Happy Chinese New Year, Happy Magic Flute, Happy Ethiopian restaurant

I just got back from my visit to Chicago to see my youngest child, take her to the Lyric Opera, eat dinner and sleep over.  Had a grand time, and stashed my camera in my purse so that I could share the event on this post.  So, here are the characters:

Scillagrace, actually wearing make-up and a new scarf from the Fair Trade store


...and Mema, who is always too fabulous for words


And here is the Lyric Opera House in Chicago….

Grand staircase with gold banisters and red carpet

Iconic fire-proof curtain screen

Theatrical gold chandeliers

Patrons people-watching over the balcony

The matinee performance of Die Zauberflote (imagine 2 dots over that ‘o’) attracts a younger audience and satisfies the anticipation of spectacle by including plenty of flashy pyro effects, disappearances through the trap door, animal costumes, flying and gliding set pieces with people on them, and all that good fun.  The hyper-vengeful Queen of the Night was a tad disappointing.  Her famous raging aria was not always on pitch (actually sharp on a high D!) or facile in the fast passages.  She’s a younger singer, not as seasoned.  Pamina was exquisite, however, showing superb control in her dolce pianissimo.  Mema felt the chills!  And Papageno was an expert clown as well as a spot-on baritone who had the audience eating out of his hand.  Bravi tutti!  On to dinner…

A little Ethiopian restaurant with only 8 people in it besides us.  I’ve never eaten authentic Ethiopian food before.  It is served without utensils.  You break off pieces of the spongy, sour flat bread (injera) and grab the spiced food with that.  I ordered a lamb stew; Mema had a vegetarian platter which took up half the table!  Five different spiced vegetable dishes on one huge round of injera: squash, green beans, mushrooms, chick peas, and salad.

The injera is sort of like a damp rag...but tastier

Delicious, and new!  Toddled off to Mema’s apartment to get into comfy clothes, cuddle the cat, watch a video of my late husband (her dad) singing a recital, have a few drinks and a good, cathartic cry before going to bed in the king-sized cushy bed that used to be mine….

I love my daughter, as a person as well as a family member.  I love that we can talk honestly about everything, share on the deepest level, feel genuine affection for each other, and play together!

One thing I noted, however; nighttime in the city is noisy!   The elevated train rumbles by, rattling the brick building; the floors sag and creak when anyone walks through the apartment; the cat purrs loudly next to my ear.   So, now that I am back home, I’m going to take a nap!  Toodles….

6 thoughts on “Happy Chinese New Year, Happy Magic Flute, Happy Ethiopian restaurant

  1. Lovely scarf. My friend is making a stew from Burkina Faso for Iron Chef peanut butter- she says “Prepare to eat with your hands, Americans!” Also, Mem, stunning as always.

  2. I just love the intimate way you write Scilla and you obviously know what you’re talking about when it comes to opera…well it sounds as though you do ! and as I don’t well you could be making it all up for all I’d know 😉
    Oh and by the way you’re looking good girl!!

  3. Ethiopian food is great! San Jose actually has about 5-6 different Ethiopian places and Cristina often makes that her choice for birthday dinner. The sourness of the bread is a little overwhelming for me, but I love the spicy vegetables.

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