Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Over Dere By Under The Viduck
Trying to catch up on the posts I had wanted to deal with, this one following the time I mentioned viaducts flooding after Hurricane Ike in, what, August? And, Bob, I swear I'll write about the time I fell into the hole while scavenging the ruins of Miami Bowl soon, I swear. People in Chicago talk funny, particularly when offering
directions. Over dere covers just about any distance, and in the case of, say, there being two people/places with the same name, you might hear, "No, not Jimmy from over dere, but the Jimmy over dere by the viduck." Viaduct, of course, but still a baffling set of words. So here are some of our infamous viaducts. One not pictured is infamous to south siders, the big, yellow one at Damen. For decades, that was the barrier between black and white south side. It was one long tunnel, as well. Closer to me, there are the viaducts that run between Central Park and Lawndale, with the Grand Trunk RR running on tracks above the cross streets. There are always odd little bars nearby, like Players on 59th and Traxx right near the 8th District cop house on 63rd. That couple up top have no clue. That viaduct in the background runs beneath the Morse Avenue el tracks in Uptown. Kind of a crappy place to be even in broad daylight, worse after those lights go off when the bars close. The theater is on a street where, once you go away from those el tracks, things get better. You're not walking streets that look like the backdrop of a Starsky & Hutch chase scene. Years (I mean, years) ago, that place was called Roy's, and it was a dive. I'd stand on the el platform and hear the jukebox and see cigarette smoke coming from the cracks in the windows. It was one of those places you that had a pool table you couldn't see until you walked into it. One of the few places where I wouldn't try and take a photo for later reference. But it was a great bar to disappear in. My days of drink are over, my days of being able to afford drink gone, but Roy's was a place that I quite honestly believe produced its fair share of John Doe murder victims over the years. I still miss the place, though. What can I say? I'm nostalgic.