Mmm, mmm, YUM!

On Washington Street just west of Michigan Avenue, Toni’s La Patisserie windows are filled with Christmasy edibles!

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La Patisserie-3

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La Patisserie-4

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La Patisserie-6

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Okay, you can all stop drooling!

(I think I gained five pounds just taking these shots!)

Yesterday…

…while walking up Van Buren Street to the Harold Washington Library, I noticed this odd reflection in the back window of an SUV:

I love the distortion of the building on the northwest corner of Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue...it wasn't really falling over!

I love the distortion of the building on the northwest corner of Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue…it wasn’t really falling over!

Just a few steps later, I saw this plaque:

I've walked by this building so many times, yet never took a shot.

I’ve walked by this building so many times, yet never took a shot.

Here’s a look up at The Buckingham facade, with the CNA Insurance building reflected in its windows:

I always like 'wavy glass'!

I always like ‘wavy glass’!

The CNA Center, at the northeast corner of Van Buren and Wabash Streets, is 600 feet tall with 44 stories…I got a little dizzy looking up to take some shots!

Some years back, a woman was killed when one of the panes of glass quite high up dislodged from its frame and fell directly on her...all windows were repaired while the building was surrounded with scaffolding for a lengthy amount of time.

Some years back, a woman was killed when one of the panes of glass quite high up dislodged from its frame and fell directly on her…all windows were repaired while the building was surrounded with scaffolding for a lengthy amount of time.

After I finished at the library, I walked up to Madison and Dearborn Streets to pay my phone bill.

Just across Van Buren stands the Chase Bank Tower, but I haven’t processed those shots yet because…

...to the south of Chase is the Exelon Plaza, with this fabulous fountain surrounded by all the downtown-types having luncheon.

…to the south of Chase Bank Tower is the Exelon Plaza, with this fabulous fountain surrounded by all the downtown-types having luncheon.

Here’s a closer-up shot in color:

It was a glorious day to dine al fresco, but I didn't, as I had quite another reason for being there!

It was a glorious day to dine al fresco, but I didn’t, as I had quite another reason for being there!

(to be continued)

Under the white sky

The flag flies proudly above the Edgewater Beach Apartments at Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue

The flag flies proudly above the Edgewater Beach Apartments at Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue

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Reflection of a n apartment building to the north of the Park Tower Apartments on Sheridan Road

Reflection of an apartment building to the north of the Park Tower Apartments on Sheridan Road

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Looking south from the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street, these tall buildings are not quite obscured by fog

Looking south from the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street, these tall buildings are not quite obscured by fog

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Turning toward the north from the same corner, these skyscrapers are at least a third shrouded in fog. In the middle is the Aon Center, Chicago's third tallest building at 83 stories and 1,136 feet (346 meters)

Turning toward the north from the same corner, these skyscrapers are at least a third shrouded in fog.
In the middle is the Aon Center, Chicago’s third tallest building–at 83 stories and 1,136 feet (346 meters)

On the Magnificent Mile: XI

At American Girl Place
(in Water Tower Place)

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars...with every way a little girl can get her wish!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars…with every way a little girl can get her wish!

And then…the DOLLS!

As I understand, these dolls are very coveted by little girls, and you can purchase a ‘girl-size’ matching outfit for your daughter!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!  Hope they aren’t cold, sitting in that glittery snow?

Up on the snowy hill...the perfect place for every doll to play...even bay doll seems to be having fun!

Up on the snowy hill…the perfect place for every doll to play…even baby doll seems to be having fun!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside extra-large open ornaments...that's the fantasy of a doll's world, and a very creative display!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside GIANT open ornaments…that’s the fantasy of a doll’s world, and a very creative display!

On the Magnificent Mile: X

At the Park Hyatt Hotel

It’s not a very technically ‘good’ shot, perhaps because I expected a bit more from this place.  I did much of their original outdoor planting before they opened in 2000, and know the interior quite well.  Though the address is 800 N. Michigan Avenue, this entrance fronts Chicago Avenue.

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go...I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go…I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

The little half-block long ‘western’ Michigan Avenue is where the carriages pick up their clientele, so the horses are always there, like this lovely mare:

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored...she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored…she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

If you turn 180 degrees, you face the western facade of the Water Tower, which was one of only a few downtown Chicago buildings to survive the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.

It's been more heavily decorated in past years.  There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn't go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

It’s been more heavily decorated in past years. There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn’t go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

At Water Tower Place

This year's theme is "Charlie Brown's Great Exhibit", sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry.  It's a wonderful change from the somewhat scary 'dancing harlequins' which were used for more than five years!

This year’s theme is “Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit”, sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a wonderful change from the somewhat scary ‘dancing harlequins’ which were used for more than five years!

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor...and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor…and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Everywhere else, it’s huge lit snowflakes and lights dripping from the ceiling…quite an arduous installation!

Water Tower Mall-4

Water Tower Mall-5

When you arrive at the second floor atrium, the elevators, normally see-through glass, have been covered with (from this side) several story-high “Peanuts” characters…here’s Lucy and Snoopy!

Water Tower Mall-3

After riding to the third floor (and getting my ears re-pierced–Christmas gift to self!), I walked back over to the escalators and found this maquette of the Water Tower…nicely done by ‘unknown’!

Water Tower Mall-6

Oh, lest I forget, I did see something I absolutely loved on the third floor…and I don’t remember which store!

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me!  Maybe next year I'll do something with them as an inspiration?

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me! Maybe next year I’ll do something with them as an inspiration?

On the Magnificent Mile: IX

At 900 North Michigan Shops

From Wikipedia:900 North Michigan in Chicago is a skyscraper completed in 1989. At 871 feet (265 m) tall, it is currently the eighth tallest building in Chicago and the 25th tallest in the United States. It was developed by Urban Retail Properties in 1988 as an upscale sister to Water Tower Place, one block southeast, and was the second vertical mall built along the Magnificent Mile. The building features a large, upscale shopping mall called 900 North Michigan Shops.

From Wikipedia:
900 North Michigan in Chicago is a skyscraper completed in 1989. At 871 feet (265 m) tall, it is currently the eighth tallest building in Chicago and the 25th tallest in the United States. It was developed by Urban Retail Properties in 1988 as an upscale sister to Water Tower Place, one block southeast, and was the second vertical mall built along the Magnificent Mile.
The building features a large, upscale shopping mall called 900 North Michigan Shops.

Over the entry doors is this beautifully-designed lighting fixture, heavily decorated for the Christmas shopping season.

Over the entry doors is this beautifully-designed lighting fixture, heavily decorated for the Christmas shopping season.

 

Here's what you see when you stand beneath it...pretty, yes?

Here’s what you see when you stand beneath it…pretty, yes?

Let’s go inside!

At Bernardaud Fine China

At Bernardaud Fine China-1

Let’s take a closer look at that spectacular cup and saucer!

At Bernardaud Fine China-2

At Michael Kors

At Michael Kors

At United Colors of Bennetton

At Unknown-Cool Stuff

At MaxMara

At Unknown-Weird

At Christofle of Paris

You can purchase this Menorah for a mere $!,000...pricey, but totally gorgeous silver!

You can purchase this Menorah for a mere $1,000…pricey, but totally gorgeous silver!

But the ‘big draw’ this time of year at 900 North Michigan Shops is on the second floor!

It's several stories high, and simply loaded with ornamentation!

It’s several stories high, and simply loaded with ornamentation!

I got closer and, of course, couldn't resist looking up!

I got closer and, of course, couldn’t resist looking up!

So, look with me, even closer!

Bloomie's Tree-2

Bloomie's Tree-4

Bloomie's Tree-5

Alas, it was time to leave, so I took one last look as I made a ‘wish’ for all my followers to have a beautiful Christmas season, and that we may all have a very prosperous New Year!

I DO love this giant openwork urn, don't you?  I think, if I put my wish into it, it will roll around inside and filter out to ALL!

I DO love this giant openwork urn, don’t you? I think, if I put my wish into it, it will roll around inside and filter out to ALL!

 

On the Magnificent Mile: VIII

At the InterContinental Hotel

Elegant Christmas decorations begin at the Michigan Avenue... Entrance

Elegant Christmas decorations begin at the Michigan Avenue entrance…

...and continue in the spectacular lobby with a curving staircase!  Note how the lights are reflected in the marble side of the staircase.

…and continue in the spectacular lobby with a curving staircase! Note how the lights are reflected in the highly polished marble side of the staircase.

Here's a detail from the large tree, which is at least twenty fee high...lots of beautiful ornaments!

Here’s a detail from the large tree, which is at least twenty feet high…lots of beautiful ornaments!

What impressed me more than that gorgeous tree and garlands was this marvelous mosaic floor of the lobby!  Every tile is set by hand, in the Tiffany style, to catch the light as you walk by.  I searched for info on the designer to no avail!

What impressed me more than that gorgeous tree and garlands was this marvelous mosaic floor of the lobby! Every tile is cut and set by hand, in the Tiffany style, to catch the light as you walk by. I searched for info on the designer to no avail!

As I turned to leave, I looked up and captured the signature Lion's Head in the middle of two griffins...wish I knew the significance of these three pieces of sculpture!

As I turned to leave, I looked up and captured the signature Lion’s Head in the middle of two griffins…wish I knew the significance of these three pieces of sculpture!

I had designed and hand-painted large floral vases for the InterContinental back when I was working for a Special Events firm here, but had never had the opportunity to step inside.  I’m so glad I did, and shall return, as the building has quite a fascinating history, and some wonderful public rooms.