Posts Tagged "Chicago"

03.18.2011

Daylight

Generally speaking, if somebody greets me with the phrase, “Hey bro! Happy [insert any day of the week]!” I pretty much want to stab them in the neck. It’s obnoxiously chipper and means literally nothing except that you’re an idiot who probably shouldn’t be happy, when every single day of the week is equally happy, happily prancing along the trajectory of the great lie that is your miserable life. But today… today is an exception. Happy fucking Friday everyone. We made it.

Before we get into anything else, I’d just like to direct your attention to this, for all of my viewers who are like me and only leave the confines of their secluded fortress under the cover of darkness.

todays weather Daylight

That is, I’m pretty certain, what people are referring to when they say that something is “the shit.” For those of you who don’t know, 69 degrees is actually the constant temperature of God’s crotch, the temperature from which all other good temperatures were decided. It’s true, ask a priest some time. Anyway…

last chicago sunset windowframe Daylight

last chicago sunset Daylight

Didn’t really plan this post ahead of time so I just went with an old standby — some of Dedleg’s trademarked sunset shots. It had been a while since I had posted anything up from Chicago anyway, although with these two I’ve pretty much exhausted my backlog of photos from when I was living there. In fact, these are the last two sunset shots in particular — I actually took them the day I was moving out. Let me tell you, that was not a happy Friday.

01.24.2011

Blue and yellow, blue and yellow

Towards the end of September, I meandered over to Chicago’s magical Painted Forest after catching glimpses of it from the drunken haze of a late night cab ride down Lake Shore Drive many times during my tenure in the Windy City. It’s not quite a whole forest, more like a handful of dead trees the Park District decided to give the Dr. Seuss treatment as something of an artistic statement, but mostly as a way to mark them for eventual removal. Nonetheless, they are pretty eye-catching and the whole project certainly gives new meaning to the phrase “the trees are turning colors”, to make the worst possible joke I could have there.

painted trees Blue and yellow, blue and yellow

painted forest Blue and yellow, blue and yellow

To be totally honest, however, the Lily Pond just a short walk away feels considerably more magical, even if it is less surreal. The Painted Forest looks a lot more interesting from the highway than when you’re actually there, standing next to a parking lot while people power-walk past you. Still, it was worth checking out just because, you know, most trees aren’t blue and novelty goes a hell of a long way.

painted bark Blue and yellow, blue and yellow

yellow tree Blue and yellow, blue and yellow

The trees were scheduled for removal this fall — in fact, when I arrived some of them were already gone, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they had all made it to the great wood-chipper in the sky by now. Hopefully, anyway, since I heard the lead poisoning levels in Lincoln Park’s squirrel population was unusually high this year.

01.19.2011

I gotta feel the wind chill again before I get old

At long last, here is the final batch of photos from my long and drawn-out North Beach series. But I may never see Lake Michigan again, and taking photographs is a good way to back up your mind’s eye.

edge of pier I gotta feel the wind chill again before I get old

barbed wire fence flower on beach I gotta feel the wind chill again before I get old

The amount of random shit you find on a beach is astounding. Well, “random” might not be the best word… considering the vast majority of the litter is alcohol containers. And when you think about it, this abandoned corsage probably isn’t all that random either. These photos were taken in September, so it could very well be some of the wreckage left behind by some post-Homecoming-dance carousing. Which certainly would explain all the bottles of Smirnoff Ice.

rippling water I gotta feel the wind chill again before I get old

Speaking of astounding — water. As usual. Astounding that the same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is the water we’re drinking today. Astounding that much of the universe’s water was produced as a byproduct of star formation, and by logical conclusion, that means that we’re made up of star shit. And astounding how some bloodless executive at a soft drink company board meeting figured out they can make obscene profits from soda without any of the flavor or carbonation, indeed, from the same substance that covers over 70% of the entire planet: water.

volley ball net post lake shore drive I gotta feel the wind chill again before I get old

01.12.2011

Ebb and flow

If you’re any kind of self-respecting human being, you love water. I love water so much, somebody once asked me, “If you love water so much, why don’t you marry it?” But I told them that relationship would be at least 35% incestuous, since all humans bodies are about 60% water. I may love me some H20, but… but let’s not get crazy.

waves1 Ebb and flow

waves2 Ebb and flow

floating driftwood Ebb and flow

waves3 Ebb and flow

waves4 Ebb and flow

waves5 Ebb and flow

And speaking of water, I’m trying to keep my head above it — back to work icon sad Ebb and flow

12.20.2010

Northern Exposure

As promised (or perhaps threatened), and in continuing celebration of this ridiculously cold season, here are more wintry photos from Chicago’s North Beach.

Sometimes getting a nice shot has less to do with actual skill or experience, and considerably more to do with sheer luck and how quickly you can click the shutter. For example…

seagull over north beach Northern Exposure

lighthouse on pier bacardi bottle on beach Northern Exposure

In warmer months, North Beach is one of the Windy City’s preeminent illegal public drinking spaces. Although, if you said it was peerless, people might get confused icon cool Northern Exposure

tangled cables on pier Northern Exposure

Speaking of peers, sort of… I’m not entirely sure what the story is behind these cables, but they seem to form in a grid within the entire pier — I imagine to strengthen the concrete and keep it from gradually crumbling into the lake. Somehow I think these ones aren’t quite doing their job.

north beach pilings Northern Exposure

keystone light on seaweed Northern Exposure

Mmm-hmm! Just look at that product placement. Advertisers, what are you waiting for? There’s another eager corporate shill right here, waiting for your loving arms.

12.13.2010

Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of beaches

Back when I lived in Chicago, I’d often pass North Beach on the highway between downtown and my neighborhood, which was farther north. That seemingly endless row of scattered pilings always caught my eye. Due almost entirely to laziness, despite my constant intentions, in two years I never made it down there to take pictures. So finally, with the moving van’s proverbial gun to my head, I paid North Beach a visit.

tipped over lifeguard chair Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of beaches

The beach’s proximity to downtown Chicago makes it a complete frenzy in the summer, but that’s only about 5% of the year there, and the rest of the time it looks sad and desolate — just how I like it.

fruit smoothies shack chair in trees Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of beaches

Sure, those pilings photograph well, but they’re actually there to keep the lake from consuming the beach — a body of water the size of Lake Michigan has a big appetite. There is a strip of sheet steel running between the pilings under the water, which, aside from making swimming there extra deadly, also keeps all the sand from being washed out into the lake.

wires wrapped around pole Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of beaches

North Beach is huge — I underestimated its size when accounting for time and found myself rushing against the waning daylight to see everything. Nonetheless, I managed to take somewhere around a billion pictures before the light and the cold won out.

north beach Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of beaches

So, needless to say, there’s more where that came from.

12.06.2010

Majestic

In a surprise move (not really), I slacked off all weekend and didn’t work on anything I set out to do. Coincidentally, this is what happens more or less every weekend since I moved back to New York. Weird…

To solemnly remember slower, quieter life in the little Midwestern village that is Chicago, here are a number of random flicks from the Windy City that I’ve been sitting on for a while.

magic hat cap pile Majestic

majestic store everything for men Majestic

pink sunset Majestic

wire on floor Majestic

golden sunet plane Majestic

Oh, and I should note… these are some of the last sunset shots out of that notoriously western-facing window. Not the absolute last, but we’re almost scraping bottom here. Something tells me I might be able to find some new ones in New York though…

11.15.2010

Kaleidoscopic

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted up a pile of pictures taken out of my old apartment’s kitchen window. And yeah, you’ve seen it all before, but the days of Chicago sunsets are in their twilight (see what I did there?) Savor them while they last, since just like an actual sunset, they’ll be gone before you know it.

colorful sunset Kaleidoscopic

colorful sunset silhouette Kaleidoscopic

light reflected in window moon Kaleidoscopic

For the sake of diversity, I threw in a shot of a shoe filled with spoiled food and/or barf. Kind of the same thing, I suppose, just in different stages of its life.

disgusting sneaker Kaleidoscopic

I woulda taken them home, since they’re pretty fly kicks (aside from the, you know, actual flies), but unfortunately they weren’t quite my size.

mental 312 tag Kaleidoscopic

To make matters more random, here’s a picture of a metal grate with one of Chicago’s most active young vandals, Mental 312. He’s sort of like Austin 3:16, only without the Biblical nonsense and steroids. Although, to be honest, it’s really not all that random… it’s all loosely related to color, which is particularly relevant given the subject matter of sunsets. And that’s how you box your way out of a corner.

11.10.2010

Time's fun when you're having flies

Now, I know it seems like all I care about around here is blunts, beer and bitches (in that order), but regular readers can attest to the fact that I also have a sensitive side that likes nature, appreciates quiet time alone, and yes, occasionally forgets to wear deodorant. I’m definitely not a hippie, but I’m not a totally vapid hipster either. I’m… hippsterie. Somehow that sounds worse than just “hipster”… weird.

willis tower lily pond Times fun when youre having flies

Anyway, Chicago has a pretty awesome and serene lily pond in Lincoln Park, and it’s rare that you see something with both those qualities attached, so I’d advise you and all your hippsterie friends to check it out if you’re in the area.

alfred caldwell lily pool Times fun when youre having flies

waterfall lily pond Times fun when youre having flies

I’m not sure what kind of desolate swampland it looks like at this time of year, but when I took these pictures back in September it was like slipping into my very own secret garden, just without any creepy little boys in wheelchairs, so that’s obviously fucking fantastic.

gazebo overhang lily pond Times fun when youre having flies

beer can gazebo lily pond Times fun when youre having flies

If you can temporarily separate from your inner tough guy, or if your tough guy happens to enjoy walks through the woods, it’s a really great way to escape the city. Occasionally, there are obnoxious children running around screaming loud enough to scare the lily pads away, but that’s nothing a subtle kick into the pond when the parents are busy with their iPhones can’t solve. Well, not really… the screaming will almost definitely continue, but it might make you feel better about it, at the very least.

11.01.2010

Vegetative State

When setting the table for formal occasions, such as a Halloween-themed dinner parties where the spaghetti looks like a brain and the cocktails have gummy worms floating in them, it’s important to remember the sterling silver cutlery is placed in the order of its use, with the implements to be used first farthest from the plate. The salad fork is placed next to the left of the plate, then the meat fork. Just to the right of the plate is the cucumber and on the outside, another cucumber.

cucumbers in dish drain Vegetative State

light reflecting on building edgewater beach Vegetative State

glowing cloudy sky Vegetative State

That’s all for now. My weekend was mostly consumed by All Binger’s Eve celebrations and other related activities, so this post is a little half-baked. Also, I’m a little half-baked.

10.25.2010

When I go down

Here’s a new batch of street slime from Chicago’s slimiest and grimiest. Although that’s a gross (heh heh) exaggeration. In my neighborhood, the bums would ask you for change with a stolen Big Gulp cup. In the South Side, they ask you for change with a stolen Smith & Wesson. The rents are cheap, and so are the prostitutes, but I don’t know, it just isn’t worth the risk as far as I’m concerned.

melted popsicle When I go down

Contest a world where popsicles are in short supply, amiright?

toy parachute When I go down

It seemed to me, you lived your life like a plastic tiger attached to a toy parachute in the wind.

broken lighter cigarette butt When I go down

Before I moved, I noticed a lot of these strange, hateful (literally, hate-filled — no room for anything but hate here) scribbles popping up all over my neighborhood. This brilliant essayist goes by the pen name The Angry Jew, and given the number of times he mentions killing, shitting on, or otherwise harming and humiliating Nazis I’d say it’s a pretty accurate nom de plume.

the angry jew When I go down

Torture, rob, murder you dumb nazi ass white gook cowardly dog gay dirty bastard blobs! Kill you darkassed nazis, including brownassed gook niggers also shit on, murder you gook long-haired white gay scatterbrained shitassed fag crackpot blobs! Shit and

Judging from what appears to be an arrow, our scribe actually meant to say, “murder you gook long-haired white gay scatterbrained shitassed fag crackpot shit and blobs!” Which, I think you’ll all agree, is a far more eloquent way to end the poem.

To think that generations from now, perhaps after our society has been annihilated by resource wars, economic collapse or ecological catastrophe, alien travelers might look to these few words for an insight into our culture. And the saddest part is, it’s actually a semi accurate peek into our fucked up little steaming shit in the communal toilet of human history. And although The Angry Jew seems to have a wide range of criticisms to throw around, in addition to a whole lot of hypocrisy, at the very least, it’s pretty hard to not get behind hating Nazis. If the alien explorers can also manage to dig up a Nintendo Wii and a bag of shake, it won’t be so bad.