Monday, June 30, 2008

Watching what's going by

Watching what's going by

Taken on a Northbound Red Line train, 6/22/08

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ghost windows

Ghost windows

Taken from a Northbound Red Line train on 6/22/08

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rock On Indiana

Rock On Indiana
Taken 6/21/08 in Michigan City, Indiana

It's amazing how just 36 hours out of the city can really clear one's head. Thanks, Indiana.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 with the new

I'm slowly getting used to the neighborhood my new job is in. I'm learning various public transport routes too and from work. I'm learning where to get lunch. I'm learning where to get coffee. I don't know it like the back of my hand, but I'm starting to feel at home there.

The neighborhood, West Loop, like many in Chicago, is a neighborhood in transition. When I first started driving through the neighborhood on a somewhat regular basis, about 15 years ago, it was a completely different place. The landscape was full of old warehouses and run down buildings. If you would have told me then that it would one day look how it does now I would have laughed in your face.

But then, politics called. The 1996 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago at the United Center. To get to the UC from the ritzy Michigan Avenue hotels the delegates stayed at they had to go through West Loop. Almost overnight it seemed that Madison Street and Washington Blvd. were completely different places. I knew change was afoot when I missed my turn for the United Center when the seedy liquor store I used as a landmark was torn down.

Over the next few years the rest of the neighborhood started to change, and now it's a completely different place.

My favorite aspect of the neighborhood is that, like many Chicago neighborhoods, there is a completely different vibe from street to street.

There are two Starbucks stores equidistant from my office. One is on Madison, one is on Randolph, and they are on the same cross street. I usually alternate stores, going to the Madison location one day and the Randolph location the next. On the days I walk to the Madison location I am greeted with gleaming new (and expensive) condos and expensive looking businesses, such as ritzy hair salons. A typical affluent neighborhood. The vibe on Randolph, two streets to the north, is completely different. Randolph Street is now occupied by some really nice restaurants; places I generally can't afford to eat at very often. Amongst those restaurants are meat packers and some of the other old Randolph Street Market businesses. It's quite a contrast from building to building. The restaurants are closed, but the markets are bustling. Walking past each building is a different experience. I hope it stays that way.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grafitti, 6/19/08


The train was moving when I took the picture, so I'm surprised that wall outside the train is as clear as it is.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Aramis Ramirez

Okay, so this pic was taken 2 years ago, but still, Aramis is the man.

Here, watch some Steve Goodman.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

Taken 6/15/08 outside of Allstate Arena.

Luckily we were inside before the storm hit.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Out with the old...

Last Friday was my last day at my old job. The job was located in Streeterville, near Michigan Avenue. I know that I have complained to many people about the pain it is to work in this area. Dealing with tourists can be trying, not to mention having to walk past American Girl Place every day.

But there will be a few things I will miss about the location (not to mention the actual place of employment and my coworkers, which is beyond the scope of this post):

1. Lunch at Flat Sammie's. Over the past year I got used to having lunch there on a regular basis. I love the Southwest chicken salad, and especially the brownies. I loved the fact that I could walk up to order and not have to say a word because the woman behind the registered knew exactly what I wanted.

2. Being near Michigan Ave. and Water Tower Place. Yes, this could be a curse as well as a blessing. I have to say, however, that it was nice to get all of my shopping done during my lunch break. Whether it was just shopping for stuff for myself or gift shopping, I don't remember the last time I had to go Downtown on a weekend to do some shopping. How convenient! I can't imagine having to deal with that on a Saturday or Sunday. As if the number of tourists wasn't bad enough during the week...

3. Proximity to the lake. It was nice to see Lake Michigan out of the conference room window, and to be able to walk along the lake during my lunch break.

4. Ease of commute. Just one train and a half-mile walk. Easy.

Obviously I still live in Chicago, so I could always go to lunch at Flat Sammie's or shop along Michigan Ave. According to Mapquest, the distance between my new place of employment and my old place of employment is 2.98 miles, so I won't be seeing these places during the week.

Every time a door closes, a new one opens. I now have a new neighborhood to explore, new things to see, new places to eat.