Lincoln Park Conservatory

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The Lincoln Park Conservatory, which is adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo, is one of my favorite spots in all of the greatest city in the world. To enter this building is to enter the otherworld.

On each of our last five or so visits, the most recent of which was yesterday, a character of a caretaker has held court with any visitor who will stop and listen. He is intent on letting each of us know that staff has been reduced, volunteers are none too plentiful, and the building is falling apart. The latter is apparent. The former? Not so much. The plants seem abundant and well cared for. The floors and bathrooms are clean. For all of its decrepitude, the building is beautiful. Isn’t this just “the way things are” in 2015? Many people, businesses, cities, countries have fewer resources to meet their needs, let alone their wish-list of hopes, dreams, and wants. We must do what we can with what we have. It seems that the time to rail about what was has passed — especially if one, after all, still has his job.

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