Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: Chicago, theater

Another wonderful evening of musical theater in the highly decorative Oriental Theater in Chicago. Hard to believe that it has been twenty years since I saw “RENT” for the first time… so good to see it again for the Anniversary Tour. Still an amazing show!!!

According to
As one of the first motion picture palaces whose décor was inspired by the Far East, Chicago’s Oriental Theatre opened to much fanfare on May 8, 1926. Designed by George L. and Cornelius W. Rapp for theatre managers Balaban and Katz, the theatre, a virtual museum of Asian art, presented popular first-run motion pictures, complemented by lavish stage shows. Turbaned ushers led patrons from the lobby, with polychrome figures and large mosaics of an Indian prince and princess, through an inner foyer with elephant-throne chairs and multicolored glazed Buddhas, to the auditorium’s “hasheesh-dream décor.”

Among the many stars that played the theatre are Paul Ash (billed as “the Rajah of Jazz”), The Three Stooges, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Stepin Fetchit, Sophie Tucker, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Fanny Brice, Danny Kaye and Alice Faye. During a record-breaking week in 1930, as many as 124,985 patrons visited the Oriental to see the hit film “Flight.” Although management changed hands several times in the subsequent decades, the theatre continued to feature films until the early 1970s, at which time it hosted live performances by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Little Richard.

Soon the theater fell into disrepair. In an effort to preserve the theatre, it was added to the Federal National Registry of Historic Places in 1978, but the building continued to crumble. The theatre was closed to the public in 1981, and the site was considered for a two-story, 50,000 square-foot shopping mall and a 1,600 seat cinema. In 1996, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that the Oriental would be restored to
its original grandeur for the presentation of live stage musicals. Renamed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in 1997, the restoration of the theatre was completed in October 1998, at which time it was opened with the Chicago premiere of RAGTIME. In 1999, FOSSE debuted at the Oriental Theatre before embarking on a national tour. The list of hits goes on, including the pre-Broadway premiere of BLAST in 2000, the
world premiere of SING-A-LONG WIZARD OF OZ in January 2003, the record-breaking run of WICKED from 2005 to 2009, BILLY ELLIOT and the pre-Broadway World Premiere of BIG FISH in 2013. In 2014, the hits include the National Tour Premiere of MOTOWN and Disney’s NEWSIES.





Categories: Chicago

A fun afternoon at Wrigley… even on a cloudy, non-game day. Love the new “Park At Wrigley” and the rest of the new construction. Including a memorable quote by Ernie Banks… now memorialized in wood letters on the ceiling!!!

Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

A beautiful morning ride with a slight chill in the air. But the sky is clear and sun’s gonna warm it up quick today… I hope. Might need to get out for another ride this afternoon after some quality studio time?!

And her she is… the Big Debut of the NEW BIKE.
Still considering if she needs a name or not… any ideas??
The top two contenders so far are… “Scarlet Don’t-Care-A”… or “The Crimson Ride.”




Categories: architecture, Chicago, flowers

Let’s just quietly file these under the category of “Tax Procrastination”
and call it a day… and a BEAUTIFUL one at that!!!
… and now back to my taxes after a nice afternoon run.



Categories: Chicago, classes

Celebrating the big home opener of the Chicago Cubs…
with thematic snacks for my pottery class tonight!

Categories: Chicago, photography

Framed with clouds. Framed with branches.

Categories: Chicago, photography, sunrise

Beautiful sunrise colors sweeping the sky this morning…
with colorful clouds all the way to the Chicago skyline.

Categories: bike, Chicago, sunrise

What a difference a day makes… with calmer waters, fewer clouds and colorful skies.

Categories: Chicago, holiday

Chicago now has a holiday dedicated to its iconic four-starred flag.
The date was chosen because April 4, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary
of the City Council accepting the 1917 design by journalist, author and poet Wallace Rice
as Chicago’s official flag.

Wallace designed the Chicago flag with a white base divided into thirds symbolizing the North, West and South sides of town. The two dividing blue bars represent Lake Michigan and both branches of the Chicago River. And each of the six points of the four stars has its own significance.

Originally, Chicago’s flag only had two stars. The additional two stars — one each for Chicago’s world’s fairs — were an afterthought.

And what does it all mean?… well, according to Wikipedia…

The Stripes
The three white background areas of the flag represent, from top to bottom, the North, West and South sides of the city. The top blue stripe represents Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River. The bottom blue stripe represents the South Branch of the river and the “Great Canal”, over the Chicago Portage.The lighter blue on the flag is variously called sky blue or pale blue;in a 1917 article of a speech by Rice, it was called “the color of water”.

The Stars
There are four red six-pointed stars on the center white stripe. From left to right:
The first star represents Fort Dearborn. It was added to the flag in 1939. Its six points symbolize transportation, labor, commerce, finance, populousness, and salubrity.

The second star stands for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and is original to the 1917 design of the flag. Its six points represent the virtues of religion, education, aesthetics, justice, beneficence, and civic pride.

The third star symbolizes the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and is original to the 1917 design. Its six points stand for political entities Chicago has belonged to and the flags that have flown over the area: France, 1693; Great Britain, 1763; Virginia, 1778; the Northwest Territory, 1789; Indiana Territory, 1802; and Illinois (territory, 1809, and state, since 1818).

The fourth star represents the Century of Progress Exposition (1933–1934), and was added in 1933. Its points refer to bragging rights: the United States’ second largest city (became third largest in a 1990 census when passed by Los Angeles); Chicago’s Latin motto, Urbs in horto (“City in a garden”); Chicago’s “I Will” motto; the Great Central Marketplace; Wonder City; and Convention City.

Who knew?…
but it’s pretty cool to have an actual Chicago Flag Day, right?!


Categories: Chicago, workout

The weather was perfect this morning for the annual Shamrock Shuffle. Twenty-three thousand runners flooding the streets of Chicago for the kick-off of the race season! A really fun run through the City with lots of great sights along the way.