Urban Nymph Photo

Digital heart, analog soul

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.


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.


{ diva in training }

(Pay no mind to the crazy blonde in Brooklyn)

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.

Freedom is not free


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.


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!"


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

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