Archive for the ‘OakPark365’ Category
Friday Nightlights September 11th, 2010
Tonight at Oak Park-River Forest it was father versus son. The coach versus the quarterback. A family divided, but brought together by football.
Jim Nudera, the Oak Park head coach faced his son, Jimmy, the York quarterback (6). Linda Nudera, wife/mother, wore a half-and-half jersey and flipped the coin. There are three Nudera’s on the OPRF staff and their oldest daughter is a York cheerleader.
After Jimmy lead his team to a 36-15 victory his father just gave him a quick hug and said, “I’m proud of you son.” It was a cool moment that should have been a better photo, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
Economy Shopping December 4th, 2009
This story has been done and I’m ok with that. My newspaper wrote a story about the Economy Shop in 1919. I really wanted to find someone doing their holiday shopping on the cheap, the same way people have been doing here for 90 years. I love the hunt for a story, when the door opens and you stalk each room, spark up conversations and figure how comfortable you can make them quickly.
After 30 minutes of wandering a three-story house filled with treasures I found Patricia Green picking out five cent ornaments. “I’ve been coming here for the last, oh my god, thirty years. This place has been just a blessing for me,” Green said as I fumbled to get my audio recorder rolling. She was so cute and nice. Green allowed me to follow her as she shopped for everything you can imagine. Christmas tree with ornaments, bows, shoes, towels, bundt pan, wreaths, jewelry, and a $1 winter jacket. She shops for 7 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and many kids in her Austin neighborhood that are in need.
They’ve got a few more sale dates before Christmas. It’s an adventure and shopping all in one.
Olympic FAIL October 2nd, 2009
As I was parking my car to attend a big party where Chicago would be named greatest city in the freakin’ world and get anointed with the crown that is the 2016 Olympic games, NPR reported the vote went the other way. I wasn’t totally in favor of the Olympics, nor against it. The city has way more serious issues that could use attention, like gun violence, poverty, gentrification, failing schools, I could go on. So the reporter I was working with, Chris LaFortune, and I hung out as a handful of students and faculty at Concordia University Chicago watched news reports.
Most people declined to be photographed, the gym was super dark, and we missed the moment. But you can’t publish an excuse.
Training is Personal September 1st, 2009
I spent the morning working on a story about a personal trainer, Ralph Griffiths, owner ENRG Fitness. He was giving a personal training session to Jennifer Coghlan in her home. They were both super fun to hang out with even if it was before 9 a.m. Griffiths has a blog you can check out and find out more about him here.
More Oak Park365 August 20th, 2009
I’ve not been keeping up on my Oak Park yearly project. So here’s a few from last month that I liked.
Suburban chickens April 24th, 2009
At 9 A.M. today I was in a warm room, quiet except for the soft groans that come from someone getting a kick-ass massage. Forty five minutes later I was chasing a pair of hens around a backyard in Oak Park. When I came across an item in an email this week from the Green Community Center about a resident who raises chickens in her backyard I was sold. My love of the bizarre, needs no documentation. I was expecting more than two chickens, to be honest, but then reality sets in and the Village of Oak Park allows two fowl per backyard. The owner, Helen Standen, declined to be photographed. So Poppy and Magnolia became my stars. This is shaping up to be a fad, or a trend, or whatever. There are many websites, Backyard Chickens, Urban Chickens, and even a good blog about one in Chicago. Most days my job rocks.
So I totally want some chickens now. My cats would *love* them.
excerpt from Chris LaFortune’s story:
Perhaps this comes as a surprise, but Helen Standen doesn’t mind that people call her the chicken lady.
“I home school, too,” the Oak Park resident said. “I’m used to being different.”
Standen grew up just outside of Cleveland on 12 acres of land. Her parents owned goats, pigs, other farm animals, but they weren’t really farmers.
Standen’s father traveled a lot for work, her mother was an avid gardener and canner.
“Looking back now that I’m grown up as a parent with kids, I don’t know how my parents did it,” Standen said.
So she’s quite content with just the two chickens that she owns and keeps in her Oak Park backyard. Poppy and Magnolia, two ISA Browns, have a coop in the back of Standen’s yard, a structure she built.
“It’s great for the soul to produce stuff, to make stuff,” Standen said. “It doesn’t have to be of professional quality.”
The Standens first owned chickens in 2004. They’ve lost a few over the years to various mishaps, and the current pair came in last year.
My favorite reporter and partner-in-crime on the Oak Park 365 blog, Chris LaFortune.
Massage Therapy of Oak Park April 24th, 2009
Another day, another home business that seems like a great idea. This morning was Rick Halle-Podell’s Massage Therapy of Oak Park. I met Halle-Podell one night at Green Home Experts in Oak Park working on another story. Halle-Podell claims having such an intimate business in your home forces you to be close with your clients and they become like family.
Hey! get out of my shot, jerk.
Oak Park Suzuki School April 24th, 2009
Usually when I get the pleasure of photographing children playing violins I leave the assignment with a nail-on-chalkboard sound in my head. So I was confused when I pushed open the door to Oak Park Suzuki School. There was beautiful music coming out of this basement studio. After meeting some of Meg Lanfear’s students and seeing how talented they were I could just glide around and make some frames. Parental involvement is a big part of the success at Lanfear’s studio. It was a beautiful way to spent an hour. Then I had to go shoot a stupid science fair. More info on Meg and the Oak Park Suzuki School will be on the Oak Park 365 blog soon.
In my family a violin was called a fiddle, and how could I not drop some video of my all-time fiddle player at a show from my neighborhood. A fella who woke me up by playing the banjo after an epic show. Ladies & gentlemen, the Professor of hillbilly music.Mr. Donnie Herron. You can find video of him playing with Bob Dylan, but he kills when he’s in his element.
Walk of the Cross April 11th, 2009
I was crouched on the ground photographing the way light was hitting a hand. The hand was rigidly clutching a large, heavy, wooden cross. “Act out of strength, not out of weakness.” It was a man’s voice and I’m not sure who said it. I’ve photographed Good Friday events for the better part of ten years and this one really stuck with me. First United Church of Oak Park held this for the first time and has many other events going on this weekend.
At each station was an honest discussion about charity, forgiveness, helping others, ect. I was surprised when a participant (my notebook is at work y’all) mentioned she was a bit embarrassed to be carrying a cross through downtown Oak Park, knowing people were judging her. “I’m more than my beliefs,” she said.
“It makes you think about the brutality, and how Jesus suffered. And how there is still so much brutality in the world today,” One woman said.
I’ve been to the crazy crucifixion re-enaction in Pilsen on Good Friday and it seemed like going to a play, where you know it’s totally unreal. Photographically that event is like fishing with a scud missile. I enjoyed the quiet discussions and real life lessons like helping out at the PADS shelter.
“Act out of strength, not out of weakness.” Those words kept bubbling up in my head all day.
Charcoal artist April 3rd, 2009
I’ve seen Steve Fisher and his easel set up inside the Buzz Cafe many times. It seems everywhere we go these days turns into something about the economy. Fisher is using the opportunity of unemployment to work on his art full time. The full story is on the Oak Park 365 blog.