Urban Nymph Photo

Digital heart, analog soul

Personal

Conservatory in the city

Funny that I live in Denver, but seem to write mostly about my shots from Chicago. I need to fix that—Denver is one hell of a place. But until then, this is another Chicago post, about a gem just outside of the city: The Lincoln Park Conservatory. Here's a bit from the Chicago Park District:

During the early nineteenth century developments in iron and glass building technology led to the construction of conservatories in cities throughout Europe and the United States.

Later in the century, as people were increasingly concerned about the ill effects of industrialization, they became fascinated with nature and interested in collecting and classifying plants. Large conservatories with display and exhibit rooms gained popularity, and Lincoln Park's small greenhouse no longer seemed sufficient. Architects Silsbee and Bell were commissioned to design a much more substantial building.Rendered in an exotic style, the new structure included palm, fernery, orchid, and show houses. A "paradise under glass," the Conservatory supported "a luxuriant tropical growth, blending the whole into a natural grouping of Nature’s loveliest forms."

I spent a gray and rainy day wandering through this delightful oasis. And I took some pictures.

A white flower
{ white }

Hydrangea macrophylla (Big Head Pink)
{ Garden Hydrangea | Hydrangea macrophylla | 'Big Head Pink' }

Step into another time
{ step into another time }

Save the bees!
{ take off! part 2 }

Smorgasbord!
{ smorgasbord }

Of course they're ancient ferns. Don't you see the dinosaur!?
160422_4220296_EM1

All photos taken on my Olympus EM1, with the OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8 Pro

Nightcrawler: Baker to Wash Park West

Denver is such a great city to walk around in, any time of day, any time of year. A friend and I went strolling along Broadway one evening in December. Starting in the Baker neighborhood and wandering over to Wash Park West.

I love lightbulbs. I've just recently come to this realization. It's not their bokeh potential—though I love that—there's just something about a lightbulb I love.
{ who doesn't love bokeh? }
Punch Bowl Social Bokeh

It's always about chasing the light.
151230_C300141_EM1 copy
Around the Corner

We get truly amazing sunsets in Denver.
{ Denver @ dusk }
Broadway & Alameda @ Dusk

Favorite bar. Favorite neon.
{ Candle Light Tavern }
Candlelight Tavern

Best NY style pizza you'll find in Denver. Foldable, slices bigger than your head, and delicious!
{ Famous Pizza | Denver }
Famous Pizza

I swear this place only exists at night! I don't ever recognize it during the day.
{ sanatorium }
Coffee and Books

Like lightbulbs, I love me some old lit-up signs.
{ Budweiser on tap }
Bud on Tap

AWOLNATION

So what's the No1 rule when you're getting ready to take pictures? Okay, there are so many to choose from, but My No1 rule? Always have a backup battery. I always have a backup battery. Except when I don't.

I pulled a fresh battery off of the charger before heading out for the AWOLNATION show. It's fresh off the charger! I don't need a backup—I'm traveling light tonight. So I didn't have a backup. And for some reason, the fresh battery off the charger lasted for exactly 101 shots. Of which I took 93 of them before AWOLNATION started.

To add insult to injury, we ended up on the correct side of the stage where Aaron Bruno rocked it out all night.

While I'm incredibly disappointed in myself for only having one battery, I have to say I am in love with the few shots I managed to get.

Lesson learned. Always have a backup battery.

AWOLNATION | Aaron Bruno

"You people are mistaken if you think that I’m awake and celebrating anything that I’ve become"


Meg Myers

{ Meg Myers | Fillmore | Denver }

{ Meg Myers | Fillmore | Denver }

Irontom

{ Irontom | Fillmore | Denver }

The Italian Village

When I was 14, I took my first trip to Chicago, with my mom's best friend. While I spent most of my time in a Ferris Bueller-esque suburb, I did get to spend one wonderful evening in the city, for a dinner at The Italian Village. I don't remember anything of the city of Chicago from this trip, except this magical restaurant.

Fast forward 29 years later, The Italian Village is still a part of Chicago's rich Italian history. It's the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago, and not only was it a favorite of top mobsters (Al Capone), it was a favorite of celebrities as well (like Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand).

I felt like a girl again (this time with cocktails) as I sat at the bar and enjoyed my lunch. The food was delicious, and the charm was as magical as I remember.

{ The Italian Village }

While not a technically perfect image, it captures the magic and wonder I remember from 29 years ago.

My kind of town

"My kind of town. Chicago is." ~Frank Sinatra



New York may currently have my heart, but Chicago is making a play for it. I had an amazing invitation to visit a dear friend and his partner, to hang out and to see Idina Menzel on her 2015 world tour. How could I turn town an opportunity to visit a city I had only visited in my youth and naiveté.

This time around I was older, wiser, and able to drink! Thanks in part to the generosity and hospitality of my friend, I had a spectacular time. Here are some of the highlights.

I'm a sucker for details, and this terra cotta fence did not disappoint.

{ details }

I found Chicago's architecture more compelling and unique than what's in NYC. I may have to go back to both a few times to determine who the winner is.

{ Chicago }

I love water and boats. The Chicago Water Taxi did not disappoint.

{ CIVIC OPERA BVILDING }

This is one of my favorite shots from the city. Even if Trump's name is visible. Maybe I should Photoshop it out…

{ Chicago River at dusk }

While not the best of the concert shots I took Idina's cover of Radiohead's "Creep" was touching, and IMHO, the highlight of the show.

{ Idina Menzel | Creep }

NYC still has some of the best street art in the states, however, you can find some cool art in Chicago if you keep your eyes open.

{ Chicago street art }

I even made it to the beach.

{ fisherman }

{ toes in the water }

To see pics from my entire trip, check out my Flickr album 2015 August Chicago.

NY, NY. Day 1

This was only my second time in New York. But that doesn't matter. New York captured my heart as a young girl. I took some pretty amazing pictures this time around. Every trip makes you better, and I know what I will do differently next time. Because yes, there will be a next time. But until then, here are some of my favorite memories. (This is only day 1)

Waiting to board. A bum knee was NOT going to stop me. (Damn, nice shoes.)

{ impatiently waiting to board }

All man made bridges over large bodies of water are amazing to me. Here's some detail of the Manhattan Bridge.

{ Manhattan Bridge }

I learned quite a bit about the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn. They appear to have also embraced mobile technology.

{ a Brooklyn scene }

When Cory makes a request, how do I say no? I loved meeting his friends, and her crew. Her daughter, while very sweet, is still a diva-in-training.

Untitled

{ diva in training }

(Pay no mind to the crazy blonde in Brooklyn)
150413_P4130169

Amazing street art…no surprise.

{ Brooklyn }

Great first night. And apparently, I'm hilarious.

apparently, I'm hilarious :D

There's more to the story. Check out 2015 April NY for more.

In front of the lens

Self portraits. Ugh.

Getting ready for a training for work, we were tasked with adding our bio and a picture to the class blog. I decided that my old, standard avatar wasn't going to cut it, so I decided put my gear to use. After dusting off my tripod and putting new batteries in my remote shutter, I was ready to take a few 'selfies'. Being totally new to this, and NOT enjoying being in front of the camera, I suppose I got one or two decent shots. Still not as top-notch as I would like, but practice makes perfect, right?

MelissaJohnson

Freedom is not free

WDC-01

I've been really lucky lately, in that I've been traveling to some pretty cool places for work. Recently, I had the chance to visit D.C., a place I'd not been before. I knew that while I was there, I had to see the Lincoln Memorial. That was my goal. So I booked a crazy-early flight, which would allow me a few hours to sight see, and I headed off to see Lincoln.

I wasn't aware that all of the memorials are kept in one amazing place—the National Mall. So I was able to see Lincoln, as well as the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Korean War Veteran's Memorial. They are all magnificent, for different reasons. But the one that touched me the most was the Korean War Veteran's Memorial. I know very little about the Korean War; it's not a war that many people really ever talk about. Maybe that's why the memorial is so powerful.

WDC-03

Walking around it, and hearing from the park ranger about the design, I was really given a sense of how lost, hopeless, and scared those young men felt. I was truly moved by the memorial. In fact, in talking to my sons about it, I mentioned how the memorial made me cry. My youngest was shocked, as he proclaimed, "But mommy, you never cry!"

WDC-02

Sometimes I think we forget that freedom isn't free. This was a moving reminder.

For all of my DC shots: Washington, DC | 2015