The bright colors and swirly figures in the North Boulevard viaduct murals shout, "Children were here." Children are here, living across the street at Hephzibah Children's Association, and for the last three summers they've been brightening up the neighborhood by painting murals on the train embankment walls.
Painted and broken tiles, mirror shards, clay and teenagers hard at work are likely sights if you wander in the direction of Terra Incognito, 246 Chicago Ave., for the next few days. Despite the July heat, 10 high school and college students, one assistant and two master artists are spending a part of the summer creating a mosaic, a mural that glimpses Oak Park through the eyes of teenagers.
Adding the production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons to the Oak Park Festival Theatre summer season on Mondays and Tuesdays was an inspired move. It's a perfect play for their outdoor venue. Miller's timeless work, given a powerful, tightly focused production with intense, believable performances, is still jolting after six decades.
It's no mystery why almost 70 mystery lovers packed Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park on a hot summer evening last week. Sara Paretsky was stopping in to promote Fire Sale, the 12th and latest book in her V. I. Warshawski series.
It's taken awhile, but it seems we've finally discovered our mussels. And no, that's not a misprint, folks. I'm certainly not about to write an article about biceps, no matter how interesting that subject might be to some readers. I'm talking about shellfish, and in particular, those shiny, blue-black mollusks that thrive in such huge quantities all along our Atlantic coast. If you haven't tried them yet, it's time for some adventure.
Work has started on the 2005 Showcase House, the Infant Welfare Clinic fundraiser that turns a local mansion over to designers and then opens it to the public. This year's project is Todd House, designed by Oak Park architect E. E. Roberts.
At the end of a five-hour meeting Monday, the Oak Park village board voted 5-2 against fast-tracking an expansion of the Holley Court garage, a move that would have added more than 300 spaces to downtown's parking supply by the start of the holiday shopping season.
Where would you go if you needed a picture of Ernest Hemingway at the age of six? Or a copy of The Sun Also Rises in Spanish ... or Japanese or Singhalese? To the Ernest Hemingway Archives, of course, which are now on the third floor of the Oak Park Public Library and housed in beautiful new rooms, a far cry from their former sites in a crowded room in the Hemingway Museum and the basement of the Hemingway birthplace.
Village of Oak Park development director Mike Chen will be leaving his post in mid-August to take a position in the City of Tampa, Fla. He will be joined by his wife, Donna Ogdon-Chen, who has served as director of the Downtown Oak Park business association for the last seven years.