Notable Chicagoans Share How They're Sheltering In Place

J.P. Anderson | March 30, 2020 | People

With Chicagoans spending so much time at home these days, we checked in with some notable Windy City figures across industries on what they've been up to. From meditation to puzzles to jumping in to help at the front lines of the cause, here's what they told us.

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"We have done more puzzles that we ever thought we would do in our lifetimes—lots of puzzles, reading, spoiling Bazooka (our dog) and cooking. We're hoping to use this time to get a new menu going for when we open up again." —Anna Posey, chef/coowner, Elske

“I’m still working daily, but at my house it’s painting, taking walks, playing video games, playing dress-up, watching movies, acting out movies, diamond art, jigsaw puzzles, and lots of rounds of Monopoly.” —Katharine Degoma, general manager, Ambassador Chicago

"I've been reading more—which is a real joke in my family since everyone is an avid reader except me. I always say 'I’m a visual person, I like pictures.' I’ve been able to make a (small) dent on the books gracing my bedside table. Also, like many, I’ve been cooking a lot. I was recently given Paul Kahan’s Cooking for Good Times. My boyfriend and I made my favorite—the Avec focaccia. It turned out perfectly! We felt so accomplished we were literally high-fiving each other." —Kara Mann, founder and creative director, Kara Mann

“We're busy in Brooklyn putting a coalition of out of work sewers back to work and paying them to make masks and gowns for non-medical personnel. Please consider supporting our work.” —Anthony Galante, designer, Anthony Galante

"I’ve been trying to stick to my normal routine as much as possible but have been taking the time to do things I don’t normally get to. In the mornings, I’ve been reading books I never seem to have time for. I’m working out daily with the help of my gym instructors leading live classes—some make us “sign up” for them, which is a great way to stay accountable. As a chef, I’m able to test new recipes for future menus and rediscover what makes me passionate about my craft. Really just taking this time to 'breathe and reboot,' because this extra time never happens." —Danielle Marelli, pastry chef, Travelle at The Langham

“The shelter-in-place situation for me has been a spiritual retreat for my mind and body. Meditation, exercising and mindful eating (I’m vegan). This thinking has helped me stay calm, peaceful and always creative.” —Richard Dayhoff, designer, Richard Dayhoff

“I'm fortunate I can still work from home, and that means I get to continue to deliver Chicago forecasts daily (from my living room), which brings me joy. During my live weathercasts, I’ve started sharing #STAYSUNNY photos highlighting the sunny, positive moments from our Chicago viewers as we weather this storm together. The hope is to brighten everyone’s spirits during this challenging time.” —Cheryl Scott, meteorologist, ABC7

“I fell in love with Chicago on a fourth grade field trip to The Field Museum. My teacher, Mrs. Johnson, did what teachers do so well—she made me curious. For 40 years, I've dedicated my life to supporting the stories that artists of Chicago feel they need to share, whether it's Nick Cave and his Soundsuits, Geoffrey Baer and his tours on WTTW (I've been watching lots of WTTW), the powerful work of About Face Theatre, or more recently, Stephanie Martinez and her brilliant choreography created for the CSO and Joffrey. Artists connect. In these uncertain times, we want and need each other more than ever, and artists cannot be stopped. The Joffrey team and myself have been working on ideas to share the Joffrey story, keep our audience and artists healthy, and finding joy in the authentic stories of artists who reach us all the time as well as exploring ways that we can lend a hand to our local, national, and international partners. Now is the time to be a giver. The silver lining of this situation is that I have had the opportunity to look back on footage and memories that are just as relevant today as they were five or six years ago. That alone has been a source of great gratification and happiness. With physical distancing as a mandate, we are looking forward to gathering in theaters, parks, and museums across our great city, a city that has risen before and will do so again." —Greg Cameron, President and CEO, The Joffrey Ballet

"Honestly, I'm busier than ever trying to fulfill our mission to help people live less stressed and more mindful lives. It's more important than ever for people to tend to their mental wellbeing. Despite our studio being closed, we are persevering, moving our curriculum online and launching Chill Anywhere. In addition to trying to sustain the business, I dusted off my cooking and cleaning skills. My puppy has never gotten more attention and longer walks. Of course, I am also practicing what I preach. I try to participate in all Chill's classes these days. I need it." —Laura Sage, cofounder and CEO, Chill
“During these challenging times, I am supporting friends who have lost their jobs, offering groceries, food and things they might need. As a dance maker all productions have been postponed and I am donating the proceeds of tickets purchased to dance companies. I am also taking this time to stop and recharge and to give myself some self care via reading, yoga and cooking, things I rarely have time for otherwise. I am also still being social via zoom and other online platforms, it is important that we proceed through this together.” —Brendan Fernandes, artist


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Photography by: Pedro Lastra on Unsplash