Primitive Premiere

Hoop Dreams producer Frederick Marx has a new documentary in the works, based on the Dalai Lama’s efforts to preserve the culture of the last remaining Tibetan Buddhist society, and Chicagoans will be among the first to get a gander at the monk-y business this weekend at Primitive. Glen Joffe is hosting benefit screenings of Journey From Zanskar in the Buddha Room of his Jefferson Street showplace (above) this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Marx on hand both nights; joined on Saturday by the film’s composer, Michael Fitzpatrick, and actor/director/writer/Ghostbuster Harold Ramis. Tickets are $50 for Friday, $250 for Saturday. RSVP to Celeb-spiritualist James Van Praagh recently stopped by the store, picked up some lotus candleholders, and was so moved by the Buddah Room that he scheduled it for a book signing of his latest, Unfinished Business, on July 10.

Clay Achings

Inspired by art-fair offerings, and want to get your hands dirty, maybe take out some aggression on a pottery wheel or pinch out a pot or two? Ravenswood’s Lillsteet Art Center is having an open house Saturday, June 27, from 12-5 p.m., to sign up prospective potters for their summer sessions, starting July 6 (they also offer classes in metalsmithing, glassmaking, textiles, painting, and other craft work). Check out the current gallery group show of ceramics (that’s Heidi Preuss Grew’s handiwork, pictured), grab lunch at the on-site First Slice Café, and while you’re in the neighborhood, why not see what’s new and different up the street at Nadeau Imports and Architectural Artifacts?

Toy Story

When I was a kid, LEGO didn’t have its own stores, let alone commonwealth nations. They were just awesome linking building blocks that came in a rectangular box and primary colors and rocked my fastidious little world with their neat, precise edges and infinite possibilities. They also had the power to cause excruciating pain to unsuspecting bare feet, I recall. These days the bricolage is available in every permutation from Star Wars to SpongeBob, and the company has even joined forces with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation recently to manufacture sets based on some of Wright’s most famous designs, starting with the Guggenheim Museum (available now, $45) and Fallingwater (pictured, coming soon). Pick up a set for your aspiring architect and support the FLW Preservation Trust here. I’m sure there are a lot of adults who’d appreciate these kits—imagine one or two models on your desk or bookshelf. Just don’t leave any spare parts lying around on the floor.

Gilt Trip

There are a growing number of those high-end, invite-only shopping “communities” on-line these days, but most of them seem to deal in the sort of designer clothing and accessories to which Rachel Zoe gives an oversized-sunglass-tacled nod of approval. There are a few that also handle cool home accessories and furnishings—we’ve already invited you to join One Kings Lane on our blog, and a personal favorite of my own is the Gilt Groupe, which you can join for free right here. GG sells selected items from specific designers and manufacturers for 36-hour stints only, so by the time you read this the Jonathan Adler Weight vase (marked down to $55 from $110) that you see here will be long gone, but that’s the sort of item you can expect to find if you sign up and watch for future virtual sample sales. I’ve purchased Voluspa candles and Michael Aram pieces here at terrific deals, and can vouch for great customer service and fast, careful shipping.