Thankfully…

…the hectic pace has begun to slow–and just in time for the holidays (Haha!)!

Between nighttime leg cramps and a number of ocular migraines, a good night’s sleep has been a tough goal, and even though I woke today at 2:00 AM, I felt rested for a change…perhaps the culprit was the three-hour ‘short’ nap I had yesterday afternoon?

But…the closets are freshly painted and totally reorganized, almost all the photos are framed and ready to hang, the hardwood floors have been washed down with Murphy’s Oil Soap and treated with OrangeGlo and I had a wonderful morning baking Ginger Snaps, then shopped this afternoon, and just finished a very satisfying, healthy dinner (steamed salmon, potato slices baked with onion and a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh broccoli).

I can finally show you more Autumn brilliance!

These were taken last weekend and sadly, due to extremely windy conditioned over the past three or four days, most of these trees are nearly bare and grossly faded–but, they’re still beautiful to me!

Autumn Brilliance-1

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Autumn Brilliance-3

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Autumn Brilliance-6

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Autumn Brilliance-5

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Autumn Brilliance-6

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Autumn Brilliance-4

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???????????????????????????????This last image is my favorite, which I’ll take to the printer and have it done quite large!

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Though I may not post every single day, be assured that I am continuing to shoot and process–it’s just that everything has taken so much longer to accomplish that I felt exhausted continually.

I checked out the DVD “Chicago” from the library today, and will be watching it (again!) tonight.

Back in 1978, a dear friend took me to see it here in Chicago with the original Broadway cast (Jerry Ohrbach,Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera) at the old Blackstone Theatre, and I fell in love with the storyline and the music.

Hope you all will have as enjoyable evening as I will!

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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)!

Word Association: Wall…

…Paper!

I found this elegant little sketch attached to the wall of a building, just across the alleyway from the Berwyn Red Line “L” Station here in Chicago…and thought you might like it!

He’s only about nine inches tall…and I wondered, “Now,  just where he could be heading?”

Wall-Paper

N.B.:  The Photoshop filter used here was Surface Blur.  I felt it enhanced the texture of the peeling paint and shadows of a bright, sunny day.

“The chief enemy of creativity…

…is common sense.”

Pablo Picasso, as photographed by Irving Penn

The Picasso, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago

Newspaper columnist Mike Royko, covering the unveiling of the sculpture, wrote: “Interesting design, I’m sure. But the fact is, it has a long stupid face and looks like some giant insect that is about to eat a smaller, weaker insect.”

Royko did credit Picasso with understanding the soul of Chicago.  “Its eyes are like the eyes of every slum owner who made a buck off the small and weak. And of every building inspector who took a wad from a slum owner to make it all possible…. You’d think he’d been riding the L all his life.”

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Personally, I feel this sculpture was Picasso’s self-portrait.  Here’s what he drew in 1972:

Picasso Self-Portrait, 1972

When viewed from the sculpture’s left side, half way to its back, this is what I saw many years ago, when studying the Picasso for the first time…

…an obvious male profile can be readily identified.

Typical of Picasso’s later works, the sculpture, when viewed from directly behind, is asymmetrical…again reinforced via the 1972 self-portrait.  The themes of gauntness, elongation, curves and recurring lines evidently anchored themselves in Picasso’s brain as he aged.

Art IS Freedom…

…and I am happy to exercise that freedom…in Photoshop (TM), of course!
I took this shot while walking around one day recently.  For the five and a half years I have lived in this neighborhood, one thing has really disgusted me:  the condition of the CTA underpasses.  CTA let them go for so many years, and it is only in the past several years that these northernmost underpasses are being repaired.  This one is certainly due for some heavy work, isn’t it?

Colors Under the “L”–Original

All the damaged parts weren’t easily discernible, so I ‘played’ for awhile and came up with this rendition:

Colors Under the “L”

I must admit, being a life-long artist…I do like the graffiti!