So I've become one of those people who lets a blog sit idle for months.

I still haven't finished going through my photos from Chicago in May, yet this one is from New York City – and not my June trip, the August one. Neither trip was primarily about taking photos, but naturally I still brought a couple of cameras with me.

This blog is coming up on its ten-year mark, which means it traces my photography back almost to the beginning. It has lasted through three or four photo hosting changes, but link rot and lack of attention is taking its toll. Ten years is an eternity on the internet.

Most of my energies these days are going to my matthewpiers.com site, including its blog page which is a bit more wide-ranging than this one. It has had ten updates in the time that this site has been idle, including a bunch of text-heavier articles, and details on a project that I photographed, printed, and exhibited with barely a mention here.



Chicago is unusual, and possibly unique, in that much of the downtown core is built in tiers of ironwork and pavement. "Street level" in this photo is one above, and there's another roadway layered below. Exploring this network, which isn't all that inviting or pedestrian-friendly, was one of the major goals for my trip.

It doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense that I would leave my Nikon D800 at home when I knew I wanted to go somewhere dark. But fortunately the little Sigma DP3M and Ricoh GR worked well even under these somewhat adverse conditions. The DP3M does have problems with noise when it runs as high as iso 640 – no, I didn't forget a zero – but I only lost one photo to that cause. Perhaps next time a monopod or gorillapod will be on my packing list, but these days it's hard to overstate just how much I prefer to travel light.



The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. I figured that if the bus stop sign was worth being put in front of such a grand entrance then it must be important.



Parking in Chicago is tremendously expensive – but then again parking is perhaps the most under-priced municipal resource in Toronto.

Love the BMW warning sign. "Caution! People have more money than you."

The sign to tell people to pay inside instead of at the entrance suggests that some jokers have figured out that buying a hi-viz vest is a great way to make quick cash. I'm not sure why they wouldn't just move the sign, though.

Tourist Snaps

Some obligatory shots.


Well Worth It

It's good to see that the pesticides are resulting in such lush public green space, although it's hard to imagine what sort of weeds would be uglier than the signs or the process.


Five Chicago Singles

Chicago has a lot of parking garages, and they're going to be the subject of a photo series or two. But this photo won't fit any of them, and I still wanted to point out that – as nice as it is to get away from the traditional lettering style – this is by far the ugliest stop sign I've ever seen.

That cosmetic surgery clinic's logo deserves some serious contemplation. I've heard that many of Freud's theories have been discredited, but still.

Also widely discredited and thoroughly mocked is this Cole Haan ad. Yes, it's a bit hard to see at this size, but the guy who was unable to find a pair of socks to match his car is indeed intently staring at the iso selection dial on the back of his film Leica. Perhaps if he wasn't being such a camera-tool he would have noticed the attractive woman who looked like she wanted to talk to him.

"Prince Commons" struck me as a particularly disneyfied spin on the monarchy that would only happen in America.

My first thought on seeing this sign is that its priorities seem reversed – a people career academy that trains animals might be more useful, but perhaps that market is already over-served. It's only on further reflection that I also think that Futura is a poor font choice, and that its kerning is really terrible.

I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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