If you have ever believed that summer in Chicago is better than anycity in the USA, U-S-A, I would agree. here are two divergent but memorable things I did this weekend to amuse myself.
Tonight I basked in the sunset under the Frank Gehry at Millennium Park and saw the phenomenal Flamenco guitar virtuoso, Gerardo Nunez play with sitar, bass, piano and hot, hot Flamenco dancers in a comfortably packed Pritzker Pavillion.Yesterday was a dirtier day. I took a 20 mile bike ride to Evanston and back again. I then drank with some amigos 'til damn near dawn. But before I got riding, I made sure to check in with some dirty friends, Mud Queens of Chicago . They threw down on the hard street of the Palmer St Block Party.Accompanied by the punk band, Power Junkie they took on each other and frequently took off each others tops (and bottoms) until a winner emerged.
I got lucky to not have gotten my new little camera muddy... until the end, when all the girls rushed the crowd flinging mud, pressing their bodies all over anyone stupid enough not to flee. When the screaming stopped, I pulled my camera out from under the protection of my armpit and regretted to find my muddy finger pressed against the lens.
Soaking in a symbolic Lake Michigan in Millennium Park
It's been since summer 2001 that my mom, Ann has made the journey to Chicago now on the occasion that I have a new house and room to put her. My mother is a registered nurse who owns 20 show horses in Ocala, FL and one of the busiest people I know. It was so nice to see her just sit down.
PritzkerPavillion, Millennium Park
We took an architectural boat tour, ate pizza, shopped at Home Depot for my place (she can't stay away), walked around Pilsen, Wicker Park, downtown and ate Mexican and Pizza at Piece and oggled at the variety Chicago has to offer.
The "East Room"
Against her will and inclination to not "be a bother", she slept in the new bed I bought for her
visit. She went further and completed it from Target with a matching comforter, towel basket with tiny toiletries, which she refused to use. It's called generosity I guess.
Last week I was asked to make a portrait of one of the most well known and respected portrait photographer in Chicago. I've known Sandro Miller casually for a few years and knew he'd be gracious and cool, but I still had that master, apprentice self consciousness going into it. So glad I did it though. It taught me a lot about myself as a photographer. The image reflected in his glasses is a portrait of his mother before she passed in a fight against cancer. Read the story in the Chicago Reader Sandro's web site
After growing her hair, non stop for seven years, my studio manager Lindsey Hedge is about to cut off her 3 1/2 foot dread locks tomorrow. She reports to sources that she's looking forward to the change in equal parts to her anxiety about it. Check in for the "after" photo.
The fish in this picture is dead. Skipper was purchased at PetSmart for $6.27 including tax in July 2005 to be used in this photo shoot.
My intention was to return him to the store when I was done as I had no intention of housing the one animal I love to eat, but the photo turned out well and I decided to adopt him.
After 2 years, and three tanks, Skipper got big, then fat, and later began swimming upside down on a regular basis. I resorted to the internet to remedy his suspected swim bladder infection and began to feed him thawed, frozen peas which he ate with particular zeal. After returning from a trip, I noticed he was gasping in the corner of his tank, upsidedown. Not dead yet, I offered him more peas. He was not in the mood. I waited a few days to see if he might right himself. It did not happen. Again I referenced the interenet now searching, "fish euthanasia" and found that I had the ingredients in my kitchen to put him to sleep in a gentile way. I used 1/4 cup baking soda in 1/2 gallon of his own water. Add one sick fish and Skipper slipped away in a carbon dioxide slumber. The last step was to freeze the fish in a ziplock bag to make sure the deed was done. He now rests between the dill and oregano in my garden. Exactly where he'd want to be.