Week 5, Day 6

It’s late, and the only question left is: Scharf Semi or Scharf Milk? I know my wife knows what I’m talking about here. The correct answer is of course, “If you have both, why not both?” By the way, the combination is sublime. Just a minute. I need to move those to another  room.

Two people who are VERY close to me literally, figuratively and emotionally have asked me to give them a shout out, but because I am currently indulging myself in a double thick extra rich swirl of recalcitrance, I shall not. However, tomorrow is the Christian Sabbath, and I may be feeling more penitent at that point, so I might deign to mention them then. But certainly I shall not mention my parents today. Nope. No way. No how.

I went to the Art Institute of Chicago today with said people, which is a story unto itself. I left with two nagging questions, neither of which I shall answer here.

  1. Why are there so darn few women artists represented at the museum? European art before 1900? I can understand. Maybe. Modern art? Special exhibition on immediate post-Depression Art? Not so much.
  2. Why were Southeast Asian artists from 9th to the 16th century apparently so fixated on large mammary glands? I know the likely answer to this, but still it’s a little overwhelming. I know some of you more lascivious types are chomping at the bit for me to show you what I mean, but I won’t.  

On the way home from an excellent dinner at Kimsky, one of the aforementioned couple asked why this area is called Bridgeport. Um. Um. Um. IDK. Actually, I’m not sure of the origin of most of the names of Chicago’s neighborhoods (or community areas, as Wikipedia calls them), except maybe “Back of the Yards”. I know though that YOU are just dying to find out, so ever gracious me shall endeavor to appease you, at least to some trifling extent.

Bridgeport – This is where I live. On a map of Chicago, it’s pretty close to the dead center of the (very large) city, just a bit south of The Loop. Here is what wikipedia says about it’s name:

The area later became known as Bridgeport because of its proximity to a bridge on the Chicago River, which was too low to allow safe passage for boats, forcing cargo to be unloaded there.

One interesting tidbit is that it is bordered on the west by Bubbly Creek, which is so named (if you are eating your breakfast, or even some other meal, it is best to turn away now, and resume reading in the next paragraph) because the entrails and blood from the stockyards was dumped here, began to decompose, and released noxious gases. Here’s the catch: to this day, it still does it! It really stinks. Curiously, I’ve gone by on really hot days, and not bubbles, not stench.

Canaryville is the next place I ever went in Chicago that seems to have a name. I’m not including The Loop here. Chicagohistory.org says:

Canaryville’s name may originally have derived from the legions of sparrows who populated the area at the end of the nineteenth century, feeding off stockyard refuse and grain from railroad cars, but the term was also applied to the neighborhood’s rambunctious youth, its “wild canaries.”

Some parts of the neighborhood are nice, the industrial parts, not so much. This is where my yoga studio is. Speaking of which, there was a substitute instructor at yoga this morning. She focussed on alignment, which made the class both amazing and tiring at once.

Back of the Yards – This is a big industrial area just to the south of Bridgeport. There are some old (prior to 1930) factories and many sites which are simply concrete slabs with weeds (and trees) growing out. There are also many new buildings. Some of them look like they have questionable activities going on. This one has a particularly odd smell many days.

Bronzeville I’ve got energy for about one more of these, and this is it. Bordering the east side of Bridgeport, it was named in the 1930s when the local newspaper was the first to call the neighborhood Bronzeville for the color of the residents’ skin.

That’s all I have energy for, for now. More later.



2 thoughts on “Week 5, Day 6

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