So, I realized that you haven’t seen my neighborhood yet. I’ve decided to take you on a tour. We’ll see how this comes out. I started out kind of late (7:45pm), so it was getting dark by the time I got back. I haven’t looked at the pictures yet. I’m just going to post what I’ve got, cropped and enhanced, of course, but if they’re blurry, it’s because I wasn’t holding the camera steady enough in the waning crepuscular light. Here we go. (A brief pause while I upload the pictures.)
At first blush, they look OK. Phew.
This first one is the view down 33rd Street looking east, the direction I walk to catch the bus way down at the end there. You can see the school off to the left. Oops, no you can’t, because I cropped it out. (This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.) There were about 30 children in the playground just past the school you can’t see and half as many adults, all playing and talking.
I’ve been watching this garden everyday for weeks now. It IS the front yard of the house, which is not uncommon here. In every case that I’ve noticed, the gardeners of such plots have been of Asian descent. The neighborhood is about ⅓ Asian descent, ⅓ Latino, ⅓ Caucasian. The reason I watch this particular garden it that one day I noticed that the gardener stuck what appeared to be cut shoots of some kind directly into the soil behind this fence of plants. I think it is the same kind of plant as you see here. There is also a bok choy looking plant.
Hey look! Kids in the playground.
There are alleys every so often.
This is the only cross street, Lituanica, which is Latin for Lithuania (didn’t see that coming did you?). I’m not sure if the street was named for the country, (which could be, since this area was once called the Lithuanian Downtown. In fact, my downstairs and upstairs neighbors are both Lithuanian) or it might have been named for the airplane, which was piloted by two Lithuanians and carried the first ever trans-Atlantic air mail, but crashed near the end of its flight. To the right is Bruno’s Bakery, the 2011 Best of Chicago Best Lithuanian Bakery. I sometimes smell the sour dough rising, but the store has limited hours, during all of which I am at work [insert distressed face emoticon].
In this shot, I hope to draw your attention to the detail on the roof line of Bruno’s and many of the other buildings in the area. This tells you a bit about what the neighborhood once was, and, I think is aiming for again.
This shows that in this area, the streets were all raised a few feet in order to put in sewage systems a long time ago. I wrote more about this in Week 0, I think, plus I found more info here.
This hardware store (again, notice the detail on top) serves more as a social gather point than a hardware store. Every time I’ve walked by and it’s been open, there have been half a dozen people just inside the entrance, chatting, some sitting on lawn chairs or merchandise in the store. I think it serves the same social function as some barber shops – a place to hang out and chat. It is across the street from my inbound bus stop.
This is Nana restaurant, which I’ve written about.
A fair amount of walking happened there, plus a stop for sundries at CVS. Many people do stuff to make their part of the neighborhood a little nicer.
Here’s another example.
There are a lot of pretty buildings around here.
Some walls have murals. I like the dog’s super heart.
This is part of the gardens that I saw on Week 3, Day 0. Not satisfied with planting just her (whole) yard, she’s started planting the sidewalk.
Most vacant areas have been planted with gardens. Off to the right, you can almost make out the blue lights of an adult who was practicing hula-hooping with an LED hoop (look for the blue glowy arc).
This building is across the street from mine. There is an open sign in the window, but I don’t think it’s an active store anymore. There are weird statues and toys in the front window.
I live in the back half of this building. That’s about it for the neighborhood. I walked a while more after this, but it was too dark for pictures. On the way home, a kitty paused on the sidewalk in front of me as I made a chk, chk, chk sound. As I came closer, the kitty started to move quickly away, so I pss, pss, pss’d. The cat instantly flopped over on her side on the grass and let me pet her. Sweet kitty.