After yesterday’s appointment with my wonderful doctor…

…(who is very happy I am doing so well while taking the blood thinning medication!), I hopped on the Red Line “L”, and ventured to the south side of Chicago–Chinatown to be exact!

Chinatown is about two and a half miles south of the Loop.  This is the view when you get off the "L" and look back toward downtown.


Chinatown is about two and a half miles south of the Loop. This is the view when you get off the “L” at Cermak Road and look back toward downtown.

I haven’t been here in almost ten years!  In 2002, I was working about four miles west, just off of Cermak Road, for a theatrical rigging company, and would come through Chinatown every evening I could.  Things have changed a bit; the entrance to the “L” is now enclosed (thank you!) and upon exiting, there is this lovely, huge piece of glazed terra-cotta construction:

The 9 Dragons Wall erected in 2003

The Nine Dragon Wall, erected in 2003

Here are the first three dragons...

Here are the first three dragons…

...and here are the rest.  The 9 Dragons Wall looks to be about twenty-five feet long and about twelve feet high!  Gorgeous craftsmanship, isn't it?

…and here are the rest. The Nine Dragon Wall looks to be about twenty-five feet long and about twelve feet (or more) high! Gorgeous craftsmanship, isn’t it?

This plaque on a pedestal in front of the wall explains everything; thankfully, and English translation is provided!

This plaque on a pedestal in front of the wall explains everything; thankfully, an English translation is provided!

This is just a tease!  I’ll be posting more of Chinatown over the next week, as I took over 85 shots in just under an hour (the other half hour I spent shopping in a great little store–you’ll be seeing that, too)!

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Only six more nights to fly!

Creepy High Flyer

My friend PK, who owns the building pictured, has a ‘thing’ re: suspending Hallowe’en items.  Last year, it was 9″ bats from the ceiling of the small local bar; a week ago, he hung up this skeleton, which flies back and forth (as per the wind) on a strand of monofilament tied from a tree to a lamppost about 15 feet away.  Pretty scary, PK…but a really tough image to work with in Photoshop (TM)!

Looking Up: She’s been up there…

…for nearly ninety years, and still she smiles at everyone!

The Painted Lady

As you can see, I had to do a goodly amount of Photoshopping…just to allow you to see that truly beautiful smile.  Here’s the original:

The Painted Lady–Original

Almost 91 years old…

…and still going strong!

The Chicago Theatre–State Street/Lake Street in the Chicago Loop

From the Chicago Theatre’s website, where you can also view several pictures of the interior:

The grandeur of The Chicago Theatre often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase and beautiful auditorium complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling, are components of an amazing building called “the Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened on October 26, 1921.

The Chicago Theatre was the first large, lavish movie palace in America and was the prototype for all others. This beautiful movie palace was constructed for $4 million by theatre owners Barney and Abe Balaban and Sam and Morris Katz and designed by Cornelius and George Rapp. It was the flagship of the Balaban and Katz theatre chain.

Built in French Baroque style, The Chicago Theatre’s exterior features a miniature replica of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, sculpted above its State Street marquee. Faced in a glazed, off-white terra cotta, the triumphal arch is sixty feet wide and six stories high. Within the arch is a grand window in which is set a large circular stained-glass panel bearing the coat-of-arms of the Balaban and Katz chain – two horses holding ribbons of 35-mm film in their mouths.

The grand lobby, modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles, is five stories high and surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony levels. The grand staircase is patterned after that of the Paris Opera House and ascends to the various levels of the Great Balcony.

The 3,600 seat auditorium is seven stories high, more than one half of a city block wide, and nearly as long. The vertical sign “C-H-I-C-A-G-O,” at nearly six stories high, is one of the few such signs in existence today. A symbol of State Street and Chicago, the sign and marquee are landmarks in themselves, as is the 29-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.

Read more here.

These shots were taken last Saturday afternoon while walking north on State Street.  Here’s a view of the theatre from the intersection with Benton Place–notice the water storage tank (used in case of a stage fire) and the signage painted on the brick, making it obvious that the tall building on the south side of Benton did not exist when the theatre was built!

The Chicago Theatre (south facade)–Benton Place