Tag Archives: Chicago architecture photographer

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.

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).

Chicago Optima CenterChicago Optima Center from across the riverChicago view from Chicago Optima CenterChicago view from Chicago Optima CenterChicago view from Chicago Optima CenterChicago architecture photographer -- Chicago Optima CenterChicago architecture photographer -- Chicago Optima CenterChicago architecture photographer -- Chicago Optima CenterInterior photo at Chicago Optima CenterInterior photo at Chicago Optima CenterInterior photo at Chicago Optima CenterArchitecture photo at Chicago Optima CenterArchitecture photo at Chicago Optima CenterArchitecture photographer -- Chicago Optima Center

University of Chicago

Gothic architecture at the University of Chicago, Hyde ParkUniversity of Chicago in autumnUniversity of Chicago in springUniversity of Chicago, autumn. Laboratory SchoolBucolic scene at the Univ of Chicago Chicago Booth, graduate school of business at University of ChicagoHarper Library at Univ of ChicagoMansueto Library Rockefeller Chapel on campusUniv of Chicago Rockefeller Chapel  University of Chicago, autumn.Midway Plaisance in springBella Voce a cappella early music group at Rockefeller Chapel Univ of Chicago is famous for its gargoylesStudent dorm at the University of ChicagoRatner Athletic Center designed by Cesar PelliSpring blooms amid the Gothic architecture

I am fortunate to live just a few blocks from one of the world’s great universities.  Students lovingly describe this institution of higher learning as the place where “fun comes to die”.  Personally, I think they make this proclamation to mislead their parents so they can justify the $40,000 per year expense. Nestled in the leafy neighborhood of Hyde Park–home of Barack Obama and the first A-Bomb–the university is a mix of Gothic and modern architecture. There are more Nobel Prize winners here than neighborhood bars–how many large universities can make that claim?  In fact U of C has the most Nobel winners of any school in the world.  The university offers a never-ending subject for my photography as new buildings appear on a regular basis, and each season brings new discoveries.

Chicago Christkindlmarket, a Holiday Tradition

Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas Christkindlmarket in Chicago's Daley Plaza at Christmas
For those who rarely venture into the Loop during the holiday season, these photos are for you.  Since 1997, the city has been sponsoring Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza.  This outdoor market which features German crafts, jewelry, clothing, toys and lots of food attracts over a half million people from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Chicago version stays true to its European roots.  In fact, most of the vendors actually travel from Germany to work the booths, or at least are German-speaking.  Appropriate winter food is also available, including wurst, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, lots of pastries, and German beer and traditional “Glühwein”, a hot spiced wine that is served around the holidays.  The market closes on Christmas eve, so there is still time to investigate this Chicago and European tradition.

 

Photo of the Day: Fulton Market

Fulton Market in Chicago West Loop
Just west of the downtown Loop area is Fulton Market.  For decades, this area was home to countless meat processors and warehouses, and several still operate today.  Come in the pre-dawn and early morning hours and the streets are clogged with trucks picking up provisions for local restaurants.  In recent years, Fulton Market has seen upscale shops, galleries and several cutting edge restaurants open.  Just a few blocks away on west Randolph is the more established Restaurant Row–with the addition of Fulton Market eateries, Chicagoans have countless gourmet options just minutes from the Loop.

 

Photo of the Day: Art Institute Modern Wing

The Modern Wing of the venerable Art Institute of Chicago opened three years ago and has been an unqualified hit among art lovers and tourists alike–not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, but…   This museum is home to 20th and 21th-century art plus the world-renowned collections of modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography.  In this photo we see the museum’s popular “Yoga and Picasso” class held on Tuesday mornings. Most people are not aware that Pablo was a yoga enthusiast, often cited as the inspiration for his Blue Period. Next month the museum will feature “Cooking with Matisse”–sure to be a big hit.

Picasso at the Modern Wing of Art Institute

Photo of the Day: Hyde Park

The Midway Plaisance is a mile-long green belt bisecting the University of Chicago campus. This area was adjacent to the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893–if you read “Devil in the White City” you know all about this area. The original Ferris Wheel might have been located exactly where this photo was taken.  Today, this is the world’s best place for people watching of Nobel Prize winners. Hyde Park is the part of Chicago where I live as well as my friend Barack Obama.

Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago

Photo of the Day: Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain is a fun place to hang out. Where else can you be drenched by a powerful stream of water bursting from a giant pair of video lips while admiring the stunning architecture along south Michigan Avenue? These teens weren’t admiring the historic architecture, they were just chillin (literally) on a hot summer day.  Now we know where all the students were during the recent public school strike.

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park

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.