.

In the photo above, I recognized the "Horizons" brochure, for the photography exhibit that is running until this coming Sunday.  How do I know????   I have a photograph on exhibit there!!!!!

This next photo is a basket holding some hand made mittens made by a mother and daughter from our area.

This next photo shows products made by our local NW Indiana community.

Halloween is coming up . . . check Serendipity out for your seasonal shopping!

Serendipity has a little of everything.  A lot of Beatles, a lot of vintage, and a lot of innovative / recycled / re-purposed / and home made within our region.  Personally, I loved the old suit cases, Beatles everything (for Pete Calacci), and hats (for Lou Shields).  Things change over, because this is not today's "reproduction" stuff.  You can consider it one-of-a-kind, because it is vintage.  You can even help out.  Should you find yourself wanting to part with something, give Serendipity a call.

It is true, Internet shopping is very big.  You can find what you want without leaving the comfort of your home.  You can go into Chicago for an experience, however, how consistent is that experience, and is it what you hoped it would be?  We do need to support our region if we want it to grow.  We need to "stop and smell the experience" as it were.  Just do not drive by like I do.  Stop, ask, buy.

I have another blog entry to do today as well, on Lou Shields and the farmers market in Highland.  If you get a chance, look it up.

Thank you Karen Maravilla for letting me take photos of It's Just Serendipity.  Thank you Community for letting me know about this place.  And I will write, You Are Welcome, should you choose to check Serendipity out.

It's Just Serendipity
5630 Hohman Ave.
Hammond, IN  46320
(219) 932-6328

Thursday and Friday - 10am to 6pm
Saturday - 10am to 4pm
Closed - Sunday thru Wednesday

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicago Sinfonietta and the Zhou Brothers - September 2012

Zhou Brothers - Shan Zuo and Da Huang

Updated 9/30/2016

The Chicago Sinfonietta and the Zhou Brothers collaborated to give us a unique experience, one of music and color. For me, this was very warming. The relaxed feeling of energy, creativity, passion, went through the room as all who attended were swept into the moment.

With the Chicago Sinfonietta, led by Maestro Mei-Ann Chen, the Zhou brothers internalized that energy, and expressed it onto a huge canvas. Oh, let us not get ahead of ourselves . . . there is a beginning, before we get to the end . . .

Here are some photos of the reception before this extraordinary event. Enjoy!

This next photo is of Maestro Mei-Ann Chen and Da Huang.

And brother Shan Zuo . . .

Our Emcee for this evening was Judy Hsu, of ABC7 News This Morning, Chicago. As I look back at my life, I find I am always happy to see the "human" side of television. I have been able to meet many actors, at least many to my standards, and have always walked away with a great appreciation of them as wonderful people, giving us their energy and insights, adding to our lives. Judy is friendly, adorable, spirited and a person I would call a friend any day. Thank you Judy for being here for us, and for the Zhou Brothers, on this special evening.

My friend and date for this evening, Diana Leviton Gondek with Maestro Chen.

Robin Rios of 4Art . . .

I have to thank Diana for being a good sport. She knew I was there to take photographs, she knew I was taking more of my share of her, and she proudly let me. Thank you Diana!

The main event. To start us off, The Chicago Sinfonietta Ensemble with Eric Goldberg and Shuya Gong - percussion, and Idy Ciss - Djembe. Normally, I would have played photographer and elbowed my way to find "my shot". However, this evening I was moved more to feel the experience. So I took photos sparingly throughout this program.

Next was Project Trio, with Greg Patillo - flute, Eric Stephenson - cello, and Peter Seymour - bass. They were very entertaining with wit, humor, and of course a superb performance of music. I highly recommend you go see them perform.

A video interlude of the Zhou Brothers followed. I did not try to photograph this, mainly for their copyright, and because I just wanted to sit back and enjoy.

Afterward, the Zhou Brothers entered and the main performance began, with the Chicago Sinfonietta performing:

Butterfly Lover's Prelude, Gang Chen / Zhanhao He

Four Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi
I. Spring
IV. Winter
arr, Eric Goldberg and Shuya Gong

Here are the photos . . .

What I thought was very nice were the side screens. No matter where you sat, you had a view of the performance. I was able to capture "the real" and "the projection", all at once from the corner I was at.

Now realize, there is music, both from the Chicago Sinonietta, and from the Zhou Brothers. Being brothers, Da Huang and Shan Zuo understand each other, how each connects between sound, themselves, and color. The emotion they receive from the external music, transmits to their selection of color, their brush strokes, and collaboration between themselves. It turns "into" music. Maestro Chen was all aware, and reciprocated in collaboration through her conducting. This is what made "being present" much more meaningful. As you watched, listened, looked around, you became part of that same collaboration. You understood what was going on. You connected. This simple experience, being inside ourselves and everything that was going on for that moment, is what this was all about.

Near the end, the Brothers verbally communicated for the first time. Knowing they were close, yet not close enough to completion. A few more strokes of paint, then one last talk. Done. I was not in a position to photograph their expression of completion, and their thanks to Maestro Chen, the Chicago Sinonietta, and the audience. So I will write . . . they were both humbled and proud to have given us this opportunity to understand them, as Brothers, and their passion for their art.

Here are some more photos for you to enjoy . . .

And yes, I dragged Diana out, kicking and screaming. I know she enjoyed this event, so I wanted to take a photo of her in front of the Zhou Brothers art for her remembrance.

I would also like to take this time to thank my new found artist friends, who have studios at the Zhou B Art Center, and who I saw this evening. They are . . .

and of course my date for the evening

These artists have allowed me to come into their lives to photograph. Seeing through their eyes has helped me to "see" and express my photography. What I also understand, this is a journey. One that should never end. One that I chose to take, the road less traveled, so I can share with those who choose a different path than mine.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 523-0200

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