Tag Archives: travel photography
Earlier this month, more than one million people came to McCormick Place to visit the world’s largest indoor parking lot, often referred to as the Chicago Auto Show. For the auto aficionado, this was a once-a-year opportunity to touch the cars you only dream about: Ford, Chevy, Honda, Kia, and even Hyundai. And those lucky few willing to wait in long lines had the heart-stirring experience of sitting in the front seat and looking out the same windshield that people who actually own these cars will look through. This is heady stuff. But the show appealed to the mind and not just the passions of the attendees–vital information could be gleaned from the knowledgeable staff at the show: Does the F-150 come in diesel? How many cup holders in a Mini-Cooper? Are floor mats here to stay? With hundreds of cars buffed to a blinding patina, and the entire convention floor reeking of that “new car smell”, this was the ultimate in Auto Erotica. For me, the highlight was seeing a 1969 black GTO, that sexy muscle car that Gregg and I took across country in the ultimate road trip which became the basis of my book “On the Road”.
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.
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.
When people think of Chicago they think big city, historic architecture, traffic jams, and hot dogs. But there is another side of the city that the locals know well, but outsiders may not be aware of. I am speaking of the parks, gardens, forest preserves and other remnants of nature that still survive in the city. When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, the founding fathers (mothers?) chose the motto “Urbs in Horto” (City in a Garden) and there must have been a reason. Granted, there were probably a lot more gardens and nature back then, but the natural aspects of the city can still be found. A few statistics: 552 parks comprising 7300 acres, 33 sand beaches, 16 lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and 20 million visitors to Lincoln Park alone. In these photos I show a small portion of the natural wonders that can be found by any urban explorer (and check out that City Seal with motto).
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
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.
How often do we walk past something on a regular basis but never take a second look? I’m sure we can all think of someplace that falls in this category, and often it’s very close to home. For me it was Goose Island. Chicago’s only island, it is the area between the North Branch of the Chicago River on the west, and the North Branch Canal on the east.
It covers 160 acres and is only a couple miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Being mostly a light industrial area, I came here regularly only to visit my favorite camera store.
The other day a client requested some photos from Goose Island, and I was embarrassed to admit I had never taken a photo of this neighborhood. To rectify this oversight, I returned here, camera in hand, and started exploring. What I discovered was quite a revelation: fascinating historic buildings in various states of disrepair, views of two waterways, several bridges, picnic areas, kayakers, railroad tracks, parks, ComEd substation, and a few paranoid security guards.
But I was rewarded with more than the colorful photos I took, I learned an important lesson: a hidden treasure can be right under one’s nose if one chooses to look.