Cinderella Seen at Marshall Fields...

As requested...

I had meant to get these images shot and posted sooner, especially after the unveiling of the windows several weeks ago. I was waiting for the right moment to get out there and take them without the crowds. Well the right moment was this past Sunday, just after 7AM. So, I bring you all eleven windows including the verbiage to go along with... Enjoy!

1. Once upon a time there lived an exceptionally beautiful, but unhappy girl named Cinderella. Her cruel stepsisters treated her horribly, making her do all of the hard work, cooking, and cleaning, while they lived like queens.

2. News arrived that the king's son was throwing a grand Christmas ball where he was to choose a bride. The sisters primped and planned endlessly, warning Cinderella she was not invited.

3. Unbeknownst to her stepsisters, Cinderella secretly had her own magnificent ball gown.

4. Cinderella's stepsisters and stepmother discovered the gown and jealously ripped it to shreds.

5. Suddenly, a fairy godmother appeared and repaired the gown with the help of Cinderella�s animal friends. The new dress was even more spectacular than the original. "You wish in your heart to attend the ball; is it not so?" the fairy godmother asked. "Oh yes!" cried Cinderella. More than anything in the world."

6. With a wave of her wand, the fairy godmother made it so. She transformed lizards into footmen, mice into horses, a toad into a coachman, and a pumpkin into a splendid carriage. As Cinderella waved goodbye, the fairy godmother cautioned her, "Do not stay past midnight when everything magical will turn back to normal."

7. So lovely was Cinderella, the entire ballroom was awestruck by her radiance - especially the prince, who danced with Cinderella only from that moment on.

8. Lost in the magic of the evening, Cinderella heard the clock struck twelve. Startled, she jumped and fled up the stairs. In her haste, she lost one of her crystal slippers. "I will find the one who fits this slipper, for she is to become my wife," vowed the prince. He then ordered his servants to try the slipper on every maiden in the land.

9. One by one, they tried on the shoe in vain. The stepsisters also tried desperately but unsuccessfully to squeeze into the shoe.

10. Cinderella escaped from her room just in the nick of time and slid her foot right into the crystal slipper. It fit perfectly and the prince realized he had found his beautiful princess.

11. The prince and Cinderella had a fairy-tale wedding and lived happily ever after.

I will continue to shoot more of Fields final year before it become Macy's.


Random Mondays 11.28.05...

Today's random images come from my wandering around the loop over the past month.

First up... This shot taken down State Street yesterday morning from the SW corner of State and Randolph.

Close up of "Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA)" 1991 by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Taken at the Art Institute yesterday.

Flags flying on the plaza at Chase Tower.

View between towers at Marina City.


Let the Shopping Begin...

As much as I love living in the Loop (and I can't imagine living any where else at this point in my life), there are moments when the daily comings and goings from my apartment are a pain in the ass. So begins five weeks of "Dodge the Shopper". Now, don't get me wrong, I want all 8.5 million Chicagoland residents, and their visiting relatives, to come down here and experience the joys of the city. Even better if they max out their credit cards here, instead of at their local mall. But, that doesn't negate the challenges posed by folks who aren't used to being pedestrians, having little experience crossing streets full of vehicle traffic, and happily giving money to saxophone players sorely in need of lessons. In the end, it is the price I must endure for living in paradise, and fortunately for me, my paradise returns in five weeks.

I have had a request for holiday pictures of Marshall Field's last holiday as Marshall Field's. So not to disappoint, here are a few shots I took yesterday and today. I promise more will come. You can be sure I will do my best to document the transition from Field's to Macy's

This shot taken last night as the snow was coming down on the holiday shoppers.

Here is the crowd as seen tonight.

Earlier today, I was on Randolph and snapped this image of the line of people waiting to see the windows. While the windows are fantastic, I am so thankful not to have to wait in line to see them.

Nearby, the Chicago Theater moments ago as I was creating this posting. Note the sea of heads below the marquee.

Also currently going on is tonight's performance of Wicked.


20,000 and counting

Fellow readers, I wanted to send out a note of gratitude for making my site a regular place to visit. My hit counter clocked 20,000 hits today, and when you factor in about 5% of them being mine, that isn't so bad for a site that started out last January as simply a place to post some photos. I didn't imagine that this would grow as well as it has.

As a side note... A new and improved site is in the works, and I look forward to bringing you more of my "nabe", the Loop.

Thanks, keep checkin' back,

Making Way for MoMo II...

Continuing from me earlier post, I was just down on State and Randolph, and got a closer look at the ongoing demolition.

Looking at the debris through the window shrouded in mesh to keep the construction debris from falling and killing people. Again those orange girders add great contrast to the otherwise bleak image.

More construction debris. This is definitely a more artistic view of the demolition.

Making Way for MoMo...

Demolition on the two story building on the corner of State and Randolph continues. The building is coming down to be replaced by MoMo (stupid name, cool building). This "taxpayer" building was built in the 40s after the demolition of the Masonic Temple (Daniel Burnham, 1892, image) was taken down in 1939 due to being "outdated".

Last week I shot these images looking down as the building is being "disassembled" piece by piece. The building contained what was until September of this year, the oldest continually operating Walgreens in the entire chain, along with several boarded up shops, and a shuttered movie theater.

Worker with torch cutting steel beams. I am lovin the orange color of the beams.

Debris being dumped into what was the old theater.

The old theater space (known as the Loop Theater, of which there is very little online) in the back of the building. Folks who have been around a while, will tell you about how this theater went from showing legit movies in the 40s and 50s, to "B" movies in the 60s and 70's to finally becoming a porn theater. The space was later used by live theater groups until as recently as 2002.

This morning the building looks even less like it's former self.


Mid-Continental Plaza... As Backdrop...

Often overlooked, this late modernist (1972) high-rise on the eastern side of the Loop, has a boldness all it's own. Mid-Continental Plaza is actually one of the largest buildings in the Loop, it has 50 floors and covers a full half block of Wabash between Monroe and Adams.

I like the building's simple Mies inspired lines. They make a great backdrop for capturing the sculptural lines of the Pritzker Pavilion's framework.

Again, as a backdrop to late 19th century buildings along Michigan Ave.

While the building is huge, it doesn't overwhelm the skyline.

Closer up, again as backdrop to the buildings along Michigan Ave.


Sunset Time

Sitting in front of my computer at work last week, I looked over a few minutes before it was time to go home and saw this amazing sky as the sun was setting down for the night.

This prompted me to take my camera and take a couple of shots out of nearby windows. Here is Canal Street looking south towards Union Station.

A few of the thousands of "Metra'ites", rushing across the Madison Street Bridge on their way to the train station.

Looking up at the Sears Tower


Random Mondays 11.21.05...

Looking through my images for this weeks random post, I was thinking about the built up environment and how we try to balance that environment with nature.

The first two images are related to density, followed by a bit of urban nature.

Condo's at 630 N Franklin nearing completion. It looked as though two or three units in the building are inhabited, but the rest are sans window treatment waiting for their new owners.

Now for a bit of nature... LaSalle Street median, looking north towards Ohio St.

Winter doesn't allow much for flowers in Chicago, so planters all over the city become filled with evergreen branches and red sticks (branches a florist would charge a fortune for).Wacker Drive at Wabash, looking towards the Jewelers building.


Squeegie and a Rope...

Next to my building is an office building where I saw these guys window washing.

I haven't really had the chance to see this process up close. At least from the outside that is. These guys are real professionals, they have a real skill, and worked together as a team.

I noticed some of them (there were actually six in all) wore gloves, and others did it bare handed. I can't help but under it the one's doing it bare handed think the ones wearing the "Playtex Living Gloves" (link may not be work appropriate) aren't just a bit less manly. I think they are just smart for protecting their hands.

I stood there watching them for a good 15-20 minutes, as they worked their way down the building. Glad to know that there are those that would do that, and I hope they get paid well for their work.


"This is Lake"...

The Lake Street Station re-opened recently after what seemed like a year of construction. (Why does it take the CTA twice as long to do anything?). The new platform actually has enough light that I can take a picture. Here are a few I took this last week.

Looking south towards the Washington stop, you can see where the former darkness begins.

I can't help but notice the quality fine craftsmanship of the poorly aligned light canopy.


Pittsfield Escape...

The Pittsfield Building (1927) has recently undergone a nice facade washing bringing out the fact that it is actually white. This shot from the alley shows that for decades, the world most likely thought of this as a building in various shades of grey, as shown in the unwashed section on the left.

Around on the Wabash Street side, the surface detail is brought out in the shadows from the sun. There is a lot of texture going on on this building.

Unlike it black alley counterpart, the fire escape on the Wabash side is also painted white so as to blend in (or at least not stand out). I like this shot because fire escapes are most often painted black, and it is difficult to get good detail when photographing them for lack of light.

A google search for "Hanke Iron & Wire Works" comes up with absolutely nothing. They must have gone out of business long, long ago.