Category Archives: Chicago

A little low tech touch


Apparently Metra was having trouble with one of the electronic signs at Ogilvie Transportation Center tonight so they resorted to a tried-and-true method of posting the departure time and stops. It works.

Spring Break in Chicago

Spring breaks in ChicagoMy son Robert is home from Ohio University this week, enjoying his so-called “Spring Break” in Chicago. The official temperature in Chicago is predicted to rise above freezing tomorrow (March 7) for the first time in two weeks. As you can see from the photo above, the Chicago River is already enjoying its Spring Break.

A still from a six-minute time lapse of Chicago at night from Wheaton photographer Max Wilson. © Max Wilson

Chicago like you’ve never seen it: Windy City Nights

I’ve lived in Chicago for more than 35 years and I’ve spent many, many evenings enjoying downtown Chicago at night. Seeing the Museum Campus and Grant Park after a night game at Soldier Field, strolling down Michigan Avenue after a concert at Symphony Hall, looking down on the lights of the city from the Signature Room at the 95th, boat rides at night on the Lake Michigan or the Chicago River or just watching the city from my office windows on those late nights working. I thought I knew downtown Chicago at night.

Well, Max Wilson has opened my eyes to a new view of Chicago. His six minute time lapse video of Chicago at night. “Windy City Nights” is an amazing piece of art for anyone but it is particularly moving for those of us who call Chicago home. Over a two year period, Wilson shot over 200,000 exposures which occupied more than 8 Terabytes of data storage. He wheedled building managements to give him access to rooftops and other vantage points that bring a new perspective while also taking fantastic shots from places where thousands of Chicagoans and visitors stand day after day. He has put in all into a six minute video that shows what a beautiful and amazing city Chicago is.

For more information about Max Wilson and to learn how to license his work, visit his website:

Image: A still from “Windy City Nights” by photographer Max Wilson. © Max Wilson

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Food Should Taste Good vie for my love

2013-09-17-brooklyn-nine-nine-food-truck-625x322As I was nearing downtown Chicago on the Metra train this morning, my wife called me.  Although I was on one of the “quiet cars” and couldn’t talk, I figured it was important so I answered the phone.  I was right! She told me that someone was giving out free chips just outside the train station and someone else was giving out free coffee and donuts at Madison and Wacker.  A daily double!

2013-09-17-blue-corn-tortilla-chips-173x220The company with the free chips is called Food Should Taste Good.  They have handed out free samples of their chips at the train station several times this summer.  Today it was their blue corn tortilla chips, which I think are very good.  A couple of other times they gave away their sweet potato tortilla chips which were very tasty.

A block away, Fox TV‘s new comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring Andy Samberg, had a food truck giving away coffee, donut holes and bagels, as well as free pens and sunglasses promoting the show.  The show premieres tonight on Fox.  The shows web page describes the show as follows:2013-09-17-brooklyn-nine-nine-freebies-220x165

From Emmy Award-winning writer/producers Dan Goor and Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation”), and starring Emmy Award winners Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live”) and Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age,” “Homicide: Life on the Street”), BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is a new single-camera ensemble comedy about what happens when a talented, but carefree, detective and his diverse group of colleagues get a new captain with a lot to prove.

Detective JAKE PERALTA (Samberg) is gifted enough that he’s never had to work too hard or follow the rules too closely. Perhaps because he has the best arrest record among his colleagues, he’s been enabled – if not indulged – throughout his entire career. That is, until the precinct gets a new commanding officer, Captain RAY HOLT (Braugher).

Captain Holt believes in rules and regulations, two concepts that have long been overlooked by the detectives in the 99th precinct. Jake’s colleagues are a brilliant and capable bunch, but lack a certain level of discipline and leadership. They compete with each other, annoy each other, gossip and flirt, but at the end of the day, they have each other’s backs.

As the precinct’s honorary straight arrow, Detective AMY SANTIAGO (Melissa Fumero, “One Life to Live,” “Gossip Girl”) is thrilled with the leadership change. Having grown up with seven brothers, Amy is extremely competitive…about everything. She is hell-bent on collaring more criminals than Jake, and she’s keenly aware of how many arrests she needs to close the gap. Holt’s next-in-command is Sergeant TERRY JEFFORDS (Terry Crews, “Bridesmaids,” “Everybody Hates Chris”), a linebacker of a man who’s lost his nerve after his wife had twin baby girls – Cagney and Lacey – and he lives in fear of not seeing them grow up.

Also working cases in Brooklyn’s 99th is Detective CHARLES BOYLE (Joe Lo Truglio, “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Superbad”), who idolizes Jake and is the precinct’s workhorse; he’s not brilliant, he’s not physically gifted, but he tries harder than anyone else. Charles pines for the vocally opinionated Detective ROSA DIAZ (Stephanie Beatriz, “Modern Family,” “The Closer”), with whom he stands no chance at all. Rosa is simultaneously tough, sexy and scary as hell. Meddling in everyone’s affairs is GINA LINETTI (Chelsea Peretti, “Parks and Recreation,” “Kroll Show”), the eccentric and self-absorbed civilian office manager.

Together, they interrogate suspects, arrest perps and solve murders. But, ultimately, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is a workplace comedy that’s not really about the job. It’s about the men and women behind the badge – singing karaoke, grabbing a beer, and dabbling in each other’s personal lives– all while protecting the fine people of Brooklyn.

All in all, a pretty good start to the day.

Lunch at the Signature Room

Today, Mary Therese and I joined Colleen Howard and Di Murphy, and 8 of their other friends and family to celebrate their 9th anniversary at the Signature Room on the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Building.

Although the temperature in Chicago reportedly hit 100 degrees in some places, the views from the top of the city looking down were cool.

The heat index — how it really feels — is supposed to be above 105 degrees. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

A view of the Chicago loop, looking south from the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. July 18, 2013 © David K Staub

A view of the Chicago loop, looking south from the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. July 18, 2013 © David K Staub

Lake Michigan and Navy Pier

A view of the Lake Michigan and Chicago’s Navy Pier, looking east from the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. July 18, 2013 © David K Staub