Duncan Ceramic Products, Authorized Dealer

Sievert

Duncan

Yesterday, I took a detour down a stretch of Center Street, on the north side of Joliet, that I had never driven before. Standing out amid the usual hundred-plus-year-old houses, I was very pleased to discover this old storefront building. I would guess it was originally a corner tavern or grocery (the name near the roof reads "Sievert"), though it's now empty and for sale. The decal on the front door for Duncan Ceramic Products indicates its most recent incarnation was some sort of art supply store, though I can't find any confirmation of that online through an address search. Such a store seems somewhat incongruous with the surrounding working-class neighborhood, which might mean it's been empty for a very long time.

April 14, 2014 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Joliet Litho-Print

Jolietlitho1

Jolietlitho2

I've known about this ad for a while now, but only just got around to photographing it yesterday. This is Joliet Litho-Print, on Chicago Street in downtown Joliet. In the inset photo, you can make out "Service Printers", "Pamphlets" and "Catalogs", and if you look even closer, there's a lime-colored swoosh stripe (inverted, anti-Nike) just above "Litho-Print." Based on the company's limited web presence - I couldn't even find a website - it's unclear whether or not it's still in business, so I'm glad to have finally photographed this while I still could. I've been into fading ads for about fifteen years now, and have lost far too many ads by assuming they would always be around to photograph some other day.

April 8, 2014 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: People's Gas Company

Peoplesgas1

Peoplesgas2

Here's another fading ad, one that's hiding and seems somewhat shy. I saw this from atop the same parking garage where I photographed the A.C. McClurg ad; it's the old Peoples Gas Company building at 122 S. Michigan. The ad is on the back on the building, facing west, and is mostly obscured by the taller, modern tower at the left side of the photo. Due to its height and the closeness of that modern tower, I doubt that this ad is fully visible from anywhere other than inside the tower.

March 24, 2014 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: A.C. McClurg & Co.

Mcclurg

I was quite pleased to suddenly discover this fading ad during my afternoon walk last Friday. I was strolling west on Adams, approaching Wabash, and happened to glance up, above the El tracks, where I saw the ad high up on a building at 218 S. Wabash. Because of where the ad is situated (facing a narrow gap over a small four-story building, next to which was a tall parking garage) the exact spot where I happened to be at that moment is essentially the only point where the ad can be seen from the street. I rode the elevator to the top level of the garage, walked past the cars and to the edge, where I was able to take this shot.

The ad is for A.C. McClurg & Company (you can see all but the "A.C." and the "Mc"), once one of the most prominent publishers in Chicago; McClurg most notably published Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books as well as The Dial, one of the most prominent literary journals of its day. McClurg also operated a major book store which eventually morphed into the legendary Kroch's & Brentano's. In an interesting twist, this photo actually includes a second ad: in the upper left corner you can see an ad for Lyon & Healy, which I have previously documented.

Parking garages are a great place to photograph from, or just to take in unique views. Most of what we see downtown is either from street level or from high up in tall buildings. But garages provide an interesting middle ground: five to ten stories high, with the uncovered top level providing an open, panoramic view. Especially on the streets along the El tracks (Wabash, Van Buren, Wells, Lake) where redevelopment has come slower than the more marquee streets of the Loop, garages provide a rare glimpse of scruffier and (to me) more charming older buildings. And since they're open to the public, garages are easily accessible without having to navigate through security.

March 24, 2014 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fading Ad: Brunswick

Brunswick

This building at 623 S. Wabash Avenue in Chicago was the headquarters of Brunswick Corporation (previously the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company) from 1913 to 1964. That distinctive logo should be familiar to anyone who's ever shot pool on a Brunswick table or bowled in a Brunswick alley. Brunswick is still in business, though it moved to the suburbs years ago. Interestingly enough, before Brunswick this building housed a showroom of the Studebaker automobile company, and the opposite (north) side of the building also has a Studebaker ad which must be over a hundred years old. Unfortunately I had to shoot that ad facing south, toward the bright sun, and the lettering of the ad was totally washed out. (You can just make out the ad in this shot from Google Street View.) It's rare for one building here in Chicago to have two fading ads, let alone ads for two iconic companies.

March 17, 2014 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fading Ad: Hollywood Tuxedo Rental

Tuxedo-saska

I just love this fantastic faded ad from the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, photographed by Marian Saska. But the photo was taken in 1972 and, unforunately, the ad is now long gone. Still, nice to see it preserved for posterity. As for the ad content itself, I know they were trying to emphasize the tuxedo, but it's kind of unsettling to see the woman rendered so faintly, only in outline.

March 14, 2014 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cartier-Bresson in Chicago

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Excellent: I didn't know that the great Henri Cartier-Bresson was ever in Chicago, let alone that he photographed memorable images here, like this one. I'm heartened to see he was as enamored with the abstract geometry of the El tracks as countless other, lesser photographers (myself included) have been since the system's inception. And I admire the juxtaposition between the hard rigidity of the tracks and the soft and slightly pained humanity of the boy's face.

March 2, 2014 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Merchandise Mart, 1934

Merchmart

Love this gorgeous 1934 photograph looking east along the main branch of the Chicago River, with the Merchandise Mart on the left. The river was so placid at that moment that it almost looks like a reflecting pool, and not the open sewer it was back then.

February 10, 2014 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blymyer Building, Cincinnati

Cincy

This 1912 photo of downtown Cincinnati is very cool in general (such bustling energy!), but even cooler is this inset photo of the top of the Blymyer Buidling and this glorious ad:

Blymyer

Unfortunately, it's not a fading ad now, since the building no longer exists - still, this is the most extensive "building directory" ad I've ever seen. That building apparently was quite the mecca of the writing trade - two typewriter dealers, a printer and a stationer.

January 31, 2014 in History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Boston Store redux

Bostonstore

My good friend Frank Jump was kind enough to repost this photo that I put up last week on Facebook, where I've been running an album called "Photo a Day", of photographs that I've taken each day this year. One afternoon last week, I was walking down Washington Street and looking for a subject, and happened to look across the street at the Block 37 office building, and was very pleased to see the old Boston Store fading ad reflected in the glass. (I had previously photographed the ad - posted here - and inevitably look for it every time I'm walking nearby.) In his post Frank provides more background on the Boston Store, including a great old newspaper ad. I really like the photo, particularly its juxtaposition of modern and aged.

January 22, 2014 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

The guests posed politely, but were itching to go home.

Small

Another marvelous found-snapshot from Ron Slattery at bighappyfunhouse. Apparently taken by a young girl, of a less-than-easygoing group. I wouldn't have guessed this was from 1973; based on the outfits, it seems at least a decade earlier.

January 15, 2014 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Catholics and girlies and air raids, oh my!

Southington_full

Southington_inset

Love this 1942 photograph by Fenno Jacobs of a magazine stand in Southington, Connecticut. If you click here for the full-sized image, you can zoom in on the various covers. I particularly like how randomly the publications are arranged - that inset photo shows, all within a few inches, Catholic International, Smiles (based on the cover, some sort of girlie/lingerie pulp?), Little Oscar's First (Air) Raid and an astrology magazine.

January 2, 2014 in History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ice Ice Baby

Ice_ice


I love this photo. If my writing was at all comic - which it isn't - I'd want to have this as a book cover some day.

December 22, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ads and Fading AIDS

Steed taylor griffon shears

My great friend Frank Jump is refining his Fading Ad Campaign series of fading ad photographs, and will soon be incorporating vintage ads into portraits of fellow AIDS survivors, such as the photo of Steed Taylor and the Griffon Shears ad shown above.

As this project has matured and I have become a long-term survivor, the original metaphor of the Fading Ad Campaign that rang true for me fifteen years ago still resounds, but the overtones have modulated. Although I continue to utilize these images to draw light upon the fading problem of AIDS, fostering awareness isn’t the primary focus anymore as is the condition of the aging survivors, many of whom have lost their fear of dying from AIDS but are succumbing to age-related illnesses and complications from pharmacological toxicities. Through this campaign, my life mission is to continue to shed light on this lingering issue that still affects many of us in the LGBTQ community.

Frank has always seen fading ads as a metaphor for perseverance and survival, but this series of portraits and interviews with AIDS survivors will undoubtedly make that connection even stronger. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

December 1, 2013 in Personal, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two views of 1950s Chicago

Rushstreet1954

Rush Street, looking south from Delaware Street, in 1954. Love that tawdry, gaudy neon. The area is now informally known as the Viagra Triangle (for the middle-aged divorced guys haunting the steakhouses and trying to get lucky), but there's no way it has the hustle and throb it enjoyed well into the 1970s.

Doorwaycallahan1955

Doorway by Harry Callahan, 1955. Probably far from the glare of Rush Street, and likely in a working class neighborhood. Just in this tight frame, I see advertisements for three beers (Sieben's - painted directly onto the window at the upper right - Schlitz and Budweiser) and two whiskeys (Hiram Walker Imperial and Echo Springs). I like a place that gives you a hint of what's inside before you even step off the street.

November 22, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Exit

Exit

I love the rusted decay of this door on the Harrison Street side of the old Chicago Main Post Office, which has been abandoned since 1997. Sixty hulking, empty acres of floorspace - 2.5 million square feet - just a short walk from downtown. The place still amazes me, in both its gargantuan size and its emptiness.

November 19, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fading Ad: Casey's Liquors

Caseys

This fading ad for Casey's Liquors (1444 W. Chicago Avenue) is one of the more difficult ad photos I've taken. It was in a narrow, fenced alley that made it impossible to photograph in any manner other than from this extreme angle. I really like the now-defunct store's slogan: "Chances are we got it."

November 7, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fading Ad: A. Sulka & Company

Sulka

Here's a different kind of fading ad. At the former Chicago branch of luxury clothier A. Sulka & Company at Madison Street and Michigan Avenue, the company name was affixed onto the building with some sort of raised script lettering. The signage must have been there for quite some time, because after it was removed, the years of weather left an outline of the lettering on the building. Nice little relic.

October 8, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monadnock Building

Monadnock

Monadnock Building, west-facing wall, taken during the late afternoon from the tight confines of Federal Street. One of my favorite buildings in the city. Somewhere in the back of my mind is a novel about the office denizens of just such a building.

October 2, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Neighborhood

Backporch

Sometimes accidental photographic subjects are more interesting than what you intended to photograph. I was trying to snap a long-distance photo of the Santa Fe Grain Elevator from my fast-moving train, but although I did catch part of the elevator in this photo (at the center-right, beyond the telephone pole), far more interesting to me are the brick houses, garage and oddly-parked van in the foreground, plus the blurred rush of the trees. This is in McKinley Park on the near Southwest Side, at 33rd and Damen.

September 27, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hilton Head photographs

Last week we were on our semi-regular vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina. As always I took a ton of photos, but since the natural geography never changes much there, I'll skip showing the usual sunsets, waves and mountains. Instead, this time I'll focus on some strange and quirky images I managed to capture.

Adult

Nothing symbolizes the heaven-and-hell, saint-and-sinner tension of the south for me quite like this roadside scene: the sprawling Adult World sex superstore, towered over by a giant cross. This perspective is deceiving: the cross (a quarter of a mile down the road) is actually much taller than the store. It's almost as if the cross was built to give customers one last reminder, as they step into the store, just whom they're pissing off by satisfying their craven urges.

Tunnel

Tunnel through an Appalachian mountain, in the Pisgah National Forest. Julie cringes every time we go through a tunnel, especially a long curving one like this where you can't see the other end.

Waffle

I always know we're arrived in the south when the first Waffle Houses begin to appear. I like how the motel sign next door seems to comment on the regional orientation of the restaurant chain.

Agee

Strange cover illustration of James Agee's iconic autobiographical novel. If I didn't know better, this cover would lead me to believe that Agee's mother was some sort of human-butterfly hybrid.

Shadowyfamily

Family portrait.

Feet

Narcissism, pure artsy narcissism.

Piggly

I love the refreshing informality of Piggly Wiggly. Every other supermarket calls it bathroom tissue or toilet paper, but not The Pig, nosiree.

September 25, 2013 in Family, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fading Ad: Grocer

Faded_ad_lexington

I was pleasantly surprised to come across this fading ad this past weekend, during our drive home from vacation (on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina). The ad is for an old grocery store in Lexington, Kentucky (343 E. High Street); the building now houses Common Grounds Coffeehouse. A fading ad and good espresso. Two of my favorite things.

September 23, 2013 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Morning

Sunrise

This morning's dramatic sunrise almost looked like a Bierstadt landscape. With no mountains anywhere near Joliet, we have to rely on clouds for our grandeur.

September 11, 2013 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Chicago Paper Company

Cpc

On an instant whim, I photographed this image from my train this morning, of the old Chicago Paper Company building at Wells and Polk in the South Loop. I'm not sure which I love more: the fading ad bearing the company name, or that marvelous vast wall of small windows. (The blank spots are windows reflecting the morning sun.) I converted the photo to black and white to eliminate the sickening greenish tinge of the train window; I also found that doing so, combined with higher contrast and reduced brightness, really helps bring out the lettering.

I previously photographed this building last year, specifically for another ad along the roofline. But I like this current image much better.

August 30, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Spruce grove

Spruce

Spruce grove at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. This weekend the three of us did a long hike through the arboretum, where we hadn't visited since Maddie was a toddler. Beautiful place - it's the former estate of the Morton family (of Morton Salt fame) and includes everything from thick forest to savannas to marshes to prairie to formal gardens. The Mortons were pioneering naturalists (the family patriarch was the founder of Arbor Day) and their legacy has been lovingly maintained at the arboretum. We really enjoyed our visit and plan to return regularly, the next being a month or two from now for the autumn foliage.

August 26, 2013 in Personal, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 40th Parallel

Hollenberg

Completely fascinating: photographer Bruce Myren traversed the United States along the 40th Parallel, and photographed each of the 52 points at which the latitude line was intersected by a whole degree of longitude. Navigating west to east, you don't even see a building until Noblesville, Indiana, and only a few of the photos show any signs of human habitation at all. And only one depicts a genuine city: Columbus, Ohio. This is a vivid reminder of how much of our country is open, uninhabited land, despite having over 300 million people.

That photo above was taken in Hollenberg, Kansas, and is probably my favorite in the collection.

(Via Steve Himmer.)

August 20, 2013 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fading Ad: W.W. Kimball

Kimball

This fading ad is pretty tough to read. Running vertically down the right side of this building, you can just barely see the name "Kimball", with the "K" being even more faded than the rest. This was the former home of W.W. Kimball and Company, the famous manufacturer of pianos and organs, at the corner of Jackson and Wabash. (And, incidentally, right across the street is the old Lyon-Healy building; Wabash was once Chicago's Music Row.) Both the Kimball and Lyon-Healy buildings are now owned by DePaul University as part of its downtown campus.

August 16, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal Street

Federal

This charming medieval couple has clearly been keeping diligent watch over the fire alarm at 314-316 S. Federal for decades. The building was originally St. Hubert's English Chophouse (which was quite the destination in its day) but is now used only for storage by the adjacent Union League Club.

August 15, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fading Ad: Century Building

Century

I'm somehow charmed by this stylistic hodgepodge of a fading ad, on the south side of the Century Building, 202 S. State St. Reading from top to bottom:

202 S. State Street
Century Building
Choice Space/300 to 3500 sq. ft./Phone 431-1730
Romas Restaurant

Based on the graphics and the lack of an area code with the phone number, I would guess this ad dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s. That's also roughly the last time State Street had anything that would have been considered "choice" office space. The less-than-pristine portion at the left side of the ad is due it being painted over a vertical outcrop in the brick wall, which I assume conceals a chimney pipe.

August 8, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Falstaff Beer

Falstaff

My friend Marie Carnes posted this fantastic fading ad for Falstaff Beer, on the side of the Brooklyn Tavern in Springfield. I'm calling it a fading ad because although the bar is still in business (and in the news), Falstaff has been defunct since 2005. I'll always remember Harry Caray drunkenly waxing poetic about the glories of Falstaff during Sox games on Channel 44 during the seventies.

August 7, 2013 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Organization men

Organization_men

Seeing this 1954 photo of commuters getting off the Illinois Central train in Park Forest, Illinois, reminds me that I still want to read Walter H. Whyte's landmark study The Organization Man, which was based on the denizens of Park Forest, one of America's first centrally-planned suburbs. After Whyte's book, I'd also like to read The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Sloan Wilson's bestselling novel of the same era and subject matter. Based on this photo, it looks like Park Forest had quite a few gray-suited organization men back then.

August 5, 2013 in Books, Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Union Special

Unionspecial

River North usually gets a bad rap as being a vacuous playground for suburbanites, but at least the area has preserved its architectural heritage much better than the Loop has. Here is the main entrance for the old Union Special Machine Company building, at 310 W. Kinzie, right behind the Merchandise Mart. The building is now condominiums - which is far better than being demolished.

July 30, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Majestic Building

Majestic

This fading ad is of the Majestic Building, at 18 W. Monroe. The building originally housed the Majestic Theatre as well as general office space, and is now the Bank of America Theatre, with the offices recently converted to a Hampton Inn hotel. Lately I've been enjoying taking city photos during the late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky and casts some dramatic shadows such as this one.

July 17, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (3)

Curbside Castoffs

Elmo

Fifth in a series of memorable curbside discards. This one is actually of our own driveway - Maddie decided to finally get rid of her Elmo lawn sprinkler, which never worked very well anyway. Given the longtime appeal of Elmo, I'd be surprised if somebody doesn't salvage this before the garbage man arrives tomorrow, but it was still there as of this morning.

June 24, 2013 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Randolph Neon

Randolph

I just can't get enough Randolph Street photos from the fifties and sixties, and only partly because my dad used to work in the block shown above, between State and Dearborn. The signage (including, just on the north side of the street, Eitel's Old Heidelberg, the Oriental Theatre and the Woods Theatre) is so gaudy that it's almost beautiful. Plus I love that there was a bowling alley right in the middle of downtown; its unlit sign is in the left-center of the photo, above the bus.

June 17, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lake Street

Lakestreet

Lake Street, looking east from the Chicago & North Western viaduct. Yesterday afternoon.

June 7, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Afternoon coffee

Cafecito

View from inside of Cafecito, Wells Street, Chicago.

May 31, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Strolling on Canal Street

Canal1953

I love this 1953 view of Canal Street, looking north from Fulton Street. I'm intrigued by the presence of the woman and child - back then the area was almost entirely industrial sites and railyards, and not exactly the ideal place for a stroll. All I can think of is that with the Chicago & North Western railroad station having been a few blocks from that corner, maybe the two had a layover between trains and the woman wanted the kid to burn off some nervous energy before getting on their next train.

Here is the current view from almost the exact same vantage point. The tall building in the old photo (North American Cold Storage) is just visible as a sliver at the left of the right-hand condo tower - the cold storage building itself was converted to condos during the 1990s. The industrial building on the west side of the street in the old photo is now Cassidy Tire, which is marked by red signage.

May 23, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Champlain Building

Champlain

Walking down Wabash this afternoon, I was surprised to see this faded ad in the distance, a few blocks south on the opposite side of the street. I don't remember ever seeing it before, but I guess the El tracks block its view from most vantage points other than where I happened to be walking. The lettering is hard to make out, but I could just discern "Champlain" and "37", which I later found out was the Champlain Building, at 37 S. Wabash. Though the faded ad itself leaves much to be desired, I like the composition of this photo, particularly the contrast of the vertical columns of the buildings against the diagonals formed by the streetlights, tracks and windows.

May 21, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

At home with the Petries

Dvd_1

Dvd_2

I just love these two 1963 photographs by Earl Theisen, taken on the set of The Dick Van Dyke Show. I grew up on reruns of the show, and it's fascinating to see the oh-so-familiar Petrie living room and bedroom from these unfamiliar angles. It's also wonderful to see the genuine warmth between Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore in the second photo - I think I heard somewhere that during the show's heyday, a significant portion of viewers thought the two were married in real life. That's how convincing the actors were.

(Via Shorpy.com.)

May 6, 2013 in Photography, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Towboat

Tug

Joliet has a modest maritime connection, thanks to its location on the Des Plaines River between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Illinois River. Any barges traveling from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi have to pass through Joliet. Above is an Egan Marine towboat docked on a river wharf, just south of the McDonough Street bridge.

May 1, 2013 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Karoll's

Karolls

Ordinarily I love vintage signage, especially for a former Chicago institution like Karoll's. But I have to admit that this signage (shown in 1977) was kind of tacky, and really marred the exterior of the Reliance Building, one of the Loop's true architectural gems.

(Via Calumet 412.)

April 30, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Superhero

Powerman

Yesterday afternoon, while enjoying a brief stroll, I couldn't help admiring this bas relief on the Commonwealth Edison substation at 115 N. Dearborn. Though I'm not sure what that's supposed to be - maybe a superhero? Electric Power Man?

April 23, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Having a catch

Parks

Love this 1953 photograph by Gordon Parks, especially how it echoes (unconsciously?) Henri Cartier-Bresson's classic "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare". (Based on how all the boys are bunched together, I can't help wondering if they're playing a game of 500.) Parks was quite the Renaissance Man: FSA photographer, poet, composer and, of course, director of Shaft.

March 19, 2013 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Garfield Ridge

Tower2

Sometimes train delays are good things. Yesterday morning my train was stopped for several minutes on the southwest side, in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, which gave me time to fully take in the scene outside. A dusting of snow had partially covered this vacant industrial lot, which used to be a car junkyard but was recently cleared and graded, for some unknown purpose. I couldn't decide how to best describe the scene; at first, the snow mixed with the dark soil reminded me of powdered sugar on chocolate cake, but as I gazed longer the table-flat lot ringed with wild grasses looked almost like a lake. And obviously, the cake and lake versions are impossible to reconcile. Fortunately, images often succeed where words fail, and this photograph describes the scene more vividly than I can in writing.

March 13, 2013 in Chicago Observations, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Curbside Castoffs

Worksgood

Fourth in a series of memorable curbside discards. Or in this case, alleyside - behind an apartment building on Jefferson Street, on the east side of Joliet. The taped-on sign, of course, begs the question of why the TV's owner is just throwing it away. And I suspect it probably won't work quite as good after sitting in four inches of snow.

February 22, 2013 in Joliet, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Kings' new home

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What a wonderful image: Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King (the couple at the top center) at the apartment they moved into in 1966 at 16th and Hamlin on Chicago's west side, to bring attention to living conditions in the city's slums.

February 10, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wacker Drive

Marketstub

It's hard to imagine now, but there once was a CTA elevated track running right down the middle of North Wacker Drive (then called Market Street). That photo above shows the Market Terminal at Madison Street, where the line terminated, in front of the grand Civic Opera House. The stub was demolished during the late 1940s, undoubtedly to the relief of the Opera House's owners. This memorable 1946 painting by John Falter shows a scene beneath the terminal, at roughly the spot where the lone car protrudes from underneath the structure in the photo. I walk past this intersection on a regular basis and always admire the broad, airy expanse of Wacker Drive, and although I'm normally a traditionalist, I'll admit that the demolition of the Market Stub is one act of urban renewal that I have absolutely no objection to.

February 1, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hockey at the Garden

Hockey

I have no interest in the New York Rangers, but I'd still love to own an original of this poster, as shown in this 1943 image. Interesting that they'd go to the trouble of printing and hanging a poster that only promotes the next three home games, which would have given the poster a useful life of no more than a few weeks.

January 30, 2013 in History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schulze Baking Company

Schulze

This morning, Frank Jump posted this photo of a faded ad for Schulze's Butternut Bread. And thanks to a Metra debacle, this morning I had to take the Rock Island train instead of my regular train, which serendiptiously brought me within two blocks of the old Schulze Bakery. My hurried photograph of the building (at 55th and Wabash) is shown above. Butternut was baked there until 2004, before the owners shut it down. I'm not sure what business (if any) operates there now, but at least the building is still standing, and the Schulze name is still emblazoned across the top.

January 2, 2013 in Chicago Observations, History, Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)