I just got some great news that, unfortunately, is embargoed possibly for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Chicago historian John R. Schmidt frequently has "Then and Now" features where he shows a part of the city as it appeared when he was a kid against how it appears now. I just found a trove of historical photos produced by the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, including a few dozen from my neighborhood, so I can play the same game.
Here's the intersection of Sheridan, Broadway, and Montrose, looking west down Montrose, from March 1936, more than 80 years ago:
Here's this past Tuesday:
Though some of the details have changed, both buildings flanking the north side of Broadway still exist. But the Wilson Yard development, from 2006, has taken over most of the area between Broadway and the El tracks. And past the El, the mature trees have changed the character of Montrose.
Another thing I notice about photos of Chicago and other U.S. cities before about 1990: the haze. Starting in the 1970s in California and the 1980s elsewhere, governments cracked down on air pollution. Chicago in 1936 would have been intolerably polluted to Millennials. The top photo gives a hint of why.
Yesterday I did, in fact, get a butt-load of steps—and so did Parker. He and I walked over 16 km together, bringing my totals to 26,144 steps and 21.6 km overall. That's only my 5th 25k day (out of the 584 since I got a Fitbit), the last one being on March 8th.
We had perfect weather this weekend, including for last night's performance of Mahler's 2nd, and it's still pretty epic, which is why I haven't posted a lot. Except for a brief interval to do a stupid task in my office, and after catching up on Game of Thrones, it's time to take a walk. Not sure when I'll be back.
I haven't hit 25,000 steps since March 8th, and I've only hit 30,000 steps once. I don't think I'll hit either today, but if I do, I'll blog about it.
Tonight and Sunday evening I'll be performing Mahler's 2nd Symphony with the Apollo Chorus and the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, University Chorale, and Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble.
If you've never heard this piece, you have to come to one of the performances. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. performance, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Northwestern University campus, will have the best sound. But Sunday's 6:30 pm performance, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago will be free. Also, the weather forecast for Sunday night looks great.
Based on Wednesday's orchestra rehearsal at Pick-Staiger, I think this will be one of the most exciting performances of my career. Here's a performance with Claudio Abbado; skip to 1:09:18 to hear the choral portion:
With two performances and two rehearsals over the weekend, I didn't have any time to post. I also didn't have as much time as I wanted to walk, though I did manage 20,249 steps for the weekend. (That was a little disappointing, especially because yesterday's weather was perfect for being outside.)
Meanwhile, the chorus have finally put up videos of our April fundraiser. So, yeah, we did this:
I'll leave finding videos of me holding a puppet as an exercise for the reader.
Yesterday, some of us from the Apollo Chorus were on WGN-TV in Chicago promoting our upcoming spring concert. Take a look.
Our concerts will be next Friday, May 6th, at 7:30pm at the 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and Sunday May 8th, 3pm, at the First United Church in Oak Park.
I just updated my Fitbit's firmware, which the app cheerfully told me would take "about 10 minutes." It took almost two hours. As a consequence, my 13-for-13 record for today could not be recorded as my device was off my wrist from 3:15 until just now.
The Tribune has a graphic up demonstrating how Chicago temperatures dropped 20°C in one day. We went from a high temperature of 28°C at 4pm Monday down to a morning low of 7°C by 7pm Tuesday.
I should mention that I had several windows open Monday night, and closed them around 4am. That helped a little, but it would have helped more had I turned the heat on.
Despite the colder weather, through yesterday I've had six consecutive days of 15,000+ steps, including two of better than 20,000. Today looks promising as well. Fitbit also has a new feature that awards a pip for each clock hour in which you get 250 or more steps, the idea being to get you off your ass. I've got my app set to count from 8am to 9pm. Since Friday, I've had 13 of 13 hours four of five possible days—and today looks pretty likely as well. (The trick is to take Parker for a walk at 5 minutes before the hour, which gets me two pips in 10 minutes.
This just happened today:
Also, yesterday was the fifth day in a row that I topped 15,000 steps. Today it's gray and cold, so I may not get that many.