Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aladdin Ruins

I'm currently involved with a project called HOLLOWPOINT, with John Kewley, my co-writer on @JOYMOTEL. Set in 1965 LA and Chicago, I have to dredge up some period photos for reference. We used to have this massive amusement park called Riverview right in the middle of the north side. I have memories of the joint, thought it was demolished when I was eight. We never had a lot of dough, but it was a cheap day just to walk around. The highlight for almost everyone was Aladdin's Castle, with a maze of oddities, a rolling floor, a hall of mirrors, and such. But I came across the damnedest photo of the ruins. Aladdin himself was dismantled just about last, the front of it was simply wood, maybe acting as a sound baffler for the people who lived in the two flats across the street. The last ride I was aware of that was dismantled was the parachute ride, because in the early 70s you could still see the black monolith from the Tri-State Tollway. Didn't expect to be writing about Riverview tonight, but that one photo really did it for me...

Yes, That Was Me With the Dharma Initiative Cookies Walking Through the Deserted Subway and State and Lake

It's late and there's much more narrative I could add about my trip home and a chance meeting with an old friend as I was within steps of crossing the street to Sheffield Avenue. Tonight I went to what quite a few people, including Erika Olsen, the organizer on the Chicago end, was going to be a modest get-together of a bunch of people who enjoy the TV series LOST. Well, there were close to a hundred people at this thing, I talked with a woman from Charlotte and two guys from Grand Rapids, several others. The weather was amazingly well-behaved for late September, I was never cold in the least, not even that close to the lake in an open ended tavern. I wore my Omaha Streets & Sanitation shirt for warmth (the shirt has ZERO ventilation), and as I walked around, trying to find a place to sit, several people thought I had a cool Dharma logo shirt on. I never even thought of that and the damn show has been on since 2004. Anyhow, for once, I had an entirely enjoyable Friday night.