<![CDATA[Gio Andollo - Kitchen Sink]]>Wed, 02 Dec 2015 13:17:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Word Up is BACK!]]>Tue, 06 Aug 2013 04:14:55 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/word-up-is-backOn July 26th we held the Grand Opening celebration for Word Up Books and it was nothing short of magnificent! Manhattan Times ran the news as their cover story with a photo of my good friend and fellow volunteer Ben sporting a Green Eggs & Ham book costume, with his arm around Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Word-Up supporting author Junot Diaz.

I can't wait to show off the new Word Up in my #singupward music video. She's gonna be so lovely! Check out this sneak peek of the video, which shows what Word Up looked like on July 4th - after all the contracting work was finished but before we moved in all the books and furniture.
The video will show some of the development from the empty storefront you see above to the amazing bookstore and arts space that you see in the photos below. It will culminate in a show at Word Up that might resemble my album release show there, scheduled for September 15.

On that date, I will be unveiling the physical editions of Heliotropism & The Pulvinar Movements, as well as premiering the music video for Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs! Not to be missed, I hope I'll see y'all there!
 I wish I had time to say more about the store's opening and the past week of operations, but this will have to suffice for now. I'm about to head off to the Wild Goose Fest near Asheville, NC, for the next week. 

Love, peace, and wild geese!
<![CDATA[Word Up Books to reopen in the Heights!]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2013 20:15:39 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/word-up-books-to-reopen-in-the-heightsPicture
A few weeks ago, I quit the dishwashing gig at Darling Coffee. 

I loved serving my neighbors and it was always great to be living out the dishes metaphor - it's true that everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to do the dishes. At Darling, the dishes were quite literal and I had to do them, whether I wanted to or not. Somebody had to. And I spent much of that time in reflection about the metaphorical dishwashing outside of Darling as well.

But by May, there were plenty of good reasons for me to move on and they far outweighed my reasons to stay.

So the past month has looked quite different for me, as I've acquiesced to the paradigm shift. I've sought new music students, posting fliers all around the neighborhood; I help with a children's violin class nearby; I practice mandolin more, I've invested in a djembe, and I seek busking bandmates on craigslist; I've redoubled my efforts promoting GioSafari and producing physical copies of Heliotropism. Between teaching and busking, I'm making ends meet and I'm quite happy with my life as is.

Still, I've not forgotten that there are more dishes to be washed in my community and in the world. I resolve to remain cognizant of them, even if I no longer work at an actual kitchen sink. I'll continue to wash the dishes for peace and justice with my friends and neighbors. 

Of course there will be no better place to continue this work than at Word Up Books! So I'm unspeakably grateful to report that after closing our doors and searching for well over nine months, we finally signed the lease yesterday for our new space in Washington Heights. We can hardly wait to build out, reopen, and revive the party at the kitchen sink. 

I, for one, have got my heavy-duty gloves on. And my dancing shoes. 

<![CDATA[On dishwashing. No, really!]]>Thu, 14 Feb 2013 22:24:49 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/on-dishwashing-no-reallyI've written much about dishwashing on this blog. It is called The Kitchen Sink, after all, and this is the very place that I come to talk about washing the dishes. But anyone who has spent considerable time here should know that the dishes I've spoken of have been mostly metaphorical. I'm especially concerned about the dirty dishes of our society, the kind that nobody wants to step up to the sink to wash - injustice, violence, misogyny, racism, oppression, etc.

But as I mentioned last fall, the dirty dishes in my life became quite literal when I took a barback position at Darling Coffee in Inwood (NYC). I became the resident dishwasher, holding down the kitchen sink five days a week.

Every day that I'm on shift, I wash thousands of plates, mugs, glasses, eating and cooking utensils, mixing bowls, pots and pans, cutting boards, plastic storage containers, sheet pans and bus bins. I also run the clean dishes back out to the baristas and bakers; I check and refill the paper towels and hand soap in the kitchen and bathroom; I regularly check on the milk stations, wiping them down and refilling empty carafes of milk and sugar dispensers; I sign in milk deliveries and keep the low boy fridges stocked; I carry up 50 lb bags of flour and sugar from the basement dry-storage room for the bakers; and I busy myself with a great assortment of other tasks that nobody else has the time or will to do.

With all this running around, I sometimes get behind on the dishes. It sure isn't easy to keep on top of everything! And just when I think I've got the hang of it, another task is added to my laundry list (oh, did I mention that I drop off and pickup loads at the laundromat on Tuesdays?)

About a month ago, things got all the more overwhelming when the afternoon barback shift was cut. I had admittedly grown rather lax on the morning shift, knowing that another barback would be arriving to pick up my slack through the store's closing; but without this help, I would have to have everything done by my shift's end. What's more, I was charged with yet another task - to prep the scone and galette mixes several times a week. This is a task that takes an especially inordinate amount of time. For the first few weeks that I did it, I fell very far behind on the dishes. There was just no way to keep up. I've become much more efficient at prepping the mixes, but it still sets me back significantly. 

When I'm standing at the sink, rushing through the most rote and repetitive task of my day, I spend much time thinking. Planning. Making to-do lists that I forget by the shift's end. And sometimes I just meditate on the parallels between dishwashing and my real work - art, love, revolution. 

I've learned much from all my experience at the kitchen sink and I'm yet transferring the applications to the metaphorical dishes. Perhaps it would be too much for me to expound on each of these, so I'll just let you infer the applications for yourself and to consider how they might relate to the work that you do, wherever it is that you find your kitchen sink.
  • There are far more people - both customers and co-workers - dirtying the dishes than cleaning them. The dirty dishes are coming in much faster than the clean ones are going out. 
  • The towering piles of dishes can be quite daunting. There are just too many dirty dishes! At least, there are too many for only one person to handle. I need help and support from my co-workers.
  • The baristas and bakers can help to lighten the load in many small ways, any time that things are slow. They can reduce their own dirty dish production by simply rinsing and reusing their tools, bowls,  pots and pans. They can check on the milk stations and bring back the bus bins of dirty plates and mugs. They can pick up clean dishes on the dry rack and bring them to the front. All these quick and easy tasks are an enormous help to me.
  • I shouldn't assume that my comrades will remember to do the above. Any time I need help or find myself falling behind, I just have to ask, knowing that they've got my back :)
  • Better organization is needed in the kitchen. We could use more shelving for clean, dirty, and drying dishes. Just saying.
  • I have my own unique purpose to fill: the dishes are mine to wash. But I can only do my best work in the time allotted, with the help of my friends and co-workers, to leave the kitchen in the best shape possible when I finally leave for the day. 
  • It still may be the case that there are dirty dishes left at the end of my shift. This is ok. Even if it's not a bar back shift, someone will surely come after me, to pick up where I've left off, to wash what's left of the dirty dishes.
<![CDATA[Washington Heights Manifesting the Third Fold]]>Sun, 27 Jan 2013 05:55:41 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/manifesting-the-third-foldThere's a ton of great stuff happening in the Heights these days. 

On Thursday I went to see Trouble In The Heights at the United Palace theater. The last film that had played on their silver screen was 2001 Space Odyssey, over 40 years ago! Trouble... is a film that was written and directed by a Heights resident and much of the cast and crew also live here or are otherwise connected to the neighborhood. The story is set in the Heights and it's great to see neighborhood landmarks all through the film.

I returned to the United Palace tonight for an event targeted toward the neighborhood youth. It featured all kinds of performing arts - live music, dancing, spoken word, even a catwalk to display the work of local fashion designers.
Plus I have tickets for next month's live concert of the Broadway show In The Heights, also at United PalaceThe shows are just getting bigger and bigger for UPCA, which as you may recall just started up in October.

Word Up is still keeping busy behind the scenes, at least until we decide on and settle into a new space in the neighborhood. I've also joined the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, become a "friend" of People's Theater Project, and I'm always meeting new artists and performers in the 'hood.

Indeed, Washington Heights seems to be undergoing some kind of cultural shift and it's an honor to have even a small part in the Uptown Renaissance that is unfolding before our eyes. Much more to come, I'm sure!
<![CDATA[The Sacred Art of Knowing God (A Book Review)]]>Wed, 16 Jan 2013 05:47:24 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/the-sacred-art-of-knowing-god-a-book-reviewThe Enoch Factor is a dangerous book. And it was written for me. 

Well, to be more accurate, it was written for my high school self - or as Steve McSwain might put it, my high school ego. I appreciate his insights now in a way that I might not have been able to as a teenager. They are insights for which perhaps I was not ready, for which I was yet asleep, unconscious; or else insights that I almost certainly would have perceived as dangerous. Indeed, The Enoch Factor is chock full of ideas that I'm sure most religious people - especially Christians - would find most threatening.

And McSwain is well aware that people entrenched in dogmatism and orthodoxy, regardless of the tradition (Protestant, Catholic, Islamic, Judaic), will approach his book with the same kind of inhibition that I would have had as a young Baptist devotee.

Admittedly, some of my perspectives today are outside the mainstream of conventional Christian thought.

Well you can stop right there, sir. There's no room in Christianity for critical thinking. Everything we need to know about God we can find in The Bible, ever read it?

Those who only know about God usually have a lot to say. Those who genuinely know God have little to say… if what you "say" about the Bible is more important that what the Bible says to you, then you're living under a great delusion.

Cognitive dissonance!

And so it went through my first few years of college. I exchanged lengthy and sometimes contentious theological e-mails with my humanities professor, even while participating in a discipleship group that was described as a spiritual-boot-camp. That was an intense year for my intellect. I have since added ideas from the likes of Ishmael, The Celestine Prophecy, The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, and The Kingdom of God Is Within You to my consciousness. And the conversations I've had all these years resounded sympathetically as I made my way through The Enoch Factor.

Having been raised in a Baptist tradition, like me, McSwain lists The "Beliefs" I Was Told to Believe - foundational (American) Christian beliefs that, it would seem, he no longer holds. Of the 13 listed, I no longer hold 9 of them myself.

And this is precisely why this book is dangerous. McSwain swings left and right at the straw men of religion, tearing them to shreds. The book will make the orthodox person of faith question his or her suppositions; and it just might change people, if they let it. But let me assure you - this is ok!

Though the religious may struggle through the seemingly wishy-washy truth claims in The Enoch Factor, they are constantly reminded that McSwain doesn't purport to knowing about God or religion or claims to truth, but rather about knowing God.

"No detail about God could ever substitute for knowing God," he writes. 

To know God is to walk with God [as Enoch is reported to have done in Genesis]. It is to live your life in the awareness of an indescribable and eternal presence that is within you and all around you, beneath you but also beyond you. It is personal and yet mysterious...

Of course McSwain emphasizes the importance of knowing God for one's personal life, his or her individual journey. But there's also a sense of urgency in his exhortations for us to ditch religious militancy and to know intimacy with God - and each other - instead.

Throughout the history of humanity, religion has been the prime cause of most human division and destruction… People are more divided [now] than perhaps at any other time in the history of the human race… Unless there are profound changes in human consciousness - that is, changes in how we look at each other and how we treat each other, there is little hope for humanity's survival.

Thankfully, this is easier than religious leaders would have us believe. "God wants to be known. Why would he make it difficult?" McSwain assures us instead that it's quite easy, that we really need only to wake up, that "If you have awakened, you are beginning to know this possibility, too."

I think I'm yet rubbing my eyes myself. ]]>
<![CDATA[...and washing the dishes. (part deux)]]>Tue, 08 Jan 2013 05:06:07 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/and-washing-the-dishes-part-deuxI mentioned in the last post that one of my co-workers at Darling died in early December. Tad was young (in his 40s) and appeared to be in great health, so his quiet passing in his sleep was a great shock to everyone who worked with him.

Tad was the head baker at Darling and, for whatever reason, he preferred working in the back kitchen, just feet from where I washed the dishes. So we daily had conversations about anything and everything - including the hottest-button issues in the US today (one of our last discussions was about abortion, birth control, and reproductive rights!) The traits that I found most remarkable were his empathy with oppressed people and his unflinching optimism, even in the face of great adversity. These traits were instructive.

Just days before he passed, we shared a conversation about anarchism. He was wary of the term, often questioning why I would identify as an anarchist. It was clear enough to me that we had differing definitions in our minds (his being the one that the man wants you to think!) So on this particular day I decided to look it up. The following definition really resonated with him:

anarchy: a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.

"Today I learned that I'm an anarchist!" 

I don't know if he admitted it to anyone else, so who knows... maybe he was placating, haha.

A few days later, Tad was telling me about the high school that he had attended - that such notable people as Tony Bennet, Calvin Klein, and [a third equally famous person who I can't remember] had graduated from his high school. He then paused, considering his own life and achievements. "And me... I'm a baker," he said sullenly. Disappointed.

I did not respond - a fact that I may always regret. 

Because the very next day, Tad passed away. I would not have the chance, then, to remind him that he was not just a baker - he was the baker. That in many ways, he carried our humble bakery on his own competent shoulders.

I could not then gesture toward the kitchen sink - my daily office - with beaming smile and arms spread wide in existential embrace, to say "And me... I'm a dishwasher." 

I believe with great conviction that my work is important, that it makes a difference for my co-workers and our customers, my neighbors. Thus I do it with pride and joy.

I wonder if Tad realized how important his work, his heart, and his mind were to us, his co-workers, and to our community. Indeed, I wonder how many people realize these things about themselves, about all that they have to offer the world. Not just through their jobs/work (which may or may not be the jobs/work that they really ought to be doing), but also through their gifts, talents, and passions. 

I have a strong feeling that once we realize this about ourselves and each other, we can begin to free ourselves, our imaginations, our energies - we can begin to create the world(s) we've only dreamt of.

On December 7, with the news of Tad's death still fresh in our minds and hearts, we at Darling went through with a fund-raising event for Word Up Books, our community book store. Several musicians and poets, all Darling employees, presented their original works. There was great food, friends, and wine. Word Up was racking in plenty of dough (pardon the bakery pun!) to add to the indiegogo campaign. And all were having a great time.

I was the last performer to take the stage. 
At the end of my set we had a moment of silence for Tad and I proceeded to introduce my closing song. I told the audience of that last conversation I'd had with him about his fellow high school alums; I told them of the self-disappointment I detected in his voice that morning; I explained that his work was indispensable to our establishment; and I described the joy that I find in washing the dishes at Darling. Then I performed Sing At The Top Of Your Lungsa song about creating the world(s) we dream of whenever we "go out there and sing, dance, paint, write, smile, and create." 

I dedicated the song to Tad's memory because he created cakes, scones, and quiche (among many other delicious treats!); and all the while, he demonstrated empathy, love, compassion, solidarity - indeed, he lived out a form of anarchism without needing a word or label for it. In fact, I'm confident that Tad would have agreed fully with the aphoristic exhortation, popular in anarchist circles, that everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to do the dishes

So in his memory I will proudly continue to say:
Guess what has two thumbs and washes the dishes

You can read part one, On Keeping The Feastat this link. It's a review on a book by the same title, about food and the community that is formed around it.
<![CDATA[On Keeping the Feast... (pt 1)]]>Fri, 28 Dec 2012 04:53:19 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/on-keeping-the-feast-pt-1In mid November, just a day or two before I was to move to my new apartment, I received a book in the mail entitled Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal. I knew from the outset that I was to write a review – and in a timely fashion – but the book got lost in the shuffle as I transferred my life even farther uptown, from 163 street to Dyckman. The book was uncovered again as I packed for my holiday trip to Miami, but I didn’t get around to reading it until last night, as I awaited departure with my delayed return flight from Ft Lauderdale airport.

I managed to elude sleep on the plane and completed the book as I rode the skywalks through JFK airport. Reflecting on all that I’d just digested, I was thankful that I had put off reading the book for over a month – it had so much more meaning last night than it would have had in November.

The book is written by chef blogger and Christian devotee Milton Brasher-Cunningham. He writes about that which he is most passionate – food and the community that is formed around it. Each chapter features a poem as appetizer, a main course of memoirs and anecdotes, and a recipe to top it off. And despite the order, it’s still difficult at times to follow Brasher-Cunningham’s line of thought.

To be honest, I wanted to dislike this book from the first page of the preface! (the first paragraph is in dire need of a paragraph break). But the more I read, the more I warmed up to the author’s casual prose. He writes comfortably (albeit clumsily at times) as though we’re in the most natural of places for him - sitting about the dining room table.

And I was sold on his brilliance when he acknowledged his “particular way of organizing,” noting:

It’s not that I don’t know where things are, it’s just the coherence of the system is not apparent to anyone except me. My mind works much the same way: when I begin thinking about a particular idea, I pull things together across time and space;

And here’s where he – and his book – finds redemption…

Old stories become new again and find new life in connections.

Indeed, perhaps his book would not have impacted me as it did if it were written any other way. Perhaps this, in itself, was what he might describe as an important slight difference. What seemed enormous to me in that first paragraph shrank in perspective, while Brasher-Cunningham’s stories – and the heart behind them – rose like dough from the page (what is this, like, the 5th food analogy? I’m writing a review on a book about food. Deal with it!).

He uses the image of ripples to describe how each seemingly small choice, event, and conversation has a most significant impact on who we are and who we become.

I considered that any number of factors, changed ever so slightly, could have prevented the bicycle wreck I had in May 2008; that without the bike wreck, I could not have moved to NYC; that without NYC Lord knows who and where I would be today.

I considered the circumstances under which I learned of one Wild Goose Fest, an event held in North Carolina designed to explore the intersections of faith, art, and justice; how I volunteered to manage waste for the inaugural event in 2011; then I looked incredulously at the author’s photo on the rear cover of this book, recognizing the man – the fellow volunteer – who picked me up at the airport for Wild Goose that summer.

I considered how my relationships and my passions drew me toward Washington Heights; how I rambled into a Broadway storefront last year to discover a volunteer-run book store, a community center, a life raft; that a fellow volunteer there helped me find work at a coffee shop and bakery in Inwood; that I might learn how challenging it really is to wash dishes; and as I learned from a Darling baker named Tad, now I might better understand and learn from Brasher-Cunningham’s perspective.

Tad had the remarkable ability to be up and opening the shop by 4:30am every day, then preparing scones, cornbread, baguette sandwiches, cakes, quiche, Spanish omelette, bread pudding, pies (etc) for hours on end. And he did it all with a smile and a song. He had a most optimistic outlook on life and humanity, even as he wondered aloud about human propensities to violence and domination. Tad seemed to believe in the profound dynamism of being his own counter-example.

So when Brasher-Cunningham asks, “How do we incarnate the daily fidelity required to live meaningfully?” I already know the answer!

What Tad did not – could not? – prepare me for was a course in comfort food. So when he died on December 5th, just a few weeks ago and quite unexpectedly, I wasn’t sure how to swallow the news. But in Keeping the Feast we are treated to thoughts on both life and death and the food that accompanies them. As I read, I fondly remembered a memorial event that we held at Darling just ten days after Tad’s passing. He had planned to teach a gingerbread house workshop that day, so we all gathered to eat pizza, drink beer, and build gingerbread houses together.

What puts the comfort in food is the chance to re-member one another, to put ourselves back together, to see our place in the big picture, to find in the midst of the free fall of our existence the truth of God’s indefatigable tether of grace that holds us and holds on.

In another chapter, Brasher-Cunningham writes,

Stability, if not overrated, is certainly over-expected. Life is made of change. Our lives are dynamic, not static. There is no way to stand still, to stay the same. We are dynamic creatures created to negotiate this changing thing called life.

In the wake of losing our head baker, these sentiments are quite the understatement. But we at Darling have had to move on, to keep headed forward. For my own part, I’ve refocused on what God has for me in NYC. But not without still more disappointment.

Back in mid November I interviewed to join NYC Teaching Fellows, a program that puts wannabe teachers through eight weeks of training and plugs them right into the public school system, also subsidizing their tuition to obtain a master’s degree in education. I eagerly awaited word of my status, confident that I would excel in this sort of position. And on December 20th I finally received the word. Nuh-uh.

My favorite dishwasher… was short, tenacious, and unflappable in his happiness regardless of how the dishes stacked up.

I continue washing dishes.

We may not be able to control much of the situations we walk into, yet we can determine how we will leave things when we depart.

I enjoy my work at Darling and I think it’s important (more on this in the next entry), but I also know that there’s something more for me, for my neighborhood, for my future. I don’t know what it is but I will continue to lean into God, washing each dish with love in my heart and a dance in my step; and enjoying the company of co-laborers and friends – and the food we share – along the way. 

This would certainly be Brasher-Cunningham’s exhortation for me, for all of us. After all, you build a life the way you build a soup, “tweaking ingredients as you go, changing the recipe, and adding in the flavors around you.”

Let's make some good soup together.]]>
<![CDATA[Everyone wants a revolution...]]>Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:16:27 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/everyone-wants-a-revolutionPicture
Get a load of these dishes! (pun definitely intended). They've been piling up since I didn't get to them right after cooking about a week ago. My roommates have since helped to add to the clutter. 

There are dirty dishes. Somebody's got to do them.

There's a saying that spins around anarchist circles, "everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to do the dishes." Nothing could ring truer in describing my years of living in community. And in a way, the same could be said about society in general.

People use dishes without washing them. Dishes pile up. The sink overflows with dirty dishes so they cover the counters and stove. Nobody wants to clean the pile because "they're not all mine."

We sometimes approach society similarly. Poverty, inequity, homelessness, hunger, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, heterosexism, xenophobia - these all exist, we see them all around us, overflowing the kitchen sink of our world, piling up on the counter and stove tops. So they are rare souls who confront this pile, sponge in hand, ready for the long, hard, dirty road ahead. Indeed it would seem as though cleaning dishes is the most revolutionary act of all! 

At the same time, we don't want the washing of dishes to be only a tedious chore we do through clenched teeth and grumbling. We have to learn to dance with joy as we step up to the sink, because as Emma Goldman reminds us, a revolution without dancing is one not worth having! 

I hope to find myself in good company as the years pass, as I draw into community with fellow dishwashers, as I pursue the vision God has given me for the city of Chicago. Imagine...

<![CDATA[About the Kitchen Sink Blog]]>Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:00:05 GMThttp://www.gioandollo.info/kitchen-sink/about-the-kitchen-sink-blogPicture
I've had this cork board hanging on my wall(s) since I moved to Orlando in Fall 2004. I've moved about ten times since then (really!); still there are certain papers, photographs, lists, and notes that have stayed with me and weathered all these years!

One of them is a small slip that reads:

prayer movement!

I always kept that little slip of paper because the words on it, though written back in 2006, always seemed to carry so much weight. I knew they would periodically remind me of something God might desire for my life, something I might have an important role in. I could not have imagined then what S/he had in store for me.

Five years later I am living in NYC. I moved here in September 2009 to get involved with Trinity Grace Church and learn the ropes of church-planting. I wanted to eventually utilize my own knowledge, skills, resources, support, and team to plant a church in the great city of Chicago. But I learned early on that my primary challenge would be simply surviving in NYC. I was told that if I could make it here, I could make it anywhere

In many ways, I've flipped the notion around and have even become (occasionally) the face of surviving simply: working full time as a writer, busker, performance artist, volunteer, activist, and freegan spokesperson. I live so simply, in fact, that I doubt I'll have the means to follow God to the Windy City any time soon. I don't really mind this, since I know that God is not leading me there yet anyway. There is still much for me to learn and experience in NYC (and elsewhere?) before that happens. Thankfully, God's work in and through me is ever-evident as I live missionally in NYC: molding my life, my story, the places I visit, the people I meet; teaching, leading, using me in ways that reflect and renew who I am, what I am good at, and what I am passionate about. 

In September 2010, about one year after my move to the city, I received a vision from God like a 10-second old polaroid picture of my own kitchen sink, a place in Chicago where I could do the dishes:
  1. 24/7 house of prayer and worship
  2. Homeless kitchen and resource center
  3. Art community center and DIY showspace

The vision has since developed a bit and I just continue shaking it (in more ways than one) as I do the dishes here in NYC. I anticipate that my years here will help me to further develop my vision and prepare me to materialize and plant it in Chicago. In all its facets. At some point in the not-too-distant future. In the mean time, you can read about the lessons I'm learning and any progress being made.