Monday, June 1, 2009

Back to Brighton Park






Specifically Archer & Sacramento. One of the cooler intersections, but I am saving two photos of one building for tomorrow. Plus some shots of Balzekas, one of the Chrysler showrooms that is closing down. Back in 1992, there were crowds around that firehouse, I'd see them every day on my way to work at the comic shop, the goofy intersection which also included 46th Street. They filmed scenes from BACKDRAFT there, and you could see them driving the rig past the long building, now with the Zemskys sign, but in the 90s it was still Archer Avenue Big Store. I went in that place once, but ended up only buying shoelaces for my sneakers. Go figure. I put up a photo of how the southbound streets curve, because Archer is a diagonal artery. Lots of bungalows hidden by trees, a sharp bend just past the alley, this block was Archer and Montgomery. By far one of the oddest buildings at this intersection, on the southwest side, is Watra, a religious store. Look at that nutty balcony. I walked up close, the paint is faded,but it used to be a vibrant red and white, the colors of the Polish flag. Across the street is the place I'm saving for the next post. Rich Chwedyk might already know the greasy joint I'm talking about.

5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I watched "the Fugitive" last night, with Harrison Ford. I think it was set up in your neck of the woods but I didn't see you in it. Just goes to show what a lame movie it was.

Rich Chwedyk said...

I went to school with the nephew of the one-time owner of Archer Avenue Big Store. If memory serves, his last name was Prince — probably an Ellis Islandization of something like Przynbzycycz (everyone gets spooked by those voweless names). Yes, a Polish prince, who once ran for the office of Coroner, but I don't remember if he won.

That Watra, if memory serves at all, used to be Adam Furniture once upon a time in the Sixties. I think my family bought some furniture in there at one time. It was silent as a tomb, and a salesman came down this flight of stairs like Bela Lugosi. Or so I remember it. All that blank space to the right of the store was once filled in by the Brighton Theater: which I'm guessing we'll get to with your next entry.

Steve Malley said...

Man, that Midwest architecture sure makes me homesick sometimes...

G. W. Ferguson said...

Did you know about this?

"Every city has its own gang history, part of Chicago's are Gang cards, most prominent in the 70's and early 80's, back in the day when a gang was more of a neighborhood crew then what it is today. Fists, bats, and bottles days, before guns became the norm in the gang. Most of the gangs were just about the neighborhood and hanging out together. Stock art from the printer as well as some hand drawn illustrations were the back bone of many of the cards. Some cards are pretty humorous, with some off the wall illustrations, logos, sayings, and rhymes. They don't make them like they used to..."

CHICAGO'S LESSER KNOWN ARTS HISTORY LESSON or OG ART GALLERY

HemlockMan said...

You see...if only you'd bought more stuff at the Big Store, it would still be there.

Consume, Daddy-O!