It took about a year for the plug to be pulled on an ambitious (or some would say ridiculous) project: FM News 101.1. As of today, you will hear music on 101.1 FM instead of talk.

The CEO of the station’s owner cited “lack of audience engagement” as one of the reasons: that’s doubletalk for “people weren’t listening.” Here’s a link to Robert Feder’s play-by-play of the demise of the station.

When I first wrote about the station last year I indicated that I actually wanted to see the station succeed. They seemed a little light on substance and resorted to a bunch of hackneyed gimmicks but my hope was that station management would learn that Chicago radio audiences were more sophisticated, and that the real opportunity for News 101.1 was to fill a niche between WBBM and WBEZ. They opted to swing in the wrong direction entirely.

I did tune in to the station occasionally, mostly when I missed WBBM’s Traffic and Weather report, because News 101.1′s reports were now on the Ones.

101.1 now plays a mixture of 80s and 90s music in kind of an odd mishmash of styles designed to appeal to 30-35 year-old-women (correction provided by my wife, who’s in that demographic).

And so we keep spinning the dial…



The Silent Film Society of Chicago just announced its lineup for their summer film festival, one of our favorite events of the season. The festival runs on Friday nights from July 20 through August 24 at the Portage Theater in Chicago.

This year will bring us some comedy from Harold Lloyd, some action from Douglas Fairbanks, drama and mystery from John Barrymore and adventure from Fritz Lang along with other great stuff.

Click on the image above to see all the details.. See you there!

There are only a couple of weeks during the year when the sun shines on the façade of the Chicago Board of Trade Building at the angle you see here. I happened to have my camera with me the other morning, so I captured it.

With the morning sun shining at this angle, you can really see the detail on the statues and carvings on the front of the building. Here’s a close-up:

I have a long history with this building: my first job in downtown Chicago was here (in 1986) and for a while I had an office on the 11th floor (next to the clock, to the right as you see it here) that looked up LaSalle Street. I spent many long hours, late nights, weekends, and holidays here. I was even involved in evacuating the building during the Chicago Flood of 1992.

Currently, I work across the street from the CBOT, so I get this view every day.

Here’s another shot of the building that I took on the morning of Bike the Drive, complete with eerily empty streets:

This past Sunday the 11th annual Bike the Drive event was held on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive.

After riding the 30-mile route, I took the time to ride around downtown Chicago a bit, and wound up at Millennium Park, where I shot this photo of the Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) sculpture.

There were over 20,000 participants and the weather was beautiful. Another of our favorite cycling events!

Mar 202012

This Peanuts strip appeared in early Spring 1956. Our recent run of 80-degree weather here in Chicago is the polar opposite of what Charlie Brown & Co are dealing with here.

A couple shots of the legendary cheeseburger spot in Chicago, the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue.

Happy New Year!

We spent a couple days in downtown Chicago, going “off the grid” and spending some quality holiday time together.

Here are some shots of State Street, Marina City, and the Wrigley Building that were taken late on Monday night.  I especially like the Christmas lights on the balconies at Marina City.

Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season!

Nov 082011

Rush hour, a week or two ago.

Oct 042011

It was a beautiful Fall day today– warmer than usual, and the skies were completely cloudless.

Having worked in the city for most of the last 20-some years, I often don’t walk any further east than the financial district and my office.

And then once in a while I remember what the city has to offer just a few blocks from my desk.  And I always promise myself I’ll do it more often.

This is a “ghost sign” for Nabisco Uneeda Biscuits that’s painted on the rear of the building at the southwest corner of Jackson Boulevard and Wells Street in Chicago.

This photo was shot from the elevator of the Trader’s Self-Park Wells Street entrance.  I’ve parked in this garage for many years and I’ve often thought I should take a photo of this sign before it fades away.

For more on ghost signs around Chicago, check out this site at The Art Institute of Chicago– it’s a great collection of what you’ll see around the city if you look closely.

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