Argyle St. Lunar New Year’s Celebrations Part I – Pre Parade

The Lunar New Year Parade on Argyle St. was scheduled at 1 pm on February 9, 2019 but the festivities started early in the morning.



Two lions went door-to-door, business-to-business, to ask for food and money, I guess in exchange to drive the evil spirits away (the firecrackers). One establishment had a really long chain of firecrackers that lasted more than 15 minutes.

After the lions and their entourage of handlers and drummers have gone around the street and worked on the businesses that participated in the ceremonies, they took a pause and got ready for the parade that was going to start at 1 pm.

Chinatown – February 3, 2019

Just a short walk from the train to Chinatown Square and back. An old, I mean, long-time friend was having her birthday lunch celebration at a restaurant in Chinatown, as her tradition for many years now.

There were many people up and about, many of them toting their DSlRs, for a Sunday afternoon, I think that’s quite unusual. But who wouldn’t be out after the deep freeze? It was in the 40s today! Also, Chinatown is so festive as it is being readied for the Lunar New Year’s Day parade that will happen next week!

Sadly, I won’t be around. I rather celebrate the Year of the Pig on Argyle St. where it is less crowded.

Photographing Chicago’s Polar Vortex Without Stepping Out of My Door

Cauldron

Truly.

I photographed the three days of the Polar Vortex, Tuesday evening (Jan 29), Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, January 31 without going out in the minus whatever air temperature there was on those days (that went down to – 50 degrees F with the windchill on Wednesday).

Here’s a youtube video I made of the lake on Jan 30:

And my tweet on twitter on Jan 31:

Lake Michigan looked like it was boiling – the cold air fighting with the warm water resulted in spectacular mist formations.

How Lake Michigan Looked on Wednesday

I stayed at home for three days photographing the conditions outside through my slightly ajar balcony door.



It helped that I live right on Lake Michigan. Granted I didn’t have the picture of the skyline with the lake mist arising in front of it nor the beautiful lake line with boulders of ice but I didn’t have the frostbite and numbing pain and running from the extreme cold to the car for temporary warmth and then back to photograph and didn’t have to have my gear subjected to extreme conditions either.

How Lake Michigan looked on Wednesday, the coldest day at -18 degrees F

And I think I did pretty well.

Unplanned Four Mile Walk – January 20, 2019

I had to meet up with my niece, Joy and her brood (who blitzed Chicago from Canada) at Seafood City on Elston in the far northwestside of Chicago last Sunday. I Ubered going there from my place in Edgewater on the northside of Chicago, which turned out to be expensive because Sunday morning was considered a busy period time for the ride sharing service. Not wanting to be stiffed by Uber again, going back home, I asked Jena, another cousin who also met up with our niece, to drop me off the Blue Line station near their home and that necessitated me to go through downtown to catch either the Red Line or the 147 Bus back to Edgewater.



The Yerro Cousins of Chicago and Toronto meeting up in Seafood City!

And so, instead of going directly home, I dilly dallied around downtown ending up having an impromptu 4-mile walk. Which was fine because I haven’t been keeping up with my 14-mile walk a week for a few weeks now.

So from Washington and State, I went to Millennium Park, went around there, then to Lakeshore Drive and Monroe, then walked along the lakeshore to the Shedd Aquarium and then to Adler Planetarium. It’s my usual route but this time, it was a little bit harder of a walk because of the cold and occasional snow and the part where the lakeshore curved along the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium was not passable. That part was iced out and beautiful. So I stayed there for a little while, taking photos of the ice-covered vegetation.



By the time I reached Adler, my fingers were numb, so I went home, taking the 146 bus which stopped right there at the Adler.

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Not quite the Riverwalk Walk – January 12, 2019

Dr. Cliff Les, a buddy from grad school blitzed by Chicago from the Detroit area for the weekend – met him and his wife Kathy at Lou Manati’s in River North. Cliff and I were in Veterinary Biosciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1986 to about 1988 or so – he was in biomechanics while I was working in reproductive biology.



He was in research for awhile, then private practice and academia and back to private practice and he was here in Chicago to visit a former student of his from Michigan State rotating at Brookfield Zoo. It was quite a short visit, but we had fun reminiscing the gold old days (oops typo but I will leave it there).

Going home, I walked along the Riverwalk, not quite on the riverwalk but on Wacker Drive. Since this weekend is freezing I decided not to do the usual 7 mile walk so this 1.5 mile stretch from North Wells to N. Michigan where my bus stop is would suffice. And of course I took pictures along the way, even though just from my iPhone.



No Money Shot Walk – January 4, 2019

I call this walk a no money shot walk because I just didn’t get shots that I would have submitted to Getty Images. It was just a blah walk, going to the same places that I usually go to. I thought I would do an epic walk before I go back to work on Monday, but … nada. I was so uninspired within that my work was just bleah.



On top of that, my computers and wi-fi were acting up. They both kept on dropping me.

As for the walk itself, I just went around Millennium Park after my hair cut. Well at least, the hair cut was done.




Annual New Year’s Day Walk 2019 Edition – Back in Chicago



For over ten years now, I have been conducting New Year’s Day walks, wherever I am during that day. The last two years, I was in California, so did the walk in San Francisco in 2017 and 2018. This year, I am back in Chicago and as usual, I did the walk along the lakefront, starting from the Polar Bear Plunge at North Avenue at noon ending up in Navy Pier. It wasn’t that epic as compared to some years, but, I logged in over 10 miles of walking and photographing, really good for my joints.



Nothing to do with Rizal Day Walk – December 30, 2018



It might be Rizal Day in the Philippines on December 30 (Dr. Jose Rizal is our national hero) but this walk was not undertaken to commemorate his execution. He was executed on December 30, 1896 by the Spanish for his subversive ideas; the execution was one of the sparks for the country’s revolution against Spain. In fact, this walk wasn’t planned at all.

December 29 was the birthday celebration of my high school classmate, now a neurologist based in DuPage County, Dr. Henry Echiverri, at their home in the West burbs. It was a huge affair and one not to be missed … but I missed the train going there, so … Henry sent an Uber to my home in the city to bring me to the celebration (I can’t drive at night due to … I am blind in my right eye!).


The birthday boy carving an Iberian ham

What a guy, this Doctor E is. Just goes to show that high school friendships lasts. I have known Henry since 1969!


Dr. Henry E. with some of his guests (me, Jun and Mariel Marte and Dr. Dennis Asencio) and Dr. Susan E. (extreme right)

Stayed over at the Echiverris for the night. Susan, Henry’s wife is also a physician, she was the chief pediatric geneticist, since retired, at Stroger Hospital when I worked there in Urology in the mid 2000s. She is doing consultant work and paying more attention to antiques rather than young children. Since Ubering back to Chicago was too much for me, I decided to take the early train back to Chicago. Henry drove me to the station in one of his Italian-made cars, in style. It was like Ubering on a Tesla (yup, that’s available, apparently), only even more luxurious. (By the way, before going to Henry and Susan’s, I was watching a Turkish TV drama, called Intersection, which was addicting through to its first two seasons, but the last season was a dud. At any rate, one of the characters was named Aysen … which was also the name of the Uber driver, who is Kurdish and lived in Turkey. Go figure.)

Caught the Metra to Chicago from Winfield, IL station to Ogilvie Transportation Center on Madison.

And that’s why this walk – I just walked east on Madison and took pictures on the way until I reached Millennium Park. Then took the bus home. It was an easy 2.2 miles walk, good for my heart, I guess.



Christmas Evening Walk – December 25, 2018



After Christmas lunch at my apartment with college friend, Pons and his son Maki, both of whom recently arrived from the Philippines, I invited them to my tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. Instead of going to Evanston, IL, where I usually see a show, we went to downtown Chicago to watch Aquaman. We had about an hour to kill before the show, so we went around the Riverwalk to see the sights.

I was surprised that there were many people on the walk as well as around the Mag Mile. On Christmas evening. I guess there are people who don’t celebrate Christmas in a traditional sense.

Just like me.



Skyline Walk – December 8, 2018



Shooting the Chicago skyline at dusk always clears cobwebs in my mind.

I just can’t get enough of this.