GUEST BLOG – Gary Schoepfel welcomes you to his home field, Chicago.

me in front of the Art Institute
me in front of the Art Institute

For more than a decade, I have been globe trotting with Classical Pursuits. I’ve led book discussions on riverboats in Russia, Vietnam, and Cambodia; in cafes and restaurants in Paris, Greece, Quebec, and Santa Fe; in pastures, pubs, and B&Bs in England, Italy, Toronto, Ireland, and Key West. And although I suffer from that wonderful affliction, wanderlust, my heart leaps up when, on return, we break the clouds and I see that lake, those tall buildings, my home, Chicago.

There is a special delight I take in playing on my home field. My delight is rooted in a kind of pride. Most recognize the moniker, “Windy City.” Few know its origin. It refers not to the stiff breezes off our great lake Michigan, but, rather, to the boasting hot air generated by our notorious politicians. The pride I take in Chicago is not boastful or vain. It’s a generous pride. It’s a delight I wish to pass around. It’s pockets and fists filled with treasure that’s best when shared.

Chicago—she looks great in the fall but best in the spring. For miles, May tulips split the Magnificent Mile up the middle; colorful sails dress the harbors; 27 miles of lakefront park stretch our winter-bound legs and relieve our cabin fever. She wakes from winter slumber with youthful laughter and a hearty invitation to play.

And so we will play in Chicago in May, May 1-5, 2013, to be exact.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago. (Think Seurat, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Doré, Van Gogh and Pissarro.) Sean Forester will soon be writing a blog post on his special take on the art he will expose us to through a painter’s eyes.
  • Millennium Park,  (Think “City in a Garden.” Frank Gehry and Anish Kapoor.)
  • “Da Books:” Bellow, Brooks, Sandburg, Addams, and Algren. (They’ll make us think.)
  • We’ll dine at one of my favorite Chicago neighborhood restaurants, RoseAngelis. (Think Cucina Italiana.)

This “City of Big Shoulders” is a playground for the ears, for the eyes, the feet, the palate, and the mind. I open my doors and invite you into my home, sweet home, Chicago.

Read more about Reading Chicago and register now. I look forward to welcoming you.

Gary Schoepfel

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