Sunday, December 30, 2007

Burnham Harbor

1559 South Lake Shore Drive. Empty now as all the boats have been dry-docked for the winter.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

More Winter Fun

Ice skating at the rink on Midway Plaisance, 5800 S. Woodlawn Avenue. In the summer, it's a roller blade rink, concert arena and outdoor movie theater.The skate rental counter in the warming house. Skates are for rent at $4.00.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Lasalle Street Canyon

In the South Loop. The canyon is made up of the row of famous buildings along South Lasalle Street and ends at the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Art on the Wall

Fresh Choice, 1534 Wells Street. My favorite one is the bottom row, second from left.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One of the Basic Food Groups

Chocolate: The Exhibition was created and developed by the Field Museum to inform and educate us on all things chocolate: from the story of the cacao seed in ancient Mayan and Aztec culture, to the history of making and eating chocolate. Think you've got chocolate covered? Then take the Chocolate Challenge! (And the chocolate you see here? Check out The Fudge Pot in Old Town. Real. Good. Chocolate.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gold Star Families Memorial

Between Soldier Field and Burnham Harbor, this steel sculpture marks the landscaped five acre site dedicated to fallen police officers. The pattern on this structure is evocative of the badge worn by the Chicago Police Department. Unfortunately, the name of its creator is not marked, or perhaps I was unable to find it due to the two foot high snowdrifts surrounding the base. At any rate, here's a blog I read often called Second City Cop. Give it a go see and be enlightened and entertained. Cops have feelings too...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Fun

What do you do when Father Winter dumps a foot of snow on everything while you were sleeping through the night? Well, first there is the big dig out of your house and then you go sledding down the hill behind Soldier Field!The hill is 33 feet high with a 220 foot slope--enough to make you feel like king or queen of the least before wiping out at the bottom...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wreathing an Attitude of Defiance

The two bronze lions flanking the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue have been wreathed since November 23 in the annual wreathing of the lions ceremony marking the start of the holiday season. The lions, installed in 1893, were created by American scultpor Edward Kemeys who gave the unidentical lions their unofficial names: "an attitude of defiance" and "on the prowl."

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Chicago Fire Department

An engine returning to base on Division Street in the Near North Side. Here are a few interesting links in relation to the Chicago Fire Department: a brief history, a very interesting portal to The Great Chicago Fire, and a ghost story.

*an update: more photos of CFD trucks and firefighters filed under "The Chicago Fire Department" in the label sidebar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blue Sky on Glass

Reflection off the glass windows from a rooftop on Wabash Avenue.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Season of Giving

A homeless man begged for change between traffic stops at Lakeshore Drive and 57th this morning. He held up a cardboard sign that read Merry Christmas and some other bits I didn't have time to read. After the woman gave him a dollar, the light changed and he got out from between the cars and hurried on to the side of the road.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More from Devon Avenue

I'm sorry but I just have to break the one-photo-a-day rule because yesterday's trip down Devon Avenue definitely had me feeling like I had traveled from my own city as Eliane (of NYC daily photo) mentioned in her comment on yesterday's photo of men's kurta fashions. I just have to share more of this wonderful neighborhood with you---so bear with me, and I promise to go back to the one-a-day tomorrow...
Beaded and embroidered ladies shoes inside a ladies clothing shop
Sancks at the grocery store...
A sign inside a beauty salon...
And lastly, a photo from the sidewalk...hope you enjoyed them!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The New Cabrini

Cabrini Green, once Chicago's most notorious neighborhood, has undergone some changes starting in 1995, with the demolition of the housing projects for low-income and welfare residents. The plan was to create a "mixed-income" neighborhood, with rich and poor living side by side. Has it succeeded? Others talk about their own experiences, past and present.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cobbler, Cobbler, Mend My Shoe

So goes the first line of an old Mother Goose rhyme (here's the rest of it). Gus of Hyde Park Shoe Rebuilders, is a genuine cobbler and I met him today at his shop. Here he is amidst his cobbling machinery and stacks of shoes awaiting his attention. Gus is originally from Greece.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

KAM Isaiah Israel

The first Jewish settlers in Chicago organized Kehilath Anshe Maariv in 1847. Isaiah Israel is the second oldest congregation, founded in 1852. The two merged to form KAM Isaiah Israel Temple in 1971. The temple is on Greenwood and Hyde Park Avenue. The Weiss Museum of Judaica is also located here. Click here to find a better view of this byzantine-inspired building. Today is the first day of the Festival of Lights--if you celebrate, Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunshine Elsewhere

Illinois Street. Walking downtown between the buildings where the sun always seems to be where I'm not...

Friday, November 30, 2007

End of the Work Week

Friday afternoon in a Monroe Street alley. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Looking Up

190 South Lasalle Street. Designed by architect John Burgee, and completed in 1986, critics called the top of this building chateau-like and "like a ritzy high rise jail." But this building is massively impressive and its design is beautiful. Click here for other views from afar and from the air.
p.s. Here's a photo of the its doorman who kindly looked away from my fumbling attempts at getting the whole building into view...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

State Street El Station

The elevated train (known as the el train). Routes are color coded and can be fairly simple, as long as you know where you're going and you aren't color blind. This (rusting) State Street station is the starting point for this extensive system that covers the city and forty suburbs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Donald Trumps Downtown

401 N. Wabash Avenue. Though the new Trump Tower isn't one hundred percent complete, it's already been the subject of debate for its steel, glass and stone design by architecture critics and reviewers. IMHO, I think it's a noteworthy presence along the Chicago River (and a lot better looking than the old Sun-Times building). Besides, I think all that shiny stuff does brighten up stodgy old Wabash Avenue...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Nordstrom on the Magnificent Mile. A helpful hint for your list this year: consumer reports say clothing was the most disappointing gift among recipients in 2006.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The John Hancock Center

875 North Michigan Avenue. This building is a hundred stories high and is the third tallest skyscraper in Chicago (fourth tallest in the US). See a panoramic view here. I like the dark steel and glass for its moody reflections of the city, its external x-braces that were used, both for its structural function against the wind forces and for its visual impact; and the Observatory which rivals that of the Sears Tower in the South Loop. But my favorite part of this building is The Cheescake Factory, located at its base.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flowers for Amadou

Today, our neighborhood is in shock and is grieving the senseless death of University of Chicago graduate student Amadou Cisse early Monday morning in Hyde Park. Amadou, 29 and a native of Senegal, had just successfully defended his doctoral thesis in Chemistry when he was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. We pray for him and his family as we gather around to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. His degree will be granted to him posthumously this December.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Uptown Mural

Sheridan at Lawrence Avenue. Read about Uptown's fascinating history and see photos of some of its former lords.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

At the Grocery

Whole Foods in Lincoln Park. It isn't in my neighborhood and I don't come here during the weekend when I tend to barricade myself back at home. But I discovered, while tooling around the internet looking for information on Whole Foods, that aside from its "socially responsible" reputation that it is also a place where an inordinate number of romances tend to blossom, organically of course, and that the term "a whole food flirt" has entered the lexicon of the online single and dating crowd. Hmm. Where do you spend your Saturdays?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Play Misty For Me

Lake Shore Drive. Beyond the trees, Lake Michigan is shrouded in mist.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Hundred Reasons

Since starting my "daily" photo blog, I have both loved and hated the challenge of constantly discovering ways to present my beloved city. For this momentous post (it's my hundredth) I decided to feature this happy guy I met on Michigan Avenue. With change cup in hand and his big beautiful smile, you gotta love his can-do spirit and his obvious joie de vivre. Heck, if he can be this happy after spending the night in the park, I should find solace in knowing that though there may be even bigger challenges still ahead, there is always a reason to smile. Thanks to everyone who's visited and encouraged me with your lovely comments, your sweet memories of your own Chicago and your willingness to wait yet again for the next slow to come post. A hundred thank yous!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

O'Gara and Wilson Antiquarian Booksellers

1448 E. 57th St. Opened in 1886, it is Chicago's oldest bookstore. Specializing in rare and antique books, the store also sells quirky old oddments such as photographs, sheet music, vintage postcards, exotic marriage urns (?) and the like, none of which can be found most anywhere else. Even their blog is a good read...

Monday, November 5, 2007

In the Eye of the Bean

Sunday at Millennium Park. Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor is one of my favorite things to show out-of-town guests. Click here and here to see my other photos of our beloved Bean.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The Chicago Transit Authority will be forced to raise fares and eliminate service due to insufficient funding starting November 4, 2007. Click here to learn how to support the CTA's fight against these budget cuts.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Istria Cafe

57th and Lake Park Avenue. A very good place to go for coffee, panini, homemade chocolate chili gelato (and other scrumptious flavors), friendly people, and last but not least, free wi-fi!