What is a 100 year bicycle? Well, it’s one that only gets you where you really want to go about once every hundred years or so, and surely a Cubbies bicycle would qualify The picture below seems an even more apt metaphor for their perennial exercise in futility.
Ah, for shame! It is unkind to kick a team when it is down, though when else would one kick the Cubbies And perhaps it is foolishness to be so mean and tempt the wrath of the baseball gods when one’s own team, the St. Louis Cardinals, are up in the wild card chase by a mere 3 games. All kidding aside, though, this is one sweet looking bike. So cool. Such sharp colors, a cool custom fork, and I do love that walking cubbie bear logo.
Normally I am not very enamored of photos in which a photographer has seemingly arbitrarily tilted the camera to add some drama, unless there is some plane or line in the scene itself which is being accentuated. And, in truth, I only first set these two photos on their sides because photos with a “portrait” orientation appear much larger on my blog than those in “landscape. They actually look quite fine oriented the other way – tilt your monitor on its edge and check it out However, once I had rotated these 90 degrees, I found that I quite liked the effect, as it made the figure of the man and bicycle more or less vertical.
This past Monday I rode the Chicago Lakefront Trail in both directions and then some. I discovered from experience that it was exactly 18 miles from end to end, but could have found that out more readily by checking out this helpful PDF which shows some highlights along the route. So, evidently the center point of the trail is almost exactly at the Buckingham Fountain right in the middle of downtown. They couldn’t have planned that, could they?
Visually, though, it does seem as if the South leg is longer. That is a long way to those little/big buildings. At this point I should also note that though I found street parking as I had planned at the South end of the trail, the neighborhood was a little rougher than I had expected, even though I had no problems. The North end of the trail, on the other hand, is nestled in some decidedly more expensive real estate.
A truth you should know from this bicyclist/photographer is that the two activities do not lend themselves to one another, necessarily. It is true that bicycling around a city provides one with new perspectives and finds, and that traveling on bicycle is a great way to get to those shots, but if one wants to get in some mileage, which was my goal on Monday, well then one cannot often satisfy the urge to stop and shoot.
And, so, though I carried a long lens (which I never used) and a medium sized lens on my full-frame Canon 5D in my hydration pack (and it is also a truth that one’s hydration pack should be reserved for that function OR as a camera bag and not both ), I did not take too many pictures of sites around the trail save the ones below.
I could not resist hanging Sequoia on the fence along with other locked bikes for a shot with the Hancock Tower in the background.
You know it is hot when you feel the strong urge to eat a Chicago dog (I settled on the Polish sausage), just to get your salt levels back up. The picture below was my lunch time view, with one of the many beaches along the trail in the background. Regarding hydration, there are water fountains and restrooms at every beach.
The colored trees at the 31st Street Beach Marina were pretty cool, but I agree with this blogger that the real things are much preferred.
Finally, I did make one foray into the city, to Threadless on Broadway, to pick up some shirts. I had planned on getting this bicycle themed design, but on hearing that I could only get it at the warehouse or online, I settled on the design below. The beautiful top part more or less replicates the Lakefront trail, and while the bottom part is bleak, it is rather Biblical, “and to dust you shall return“…though there are whispers that that may not be the whole story.
There is no doubt I like beautiful things. I also like to be thrifty and buy things used and inexpensively, if at all possible. Occasionally, however, I come across beautiful things that are crafted so well that purchasing them seems like a logical and good thing to do, no matter the price. A large percentage of the items in White Attic fall into this category. Moreover, they also sell beautifully refurbished vintage furniture, which meets my “used” criteria, but by no means my “inexpensive” one.
To have some fun, check out White Attic’s online lamp bar where you can construct some beautiful virtual lamps. Also, they carry Voluspa Candles, which, if I had a significant other, I think I might have been rather tempted to plunk down the $20-30 per candle, or whatever it was they were asking. They had one which smelled exactly like flowering jasmine or “Raat-ki-rani” (Queen of the Night), as we called it in Pakistan.
Finally, they also feautured huge prints by Chicago artist Ben Holiday, several of which were really stunning, and it was lucky that we were traveling in a car and not a van!
This image of lamps was taken from outside, and, so, I was also able to catch the reflection of the street lamp.
Oh, and if you are in Andersonville, make sure to check out the even cooler Brimfield next door, which specializes in items from estate sales (like the dad in While You Were Sleeping did), and where I actually bought something! Catty-corner from these stores is Brownstone Antiques, which is a bit of crowded jumble but great fun to browse through. And if you are really, really hungry be sure to catch a huge Swedish breakfast (with monster cinnamon rolls) at Ann Sather. Then walk around a bit and come back for Algerian crepes at Icosium Kafe (oh.my.goodness). Yup, that is what my friends and I do when in Chicago: eat and walk and shop! Sleep. Repeat.