Archive for August, 2011

Inca Tern

The world needs more birds like this one.  He has as goofy a personality as appearance and at long last he finally sat still enough for some picture taking.

He is Watching

Looking Forward

With all the weather excitement we’ve had so far this year, I’m wondering how this next winter is going to play out.  Part of me is hoping for another blizzard, even though photographs tend to come out, well, white.  I think I can almost see my apartment from here, a quarter block away.

Of course if we don’t get a blizzard this year, I’ll miss out on watching people dig their cars out of the snow.  As a public transit rider it gives me a chance to feel superior.

Of course, there are positives to a good crazy snow storm, like watching the snow collect in the vines of ivy on the viaduct wall.

Little Statue

I like this guy.  I saw him a case of at least 30 other statuettes at the Field Museum and he was the only one I really liked.  He’s sassy, stylish and has awesome facial hair.

Best of all I actually got the perspective correct, and the aperture too for a change.

Last of Cabrini Green

This year the last highrise of the Cabrini Green housing complex was demolished, I stopped by to say goodbye.

I have a lot of memories of Cabrini Green and surprisingly most of them are good ones despite the project’s history of violence,drugs and gang warfare.  14 years ago, right before they started shutting down the buildings, the barn I worked at was right next to the Green and every night I would drive my horse and carriage up Clybourn or Crosby Street, right through the thick of it.  Usually after midnight.  Amazingly only once was I ever shot at (or near, we incidentally drove through a shoot out just as it started) and once I was accosted by a very intoxicated and angry woman with a large chunk of concrete.  Most of the harassment came from the children on our way out of the barn who wanted to see the horses run and threw stones at them until the drivers started carrying supersoakers filled with vinegar and aimed for faces.  (Mess with me, fine; mess with my horse and you’re asking for it.)

Once upon a time the Green was actually a very nice place to live.  You had your own private balcony with a view of the communal gardens it was named for and while the walls were thin and everyone poor there was a sense of community and pride in that community.  Sadly this didn’t last very long, and the Green rapidly became known as one of the most dangerous Projects in the country.

They also had Farmer Brown’s.  I loved Farmer Brown’s, it was open from 1PM to 4AM and had the best hot wings in the city, with a side of squishy white bread.  We’d always go back to the barn in pairs, so second pair to leave the stand would take everyone’s orders and stop off at Farmer Brown’s to get dinner.  One person would stay outside with the horses, parked on the sidewalk, and the other would run in (wearing a tuxedo and tophat) to get the food.  Never once we were hassled doing this, the most I ever heard was, “Oh white girl you crazy to be here.”  To which my only reply was “The hot wings are totally worth it.”  Everyone started cracking up and I got a free order of wings that night.

Though I miss Farmer Brown’s I don’t miss the Green.  They were ugly, soulless buildings and the people living in them were never accorded the basic respect one human should have for another.  Individuals put their mark on the inside of their homes, gangs marked the outside.

While I don’t agree with the manner it was shut down (abruptly with little support for the people being dislocated) it is better for everyone, the tenants and the city in general, that is gone.  While the new neighborhood is all red brick row houses, condos and higher rents the area still has a memory of the Green.  Here and there little things survive, hold on and remind us how very far we have go to as people.  And how very long of a drive Clybourn Avenue is when you’re driving a horse.

The Fountain of Time

These are all detail shots from the Fountain of Time sculpture found in Washington Park.  I never knew this massive installation existed until one day my friend and I happened to drive past, turn around, park illegally and start shooting pictures.

Tin Can Joe

Random graffiti on a rail car.

We’re not so good at following badly stenciled directions.


I am kicking myself for having used my best purple photo already, but the color theme posts came about on accident.  Since I’ve done the primary and secondary colors I’m done!  Yay!  This way way more work than I thought it would be, at least once I got past red it became so.

Now I just have to agonize over what is next.


O Hi!


What?  Did you think I was going to post a picture of a field or forest?

This is a Lesser Green Broadbill, and I caught him mid-molt so he’s not in the best feather, but still a stunning little bird.