Who doesn’t like movies? Well, some people, I guess, but they’re “rare birds.” Most of us like watching movies, whether on our computers, TVs, or on the big screen. And the big screen is always the most impressive, at least in my opinion. Nothing makes you crawl into the parallel universe of a film better than a large screen. With surround sound and a bucket of popcorn, of course…
C-U doesn’t lack opportunities for watching movies on the big screen. Besides the obvious blockbusters at Beverly Cinema and Savoy 16, there are many opportunities to watch great films you might not otherwise know about:
–The Art Theatre in downtown Champaign often hosts documentaries and independent films of interest (http://www.thecuart.com/).
–Famed Chicago Sun Times film critic and Urbana native Roger Ebert holds his highly acclaimed “Ebertfest” (previously known as “Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival”) here in late April at the historic Virginia Theatre (http://www.ebertfest.com).
–Global Lens is an international film festival held right here at Parkland this fall, the films shared with UIUC (http://artgallery.parkland.edu/global-lens.html).
– And this Friday, September 23, is the kickoff for the Latin American Film Festival (http://www.clacs.illinois.edu/news/specialevents/).
Most of these events are free or very reasonably priced. Take advantage of these fabulous film opportunities, and a way to learn about another culture, art, passion, or way of life through the eye of the lens.
paintings credit: Elizabeth Santiago
One of the best ways to combat homesickness and culture shock is to get to know the place you’ve moved to. One of my favorite activities to engage with my community is the Farmers’ Market, or as it as known in C-U, the Urbana Market on the Square. Held on late spring, summer and early autumn Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on the southeast corner of the Lincoln Square parking lot, the market is one of the best ways to find local fruits, vegetables, organic meats, Amish baked goods, candies, cheese, crafts, honey….and the list goes on. Here are some of my favorite things to see at the market:
Besides cheese, these folks also give samples of their goat’s milk gelato, some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.
But the market is not just a place to buy food or flowers, it’s also entertainment. Where else could you see one of these?!
Musicians come out to entertain the crowd and earn some cash. It’s a wonderful place to watch people and eavesdrop on lively conversations. If you go to the market to buy food, I recommend going early to avoid the crowds; if people-watching is your thing, then go later, but take a hat and some sunscreen—the sun gets hot out there! When the weather cools off in October, the market moves indoors to Lincoln Square until Christmas, and local craftspeople use the opportunity to sell their Christmas wares. It’s easy to get here by local transportation, so I encourage you to visit the market on Saturday as a way to get to know Champaign-Urbana.