Friday, December 29, 2006

Augusta Boulevard, Summer 1992

Scott Kroll--over at the Citizen Nick link to the left--reminded me that he was with me when I took the photo of the caged angel in my Christmas post. We had been walking along Augusta Boulevard, Aw-GOOS-ta, as the old polaks still say. The bottom photo was taken on Western Avenue, but we had been further east (and yes, the tall building in the background is the John Hancock building, 3 miles away). Ukranian Village and Leona's pizza parlor, to be exact. Still trying to be regentrified as the East Village, those bastard real estate agents. A few blocks away is the Wood Street cop house, a block over from that is Wolcott Street and the three-flat my mother was born in. Actually, the Wood Street District is about a half a block south of Augusta, and at that intersection is Club Foot, long ago known as the Lizard Lounge and before that something Puerto Rican and way back in Nelson Algren's day, it was something unpronouncable but would bring in big points in a Scrabble game. Scott mentions this in his comment on the caged angel, which was on Honore Street and I'll leave it to the readers of Algren's THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM to know the varied ways of pronouncing that particular street. The interior of the bar is much the same as when I'd made Augusta Boulevard an old haunt back in the early 90s. But the two bathrooms are plastered entirely with Elvis posters and memorabilia, fittingly so for an Elvis fan as I, but over the head of most of the new clientele. I was going to post a photo from the bathroom of the Elvis wall, not the one of me with my business covered up but my knobby knees all pale and shiny, but it would detract from the gentleness of the 1992 photo. On second thought, the jarring difference one will see if I do post it will reflect the changing neighborhood. So I'll add that second photo, with one of me at the Ashland bus shelter as a buffer. One hopes. Wayne