Chicago Pride Parade 2018

I didn’t see much of the parade because, as usual, I was on the float for Chicago’s Bible Bingo from NunsforFun Entertainment. Bible Bingo is another wacky interactive comedy penned by my friend, Vicki Quade, the creator of the popular Late Night Cathechism. The premise of this comedy:

“The parish needs money and the Archdiocese has a new bingo department.
Bring the two together and you have a night of bible trivia, audience interaction,
and the funniest quiz about the Holy Family you’ve ever seen.

Add to that a box of wacky prizes, fun bingo cards, and a lot of Catholic humor. In this interactive bingo show, we actually play bingo! And get the audience talking about everything from Adam & Eve to modern sins.”

It plays at the Royal George Theater 8 pm Fridays and 8 pm Saturdays.
Late Night Catechism plays at the same theater 5 pm Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays.

See the reviews at Trip Advisor here.

Vicki Quade and son Michael

The float with the requisite group picture.

Vicki in action at the parade

While I don’t have any pictures of the parade, I have lots of spectators pictures taken from the float. Here is a bunch of them. Enjoy!

Best. Day. Ever. No. 2 Part 1

The Image of Nuesta Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, an image that is repeated all over Mexico (as well as Chicago)

My second full day in Mexico City was also spent walking, again with Urban Adventures‘ House of God: Shrine of Guadalupe and the Pyramids of Mexico City. I was incredibly fortunate to schedule this tour on this particular Saturday: I was the only one in the tour, it was practically a personal private tour of two of the holiest sites in Mexico.

With Alfonso

My guide was Alfonso Gomez, another incredibly passionate and knowledgeable individual that Urban Adventure is known for so far as guides are concerned. We bonded right away because of our similar ages. As soon as he saw me in the lobby of my hotel, he said, you’re 61? I’m 63! As it turns out, he is a retired engineer enjoying his retirement as a freelance tour guide with Urban Adventures. He was very organized (he’s an engineer!) carrying with him some visuals, basically a book that he organized himself, and sometimes offered an alternative history (basically a native’s point of view) of the places we visited.

Our itinerary went this way: from the hotel, we walked to the subway to catch the train to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe (Basilica Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe) and national shrine in the northern part of Mexico City. The shrine is a complex of several churches and chapels and other buildings and is basically considered a holy site in Mexico because this is where, it is said, that the Virgin Mary appeared several times to a native peasant named Diego.

Then, we took another subway to a bus station to take a bus to a town called San Juan Teotihuacan about 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Mexico City. The municipality is where the ancient Mesoamerican pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan, famous for some of the colossal pyramids pre-Hispanic Mexico is known for. This is another philosophy of Urban Adventures that I like: tours embrace the philosophy of “do what locals do,” so, as much as possible, their tours include riding public transportation, to experience part of locals’ everyday lives. After a short lunch (tamales) in the bus station and a pleasant 1 – 1 1/2 hour ride through the suburbs of Mexico City and the country-side, I experienced the most anticipated highlight of the trip: the breath-taking ancient ruins of one of the glorious civilizations of the Americas – the ruins of ancient Teotihuacan, the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas and the 6th largest city in the world during its period. The civilization existed from about 250 BC and may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, pre dating the Aztecs (of Templo Mayor visited in day 1 of my trip). The site covers a total surface area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi) and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

From ruins, we then walked to the town to drop by a private residence that had a small obsidian carving business. There I was treated to three different alcoholic drinks – pulque, mezcal and tequila. Arriba, abajo, adentro! After here, we then took a local taxi service to another private residence to finish off the day – a humble family style dinner of chicken cooked traditionally – wrapped in foil together with cactus and maguey.

Altogether, I walked about 6.1 miles, 16,956 steps and climbed 32 floors on this walk.

Here are pictures of part 1 of the trip: The Basilica of Guadalupe and national shrine.

The Garden of the Phoenix, Chicago, June 11, 2018

The Garden of the Phoenix is a new garden at Chicago’s Jackson Park in the southside of the city. It is located just behind the Museum of Science and Industry. The Japanese Garden is just a small part of it.

The Garden of the Phoenix is supposed to symbolize Japan and the USA’s 160-year story of friendship, turmoil and prosperity, according to its website. This garden is home to Yoko Ono’s Skylanding, a public space composed of a revitalized landscape and pavilion.

I joined three other photowalkers (Mark Marshall, Nenad Spasojevic and Lucy HS) for a sunset shoot at the Japanese Garden. However, the sun was nowhere to be found. Just as well because we were able to get beautiful photos (no one was there!) and resolved to come back either during sunrise or another sunset later.

31st St. Beach Sunrise Shoot – June 6, 2018

The harbor here is the newest harbor in the Chicago harbor system. The beach itself is not that wide or big compared to other beaches but the view of the skyline is incomparable. This is the first time we shot here and probably would not be the last.

Bike the Drive – May 27, 2018

Bike the Drive is when Chicago closes practically the whole length of Lake Shore Drive to motor traffic, and open it up to bicycles. It’s quite a spectacle … and a nice Sunday bike ride for participants.

It also is a good practice for me to work on panning. Not as successful as I want to be this time around but … I like the abstract feel of the results. I did have some focused panning but I kind of like these ones. Have a look:


Did about a 5-mile walk from Lincoln Park’s North Pond, through to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Nature Boardwalk, then crossed over Lake Shore Drive to the beaches – Fullerton Beach and North Ave. Beach, then along the breakwater to the Near Northside at Chestnut. Lots of birds about including several green herons in the North Pond as well as in the Nature Boardwalk.

The skyline was not visible though because of the fog … which made photography of people on the breakwater very interesting.

Sun Worshippers, May 8, 2018

I was off on Tuesday, May 8 because of the primary elections that went on in Indiana. Because I am used to getting up early on week days, I was able to go out to Thorndale Beach to watch the sun rise.

There were already people there doing the same thing.

I can’t get enough of sunrise shots.

A Short Walk on Argyle St., April 29, 2018

Argyle St. is known as Chicago’s New Chinatown located in Uptown in the city’s far northside. It is the home of, not only of Chinese businesses but also Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian and Thai shops. I planned to have just an iPhone walk, taking pictures of the murals on the side streets but I ended up eating at the new Hon Kee restaurant and shopping at Viet Hoa for my Filipino groceries and then having dessert at La Patisserie.

Blah Weekend

It was just a so-so weekend, really a time to just rest and laze around the house. I looked out the window on Saturday, saw that it was sunny but cold, so I went back to bed.

On Sunday, I had an errand to do in downtown, so while I was there, I checked out my usual photographic defaults – The Bean and Lurie Garden, nothing much was happening there. I am sure there was something going on somewhere downtown, but I just wasn’t up to doing anything.

I went grocery shopping instead.

Via Crucis 2018

Way of the Cross Reenactment on Good Friday along W. 18th St. in the Pilsen Community, in the southwest side of Chicago.

It’s a modern interpretation of the Way of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in such a way that present problems of the predominantly Latino community of Pilsen are interwoven in the Stations of the Cross story. The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers.