My Edwardian girl

Framed picture of an Edwardian girl,© 2016 Celia Her City
The tag read “Victorian-era painting of girl in a mahogany frame with original wavy glass.”  Even though I knew the portrait wasn’t a painting but a print, possibly made as recently as the 1970s, still I bought the thing after getting the price knocked down.  The subject of the picture, and the way it was framed, spoke to me.  I figured I’d learn what I’d bought after getting it home. More

January desk

New Year's desk, © 2014 Celia Her City
My January desk is gradually clearing.  At the beginning of the month, it’s always the same: strewn with unused holiday stamps, thank-yous to write, December’s to-do lists (half-finished), receipts from the holiday spending spree.  There’s a file of gift ideas for next year to be put away.

Eventually I tie up the loose ends, at least the ones that bug me, because by temperament I am a gradualist, and orderly.  Organization doesn’t come naturally to me, but I do love order once it’s achieved.  Besides, I’m too retrospective to shrug off all the unfulfilled possibility of the holidays just because some calendar tells me I should.

Instead, I carry a holiday hope forward with me: the hope of connecting, of building up my circle into one that’s warmer and more rewarding, that buzzes with shared secrets and sincerity.  It’s said that “kinwork” falls to women traditionally: that we make the mesh of society, by remembering the birthdays, calling the hibernating friend, lunching excessively, that sort of thing.  Maybe that’s why the holidays ultimately do invigorate me.

So, in January, the work of connecting is continuing.  In fact, the longer it bleeds over, the better it bodes for 2014.

Wistful for the warmth

Summer dress at Toni Patisserie, © 2014 Celia Her City
The other day, a long-lost photograph from my phone turned up.  I took this picture in June or July, when a close friend had taken me to eat at Toni Patisserie for the very first time.  This woman’s pink dress epitomized the spirit of that day.

Seeing it now, when daytime temperatures are below zero, made me wistful for summer’s warmth, its sights and pastimes.  It’s marvelous how photographs carry us back to happier times!

The shrine of St Frances Cabrini


A few years back, the old Columbus Hospital on North Lakeview, shuttered for nearly a decade, was razed to make way for a 39-story luxury condominium complex.  Towering over its neighbors around the North Pond, the Lincoln Park 2550, as it is called, is finally complete, after begin under construction for two or three years.

Despite the radical transformation of the 3.25-acre site, the shrine to the American saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, which was part of the hospital complex, has been preserved.  More

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