Friday, April 18, 2008

Standard Time Began in Chicago

How many times I have walked past this plaque in the Financial District of Chicago and never noticed it, I could not tell. But this particular day, I did notice and learned that the usage of the Standard Time System began in Chicago in 1883.

From the plaque, it seems that the railroads pushed for standardization of time as there were 100 local "time zones" developed by communities based upon the position of the sun in their location. Imagine the headaches trying to put together a timetable and tell when a train would arrive and depart with 100 such zones, and the need for such a standard is apparent.

Maybe the airlines will push for a different time system so that more of their flights are "on time".

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chicago's Picasso

While the Art Institute of Chicago has more than 20 of Pablo Picasso's paintings in its collection, ask a Chicagoan where the Picasso is and they'll more likely point toward the Daley Plaza than Michigan Avenue.

Dedicated in 1967, the untitled steel sculpture originally a subject of controversy has now become a well-loved Chicago icon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chicago's Summer Festivals

Each summer the Mayor's Office of Special Events in Chicago hosts several festivals including Taste of Chicago, jazz, blues and gospel fests in Grant Park. When the weather cooperates the evenings can be magical.

Pictured above is a crowd enjoying the Jazz Festival on a balmy summer evening on the lawn. When lights in the skyscrapers surrounding the Grant Park come on and the sun sinks low behind the Sears Tower, a special ambiance spreads over the area as the musician's notes waft through the air.