Friday, December 19, 2008

Lost & Found Happy Ending

Hey all!

As many of you know, Arielle Semmel, HI Educational Programs Coordinator, and I participated in a special exhibit in the new School of the Art Institute gallery space in the Sullivan Center (old Carson’s building). The exhibit invited local artists and other community people to create a mini art exhibition in a department store display case. We created our own HI-Chicago case comprised of left objects found in the hostel. The hostel is place where people from all sorts of backgrounds come together and the random objects they leave behind is the only “evidence” of that exchange – so we want to put them on display.

The objects that we found, both in lost and found and things left in rooms, were all over the place: Japanese pink slippers, phone chargers, a bathing suit, Russian hair gel, German dandruff shampoo, and on and on. Arielle and I were particularly fond of a particular object. Here is the story of that as she relayed to the people over at Department Store:

Just wanted to share in our fun. It was a great experience to be part of the Department (Store) exhibit – and much good has come of it. Because of our participation, Jessica and I searched through the unclaimed items in lost and found, found this boy’s jacket and while taking the documentation photos found all the goodies in his pockets, and now we will be able to reunite this special item with it’s owner. He sounds very happy about it – see the exchange below.

Jessica and I have photos of our case we will send, but is there a general website for the exhibit that I could direct him to for general information about it?


Arielle Semmel
December 18 at 4:11pm
Is this Dermot Ryan who stayed at Hostelling International Chicago in June? We think we may have your jacket. If this is you, please let me know. Cheers!ArielleHI-Chicago staff

Dermot Ryan
December 18 at 7:22pm
i had actually given up on that jacket!! that is amazing. it has a seahorse logo with MAR SOC on the chest, its black and my name is on the sleve. how did you find me? i really hope it is! thank you so much. Dermot

Arielle Semmel
Today at 9:27am
Yay! We found you!This past fall, the hostel participated in an exhibit at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago called Deptartment (Store) where we filled a department store glass case with left items from the hostel. Many of the items in our case were unclaimed things from the lost and found. We wanted to use your jacket, and when got ready to put it in the case we noticed there was a bunch of stuff in the pockets - coins, things from various oceanariums and aquariums...and your student ID! We just knew we had to get all those things back to you somehow.Now the exhibit is closed and we're doing end-of-year cleaning and have restarted the search - we didn't have your email on file, and thus Facebook. Yay!The address we have on file is:###GalwayIrelandIs this still correct? Is there another place we should send it to?Cheers!Arielle

Dermot Ryan
Today at 11:12am
that is amazing!!! i am actually in england for a week but will be back at that address by the 28th december. it would be really wonderfull if you would post it to me. i really cant believe it! it is a very special jacket and have missed it. would it also be possible to get a photo of it in the exhibit. that really would be great. you have restored my fait in the goodness of humanity. thank you. Dermot

Arielle Semmel
Today at 11:28am
No worries. We'll work on posting the jacket to you. I've got to dig out the photos of exhibit, but will send those along shortly.Have fun in England and safe journey home!Arielle

So hooray for happy endings and travelers that are so easily inclined to see good in other people!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mental Graffiti Poetry Slam at The Butterfly Social Club

Hey guys this is Jason,
Monday we took a group of 2 travelers to the once monthly poetry slam at The Butterfly Social Club. I was joined by both Adrienne and Francis. We had a blast, well at least the volunteers did. Unfortunately the hostlers were unable to follow the rapid and often cryptic poems. The highlight of the evening was when Adrienne joined the open mic and blew it out of the water! Way to go! We also were chosen as a group to be judges in the slam. I am undecided if this is a very good event for the travelers due to the language barrier. However, I would HIGHLY recommend checking this out! The talent pool is staggering and the venue is very cool (they project random movies onto the wall behind the bar). This is a great event that only happens on the third Monday of the month. I will certainly be going back and I hope to see some of you there!
As a side note a few of the poets have started a new monthly show called the encyclopedia show and its is a sight to behold. Every month a panel of poets are given a topic from the encyclopedia to write about, (last month the topic was Bears). The result is sometimes funny, sometimes strange, but always entertaining. This event will be taking place on Wednesday January 7t at the Chopin Theatre in Wicker Park. Hope to see you there!
Another side note; check out its a weekly newsletter linking to all sorts of events that all have some form of free/open bar. Its AMAZING!
Hope to see you all at the volunteer get together on the 30th!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NYE 2009

Whether this night is the cherry that tops off your year or your least favorite over-hyped holiday, chances are you have a plan of what you'll be doing that night. So what is it?! Personally, I'm going to spend my $ on dinner that night and then go out dancing somewhere cheap (tba where).

What are you all doing?

Any cheap ideas for our hostellers?

Gaper's Block featured this cheap deal at Quenchers:

"For those of you who don't want to break the bank, but still want to have a good time and hear some live music, head on over to Quenchers at the corner of Fullerton and Western where the cover is only $10. Local bands Tight Phantomz and Cougars will rock your face off with some hard hitting, classic rock 'n roll. Quenchers is located at 2401 N Western Ave. Music gets going at 9pm."


Holiday Party Photos!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey guys!
Just wanted to mention that there is a pretty neat event going on this Saturday at the Art Institute. Its a Naked Scavenger Hunt and sounds like a TON of fun. Here's the link:

BTW: here are a few wonderful newsletters/sites that cater to interesting stuff to do in this wonderful city of ours.

-Jason S

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why I Volunteer at the Hostel

Yeah, it’s great to give back, to help out. It’s refreshing to meet other, diverse, cool, funny, engaging, wild, travelers, learning from their lives and experiences. It’s even more fun to go on the events, seeing parts of the city and doing things you might not normally do.

I volunteer because I think Chicago is the most liveable (if you can get past the brutal winters) city in the world, and it bears showing some people outside it the REAL city. SO many travelers think Chicago is a bunch of skyscrapers, the bean, deep dish pizza, the Mag Mile, you know, things that everyone ELSE knows about our city. And those are great things, and any traveler must check them out before they leave.

But Chicago is SOOO much more than downtown. And I want to show them that. That’s why I volunteer.

Why do you volunteer?


Friday, December 5, 2008

and we're blogging!