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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Category / Painting/Sculpture

Joy Of The Chase: E.L. Konigsburg’s “From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

The cover image, with the two photographed children standing at the steps of a pen drawing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was too iconic to be mistaken for any other. Dania’s heart skipped to see it in Gwen’s hands.

“The Mixed-Up Files” had been a formative book for Dania –– a testament to the power of art and history, the need to let facts affect you rather than simply accumulate in your mind. Since first reading Konigsburg’s book as a child, Dania had returned to it periodically. Each pass through Claudia and Jamie’s tale provided more details, including humor at the comparatively cheap prices in the New York of the 1960s.

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Taking It With You: Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery

The first grave visible from the entrance, straight up the main pathway, was an obelisk of at least fifteen feet. Standing atop it, in a patch of sky between two trees, was a statue of a woman with a cross clutched close to the chest.

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“Does that say ‘Villains?'” Eleanor asked. She squinted, attempting to read the name at the base.

“It’s ‘Williams,'” Gwen corrected. “You should start wearing your glasses regularly.”

“I know, I know,” Eleanor said. “I just don’t want to keep carrying them around.”

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Act Like You’re There: Shedd Aquarium’s “Wild Reef” Exhibit

“Did we already look at the Great Lakes animals?” Gwen asked, glancing around. Shedd Aquarium’s unique architecture, designed around a rotunda that served as the hub, was both simple to navigate and easy to get turned around in.

“Yeah, that’s where the huge crabs are,” Dania said. “And the eel petting.”

“Eel petting was in the Australian wing,” Eleanor corrected.

“What about this one?”

Dania was pointing to a relatively bright room, off to the side of the main hall. Almost no signage indicated what the room contained, save for a two word title treatment affixed on the wall.

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Paint Her Deeper: Soolagna Majumdar’s “Marge Simpson Anime”

Gwen pulled the stack of letters out of their mailbox, and immediately caught sight of the yellowed envelope. A contrast not only due to its color and size, but also by its decoration: tiny stickers of a dinosaur, a fish, a llama, and a teddy bear surrounded their handwritten address. The package – the stamps indicated it had come from Australia – was addressed to Dania.

Near the bottom was a hand-drawn mouse creature, with a speech bubble reading “Do Not Bend Please.” Gwen flattened the package against the wall, soothing out the wrinkles that had formed after the envelope was shoved into their mailbox. The damage controlled, as much as it could be, she carried the mail into the house.

“Dania, you have a package,” Gwen called, dropping the package onto the center table of their living room. “Did you order something from Australia?”

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