Chicago in Color

A random collection of images from the city of big shoulders.

Calder’s Flamingo sculpture, right in the center of the loop, is a fun location for photography. Surrounded by the legacy of Mies van der Rohe’s architecture it stands out in bright red.

The Chicago Air and Water show used to be a fun event. Now, with Covid keeping us indoors, it might be a thing of the past. Half the city would come out to the lake and spend a day staring into the sky. The show is nice, the crowd is fun and at least as entertaining as the show.

The elevated train, referred to as the L is another icon of the city. To be sure, it is old, it is noisy but it keeps on running. It is a wonderful way to visit the city, just sit back and watch the neighborhoods pass by.

View from the Clark/Lake L-train platform

Chicago is not necessarily a center for the creative arts but it has an amazing Art Institute.

View from the Adams/Wabash L-train platform

The lake shore is the place to go when you need a break from the city. But you have to be early. Half the city will show up on a nice weekend. It really gives the city its character.

Cyclists at the North Ave beach chess pavilion

Winter, summer, at any time of the year the views across the lake are best at sunrise. The city looms large and quiet in the background.

View from Lincoln Park near Belmont harbor
View from North Ave Beach

Despite its size, Chicago is a city which goes to sleep. At night, after hours a constant stream of workers flows out of high rises, combines to a river of people flowing to multiple train stations to head out leaving the financial center abandoned for a night.

The magnificent mile is the playground for upscale shoppers. The shops and brands are the same as in many other cities but what sets it apart is the architectural history which lines up along this street.

Marina City, looking good after 56 years

Ceres stands tall over the Chicago Board of Trade. The choice of the goddess explains itself when you consider that futures trading in agricultural contracts is the root of Chicago’s financial industry. Pork bellies, corn, soy, wheat trading meant that the city was always more grounded in a physical reality as opposed to NYC which busied itself trading in more speculative instruments. In general Chicago lacks the flashiness of NYC, at its heart it remains a working man’s town.

Hot dogs and steak houses are the staple of Chicago’s cuisine. The hot dog place on N. Clark prides itself on offering the rudest service. When going there you ask for verbal abuse but feel free to dish out yourself, they will role with the punches

My kow-tow to Alex Webb

My kow-tow to Saul Leiter

Another great time to dive into a sea of color is the annual gay pride parade. Not sure what will come of it with Covid, but if have a hunch it will live on in one form or another.

Gay Pride Parade Chicago

But it doesn’t have to be noisy, shrill and lout all the time. As I said, Chicago goes to sleep, so step out at night and enjoy a quite more introspective or pensive mood, that settles over the city. Should you walk the city and its suburbs at night you will find many quiter moments with Hopper like colors, like this garage:

Final advice, don’t fear winter, just dress well. The city, when everyone bunkers down, has sites to behold. But winter sucks the color out of life, so do it in black and white.

Frozen and idling in the station

Two from a winter storm moving through Lincoln Park. They beauty of these storms is that they make the city disappear and for a moment you can feel alone, all alone.

Lincoln Park in the snow
Lincoln Park in the snow

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