Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago’s Ambassador on Wheels


Invariably, travel exposes the best and the worst in us. It may also reveal the kindness of a stranger.  As a frequent and grateful recipient of food, tickets, upgrades, help in navigating airports and foreign cities and even dry clothing for a drenched child, I’ve learned that our capacity to help and invest in one another is limited only by our willingness to ask and/or receive.

Last weekend, as my daughter and I biked around Chicago, we impulsively took a shortcut that turned into a meandering detour. The city’s multi-leveled streets can make cross city navigation a challenge, and aware of our error, we wanted to avoid shlepping bikes down stairways to access the Lakefront Trail. So, I called out to a young guy pedaling in the other direction, “Can we get to the lakefront from here?”

He braked and rolled on over. “Well, you really need to…” He paused and smiled. “Just follow me.”

Ten minutes later, after an exhilarating ride through a parking garage and then down, around and under the city streets, he led us into the gated back parking lot of a warehouse building. He pointed to an opening in the fence. “That path will take you right to the lake trail.” We thanked him profusely, knowing he’d gone well out of his way to help us.

“That was really nice,” I commented to my daughter.

She agreed.

And once again, a single person acted as ambassador for an entire city —enhancing Chicago’s image far better than any tourism campaign ever could.

Isn’t that great?


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Featured Photo: Floating Jellies

Featured Photo: Floating Jellies (Shedd Aquarium; Chicago, Illinois; USA)

These ethereal beings shift through seas in many shapes, sizes and forms.  I felt the stings of tiny jellies while snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands a few years ago and have learned to be alert for them in ocean waters.  Watching them undulate behind glass at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago was a notably more relaxed experience. Capturing their images without the help of a flash or tripod was challenging, but a slow film speed, low f-stop and anchored elbows helped.  So did holding my breath as if I were underwater again.
More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook



Featured Photo: Cloud Kisser (Trump Tower Chicago)

Featured Photo: Cloud Kisser (Trump Tower Chicago)

It fits. The Trump Tower Chicago (or more formally: the Trump International Hotel and Tower) is settled into its Wabash Avenue address and holding court over the famed Magnificent Mile as if it had been there all along. 92 stories of hotel, residential and meeting space rise up within the newly completed 415 meter structure. In a city known for architectural achievement, the Trump complements without overwhelming its surroundings. Its spire may get in the way of the occasional cloud, but the building itself is an attractive addition to the downtown skyline.

I caught this moment in August of 2011 while on a morning coffee run, walking west on Whacker toward Michigan.

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook


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