Tag Archives: parks

Chicago: The Agora Sculptures of Grant Park.

I was walking through the south end of Chicago’s Grant Park along Michigan Avenue on a warm, summer day when I came across all these headless and armless sculptures.

Chicago, Agora Sculptures, Grant Park

They all form the piece known as Agora which has sat at this location since 2006 on permanent loan from artist Magdalena Abakanowicz and the Polish Ministry of Culture. There are 106 9-foot sculptures to be exact, each made of cast iron.

Chicago, Agora Sculptures, Grant Park

I saw a lot of people walking around and in-between them. From afar they all look similar, but each is hand-carved and has its own unique characteristics.

Collectively they form what looks like a crowd of people. You’ll notice that some are pointing towards others, while others are pointed away. The word Agora in Greek means meeting place.

Chicago, Agora Sculptures, Grant Park

Its had mixed reviews, people either loving or hating it.

Chicago, Agora Sculptures, Grant Park

It was unique and fascinating to me. Walking through the park on this day, it got me thinking about what other sculptures in Chicago I should check out on that next stroll. 🙂

What other outdoor sculptures would you recommend checking out in Chicago?

Happy Holidays from Detroit.

Holiday music, shopping, parties, eats, eggnog, snow, lights and trees about. It’s that time of year. I had a chance to checkout the holiday scene in Detroit this week when attending a holiday party at Fountain Bistro, a recommended restaurant stop within Campus Martius park.

Campus Martius Park, right in the heart of downtown Detroit, happens to be where the 60 foot city holiday tree sits, sitting atop the Woodward Fountain.

Detroit-Holiday-001-blog

Alongside is an ice skating rink with holiday music playing. There are holiday lights up everywhere around the park and surrounding area.

Detroit-Holiday-002-blog

People were ice skating, staring at the tree and presents underneath and soaking in the holiday atmosphere and walking around taking pictures. The only thing missing  was snow or at least flurries. It was actually raining a bit.

Campus Martius, holidays in Downtown Detroit

It was a great party and great evening spent in the big city in a festive atmosphere. As far as other cities go, at the top of my bucket list holidays edition would be the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink and New York City in general. What cities would you suggest checking out for lights, trees, ice skating rinks and holiday fun?

I’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers!

Aaron (@elatlboy)

An epic day in Detroit. Part I.

There was something different in the air this past Saturday. It wasn’t a day to sleep in, a day to rest or a day to run errands. It was a day to celebrate what Detroit is all about, contrary to what you hear in various media.

The day started with a photowalk through downtown Detroit. What is a photowalk you ask? From my brief time being a part of Photowalks Detroit it’s a group of people who loves photography, loves exploring and taking pictures of things they find interesting, has fun with the group and in the end all the pictures are put together online to form a story. What a great way to show what downtown Detroit has to offer!
Monroe St., Greektown, Detroit

Passion. What I think helps make this group standout is their passion for Detroit, Michigan and the Midwest. On this afternoon walk, in absolutely perfect weather, you could see it in the faces of everyone, the pride everyone was showing as we walked through the city starting in Greektown at the corner of Monroe St. and St. Antoine St. right outside the Greektown Casino.

We walked down the main drag of Greektown passing by many great restaurants, Pizza Papalis, Pegasus Taverna and Red Smoke Barbeque to name a few. We saw a bride in a horse and carriage and some of the wedding party showing up in a cable car like you would see in San Francisco. We migrated down Monroe St. until we reached the famous Woodward Avenue and Campus Martius Park. There we saw another wedding party having their pictures taken with live music, a fountain, great food, lot’s of greenery and a lot of people just hanging out and having fun.
Spirit of Detroit

Heading towards the riverfront, now on Woodward Ave. we passed by Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub an amazing place to get breakfast and by the Spirit of Detroit. The Spirit of Detroit is a symbol of the Detroit community and you will usually see it decked out in various sports jerseys during playoff time. Passion. It always comes back to that. I think when the jerseys are on the statue, it symbolizes the passion that Detroit has for all of it’s sports teams. This is a main tourist spot and today was no exception.
Hart Plaza, Riverfront Detroit

We reached the end of Woodward Ave. at Jefferson Ave. winding up in Hart Plaza and the Detroit River Walk (riverfront) and guess what another wedding party. Hart Plaza is a place where festivals, relays, sports teams victory celebrations and lots of other events take place. While at the Detroit Riverfront we saw people biking, skating, relaxing on the grass, kids running through sprinklers and lot’s of people taking photographs of both Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada which sits on the other side of the Detroit River. I was definitely in my element with lots of water photo opportunities. We took part in the relaxing on the grass.
Renaissance Center, Detroit River

We walked some of the riverfront to the end of our journey in the Renaissance Center, the most recognizable part of the Detroit skyline. The Renaissance Center is the world headquarters for General Motors. What a photowalk! It was time to grab something to eat.

After grabbing some food at Niki’s Pizza in Greektown (get there if you love square deep dish pizza), it was time to head towards the second part of the epic day, the Epic Tweetup party. What is that? I’ll talk about this great event soon. For a preview checkout the Twitter hashtag #epictweetup and all these great pictures taken by everyone.

Checkout my photos and the story I try to tell from the photowalk. What is happening here? The people, the passion, outdoor activities, the riverfront, great restaurants, historical landmarks, downtown Detroit has something for everyone. It is a place you want to get to.

The hidden gem across the river. Windsor.

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Spending a lot of time in Detroit and along the Detroit River over the years of course I’ve taken a glance at what’s on the other side, usually with curiosity. What’s so special about that you ask? When I’m looking over there I’m not looking at an extension of the city or suburbs or the same state or even the same country. I’m looking at Canada, specifically Windsor, Ontario. It’s pretty amazing to think that another country sits roughly a mile or so away from where you spend a lot of your time.

I’ve crossed the Ambassador Bridge going into Windsor a lot in the past, but it was just a means to get to other destinations: Toronto, Niagara Falls and New York mainly. It was time to explore the city, specifically the riverfront, that sits right on the other side.

With taking lots of photos in mind I had a goal once there, to get a look at Detroit and the area from different vantage points along the riverfront, highlighting all the great parks and gardens Windsor has to offer, while exploring some of the city itself.
Eve's Apple - Odette Sculpture Park - Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Odette Sculpture Park and Dieppe Gardens cover the goal and then some. At Odette Sculpture Park you get the museum feel, you’re in a park, your along the water, the weather is great, what could be better? The park contains sculptures from well known artists from all over the world. My favorite sculptures were the brontosaurus dinosaur, the family of elephants, Morning Flight (birds) and Eve’s Apple.
Dieppe Gardens - Detroit shot from Windsor, Ontario, Canada

I found the best, most unique and absolutely beautiful shots of the Detroit skyline at Dieppe Gardens. Besides the annuals, perennials and other flowers and plants, this garden contains memorials honoring those lost at war. It’s just another part of the Windsor riverfront where you will see people walking, taking photos, biking or just relaxing on the grass.

Of course when I was there, I grabbed some shots of Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino which dominates the skyline and took some photos of the old Boblo Island dock. The memories. I found a great place to grab a bite to eat as well, Papa Cheney’s Whiskey Well. The chili fries are unreal and the front of the bar is open to the outside so you can see the river and Detroit skyline almost in full no matter where you sit. Amazing.

Checkout all of my Detroit skyline photos and other Windsor shots from the riverfront. It might not be another country, but you never know what hidden gems lie right by where you always spend your time. Will definitely be checking out more of downtown Windsor next time.