Category: Chicago Livin’

Such a ‘Bler: My First Fourth of July

Such a ‘Bler: My First Fourth of July

*Credits to my roommate, Amanda Henderson, for this spectacular photo of the fireworks. She’ll also start posting on the Undergraduate Admissions Blog as well, so stay tuned!!!!! 

THIS SUMMER WAS MY VERY FIRST ONE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and I felt that it was finally appropriate to finally play Fireworks by Katy Perry on repeat. It was a very very very hot day. My morning was spent brunching at Anne Sather’s with some friends from school. Anne Sather’s is a little café near Loyola that has the best cinnamon rolls. Please, just go try them.  

I swear it was unplanned, but we all showed up in some variation of red, white and blue. We also had matching auras of heat the entire time, despite being in an AC proofed café, because it was THAT hot of a day. But it was nice to be out for a bit and under all the festive decorations! I soon retreated back to my apartment though. My roommates were grilling up some sausages for a dinner of hotdogs. I eventually learnt that it was a usual activity on the Fourth of July. I also heard that there was a parade going on downtown!!! 

As the afternoon cooled down, my roommates and I decided to trek to the beach near Loyola. It’s days like these that I feel super lucky to live and go to a university near the water.  

We played frisbee and enjoyed the breezy air for a bit before the big fireworks began. Honestly, it felt like a whole day of fireworks because families would hold little fireworks display of their own! Sparklers and smiles were also found all over. The beach is located between Evanston and downtown, so we were able to catch both the Evanston and Navy Pier fireworks displays. The night before, I had already gone to see fireworks at Navy Pier with my friend, but it was really nice to just have a lie on the sand and admire a freckled sky. 

And it was one of those days where I felt extra lucky, to be here in the United States of America as an international student. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

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Such a ‘Bler: 2019 CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE

Such a ‘Bler: 2019 CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE

June was Pride month!

My roommates and our friends took to the streets of Boystown to celebrate! The space was flooded with colours, noise and well, pride. There was everything from a rainbow uniformed marching band to giant dancing (and kissing!!!) unicorn balloons. It was quite extraordinairy.  

Being from a country that doesn’t openly accept nor reject the LGBTQ+ Community, attending my very first Pride Parade was quite a big deal. Dressing up was super fun but it was mainly a meaningful experience because I was finally able to come support my friends as an ally!! I think it is important to do as much as we can to make others feel accepted, equal and at home in their own souls. But in order to do so, we must first be aware of some history and some dos and don’ts. 

Here’s a really great article that I think all allies should read: https://matadornetwork.com/life/dear-straight-allies-please-dont-come-pride-youve-understood-6-things/?fbclid=IwAR0Bo5PXT2NUELKB2xjJM_X3gnrrfF3IZnet5frVCqk1llYPZWcZHKv-yXE 

The first of the 6 points states that THE FIRST PRIDE PARADE WAS A POLICE RIOT, so that just prefaces how important this piece is for those looking to attend a Pride Parade or are seeking other ways to support the LGBTQ+ community. And if you have further questions, don’t be afraid to respectfully ask. 

The Chicago Pride parade is an annual event so don’t worry if you were unable to make it this time round! The event usually begins at noon and goes on for about 2 hours. People attend in colourful attire and even bring chairs and food to station themselves on sidewalks for the festivities. Those walking the parade also often give away accessories such as bead necklaces, merchandise that helps raise awareness and spread visibility for the LGBTQ+ community and ally organizations, and (if you’re lucky) candy! 

Here’s the link to next year’s Pride Parade: https://www.facebook.com/events/639343113200306/ 

Save the date and keep loving. 

*Oh, and the cute blonde in the first photo is my roommate Amanda. She has also started posting on the Undergraduate Admissions Blog as well, so give her scribbles a read!

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Such a ‘Bler: The WNDR Museum

Such a ‘Bler: The WNDR Museum

Here is my latest discovery: THE WNDR MUSEUM. And it is exactly what it sounds like.  

Wander and wonder.  

These are photos from both the first and second chapter of the museum (yes I’ve been to both because I’m that obsessed and up to date with this space. The first picture features an optical illusion room, but to know how we did it, you have to come by and find out yourself hehe (this room is also still in the second chapter so don’t worry) and the second picture features a mirror dance room that has a light up sensor floor. AND YES BOTH OF THESE ARE IN THE SAME BUILDING.  

The WNDR Museum combines the coolest aspects of science and art to produce innovative attractions like these with each chapter! Some other features include an indoor slide, sequin walls, free candy, a balloon room, on site poets, a sound cloud (LITERALLY) and its most famous exhibit, the infinity room. If I am correct, each new chapter centers around a different theme and lasts for around half a year! It is the perfect place to bring together your favourite Museum of Science and Industry and Museum of Contemporary Art fan pals! 

And it is honestly an Instagram aesthetics’ dream. 

As mentioned, there’s are on site poets (probably my favourite part of the museum) who ask you for a word (or several/a topic) and craft a unique piece just for you whilst you browse the exhibitions. At the end of your tour, you can find your poem at the gift shop (for free) and take it home as a memory of this little adventure.  

My first time there was on the last day of the first chapter and coincidentally also the artist Yayoi Kusama’s birthday! WNDR hosted a little birthday party scavenger hunt with colourful spots stuck all around the museum as a nod to Kusama’s famous obsession with pokadots. Some dots had facts and a special dot had her picture. The hunt asked you to find and take pictures of all the facts for a prize, and if you find her picture, you get a special cup of dipping dots (gotta love this spotty party theme!) 

I honestly cannot wait to see what WNDR comes up with next! I hope you join the fan club: https://www.wndrmuseum.com/ 

See the illusion, become the illusion. 

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Such a ‘Bler: VOLTA CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Such a ‘Bler: VOLTA CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

One perk about being a summer intern at a performing arts company: performance comp tickets! And so I had brunch and saw the circus one Sunday. And I remembered.  
 
I am quite upfront with you all and do talk a lot about my brain. However, I don’t actually talk about how the introverted side of my brain peakabooed during my first two years of university (probably mainly because it scares me, but it did happen.) But it’s okay. Although (luckily) not everyone experiences it, it’s normal. And that’s why I am here to tell you about my experience and where I’m at as a rising junior. 
 
A fellow artistic intern and I went to see Volta – Cirque Du Soleil. I thought something was wrong with me or i was doing something wrong but the more I practice opening myself up again, the more I realize how much my environment affected my interests for interaction. But in those moments, I was surrounded by a kaleidoscope of spins and wonder. I witnessed passion and curiosity as those before me explored the infinite creativity found in the space around them, and the bravery of experimentation and taking a chance. Leap after leap, I felt my heart drum the walls of my fears down. 

Towards the show’s finale, I found myself watching the crowd more than the performers and I felt this warm buzz I adore. I remembered that: 
– I love it when a group of people come together for a specific purpose  
– I love it when people are excited, celebratory and supportive 
– I love people 

Being away from home, and in a new environment has both its ups and downs. I definitely found more ups but I will never deny that I was not always able to see all of the good parts of what university has to offer. And sometimes all it takes for you to remember is to go out and explore something new. That day I saw the circus live for the first time, and I realized that there was no use in just sitting with my sadness for too long. I need to take time for myself, but I also need to keep in mind that I am here to experience. And experience I will. 

Chicago is one of the best cities for your undergrad years. It has both the hustle of downtown streets and the quiet of a college town. And you never know where you’ll find what you’re looking for, or where you misplaced your inspiration. Sometimes it’s under a striped tent! 

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Such a ‘Bler: Internship Orientation

Such a ‘Bler: Internship Orientation

Say hello to the official Summer 2019 Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy Summer Intern of Lookingglass Theatre Company (I am screaming this!)  

First order of business: Orientation.   

It was strange because I initially thought I would be working at the theatre. Well, I still am, but little did I know, Google Maps would take me to the John Hancock on my first day. The Lookingglass Theatre can be found in the Chicago Water Tower, often mistaken for the shopping center Water Tower Place. And the Lookingglass administrative offices are in the John Hancock, located only a few steps away from the Lookingglass Theatre.  

Lookingglass Theatre is a Tony Award winning, non-profit theatre company founded in 1988 by Northwestern graduates. One of them is actually a very familiar face – David Schwimmer, or some of you may know him as Ross from the TV series Friends. Lookingglass operates along three core values: collaboration, transformation and invention. And I feel very lucky to get the chance to learn all about them. 

More of Lookingglass: https://lookingglasstheatre.org/ 

All the way on the 13th floor of the John Hancock, I found the home of my theatrical adventures for the next three months. I was given an official desk, which had already been decorated with fairy lights (wow!) On the first day, I was given a tour of the office space as well as the costume shop and the said theatre a few streets away. I met the heads of each department and got to discuss a working schedule that would best suit my summer working experience. The coordinator of my department unfortunately recently left for grad school so there were some bugs to work around but I was ready to begin. 

More snapshots to come. Happy (working) summer, ‘blers! 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

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Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Yes, I have officially moved out of the campus dorms. Why you ask? I simply wanted to. 

The dorms were more than I could have asked for, both freshman and sophomore year. But I think it is time that I venture out on my own. I want to separate my time on and off campus more, really allowing myself to be completely away from school when I need to be, as well as motivate myself to see different parts of the city instead of gravitating to those closest to my dorm. Apartment hunting itself was certainly already a journey. It seems that staying close to the Redline is the best bet. Despite the above, I still wanted a space near enough to our main campus but not too far from the downtown campus because of my Communication Studies major. 

My new roommates were big help. We all actually met at Mertz Hall freshman year. I lived with one and stayed close with the other during sophomore year. Signing our lease for junior fall and spring, I felt even more grateful for the two years I did spend in the dorms because it made housing plans when I landed on the decision to move out for junior and senior year less daunting. 

Am I nervous? Somewhat. Mainly because I’ve heard a lot from upperclassmen about how the commute time can be tough. I’ll also miss the convenience of the dining halls now that I’ll have to make my own breakfast, pack lunch and plan dinner. These are definitely two clear advantages of living on campus, especially for an individual who is often late like myself. Perhaps this decision is a new way for me to explore time management. Besides, from what I’ve seen, Loyola really knows how to organize great commuter celebratory events! 

I hope this short insight helps any inquiries you have about moving out. Get ready for a lot of new commuter content! Here comes Junior year, and here’s to a new chapter. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: My Internship Hunt (Sophomore Year)

Such a ‘Bler: My Internship Hunt (Sophomore Year)

This is a story about a girl who thought she wouldn’t make it. 

I knew I wanted an internship this Summer, and I had been preparing since the last. My website, my resume and my research were all set. I then tackled cover letters, letters of recommendations, writing samples and interview simulations as deadlines approached. I was ready, and I was, but not for rejection. 

I will say that part of my calm was thanks to a recommendation from a theatre professor. Having worked there, she really did put in a good word for me. However, I also had a chip of naivety on my shoulder. Up until this, I had never applied for anything non-academic. I had always either founded the organization and was recruiting or got invited for the position. I was yet prepared for the unpredictable reasons behind a “no.”  

I submitted two applications and both of their interviews, though in person, were at B+ level. I waited and not long after received one blunt wave and an invitation to reapply. Perhaps this postponed welcome hurt most because both they and my professor saw a great fit. And though I was in the top two, it was just not my time. I guess that’s something they don’t always tell you about the application process. No matter how great of a fit, there’s a time for everything. Summer internships are highly competitive. That single spot, belonged to someone else this season, a senior, and maybe at a later date, to me.  

Regardless, I was still happy that I submitted to two of the biggest theatres in Chicago despite it only being my second year in the theatre world. It was a long shot, but I made it pretty far. So was I going to stop there? No. I continued to apply! Chicago is a big theatre city, and my professor encouraged that there are still plenty of companies out there, big and small, that would want me. I continued to research and ask for more input from upperclassman ‘blers. I switched recommendation letters and resume components to adhered more to the specific internship. 

My next interview was over the phone. I improved from all my past fidgeting. I used the two rejections as learning experiences and gave this application my all. And now here I am – the new Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy Intern at Lookingglass Theatre Company. But more on that later. 

Good luck. 

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Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

Such a ‘Bler: Teamo

There was this time during my senior year of high school when mum went to Europe for a month-long business trip. I lived off of occasional dinners I’d cook for my dad and brother, but mainly bubble tea (how am I still alive?) So you could tell how ecstatic I was when Loyola announced the brief visit of Te’amo Boba Bar. 

Don’t get it wrong, I love the drink available from campus – everything from the best coffee at Center Stage Café in Mundelein College to healthy smoothies at Rambler Express. I often go to Tbaar if I had a specific craving, which was only a ten-minute walk from campus. This is fine, but less convenient during busy back to back class days. Hearing that bubble tea would now be available at Rambler Express was some exciting news.  

Te’amo is very different from any bubble tea brand I’ve had in Chicago thus far. It currently comes very close to Bingo Tea (my favourite, that’s all the way in Chinatown.) Appearance and variety wise, it is superior. The staff were also very friendly and quick even with the tsunami of excited students. It also gave me more reason to pass by the Damen Student Center – a hot spot I spent much of freshman year in but rarely visited now that I live on the other side of campus. 

I also appreciate that there was an appearance of a more traditionally Asian treat on campus, even if it was only for a little while. I get quite excited to hear thoughts from my non-Asian friends whenever they try a new flavour and being able to tell them all that I know about it. What really surprised me was that this pop up was so well greeted by our campus that the partnership actually ended up getting extend til the end of the academic year! 

I’m not sure if Te’amo will be back Fall 2019, but I do hope so. I heard it may be an added feature of one of our new dorms?? But if your cravings are like mine, here’s where you can find it for now! 

  1. Lao Sze Chuan restaurant bar area, 520 Michigan Avenue 
  1. 1115 E 55th St 

Teamo. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Such a ‘Bler: Summer in the City

Hi there, it’s my first Chicago summer! 

I’ve successfully secured an Artistic Administration/Dramaturgy internship at Lookingglass Theatre for the next three months, an apartment for junior year and am beyond ecstatic to continue sharing my Loyola lens with you. It took some time but since orientation, I’ve been told that I NEED to spend at least one summer in the city. Without the chills and snow, Chicago is a completely different scene. Towards the end of sophomore year, I already spotted tulips blooming everywhere! More importantly, despite living right next to it, I’ve only gone to the beach twice in my two years at Loyola. And that is unacceptable. 

There’s a huge line up of summer events as well, including the Chicago Blues Festival, Lollapalooza, Chicago Food Truck Festival, Chapter II of the WNDR Museum, Volta Cirque Du Soleil, Les Miserable’s Chicago showtimes and Pride Fest! (Honestly, you yourself should spend a summer in the Chicago!!!!!) 

I compiled my list from the links below. Make your own list and make this summer the best yet! And if you’re away, you can still get to see plenty of action through my upcoming blogs right here. I can’t promise that I will be attending every single event, but I am on a mission to experience as many as I can. Who knows when my next summer here will be? 

  1. https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-ent-fest-schedule-1030-story.html?fbclid=IwAR2sMYdLI_Rc4D1Jzbp6ljSpEYimrLtJP3YRifKg4m0Udo59iAZv3REypbw 
  1. https://www.facebook.com/events/565127213958979/ 

I also plan to do a lot of throwbacks to sophomore year. I know I disappeared for a while, but a lot of exciting things still greeted me in the last few months and I still want to share them with you. For instance, MY HAIR IS PINK! WHAT?????? 

Speak soon. Happy Summer! 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: 

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

Such a ‘Bler: Goodbye Marquette South

It’s odd how much one can feel looking back at a simple little room.  

I remember asking “Am I ready 1806?” leaving Mertz Hall as a freshman. However, I somehow felt heavier leaving my sophomore dorm this May. Perhaps it is because I’ve grown a lot more – experiencing and not experiencing a lot more. Frankly I spent the majority of my second year at Loyola in this space (also frankly because it had majority of what I needed – bed room, study room, kitchen room, bathroom.)  

As a sophomore you also have more say over your time. Being well aware that your schedule is now more hectic, and your mind is more independent, RAs are more flexible with bonding activities. I appreciate the occasional round ups and applaud the life-saving snack carts. My favourite is the announcement boards that seemed to tap right into what I craved each turn (spots to explore in Chicago, internship hunt tips and self-care reminders.) There was a very comfortable and supportive relationship. 

MS 509 was so perfectly placed on campus. Seven minutes away from Mundelein and three from DeNobili Dining Hall. The Granville Station also lived close, along with Aldi and the mail room. I’d also find myself at Summer Noodles or Dak if I didn’t feel like cooking. Though cooking was a lot of what I did.  

I didn’t get out much. I didn’t want or really had to. Perhaps such luxury can be rather dangerous. 

I used to beat myself up for friending such a comfortable spot but thinking back now, I have little regrets. It was a nice hideaway place and I’m no longer shy to admit that I needed one. Sophomore year isn’t easy. You always feel like you should be and/or could be doing more. I really pushed myself this year with 18 credit hours, an on-campus job, a theatre 2-week exploration and an e-board position in Diminuendo Literary and Arts Magazine. Sometimes a hibernation day or a dorm cooked meal alone is needed. 

I am grateful. But farewell 509. I’m ready. 

HEY, I ALSO MAKE VIDEOS! 

HERE’S THE SUCH A ‘BLER PLAYLIST: