Friday, June 4, 2010

Humboldt Park Tour & Exhibit

Photos by Dina Petrakis (Prairie River)

Now my husband will believe me when I tell him I'm so powerful I can control the weather...not. But a perfectly glorious spring evening provided the backdrop to my first "Walk/Talk" in Humboldt Park last week. The pioneer band of folks engaged in lively dialogue and provoked me to consider some questions I had not imagined about Jens Jensen before. The exciting part about sustainability & longevity manifested itself in the fullness of the space. People were everywhere enjoying themselves. Many in little league, which (as our guest speaker, Sam Marts of Architects & Planners, informed us) became a national passion after Humboldt Park was realized in the early twentieth Century.

(Rose Garden)

Sam can be identified by his beard of biblical proportion. Here are some of us pondering where the formal Rose Garden (soon to be bedded out with annuals) might line-up with the rising sun on the summer solstice.

People (2/3rds of whom had not been in the park before) marveled at how the city disappeared while we were in Humboldt's embrace. But the star of the show was what greeted us when we crossed underneath the road. There we were transfixed by the afternoon light bouncing up into the crossbeams to reveal a community of swallows and their gravity-defying nests. Our resident bird-watcher, Dina Petrakis, thought there might be two types of swallows, one barn.

Dina has developed a keen eye for life in the Park. You can see her perspective in her upcoming photography show in the Boathouse Gallery. "A Year In Humboldt Park" opens on 8/11/2010 and goes through October. As part of the celebration of Jensen's 150th, I will also be giving another Humboldt Tour on 10/2/2010 from 10 am to noon.

(Swallow Nest Under Bridge)