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Big cities, small towns, interesting places and oddities photographed with a smartphone. There are some fishing photos as well.
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Back Alleys of Chicago

Back Alleys of Chicago

Hidden bystreets and alleys of Chicago let avoid the foot traffic on the way to the train station.

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August 09, 2018
Union Pacific Northwest Train Hits a Tree on Tracks

Union Pacific Northwest Train Hits a Tree on Tracks

Ok, maybe the title shouldn't be so breaking-news-like and maybe now this doesn't look like a big deal but it was much more exciting sitting in the first car right after the engine when a loud bang pierced the relative quietness (most of the loud people usually get off the train a couple of stops earlier). Judging by the noise, the amount of leaves and wood chips that shot past the windows of the car - what you see stuck to the cowcatcher* is only a small part of what we hit.

* Cowcatcher ( the pilot, cattle catcher) - is the front part of a train that supposed to deflect foreign objects on the track and prevent derailing.

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August 06, 2018
The Chicago Picasso, 2018

The Chicago Picasso, 2018

An untitled 15.2 meter (50 feet) monumental sculpture referred to as "The Chicago Picasso" or just "The Picasso".
The final model of the sculpture was completed in 1966 by Pablo Picasso and the statue was dedicated on August 15, 1967, in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. Chicago, Illinois. #thechicagopicasso

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July 03, 2018
Fishing on Santa Rosa Island, Florida

Fishing on Santa Rosa Island, Florida

Besides beautiful beaches, like the Princess Beach, Santa Rosa Island offers good fishing. I've added a dozen new species to my list after just a few fishing sessions.

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May 04, 2018
Princess Beach on Santa Rosa Island, Florida

Princess Beach on Santa Rosa Island, Florida

Beautiful white sand, crystal clear water, and lots of personal space.

Now the confusing part. The Princess Beach is located on Okaloosa Island which is not the name of the whole island but a part of Santa Rosa Island - a 40-mile (64 km) so-called barrier island.

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May 01, 2018
Remains of 110 N Upper Wacker Drive

Remains of 110 N Upper Wacker Drive

#littlewasleft of 110 N Upper Wacker Drive - former headquarters of General Growth Properties Inc.

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March 19, 2018
You Are Amazing, Babe!

You Are Amazing, Babe!

I was driving home and saw this unusual expression of love - a heart-shaped sign along the road.

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March 18, 2018
Chicago's South Side in Winter
Smoke on the Water & the Non-Existent Building

Smoke on the Water & the Non-Existent Building

It was cold in Chicago at the end of December so that the Chicago River gave off steam. It was an unusual scene for me and I took a picture.

The photo came out less impressive than the actual scenery and I decided to not post it. But in a few weeks demolition of the building in the background had started, by mid-March #littlewasleft, and now it is completely gone.

I've learned that this five stories tall building was the headquarters of General Growth Properties Inc. (110 N Upper Wacker Drive). It should be replaced by a modern riverfront tower. Let's see.

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December 26, 2017
Low Clouds Over Gloomy Chicago
Side of the Three First National Plaza

Side of the Three First National Plaza

The building was designed so its extending outward windows provide a wider view from inside and the cut angle of its southern side minimizes obstructions to the nearby buildings.

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October 03, 2017
View of Millennium Park

View of Millennium Park

View of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan shoreline, Chicago, IL.

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September 19, 2017
A Skyscraper

A Skyscraper

Buildings of downtown Chicago with Chicago's second-tallest building - Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, IL.

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September 19, 2017
Nebraska Zephyr - EMD E5 Locomotive

Nebraska Zephyr - EMD E5 Locomotive

One can take a ride on the Nebraska Zephyr, which operated from 1947 to 1971 and now the only surviving EMD E5, an A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotive. Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois. #illinoisrailwaymuseum

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September 17, 2017
Around the IRM on a Streetcar

Around the IRM on a Streetcar

Or hop on a tram (or streetcar or trolley car) and go around the campus of the Illinois Railway Museum. Union, Illinois. #illinoisrailwaymuseum

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September 17, 2017
Rotary Snowplow at the IRM

Rotary Snowplow at the IRM

Among the exhibits of the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) is railroad snow removal equipment. There are giant wedge plows and oddly looking rotary snowplows, like this one. #illinoisrailwaymuseum

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September 17, 2017
Hangars of Illinois Railway Museum II

Hangars of Illinois Railway Museum II

There are rows of locomotives, cars, and streetcars in the train-sheds of the Illinois Railway Museum. One of them is the Milwaukee Road 265 - a 4-8-4 "Northern"-Type steam locomotive. #illinoisrailwaymuseum

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September 17, 2017
Hangars of Illinois Railway Museum I

Hangars of Illinois Railway Museum I

The Illinois Railway Museum is the largest railroad museum in the United States. Its hangars shelter numerous displays of old railroad equipment. Union, Illinois. #illinoisrailwaymuseum

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September 17, 2017
Civic Opera House (Chicago)

Civic Opera House (Chicago)

Rear facade of the Civic Opera House with its base in the south branch of the chicago river.

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September 01, 2017
People Watching the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

People Watching the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

A crowd watching the solar eclipse from the deck of a skyscraper. August 21, 2017, Chicago, Illinois.

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August 21, 2017
Muffler Man - Indian, Crystal Lake, IL

Muffler Man - Indian, Crystal Lake, IL

One of the many American Giants - a Muffler Man located in Crystal Lake, Ilinois.

Now in short about Muffler Men. They are giant fiberglass sculptures used as "attention grabbers". Many of these figures were used to promote various roadside businesses and often would hold real merchandise, like full-sized car mufflers, which, as I understand, was the reason for the Muffler Men nickname.

The figures are usually 18–25 feet (5.5-7.6 meters) tall. Muffler Men were a popular roadside decoration in 60's and 70's mainly in the United States.

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August 05, 2017
West Adams Street on an Afternoon

West Adams Street on an Afternoon

Chicago. Not crowded at all in comparison with New York. The restaurant on the right, called The Berghoff, is a Chicago well-known landmark - it was opened in 1898.

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July 17, 2017
Ladder 2737, a Fire Truck from Grayslake

Ladder 2737, a Fire Truck from Grayslake

Ladder 2737 from the Grayslake Fire Protection District. Model: 1999 Pierce Dash, pump: 2,000 gpm, tank: 500 gallon. Found in McHenry, Illinois.

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June 29, 2017
Harmilda the Cow, Harvard, IL

Harmilda the Cow, Harvard, IL

Harmilda - a life-sized fiberglass statue - is a mascot of the town of Harvard, Illinois, and the symbol of the town's annual Milk Day festival. Her name is derived from the name of the festival (HArvard MILk DAys).

Harmilda was given as a gift by Robert Jones of Jones Packing Co. in 1966 and resides at the Five Points since then.

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June 21, 2017
Easter Egg-Decorating Idea

Easter Egg-Decorating Idea

My mother knitted these pouches for the last Easter as an egg decorating experiment. The experiment was a success - the eggs look festive, the "decoration" can be applied in a wink and can be used over for every holiday. Furthermore, these knitted egg pouches make a perfect Easter gift. Happy Easter!

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April 03, 2017