Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's Just Serendipity - shop local

I saw the facebook post that Karen Maravilla put up (owner if It's Just Serendipity) for this Easter weekend, and had to go. I wanted a photo of a "larger that life" Easter Bunny!!!! Plus, I enjoy her shop tremendously.

When I arrived, Karen was outside in her bunny outfit, complete with bunny slippers and Easter basket in hand, waiving to every car that drove by. I stopped to talk. Karen knows I am learning photography and having fun with it, so we talked about the upcoming events in Hammond this year, like the Spring Clean-up and Beautification Project, and the 4th annual Eat, Shop & Rock: Browse to the Beat Sidewalk Sale and Fest. I could not help but be re-injected with enthusiasm, to know our communities care and wanting us to care about our communities too.

Shop local! If you think about it, why do we shop the way we do: Internet, malls, places outside our community, and neighboring communities? The Internet is perhaps the most popular these days. We can search Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. We find we have time to sit, think, decide in the solitude of our home and in front of a static display. Some of us even buy on a whim over the Internet, whether it was that important to us or not. What was lost in this process? Have you ever tried to communicate with Amazon, eBay, or Etsy? Close to impossible. Was there a personal connection, an experience of reaching out to someone for help, and someone reaching back to actually help you?

Yes, my intent of going to It's Just Serendipity, was to photograph Karen dressed as an Easter Bunny and who I know would be enjoying every minute of it. I wanted to go into her gorgeous clean, organized shop too, and I did. What hit me when I walked in was the quality products made in the past many years, ready to be bought and cherished again. I saw local hand made goods too. There is just too much history around to not feel that a part of it. You feel the times. You feel the joy that was put into making these products, the people who bought them, and for the people who will buy them again. I do not feel that on the Internet, or at the mall.

Ask yourself the next time you buy something over the Internet or at the mall. Where is the money going? Does it go to "the man", or your community? Do you like your community? Do you wish your community would become a more positive place to live?

The lens I shot these photos with I purchased at Dave's Camera Mart in Munster. The art work that I have purchased came from Paul Henry's Art Gallery in Hammond. The sandwiches, soup, coffee, tea at The Blue Room Cafe.  The hamburgers I go out to eat come from Rick's Grill in Griffith. More sandwiches, soup, coffee, and tea at the Grindhouse Cafe in Griffith.  The entertainment of roller derby that I go see is at the Jean Shephard Community Center in Hammond. The meat that I buy and grill comes from Howard & Sons in Munster. I Zumba (or at least want too, have just photographed) at The Dance Connection. I get my pizza at Sanfrantello's in Highland, and at Zunis (moving down the street from me in Highland). I get my Yoga (okay, don't laugh, I don't Yoga yet, just take photos) at Yoga In The Park, at Wicker Park in Highland. I get my live music everywhere from the area, but mostly from the Thursday night JAM at Paul Henry's Art Gallery.

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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Eve with Nomad Planets

These guys were on top of their game tonight. It was fun, and they made it look easy. My photos were not what I was looking for, not on game, so there will only be a few this post.

Nomad Planets represents NW Indiana very well. We have variety in NW Indiana. We have perfection in NW Indiana. We have pure artistry in NW Indiana. Nomad Planets are proud to be apart of that, as represented by their play this night. Thank you gentlemen, from NW Indiana!!!!

Mark Mybeck - Lead Vocal / Guitar

Phil Rapchak - Bass / Vocal

Chris Ussery - Keyboard

Drew Enselman - Drums

John Carpenter - Guitar / Vocal

If you want to get out to enjoy some family entertainment, to zip back to some good old rock, check out the Nomad Planets.

You can check these guys out at the following links:

Nomad Planets

You can also check them out on my blog by clicking here , here, and here . . .

Friday, March 29, 2013

Next Stop: a new Chicago musical - at Steppenwolf Theater

music and lyrics by
Diana Lawrence

directed and co-conceived by
Erica Weiss

Adrian Aguilar, Harmony France, Emjoy Gavino, Immanuel Guest, Zach Kenney, Geoff Rice, and Blair Robertson

consulting dramaturg:
Kurt Johns

Why? Why did I start my blog like this? Well I will tell you. I love these people, their performance, the directing, the story line, everyone's ability to test changes in this script and  in front of "their peers" as it were . . . fellow citizens of Chicago.

I photographed one of the rehearsals last year, and went to see the musical the first opening night. I was blown away by Route 66 Theatre Company.

I am not going to give you details. I will let you know it is based on the El tracks of Chicago. Each part of Chicago has its own character. The El defines these parts of Chicago. Yes, if you knew more about Chicago it would be hilarious,  however, even an outsider like me understood and enjoyed the musical.

This evening we, the audience, had the pleasure to witness the "next phase of development" for this musical. Yes, there were changes from the first showing last year. The audience connected to every part this evening. Their eyes were glued to the performers, who were reading scripts on music stands, acting what they could given the space. Everyone in the audience was smiling.

Here are some photos of this evening for you to enjoy . . .

Citizen Hero (Roosevelt) by Aaron Carter

Blue Eyes Part 1 (Sox-35th) by Alice Austen

Roshambo (Addison) by Danny Bernardo

The Boy in the Thrift Store Sweater (Logan Square)
by Brett Neveu

I really liked Blair in this scene. As last year, her energy, making us feel like it was the first time crush on Adrian, made you feel part of her experience.

What I liked as well, was how the characters in the different acts would sometimes interact with Diana as in this next photo, using Diana as the 8th character on the set.

The stack of pancakes. (You had to be there.) I was glad to have captured it last year, and now.

Someday (Loyola) by Alex Lubischer

Closure (Wilson & the Clark Bus & the Addison Bus)
by Emilio Williams

The Christmas Train (Garfield) by Ike Holter

Blue Eyes Part 2 (Armitage) by Alice Austen

This is a very moving piece.  You do not see that in my one photo I took.  Perhaps taking just the one photo explains why I took just one photo - I was transfixed with emotion, also remembering last years musical.  This photo shows more communication with Diana, though be it non-verbal . . .

Mouths of Babes (Library/State & Van Buren)
by Caitlin Parrish

Please, do yourself a favor and follow the Route 66 Theatre Company, and this musical, Next Stop: a new Chicago musical.  You will be glad you did.

I greatly appreciate the Route 66 Theatre Company, and Steppenwolf Theatre's - The After Party Late-Night At The Garage.  They allowed me to photograph sitting among their guests, in their venue, to bring this to you.  I enjoy opportunities like this.  One can only feel humbled.

For more information:

Route 66 Theatre Company

Steppenwolf Theatre

For my blog on last years arrangement of this musical, click here.