Category Archives: public spaces

Here Come The Birds

The birds are coming back. I saw some robins last week, and have seen a lot of cardinals flying around behind our house. I found some information regarding cardinals indicating that they are not migratory, but despite this I don’t recall seeing one around here in the winter.

Anyways, I got back from shopping this afternoon, and had my handheld digital voice recorder with me. I don’t really recognize birdsongs, but I know what a cardinal sounds like.

There was one high up in a tree right next to our garage. I was in a blissful enough moment to stop and record it for a bit.

If you listen closely you can hear another cardinal in the distance (perhaps answering its call?).

Union Station

So, I had a kind of busy weekend.

My folks bought a new car a while back and gave us their old station wagon, so we’ll now be a two-car household. We don’t expect to use the additional car a lot, but it’s nice to have for logistical reasons.

So, we got all the paperwork taken care of on Friday. I took the Metra train to Union Station downtown in the late afternoon, for purposes of taking the Amtrak train down to Springfield, where I would pick up the car and drive it back the following day.

The way the train schedules worked out, I had about an hour and a half to putter about at Union Station while I waited for my train to Springfield to depart.

As I have mentioned before, I started out a new audio blog that consists of posts of one or a handful of musical notes, often recorded from the surrounding environment. Never to be an unprepared blogger, I had my recently-purchased digital voice recorder with me to record any interesting musical sounds. I also had my digital camera with me for the trip.

I really love the Great Hall in Union Station, and sat there for a spell during my wait. While I was there, I took a few pictures and recorded some audio of my time there.

This gives you a nice idea of the size of the room. And it’s in the goddamned US of A, in case you didn’t see that big flag.

I just panned the camera a bit to the right to capture this lovely view.

The roof of the Great Hall. It lets in some very filtered light, which actually makes the whole room feel a bit sad.

Panning the camera a little more to the right and we see the stone steps famously used in a sequence in Brian DePalma’s Untouchables. You may remember that a baby carriage was a major component of the scene. It just so happened that the baby carriage in the photo had just been pushed (gently) down the steps.

A casualty of the cellphone era. A bank of payphones, only a couple of them operable.

Here’s the audio I captured. It’s about a minute and a half, and is appropriately directionless and echoey.