The Magnificent Mile of Chicago!
I just joined a great group of photographers from the Chicago area – the Google+ Chicago Photo group. Last week was the worldwide 1st anniversary photo walk for Google+. For some reason, google+ has become more and more of a hangout for photographer. I am not sure why but a lot of them are here. In the three weeks that I involved myself with the mechanics of google+ themes, I have had close to 900 in my circles and every hour of the day, someone, somewhere adds me in their circles.
About two weeks ago, I saw some google+ photographers who identify themselves as from the Chicago area … and later found out that there was a loose group of people who meet once in awhile, and definitely planned to meet for the anniversary walk. They did, but several of us newbies, got lost because of some conflicts. So they repeated the walk again last night … and this time, it became a nocturnal walk – from 10 PM to 2 AM and I finally was able to catch up with them …
Unfortunately, by 12 am, I had to cut short my walk because I had to be in class at 9:00 in the morning. But at least I finally connected with them …
Yesterday and today, the wind was very gusty and incessant, forming spectacular waves particularly when the waves crash on the shore. I went out to photograph the waves from Montrose Harbor area to Foster Ave. It was brutal and cold out there, but I wasn’t the only one who came out – photographers, fishermen and kite flyers beside the usual runners and cyclists were out there too.
After shooting at the Bean, I went to the Loop to take pot shots of people in the streets. Unlike last year, I only took a short walk in the adjacent streets. From Millennium Park, I crossed Michigan Ave., then headed west on Washington, North on State, East on Randolph, South on Wabash and then west on Madison to catch my bus on State and Madison going north.
From the bus, I took more pictures of people on the streets.
From the river, we then walked toward the parade in Grant Park. We thought that we would shoot just a few frames and then go around the loop. But, even before reaching Randolph, we saw a mass of people stuck on lower Columbus Drive. We decided to just bail out.
Since I had to go to the Chicago Photography Collective Gallery in the loop, I proceeded to and continue with the original plan. But … when I reached Monroe St., there was no way for me to find a good place to take photos … so I also bailed out and proceeded to to to the Bean instead.
I knew that there would be a lot of people there but I didn’t realize how bad it was. Last year, it was utter chaos because the South Side Parade was canceled – so the South Side parade attendees came to downtown to party. This year, the South Side Parade was revived, so I thought the South Side parade attendees would no longer come to the downtown celebrations.
I was wrong. The Bean was teeming with people. It was like a rave in there. The park even instituted some kind of regulation – they inspected bags and confiscated bottles with liquids in them. But kids have their own devices .
I had fun shooting though. The crowd under the bean made a very surreal reflection. The crowd inside were screaming and chanting, USA, USA, USA … you can hear them outside, but under the Bean, it was like an echo chamber under there.
Have a look!
Every year since the 1960′s, the Plumbers Union dyes the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I have photographed this site since 2005 and since 2006, have organized a photo meet up for the event. This morning, the greening of the river was held again and, as usual, I organized a meet up. Thousands (some said 35,000) came to witness the events – consequently, I wasn’t able to find my contacts. The designated area where I usually meet with people was staked out by others by the time I got there. Only after the coloring of the river that I was able to find them. At least I did.
We walked around the river, took more pictures, then headed to the parade.
Here are some photos I took at the river: