Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Press: GEEE is at Urbanchiqueness

“Chique” Tip: Hidden Gems in Hyde Park

This past Sunday, the boys & I went to the Hyde Park Art Center for our monthly visit to their Second Sunday event. As usual we started with a sweet treat from Cafe Istria , then we toured the museum’s latest exhibits, in addition to creating our own art. We were all fascinated with the work by Elaine Bedford and Megan Greene called Stylish Breed . The sculptures of taxidermy animals crocheted with body armor were, of course,  very interesting for two boys under the age of 10. Our favorite piece was the ram head with deer hooves so delicately wrapped with red & pink yarn. It was a little creepy, as his big brown eye stared at us under his sweater, but worthy of a photo op!
After spending hours in the studios making gorgeous Mandalas and handmade Valentines’ Day cards, we ventured upstairs to construct paper flowers. It had been a while since I had visited the second floor of the HPAC so I was shocked to walk into a miniature green indoor garden gift shop. G.E.E.E. has been a permanent fixture in the art center since April 2011. Where have I been, living under a rock?  So after we toured the space, we made giant flowers out of recycled magazines, buttons and wire.  I will have to make these at home and post a DIY because they are so simple and so adorable, stay tuned.
The General Economy Exquisite Exchange is one of those best kept secrets we find living in Hyde Park. G.E.E.E. is a local trading post for plants and gifts but it also has an extensive seed library and Geeecycling center. A perfect example of community as G.E.E.E. demonstrates how local abundance supports an economy open to more than just currency. Poignantly said, by a handwritten sign tied to a tree, “G.E.E.E. is a Gift shop not a Thrift shop, no rummage or clothing please!” I can’t wait for Spring to arrive so I can dig up my field of Daylilies and trade them in for some veggies and herbs for our “city” garden! Now that is “Chique”!

Patricia's I.O.U. Has Been Paid

A GEEE Balance Sheet

Here is a diagram of values participants have placed on some items traded at GEEE.

 Here are the contracts that document the trades.

Free Pots

People have been donating plastic pots.  They are extremely useful as your seedlings outgrow the starter flats.  Feel free to drop off or pick up plastic pots anytime.

Tomato Seedlings Are Now Ready for Sale or Trade

Vincentian Service Day 2012

Vincentian Service Day (VSD) is an exciting annual opportunity for DePaul University students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners to come together in the communities of Chicago for a day of service. The day is structured as an invitation for DePaul University to join the communities of Chicago so that we might strengthen our connection to one another and put our Vincentian mission of service and social justice into practice.

We were lucky enough to have 3 volunteers on that cold day help wash out the containers and prepare them for this year's rooftop tomato garden.

 Once clean, they filled the containers with lava rock to create the reservoir.

Finally, the volunteers put soil in the containers, all ready for seedlings when the weather warms up.

This year's VSD culminated in a citywide peace rally, bringing together 3,000 youth from across the city, including Chicago Public Schools' middle and high school students, who also participated in service. The Peace Rally included interactive activities, a resource fair, and a call to peaceful non-violent action in our city.

City-wide, over 1,597 participants contributed 4,791 hours of service.