Nice Gift Ideas photos

A few nice Gift Ideas images I found:

The Decline of 63rd and Halsted #1
Gift Ideas
Image by artistmac
Looking northeast from 64th and Green, the Bookstore of Kennedy-King College is at the right; the Halsted Green Line Station, with its twin towers housing disabled-accessible elevators, is in the center. More KKC buildings on the left.

In the 1950’s 63rd and Halsted was the second-biggest shopping district after the Loop. Sear’s, Walgreen’s, Kresge’s (a Woolworth’s 5 and Dime competitor and ancestor of K-Mart), and Wieboldt’s anchored the intersection, and dozens of smaller stores radiated in all directions. A few blocks east of the intersection was the elegant Southtown Theater, which had swans swimming in a pool in the lobby and where my mom’s 1936 Englewood H.S. graduating class saw "Mutiny on the Bounty" as their class outing. Next to Sears was the Englewood Theater; Hillman’s grocery store was in the basement of Sears, an Art Deco jewel whose giant clock had a minute hand that stayed stationary and then visibly moved to mark the minutes.

Decline came with the building of Evergreen Plaza and Ford City. Store owners responded by turning the shopping district into a mall, complete with awnings over the sidewalks, creating huge parking lots by tearing down houses and stores, and routing car traffic around the intersection and making it a pedestrian and bus only mall.

These Band-Aids failed to arrest the decline. Sears and Wieboldt’s closed in 1976, and most of the other stores followed. Today, the new buildings of Kennedy-King College rule this intersection, but you can’t buy a lawnmower or a flat-screen TV at Kennedy-King College. A few rickety sidewalk awnings remain, the stores whose entrances they sheltered having long since been demolished.

I doubt that this shopping district or the Englewood neighborhood can ever be revived; the tipping point both with housing and retail has been reached. It’s over.

The giant shopping area west of the Dan Ryan between 83rd and 87 has brought a new player to the game. Among the big names: Jewel, Food 4 Less, Home Depot, Lowes and at 83rd and Stewart… Wal-Mart, the Sears of the 21st Century.

Interestingly, the Sears stores in Ford City, 61st and Western, 71st in South Shore and on State St. in the Loop have all closed for lack of business. Sic transit gloria?

UPDATE: I wondered why this pic suddenly had 109 views on September 4 after months of 2, 3, 4, 5 views a day. Turns out the city has this cockamamie idea to open a Whole Foods. In Englewood. Englewood! I’ve seen Whole Foods’ prices, and they’ve got a loooong way to go to equal Fairplay, Food-4-Less and Wal-Mart Market in the low-priced department.

Perhaps this is the city’s appeasement gift, after taking a chunk of Englewood’s eastern edge (and several hundred homes) to expand a railroad intermodal yard. Or maybe it’s the city’s way of telling Englewood that gentrification is imminent. In any case, Englewood residents would be wise to examine this gift horse’s teeth. Closely.

Banting House, Birthplace of Insulin, London, Ontario
Gift Ideas
Image by Ken Lund
Banting House is known as “The Birthplace of Insulin.” Located at 442 Adelaide St. N. in London, Ontario, Canada, it is the house where Sir Frederick Banting woke up at two o’clock in the morning on October 31st, 1920 with the idea that led to the discovery of insulin.

Since 1984, the house has been a museum dedicated to Banting’s discovery and his life. An addition at the back houses the London & District Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association. For many that have been touched by diabetes, the house is an emotional reminder of Banting’s scientific contribution that saved their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

Banting lived at the house in London for ten months, beginning in June, 1920. He attempted a private medical practice and when it was unsuccessful, he began working at the University of Western Ontario; his research for a lecture there was what inspired his 25 word idea that provided the key to discovering insulin, and prevented the certain death of those affected by diabetes. Banting returned to the University of Toronto to begin his research on insulin in the spring of 1921.

Banting House is dedicated to the story behind the discovery of insulin, as well as Banting’s life and career. Its galleries focus on everything from his time spent in London, to his contributions in both World Wars, to his efforts as an artist. Some notable artifacts include Banting’s original art, desk, medicine cabinet, and bed frame, as well as his Military Cross, the KBE, and his official replica of the Nobel Prize. Banting House was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997.

For decades, the public viewed the house as the “Birthplace of Insulin,” and many individuals expressed their desire to have it turned into a shrine or monument to honour the Canadian hero. It was first internationally referred to with the title “Birthplace of Insulin,” in 1923, by the Detroit Free Press. After 47 years, the house received official recognition in 1970, in the form of a plaque for the house, awarded by the London Public Library Board. In 1981, the London & District Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association purchased the house, and began to use it as an office; they hoped to eventually restore the house, and turn it into a museum. Through various grants and fundraising efforts, by 1984, the museum was operational.

Banting House features archival materials, artifacts, and other ephemera associated with Banting as co-discoverer of insulin, doctor, and artist, as well as his involvement in the first and second world wars.

One gallery depicts the kind of office Banting might have had, and contains several of his belongings, including his original medicine cabinet, and a graduated cylinder Banting used during his time at the University of Western Ontario. The apothecary in the next room features a sink that Banting installed for his medical practice. Other galleries in the museum hold original belongings of Banting as well, most notably his desk and his bed frame. The bed frame is kept in Banting’s bedroom, and visitors are encouraged to take a moment or a picture with it, as it is not roped off like many other areas of the museum.

Additionally, an official replica of the Nobel Prize medal co-awarded to Banting and Macleod is on display, as well as many of Banting’s other medals. Other displays include the military gallery, which includes a representation of the type of operating room Banting would have worked in on the field during the First World War, some information on the projects he headed during the Second World War, and an entire gallery filled with artwork done by Banting.

Adjacent to the museum is Sir Frederick G. Banting Square, a garden with several information plaques, and three main attractions. Two of the attractions, a full-sized sculpture of Banting writing his life-altering idea down, and the Flame of Hope, were unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The Flame of Hope, symbolizing the hope for a final cure for diabetes, was kindled by Her Majesty during her visit. The third attraction is the globe sculpture, which was added more recently in 2010. It represents Canada’s gift to the world, and embraces Banting House’s visitors from abroad, with the names of every country listed on it.…

1b create pieces for the front of the round notepad-stitched circles of printed digi on watercolour paper
Gift Ideas
Image by melstampz
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