Friday, August 31, 2007

Big Shoulders

In honor of the upcoming Labor Day Weekend, I bring you some of the real men who make Chicago the City of Big Shoulders. These guys are Da Best! Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Chicago River

This is the Chicago River whose flow was reversed by wondrous engineering in the 1900s. River sewage used to empty into Lake Michigan which caused deadly cholera and typhoid outbreaks in the 1850s. The river was reversed through the use of deep digs and locks, basically creating artificial rivers to catch and train the flow to travel through to the Mississippi drainage system by way of the Des Plaines and Illinois rivers. On St. Patrick's Day, the city dyes the river green.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This Is Not Your Bad Dream

Relax, it's not you who found themselves inexplicably naked at work. The Macy's mannequins, in between costume changes...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Underwater Pinniped View

I took this from the underwater viewing gallery at the Pinniped House of Brookfield Zoo. The Brookfield Zoo is located about 12 miles west of downtown Chicago, in the suburb of Brookfield. If you plan to go, be advised that this zoo sits on 200 plus acres of land and things are spread out so wear comfortable shoes and use your map so you don't waste time or energy doubling'll need everything you've got for the trek back to the parking lot!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Alternatives, Inc.

This is part of a beautiful and exuberant mosaic mural that spans the entire building's face of Alternatives, Inc. on 4730 N. Sheridan Road. Alternatives is a youth and family agency serving the city's north side. Their programs include counseling, career and employment skills training, summer and after school activities, as well as varied art and cultural activities. (Read more on them here.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Last Call for Summer

These two boys were having a rolling good time on the beach at 57th. By next week, they'll be doing roll call and homework. But for now, it's time to soak up these last blazing hot days...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Safety on Campus

There are over three hundred of these emergency telephones on the campus of the University of Chicago and its surrounding areas. Pressing the red button will automatically transmit its location to the University Police, and they will come to your aid whether you speak to a dispatcher or not. An interesting aside: the U of C private police force is one of the largest in the world, the only one larger is the Vatican's. Click here to read more on safety in the city.

Monday, August 20, 2007

How far to...?

On Dock Street at the Pier. In our new world gone high speed and global, it's still useful to know the actual distances between our cities, countries and continents so we can calculate such things as gas mileage and hours to travel. Of course, frequent flyers will be quick to tell you that these two variables often operate entirely separately, affected by airport security, congestion, and of course, the weather.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Listening to Children

An exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum poses the question: Who are the important people in your community? Children from everywhere are asked to draw the person most important to them and say why. Some of the answers are simple (example: my mom, my dad, my dog, etc.) and others reveal a more complicated life (example: Shannon, because she tucks me in at night).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Texture and Contrast

Here is another view of the Historic Water Tower which I featured a few days ago. This angle brings the building's texture into view, forcing the eye to take in the irregularity of the Joliet limestone against the dark steel and glass of the John Hancock building on the left, and the symmetry of the Macy's/Water Tower Mall on the right. The architect of the Historic Water Tower was William Boyington.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back in the Loop

The Chicago Loop is the downtown area that is circumnavigated by the elevated train (known as the el), although mostly we say "in the Loop" to indicate anything located downtown, whether or not the el has a stop nearby. Does your city's downtown have a nickname?

p.s. This was a rainy morning about three weeks ago--it is actually bright and sunny right now. Thanks to all who visited while I was ghost blogging from another city--I'm back and will return to haunting my own city once again. Cheers, everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Midway Airport

The Chicago Municipal Airport opened in 1927 and first earned the title of "World's Busiest" in 1932. (O'Hare claimed the title in 1962). In 1949, it was re-named Chicago Midway Airport in honor of the men and women who served in the Battle of Midway. It was renovated in 2004 and now has the capacity to to handle 17 million passengers a year.
P.S. As you may have guessed, I am not in Chicago at the moment. But I will be posting and visiting with the dp family when my schedule allows. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cook Your Books

I've driven by this bookstore in the Lakeview neighborhood often enough to stop noticing it so it was years before I realized that what appeared to be "reorganization" was really a permanent mess. I'm sure this makes finding a real gem among all the rubble a triumph but I do prefer a little more order...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Water Tower

This is the Historic Water Tower on Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile, erected in 1869. It is the city's most cherished landmark, untouched as it was by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 because it is made entirely of limestone. Today, it is an art gallery curated by the Chicago Public Arts Program.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Steps Up

A very unusual house in Old Town. This house is built right on ground level with just a door right off the street--most have porches and steps leading up. (This must make lugging grocery bags into the kitchen easier.) Another unusual feature of this house is the absence of brick or stone around its foundation (except for the paved walk)--unusual because the great Chicago fire changed forever the city's building habits which pre-fire, relied heavily on wood.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Metra

The Metra train's South Chicago/University Park line (orange route on the link provided) is the line I take to go downtown. On an express train, from my stop (55th) to downtown, it's an eight minute ride. If it is not express (which means it will make two more local stops), the ride is fifteen minutes. Round trip costs $4.10 but kids eleven and under are free all summer.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007

A View From the Ferris Wheel

A view from the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. This is an old photo taken the spring of 2004--but I still like it best.

Thursday, August 2, 2007