Monthly Archives: March 2012

My Elmhurst Neighborhood

Elmhurst Metra station     365.75  (more photos below)

Since I moved to Minneapolis last August, I’d been to Chicago twice last September for Notre Dame football weekends, but this was my first trip back in six months. Let me tell you: It’s weird being a visitor in a city where you once lived. For more than four years, I called Elmhurst, Illinois home. I’d never taken any photos of the neighborhood because there was “always tomorrow,” so I spent my morning here on a photo walk. Elmhurst was close to my old office and while it assuredly was not a popular place to live among single, late twentysomethings, I loved that town:

  • the Jewel grocery store literally next door for last-minute ingredients or a beer & wine run.
  • the Metra train station 4 blocks away which could reliably take me to the city in 30 minutes for weeknight dinners or weekend fun.
  • Fleet Feet specialty running store next door, where I could roll out of bed at 6:45am with plenty of time for a spoonful of Nutella and stretching before 7am Saturday runs.
  • Ace Hardware, my dry cleaner and White Hen Pantry (now 7-Eleven) just outside my back stairwell
  • My doctor’s office across the parking lot, and my optometrist four blocks north.
  • The funky Effigy salon that cut my fancy textured hairdo, which I didn’t understand but was noted by my female friends. The business also included an art gallery, wine bar and ice cream shop. (Where else do you find that?!)
  • The 8-screen York movie theatre, one block away
  • My favorite Chicagoland pizza, Roberto’s (though I do love Giordano’s stuffed pizza)
  • Elmhurst Public Library, ranked among the Top 5 public libraries nationwide in its category. (Nothing says nerd quite like visiting your old suburban library in the first hour after arriving in Chicago, but I digress.)
  • And a diverse mix of 30-40 shops and restaurants in an 6 block radius.
More incredible than the physical neighborhood of Elmhurst is the neighborhood of people I’d surrounded myself with and gotten to know in Chicagoland. After lunch at Ditka’s with close friends and a visit to my former office at McDonald’s HQ and healthclub, I contemplated how many connections and friendships I’d cultivated in Chicago. When I moved there in 2007, I had a dozen or so friends and contacts; since then, my Chicago network has easily grown by 40 times that many. It’s crazy awesome to think how many Chicagoans have enriched my life experiences, my perspectives, my ongoing quest for learning. Futhermore, I’ll always fondly remember the city that offered a sense of small town familiarity: my Elmhurst neighborhood.
NOTE: I’ve been traveling 11 of the past 14 days and have continued taking my photo of the day. I have lots of blog entries to write this weekend and get caught up!
Elmhurst, Illinois Blades of Grass Elmhurst Public Library Elmhurst Place Apartments Elmhurst Place Apartments
March 30th, 2012|Travel|3 Comments


Exit sign

To be most exitoso (successful) in your work, I believe one needs to periodically step away from it, to refresh and recharge the neurons. My vacation feels perfectly timed in the middle of the paid holiday drought, those many calendar days between New Year’s and Memorial Day. It’s been six months since my last visit to Chicago, and I’ve made it through my “freshman semester” in Minneapolis, reestablishing myself in a city I know quite well. (Incidentally, I may have also nearly gained a “freshman 15” in the process, but progress is being made on that!)

Now it’s time for “spring break,” and I can’t wait to reconnect with close Chicago friends and colleagues, as well as the charms and mild annoyances of a city that for 4+ years, I called home.



March 15th, 2012|General|Comments Off on Exit(oso)

Peavey Plaza

Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis

Soon, the bronze-colored pipes and fountains of Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis will disappear as spring construction begins on a new vision of Peavey Plaza on Nicollet Avenue. It will then reopen in summer 2013.

Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis

Peavey Plaza

March 13th, 2012|Minneapolis|Comments Off on Peavey Plaza


King of Hearts

The King of Hearts is the only king among his Bicycle brethren that has no mustache. He also appears to be stabbing himself in the head. Maybe he didn’t play his cards right and couldn’t get Jenny’s number?

March 12th, 2012|General|Comments Off on Jenny

Book Shelf


My current reading list:  learn how to snap & polish better photos, learn new web development software to overhaul my website (which had its last facelift in 2003–zikes!), study how to be a witty writer, and takes notes for a potential 2013 vacation.

March 12th, 2012|General|Comments Off on Book Shelf

Five Square


Sometimes reaching the goal is more important than the time it takes to get there. I ran to Lake of the Isles, lapped around the lake (dodging baby carriages and dog walkers) and headed back downtown. I didn’t post a great running time, but I got in 7 miles!

P.S. Did your eye find the fifth square in the photo?

March 10th, 2012|Minneapolis|Comments Off on Five Square

Down in Birdland

Dakota Jazz

I love jazz. Some of my favorite musicians comprise The Manhattan Transfer, a group celebrating its 39th year together. The aural complexity of their vocalese is both pleasing and perplexing in its precision and perfect pitch. I’ve been a fan club member since 1999, following not only singers Tim, Janis, Cheryl and Alan, but also their pianist Yaron and drummer Steve. I own 21 of their albums and multiple solo albums. Yet this was only my third concert, following performances in 2000 and 2004. Tonight, they performed at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. (Margaret Dorn filled in for Cheryl Bentyne who is recovering from a health issue.) And they were awesome.

Manhattan Transfer

Down them stairs, lose them cares – yeah
Down in Birdland
Total swing! bop was king – yeah
Down in Birdland

March 9th, 2012|Music|Comments Off on Down in Birdland


Tiffany stained glass - Marshall Fields, Chicago

Tiffany Globe, designed and assembled by Tiffany Studios New York, 1907

Each globe contains 487 milky yellow opalescent glass pieces configured in a style Louis Comfort Tiffany called “iridescent luster.” Once part of a grand Tiffany ceiling at Marshall Field’s State Street Chicago store. My Grandma Curry once worked in that Chicago store selling swimsuits. In the summer of 2006, I lived on State Street in Chicago, half a block from that store. I then lived in Chicago (suburbs) for four years. Today, I work for the company that, for a time, owned Marshall Field’s. Full circle.

March 8th, 2012|Minneapolis, Photography|Comments Off on Tiffany



Barrio Tequila Bar

Wednesday night social with colleagues.

March 7th, 2012|Food & Drink|Comments Off on Margarita


LaSalle Plaza, Minneapolis

I was so elated to see 60 degrees today (in March!) that I almost did the Balki Bartokomous Dance of Joy (see below). This afternoon, I walked a couple blocks to LaSalle Plaza. I enjoy studying my photography subjects to look for interesting angles or lines, and not just taking the obvious photo on the first approach. Many times, I end up with an unexpected and cool photo. And instead of doing the Dance of Joy tonight, I ran 3 miles outside…in shorts. Huzzah!

300 more photos to go! If you’re questioning my math, it’s a leap year after all.

LaSalle Plaza, Minneapolis (2)

The Dance of Joy

March 6th, 2012|Minneapolis|2 Comments