Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oak Park Conservatory

More lushness in the middle of winter. Oak Park was such a sweet little conservatory. So bright and cheery!

Oak Park Conservatory 1

Oak Park Conservatory 2

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

The temperature dropped 50 degrees in about 5 hours last night -- down to -1 this morning -- accompanied by bone-chilling winds and snow.

So here, have some hothouse flowers. There's a tiny little conservatory in Oak Park, and it's full of them.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful 1

Oh, the weather outside is frightful 4

Oh, the weather outside is frightful 2

Oh, the weather outside is frightful 3

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A welcome shock of green

A welcome shock of green

Top of the Greenhouse

Just what I needed to see in the middle of a cold, white winter. Taken at Garfield Park Conservatory, January 2008.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Unfurling Fern

Unfurling Fern

Taken at the Garfield Park Conservatory, January 2008. It was such a relief to see green growing things at this time of year! If you have a conservatory near you, I recommend a visit. Definitely lifts the spirits during the gray days of winter.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What We Eat: Week 4 January 2008

What We Eat: Week 4 January 2008

Missing: chicken thighs, all the fixin's for steak and pepper fajitas, the receipt for dinner at Mitchell's Fishmarket, and the pot of lamb stew I have percolating on the stove. Although those ingredients were all shown in last week's shot.

Proof that I should never shop when hungry: Kraft mac & cheese (instant, no less! It was terrible!) and peanut butter. Peanut butter in my house is a dangerous proposition.


This weekend included a trip to the Oak Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Conservatory, so there will be new photos this week. Of flowers, no less! Stay tuned!

Crown Fountain was the answer

As Andre guessed, the photo from last week was taken at Crown Fountain.

Crown Fountain

Hard to believe that old mug would inspire love declarations, isn't it? ;-D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Guess Where, Chicago

Can you identify where this was taken?

Guess Where, Chicago

Hint: it's a famous Chicago landmark.

Answer tomorrow!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What We Eat: Week 3 January 2008

What We Eat: Week 3 January 2008

Just got our last winter CSA box full of root vegetables, so there are lots of soups in the works. And a ton of frozen food I forgot to add to the photo. Too tired to cook this week!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Going, going, gone

RenCen Tunnel 1

RenCen Tunnel 2

RenCen Tunnel 3

RenCen Tunnel 4

Taken in the pedestrian walkway at the RenCen in Detroit.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Detroit Greektown

My husband reminded me yesterday that I hadn't finished posting all the photos from our trip to Detroit. This is Greektown, a small but thriving neighborhood in downtown Detroit; it's only about a block long, but is full of great restaurants. Of course, this being Detroit, it also has a thriving casino. Mere blocks from our hotel!

Detroit Greektown 1

Detroit Greektown 2

We don't go to the Chicago pizza place. In case you were wondering. :)

Detroit Greektown 3

I think this is the restaurant we like the best, but I can never remember which it is. You'd think the giant Greek guy on the door would help me remember, but you would be wrong.

Detroit Greektown 4

Greek and American flags. These are my favorite shots of the street this time.

Detroit Greektown 5

Detroit Greektown 6

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What We Eat: Week 2 January 2008

What We Eat: Week 2 Jan 2008

Week 2 of the year-long photo series. I'll be making pumpkin soup, chicken-mushroom soup, Chinese beef with broccoli, whole-wheat pasta with turkey meatballs, and our favorite roasted chicken with 20 cloves of garlic this week. Can't wait!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Little Girl Skating

Little Girl Skating at Millenium Park

I was captivated by her ruddy cheeks and determined expression. The rink was crowded, but she was in her own world.
Taken at the ice rink at Millenium Park in downtown Chicago, January 2008.

Yesterday's Art Institute photo was published on Chicagoist. Cool!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Man and statue, looking in opposite directions

Taken at the Chicago Art Institute, January 2008.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Skate-off: Detroit vs. Chicago

Which downtown ice rink is prettier?


Chicago Ice Rink

(Better viewed in large.)


Detroit Ice Rink

(Better viewed in large.)

I have to give it to Chicago, even though I prefer the buildings and expanse of the ice in the Detroit shot. The problem is Detroit picked terrible colors for the banners and the tree; the blues clash with the red and green of the tree, and the tree colors themselves are too drab and harsh. (The particular hue of green of the tree makes it look dead, even close up.) I did try to crop out the blue line of the rink's edge on the bottom, but it didn't help the color scheme.

Such a shame, because it could be such a pretty scene, right in the middle of downtown. The colors of the buildings are all so complimentary right there, but the decorations drag your attention away from them. Alas!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What We Eat: Week 1 2008

What We Eat: Week 1 2008

Click here for a larger, more detailed version.

Last year I participated in a cool Flickr project called Items We Carry, in which people photographed all the things they carried around daily. I submitted two photos, one for my photography excursions and one for everyday. I loved the concept of itemizing the mundane and putting it all together in a series to emphasize how different and how similar we all are.

So while fishing around for a project for the year, I kept going back to the Flickr project; I can't commit to a Project365-type thing, where you take at least one photo every day all year, but a weekly series feels do-able. As I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, and I adore grocery shopping, a Saturday photo of the food we plan to eat each week seems appropriate.

This week's shot does not include the chicken, ground beef, or steak we will be eating; those typically get bought a day or two before we eat it. I also omitted the two gallons of skim milk we drink per week. :)

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Top 12 Photos of 2007

As I mentioned in the previous post, this is the time of year when I look back at all the photos I took in the previous year, and select which I consider to be the best. "Best" is of course subjective; I look for technically strong photos, or ones that have a unique angle or light, or a one-of-a-kind moment I was lucky to capture, or something that just resonates with me emotionally. These photos aren't necessarily my most popular, but they all mean something to me.

The whole, larger set is available here. I then winnow it down, removing any that I used in this year's calendar and any that I selected for the Top 12 Candids set.

Here are the ones I think are the Top 12 of 2007.

Koi and Ducks

More fun with mannequins

Purple Coneflowers aka Echinacea

Car Spindle in Empty Lot

Just another sleepy Friday afternoon

Sunset through the boughs

Reindog 12: A good hat never goes out of style

Green Butterfly eating a banana

Globe and Skyline

Christopher's memorial

Watching the Ice Floes I

Worker Bee

Happy New Year, everyone!

Top 12 Candids of 2007

Every year (okay, twice so far) I look back at the photos I've taken over the course of the year, and I select my best shots. Then I cull it down to a top 10, basing my choices on which can best show the growth of my skills or my interests, or are once-in-a-lifetime shots. This year I realized that the area that I've grown the most in is candids; thanks to the work I did at the end of Forth & Towne in June, when I spent the last few weeks taking the very best shots I could of everyone who worked there, my skills in taking people shots increased exponentially in 2007. (Which reminds me, maybe I should post some of those, because they were fantastic.)

So this year I have two sets of Top 12 shots. This one is of candids and people. Only 2 are of people I am related to. Without looking at the descriptions on Flickr, can you guess which those are?

Sea Creatures through a Porthole

Stopping to smell the crabapples

Gospel Girls, on the steps of the Aon building

Reindog 14: Santa's Little Helper

Smiling Juggler

Just one little kiss, please?

Puppy Love

Everybody's got a hobby at the Gull Frolic

Petting a Polar Bear in July. Seems crazy, but it's true!

Hand upraised at the end of the concert

Aunt Nellie

Super High Five!

The set is available here.