Tag Archives: travel photography

The Homestead Hotel in Evanston

Nestled on a quiet leafy street in suburban Evanston, The Homestead is boutique hotel with a European ambiance, but the staff speaks English. I had the privilege of photographing the hotel earlier in the week and tried to capture the warmth and intimacy of the property. I could imagine spending a long peaceful morning on the veranda with coffee, pastries and the quiet hum of birds chirping.

Unofficial Cubs Museum

Hidden from view and unbeknownst to most Cubs fans is a virtual Hall of Fame/museum paying homage to the 100-plus years of Chicago Cubs baseball. Beneath the left and right field bleachers at historic Wrigley Field is a concourse with memorabilia honoring Cubs legends through the years. This subterranean gallery was installed just this past year, and while I was visiting the “Friendly Confines” I managed to photograph the installation. When the Cubs win the World Series in a few weeks, I hope the gallery will be open to the millions of fans clamoring to get “up close and personal” with the world’s favorite baseball team.

Wicker Park Collage

An apartment rental agency located in the trendy/funky/arty neighborhood of Wicker Park needed a visual representation of the high points of the immediate area to assist them in renting local properties.  They contacted me to produce a 20-foot wide mural of the nearby attractions.  The dozens of images in this collage include churches, school, restaurants, clubs, signage, nightlife, public spaces, and people simply enjoying the vibrant neighborhood.

Wicker Park Collage

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.

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

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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.

Chicago Auto Show

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”.

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Chicago Christkindlmarket, a Holiday Tradition

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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: 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