#Project365MB: January 25-31 & February 1-7

January 25: Best friend from Buffalo comes to visit? Go to the Bills backer bar, of course. (That would be Lincoln Station, if you’re curious)

SO thrilled to have my best friend @meghanisajoke visiting Chicago for a couple days! #gobills

January 26: My roommate Teresa’s birthday. We went to a restaurant called the Longman & Eagle, where we tried such adventurous dishes as braised duck, roasted cauliflower and beet lentils, and fried goat ravioli. Oh yeah, and instead of cake, they gave her a shot of bourbon with a candle in it for her birthday. Happy birthday indeed.

Happy birthday @treezie126! #thatsmyroommate #birthdayshots

January 27: Spent the day in Wicker Park with Meghan, went to Transit Tees, ate delicious tacos and drank beers with hot sauce and lime at Big Star, took an adventure to O’Hare.

But I can’t stop from just smiling when that damn sun is shining on, hell it’s just shining down all over me. Thanks for hangin with me, @meghanisajoke!

January 28: Bridgeport seems like a neat place.

Hung out into Bridgeport today, super cool place. Reminded me a lot of South Buffalo. Thriving arts scene. Great coffee. And combination liquor store-bars that are next to British pasty shops.

January 29: I can’t even explain why I get so elated when I find myself at a bar that carries Labatts. Also, appropriate t-shirt, no?

Spreading the Buffalove, one @labattusa at a time. #buffalothings

January 30: Selma is an incredibly powerful, moving film that everyone should see.

Went to see Selma for community day. If you haven’t seen it yet, you absolutely should. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” -Winston Churchill

January 31: Wherever you are, there you go.

This year, summed up in one sentence.

February 1: Super Bowl Super Blizzard Sunday. Apparently the fifth-largest blizzard in Chicago’s history.

So it snowed a little bit in Chicago… And in a total Buffalo moment, we helped push someone out that was stuck in the snow! Say what you want about winter, but cold fosters community.

February 2: Groundhog day, Grandma’s birthday. I love this picture of my Grandma, my Aunt Marjie, me, and my Mom.

Happy birthday Grandma, on what would be your 86th birthday. Love and miss you every day.

February 3: Trains and city.

Views from an overpass. (@Ashland [CTA Green/Pink Lines])

February 4: “Dibs” is serious business in Chicago.

One of the strangest things about Chicago in the winter is the concept of “dibs.” When it snows, people will shovel out a parking spot and then leave chairs, crates, ironing boards, even giant stuffed teddy bears or floor lamps in their parking spot to save it. But the craziest part is that people actually respect this and won’t park there if it isn’t their spot. Nowhere else would this work. Ever.

February 5: The overpass that leads to the Kedzie-Homan blue line station entrance.

View most mornings before getting on the train, view most nights after getting off the train.

February 6: Sunset in East Garfield Park.

View out my bedroom window.

February 7: Community Organizing Training.

Spent most of the weekend with these folks participating in a Community Organizing Training put together by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

#Project365MB: January 18-24

This was definitely a week of learning and new experiences. From celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, to walking around Chicago’s loop at 1 a.m. counting homeless persons, to seeing firsthand artifacts from the Holocaust, here is a look at the week that was:

January 18: I love MLK Sunday for many reasons, but singing this is definitely a highlight, because I think it captures the essence of Martin Luther King, Jr’s. legacy. And also, I got to sing it twice. Thanks, Fourth Presbyterian Church.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on til victory is won!

We sing lots of incredible hymns at church, but this one is in my top three. I love the melody, I love what the song stands for. #LiftEveryVoiceAndSing

January 19: Stained glass window at First Church of the Brethren.

Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Chicago YAV house is next door to the First Church of the Brethren, in which MLK was based out of when he worked on affordable housing in Chicago. I love walking by this window in the sanctuary not only because it is so colorful, but also because in the lower left hand corner is a depiction of Rev. Dr. King, in commemoration of his time with First Church of the Brethren. Today, we celebrate how far we’ve come as a nation, and remember how much work is still yet to be done. #YAVProgram

January 20: State of the Union Day! The day’s highlight, though– My roommate Teresa and I went with some friends to see The MLK Project: The Fight For Civil Rights, a one-woman show about a high school teenager on Chicago’s South Side who is required to present a project about MLK. The performer alternates between the persona of the young girl who is learning about the Civil Rights Movement, and various figures and leaders from the same time period. The acting was phenomenal, and really provides a unique perspective of the people who lived through the Civil Rights Movement.

“The State of the Union is strong.” And Chicago got a shoutout for offering free community college courses! Also, I love Chicago’s flag.

January 21: Downtown

Downtown, looking up.

January 22: Chicago Homeless Count

Last night, the City of Chicago dispatched over 300 volunteers to do a “point in time” homeless count. In addition to counting people in shelters, hospitals, and other public spaces, volunteers also went to specific neighborhoods to count people outside. This helps to create a “snapshot” which is then sent to US Department of Housing and Urban Development and determines funding for homeless services the city receives. The agency I work with sent quite a few people, myself included.

January 23: Community Day

For community day, we went to the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. In addition to a powerful collection of stories, artifacts, and first hand accounts of the horrific events of the Holocaust, the museum had a special exhibit on race and its history, privilege, and the ways that we use race to treat others as inferior. Exhibitions like this are so important, because to have progress in our future as the human race, we must understand and learn from the mistakes of the past. “Imagine all the people, living life in peace.” Wouldn’t that be something.

January 24: Capping off the week by celebrating multiple birthdays!

Fourth Presbyterian Young Adults have so many birthdays this week! So we had a mega birthday celebration last night. Such fun, so birthdays, wow

#Project365MB: January 11-17

January 11:

The labyrinth in the Buchanan Chapel at Fourth, which I have utilized on multiple occasions. #zenspot #timewithGod

January 12:

Pretty spectacular sunrise this morning on my walk to the subway. The tall building in the background is the original Sears Tower!

January 13:

Watched the Dominator’s jersey retirement from the Bills Backer bar in Chicago. Because we are #OneBuffalo. Thanks, @LincolnStation.

January 14:

So I love trains. Today in Wicker Park, I went in to a store that sells transit (and Chicago-themed) merchandise! Stickers, magnets, t-shirts, keychains… Even candles and soap. How great is that?!

January 15:

Tonight, we celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Chicago. We heard from The Rev. Jesse Jackson, and also from Ernest Green, a member of the “Little Rock Nine” that integrated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, as well as various university personnel. And of course, we sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is one of my favorite hymns. “Hate cannot drive out hate- only love can do that. Darkness cannot drive out darkness- only light can do that.”

January 16:

This is where we live, colloquially called “Faith House.” There is this incredible mural on the side of it!

January 17:

Spent most of the day making and eating mac and cheese for a fundraiser for @heyjdk’s friends. And then taking pictures of our creation with the #selfiestick.