Dear Cinnamon: The Art of Conversation

Dear Cinnamon is our monthly column based on the idea that all of life's questions can be answered by art, because, after all, art is the spice of life. To submit your own anonymous questions, fill out this form

Dear Cinnamon, I miss the summers of my youth. How can I balance having to work with wanting to enjoy the carefree vibes that summer used to hold?

Bike down the Lakefront Trail with your hair flowing, rainbow spoke beads clacking and tassels twirling with a buddy behind you on pegs to the River Walk and view the newest exhibitions of ART on the MART. This summer features two commissions by celebrated international artists, Yinka Ilori and Cory Arcangel. ART on the MART happens every evening. For maximum summer freedom vibes, get there early, bring a book, like Charlie Donlea’s Long Time Gone and get lost in the white noise of the city forgetting that tomorrow is another day of responsibilities.

Illustration by Mat Huftalen.

Dear Cinnamon, My grandmother is coming to visit me. We were never very close, but as her age advances I feel compelled to finally get to know her. How do I connect with her and feel comfortable asking about her life?

It’s always hard to remember that our parents and their parents are real people outside of the singular role we know them as. One way to start these deep-dive conversations to truly get to know your grandmother would be to book an architecture tour. You’ll get a first-hand look at Chicago’s past and fingers crossed, first hand personal stories from your grandmother about bygone eras of her memory. Whether you embark on Chicago’s First Lady for a river cruise or book a walking tour exploring skyscrapers, the Chicago Architecture Center has you covered for a variety of ways to get Grandma talking.

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Caroline Huftalen

Caroline L. Huftalen is the food editor at Third Coast Review and columnist behind Dear Cinnamon. Her reviews and interviews can also be seen on BuskingAtTheSeams.com. Huftalen is the founder of Survivors Project, Inc. which raises awareness for domestic violence by sharing stories of survival. A graduate of the University at Buffalo and the Savannah College of Art of Design. Huftalen lives in Chicago with her family and is currently writing a novel.