Category Archives: Photography

Fulton Market Kitchen: The Hare Dines

Chicago - Interiors - Photography

I have visited Fulton Market Kitchen on two occasions and both times I felt like I was in an art gallery or some really wealthy, eccentric friend’s house who has exquisite taste and always invites me over for dinner and drinks.

Monday night at six o’clock is not crowded, nor would you expect it to be. I love that you can relax and eat in a variety of different spaces. A dining table with banquettes offers a slightly different feel then the rooms in the back, each decorated in their own unique style. The bar is comfortable and offers an almost overwhelming choice of beverages.

There are regular tables, for your ‘standard’ dining experience, as well as fun chairs (I sunk comically down in a mint-green slipper chair ) while bellied up to one of the smaller tables along the side of the restaurant. It has the feel of having been collected over a lifetime, by someone who has lived well, traveled, and has their ear to the ground as far as what constitutes as good taste in modern (contemporary) art (street-art/urban-art?).

As far as dining, service, food and drink–Fulton Market Kitchen has it all. A new restaurant that I hope is here for many years (it’ll take at least that long before I can get a real dinner date…) Named on of the 12 best looking restaurants in the U.S., it’s easy to see why here, dining is more than dining and when you don’t want to be in your own home, this is second best.

Call of the Wild: Dogsledding in the High Arctic

Chicago - Fashion - Photography - Travel

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest of wilderness. — John Muir

I’ve never thought, “gosh it’s nice to be home”. I’m always just disappointed that I’m not traveling anymore. Which sounds a bit ungrateful and harsh, or that I’ve never known a real home, but that’s not the case. Home for me, like many other people, is my family. Home doesn’t need to be a place. If I had to choose a place to call ‘home’ it would be ‘everywhere’. Which sounds a bit silly. Traveling is when I feel the most at home.

It’s why I wanted to make this blog a ‘travel in your own city blog’, because it’s not always possible to go overseas. But I finally got tired of talking about potential trips and decided to just book one. So I did. I have wanted to dogsled since I was a kid. I remember looking up the Outward Bound trips, making a plan, but it never came to anything. My mom did an Outward Bound trip, and I grew up camping and hiking with my whole family– everything from camping, hiking, back packing and rafting we did it. The best kind of trip to take by yourself is not necessarily the one where you wander around Europe (I thought about going to Morocco or Barcelona) but this trip, once I found it, was perfect.

I’m going to Svalbard, an island belonging to Norway in the High Arctic. Training camp, offered for attendees of the Norway trip begins in 14 days. In Duluth Minnesota. For those of you that live in the midwest, or Canada, or really anywhere truly cold, will know that not only does this sound crazy– it probably is. I’ll be camping in the Superior National Forest, at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, in the dead of winter. I have spent the past few weeks doing lots of research, getting the low-down from my parents on how to dress, and hunting for sales online to make sure I get the best prices on clothing. I wanted to do training camp so that when it came to traveling to Norway I could enjoy the trip and not worry so much about how-to. This will be a new skill– I have never been dogsledding before and I want to learn how to do everything, from feeding the dogs, driving the sled, putting on the harnesses and putting the dogs in the right order on their team.

The outfits pictured are what will be keeping me warm in the negative temps and and in the arctic. I will be going to Minnesota, and subsequently Norway, alone, but I’ll be in a group, and I’m excited to meet new people and have an adventure.

All photos were taken by Jennifer Claire Photography.

Room Tour: The Hare’s Den

Chicago - Interiors - Photography

Spaces and interiors have been a fascination since I was little. I made paper doll ‘houses’ with old JC Penny catalogs. Set up ‘houses’ for my stuffed toys with items found around the house and I got a drafting set when I was kid and drew dozens of spaces that probably had no viability engineering wise, but they certainly had an abundance of towers and windows. I like to look at a space and see how I can transform it. My favorite assignment during my 2009 internship with Big Shoulders Digital Media in Chicago was the design and home shows. My favorite part of Halloween when I was a kid? Getting to peek behind the adult to look into their living room.

Thus, I redid the den recently. Relatively recently. One roommate moved out, another moved in and I took the opportunity to make the den over. I resisted for a while. I didn’t want to spend any money. But it became too much to bear and any of you who like a nice space will see why. The before and after is a transformation I’m proud of, on a shoe string budget, and something I enjoy doing when the opportunity presents itself.

I liked that I could decorate the room, and none of my roommates would care. Being guys, it only mattered that there was a couch and TV. So I combed Craigslist, communicated with sellers, rented cars through Enterprise Car Share, and transformed the space, all by myself. It was a huge task. Each time I rented a car it was a bus trip to the car, a drive to the item, and drive back home to drop off the item, a drive to drop off the car, and a bus back to the apartment. I repeated this process 3 times. At one point I was carrying a bright red Crate and Barrel wool rug on the bus. I was damned if I was going to get in a cab, especially after what I was going to spend on a couch and possibly on other items. Finally I had the room decorated to my liking. No there’s nothing on the walls yet, and perhaps the space needs a floor lamp but on the whole it’s inviting and not too cluttered.

A clean and simple space resulted and it looks good. I can take pride that it’s a project I did entirely on my own, though I will thank my roommate for helping me carry the couch down a flight of spiral stairs. Oy.

You never know what you can find when you get things second hand, and I made it to Bucktown, South Loop, West Town, and Lincoln Park in the space of two days to complete my den. Enjoy the room tour!

Mini-Post Monday: Weekend Up North in Michigan

Photography - Travel

This year I decided to take a bit more initiative and do what I love best on my birthday weekend: travel. It wasn’t far, but it was to a well-loved spot in Northern Michigan where our family has a house. I could be mostly alone, cozy-ed up on the couch, and enjoy the last of the fall leaves before they all fell. Now they are under a good amount of snow, but I’m remembering my 26th as fun, relaxing, and just what I needed.

I made this decision in part because it was a teensy bit disappointing the year before and I didn’t want that to happen again. 24 was not much better. 23 either come to think of it… I sat at the kitchen table with a single cupcake, by myself. I even stuck a little candle in it so I could make a wish. But this year was not about being sorry for myself. I called my Aunt and arranged a mini family weekend during my favorite season in Northern Michigan. I did all of my favorite things. Read. Eat good food. Go to a book store. There was even a bonus boat ride. I didn’t want to set myself up to be disappointed this year; I’m not the kind of person that holds a big party any way. So I made the decision that life really is what you make it, cheesy as that sounds.


Exploring Ukrainian Village: St. Volodymyr Cathedral

Chicago - Photography

On a cloudy, cold day I decided to get out of the house for a bit and see what Open House Chicago was all about. It was a great, free way to see many churches, mansions, and meeting rooms. These two cathedrals in Ukrainian Village inspired me the most out of all of the spots that I visited. The day did not go exactly as I planned (I did not get to see as many of the Open House spots as I wanted), but I’m glad it went the way it did. Even though it was chilly and gloomy, I’m glad I stayed close to home and decided to visit these cathedrals anyway.