Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

The lonely bear

This bear stood outside the left field gate at Wrigley Field waving at anyone and everyone that passed him. They passed by without notice. It was like he didn’t exist. The bear just stood there, waving, trying to promote something with a guy hoping to hand out information. Nothing got handed out, and still the bear stood there, waving, as if he was greeting the wall. It was very hollow. I remember thinking the handler should light the bear on fire, because then someone would look. Not really, but, you know. Just a thought. There’s something quite distressing about an ignored mascot.
The lonely bear
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September 29, 2012

Between battlements

The whole idea of “between a rock and a hard place” comes to mind here. Standing in one of the many cutouts of the Castillo de San Marcos you get the feeling that you’re not well-enough protected. The fort is firm and steady, but there’s nowhere to hide. You’re left in the open to do your fighting. I guess this was how it worked in the 1500s through 1800s. These days, this place would be a sitting duck for warplanes and ships miles off the coast.
Between battlements
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September 28, 2012

Dock under

Whenever I’m here I keep my eyes peeled for alligators. The first time I ventured out on this dock, I looked to my right, and there was a five-foot gator exactly where I stood on the next boardwalk over. That’s not very big as far as gators go, but it was enough to remind me that something could be standing between me and land on my way back, which is never a good thought. It hasn’t happened, thankfully. I always peek under the docks to see if any are in the area. People actually swim here in between the reeds and the danger. No thanks.
Dock under
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September 27, 2012

Pointed planter

OK, it might be a fountain with a planter at the far end, but Pointed Planter is better than Pointed Fountain. I waited… and waited… and waited… and continued to wait for everyone to leave the area. It was high traffic time at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and a little middle-aged Chinese man even stood over my shoulder waiting to see what I was going to do here. I don’t mean he was a few feet away, I mean he was over my shoulder. I could hear him breathing. He didn’t ask a thing. He just got closer and stood there in great anticipation of what was to come. In the end, he may have been disappointed, because he didn’t say anything, backed up a few steps and whirled away. His wife gave me a head nod like “thank you” and followed him out the gate.
Pointed planter
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September 26, 2012

Wrigley wide – bye-bye baseball

It’s rare for me to not make a game at Wrigley at least once a year, but it almost happened this year. Not until late September did I venture to the Friendly Confines, and this was far after the Cubs’ season had melted away into an abysmal abyss. I can’t remember them this bad in my lifetime despite their lovable losing ways, but Theo Epstein and the front office are doing something I’ve also never seen the organization attempt: selling off and rebuilding from the minor leagues up. Why did it take so long? I think in years past the Cubs were owned by a corporation bent on filling the seats with a team good enough to compete even if it was flawed. The new ownership may actually value winning more – even if they’re willing to lose for a year or two – or three – to get there. The organization will be healthier for the change.

Joey Votto is at bat against Cubs rookie lefty Chris Rusin. The Cubs lost again this night. The season is winding to a close, which is very depressing to me. Baseball is an every-day companion for half of the year. It is weird when it disappears.
Wrigley wide - bye-bye baseball
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September 25, 2012

Podium in wait

I’m not too enthused that this year’s political season coming, but I can’t help but post this photo of a very presidential-looking speaking space. It’s not modern as much as it is a throwback to a place someone like Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt would deliver an important talk. It’s like the room should be filled with top hats, coattails and canes. I thought it looked like a painting.
Podium in wait
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September 24, 2012

The souvenir stand

I walked around Wrigley Field noticing how interesting the souvenir stands are lit at night. They have to pop, so they throw as much as possible on the merchandise. After realizing the stand outside of the center field bleachers wasn’t quite right for the shot I wanted, I wandered up Waveland to the left field corner. Everything came together here. The light on the stand, the lights of the stadium and the color combined for a pretty cool night shot. The streak from the stadium lights was actually this visible in person.
The souvenir stand
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September 23, 2012

Nothing between us

She’s not alone. There are actually hundreds of people all around her – to her left and right and also behind her. It took her a while to get situated, and I remember wanting to separate her from the crowd when I took aim. I think it was the fact that she was the only one to put her chair in the water. She was attempting to lose the distraction and focus on herself, the ocean and her book. I merely helped her achieve this. I’ve stared at this photo many times wondering what to write. In finally setting out to do so I now understand what was captured here. Strange how that happens after a month of wondering. I labeled the file “beach chair lady” shortly after taking the photo. I think that and the book is exactly what she was going for.
Nothing between us
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September 22, 2012

Clark Street bridge

I couldn’t come up with a more straightforward title to this photo than what I wrote, and it needs a very basic title for how it came together. We were walking across Clark Street bridge. The view was nice. I took this photo. That’s it, nothing to it. I did have to use the bridge to crop out a hotel. Free advertising is not always welcome here on the blog, but sometimes I don’t mind it if it works for a particular shot. Also, these bridges undulate quite a bit when cars pass, and at least three flew by for a couple of the exposures. I was happy that almost no shake showed up in the processing – a minor miracle for exposures of several seconds.

In this photo you can see the Marina City towers (honeycomb-like buildings on the left). They stand in front of the mostly-obscured Trump Tower. Framed in the cutout of the bridge are several historical Chicago skyscrapers – some of the earliest and most important skyscrapers ever built. Up on the right, disappearing into the corner of the frame is the building featured in the film The Negotiator. It’s known as simply 77 West Wacker Drive.
Clark Street bridge
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September 21, 2012

The claw

I happened on this obvious Tigers fan at U.S. Cellular Field. His team was pounding the White Sox, so he was very comfortable in his colorful getup while taking jeers from many a Sox fan. I asked him if he’d let me take his photo. “Sure!” Then he went into pose mode. He made a few faces, including entering “pensive tiger mode” where somehow both he and the tiger head looked thoughtful while staring off into space. Then he started to make yet another pose but stopped to ask, “now do you want THE CLAW?” I assume if I’d said no I would’ve gotten the claw anyway, but I agreed, and here it is in all of its awesomeness. I figured you’d want the claw, too. It was his best work.
The claw
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