Since the weather is fully in winter mode, I'm focusing more on things I can do inside the house. It looks like my Wii will be getting more attention.
They only sell the balance board with Wii Fit, or more or less they sell you the board and throw in the fitness "game" for free. With this in mind, more and more developers are beginning to use the device in their games. On the left side we have Shaun White's Snowboarding - Which I played for about twenty-five minutes and now have sore legs. I the right side is We Ski a skiing game. I haven't tried it out yet.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Since the weather is fully in winter mode, I'm focusing more on things I can do inside the house. It looks like my Wii will be getting more attention.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
If I going to shoot pictures this weekend, early afternoon today was my best chance. Last Sunday I bought a Fujifilm point and shoot camera and haven't really had a chance to try it out. So around noon I headed downtown to see the Cloud Gate aka "The Bean".
Despite the chill and some flurries people were having fun in the Park and at the skating rink. The cold comes in tonight with high of 8 for tommorrow. No shooting for me until at least Christmas!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The temps were warmer on Saturday but strong winds still made it kind of chilly. I made an early afternoon trek down to Daley Plaza to see the tree as well as the Christkindl Market.
Chicago has been doing this for at least ten years now, allowing the Germans'' to come and setup shop in Daley Plaza. All sort of authentic German food and drink is available plus all sort of crafts and Christmas ornaments are availabe. Be careful some of those ornaments are made in China not Germany!
I had to leave earlier than I wanted to with the rain that came in - Well they're going to be here for at least another week so I might just visit them again
Friday, December 12, 2008
The cold December continues... I'm using my last vacation day for the year today. This was my last chance to do so, since other people are taking vacation for the rest of the year.
With that in mind I went out this morning and shot this impressive setting moon. The moon is at it's closest to the earth right now, creating a moon that appears 14 percent larger than usual
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday was Black Friday, the day the consumers go crazy line out in the wee hours of the day so they could save 50 bucks on a HDTV. I usually join these crazies to see the so called fun. I got to the Best Buy on Roosevelt Road about ten minutes before they opened which was 5 am. The line wraped around Clinton and I was standing at the entrance to Home Depot. Then the line started to move slowly. I finally got in around 5:20. Leaving only a certain number of people in at a time was the right way to do this unlike the fatality at the Walmart.
My original plan was to try to get one of the 22 inch LCD TV's but when I saw the line I knew that wasn't hapening. I was sort of hoping they would have Wii Fit's and when I got to the gaming section, there they were :) When I picked my up they had maybe twenty left. These things sell like hotcakes when available. I've been trying to get one since May! I also got a cheap Virgin Mobile phone (for backup) a 2gb SD card for the Kodak camera and a Wii Game.
When I got home I set up the Wii Fit and looked through the directions. What can I say, after two days of using this my body is sore and I now realize how out of shape I really am. This was well worth the wait.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday was the first day for CTA's Holiday Train this year. Scheduled to arrive at White Sox /35th stop on the Red Line at 2:55 it was a couple of minutes late.
I couldn't believe how packed the train was. Even with people getting off at Grand or Chicago for the Michigan Street Lighting, I couldn't get a seat until Belmont. It was a Joyus ride though. It was fun to see people board whom didn't know the train was coming. They had the biggest smiles. The southbound passengers who would turn around got a lot a smiles as well.
When we got to Howard, which is the end for the Red Line, we had to move into the front four cars, since the Purple line can only accomadate six car trains. When we reached Linden in Willmete it was photo time. I took some photos of the cars, and the santa sleigh and then rode the next Purple Line back to Howard. Total time - 2 1/2 hours. A great way to spend a cold November Saturday!
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's been a blustery cold week for a vacation, but I made the best of it. I cooked chicken soup and chili to keep warm and got out to photograph the best that I could.
This photo taken on Tuesday shows the clouds that were dumping up to a foot of snow on the other side of the lake. Thankfully that wasn't here. Today those poor folks got another batch of snow while in Chicago the sky was a bright blue all day long.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Taking vacation in mid to late November can be a crapshoot. Last year temps were sort of mild in th 50's. This year were barely out of the '30s. It's really cutting into my picture takeing abilities.
I took this on Monday hoping that the cold weather won't kill them. They're beautiful decorative plants that look alot like cabbage. I usually see these plants in downtown flower boxes but this is located in someone's front yard.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Archer Avenue used to be an Auto Dealer heaven. From Western to Pulaski there were six different new car dealers. We had Balzekas Chrysler-Plymouth just east of California, Archer-Kedzie AMC at Kedzie, Power Ford at Archer and Spaulding, Bill Becker Chevrolet at Trumbull, a Volkwagen Dealer at Ridgeway and a Honda Dealer at Pulaski.
It looks like the only dealer left is Balzekas, and who knows how long Chrysler will be in business. The above pictures are the latest causulties. The top picture is Midway Ford a succesor dealer to Power Ford. It looks like they merged with Metro Ford on Western. I don't know why Metro didn't move to this location since this is a more modern facility. The second picture is one of the lots of Montell Chevrolet. They appear to be out of business since the only new vehicle I saw was a white Tahoe in the west showroom.
This Chevrolet dealer has changed hands several times over the last 30 years. It's closing saddens me. When I was a boy it was Bill Becker Chevrolet. Latter it became Ron Postma and then Montell.
The recession of 80-81 closed the Volkswegen Dealer. Next to close was the AMC dealer but not before it became an Jeep-Eagle Dealer. The Ford dealer also closed during that recession but the old Power Ford showroom was torn down with a modern building attached to the service building. The Ford dealer seemed to change hands more than any of them. So long Archer Avenue it looks like dealer row is almost all gone.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The loctus trees are almost bare on this late Autumn afternoon, as I was walking down Archer from Pulaski. In the background is Curie High School's "A" Building which contains the classrooms.
Built between 1971 and 1973 the building is a simple box. The large tinted windows are fixed since the building has air conditioning. I guess the simple box works well for schools but there is no ornamentation on the building at all, which makes it boring.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
For the second Sunday in a row I paid a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This time with the Kodak camera. This is a female Sun Bear. Her tongue sticks out because of an operation on her jaw. She seems to be a real cutie, but her male partner was giving her problems shortly after I shot this photo.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Today was an early morning arrival downtown to meet Tina at the Thomson Center. We were supposed to watch the spire be assembled and hoisted atop the Trump Tower but they decided to move the date to the 15th.
Luckly Tina drove downtown and we decided to visit Jackson Park instead. Other than being at the Museum of Science of Industry, I've never been in Jackson Park. What a cool place. The trees had a lot of red and yellows. The highlight was at the end when we reached the Statue of the Republic.
The statue is a 1/3rd reproduction of the one that was at the World's Columbian Exposition. It was erected in 1918 to celebrate the 25th aniversary of the fair
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday was a decent day to go for a walk. I found myself taking the redline and first getting off at Chicago to check out the water tower. No fall leaves there, so I get back on the redline and head to North Avenue.
My original plan was to take either a bus or walk to Lincoln Park, but I never made it that far. I had just missed the bus so I decided to walk. Here is a loop bound brownline train that just passed the curve over North Avenue. With Loop Elevated construction, this train will become an orange line train when it leaves the Merchandise Mart.
I found St Micheals at Cleveland and Eugine. St Michaels is a huge complex of buildings with a 200 ft high steeple. It was impossible to get a photo of the whole thing. From there I walked through parts of Old Town until I got to Sedwick and then proceeded to take the Brown/Orange Line train back to Bridgeport.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
What we have here must be the last gritty block in downtown Chicago. The westside of the 400 block of south Clark street. Directly to its east sits the Metropolitain Corrections Center or a fancy skyscraper jail. This block features a pawn shop and a men only rooming house. American submarine occupies its northend. When I worked at United Letter Service some 15 years ago I used to eat here with several of the other guys. The block hasn't changed much since then
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Today the I & M Canal Meetup Group met in Channahon State Park.
I left at 6:30 this morning to make it to Archer and Harlem by 8:00. I actually arrived at 7:41. Tom and his son Chris picked me up just about 8:00 and on our way for about 45 minutes before we made it out to Channahon.
Channahon is southwest of Joilet and a little northeast of Morris. This was the largest group of the three that I've attended. We had about 12 people attending. We saw locks 6 and 7 which the above photo takes place between the two. It's so cool to see the clouds reflecting in the water.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Last Saturday - I decided to walk around Bridgeport a bit with one of my cameras. Here sits an un-named park located in the former quarry that was located just east of Halsted. Over the last 5 or so years they filled in most of the quarry, planted grass and trees and laid sidewalks, but when do they plan to open it?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We've had great weather for the last few days and this was good for the Chicago Marathon. It's even a bit too warm for the run but at least it's cooler than last year's affair. I walked down to 33rd and Wentworth around 9:00 this morning and took some shots of the leaders of the pack. The picture above was the first large group of runners after the wheelchair and elite runners had past.
I staid for about an hour it was kind of warm, walked back to my apartment so I could get my Jewel bags and head back out to Jewel. The marathon blocks most access to downtown so the 44 had to head west on 26th to Halsted. Once we got to Halsted I saw the multitude of runners heading east on Archer. What an awesome sight.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
October brings an acceleration to the shortening days. Here we have some of the last rays of sunlight reflecting off the Loop Towers.
I was surprised by the amount of boat traffic this evening, the temps were in the mid 50's but they were several sight seeing boats on the river
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Well this week of vacation is over but I'm not really down. It was a good week with great weather. I got to chase a big red ball all over town. That has to count for something :)
Yesterday I went downtown to Millennium Park to see Wiredfest. Wiredfest is a technology expo sponsered by Wired Magazine. I got to see some cool stuff. Today I decided to walk along the lakefront northward. I walked from the Grand Avenue Red line stop to the Lakefront, then the lake front to Fullerton and Fullerton back to Halsted. A great walk. The strong east winds were creating some awesome waves on the lake. Here is a small one crashing into the breakwater
Friday, September 26, 2008
All good things come to an end they say and Thursday was the completion of the Red Ball Project in Chicago.
The final installation was at the south entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center. The ball was squeezed between the railing and the window at the second floor level. I got a chance to shake Kurt's hand and thanked him for bringing this project to Chicago. It's been a fun few weeks.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday the Red Ball Project came to Federal Plaza to hang out with Calder's Flamingo - I think Kurt was a genius to choose this location. The two pieces of art work very well together. They were a little behind schedule this morning. When I arrived at around 11:30 they were still inflating the ball. It was cool to see this procedure.
I came back in the late afternoon around 5:00 to witness the after work crowd. I was back downtown to meet up with Tina for an early evening photo shoot. The afterwork crowd appeared to be more "playfull" than the lunchtime crowd. Kurt was there as well as seen in the photo below, describing his project. It was cool to finally see him.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The Red Ball Project has made it to Chicago's Financial District. Pushed into the courtyard entrance at 19 S La Salle people are walking past the ball like it's always been there. A group of young women in green T-shirts were interacting with the ball and the guy by the "19" with the bag is one of the ball "handlers" His bag contains little red booklets with the words "Go BIG" on the cover.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
What a wonderful place to feature the Red Ball. This venue was supposed to have the ball last Sunday but because of the bad weather it was rescheduled for today. This weekend is a 180 from last weekend that's for sure.
I sat for awhile watching people interact with the ball or just roll or run right on by. Mostly the walkers stopped and sometimes a cyclist, but the runners and roller bladers were to much into their routine to stop.
From the Chess Pavilion, just south of North Avenue and the Lakefront I continued to walk the lakefront path all the way south to Roosevelt - approx 3.5 miles of walking. It was a nice little exercise :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wow - The Red Ball Project finally comes somewhere thats walking distance for me. The Red Ball is at IIT's McCormick Tribune Campus Center. I only had to walk the three-quarters of a mile east and their it was.
Putting it under the 'L' makes it look like its holding the structure up. cool idea. The southbound Green line train is headed to 63rd and Ashland with the first two cars out of the Sound Barrier. This barrier was built so that the students wouldn't be bothered by the noise of the train. Somehow I don't think this would work for me since I can hear the red line trains in the wee hours of the morning and I'm more than a half mile away :(
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
With the wash-out that the weekend - The Red Ball Project had to scramble to reschedule Saturday's and Sunday's Venues.
Saturday was supposed to be Wicker Park but they rescheduled that for today. I like what they did here. They squeezed the ball between two buildings, sort of making the buildings part of the artwork instead of being the canvas that the artwork is in front of. Although I didn't see it live on Friday, the ball was on top of the LaSalle - Wacker street Bridge. I think this is a continuation of that same Theme.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Red Ball Project visited the Christian Science Church at the corner of Wacker and Wabash. From my observation, being it was 4:30 in the afternoon on a weekday, people were more "cautious" with the display. I guess the seriousness of the workday may have had something to do with it
Sunday, September 7, 2008
So this September we have a moving public art project called the Red Ball Project. It's the brainchild of Kurt Persche and surprise surprise funded by Target. I Missed the first three days of the Project 9/1; 9/3 and 9/5. I'm going to try to make the rest :) This was yesterday's location the South stairs of the Field Museum. People were having fun touching the ball and doing goofy things infront of it. Today's location was at the Museum Campus underpass and below is a picture.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
The un-official end to summer is upon us. We have been graced by hot weather but I decided to do a photo shoot anyway.
Here we have the 12th street beach with people taking advantage of the warm weather to cool off a bit. From here I continued to walk south onto Northerly Island -- The one time Megis Field. Today it contains the Charter One stage, a prarie and a wildflower preserve with trails. You can actually take some intersting pictures from the former air field. I still think I'd rather have the airport thou.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
A change of weather came today, after a hot and muggy Saturday, a cool front came in, and the humidity is gone! This allowed me to make a nice walk. I loosly based this on a walk that Forgotten Chicago did back in June. I took the Halsted bus to Grand and walked west until I got to Paulina. I then started to follow the path of the Forgotten Chicago walk. This walk zigzagged across Westtown with the walk ending at Division and Wood. I then took a Damen bus back to 35th and Archer and a 35th bus home.
This walk featured several tied houses. A tied house was a tavern that was tied to a particular brewery. The pictures above all feature two houses tied to Schlitz. The one at Grand and Damen is in the worst shape and all the lettering from the ball is missing. The walk also featured a Peter Hand tied house as well as a Val Blatz house (not pictured)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I decided to try my hand at another Cushman photo. In February of 1941 Charles took the top picture at the Adler Planetarium. My modern photo is taken at a similar location. I think Cushman may have been closer to the planetarium than I am. It's that or the breakwater is totally different :)
On a quick inspection it's hard to tell that Cushman's photo is of Chicago. Once you look closer you'll see the Wrigley Building, The Carbon and Carbide Bldg (Now the Hardrock Hotel) and the Pitsfield Building.
Today's photo shows an almost topped out Trump Tower as well as The Legacy at Millenuium Park. It's simply a different city. Where Chase Tower (nee First National Bank of Chicago) stands today back in 1941 the Hotel Morton stood all 56 stories making it one of the tallest buildings in Chicago. It still holds the record of the tallest structure to be demoed in Chicago.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I haven't had much of a chance to take photos lately, typical summer weather of heat and humidity has kept me in. Today wasn't one of those day's strong northeast winds, temps around 80 and low humidty made it a great day to take a walk. I went downtown and started the walk at Dearborn and Lake, walked lake to Jefferson and then Jefferson to 14th place where it ends. I had to walk over to Canal up to 16th back to Jefferson then up to 18th and 18th back to Halsted. All and all a great walk and I hope to post more pictures later.
The bottom photo is my recreation of Cushman's photo taken almost 64 years earlier. While we decry pollution today, I think we fail to realize how dirty a Coal burning world was. The Merchandise Mart was a little more than 10 years old when Cushman took his photo but it looks like a century has passed.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Bloomer Chocolate factory is located int ther Fulton River District of the near northside of Chicago. When the wind blows just right the wonderful aroma of chocolate can be witnessed downtown.
I wonder how long the factory will remain. It is now surrounded by condo complexes with more to arrive.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
With Saturday being a total wash out I didn't know what to expect for today. We had some thunderstorms around 1:00am and it remained cloudy until noon. Then the Sun broken out and heated everything up.
Today was the 29th annual Summertime Chinatown Festival down Wentworth avenue, featuring items for sale and tasty food. The Highlight event which was scheduled for 12:30 was the Dragon Dance. The photo shows the arrival of the Dragon onto Wentworth as it turned off of Cermak Road. It turned out to be a great day for a festival
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Ok maybe it's not really the center but on the left you have a Popyee's and on the right a Dunkin Donuts. This corner of Archer and Spaulding has been ocuppied by fast food chains for at least 40 years. The Popyee's buidling is less than 5 years old and sits on the site of the former Burger King #182. The Dunkin Donuts was built as a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.
I started my working life at the Burger King that was once on the Popyee's site. In fact the owner of the Popyee's was the head manager at the Burger King. The Kentucky Fried Chicken was relocated to 47th Place and Kedzie and the place was a Lalos's Taco Place for a while. It had been closed for a few years and I was surprised it was refurbished into a Dunkin Donuts.
Monday, July 7, 2008
The 4th of July weekend didn't lend itself to great photo opportunites. I had problems at the apartment on Friday and Sunday was too hot. Saturday was ok and so I decided to go down to the old hood and photograph Archer Avenue.
Brighton Park's main business district was Archer Avenue from Kedzie to California. Here at Sacremento we have perhaps the most impressive structure on Archer Avenue. The Old Standard Federal Savings (Later Bank) I believe Standard Federal had sat on this corner since the mid 1920's. I remember in the mid-80's when I first got an account at this S&L being impressed by the 14-15 teller windows.
Standard became a bank after the S&L crisis. It remained indepedent for another 10 years and then TCF came to town and bought them out. I haven't been impressed with TCF. In fact I hate them but since it hard to change checking accounts I remain. The last time I was in the lobby of this impressive building, TCF had two tellers working. What a waste of space :(
Saturday, July 5, 2008
The Fourth has come and gone and all the fireworks by now have been blown up. It's been an intersting week. On Monday night I had to call the fire department because there was smoke in the hallway. They best determined it was caused by fireworks thrown in the hall.
Then my 4th of July was hampered by lack of power. I guess the wiring got loose. shrug.