I have been between jobs for a while, so I have tried to be creative with my time. Before Winter was completely over, I started snapping photos of the the Grand Boulevard and Bronzeville areas. I was getting my mid-morning coffee at the Currency Exchange Cafe on 55th street, and before returning home, I drove up and down Calumet and Prairie Avenues. You miss a few things if you stick to Cottage Grove and King Drive when traversing that part of the South side.
I took what I called the scenic route back home. Something about the Green Line tracks surrounded by vacant lots around 41st or 42nd streets intrigued me. I was heading north but took an alley to go back south. That alley runs alongside the embankment of the abandoned Kenwood “L” line. It could have the potential of being the South side’s version of the 606.
.Getting back to my urban exploration, I had my camera handy, a fairly small Nikon digital. I have always been intrigued by photojournalists and how they would deal with people watching what they were doing. In my case, my subject was a vacant lot. I was thinking about angles and composition and taking in the scene. A train was approaching southbound, which seemed to complete the shot, so I started snapping away. I wanted the photos to “speak” to me, but they did not for the most part, until I fooled around with some photo effects. I can spend hours searching photo archives of Chicago’s past, so maybe one day that site will be more than a vacant lot.