Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring frost on Periwinkle

A few weekends ago I was at Atty's place and up early on a weekend (I know hard to believe...).  I noticed quite a lot of ground frost and got a few shots of the periwinkle in the backyard.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicago Sept 2009

I've been going through photos and thought I post some stuff that was taken a while back.  In 2009 Atty and I spent the Labour Day weekend in Chicago to celebrate my 50th birthday.  The city of Chicago is slightly larger than Toronto in population but differs in many ways to Toronto.  For one the downtown core is comprised of many more skyscrapers.  Architecture has always been a part of Chicago and even today it offers tours highlighting the architecture.  In fact Chicago was where the first skyscraper was built in the 1880's.  Frank Lloyd Wright the famous American architect started his career in Oak Park a suburb of Chicago.  The Obamas have a home in Oak Park as well.  Jazz is also a fixture in Chicago and we took advantage of that by going to a Jazz Festival as well as some clubs by Lincoln Park.

Carbide and Carbon Building (completed 1929)

The Wrigley (1924) Building

The Wrigley (1924) Building

The Chicago river divides the city but also provides an opportunity for viewing it as well.  Tours as well as a Water Taxi service provide a means for getting around and also viewing Chicago from a unique perspective.
The Chicago River

Water Taxi on the Chicago River

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

The waterfront area in Chicago has plenty of parkland, a marina, an aquarium and a museum.  The area is very people friendly and puts what Toronto has to shame.
Chicago skyline from Aquarium, Grant Park

Grant Park, Chicago waterfront

We were able to get around on the EL which is Chicago's Elevated Subway.  The EL provides access to both of Chicago's airports (O'Hare and Midway) and outlying suburbs.  Atty and I used the EL to get around all weekend as it was convenient and inexpensive.
The EL (Elevated Railway/Subway)

One interesting tour Atty and I took was in a suburb of Chicago called Oak Park.  The tour was of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright studio and a few of the homes he designed in the area.  It was a fascinating tour and the homes have a unique timeless look about them (they hardly look like they were built in the 1900's).
House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,  Oak Park, (built circa 1900)

House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,  Oak Park, (built circa 1900)

We were fortunate enough to be in town while Chicago had it's Jazz Festival going on down at Millenium Park (on the waterfront).  We were able to have some drinks and take in some of the many acts that performed at the festival.
Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

On our way back home after attending the Jazz Festival we stopped by some art exhibits including a lit, interactive water fountain.  The light show and video display were fun to watch!
Crown Fountain, Millenium Park

Crown Fountain, Millenium Park

The balance of our final day was spent touring downtown and viewing some of the sights including a large sculpture in Millenium Park called the "Cloud Gate".  The sculpture is also called "The Bean" by locals as it resembles are huge chrome plated jelly bean.
Downtown Chicago from Millenium Park

Cloud Gate sculpture (aka The Bean), Millenium Park

Atty and I reflected in The Bean, Millenium Park

Looking up from under “The Bean”, Millenium Park

Downtown Chicago


Looking into Red

Water Tower (1869) and John Hancock Tower (1970)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

College Street

Spent this past Sunday walking along College Street between Dufferin and Bathurst Streets.  It's an interesting area that transitions from Portuguese to Italian neighborhoods.  It's a wonderful area to visit during the 3 seasons of the year other than winter.  College has a wide sidewalks along this stretch of  the street and local restaurants and cafes take advantage of the space.  There are lots of places to stop for a bite and people watch.

One of many cafes on College St

Flowers at a local green grocer

Tulips hint at Spring being just around the corner...

One of the alleyways new College and Davenport