Springtime is looming fast and furious here in the Big Windy. It was so refreshing yesterday, I spent a while wandering my neighborhood in the lovely light of late afternoon. There were so many things to look at and get carried away by; it’s always changing and always staying the same…
I live in East Village on the cusp of Wicker Park in Chicago and it’s a study of contrasts: old & new, bright & dimmed, fresh and decaying. From buildings to things growing in around and on them, the life force is very strong here. Much of this section of the neighborhood was built up around 1885 when Beef Ruled this city. Just a few blocks north of here there are incredible grey and brownstone townhouses, some almost right under the El tracks. These were the homes of the Beef Barons, who were more than proud to be the techno giants of their time just steps away from what they probably considered their private railways. Did they let you smoke cigars on the trains in those days (for sure).
Today you’ll find all sorts of goodness and notso’s with the main drag of Milwaukee Ave full of a frenzied mix of funky furniture stores, hip restaurants and bars, wig shacks, boutiques of every flavor, boarded up buildings, new dreadful condos, and possibly my favorite: the Kiss ‘N Tell, a store that promises to deliver all the girl stuff you need for that perfect night out (or in).
Here’s some random snapshots that jumped out at me while I walked the street to Fringe to get my hair cut (longish Pat Benetar shag). Click Here to see individual pictures.