Category Archives: TRAVEL STORIES

Chicago Presidential Suites

Hilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographer

Last week when the NATO summit was in town, our city played host to thousands of international visitors, and a couple dozen world leaders.  Where do these presidents, prime ministers and brutal dictators stay when they are here in Chicago? Surely not at the Days Inn or the Holiday Inn Express.  More than likely, they occupied the many uber-elegant Presidential Suites that are downtown.  I had the wonderful privilege to photograph several of them for Elite Traveler magazine. After shooting this assignment, I know that I will never be satisfied with any hotel room again…but then I rarely pay $4000 to 5000 per night for a room.  No, that isn’t a misprint.  Politicians, rock stars, Wall Street bankers, and world leaders are about the only people who can afford this luxury.  Here is a glimpse into that rarefied world that most of us will never be privy to.

TUPPERWARE ANNUAL REPORT 2002

Tupperware annual report- CoverTupperware annual report: Indiana and NYCTupperware annual report: Chicago and OhioTupperware annual report: Mexico City and FrankfurtTupperware annual report: Versailles, FranceTupperware annual report: Tokyo and Mexico CityTupperware annual report: Delhi, IndiaTupperware annual report: Indiana and Shenzhen, ChinaTupperware annual report: ShenzhenTupperware annual report: Manila, Philippines
Exactly ten years ago I had the privilege of being hired to photograph the Tupperware Annual Report; this assignment took me around the world, visiting nine countries in 19 days.  Yeah, that sounds ridiculously hectic now, but at the time, it really didn’t seem that bad–it was almost like time slowed down as I tried to absorb the incredible mix of cultures.  The Dundee-based design firm SamataMason (now Smbolic) sent me to Mexico City, NYC, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Manila, and Tokyo to gather images illustrating the marketing efforts of Tupperware.  Traveling in those months immediately after 9/11 was a little tense, but everything went without a hitch. The only regrets: I wish the trip lasted longer, and I wish I had been shooting digital back then.

 

Chicago’s Union Station

Great Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationColumns outside Chicago's Union StationUnion Station in ChicagoUnion Station and Willis Tower

One of the most incredible interior spaces in Chicago is rarely seen, unless you are a commuter or Amtrak loyalist.  And even then, most people rushing to or from their train have little time to stop and admire the breathtaking architecture surrounding them.  Union Station was completed in 1925 by the architectural firm of  Graham, Anderson and Probst, though Daniel Burnham drew up the original plans; he died before his plan could be realized.  The 110’ high, block-long Great Hall is a vast space defined by it’s barrel-vaulted ceiling and rows of Corinthian columns (not related to the Corinthian leather in your dad’s Chrysler).  As many as 100,000 passed through Union Station back in its heydey in the 1940s, though today it’s a small fraction of that number.  Next time you are in the west Loop, grab a sandwich and have lunch sitting on the benches in the Great Hall and just admire how grand architecture can inspire the soul–or at least make for an enjoyable lunch.

Traditional Flavors of Amish Country

Fresh-baked pies, Country Lane Bakery in MiddleburyHomemade Amish apple butter Fresh-baked pie and bread, Country Lane Bakery in MiddleburyTraditional Amish horse and buggyWashing clothes the old-fashioned wayPaying for food on the honor systemSucculent ripe tomatoes at the Dutch Country MarketBees making Amish honeyShopping for peaches at Shipshewana Farmers Market
Just two hours–and 200 years–from Chicago in NE Indiana is Amish Country. Anchored by the towns of Shipshewana, Goshen and Nappanee, this area is home to a religious sect that disavows modern conveniences and other trappings of life in the 21st century.  Lines of buggies dot the country roads, women in long dresses and colorful bonnets shop at local markets, and men sporting beards and black coats are commonplace.  Last month I was sent to this region to document some of the culinary traditions of the Amish for ADA Times, the publication of the American Dietetic Association.  Traveling to farmers markets, retail stores, farm stands, and small farms down isolated back roads, I discovered a vast assortment of tasty baked goods, succulent fruits and vegetables, cheese factories, and jars of homemade pickles, apple butter and cherry salsa.  The Amish may not have their MTV, but they are prepared when the munchies come-a-calling.

 

Historic Dublin Pubs

PUBS are the lifeblood of Dublin, and a visit to this fair city wouldn’t be complete without an extensive tour of the dozens of colorful and overly-friendly historic pubs.  I was there on assignment for Islands magazine and dutifully photographed the pubs and their patrons…and quaffed a few thirst-quenching pints simply for research purposes.

More photographs of Ireland and Dublin Pubs: Ireland Photos

Guinness signMcDaids PubTemple Bar area...pubs on every blockMcDaids Pub, famous literary hangout  Davy Byrnes pub The Temple Bar pub ODonoghues pubPalace Bar pub, popular hangout in Temple BarOBriens pub The Temple Bar pub Brazen Head pub, oldest in DublinThe George Pub

Wicker Park: The New Greenwich Village?

Six Corners--the heart of Wicker ParkEmbeLezar gift shop and galleryAll musical tastes are spinning at Reckless Records Fenway Gallery The only way to flyHistoric Pierce AvenueAll musical tastes are spinning at Reckless Records Great used bookstore, Myopic BooksAll musical tastes are spinning at Reckless Records Ear Wax Cafe, almost healthy natural foodDouble Door--double whammy--liquor and live musicMilwaukee Ave in Wicker Park Under the L tracksWicker Park You lookin at me?I see youRed Star Cafe-outdoor eating at its best Gallery Night at the FlatironGallery Night at the FlatironGallery Night at the FlatironGallery Night at the FlatironStreet scene North Ave Six Corners on a summer night Six Corners on a summer night

While it’s only a short subway ride from downtown on the Blue Line, Wicker Park is worlds apart from the buttoned-down 9-5 workday of the Loop. The epicenter of this urban melting pot is a large intersection known as Six Corners. The three major avenues that meet here are North, Damen and Milwaukee, but the neighborhood is also a confluence of three cultural byways: hipster, artist and starving student. While there have been no scientific studies, researchers have postulated that there are more tattoos and piercings in Wicker Park than BMW’s in nearby Lincoln Park. Cafes, used bookstores and dive bars abound, and exist gracefully among $300 designer eyewear and Prada bags. Stop by on Gallery Night at the Flatiron Building and everyone comes out to strut their respective stuff while pontificating on modern art and free vodka.