Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remind Me!

As the CTA remodels the stations, especially on the Brown Line, it is adding artsy touches to each one. This seems to be the soon-to-be-unveiled art installation at the Diversey El stop. I'll have to remind myself to come back in a few weeks to see it in its full glory. I'm wondering if there is lighting that will better show the shades of red and purple that you can just see in the afternoon sunlight.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Under the El

Don't some of the patterns, created by the sun shining through the el tracks at the Wellington El Stop, look a little like those critters in the old Space Invaders game? I thought so.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Urbs in Horto

You actually have to be at the Brown Line's Library stop to see these decorative sculptures of Ceres and corn that line the walls of the Harold Washington Library. If you look closely at the ribbon under Ceres' face, you can make out the City of Chicago's motto: Urbs in Horto (City in a Garden).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wish on a ... CTA Card?

This is the little reflecting pool in the Harold Washington Library. I guess people think of it as a wishing well, too, because there is always a large number of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in it. Somebody apparently wished that the CTA would run on time forever and felt that tossing a CTA fare card in would ensure that the wish came true. (The CTA card is directly left of the drain.)

Oh, it looks like it is a 3 day CTA pass -- guess they only needed on-time service for the weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome Back Little Warblers

I shouldn't be surprised. The human bird watchers figured out a while ago that Grant Park was a great little spot for bird watching during the Spring and Fall Migrations. It was only a matter of time that the birds of prey figured out that Grant Park would be a good - um, shall we say - culinary destination?

This guy swooped by me on Tuesday morning. Sparrows, warblers, thrushes, and finches all headed for cover. He landed in a tree and, as his expression shows, caught sight of a potential mid-morning snack. He swooped away a few seconds later -- I didn't see if he caught his target or not. I do know that it was pretty quiet, bird-wise, in Grant Park after that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Autumnal Equinox

This is the Super Harvest Moon. It was too cloudy at real moon rise to see the Super Harvest effect that apparently accompanies a full moon rising on the autumnal equinox. But I thought this was a pretty cool picture, too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Four Seasons

Since it is almost the Autumnal Equinox, thought I'd show Chagall's beautiful Four Seasons mosaic.

Monday, September 20, 2010


If someone was going to go to the trouble of graffiti-ing something, couldn't that person, at least, come up with something more creative than "Gee"?

Gee Whiz!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Old Name

I have problems with new names. I still call it Comiskey Park. I still say Sears Tower. I use Amoco Building and Standard Oil Building interchangeably. I know there's a new name for Waveland Golf Course, but nobody else uses it anyway. And, I'm one of "those people" who haven't been to that store on State and Randolph since that New York company took it over and changed its name.

This bank - I'm not 100% sure what its current name is - has had many name changes. So many names that so quickly changed that I once tried to cash a check (it was a while ago) at one of their branches and the teller said "Oh, I can't cash this its from 1st National Bank of Chicago". I said "I don't understand." He responded "Well, this is from another bank." Luckily a veteran employee was walking by and said "Oh no, that's OK - that was our name a few years back."

Anyway, they still have the clock with the original logo (for the 1st National Bank of Chicago) out in the plaza.

Oh, the plaza has a different name, too. For some reason, the plaza is named after the new-ish corporate name for the local electric utility (which, of course I still call "ComEd").

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Double Mosaics

I found this cool mosaic (notice the people in all the windows of the buildings) in the lobby of a building on North LaSalle Street when I walked into the lobby to see if there was information on ...

... this mosaic, which takes up the whole ceiling of the outside entryway.

I found a small plaque with the artist's statement. The artist, Roger Brown, notes that the Daedelus, the mythological architect of flying, foreshadowed the art and technology that inspired Chicago. The top mosaic focuses on the LaSalle Street Corridor. The artist notes that Ceres, the statue (also a mythological being) on the top of the Board of Trade is "watching over the 'City of Big Shoulders'".

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Hate Standing Here

I really don't like standing at the corner of Randolph and Wabash but I always seem to get stuck at the light. Yes, this is what you think it is: Pigeon Droppings. I think every pigeon in Chicago comes to this very spot to ... .

Yesterday, I happened to be walking down Wabash and noticed that, with the exception of Adams and Wabash, the other Wabash corners are not as, um, "spotted" as this one. Good to know. I'll be crossing Wabash at a different spot from now on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Look Up

I was walking by the First National Bank of Chicago Building (or whatever its current name is) and remembered there was something interesting about it if you leaned against it and looked up.

So I did.

Since the building curves up, you do get an interesting perspective. And it is even better with a pretty blue late summer sky.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lights in the Windows

Several of the downtown high rises are honoring slain Chicago police officers this week by spelling out "CPD" in lights. This display is tied to the annual candlelight vigil held at the Chicago Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.

The CNA building, shown below, even adds the checkerboard design that circles the Chicago Police Department hats. (The pattern is officially called Sillitoe Tartan and, according to Wikipedia, is used by only a handful - Chicago, Pittsburgh, and a few Chicago suburbs - of American Police Departments.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High Bridge

Finally figured out that this bridge, part of the Chicago Skyway, is called High Bridge. What an original name.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Never Get Tired of This

I never get tired of the sunrises. They are just all so very different.

August 25, 2010

August 30, 2010

September 3, 2010
(Uh-Oh! This one has an "autumn" look to it)