This Christmas, consider the gifts that have been bestowed upon you that do not have a price tag. Consider with appreciation the simple joys of life that surround you and the beliefs you hold in the future that will inspire you forward. Belief. Trust, Faith and confidence in someone or something. As Christmas is upon us and a year’s end approaches, find appreciation and joy in the past and present moments that you were gifted to experience. For life itself is a gift. And of the future? Believe in the good things that are in front of you and that await you. Life changes. We change. So at Christmas and beyond, always believe….
“I believe, I believe. It’s silly, but I believe” – Miracle On 34th Street
Travel. Twelve months of traveling by train to the great city of Chicago with a single purpose: seeking and finding inspiration from behind the lens. Energized by the city streets. City love. From behind the lens. For three years now I have not missed a month by train to my downtown oasis with the purpose of photographing a city and its offerings (and yes, fashion). This year, I decided to capture the moment of traveling from the simple lens of my iPhone. Each ticket. Each journey. My visual escape with intent. To travel, even if the distance is short by a city’s Metra train, is to expand your world. To travel is to change your viewpoint. To change your state of mind. To travel is to see the world beyond your immediate reality. To travel is to dream. To wish. Collecting moments that last a lifetime. To take yourself on a journey. And that is a beautiful and worthwhile experience and venture.
“I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more”
– Thomas Jefferson
And of these train journey’s of mine? Solo. For it is when you travel alone that you gain deeper insights and clarity. Moments to be alone in the vastness of your changing surrounds. There is comfort. There is peace in being alone. Confidently moving forward wherever your feet may take you. That is just what each journey provided. A path for me to wander freely through the city streets. My own journey to discover and in the process, discover more about myself in the process. I was once told that Chicago was an escape for me. That it is and will always be. But again, we have the choice to expand our world and be exposed to more than what is immediate in our worlds. Create the state; don’t wait. I choose to loose myself in what gives me joy and inspiration. The city of Chicago. Onward in that. One day it may be a different city. Change always lies ahead. 2016 was full of change for me. Embrace the changes and forge onward, always.
Years ago, upon graduating college, I was asked to provide a quote for incoming freshman. Simply stated, it still stands true today for me and has followed me as a constant truth through the years:
Learn as much as you can.
Expand your horizons, and be yourself.
Opportunity. Opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand our horizons. All the while being confident in who you are. Always being true to yourself. That therein is a beautiful life goal. Every day is truly a gift. Every day is ours to discover and embrace. Always seek to find something beautiful. Something inspiring. Perspective, indeed…
As a year ends and a New Year is about to begin, I challenge you to seek inspiration in the New Year. Move outside of what is familiar and move forward into the unknown in search of expanding your horizon. Onward. There is always a ticket waiting to be purchased. A means of travel awaiting you. A destination of your own choice is around the horizon. Sometimes, it is merely a simple and short train ride away…
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
City inspirations. A year in review. A year of fashionable visuals photographed from behind my lens and compiled to inspire. Three years of photographing a city and its fashionable windows each month. The Windy City of Chicago and art of fashion. A monthly journey to the great city with the purpose and intent to capture fashion’s changing scene. The essence of each month’s visual and fashionable change. A visual journey of fashionable form and fashionable style. The art of visual merchandising. Whether timeless and classic or whimsical fantasy, fashion continues to inspire and excite. My love and appreciation for fashion continues. Enduringly so…from behind the lens.
For all of those that have followed along in my visual journey, onward into a New Year of fashion ahead in Chicago. Fortunate am I to have access to this great city by Lake Michigan. To endure the seasons of this city over time holds a treasure in my memories of each one of these monthly jaunts. I recall them with fondness. Moments in time of fashion captured from behind the lens of a camera. Fashion, onward...
Below…the months in review. One of the many compilations of fashionable style composed in each month. Follow the links to view the full monthly post for further inspiration.
Consider with appreciation the fashionable world that surrounds you. With a renewed perspective, look closer at the visuals presented. An art form of window dressing with mannequins of visual delight. A changing form of fashion. Perspective of time and place in a world, like fashion, that is constantly changing. At the close of a year, a New Year awaits. It is with anticipation that I await the windows of fashion’s changing scene. Always from behind the lens. Always with appreciation. And always, Onward…
Chicago in December. Magical. Although my early December trek through the Windy City was not in the full swing and frenzy of the mass of Holiday shoppers as it would be in late December, the streets were certainly filled with those pondering or embarking upon their Christmas and Holiday lists. The holiday season in the great city of Chicago. Excitement always fills the air when one ventures onto the streets of any city. Yet the holidays seem to bring a different festive spirit that is fueled by the festooned buildings and lighted trees bedecked in holiday greens with twinkling lights…city wonderment, indeed…
The embellishment of crimson red and boughs of pine against the backdrop of Chicago was a stunning view to behold. For certain, I adore this city in all seasons.
Oh, how I love and adore this city and the color red…
Of the fashion that filled the windows through the city and on the Magnificent Mile? Delightful. Some more festive than others, but each a representational of holiday flare and style. Fashion and its season’s presented in a visual compilation from behind my lens…
I begin with Holiday fantasy behind the windows of Neiman Marcus…Cheers to the mannequin and the artistry of visual merchandising! “A little bit of fantasy…”, indeed…
A word about the windows of Max Mara. Typically my favorite windows. Yet unexpected was the abstract Holiday window in unexpected hues. Regardless, Holiday-esque it certainly alludes to. And of the white and black topped hats? A love behind my lens, for certain…
Perhaps beyond the Holiday visual, a visual conjured up of an escape to warmer temperatures behind the windows of Chanel on Michigan Avenue…
From behind the lens my eye will never tire to seek and capture a mere visual of the artistry of fashion and its windows that seek to beckon those that pass by. Onward to another year of capturing fashion and a city ahead. For one who has photographed the fashionable windows of Chicago every single month for over 3 years…onward!
Inspiration and fashion, Onward, indeed…
“Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past”- Berenice Abbott
“Thankfulness is the beginning of Happiness” – Anon.
Thanksgiving. Simply stated. Gratitude. Perhaps there is no other moment during the year when we are urged to contemplate and find gratitude. Thankfulness. What a wonderful virtue and focus to find appreciation, gratitude and thankfulness for our life and the gifts within our life. Gratitude really does turn what we have into enough. May your Thanksgiving holiday serve as a reminder to you today, and each and every day, that thankfulness truly is the beginning of happiness. Onward in that. Onward in appreciation, thankfulness and gratitude…
Chicago. Fashionable inspirations behind the windows of fashion. To photograph a city and its windows shortly after a World Series win by the great Chicago Cubs was memorable. After a city celebration and massively attended parade for our World Series champs, the city took on a camaraderie that was moving. The excitement in the air penetrated all those that walked the streets while strutting with Cubs blue, white and red attire. Beyond that, the storefronts proclaimed victory and acknowledgement for the team that Chicago has stood by relentlessly. Faithful for the red, blue and white. An iconic moment in time, indeed….Onward, Chicago Cubs!
Fashion’s windows showcased the winning team with a fashionable nod to the Cubs. “Make some noise”, Chicago did. And the “W” flag? “Fly The W” was everywhere. This moment in time will be marked in my memories as a unique moment to be in Chicago…
Of the windows of fashion in November, hints of the holiday’s arrival filled the storefronts. Layers of warmth and fur lined appeal paired with Fall and Winter’s accessories on stylish display. November brings the Autumnal season to a brisk end as the leaves drop and the bare trees will soon be filled with twinkling holiday lights. The holiday’s are upon us. A compilation of fashion’s presentations from behind the large glass panes awaits. From behind the lens of my camera, onward…
Consider with appreciation the fashionable world, in a moment in time, that surrounds. For certain, inspiration in the visual styling and fashionable statements will endure to gain my appreciation from behind the lens. Season’s change and the windows of fashion embark to entice us with changing style. Timeless or trends, appreciation from the shutter of my camera, always….
Hardwood flooring. Perhaps there is no other interior flooring that not only imbues floors with color and luster but also adds character, warmth and a spacious, visual appeal. Considered one of the most desired and treasured part of a homes décor, hardwood flooring seems to evoke interior richness with a timeless, classic appeal. If wood floors last a lifetime and gain character with age, for certain the newer hardwood flooring options of distressed and hand-scraped hardwoods also will also offer an appealing timeworn appearance.
Hardwoods can vary from blond to black, depending on the type of wood and the finish. Of course, hardwoods also vary in durability, grain patterns and color. The most common hardwoods for solid wood floors are red oak, white oak and maple. Preferred for their hardness and durability, oak, maple, and cherry are among the most common. However, exotic woods such as mahogany and Brazilian cherry are prized for their distinctive striking appearance over durability. Personal design choices, indeed. Of course then there is the style of the wood flooring. Narrow strips (that seem to create the illusion of space), wide boards (which can impart a rustic appeal) and the distinctive, geometric design of parquet floors (which are often found embellishing more formal interiors). All present different effects within an interior. Choices. For those of use fortunate enough to have original hardwood, with its timeworn appeal, we can merely relish its beauty and appeal within our own personal spaces. In a visual appreciation of hardwood flooring within the interior world, a compilation of collected images awaits…
Consider the beauty of wood flooring. Distinctive and timeless, the natural wood flooring surface will live on in the world of interior design. My personal love affair with wood floors has endured over time and will surely remain my coveted flooring of choice. For those that prefer the underlaying of carpeting, beauty can also be found in quality fibers underfoot. Yet for me it is the glossy and natural appeal of hardwood flooring that seems to present the perfect backdrop, along with the painted walls within an interior, which sets and presents the decoration of a space and personal display at its best. Onward in appreciation of hardwood floors within the interior. Whether old or new, wood endures with timeless distinction…
“Like the walls of a room, the floor is a background: It should not furnish the pattern, but set off whatever is placed upon it” – Edith Wharton
Halloween. A nod to the occasion with a fashionable appeal on the day in which we transcend ourselves into a world of mystery and fantasy. For me, it is the beauty that I seek from the masqueraded moment. Thus, Fashion. Models. Intrigue. For certain, even Halloween can offer up a beautiful rendering in which to disappear behind a mask that offers fascination and curiosity. Life can be beautiful at all times. Elegance can certainly prevail. Even on Halloween.
To those that don a masquerade of style, onward into the night when pumpkins glow in the moonlight…A fashionable halloween, onward… Happy Halloween!
“There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by the moonlight”
Chicago. Perhaps it can be said that a city in Autumn holds magical appeal. Yet like New York City, Chicago maintains appeal no matter the season. Seasonless. The great winds aside, I am continually lured to this city. Always with a fashionable intent and always with an architectural intent. Visual appreciation. Marry them together and I find continual delight. On a day that was unseasonably moderate, leaves had begun to turn colors and breezes blew that carried me onward with my camera in hand. Continually seeking inspiration and continually finding it within the city streets and behind the thick glass panes of fashion’s windows. Yes, fashion. And a nod to the iconic architecture and riverway that meanders through this great city off Lake Michigan. Never do I tire of the scene set before me. Energized by it enduringly.
Typically my trek by train to the great Windy City finds me amidst the crowds of passerby’s on the concrete pavement of the city streets. Each with a unique destination. This trip, however, brought me to viewpoints from high above Michigan Avenue and beyond. Thus, a visual nod to the stunning view below. Chicago delights, indeed…
Of course, fashion is found on the city streets. Visuals of fashion’s advertisement statements add to the city scene. Always changing like the seasons…
And of the windows of fashion in October? A mixed myriad of Autumnal inspiration, for certain. Layershave made their way to the mannequins that line the city streets. Fashionable proclamations of cooler temperatures ahead. So, in appreciation of the artistry of the windows set before us, a collection of images from behind my lens awaits…fashionable appeal, indeed….
Consider the world of fashion from the changing windows off the city streets. Visual merchandising and visual appeal that is set before us. Certainly, I am beckoned to see what awaits each month and present a mere essence of the fashionable world from Chicago. Certainly I will continue on this quest. From behind the lens, always…
Lastly, the October sunset over Chicago…from behind my lens… City Love, Onward.
Rosemary. Termed “Rosmarinus officials”, rosemary is an aromaticwoody evergreen perennial herb native to the seaside regions of North Africa and the Mediterranean. This fragrant herb presents flat pine needle-like leaves that grow on an evergreen bush. Who knew that rosemary joins the ranks as member of the mint family, Lamiaceae? The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “Sea” (marinus), or “Dew of the Sea”. Of note, the ancient legend that rosemary grows “where one can hear thesea”. The Rosemary plant itself is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word ἄνθος, meaning “flower”. Rosemary is said to resemble lavender when shimmering blue flowers appear in mid-Winter in native climates. The leaves themselves can often appear to be touched with silver. But commonly green and fragrant, this woody citrus offers so much to our world beyond the culinary and herbal health benefits. Beyond its aromatic offerings this fragrant plant that offers us natural beauty when gracing events of our lives and brought within our interior worlds.
However, the past precedes this coveted plant. It is noted that rosemary held a strong association with ancient Greeks and Romans. “As early as the Fifth millenium B.C. references to rosemary were found written in cuneiform”(the earliest system of writing of wedge shaped slash marks) on stone tablets. Ancient appreciation of an herb, indeed. Coveted for what was believed mystical and healing properties, it was the Roman armies who would eventually bring this herb to Britain. From there, this scented herb would travel through Europe and eventually reach the New World…
“As for rosmarine, I lette it runne all over my garden walls,
not onlie because my bees love it,
but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance,
and, therefore to friendship . . .” -Sir Thomas More,(Aka Saint Thomas More, (1478-1535) English lawyer, author and stateman
A “rich crown of stone and pearls set with rosemary in her hair”
-English royalty, Anne of Cleves,King
Henry the Eighth’s fourth wife /1540
Long associated with remembrance of romance and matrimony, rosemary has been used for centuries in courtship and weddings. Oh, the beauty of tradition. In fact, French legend holds that “if a man didn’t like the scent of rosemary, he would be an inferior lover”. Who knew? Empress Josephine is said to have asked Napoleon to wash in rosemary water before entering her bedchamber. The power of an herb, indeed. Interesting that rosemary is said to have been Napoleon’s favorite fragrance. A love affair, indeed.
As for this scented aromatic herb traditionally appearing during the holiday season, perhaps its history can be linked to the entertaining in the Middle ages. It is said that rosemary was spread on the ground so its fragrance would fill the air when guests would walk upon it. The belief was that those would smell rosemary on Christmas Eve would have a year of health and happiness. A tradition of celebration with nature, for certain. It is no wonder that rosemary would continue as a traditional embellishment during the holidays.
In appreciation of the rosemary herb and the adornment of and celebrations of an herb of visual and fragrant delight….
Consider the natural delight of the fragrant and distinctive herb, rosemary. Nature’s bounty offers us the scented delights with which to appreciate. Beyond a mere herb, rosemary will certainly grace our worlds in simplicity with natural beauty. Scented and natural appeal, indeed. Onward to the celebration of life’s moments with the tradition of a fragrant gift of nature…
“There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember”