Chi-Town Rising Photos

2 01 2016

So I had the awesome opportunity to photograph the inaugural Chi-Town Rising New Year’s Eve event in Chicago. The photos are up on Their write up pretty much nails the event on the head. The TV broadcast was great, the actual turnout and hype not as much. My biggest complaint, there was no where to warm up. That is unless you paid the top dollar price, then you had access to a warming tent with tables and a private bar.

Check out the Chicagoist’s write up and my photos!



Tour de Fat Chicago 2015

12 07 2015

New Belgium Brewing is one of my favorite festivals to hit every year! Good beer, food trucks, performances, and perhaps most importantly bikes in all shapes, sizes and styles.

For more photos please check out my Flickr!


7 10 2014

Well a lot has changed in my life since March when I posed last. I got a new job, Andy moved back to Michigan (without me) and my life has been non-stop craziness. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On October 4th Redmoon Theater hosted the first annual Chicago Fire Festival. The concept was spectacular. The beginning with the parade of fire and boats I hear was awesome, but with the 30,000 some people that turned out to see the event, my friends and I couldn’t see much at all. After the intro there was a long pause where some of the giant hand built structures began to light on fire. Then there was an announcement that they were having electrical troubles and were going to be attempting “manual ignition.”


Volunteers proceeded to climb on the rafts that were supposed to be engulfed in flame and throw lighter fluid on the buildings and light it. The flames would roar for a few seconds and then disappear. I guess they didn’t plan on it being cold and raining all morning. It was unfortunate. People cracked the same jokes repeatedly about how Chicago couldn’t even burn itself down intentionally now and etc. The crowds thinned out and I climbed in a bush to get a good view. After several attempts to light the structures they went ahead and had the giant hydraulic arms with fire fighters perched on top rise out of the water to “fight the fire” even though there wasn’t much fire to be fighting.


Though the technical issues were pretty epic this year, I really hope the city agrees to the festival again next year. The concept was spectacular and I bet it would have been quite the spectacle had it gone off without a hitch. There was so much planning and time and effort put into the event. At least the fireworks were a beautiful ending to the evening!


Chicago’s 100th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

11 12 2013

This year Chicago lit it’s 100th annual Christmas tree. No longer in Grant Park where the original was lit, this year’s tree was came to light surrounded by the German style Christkindlemarket in Daly Plaza


I have attended the Christkindlemarket for years, even a few times before living in Chicago. I have never seen it so packed. There were points while trying to get around the festival that I literally couldn’t move. I arrived about 15 minutes before the official beginning of the entertainment and there was no way I was going to get in range for shooting the stage. The city didn’t help the congestion with a bottleneck blockade, intended to keep people from drinking alcohol beyond a certain point. I’m not sure if it helped with the drinking but it certainly made navigating the market much worse. People were in less than festive moods and I heard many expletives. The strangest part about the bottleneck blockade, when I returned to the market a few days later with my parents, it was gone! With all the extras (Joffery Balley, Rudolph on Broadway, Mayor Rahm talking, etc) the market was much more enjoyable. When I attended with my parents it was still busy, but it wasn’t unbearably packed like the extravaganza night was. It’s a lovely little European style market. The market will get you in the holiday mood pretty quick, not to mention fill you with warm fuzzy feelings, which might also come from the tasty mulled wine in collector mugs…

For more photos check out my SLIDE SHOW on Time Out Chicago .com!

Holi inspired Summerfest 2013

25 08 2013

As there is no working website and apparently the only places to hear about this festival were Groupon and YouSwoop, I am not really sure what it was called. It was advertised as a Summer Festival Paint Fight, inspired by the Indian holiday Holi.


The paint fight, hanging out with friends, eating good food and getting free stuff from a great non-profit (Plan’s Because I am a Girl) was all wonderful. The food was provided by three guys at an unmarked table with a grill. The food was Jamaican jerk chicken, that was incredibly delicious! We told the guy we were splitting our two food tickets between five people and he kindly threw in some extra chicken for us! Super cool of him. The non-profit Because I am a Girl helps put an end to child slavery and child marriage. They were giving out free press on tattoos and if you signed up for their mailing list bracelets, lanyards,  pins or frisbees. If you pulled a sign up sheet from their pile that had a sticker on it you got a special prize. I drew one with a yellow star sticker, so I received a Plan t-shirt! It’s a large, but I’ll make it into a tank top so I can wear it. The best part of the festival was the paint. By the time we left everyone was completely covered and the ground was rainbow. So we enjoyed ourselves very much!


The festival as a whole however… very poorly planned. The first issue at hand was the wrong address was advertised and printed on the Groupon/YouSwoop so the festival was pretty much unattended until almost 5:30pm when it was supposed to start at 4pm. My friends and I didn’t find the place until about 5pm, though we were downtown and at the given address at 4pm. Second, just a little odd, the food available was Jamaican even though the festival was supposed to be based off of an Indian holiday. The food was delicious, it was just odd. Third, the lady working the keg over pumped it so the beer was completely foamy. Considering you had to pay extra for the beer, we were none to happy to find out that a 2/3 foam 1/3 beer cup counted as one of your “two cups” of beer. Fourth, and probably the worst part of the whole day, the prices kept being changed. When we arrived we were told that since we spent $10 on YouSwoop we had to pay an extra $5 for beer and an extra $5 for food so a total of $20, which made sense since the people who bought through GroupOn paid $20 for all inclusive tickets. OK, no biggy. We paid $5 for the beer wrist band and decided to wait on the food. Boy am I glad we did! People who paid for the food wrist band, were later told that you had to buy tickets for food! So luckily we only had to pay once, since we waited. Andy showed up about an hour after the rest of us since he had had to work in the morning, and they charged him $6 for the drink wrist band that we all paid $5 for as well. We were also told when we arrived that we could come up and get more bags of paint once we ran out, unlimited. About an hour in we went up to get more paint and were told it cost $1 per bag. About a half hour after that it cost $1.50 per bag. We talked to other people at the festival (who had paid through GroupOn) and found out they had been told that food and drink was extra for them as well. What happened to the $20 including everything like we had been told? This was news to the GroupOn people, and they were non-to-happy about that.

BYW_3938Am I glad I went this year? Yes. It was fun. Would I go again next year? Or recommend it to my other friends? No. It was far too disorganized and turned out to be expensive with all the price hikes!


Glenwood Ave Arts Festival 2012

8 09 2012

My favorite festival of the year happened in August. I spent almost every minute I was not at work, at the art festival. My friends Simone and Eti had a booth selling their hilarious and beautiful cards, Iron Woman Cards. Most of my time was spent at their booth and checking out bands playing on any of the three stages at the festival.

One of my favorite local bands played Saturday night again this year. Environmental Encroachment the magic circus marching band started with a parade around the festival and then rocked the stage. They are unlike any other band I’ve seen. There are lots of people in this band and not everyone plays an instrument. Members of EE juggle, hoola hoop, throw batons, and dance. I unfortunately will be out of town for their show at the Mayne Stage in September. If you’re in Chicago though, I highly recommend seeing them at some point! You won’t be disappointed.

Rogers Park is my favorite place. It’s a very diverse neighborhood. I could eat a different culture’s food every night of the week. There is a growing art district with galleries, theaters and street art abounding. I really enjoy living here.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

12 07 2011

On Saturday I attended the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, with camera in tow.

As I exited the #77 Belmont, the street was already perfumed with the smell of grilled meat. Thank goodness I’m not a vegetarian. As I entered the festival, the street grew thick with haze. It was hard to tell if it were from from the heat, the tightly packed bodies, or just from the smoking BBQs lining the street. As I waded through the haze I watched parents trying desperately to avoid the “please mom, can we get one?” that almost always followed the offer of a bubble gun trial use from the men with noise makers and goofy hats.

Each of the nine burger stands had a few options to try. There was every type of burger you could imagine, from your classic Cheese Burger, to Black Bean Burgers, to Burgers stuffed with Feta and Spinach then topped with a salad! As if the burger selection wasn’t enough? Try a bucket of cheese fries, macaroni and cheese fritters, a funnel cake, or an ear of grilled corn. To wash it all down there were plenty of choices of beer, soda, iced tea and fresh squeezed lemonade. So if you could handle the lines, you might not have been able to handle the choices. Of course, most places were offering trial sized sliders of their burgers… just in case you couldn’t pick just one!

As a typical festival in Chicago, there was a stage of live music at each end of the street. Alternating styles, and time slots many bands played. I only caught one, really. I heard a bit of the band playing on my way in. I was unimpressed with their Indy style and look, so I kept on walking. Later in the evening, I caught sound of an excellent cover being played. I wandered down to the far stage, only to find a mass of adults in goofy looking newspaper hats, dancing to the sounds of a cover band, also wearing goofy hats. Who were they? The Hat Guys. Ah, of course. This explained the hats, as gimmicky as it was, they were good! They didn’t just stick to one generation’s music either. During the part of their set I watched they played Elvis, Paul Simon, and Ce Lo Green, among others. They also changed hats, continuously. They also came out into the crowd and danced and mingled. Turns out their local Chicago guys, from the south side.

To see the slide show with the rest of my photos, be sure to check out TimeOut Chicago’s review of the Festival!

%d bloggers like this: