Saturday, May 31, 2014

31 May 2014: More from Edgewater

I've passed the Broadway Wood Studio on Broadway north of Granville countless times over the years, stopping to admire the exquisite bowls in the window, but yesterday was my lucky day: i actually got to see the master woodturner in action at his lathe. I could find surprisingly little information on the internet about the shop, but here is the one link i found with some nice examples of his work.   

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

28 May 2014: Welcome to Edgewater!

I packed my passport and took a trip across the border to the magical land of Edgewater today. With its huge backyards and sprawling trees, this particular pocket along the 6300 block of Hermitage, looks dramatically different from the rest of the neighborhood. 

Chestnut blossoms

Sunday, May 25, 2014

25 May 2014: Beach Season

This picture is a little deceptive since it doesn't reflect just how crowded 
it was at Loyola Beach on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. 
But in the midst of all the barbecue smoke, soccer games, and 
music-making, this peaceful moment caught my attention. 
Welcome to summer, everyone!

This is a more accurate view of the many people enjoying the sunshine
at the beach today.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

24 May 2014: Winter Is Officially Laid to Rest; Let the Summer Begin!

In a great leap of faith, i have finally decided to take a chance that winter really is over.
And so, after years of faithful service, these fine boots have been laid to rest (unless someone
comes across them and thinks they can squeeze another winter out of them). They were never
my style: I thought they were really ugly, but i was too lazy to return them, so i would wear
them on those few terrible days each winter--until this year, when i needed to wear them day
after day, week after week. They may not have been beautiful, but they were warm and surprisingly
good for walking on ice. If the lining hadn't started to shred from the constant wear this winter,
i would have kept them another year. 

The Bullhead Cantina is confronting passersby with a big decision. Which way will you turn?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

20 May 2014: Proud Mary Keep on Burnin'

I headed to the Loop this evening with the intention of seeing The Lunchbox at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Somehow i didn't expect it to be too crowded since it was a 6:00 show and the movie has been there for several days already. But the odds were not ever in my favor, and the last ticket was purchased by the person directly ahead of me in line. Although i was disappointed, it's hard to stay unhappy for very long in Chicago, especially at this time of year. And so i consoled myself with a little street theater, inhaling that distinctly Chicago aroma of Garrett's popcorn and bus fumes while watching a Tina Turner impersonator perform outside the Chicago Theatre. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

18 May 2014: At Work and at Play

This scene at the Kingdom Hall on Farwell reminded me of the barn-raising scene
in the movie Witness (1985). There were at least as many people on the other side
of the building, all working together on the big job of replacing this large, shingled roof. 
Meanwhile on the beach, the swings were temporarily at rest, just waiting for the next 
batch of children to arrive. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

17 May 2014: Self-portraits, Boystown

I went to see the documentary Finding Vivian Maier at the Landmark Century this afternoon. I know that it's trite to say that we were inspired by this and that, but i honestly have been inspired by Vivian Maier's work, both her wonderful photographs that capture the power, beauty, and dignity of urban life and by her solemn self-portraits. What an odd and fascinating woman she must have been! I knew a little of her history, working as a nanny on the north shore, but i hadn't realized that she spent the last few years of her life here in Rogers Park until her death in 2009 (from the footage it looked like she lived up near Howard). 

Walking up Clark St. on my way back to the L, i decided to take a couple of self-portraits in honor of Vivian Maier. I'll never be as talented or prolific a photographer as she, but photography has enriched the way i see the world around me and the way i understand my own role within that world. 

Double self-portrait amidst the home decor

Self-portrait with Harley
(it's all in the details)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

15 May 2014, Pt. 2: First Farmers Market of the Season

Every year i try to get to the first farmers market of the season at Daley Plaza. The selection of produce is still a little limited this early in the season (especially after such a long and brutal winter), but i did get some lovely asparagus. Apparently there was rhubarb too, but it was sold out by the time i got there. 

Two pigeons (although actually it looks like one of them is only about
3/4 of a pigeon) warming themselves at the eternal flame. 

There will be more vendors as the season progresses, but it was still a
good start to healthy-eating season.

Fresh asparagus! Let the Spargelfest begin!

The beekeepers from Kress Apiaries were well stocked with honey. 

15 May 2014, Pt. 1: Postcard from Paradise

Dear friend,
Well it's spring at last and here i am vacationing on the shores of beautiful 
Lake Farwell. Wish you were here.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

10 May 2014: Photoshoot

O Serendipity! Never in my wildest dreams could i have imagined encountering anything as fabulous as this photoshoot in the middle of a mundane walk home from the Morse Fresh Market.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

7 May 2014: Witches' Knickers

Witches' knickers is what the Irish call those raggedy plastic
 bags that snare in the branches of trees, waving in the breeze 
for all eternity. This particular example juxtaposes strangely 
with the beautiful blossoms on this flowering pear tree.
Chicago's plastic bag ban goes into effect next year, i 
guess the witches will have to start buying their knickers 
from Victoria's Secret like everybody else.

Monday, May 5, 2014

5 May 2014: Lucha Libre for Lunch

These two handsome devils were dishing out the tamales today
at the Food Truck Rally at Daley Plaza. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

4 May 2014: Gardening Season

Hurry on over to Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt to get started on this year's garden. The Rogers Park Garden Group has a wide variety of plants to choose from. As an added bonus, today is the last indoor market for the Glenwood Sunday Market, which will be back outdoors in June.  The market is open until 2:00, so put down that third cup of coffee and go buy some nice fresh asparagus and a few potted herbs at the market! 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

3 May 2014: Today's Exercise in Democracy

Today was Participatory Budgeting election day here in Chicago's 49th ward. We voted on what percentage of the ward's discretionary funds to spend on street repaving, lighting, and sidewalks, and how much of the remaining money to spend on other projects like new carpeting for the local library or turning an unused basketball court into an astroturfed soccer field for the local kids. This is my favorite election, and i look forward to it every year because--unlike most elections--in this one, there are no bad outcomes.
Voting was held at the Chicago Math and Sciences Academy

I loved the student art work on the walls above the lockers at CMSA. Each kid
painted a self-portait and wrote out a series of promises for goals they hope
to achieve for themselves. Good luck to all you beautiful kids!
And now a few of the sights encountered on the way home from voting:  

Grrrr! It's hard to write a caption for this picture that doesn't include a few
choice expletives. This hole in the ground has been at 7074 N. Clark St.
since 2006, when the old Adelphi Theater was torn down. When i first moved
to Rogers Park, it was still open and specialized in showing Bollywood
films. But it was shut down in 2002, torn down in 2006, and we've had this
lovely hole in the ground to look at ever since. As i said before: Grrr!
What appears to be a satellite voting set-up outside the Morse Market.
If i'd known it was here, i could have saved myself a walk. But then i would
have missed out on the first ice cream cone of the season at La Monarca.