Back from Hell (Phoenix)

Phoenix was everything I expected... and less. This picture pretty much sums up Phoenix in that 95% of the city looks like this.

The juxtaposition of Walgreens and mountains can be quite disconcerting.

One lesson I learned is that wherever there are large collections of palm trees, there are usually trailers nearby.

I promise to offer more of my trip over the next several days. I had a blast in Arizona, but was quite underwhelmed by Phoenix.


Going to HELL (Phoenix)

I am going to the desert for the weekend (well, really Phoenix, but isn't it pretty much the same as the desert? A sprawling abyss of nothing.) so I felt I should post the antithesis of the desert. (Besides, I don't have a pic of the desert.) This pic is from when I lived in Edgewater and this was the view from my place one morning back in March of 2002. Not very desert like, but familiar to us all.

I may not have good access to a computer, and I certainly won't be able to post pics, so I will be back next week...


Vestiges of the past...

Under the sign is one of the largest of flocks of pigeons in Chicago at the SW corner of Madison and Wabash.


Two new good things...

First, after several months of thinking about it, I upgraded to a new camera. I realized that I had taken nearly 4000 photos last year, and felt it was time to upgrade to a camera that will give me flexibility as well as being affordable. My new camera is an Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom.

The second thing that is good is that I have new online photo galleries. (See them here http://www.pbase.com/iconeon ) I uploaded 285 images today on my day off, and created 4 galleries. I have plans for 6 more new galleries to come soon, and after that I plan to continue to add to those galleries.

Feedback Please!

Beauty from the unintentional

There are always those photos that through unwitting error turn out cool. This is one that I like very much.


Zoom Zoom Zoom...

I updated to a new camera this past week (Olympus C-770) and here is the result of a test shot from my window.
I still have a lot to learn about my new toy, but I hope to put it's powers to use as the weather warms up, and take a few thousand photos this year.


Calder, Mies, and the Sky...

Posted by Hello


The end of an era for Parking Garage Fans....

The Hotel LaSalle Public Garage, considered to be the oldest parking of it's kind in the US has officially closed as of Monday, 2/14/05. Opened in 1918, this was a whole new type of structure, with no previous design history. Sadly, it was built to park Model T's, and not today's cars. The owners said that it wasn't possible to retrofit it for the modern world.
While this may not seem like much to many, it is sad in a sorta "another piece of Chicago history lost" way.
Here is more on it's history: http://www.landmarks.org/chicago_watch_2004_3.htm

I had plans many many times over the past few years to take some time and get over to the garage with my camera, and my handycam to capture the sign lit up and blinking it's way along. I had these thoughts as recently as last week. Well, too late now, I waited too long.

View from West

View from East. Posted by Hello


CTA, Clark and Lake Platform (At least I think that's where it is.)

Monroe Street Bridge looking East. Posted by Hello


Are you wet yet?

The weather today is exceptionally wet and gloomy, so I thought I would pull up a few pics I took last summer of water in a more beautiful context.

The fountian from the other side. Posted by Hello


Urban Rythym

One of my goals this summer is to focus on photographing paterns, reflections, and other images that are out of the context of what we usually see when walking down the street. Here's a sample of what I want to work towards.

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Helicopter Hell!

OK, it has been nearly 12 hours since this event, but..... This morning at about 5:50 AM I was rudely awoken by the sound of a helicopter hovering over my building. This pulled me from bed an hour before I usually get up, forced me to make coffee, and sit there listening to the alarmingly loud noise of the helicopter above.
Now I have heard helicopters in the Looop many many times since I moved here, but usually early on a Sunday morning, and usually to lift giant air conditioning units to roof tops of the buildings around here. The residents of my building also usually get a notice that this is going to occur allowing us to place pillows over our heads, stuff our ears full of cotton, or whatever....
Well, of course this is a weekday, and there was no warning. After about 25 minutes of listening to this increasingly annoying sound, I went over to the window to see if I could actually see the thing, and sure enough it was directly above. With my binoculars, I was able to determine that it was the CBS2 Helicopter, and not a police copter, or a heavy equipment copter. So I thought, there must be some major event going on in the Loop to cause this damn thing to hover overhead for so long, I must turn on channel 2 quickly to find out what is going on.
Well..... The hard hitting journalistic need for having a helicopter waking people out of sound sleep is due to the fact that there was a sale on wedding dresses at Filenes Basement at One N State, in which the doors opened at 8AM. Apparently, there were people camping out on the sidewalk all night, and Channel 2 felt the need to make this a newsworthy story, and broadcast live from the air at 6:15AM.
Finally, after 30 minutes of having a copter above and two cups of coffee, I was thoroughly awake. At the time I am writing this, I am thoroughly ready to fall asleep.
I have only one question, why couldn't the have sent a ground crew to cover such a news worthy event?


Lovely Condo's

Last Summer, when I had a rental car, I took the chance to check out old South Water Market near the old Maxwell St. These storefronts are now in the process of being converted into the University Commons Condominiums.

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I am a couple of days late, but I am now officially joining the ranks of the Chicago blogging masses in posting a few of my personal pics of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (aka The Bean). This all started because of a article in last weeks Chicago Reader about photojournalist Warren Wimmer's attempts to take photos of Cloud Gate. Apparently, it is legal to copyright public property. While taking photos with a tripod, he was stopped by security and told he had to fill out a form, and pay for rights to take to photos, because they may be for comercial use. (If you tell them that the are strictly for personal use, they can't stop you.)
The last pic is of the Bean a couple of weeks ago while it was undergoing wraps to polish out its seams over the rest of winter.

Related links:

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Downpour in DUMBO.... Memories of warmer times.... While spending a week in NYC this past July 4th, my best friend and I got stuck in a torrential downpour while schlumping around DUMBO. An inch and a half inches fell in about 30 minutes.

We (and others) took shelter under the Manhattan Bridge, which for a while kept us dry, but then the water just came washing down the street. Posted by Hello

Smoky Sears Tower... I was flipping through pics I took last month and came accross this one. I couldn't figure out what the smokiness was until I realized I must have been having a cigarette while using the flash on my camera. Posted by Hello

Thanks for the nod!

Hey, I just wanted to take a chance to say thanks for the nod from Aaron at 601am. If you haven't been there, be sure to check out his blog...



Ice, Ice, Ice.........

Ice, Ice, Ice......... I have always been fascinated by the absolute wonder of ice and how if forms and shapes itself. I took these along the lake near the Shedd Aquarium this morning.