Oldies but Goodies

I was just doing some year end housecleaning and ran across these two photos that I had previously sent to friends. Thought they looked good enough to share with you.

The first was a spectucular December morning.

Awesome array of colors

Awesome array of colors

The second was a photo I took one morning walking the dog. The sun hadn’t quite risen yet and there was one of those magical morning lights going on.

This is in Lakeshore East Park looking west

This is in Lakeshore East Park looking west around sunrise. The sun is coming up behind me.

Happy holidays, all!

Tony

Chicago River Around Sunset

I think one of the best kept secrets in Chicago is the Riverwalk, the north and south walkways along the Chicago River. The walk starts at Lake Michigan and works west. I live at the lakefront so am very familiar with this area. I walk my dog there regularly as well as ride my bike.

I shot these to photos right around sunset on a late December afternoon at the end of a bike ride. I love this time as the light is the same as at dawn when the sun is just about to break over the horizon. Electric lights somehow seem charming.

I was standing at the Lake Shore Drive bridge looking west and north for these.

At Christmas time the trees are illuminated.

At Christmas time the trees are illuminated. Don’t you love the reflections in the river?

This shot simply looks farther west along the river.

This shot simply looks farther west along the river. That tall building is the new Trump Tower.

Chi-town is one of the beautiful cities.

Tony

A Splendorous Friday December 14 in Chicago

Triskaidekaphobics fear Friday the 13th, but we almost need to invent a new word on the other end of the spectrum for the Friday the 14th that Chicago experienced.

I posted a number of times on Fall Foliage and the experience of the changing seasons here in Chicago. Typical Fall goings on. The leaves turn colors and drop from the branches.

But, here it is a week before the official start of winter and it feels like someone has turned back the clock. To be sure, most trees are barren of leaves. But, we had spring-like conditions Friday.

Here is Monroe Harbor Bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine

Here is Monroe Harbor bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine. That’s Navy Pier in the background

The normal high for December 14 is 35 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 23. We experienced a high of 49 F and a low of 31. Notice that the low is only four degrees under the normal high. In addition, we basked in a luxurious sunny day with very little wind. Most un-Decemberlike. The weather bureau reports that we have just set a record of 285 days without measurable snow. The last such snowfall was March 4. The latest “first measurable snow of season” – December 16, 1965.

Good for a double take - a sightseeing boat in mid-December

Good for a double take – a sightseeing boat in mid-December on Lake Michigan

The day started in the 30s, but worked its way up fast. I felt like it was an imposter 30s because there was no bite to the air. On my first bike ride, I didn’t take the dog, because she doesn’t ride in less than 45F weather. I enjoy having her with me, but I don’t want to be practicing animal abuse in the bargain. By the time I got home from the ride, however, the temp had risen above 40F and I knew I would have company if/when I rode in the afternoon.

I hope these photos demonstrate just what a gorgeous day we had here. Keep in mind that mid-December in Chicago could have blizzard-like conditions.

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

I ride my bike every day that I can, so the variance in temperature meant that I wore a different outfit. Also, I don’t take my dog with when we have less than 45 F.

Because I carry my iPhone with me on rides, I was able to record some of the day’s splendor.

This past Friday was indeed one to remember and for which to be thankful for to a generous providence.

Tony

Happy Birthday, Gabi

My little poodle, Gabi, has a birthday today. She was born on the 12th of December 2005. By a process of rapid calculation that works out to seven years old. I have to admit that I didn’t have a dog seven years ago, nor did I want one. How I got her is a story in itself.  I wrote it up for my other blog on healthy eating and living longer. If you would like to read it click here.

For the record, Gabi is a pure bred poodle. She was the runt of a teacup litter. Teacup poodles weigh around five pounds. Nonetheless, she currently stands 11 inches high and weighs just under 14 pounds.

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Words fall short in explaining her place in my life. She makes me laugh every day with her canine kookiness. I am not having a birthday party for her because she is a dog and wouldn’t understand it. But, I want to put this blog post together for her and for me.

I think one picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some of her. Below is a shot just after a grooming. Glamorous, no? Thanks to my friend, Maxine, for putting the photo together.

Next is Gabi on the Fourth of July with her festive bandanna.

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth!

This photo below is a prize winner that my daughter, Kate, shot. It was a Purina Dog Chow contest and the winners were displayed in Times Square. I was holding her over my shoulder and there was a fan blowing in her face.

Prize winning shot of Gabi in Times Square

Prize winning shot of Gabi in Times Square

The photo below is an ‘attitude’ shot. It is morning and I am on the couch reading, but she is ready for her walk. Her patience is running out.

Her patience is running out.

Her patience is running out.

I love this next one. She gets cold in the winter so I have bought her several hoodies. She doesn’t like the feelilng of them being slipped over her head. This shot shows her hiding her two front paws and her neck so I can’t slip it on her.

HIding her front paws and neck.

HIding her front paws and neck.


No collection of Gabi photos would be complete without one of her riding in my bike basket. This was shot by a Chicago newspaper photographer of us riding on Northerly Island. You can see the Chicago Skyline behind us. She rides several thousand miles with me each year and has had her picture taken on the lakefront hundreds of times by tourists from all over the world.

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Last, but not least, one of her puppy pics.

She was four months old here and I hadn't adopted her yet.

She was four months old here and I hadn’t adopted her yet.

Happy Birthday, Gabi!

Tony

Rare Chicago Skyline Photo

You are looking at a view of the Chicago skyline that very few people who live in Chicago have ever seen. I shot it on a bike ride this morning from behind the Adler Planetarium. Most folks who live here don’t even know you can get behind the Planetarium let alone see the skyline from it.

Behind the Adler Planetarium.

 
This shot also shows the path that circles the Planetarium. I ride my bike on it regularly.

Tony

Chicago Lakefront Sculpture – Nautilus

Besides the wonderful sunrises, wildlife and skyline, Chicago has also dotted the lakefront with various forms of art. One of my favorites is Nautilus by Suzanne Horwitz. I have zero art education. As with music I just know what I like.

The sun really brings it to life

Here is Nautilus. I think it is magnificent. I see it every day. There is a feeling of strength about it that I love. It looks to me like it rose up out of the ground by its own power. It also looks like one of nature’ s perfect forms, like a cloud or a flower. It’s surface appears to be brushed aluminum. Lastly, unlike every other piece of sculpture on the lakefront, it doesn’t look manufactured, it strikes me as organic like it just burst through the ground right there.

Here is Nautilus from a distance.

Yesterday while riding by, I encountered a woman who seemed to be polishing it. I stopped and actually met Suzanne Horwitz, the artist, who was there putting on a coat of polish before Chicago’s winter struck with its snow, ice and rock salt.

She said she enjoyed coming down to the lakefront and hearing reactions to Nautilus. She named it Nautilus because there is a feeling of the sea about it.

The artist polishing Nautilus

Her bio says, “Horwitz’s sculpture won recognition at the Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey. Her work is represented in the corporate collections of The Options Clearing Corporation in Chicago and Goldman Sachs in New York. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan.”

You can see more of her wonderful work at her website.

Enjoy!

Tony

Marshmallow Clouds over Chicago

Today was just amazing as far as the clouds go. I will have to remember this as it might be a fall phenomenon. I shot all of these an a 25 mile bike ride on the lakefront bike path this morning. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed seeing and photographing them. (Click on any photo to see it full size.)

This is looking south on the bike path. I was fascinated by the light off the buildings, too.

Here we have some of the marshmallow clouds a little south of the first pic.

I rode a little farther and shot this one. Nice selection of clouds with the skyline below and Lake Michigan in the foreground.

This was from a farther south vantage point looking north. I like the cloud activity over the buildings.

I am still getting the hang of shooting photos with my iPhone 5. I have to rmeember to shoot pans more often.

Tony

Chicago Skyline Panorama

I have had my iPhone for a couple of weeks now and am just catching on to the panorama feature on the camera.

This is one I shot from the Adler Planetarium after riding down there on my bike.

Still learning how to pan with my iPhone. Click on pic for full size.

As you can see it was a gorgeous clear day with big marshmallow clouds.

Tony