Thursday, October 10, 2013

Al Capone and me

As part of a project to get me out of the house, keep my writing muscles in shape while waiting for the government shutdown to end and my green card to be processed, and to better acquaint myself with my corner of Chicago, I've offered my services to Logansquarist, a hyper-local website covering all matters between the North Branch of the Chicago River and Pulaski, Diversey Boulevard and... uh, whatever the southern border of Logan Square is. The old railway line maybe?

Anyway, it's a history column, which presents some difficulties in that I know nothing of Chicago's history other than 1) mobsters and 2) fire.

My first piece resulted from Googling "Al Capone" and "Logan Square." It came out well, I think. If not, it's worth checking out for the photographer they sent out after me, who appears to know what she's doing behind the lens much better than I do with responsibility for a column about a neighbourhood whose physical boundaries are still a mystery to me.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Hello? Anyone here? (Taps microphone)

This seemed apt for a 6AM stroll.
Boy, I am lousy at keeping the cobwebs out of this place. I'm not going to write much now, either: I woke up at 5:30 this morning in order to do an interview with a gentleman who had neglected to turn on his phone. On the plus side, I thereby gained the chance to say goodbye to Amynah, as she has abandoned me with the girls for the next four days in order to visit her new nieces in Calgary.

I have a number of things I could write about (anyone want to learn about some urban legends about Guelph ON? I have a doozy), but have lacked the motivation to do so for some reason. One thing I am doing is researching some of the history of my corner of Chicago, the fruits of which should be online soon-ish (Al Capone!)

Another thing I am (sporadically) doing is getting up in the early AM to write, read, and wander my local streets with a camera. Not being an early riser by nature, this has happened exactly twice in the past two months, but I'm hoping to make it a more regular thing.
Our building has a small garden out back.

There's a community garden one block away, growing food for the preschool across the street.

Not a new photo to my Faceboook friends, I think the building (which exists outside of this puddle) is a home for Hispanic seniors.

Sometimes you can see the original brickwork peeking out from the potholes in Chicago's alleys. Sometimes, they never covered them up.

There is a lot of large-scale graffiti in this neighborhood: this wall marks the edge of the parking lot of the "Mega Mall" a giant permanent flea market. Among its reputed vendors are those that sell, among other things, dead batteries and used underwear. I have thus far resisted the temptation to investigate.