Posted by: Naima | May 5, 2008

Weekend Festivities

This past weekend was an eventful one. On Friday, I went to Looptopia – an all night celebration of art and culture in downtown Chicago.

I had never heard of it before since I was at short term last year, but this year my boyfriend and his dancing group Culture Shock Chicago were performing. It was great, the entire loop area of Chicago was alive. The festivities started at five in the afternoon and ended at seven in the morning with a game of hide and seek and a Dunkin’ Donuts catered breakfast in the park. As I was walking around the crowded streets filled with art-seeking Chicagoans, I was instantly reminded of First Fridays in Portland. Although somewhat smaller than Looptopia, First Fridays are an evening once a month that all the galleries in Portland open their doors for free. No two galleries are the same and most have chips, salsa, wine and cheese. One gallery we went to, SPACE, was my favorite – their gallery was decked out in old-school Nintendo games and provided orange soda and cheesy puffs. SPACE is an alternative gallery in South Port, this month I heard word that they are hosting a silent auction of art works created using polaroid film.

I’m kind of bummed I won’t be able to see that go down. Anyway, First Fridays embodies the same kind of energy that Looptopia does – locals and students alike wandering around searching for more art and perhaps new cultural exposure. Walking around in downtown Chicago, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a vaudeville act around 2am. Not sure what to expect, we joined the packed theater for the Weird Sisters. Seemingly a musical theater group, these two sisters and their androgynous third took the stage and rocked out, singing some classic songs with risque twists. Looptopia took a lot out of me, so I took Saturday off. Yesterday, I went to Gary, Indiana with my mom to volunteer for Barack Obama’s campaign and make sure that people go out and vote in their primary tomorrow. It’s so strange because it seems like such a long time ago that I, along with many other Batesies, caucused in Maine’s primary. Either way, there were thousands of canvassers going door to door with information about where and when the primaries are, along with information about transportation to the polls. Gary is only about an hour away from my house so I didn’t have to go too far to be involved. I am thinking about going back tomorrow to drive people to the polls. I have a bunch of errands to do so whether I go tomorrow or not is kind of dependent on how much I finish today. Wish me luck.

Peace and then some,

Naima

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