Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chicago - Boats, The Bean and Buildings

At the end of my last post, I had myself and my two photography buddies emerging from the cool and shady interior of Adams Street in downtown Chicago, into the hot and blinding sunshine of Michigan Avenue, putting us right in front of The Art Institute and staring into the eye of the Lion. One of the lion statues in front of the Art Institute that is, this post would be so much effective if I had a photo of that lion eye. If only I had the foresight to write these posts as I am taking photos, life would be so much easier for me, and much more enjoyable for you the reader.

Instead of the eye of the Lion, I have for you a photo of The Bean which was our next destination.

But we before we set off for The Bean, we got sidetracked by another food truck and tacos.

Photo credit: Patti Groetsema

We had gotten very hungry walking that eight tenths of a mile from the train station to Michigan Avenue, and passing all those other food trucks. This guy was a sweetheart, super friendly and courteous, running his taco stand like a well oiled machine. 

We enjoyed our lunches on a cement bench in the shade, in a little park next to the Art Institute, joining locals as they enjoyed their lunch. I took one more crack at street photography, mostly to get at least one shot with my 85mm lens I had been hauling around in my bag all day. Note to self, next time just take your 17-55mm and leave everything else home, except of course my iPhone, my other camera of choice.

Lunch finished, it was time to move on to The Bean in Millennium Park, one of the most popular "selfie" taking places in the city.

The lady to the left in this photo was a problem, nearly knocking me down in her quest to get the perfect bean selfie.

The three of us taking a group/individual selfie. Notice I am the only one using my iPhone in the shot, always the odd girl out.

Leaving the glaring sun and the radiating heat from The Bean behind, we set off down Michigan Avenue towards the Chicago River, our destination the Architectural Boat tours. Our leader and christened mom for the day, Deanna, spotted the tours led by the Chicago Architectural Foundation, she knew that we would get the most beneficial information on this tour.

If you have read my blog for any time now you know that I love buildings and especially anything old, or that looks be in a decaying state, so these bridge houses captivated me.

The tour was a delight and the docent a wealth of knowledge.

This is Montgomery Ward Park. Next trip to Chicago I want to explore over in this area, maybe I can convince my dear husband to accompany me, since he doesn't like me exploring Chicago alone and on foot. I don't have a lot of fear in me, so he is probably right to be concerned.

Traveling back to the boat dock, I caught these building reflections.

Version Number One taken with my Canon dSLR.

Version Number Two taken with my iPhone and edited in Snapseed and Formulas. In case you haven't didn't know I love taking photos with my iPhone, but I am trying to be better about using my Canon, each has their purpose.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of The Bean and Buildings from a Boat.


  1. Awesome tour, Sarah. Chicago is probably my favorite city for so very many reasons. I love your street photography - something I always want to do, but feel awkward at. I'm glad you had such a great trip!

  2. Good morning,
    I love both of your reflections shots. After my vacation I feel the same way you did... should have done something different. But there is always next time, right?

  3. I feel I missed many opportune shots as well - so if the hubsters won't go, then maybe we should plan a day together again! Take the Southshore in from Michigan City.

  4. We took that same architectural boat tour last summer when we vacationed in Chicago and we all really enjoyed it. So much that the casual street walker (so to speak, ha) doesn't know or appreciate about the buildings. We had fun with pictures at the Bean too. Would you believe I did not know about the Bean before we were there on that visit? I live under a rock I guess.

  5. Those bridge houses are awesome. I've never seen such before. I really like the iPhone shot and edit of the skyline. Glad your trip was so successful. I've never been to Chicago but it's on my list. Unfortunately it's not on Blake's.

  6. I love your iPhone photo of 333 W Wacker (the curved building). My experience of Chicago is very limited but I have been in that building and in fact was offered the opportunity to work there. I turned it down because I didn't want to move to Chicago. The road not different my life might have been!

  7. It sounds like taking the boat tour was the perfect way to get lots of information and great captures....I love the building reflections and the street photography. It's obvious you girls had a great time together. Good friends are priceless....

  8. Great Chicago shots and what a fun day you guys had!

  9. Love your view of Chicago, especially the bridge houses! The "bean" that would stress me out! Too many people!

  10. There is something about that "Bean" that is so fascinating. Maybe someday I'll see it in person.
    Just loved your Reflection shots, they were both very cool.

  11. Oh, by the way I like your perspective on the bean shot.

  12. Thanks for the tour Sarah, love the skyscraper images they are amazing...

  13. We stayed at The Palmer House in Chicago when Allyson was deciding between her final 3 schools - Univ. of Chicago/Washington&Lee/Wellesley. At point Chicago was winning hands down and I was salivating the opportunity to return with more time (and warmer weather - April but felt like February). Love both shots of the reflections. I bet this was a fabulous visit.

  14. Sounds like perfect (warm) time with you photography friends . . .
    Loved your pics . . .
    Happy the Architectural Tour received a plus from you.
    I have heard that is the tour to take . . . will do, next trip!

  15. Sarah, I admire how you captured so many telling photos. When I travel, especially to a new place, it takes me a very long time to get my bearings and "find" the pictures that speak to me. Sometimes, I come home with only a sense of what the city has to share and need to go back to take pictures! Lovely to see you and your friends making so much an artful adventure!

  16. I love the candid photo of you and the taco guy, and OH, oh, those bridge houses!!
    I am trying better to use my dSLR too.. but a phone is just so handy and light... and the editing so fun! Still, I'm trying. Owning a smartphone has really set back my big camera use. I go back & forth or best - try to have both.
    I've driven through Chicago a couple of times.. always at night, and never stopped. It looks like a fun place to explore!


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)