Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day Chicago 2013


Another Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and for the sixth year in a row I feel fortunate in not having to return to the labor force today.  Tom Skilling outdid himself, delivering his best weather for the weekend, and Jill and I made full use of the great conditions on Sunday and Monday.

Thank You, Mr. Skilling, for the lovely Sunday sunrise (JWB Photo)
On Sunday afternoon we met our friends, Bruce and Lori, in Logan Square for the Remix Festival on Milwaukee Avenue between Fullerton and California.  It was an interesting stroll, past a camel and painted pianos, along a row of artists, who, according to the festival’s website, are taking “used or recycled goods and crating original, handmade art, clothing, household items, jewelry, paper objects, collectibles and other crafts.”

Some creatures had a better time at the Remix Festival than others (JWB Photo)
Painted pianos decorated Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square for the Remix Festival (JWB Photo)
My favorite vendor was displaying jewelry made out of old typewriter keys.

We had lunch at a great little place just east of the Logan Square Centennial Column, Dunlay’s on the Square. Sunday brunch is served until 3:00, and the Dunz Omelette rocked, made even better by a couple pints of Trumer Pils.

Then down Elston Avenue we went, angling straight into the heart of the city, where we chatted a bit inside the unbelievable lobby of the Palmer House before leaving Lori to bask in luxury while Bruce, Jill and I headed over to Millennium Park for an afternoon at Jazz Fest.

We got to the Pritzker Pavilion just as Jimmy Heath and his outstanding sidemen took the stage.  Unbelievable.  This cat is 86-years-old, has performed on more than a hundred albums, written over 125 compositions, many of which are now jazz classics.  He has performed with nearly every jazz great of the past half-century and currently serves as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York.

Jimmy Heath on saxophone with pianist Jeb Patton, bassist Michael Karn
and Winard Harper kicking it on drums (JWB Photo) 
Dizzy Gillespie once said of Mr. Heath, “All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know bop.”

What an amazing way to end a Labor Day eve!

The next morning ushered in a day of leisure for the most part, highlighted by the annual parade of the Wellington-Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society.  This was the fiftieth parade for WOOGMS, an event that began when a public relations guy by the name of Al Weisman grabbed his son, Tony, and few friends and marched around their Lakeview block carrying an American flag.

The WOOGMS nearing the end of the route on Diversey (JWB Photo)
For the 50th year the WOOGMS celebrate Labor Da, led down Sheridan
by the Jesse White drum corps (JWB Photo)
Al’s gone now, but his son carries on, and it was heartening to see the number of strollers passing down Sheridan Road when I looked out our window.  It would be great if some of those little kids grew up to carry on the tradition.  That’s what living in a city of neighborhoods is all about.

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