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Fulton Street Market

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For the past dozen years, Randolph Street just west of the Loop became the de facto Restaurant Row, fueled by Oprah’s Harpo Studio, the United Center, and a boom in residential development.  Now that expansion is exploding onto the nearby Fulton Street Market area making awkward neighbors of the upscale restaurants and the historic meat packing plants and produce markets.  With the advent of new restaurants and galleries, rents are rising and the meat and produce companies are feeling the pinch.  They provide so much of the character that brought the new tenants to the area in the first place, it would be a shame to have them chased from the neighborhood.  Adding to this mix is the soon-to-be-completed Google headquarters and the showplace Morgan Street transit station; growth is inevitable and change is in the air.

Transwestern Commercial Real Estate

 Shopping Mall photographyCorporate Headquarters in Columbus INMinnesota Shopping Mall photosOffice building photo for TranswesternPhoto of restaurant in Blaine, MN Office space in Southfield, MIOffice space in Southfield, MISchaumburg IL office building photoSchaumburg IL office building photoOffice building photo for TranswesternOffice building photo for TranswesternCommercial center in Farmington MIOffice building atrium, photographyCommercial center in Farmington MIOffice space in Farmington MI Commercial interior photoOffice center in MichiganCommercial interior photo

Over the past two months I have been photographing commercial real estate for Transwestern.  I had the opportunity to shoot office complexes, shopping centers and strip malls in some of the lesser-known Midwest vacation meccas.  These include Schaumburg IL, Blaine MN, Columbus IN, and Southfield and Farmington Hills MI.

Luxury Vacation Rental in Chicago

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I photographed this upscale vacation / corporate rental apartment in Chicago’s River North neighborhood for the G2G Collection.  What is unique about this company is that it donates a percentage of its income to the charity of your choice.  So while you are relaxing on a tropical beach or taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, you know you are helping underprivileged kids or breast cancer research.  This residence has an eye-popping view of downtown Chicago and was located just steps away from the hottest restaurants and clubs.

Cameron’s Steakhouse, a cut above

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Chicago has always been known as a city where you can find an abundance of great steaks, but don’t think meat lovers are in any way deprived should they be outside the Windy City. If you are ever in the Detroit area, you might want to head toward the upscale neighborhood of Birmingham and check out Cameron’s Steakhouse.  I was there on assignment recently and I found it hard to concentrate on my work with all the incredible food to indulge in.  The fresh oysters, fine wine, succulent salmon, and of course steaks galore.  Cameron’s is an old-school, classy steak joint, the kind of place you might expect Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack to have their own private booth.  I don’t often tell clients that I will “work for food”, but after this job I was thinking of reconsidering that policy.

 

 

ShamROCK Chicago Going Green

State Street going greenPritzker Pavilion in Millennium ParkHotel InterContinental and Wrigley BuildingTrump International Hotel Chicago Board of Trade Willis Tower and Chicago River and Hancock BuildingState Street and the Chicago TheatreChicago Hilton and TowersGreening of the Chicago River Greening of the Chicago River Hotel InterContinental Chicago Old St Patrick's Church 311 Wacker and Willis TowerOld St Patrick's Church Soldier Field Cadillac Palace Theatre

In the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, about two dozen Chicago buildings and icons were illuminated green to showcase Chicago’s Irish pride.  This Global GREENing project (locally called ShamROCK Chicago) also saw famous landmarks around the world also lit green, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.  I was commissioned by Tourism Ireland to document all the local buildings glowing green; an amazing project except that the Chicago winter was cruel that week and my fingers were turning green from frostbite. That might be a lot of Blarney, but these photos are colorful evidence that Chicago is the most Irish city this side of Dublin.

Plumbing Installation in Plainfield and Chicago

Pre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldDiscussing installation plans in PlainfieldTaco pumps at pre-installation in PlainfieldChecking the plans during pre-installationThe Plainfield crewChatham Apartments plumbing installationDisposal of old equipmentChatham Apartments plumbing installationplumbing installation photoChatham Apartments plumbing installationboiler and water heater installationFinal boiler assembly in Chatham

I was recently hired to document the pre-installation and then the final installation of water heaters and boilers at a Co-op development in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago.  The client was replacing 50-year-old equipment and the entire project required the installation in more than 60 separate buildings over a three month period.  I first went to the company’s facility in Plainfield and photographed the partial assembly of the pipes, then the final installation on-site.  Even though we were in the heart of the Polar Vortex with temperatures in the single digits, the crew was able to first remove the old boiler and water heater and then install the new units in just a couple hours–my fingers needed that much time just to defrost.

Chicago’s Athena Greek Restaurant

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Located in Chicago’s Greektown, Athena has been serving tasty Greek food (“cuisine” might be too extreme) for 17 years. The enclosed patio is one of the biggest attractions, offering a bright and cozy environment in the dead of winter, or a cool respite on those hot summer days, all with a view of Chicago’s skyline.  I had the pleasure of photographing Athena recently, and it offered such a nice range of photo possibilities from the warm interior, the colorful central bar, to the cocktails and delicious Greek dishes. The fried calamari will blow you away–best I’ve ever tasted.  OPAH !!!

 

National Shakespeare Competition

Students performing Shakespeare in ChicagoEnglish Speaking Union Shakespeare CompetitionStudent Shakespeare Competition in ChicagoStudent Shakespeare Competition in ChicagoStudent Shakespeare Competition in ChicagoStudent Shakespeare Competition in ChicagoEnglish Speaking Union Shakespeare CompetitionStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoShakespeare_502-lo.jpgStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoStudents performing Shakespeare in ChicagoEnglish Speaking Union Shakespeare CompetitionEnglish Speaking Union Shakespeare CompetitionStudent Shakespeare Competition in Chicago
In November, the Chicago chapter of the English Speaking Union held its annual National Shakespeare Competition.  Students from the Chicago area received training in theater and performance and competed by performing a brief snippet of Shakespeare. The program begins in classrooms nationwide, culminating in school-wide competitions where students perform a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s plays.  Regional winners will eventually compete in New York City, and the overall winner will receive a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London. These photos were from the day-long conference and competition in Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Jim Beam Drinks

Over the course of three days in June, I had the pleasure of photographing 98 Jim Beam drinks for the Jim Beam web site.  Some of these drink recipes were pretty incredible–drinks for every occasion, mood and season.  All photos were taken at the Barrelhouse Flat bar in Lincoln Park. Cheers.

Optima Chicago Center

Forty-two stories of sleek black glass have risen between the Hotel InterContinental and the NBC Tower in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.  The Optima Chicago Center designed by architect David Hovey commands a strategic location close to Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and Chicago’s lakefront.  Plus the views are nothing short of breathtaking.  I spent a few weeks earlier this month documenting this building from inside and out; it was a joy except for the fact the elevators weren’t working yet.  I never realized the 42nd floor was actually up 42 flights of stairs (sound of heavy breathing).

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