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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Travels with my iPhone

My trip to Chicago last week was the first vacation for my iPhone. I didn't use it as often as I would have liked as it was too awkward to try to manage both it and my regular camera at the same time. I most often pulled the iPhone out when I was sitting down -- in the airplane, for example, and in restaurants -- although I did whip it out of my purse on occasion when the mood struck.

All square images in this post were taken with the Hipstamatic app, while the others were with the Toy Camera app, set on random.

Bella Bacino's is a terrific Italian restaurant about three blocks south of our hotel, located in "Chicago's New East Side" or so the sign read. We thought we were in The Loop, so who knew?

The cocktails at Bella Bacino's were splendid, while the salad and pizza were delicious; Leslie and I ate everything. One wall is completely lined with the wooden panels from wine crates, an attractive touch, as were the colourful padded bench seats stretched down one side of the restaurant.

Here's a tip for the next time you're on a lengthy walkabout and need to stop for refreshment. Try having a smoothie instead of something with caffeine. Leslie and I stopped at a small Japanese takeout joint across the street from Utrecht Art Supplies called Osaka Express; we had reached that point in the afternoon where you feel you've hit a wall.....tired, thirsty, in need of a break. These fruit smoothies were an incredible energy boost, more rejuvenating than a coffee ever would have been.

One of the treats of this trip was getting to visit a diner I discovered by watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. I so wanted to eat at Glenn's Diner and was very happy when Leslie was interested too. Fresh seafood is the specialty -- Leslie's halibut and my sturgeon were proof-positive of the chef's expertise with fish -- but I think we were perhaps most delighted by our before-dinner drink. More on that below.

The restaurant's low lighting was charming but proved troublesome for my iPhone; shooting in such a dark space was quite problematic. I did learn that by switching the lens in the Hipstamatic app I could generate better results.

Now, about that drink. My Big Fat Bloody Mary is an absolute must should you ever visit Glenn's Diner. Not only is it a deliciously spicy concoction, it is also generous. It is served in a large milkshake-style glass, rimmed with what I believe was celery salt mixed with old bay seasoning. The drink includes a wedge of lime, a large celery stick, a large carrot stick plus an enormous half-moon of melon. But that's not it. Five large shrimp are also skewered inside your drink. Yes, five! It is truly an appetizer pretending to be a cocktail. I don't think I will never find another bloody mary to top this one!


firstborn studio said...

ahhh chicago!
can never get enough of that place,we are a mere 5 hours from there,yet don't get there as often as we would like.
your pictures tell a fun story!!


Leslie Jane Moran said...

Oh let's go back!

I could use one of those Bloody Mary's right now!
Wonderful recounting of a great trip.

Gwen said...

I may have to get an iphone just for the camera apps! Your shots are wonderful!!

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