Christmas was relatively quiet, and spent with our families. The Wizard surprised me with the best and most unexpected gift of all, my very own Olloclip! If you haven't seen one before, it fits over the iPhone's built in camera, and includes a macro, fish eye and wide angle lens. The macro is by far my favorite at the present moment. Here are a couple of examples...the first is a tiny branch encased in ice, and the second are tiny dried roots.
The following Saturday we drove to Chicago to ring in the new year with friends. I had the most horrible cold, which made the first day pretty arduous, but by Sunday, I was feeling substantially better.
Our friend is a member of The Hypocrites, who are currently running a Gilbert & Sullivan double feature of Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. We saw both in one day with an oyster dinner in between. I can't recommend these shows highly enough. They were witty, engaging, cleverly staged, and riotously fun. You would have a difficult time finding a troupe so inclusive of its audience. The performance space literally surrounds and permeates the crowd, swirling in and around them in constant motion. If you can't see, you can move. If your leg starts to fall asleep because you're sitting on the floor, you can be sure the show will be parading through your seat and forcing you to jump up any moment. It was a wonderful time.
The final highlight of my vacation was Friday, after we returned home. My brother and new wife were in town, and they took me to see Cementland, which is currently managed by a friend of his. The park is unfinished, with no timeframe for completion, and is not open to the public. Since the creator, Bob Cassilly (of The City Museum) died in a construction-related accident a year and a half ago, progress has ground to a halt. What currently exists is a massive, surreal landscape that is part abandoned cement plant, part dreamscape. You can read more about it in this The New York Times article.
The three of us spent the better part of the afternoon exploring and photographing. The combination of sunlight and icy conditions made for challenging conditions, but I managed to get a few that I'm happy with. We hope to go back for another round the next time they're in town, because there was so much that we didn't see (and so much I want to do over). I'm in the process of editing the shots I have though, and hope to finish up tonight. Stay tuned for a photo post, coming soon!