It’s a free country, Isn’t it?

A few days ago on the way to work, my El car stopped while crossing the Chicago River and I used my Palm Centro to snap a couple of shots of the images mirrored in a highrise office building alongside the tracks. I decided I liked them and posted them in a new album, called City Scenes, on my Facebook page. I decided I would like to add to the collection.

Today was a beautiful day and I had a number of errands to do so while walking around the Loop at lunch, I snapped dozens of shots of buildings, skylines and reflections. I happened to be across Clark Street from what we used to call First National Bank Plaza (First National has been swallowed up a number of times and I don’t know which bailed out entity has naming right at the moment. Chase, I think.)

As I was shooting I heard a booming voice from nowhere ordering me not to take pictures. I shouted into the air asking the speaker to identify himself but got no response. Behind me was a building entry with driveway that I now think leads to the basement of the bank. I took a lot of photos, including one of an armored car driving in. The guard, who was the voice, hid his face as I kept shooting.

I took care of some business and on my way back I turned on the video function of the camera. I didn’t capture much, but it did draw the guard out from his station, covering his face and ordering me to stop. When I asked on whose authority he hesitated and then said the bank. I told him I was on public property and invited him to call the police(actually it wouldn’t surprise me if the bank has an easement for the driveway.) He hept hiding his face. I suggested he should wear a mask, at which time he said he would break (or take – my adrenaline was too high to be sure) my camera. At that point I started to call the police but then discretion outweighed valor and I walked away. If I weren’t planning a vacation next week, I might have stood my ground, but the tickets are non-refundable.

I will post the photos on my Facebook site when I get a chance. (The Palm Facebook software only lets you post five photos at at time.)


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