Category Archives: Photo Essay

Chicago Day 8: Public Art

I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts. If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.

Chicago is well-known for its public art.

You have probably all seen Cloud Gate, our “bean” in Grant Park.

You probably have also wondered about our Picasso.

You may have even seen the Batcolumn.

But have you seen Carpet by Ellen Harvey (2007), a mosaic of hand-cut marble? I used to ride the CTA from this station, but I’ve never seen this amazing piece of art work.

If you’re a visitor to town or a staycationer, an exploration of the Chicago Public Art Program website might be in order. We are surrounded by art and it enriches our daily lives in sweet home, Chicago.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chicago Day 5: We Are Activists

I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts. If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.

Whether or not we always agree with each other, in Chicago we care and we show it by our actions.

Obviously, these photos are just a small representation of the thriving community that is Chicagoland. I love living here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chicago Day 4: Our Skyline Rocks!

I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts. If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.

What is the first image that comes to mind when you think about Chicago?

Our beautiful skyline, right? You already saw it from the lakefront on my Day 2  post. This photo is taken from our stunning Grant Park (but more about our fabulous parks another day).

Even when it’s raining and with the rain comes the inevitable traffic slowdown, that skyline is still a beautiful sight.

When we’re coming west from points east, the minute we know that skyline’s up ahead, the energy in the car changes. It’s a buzz every time.

We’re back in the game.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chicago Day 3: Bike Trails

I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts. If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.

Chicagoland runs amok with bike trails and bicyclists.

We even have a Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council which promotes the use of bicycles for short trips and also works to encourage safety for bicyclists.

The Bike 2015 Plan is the City of Chicago’s vision to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago. The plan recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of transportation.

Chicago’s commitment to bicycling can be both a good and a bad thing.

I drove downtown from my suburban home last week and could scarcely drive safely on Milwaukee Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood among all of the bicyclists. This video shows an underpass that I travel through almost every time I am in the city. Frightening, isn’t it? (If you click into the video when it opens you can also see the commentary about the dangerous intersection.)

On the other hand, Chicago’s bike trails are safe (most of the time) and give the cyclist an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery that one can find on Chicago’s lakefront and in forest preserves all around the area. There are also many bike trails that were converted from abandoned railroad right-of-ways.

We biked the Des Plaines River Trail a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the late afternoon warmth from the sun as the forest preserve began to cool down. I got myself all kitted out with my bike shorts on under my stretchy pants and my new breathable helmet. Then I HAD to bring my camera bag, water, and purse things, so my basket was probably as heavy as my Trex bike! Still, it wasn’t very crowded and we had a wonderful bike ride.

But then I kept stopping to take photos. Music Man left me in his dust and went on to another part of the bike path while I reveled in the fun scenery.

The Chicagoland Bike Maps website shows the plethora of bike trips available around the Chicago area. No matter where you’re staying, there’s a bike path within easy reach, so bring your bikes to Chicago. Remember that it is a city and you will need to protect your valuable investment. Bike Chicago also rents bicycles (and does Segway tours as well as bike tours) and has four locations along the lakefront.

Biking in Chicago — it’s a good thing. 🙂

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chicago Day 1: Sepia Restaurant

I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts.

If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.

From its hidden-away front door to its sexy bathroom, Sepia is a treat for anyone who finds it. Every detail is important to the ambiance of this West Loop restaurant carved out of an old print shop. Its cocktails are creative and delicious and its wine cellar is carefully curated to match the menu. Even the coasters (which I desperately wanted to steal but didn’t) are thematic. Sepia is a total experience.

And the food speaks for itself. The Sepia menu is seasonal and inspired.

House made charcuterie selection

Carnaroli risotto, beets, walnuts, pecorino pecato, pickled lemon

Grilled albacore tuna, squid ink couscous, berbere spice

Halibut, sweet corn, fingerling potatoes, crispy onions, curry

Selection of three domestic cheeses

Our anniversary dessert — a nutella mousse

In addition to the beautiful main dining room, Sepia also has a private room available for rent. I took a photo through the door and even empty, it was stunning.

Sometimes I wonder if celebrity executive chefs (Iron Chef) actually are a part of the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, but it seems that Andrew Zimmerman really put his heart and soul into Sepia.

P.S. I’m still struggling with the gaucheness of taking photos in elegant restaurants, and we took these photos with my iPhone. I know they’re not perfect, but they didn’t cause the other people in the restaurant to roll their eyes at us.

Photo Stories: DSLR 101 Fail

I put another notch in my retirement bedpost today.

No, not that kind of notch. I actually turned my new DSLR camera off of the automatic setting and tried to take some pictures on manual. I thought that before I go to camera club with the other retirees, I should actually learn how to use my camera. 🙂  I was inspired by Nan’s post on Silver Magpies — and she photographed some cherry tomatoes in a silver bowl for Facebook, so I thought I would try it too.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as successful on my first try, so I tried again.

And again.

I was still unhappy with what I was getting, so I took it in the “flower” mode on the pre-programmed settings. It may have even flashed, but I don’t think so.

According to the book I got from the library, an ISO of 2000 is crazy, even in the low light of my dining room. I’d appreciate any suggestions from my readers… clearly I haven’t figured out this manual setting thing at all. If you click into the photos, I’ve put the settings I used on each photo.

I do love the juxtaposition of the simple cherry tomatoes against the silver compote and the lace tablecloth, though. Thanks, Nan!

One step at a time, baby. That’s what I keep telling myself.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Photo Stories

Flower Stories: I don’t think it’s a zinnia

We went out on a drive last week and I found this beautiful little flower stretching toward the sun. At first I thought it was a zinnia, but now I don’t think so.

Does anyone know what it is?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Writer’s Workshop: My So-Called Garden

Writer’s Workshop Prompt: You were supposed to start a garden this summer…share the fruits of your labor.

I had big plans for the garden this summer. I really did.

I had dreams of lush shrub borders underplanted with flowering perennials that kept my flower vases full all summer.

I had visions of freshly made pesto and caprese salad direct from my organic garden.

I had in my daily planner a dip into a cool summer grass of morning while I tended my yard and pots, but that would require there to actually be dew on the grass, for the morning to actually be cool, and for me to get up early enough to see said dew. And apparently I also forgot to stake the tomatoes in recent weeks.

Reality sometimes bites.

I’m linked up with Mama Kat’s Losin’ It this week. Stop by and visit some other delicious garden stories — I’m sure SOMEONE got veggies this year.

Enhanced by Zemanta

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Photographers do the craziest things.

I chased these white horses around the field in Sauder Village trying the get the perfectly synced photo.

It turned out that the first one I took was the best… isn’t that always the case?

P.S. After I prepared this post, I realized that those rocks in the corner were actually little horse pies and was aghast. Then I decided to keep them in as proof of a photographer’s folly in not cropping one’s photos. 🙂

I’m linked up today with Project Alicia. Be sure to stop by and visit the work of these talented bloggers and photographers.

Enhanced by Zemanta