November 2, 2011

Scenes from a Georgian Bakery

...and that's Georgia the I'm not talking about southern caramel cake or cornbread.

Yesterday afternoon my ethnomusicology class was held at a tiny traditional Georgian bakery on Devon Street--a long thoroughfare a few miles south of Evanston that is home to a dizzying array of international vendors.

A few paces from the bakery you can step into a Russian bookstore, window shop for hijab on the next block, cross the street to fantasize about opulently bejeweled Pakistani wedding saris, and step in for dinner at an Indian restaurant where masala and vindaloo are conspicuously absent from the menu, and instead deliciously spiced traditional dishes are served with cheap plastic spoons onto styrofoam plates, and a dessert case full of bizarre looking sweets beckons from across the room. Devon offers a surprising pastiche of culture and was an intriguing backdrop for our class debates and discussion.

Not wanting to appear too much the shameless tourist, I only took photos at the Georgian Bakery. Here are a few...

Kachapuri (cheese bread) fresh from the oven...

How could I resist...

Georgia is known for its wine which is traditionally served in bull-horn flasks. The bottles are often beautifully hand painted.

Completing all my class/trumpet requirements still has me stressed to the point of exhaustion, and I often push through the final hours of every day feeling like a physical, emotional, or mental breakdown is imminent. This sensation was compounded yesterday when I was informed of the passing of Craig Bumgarner, a good family friend--a message I received shortly before heading down to Devon.

I wish that all of these experiences could have been spread out over about twice the time--that I'd be able to immerse myself completely within each one. Somewhere behind all the stress and frustration I realize I'm being given many opportunities I'd previously only dreamed about, and I hope that when this quarter ends in a few weeks, I'm able to remember more of the good its providing me, instead of the overwhelming difficulty.

Sunrise this morning was awesome. Long before the sun's rays broke the horizon, a pillar of light shot heavenward and set the clouds afire.

Though I never did know him well, I thought about Craig. About life and death. About friendship and change. And about the inexorable passage of time.


  1. I had an experience with light that morning, too. It's comforting to think that we are all somehow connected. Hang in there my daughter! You are one of the great ones.

  2. Kelly, I don't think anyone could have come up with a better tribute to my best friend than that beautiful sunset. I know that he would have appreciated it. It also was good to remind me that even though I am devastated today, the sun will always rise again the next day.

    I think that I will always think of Craig when I see a sunrise now. Thank you for the beautiful gift. I love you very much.