Different, rewarding things to do in towns
Updated: April 2, 2012 8:32AM
Finally we have more than 11 hours of natural daylight, a sign that spring is nigh. What follows are other energizing, interesting and even a little under-the-radar ways to emerge from winter’s hibernation.
The name says it all for the Newcomers and Neighbors of Greater Hinsdale Area including how welcoming and open the group is. If you want to find out anything else, you may at the next membership coffee from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7 at the Five Seasons Sports Club, 6901 S. Madison St., on the south side of Plainfield Road.
From personal experience, this is an enthusiastic and committed group of people who are both newcomers to the Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills area as well as “older timers,” or in their parlance “neighbors.” With a membership of well over 100, the group has an amazing array of activities, including a daytime and evening book club, two Bunco playing groups, a cooking club, a crafts club, drop-in coffee, meetings for Euchre players, and an evening social club to include spouses. Ladies Golf will resume once the weather and courses are more golf-friendly. There’s Mah Jongg, moms and kids, trips into the city, poker nights and a philanthropy group, too.
Julie Mell, who moved to Hinsdale two years ago from the Palo Alto area of California, joined a year ago because a neighbor encouraged her, not necessarily because she was newcomer.
“I didn’t know if I needed it or if I fit in,” she said.
Well, a year later, Mell is sitting on the board and churning out the group’s very colorful and jam-packed newsletter.
“It’s something to do besides the kids,” she said, adding she has enjoyed “super fun things to do” and found the other members to be very clever and creative. To RSVP for the coffee, contact Rose Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.nngha.com. Babysitting will be available at the March 7 coffee.
Meanwhile, even the most hibernating of readers know that Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife has been selected as The Big Read for 11 area libraries, including of course, the Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills ones. The Paris Wife is the 2011 novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and first literary achievements set in the Paris of the 1920s. Starting on March 1, the Hinsdale Public Library will host a traveling photo exhibit called “Picturing Hemingway.” Its own book discussion will be at 7 p.m. on March 13. The Clarendon Hills Public Library will present two films based on Hemingway stories. The first is “To Have and Have Not” featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, which will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on March 6. The next will be “The Killers,” and it will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on April 3. Registration for the free showings at (630) 323-8188.
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, Grace Episcopal Church, 120 E. First St. in Hinsdale, will host one of its seasonal Evensong church services with a high tea reception to follow. Evensong is an Anglican tradition of later afternoon prayer conducted musically. Grace Episcopal’s choir and organist are particularly talented, so the service is especially beautiful and appropriate during this season of Lent.
A memorable tradition continues on March 16 when the Clarendon Hills Park District hosts its Daddy Daughter Date Night. The theme is “Beauty and the Beast” and the evening is for girls from ages 4 through 10, running from 6-7:45 p.m. Register at the park district by March 9 by phoning (630) 323-2626.
Head over to the Elmhurst Art Museum to view the juried art show Portfolio. There the works of only 25 high school students will be displayed including four pastel still lifes from Hinsdale Central senior Mackenzie Cimala.
Cimala is an Advance Placement studio art student whose four still lifes are part of a larger body of work she’s been working on all year and which reflect upon what she has learned in travels with her family. The pastels feature objects which have a symbolic meaning to her. For example, the Paris work features a large crystal goblet, with crystal distorting and sometimes fragmenting the way other things appear. There’s scarf from Hermes and a book, with these things reflecting fashions and history.
“I like getting messier,” she said of working with pastels, and she also said she can use her fingers to blend colors and shapes said she feels she has more control over her technique.
After graduation this spring, Cimala is leaning toward attending Southern Methodist University in Texas where she may major in advertising with either a double major or a minor in studio art.
The show runs from March 16-31 at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 834-0202.