Category Archives: Naperville Photography

10 Reasons Why I Love Naperville Magazine and You Should Too!

Naperville Magazine_edited-1by Stuart Meyer

I grew up surrounded by the publishing business.  After my father’s early career years in radio, television and working for the local daily newspaper, he began publishing his own monthly shopper newspaper in Elizabethtown, KY which circulated continuously for over 30 years.

My favorite memories were riding around with him to visit his advertisers as they were all one big extended family to us.  As I got older and after spending enough time hanging out in his design/layout office, he taught me ad design layout… the old-fashioned way as he was somewhat of a “purist”.  No computers or desktop publishing… it was all border tape, polaroids, blue lines, matte books of artwork, hot wax, plenty of typeset and manual Royal typewriters.

Given my childhood in the family publishing business, I’ve alwaysNaperville Magazine_June 2013 Cover admired the work of Naperville magazine publisher Leah Rippe in her vision and determination over the years to build and grow a true Naperville-focused monthly magazine.  The magazine’s mantra and slogan is “Your City. Your Magazine” and they are true to their word.

Here’s my top 10 reasons why I love Naperville magazine:

10)  DESIGN worthy of a higher-end lifestyle magazine publication.

9)  Lots of LOCAL CONTRIBUTORS sharing both their talents and Naperville perspectives.

8)  Seemingly endless coverage of the LOCAL CHARITABLE EVENTS AND SOCIAL SCENE IN THE NAPERSCENE SECTION.  Our favorite challenge is to search for that rare event where our friend Ray Kinney isn’t pictured.

7)  Lots and lots of GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY.


5) Publishing depends on advertising support and I admire the ways in which the magazine blends in BUSINESS STORYTELLING as part of the content.

4) Great FEATURE STORIES and commitment to COMMUNITY NEWS.

3) The magazine is truly presented from a true NAPERVILLE PERSPECTIVE.

2) From restaurant reviews, chef profiles to the Dining Out section, there’s always a strong FOOD FOCUS.

1) Come on… it’s ALL ABOUT NAPERVILLE!  Thanks Leah!

To subscribe to Naperville magazine and event eNewsletter, CLICK HERE


A Rare Look At Naperville’s Centennial Beach You Don’t See Often

WoN_Centennial Beach_edited-1

In 1931, during Naperville’s Centennial Celebration, an old quarry was converted into an instant community Summertime treasure.

by Stuart Meyer

Napeville’s Centennial Beach is truly a one-of-a-kind nostalgic treasure and we can thank our community and incredible Naperville Parks District for all their efforts in keeping this tradition alive.

One of our favorite Summer traditions is to pack up a picnic and head out after 5pm on a sweltering weekday with the family when the crowds have dwindled a little.  After that, it’s always fun to make the short walk into downtown for a little ice cream or indulgent cookie dough at Cookie Dough Creations.

Centennial Beach_Then & now

Centennial Beach – Then & Now. (Photos taken from the Naperville Parks District website.

Of course, the photo above is a different look at this Naperville icon.  As we move toward Spring, I thought everyone would enjoy taking a look at this rare photo of the swimming area I took back in April of 2011 as they were getting ready for the season. SM

Naperville Photo of the Week – The Amazing Shrinking Millenium Carillon

Naperville_Different Than They AppearHere’s a Naperville image I captured that proves that things are not always quite as they may seem.  There resides an excellent moral to this photo of a Riverwalk lamp post which appears to tower over the Millennium Carillon at Rotary Hill.

In life, sometimes things are not always as they appear.   As a matter of fact, many situations in life are quite different than the assumptions we draw at first glance.

I am reminded of a favorite story I once heard that reinforces this very lesson.  There was a man who was relaxing by a pool during a much needed vacation in Florida.  He turned his chair away from the pool to enhance his relaxation.  All of a sudden, he heard someone jump in the pool, leaving a big splash in their wake which sent pool water flying up onto the man.  After entering the water, there could be heard playful thrashing all around which continued to splash water upon the man.  At first, he tried to forget what was going on behind him but soon it was unbearable.  Angry from the relaxation this apparent horseplay was robbing from his vacation, he arose from his pool lounge chair and turned around to the confront the inconsiderate trouble-maker.  However, when he turned around, much to his shock he saw that the person he thought was being disrespectful was actually drowning.

A very different reality.  When it comes to Naperville, it’s important for us all to not judge the proverbial “book” by its “cover” no more than we want those who live outside of Naperville judging us just because we live in Naperville. 

Sometimes, the slighest shift of perspective can make your world look very different.  If a difficult situation or person in life is weighing heavily on you, why not reach out and engage the problem or the individual head on to determine the actual truth.  You just might discover that the whole situation was not quite as it appeared.  It just might change your life.  SM 

PART 1: Photos of Visit to North Central College Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center


Thanks to Ted Slowik, former Naperville Sun news guru turned North Central College PR/Media Relations Director, I had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the brand new North Central College Wentz Concert Hall Fine Arts Center this evening. 

While I will be writing a more in-depth posting or two about the experience, I of course took a number of photos which I will be sharing as well. 

As the afternoon waned, I headed downtown, parked in the central parking garage and walked up the small hill toward the new arts center.  Given the timing of day and the fact we had been blessed with a sunny day here in Naperville, I captured this particular image even before stepping foot into the lobby to meet Ted.  It was amazing how the sun splashed the walls casting directional shadows and reflections. 

ncc_wentz-bw-exterior Of course, to those of you who may be familiar with my photography know that a color image is a rarity, especially when it comes to architecture.  Thus, so as not to disappoint, I also have a black-and-white image to share as well.  

It was definitely the perfect time of this January day to be walking up upon the western exposure of the arts center.  In the postings still to come, I will provide a perspective of the Wentz Concert Hall and Arts Center through my own eyes as a musician and composer and why I believe you must experience a performance in this space.  

To be continued.  SM 

Naperville Photograph of the Week – Jefferson Avenue Trees

This photograph was taken near the corner of Jefferson and Main looking toward Washington.  Perhaps the most interesting feature is how it highlights the large trees which have been preserved over the years and appear to be growing out of the sidewalk.

If you were to go back in time nearly 100 years ago you would be able to take this same picture of the feature buildings, yet the streets were made of dirt and true “horsepower” served as the primary mode of transportation in Naperville.  Over the years, the architecture has been preserved as trees added as yet another unique reminder of how Downtown Naperville has been carefully preserved over time.

It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, why not spend a day in downtown to take a closer look at our history.

Portraits of Downtown photography exhibit to end on July 31st

Just a quick post to let everyone know that the Portraits of Downtown photography exhibit at Art and Frame Naperville will end on July 31st. 

If you haven’t had a chance to drop by to view this unique perspective of our downtown, I hope you will have a chance to do so before the exhibit ends. 

“Portraits of Downtown” is open now through July 31st at Art and Frame Naperville (702 West Fifth Avenue, behind Naperville North High School) M-F 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM and Saturday from 9:30 – 4:00.  SM

Mystery photo #2 for Napervillians thinking about summer vacation

Alright, here is the second mystery photo from our recent vacation for you to consider.  If you think you might know where these photos were taken, write a comment to this posting (click on comment below) and give me your best guess.

I’ll give you a hint, it certainly isn’t in the desert.  SM