Val’s Halla is the spiritual home for this unrepentant vinyl junkie. Personal highlights from the last year include finding old favorites by the Del Fuegos, Kinks and Thomas Dolby, which were subsequently signed by the artists. The covers are framed and hanging on my wall, while the discs spin on my turntable. Val and Shane have [...]
Let’s show Val Camilletti how much her family’s business has meant to our community of music aficionados. Did you hang out at Val’s after school? Launch your band from the Val’s halla stage? What awesome music were you introduced to? Did it change your life? Please be specific. Send me a paragraph of your memories [...]
It has been a fun and busy summer. I taught 4 creative writing classes for kids in the vibrant Oak Park Arts District Summer Camp. It was a joyous time! My favorite moments: Seeing one student gripped by her imagination and shaking from the excitement of the Story that was unfolding on the Page. [...]
Chicago artist Sallie Wolf’s charming children’s book The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound (Charlesbridge, 2010) invites kids to get to know some of their noisiest neighbors – the birds!
We were in Japan for 3 weeks this summer which was a wondrous journey of extremes: from the neon, buzz and bullhorns, and manga-mania of Electric Town in Tokyo to the mist-covered hills, sacred herd of deer, 1,000-year-old cedar tree, and the shrines and temples of Nara. It’s taking a while to get back into [...]
The storm brought everyone outside: neighbors checking on each other, comparing notes, tsk-ing, and wondering at the downed trees, the debris-strewn street. I managed to sneak a post yesterday before ComEd shut everything down so they could address live wires and blown transformers. (Photos in yesterday’s post.) ABC News reported that there were 215,000 Chicagoans [...]
At around 4:20 p.m., we ran to our van. A storm was breaking and the crowns of the 50 – 100′ trees in our town began to dance. Branches broke off, leaves flew through the air, and rain drummed the van roof. Streetlights at major intersections had lost power. It takes us 10 minutes to [...]
I remember the Exxon Valdez spill. I remember volunteers going out to Prince William Sound in Alaska armed with toothbrushes and buckets, scrubbing gunky oil off of sea birds and rocks and the shoreline. According to the National Wildlife Federation news, the oil spill in our Gulf of Mexico is like having an Exxon Valdez [...]
I am wet. Mud streaks my rag-a-muffin shorts. Rain pelts my head and runs down my face in rivulets. Crumbs of brown soil are lodged under my fingernails. And I am completely happy. It’s a three-day weekend and I’ve spent nearly all of it outside. Mabuhay! Live! I’m not out in Chicago’s urban wilds; this [...]
So it’s with the greatest pleasure that I share with you all the U.S. launch of the anthology Growing Up Filipino II, edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard.