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We were in the midst of putting the November issue together. With deadline fast approaching, a thick stack of stories for our West Side Market feature awaited on my cluttered desk.

But as I pulled up to the light at West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue, I stopped short. The market's iconic clocktower rose in front of me, framed by a few whispy white clouds. So I pulled out my phone and took a couple pictures to post on Instagram, the social photo-filter app.

I drive through that intersection almost daily. But that morning, I felt different, energized, inspired heading into downtown. It made me think about what it must have been like when the market opened in 1912 and how lucky we are as a city to have it today.

That's what Instagram has done for me. It's allowed me to capure little moments of brilliance and share them. And that's what I love about this month's feature "InstaCLE," which collects 60 of our favorite images of the city (pg. 76).

"Instagram has taught me to stop and enjoy what's around me," says features editor Kim Schneider, who photographed a pool overlooking Lake Erie while reporting our August "Amazing Spaces" cover story. "I find myself thinking of ways to capture the interesting things I see, eat and do."

Doing so can uncover the extraordinary in the ordinary, like associate art director Sam Twarek's geometric view of downtown from an old window in the Artcraft Building or the cassette tape contributing writer Jason Brill discovered while helping to clean up Edgewater Park.

It can even reveal life's amazing randomness, like in managing editor Jim Vickers' self portrait. "One weekend morning I looked down and realized that between my T-shirt, zip-up sweatshirt and coffee mug, I was representing all of the city's sports teams at the same time — purely unplanned."

Maybe more than anything, Instagram makes photography accessible to anyone with a smartphone. "I honestly think I've taken more photos since joining Instagram than I have in 10 years," says art director Kristen Miller, who used to leave the family picture duties to her photographer husband.

So take note and don't leave all the photo fun to us. Share your favorite shots with us (@clevelandmagazine) too.

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