Old Absinthe House. The French Quarter bar that’s has a 200 plus year history. The place where a pirate named Jean Lafitte made a deal with Andrew Jackson and in return helped propel the British from advancing down the Mississippi and ended the War of 1812.
In Chicago, the area of Portage Park where the intersections of Irving Park Rd., Cicero Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue meet is traditionally known as 6 Corners. Some people out there will immediately argue and claim Milwaukee/Damen/North Avenue as 6 Corners– It is not! In my forty plus years on this earth, it’s always the area on the Northwest side of the city by where the (former site) Sears is located. This photo was taken on a foggy evening in December 1995.
During the summer of 1998, I was on this kick of photographing neon signs. I was out riding around with my friend Pat one evening when this caught my eye. The Fish Keg is located on Howard Street in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park. It is at the city’s northern limits. It’s still around– same sign and everything. Its one of the few places in the city that you can buy seafood from an independent retailer.
At one time in Chicago, Caffe Pergolesi and No Exit were the oldest coffeehouses in Chicago. They were both in existence since the 1960’s. At the time of this photo (1998), Pergolesi saw the North Halsted neighborhood emerge from working class to the center of Chicago’s LGBTQ community. It was a one of a kind place, kind of dark and cozy. A good place to read a book and sip on a cappuccino. There was a while where it seemed like Starbucks had taken everything over, but luckily, some indie coffeehouses have begun to reemerge.
I took these portraits of my friend Jim by his parents old house in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood. These were taken in the summer of 1998 during a time when we were into the Swing Revival subculture that was happening. We wore suits and fedoras and hit the clubs. We looked like our grandparents in their youth. Jim was a really good model too! I miss that old “Woody” station wagon.
Back in 2015, I acquired some lighting equipment and began to explore my portrait lighting skills. My friend, Geraldo allowed himself to be my test subject. Although mostly for testing purposes, these came out really well. Lighting was done via an umbrella with flash.
By 1998, I was getting a little restless and, admittedly, slightly bored with the Urban Views project. I knew that I needed to explore new places in the city. On this day, I traveled to Chinatown. This was down on Wentworth. This little store caught my eye. It has this charm to it.
Jefferson Park terminal is sort of the epicenter of Chicago’s Northwest side. Located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, it’s terminal connects the Metra commuter rail line, the CTA Blue line, and several bus routes. The terminal opened in 1970 and marked the end of the rapid transit line until the CTA expanded it’s service to O’Hare airport in 1984.
When I was really young, I remember seeing these City Of Chicago parking lots all over the city. They were eventually phased out by the 1980’s . Back then, community shopping areas were the norm. The big box stores of today were not around. You had your neighborhood grocer, perhaps a fruit market, a bank, a library, and maybe a department store to buy some clothes. These lots allowed you to park your car off the main street and then walk to whatever store you were going to.