Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pilsen / Little Village Walk - Part 1 Tied Houses

On Sunday I finally had the opportunity to take a walking tour with the people from Forgotten Chicago. While I've done two of their walks after the fact before, it was nice to do one "live". We met at the Western Avenue stop on the Pink Line. Approx 20th and Western. A good crowd of 20 to 25 people were on this walk and we walked in an area with Bell St on the East 25th Place on the South, California on the West and 19th on the North.

We looked at house styles, commercial buildings, tied houses and the 'L' itself. On the first part I'm going to focus on the tied houses. A tied house is a tavern that was "tied" to a paticular brewery. If someone wanted to open a tavern but didn't have the resources he could approach a brewery who would build the structure in exchange for only selling their product. We saw a total of 4 tied houses in the area. Three from Stege Brewery and one Schlitz

We saw the three Stege Tied houses first and then finally the Schlitz. First up is the Stege Tied house at 24th and Western. Built in 1909 the first thing that you'll notice is the damaged logo on the side of the building. Sometime after Stege's closure in 1923 the name has been blasted off the ball. A real shame!

The second Stege Tied house we looked at was at 2658 W 24th Street. This one was built in 1897 is more ornate and still operates as a tavern.

The final Stege Tied house we saw was at 2333 S California (23rd Place). Built in 1912 this was the most ornate Stege tied house built. Our tour guide in fact said it was the most ornate tied house built in the city. This one has a really cool mosaic at it's entrance. It's interesting that all three Stege tied houses are fairly close together. I wonder if that's because the brewery was located at 15th and Ashland.

The Final tied house we looked at was a Schlitz Tied house at 21st and Rockwell Built in 1899, it's a fine example of a Schlitz tied house. The globe is in nice shape and while it's been converted into an apartment, the unit still contains the bar.

I think the tied house concept was pretty cool. One of the restrictions in ending prohbition was that tied houses were outlawed. Most states went to a three-tier model in which breweries sold to distibution companies and then the distributors sold to the taverns. This ends part one of the walking tour


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Colors

I saw this leaf on a vine just north of Archer on Canal

Last Tuesday fall arrived and the trees in the area are quickly changing to a golden color as seen below The tree is on 31st just east of Lowe

We will have a lot more autumn colors over the next several weeks

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coming to the Light

I'm glad the last week is behind me. Being sick with what only could have been the flu its time to plan some photo shoots for this week. I finally got a tripod so now I can to all those fancy night shots. Last Monday I took the tripod and the camera downtown and here are some of those results.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Of Bikes and Boats

On Sunday the Chiflickr meetup group planned to meet at Ping Tom Park and we were in for a bit of a surprise. There was only three of us, this doesn't surprise me at all because everyone says they're going and no one really shows up.

To Get to the park I took the 44 Wallace Racine Bus to Archer and Canal then walked Canal one block north to Cermak. Then Cermak to Princeston and then zig-zag down little streets to the park. My first surprise was all the bikes a saw while I was walking. I didn't realize that the Lakefront Boulvard ride was this Sunday and that Ping Tom Park was a rest place. Instead of an empty park to shoot we had one filled with people and that was a good thing :)

I arrived around 10:30 and shot some of the activity including some people doing tai chi. The event used the pagoda as a staging area

The three of us spent some time shooting the railroad bridge, which other than the pagoda, is the most photogentic object in the area. Below is some of the bridge

We also noticed that water taxi service to downtown was in operation and there was a $6.00 all day pass. So we took the next taxi. Below is a photo of the taxi.

The next stop for the taxi is Madison Avenue for commuters at Union Station and then onto the Wrigley Building. We waited about 5 minutes at Wrigley and then headed back to Chinatown. Roundtrip was around 45 minutes. Below are some of the shots from the Chicago River.

Finally back to Ping Tom Park here is the pagoda from the water:

All in All I thought it was an interesting photo shoot. The water taxi experience was cool since you get to ride on a part of the river south of the guide boats and if you already know the buildings it's a great way to capture shots on the cheap.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Bee-Movement, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

Wednesday was a great day to get out and walk around. I took the Olympus over to Stearns Quarry Park to see what I could find :)

There continues to be a lot of grasshoppers around. For the most part when they sense motion they hop out of the way. There are lot of bees around as well. I was able to capture this one in flight toward the flower that he's hoping has some nectar!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Morning

Despite some fog from time to time we've been able to string together some really nice days! Labor Day was no exception. Sunrise is getting later and later and so I left my place around 6:30 riding north on the bike path. I rode as far north as Fullerton and this pic is a nice Golden hour photo!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I rode all the way to the South Shore Country Club this morning! We had some nasty fog roll in on the ride there. It was my first time riding in fog and I had to stop several times to wipe my glasses. When I finally arrived at South Shore it was still shrouded in fog as the photo shows. The fog started to lift on my way back and by the time I reached 31st it was all but gone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Seasons - They're Changing!

On my ride Monday I saw this wonderful tree in Jackson Park near Promontory Point. The cool weather certainly has the trees confused!