Holiday Club, 1997

Holiday-Club-1996-©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

Around 1997, I went on a road trip to the West Coast. While in San Francisco, I stumbled upon an underground scene where Swing music was enjoying a revival. It was complete with clubs that played live big band music and cool kids who dressed in vintage 1940’s Zoot suits and poodle skirts. Fedoras were a must. The trend came to Chicago to places like the Holiday Club but it didn’t get a big as it was on the West Coast. That was too bad because I enjoyed getting dressed up in vintage clothes and seeing those big bands play. 

6 Corners, 1995

©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Jim, 1998

©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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. 

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.

Park, 1996

park©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

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.

North Town Frigidare, 1996

North-Town-Refrigeration-2©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

The landscape of the Lincoln Square neighborhood has undergone major changes over the last twenty years. While still hanging on to it’s German roots, this area has definitely gotten more upscale as bistros and specialty shops have opened here. This was the old North Town (as the area was once known) Frigidaire. The old sign hailed back to the days of the local repair man and sales store. These were the days before buying an appliance at Best Buy. This storefront has been gone for years, replaced by a Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop and a Chase Bank.

Metra Tracks, River West 1996

River-West-2©2019 Michael Priorie. All Rights Reserved.

It’s amazing how much this area has changed since I stood in the cold drizzle to photograph this scene. This was near Chicago Avenue and Odgen. New homes went up around here since then and a lot of the older homes were rehabbed. That day, I was more interested in capturing the low clouds that shrouded the skyline. Didn’t quite see how much would change in twenty years.