Urban Nymph Photo

Digital heart, analog soul

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

Hot fun in the summertime

There's something magical about kids having water fun in the hot summer sun. Chi-town, and the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, take this to a whole new level. This is one of my favorite shots from my trip. It looked good in color, but there was just something timeless about the black and white conversion—this picture could have been taken during any decade—children playing in the water, in the summer, resonates across time, race, and culture.

{ hot fun in the summertime }

Oly E-M5 | Oly M.12-40mm f2.8 | f2.8 | 1/640 | ISO200 | LR CC2015 PP VSCO film: Fuji Neopan 1600

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.