Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and Father's Day

Andrew and I saw Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson outdoors at the Soaring Eagle Saturday night. It was everything you'd expect from from that kind of a show - extreme volume rock and roll, pyrotechnics, and even though Alice Cooper is on Medicare these days (really!), he still performed with the snake, the straightjacket and the guillotine.

 It was Andrew's present to me for Father's Day. He said it made him feel good to be able to get me something he knew I'd really like.

The Soaring Eagle attracted a really good-size crowd for the show.

Both these performers have been playing since before some of their fans were born. 

And some of their fans seem to be have been listening for as long as Alice Cooper has been performing.


Jagger and Richards said it best nearly 40 years ago: It's only rock and roll, but I like it!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Still more postcards from Chicago

Three teenagers wait for an Orange Line train at Roosevelt Station high above Roosevelt Road between State Street and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop at dusk. 

Chicago's Calder is called "Flamingo," and it's in front of the federal building.

A street musician jams after dark on Michigan Avenue at Congress Parkway.


Nobody rides trains anymore, right? The concourse at midday at Chicago's Union Station.

The Great Hall of the old station remains as beautiful as it ever was.

The passageway to the trains deep beneath the city's streets.

No set of postcards would be complete without a shot of Chicago's Water Tower.


Or the Tribune Tower, a remnant of the days when monopolies controlled the media and raked in enough cash to build giant edifices to their own power. 

Nick, a student at Illinois Institute of Technology, gave us a pedicab tour from the Loop to Streeterville. We tipped him well.

Chicago's extreme gas prices

The price of a gallon of gasoline in Chicago is enough to make you cry, but there are good reasons for it.
Chicago always has the highest gas prices in the Midwest. A variety of factors cause this:
• High taxes
• High overhead for retailers; city locations are expensive
• The requirement for an expensive-to-produce reformulated gasoline
These prices were at the tail end of a refinery shutdown scare, and the supply of that reformulated gasoline was still not where it should have been. Blame it on Adam Smith's invisible hand.
Who benefits from the less-dirty air? Certainly Chicagoans do, but perhaps more importantly, people who live downwind from Chicago do.
In other words, us.
This was brought home to me a number of years ago when I edited the Huron Daily Tribune in Michigan's Thumb. We did a happy-happy story about a toy helium balloon that was launched from a Chicago suburb and landed in Huron County.
How did it get there? It got carried on the very same air that had been in Chicago a few days before now was over the rural farm fields of Michigan's Thumb.
Who pays to keep the good Republican farmers of the Thumb from choking on dirty city air? The answer is right there on the BP station sign at 31st and Halsted.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More postcards from Chicago

The full moon shines over the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.
The fountain has been putting on amazing displays since 1927.

Two young lovers embrace by moonlight and the light of the fountain. 

Kissy Missy found the perfect bloody Mary at a sidewalk cafe on Michigan Avenue nearby.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Postcard from Chicago

Sometimes, a postcard just leaps out at you. Kissy Missy and I stepped off the train and went outside Chicago's Union Station. The scene just begged for a shot. The Chicago Sun-Times building is in the background. Please note, although I was carrying an iPhone, that was not the camera I used for this shot.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Le Tour de Mont Pleasant

Another edition of Le Tour de Mont Pleasant is in the books - and it's so much fun to shoot.


The racers are just incredible athletes, and they do it for the sheer joy of it.

This year, I concentrated on the downtown criterium races - closed course races that test athletes' endurance.

The course was changed slightly to add the roundabout at Main and Mosher, and to bring riders up the Pine Street Hill.

Temperatures were in the low 70s, winds a little bumpy and it was somewhat humid - but overall, it was perfect for a bike race!

The final of the Category 1 men's race - 75 minutes plus three laps - came down to a sprint to the finish. Incredibly, the same rider who won the 107-mile road race through Isabella County Saturday sprinted to the top spot.

After the event, Katherine talked to 44-year-old Kirk Albers from Upper Arlington, Ohio, who won both big races. She covered the event for the Morning Sun. Some folks get football games. She gets the bicycle races.