Saturday, July 12, 2008

In The Shadows Of The Interstates

I changed the title of my post at the last minutes because I realized it would make more sense tacked onto tomorrow's photos. I have added a photo of the Stearns Quarry that I found on Flickr, just to show how truly small the quarry is. On the other side of those trees is the very end of the South Branch of the Chicago River. Not Bubbly Creek, no that is still nearly a mile away at Ashland Avenue and there are photos to be seen, do not worry. Instead groove on this odd little photo with the shapes peeking above the wall of I-55, the Halsted Street exit from the el train is at the far right. The building blocking part of Sears Tower is actually on the Chicago River closer to downtown, on Lumber Street. Most people would only see certain parts of this city, as with the white building, by being on the elevated train. It is then that you can see that the east side of the building has no shore to speak of, a person could jump from a sixteen story window directly into the river. There's plenty of empty water tower bases (if that's the term?) dotting the skyline. What is kind of cool is that it was not until I scanned the photo tonight, after looking at it several times, did I notice the guy in the blue shirt at street level (possibly because my thumb would have been touching that spot). I posted a shot of the church, St. Barbara's. It doesn't have the spires of the churches in my Humboldt Park neighborhood of my youth, such as St. Stanislaus Kostka or St. Fidelus, where I attended kindergarten and first grade and learned what kind of creatures Catholic nuns could turn into if they wanted. I like the photo of the intersection of Poplar and Hoey. Hoey itself is an alley and could easily be shorter than the length of my backyard fence. The only street shorter is a cobblestone deal called Arcade Place that runs for all of 105 feet and dead-ends behind the old Chicago Bank building. I hadn't visited this corner, within feet of Archer Avenue, and I was a little surprised to see signs in Chinese as well as English this far south and west. More of my journey tomorrow as we get closer to the inevitable trip past Bubbly Creek and up into the barrens where the abandoned train spur and the factory with the broken windows (and other Fun Stuff!) lie buried in broken timber and dead leaves...Wayne


HemlockMan said...

Does anything live in Bubbly Creek? Do bums sleep in the woods at the quarry?

Charles Gramlich said...

I like how the thick thick trees come right up to edge of the rock cut. The wilds start here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wayne,

Great photos. Just an FYI on the homes with entrances below street level. It wasn't exactly the fire, but IIRC the street grade of the city was raised in the early twentieth century. Houses with that step-down to the front entrances were built before the street grade was changed. Those with lawns and entrances level to the sidewalk were built after. Historians can use this to help figure the age of certain homes in the -- well, if they're not "old" neighborhoods, the ones with a bit more amassed history.

Just saw WALL-E yesterday ... it is "on topic." See it.

-- Rich