ALA round-up: The good, the bad, the beautiful, and the unexpected

The good

Ahhh, so much good. ALA is so huge that everyone’s conference experience is different. I was happy to be able to accomplish the professional stuff I needed to do (attend sessions, take lots of notes, give reports as incoming chair of a committee, network and catch up with colleagues, etc.), as well as add in some personal, fun stuff.

This included meeting up with Erin from Loop Looks! You can see pics from our get-together here on my blog and here on Erin’s blog — and just for giggles, here’s another outtake, as reflected in “the bean” sculpture in Millennium Park. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Meeting up with Erin from Loop Looks

Here’s a glimpse of my hotel room — or rather, the gorgeous bed linens, meow — in the equally gorgeous Hilton-Palmer House. Lovely hotel and excellent location!

Librarian for Life + Style | Palmer House linens

I was pleased about the outfits I had planned for the conference (see my planning post here), a mix of day and evening wear. And my hair really cooperated with me on this trip! 😉 Below is a compilation of selfies I snapped while getting ready for my two formal events (sorry in advance for blurry pics):

Librarian for Life + Style | Fancy outfit for IFRT banquet, 2013

Librarian for Life + Style | Fancy outfit for the Caldecott and Newbery Awards, 2013

For the final formal event, I wanted to do something a little different with my hair, inspired by recent hairdos from Jessica Alba and Jennifer Aniston. I sectioned off some hair on my left side to do a rope braid around my head, and halfway through, I stopped and pinned the braid underneath. I then let my remaining hair fall over the braid, so it hung long and loose in the back and on one side, as seen above.

Librarian for Life + Style | Fancy braided hairstyle

The bad

The bag I bought for the trip BROKE DOWN on the third day of the conference! One of the crossbody straps ripped off, the zipper then popped off, and there I was, left with a bag that wouldn’t close. While travelling. And I wasn’t even packing a lot into the purse — we had received special conference bags to hold all that extra stuff. EPIC FAIL. I’m going to see if I can return it. 😦

Update:  I was able to return the bag for store credit, yay! So that brought my total for last month’s budget down to less than $90 — I turned that frown upside down! 🙂

The beautiful

I ♥ Chicago, especially its fascinating mix of architecture and public art features.

Librarian for Life & Style | Red sculpture in Chicago

Librarian for Life + Style | Chicago water art

Librarian for Life + Style | Chicago water art

After my (way too short) meet-up with Erin, I had a couple of hours before my scheduled shuttle back to the airport. As my hotel was near the Art Institute, I decided to catch the current exhibit on “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity.” I could go for a month on outfits inspired by all the beautiful paintings (and click here for an excellent round-up of the exhibit). I also fell IN LOVE with the painter James Tissot. Here are some of my faves from the exhibit:

Librarian for Life + Style | Impressionism meets Fashion collage

The unexpected

Camille - Claude Monet - 1866

Camille – Claude Monet – 1866

Here’s another funny life-imitating-art story (also see my Vienna post). At the start of the exhibit, the quotation “There are only two ways to be a Parisienne: by birth or by dress” is featured beside Claude Monet’s 1866 painting, Camille (see right). And just as I stepped up to admire this very large painting, with its vivid dress of green-and-black stripes, I saw a woman to my left also walk up. This young woman, a brunette with short hair, was dressed in a green-and-black striped maxidress — the EXACT shade of green as in the painting — and a black bolero cardigan with textured trim.

I gasped and couldn’t help but exclaim, “You’re a modern version of Camille!” And then I pointed to the quote and said, “And look, you’re living proof of that quotation!” She was just as surprised and delighted as I was, as was the crowd of museum-goers around us. And yes, there was spontaneous applause. Most likely started by me. 😀 And we both rued that you couldn’t take pictures in the exhibit — it would have been fantastic to have a photograph to document this serendipitous moment! But at least I have a beautiful memory to take with me. And to share with you.

Last, but not least, here’s a little gem that I happened to catch while walking downtown:  a random post-it stuck on the side of a glass building. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Chicago post-it note

Hope y’all enjoyed my look back at ALA Chicago 2013. Happy weekending!

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