All posts by qingweichen

Plastic bags — the stuff that dreams are made of

By Xiao Lyu & Qingwei Chen

Mary Moy, vice president of New Life for Old Bags (NLOB), has crocheted 52 sleeping mats in the last 5 years ago. But the mats are not made of yarn, they’re made from discarded plastic shopping bags. The process not only recycles the bags, but gives them new life: as sleeping mats for the homeless.

Every Tuesday afternoon NLOB volunteers work hard turning old bags into beautiful and useful mats at Bethesda Home and Retirement Center in MontClare. Each six-by-two-foot mat takes between 500 and 700 bags and requires 80 hours to make.

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Chinese New Year celebrations aren’t over yet

By Qingwei Vivian Chen

Cooperating with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism department, more than 15 partners are ready to help residents and visitors celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chicago. The city’s 10-day festival runs through Feb. 22.

“We are working to make sure that the citywide celebration becomes a much larger, broader program with events all over the city for people to enjoy,” said Melissa Cherry, Choose Chicago’s vice president for Cultural Tourism and Neighborhoods.

Chinese New Year, which fell on Feb. 8 this year, is one of the most important festivals for the Chinese community. To usher in the Year of the Monkey, Chicago, which includes one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, is celebrating its rich cultural traditions.

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LongYun Kung Fu troupe is here in time to celebrate Chinese New Year

By Qingwei Vivian Chen

Jackie Chan’s LongYun Kung Fu Troupe came to Chicago to usher in the year of the monkey with modern dance that draws on the traditions of Kung Fu, ballet and drama. This is the troupe’s second performance in North America and their first time in the Midwest.

LongYun Kung Fu Troupe performed “11 Warriors” at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago this week. The performance covers “Five chapters: Source, Soul, Master, Softness, Celebration and Fighters” to interpret the origin, spirit, artists, tenderness and essence of Kung Fu. The final performance is on Saturday. Information about the troupe and the Saturday performance can be found on The Chinese Fine Arts Society website.

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Jingle all the way home: Holiday Train turns 24

By Qingwei Vivian Chen

Large crowds were waiting at stations for the CTA holiday train. Chicagoans are giving a warm welcome to their 24-year-old holiday train tradition.

“This is my first time getting on a holiday train, I have lived in the city for a number of years, but I have never been on a holiday train,” said Victoria Bradford, who got on the train in the Loop mentioned that she missed her Pink Line but luckily caught the holiday train. “I know it’s a Chicago tradition. It’s really fun, because I don’t have lights at home but I got lights on the train, I am very happy to see the lights on my way home,” she added. Continue reading