A Pedestrian "Problem" at the Modern Wing

by crandell | 06/16/2009

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Blair Kamin has given some much needed attention in the Tribune to the street design issues outside the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute: Art Institute's Modern Wing: Getting there can be risky. He points out the increase in jaywalking on Monroe as visitors from Millennium Park try to find the shortest route to the Modern Wing, and he suggests a mid-block crosswalk to remedy the problem. What's troubling is the City's response:

"Perhaps, as Steele says, the city can treat the problem crossing as effectively as it handled the successful, but sometimes troublesome, 2004 opening of Millennium Park.

Lake Katherine

by Thomas Garman | 06/16/2009

On June 6th I tried to walk from Harlem and 111th street (near the Worth Metra station) to the Little Red School House in the Palos Hills Forest Preserve by way of Lake Katherine. My plan was to walk in a U-shape from the Worth Metra to the Willow Springs Metra. The walk was not successful. As it turns out, there is no route accross the Cal-Sag channel from the Lake Katherine side to the Northern part of the Forest Preserve where the Little Red School House is located. The google map is not very informative in this case because it does not give internal information about the Forest Preserve trails or the Lake Katherine trails, so one is left to speculate about whether a passage is possible. There is no walking route.

As I was taking this walk I realized that sometimes the passage one seeks cannot be found and Nature can be elusive. Here are some photos from my walk:

http://picasaweb.google.com/thomas.garman/LakeKatherine?feat=directlink

Morton Arboretum

by Thomas Garman | 06/15/2009

On May 23rd I took the Metra to Lisle and walked from the train station to the Morton Arboretum. The google maps walking directions are accurate. I was not able to find any way of getting the arboretum on foot that did not require walking along side the highway, which is fine if you are an adventuresome sort or person. There is nothing of interest in the walk to the arboretum from the train station.

I orginally went out to the Arboretum because I wanted to explore the idea of an intentionally constructed landscape. The arboretum is a kind of botanical museum. Here are some photos I took during the trek:

http://picasaweb.google.com/thomas.garman/MortonArboretum?feat=directlin...

Bike and Roll Chicago

by bike and roll c... | 06/15/2009

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Bike Chicago offers the largest bike rental fleet in town! Over 500 all-new Trek bikes, including mountain, comfort, and road bikes, cruisers, hybrids, tandems, kids’ bikes, accessories, and more! Bike Chicago offers fun, easy riding bike tours. Join us as as we explore Chicago and its many sites. Presidential Bike Tour|Chicago River & Parks Bike Tour|Friendly Neighborhoods|Bikes@Nite|Lakefront. Come glide with Bike Chicago on a scenic segway tour! We offer the new i2 Segway, safe and easy to ride. Guided tours depart daily from Millennium Park, and can be combined with bike rentals and tours. Bike Chicago's group tours are as fun as it gets! Great for company outings, conventions, and camps. We can accommodate groups as large as 500 people at four amazing lakefront locations: Navy Pier, Millennium Park, North Ave. Beach and Foster Beach. Easy riding for all fitness levels. Check out our website: http://bikechicago.com

Volo Bog

by Thomas Garman | 06/15/2009

On May 16th I walked to the Volo Bog from the Fox Lake Metra station, a distance of approximately 4 miles. The google maps route suggested for walking is fairly accurate. It is an easy walk mainly along frontage roads and through a residential area.

My reason for going out to the Bog was to explore the idea of Landscape Tourism, where Nature is seen primarily as a destination, a place to visit. Hence I was primarily interested in the process of getting out there. Here are some photos from my trip:

http://picasaweb.google.com/thomas.garman/VoloBog?feat=directlink

Indiana Dunes

by Thomas Garman | 06/14/2009

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This weekend I went to the Indiana Dunes to climb Mt. Baldy. I decided to get off the South Shore train at the 11th street station in Michigan City using a map I had printed off from Google Maps. The walk along US Highway 12 was like walking down the middle of a busy city street. It was absolutely ludricous how much traffic there was. I would recommend walking from the Beverly Shores train station.

Here is a link to some pictures and notes I made about my trip: http://picasaweb.google.com/thomas.garman/IndianaDunes?feat=directlink

What Makes Your Place Great? Enter MPC's Contest to Find Chicago's Best Public Spaces!

by crandell | 06/07/2009

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Chicagoans are lucky to have a multitude of vibrant streets and public spaces to enjoy every day. From lunches outside in Millennium Park to coffee at a sidewalk table on Broadway in Lakeview, I certainly do my best to take advantage of the great places our city offers. These kinds of places not only are good for our quality of life, but they also contribute to the economic health of our region. In order to showcase Chicagoland's best places and remind Chicagoans why these places are so important, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has launched the "What Makes Your Place Great?" contest at PlacemakingChicago.com.

The contest is open through July 27, 2009. Email MPC your original photographs or videos of your favorite Chicagoland public space. Together with a 250-word-or-less description, your photos or videos should describe why this place is special to you and how it adds to your community.

Fullerton Station Public Art Forum Tue., June 9

by crandell | 06/07/2009

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The process for selecting art for the new Fullerton CTA station continues this week with a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Tue., June 9, at the Lincoln Park Branch Library, 1150 W. Fullerton Avenue. The community is encouraged to attend this meeting to review art proposals and provide feedback to guide the selection.

Following two public meetings in July of last year and January this year, Michael Dinges was commissioned for a mosaic artwork for the Fullerton station. A second, sculptural piece is now being selected for the station.

Artists / Artist-Teams nominated as finalists for the artwork competition for the Fullerton Station (north side/outdoor plaza):

  • Actual Size Artworks (artist team of Gail Simpson / Aristotle Georgiades) (resides Stoughton, WI)
  • Mary Brogger (resides Chicago, IL)
  • Michael Dunbar (resides Springfield, IL)
  • Michele Goldstrom (resides Chicago, IL)

Restoring the Zozo's Habitat in Our Cities and Towns

by crandell | 05/01/2009

Streetfilms has created a mascot of sorts for the livable streets movement with the mocumentary video below. The Zozo is a very clever and effective illustration of the issues with our human habitat that likely resonates well with the Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers generation. I only hope there will be a Zozo children's book in the near future to accompany Planetizen's Where Things Are, From Near to Far.

Daytrip to the Village of Riverside via Metra

by crandell | 04/26/2009

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On a recent Saturday, my partner and I took a short daytrip to explore the Village of Riverside. A short trip via Metra gets you to this early streetcar suburb designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a landscape architect best known for his plan for Central Park in New York. We went on the first nice day of spring when there weren't yet leaves on the trees, so my photos don't really do the place justice. If you have any tips of your own for Riverside, please share in the comments or consider logging in and posting your own blog entry about your trip.

Getting There