Sunday, September 24, 2006

Still Summer in Hamburg

Taken Friday afternoon -- the 22nd of September. (Happy Birthday, Tj.! It was warm and sunny -- like you.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Berlin - East Side Gallery and the Reichstag / Bundestag

I recently took a one-day trip to Berlin. The weather was beautiful -- warm, sunny and very untypical for late September.

Due to the fact that I was showing a visitor around town, I was able to get to some new sights, including the Reichstag building with its glass dome or 'Kuppel' and the East Side Gallery. (Click the post title above to view the pictures.)

Thanks, Rafael, for spending the day racing around Berlin with me and giving me an excuse to see some new things in that exciting city!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye, Marshall Field's

Anyone with any connection to Chicago knows where this clock is and what store it represents. But not for much longer....

I've been away from Chicago for a LONG time. But, in some ways, I'm still connected to that great city. (Heck, even my name is memorialized in that song written by Fred Fisher in 1922 and made famous by Sinatra.)

A trip into the city when I was a kid meant we'd see the lakefront and skyscrapers -- when I was younger it was the Hancock that towered above all others; then, later, the amazing Sears Tower. It was thrilling to me as a kid to know that it was the tallest building in the WORLD!

Later, after returning to the States from my stint in Germany with the Army, I finally had the opportunity to live in the city. I went to school at UIC and lived off Clark on Wrightwood in North Lincoln Park in a 'garden' apartment. Man, did I love that city! I worked at the Midland Hotel on Adams (now the W Chicago City Center) at the front desk, the concierge desk, driving their old London taxi as chauffeur -- basically keeping the place under control from 3 to 11 p.m. If I had some free time before work, I would shop on State Street, which mostly meant stopping in at Marshall Field's.

Yeah, we'd had a branch of Marshall Field's near my childhood home in the 'burbs. It was at one of the few outdoor malls in Chicagoland -- Oakbrook Center. But, for anyone from Chicago, there was always only one REAL Marshall Field's location.

And now -- in the era of buyouts, sellouts, bigger = better -- Marshall Field's is gone. In just a few days, the last of the awnings, signs, shopping bags and name tags will be changed from the dark forest green with white 1940s-looking script to the garish bright-red Macy*s logo.

I know, it seems silly to get sentimental about a store -- especially one in a city I haven't lived in for many years. But, there are some things you think will always be around -- the Sears Tower, the Art Institute, Marshall Field's....

They say they'll still sell Frango Mints -- I'd better get my hands on some quick before those are a thing of the past, too!


The clock image is licensed via the Creative Commons through Wikipedia