The Fish Keg, 1998

Fish-Keg-1998-©2019 Michael A. Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Caffe Pergolesi, 1998

Cafe-Pergolesi-1998-©2019 Michael A. Priorie.  All Rights Reserved.

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.

Luke

©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

Back in 2015, I photographed Luke on a frigid January day. He’s writer and director and, at the time, just graduated from college. He was looking for some photos to put up on his website and I needed subjects to photograph.  I liked the overall look and theme that the cold weather provided, as well as the lighting. Luke now lives in Los Angeles and works in the film industry. 

Cookies 75 Cents

Cookies-75-Cents-1998-©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Jejune

Jejune-1998-Jejune-4-1998-Jejune-2-1998-Jejune-5-1998-©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

Back in the 1990’s, a couple friends of mine had a punk band called Jejune. Patrick was around fourteen or fifteen when he formed the band with his friend Mike. Chris joined as a bass player shortly thereafter. They played a lot of shows in the Chicago area and had enough of a following that they put out a cassette demo.  When Mike left as drummer, they revived the band for a short time in 1998 with their friend Guppy on drums. They asked me to photograph them one afternoon during band practice. I took these during their break. The first three were imagined for album artwork that never happened.

Jefferson Park

img_3559©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Carrera De Los Muertos

img_2126©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

Carrera De Los Muertos is a 5k race that is held annually in Pilsen on or around Halloween. The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) supports Hispanic communities by organizing events like this one as a catalyst to improve wellness and prosperity in neighborhoods such as Pilsen. Dia De Los Muertos (The Day Of The Dead) is annual holiday  celebrated in Mexico that is more of a celebration of life than a somber remembrance of the dead.

19082016

cubs wall©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

2016 was a stellar year for Chicago baseball. It marked the end of a 108 year drought for the Chicago Cubs. They won the World Series that year against the Cleveland Indians. I visited Wrigley Field about four days after their win and the area was still in celebration mode. It was just so unbelievable. All around the park, especially on the wall along Sheffield Avenue, the owners of the team allowed for people to write messages on the walls. Among the congratulatory remarks were more sentimental ones. Remarks to loved ones that are no longer here whose team finally won. My mother passed that year and this was her team.  I wrote in the little space I found. “They finally won, Mom”.

Jibarito Stop

img_4338©2019 Michael Priorie.  All Rights Reserved.

While there are plenty of great food choices in Pilsen, there’s one place that I return to time and time again; The Jibarito Stop. It’s a family owned business and the food is incredible. Inside, nothing beats the community vibe, especially during the summer. One day while I was eating lunch, I looked up and saw this on the wall. The lighting at that moment was perfect. It’s story accurate.

The jibarito sandwich originated in Chicago. It is made with two fried plantains sandwiched together with chicken or steak then topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Especially good with a side of Arroz con gandules!

Cityscape

img_1250©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

This is the Ashland stop on the Green Line. Here you can transfer to the Pink Line to travel south. When crossing over, you walk up the stairs and cross over via a pedestrian bridge. It’s a fantastic viewpoint to see the skyline to the east. The elements on this day made it perfect.